. . . for Lauren and Lauren: September 2015

September 30, 2015

Putting on your brave face

Being a mom is hard.  Which I know is nothing knew to anyone.  But I'm realizing as Addilyn gets older, there are more and more decisions to make where I have to decide what is best for Addilyn and what is best for me.  In terms of discipline, childcare, when to push certain things, when to let go and everything in between.  And there is no black and white answers, which is hard for me.    

Last week I went to MOPS for the first time.  I had wanted to go last year but with our struggles with Addilyn in our church nursery and that it was right during her nap time, I didn't even try.  This year, I wanted to try.  And to be honest it didn't go great.  It could have been a lot of worse, but I didn't leave feeling super successful.  I had a nice time and enjoyed the conversations I had, and I see the potential in learning and new relationships, but I did not have a great experience with the childcare.  

When I went to drop Addilyn off there were probably 15 other two years old in there and at least 7 of them were crying and screaming.  I went in with Addi and I could tell she was overwhelmed.  Heck, I was overwhelmed.  There were only two adults and they didn't come across as super comforting and told me it'd be better if I just dropped her off and left right away.  But that's not better for me, and I don't think better for Addi.  So I stayed for about 15 minutes.  She would play but then run back to me and hug me and tell me not to go.  I seriously wanted to cry. It wasn't in a whiny way or defiant way, but a sad, pathetic "I need you mama."  And trust me.  I know two year olds are dramatic, but it was still sad.  I know this isn't a huge deal, but it's a new place, all new people and it's a big deal.  

I told her that she can be brave.  That mama will always come back and that it will be good for both of us.  She gave me a hug and was teary eyed and I left.  I honestly don't even know if the adults there would have known if she was crying because it was so loud in there and so many tears.  It felt chaotic and I worried about her lack of attention, and while I know she would survive, I felt sad.   I realize that this isn't close to the end of the world, and there are so many other harder things, but it was hard for me.  I often just want to protect her and have her never be sad, which I realize is ridiculous and impossible. 

When I picked her up, she wasn't crying but standing at the door.  I asked her how it went and she said "I cried a lot, a lot for you mama."  Which I don't think is true, but I still felt sad.  I told her how proud of her I was and that sometimes we have to do things that are new and brave.  We'll give it another try and I'm praying she does okay.  This is one of many smaller situations where I get to decide if it's something that's worth it for both of us, and then to just be confident in my decision and either stick with it or just let it go.  I know it will be good for me and probably good for her too, but I sure wish it was easier! 

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September 29, 2015

Apple Picking

Last Saturday was such a perfect day.  Chris, Addilyn and I ran a few errands and had breakfast at Panera.  I went to yoga and came home and Addi was napping, so I watched tv and took a mini nap. Then we went apple picking with our good friends and went to their house for tacos and apple pie after.  It was just perfect and I'd happily relive it every weekend.  

One of Addilyn's favorite foods is apples and she was in heaven.  Picking up an apple, eating a few bites, then finding a new one.  She loved the hayride to the orchard and loved finding and picking apples.  And of course loved the apple cider and donuts, which is always my favorite part.  She kept saying "We're going apple pie picking!"

This is her saying "cool dude."  Also I'm pretty sure my favorite maternity outfit will be leggings, a long tank top and cardigan.  This one is from JCPenney and I love it!  So thankful for weekends together as a family and love doing new things like this with Addi.

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September 27, 2015

Pink Blush

top: c/o pink blush  leggings: gap maternity  scarf: world market  boots: ?

I'm excited for this post because this store has become one of my favorite stores.  It's funny because when I was pregnant with Addilyn I bought a lot of maternity clothes and at the end of my pregnancy I said if I got pregnant again I wouldn't buy any more maternity clothes.  Yea, so I was very wrong about that.  With Addilyn I was teaching and wore dressier clothes most of the time, and the season I was pregnant was different, as well as my style has changed this time around too.  But when buying new clothes I wanted them to be first of all comfortable, good quality and clothes that I could even wear for awhile (or forever) after I was pregnant.  Especially dresses and tops.  I mean, baggy and comfy are my two main requirements pregnant or not! 

Before I worked with Pink Blush for this post, I had ordered from them two times the month before. They always have amazing sales, free shipping and free shipping for exchanges, which I ended up doing.  They were great to work with for that order, as well as when I worked with them for this post. I bought these items and each one was under $15, with free shipping.  

I love them all and I'm pretty sure I'll wear all of them after this pregnancy.  That's acceptable if they are really cute right?

 sweater: c/o pink blush 

I picked out this sweater and I love it.  It is so comfortable and I love the zippers at the bottom.  It is perfect with leggings, but as my belly grows and it gets shorter I think it will look great with jeans. 

 baseball tee: c/o pink blush 

Notice the Little Mermaid? Addilyn had to make sure she got in the picture.  A maternity baseball tee has been on my pregnant wish list since I was pregnant with Addilyn, so I was excited when I got to pick this one!  I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be more of a shirt, but is long enough to be a dress on me.  Which makes it perfect for leggings, boots and a scarf this Fall and Winter.  

jeans: c/o  pink blush   sweater & boots: target

I was a little nervous to order jeans, as I never do online since sizes are always so different. But I knew their return policy was really easy so I figured if I had to exchange them it wouldn't be a big deal.  Thankfully they fit great, minus being a little long, which is always my problem.  I think I may cut the ends off and hem them so I don't have to roll them so many times!  They are full panel, which is my favorite as this belly grows.  

Pink Blush also has a non-maternity shop with pieces just as cute.  Both sites always have flash sales and deals of the day, with free shipping always.  I may check their sites many times a week and have had to restrain myself from ordering more.  I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a dress or two for our maternity pictures when that time comes!  Thank you so much Pink Blush!  I love my new clothes and may already have some more sitting in my cart waiting for me to buy them!

(Make sure to follow them on instagram to keep up with their sales and specials!)

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September 24, 2015

Weeks 15 & 16

15 week baby bump
16 week baby bump
I'm actually 17 weeks this week, but keeping up by the week is not happening, so catch up it is!  I've been feeling a little better the last two weeks.  Maybe throwing up a few times a week, as oppose to multiple times a day.  I still feel pretty tired and am waiting for that second trimester energy to come! In the mornings I often feel like I'm going to be good for the day, then come Addilyn's nap time and I feel exhausted.  I definitely can't sleep on my stomach any more, so getting comfortable at night is a challenge.  I wake up at least a few times to go to the bathroom and often feel nauseous when I wake up so it takes a little while to fall back to sleep. 

My belly is definitely growing and I shouldn't be surprised, as everyone says it, but it's crazy how much faster I'm showing than with Addilyn.  It's funny because depending on what I'm wearing I feel like while I look pregnant no matter what, the size of my belly seems to differ a lot.  It's definitely bigger by the end of the day too. 

I already feel like my belly is so high.  Up until the day she was born my belly was high and I felt like it was overtaking my ribs and chest.  I never "dropped" and I feel like I'm going to be in the same boat this time.  It scares me a little that I already feel like I don't have a ton of space between my boobs and belly!  

I haven't felt any kicks yet, and I'm feeling anxious to.  I felt Addilyn move around at 16 weeks, and while not consistently even Chris could feel it that early.  So while I know it's normal to not feel your baby this early, I thought I would by now and am anxious for it to happen!

I've been making plans for the baby's room, but they are mostly all still in my head. We have a lot of moving around and organizing to do to make room for stuff from upstairs and into the basement before we can even think about making it a nursery.  I have a good idea of what I want it to look like, boy or girl, but finding out what we're having will make it way more exciting.  My 20 week ultrasound is October 15th and I can't wait.  

I'm sure I could say this every time, but I still have many days where I just can't believe that I am pregnant.  I feel so so thankful for this baby, and don't ever want to forget what a miracle it is! 

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September 23, 2015

26 months and my favorite age so far

There are so many things that are so different in each stage of Addilyn's life so far, which makes it hard to compare.  There have been things I've loved about each of them, but I think we are currently in my favorite stage.  While we are not free from some fits, time outs and lots of learning how to handle our emotions, it's been filled with way more enjoyable things than difficult.  

Addilyn is so vocal, funny, affectionate, a little more independent, and overall pleasant to be around.  She's still clinging and needy, and I know come March that will have to change, but for now we manage it fine. We are currently in a good phase of sleep and naps, which I fully appreciate as I know things change quickly, but I love our current schedule.  She goes to bed around 7:30, wakes up between 6 and 6:30 and takes a two to two and half hour nap around 12.  No complaining here! 

She'll sit on my lap in the mornings and after her nap and watch tv for awhile.  Which these days is Daniel Tiger every single time.  We run errands together, and while she doesn't sit still in the cart, she'll usually do a decent job staying close to me, and while it's tiring, we have more successful trips than not.  We've started Bible Study and MOPs, and have only gone to one of each.  Bible Study went great, MOPs not so much, but we've made such huge progress with her in childcare that it's been nice to have a little reprieve from anxiety in that area and I'm hoping it continues to improve and is good for both of us this year. 

She's obsessed with brushing her teeth and will stand at the sick using water and toothpaste for twenty minutes if I let her.  She has become a better eater and would eat shredded wheat for every meal if we let her.  Although I'm sure candy would still win at her favorite food.  She can be quite dramatic with her words and often says things "Mama, I need you forever and ever!" or "My lamby is lost forever!"  

She can tell you that "A-d-d-i" spells Addi and when you ask her what road she lives on she'll say "Dowell Road" with the cutest little puckered lips when she says road.  She thinks any candle is for celebrating her birthday and loves retelling what she did during the day.  Talking with her hands, and listing off things she did (or didn't do).  

Here's a few funny things she's said lately:

We were about to go down to the basement and she closed the gate so Molly couldn't come in and said "No Molly you stay up here.  I need my space!" 

At dinner the other night she said "Can I have a sip of your water Katie?"  Then looked kind of shocked that she called me Katie and started laughing saying "I just called your Katie?!" 

I was telling Addi about how she gets to go to a new class tomorrow (MOPs) and she said "um . . . I'll just go in a few weeks instead." 

Chris said I love you to Addi and she said "No.  I love mama."  I said "remember you can love a lot of people," and she said "Oh yeah! I love Lena and Aunt Lauren and Grandpa too!" 

Her and Chris were coming home from picking up Subway and he said we're bringing mama a sandwich and she said "yeah, she's a nice mama." 

I know things change so fast with toddlers, and motherhood in general.  Which is a good reminder that when things are hard, they can change so quickly.  And then when things are good, you should appreciate the moments and be grateful.  So right now I am feeling grateful for this phase! 

Addilyn Jane I think you are just the best! Thank you for being sweet, and funny and for taking good naps! :)  You make me so happy, and I am thankful I get to spend my days with you and am going to cherish the next many months of time with just the two of us! 

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September 21, 2015

$5 Booties

dress: old navy   booties: old navy 

Last week I went to Old Navy and got super lucky.  I found these booties for less than $5 and I love them.  They now beat my favorite $8 booties from Target.  They are super comfortable and now I love wearing booties with dresses and jeans, so I know that I will wear them a ton!  I also got this dress for $15 and it is so comfy.  I'm sure I'll wear it with leggings this winter, as it is super flowy and will hopefully fit this growing belly for a long time!  Hooray for $20 outfits!

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September 20, 2015

Bella Gravida

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Bella Gravida. I received a complimentary subscription and promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

I'm so excited because the next two months I get to try out a new monthly subscription for maternity clothing!  It's like Netflix, but with maternity clothes.  I love the idea, because you really don't get a lot of wear out of maternity clothes.  Although it feels like you're pregnant forever, you're clothes don't get nearly as much wear as when you're not pregnant.  I have a hard time spending a lot of money on maternity clothes as I don't wear them often, so this sounds perfect.  

The company is Bella Gravida, which means beautifully pregnant in Italian.  Bella Gravida is a new company that launches this month.  When you sign up for a monthly subscription you decide how many items you want at a time.  You fill out a little profile with your style choices and then you'll get your items in the mail.  You get to keep them as long as you want and when you're ready you send them back to get new items.  No return deadlines and no limit to how many times a month you exchange them.  Plus you don't pay for shipping.  And you don't even have to wash them as they do that for you! 

 I'll be trying out a two month subscription and will share how I love it in October! I can't wait for my first package!  

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September 17, 2015

Sweater Weather

 grey sweater: c/o shein     tan sweater: c/o shein

I'm so happy we are finally in sweater weather here and there.  We've had a few cooler days, especially the mornings, and I couldn't be happier about it.  I LOVE these two new sweaters and know I will be wearing them a ton. Pockets, comfy, baggy and soft.  Definite fall requirements.  And I can wear them with jeans, dresses, over tank tops . . . .  Plus my growing belly does not get in the way. Win, win, win!

maternity outfit
grey chunky sweater
sweater: c/o shein  tunic: c/o shein (a favorite of mine!)   jeans: gap   booties: target 

Plus it also means getting out my trusty $7 Target booties.  I remember debating buying them and don't know what I was thinking.  I wear them all the time in the Fall!  Excuse the wrinkles.  Iron, what?

sweater: c/o  shein    tee: old navy  

Hope you all have a great weekend! I think the high for Saturday is 65 and Apple Picking is on our agenda, which means apple donuts and apple cider.  I can not wait!

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September 15, 2015

Dear baby,

Dear baby, 

You are eight weeks old and I still can't believe you are really there.  We saw your tiny little bean self at the doctor's last week and we relieved to see your little heart flickering fast!

The first time around when we wanted to get pregnant we had to go through a whole lot.  Lots of praying and a lot of things that were really hard.  You were an easy, sweet surprise.  We were praying for you and hoping for you, but did not think we'd get you so easily.  I still have a hard time believing that I am really pregnant. 

There has been so much healing in this pregnancy already.  We found out we were pregnant by taking a test when we were on vacation in Florida.  We got to surprise our families and tell them about you and it was so much fun.  Your sweet life is healing some pain that I did not know still existed from things we went through years ago.  What a blessing you are already.  

While I have felt quite sick already this pregnancy, I've had less worries and felt more at peace this time around.  I'm trusting that God is in control and that we will get to hold your cute self in March. And we couldn't be more excited.  
Your sister already touches my belly, talks to you and tells you she loves you.  I'm sure you will recognize her voice just as much as mine!  

I already dream about your name, what you will look like, what your personality will be and our life as a family of four.  We could not feel luckier that you get to be ours and we can't wait to meet you.  I love you sweet baby!

your mom   

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September 14, 2015

Recent favorites . . . . .

 kimono: c/o shein  top: gap  leggings & shoes: target

Leggings weather. 

Clearance racks and this $3 maternity top from Gap. 

Going three days without throwing up.  

Worship station on Pandora.

Burning my apple candle.

Eating banana bread.  

Walks at the forest preserve in cooler weather.  

Another successful sleepover at Grandma's for Addilyn.  

Playdates with friends when you can actually get some good, fulfilling conversations in.  

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September 13, 2015

Uncommon Goods

Definitely one of the biggest perks of blogging is getting to know more about and working with other companies.  I had heard of Uncommon Goods before and had seen a few of their products through other bloggers, so I excited when they contacted me about doing a review of their products. Uncommon Goods was founded in 1999 and works to offer unique, hand crafted products. Like most things I was incredibly indecisive and spent a LONG time on their site, searching through their stuff.  This personalized wall clock and this wall caddy were on my list!  I'm pretty sure I narrowed it down to about six things from their home decor products (check them out here!) that sat in my cart for a few days, until I decided on these two.  

I am so happy with my choices!  I can't tell you how many nail holes are behind these two frames (eight!) because of how many times I've changed out what was up there.  But I think these are there to stay.  Although I'm tempted to moved the bottom one into new baby's room, so maybe that one will just stay for a few more months.  We'll see!  
My favorite thing about these products in that each one comes with a little story about the artist who makes them.  Both of these frames were made by Margaret Taylor.  

The wooden frame came with a not inside of it that said:
                It was a barn for the square dance on Saturday night
                It was the front porch to rock on
                It was the trim that said the hard work paid off . . . 
                The only thing worse than tearing down an old building is not re-using the 
                       wood that created its beauty. 

Isn't that neat?  Both pieces are much sturdier and better quality then I expected.  The frame had this written inside of it and I just love it!  The blue matches our living room perfectly. 

And I LOVE the button magnets on the bottom one.  This print in from my best friends Liz's etsy shop.  I love that it'll be easy to change out, as I have a few of her prints I'll probably want to rotate! 

Check out more of their unique products here! You will love them!

Thank you Uncommon Goods for my new pieces.  I love them!!

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