. . . for Lauren and Lauren: August 2013

August 29, 2013

Recent confessions

necklace: ebay ($1)  shorts: old navy  sandals: target

I wore this to a friends house and one of my guy friends was basically wearing the same outfit.  His shorts thankfully were longer and he didn't have a somewhat gaudy owl necklace, but it still made me question my outfit choice. 

About a third of the time I throw Addi's clothes in the laundry it's because I've spilled food on them from eating while holding her.  One time I dropped a piece of lettuce right in her mouth.  Don't worry I got it out. 

Sometimes I wish overalls were still stylish.  They were just so darn comfortable.  And I'm not talking about the skimpy weird overalls that I have seen on pinterest.  I'm talking the baggy, extremely unflattering overalls like the picture above.  

and you don't need to tell me that they probably weren't ever really stylish.  

I still wish that I needed to wear glasses. I think they are cute and would make me look smarter. I am still afraid of trying to pull of the fake glasses look, but I want some glasses like these so I can copy looks like this: 


This Carter's commercial made me cry.  and reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to have my baby girl. 


I kind of locked Addilyn in the car with the keys the other day.  And by kind of I mean I did.  It makes me feel better by saying kind of since it was only for twenty seconds.  I had a mini heart attack and then Chris told me he had another set of keys in the house (we were in the drive way).  I proceeded to cry imagining if I had done that while out somewhere.  Seriously still feeling bad about it and practically afraid to ever shut my car doors.  And slightly regret sharing this as I feel like a terrible mom fail.  

Hope everyone has a great long week!  

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August 27, 2013

My favorite kind of Announcement


I was so excited about Addilyn's newborn pictures way before she even arrived.  While I am normally quite the cheap person I knew that I wanted professional newborn pictures and am so glad we decided to spend the money to get them done.  We found this amazing photographer called Lemonade Stand Photography and she did such a beautiful job.  We could not be happier with all of our pictures and I look at them ALL the time.  


She was pretty much the baby whisperer and could move Addilyn into this cutest poses and put her right back to sleep.  There's been many nights I actually wish she was in our house and could help me get her to sleep at night. 


With so many adorable pictures to choose from I had the hardest time picking which ones to use for our baby announcements.  (Don't even ask me how I'll choose which ones to hang in our house.)  Besides having a hard time choosing which pictures to use, I also had a hard time deciding which birth announcement to use as there are so many beautiful birth announcements on Tiny Prints.  I made four different ones and had them in my project cart on their site for many days, until I finally decided on this one: 


We got our announcements within a few days of ordering them and I had them sitting on our counter, looked at them a few times a day and it wasn't until many days after that I realized that the weight said 9 lbs. 13 oz instead of 8 lbs. 13 oz.  I almost cried.  I couldn't believe that I only had about four pieces of information to enter and I messed it up!  I'm blaming it on lack of sleep.  I decided to call customer service just in case they could do something and they were so nice and helpful and are sending me a whole set of new cards.  I couldn't believe it.  I almost told the man that helped me that I loved him.  

Besides birth announcements I love that tiny prints has so many other things you can create.  Before I had Addilyn I started a photo book to document my pregnancy.  Thank goodness I started it before she came because I haven't worked on it since!  I wanted to use my weekly pregnancy pictures and letters to Addilyn. Here are two of the pages: 


And because I couldn't possibly only share a few of her newborn pictures, here are a few more of my favorites.  Maybe everyone in my family will get some kind of personalized photo gift with Addilyn on it for Christmas.  Who wouldn't want that? :) 





Can I add one more thing to my post that motherhood has made me dramatic?  I'm adding that I have the cutest baby in the world. 

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a new identity


This last week has been a weird week for me.  For the last six years this week was all about back to school.  I'd spend many hours the week or so before preparing my classroom.  Writing name tags, putting together binders and thinking about and planning for a new group of third graders.  I read post after post on facebook and instagram about first day outfits, feelings and stories.  I had thought that I wouldn't have an ounce of sad feelings about missing it and was really surprised that I did.  I'd get this almost uncomfortable feeling in my stomach that I was supposed to be at school.  That I was missing out on something I should be doing.  Somehow it was hard to believe that everything and everyone was just going to go about their year without me.  Yes. Hello so far off thoughts.  Things will go on just fine without me. 

While I am so glad I'm not going back to school right now, I do miss the excitement of a new year, organizing my classroom and catching up with my friends at school.  There's been many times throughout the days that I've thought about what I'd be doing if I was at school.  Walking my kids to music, teaching math or talking with my teacher friends. 

I was surprised that I had conflicting feelings of my transition to stay at home mom for the time being, as it's still not official when I'm going back.  I know that I want to be at home with my baby, but leaving a job where I've become so confident in to embrace a job that I feel unprepared for is scary.  I had practiced, learned and was successful as a teacher.  While each year or even days brought its new challenges I overall knew what to expect.  As a new mom each day is different, each night unpredictable and I don't know what to expect. 

Teaching was exhausting, especially at the beginning of the year.  But I'd come home, leaving my school work behind, accomplished for the day and to an evening of rest.  For years my main purpose for my days was to teach and take care of eight year olds.  My purpose has completely changed.  There's been days already where I've felt really successful as a mom but then days where I feel exhausted and overwhelmed with my new role.  And unlike my job as a teacher, there is no break.  


It took me a few years of feeling really comfortable and confident as a teacher and I know that those feelings as a mom will take time too.  And just like teaching I know I will have my days of success and days of frustration.  I know it will take me awhile to learn my new role and awhile to adjust to my new purpose. 

 I am so thankful for the extended period of time I get to be at home with Addilyn and thank God for allowing that to happen.  While there are aspects that I do miss about teaching I know that this is right where God wants me to be for right now.  Spending my days getting to know my daughter.  Loving her, learning her and learning how to be her mom. 


While teaching was not always easy I knew I was made to be a teacher.  I knew that I had qualities that made me a good at it and felt that God put that desire in my heart to take on that role.  I also know that God has given me the desire to be a mom and has and will continue to give me the qualities I need to be a great mom to Addilyn and I am working to take it day by day and embrace my new identity as a mom. 

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August 26, 2013

Easy Access

 
romper: old navy   shoes: target  

I didn't anticipate the challenge of getting dressed after pregnancy in regards to finding outfits that are easy to nurse in.  I was looking forward to wearing a lot of my summer dresses but unless I want to sit and nurse in pretty much my underwear, they don't work so well.  

I think I will be wearing a lot more shorts, skirts and pants than before.  Thankfully this romper is perfect with the buttons down the front.  I may be needed more shirts with easy access like this one. :) 


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August 25, 2013

Ups and Downs

blouse: c/o so kate   necklace: groopdealz   shoes: kohls (recent clearance $8)

Ups
This blouse from the online boutique So Kate.  There are so many cute clothes that I had a hard time picking out one thing! I would also like to own this polka dot blazer or this floral necklace.  
We made it through our first trip to a store alone last week.  I was nervous the whole time that Addilyn would start crying, but she slept the whole time.  She must love Target.  Thank goodness. 
I usually do not do anything cute or impressive with my nails, unlike my sister Lauren.  But I tried out the new Sally Hansen fuzzy nail polish and loved it.  Read more about it, as well as my tutorial for my nails here!
I got through the one day of work that I had to go to for a long time.  I left Addilyn home with Chris for the morning half and picked her up at lunch to come back with me for the afternoon.  I missed her like crazy and couldn't not think about what she was doing every minute.  Thankfully Chris did great with her! 
I've made a few desserts since Addilyn was born, and finally made a real dinner last week.  I'm looking forward to getting into a routine of cooking again, as it's been quite a long time since I wanted to make dinner.  Like over 9 months a long time.  Now if someone would just do the grocery shopping part for me.
Blogging friends.  My friend Maria sent this sweet card and book all the way from Holland!  I am continually amazed at the thoughtful and amazing woman I've met through blogging who have prayed for me and encouraged me this last year and a half.  

Downs
The bachlorette is over.  I didn't even like this season but am a loyal fan and will probably watch it no matter what.  And so I miss it.  Hurry on up Fall shows.  
Nighttime.  It stresses me out.  Sometimes a lot. I struggle between the idea of starting some kind of schedule and just letting her do own thing for now as she is still so little.  Sometimes I find reading about it and hearing what others are doing helpful, but sometimes it stresses me out more.  
Alone time with Chris not happening.  Working through this major transition has had its challenges as eight years of marriage has made us very used to plenty of time alone together.  I'm absolutely loving that we are now a family of three and realizing that this is a season of life we are in and we'll just have to work harder to work on our marriage. 
While she does look happy here, I know Molly is struggling to adjust to life with a baby in our house.  Inevitably the amount of attention she gets has definitely decreased and I feel sad for her.  Hopefully once Addilyn requires a little less attention and we get into more of a routine, I'll be able to love on Molly some more!

I went to Kohls with my mom last weekend and Addilyn had a huge spit up/throw up disaster.  It was all over her onsie, carseat, stroller - everywhere.  And it just kept coming.  I felt so bad and was SO glad my mom was with me to help.  

What was the best part and worst part of your week last week?
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I Heart My Nail Art


I usually fail in the creative nail department, unlike my sister who always has the cutest, fancy nails.  I was really excited to try out the Sally Hansen fuzzy nails, as it would give me some motivation to not just paint my nails but to do something creative with them.  So of course I called Lauren and asked her which nail polish I should buy, as she's already used the fuzzy nails.  Combine that with some pinterest searching for nail designs and I was ready to go to Walgreens to buy my nail polish.

Click here to read the tutorial on how I painted my nails!

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August 22, 2013

headbands, cookie dip and the same shorts

 top:  burlington coat factory   shorts: loft    sandals: target

1. Most summers I don't wear shorts too often but so many of my dresses do not work well for nursing so I think shorts and skirts will become much more frequent!


2.  I bought Addilyn two of these headbands on groopdealz this week and can't wait to get them.  


3. I have yet to make a real meal since Addilyn was born but desserts I can handle.  This dip was delicious!


4. Chris and I took Addilyn on a walk at the forest preserve the other day.  We walked there quite often when I was pregnant and it was so fun to be there pushing a stroller instead!


5. I love this picture of my parents just staring at Addilyn.  I'm so glad they live so close and we get to see them often.  

I hope you have a great weekend!  Happy Friday!
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August 21, 2013

one month favorites



My sweet blogging friend Jennifer and I have known each other since I started blogging and her friendship has been such a blessing, as we've gone through a lot of the same things in regards to getting pregnant .  We found out we were both pregnant within a few days of each other and had our babies within a few days of each other too.  Jennifer asked me to share some of things that I have loved this first month and shared hers as well.  She did a great job putting it all together and let me share it on my blog too! :)

Here are my favorites from the first month: 









1. Circo Love n Nature LED Tap Light
When I registered for this I didn't realize how much I'd love or use it.  We keep this next to our bed and leave it on all night.  I love that when I wake up I can see Addilyn right away and know that she is okay.  It's also not too bright where it seems to get her really awake, but bright enough I can see to feed her and change her.  Plus, it plugs in so you don't have to keep buying batteries.

2. Gilligan & O' Malley Nursing Bras
I did not think much about having to wear a bra to bed but I definitely need too and am glad I found these.  And I wear them most days too, which once I start actually going out more I'll have to wear real bras I guess. :) They are super comfortable and easy to move to the side quickly when you have a crying, hungry baby in the middle of the night!

3. Happy Baby Wrap Carrier
I won this in a giveaway and had registered for the Moby Wrap but was happy to use this instead. Addilyn loves it and usually falls asleep after ten minutes or so of being in it.  She spends at least a few hours a day in it.  I love it because I can be on my computer, eat or do things around the house with it.  I still feel a little nervous not holding onto to her with at least one hand but hopefully I'll get over that soon!

4. Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet
The first few weeks Addilyn did not want to sleep in anything but my arms.  Many nights I slept on the recliner in our living room, which helped too since I felt like I was nursing every hour.  We tried everything to get her to sleep on her own: a swing, the bouncy seat, the little section on the pack and play. We pretty much at a little store of baby furniture next to our bed.  We decided to try this co-sleeper and have had much better luck.  I love that I can see her on my same level, can easily hold a pacifier in her mouth for many minutes and can easily pick her up too.

5. Summer Infant Swaddlers
Addilyn does not like to be fully swaddled, but we still use the sleep sack so that her legs are nice and snug.  We just leave her arms out.

6.Water Bottle
I thought I drank a lot of water when I was pregnant but I am drinking way more now.  And thankfully water sounds much better now than when I was pregnant.  I know it's a good thing to drink lots of water when you're breastfeeding and I definitely feel the need to.

7. Fisher Price Baby Bouncer-Forest Fun
We both love this!  I think Addilyn loves that it vibrates and is at an incline and I love that it is easy to carry from room to room while she's in it.  She's pretty content in here while she's awake (of course depending on the time of the day) and will take naps in here too.  Without this I'm not sure how I'd go to the bathroom or shower.

8. Gerber Newborn Gowns
These are the only thing we put Addilyn in for pajamas.  It is so much easier than zipper or snap pajamas to check her diaper at night.  And since we put her in a swaddle/sleep sack I know her legs or feet don't get cold.

And here are Jennifer's favorites for her sweet boy Bryce:

  
1. Gerber Newborn Mittens
You'll be amazed at how babies can come out looking like Edward Scissorhands. Their nails can be quite long but they are thin like paper making it darn near impossible to file down. I actually packed these mittens in our hospital bag and the nurses kept swooning over what a good idea it was to bring them to with (I know I'm a genius). Much to my hubby's dismay, I made Bryce wear these puppies until the day we took him for his newborn pictures. Couldn't risk scratching up that pretty lil' mug of his!

2. Nosefrida
You know how some people have a weird fetish with popping pimples? Yeah, well, I kind of have this odd obsession with sucking my son's snot. Okay, so it may sound strange but this non-invasive nasal aspirator is awesome (and yes, there is a filter so the snot doesn't come anywhere near your mouth). I had read rave reviews about this sucker (haha no pun intended) and figured I would give it a try. Bryce's nose get's congested a lot and so far I have found the Nosefrida works a whole lot better than the bulb aspirator at clearing it out.

3. Fisher-Price Snug a Bunny Swing
Swings, some babies love them, some babies hate them. Thank goodness Bryce loves his swing (most of the time).

4. Graco Pack n Play with Newborn Napper
This thing has been a lifesaver! The baby's nursery is on a different floor than our master bedroom so it's nice because not only can we have him near us while we sleep at night (and I don't have to walk the stairs semi-conscious to nurse) but it also has a changing table. Definitely glad we registered for this!

5. Baby K'tan
This carrier is so easy to put on versus the Moby which looks really complicated. Any time Bryce  has a full belly and a clean diaper and is still fussy I know I can always count on this carrier in calming him down. In addition, it allows me to use the restroom, eat , and do laundry!

6. Gerber Soothe Colic Drops Probiotic Supplement
Our little man has problems digesting after his feedings and I hate seeing him in pain trying to pass gas. It was a relief when our pediatrician recommended these colic drops. Unlike the other drops on the market this is the only supplement for breastfed babies with the priobiotic L. reuteri (which is a friendly bacteria!) It has definitely helped a little in easing his tummy troubles.

7. Aden & Anais Swaddle Wraps
When I was pregnant this was the one brand that other mommas constantly recommended to me. These swaddle blankets are perfect for summer babies because they are lightweight and breathable. Originally, I was intimidated by their large size (seriously, they look like you can swaddle a baby rhino in them) but once you ace your baby burrito wrapping skills you will love them. I use them for multiple things like draping over his car seat to block the sun and to cover myself while nursing in the doctor's parking lot (yes, something I thought I would never do!)

8. Babyganics Hand and Face Wipes
These wipes are great to have on hand for in between baths!

If you want to check out Jennifer's adorable baby boy and her amazing projects she shares visit her here!! And moms - please tell me some of your favorite items for the first few months!

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August 20, 2013

Orange Overload

skirt, top and sandals: target   (top was a recent $8 find)   necklace: pink rust 

Could I BE wearing any more shades of orange?

HELP!  I think I have overloaded on Friends reruns.  I've officially starting asking myself questions as if I was talking like Chandler.  And I think I have five shades of orange represented in this outfit.  I almost added an orange bracelet but thought that'd be overkill. 

And I'm totally kidding on the too many Friends episodes.  You can never watch too much Friends. Could I BE any more right? 


Happy Wednesday friends!
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August 19, 2013

Dear Addilyn

Dear Addilyn Jane, 

I can't even tell you how excited I was to meet you.  I had pictured that moment so many times.  And while it didn't go just as I planned and I didn't get to hold you right when you came out, the moment I met you was far more amazing then I could have imagined.  I still have a hard time believing that you are my daughter.  I worried at the beginning that we wouldn't get to bond like we should because I didn't get to hold you right away and you spend the first few days under the lights, but thankfully we quickly made up for lost time! 
Your first month has been quite a blur.  We've spent most of our time at home, and you spend most of your time being held.  I love staring at your little face and think you are the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. You have the biggest yawns and the sweetest faces.  You also get the hiccups quite a bit and sneeze a lot too! 
It took us awhile to figure out how to get you to sleep on your own at night.  We tried a bouncy seat, swing, pack and play and finally a co-sleeper that goes next to our bed.  I think that it didn't matter what we put you in, you would just rather be held!  And I didn't mind it either.  We spent many nights at the beginning sitting on the recliner all night so you could eat and sleep whenever you wanted.  While I was so tired those nights, I'm already a little sad that you're not that little baby and are already growing so much.  
You love being sprawled out.  When you sleep on me you put your arms around me like you're giving me a hug and like to spread your legs out too, almost like a little frog.  Sometimes when you're fussy you just want to be put down and not held.  I think you are taking after me with wanting some personal space sometimes!  When you were about four weeks you smiled at me for the first time and I cried.  It made me feel so happy that you know my face and my voice and that I can make you smile.  Now you smile at daddy, and your grandma and grandpa too.  You definitely make everyone's heart happy! 
From the very beginning we knew you were a strong, little fighter.  You fought to stay in my belly when you were only 5 weeks and continued to grow and grow, even though there were things making it difficult.  I shouldn't have been surprised when you came out as a strong little lady on day one.  Fighting when you didn't breathe right away and then fighting off your jaundice, growing and gaining weight the whole time.  I bet you are going to get my stubbornness, which may cause us some issues when you get older! 
I can't count how many times your daddy and I look at you and then at each other and say how beautiful you are and how lucky we are that you are ours.  While I'm sad that you are already getting bigger, I can't even wait for you to go through more milestones and for us to get to know each other more and more.  You are the biggest blessing we've ever been given and we thank God for you every single night.  I love you so much and think you are just the best thing in the world. 

Love, 

your mom


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