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Sandy Springs

Wednesday by Leah: Baby Stuff

– Posted by Leah

If you’ve ever been in one of those baby-stuff megastores, you know there is a TON of baby crap out there. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and to think that you need more than you actually need. I know lots of soon-to-be-mamas now, so I thought it might be helpful to do a post on the stuff you actually need… and the stuff I personally liked/used a lot in the first 3 months of BabyRoX’s life. This post is in no way sponsored by anyone or anything. Just one mama’s advice about what worked for us.

So – if you are pregnant and reading this, first go watch the movie Babies. Pay extra-close attention to the babies from Namibia and Mongolia. They are crawling in the dirt. Getting stepped on by animals. Getting poked by bigger kids. Not surrounded by a bunch of plastic or electric stuff. They don’t even have diapers! And THEY ARE FINE. They are healthy, happy, thriving babies. So when it’s time to start getting stuff for your new addition, just keep those babies in mind. You really don’t need much…especially in those first few months.

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Of course, there are some things that even if you don’t NEED them, they can make your life easier and/or your baby more comfortable. So here are the products I’ve found really useful in the first 3 months of parenthood! I’ve already done a post about breastfeeding essentials, so I won’t repeat that advice…and since the first 3 months mainly involved holding and feeding the baby, you’ll see that reflected in my product recommendations!

Moby Wrap – BabyRoX loves being snuggled up in this. He’s starting to get heavy now, but until just recently, I could carry him around in this for very lengthy periods of time. Yes, there’s a learning curve with the Moby – for a similar-but-easier wrap, check out the K’Tan. I also own a ring sling, which is easy to take on and off, but hurts my shoulder after a while. Friends I know love the Ergo – we have one, but no infant insert, so we’ll be using that when our lil guy is a bit older.

Boppy Newborn Lounger - we actually had this BEFORE BabyRoX was born because it’s awesome for newborn photo shoots – just drape some fabric over it, position the baby, and start shooting! It’s a pillow with a little indent that is perfect for keeping little babies supported without being flat on their backs.

MamaRoo Swing - This is totally a luxury item and not at all a necessity – we call it the Jetsons Chair because it’s super space age looking! It has 5 different motions, 5 different sounds, and a mobile. Whew! The Car Ride motion is the current favorite, along with the womb sound. I put it in the bathroom and shower while keeping an eye on the RoXman.

Shatterproof Mirror - BabyRoX LOVES watching himself in the mirror! He has a cute snail mirror toy that lights up and makes sounds, and he also has an acrylic mirror on the wall in his room. He can watch himself for quite some time and really enjoys it.

Cooshee Changer - This is our changing pad, and it’s awesome. Instead of having a fabric cover that you have to wash all the time, it’s a soft, waterproof, antibacterial pad that I can just wipe down when it gets soiled. Which happens pretty much every day.

Leg Warmers - These are a.) super cute and b.) super convenient for diaper changes! No pants to unsnap/pull on or off.

Snuggin Go Infant Insert - This was super helpful for the first 2 months. It’s a soft, memory-foam insert that you can use in the car seat or stroller….or really any infant seat. We used it primarily in the car seat. Most inserts make the baby’s head fall forward, but this one kept BabyRoX comfortable and kept his head comfortably back.

Bubbles!Not just any bubbles, mind you, but the Gymboree ones! A friend of mine used to manage a Gymboree center in Boston and she sent us these nearly-indestructible bubbles. I’ll find them stuck on the carpet, still intact, over 24 hours after I’ve blown them! BabyRoX loves to watch the bubbles and try to touch them. And the wand makes blowing tons of bubbles super easy and not messy.

Shampoo Rinser - My baby was born with a full head of hair! And since I like to touch it all the time, it gets oily and needs to be washed. This awesome, soft pitcher-thingy lets me easily rinse the shampoo out his hair without getting water all over his face or in his eyes.

Hmmm… I think that’s it for now. I’m sure there are items I’ve forgotten, but these are some of the things we used a lot during the first 3 months. Hope it’s helpful for the rest of you!

Wednesday by Leah | Thank You Everyone

BabyRoX | LeahAndMark | Wednesday by Leah | 3 Months

– Posted by Leah

BabyRoX | LeahAndMark | Wednesday by Leah | 3 MonthsBabyRoX will be 3 months old next week! I can’t believe it. Now that I’m getting back into “work mode” I’m ever-so-thankful that I am self-employed. There is NO way I could leave my lil man and go to an office 40+ hours a week. Or even 20 hours a week. I would’ve quit my job. These days are too precious and this time is too fleeting for me to miss so many wonderful moments. Yet at the same time, I need to be working – for financial reasons, of course, but also because as much as I love being a mom and spending nearly all of my time with my sweet boy, I’m also more than a mom and I need to spend time on those other parts of myself, too. I love our business. I love the people we’re lucky to work with – clients and other photographers alike!

BabyRoX | LeahAndMark | Wednesday by Leah | 3 Months

So this week’s post is less informative, less reflective, and more just a big, huge, gushing THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone we work with, to everyone who hires us, for making this awesome life of ours possible. Mark and I say EVERY day – usually multiple times a day – how grateful we are to get to spend so much time with BabyRoX. To see his precious smiles and respond to his adorable gurgles. To show him the world, to watch him take it all in. He comes to meetings with us and he’s even been on several shoots already. Mark and I take turns playing and/or napping with him so the other one can focus on writing blog posts, responding to emails, answering phone calls. It’s busy and sometimes crazy, but that’s how we roll.

BabyRoX | LeahAndMark | Wednesday by Leah | 3 Months

Even when we are super busy, we make it work (thanks to our +photographers and interns for taking on extra work, and to our free babysitters – aka grandparents). And even though things get hectic, we still get to spend WAY more time together as a family than if we had office jobs. Being self-employed can be stressful and scary at times, but I am now convinced it is worth the risk, worth facing down the fear of failure, worth the blood/sweat/tears/late nights/early mornings. It’s worth it ALL to get to call the shots, be our own bosses, and make as much time as possible for our child.

And we couldn’t have a business if we didn’t have clients. So thank you thank you thank you a million times over! We love you. You make this possible for us. You. Are. AWESOME.

BabyRoX | LeahAndMark | Wednesday by Leah | 3 Months

Wednesday by Leah: Awkward

– Posted by Leah

There was a wonderfully beautiful post on Offbeat Mama the other day – one that resonated with me on several levels – as an adoptee, as a parent, and as a person who loves to ponder the intricacies of identity, of transitions, and of family.

One quote in particular has been bouncing around in my brain: “Sometimes holding yourself back, playing your cards close to the chest, is the only defense we have. Our silence makes us secure.”

I’m a very open person, for the most part. But there are things I’d rather keep quiet. I don’t necessarily want everyone to know all of my weaknesses. I don’t want people witnessing all of my mistakes, my awkward moments.

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Before I became a mom, I viewed the transition to parenthood as similar to other transitions in life: the transition to “adulthood” (which, for me, was defined by finishing college, moving across the country, and getting my first full-time job – and a bunch of bills!), the transition to domestic partnership, the transition to married life, and the transition to self-employment. These are all big steps and with them comes a shift in identity, a new role, a change in how others perceive and/or define me. And with any new role, there is a learning curve, a period of adjustment, while I figure out what this transition means to me, how I define this new role and the expectations that come with it, both from me and from others. Do I accept these expectations? Or do I need to adjust the definition of what being a “wife” or being “an adult” means to something more in line with who I am?

With any new role there is the opportunity for awkward moments. New experiences are rife with awkwardness. But in the past I could hide much of that awkwardness. Feigning confidence, self-assuredness… fumbling my way through my first apartment search, my first time filing taxes, my first year of paying bills… I could make mistakes quietly. No one had to know – or at  the very least, only a few people had to know.

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Becoming a parent is similar to any other major life transition… but unlike so many of those other transitions, I’m finding this one much more public. As I figure out this new role of “Mom,” as I integrate it into the other aspects of my identity – my life story – there are many awkward moments. Trying to nurse in public – quickly before Jonah starts screaming for the milk. Trying to get Jonah in and out of the Moby wrap the first few times. Trying to get the car seat adjusted properly. Trying to change a diaper without getting peed on. And because I refuse to stay shut up in my house, these things are all happening in public. With onlookers. Everyone out there is witnessing my transition to motherhood – my awkwardness and my fumbling. I can’t hide this part of me. I’m a new mom. And my baby is so darn cute, people can’t help but stare (haha, that’s what I tell myself!).

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer - LeahAndMark.com

Luckily for me, I’m not too easily embarrassed. Like any other transition, the newness will wear off. I will find my groove – in many ways, I already have. I’m so much more comfortable taking Jonah out and about. There will always be awkward moments – children aren’t the most predictable creatures on the planet, after all. But I’m not going to let a fear of looking/feeling uncomfortable stop me from exploring the world with my son. I’m embracing this awkwardness. It feels uncomfortable now, but it already feels less so. My 22-year-old baby adult self would have been horrified to be seen making a mistake or not knowing exactly what to do…my 30-year-old mom self is just going to shrug it off and kiss Jonah’s big squishy cheeks. I have WAY more important things to concern myself with these days. So bring on the awkwardness!

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer - LeahAndMark.com