Friday, March 28, 2014

High Five for Friday

It has been a loooong week.  Am I right?  Perfect weather, then snow, crazy wind, and freezing temperatures put me in a terrible mood.  I just don't want to wear socks anymore, okay?  I'm running low on matching pairs and I just don't want to do it! Bring us some sunshine and warm temperatures, PLEASE!  Anyways, despite the weather being a major buzz kill, here are five good things that happened this week!

1-  Brooks ate some of a white cupcake at a friend's birthday party on Saturday and gave himself a nice white mustache. [pardon the close up as it is quite difficult to get a picture of a moving toddler at a birthday party :) ]

2-  My sister made this recipe called "Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry" from Iowa Girl Eats blog on Wednesday and it was crazy good.  Like, I felt as though I had gotten it from Noodles & Company [except better because she didn't add cilantro!] Hope I can make it again as well as she did!

3-  We started watching "The Americans" and I'm hooked.  I'm still a bit of a sissy [more on that later] but - it's fun to binge watch a show together.  We've been looking for something since we finished season 2 of House of Cards and The Americans is filling that void nicely.  [also, can we talk about Keri Russell's hair?  so fabulous.]

4- So, we went to the mall the other day when it was snowing to just do some walking and found ourselves at Gap.  Before I knew it I was buying another pair of jeans [hey, they were 40% off!].  I ended up getting these skimmer straight legs and I'm excited to wear them with some of my comfortable shoes this spring!

5-  Brooks and I love to play with Photo Booth on the computer and took this picture the other day...I could not stop laughing at it!  Hope it gives you a chuckle on this Friday.  Happy weekend!

Monday, March 24, 2014

On Comfortable Spring Shoes

This spring, unlike last, I have a mobile toddler [how did this happen so fast?!].  Therefore, my usual footwear of sandals and flip flops are not going to cut it for chasing him around our park outings.  Lately I've been on the hunt for cute, comfortable shoes that can withstand a walk to the park, playing on the playground, and not give me blisters.  Bonus points for ones that take less than 30 seconds to slip on!  Over the weekend I wore my navy Keds that I got last summer, my $10 Anthropologie tee + these gray jeans from Loft.


I can't wait to put away my warm coats, socks and tall boots [yes I said it!] and get these spring shoes into rotation!  Here are some others I've been lusting after:  mint converse / superga / toms

Have a great week!

Friday, March 21, 2014

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday to you!  We started the week out kinda crummy, with snow + being cooped up in the house.  But, we're finishing strong with the first day of spring and some outside playing coming up this weekend!  Yahoo!

1-  We got Brooks a tool set from the toy store and he is loving it!  Never thought my child's favorite toy would be a play screwdriver.

2-  Brooks and I made a trip to Northern VA for a play date and got to stop at some of my favorite stores.  I would have settled for just browsing but ended up finding a cute cotton tee from Anthropologie for- wait for it- TEN DOLLARS.  It was one of those moments where you think it's going to be a certain price [$19.98], take it up to the register, and SURPRISE! it's actually $9.98.  It's the little things, people.

3- We also got into South Moon Under where I found the Toms I've been searching for in my size AND on sale.  I'm telling you, Thursday was just my day for shopping!

4-  We're stocked up on wine for a while couple weeks.  I did a liquor store run on Sunday evening and bought a case of Green Fin Wine from Trader Joe's on Thursday too!  Yum.

5-  Someone over here has learned how to climb up on the coffee table and is quite proud.  It's hard to be mad when he's this cute.

  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On Bathing Suits

Oh, bathing suits.  I love you and I hate you.  I can never have enough, and yet I'm sure I have way too many.  This year, I think I need a suit that is toddler proof* and yet still cute.  I've been dying to try a bikini with high waisted bottoms, but haven't bought one yet.  I can't decide if they are too Taylor Swift for me.  Here's a few I like- what do you think?



*boobs must not fall out, straps not easily untied, no plumber crack, etc

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our Breastfeeding Story: The Beginning

I've been hesitant to share this story because I don't want anyone to be discouraged after reading this.  Please know that despite our rocky start, deciding to nurse Brooks has been the best, most rewarding thing I've ever done.  I know I've given him a wonderful gift.  

Brooks was born on a Saturday morning a little before noon, and we were ecstatic.  I don't remember a lot of the details of that day specifically because I was so exhausted, but I know I had a lactation consultant come to our room to check his latch before they left for the weekend.  "Looks great!" she told me, "A+!" [to which my dad said, "his first A+!"] He nursed every couple hours [at least] and my nipples were a little sore, but nothing major.

After we got home, we were nursing strong.  I felt like I knew what I was doing.  Right before we left to go to Brooks' routine pediatrician appointment, he refused to nurse from my left breast.  I was very upset.  The doctor told me to pump that side and keep trying to nurse him from it.  [I remember coming home and crying "but I don't want to pump!" Oye.]  I did it anyways though, and he still refused to nurse from that side.  I eventually ended up going back to my OB/GYN to get a prescription for mastitis.

Not too long after my mastitis cleared up, my nipples began hurting.  Bad.  They were cracked and bleeding, and I was crying every time Brooks nursed [which was all the time, of course, because he was a newborn].  I scoured the internet for different positions to try to help it hurt less.  I had a lactation consultant come visit me, and a La Leche Leader.  They both said the same thing-- his latch looks good, the pain will stop.  They gave me loads of information and resources and support.  The lactation consultant also noticed that Brooks had a high palate, which then led to hours of internet research about nursing babies with high palates [the consensus on the internet was- ouch].

Meanwhile, it had been probably 5-6 weeks of excruciating pain with no end in sight.  I wanted to quit SO badly.  I remember thinking "this is why people stop.  this is why breastfeeding is so hard."  I cried and cried and cried.  I tried every nipple cream created.  I cried at the compound pharmacy while picking up my prescription for All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO).  I took Brooks to see an Ear Nose & Throat Specialist, who looked at me pitifully and said, "I wish he had some sort of tongue tie so I could help you.  But he doesn't..."  I cried some more.  The only thing that kept me going was the support of my family and friends.  That and telling myself that I could NOT give up.  I was staying home with Brooks now, this was my job.  I knew I didn't really want to take away the only thing that he knew, the only thing that brought him comfort, but man did I want to!

I began pumping and having a family member give Brooks a bottle of breast milk once per day so that I could have a longer break [the pump didn't hurt as bad as his tiny mouth].  That gave me a little relief and peace of mind knowing that someone else could feed him if he was crying.  I continued to nurse him through the pain, and as I began to stress less about it, it began to hurt less.

In the end, for us, the only thing that really made things better was time.  Time for his mouth to get bigger and for my nipples to get used to nursing.  I think Brooks was around twelve weeks old when I finally felt like I didn't want to cry every time he latched.

And so, this post is dedicated to everyone who helped us get through those incredibly difficult twelve weeks.  I could NOT have done it without you.  I am forever grateful and so proud to say that we are still nursing at 17 months old.  Do I know when he's going to stop?  Nope.  Whenever he's ready.  As much as I wanted to quit 17 months ago, I have a feeling I'm going to miss it so much when it's gone.

Friday, March 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

Wahoo! It's Friday!  Here's my five favorite things this week...

1.  Stating the obvious here- the warm weather we had Monday through Wednesday was glorious!  It felt amazing to get outside, play at the park and soak up some vitamin D.  I'm looking forward to some more 60 degree days this weekend!

2.  I know I talked about Brooks' baby Toms being super cute- but I didn't tell you that I have the same ones.  Matchers forever!

3.  Brooks has started following some simple directions lately- [mostly "take this to the trash can please!"] and I'm getting a glimpse of what it will be like to have a little helper around here!

4.  I followed Kate's advice and picked up this L'Oreal lip gloss/lipstick in Caring Coral.  It's perfect- adds a little color without looking like I went all out with the red lipstick.  

5.  Someone found my clutch yesterday and was dragging it around like a suitcase...he's going to be such a gentleman.  

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Confessions- Part 3

Woop woop, confessions part 3!

1- On our way to a party on Saturday night, we had [what I like to call] a very "married" conversation, and I kind of loved it.  It went a little like this:
P:  "Do you want me to take the HOV exit onto 495 or get over to the right?"
me:  "What?  I don't care.  Just take the HOV."
P:  "Well, you always get mad when I take the HOV exit."
me:  "That's because you have to slow down when you get off.  Like, hit the brakes."
P:  "I definitely hit the brakes."
me:  "No, you don't.  Is your foot on the brake now?  No.  Slow down.  We have a baby!"
At this point I realized how much this conversation made us seem old and married and I started laughing- my how times have changed.

2-  Last night I went to Target by myself and tried on approximately 20 items of clothing and 5 pairs of shoes, just because I could.  [i also did not eat half a bag of Twizzlers on the way home.]

3-  Brooks has started HATING bath time.  You would think we were forcing him into a pool of lava or something, that's how much he screams about it!  I've got a few ideas that I'm hoping will help in the future, but if you've got any recommendations, let me hear it!  [so far we've tried- changing the temperature of the water, toys, bubbles, bath seats, kitchen sink baths, and getting in the tub with him.]

4-  I've worn the same pair of jeans for 4 days in a row this week.  I haven't washed them.  Don't judge me.

5-  Yesterday Brooks wore a red polo, jeans, and grey baby Toms.  I could not have loved this outfit more as the "preppy" look is my favorite.  I'm seeing lots of polos, plaid shorts, and pastel colors in his future [sorry Daddy]!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Thoughts on Red Lipstick

My hubby and I have had the opportunity to go to dinner and out with friends a few times in the past month [yay grandparent babysitters! we love you!] and every time I find myself putting on red lipstick.

Yesterday he said to me/Brooks, "Mommy always puts on dark lipstick when we go out."  Which made me think...well...that is a true statement.  I usually gravitate toward black & white when I can't decide what to wear [which generally  always happens before we go out] so red lipstick is a great accent color with those neutrals.  It also makes me feel a little unique, as most people aren't wearing bright red lipstick!  The lipstick I have on is Nars Heat Wave which is more of an orange-red, and it's matte which I like.

Brooks also likes to try and grab my lips when I wear dark lipstick, which is insanely cute.  AND he puts his little lips out like he wants me to put it on him when I'm holding the tube.  Sorry, buddy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hi, I'm Colleen and I have a jeans problem.

Jeans have always been my weakness.  I don't know what it is about finding the perfect pair of jeans that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but... sigh.

When I was teaching, we weren't allowed to wear blue jeans to work.  So, I tried my best to not get new jeans then since I would only have the opportunity to wear them on the weekends. [nope, not after work- pretty much would go straight from work clothes to pajamas/yoga pants after walking through the door. am i right?] The other time I refrained from jeans-buying was while I was pregnant.  No maternity jeans were long enough on me + I was big  huge  enormous during the summer months and there was no way in hell I was going to put jeans over my hot swollen legs.

Now that I stay at home with Brooks, I wear jeans pretty much every day.  My qualifications are:  they must be comfortable, semi-low rise and long enough [unless they are supposed to be ankle length, obviously.]  Lately I've gotten mostly skinny jeans- but I still have some boot cut/flares from a while back.  I can't seem to get into the "boyfriend" jeans look [should I?] I've tried some on but just feel silly in them.  Anyways-  I'm a sucker for a good designer pair [I think since jeans are something you can wear multiple days in a row, they're worth the investment], but I'll buy Target, Old Navy, Gap, H&M, etc...any other day of the week.  Here's a few pairs I'm currently lusting after:

7FAMK Straight Leg
AG Legging Ankle

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here thinking of reasons I need these.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Confessions- Part 2

Alright ya'll, here we go- confessions part 2.

1-  My pantry is literally the most disorganized place in my entire house.  I have cleaned it out time and again, and I just can't keep it neat!  It's baaaaad, you guys.  So bad that it's become a joke when we can't find anything.  "Oh, you mean you can't find the [item] in my beautifully organized pantry? What's wrong with you?!"  I think the problem is that I can honestly think of about 10,000 things I would rather do than organize the pantry.

2- Don't be too impressed with this one- I know all the lyrics to Usher's "Nice & Slow."  My husband loves this and will entice me to sing by starting the song...It's seven o'clock, on the dot...

3- House of Cards season 2 is really confusing me.  We're on episode 9 and I'm not getting all the politics this season.  Why is the bridge important?  You're losing me here, Frank.

4- Last week I had a moment of feeling like I was doing everything wrong.  Like I'm not doing enough for Brooks- not teaching him enough, not playing with him enough, not encouraging enough "independent play".  This winter has really defeated us, I tell you.  I know I'm not a bad mommy, but I have certainly felt like it at times when we've completely run out of things to do and I turn on the TV to just. have. five. minutes. of. quiet. time.

5- Brooks has started having temper tantrums and I find them a little  bit funny.  Yesterday it was because we came inside from playing in the snow.  It was approximately 19 degrees outside, so...yeah.  He did the feet stomping and the head banging and slapping the couch and crying...oh, the crying.  I know this will not be funny [at all] when he starts doing it more frequently/ in public but I couldn't help but chuckle.  [Also, as I am a former elementary special education teacher, I have had my fair share of waiting out some crying temper tantrums.  I think I might be prepared? No? ]

And now he is currently tongue-ing the DVD remote.  Yum.  :)  Confessions, anyone?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winter White

I found these off-white cords at Gap about a month ago, and since they were on super clearance, I knew it was meant to be. I'd been resisting the "skimmer" corduroy pant for a while because it seemed a bit like an oxy moron to me...corduroy is supposed to be a warm fabric that you wear when it's cold outside, so why would I want to crop it at my ankle and have cold feet?

Regardless, this was too good a deal to pass up- they ended up being around $18!  And, I've been wearing them quite a bit actually.  This weekend I went with mostly neutrals + a pop of turquoise.

And so, white corduroys, you can stay.  Until my toddler ruins you with his little messy baby hands.