Friday, February 28, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy last day of February!  Daylight savings time is coming up soon and we are in the home stretch for warm weather.  Can't wait to do some outside playing! I'm linking up with Lauren to share a few highlights of our week...

1.  One of my very best friends was in town last weekend!  I was able to go downtown for dinner & drinks with her on Friday and was reminded what it feels like to be someone other than Brooks' mommy for a few hours.  It's so good to check in with my other identities every once in a while.  Also, girl talk is necessary for life.

2.  Baby dance parties.  Have I mentioned how much I love that Brooks loves to dance?  Head bobbing in the grocery cart, stomping at Noodles & Company, or just swaying to the melodious sound of his cousin's voice...this kid is an awesome dancer.  I have yet to get a video of it because he gets too distracted by me getting out the camera/phone though...  I guess I need to be sneakier!

3.  The pillow covers made by my friend Rachel at RH Collection  are here and they are so perfect!  Seriously.  I'm glad I didn't just buy some that I didn't love from Home Goods :)

4.  I'm bringing back the French braid, everyone!  It's only taken me [almost] 28 years to get the hang of it, but I think I've got it.  I'm liking the way it gets the hair off my face, saves time blow drying, and gives my hair a little wave when I take it out.

5.  KALE CHIPS.  What?!  I made some yesterday and they are deeelicious! Of course, I'm pretty sure you could toss cardboard in EVOO and sprinkle it with salt & pepper and I'd like it.

And one extra, just because I feel strongly about it:  A little NIP (nursing in public) pic. HA.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

So, I think I'm going to start making some confessions here.  I've wanted this blog to be a place to share pictures and thoughts about my life at this point [as well as a few other things] I might as well tell the truth.  Plus, sometimes I do stupid ridiculous dumb stuff.

Confession #1- Wegman's "whole wheat pumpkin muffins" [the ones with the sugar on top] are the most delicious muffins on the planet.  The other day I bought 2 and ate both of them in the car, on the way home from the store.  Oops.  [it was definitely one of those, "well let me just tear off a tiny piece of the next one...a little bit more...oh, F it, i'm just eating the whole thing."]

Confession #2-  I lie down with Brooks during his nap every single day.  I don't fall asleep every day, but I lie down.  I mean, if I don't, this child will sleep for about 30 minutes by himself- and that's not good for anyone.

Confession #3- I hate HATE putting laundry away.  Pretty sure there are currently 3 baskets of folded clothes sitting in our bedroom.  UGH.  I need a house elf solely for this task.

Confession #4- I made a 13x9 pan of brownies on Sunday night.  My sister had some, but other than that it's just been my husband and I eating them [ and by that I mean he's had like 2] ...there's currently one row left.  Um.

Confession #5-  Singing the Kids Bop version of "Do you know the Muffin Man?" and dancing in the kitchen with your spouse AFTER your child goes to sleep = true love.

Who else has some confessions to make?  Come on, let's laugh at ourselves.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life Lately

I don't think I even need to ask the question "who's ready for spring?" because I know EVERYONE is.  Honestly, Mother Nature, please do not send us any.more.snow.  Knock it off.

Here's a few pics of what we've been doing to keep ourselves busy lately!

Homemade sugar cookies- I usually prefer chocolate, but these were cute.

"gimme the camera, mama!"


crunching numbers like my daddy!

"I help you, Dad."

Apparently I only take pictures on days when Brooks is wearing that tiger shirt.  Whoops.  Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stylish Comfortable Pants

Mommy or not, I'm sure most everyone can agree that comfortable pants are a must.  If you are lucky enough to find a pair you love that are comfortable and stylish, buy 5 pairs immediately [and send me one as well]!

I have been loving the Lou & Grey line at Loft lately.  All super soft, comfortable pieces.  I'm not quite sure if I can pull off the "stylish sweatpants" look, but here's a few I like:

Tipped Terry Pants
Terry Cargo Pants
Drawstring drape pants

And some from Urban Outfitters: Tie waist lounge pantFloral sweatpantsLola sweatpants
Also, ASOS:  peg pantsslim sweatsmaternity!

Leggings are another great way to stay comfortable.   I want all of these-- I'll be on the lookout for when they go on sale for sure.

Back-Zip Leggings
Spacedye Leggings
Ponte Dot Leggings

Other great comfortable pant options that are appropriate for leaving the house:  jeggings!  Here's a few of my favorites:
J Brand

Maternity leggings :  MotherhoodOld NavyGapGap jegging  AND seriously wish I had one of these Old Navy Sweatshirts when I was pregnant:  Slub Knit Hoodie

Finally, the green khaki pants I alluded to in my 40 weeks pregnant post:  here

Anything else I can find for you?!  Hope you like these picks!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Favorite Nursing Tanks

Nursing tank tops are a great alternative to the nursing bra [and, frankly, aren't quite as maddening].  I am the type who wears an undershirt under most everything, so these are right up my alley.  Here's a few I've tried/loved!

1.  Love this one from Target because it's very loose.  Perfect for right after giving birth [or as an undershirt from then until forever.]
Gilligan & O'Malley

2.  I got this one from Target [before having Brooks] thinking it would be cute to wear with an open sweater.  Unfortunately,  I underestimated how big my boobs were going to get and the buttons wouldn't stay closed!   I ended up looking like I was wearing a sports bra with an extremely low cut top on.  Oops.  I assume if you get the correct size, it will look cute.
Henley nursing top

3.  This one is super comfy and great for sleeping.  I don't know that I would recommend wearing this out in public as you might have a little nip slip [unintentionally] since it is super low cut.
V-neck nursing tank

4.  I have this one from Motherhood Maternity, which is ideal for layering since it's not quite as loose as #1.  Buy 2.
Motherhood tank

Other options that I've heard are great:  Glamourmom nursing tank- a little pricey but appears to be very long, which I like.  Undercover Mama is a tank that hooks into your favorite nursing bra [if you can find one that you love :)]  Any others that you love?  New ones I should try?  I think Brooks still has at least another 8 months or so of nursing left.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Account of my 40th week

Last night as I was browsing through Pinterest, I came across one of those pictures of a pregnant woman standing in front of a chalkboard.  It wasn't Jessica of Little Baby Garvin [the original chalkboard maker] but another cute, super skinny mama posting about her pregnancy and babies.

Now, I realize that all women are different,  but as I was reading the account of her 37th week of pregnancy, I couldn't help but think to myself..."wow, I felt nothing like this at 37 weeks.  and I looked like a cow in comparison to her."  And as I read on about her then 5 month old daughter who was such a great sleeper every night, I wanted to scream out, "ok! we get it!"  I am all for "building each other up" and my response to women who are lucky enough to not gain a crap ton of weight during pregnancy, have easy labors and get babies who sleep all the time is: "that's so wonderful! you are blessed!"  But you know what, sometimes I just want to say "shut it."

So, I thought it would be embarrassing funny to share with you my last picture of being pregnant and a little account of how I felt at 40 weeks and 2 days. [these questions are the ones that usually accompany the chalkboard pictures that are so often posted around on other blogs]

How far along? 40 weeks, 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: about 45 POUNDS.  I am officially disgusted with myself.

 Maternity clothes?  This question feels like a joke.  Been wearing 'em since 14 weeks, ya'll.

Stretch marks? Not on my belly...

Best moment this week:  I'm not sure if I can pick a "best" moment considering how angry I am all the time that this child STILL ISN'T HERE.  

Miss anything: Wine.  Sleeping without getting up to pee.  Sushi.  Lunch meat.  Wearing something other than these green khaki pants.  

Movement: Just took a video of him kicking around from the outside.  [side note- if you are pregnant now, do this!  it is so fun to watch once you're no longer pregnant.]  

  Food cravings: Surprisingly, no cravings.  Just still want to eat everything on the planet.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Nope, this is a basketball under my shirt.

  Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: None.  Things I will be trying:  spicy chili, greasy pizza with 5 different kinds of hot sauce [pretty sure it didn't even taste hot to me] black licorice, primrose oil, the greasiest meal you can get from Chik-fil-a,  and finally eating an ENTIRE pineapple [which will burn your whole tongue off, people. but it did start some contractions.]

  Belly Button in or out? Flat!

Wedding rings on or off? Off.  My fingers look like sausages.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody would be an understatement. [If I remember correctly, my brother sent me a text at some point during my 40th week saying "baby here yet?" to which I responded "I will cut you."]

Looking forward to:  Getting this baby out!

God, being pregnant was so fun.  :)  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Should-ing All Over Yourself

At the last few baby showers I've attended, we filled out some "advice for the new parents" cards.  Mine went something like this for both:  "there are no 'shoulds' for babies, do what works best for you and your family."  

This advice stems from my own experience with "should"-ing all over myself.  When Brooks was really little, I stressed myself out with all of the things I felt he should be doing.  He should be sleeping in his crib now.  Should be nursing now.  Should be sleeping longer.  Should be having more dirty diapers.  It took me too long to realize that I needed to just relax. He knew what he was doing!

So, that's my advice for all the new mommies out there.  Your baby knows what he or she is doing.  Babies aren't trying to manipulate you.  They're either hungry, or they're not.  They're tired, or they're not.  

If your baby sleeps in his or her crib, that's great!  If your baby sleeps in bed with you, that's great too!  [Or if your baby only sleeps in their what?!]  If what you're doing is working for your family, go with it.  Don't let anyone tell you what you should be doing.  I know I'm going to blink and Brooks is going to be 18 years old and I'll be wishing I could just snuggle up with that little tiny baby again.  

the first picture ever taken of my sweet baby.  sniff.

  Side note:  if you watch Parenthood on NBC, they do a pretty good job of portraying Crosby and Jasmine's daughter as a high maintenance baby.  The scene when Crosby won't stop the car for Adam to get in or out?! Amazing.  I can definitely relate. :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Outfit Inspiration

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for outfit inspiration.  I love seeing what others are wearing and how pieces of clothing are styled by different people.  I'm always that woman at the store who asks random people in the fitting room, "what do you think of this?"

Pinterest has been a great source for finding outfits for me, as well as catalogs like J. Crew and magazines.  [I used to call them "maz-ah-geens" when I was little.  We call them that around here so much that sometimes I forget the right way to say it!]

Anyways, one of my favorite style bloggers, J's Everyday Fashion, has also been an awesome source of inspiration for me.  She recently inspired me to get a light blue oxford button down because she made it look so versatile.  It doesn't hurt that button downs are great for easy nursing too! [but I bet you already knew I was going to say that.]  Here are two ways I wore my Loft top this weekend.

But seriously, if you ever need an opinion on clothes/shoes/accessories...send me a picture.  I'd love to be a good sounding board.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's High Five for Friday

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope we're able to get out of the house today.  Last year I was cooped up with the stomach bug, so this year [though we don't have any plans] it sure would be nice to not be hanging around all day.  Anyways, we had a fun week with friends!  Here are a few highlights:

1.  I looked over one morning to see this.  Of course, he threw all of the laundry out of the basket approximately 5 seconds after I took this picture [hence the reason it's blurry. he's on the move!]

2.  We went to Virginia on Tuesday to have a play date with some friends/old coworkers and their cute babies.  I love friends that even when you don't see them for a long time, you just kind of pick up where you left off.  You're the best.

3.  Madewell.  How did I exist before you?  Why do you have so many cute things that I want to buy?     Stop it.  [side note: here are two things that are currently in my shopping bag.  please someone give me a reason I need them?]
ink tee
sailstripe tee

4. Brooks got his special reading chair and he looks so dang cute sitting in it.

5.  Every night after Brooks goes to bed, our cat Zooey has been perching by my head on the couch like a little parrot.  Last night she went all out and stuck her paw on my shoulder.  Cute overload.

Hope you had a great week!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On High Maintenance Babies

Brooks is what I like to call a "high maintenance baby."  He wasn't colicky as a newborn- he usually wanted something when he cried- but he's never been a good sleeper.  I think I kind of knew he'd be like this going into husband wasn't a good sleeper as a child and neither was I.  I remember scouring the internet for answers to my baby's sleep "issues" [really not 'issues' at all. he's just a baby.] and so I just wanted to write this post for anyone out there who is looking for something to comfort them.

From around 6 months old until around 12 months old, Brooks would only fall asleep if someone rocked him in the Ergo carrier.  Most of the time I did it, but every now and again he'd let Daddy put him to sleep in there too.  During the day, if I wanted him to stay asleep I wasn't able to put him down [hence the reason I was watching DVR'd episodes of Dallas while rocking back and forth in front of the TV] but it was better to stand holding a sleeping baby and watching TV than it was to deal with a tired, cranky child for the rest of the afternoon/evening.  This phase of not being able to put him down lasted probably 2 months or so...he did eventually let me rock him to sleep and put him down for naps.
Ergo nappin'

Around 12 months old, he started only falling asleep for naps in the car.  I remember getting so frustrated after I had taken him out of the car while he was sleeping and he woke up.  After about 2 times doing this, I said forget it! [i'm not sure if that was my EXACT word choice, but i'm keeping it clean here folks] and let him stay in the car.  Luckily this was around the time that the weather was crazy nice so I just rolled the windows down and left the garage door open.  This phase lasted until it was too cold to leave him out probably a month or so!
Car nappin'

Now, at 16 months, Brooks will FINALLY let me transfer him from the car if he falls asleep in there. He also will fall asleep if I rock him in the rocking chair.  It took us a while to get here, but I'm hoping this phase lasts a little while.

Anyways,  if you are reading this and your baby currently isn't sleeping, it will get better!  Do whatever works for you to get the most sleep.  Once I gave up the idea that Brooks "should" be doing this or that, things got a lot better.  :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Almost Spring Dresses

My sister and I have been searching for cute, almost-spring dresses that you don't have to completely remove to nurse your baby.  Here's a few I found just in our area:

J. Crew Factory
Gap shirtdress
Kohl's Simply Vera
Kohl's Lauren Conrad

Macy's :  lace color block dress,  heart print dress

I'm picturing any one of these with tights and boots [of course. do you know me at all?!] Boots are the only thing making me want this cold weather to stick around for just a tiny bit longer.  Agreed?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Little Paint

I've always known that paint color can really transform a room.  The thing is...I've always hated painting.  Until recently, when I decided to bite the bullet and just do it.  Perhaps I've enjoyed it a little more lately because it means I get some alone time [ever tried to take care of a toddler and paint a room? it can't be done.]  So, after my mom and I painted our kitchen cabinets, the mustard colored bead board and yellowish paint in the living room were just screaming to be done.  I mean, WHO chose this color for the bead board?  Seriously.

Here are the during & after photos....the white bead board took 3 coats [2 with just a paint brush and one rolled] and the top color - Behr "Prelude" took 2.

Next up- pillow covers being sewn by my sweet friend in Miami!

Monday, February 10, 2014

On Nursing in the Ergo

The baby Ergo was one of the best gifts we received for our baby shower back before Brooks was born.  It was awesome with the infant carrier when he was a newborn, and it is still awesome now at 16 months old!  [there was a period of time where Brooks would ONLY go to sleep in the Ergo.  more on that later.]  Once I figured out how to nurse him in there, it was a huge time saver and made it a lot easier for me to get things done around the house [or to watch DVR'd episodes of Dallas on TV.  um.]  My advice to anyone who is breastfeeding and has a carrier- learn how to do this!  We've nursed in the Ergo at the store, around the house, at the pumpkin patch, walking through the mall...I could go on, but you get the picture.  So, here's a video from The Badass Breastfeeder  that shows exactly how to nurse in the Ergo.

* I usually loosen the straps before I put baby in [instead of doing it after he's in there as she shows]
**I never nursed B in the Ergo when he was in the infant carrier.  Anyone done that?

Ergo-ing at the pumpkin patch.  Can we have this weather back now please?

Friday, February 7, 2014

High Five for Friday

We've had a very snowy week here in MD- I am [like everyone else in the world] ready for some warmer weather!  However, minus the snow canceling some plans, we've had a decent week.  Brooks is walking/running around more sturdily [is that a word?] and we are wondering why we ever wanted him to walk in the first place!  Here's a few pictures to sum up our week:

1.  I had time to do my hair [like, really do it. curling iron and everything. yea!] and make up before we went out on Saturday so I had to document it...

2.  Flowers from my sweet husband.  I like him.  

3.  This.  He's getting one for Valentine's day.

4.  So thankful we never lost power.  If you need to warm up or take a hot shower, let me know!

5.  Homemade "Panera" broccoli cheese soup.  Amen.