April 17, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

Oh Hey Friday....so nice to see you again. Let's do this. 5 things....

 {one} If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, why aren't you? @girlintheredshoes) you know we've had lots of bike drama at our house. This guy now owns two bikes. One regular bike with training wheels and one balance bike. #spoiled.

 But I could just die from the cuteness.

{two} On Tuesday while driving Hudson home from school I must have had just one hand on the steering wheel and he told me "two hands mommy, two hands!" When did my kid get smarter than me? And where on earth did he learn that? (picture is of him going through the car wash with me for the first time....he loved it!)

{three} Have you heard Kacey Musgraves's new song, Biscuits? Oh my word. Listen to it here.
"Just hoe your own row and raise your own babies
Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies
Mend your own fences and own your own crazy
Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy"

I totally want to yell this to people all the time.

{four} I have a love hate relationship with Nordstrom right now. I love them because, hello, they are awesome, but I hate them because I want to buy ALL THE THINGS. I'm in love with this shirt. I need it, don't you think? Even though I'm pregnant and it won't fit right now. And I'm not really a camper. Still. It's cute and it's calling my name!

{five} Need some cute kid's party ideas and themes? Check out Party Opedia. They have theme party supply packages from cute and fun tableware and plasticware, to the details of the decorations, invitations and favors. Hudson would love this one.

And now the link ups....

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!


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April 16, 2015

Because they are part of the family too....

Our home is more complete with our pets in it. We love them just like they were members of our family. We have two cats (Henry and Sophie) and one dog (Wrigley). Growing up I was always surrounded by pets. They were a source of comfort, fun, and unconditional love. So many of my childhood memories involve my pets and I can't imagine not having them.

My hope is that Hudson develops a love and respect for animals...just like I did. Raising your child with pets helps them to learn to care for and love something other than themselves. Animals teach your children how to have compassion and treat all living things with kindness and respect. Caring for pets, cleaning up after them, exercising them, and taking them to the vet for regular check-ups helps kids learn responsibility. 

When I was little I was in charge of feeding our pets dinner every night and walking, brushing, and bathing our dogs. I'm sure I complained at times about the level of responsibility, but I wouldn't change my experiences for anything. Having lots of pets was a highlight of my childhood, hands down.

We recently introduced our cats to Rachael Ray's Nutrish cat food. Nutrish recipes are made with simple natural ingredients and do not contain meat or poultry by-product meal or fillers. Real meat is the #1 ingredient in the food and all recipes were inspired by Rachael’s kitchen. Which, hello, she's amazing, so my cats are super lucky!

When switching over Henry and Sophie's food, I slowly mixed it with their old food for several days so that it didn't mess up their tummies. And they really love their new food! And I love that it is healthier for them. 

Henry and Sophie tried the Zero Grain Whitefish and Potato Dry Cat Food and really like it! Real whitefish is the #1 ingredient and it helps to maintain strong muscles and helps minimize litter box odors. It has zero grains, glutens or fillers. Zero artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and is the first zero grain dry cat formula from Rachael Ray Nutrish. Click here for a $3 off coupon!

Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue, created to help shelter pets. As of today, over $9 million has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need. Rachael Ray's Nutrish is the first premium brand that is available in your local grocery store, as well as mass retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon, which makes shopping super easy for me!

You can find Rachael Ray Nutrish on twitterfacebook, and Instagram

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April 15, 2015

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Heather from Mommy by the Sea

Hi! I'm Heather and I blog over at Mommy by the Sea, where I write about things like books, food, fashion, baby gear and adventures with my family.  We've had a bit of a whirlwind family, meeting my husband, marrying him 14 months later and welcoming a baby girl 10 months later.  After a little break, we added our little man to the mix and are so happy with where our lives have taken us.

Breastfeeding as been a big part of my world since June of 2011 when I had my daughter. Unlike many of the moms who have guest posted here, I wasn't sure I wanted to breastfeed.  I knew I'd be going back to work and was nervous about having to pump or transitioning between nipple and bottle.  Had my husband not lost his job 2 weeks before she was born, I may not have attempted nursing like I did. It was a financial necessity, we would not have been able to afford formula. 

The first days were hard. So hard. It hurt even though we had a good latch.  She latched 15 minutes after being delivered completely naturally. Giving birth med free was less painful than her latch. It was just sore and I'd ball my fists every time she would latch because she was just so strong already. My milk took 4 days to come in. I am convinced that I would have given up if I didn't feel like I had to nurse to save money.

I believe this feeling of obligation contributed to my post-partum depression.  I didn't see the beauty of what I was able to do; I only saw the shortcomings of our bank account and piled more pressure on myself to do well with breastfeeding. Returning to work as a busy restaurant manager was not easy and finding time to pump was near impossible, but I did it. And then all of a sudden, she turned a year old and we were done.  Ironically, my husband got a new job at the same time.

Shamefully, I was happy to be done.  It meant no more breast pumps and 20 minutes locked in the restaurant office while I ate my food over my expressing milk.  And while there was no actual correlation between breastfeeding and my husband's employment, it just felt right that he was working again and I wasn't nursing anymore. 

However, after we stopped nursing, I realized how much I missed those moments with my daughter. Our special one on one time.  The realization that her growth was a direct result from my amazing body. I cried because it was over. 

Fast forward 2 years and we decided to have another baby and decided that this was it. Two babies for our family and I knew I wanted to breastfeed this one. I wanted a completely med free birth and skin to skin and I wanted to breastfeed and just soak in every minute of my baby. Then we found out he was breech and I would have to have a c-section. I was devastated; it was like if I couldn't have the birth I wanted, then nothing would work out.

Thankfully, little man arrived as expected, sticking his little breech feet out first and coming into the world ready to nurse.  He latched before the doctors had finished stitching me back up.  He nursed and it no longer hurt, it was my moment with my little guy.  My last first latch. My milk came in the first day and he had already started to put weight back on by the second day. We were designed to breastfeed together.

I was lucky enough to spend 4 months at home before returning to work and in that time I stockpiled milk in the freezer.  I wanted to give this little guy everything I could.  I was so diligent and enthusiastic that when I returned to work as a high school English teacher in September, I had 400 oz in my freezer.

I would nurse in the morning, pump 10-12 oz on my prep period, nurse when I got home at 3 and then continue nursing throughout the evening and night.  I was pumping more than he was consuming and soon had over 500 oz in my freezer. 

Knowing how hard it can be to breastfeed, I wanted to do good with my milk and underwent the process to become a human milk donor. The process of questionnaires and blood work was so worth it when I carried 300 oz to the NICU unit of my local collection site.  Not only was I going to help my little one thrive, but I'd be helping dozens of others. 

I helped my daughter learn about breastfeeding.  At only 3 years old, she will yell "Mommy, Baby Ty needs boobie milk!" or will walk around with a stuffed animal down her shirt, or will cry  a bit when she realizes that she doesn't have boobie milk to feed her babies yet. Her comfort with nursing really helped me realize how comfortable I was this time around. I didn't have to do it; I wanted to.

My little guy is nearing his first birthday in just 3 short weeks and it makes me sad.  This is it for my breastfeeding journey.  I stopped pumping 2 months ago but  nurse on demand in the evening and at night and still I know that the time is quickly running out on his first year.  

I know that once again when we are done nursing I will cry.
The first time I cried because I had missed the value of my breastfeeding experience, and now I will cry because I will miss my breastfeeding experience.  I will miss the snuggles and the content milk comas.  I will miss the look of pure joy when dropping off milk donations. I will miss those moments but I know the relationship I have with my children through this special bond will last forever.

Thank you so much for letting me share my story!

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.

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April 14, 2015

32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Yep, basically everything is maternity these days. 

Stretch marks? Nope, thank goodness.

Sleep: I'm up 2-4 times each night to use the bathroom. And last night I had a late night meeting and didn't get to bed until 11...and then Hudson woke up crying at 3:30 and needed mommy. So I'm a bit tired today!

Best moment this week: Getting the baby's room painted! My father-in-law and my husband busted it out in a few hours. And we took apart the crib, moved it out of Hudson's room, and put it back together again. So it's all starting to come together...sort of!

Miss Anything? Still just sleep. And being able to bend over comfortably. 

Movement: Still lots of movement! My doctor can't tell for sure if baby is head down...it seems he or she is kind of sideways, which is also making me measure about a week ahead. Hopefully baby moves to head down soon!

Food cravings: Strawberries, grapes, black berries and juice! Basically give me all the fruit. Oh, and a cheeseburger too please. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope, thank goodness! 

Gender: We'll find out in June!

Labor Signs: A few braxton hicks contractions over the weekend. I didn't get them with Hudson so I had to google it! Such a strange feeling. 

Symptoms: Still dealing with heartburn, but it's not as bad as it was two weeks ago. And some swelling in my hands. And side cramps.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Mood: Pretty good! I'm excited to meet this baby! Hudson has said all along that it's a "boy baby" in my tummy, but last night he said it was a "sister"....so we'll see!

Looking forward to:  Picking out a name (I know! We still haven't decided!) and getting everything else ready for baby's arrival. 

View me at 32 weeks with Hudson here

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