3 months old!

Nico turned 3 months old on Tuesday. I can't actually get a focused pic of him these days (even with our DSLR) because he's constantly kicking and squirming. He will only lay on my chest when he's really tired, which hurts my heart a little bit, but it's also pretty amazing to see him growing stronger and more alert by the day.

Month 3 brought lots of changes and growth for our little babe. He's now 12.5 pounds (give or take!) and still a long and lean little dude. We spent a weekend in Santa Cruz with our friends, and we were slightly worried it would throw off his stellar sleep patterns, but he crushed it with a 12 hour stretch. He's napping consistently in his crib (yay!) 2x / day and continues to sleep 10-12 hours straight at night. He's doing lots of social smiling and cooing, and his face completely lights up every time we pick him up from his bassinet or crib after a nap. Nico started swim lessons at 10 weeks at La Petite Baleen in Fort Mason, which is the cutest thing in the entire world. He just loves the water so much and looks around and smiles the entire time. We also just started a mommy and me class at DayOne Baby, and to be honest, I'd been really reluctant of joining mom groups, but a little extra support can't hurt, right?

Happy 3 months, buddy. Love you to the moon and back.

Weekend in Santa Cruz

One of the best parts about living in San Francisco is the close proximity to so many weekend destinations, like Tahoe, Napa, Sonoma, Carmel, and Santa Cruz. We spent the weekend at our friends' house in Santa Cruz, which is about 1.5 hours from SF. Their house is steps from Pleasure Point, which is Lucas's favorite surf spot, so we spent the weekend snuggling babies, drinking wine, and surfing (him, not me!).
Our friend, Derek, took his 4 year old out to ride the waves, and I could see how excited Lucas was about taking Nico out in a few years.
Some of our local favorite SC spots are:
  • Verve - local coffee chain - Verve has recently expanded across California to San Francisco and LA, but the coffee shop originates in Santa Cruz. We always walk to the location on 41st Ave for coffee, kouign amanns, and the world's best avocado toast.
  • Zameen - lunch and dinner spot - Zameen has great chicken and rice bowls and greek salads. 
  • Penny Ice Creamery - local ice cream shop - Penny's has inventive flavors like salted butter toffee and cardamom pistachio.
  • Patine - home boutique - an adorable home goods store with vintage French linens and antiques. You can also find their booth at the Alameda Flea Market every month.
  • Sawyer Land + Sea Supply - local surf shop - Santa Cruz has no shortage of surf shops, but Sawyer is my favorite. It's a hipster shop with curated selection of clothes, books, and surf gear for surfers and non-surfers alike.

What we packed in our hospital bag

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started researching what to pack in our hospital bag. I think there was so much out of my control, especially when I was playing the waiting game towards the end, that it felt good to be able to prepare in a small way. Despite living a short 7 minute drive from the hospital, I did a ton of research about what to pack. Just like everyone warned me, most of the stuff I brought turned out to be completely useless, but I was really happy with certain things. Here's my $0.02:

1. An extra bag for all the swag: The hospital sends you home with a ton of stuff - diapers, wipes, vaseline, medicine, a sitz bath, witch hazel, pads, and more. My parents had to bring me a bag to carry it all home in, so next time I'll definitely pack an extra bag to stow away all of the free stuff.

2. Hairdryer: I'm sure everyone's experience is different, but I was really happy that I packed a hairdryer and curling iron. When I was in labor / hooked up to an IV, I couldn't shower, so I was itching to feel clean and human again after ~12 hours in the delivery room + being covered in all of the bodily fluids that labor and a newborn bring (ha). I delivered Nico in the late afternoon, and then we spent a few hours in the delivery room and finally landed in our postpartum room around 6 pm. I ate dinner, fed Nico, and then had the best night of sleep of my entire life. The next morning, my mom came to the hospital and helped me shower and fix my hair. I felt like a new person, and even though I was still bloated and sore, it was nice to feel a little more like myself.

3. Dark nightgown + robe: They put me in a hospital gown the moment I checked into the hospital and with the postpartum bleeding, I really didn't feel like wearing anything else for the first day. But by day 2, I was ready to wear something a little less bulky, and I was super happy to have a black nightgown and lightweight robe (I also packed navy PJs, but it was easier to breastfeed in a gown). I have an Eloise gown and robe Anthropologie (wearing it in the pictures here!), but I don't think that brand still exists? I also love the Eberjey gowns and robes. Target also sells nursing gowns, so you don't have to wear a nursing bra underneath.

4. Our pillows: This might be the best thing Lucas and I packed. I was SO happy to have my memory foam pillow to sleep on. I'm not kidding when I say that I had the best night of sleep after delivering Nico. Even with the nurses bringing him in every 2-3 hours to feed, I still slept like a rock in between those feedings and having my own pillow was a huge part of that. 

5. Water bottle: I was SO thirsty the entire time I was in the hospital. The hospital obviously provided cups (side note: I was surprised that the hospital used these deli containers as cups) but I was happy to have my own large water bottle with a straw to prop up in the bed while I was breastfeeding Nico.

6. Slippers or slipper socks: The nurses encouraged me to walk the halls as much as possible, so I was grateful to have my slipper socks. The hospital actually provided some too, but mine were warmer and had better grips for walking on the slippery floors.

7. Makeup + Toiletries: The hospital only provided a basic bar of soap, so I packed my own toiletries. I only packed the essentials: some light makeup, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, lip balm, and body lotion, but I was so happy to have them. Side note: having my lip balm was the best thing ever. Hospitals are so dry, so I was constantly reapplying. I also wish we'd packed a nail file, because Nico's nails were long and sharp when he was born. I had to send my dad out to Walgreens for a nail file, so next time I'll tuck one away in my toiletry kit.

8. Nursing bra: I bought a few nursing bras, but I brought along this soft one from Target to the hospital. It felt like I was nursing around the clock, but we had a lot of visitors, including my dad, so I liked having a little coverage and support.

9. Camera: We brought along our nicer DSLR to take pictures.

10. Speaker: Lucas made a few Spotify playlists for us to listen to on our UE Boom. Wifi and cell reception were spotty, at best, but thankfully he pre-downloaded some of the music.

11. Chargers: We brought along chargers for all of our devices. This was one of the things we almost forgot, because we couldn't pre-pack them. Luckily we grabbed them at the last minute, because we definitely did a lot of FaceTime sessions with our relatives from the hospital.

12. Laptop: We didn't have a ton of spare time (I was surprised by how busy our time at the hospital was) but while I was on my Pitocin IV and waiting to fully dilate, we did watch Jeopardy on Lucas's laptop (nerd alert) to keep my mind off of things.

13. Going home outfit for the baby: We brought 2-3 outfits in different sizes (premie, newborn, and 0-3 months) because we weren't sure how big he would be. We also packed a hat, because babies lose all of their body heat through the tops of their heads, and Nico was born in the heart of winter.

14. Boppy pillow: I was really glad to have our Boppy at the hospital. Nico was a little guy, weighing only 6 lbs, 7 oz, but those hospital feeds last for 30 minutes, and my arms became really sore, especially because I was still pretty weak from labor. I was happy to have the pillow to alleviate some of the pressure on my arms and back.

14. Carseat: We installed the base of the carseat before heading to the hospital. We found it really complicated (amateur hour!), so we made an appointment with the California Highway Patrol to show us the ropes. Right before checking out, we loaded him into the seat (it was tricky to figure it out) and the nurses dispatched us. It was a breeze to snap the seat into the car since we already had the base installed.

That's it - next time, one small overnight bag will do just fine. Our postpartum room was really small, so there wasn't a ton of room for bulky bags, and we sent a lot of stuff home with my parents at night. I read lots of what to bring lists, and in my opinion, these are things you DON'T need include: snacks, swaddles and blankets, a breast pump, pads, diapers, wipes, breast pads, towels, or any other clothes. Take advantage of all of the free stuff the hospital will provide.