My sweet baby is 11 weeks old this week and time is just flying by!
I wanted to share Bo’s sweet (lake) nursery with you all and these beautiful photos Rachel Wells captured for us!
I wanted to take the time to answer questions I recently get or have gotten from you all! I cannot thank you enough for your constant sweet words and encouragement! Mom life definitely isn’t easy by any means, but it is SO worth it.
How do you manage to look so perfectly put together constantly?
Oh boy, if you really saw what I looked like 95% of the time you would take this question back! He he! On days that I have help, I am able to shower and get fully ready, snap a few outfit photos for instagram and then throw my comfy clothes back on. Don’t let these instagram moms make you believe we are always put together, BECAUSE WE ARE NOT! At least I am not. I would say 2 out of 7 days I will actually fully shower and get ready. The other 5, I am lucky to brush my teeth and my hair-and I am ok with that! IF I really do want to shower and attempt to get ready when I do not have help, I will shower before Shawn does and let him take care of Bo before he gets ready and heads to work. Before we found the right formula for Bo, he wanted to be held 24/7 so there really was no time to get ready. Once we found the right formula, I can put him in his swing for a couple of hours and get ready or do the things I need to do. I think it is so important for moms to remember it is OKAY to take time for yourself! YOU deserve it!
What has been the most challenging thing to get used to?
The most challenging thing for me to get used to is staying home and not being able to “get ready” and go to work. I have NEVER been one to stay home, in fact, I was back to work a couple days after I had Bo and then we left to come to Myrtle Beach. I love being able to be with Bo 24/7 and I know when he is grown I will miss these days, but there are days I want to just cry all day because I just want to go to work and I can’t without getting in the car and driving 6.5 hours home. When Shawn and I were engaged, we still had time to figure it all out and it was a lot easier to pack up and go see him, meet at the lake, or go to work. Now, me going to work would take him away from his job or he would have to be away from Bo-and I don’t want him to not be with us overnight.
What are you most excited to watch him do?
This is a big question! I often find myself wishing he was older, wishing he was bigger, especially over the holidays so he’d know Santa or that he was able to unwrap his presents or that we could have taken the boat out to see all the boats decorated for Christmas. Then, I am often reminded to enjoy these sweet moments we have now as they will soon be gone and we will be enjoying all of those things wishing he was smaller again. I look forward to hearing his sweet voice. Like, what is his voice going to sound like? I can’t wait to see what kind of boy he will be, stinky feet and all. I look forward to seeing how he interacts with others. I hope he is the best friend he can be to everyone and that he knows that he can do and be anything in this world that he wants to. His dad and I love and support him more than he will ever fully understand, well-that is until he has his own kids one day. I sometimes look down at his little finger and think one day he will wear a band on this hand and then I very quickly say “nahh-no girl is good enough for you my sweet Bo,” he he! I hope he plays football when he is big enough, I often joke that I want him to get a scholarship to play for Alabama, ROLL TIDE, even tho Shawn is a Clemson fan and I am a Hokie, (he he, dad doesn’t like that very well). I hope he rides go karts and wants to race cars. I can’t wait to wear his # loud and proud whether in the stadium or on the court-I will always be his biggest fan. Next summer will be a fun summer for us I think, especially when we get to introduce him to our favorite thing, being on the boat.
How do you find time to work and be the best mom to Bo you can be?
Working is hard. I am not going to lie, it is really hard to find time in between trying to be a mom, girlfriend, dog mom, business owner, blogger, plan a wedding, and do the bare minimum in straightening up the house. However, I realize other moms have it way harder that I do or have multiple children. THOSE are the moms that I don’t know just how they do it. My biggest advice is you just have to find time. When Shawn gets home in the evenings, he takes care of Bo while I catch up on work or upload things to the website, make schedules, purchase clothes, etc. While he is at work, whenever Bo is asleep, I will work on my blog or do the day to day things that need to get done for the store. It is a daily struggle of mine to accept this is how things will have to be for a while until we figure out our plan. Bo of course is our number one priority, but I miss going to work. I miss my store. I miss my customers. Most moms take time off and then go back to work. This mom has taken time off but still worked since the day I left the hospital. This mom doesn’t have the option to go back to work after 8 weeks as my work is 6.5 hours away and I don’t want Shawn missing a minute more than he has to of Bo growing up. So for now, this is how it has to be. Often I get asked if we are going to open a store in Myrtle Beach or Lake Norman. As much as I would love to be a Lake Norman mom and have a store there, Myrtle Beach is our home. It is where Shawn’s business is. We have looked at a few properties in Myrtle Beach and right now taking it day by day.
AH, I am STILLL trying to figure this out! I literally take EVERYTHING with me in the diaper bag and I feel like everything is constantly a wreck. Before Bo arrived, I had everything so neat and organized and kept telling myself things would stay this way if I just took time to keep it all straight-YEAH RIGHT! When he got here, we just figured out what was easiest and put things where they worked for us. I soon learned that maybe being organized for me worked, but then it was hard for Shawn or my mom to find things or change him, etc. So I made things very visible and said screw it, he’s only little for so long! The ONLY thing that stays consistently organized is his changing table and that is because we have this organizer on there that holds the wipe warmer, diapers, lotions, butt paste, hand sanitizer etc.
I carry my LV Neverfull as a diaper bag and put this organizer in it. I hope to one day be able to carry less in his diaper bag but for now, we take the entire house, he he.
1. Boppy | Lounger: I am not strong enough yet to hold him all the time, so the Boppy is nice to lay him on while I am feeding him or just sitting on the couch. It is also nice for other people to use too as sometimes your arm does get a little tired. In the lounger, Bo can hang out on the couch or coffee table and watch TV with us. Most of the time he will fall asleep while laying in it.
2. Wipe Warmer– We love love love this wipe warmer and so does Bo. We even take it with us when we travel (Shawn can plug it in his truck). Bo HATES when we are out in public and don’t have it, hehe.
3. Bottle Sterilizer– (even tho we are on our 2nd one, and some of our friends are on their 2nd and third, we couldn’t live without it! Makes life so much easier.) We use this brand but if it keeps messing up we may switch to one of these. Any other moms have this problem?
4. Burts Bees Burp Cloths– We have about 10 different kind of burp cloths and these are just my favorite. They are soft, easy to throw in my purse or diaper bag and easy to wash!
5. Kic Kee Pants Footies– We loved gowns for Bo at nighttime-until we found these. They are SOO soft and the zipper makes it so easy to change him at night time. Most days, he wears these too. Plus they have cute designs like airplanes and french bulldogs that I love.
6. Halo Sleepsack– Since babies cannot sleep with blankets or anything, and I was afraid Bo was freezing, these Sleepsacks are amazing and keeps him swaddled all night. When I unzip him in the morning, it is so warm and cozy in there. Sometimes when Bo is really fussy, it is the only thing to calm him down.
7. Halo Bassinet– Bo sleeps in the Dock-A-Tot, in the halo and sleeps about 5 hours at a time. It is SOO nice because it has multiple functions on it (it even vibrates) and it swivels right over your bed.
8. Boon Grass– Shawn puts all of the clean sterilized pieces on this grass and it’s wonderful for drying. We have some of the other accessories that go with it and their nice too for the nipples and caps.
9. High Chair– We don’t get to have a sit down dinner often, but when we do this high chair is awesome! It has the same vibrating seat that the swing we have has and Bo loves to just lay in it. It is so nice because it is on wheels too and you can store it away in a closet or your pantry easily when you’re not using it.
10. Diaper Pail– We have the Ubbi Diaper Pail at our home in Myrtle Beach and the Diaper Genie at our lake home and we like both. So far we have gotten more use out of the Ubbi (we are in SC more) but would definitely recommend getting one!
11. Gripe Water- the BOMB dot com!
We didn’t register for but later bought and love:
1. Swing-Bo loves to be swung in his carseat and one day Shawn had swung him until he couldn’t anymore, so we went to Target about 10 pm and picked this up. It has truly been a life saver. It swings different ways, has a bouncer, plays music or white noise, and vibrates.
2. Wubbanub’s– I was against letting Bo have a pacifier in the beginning but knew he was a thumb sucker as I could feel him sucking his thumb in my belly. Many people recommend the “soothie” instead so we tried it and Bo LOVES it. However, he literally only cries for it for about 30 minutes a day and then is over it, so hopefully he will outgrow it soon, hehe.
3. BABY SUSHER APP (best thing we have downloaded to our phones yet!) The susher will calm him right down and most of the time put him right to sleep. They make an actual susher you can purchase but I didn’t want something else to keep up with so got the app instead.
4. Calming Tub– Bo LOVES this bathtub (we had registered for the 4 moms one but like this one better) and it has fit him perfectly since he was a newborn. As he grows you can remove the sling.
5. Pello– We received this at our baby shower and Bo LOVES to lay on it on the coffee table. He will just lay and look around for hours.
6. Peanut Diaper Changer– One of the BEST gifts we were given! We put it on Bo’s diaper changing table and he will lay on it and look around the entire time we are changing his diaper. Sometimes, he may accidentally have an accident on the table and this changer makes it SO easy to wipe off and not ruin the table.
Things we registered/purchased for but wouldn’t register/purchase again:
1. Baby Breeza– we used it when Bo was first born, but haven’t since as he is on liquid formula. To us, the breeza seemed to make the formula really thin and didn’t settle well with Bo.
2. Mamaroo– At first Bo LOVED the mamaroo, but now, I cannot get him to stay in it at all. He would rather be in the swing so I am thinking when he gets older (or bigger) he will enjoy it more.
3. 4-Moms Bathtub– We got this one as it had the built in thermometer. We used it ONE time and the thermometer quit. We then purchased this tub and LOVE it.
4. Dock-A-Tot– everyone raved about this and the reviews are fantastic, but I do not see the money spent for what it does? Bo sleeps in it because we put it in the bassinet but I am not sure it is worth the money. Maybe as he gets older but I would recommend the boppy first before purchasing this.
5. Bugaboo Stroller– This was my DREAM stroller and I just HAD to have it, but taking it out ONE time did me in. Since, I have purchased the converter so I can use it with my carseat and it has helped a lot, but ideally I would love to shop with it and Bo lay in the bassinet but lets be honest, when we get to the mall and he is sleeping, no way I am waking him up!
6. Rock N Play– Everyone recommend these so I just had to have one, Bo has really only ever laid in it for a few minutes until he wanted to be held again. Maybe when he gets older he will like it as ours plays a little movie but for now it is put away. If you were going to get one, I would recommend getting a basic one and not with so much stuff. The stuff didn’t really do anything for Bo.
What bath time products do you use?
I am very traditional in the products we use. We use Johnson products (WHAT?! I know, GASP-go ahead-start judging, but it is what they use in hospitals and our parents used on us) and I use Cetaphil baby face wash for his face (love the smell). In the morning we use this wash/lotion. For night time we use this lavender bath and I love it. Bo smells sooooo good after and it seems to really calm him. I also use this baby lotion on his face. PS. I use Cetaphil face wash for myself. I have since I was 13 years old.
Do you breast or bottle feed?
The dreadful question, do you breast or bottle feed? (here we go) This is something I struggled with doing before Bo was even born. Other mothers would go on and on about their bond with their baby and so on. I had it in my head (and I believe Shawn wanted me to breastfeed) that I had to breastfeed as “everyone was doing it.” When Bo arrived, he didn’t join us until after 11 pm back in the room and poor little guy was starving. He wasn’t latching and I was exhausted as I hadn’t slept in 48 hours. I wanted to try to breastfeed, but it just wasn’t happening (the nurse was slapping Bo’s face and feet trying to get him to latch and it left a sour taste in my mouth). As days went on, we kept trying but Bo just wasn’t latching. I honestly didn’t care because he was eating formula and sleeping and it was giving me time to rest. I pumped for a couple weeks after we got home and we would supplement with formula. After about two weeks, I had pumped all I could and decided to put the pump away and strictly use formula. I do not regret my decision ONE bit and am proud to tell anyone my story as well as let them know that Bo is on Similac Alimentum (Ready-To-Feed) and there is NO WAY IN HELL our bond is ANY less than moms who breastfeed. I am not going to lie either, as a working/stay at home mom, it is nice to sometimes let daddy or ganny help feed him. God bless you moms who do choose to breastfeed!
Favorite Stores to shop at for Bo?
1. Janie and Jack
2. Shower Me With Love, Charlotte, NC
5. Kissy Kissy
6. Feltman Brothers
7. The Wooden Soldier
8. Shrimp and Grits
9. The Best Dressed Child
10. Alex and Alexa
What brand of make up do I use (everyday)?
Foundation (#2) | Bronzer | Foundation Brush (1) Brush (2) | Powder Brush | Concealer (Chantilly)
I have worn both of these since I was 13 (my mom does too).
How did you market your business to gain good, quality customers and how did you survive your first few years in business?
I believe the way I marketed my business to gain quality customers is by being real. I only purchase things for The Retail Therapist that I would wear and I think my customers appreciate that. I do not shop for 100 different customers. I shop for myself and a lot of the time the things I like are what you all like. I am also real to my followers and customers. If I don’t like something, I am not afraid to tell them and I do not follow any trend. If I like something, I get it because I wanted it, not because it is what I feel like I should be getting/doing to make you all like me.
Surviving the first few years, shew, they were not easy, it’s still not easy! My mom and I probably fought every single day but we couldn’t give up-we knew if we could just make it through that month or those slow days that we could make it. There were many, many times we wanted to just throw in the towel, especially those slow January days but then we’d have a good day and see the light. There were many, many days our account would over draw because too many things we had ordered at market were coming through or payroll and bills would all come out on the same day. I honestly considered shutting the store down not long ago, and then the holiday season rolled around, so many happy customers were leaving the store, moms and daughters were shopping together, husbands were depending on us for the perfect Christmas gift for their wife and I was quickly reminded why I have the best job in the world. It is tough, no matter what small business you are in but I promise if you just hang in there, it is so worth it. There are still days we struggle, mom and I argue, we stress over money or how we are going to afford new clothes, pay payroll, etc. but you just figure out how to make it work.
Are you going on a honeymoon or family trip with Bo?
There is no denying Shawn and I love to travel. We have our entire relationship, as well as Bo. We have been fortunate enough to travel to some gorgeous places and stay at really beautiful resorts. However, any trip we’ve been on, we find ourself missing the boat and wishing we had it. We love the Florida Keys and so we have decided to rent a boat/house in the Keys and hang out for a little while (maybe even look into some real estate for ourselves down there). Hopefully a few days in, someone can fly Bo down and he can spend the later half of our honeymoon fishing in the keys with daddy, he he.
Any wedding planning advice?
Hire a wedding planner and plan for ANYTHING to happen 🙂 He he.
We got engaged December 2016, set our date January 2017, found out we were pregnant March 2017, started remodeling our lake house April 2017, had a baby October 2017, moved to Myrtle Beach November 2017, working on building a house January 2018, and we are still getting married April 2018. Talk about a wild ride.