How did you and your spouse meet?
We met during our senior year at Penn State!
What are your family’s favorite things to do in and around Pittsburgh?
We love to be outside as much as possible, whether it’s hiking, live music, the zoo, taking our daughters to a new park (or splash pad during the summer), or finding somewhere with an outdoor patio to get a drink and a bite to eat. We also try to take advantage of events happening locally whenever we can! We really love living in the city and try to capitalize on all the opportunities that affords as often as we can.
What was your baby’s height and weight at birth?
She was 8lbs 5oz and 20.5″ long.
Describe how your life has changed once you brought home your newborn baby.
It’s so cool experiencing life with a newborn the second time around! I honestly wouldn’t say I felt nervous or insecure very often when we brought my first daughter home, but with the second there is definitely a greater sense of confidence and the desire to just slow down and truly soak in this newborn stage. I think I’m better able to recognize just how fleeting the newborn stage is this time around, so we are just trying to savor her newness and enjoying watching Cassidy thrive as a big sister!
Tell me a little about your experience during the delivery.
With my first, I was induced a week late, labored for 40 hours, pushed for 4, and ultimately still had to have a c-section. It was intense to say the least! That experience, coupled with the fact that my second baby was measuring even larger at 37 weeks, led my doctors to suggest a planned c-section this time around. In some ways it was more stressful because I had a finite date & time that I would have a newborn, so it made me hyper focused on doing everything “one last time” before the baby came, but in other ways it was much easier. Both of our babies were a surprise until the moment of their birth, so my husband got to announce “It’s a girl!” both times, which was awesome and I highly recommend! 🙂
Describe your newborn baby.
Delicious perfection! Such a nice little baby. She rarely fusses and really only cries when she needs something — to nurse, nap, or get a diaper change. She loves to be worn in a baby carrier by Mama, and so far she has been very considerate about sleeping pretty well at night. She makes me want to have 100 more babies!
Describe a typical day in your life with your newborn baby.
I am very privileged to be a stay at home mom, so I usually try to set my alarm to get up an hour before Mackenzie to get myself ready for the day and start breakfast for Cassidy. Once Mackenzie and Cassidy are up, I get them ready for the day and feed them, and do all the “morning chores” around the house. We walk our dog, run any errands we have to get done… then we go for a walk around the neighborhood or go to the park, play with our neighbors, go to the zoo, break out the baby pool in the back yard… unless it’s raining, I always try to take them outside for a while every day.
When they are napping in the afternoon is usually when I try to sneak in a shower or start dinner or respond to emails… whatever I can’t get to with two little ones. After nap we go on another walk before dinner, and after dinner it’s time for baths, books, and bed! Throw in a bunch of dirty diapers, nursings, and baby snuggles, and that’s a typical day.
If you were stranded with your newborn what are the three things you’d hope to have with you?
Diapers, a sound machine, and a swaddle blanket.
If you could share 3 pieces of advice with your younger self (before having a baby) what would they be?
1. Enjoy the speed at which you can leave the house without preparation.
2. Savor those lazy Sundays where you truly don’t have to do anything all day.
3. There’s never going to be a perfect time to have kids, but when you do, it will be perfect.
How did you decide to schedule a newborn session with Laura Mares Photography?
We’ve been so thrilled with our past family sessions with you that there was no other choice! 🙂
What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session?
It was all very relaxed, comfortable, and easy… it’s hard to pick a favorite part (besides how great the final photos turned out!) I would have to say the best part for me was how lovely your two daughters were with Cassidy. Once Cassidy’s portion of the shoot was finished, it was so sweet how they played with her and entertained her so that she was happy and content and I could focus on caring for Mackenzie as needed. Knowing that Cassidy was content and not getting into mischief made the whole experience that much more enjoyable for all three of us!
What is your favorite portrait from your lifestyle session? Explain why it’s your favorite.
Ahh… too hard to choose just one! I love the close-up of Mackenzie, her tiny features, her little eyelashes… I also love the one where I’m holding her but out of focus in the background. But the first one to go in a frame has to be the one of Cassidy kissing her new baby sister.
Tell us the story behind your girls’ adorable stuffed animals that are featured in some of your photos.
Cassidy’s “Big Sister” bear and Mackenzie’s little lamb are both from Gund.com.
Names can be hard to pronounce as a toddler! What does your older call her baby sister?
Cassidy can’t pronounce Mackenzie properly — she calls her “Camenzie.” I love it so much and try to get her to say it as often as possible. 🙂