• top five tips to make traveling with baby a breeze

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

    Traveling with a baby for the first time was one of the most intimidating things for me to prepare for. Thankfully I've gathered some tried and true advice from family and the good ol' google to share with y'all today other than the usual obvious tips like extra diapers, change of clothes, and a blanket! I thought I'd share my experience preparing for our big first trip with Wilde who was eight months old at the time. Andrew and I are creatures of habit and truly don't change our routine or travel often, so if you're anything like us, I hope these little tips ease your mind a bit!

    1) Familiarity is key

    If baby's happy.. mama is happy. And if mama is happy, everyone is happy! Do not forget to bring your babe's favorite few things from home, simple as that. If your little one is around the same age as Wilde, you know they are at the age where they are starting to have little personalities and let you know real quick when they favor something over another. I sat and thought about things that would comfort Wilde despite the completely different environment he would be thrown in. First thing that immediately came to mind was our yummiest baby detergent that his bed sheets, clothes and basically entire room smells like. I knew I had to bring his bed linens on our trip and I am so sure that's a big reason why he slept so well away from home. Whether it be your baby's favorite toy, stuffed animal, snack, it's worth bringing it! I even brought his sound machine, favorite bed time book, bath lotions.. you'd be surprised how smart these little ones are! I knew the smell of Wilde's bath lotion would remind him it's bed time, even though I laid him down in a place he'd never been before. 

    2) Two words: PACKING CUBES

    Marie Kondo would be very proud of this one. One of the best things I've ever purchased in regards to traveling with a baby's belongings. Think about it.. their things are just teeny versions of our own belongings. Tiny sweaters, tiny shoes, little accessories, and don't forget the necessities like bath items, books, bed linens, etc. Wilde and I shared a suitcase and it would have looked like a bomb blew up and anxiety town if I didn't have packing cubes to organize and separate his items from mine.

    I had three separate categories of this things - sleep, clothes, and bath, which I am so glad I did! We arrived to California super after his bedtime so I was in a rush to get him ready for bed the moment we arrived at our airbnb. I just grabbed the "sleep" packed cube and everything was ready to go for me in a pinch! I could be waaay late to the packing cube game, but either way, my life is forever changed when it comes to packing for us both. I bought these cubes from amazon, super affordable and it comes in a set of with a ton of sizes!

    3) Wear baby!

    I am a huuuge advocate for all baby wearing.. slings, wraps, straps.. I'll take 'em all. If your little one is a clingy to mommy baby, this will work wonders for you. Wearing your baby through TSA is an absolute breeze. If there are no issues walking through the metal detector, the TSA is normally very accommodating to mothers with babies and try to make security check as smooth as possible for you and not make you remove your baby from the sling. This was a huge weight off my shoulders because security gives me the most anxiety when it comes to flying.. I hate the pressure of needing to rush and get my items out of the next person in line's way, so wearing Wilde was no added burden due to having my hands free and not having to worry about him getting messy or in danger! I'm also really glad I had my baby carrier during the flight. Wilde was so fussy and exhausted, so while the seatbelt light was off, I tucked him in the carrier and just walked up and down the aisles so he could take a little nap on me to get some much needed rest. Such a life saver.

    4) Nursing or bottle feeding at take off and landing

    I would have never thought about those sweet baby's ears needing to pop as much as adult's do! Back in my parent's early parenting days, easy advice through the internet wasn't accessible, so something like this totally slipped my dad's mind when flying with babies. He told me once he ended up standing and rocking my sister in the airplane bathroom while she screamed in pain the entire flight until they finally touched down - realizing the culprit were her poor little ears killing her! So if it isn't obvious, have a bottle ready the moment those wheels lift off! If you're lucky and your babe still nurses (Wilde unfortunately does not), they will quite easily nurse themselves to sleep to the hum of the engine. IDEAL!

    Wilde was unbelievably tired at the beginning of our flights, so I wore a nursing cover over my head while I bottle fed at lift off and he miraculously fell asleep while feeding (Andrew did the same on another flight in this picture above). He hasn't slept in my arms like that since he was like three months old, it was heaven. I probably looked insane with the cover draped over my entire head to keep his environment dark and cozy.. but it is no joke when they say once you're a mama, ALL shame goes out the window and you do whatever you need to have a happy (and sleeping!) baby.


    The number one advice I got before we left for our trip was to ditch our incredibly expensive and well-loved car seat and stroller for something easier to lug around. Both items go through hell and back in the hands of any airline. I've heard horror stories of either a car seat being returned in shambles or an expensive stroller being stolen. I spent my prettiest pennies on our UppaBaby Vista, so I knew this wasn't an option.

    Not to mention, our every day stroller is pretty heavy and I wasn't a fan of folding, unfolding and hauling it throughout our trip. I browsed UppaBaby's site and was ecstatic to see their less expensive and smaller strollers specifically for traveling. We chose the MINU for it being their lightest and easiest stroller to maneuver in busy crowds (Disney friendly!!), could recline so Wilde could still nap comfortably while we are on the go and literally have the ability to fold with one hand. This is, hands down, the best decision we made for our trip. Highly recommend to spend a little more for an extra stroller and car seat, especially if you travel often!

    And last but absolutely not least, BREATHE! Babies are so resilient. I was so anxious and worried that Wilde would be absolutely miserable our entire trip from such a huge time change or overstimulation that he would never get back into our home routine.  But to my dismay, he napped in his stroller and car seat even when I thought there was no way he would and he was my happy chunk even when I thought he would be crying from exhaustion. So, breathe! You will absolutely get back on your regular schedule as long as you are diligent and listen to baby's cues. Enjoy your trip and don't be afraid to ask for help! I am so grateful for my husband, it is such a huge difference to have two extra hands. Y'all got this!



  • our nursing journey featuring the willow pump

    This post is sponsored by Willow.

    Getting the most vulnerable I’ve gone before via the internet, so if you can’t handle boob talk, this may not be a post for you. But if you’ve struggled with breastfeeding and feel alone... I’m here with you, sister.


    Breastfeeding can be such a controversial topic. It was always a “hush hush” topic as I was trying to learn more about it throughout my pregnancy... which I always found so strange! It’s such a natural and amazing thing, to be the source of food and life for your child. But in my opinion, they don’t talk enough about how extremely hard it can be. Going into my labor, I was positive I wanted to nurse my son and do my damnedest to make sure I succeed! Majority of the people I would talk to and all the stories floating around google made it seem like such an easy transition. When my baby had troubles throughout the first few weeks with his latch, I felt a heavy cloud over my head and guilt that I didn’t have that perfect latch and wasn’t comfortable every second he nursed. The pressure to be a perfect breastfeeding mom began to consume my thoughts and I cried every time he ate. He was definitely eating and gaining the perfect amount of weight, but I was miserable and in so much pain! Scabs would form on top of other scabs, I bled after each blister would finally heal and I was the more sore than I ever knew I could feel. They say after a couple weeks, those feelings should subside and everything should be healed and then there would be smooth sailing.


    Four weeks go by.

    Five weeks go by.


    Nothing had changed. Consultant after consultant and pediatrician after pediatrician, I just decided to go with my heart on what I thought was best. I know my baby and I know what will work for him. So I began my first pump session to prepare him for his first bottle. WOW was that the weirdest 15 minutes of my life... if you know, you know.. haha!


    Finally at six weeks old, we gave Wilde his first bottle.. which I was SO worried about. So many consultants pushed for me to not give him a pacifier or a bottle to ensure he wouldn’t get “nipple confusion” and as a first mom, of course I’m going to take whatever advice they will give me! I had always heard fabulous things about Como Tomo bottles being very similar to how the breast would feel, so it encourages the baby to not prefer a bottle over the breast. And guess what! He took the bottle just fine, and my boob just the same. HOME FREE! This is the second I realized I really needed to relax and listen to my gut feeling rather than by the book rules. No two babies are the same, so why are there so many rules?! And then this is when I started really getting my superhero power.. mama tuition. 


    I didn’t have any intention to pump for the duration of my son’s first year of life. Boy oh boy does life throw you curves :) and here I am, pumping my life away as my son is newly three months old. Since this day, I decided to breastfeed 50% of the day and bottle feed 50% of the day with my pumped milk. That way, Andrew was able to bond with Wilde by feeding him and I was able to give myself a little break to heal faster. This is also the day I began my relationship with my bedroom wall. Picture this: a cow latched onto some tubes, tethered to the wall. This was me (and a lot of other mamas, too!) Lovely. I did this four or five times a day for 40 minutes at a time. How much of a party does THAT sound to y’all?! Suddenly my very rare minutes of free time (ya know, the time where I was able to take a two minute shower, brush my teeth or get a painting in) was robbed by a little black bag that plugged into the wall that made the most horrendous “whomp..whomp..whomp” sound. You can truly lose the sense of your sanity while pumping, I guarantee it. Almost like watching paint dry, but worse. Get how crappy it is yet? Haha.


    It was all completely worth it to me. I would remind myself, I am so lucky to even produce enough milk for my son. I am so fortunate to even HAVE a healthy son. I constantly had to keep myself in uplifted spirits or else I knew I would start on the downward spiral of postpartum depression, which is a song I do NOT want to dance to. I cried after every feeding from the pain, but immediately wiped them away to snap myself out of it. I cried every day from the feeling of failure but my husband would console me and remind me I am doing my best. So I continued to pump and came to terms that this was my life for now and that is okay.


    My days went a like this: Morning pump after baby eats, nurse, put baby down for a nap, pump, try and squeeze in some work (yeah right), bottle feed baby, back down for a nap, pump, pump, pump. During his 3 or 4 night feedings I exclusively nursed. The cycle went on and on and onnnn. Literally a merry go round. Not much “me” time during these days so I spent a lot of time in my robe and week long braids in my hair. But I figured, these were those hard newborn days they tell you about!


    And suddenly, the heavens opened. Willow Pump fell into my lap and it was like all my teeny prayers had been answered. I remember vaguely scanning the internet and came across Willow organically beforehand, I was immediately impressed.  There was no hesitation in my desire to get to know this life changing product. 


    After discussing this sponsorship with the lovely ladies at Willow, the product was shipped promptly in the worlds prettiest packaging! Things like this just make me all sorts of giddy. I appreciate a good eye for minimal and classy packaging, y’all. Sue me. It came in a large box with the two pumps, travel bags for the pumps, brush cleaners, Flextubes and instruction manual. At first, looking at the two individual pumps can be a bit overwhelming since they are such a foreign piece of machinery. This is where their app comes in handy. I’m extremely stubborn and would rather learn on my own than be told how to do something, so their little videos in the app help give visuals on how to use, clean and assemble... as well as show the amount of ounces you are currently pumping. Andrew super loves that feature for some reason, haha! Either way, it’s fun to have your husband be stoked about a pump as much as you. 


    Willow also provides coaches you can call/text for any sort of question or concern that is very prompt and genuine in their responses. They even offer video calls to give that extra peace of mind knowing you are getting all the benefits Willow has to offer! I’ve definitely taken advantage of this, and I’m positive any one who’s new to this product should too.


    My Experience -


    I have used the Willow Pump for about a month and a half now and I feel like I am finally getting the hang of it. Just like anything new in life, it’s taken some time to get to used to, especially after a few phone calls for my concerns. 


    I have only good things to say about this pump. I’ve seen the pumps be worn by others and you can’t even tell there is anything in their shirts, which is incredible. You can literally grocery shop and pump at the same time and no one would suspect a thing! Not to mention, you are completely hands free and you have your free time back. For me, I look a bit like a Pamela Anderson lookalike with mine in my shirt (due to the larger chest breastfeeding has provided me, hah), so I just put a nursing cover on while I pump in public and it helps me feel less exposed! Last week I literally pumped while I was getting my hair done at the salon. It’s a great conversation piece when you whip these boob shaped things out of your bag, hah! So if it wasn’t obvious, I am unbelievably grateful for a pump that has zero external tubes, quiet with no “whomp..whomp..whomp”s, and allows me to be mobile, even while I need to hold my son and get things done around the house.


    Prrretty cool and life changing considering I was literally plugged into the wall for the first weeks of my pumping journey and could slowly feel the spirit of my soul slip away. I use my Willow every single day and plan to for as long as my body will allow!


    Thank you, Willow for changing the future for pumping mama’s and helping me feel like I can be a functioning human again. I can be the best mom I can be for my son, knowing I am happy in my skin and not a cow attached to the wall. I am proud to be a sponsor of this company and will recommend Willow through and through.


    And for the many that have asked - for maximum amount of success in my pumping with Willow, I take Legendairy Milk supplements alongside my daily prenatals!

    {{to all the mamas who choose to exclusively nurse, bottle feed, or formula feed.. you are amazing. There is no lesser type of mom however you choose to nurture your child! This was the number one question I was asked when I was pregnant, if I were planning on breastfeeding, and I thought it was such a personal thing to ask.. but I always happily answered "i'm definitely going to try!". I always found this strange that people thought of it as such a non chalant thing to ask, especially to someone who hasn't joined motherhood yet and knows just about jack squat* about how to raise a child. So with that being said, we are all trying our best. You are incredible and your baby loves you no matter what you do}}

    xoxo celo

  • The Name Game

    First, I’d like to note that I’ve typed this entire thing out in the “notes” app on my phone over the course of time. You can thank the long hours of breastfeeding for that :) this mama doesn’t have computer screen time like she used to! So the iPhone keypad shall suffice. 
    Andrew and I have always played the “What about this name” game since before we were even married. 
    It all began a few months before our wedding in July 2015. We decided to buy a puppy because, ya know, they’re cute and stuff. We could NOT agree on any names at all! All day long our texts would be one worded sentences... names. Who woulda thunk Andrew was so opinionated on something like this? I truly expected him to shrug his shoulders and not care.. haha! I wanted to name him Mowgi (from my life long love for The Jungle Book.. I’ve wanted to use that name since I was a little girl) and he was not having it. So we agreed on Moses.. how? I think we both just got tired. Sorry we half a’d your name, puppy dog. You’re still cute. 
    But when it came to babies, we surprisingly were on the same page (for the MOST part y’all). We actually had Wilde’s name at the top of our list before we even knew I was pregnant. That was really comforting for me. We both landed on that name because we knew it was unique enough to set him apart, but nothing unnecessarily crazy or something he would be embarrassed of - or so we assume! We think he’s gonna be pretty rad and own it hard.  We actually found it by browsing our family history and stumbled across it on both sides, but as a last name of course. It immediately stood out and resonated with us, so I knew it was special the second Andrew agreed to save that name.  Of course the worries of it being so unconventional clouded our heads every now and then, but we really aren’t ones to give into what’s “acceptable” or “normal” in society. What’s considered normal, anyway? Who cares.
    But the name sticking the entire nine months was tricky! A couple months pass by after finding out we were pregnant and I was browsing the ‘gram, as per usual, and came across a massive influencer I’d never seen before that had just given birth to her son. I’m sappy and super pregnant at the time and was so excited to tap on the darling newborn photo she had shared - The second I read his name, “Wilde” I was crushed. I’m sure my son isn’t the first baby named this, but names tend to trend hard these days like a wildfire in the wind and I flashed forward and imagined him growing up with 5 kids in his class with the same name like my husband Andrew did. I want him to feel special! Then immediately, I snapped myself out of it. What am I, in middle school? Something like this is so silly and shouldn’t bother me one bit.  And ya know what? I slapped the little unrealistic, emotional pregnant lady in my brain and realized... he IS special. He will forever be his own person, as long as Andrew and I are examples for him.
    Now, his middle name... didn't come so easy. We really struggled to land on something that would kind of regulate his first name, but also be just as meaningful to us. After a few episodes of Andrew getting cold feet on the first name (don’t even get me started! I was so bummed every time he would do this), we never felt comfortable with a middle name. Literally, until the day he was born, it was never set in stone. I really wanted to pass down my dad’s name Rome (Jerome) or his middle name Edward, but it just didn’t stick. Maybe the next babe? But just not this one. Rockwell was always at the tip top of our list of names, but I really wanted to use it if we were to have a girl, I thought it was way too cool to be a middle name! But Andrew broke me down and alas, Wilde Rockwell was born. Literally. My dad calls him "Rocky", which I think is pretty cute. I know it's partly because in the hockey world, kids always go by a nickname and not their first (my brother played hockey his entire life, so he goes by CJ rather than his name Christian) and partly because I know he cannot wrap his head around the name Wilde, LOL. And I'm sure a lot of people can agree. I'm okay with that, things take time ;)
    The moment he entered our lives, mine changed forever and everything I do is now for him. My efforts are to raise a good man that will do good for the world. And that’s why Wilde is my Wilde, no matter how many there might be in his class. I sure am smitten with this tiny version of Andrew! Happy two months, my love!
  • Owlet - An Honest Review

    I am so excited to share this fantastic product we have been able to use for the last six weeks of Wilde’s life. I got in contact with Owlet Care well before he was born, knowing their fascinating Smart Sock was #1 on our essential list of baby items, so I am happy to share this sponsored post for any current or future mamas who have been curious about them like I was.

    In my ninth month of pregnancy, my brain was scrambled anticipating the fear of the unknown with all things baby. How am I supposed to keep this tiny human alive if I can barely keep myself alive?! Kidding.. but not really, hah! And I am a protector my nature, so I knew I would get little to no sleep peeking in on our sweet babe each time he slept. And of course, those first couple days in the hospital after labor, sleep became a fond distant memory. No joke, I got about two full hours of sleep in those two first days. Of course nurses are constantly coming in and checking on you, but the entire night my eyes were glued to Wilde and my hand on his tiny tummy to make sure I could feel his little chest rise and fall. I’m sure this is the norm for all first time moms, but I never expected to constantly have the extreme anxiety of hoping my child is still breathing! 


    My Experience ~


    My first nugget of advice for first time users is to prepare the Owlet well before you are due. Andrew and I read through the simple instructions and got everything ready knowing that first night home will be so busy, there would be no time to sit and prepare something technical like this. The Owlet requires you to download their app that notifies you & the base station (which is where the smart sock charges during the day for us) when your baby is wiggling and when their heart rate and oxygen levels fall outside the preset zones. Literally heaven sent for us crazy mamas who just stare at their child all hours of the night to make sure they’re alive. HALLELUJAH. AMEN. FOR PEACE OF MIND! I have to admit, I still double check on him every now and then, just because it seems too good to be true! But we’ve tested the sock by doing things like taking Wilde out of range and the base station & app immediately notified us there was something wrong.

    We are going on six weeks of using the Smart Sock every single night and I could not imagine sleeping well without it. I can’t say enough good about my experience so far with the Owlet and I am so grateful for the extra peace of mind it provides for me and Andrew. Do they make these things for spouses, too? Sometimes after pizza night I question if Andrew’s belly has any room for oxygen... HAH. 


    First time moms, second time moms, any type of mom... add this to your registry and wish lists. It will forever be a “need” for our family!