THE SECOND TIME AROUND & NEWBORN PHOTOS!

Hey guys! It's been 9 weeks since the birth of our beautiful little girl, Katherine Ava, and I thought I would stop by and share a few updates on how we're doing as parents of two and share the photos from our newborn and family photo shoot.

I've been really enjoying my self-imposed maternity break over the last two months, and while I'd still love to take a little more time to enjoy just being a mom, I have decided it's time to get back into the groove of things with the blog and business and pick up where it was left off before giving birth. So, stay tuned for the exciting things I'm working on!

My little family and I are doing great and so in love with our newest addition. I can finally be myself again after having to recover from the cesarean. I had a few complications with the incision area but that's all behind me and it's finally taken care of and incision area is healed and I'm fully myself again. As far as the parenting portion, it's definitely been a learning experience on how to balance the new changes without messing up our norm too much. And, it's really been a trial and error on what works best for everyone and what doesn't. And, I have to admit the first 4 weeks are the hardest. Even as a second time mom, you have the basics down and have the gist of what to expect but you're dealing with a whole new being. You just met this little person. I mean they're tiny but they have a personality of their own. So you're getting to know your baby and vice versa. And, during the first month, you are getting used to the sleeping pattern (or I should say sleepless pattern - HA), breastfeeding/feeding schedules including the latching issues (if you're breastfeeding), and the massive runny poops that feels like it goes straight down through the exit path after each and every single feeding, without going through their tiny digestive system. And, imagine when the baby is cluster fed, oh my goodness, forget about putting on a diaper - just let them be free at that point. I can't tell you how many times I've had to take off Kate's entire wardrobe during a diaper change, rushed her to the bath, sprayed the clothes with stain remover all because she exploded onto her clothes. In the first few weeks, it was daily, and I'm not exaggerating. Some days, it was multiple times a day. One load of laundry after another. I think if my washing machine could talk it would be cussing me out. But, all that mess has slowed down recently and things are finally becoming a routine. We're pretty much on schedule with the sleeping pattern, she does wake up once at nights to be fed. And, we finally got through the latching issues. At first, she did great as if she was a pro. Then, something happened and she acted as if she hadn't been breastfed before and she latched on wrong and hurt me really badly, in fact bruised and bled my nipples. TMI? Well, it's the truth and it happens to almost all new moms. So, I pumped and fed her with a bottle until I healed. Then after 2 weeks or so of pumping, I gave breastfeeding another chance, and surprisingly it was a success. I love the fact that I don't have to pump anymore. I find it that it was waste of time, having to pump, then store, then reheat, and feed. Breastfeeding is so much easier without all that fuss.

During my pregnancy, everyone with 2 or more kids would often tell me that baby #2 is a total game-changer, well, I chose not to believe them. I thought "duh" it will be different going from 1 child to 2 kids but I got this. Well, I guess they were right. It's been challenging but definitely manageable. As a mom of two now, I am finding that as each day passes, it tends to get easier in terms of learning how to handle two kids. The hardest part is just that, learning how to balance family, kids, husband, and work. I went from being a mom to one child, giving my 100% to my son to taking half of that and giving it to his sister now. I mean it's definitely a learning experience on everyone's part. I make sure that whenever the baby is sleeping, I give my undivided attention to my son. Whether we're working on his homework, playing video games, or just watching his favorite cartoon, as long as I'm hanging out with him is all that matters. I don't ever want him to feel that since now there's a new member in the house to love and care for means that our love for him is less or anything. But, sometimes I do wish I had a double. I mean there's moments where I have to cater to both kids at the same exact time. Like the other day when Mason yells "I'm done" from the bathroom while I'm in the middle of breastfeeding Kate, um what do I do? Do I carry on with the breastfeeding and let him wait on the toilet for an extra few minutes? Or, pause the breastfeeding, let the baby cry while the toddler is taken care of? Decisions, decisions...

But, I have to admit, things get easier when you see the love between siblings. Mason is just so amazing with his little sister. When I was pregnant with Kate, I feared jealousy on Mason's part since he was used to being the only child for four years. But, thankfully, he's the total opposite. I have to say I got very lucky and feel blessed that he's made a very smooth transition. He is so involved and wants to help in all the ways possible. So, I let him and he loves it. I sure do hope this bond stays this way forever. And, as far as Kate, you can totally see it in her eyes how much she looks up to her big brother. I mean the vibe between these two is so special. Her eyes light up when he walks into the room, or when she hears his voice, her head turns from side to side.

And, of course, I couldn't thank my amazing partner in crime enough for being an incredible husband and a father. He helps out so much around the house and takes care of the kids when he sees I have no fuel left in me. He works his ass off at work and after a long commute, he comes home and helps out the way he does just amazes me. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in this parenting gig. 

To all the new and first time mamas out there who have just given birth or about to give birth, it's hard at first I'm not going to lie, but believe me when I say it gets easier, it really does. Yes, it's hard, exhausting, and stressful, especially in the beginning, however, I find it very rewarding and once you get the rhythm of everything it's definitely manageable. Just remember "The days are long, but the years are short" - Gretchin Rubin. A quote I came across recently and one I cherish and take to heart on every level. Nothing in life compares to what we go through as parents. Hats off to all our selfless mothers and fathers for sticking through it all and raising good human beings. As with all things in life, it's just a phase and it will pass soon, so enjoy every sweet moment with your baby(ies) as they won't be little forever.

And, how about these amazing photos? I'm so glad I chose to do professional photos this time around whereas with Mason, we took professional photos in the hospital by the hospital photographer and of course it does not even compare. The photographer who took these photos, Anna, from Breezy Ann Photography, is just so amazing to work with. She made us all feel so welcomed and comfortable to work with in her home studio. If you're in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check her out and her amazing talent!

Enjoy!

xoxo, Salpie