February 28, 2014

5 on Friday


High five for Friday! Today I'm linking up with the lovely ladies of The Good LifeCarolina CharmA. Liz Adventures, and Hello Happiness and you should too! Let's get this party started...


 {one} Our Citrus Lane box arrived about five minutes before I was about to have a whinny-toddler induced melt-down and totally saved the day....these boxes seriously have the best timing! And as usual, we loved our box! (If you don't know, Citrus Lane is a subscription service of age appropriate surprises delivered right to your door step. We are always thrilled with our box and love trying out new toys and products! Coupon for $10 off here.) This time we got a build-a-sandwich from Green toys, which immediately got put to use in Hudson's play kitchen. We also got a silicone divided plate from Oogaa....and it's my new favorite. It stays put on Hudson's highchair and is perfect for toddler size meals. In our box was Starlight Sailor board book...and it is SO beautiful. Hudson always gets super excited when there is a book in his box...and this one is such great quality and the images are seriously amazing! Finally, there was some green apple age defy hand cream from Juice Beauty...and I love it! Perfect for my dry winter skin! Click here for $10 off your first Citrus Lane box AND free shipping! You can cancel your subscription at any time. 

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{two} This boy just kills me. I can't get enough of his coffee-table-dancing antics. And don't forget to enter the $50 Carter's giveaway here.

{three} See what I mean about crazy antics? This kid is non-stop. What did I do for entertainment before I had him? 


{four} Speaking of entertainment, we switched cable providers and now have more channels than ever...except for the CW....which means no more Vampire Diaries. Oh my word, I LOVE that stupid show. Now I have to remember to watch it online...which is a bummer because I have to watch the commercials and can't just fast forward through them on my dvr. First world problems right here.
 
{five} We've had a lot of sponsored content up in here lately, so thank you for sticking around. I only work with companies that I trust and can stand behind...so please know I am being 100% honest! We love us some Huggies diapers in our house...and we would love for you to help out with the Every Little Bottom campaign here...it's for a good cause! I've worked with some larger companies lately but really my heart is really in working with other bloggers and small businesses. As a thank you I'm offering 20% off all sponsorship ads now until Sunday! Use code "thanks" at checkout. You can view my sponsorship options here. 


p.s. the blogger lucky recipe link up starts on Monday! Come back for details on how to link up your St. Patrick's Day recipe and participate in our swap!


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February 27, 2014

Mini Style....Win $50 to Carter's

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First things first, I absolutely LOVE being a boy mama. Like love it 100 times more than I ever  thought I could. One of the fun parts of being a mom to a rambunctious little boy is dressing him up! I'm super lucky that Hudson seems to love clothes and trying on outfits....especially shoes!

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We recently stopped by one of my favorite places to find cute and durable boy clothes....Carter's! I'm always impressed with the quality (and quantity!) of the selection...and their new spring line is beyond adorable!

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Doesn't Hudson look dreamy in his new Carter's digs? And yes, the only way I can get him to stay sort of still is to stick him on my coffee table!

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The best part is that EVERYTHING I bought was on sale!!!! Carter’s Baby and Kid Up to 50% Off Sale runs now until March 4, 2014.

Here's a coupon!

Clothing items from Carter’s spring collection are up to 50% off in store, and the above coupon provides an extra 20% off your in-store purchase of $40 or more. Use Carter’s store locator to find a store near you!

Want to win $50 to Carter's? Enter below!
*Thank you to Carter's and The Motherhood for sponsoring this post and giveaway. We LOVE Carter's and all opinions are my own.

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February 26, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Stephanie from Stephenomenal Life

Hey everybody! My name is Stephanie and I blog over at stephenomenallife. I'm a wife to my high school sweet heart, Clint, and mama to our sweet son, Reuben. 

Julie started The Breastfeeding Diaries just a few weeks before Reuben was born and her first few posts were invaluable to me in the beginning so I'm happy to be able to share with you and hope you find my store encouraging! 

I was adamant about breastfeeding from the day I found out I was pregnant. My best friend had had a baby a few months before I got pregnant and I learned all about the benefits and I knew I wanted them for my baby. That's about as far as I got in thinking about it though. I figured my son would latch on the second after I pushed him out after a wonderful, peaceful, natural labor and we'd just figure it out as we went along... I was totally wrong.

When the time came, my birth plan went out the window. You can read more about my birth story here, but the short story is that I had to have a c-section at 37 weeks due to HELLP syndrome. Afterwards,  it was a major uphill battle to get any sort of milk to come in. I was on magnesium sulfate for 24 hours and labetalol 3 times a day to try and get my blood pressure down. They also had me taking percocet every 4 hours for pain. Add to those the fact I had a c-section 3 weeks early and you've got one big anti-milk mess.

I was nursing Reuben ever 3-4 hours, just like I was supposed to, but he was taking forever to nurse and in a few days, he'd lost close to a pound. The doctors were concerned and by the time we left the hospital, I was nursing him for 20 minutes, pumping for 30 minutes after that, feeding him what I'd pumped and supplementing with formula to make up the difference, all without really knowing why or having any sort of cut off date. We went in for a weight check and he'd gained weight, but I didn't know which part of everything was working, so I kept doing all three.

It. Was. Exhausting.


  I dreaded every single feeding. I'd cry when it got dark outside because I knew I couldn't just go to sleep like I wanted and so desperately needed to. I'd have to wake up every 3 hours for at least an hour, just to feed Reuben. Cracked and bleeding nipples, blood blisters, and plain frustration led me to exclusively pump for a few days because nursing was so painful and Reuben was getting frustrated with my low supply. It all came to a head when he was 2 weeks old and screaming at my boob after eating for 1.5 hours straight. I set him on the bed and told my husband I didn't want to feed him anymore and burst out in hysterical crying. (Hormones are nuts, y'all!)


It was then that I realized I needed real help, that I couldn't go on the way I had been because it was effecting my bond with my sweet son. I wanted to quit, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm super stubborn and a major cheapskate so I didn't want to waste the $300 I'd spent on a brand new pump!

The next day I face-timed with my best friend who's a breastfeeding champ and she fixed his latch and watched him eat, giving me tips along the way. I decided that day he wouldn't get another drop of formula, no matter what. I texted her after every single feeding for a couple days. "He ate x minutes off the right and x on the left. Is that ok?" And one time I called her, freaking out about him not wanting to eat, and when she asked what was wrong I said, "He's just laying there, asleep. He's perfectly content!" And she was so kind to not point out how straight up crazy I was acting and stuck it in the back of her mind to help me laugh about it later, haha!


Between her and my husbands encouragement, we made it through his 8-freaking-day-long two week growth spurt and he hasn't had a sip of formula since. I kept pumping after his early morning feeding to build up a freezer supply, and ended up with more than I could ever use and got to donate it to another mama! I was terrified my supply would tank or that he'd prefer a bottle (since he liked them so much more than me at first) once I went back to work. But thankfully he'd rather have it straight from the tap and my supply actually increased when I started feeding him on demand at home. Pumping twice a day at work has been a MAJOR pain and I will do a happy dance when I can finally put my trusty pump away, but I'm very thankful it hasn't been a challenge. He always has enough milk to drink.





Reuben just turned one a few weeks ago and we're still going strong. I've nursed him just about anywhere and everywhere you could. It started out very private and covered in the corner, bathroom, or the backseat of my car, but I've given up on that. Definitely still discreet and modest, but I've finally gotten over worrying what people are thinking about me. I'm going to take care of my baby's needs, wherever we are. Nursing is completely different now than it was a first. He can be done in five minutes, only does it a few times a day, and we can have fun and play silly games while he nurses. Much different than the original, boring 45 minutes it would take 8-10 times a day in the beginning!


I have no game plan for totally weaning him because I don't see the immediate need to. Morning, naps, and nighttime are about where he's at now. It's SO easy now, incredible bonding time (I mean seriously, is there anything sweeter than a nursing babe playing with your hair?), and still majorly benefits both of us health-wise.


Ladies, you can do it! Educate yourselves. Stick up for yourselves in the hospital. Find someone to be your cheerleader, whether it's your husband, a lactation consultant, or just a friend who's been there and knows the challenge it is. If it's something you really want to do, don't give up! It gets SO much easier and is 110% worth sticking with it!

 Want to share your experience with breastfeeding? Email me at thegirlintheredshoes @gmail. And be sure to catch up with the entire Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar.

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February 25, 2014

The cutest little booty there ever was

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News flash: We are pretty tough on things in our house. You know your child is an active one when daycare workers all use the same word to describe your boy: Busy. Hudson is in to everything these days. When he's not stripping off his clothes, begging for snacks, or pulling Wrigley's hair, he is running in circles around the dinning room table or doing somersaults off of the couch. So needless to say, we need a diaper that will hold up to all that craziness.

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See what I mean? It's impossible to take a non-blurry photo of this boy.

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Thankfully Huggies Snug & Dry diapers help contain the dirty diaper mess and we are leak free in our house! There is nothing, and I mean nothing, worse than baby diaper leakage. 

Again, see what I mean?

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Want to know what breaks my heart? Hearing about babies who spend an entire day in one filthy diaper. That's why I love Huggies....they are doing all they can to donate diapers to babies in need. And they are making it easy for you to help too.

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Now, I would LOVE it if each The Girl in the Red Shoes reader would visit the Huggies Challenge website and take the Huggies® Challenge! For every new challenge completed, Huggies Every Little Bottom will donate diapers to a baby in need. Isn't that awesome? So many babies wear one diaper ALL DAY and that needs to stop. You can make a difference, all by playing a game! The games are cute and easy....so please try it out!

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Also, you can win Huggies Rewards Points which can be used towards free diapers and free samples. Hudson already received this Melissa and Doug Wooden Farm Train just based on the points I collected. Two lucky Testers will win Huggies Diapers and Wipes for an entire year! Drawings for these prizes will take place on May 12th and August 25th.

***Thank you Huggies for sponsoring this post and keeping Hudson's little booty dry! We are big fans of Huggies in our house so all of the opinions in this post are 100% my own and 100% honest!




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