A Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party

Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com | themed joint party

Both of my kiddos were born in September, so we’re going to try to do joint parties for them for as long as possible. A two-for-one deal! For their last birthday, we did a Mermaid and Pirate theme. There are so many adorable ideas on Pinterest for a mermaid pirate birthday party and I went all out with the theme for the food and decorations!

Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com

The invitations were made by PixelPerfectionParty. So cute!

 

Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com
Peek-a-boo!

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Orecchiette with Peas, Pancetta, and Parmesan

I know, I know – there are probably a million recipes on Pinterest for orecchiette with peas, pancetta, and parmesan. But my recipe is made with all pantry and freezer ingredients, so it’s a super easy meal to throw together on nights when you just don’t want to adult anymore. Or those days when you don’t feel like taking two kids to the grocery store.

It’s a #lazymomapproved recipe!

Orecchiette with Peas, Pancetta, and Parmesan | sunshineandholly.com

 

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Strawberry Picking at Washington Farms

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One of our favorite spring activities is strawberry picking at Washington Farms, a local strawberry farm.

The kids love running up and down the rows, filing up their buckets and sneaking a few of the fresh-off-the-vine-strawberries. After a few minutes, their clothes and fingers are stained with strawberry juice. And of course, I love cooking and baking with the berries. Strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry salad, strawberries with cream, strawberry jam bars – the yummy possibilities are endless!

Strawberry Picking at Washington Farms | sunshineandholly.com

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Successful Extended Breastfeeding with Low Milk Supply

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Successful Extended Breastfeeding with Low Milk Supply

 

My breastfeeding experience with my first baby, Graham, wasn’t at all what I had imagined.

He was 4 weeks early and I never made enough milk after trying countless strategies to increase my supply. I wanted to breastfeed so badly and although I knew how blessed I was to have a beautiful, healthy son, I couldn’t get over the emotional aspect of not being able to exclusively breastfeed. He was supplemented from the beginning in the NICU and eventually quit breastfeeding at 5 months after he realized the bottle was faster and easier.

Successful Extended Breastfeeding with Low Milk Supply

Looking back, I really believe now that my low supply was the entire reason I ended up with postpartum depression. I felt like such a failure – my body let me down. I also felt judged by others and felt like I had to defend myself every time I pulled out a bottle for Graham. (In hindsight, no one cared how I fed my son. During Graham’s entire first year of life, I only had one instance of someone judging me and making me feel guilty about not breastfeeding.)

Successful Extended Breastfeeding with Low Milk Supply

After I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to produce enough milk for Graham, I started thinking about what I would do differently when I had a second baby. I was SO determined to make breastfeeding work the second time around and dreamed about sharing my success story of exclusively breastfeeding a second baby. Breastfeeding was one of the things I most looked forward to when thinking about having another child. After my failure with Graham, my heart just couldn’t heal – every time I saw someone else breastfeeding, I was sad. As my friends had babies and were able to breastfeed, I was happy for them. I truly was. But my heart still ached. Why wasn’t I able to produce enough milk? Was it because Graham was early? Was it because I wasn’t able to hold or feed him for 12 hours? Does my body not respond well to the pump? Do I have insufficient glandular tissue? Was it because I was on birth control for so long? Is it a genetic issue? Hell, was it the type of deodorant I was using during pregnancy?!

 

Well, the second time around I had a beautiful, term, perfect baby girl. And…I was STILL not able to produce enough milk.

 

But even with a low milk supply, Maddie nursed until she was 17 months old. And I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished.

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A Successful Natural Breech Birth Without a C-Section

This is a personal birth story of a successful natural breech birth. I am not a doctor, so please follow your doctor or midwife’s advice during labor for a safe and successful birth. I am also NOT judging moms who have c-sections. The goal of labor is to bring a baby into the world the safest way for both mother and child. 

natural breech birth | sunshineandholly.com

Our little Madeline made her “grand entrance” into this world on September 27th, 2014. I say “grand” because my sweet little girl was breech and came out butt first!

natural breech birth | sunshineandholly.com
Newborn pictures by CiJi Ann Photography

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to try for an unmedicated birth this time around. With my first baby, my son Graham, I had low milk supply and wasn’t able to breastfeed like I wanted. So this time, I didn’t want any drugs in my system to make sure that breastfeeding would (hopefully) get off to a better start.

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