Sitting in Our Tree

Getting ready for baby with Bonjour Baby Baskets

baby products, babyKelsey Bethune

While I can’t believe that I’ve been pregnant since before Thanksgiving LAST YEAR, this pregnancy has still seemed to have flown by. This is most likely due to keeping up with a 2 yr. old this time around, instead of basically spending the final three months of my pregnancy twiddling my fingers waiting for baby like I did with Crew. I still feel a little bit in denial that there’s about to be another baby in our home, & I’ve certainly put up a mental block to all the drama that comes along with those first newborn weeks, so when cute little packages like a bundle from Bonjour Baby Baskets shows up at the door, it’s a nice little reminder that there is indeed a tiny little person on the way.

 
 

This was a custom package put together for us, with the most perfect little neutral treats for our surprise gender baby. I am obsessed with all things Quincy Mae, & I can’t wait to pack up some of those pieces in our hospital bag. The swaddle from Numpfer is genuinely one of the softest things I have ever touched, & I am hopeful that Crew will have relinquished his death grip on the Minika teether by the time baby arrives. We’re already learning SO much about sharing.

Bonjour Baby Baskets have VERY perfectly curated premade baskets to choose from as you look for your next baby shower gift, but I also love that they have a Build Your Own Basket option so you can control your budget & theme. My favorite of their pre-designed neutral baskets are listed below!

Petit Dodo
Cool Cub
Bayside Baby
Palms & Sandy Toes

2nd Pregnancy Must-Haves

pregnancy, dressing the bump, styleKelsey Bethune

Unlike Crew, Baby #2 was very much planned & was supposed to be my fall baby, since the internet & all my doctors & every single friend had informed me that it would probably take at least 3-4 months to get pregnant. It did not. We know how much of a blessing this is, I promise! But it was not my favorite moment to stand in the bathroom calculating weeks & arriving at the “August” answer to the due date question.

We moved to our current home on Capitol Hill in the dead of last summer… Almost exactly a year ago, actually. I have a very vivid memory of deciding to bravely take on a new playground as Crew & I learned our new stomping grounds last August, & feeling attacked by the oppressive heat on our walk home. Shade didn’t help - All I could smell was hot asphalt as Crew begged to be carried because the stroller was making his back so hot. THESE WERE THE MEMORIES playing through my mind as the midwife confirmed my due date at 7 weeks.

HOWEVER! In a very strange turn of events, I actually haven’t hated this summer pregnancy. In a lot ways, it’s been a LOT easier than being in late pregnancy over the winter months. Crew arrived the same weekend that spring arrived back in 2017, so it was cold & blustery & grey leading up to his arrival. I found myself needing a lot more clothing & buying a lot of maternity clothes that didn’t even fit that well on sale to accommodate the weather & made me even more self-conscious of my burgeoning body than I already was.

This summer pregnancy has yes, been very hot. But my body type has been loving wearing simple body con dresses, & I just generally appreciate some sunkissed tint to my skin & summer blonde hair, leaving me feeling, dare I say, like a pregnant goddess. EVEN WITH the weight gain & swollen EVERYTHING. Because don’t get me wrong, it’s all swollen. My calves somehow getting the worst of it. If nothing else, just the ability to wear sandals instead of closed toe, snow-friendly boots with these pregnant feet has swayed me towards being a summer pregnancy kinda gal.

The second time around has been easier (aside from the nausea that lasted from Week 3-18, after not having ANY nausea with Crew), largely in part to knowing what to expect, partially because my body knows what’s going on, & the rest because of the items on the list below. It’s a short list, but it’s how I’m surviving.

 
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1. Boppy Wedge Pillow - Listen, I swore up & down that for any consecutive pregnancies, I was going to get one of those giant pregnancy pillows because sleeping became SO hard in my 3rd trimester with Crew. Well, I got one. But it was just too much. I used it once & never reached for it again. I’ve found that this little guy ( a saving grace the first time around, also) paired with one pillow between my legs (starting around 36 weeks when pelvic discomfort started kicking in) & two throw/swaddle sized blankets (because you can manipulate their shape) are all I need for good sleep. But this leads me to my second must-have…

2. Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamins - This is a different vitamin than I took with Crew, so we’ll see which kid is smarter ;) I’ve really enjoyed this brand. They still have that classic, weird prenatal pill odor, but I was able to get past it even with the fiercest of nausea in 1st/2nd trimester.

3. A prenatal chiropractor - This is something that is definitely an added expense, but we went into this pregnancy knowing I was going to start going around 24 weeks & planned thusly. I’m so mad I suffered through my discomfort with Crew’s pregnancy thinking that was just the way things are. I have never been to a chiropractor before, but it makes all the sense in the world to get your spine & pelvis adjusted during the chaotic body changes of pregnancy. It has helped with my sciatic pain (hi, carrying a toddler & a belly around), my heartburn (since baby is sitting lower), my sleeping comfort & some nerve pain I’ve had in my ribs. MOSTLY, I am going to help get baby in the best position possible for a VBAC, & am fortunate to be seeing a chiro that essentially specializes in that. Anywho. It’s great. Save your pennies. See a prenatal chiro.

4. Tinted SPF Moisturizer - I spent ooooone weekend outside for my only Tart wedding of the spring, & came home with all sorts of lovely melasma spots on my face. They get darker eeeeevery time Crew & I spend an afternoon outside, IT’S GREAT. Adding spf to my daily makeup routine has been the only thing to keep it somewhat at bay - For some reason, I’m great at remembering to put sunscreen on my toddler, but not on myself when we got out for the day.

5. Nugget/Chicklet/Whatever You Want to Call It Ice - I mean, there is something special about chipped ice during pregnancy, but I don’t know how I’d be surviving without this stuff at 38 weeks pregnant with a 112 degree heat index this weekend. PRO TIP: Chick-fil-a sells 5 lb. bags of their nugget ice for $1.50. A DOLLAR FIFTY. So, I go once a week. It keeps me cooled down, feels like a treat & ALSO keeps me hydrated. 10/10 recommend.

6. Maternity Shapewear Shorts - This is 100% about summer, not about shapewear. My thighs like to pledge themselves in solidarity with my belly & get REAL swollen during pregnancy, so these shorts have been a chafing prevention godsend. I seriously should probably own 6 pairs for how often I wear them, since I’m living in dresses/skirts. Highly recommend a black & a nude pair.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Tiger for keeping a toddler entertained when I simply cannottttttt go outside, my wonderful heating pad, city splash pads, & Trader Joe’s mango mochi.


The other upside to summer pregnancy has been the ease of the capsule wardrobe. Looking back at this blog post made my head spin… Because I truly just needed more clothes in those winter months. There were dressy holiday parties, & all kinds of crazy weather, & coats &… Bleh. Have not had to mess with that this time around & it’s been great.

I’ve pretty much dedicated myself to dresses since the spring, with some non-maternity clothes, a pair of maternity overalls & leftover maternity skinnies from Crew’s pregnancy filling in the blanks. These are the three pieces I’ve bought for this pregnancy:

 
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1. Black Bodycon Dress - Many, many people raved to me about Storq’s maternity t-shirt dress, and I NEARLY bit the bullet & paid the hefty price tag… But thankfully, I had a ludic moment & realized how insane that amount was for a dress built for a pregnant body & ordered this Old Navy tshirt dress. It’s been GREAT. Super flattering, goes on sale frequently, not too thick for summer heat. Highly recommend.

2. Grey Sleeveless Bodycon Dress - Same thing here, except this somehow looks WAY better in real life than on this model. I don’t know why hers is so weirdly baggy, but this is my favorite thing to wear day to day. If I could do it again, I’d order at least two more colors… Or maybe just another grey one because #sweat.

3. Black Pencil Skirt - My other on rotation outfit is this pencil skirt with either a knotted tank top/tee or a cropped tee. I also have a random mustard midi skirt from Forever 21 circa 2014 that I can pair with the same tops, & it seems to make people think I dressed up when I wear either of these. It’s a great little trick for someone who most certainly did not dress up.

I think that’s it! In putting this together, I really am grateful for the ease of this summer pregnancy & how little it’s required. Less has been WAY more with a two-year-old to follow around, even if that still somehow hasn’t reduced my pregnancy weight gain at all somehow. Rude. Any other favorite summer pregnancy must haves? Leave a comment!

Oh, baby.

Kelsey Bethune
 
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WELL.

It has certainly been a hot minute. I have been staggeringly behind in photo organizing & memory sharing for aboutttttttt… 18 months now, & I truly don’t even know where to begin. But I DO want to begin.

As I near the final lap of this 2nd pregnancy (surprise!), I find myself going back to my own old posts to refresh my memory on what to pack for the hospital, what things we found the most useful in those bleary newborn days, & how freaking cute our roly poly Crew was when I start hyperventilating a bit about adding another baby/disrupting our current lives & routines. It helps. So, at least I am benefitting from my own blog *shrug*.

At any rate, for the 2000th time, I’d like to say “I’ll be back” with some updated baby things to share, because WOW did the baby market change between 2017 & 2019. Lots of new things to try out & share.

So hey! & I’ll be back!

Merry & Bright with Paper Culture

christmasKelsey BethuneComment
 

Family photos by Chelsea Diane Photography

We continued one of our favorite holiday traditions this year by partnering up with a dear old friend & a new-to-us card company… & I’m really excited about both! We’ll share the rest of our photoshoot with Chelsea Diane Photography soon. There’s some real good ones.

This year we worked with Paper Culture after receiving a couple cards from friends using them last year, & I was completely sold on their mission. “Instead of cutting down forests to fill your order, we use post-consumer waste and wood alternatives. We offset the carbon footprint we create. We plant a tree with every order.”

We design for a world of trees, because we fear for a world without them.

& sure enough at the end of placing my order, I was immediately redirected to part of their site where we dedicated a tree planting to Crew. As we try to do our part to be a sustainable, recycling & eco-conscious family (& also set an example for Crew), this was a total match made in heaven.

As always, the hard part was picking a design, because Paper Culture has no shortage of good ones. We went with a Christmas themed card, but they have a great selection of holiday AND New Year’s cards also available. At one point, I had 12 tabs open with all viable options, but we narrowed it down to our pick. The winning selection features a really beautiful copper foil design, which just looks SO pretty with the colors Chelsea captured at the DC park we took our photos at. Paper Culture truly has really great modern designs, with something for everyone, whether you’re more inclined towards sleek & simple or bright & fun.

At this point, I will settle for nothing less than envelope addressing services, & Paper Culture’s was SO easy to use — In fact, the easiest I’ve come across to date. I keep my addresses in a spreadsheet that gets updated every year, & it took me less than 2 minutes to get it uploaded to their system. (Last year’s was a bit of a bear.) Their envelope designs are a mixture of options that range from adorable to classic to beautiful.

Family photos by Chelsea Diane Photography

Another year of cards are in the mailbox as we speak, & I’m so happy to continue this tradition. It’s so fun to flip through our collection & see how much we’ve grown - Both grown UP & in number. It also helps when you can put a curly-haired 19th-month-old front & center. Cuteness factor off the charts.

So grateful to Paper Culture for these cards! Head on over & check them out for any card needs you may have throughout the year that you’d like to put a sustainable spin on!

The Cards of Christmas Past
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

 

Crew's 1st Birthday

birthday, CrewKelsey BethuneComment

Now that we have a thriving 14-month-old boy, I'm finally sharing his 1st birthday! 

I had every intention of keeping his 1st birthday insanely minimal. No "party" because I knew I'd get too crazy/spend too much money on it. The grand plan was to head down to our hometown where both our parents & our best friends live, & head to the beach for a little picnic. The weather was showing rain in the forecast, but I simply refused to believe it. Southern VA's rain forecast is a fickle thing 9/10 times. 

Well. Not that time.

I waited until the very last second & Jared very wisely helped me make the call to turn our picnic into a little soiree. We rallied & grabbed some balloons before rearranging my parents' very picturesque back porch, & my non-party turned into a party, indeed.

BUT. It was so much fun, & the fact that it was a last minute plan kept me from stressing out too much & making it a "thing." We were so grateful to have friends & family join us to eat Crew's favorite foods (a fruit salad of his favorite fruits, chicken salad on croissants & of course, Trader Joe's bamba for the babies), & bring such sweet gifts - In some cases, literally, as my friend Amelia made him the beautiful blueberry & banana sugar free cake that you'll see below.

Crew was honestly just delighted the whole day. Flipping through these pictures, I'm just tickled at the memory of how happy he was on his 1st birthday. He was a month into walking, so he debuted a new dance move at the end of his party & definitely put on a little show while eating his cake. We'd be practicing blowing out candles & he had it down at home, but he was WAY too distracted by the singing when the moment arrived. Pretty darling.

All in all, it downpoured nearly the entire afternoon, but we had such a lovely time on the back porch with some of our nearests & dearests.

 
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I simply can't believe STILL that we have a one-year-old. Or rather, I can't believe how many things happened in 12 months, & we not only survived but THRIVED through them all. He is seriously just the best little boy. Everything we've prayed over him since I was pregnant has been starting to show through in his spirit as he gets older - Kindness, empathy, sweetness, silliness. He is truly our best thing & an absolute blessing to everyone he meets. 

Love that kid.