Colton is 6 weeks old today! Here he is all bundled up after bath time. That face though!! He is growing so fast :(, I’m already missing these newborn days and they’re not even over yet. They’re just rapidly escaping me. A part of me wants him to stay this little forever; just little enough to hold him in my arms.

bath time g

In these past few days, I’ve noticed he has began to recognize who I am; that I am mom and mom is comfort and safety. He has started to ease up on the fuss during witching hours and those hours have gotten significantly shorter, and dare I say it: sometimes barely exists. He has been so sweet and so good and is just the best.

He is now weighing 10 lbs. 14 oz., still in the 50th percentile, and no longer fits into a bunch of his onesies. I’m trying to squeeze him into them to get 1 or 2 more wears, ha!

Last night while half asleep, I caught him roll from his back to his side. It took a second to sink in my sleepy, groggy head, and when it did, I was stunned. He went on to show off his fancy new trick while at the doctor’s today. Doctor says “oh my God, it’s too early.” I’ll take it! The little guy doesn’t waste any time (except for when he was late entering the world).

Breastfeeding has finally stabilized (I think)! No more surprises and it has been all around wonderful. I actually find it extremely rewarding. It sounds so simple because it’s something so natural but it’s hard work to get that milk supply up and running smoothly and when you get there, it’s plain awesome. You reap what you sow indeed!

He is getting his first set of vaccines in a couple of weeks and I’m quite excited to have them done only because I can start to feel more comfortable taking him to public places like the mall to go for little strolls. Can’t wait :).

Before I sign off, here are a few new prints!

This lovely Icelandic house on a hill…

iceland photography, icelandic house

This old shipwreck along the Pacific Coast… a little eerie with a whole lot of beauty… there is such a thing!

point reyes shipwreck

Dug through archives from 2010 and found this gem. An oldie but goodie.

04.04.18

Back again soon! Xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:06 pm

A few days past our 1 month anniversary with baby Colton but better late than never :).

It is now 4 weeks and 4 days. Time is eagerly flying and I am seeing him grow right before my eyes. Really holding on to these miniature days; he will never be this little again! Sure, some of the days can be tough, mostly because of sleep deprivation, but they’re so precious all at the same time, it’s utterly worth it. I’m a completely smitten mama.

1montholdwithtextv3

In his week 4 appointment, he was weighing 9 lbs. 10 oz., gaining almost a pound from the previous week. We were feeding him roughly 120ml or 4 oz. of breast milk per feed via bottle leading up to that appointment so our experiment went very well. The problem is that it was just so. much. work. It was chaotic to pump like a crazy lady and wash and sterilize bottles and pumping gear around the clock. Between that housekeeping work and the actual feeding and soothing, I was a slave. It wasn’t sustainable.

So now going into week 5, we’re reverting back as exclusively as possible to the breast while supplementing with a single (or 2) formula feeds overnight to make sure he is fed and full. We have also opted for a part time night nanny Mondays through Thursdays, therefore, breastfeeding overnight wouldn’t make much sense if the whole point is to sleep through the night a few times a week. This is so Chris can go to work a human being instead of a zombie and I can get some legitimate rest, and formula feeding bridged that gap perfectly. Do what works, right? :) Formula is our friend, not our enemy.

Other than cracking the breastfeeding code, he is all around a true bundle of joy. He is smiling a ton lately and as much as I’d like to think it’s conscious, it’s probably still only some form of a reflex at this point. But that doesn’t change that fact that those smiles are hopelessly endearing and heart melting.

1montholdcoltonsmileswithtext

He is also blowing a ton of spit bubbles, which I’ve read is a sign of early speech development. Sure, we’ll take it!

By the way, had we not gotten the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer at our baby shower, we would be in dire need of saving. It is the ultimate soother and our go-to almost every time he becomes inconsolable for whatever reason. It basically sings, bobs up and down, and vibrates and boy does it keep him at bay. Highly recommended. (In fact, I am blogging while bobbing him up and down on the bouncer at the same time. And he’s in heaven – what a win.)

That’ll be all for now, going to catch a snooze. xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 2:59 pm
March 26, 2018

3 new prints to share :). Love sifting through our thousands of photos in our archives. It’s funny how we relentlessly take so, so, so many pictures when we travel but we really only have time to tap into 1-2% of the pile at most. So it’s always worthwhile to go back and tap into a little bit more. There are so many hidden treasures, like the ones here.

This was taken while driving through Route 66. So barren yet so beautiful. I absolutely love open landscapes. I find them therapeutic.

route 66 photography

This was taken while driving around Napa Valley; we literally chased this hot air balloon like little fools in our rental car until we got a great view of it :P.

hot air balloon photography

This was taken in Iceland. Mama and her babe; love that little lamb. Everything little is just so endearing. Wish all little things could stay little, right?

sheep photography, lamb photography

More and more to come. xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:37 pm

It’s been while since I’ve shared another piece of the nursery so here it is, the bookcase area :)! If you haven’t caught the nursery series so far, you can take a peek here and here.

The styling of the bookcase has actually evolved a little bit more since this photo was taken but time is a scarcity these days so I wasn’t able to take a more updated photo. This will have to do!

I LOVE bookcases and this one was so much fun to dress up only because it was different from the rest of the bookcases we’ve decorated and filled up around the house. It’s the only one that can be styled for a baby and that occasion doesn’t come around every day!

nursery decor, baby room ideas, baby room decor

DECOR TIPS:

Just 3 that I want to quickly share (before baby wakes up ;)).

1. Less is more & mind the space: Don’t overload the bookcase with things. Think of it as a wonderful storage unit but one that has to look good since it’s out for the world to see. Be mindful of space between items to create clean lines – don’t overload and err on the side of ‘less is more’. I could stockpile a lot more books than what’s in the bookcase but that’d look terrible :P. And when filling up a bookcase, don’t limit yourself to just literally books! Always complement with pretty boxes, baskets, bins, which fill the space substantially but in a neat, non-cluttered, minimalistic way; they just so happen to also work great for extra storage.

2. Decide on a tone, mood, colour scheme: You would generally want to think about an overall tone for your bookcase. Soft? Vibrant? Dark? Girly? Boyish? In our case, I wanted a soft and calm, earthy-tone bookcase, mixing colours like whites, greys, baby blues, and pastel browns together. Having this in mind will guide your shopping list and how you put everything together from your accent items to your actual books.

3. Play with book layout: The traditional way to place books in a bookcase is in the vertical upright position. But to add appeal, place some of your books horizontally/flat and then stack them on top of each other. Be mindful of the books’ spines – try to put books together with spine designs/colours that go hand in hand with each other. Might I just add that Value Village has $1.00 pre-loved nursery books that are in fantastic condition??? We picked up a whole bunch and then sanitized them. Dollars very well spent!

That’ll be all for this bookcase. It’ll be a few more weeks before we take some of these books and start reading to our little guy. For now, I’ll enjoy its completely untouched state while it lasts :).


Cameron 4-Shelf Bookcase – Pottery Barn Kids
FuddleWuddle Elephant – Indigo Kids
FuddleWuddle Lamb – Indigo Kids
Bashful Honey Bear (exact bear no longer avail.)- Indigo Kids
Books – Value Village & Indigo Kids
Darice Paper Mache Round Box Set – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Blue Wooden Crate (exact crate no longer avail.) – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Globe Bookend – Homesense
White Smarassel Box – IKEA
White Toddler Chair – Homesense

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 7:51 pm

This handsome boy is 3 weeks old today! There’s never a dull moment. With each passing week, you think you have it roughly figured out but then it changes with the blink of an eye and you’re like wha?? Back to the drawing board. Way to keep us on our toes, little buddy!

Colton Hoodie 5

Breastfeeding was fantastic the first 2 weeks until this guy started to seriously fall asleep while feeding. And I’m talking total deep slumber knock-out where it’s nearly impossible to wake him up to re-latch and even if he did manage to re-latch, he’s out like a light again within minutes. Feeding became inefficient (and inefficiency = nightmare) and I started to worry about whether he was eating enough, especially because he only gained a wee little ounce this week (50th percentile though). So we’re experimenting a bit in week 4. We’re going to pump breast milk into bottles and then feed out of bottles so that we have visibility to the amount consumed in every feeding, at least until his weight gain stabilizes. That little bit of blindspot’s got me all twisted all of a sudden :P. Then it’s also probably easier for him to fall asleep while breastfeeding than bottle-feeding so I suspect that we should re-gain efficiency and feed more productively. That’s our hypothesis anyway. We’ll go from there since this is all trial and error. :)

Also, *clogged milk ducts* — what a pain in the butt! I was clueless about such a thing until it reared its ugly head in week 3. No one talks about these things, so they’re just fun little surprise lemons that you come across as you go about this journey (lol). Anyway, the basic cure? Heat compress and relentless massaging as the first line of defence. Annoying and an added task to an already very fat list but it looks to be a necessary evil, so we’ll welcome it with open arms. :P

I realize there’s an overload of baby talk nowadays but it’s probably how it’s going to be for the next while. New photography is still central to all of this though so there will be lots to come and that well shall never run dry. It’s just that this blog is quite literally a journal and has captured every stage of life since 2009 – wow, reflecting back now, it’s pretty incredible and a total trip to read old posts. It has been an outlet for many years and I can’t imagine being without it.

New print below inspired by a couple of my favourite Beatles songs: Blackbird and Free As A Bird :).

03.10.18

I did also want to celebrate a couple of things:
1. We reached 23,000+ followers on Instagram as of yesterday! Big hugs to you all. So exciting.
2. Year to date sales are up 56% over last year. I am SO grateful. There’s still nothing quite as thrilling as receiving a new order. The 1,200th order is just as exciting as the 1st order ever received. :)

Squeezing in a power nap! xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 2:57 pm

Day 17, almost 3 weeks postpartum and more in love every day with our little guy. There are so many tiny precious and fleeting moments, I wish I could capture them all but it’s pretty much impossible unless I had my DSLR on me 24/7. And while it’s nice to use our phone cameras for convenience, it kills me a little every time we mindlessly capture truly great moments with these devices. It’s just not the same! But better captured somewhere than not at all. And better to have lived that moment than not at all. :)

Here’s one from several days ago at 10 days old, laying in his pretty changing basket. Look at those sweet cheeks!

mamahood, baby boy, colton stefanazzi

And here’s another one, also from several days ago, where we caught his little sweet smile while sleeping. My heart is melting all the time. It has never been a favourite pastime of mine to watch someone sleep until this guy came along.

10daysold

And here’s another one with baby Colton sleeping on dad. He loves sleeping on dad because a) dad offers a much larger surface area and b) dad’s a furnace and nothing beats the warmth.

daddyandcoltonwithtext

This post would not be complete without a quick recollection of our passport photo experience. We went and got Colton’s passport photo taken a few days ago so we can get his passport going in time for Hawaii. Little did I know it would be such a stressful event for the babe. It took an hour to get a single photo taken and the poor guy was not impressed. The requirements for an infant passport photo is just off the charts and whoever wrote them must have never been around babies and certainly got a little carried away in the boardroom. I’m so glad that’s done :P.

Overall, the boy is sleeping very well, generally 3-4 hour stretches depending on the time of day. Counting our blessings yet again. He still has those witching hours, back to the 5pm-2am window, but I’m getting used to it and always finding new ways to soothe so all is dandy. Chris will be slowly easing back to work next week and then all hands back on deck the following week. The next challenge for me is going to be caring for our boy solo during the day and the late nights so that Chris gets his sleep and feels good for work the next day. We are considering a night nurse but the plan is to test out my capacity first before doing so. At most, we’ll bring in a night nurse twice a week so I can catch up on snooze time. :) Either way, we will figure it all out. Embracing every stage of this magical journey.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:39 pm
March 7, 2018

New print of Monument Valley in Navajo Tribal Park, Utah. Feels like the movies even when you’re there in the flesh. Those majestic rock formations are just incredible. I’m really, really itching to travel especially because we didn’t get to go anywhere in 2017. Hawaii is the closest thing in sight at the end of May and it can’t come soon enough.

monument valley art, monument valley photography

Someone once told me when you become a mama, you become a master multitasker and an efficiency queen. And that you do. You can never be too efficient especially with increasingly busy lives. I’m blogging and editing photos with baby in arms right now since he is relentlessly fighting sleep. I think you start off exclusively focused on a single given baby-related task at a time when everything is so brand new, but once you get into your groove, it starts to feel like multitasking becomes not only second nature but a must. You only have so many “free” hours in the day between feeding, soothing, pumping, changing diapers, napping, eating, and tidying up (clutter drives me bananas). So combining other activities with these main events is much needed, for me anyways, otherwise, there’s a good chance this super strict routine could drive me a little mad (while still strangely loving every second of it of course) :).

Quick note that I think Colton’s witching hours are changing from sometime between 5pm-2am to 11am-4pm over the last couple of days. He is just full of surprises! Adapting seems to be the name of the game. :P

Fun piece of news: the print below is one of my personal favourites and I’m so excited for its greeting card (birthday occasion) licensing opportunity coming up for the summer! We’ve just signed and sorted all paperwork as of yesterday. It’ll be our first foray into stationery, which we’ve wanted to explore for a while, so I’m super stoked about this. I’ll loop back with the actual greeting card once it’s ready!

Signing off for a bit! xo

carnival art print, flying swing art, carnival photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:19 pm
March 3, 2018

8 days postpartum with my little peaches and cream! My body is bouncing back and I’m starting to feel really good again!

I’ve been treated like royalty by my family since giving birth. In Chinese culture, there’s something called the postnatal confinement, which is a custom practised to help mothers recover from birth, typically for about 30-45 days. The confinement (or mine anyway – they’re all a little bit different) consists mostly of a very special diet that is intended to restore strength to the body. There are a few other (questionable) components like refraining from going outside, washing your hair – things that are harder for me to buy into and are pretty much impossible to explain without sounding crazy.

I have no idea if any of it works but all the women on my side of the family swear by this ancient tradition. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, so I complied. But let me tell you, I do feel strong and energized. Sooner than I expected. In fact, I expected to be a total disaster for a few weeks and it has been a pleasant surprise to feel quite the opposite. Recovery was toughest for the first 4 days with days 2-4 being the worst. My body literally felt broken – everything ached like hell. But by day 8, I was feeling a solid 8/10. Delicious and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners are made for me every single day, which takes a massive load off while tending to a newborn. Why wouldn’t I do this? :)

post partum photo

In terms of the little guy, he is wonderful and such a treat for most of the day and then he has his witching hours like most newborns sometime between 5pm and 2am, where he would cry and be fussy for 2-4 hours at a time. But I know this phase will come and go with the blink of an eye so I am embracing all of it completely. He is just so cute and little and helpless, it’s so hard to get frustrated even if you’re exhausted and just want to catch some shuteye. What’s great is that after he gets over the witching hours, he does sleep for a long stretch because he tires himself out :P. So that ends up being a reward for us.

It has also been so nice to have Chris at home with me. It has been a game changer to share all the responsibilities and to strengthen our partnership in this new chapter. It has also allowed us to have time to ourselves. It’s going to be another adjustment when he goes back to work :( and I will certainly miss him at home!!

Breastfeeding has taken off without a hitch. I was expecting it to be hard and painful and frustrating, much like what I’ve read all over the internet when I was gearing up for postpartum. Turns out I got lucky and it was relatively effortless for me to get into it. I am so, so, so grateful. I’ve also opted to pump so that hubby can not only help with feeding but bond with the little guy.

Here’s hubs and his baby boy. Looks more like his child than mine (lol). Truly peaches and cream, these two. Love you both to pieces.

8 Days Post Partum w Text Daddy

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 11:00 am
March 2, 2018

Here’s a new print: Los Angeles cityscape with its beautiful skyline in the background, faded by the good ol’ LA smog! Love LA but love Toronto more. :) Baby Colton is sleeping well today, so hubby and I have managed to squeeze in some TV time, yay! Been watching Shameless – took a while to get into it but now I’m hooked.

los angeles photography, LA photography, LA skyline, Los Angeles skyline, city of angels

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:51 pm
February 27, 2018

Our gift from God, Colton Charles Stefanazzi was born on Feb. 23, 2018, at 4:37am. He is 8 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long, and slightly overcooked at 41 weeks! He is already too long for my arms and will be taller than me next month (lol). He is perfect in every single way.

Our hearts are exploding uncontrollably with happiness. We are laughing, we are crying, we are dreaming up the future, we are worrying, we are excited, we are scared, and most of all, we love him so much, it hurts. It has been the most incredible journey and we are so grateful to be entering this beautiful next chapter of life.

Oh and did I mention that there is nothing sexier than seeing your already remarkable husband transitioning to an amazing father?????? Oh my.

Colton at 3 days old:
Colton With Text v3

Now for the very special story and miracle behind Colton’s birth. The little guy actually entered the world with a bit of a bang. When he was born, his lungs weren’t firing at a hundred precent because he had mucus stuck in his throat. My water had spontaneously broken on Thursday, Feb. 22nd at 3:00AM and I delivered on Friday, Feb. 23rd at 4:37AM. Somewhere in that time, he had swallowed the mucus plug. And while this had no effect on him in the utero, it was a problem when entering the real world where he needed to breathe through his lungs. The mucus was blocking his airways and his lungs could not fully fire.

I don’t recall a more terrifying moment in my life. “Code Pink” was announced, which in this hospital meant Infant Cardiac Arrest. Within a matter of seconds, there were about 25 nurses, doctors, specialists in our delivery room all simultaneously working on him. I was exhausted from the delivery as I had been pushing for 1.5 hours and was pretty much in delirium at that point. Chris and I held each other’s hands tight, waiting… waiting… and waiting, not knowing what was going on or what was going to happen. It was truly terrifying and I prayed and prayed and prayed, knowing deep in my heart that my God has never and would never fail me.

After a few minutes, which really felt like an eternity at the time, we heard Colton’s first beautiful cry – the sound that instantly lightened my very heavy heart. This meant that his airways had started to clear and he was now starting to breathe properly.

The next 72 hours were spent in the Special Care Nursery for lots of tests and monitoring to make sure he wasn’t hurt in any way by this event. The little fighter passed every test with flying colours, rebounded like nothing happened, and was thriving. Not only that, the Special Care Nursery was the biggest blessing in disguise. It was like we were in a free baby care training class for 3 full days. We had INCREDIBLE nurses and resources at our fingertips for questions, tips, tricks and live everyday support on how to care for a newborn. By the time we came home from the hospital, which was Monday, Feb. 26th, we had ALL of our ducks in a row. It was the most seamless, effortless transition that would not have been the case had we been sent home the next day with a standard delivery. We had a solid routine locked and loaded and knew about everything we previously did not know. It was a very special 72 hours and we are counting our blessings.

What a ride is has been and it has only been 5 little days. I cannot wait for our journey with this very precious gift. He has my whole heart and then some. I know it’s not all going to be rosey. I know there will be really hard days. I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life worrying about every little thing. But this is motherhood and there is no greater privilege.

May the Lord be with you always, my little one.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 3:53 pm