Basic Invite

Let's talk stationary for a minute. Because I love me some stationary and in another life I'd love to design my own line. But today we'll just drool over everything on Basic Invite.

From business cards to graduation party invites; they do it all and they do it all beautifully. Plus their website branding is superb and that was honestly what caught my eye first about this company.

See what I mean?

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed

Free Address Collection Service - Use our free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. 

One of the collections I love the most on their site are the baby shower invites. I got inspiration for my own through them and plan to order some more for my brother's new baby on the way! Check out some of the cute designs here:

Go check out the site for all of your paper needs!

Four Month Update

Little Miss Sherman turned four months old on the 29th. How?! Please tell me, guys. You truly don't understand what they all mean when they tell you that "it goes by so fast" until you actually are experiencing it. Gosh darn it, it's gut wrenching and amazingly awesome all at the same time.

Rori stopped sleeping through the night a few days after turning three months old. Once those REM cycles set it, we struggled getting her down at night. Some nights it would take almost two hours before she finally stayed asleep for good. She'd sleep for twenty minutes and then be up again. I'd rock until she was drowsy, put her in her crib, she'd sleep for another twenty and then cry again. Rinse and repeat for two hours until she finally stayed asleep for real. Blah. Those cycles, along with attempting to sleep train her, and also transition her out of the swaddle made for quite the roller coaster of crazy.

We've seemed to find our groove, though, and all is well again. She sleeps about 11-12 hours every night but wakes up once somewhere in between to chug a 4oz bottle before going right back to sleep. 

As of this week she's no longer being swaddled and she's just wearing her Nested Bean Zen Sack. She's still sleeping in her DockATot and now that we were just given the next size up in the Dock, I think she'll be sleeping that way until she can form complete sentences and tie her shoes. I still have yet to do a post on sleep alone, but I'll get there, I promise.

The Rorster loves bath time still but we have yet to get her out of the sink and into the tub. Does anyone have any recommendations on baby bathtubs to use in there? There are too many options!

She also loves to stare at/play with/suck on her hands. Who needs toys when you have two hands?! She will lay on her changing table with a fist held high in the air and stare at it for five minutes straight. Her feet have also slowly started to become more fascinating. She likes to put the bottoms of them together and rub them back and forth. We lose a lot of socks because of this.

She's becoming super talkative, loves to blow raspberries, has absolutely no interest in rolling over, is super distracted when nursing (especially when she hears her dad's voice), is obsessed with the TV (ugh), has started to pay a lot more attention to Pudge, is still wearing quite a lot of 0-3 month clothes but needs 3-6 month sizes for her long legs, she naps well, chugs well, and still hasn't quite gotten to the point of full on cackling belly laughs. She just giggles in her own little way.

I'm afraid she's going to be a tough one to crack and have a super serious face on all the time, even when she's not meaning to be serious, just like her mom. Apparently RBF is genetic. Sorry lady.

I still can't believe this little Rori Roo of a chunky monkey is ours sometimes. The love is just unreal. You are my whole world, Aurora Laine Sherman.

Three Month Update

Rori is three months old and I'm surprised we've actually made it this far because I just want to eat her up every single day. The faces this child makes are too much.

The past month has, yet again, flown by and she has, yet again, changed so much. The newest development being two tiny little teeth buds popping up in her bottom gum. She drools like a mad woman and gnaws away at her fists all day long. Three months seems so early to be teething to me but it's not too crazy since some babies are even born with teeth. Ouch.

Her tongue has set up a permanent home outside of her mouth now. She is such a little goober with that thing hanging out of her little smirky smile. Licking clothing with it is her new favorite thing to do too. It's the weirdest thing ever and I end up with wet spots allll over my shirts but whatever floats your boat girlfriend.

She's still sleeping through the night every night all swaddled up and in her DockATot. She goes down around 9:30 and wakes up around 7:30 and I'm glad to finally have somewhat of a scheduled timeframe going. I'm still getting questions about our routine so I'll share a post on that soon. You know, before the four month sleep regression when it all goes to shit anyway.

This was the month we also left her overnight for the first time. Trev and I went to New York City for the weekend in the beginning of December because I really miss living there during the holidays when everything is so festive and decorated. So Rori got to have a sleepover at both of her grandparents' houses and she slept through the night for both of them. We just brought her Dock over so it was like she had no idea she was even in a new place. Success!

We're still working on getting her fists to open up so she can actually start grabbing things but man does that girl like to keep them clenched. She looks like she's ready to put up a fight all day long. Tummy time is also a struggle but we've started to put her on a boppy in front of the mirror and that has helped prolong things to a couple minutes instead of a couple seconds.

She weighs twelve pounds, still adores bath time, loves to stand up, hates being in a laid back position when being held (unless she's getting a bottle), has no desire to use a pacifier, thinks the TV is pretty magical, and pretty much is the best thing ever.

I am so grateful for this little girl. Motherhood is so good. So so good.

The Baby Blues

I realize I now have an almost three month old (what the flying duck is that about, by the way?) but I'm about to bring it way back to the first few days after giving birth. Aka the absolute craziest, scariest, roller coaster of a week I've experienced thus far in life.

There are a ton of things you'll read about on the mommy blogs and in the random Facebook articles entitled "10 Things You Didn't Know About Giving Birth" leading up to having a baby. I was all prepared for the diaper-sized postpartum pads and the every three hour feedings and the stool softeners. I read about all of it.

The one thing I never saw mentioned, though, were the baby blues.

Sure I saw plenty on the possibility of developing postpartum depression, but I was entirely unaware that 70-80% of all mothers experience the baby blues. That's a staggering percentage! I went into birth knowing postpartum depression wasn't the norm but I certainly didn't realize that having the baby blues actually was. I just thought you were either depressed from the start and for months on end (PPD), or you were not.

I never realized that the majority of moms feel symptoms of depression for a few days and then go on to balance out and be just fine afterwards.

For those who are also unaware: the baby blues are way less severe than PPD. They come on two to five days after giving birth and can last up to two weeks. Anything that goes beyond that point is usually then characterized as PPD. Mood swings, unexplained sadness, irritability, anxiety, impatience, and crying for no reason are all symptoms of the baby blues. And just about every new mom will experience some or all of them. I can't emphasize that enough.

I wish someone shoved that bit of knowledge in my face so I could have been more prepared for the onset of some of those symptoms instead of freaking the eff out wondering what was wrong with me.

Mine started on the third night after having Aurora.

While it was happening I was completely clueless, but looking back now, I can pinpoint the exact start of it all. It was our last night in the hospital. Rori was asleep in her bassinet and Trev was asleep on the little couch that turns into a bed. I walked out of the bathroom (after having changed one of those diaper pads for the eleven hundredth time) and should have wanted to curl up in my own hospital bed and get some much needed sleep. But the thought of climbing into that bed alone was just about the saddest thing I could have ever imagined. So I nudged Trevor awake and through tears pouring down my face, I asked if I could snuggle with him. At 2am in his damn couch turned tiny bed.

He asked me what was wrong and I muttered "I just love her so much." because I felt like I needed to have a positive and happy reason to be upset. I mean, I just gave birth to the most precious thing ever, how could I not be crying tears over something happy?! And while I absolutely did "just love her so much", that wasn't the reason I was crying.

It was because I didn't want to be alone. It was because I felt sad. It was because I had no idea why I was feeling both of those things in that moment and I was terrified that I had postpartum depression.

But I sucked up my emotions and tried to bury them because I was confused and felt like maybe it was just the exhaustion of giving birth making me crazy.

Except for then it happened a few more times the next day. I would just start bawling my little eyes out for no reason. I cried the entire walk from our hospital room to our car when we were discharged. I cried on the way home. I cried when we got there and Trevor left us in the living room to go take a shower. I cried when he told me to go take a nap in the bedroom while he took care of Rori because the thought of being all alone in there devastated me.

And then the next day rolled around, the Monday when he had to go back to work, and I basically lost my damn mind with the amount of tears I shed over that.

I cried to the lactation consultant at Rori's first doctor's appointment when she was four days old. I cried to the cashier at the place where I picked up my breast pump. I cried to Trev's mom and my mom. I cried to my best friends. I cried to my grandmother. I cried writing captions for my Instagram posts. I cried to myself because I was so scared I had PPD. I cried to Trev and just kept saying "I don't know why I'm so sad. I just want to feel normal again."

And then after four days of crying, I stopped.

The clouds opened up, the sunshine poured in, and I felt like my old self again.

Those four days were the scariest of my life. I remember feeling like my emotions would never balance out. Had I known in the beginning that it was just baby blues and that they'd go away in a few days, I probably would have been WAY less scared through all of it.

Looking back now it all seems so minor because it really was for such a short period of time. And I think that's probably why we don't read much about it The sadness goes away so quickly that we forget about it and don't think about warning other pregnant moms that it will most likely happen to them too. But I felt the need to because, good lord, when you are actually IN those first few days it feels like a century of depression passes you by.

I only ever experienced the sad symptoms. None of the anger, anxiety, or fatigue. It almost feels like someone has died in your life. You try to go on living life and doing all the normal happy things but there's still this dark cloud of sadness hanging over your head that doesn't let you actually be completely okay.

Sadness along with never wanting to be alone were my two main symptoms. If I could have glued Trevor to me so that I never had to be even an inch away from him, I would have. And when he had to go to work I wanted other people around me. Anything to not be holed up alone at home in my sadness.

And that's pretty much how I survived it. I invited lots of people over to come visit, I got outside in the fresh air, I talked to anyone and everyone about how I was feeling, I STOPPED GOOGLING, and I let time take its course by balancing out my hormones and thus making me "normal" again. And after just three or four days of feeling that way, I was back to my old self.

So for all you soon-to-be-mom's out there: prepare yourself for this postpartum craziness and remember that it's totally normal!

My Most Used Infant Items

1. DockATot - My most recommended baby product! I'm not sure if Aurora is a good sleeper because we completely lucked out or because of this thing. Okay, I know it's because we lucked out but she's also been in this contraption since birth so I'm going to praise it anyway. It's been in the bassinet, her crib, in two hotel rooms, at both grandparents houses, on the bathroom floor while I take a shower, in our bed when we're all just hanging out, etc. It's the coziest little cocoon of a bed for her and she can have her very own bed no matter where she is. The only thing I dislike about it is how annoying it is to take the cover on and off to wash it.

2. SwaddleMe - Another thing she's been in since the very beginning. I thank the lord for her liking swaddles. I've never had a nanny baby that has hated them either so I swear by them keeping babies asleep longer. No startling herself awake, no loose blankets, no exhausted momma - win win win!

3. Infant Optics Monitor - Trevor made fun of me for putting this on our registry. "You want one with a VIDEO?!" Umm, hell yes. I don't know how all you moms with audio ones do it! I have to be able to see her. There are so many times my nanny kids would be awake when I thought they were sleeping. Or times when one would get a foot caught in the crib slats while asleep. Or once when one spit up all. over. the. place. silently and I had no idea until I peeked my head in the room. Video monitors are an absolute must for me and this one is a BREEZE to set up and use.

4. Delta Bassinet - I couldn't imagine shelling out $200+ for the HALO Bassinest (even though I wanted it) when I knew I would only use it for a couple months. And since we moved Rori to her crib at 7 weeks, I was right. This one did the trick perfectly and it's less than half the price of the fancy one everyone has. It fits the DockATot inside of it perfectly, it glided back and forth if I needed to give her a little motion to soothe her, and it was the perfect height for our bed. I just took the hood and mobile off of it so I could get her in and out easier.

5. Mam Bottles - Rori has been both breast feeding and bottle feeding since she was a week old. She had latch issues in the beginning so we supplemented with both formula and pumped breast milk through a bottle. These anti-colic ones have worked out great for her and the parts are super easy to clean.

6. Bright Starts Activity Gym - This wasn't the gym I had picked out but it was gifted to me from a friend who was no longer using it, so I decided it would suffice. I'm so glad I decided to take it now that I've used it! The sole reason for that being the foldable sides. All four of them fold up so that there or "walls" along each side. I think this would be pointless for anyone without a dog, but for us, it's awesome. They keep Pudge from rolling over onto the mat and also give enough of a barrier to keep toys inside. I'm 100% certain he'd snuggle right under there with her if those sides weren't there!

7. Burp Cloths - These are actually cloth diapers but they work great for wiping away spit up. They're soooo much more absorbent than anything marketed as an actual burp cloth. Plus, hi Amazon, I love thee.

8. JJ Cole Bundle Me - For anyone lugging around a baby during the winter months, this thing is gold. I don't have to worry about bundling her up so much that she can't move because I can just zip this thing up around her. I just need them to make an adult-sized version soon so I can be just as snuggly. I also fogot to include my Covered Goods carseat cover in this post but that's a must have as well!

9. Puj Flyte Tub - There's nothing cuter than babies taking baths, I'm sure of it. This Puj tub has made bath time a breeze. It fits great in the sink while we bathe her and then it easily folds flat so we can store it out of the way when we're done.

10. White Noise App - I put a sound machine on my baby registry but never received one so I ended up just downloading this app on the iPad and leaving it in her room with her. There are a ton of different sounds to choose from - everything from an air conditioner to a crowded room. I'm a big white noise fan because babies seem to wake up even if your damn stomach rumbles and the noise drowns little things like that out.

11. Tula - There are seven billion baby carriers in the world but we love this one. Trev wears it, I wear it, my mom has worn it. And the best part is you don't need a damn Youtube video tutorial to figure out how to put the thing on. There's no origami involved, just buckle and go!

And that covers it, friends! I know when I was registering for things I really wanted to know what people didn't end up using, so here are a few of those for us:

WHAT WE DON'T USE:

Rock 'n Play - I'm really anti "anything that moves to help put baby to sleep" because I don't want her to rely on motion to get her to sleep. I could go on for days about this but I'll save you my misery. Anyway, I registered and received one that rocks when plugged in but I was so afraid of her getting used to it that I either rarely put her in the thing or just never turned on the motion feature. I know SO SO SOOOO many parents praise these things but we don't use it too often.

Toys - You won't need them for quite along time, so spend your registry items where you need 'em, like diapers!

Frida Baby products - I got the whole $50 set (nail clippers, nose sucker, Peri bottle, Windii) and don't use a single thing.

Solly wrap - The long cloth carrier that you wrap and tie a billion times. The Tula is just SO much easier to get on so we stuck with that and never looked back.

Swaddle blankets - I thought I needed seven hundred but haven't used a single one. We only use the actual swaddle contraption one, no blankets.

Stroller - I know I will use it eventually but we haven't at all yet. I either stick her car seat in the shopping cart or I wear her.

Okay, that's enough blabbing for one day! Let me know if you have any questions!