. . . for Lauren and Lauren: June 2016

June 29, 2016

On feeling like a dud on family vacation

Don't they look thrilled? 

Our vacation really was great.  All these pictures capture so many fun and happy moments. But let's be honest. Vacation with kids is not quite relaxing.  And there were definitely some things that made this trip hard.  

Last year on our trip I was almost two months pregnant, super nauseous, Chris was only able to stay for half the week and Addi had a hard time letting anyone do anything for her but myself.  I went to bed early every night, was tired, and felt like a total dud.  I remember thinking that next year will be so much better.  While I didn't feel nauseous and did have more fun, I still felt like a dud. 

We were all sleeping in one room so Isaac would be ready to be asleep by 7/7:30, but Addilyn not asleep until at least 8 so I'd hold Isaac outside the room until Addi was out and then sneak in to lay him down.  Many nights he'd wake up within an hour if not sooner so I'd rush in to not wake Addi up. He never stayed asleep for more than three hours ever, maybe not even two that week and I was exhausted.  I felt like I spent a good amount of evenings rocking him or nursing him downstairs. I had to work hard to not feel crabby during the day because I felt so tired! 

Leaving to go to a winery with the girls felt like it took planning as to when I'd nurse him, when someone would need to sleep.  It just felt hard.  And tiring.  

This season of parenting is hard.  Nursing a baby so often, not being able to have him out in the sun too long, getting such little sleep, not having our normal routine.  It takes an embarrassing amount of work for me to relax and not stress about travel, routines, vacations.  Heck, I wasn't even a good traveler before kids.  

I'm thankful for all these pictures to remind me that although it was hard and tiring, it was fun and worth it to go.  And to remember that this is a season.  That traveling and activities and vacations will get easier and to keep doing it even though it's a lot of work because it's still worth it.  

And next year I hope to be a slightly less dud.  I'm hopeful.  ;) 

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June 28, 2016

Nursing, bedspreads and car seat help!

 dress: c/o  shein    bracelet: nickel and suede 

A few of you commented how I nurse with maxi dresses/strapless bras.  I've just put a nursing cover on, and pulled my arm through the strap and then pulled my bra down.  So basically pretty naked under the cover.  :)  Obviously you need straps that are looser.  This dress is perfect and it has pockets!  

We are getting new carpet in two weeks and I've wanted to paint my bedroom for years and figured now is the time.  So this weekend thanks to some help from my brother we got it done and I love it. Now I need a new bedspread and pillows.  I would LOVE to have a white bedspread with a colorful blanket and pillows but feel like white is so impractical with little kids.  Addi will have a snack on my bed while I shower or get ready, I change diapers on it, Molly lays on it.  Probably not a good idea, right?  Maybe some day.  

Isaac has decided he absolutely hates the carseat.  For such a happy baby he can sure scream so loud. The other day we got stuck in traffic and were in the car for 45 minutes and he screamed the entire time.  It was awful.  He was so sweaty and exhausted.  I seriously would spend some good money on something that made him happy in the car, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist, does it? 

I can't get over how big Addi looks in this picture.  She is almost three which is crazy!  Which also means I should probably start planning something for her birthday!  Yikes.

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June 26, 2016

Fireworks. To go or not to go.

 dress: c/o make me chic     shoes: old navy

This dress (only $17 on currently 25% off!) is super comfy and perfect for summer and especially the fourth of July.  Last year we went to a fourth of July parade but Addi stayed home from the fireworks. We felt like it wasn't worth a super late bedtime and she didn't know what she was missing out on.  I think we'll plan on taking her this year and I think she'll love it!  Now to decide if Isaac should go or one of us stay home.  Do you bring your babies and toddlers to fireworks?  

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June 23, 2016

Guess their age

top: c/o shein    jeans: gap   shoes: old navy  

A few months ago we had new neighbors move in and they are a super nice younger couple.  My sister was over and Chris and I were talking about them and she asked how old they were.  I said they were our age and Chris started laughing, informing me that they were 19 and 20.  So really not our age at all, by more than ten years.  I one, suck at guessing ages and two think I am way younger than I am.  

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June 22, 2016

The better moments.

The other day around 5:00 I was feeling pretty accomplished for the day.  I had taken Isaac to the doctor and then grocery shopping.  I got a load of laundry folded, and a workout video in.  Addi played outside in her little pool while Isaac and I watched, and was happy most of the day. 

We had music on, both kids were happy.  I was making a batch of breakfast burritos to freeze.  Isaac was starting to get fussy so I put him in the wrap, thinking he'd fall asleep.  Addi was playing with play dough at the table and I thought "man if Chris came home right now, we are in good shape. I look like I have everything completely under control."  Music on, Isaac asleep, Addi playing happily at the table, me cooking.  

Five minutes later.  Isaac wouldn't fall asleep and kept crying so I tried to put him down for a nap. Addi got tired of playing by herself and started running around the house, loud, and naked.  Isaac was overtired but wouldn't stay asleep.  I was sweating and immediately so tired.  It's crazy how fast things can go from feeling really put together to falling apart.  

There's been plenty of phases where we've struggled with Addi and bedtime.  We can have a wonderful day and then the last hour or two feel exhausting and miserable.  I've started working harder to not let that last hour or so define how I felt about the day.  To remove that hard moment, or even moments when I think about our day.  Otherwise I'd be going to bed feeling defeated and frustrated.  

So much about parenting is extremes.  The idea of Isaac growing up is exciting and there are so many things I can't wait for.  But the fact that he is moving farther and farther away from being a little baby is sad.  There are so many things I love about staying at home or about breastfeeding.  But there are things that make both of those hard and I can't wait until I can have more space and feel more like myself.  

There's things that feel hard these days, like getting Isaac down for a nap or to stay asleep more than an hour at bedtime.  I can end the day feeling like I'm failing at establishing any kind of routine for him .  Or that we have days Addi has an accident or has whined a thousand times.  But there are always good moments.  

My new goal is to end the day thinking of those more "perfect" moments.  Even if they are just moments.  Like when Isaac and I got home from the doctors and Addi ran up to him, gave him a huge hug and said "I missed you so much Isaac. I'm so glad you are home!"  Or how I rocked Isaac to sleep while watching Addilyn play naked on our deck with her water table.  Her tiny little booty with tanlines.  Or the ten minutes when Isaac was super happy in the wrap while I was making dinner and Addi was making "dinner" with her play dough.  

There's always going to be hard moments during the day, but there will always be good ones and I'm working on ending the day thinking of those.  

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June 21, 2016

Family Vacation

We just got back Saturday from spending a week with my family in Galena, IL.  It's this cute little town about two and half hours away.  We rented a house and spent a lot of time swimming at the pool, drinking lots of coffee and wine, getting very little sleep (thank you Isaac), walking around the little town and enjoying spending time together.  As always, I was stressed about traveling and sleeping as we were all in the same room.  The traveling part went great and Addi was awesome at the sleep part.  She took good naps and slept well most of the night even with Isaac being up.  For not being a great sleeper as a baby, she does a great job these days! 

I took tons of pictures and am oversharing away . . . . . 

The car ride there.  Both kids did awesome!

 We went out to a nice dinner one night and got some sweet family pictures!
(swimsuit from American Eagle for $15 this year.  I love it!)
Isaac's first time swimming.  He mostly loved it ;) 
 Lauren and Lauren's birthday dinner
 At the winery
 Grandpa and Isaac
 cousin bathtime
 First time mini golfing.  Addi kept saying "Hold it one!" instead of hole in one. 
A trip to the winery with no kids.  Thank you Aunt Lo and grandma!

I'm so thankful Chris got to take a week off of work and that we got to spend a week with my family. 

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June 19, 2016

Maxi dress love

We just got back from a week of family vacation.  It was great and I have lots of pictures to share! One night we went out to dinner and I wore this dress from Target.  The other week they had all Merona things for 40% off which made it $14!  And as much as I dislike strapless bras I love that I can wear maxi dresses and still nurse in them. Makes it worth it!  

I also just got this dress in the mail and can't wait to wear it!  Here are some other cute maxi dresses that are all under $20:  (The floral one is my favorite!)

one  //  two  //  three
four  //  five

Hope you all have a good start to your week!

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June 9, 2016

Owlet Baby Monitor

I think every mom can relate to the paranoia that comes with bringing a baby home, especially in regards to sleep.  I can't count the amount of times that I'd lean over while Addilyn was sleeping and put my hand on her chest to make sure it was moving.  Then poke her because I couldn't feel it enough.  Only to wake her up from her short stretch of sleep.  When Addilyn was two months old I actually bought a sensor pad monitor to alert me if she stopped breathing.  It gave me a peace of mind and definitely allowed me to sleep better.  But I didn't love that it could only be used on a flat surface and took a lot of preparation if I wanted to move it.  It also went off a few times when she'd move to the bottom of the crib or if she was in a deep enough sleep it didn't pick it up.  I only wish I had had this monitor with her.  I was so excited when we got our Owlet Care baby monitor

When Isaac was born he had some breathing issues that we discovered the second day.  He was put in the NICU and they monitored his oxygen levels and heart rate.  It freaked me out because I hadn't even noticed before they put him there that he was having a hard time breathing, so you can imagine I was extra nervous whenever he made weird noises or would sleep for any length of time.

The Owlet monitor is is a smart sock that monitors both of those things.  Baby's oxygen level and heart rate, and allows you to monitor them on your phone.  The smart sock uses hosptial technology (pulse oximetry) and is designed to alert you if your baby's heart rate is too low or too high, or if baby's oxygen level gets too low.

The monitor is hooked up to your home wifi, so you can use the app on your phone to check your baby's levels at any time.  If you bring your monitor with you (like I will on vacation) and there is no wifi, you can still use the monitor and it will still alert you if there are any problems, you just can't see the readings through the app.

There are three different alerts you can get from the monitor.  

Yellow means the monitor can't get a good reading.  This has only happened one time in the month I've used it, and I'm not sure what the problem was.  I had Isaac in a onesie (usually he's in footie pjs) under his swaddle and I'm guessing when he was moving around the sock shifted.  

Blue means the monitor has disconnected from the base station.  This could be because the base station is too far from the sock.  This happened once when I brought Isaac out of the room without turning off the monitor.  It could also happen if you are feeding them during the night and your body is blocking the sensor. 

Red means the baby's oxygen level is too low or heart rate too low or too high.  Obviously you wouldn't rely solely on the alarm, as you would first check your baby and make sure they are breathing normally and look okay.  I got a red alarm once.  I had just finished nursing Isaac and was burping him on my shoulder.  The alarm went off and it's loud and off course completely shot my heart rate up.  I was very awake before and Isaac was breathing fine.  I'm not sure if the sock wasn't on right or if it couldn't get a good reading, but I've made sure to turn the monitor off when I'm feeding him from now on, as I know now that can give false readings. 

My thoughts so far? 

I love it.  I feel like there are certain phases when my anxiety is extra high when it comes to my babies and their sleep.  The first few months when they are so new and tiny, whenever they get sick when they start rolling over and sleeping on their stomachs, and then when they sleep all night. (Hopefully Isaac will get the hang of that one sooner than Addilyn!)

I love that I can use it when he's in the rock n play, the cosleeper or crib and that it's easy to put on.

I love how easy it is to access it from my phone and that I can check on his levels while he's asleep in the other room and I'm on the couch.

The only thing I haven't loved about it is that I've had issues with the app in terms of wifi connection. I'm not sure if it's just our connection, but there's been quite a few times I open it to check and it says I'm disconnected.  Most of the times I can just close the app and try again in a minute, but once in awhile I have to unplug the base station and plug it in again.  Not a huge deal at all, but it'd be nice to not do that! (This doesn't mean the monitor isn't working.  It's still designed to alert me from the base station if his oxygen level or heart rate fall out of range.  Just that I can't see the readings on my phone.)

I've partnered with Owlet to offer you a special promo of $20 off your purchase.  I know it is expensive and it's easy to say coming from me since I got to try it out for free.  But from someone who spent a lot of money on a breathing monitor that I didn't love nearly as much when Addilyn was a baby, I'd buy this one if I didn't have it.  Use this link to check out and get $20 off! .

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