It’s a “grand” life for A. 

With my second little, it has been quite different in so many ways. My older little was in her own crib by 2.5 months, got pumped breastmilk along with formula, and slept through the night by 3 months. My second little, however, is still in our room, gets nursed along with formula, and still has yet to sleep through the night at 8 months! 

One thing that has made the world of a difference in helping her sleep longer as a newborn is the dockatot. While we were living in London, we got the European version (where dockatot originated from) called the sleepyhead. This was seriously a godsend with sleeping in our cozy London flat and all the travels we did. We didn’t need to buy her a crib or borrow from the hotel, because this was perfect as she didn’t roll over until about 7 months. 

We enjoyed it in all the countries we visited after she was born. 


📷 loc: Limassol, Cyprus 


📷 loc: our cozy London flat

📷 loc: Heathrow airport dockatot deluxe (fits easily on the stroller!)


📷 loc: Exeter, England

Anyhow, we decided to upgrade to the Dockatot grand since she felt so secure and cozy in the deluxe. With the grand, she loves to sprawl out in it, sit up, and rest her head on the border. Hopefully, with this transition she will learn to sleep with her head at the top of the bed unlike her sister who does flips throughout the night.  We are also hoping this will ease her into the transition to her own room by 9 months. #fingerscrossed

We also took the Dockatot Grand with us to Las Vegas since we drove and it was wonderful poolside. Many compliments on how portable and comfortable she looked in it. 


So, yes Addison has a grand life with this upgrade. Check out the difference in size below. (It’s true when they say the deluxe will last your little until 8 months). 

Cheers for now and yes dockatot has been a lifesaver. #baby #musthave

London Love.

I can’t believe in 15 days we will be moving out of London. It’s been a whirlwind of fun here. I call it my 2 year holiday (hubs doesn’t as he was working both U.K. and U.S. hours) with all the memories we created here. 

We’re soaking in (and getting soaked) some of our favorite spots and checking out the plethora of things to do with kids that make London so special – this weekend was ice skating. 

Since our little toddler has been sick, we decided to let her sit in the Uppababy stroller for the day (Age – 3 years and 7 months old). 

📷: There are lifts for your buggy at a lot of the stations but if there isn’t, there is always someone nice that will stop and help you out – I swear!

📷: Am I going to continue to look right when I move back? 🇬🇧 ➡️ 🇺🇸

📷: Shoreditch is probably one of my favorite areas with the street art, street food, Indian food, cool coffee shops, and shopping. It’s a very up and coming area with lots of hipsters. Definitely worth going to. 

💟: Uppababy Gluxe gets a parents approved from us. Folds up nicely and so easy to navigate. It has a light narrow build for help going through an urban lifestyle. Perfect for day to day with your baby as there is plenty of storage space and you can hang stuff quickly on the handles. They recommend baby being at least 3 months in age to use. To note, this pram isn’t car seat adaptable. 

📷: Can’t leave London without a proper Sunday Roast. We love it at the Pig and Butcher (btw – It’s been in tons of articles as a delicious place to eat in London) 

💟: Addison with her @twistshakebaby (how cool that the little container next to it fits inside the bottle to put a snack or another round of formula – so travel friendly. Plus, there is a mixer for baby colic!). AND guess what, use CODE: FANNY30 for 30% off! 

📷: Ice skating at Tower of London. Doesn’t get any better with the view. If you’re planning on going, make reservations and pay online. Sessions to skate are 45 minutes. 

📷: Twinning poses. 😂 View of the Shard – currently the tallest building in the U.K.  

📷: London skyline (it’s actually barely 4:30pm). 

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. xx

OMG 60 Days. 

Some mums say it’s flown by but I definitely don’t think it has. I think the first 3 months will be the hardest to get adjusted and try to figure out the new member of the family. Sleep deprivation is taking its toll and I’m averaging 5 hours total of sleep which is actually not too bad if it was an uninterrupted 5 hours total (I have #bellabeatleaf for helping me see that). Good thing now I can have as much caffeine as I want and its PSL season too.

Comparing Addison with Abigail, Addison seems completely different. She is needier (wants to be held more so baby wearing has been so helpful!), smiles more at this age, observant and seems to listen to what I’m saying. Is that crazy?

When I say listen to what I’m saying, I mean when I talk to Addison. I’ve never been big on “baby talk,” and will speak in a normal voice with sentences/phrases so when talking to her it really seems like she’s listening to me and responding. Granted it’s only 3 things that I have a question/action for her currently. Can you guess them?

  1. Are you hungry? Look at me if you want milk. 
  2. Do you want your diaper changed? Look at me if you want it changed. 
  3. Stretch your legs. Stretch. 

And it is crazy because she actually does it!!

My 4th which we’re still struggling with is “stop crying…please stop crying.” She’s a 50/50 on this and boy it’s been rough!

😂

Anyhow, a little note to you Addison.

Dear A,

When I pick you up from crying, and you give me a smile it melts my heart and at the same time I think, “darn, I fell for you again for wanting me to pick you up and just hold you for a looong time!” 

At 2 months, you love to be swaddled (but still break free) and enjoy having your muslin blankets in your face. Good thing they’re so breathable I don’t get too worried anymore.

You currently have cradle cap which is driving mama crazy so it’s a good thing you love taking baths since you’re getting a lot of coconut oil in your scalp which seems to be working. We’re also loving the MomME eco natural skincare line for you.  It certainly gets the coconut oil out of your hair so you don’t look like you have greasy hair all day and keeps your skin hydrated and smelling good.  Mum approved and the ingredients are lovely.

I can say you’re averaging 5 hours of sleep from midnight to morning which is bliss if I didn’t have to pump during that time! This is amazing to not have to feed you at this time except you’re in our room and make a lot of noises (e.g. cries, screams, snoring). Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a bedroom for you? At least we have the Sleepyhead for you which has been a savior to getting you to sleep safely and bring in our travels.

If we’re in a car, and you notice there is traffic you clearly voice your opinion to us.

One thing is clear, you love to be out and about in the MiaMily carrier but I can’t trick you that long sitting down or standing still.  I know, I know you want me to burn more calories and show the Bellabeat leaf I’m well above an average person’s activity.



Happy 2 months! Oh yea, you LOVE to look at yourself in mummy’s books. All my books have a mirror in the back. #lovebooksbyAJ

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. xx

Travel Bug is Back. 

Baby Addison hit 6 weeks and we wanted a weekend getaway from London so we decided to go to Devon (about a 4 hour drive from central London – can be more with the painful traffic out of the city).

As now a family of 4, I started thinking early on what to pack for a 2 night trip with a newborn and 3 year old (I can’t forget myself too, but I did forget hub’s toiletries – apparently as wife you’re suppose to remember to bring his shaver and hair gel).

Newborn

  • nappies
  • wet wipes
  • 4 outfits
  • hat
  • face towel
  • nail clippers (oh so important at this stage!)
  • sleep accessories (e.g. sound maker, sleepyhead, blankets/swaddles)
  • Nuby bottles & pump

3 year old

  • 3 outfits
  • 3 undies & socks
  • outerwear (something with a hood) and a scarf
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • pajamas & indoor slippers (once the weather is colder, they’re usually freshly picked moccasins to pack easily)
  • blankie (I always bring a muslin blankie as they’re compact and makes my little feel at home)
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face towel, lotion, shampoo, body wash, sunscreen)

And can you believe all of the above fit into our BabyBeau diaper bag?  This diaper bag has it all and its so stylish in grey.  One of the most unique qualities it has is the extra layer (silky soft material) inside to take out and wash should something spill inside the bag. Good thinking!

Furthermore, if you take out the extra layer to clean, there is still another zippered side pocket to put accessories in or if you just don’t want these compartments in the bag. I would probably put my ipad/laptop in this area with the extra layer if I didn’t use it as a weekend bag.

Compartments – there are also just enough compartments to find things quickly in BabyBeau. The 4 side compartments are soft on the hands when you’re sifting through the bag and a nice addition that it can be taken out easily should you just want to pack something that doesn’t need to be separated.

The diaper bag also came with a nice diaper changing pad (that didn’t actually fit in with BOTH my kiddos things) and insulated bottle holder – both lovely accessories to match the bag.  Inside the bag, there is also a detachable zippered pouch for small items (e.g. mommy items, snacks).

I would have to say this bag is definitely well thought out and can transition with your family and doesn’t even have to be called a diaper bag, but a weekend bag due to its size (to note, I wouldn’t call the bag lightweight, but hey – it’s canvas with leather).

BabyBeau Isabelle can be compacted to look smaller with the hooks on both sides of the bag. The bottom of the bag also has the 4 metal balls so the material isn’t touching sometimes dirty floors.

We travel light and only bring necessities, but we’re also lucky in that we (and the kids) don’t have special products that we can’t live without besides now the MiaMily hipster carrier.– a practical carrier where you can run some errands in and not have to bring a diaper bag as well. YAY!

We used ours for the first time this weekend and LOVE it. I didn’t have the original MiaMily carrier and used the Ergo with baby #1 so here are my thoughts.

  • Infant insert is so soft and perfect size for my 6 week old to keep her nice and secure in there.  There are 2 snaps to adjust as your infant grows
  • Carrier material is easy to clean and I was wearing a tank top so it didn’t hurt my shoulders or arms (no marks on me – it is also fall here in England so no feedback on hot weather, but for babe there is mesh lining inside which can be zippered down to be more breathable).
  • Shoulder and waist straps are easy to clip together and velcro can be adjusted easily.
  • Amazing feature is the zippered pouch below the seat of babe to put accessories in (e.g. bottle, diaper, phone, keys, snack) for some errands instead of bringing a bag. There is also a side mesh pouch to put a phone at – wow, MiaMily thought of everything!

Any cons you might be thinking? I would have to say – hot, humid weather may be rough with the carrier and babe in it since the carrier isn’t a cotton material.  Another thing is that it doesn’t fold into a super compact size, but it does come with a travel bag that can also fit the infant insert in it.

We chose to stay at an Airbnb for the weekend and found the cutest place – The Lakehouse. Our place overlooked our own little lake and it was so peaceful minus Addison crying a lot. The owner also had sheep, alpacas, pigs, and dogs which absolutely made Abigail’s weekend to play and see them. Beautiful countryside property and would highly recommend (one thing – bring your own toiletries, none provided).


These alpacas were insanely cute and soft.

Daddy and daughter selfie with the pigs (piglets in the back too).

We were going to do a baby animal petting zoo for Abigail’s 4th birthday, but seeing her with the cockapoos, probably not.

The property. – this building was a Roman bathhouse back in the day.

We also checked out the town before we left back to London in our Joovy. Abigail LOVES to roll in this as she can also keep a close eye on her baby sister. This double stroller is definitely more suitable in a spacious setting like here. Big perks – super smooth wheels, can put a car seat on it, and kickboard for toddler to stand on built in.

Loved our much needed weekend getaway and looking forward to our next adventure in October.

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. xx

It’s One Month. 

Do you start your day with a list of things you’re going to do and wonder why at the end of the day you didn’t finish it? I’m currently on that boat with having a now one month old.

Addison is a tough egg to crack. She’s a super light sleeper and it sure has been a struggle getting her to sleep and then keeping her asleep. Painful is what I would call it so here’s to hoping month two is better in our flat.

BUT, at least she has some cute accessories from some amazing shops. 

📷: Hello world! I’m all smiles for mummy. 

Product LOVES (serious Liberty love!)

Mille & Bee – this mama gives back a portion of her proceeds from Liberty hair bands to a UK miscarriage association. Amazing! 

Made by Jay – baby and children’s clothing in Liberty print along with other cute accessories. She also knits shoes too! 

📷: Millie & Bee even sent this lovely card as well. 

📷: Product LOVE: Lorena Canals

2 words for the extra clean mom – machine washable. This sold me quickly and I’m in love with this rug. My 3 year old also takes her daily naps after nursery on it and insists she sleep on London. So, yes it is soft and thick enough for a toddler to nap on! 

On a happy note from one mama to another (sorry if you’re a male reading this!), 1 month post partum and everyone keeps telling me I’m looking great and what is the secret. Here goes (drum roll please):

Product LOVE: Belly Bandit

From maternity to post, Belly Bandit has me covered. I wore the upsie belly during pregnancy and it totally helped with back support and all the walking I was doing. It also had the hot/cold pack which was wonderful to use on the back as well.

After giving birth, I started wearing the bamboo belly bandit with belly shield and have been for a month now. It has been helpful as you can hopefully see and has made me feel better – now if the stretch marks would just magically disappear!

OK, now the true secret – ladies, I know you’re looking for the perfect black leggings – here they are – Mother Tucker leggings. I’m wearing them in a small.


Heading to check out the gorgeous London Aquatics centre by the late Zaha Hadid. This is pretty neat to check out if you want to visit Queen Elizabeth Olympic park (also across from the mall). There is a fun playground with sand for kids, the world tallest tunnel slide, water fun, and a river!  Worth checking out if you’re visiting for a week with kids! 

Quick note, the diaper backpack I’m wearing is from Jujube. They have a huge collection of styles and just launched a new selection. I must agree that their bag is light and a perfect fit for this mama of two so far. LOVE – the one I have is called the Black Widow from the Be Right Back collection. 

📷: Now, please give mama some sleep too.

Cheers for now and thanks for reading (would love if you subscribe – I promise I won’t “spam” you). xx

That’s My Sleepyhead.

Product LOVE: Sleepyhead / Dockatot

Oh wow, all the hype about the sleepyhead / dockatot rings true – I’m a believer now that it really creates a magic portable bed for my newborn to sleep soundly in.

FYI: the Sleepyhead is what it is called in Europe (and also where it originated) and Dockatot is the USA name. 

We got the Sleepyhead Deluxe and it’s perfect for our cozy little London flat as we only have 2 bedrooms. Who needs another crib when you can use this to approximately 8 months.  If you would like to see our flat/episode from House Hunters International, I finally got it posted on my website under sprinkles.  The hilarious bit now is seeing the comments that people post on there – so “kind” behind a screen, I must say. 😯


Anyhow, I want to note a couple things about the Sleepyhead and the already noticeable personality differences between the girls that make this product work for our family of four. 

  • My first loved her Rock n’ Play and being patted and rocked. Addison just wants to be held and not moved so Sleepyhead is perfect for her.
  • Addison was breeched until 38 weeks so I think being in this “womb” like pod is ideal as she absolutely loves being swaddled where Abigail hated it.
  • We realized from our travels with Abigail that we need to get a travel cot that is compact and light and not have to create a baby bed with a now extremely active toddler. The Sleepyhead fits perfectly what we are looking for. It is mobile to be in the flat and out. It will be easy to use for bed sharing, play pod, tummy time, sleep positioner, etc. 
  • With the tight quarters in our London flat, we have utilized all the space so having this has made it easier for us to move our newborn around quickly (but not with her in it!) and find a spot for her to sleep peacefully without a million kisses from her sister. 😘

Muslin swaddle blankets LOVE to small shops (pictured above photo). 

  • Small Stuff – based in the UK with limited edition clothes and products for our little bears. This mama picks the cutest things.  We love our monochrome goodies from her at an affordable price.  
  • The Bobbin Belle – based in Florida, USA. Handmade blankets on my favorite Muslin material. This mama customizes and has so many colors to choose from (newest is oombre). I wish she has blankets in adult size! 

Cheers for now and thanks for reading. 

If you’re toying with the idea of getting a sleepyhead / dockatot, I would say hands down, “donut” worry, you won’t regret this purchase! 

♥️ Addison

    In 37 Minutes. 

    Disclaimer: May be just a sprinkle of TMI but a wonderful surprise comes along with a giveaway at the end. 😯

    How quickly it can fly by when you’re in pain but you keep thinking, “Is baby Addison ok in there after baking for almost 39 weeks?”

    The adrenaline rush is insane.


    📷 : The birthing story.

    We will just go with the day of Addison’s arrival into the world of adventures and jetsetting around the world with the family. 

    The contractions started around 5pm but I really didn’t think anything of it since I was comparing this pregnancy with Abigail (I had contractions yet wasn’t dilated for well over 24 hours). After about a hour, I started wondering if maybe this was different and told the hubs cooking a scrumptious dinner of Korean food which is hard to come by in London. I told him we should probably go after dinner just to see what’s going on since I heard all these horror stories of waiting around for ages to get a bed.  He agreed.  About a hour later, the contractions started getting much more painful and I timed it at about 1 min each and less than 4 minutes apart. Hmm, I think that I may be in labor.  I calmly told hubs, my mom, and Abigail that I need to go to the hospital now. 

    We called Uber (wish we had a car in London) and it promptly came at 6:28pm. 

    UCLH – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, here we come. We got to the hospital at 6:43pm and I was in pain. We both seem to have forgotten exactly where to go again and the halls were pretty empty along with the swinging double doors needing to be rung to be buzzed in.

    Finally, got to the correct unit and the receptionist asked me for an urine sample. “OMG – urine in a cup at this time?! I painfully walked what seemed like a mile down the hallway and made it back (almost tossing the urine at the receptionist for making me do this).  

    Shortly, Evelyn, a super sweet nurse, took me to a room and that’s when it became a blur.

    Starting with umm, I think I’m in a labor, uhh I think I’m going to have it now. Ow, I can’t hold it. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Huh? Breathe, don’t scream? What, I can’t have the baby on this bed, we have to go somewhere else?!!! WHAT!!!

    Anyhow, Evelyn was a goddess.  Super calm and quickly got things executed.

    • Called all the right people the 1st time around
    • Got a labor & delivery room
    • Called for a midwife to be there to deliver baby
    • Wheeled us downstairs or upstairs (not sure) while I thought I was peeing in the wheelchair
    • Set up the room and kept telling me I can’t deliver just quite yet.

    In the room, Evelyn kept relaying to me to breath and wait for the midwife (with NHS, you get whoever is on shift as with your midwife appointments throughout your pregnancy). Seemed like a decade, but Chloe the midwife arrives (first impression – looks REALLY young) and they catch each other up and she starts saying that I’m healthy maybe I want to sign some papers to donate my cord to the bank.

    HELLOO ladies, I think I think I’m going to push NOW…and this part becomes the real blur that hubs has to fill in.

    He said I told them I had to go to the bathroom first but changed my mind and said my water is breaking. Barely made it to the delivery bed (while they still wanted to check my blood pressure) and baby was already crowning once my pants came off (who needs to waste a hospital gown?). 😜

    They gave me gas by the bed (I thought it was just oxygen to tell me to just remember to breathe) and I pushed and out popped the head. A couple more pushes while I was thinking “just think you’re pooping” and out came baby Addison. It was crazy that I felt the hands and feet coming out. 

    All I can remember saying is, “How come she’s not crying?” and then it came:

    ” Wahhh!”


    📷 : Time into the world, Addison. 7:20pm @ 7.1 pounds & 19 inches, August 13, 2016.

    I still can’t believe the record time I arrived into the hospital to delivery of baby Addison at 7:20pm. 37 minutes to be precise and I have #jordwatches and #uber to thank for that.

    Why Jord Watches? This is my 2nd watch in my lifetime of nice watches and I love the choice I made. The bigger face plate makes it much easier to see the time while one is a state of pain. I love how the watch is automatic – no worries about changing the batteries, yay!  This particular rose gold watch is made of a Koa wood (a species native to Hawaii – sold me on feeling relaxed and at ease). I got it on that Saturday so I was happily wearing it and my hubs was telling me this would be our 5 year anniversary present since it is “wood” this year.

    Anyhow, as cheesy as I am, I thank Jord Watches for keeping me at ease and a watchful eye on the time to the birth of Addison. Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to capture pictures of it in the labor room – may be a bit much. lol.

    So, I partnered with Jord Watches to run a GIVEAWAY where one winner will receive a $75 gift card and every ENTRANT will automatically receive a $20 gift card toward any watch.

    Enter the GIVEAWAY here .

    📷 : Cora Koa & Rose Gold Jord Watch 


    📷 : Cora Koa & Rose Gold Jord Watch 

    Cheers for now, enter the giveaway (click this giveaway link), and more to come on the experience after the birth! xx


    Ladies Wood Watch
    //www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/ajangsley