Time flies when you’re having… a baby!

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that is very true, but what about when time is flying by because your sleep deprived and have no idea what time it is. Welcome to the last three weeks of our lives haha! Since welcoming in little Isla into our lives two weeks early, our world has been turned upside down and flipped over sideways. We had to press pause on so many little projects and tasks on our to-do list to make way for baby and all the joy and lack of sleep she was going to bring us!

We have been working hard on getting her nursery and Ezra’s toddler room finished, luckily we had both the rooms painted and their closets built ahead of time and only needed to add the furniture and decorating left to do. My husband has had the entire summer off because he works in the school district, but we were dreading Isla’s due date as it was August 31st and he would be back to work within days of her being born. Thankfully, she had other plans and gave us two weeks of bliss with daddy being home to welcome her into the world and helping in trying to maintain some sort of normal as we transitioned into a 4-person family.

You may also like : Cadenshae : Maternity + Nursing Active wear

Having him around has given us extra time to bond as a family, capture special moments and really dedicate all our time to the newborn phase. We haven’t been the best at being on time or keeping track of what time it is for that matter, but have been trying our best! Receiving a beautiful handcrafted wooden watch from JORD was the icing on top of the cake after having Isla. The perfect accessory that not only looks beautiful, but helps me to keep on track of our routines and nap times!

For my own customized wooden watch, I chose from the Cassia Collection in Ebony and Sable. “The Cassia a timepiece that transcends the simple categorization of a watch. Intelligent design pairs with classic styling to create a piece worthy of your wrist and welcome in your jewelry wardrobe. The full Roman numeral concave dial in the JORD collection is beautifully reflected in our domed sapphire glass. The metal and wood link interlaced band integrates seamlessly into the rounded case. The Cassia Ebony & Sable is the statement piece you’ve been waiting for.” When the watch is delivered to you, it is sealed in a beautiful wooden box that just overwhelms you with the scent. It is so beautiful and the perfect keepsake or safe place for special memorabilia, you can even have your watch engraved if it is for a special occasion or for someone special!

You may also like : Rainbow Baby Gift Basket

If you have been looking for a new watch and wanting something unique, head on over to JORD watches to check out the many different styles and colour options they have. Right now you can also enter HERE for a chance to WIN a gift certificate for $100 towards your new watch!  Also, just by entering, you will also receive 10% off of your watch!

Enjoy!

xox Cass

Photography : IXL Photography

Wooden Watch : JORD Watches – Cassia

Hoodie + Leggings : Cadenshae 

Shoes : People Footwear

Baby Gown : Dwell + Slumber

Ezra Leggings : Peekaboo Beans

Grey Teddy Bear Hoodie : Nixilauroo

Creeks, Lakes & Rivers, OH MY! 5 places to stop for a quick bite or mountain dip.

This summer we packed up our teeny tiny KIA Spectra and went on a two and a half week road trip through the interior and made some pre-planned stops and some impromptu stops at some amazing lakes, waterfalls and creeks. Here are my top five that we visited and hope you one day have a chance to experience these same beautiful spots!

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1. Cayoosh Creek – the perfect picnic spot with an amazing view!

When we stopped off at this beautiful spot, we were travelling from Kelowna to Pemberton. We decided to drive through the Pemberton Canyon, merely for site-seeing and having a little bit of change in scenery on this long drive. While we were going down a long windy road I yelled STOP! Kenz was quite confused, but I just said turn around and away we went. We had passed this beautiful opening of the forest with the mountains and the bridge, it was perfect. (When I was going through my photos, I realized the two middle photos matched up completely – how could I not use them? lol)

Tofino Towel – Lightweight – Flores

Ez’ Dress – Geema Sews

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2. Lilooet Lake – Light walk, Family friendly, Camping available

This was the most eery/creepy/horror movie scene lake I have ever been to! Because of the smoke it created a very different look then what I was expecting to see. Either way it was so cool and we will definitely be going back. My poor husband was so excited and kept telling me, ‘If it was cleared you’d be able to see this. this, and this.’ We made the most of it and Ezra tried out her water shoes for the very first time – she is definitely a water baby!

Tofino Towel – Long Beach – Volume 2

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3. Joffre Lake – Family/Dog friendly, hiking/rock climbing, Camping available

A dream come true! and a HUGE parent bucket list checked off! I have always wanted to go to this lake and do the hike, visit all the stops and for some reason it was always in my head that it just wouldn’t happen, or that it would be a HUGE trip to do it. Alas, when we were planning our route and the stops we’d be taking, Kenz turns to me and says, “You know where we can stop?” with a big goofy grin on his face, “Joffre Lake” OH MAN. was I seeing stars I was so excited!! This big blue beautiful lake did not disappoint! Nor did Mackenzie, as we passed other hikers along the way, they almost all cheered him on for carrying Ezra and saying hello to her. Meanwhile Ezra was yelling at every single ‘DOE-DOE’ (Dog) she saw; there was a lot. She was such a champ, she was so happy the whole way up (all 3 Lakes) and then slept the whole way down, all in the hiking carrier! I am very proud to announce that we did the entire three lakes in 1.5 Hours. I couldn’t believe the sense of accomplishment and empowerment I felt as we stood a the bottom of the glacier. We did it. Having a baby does NOT mean you scale back your passions and adventure, it means you adjust your mind and plans to make it work and thrive in parenthood! We will definitely be returning.

Side note: in the first picture below, yes, that is Ez pointing to the sky because we asked her where the birds were. I love her.

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Stripped Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Ez long sleeve ‘Mountain Baby’ – LiveLoveNorth

Tofino Towel – The Flores

 

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4. Nairn Falls – Light walk & Family friendly

This has to be one of the coolest waterfalls I’ve been to. The size, the power, the closeness of the viewing landing, it was all so good. It’s a small hike up to the falls and I would suggest wearing closed toed and hiking shoes as there was a lot of debris that would not be good for sandals. There is also a large rock face that you have to climb up to get to the viewing spot, you can definitely walk up it – it is no rock climbing by any means, just be prepared with the proper footwear. (The last picture in the group below is what Ez looked like on every hike! She was so curious and full of wonder, holding tight to her bear and sousou, my brave little bean!)

Ez Bonnet – Fawn&Lace

Ez Dress – Geema Sews

Ez Mocs – Wild Ones Mocs

Ez Teal Shortie – Jax&Lennon

Chew Accessory – Baby Bear Design

Tofino Towel – The Flores

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5. Okanagan Lake – Family Friendly/Boat friendly

This lake has to be the one that we spent the most time at, it is the lake that the camp we worked at visits every year a couple times during the week. Unfortunately, the smoke was very thick so I think we only ended up going once so that we could try and keep Ez indoors. While we were there though, Ez had some fun in the water with daddy and they took out her little flamingo floatie and had some time around the corner on the shore where it was a bit more toddler-friendly.

Ez Bathing Suit – Mosie’s Cozies

Tofino Towel – The Flores

I hope you have a chance to visit each of these refreshing spots and enjoy the views, and the work out it takes to get to some of them!

XO – Cass

You may also like : Beach Ready From Head to Tote

Saying NO to the “Mom-Bod”

How I chose to say NO to the mom bod.

This is not a work out post, a pity-post or a ‘I’ll make do with what I have’ post. This is an empowering, influencing and inspiring post. I chose not to give in to the ‘mom-bod’ and choose to love my baby-bearing body. 

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From time to time I do feel that tug of insecurity, self-doubt and I do see the marks left from that pull&stretch. But these are our love lines, our war wounds, our life long hopes and dreams. The sign of a mother. 

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Olivia Ann Photography

Though some may be more scarred than others, more discrete than others or even only inwardly marked; we have all joined on this journey and the trials of pregnancy, labour and the fourth trimester together. 

Received our badges of courage, of comfort and became a safe place for our littles.

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How in the WORLD can I look past my beautiful baby girl and focus solely on the body I was left with after her birth. 

It’s hard to move forward, to feel back to normal when you know you’re not. That before-baby-BABE-bod feels so far away. It’s hard to feel glamorous, beautiful or even mediocre sometimes. To have the pure essence and freedom to think or even feel; I am beautiful. 

The rawness of it all; is that we all think this.

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Who’s better? Who’s thinner? Who has the best workout?

STOP. Take a second and stare into your child’s eyes.

There’s your all in all; you’re beauty and your pride. 

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Natalia Reardon Photography

There lays your heart and your reflection in their eyes, staring right back at you telling you, you are enough. 

You will ALWAYS be enough. 

This is why I am saying no to the ever-so-daunting “mom-bod.” I do not fall short, I will not give in to this lie that I am sub-par, I will stand tall.

I am Ezra’s mom. I take this journey and glorify it. The good, the bad, the discomfort and the beauty in the middle. I am blessed to be her mother and am honoured to rock this ‘MOMBOD.’

-Xox

me and ez

Breastfed to Finger fed – easing the transition to solid foods

Breastfed to Finger fed – transitioning to solid foods and supporting your child in this whole new world of taste buds!

     I am so eager to get this post out that I write to you from the car! My husband is driving us to our second-in-laws for a BBQ and some pool time. This post has been on my mind for about six months now and I’ve finally buckled down and put in the ground work to bring it to you, so I hope you get lots out of it!

     Over the past few weeks we’ve been discovering new recipes and recreating old ones to adapt to Ezra’s little taste buds. (Nothing too high class – ex: Ez loves bananas, so when we discovered she wasn’t allergic to PB, we made her PB & banana sandwiches!)  The transition from breastfed to finger fed hasn’t been a struggle and Ez LOVES food, but she does have her moments where we just need to revisit a few foods after her first encounter. Example: banana at 6 months; not a fan. Banana at 8 months; has eaten it everyday since.

     Friends and family have both shared with me that babies take up to 5 times to actually like something. If you are trying to transition your babe to solids or even just purees, keep trying, it may just be the texture or even the sweetness/tartness. This is one thing that I’ve kept in mind when trying out new and different tastes/textures with Ez. At first when we started to give Ezra solids, we started with banana and rice cereal (I know, not so much a solid as it is a puree). As I wrote above, she was not a fan of banana and frankly, I was terrified to give her anything that wasn’t smooth sailin’ like water or milk.

     Slowly we moved forward in the solids department and have now made our way to fully finger-fed, no more boobie for baby. I’ve gathered up some of our tried & true favourites, both in my opinion and Ezra’s. Most of these are easy to make and can be put together with the ingredients you already have!

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Let’s get started!

 

1. Raspberry, Coconut & Rolled Oats (NO BAKE)

     Don’t worry my dears, these delicious looking treats come with a recipe and take less than 15 minutes to muster up! All you need are four ingredients, but make sure to keep these puppies refrigerated or in the freezer until you want to eat them!

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Raspberry, Coconut & Oat Balls (&& a little flour)

Ingredients:

1Cup Rolled OatsRaspberry Coconut Balls

1/2Cup Flour (add more as needed if they’re too moist!)

1/3Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1/2Cup defrosted and crushed frozen raspberries

Directions: Add all ingredients into bowl, mix with spoon or hands & roll into loonie sized balls, place on baking sheet or plate to store in fridge/freezer.

That’s it! You’re done!

2. PB & Banana rice cakes

     One of Ez’s, and many babies, favourite foods is banana. It’s easy to hold on to, you can chop it up or slice it down the middle. squishy, but holds shape, that is, if it’s not too ripe! I usually just buy the plain rice cakes, don’t really need to add any extra taste to these delicious snacks. (Sometimes when I am at restaurants I sneak a couple PB’s into my diaper bag – the perfect extra little protein on the go! shhhhh!)

Banana PB rice cake_Fotor

 

3. Gnocchi

     These little guys have a texture of somewhere in-between a banana and a noodle. Perfect sizing for the fist of a little one who’s just started discovering how to eat! Prep time? Boil the water, throw them in the pot, 2 minutes later, take em’ out and serve. Super simple and your little one will love being able to have independence in feeding themselves one teeny bite of potato at a time. (If you’re not making them from scratch, I am not this ambitious, I would suggest the Oliveri brand. I bought mine at Save on Foods in the deli section)

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4. Fruit, Fruit, & More Fruit!

     My little bean just loves fruit. Any kind and all the time. I have been giving her everything under the sun and she just makes it disappear! Some fun ones to cut in to sticks/slices are the ones pictures below. Grapefruit not so much a stick but the pieces are small and squishy, kind of makes them work for the sweetness of the fruit! Just make sure you are checking your fruits for seeds/rinds.

Fruits

5. PIZZA – the remix.

     As much fun as pizza is to give to a toddler, I find the dough to be a bit too much for them and they more than often dont get enough of the good stuff on the top! I opted out for doing a ham and cheese pizza for Ez with flat bread and some left overs in my fridge. I took some left over pasta sauce, deli ham and shredded cheese from a pizza soup hubby had made earlier in the week (YUM! – check that out here, super yummy!). I prepared the oven at 350, put my toppings on and placed the flat breaded pizza straight on to the rack, let cook for 10 minutes and then sit for 5 minutes on the counter to let it cool. I made it a little bit easier for Ez to eat by cutting the pizza into strips so she could hold on to it and munch away.

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6. EGG – just egg.

     Holy guacamole does this little girl love egg! Scrambled, hard boiled, fried, she’ll take it all. My most recent and creative way to give her egg is on an individual cast iron skillet. This is GENIOUS. We went out for sushi a couple months ago and we had ordered a huge variation and assortment of dishes. One of which showed up and was a huge hunk of egg on rice. I wasn’t about to eat it but I knew someone who may just love it; lil’ Ez. It took her awhile but after about 20 minutes, the egg and rice underneath was gone. So when I found a cast iron skillet to re create the style and texture of egg, you know I was on board right away. And so was she!

     For the eggs on the skillet, I usually will scramble two in a small bowl with a fork and then pour hem in the skillet. Wait a couple minutes until the top of the egg starts to firm. I then place the whole skillet into the over at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. This ensures the egg is cooked fully, but also the perfect texture to cut in to strips for easy finger feeding!

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       I would also like to add here that if you’re having a tough time getting your little to try eggs, let alone even like them, one of my girlfriend’s, Sam, mashes banana and egg together to create pancakes. You may also find you can use sweet potato as well and her little one just eats it up!!

7. Pizza Pretzel. That is it. One love baby.

Pizza Pretzel_Fotor

8. Pancakes & Berries

     Last weekend I had the utmost pleasure of helping host a bridal shower for my beautiful friend Dianne. She makes my heart sing, she is such a beautiful soul, so naturally when she asked for a PANCAKES&PANTIES BRIDAL SHOWER (how stinkin’ cute is that? This will definitely be up on the blog) I couldn’t say no. Naturally, after the day had passed, there was some mini pancakes left over. Hmm I wonder who would love these mini pancakes? EZ. Finger fed, hand held, teeny tiny pancakes. This little miss was on cloud nine that morning! I put the pancakes on her tray with an assortment of berries, she loved it!

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9. Steamed Veggies

     Part of your little ones teething experience and being introduced to solids is the sensation of teeth taring through their gums. Not a very nice feeling AMIRIGHT? Hot and cold foods help with soothing this sensation. Brocolli and carrots have been a go to for these past few weeks. Here are my the two time frames I find work best for self-fed babies. Leaving the vegetables firm enough that they dont squish right in to their fingers as soon as they pick them up! (&& maybe a little bit of cheese is delicious too!)

Broccoli – Boil 4min

Carrots – Boil 7 min

steamed veggies

Adorable Mountain Dinner Plate by Timber Child

10. Leftovers

     What better meal prep than leftovers? Not only are you keeping your sanity, but baby is fed and enjoy their cold macaroni, pasta or even tuna helper! I just noticed all of those are pastas… Baby loves pasta! Ez also loves to eat whole tiny pickles, here’s a photo below of an average snack time at our house hold!

BONUS Extras:

Some of the ones I haven’t posted above are:

  • Grilled Cheese (cut in to slices)
  • Dill Pickles
  • Veggieballs – IKEA (seriously!)
  • Tomato pasta
  • Cheese stick

Let me know what you’ve found easiest/hardest in your own adventure going through the transition of breastfed to finger fed. I would love to hear your own ideas and answer any questions you may have for me!

Take care && Happy feeding!

xox Cass

Mat Leave Ends, But Another Adventure Begins

Back to work. Back to the grind. Back to the ol’ time card.

But it’s not the same. Back to work, with a baby. What does that look like you ask? Well, I really couldn’t tell you; yet. I have my first day back to work on Friday. Starting a new job in a new field of which I know nothing about the company but I’m excited. It’s going to be good and it’ll allow my week to have a more structured look to it. Thankfully I have found a position I can go back to part time, as I don’t know if I could quite muster up enough courage to leave my baby girl for the entire day for 5 days a week.

[The day she was born – 17 hours old// Her first baseball game – 6 days old//Teens camp – 2 months old]

Luckily, I have the most amazing mother in law who is willing to watch sweet Ez for those two days that I’m away. Not only does this give me the confidence and freedom to separate myself from mama-mode and dive into work-mode, but Ezra LOVES her Nama. Let me tell you, the second Ez sees Nama, everything else disappears and nothing else matters, Nama is here. Her little legs start pumping a hundred miles per hour, she is fist bumping the air and with her big goofy grin, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. She loves her.

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The night I went into labour 

Looking back on when I was pregnant, very pregnant, and preparing for maternity leave, the 12 months you’re given seems like an eternity. The ‘go-getter’ in me thought, ‘yeah, I’ll get this baby thing under wraps and then I’ll just have a 9 month vacation!’ Oh man was I wrong. Everyday has been a joy, full of love, laughter and all that gushy stuff. There has been hardships in the midst of that, endless crying, sleepless nights, but every parent goes through that. We were fortunate enough to have an angel of a babe that was, and continues to be, so kind to us. But even though I thought having a baby wouldn’t weigh me down and immobilize me that much; it did. You get in to the routine of sleep, nurse, change diaper, sleep, nurse, change diaper, and eventually that starts to level out. Ezra is pretty simple when it comes to this schedule and will mostly go anywhere with me as long as I’m able to take time out for her. Pushing the stroller a little longer or put a wrap on to cuddle her close, to ensure she can have a nap.

[Ezra in her new Beluga Baby ‘EZRA Wrap’ Photo|Haley Campbell Owner of Beluga Baby // Ice cream at Morgan Crossing // Ez meeting Jillian Harris for the first time (all babies have this ‘first’ right?]

All this is about to change though. I am going to feel that heart wrenching, yearning sensation to want to be with my baby and can’t. I’m fully anticipating a meltdown, not on her part but on mine! She’s was and now, has become again, a part of me. My little side kick. The robin to my batman, the tissue to my sniffle, the laughter to my jokes, the peanut to my jelly. the Ez to her mama. For the past three weeks I have been completely soaking up every hug, every smile, every giggle, and yes, even every roar. (she’s a baby Rex). Getting more sentimental as the time tock’d and the days grew closer. I am not usually this type of person, at least the one that sits there for an extra minute just staring at my sweet babe, every, single, moment.

[I really miss this precious time of napping with a newborn. Oh how sweet it is.]

I am looking forward to going back though. To have more then the length of a nap time to be a real person again, to be an adult and have a conversation that doesn’t include what was in her diaper or how many veggie balls (IKEA – delicious) she ate for lunch. To regain some composure and assertiveness that I can bounce back, I can be social and I can live my life again, of course, with my little sidekick holding my hand through it all. This’ll be another new chapter in our lives, a chapter of change and a chapter of growth. Figuring out what it means for mama to go back to work and how Ez will receive it. Here’s hopin’ and you bet I’ll be praying.

What were your thoughts? your doubts? your fears? Did you find identity in going back to work, feel more like yourself again? (whatever that may mean to you).
What were your biggest hurdles in trying to make things work and making sure your little loved one was comfortable and confident in you leaving them? I want to know them!
From one mama to another, I would love your support and guidance in some ideas or scheduling that you found moved mountains when you went back to work.

I’ll leave you now with a few of my favourite memories from the past year with my sweet babe. Enjoy x0x

Wedding Shoot photo | Sasha Cooper Photography

5 More Minutes…

Five More Minutes…

Sunshine Cuddles

“Just five more minutes” I repeated to myself about seven times tonight as I lay beside my sweet dear little girl. As she lay here, swept far off into dreamland, I lay here staring, gazing at each beautiful eye lash, her round joyful cheeks, her perfect little pout and saving the best for last; her button nose. I could lay here forever, but that would never be long enough. 

This morning when I woke there was nothing that could have prepared me for how this evening would end. Today was a very jam packed day. We were playing baseball and Ez was our faithful cheerleader in the dugout in her stroller with toys and veggie straws. 830-430, a very long day for anyone. It was the first inning of the first game, I was running to second and pulled a muscle. Great, well now I’m out for the day. Try as I may, I just couldn’t get in to the groove of things. As we went through the day, I had discovered that I had also [finally] gotten my visit from a very special lady (it’s been 20 months now). After the games were done, we ventured on to a friend’s graduation party at the Abbotsford Townhall Public House. On the drive I couldn’t help but think about that visitor & I’ve heard that’s the indicator that your milk dries up. What if that’s it? What if this morning was the last time I nurse her. Are we done? Are we finished for good? No one gave me a heads up. Do I get another shot? Another try, another chance. To say goodbye? 

oct25When we got home this evening, I took her in my arms brought her to our bedroom and laid here with her. Her mouth closed up, her eyes glazed over by her dreamy heart and her cheek pressed against my chest. Nothing. Not even a squirm, searching for the sweet milk from mama. 

Is this really how it ends? Mother Nature finds her way back to you and now your baby’s a toddler??

I did not sign up for this. 

Desperate to hold her close, to soak in the closeness and bond one last time, I lay down beside her and wait. Slowly she moves her teeny body towards me, inching closer and starts to nurse. 

This is it. This may be my last time with her. I savour every minute, every second. 

And as she drifts off, I keep telling myself, five more minutes… just five more minutes… 

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Amanda Coldicutt Photography

Introverted Extrovert

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May 28 2016

When you think of a newborn baby you think of love, joy and excitement. A new chapter in your life, full of twists and turns, nothing quite like anything you’ve experienced. But that’s exactly what it is, nothing you’ve ever experienced. There is such a high, but there are days of extreme low, all the feels & low energy. This is something that I thought I would not have the chance to experience. I look at myself as someone who is cheerful, exciting and energetic. Thinking about the possibility of PPD or just the extreme highs&lows of having a baby, didn’t cross my mind. Until it did. It rocked me. I won’t go as far to say that I experienced PPD, but there was definitely moments and days of depression and jealousy. Sad of the days that I couldn’t just be myself and move, write and craft as I wanted and jealous of my husband being able to just pick up and go. Go to work, visit and joke around with his colleagues, play baseball for the summer and simply still be apart of community.

This is my story.

How becoming a mother changed my perspective on social time, family time and me time. How crucial the balance in-between is.

I would find myself constantly asking myself, ‘where am I going?’, ‘when will I be better?’, ‘where is my identity?’ Yes I am Ez’ mother and Mackenzie’s wife, but really, Who am I now? I am not, in no way, saying this negatively, but if I had been able to prepare myself for the fourth trimester, getting on and growing strong with baby life, I would have. I would have prepped, I would have pampered, I would have given myself a reality check and checked IN with ME.

Yes, yes, all who know me and have met me before babe would see an outgoing, energetic, extrovert. I will have to correct you here. Since becoming a mother I feel like my life has shifted (surprise, surprise). Being an extrovert with a baby really rocks you. I now feel as though I have to be social ALL the time because I am around my sweet girl. Absolutely no personal time and then when hubby gets home or I have time to go out with friends, I don’t want to. I’d rather go sit in my room with my computer, Netflix & popcorn. Introvert.

WHO SAW THAT COMING?

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In the past I would crave the social interaction. I would feed off it, find joy and find peace in it. To me, there was nothing quite like a morning, afternoon and evening out with the girls. Seriously; 24/7. When it really comes down to it though, plain and simple, I really do need to look out for me and my mental health. How was my day? Was it tough? Should I go out tonight? Will this all just snowball in to tomorrow if I don’t take some time to rest and just be. Bringing myself back down after a day of constant ‘mommy-I-need-to-have-one-hand-on-you-at-all-times-or-else-I-will-cry-bloodymurder’ calls for a well needed glass of grape juice, fishy crackers and good ol’ HGTV.

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What are some things that you’ve found have helped you through the dull&darker times of motherhood? Especially in that first year. What have you found to be a comfort to you? old or new? I want to hear your thoughts and help you through this special, amazing and empowering time of motherhood!

Xox.