Family Category Archives

Summer sisters, with Bohobee

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Annabelle Bowman wearing a custom made Bohobee Design dress and headpiece in blush

Annabelle Bowman wearing a custom made Bohobee Design dress and headpiece in blush

Angelina Bowman wearing a custom Bohobee Design dress and bonnet in blush

Angelina Bowman wearing a custom Bohobee Design dress and bonnet in blush

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Annabelle Bowman wearing a custom made Bohobee Design dress and headpiece in blush

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Annabelle Bowman wearing a custom made Bohobee Design dress and headpiece in blush

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Angelina Bowman wearing a custom Bohobee Design dress and bonnet in blush

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Angelina Bowman wearing a custom Bohobee Design dress and bonnet in blush

Annabelle and Angelina Bowman wearing matching custom made dresses by BohoBee Designs

Annabelle’s Choice: Custom dress + Bow headpiece: Bohobee

Angelina’s Choice: Custom dress + Bonnet: Bohobee

Angelina is almost 20 months old!! So, I thought it might be fun to do a milestone post today!! 

Mentally she surprises me every single day!

Already, she can speak a handful of words:

Mama + MOM!

Dah (Daddy)

Ball (Annabelle)

Oufff (dog)

UP!! (self explanatory)

Ya?! 

Nooooooo… 

Hiyyyyeee

Byeee

Pop (lolly pop)

App (Apple Juice)

Physically, Angelina can run after Annabelle and Alexander, feed herself with a spoon or fork- with  almost no spills. She loves to color with markers- particularly NOT on paper ? I’ve even caught her trying to roll by on her scooter. 

When I ask her where something is, she does the cutest little shrug with her shoulders and opens her hands out in front of her ??‍♀️. hehe.

She mainly loves to tag along with Alexander. I think these two are really close buds. Wherever Alexander is, Angelina is pretty close behind. She’ll even play cars with him.

Angelina’s two favorite places to be right now are at the playground and at the swimming pool! She loves bing in the water.

One thing she doesn’t like…The vacuum!!

Angelina seemingly understands a lot of what’s going on around her. If I’m in the living room, and I ask her to throw something away, she’ll grab the item and dash off into the kitchen to find the garbage.

Today we saw a bird at the park and I said,”give the bird a piece of your pop corn”.. And she DID!

When Angelina is hungry, she pulls me ” up” and points the direction with her finger all the way to the kitchen. Then she’ll try to open the fridge. Luckly she hasn’t mastered this skill yet but she will point to what she’d like to eat in the fridge and if I chose the wrong thing she says,” NO!!” ?  She definitely knows what she wants and I think that’s an excellent quality to have. Even if she is very bossy!!

As far as potty training goes I now understand parents that start the transition early. I bet I could get Angelina to start the first steps any day. When she has a dirty diaper I ask, ” do you have a poo poo?!” She nods. Then I follow her all the way to the changing table!!

I can’t believe it’s been almost 20 months now since we welcomed this sweet little girl into our hearts (read about Angelina at the hospital the day she was born here). It feels like we just celebrated Angelina’s first birthday  yesterday.

Thank you so much to Bohobee Design for these stunning custom made dresses for the girls. If you are looking for special dresses for your little one or a little girl that you love I cannot stress enough how much we love these pieces. They also make wonderful “Mommy and me” dresses if you want to match. Great for weddings, birthday parties and summer!

Hope you have a wonderful day,

XO,

Stephany

 

Happy 7th Birthday Annabelle

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany Bowman and Family celebrating Annabelle Bowman's 7th birthday!

Stephany’s Choice: White dress | Shoes similar here

Michael’s Choice: Shirt | Pants | Shoes | Belt

Annabelle’s Choice: Similar outfit here | Shoes Similar here

Alexander’s Choice: Shirt | Shorts | Shoes Similar here

Angelina’s Choice: Similar dress here

Happy SEVENTH birthday to our sweet girl Annabelle Leigh Bowman!!

Born on a beautiful sunny day  in London, England!!

On this special day I can’t help but reflect on the moment you were brought into the world.

We knew that you were coming on May 25th, because we had scheduled a C-section for that morning. 

Why a C-section?

2 weeks before you were born we had a standard routine ultrasound to make sure everything was ok, and they discovered that you were Breech ( a position where the baby’s head is not pointing in the downward position). According to our Doctor, there is a universal agreement that 100% of breech baby cases should be delivered via C-section. If you pull the baby out by the legs the baby’s head could get stuck, lose oxygen and suffer trauma to the brain.

How did I feel about this?

Bad. I was desperately hoping for as natural of a birthing processes as possible.

Good. Because I could organize myself to anticipate that date and time and not worry about being on my own + unprepared for the unpredictability of a natural birth.

Fast forward to the big day:

I wore a bright yellow shirt, my mom, Michael and I WALKED a mile to the hospital. We were so excited. It was a beautiful and sunny Spring day in London. The city was just waking up and was sparkling.

( 3 days later I would walk the same route home a mother + my brand new baby!!) 

Laying out on the operating table was very unnerving. I was anxious and worried. A lot of tugging and pulling later… and THERE SHE WAS!! They dropped the curtain and this wide-eyed, teeny tiny little body, with steel-sharpe blue eyes- was scanning the room!! Oh my goodness. I burst right into tears, I was so emotional. There she was this wonderful little thing. In my arms. 

She never left my side, as they wheeled us into our room. I stayed up all night. The nurses came in and told me- “you should get some sleep”, and “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Who could sleep?! I just looked at her, and hoped that she would wake up ?

I didn’t leave my bed for days, until finally the nurses convinced me to wheel Annabelle into the nursery for a bath. They were playing the Spice Girls in the room! All the other little babies were there and I was so surprised to see how tiny Annabelle was compared to them. 

I struggled with nursing in the beginning and I had no idea what I was doing. I felt a lot of pressure because she seemed so little, and I didn’t feel like she could afford to lose any more weight. My breasts became engorged and I went from discomfort to pain and stress. Luckily it was time to go home, which allowed me to take some time to figure out a rhythm and find my stride. 

Nursing was my number one stressor when I had Annabelle. I had no idea what to do. Very few of my friends at the time had babies themselves and I didn’t know any that were nursing. 

My mom really encouraged me to continue and I ended up breastfeeding exclusively for 6 moths. I am very proud of myself to this day, because this was one of the most difficult times of my life as a mother. Read Alexander’s birth story here!

Today, I have my now Second Grade princess!! I love and adore her fun and smart sprit.

So…Happy 7th Birthday to our creative, crafty, card shark, princess!!

Belle, Bella, Belly Bee, Anniebelle, Belli, AB, Annabelli, Bananabelle, Annabelle Bowman!!

Lover of all things glitter, sparkle, pink, unicorn, fancy, curly, medical, sinister, fluffy, sugary, sweet, cheeky, cozy, and girly!!

Keeping up with you has been an adventure, I can’t wait to see what magic you continue to create!

Thank you for giving me the best gift ever, being your mom!

I love you so much + your huge sparkly green eyes, and single toothy grin ?

Read Angelina’s Birth story here + hospital stay here!

XO,

Stephany

Spring is in the air!

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a white polka-dot ZARA smocked dress, Gold CONVERSE shoes, and baby carrier from LILLE . Angelina Bowman wearing OLLIE AND MAE

Annabelle Bowman wearing a long sleeve shirt from Ollie & Mae

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

Alexander and Angelina Bowman wearing Ollie and Mae

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a white polka-dot ZARA smocked dress, Gold CONVERSE shoes, and baby carrier from LILLE . Angelina Bowman wearing OLLIE AND MAE

Annabelle Bowman wearing a long sleeve shirt from Ollie & Mae

Alexander Bowman wearing a swim suit from Oliie & Mae

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

Alexander, Annabelle, and Angelina wearing Ollie and Mae

Alexander Bowman wearing a swim suit from Oliie & Mae

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

Annabelle Bowman wearing a long sleeve shirt from Ollie & Mae

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a white polka-dot ZARA smocked dress, Gold CONVERSE shoes, and baby carrier from LILLE . Angelina Bowman wearing OLLIE AND MAE

Alexander Bowman wearing a swim suit from Oliie & Mae

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

Stephany Bowman wearing a white polka dot, short smocked dress from ZARA. Gold sneakers from CONVERSE, and Black cat eye sunglasses from HENRI BENDEL. Annabelle, Alexander and Angelina Bomwan wearing outfits from Children's Boutique OLLIE AND MAE

I frequently get asked questions about what my favorite baby products and accessories of all time are.

It’s true that there are products today that I would tell my younger self to invest in, and other products that I would advise against. 

One product I always loved but never had, was a sophisticated baby carrier. They always seemed a little bit more pricey than the other standard baby carriers, so I settled. Now that I’ve tried the LÍLLÉ baby carrier I wish that I hadn’t waited so long. 

It’s light, cute, and easy to strap on. Putting it on feels the same as putting on a backpack. The cool thing about this product (and I’m a sucker for this) is that it is multifunctional! You can carry your baby in the front OR on your back! 

This is the first time that I have carried a child on my back, and I loved it.

It kept my hands free, and the load was easier for my strong back to carry than pulling down on the front of my chest. 

Angelina was very comfortable back there. It was like a piggy back ride only she was much more secure. 

There were even a few moments were I sort of forgot that she was back there! 

This product is definitely a Stephany’s Choice must have item. It would also make such a cute baby gift! It comes in different colors and can hold a child that weighs up to 60 lbs!! Wow!! Talk about a great investment piece!

Thank you so much to our favorite children’s store OLLIE & MAVE boutique for these gorgeous outfits!! We love soft high quality kid’s clothes and these are super stylish and adorable! I mean, did you see Alexander’s swimming trunks?!! It’s almost impossible to find cute boys clothes like this! 

How happy is Annabelle, reading her very own Cover of Dallas Child Magazine?!! Thank you so much to the whole entire team for making us feel so welcome! This was definitely an opportunity of a life time. 

I also want to give a shout out to the MS Dallas team for this gorgeous poster of Annabelle’s cover!! It is beautiful and we love it so much! The team there feels like family, and product and service is incredible.

Thank you so much for reading along! Hope you are having a fantastic week

XO

 Stephany

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ZARA  //  Shoes:  CONVERSE  //  Sunglasses:  HENRI BENDEL  //  Baby Carrier:  LILLÉ baby 

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: OLLIE & MAVE  // Tights: OLLIE & MAVE similar here // Boots: SIMILAR HERE

Alexander’s Choice: Swim suit : OLLIE & MAVE 

Angelina’s Choice: Top: OLLIE & MAVE  // Shorts: SIMILAR HERE  //  Socks: OLLIE & MAVE  //  Shoes:  FRESHLY PICKED

 

Weaning Angelina, with Twistshake

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice is wearing pink dress from Anthropologie , heels from Steve Madden. Angelina BOWMAN is wearing Pajamas from Baby Gap, and a pink headband from CLAIRE'S. Baby bottle is from Twistshake

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice is wearing a pink dress from Anthropologie and cream caged heels from Steve Madden at Nordstrom

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice is wearing pink dress from Anthropologie , heels from Steve Madden. Angelina BOWMAN is wearing Pajamas from Baby Gap, and a pink headband from CLAIRE'S. Baby bottle is from Twistshake

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice is wearing pink dress from Anthropologie , heels from Steve Madden. Angelina BOWMAN is wearing Pajamas from Baby Gap, and a pink headband from CLAIRE'S. Baby bottle is from Twistshake

Weaning Angelina was something I had been dreading for probably 2 months before I actually pulled it off.

As a breastfeeding mother you are so focused on making sure that you have a consistent milk supply and that your baby is well fed you don’t really put as much thought into weaning your child.

At least I never did.

I fell in love with my baby on my breast. We would cuddle up so close and snuggle. I could smell her skin, look into her eyes, fold her cruncky legs into the creases of my arms and waist.

Sadly, all good things come to an end.

I tried to give Angelina a bottle of milk when she was around 13 months or so but she spat it out and made no effort to pick it up again.

Why would she? Plastic bottle, cold milk? Her whole life was cozy with mom, a soft touch, and warm sweet milk.

I delayed weaning a few more weeks then months. Finally, I started cutting out one feed a month. So for a month I didn’t nurse her between 9 am and 9pm. She could eat food, or I would try giving her the bottle.

Next, I would cut out the 10pm, 1 am feed. One after the next.

Eventually, she wouldn’t wake up at 10pm for a feed. Then she wouldn’t wake up till 3pm. It was starting to work. I was cutting back one feed at a time, very very slowly.

The only feeds that were left were the “pre-bedtime” feed and then the “3am” and “6am” feeds.

Every few weeks I would cut one feed out. 

The final feeds left were the “pre-bedtime” and the “3am” feeds. 

Finally, I got her to kind of take a bottle at bedtime, eventually she would sleep trough the night.

One morning she went out for Sunday breakfast with Michael and the kids. I woke up to an empty house. No baby to nurse. 

She didn’t need me anymore. She was a big girl out to brekkie with the gang. I had a choice at that momemnt. I could feel sad and miss my sweet baby. Or I could take a shower , toss that nursing bra, and put on a non-button down blouse for the first time in a year and a half!!

So I did!!

A huge thank you to TwistShake bottles for helping me transition Angelina ! This was the only bottle she would come near. It comes in several gorgeous colors, easy to clean and has won multiple awards like baby product of the YEAR!! Wow!! Use coupon code: stephanykhayat20 and receive 20%  your entire purchase !!

Did you struggle with weaning your baby? would love to hear your thoughts below 

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ANTHROPOLOGIE  //  Shoes: Steve Madden 

Angelina’s Choice: Pajamas: GAP

Our 11th Valentine’s Day!

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Angelina Bowman wearing a red long sleeve tutu dress from BABY GAP, Red heart shoes from Vivienne Westwood for Melissa and headband from ETSY

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Angelina Bowman wearing a red long sleeve tutu dress from BABY GAP, Red heart shoes from Vivienne Westwood for Melissa and headband from ETSY

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany Bowman editor of Stephany's Choice wearing a hot pink bell sleeve dress from ZARA, gold heels from TOPSHOP, gold chunky pink from Chanel. Angelina Bowman wearing BABY GAP long sleeve red tutu, white tights and Red rubber Vivienne Westwood shoes for Mellissa with hearts. Michael Bowman wearing a black suit, pink shirt from EDEN PARK.

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ZARA // Shoes: SIMILAR HERE 

Micheal’s Choice: Suit: SIMILAR HERE // Shirt: SIMILAR HERE // Shoes: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: GAP // Tights: GAP // Shoes: SIMILAR HERE // Sunglasses: SIMILAR HERE

Happy love day everyone!

This is the 11th time Michael and I have spent Valentine’s Day together!

The first three years of dating before marriage were on and off. But I don’t recall a time where we were not dating during Valentine’s Day.

What I do remember is the first Valentine’s Day we ever celebrated. We had been dating only for a few months and I just started a new job at a market research company I worked for in down town Chicago

It was supposed to be a regular work day and then we had plans to meet for dinner that evening.

When I stepped away from my desk for a meeting at the office I had no idea that there would be this ENORMOUS box sitting on my chair !!! I think I turned all shades of orange and red when I first saw it. The whole office was waiting to see what was in the box… when I realized that it was my boss who signed off on the delivery, I felt so embarrassed and shy about the whole thing I actually stuffed the box under my desk and hid it with my coat!! haha.

Soooo ridiculous I know!! People where whispering like “where did that box go?” ” who was it for?” “what was in that delivery?”

Anyway, when everyone finally went home and the coast was clear I pulled out the box and inside was a beautiful huge bouquet of bubble gum pink tulips.

It was really romantic and thoughtful because they were cute pink tulips and not ugly blood red roses. Of course red roses are lovely too but knowing me I’ve never bought red roses in my life so the pink tulips were personal and sweet. Also, till this day I’m sensitive and shy about certain things. Micheal never lets that get in the way from making me feel special and allowing me a space to feel safe and important.

Later that day he met me at the office after work and I came out with my huge vase of pink tulips. We went to a little Italian place where they had a band that played Lionel Richie classic love songs and I ordered pasta 🙂

It’s funny the things you tend to remember. haha. Not really critical details. I have no idea what we really discussed. We had a lovely evening and have shared every Valentine’s Day together ever since.

Valentine’s Day is becoming more about the kids now that they are getting older and starting to understand the value of Valentine’s Day treats. haha. 

I asked Annabelle if she had a secret admirer and was shocked that she immediately called out this one boy from her old Kindergarten class who used to tease everyone! She said he gave her a flower asked her to marry him on the playground. Haha.

Love is in the air!

Happy Love Day!! However you choose to celebrate it 

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography

 

 

Happy 4th Birthday Alexander!

Alexander Bowman, wearing a Pottery Barn kids knights costume, and balloons and sword from PARTY CITY

Alexander Bowman, wearing a Pottery Barn kids knights costume, and balloons and sword from PARTY CITY

Alexander Bowman, wearing a Pottery Barn kids knights costume, and balloons and sword from PARTY CITY

Alexander Bowman, wearing a Pottery Barn kids knights costume, and balloons and sword from PARTY CITY

Alexander Bowman, wearing a Pottery Barn kids knights costume, and balloons and sword from PARTY CITY

 

The Birthday Boy: Knight costume: SIMILAR HERE

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: SIMILAR HERE // Shoes: ALDO

Michael’s Choice: Suit: SIMILAR HERE // Shirt: SIMILAR HERE// Shoes: SIMILAR HERE // Tie: SIMILAR HERE

Annabelle’s Choice: Dress: DISNEY // Bow: LIBBY LOU BOWTIQUE // Coat : SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: SIMILAR HERE// Coat: SIMILAR HERE 

Happy 4th birthday to our darling sweet boy Alexander London Bowman.

We love you so much. You are beautiful inside and out. To know you is to love you. You have such a kind and generous sprit. I learn from your optimistic character everyday! You always say things like, ” well that was silly” and laugh things off when they don’t go your way. You celebrate the littlest milestones and victories-like finding a parking spot,” We love this spot right Mom?!” Or close calls,” that was lucky right?!”  😉

Today is your birthday and I’m thinking of the day you were born in London, England 4 years ago.

Your daddy and I left Annabelle at home with Grandma and took a London taxi to the hospital first thing in the morning. I had my hospital bag packed. I had just taken a shower and my hair was still wet.

It was a foggy and misty London day in January. The streets were quiet and the cab ride took less than 5 mins. We were so excited to meet you that we arrived to the waiting room early. Your lovely Doctor came over and introduced herself. It was the first time we met her. The whole surgery team was all women and they made us feel warm and comfortable. I was so excited and ready to meet you.

We were relaxed and happy.

I waited patiently on the surgery table. A little tug and a pull, then the first sign,”his head is larger than I thought” 🙂 Next thing you know this beautiful little red boy is waived across my body, and starts sailing around the room. Hardly any crying at all.

When they placed you in my arms I burst into tears. When we looked into each others eyes the world stopped. You were soft, you were sweet. We had already met. We had known each other for a long long time. Of course we shared the some body for almost a year. It was more than that.  We just looked at each other and there was such a calmness. It was love at first sight.

The nurses wheeled us into my room, with you in my arms. Daddy went to get Grandma and Annabelle. We worked on nursing and cuddling. You latched like a pro, haha. The nurse said,”he is very good at breastfeeding”. I was so proud of you already. You were tiny and sweet. A perfect weight and steadily growing. We spent the first two days at the hospital nursing and sleeping on repeat.

The first time we left our room was to visit the pediatricians office. I wheeled you over there in your little crib cart. You were all wrapped up in your swaddle like a burrito. Cozy,comfy and secure. The nurses loved you and helped me change your little nappy.

On the third and last day Daddy took Annabelle home and Grandma stayed with me while I signed all the check out papers. A nurse walked us down to the lobby. We put on your violet leopard print fleece onesie with a hoodie and hailed a London cab! “To Marlybone please, Sir!”

No wonder you love Taxis so much, haha.

Never forget that I will love you forever. You make me so proud, the world is better because you are here. I love being your mom.

Happy Birthday Alexander the Great.

Photography: The RetroPenguin

Winter basics, with Fawn Design

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

 

 

Stephany’s Choice: Coat : Similar here \\ hat: Similar here \\ Boots: Similar here\\ Bag: FAWN DESIGN

Angelina’s Choice: Sweater: Similar here \\ Shoes: TARGET \\ Pajamas: Similar here

These Winter basics are on total repeat over here, and I’ve just added this non-momsy diaper bag to the top of my list. I’ve seen it around on other moms but never knew if it was a backpack, messenger bag,or briefcase. 

Now that I’ve had mine for almost a week I have not taken it off. Really. I’ve moved in, and cannot see myself moving out. I haven’t used it for diapers-per say but it’s really been practical for everything else.

My favorite attributes are:

pockets –lots, both inside and out.

+

Two easy ways to wear it- backpack and messenger bag. I constantly go back and forth all day between the two. When I’m in a hurry I throw the messenger strap over my shoulder and run out the door. When I have a second and I need too hands, and no immediate need for wallet/ i phone access I put both stripes on for the backpack. 

Zippers are chunky and gold (LOVE!) + easy to slide open and closed (yay)

Bag is not precious and already has popcorn inside and is holding up beautifully. 

I love carrying it around, it looks expensive and modern. Not like a baby bag at all. By the way, the packaging was flawless, very high quality… this would be a lovely gift for a friend, sister, anyone you know that has kids or a baby on the way. 

It comes in 3 or four colors, all pretty. I’m very happy with my light grey one– although there is a blush option that JUST came on the market, what I may have considered if it were available at the time. 

Other basics on repeat include my cream knit hat that I bought in London years ago, shop a similar cashmere version here

My trusted ZARA boots, that match everything, and will go into Spring perfectly are sadly sold out but I like these just the same– they feel so Mod and there’s something really cool about that! 

Sweet Angelina is wearing the same Little White Company cashmere sweater that I bought for Annabelle when we lived in London. Alexander wore it when we were in Toronto and now it’s Angelina’s turn. I love a good heirloom piece. Angelina hasn’t worn it as much as the others because, to tell you the truth we’ve only had to dig out these Winter layers a tiny handful of times this year! 

Thank you to the FAWN DESIGN family for my gorgeous bag, I only feature things that I love, and this is right at the top of my list 

Photography: The Retro penguin 

Merry + Bright, ColoredOrganics

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing matching lougewear sets from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics and Pink Bow from Libby Lou Boutique on ETSY

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing matching lougewear sets from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics and Pink Bow from Libby Lou Boutique on ETSY

Annabelle’s Choice: Loungewear set: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Bow: LIBBY LOU BOWTIQUE

Alexander’s Choice: Loungewear set: COLORED ORGANICS

And just like that Christmas is over. Typically I would be having Christmas withdrawals but this time I think I’m ready to celebrate the new year.

Now that Annabelle and Alexander are getting older it’s a lot more pressure to try to find them gifts that they will love. More importantly we try to keep things fair for the two of them.

Alexander got a big, huge, police car (his dream come true). All he wanted this year was a police car with,”lots of buttons, two seats, a siren, and it can go forward and backward”.. Annabelle is super into dolls this year and just wanted an American Girl doll. We ordered one that looked like her with blonde hair and green eyes which she promptly named, “Antoinette”.

I was freaking out on Christmas eve because Michael and my dad assembled the police car and it was totally massive. It took up my whole kitchen floor. When I looked over at the doll it seemed so small in comparison. So, we started to wrap tons of other gifts for Annabelle to try to make up for her “smaller” sized pile.

Two years ago we bought Alexander the perfect gift, one of those non battery operated cars and he loved it. I don’t think he even knew what else was under the tree. He spent the whole day jumping in and out of his car.We expected the same thing this year. All he would want to do was get in and get out.

To our surprise, all he wanted to do was unwrap gifts. In the end we put him in charge of unwrapping gifts for everyone. He opened all of Angelina’s 2 presents (haha) and all of mine. I’m not sure he was all that worried about what was in them. I think the thrill and surprise factor was what was he enjoyed.

Annabelle loved everything she got. She seemed really happy. All random and small gifts went into the stockings. DVDs, coloring books, fresh socks, some sweets, etc… It was a first for stockings and a huge hit.

The best part of the whole day was when my Grandparents arrived at noon for lunch. It made our day complete. The kids were so excited to show them what Santa got them.

My mom brought the kids metallic sneakers that lit up into flashing colored lights. Annabelle and Alexander put on a dance performance with their neon shoes. Watching them move so freely and so happily made eveything worth it.It wasn’t what they recieved or how much they received that made their day special. It was the feeling that they were heard, they were important, and that Santa thought they were very “good” this year. It was having their Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Uncles, Mom and Dad with them all morning and afternoon. We admired them, listened to them and cheered on their performances. 

In the end, cliche or not, it was these moments, that made our day special. They are the most important things in the world and they are my gift, everyday of the year. 

Thank you so much to Colored Organics for these super soft and cozy matching loungewear sets. Use the discount code: STEPHANY25 and receive 25% off your purchase!! 

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours.

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Winter Days, ColoredOrganics

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics Vest and shirt

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics vest and shirt. Stephany Bowman in a lace Nordstrom dress and Angelina Bowman GAP

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman in a hair bow from Claire's accessories and outfit from Gap baby

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

 

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: NORDSTROM \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE 

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Skirt: COLORED ORGANICS 

Alexander’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Vest: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Pants: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: BABY GAP \\ Tights: BABY GAP \\ Shoes: BABY GAP

Just a couple more days till Christmas and I’m starting to panic slightly because 90% of my gifts this year were purchased online. Only a handful of those items have arrived. I guess I had a late start ordering my gifts. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was even sure about who the final guest list would include.

The reason the gifts are taking so long is because each one is custom made. When ever I order something that is personalized like this it takes me forever to create it. I chose every single detail and want it to be just perfect. 

There have been so many wonderful memories and moments shared that I wanted to bring my favorites to light. One gift that I have ready and under the tree (thankfully) is a huge piece of fabric that I ordered for my mom with a photograph of a beautiful building in San Remo that my father took. 

She is very crafty and I can’t wait to see what she does with the fabric. If she loves it I will go ahead and order more items with the same image. Hope she loves it!

I ordered Michael a large picture of Angelina for his office because he doesn’t have a picture of her there yet(third child problems). He only has one of Annabelle and Alexander. Angelina just turned one, so I think he will be appreciative to have the missing image!

For my Grandparent’s I ordered them each a personalized coffee mug with their names and a picture of a red bird on them. They love to have a cup of coffee in the morning and my Grandfather is an expert bird watcher so I hope they feel like I put a lot of thought into their gifts.

My only regret this year is that I wasn’t able to personalize the Christmas stockings in time for the holidays so we may have to skip out on that tradition this year. 

All I want for Christmas is a cozy morning in my pajamas with Christmas music playing in the background. A huge cup of boiling hot chocolate and all of my gifts wrapped under the tree. I want to make sure the kids are totally surprised and excited about the presents. I’m a little worried that Annabelle’s gift isn’t as “big” as Alexander’s and that she will be upset about this. There has been so much pressure mounting for Christmas. Every time they want something from target or a new toy my excuse has always been,” you have to wait for Santa”.haha. If they have been acting naughty I say,” Santa’s watching!” This is probably not your best parenting technique but until I find something more effective I’m going with it! -at least for two more days…

Thank you so much Colored Organics for the softest outfits!! 

Thank you for reading along, what are you excited to give under the tree this year?! 

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Barefoot + Breastfed, ColoredOrganics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ZARA ( sold out- similar here) \\ Cape: ZARA \\ Socks: FREE PEOPLE (sold out-Similar here) \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE \\ Hat: TARGET

Angelina’s Choice: Onesie: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Beanie: COLORED ORGANICS 

I can’t believe we are less than two weeks away from Christmas?! I don’t think I’m even half way through my shopping list and I feel like I’m really being stretched pretty thin right now. This week Michael was traveling for work and I was home alone with all the kiddies. Let me add, I was battling a cold and home alone with all three kiddies!

Yikes. I guess all those holiday parities really caught up with me. Buzzing around all day and all night is something that I cannot continuously pull off.

Not to forget that I still haven’t had one uninterrupted night of sleep in almost two years. Yes, that is my way of implying that the reason I look so tiered, am so forgetful, continuously overwhelmed and frazzled is because I am up all night breastfeeding.

Every time I am pregnant I set “realistic” nursing goals for myself. When pregnant with Annabelle, for example, I wanted to make sure I breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months. I managed to achieve this target with a lot of struggle and a ton of hit and miss guesses.

With Alexander, I set a lower goal for myself because I remembered how difficult breastfeeding was with Annabelle and so I thought that breastfeeding a second baby with a toddler was going to be virtually impossible.

Instead, the opposite happened! It was all smooth sailing (pretty much) . I had learned so much from breastfeeding Annabelle that breastfeeding Alexander was less painful and I was way more experienced. I knew what I was doing this time. I was also a lot more confidant, and less shy about breastfeeding. I actually really enjoyed the bonding and loved being so close to my baby. So I surprised myself and breastfed him for almost a year.

I stopped only because Michael and I were going on an anniversary trip to The Bahamas and so I had to have Alexander weaned before we left him with my sister-in-law.

When I came back from holidays I missed nursing him and knew that if I had the opportunity again, I wouldn’t rush it along.

Well here we are, a few years later, and you can certainly say that I kept true to my promise.

Angelina will be 14 months old on January 1st and we are still breastfeeding. I have tried to introduce the bottle to her but she hasn’t taken to it. When Michael gives her the bottle he has better luck. I wonder if it’s because she knows that that might be the best she’s going to get from him. haha. 

She still wakes up in the night for a feed-or several. I’m torn between enjoying it and dreading it. One on side I dread it, for obvious sleep deprived reasons. On the other side, it’s the sweetest most cozy spot in the world.

Tummy to tummy. Her little feet still fit in my hand.  I stroke her peach fuzz, soft, little head. Hold her little warm body close to mine. She’s like my very own hot water bottle. My little doll. 

Last night we moved her crib out of our room (deep breath). I think this is the next big step. Our big move. Let’s see how the week goes. Maybe 2017 will be the year of sleep? 

Thank you Colored Organics for this super soft onesie and hat. Use the code: STEPHANY25 and receive 25% off your purchase!!

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography