Well Rounded in PDX: Lauren Hartmann

The Little Things We Do blogger gives us a glimpse into pregnancy in Portland for the second time around.

Well Rounded in PDX: Lauren Hartmann

When New Yorkers hear “Portland,” we immediately see the faces of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in scenes of Portlandia flashing before our eyes. And while Portland is definitely as progressive as they come, that doesn’t mean you’ll only see Birkenstocks and ripped jeans around town… although that’s, like, a thing now, so maybe you will. As Brooklynites we’re used to being mocked about our CSA’s, artisan culture and progressive parenting techniques, but Portland puts us to shame. And truth be told, we’re a little jealous. So when we found out Portland-based blogger Lauren Hartmann of The Little Things We Do -- also a regular Babble and Disney Baby contributor -- was pregnant for the second time around (a boy!), we had to get all the details. Especially since everyone of her Bump Enviable instagram updates had us wondering where this freelance stylist got that, and that, and that. Here’s how she stays Well Rounded in Portland. What’s your maternity style been like this time around? With my first pregnancy, I wore a lot of dresses. I was working outside of the home, so I had an excuse to get a little more dressed up, and I definitely wore heels more often. This time around, I'm all about subtle touches of style, while dressing for comfort. I'm chasing around a toddler now, and dresses and heels feel a little silly when you're spending the day at home. So I live in jeans, simple t-shirts and tanks and cardigans with accessories added here and there to give the look some visual interest. What are some of your favorite belly-friendly brands? Honestly, I love me some Target. Target is probably one of my favorite places to shop now that I'm a mom because I'm shopping with a toddler now and they have carts. God bless shopping carts! I also love H&M -- both their regular and maternity styles can be great during pregnancy. They have great basics and their long cami tanks are a lifesaver. The brand I ogle from afar is Hatch. Their pieces are beautiful, and I love that they can be worn through all stages of pregnancy and even afterward. I've yet to take the plunge on any of their pieces though. In general, I'm not huge on "maternity" fashions. I hate all the side ruching and cutesy patterns and heinous cuts. I mean...does anyone actually like/look good in empire waist anything? How is being pregnant in Portland unique? We're really into all things natural here. Home birth, placenta encapsulation and the like are definitely not uncommon. I am planning a home birth (my daughter was born at an out-of-hospital birthing center, drug-free, water birth) and I have had my placenta encapsulated. It's not all hippie here though, I swear! I think Portland has a good balance of earthy and urban. How has this pregnancy treated you? Couldn't be better. I’ve had really straightforward and easy pregnancies. I know that's probably super annoying to read, because I know some moms get so sick and uncomfortable, but I'm definitely lucky. The only thing hard about pregnancy for me is that I get big. I'm totally not one of those tiny, basketball-belly types of women...though I truly wish that I was. I get pregnant all over. How have you been prepping for your baby’s arrival? Honestly, not a lot. The second pregnancy is so different from the first. Everyone says it, but it really is true. You're just busier so you don't have as much time to think about it. I have been starting to read birth stories to get me in the right mindset for natural birth though, and we're actually trying to finish all of our major house remodeling before he arrives so we can just relax when he gets here. Otherwise, I've just kind of been going with the flow. Will your kids be sharing a room? Thankfully, no. If we were going to have a girl, I might have considered it, but I think it'll be nice for them to have their own space. Can you tell us about your nursery inspiration? I just re-did my daughter's room (photos here) so that I could borrow some of her decor and furniture for our little guy. I'm going with a Northwest/"Little Adventurer" theme I think. Lots of plaid and Pendleton wool throw pillows, wood and leather accents, and prints that embody that spirit. I already have a little lumberjack print and some great woodland animal prints from The Animal Print Shop to hang in there. I can't wait to get everything set up! We'll also be setting everything up Montessori style -- no crib. We used a floor bed with my daughter from the beginning and it worked really well for us, so I'm hoping it'll work for Baby Brother too. Basically everything will be set up with him in mind and everything will be accessible for him to explore (more about our Montessori experience at my blog). What are some essentials you've kept from your first time? I kept my belly bands for my jeans which have been totally invaluable. Also, long tanks - I live in them. What are some new items you feel the need to invest in? I'm in the market for a great pair of maternity jeans. Any suggestions? Also, I really need a great dress -- one that can be dressed up or down! What is the maternity shopping like near you? Maternity shopping can be a bit limited to big box type stores, but there are definitely some great boutiques around. In general though, I try to find items that will work during pregnancy and beyond so that I don't wind up with a closet full of items I can never wear again. Especially this time around, since this may be our last child. What outfit are you dying to get back into post pregnancy? JEANS! With buttons! I've been rocking my belly band for awhile now and maternity jeans are on the horizon. I'm kind of dreading it. I love jeans and I can't wait to wear my favorites again. Also dresses and loose, flowy shirts...I kind of feel like I'm wearing a circus tent when I put them on lately. I feel like I look better in more fitted things right now. What are some fears/excitements you have about a second baby entering into your world? I'm so worried I won't love him as much as I love my daughter. I know it's crazy and that everyone says your heart just makes room, but I just can't imagine loving another child as much as I love her. She made me a mother, and we've been through all these crazy ups and downs together. She's my buddy and we do everything together, so I think that's kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around. I'm also super terrified about the sheer logistics of it all...meeting the needs of two very different children and balancing sleep schedules. Totally dreading the whole lack-of-sleep thing. I'm super excited to see my husband with a new baby again though and for my daughter to become a big sister. I can't wait to see them interact!

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Mom rage is real—and it's a sign that mothers' needs aren't being met

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think.

Maternal anger takes most women who experience it by surprise. I'm not this person, we say, after feeling a shocking swell of rage during one of those inevitable moments of frustration we all face as a parent.

I never thought I'd be "that mom" who yells at her family, we say, after snapping and yelling at our toddler.

I don't recognize myself when I feel like this—and I feel like this more than I want to, we say, when we realize that our anger isn't a temporary, one-time thing but an undercurrent in our day-to-day, an undeniable presence like a shadow.

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think. And it's time to talk about what "mom rage" is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it.

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