September 15, 2014

I'm sensing a theme here....

 photo IMG_8643copy.jpgWe had a nice little weekend over here. Filled with lots of laughs, oreo eating, and playing outside. And lots of pee. The theme for the weekend was officially "mommy cleans up a lot of pee"....and it had nothing to do with potty training....because we are totally not ready for that mess. Hudson peed through his diaper at bedtime twice over the weekend and even managed to soak his pillow. How that happened I may never know. And one of our cats peed on Hudson's pottery barn anywhere chair. Which. Gross. And super hard to clean. 

So that was fun. 

 photo IMG_8690.jpgBesides all the pee, we still managed to squeeze in some fun. But taking a photo with a two year old squirmy boy is darn near impossible. 

 photo IMG_8688copy.jpgBe still my heart. This one's going in the wedding slide show. My husband took Hudson to get his hair cut on Friday and I can't get over how much older he looks. He is going to be going off to college and getting married before I know it. Time, please slow down.

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In other news, toddler emotions are like a roller coaster.  

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Being two is hard.

How was your weekend?


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September 12, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Oh Hey Friday!!! Good to see you! Let's do this....

{one} Thank you all for your sweet comments on yesterday's confessions post. Sometimes it's hard to be honest and put yourself out there but you made it easy. You all mean more to me than you will ever know. 

{two} Let's talk dining room chairs. The ones we have now are mis-matched and the seat is fabric covered. They are cute and all but I'm not in love. And they are very hard to clean, especially when a certain someone runs around the house with sticky hands and gets spaghetti sauce/chocolate ice cream all over them. I am in love with these chairs from Restoration Hardware. I also plan to have a farm house table built soon (ahem, husband, ahem) to go with them. What do you think?

{three} I talked about potty training in this post, but our potty seats finally arrived! (for the record, he likes both of the types we bought). Two nights ago, Hudson asked to sit on the potty so I put the seat down for him and plopped him down. He sat there for awhile talking, nothing happened, then he said "all done!" Well. I didn't put his diaper back on because it was time to go take a bath. 30 seconds after I took him off the potty he peed all over the kitchen floor. And then while I was cleaning that up, he peed on the living room carpet. Oh. My Word. I am SO not looking forward to actually starting potty training. 

{four} In my comments yesterday a few of you mentioned you would like to start getting involved with sponsored posts. Working with sponsors can be a fun way to engage your readers while bringing in a little extra income! I have a few recommendations for anyone who is interested. The first is Pollinate Media. I'm a little biased, but Pollinate is really is a wonderful company for bloggers seeking fun and exciting ways to work with brands. You need to have a minimum of 20,000 page views per month (set up Google Analytics to figure out this number). You can see a few examples of work I've done for Pollinate here, here, here, and here. If you do not have that many page views, a great alternative is their sister company, Weave Made Media. Another company I've enjoyed working for is Linqia. They set a budget for you based on your blog stats and are usually pay per click for campaigns.  You can see examples of my work with them here, here, and here. If you have any questions about working for these companies let me know! (and while you're at it, I could use some more clicks on the Pull-Ups links in this post).

{five} Last night my husband and I hit up a massive kids church consignment sale. Hudson made out big time. Lots and lots of trucks, some animals, a Lightning McQueen, Woody and Bullseye, a puzzle, and a ton of books. I don't know who's more excited....me over the great deals we scored or Hudson when he sees them all.

Happy Friday!

Today I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!

Momfessionals
And I'm also linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love.


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September 11, 2014

Thursday Confessions

These are my confessions......in bullet list form.

- I've succumbed to the julie-stress trifecta, in which I don't get enough sleep, forget to wash my hair, and eat a few too many bowls of ice cream. So you can imagine what that trio has done for my self-esteem.

- My theory is if you dress for fall, it will come. Today it's only going to be 60 degrees....so it worked! Also, time to clean my mirror.

- If it fits in the dishwasher, it goes in the dishwasher. #NoTimeForDirtyDishes

- I dropped a bottle of red nail polish on our carpet. And on myself. In my panic to clean up the carpet I somehow got nail polish in my armpit. MY ARMPIT. And in case you were wondering, there is no easy way to clean red nail polish out of carpet. I ended up cutting out the individual fibers that were stained red. And had my husband wipe down my armpit with nail polish remover. I'm sure when he said "I do" he never imagined what that would eventually entail.

- I still haven't taken Hudson's 2 year photos. In my defense, the week leading up to his birthday he had a black eye. And this week it has been really rainy. And how many more excuses do I need before I hire a professional to do them for me?

- Hudson's 2 year photo book also hasn't been started yet. Neither has his 1 year photo book. Someone please make them for me?

- I just finished The Fault in Our Stars. Holy tears.

- In all seriousness, in July my husband and I faced the reality that I might loose my job due to "right-sizing"....which caused an unwanted amount of stress in our lives, and also made us make some big changes in our spending. Unfortunately it also made me say yes probably a few too many times to sponsored content here on the blog, and for that I apologize. It is not my intention at all to have so much sponsored content, and for those of you who commented on those posts anyway, I am sending you a big fat hug. Thank you for being loyal readers and sticking with me when times are tough. Sponsored content helps provide for my little family and justify the time it takes to post here 5 times a week. If you blog regularly, you know how much time that is! The job stress also caused me to say no to a few of you who wanted to do birthday gift swaps, guest posts etc. Thank you all for being so understanding. My goal is to get back to what I love about blogging, which is relationship building. Commenting on blogs, replying to comments, and finding and connecting with other bloggers is truly my passion. And God provides. People I work with read this blog, but if you want to know details about my work situation, please email me. #ChangeIsGood #ThingsAreLookingUp

- Big two year old boys get to finally face forward in the car. And Hudson is loving it. Also, Buzz goes with us everywhere...I am now on the hunt for a bath time appropriate Buzz and also a bedtime Buzz....because both have become a struggle when Buzz can't join him. Send reinforcements please.

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September 10, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Kary from Always Painted, Usually Chipped

Hi, I’m Kary from Always Painted, Usually Chipped and I’d love to share my breastfeeding journey with you. I am the mom to a spunky 23 month old boy and I breast fed him until 14 months, but that’s the end of the journey. Let’s start back at the beginning. 

When I was pregnant I was very hesitant about breastfeeding, VERY hesitant. I worried more about breastfeeding than I did about labor and delivery. I was anxious to the point that I had dreams about practicing breastfeeding on my cat during my pregnancy. (Yes, you read that correctly. DreamS, with an “s” - as in, I had more than one dream about breastfeeding my cat.)
I knew all of the information about why I SHOULD breastfeed and I wanted to do it if I could, but I felt so awkward about it. I wasn’t exactly “scared” to breastfeed, it just seemed so far outside of my comfort zone. I’d never been around babies and changing a diaper seemed hard enough to me, let alone feeding someone from my body. Plus, I basically failed breastfeeding class and my husband had to hold the fake baby up to my boob to show me how to do it correctly.
Then on November 12th, my son, Reed was born. All through the labor I knew what was coming – the first nursing session. I kept thinking that pretty soon they were going to hand him to me and I was supposed to feed him. Out he came and then here I am looking at this teeny, adorable baby and I am expected to breastfeed him. I was nervous as can be, but I did it. He latched on, and yes, it did hurt and yes, it was a little odd, but I did it.

One month went by, then two, then three, and I kept it up. I was really breastfeeding a baby! Reed refused all bottles and ate so often that I wasn’t away from him for more than 2 hours until he was 7 months old.  Even so, he was slow to put on weight and was monitored monthly by the pediatrician. I became very close friends with my Boppy pillow. I had to be brave and nurse in public to have any hope of leaving the house. It wasn’t until my son was 9 months old that he actually stretched his feedings out long enough for me to spend an afternoon out and about without him (and by that I mean 4-5 hours). He was still nursing 3 times a day when he turned a year old. At that point I felt a wave of relief. I DID IT!!!! I made it to one year and I honestly didn’t think I’d make it past week one when I was pregnant. He dropped the remaining three feedings soon after, with a little push from me on the last one.

  Reed’s favorite nursing position. I was told that they stare lovingly into your eyes.

Thankfully, I had a pretty easy road overall, which I know helped me to keep going. Sure, I had some sore nipples, but I made it all the way to the end without a clogged duct, mastitis or any of the other major issues that can hinder a breastfeeding journey and for that I am SO thankful.

It turns out that the one big issue we had, I didn’t even realize was an issue and that’s why I want to take a minute to mention it here. It wasn’t until after my son was done breastfeeding that I came across a post on one of my favorite blogs (Bower Power - here) about lip ties. I’d heard about tongue ties, but never the lip. Sure enough, that’s exactly how my son’s mouth looks. He has a lip tie. I talk more about it in this post on my blog.

When I learned about lip ties, all of a sudden the sore nipples, frequent feedings, fast nursing sessions, slow weight gain, etc. all made sense. What’s surprising to me is that during Reed’s early months we were seen on a monthly basis by his pediatrician for the weight checks and we were seen by two different lactation consultants at the office during that time. They checked his latch, watched him feed, looked in his mouth, and never noticed the lip tie. They had me pump and attempt to supplement with a bottle (big fail – lead to an oversupply that lead to a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that lead to some gross diapers). They had me mix breast milk with oatmeal cereal (big fail – lead to screaming fits from tummy pain, short naps and the worst “new mom attitude” month for me). The only thing that worked was their suggestion to feed him every two hours if he was awake, which made me feel a little defeated since I thought I was finally at the point where he’d start to stretch feedings out, not bring them closer together. Thankfully once he got more into solids he dropped feedings pretty quickly and that was only a few months later. 
I hope that sharing my story will give some of you that are nervous about breastfeeding the push to try. Now that our breastfeeding journey is over I am SO happy that I stuck with it. Trust me, I am definitely excited that we’ve moved past that stage in the game, but I am proud that I overcame all the nerves and anticipation and gave breast feeding a shot.

 Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail


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September 9, 2014

B is for Busy Box!

  All hail the power of the busy box! Hudson and I got our craft on and participated in a busy box swap with some of my favorite bloggers! A busy box is designed to be a simple activity or set of activities that help educate and entertain little ones for a few precious minutes. Moms everywhere know how valuable those minutes can be!

Colleen and Owen from Meet the Sullivans sent Hudson his very own road play set! Colleen is such a sweetheart and really went the extra mile to make Hudson's busy box amazing.

Hudson LOVES it. He loves the cars, and animals in his box so much. 

I'm pretty sure Hudson and I hit the jack pot with our swap.

Have you ever made a busy box? There are tons of ideas on pinterest! We want to see you get creative and show us a busy box you have made for your toddler! Next week Tuesday we are going to host a busy box link up and we can't wait to see all of your great ideas! Meanwhile, check out the other bloggers participating in this swap below and be sure to check out Emily's blog, Dear Owen, to see the Brown Bear/color matching busy bag Hudson and I sent Owen!

Colleen at Meet the Sullivans
Emily at Dear Owen
Michelle at Ten June
Natasha from Schue Love
Erin from Hello Erin

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