a parenthood & lifestyle blog

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Favorite Items: Hospital Bag

I'm an aspiring minimalist. Yet, when you have your first baby, you find yourself searching pinterest trying to make sure you haven't forgotten anything that you should be bringing to the hospital.

I looked at some of those pins while writing this post and *oh* my gosh - the amount of stuff some people bring!!! It totally stresses me out. Extra blankets, your own towels from home, and my personal favorite - your own toilet paper. Yes. Packed from home.  This may just be me but there is no way I am literally packing a roll of TP in my bag.. haha!

By the time your second child comes around, you know the drill and you know what is absolutely necessary and what absolutely isn't. For me, having a baby is stressful enough. Carting around a bunch of useless stuff in and out of the hospital really just adds to the stress and really crowds your hospital room. I've compiled this list for any expectant mothers - specifically my own sister in law who is expecting her first little one in just over a month! Here are the items that I have found to be the most important, without any of the extra fluff.

*First thing to note: the hospital provides (FREE of charge.. well, billed to your insurance, haha):
- all delivery/recovery-related meds
- lanolin cream (nursing)
- maxi pads
- mesh panties
- peri bottle
- dermaplast (vaginal delivery)
- basic soap
- meals and snacks for mom and dad
- baby's diapers
- all baby care/creams/ointments/gauze/WHATEVER while you're there

When you're leaving the hospital, you can TAKE EXTRAS of everything they provide you with. Their pads and mesh panties are super functional, and if you've had a vaginal delivery you need ALL the extra bottles of dermaplast (numbing spray). I also grabbed a bunch of gauze and the little vaseline packets after my son's circumcision. When I had my first, my daughter, I was putting lanolin cream on like it was made of gold. Which it kind of is. Grab extras of that. The rest is what you actually need to bring to the hospital:

/ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5/ 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 /

First, obviously, the bags. You'll want as few loose items as possible because you'll have a little baby to tote home with you on your way out. I like to keep everything in one duffle bag, nothing more. That and the diaper bag are the only bags I bring.

In that duffle bag, I have a small toiletries bag that I put a few items of makeup and travel-sized shampoo, etc in.

You'll find yourself laying down... a LOT.. because you just birthed a human. So a book is nice to have, and you might as well make it one that will be useful to you in the coming months of mega-life-change! You'll also want an iPad or laptop to watch shows on if that is your jam.

In the diaper bag I have my wallet, nursing pads, lipbalm, extra hair ties, and baby's stuff. Usually some gum too because some of the meds can make your mouth dry and make you feel like you have some weird tastes going on.

After delivery/c-section, I stay in the hospital gown most of the time, to be honest. With our track record, however, I am always unfortunately having to hike down to the NICU. That would be a breezy walk in a hospital gown, ha! For me, I feel better in an open-front robe and very loose pajama/lounge pants. I also always wear a looser sports bra (front zip if you can find one!). It's nice to have during delivery and after. You'll also really want some slippers or flip flops that you can easily slide off and on.

It wasn't as big of a deal for me with my vaginal delivery, but my nursing pillow was a must after my c-section. I have this same cover for it and I really love it!

I don't put my babies in any clothes in the hospital. They're always getting vitals checked and pooping and whatnot and I just would rather not deal with it. Often times the hospital has them in a little onesie-shirt-type thing. I put them in our clothes the day we are ready to take them home. I like a warm coverall outfit, a hat, and mittens (do not forget mittens! And buy them in bulk like the link I provided - those little things disappear faster than socks:) )

The hospital will wrap them in a blanket which is usually sufficient. I do like to use my own swaddles because I feel like they swaddle much better than the thick hospital ones (which I'll wrap them in on top of my swaddle, still!)

A car seat cover is an obvious must for me. So many germs in hospitals and when you first walk outside with your fragile newborn, even the slightest breeze sets your mama instincts roaring - wanting to protect that wee babe as much as you can.

Lastly, a going home outfit for mama. I like it simple - a black shirt (because you still look 4 months preggo), some loose joggers, and a nice basic shoe.

NOT NECESSARY, but I saw these on a few pins and couldn't not mention them here:
- "Super soft throw blanket" WHAT?? You do not need to bring a blanket into a grody hospital that has 3 million blankets already there for you to use (and that you don't have to wash after you leave)
- same goes for your pillow, unless you have some kind of thing about your 'own' pillow
- "towels for the shower"- spoiler alert, the hospital has no shortage of clean towels
- "toilet paper from home" - this may just be me but there is no way I'm literally packing a roll of TP in my bag. Believe me, you will have higher priorities to care about. ha!

This is just me, but the fewer items, the better. This list is NOT the same as my postpartum recovery list which has lots more necessities for when you get home!

Have any of you heard of anything crazy that people bring to the hospital?

Step Inside Our Home! Part II: Kitchen

We are on to part two! 

 As I mentioned in the first post of this series, we bought a spec home and didn't have any say in the finishings at all. Texas is still really into that "rustic" look... which wasn’t a great fit for us. So when we moved in, we decided to change a few things. We really didn't love the counters or backsplash.... or cabinet colors. HA! I know, I know, so picky. But we were spending a lot of money on this brand new home and I really wanted it to work for us and be what we liked. So we talked our builder down on price to compensate on some of this work we wanted to do.

The biggest thing we changed was the kitchen cabinets. They were previously a dark brown wood color (come on, Dallas..?!?), matching our floors. We really didn't love it, and weighed our options in what to do to fix it the most cost-effectively. We researched a ton and came upon Colors on Cabinets here in Dallas. We told him what we wanted and he came through amazingly. Exactly what we pictured. His review is at the end of this post.

The hardware we chose was found here . We found it for a great deal, which was super necessary considering I had set out a strict budget and we had over forty cabinets to put hardware on! We first ordered a sample and as soon as we got it, we put in our full order because it was exactly what we were looking for. They are VERY heavy and very solid. We chose this antique gold color to pull in the warm tones from the counters - to try and make me like them a little more. Ha! And it worked! I can totally live with them now. A little work goes a long way!

We got these barstools to tie in with the hardware.

With all that said, here is our kitchen!



The kitchen really is the heart of the home! 

Now more than ever are we convinced of that phrase. When we first moved in, we camped out of 2 suitcases while our movers were *two* weeks late (insert eye roll). We made the most of it by setting up what we could, and we had several things to buy. Little by little it felt less huge and empty, as the sectional came, our bed, and then finally our clothes, TVs, etc. 

Some of the things we had to buy was a kitchen table and some bar stools. 
Of all the things we bought, these two things came VERY last. I mean took-several-weeks-to-get-here-last. 

All of the rest of our stuff was either here, but we really struggled with this place feeling at all "homey" and we just couldn't figure out why. 

At last, one day, our kitchen stuff came - we could COOK! No more takeout and PBJs:) And then at long last our bar stools came- we no longer had to eat on the floor! Finally our table came. We cooked a REAL meal and sat down at a REAL table with each other for the first time in months and one of us said, while doing dishes, "wow, it FINALLY feels like this is our HOME." 

It was crazy how that was what sealed the deal - eating together at the true "heart" of the home. 

I now totally get why people say that. Something about warm, prepared, home cooked food and a place to sit and bond with loved ones makes that place in the home extra special - and one where the most memories tend to be created. 

Part 3 will be our master bedroom and office. Thanks for reading!


[[ For our friends here who have asked about the Colors on Cabinets company we used, here is our review:
We looked at a million paint swatches and narrowed it down to several that we liked. We knew the look that we wanted, and Charles, the owner, helped us find the perfect shades we were looking for by bringing in actual cabinet samples that he painted in our colors. His job is to solely redo cabinets - and let me tell you - this dude is the REAL deal. He knows his stuff and even fixed several issues on the cabinets that we weren't even aware of (hinges, etc.) He installed a pull-out trash can cabinet and several soft-close hinges. He installed the hardware we purchased, free of charge, and worked with us on his price to meet our needs. He went every single extra mile, and I couldn't love the man more. He even called just to check in after we just had our baby a few weeks ago.. Charles. Absolutely whole-heartedly recommend! ]]


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