Archive for October 2015

Friday Five

October 30, 2015

Happy almost Halloween! It's been a while since I've done a 5 on Friday....I was starting to miss it!

{one} Hudson has his school Halloween party today and he gets to go trick or treating tonight AND tomorrow. Lucky duck. Good thing he has multiple costumes. He'll either be Captain America or Marshall from Paw Patrol (see him in costume here). Gone are the days of me picking out his costume.....this guy has an opinion on everything these days, especially when it comes to what he'll be wearing on Halloween. The costume choice will be a game time decision, I'm sure.

{two} Over the weekend we went apple picking and had the BEST time. Even Sadie loved it.....and by loved it I mean she was a champ the entire time in her little bunny hat and then fell asleep in the Solly Wrap.

Hudson had a blast running through the trees and picking the perfect apple. He was so proud of his finds and ate two apples on the tractor ride back. HOLY COW...who is this kid?

{three} I made cinnamon rolls yesterday and oh my word...they hit the spot. Details coming soon. And by details, I mean, they were from a can. #reallife

{four} My new favorite thing....this dress. It's the perfect amount of
 comfy yet still looks pulled together. And it hides all my cinnamon-roll-eating imperfections. And it feels like butter. It's the softest thing in my closet right now. Plus it has pockets. Enough said.

{five} And finally, did you know Costco has Hunter Boots right now? I had no
clue until someone mentioned it on my instagam post. And they are almost half price. You better believe I scooped up another pair. Because with all the rain we've had plus the mud at the new house they were necessary. Right? But you better act fast.....a lot of sizes are sold out online but they do have some in store. 

Have a great weekend my friends!

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

* affiliate links used


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The Breastfeeding Diaries: Emily from Three Demps and a Dog

October 28, 2015

Hi! I'm Emily and I just began my blogging journey at Three Demps and a Dog. I've been married to my husband, Brian, for 2.5 years, and together we just had our first child, a son, who is now five months old!

I have a lot of friends who breastfed and knew my mom did when my sisters and I were young. To me, it just seemed natural to choose to breastfeed. My husband was totally on board with whatever I felt was right, plus he enjoyed the idea of breastfeeding since it is free and he is all about saving money wherever he can (we're opposites ;)).

I had done a lot of research on breastfeeding and had it in my head that it would be challenging and may hurt. I often read The Breastfeeding Diaries on Julie's blog and saw that the journey of breastfeeding looked different for everyone. I also knew it would be challenging in the sense of timing, since I was going back to work at six weeks postpartum.

After giving birth at 38 weeks, I realized I was in for something I didn't expect. My son was born with low blood sugar and had jaundice. In order to raise his blood sugar, the nurses and LC encouraged me to pump and nurse as often as possible, but also suggested feeding formula in order to raise his blood sugar. Since I wanted to ensure that my son was healthy above anything else, I was find with supplementing with formula. I pumped as much colostrum as possible and we fed that via a syringe, since he was having a lot of difficulty with latching, which was due to a tongue tie (it was clipped at his first doctor's appointment and wasn't a challenge for very long).

After seeing the LC on our second day in the hospital, she recommended using a nipple shield in order to help my son to latch. I was happy to try it out, since it seemed like the best way for him to get what I felt was the best nutrition.

After leaving the hospital, we headed home in our new baby fog and I was determined to ditch the formula and breastfeed. However, at home, I started experiencing severe headaches whenever my son would latch on. The third day home, I just started bawling my eyes out as he attempted to latch because of the pounding headache I began to have. I wanted to give up so badly. My husband went out to get a little more formula and my sister came over to take care of the baby while I slept. After a few more attempts at giving breastmilk only, I realized that pumping did not give me a headache like my son latching on did. I began exclusively pumping at that time, and we weren't using formula since I was pumping enough to satisfy his hunger. After about a week of only pumping, I decided to try to have him latch on again using the shield- and this time, no headache! Ever since, my son has been completely breastfed with no issues, other than needing the shield - which he hit off around 4 months and hasn't used since. He loves eating and even doubled his birth weight before three months. Looking back, I attribute the headaches to the fact that I wasn't eating right or getting my blood sugar high enough. I had no appetite. I always assumed I would be completely ravenous while breastfeeding but my midwife explained to me that it doesn't happen to everyone, and that it's actually normal to not have an appetite at all during the beginning stages of breastfeeding.

Honestly, many, many times, I wanted so badly to give up on breastfeeding, but thankfully had a great support system, including my mom, my friends, and my husband, who were encouraging me to keep going. My wonderful friend even attended breastfeeding support group with me, which was great. I felt one of the best things I did when I started out was talk about the challenges. I let people in and they really helped me survive.

I've been back to work full time since my son turned six weeks (America, you need to get it together with maternity leave!). I pump three times a day while I am away from him and feed on demand at home. Generally speaking, though, my son eats every three hours, which works out well for us.  It's been awesome to know that my body can produce every nutrient he needs in order to thrive!

While I am so, so happy to be able to feed my son in the way that I feel is best, I was totally surprised at how isolated I could feel at times. Everyone I know supports my breastfeeding journey, but I realized at times I felt like I had to be alone to feed him because of the shield, and the cover, and everything else involved. I feel like whenever I go out, people suggest to me where I could feed the baby. I realized that was much more difficult on me mentally because having a newborn can be isolating enough, and so I wanted to be in the same area as everyone else. I began telling people that I felt more comfortable staying in that room. No one has objected! I use my cover and now that my son has a lot of head control and is easier to move, and eats for a lot less time, it is way better than I imagined.

My friend, Erin, told me one day that "breastfeeding is the most selfless thing you will ever do". She told me that in yet another moment, early on in my breastfeeding journey, when I really wanted to give up. Her words spoke to me so much. My advice to new moms who are wanting to breastfeed is this: keep trying. If you want to succeed in your breastfeeding journey, get past those first few weeks. Remember that your babe is new here, and has no idea how to eat. It's a huge learning process. I felt like my son was latched on 24/7 for a few weeks, because he basically was. But once he got the hang of it, we hit our stride, and we are doing just fine!

I would also advise something else which was difficult for me: accept help. One day my friend walked into my house and begged to change my son's diaper and also to put away my dishes. I refused at first and then thought to myself "why would I refuse this?". She put away the dishes and changed a diaper. I finally got to pee, since I hadn't done that all day long.

Lastly: feed your baby. If your baby needs formula, it's ok. While mommy wars are real, and breastfeeding vs. formula feeding will continue forever, I think all moms can agree that what we most want is a healthy baby. I believe in doing that in any way possible!

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Halloween Jammies

October 27, 2015

Nothing says the holidays like festive pajamas, am I right? Except Sadie doesn't have any Halloween pjs this year.....oops.

She'll have to settle for a Halloween onesie. Shhh....don't tell.

Actually, Hudson wouldn't have any Halloween jams either if it wasn't for some sweet friends sending him a pair. Packing up my entire house and moving really threw me for a holiday pj loop. And yes, he insisted on boots and gloves for the photo. #threenager

 Hudson is straight up obsessed with his "spooky jammies". And they glow in the dark. Basically his life has been made.

Aren't holiday jammies the best? I seriously can't wait for Christmas jams!

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Sharing is Caring

October 23, 2015

Yesterday the lighting in our bedroom was on I decided to snap some photos of my favorite little lady. I can't get over those big baby blues. When this girl's red hair comes in she is going to be a unstoppable. I know I'm biased...but I can't resist. She's the most gorgeous girl on the planet. 

Of course big brother wanted in on the action exchange for some jelly beans. I got one kiss out of him and then all he wanted to do was jump and bounce around. But Sadie just rolled with the punches....literally, she put up with little accidental punches from Hudson...and just laughed and laughed at everything he did. She thinks he hung the moon. 

And then she pulled him in for a slobbery kiss. That's my girl. She just loves him so much....and he tolerates her. 

Later they were "playing" together on the floor. And by playing I mean Hudson was admittedly "NOT SHARING" his toys with baby sister. He kept getting upset when she would swipe one and slobber all over it. And I get it. But get used to it boy....she's going to be stealing your stuff for the rest of your life. I never had a sibling to steal stuff from or play all this sibling rivalry? I say BRING IT ON. These two have got a good thing going. 

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The Breastfeeding Diaries: Annie from All Things Big and Small

October 21, 2015

Hi! I'm Annie, I began reading Julie's wonderful blog almost ten months ago and immediately bonded over her pregnancy, being a toddler mom and her wonderful series, the Breastfeeding Diaries. I blog over at All Things Big and Small, where I talk about motherhood, budget-friendly decorating, and trying to be stylish mom of young kids (even though I am usually rocking a VERY messy bun and yoga pants!) I am a mother of two: my son (6 months) and my daughter (2.5 years). I am currently exclusively breastfeeding my son, and plan to continue until he is about a year, as I did with my daughter, when we can start cow's milk. I want to share my breastfeeding story today because although I have been able to breastfeed both my children, it certainly wasn't without its challenges in the beginning and I hopefully can help any new moms out there confronting the same challenges I faced.

Both times after delivering, I was very fortunate to be able to breastfeed within the first hour with the help and guidance of wonderful Labor & Delivery nurses. With my daughter, especially, getting the latch right wasn't super intuitive and even after taking a breastfeeding class, it helped to have an expert give pointers. I ended up using a nipple shield with my daughter for the first two weeks. Eventually I didn't need it anymore but it did help. With my son, it was smoother and I didn't need it but I still appreciated the advice of the nurses. Although I had breastfed my daughter for 14 months, nursing a 14 month old is very different than a newborn and you have to work together as a "breastfeeding team." It gets easier over time, and you get the holds down but if it doesn't happen right away for you, don't worry and don't be afraid to ask for help!

A few days post-delivery, the engorgement started (seriously, ladies get ready for Dolly Parton boobs) and the plugged ducts began. I had gotten recurrent plugged ducts and one bout of mastitis with my daughter but it was much more persistent with my son. Some background: for some reason, both my babies were huge snackers. They were constantly eating a little bit, and then falling asleep, and then waking up and wanting some more. My son was the worst because for the first four weeks, during the daytime, he was literally nursing every 20 minutes (and at night every 1.5 hours). It was very challenging and not only was I exhausted; but he wasn't emptying my breasts effectively, which lead to constant plugged ducts and two more bouts of mastitis. (Mastitis is a breast infection, and I hope you never have to experience it!) By the time he was four weeks old, I was getting a new plugged duct every 2-3 days. After talking to my midwife about my history and my current issues, she recommended I see a lactation consultant. Although weight gain wasn't a problem (he was gaining over a pound a week) she wanted to make sure that my son's latch was solid and therefore able to drain the breast effectively.

So I brought him to the lactation consultant with my toddler in tow, which I will tell you was quite the experience. My daughter (2 yrs) found a breast-shaped pillow complete with nipple (used as a teaching aid), which she decided was going to be her hat and purse. Seeing my daughter parade around the office with a boob-pillow strapped to her head was the highlight of the trip!

Anyhow, the lactation consultant confirmed that his latch was good, and my technique was fine, and that he was just a snacker. At this point, I was absolutely exhausted and almost to the point of switching to formula. I wanted an easier solution and wanted to sleep longer than an hour at night, I was tired of being sick and constantly battling plugged ducts. Although the constant nursing was a challenge, and I feared my daughter was becoming a Netflix addict, I felt like I could continue nursing him (knowing that it would eventually get better) if I could just figure out the plugged ducts and recurrent mastitis. The plugged ducts were the worst. I was doing everything in my power to avoid them (switching breasts every nursing session, wearing soft nursing bras, avoiding restrictive clothing, drinking plenty of fluids, massaging them before and during nursing;) but they persisted. I felt defeated, exhausted and sore all the time. I asked the lactation consultant if there was ANYTHING else I could try. Thankfully, she had a recommendation--lecithin, an all natural supplement that you can pick up at any pharmacy (it's in the vitamins section.) I didn't need a prescription or anything. I sent my husband out that day to pick it up.

I told myself that I wanted to make it until six weeks, when my mom, and my previous experience with my daughter, told me it would get easier. That gave me two weeks to give this lecithin therapy a try. If it didn't get better I was probably going to start supplementing with formula. I started the prescribed dosage schedule for the lecithin (it starts off high and then tapers off over the course of two weeks.) Within two days of starting the lecithin my plugged ducts had resolved, and within four days I hadn't had any new ones. This was the longest that I had gone without plugged ducts with my son and I felt amazing. I mean I was still extremely exhausted; but, without the plugged ducts I felt like a new woman. After two weeks without any plugged ducts I knew it was a game-changer. My son's eating had steadied out a bit (he was still dreadful at night but he was stretching out during the day) and without any new plugs, I hadn't had another bout of mastitis.

(after nursing Jack on the water in Maine)
So if you are having plugged ducts and are ready to give up, give lecithin a try after talking to your healthcare provider. I think that my milk is just too thick (or my ducts are too narrow) that coupled with my kids snacking habits was the perfect storm. Now at six months, I have only had one more plugged duct and that was when I forgot to take my lecithin for a couple days. It's inexpensive and changed my life. I wish that I had known about it earlier.

Ask the experts! Go to a lactation consultant if you think you need a consultation! Call your child's pediatrician and tell them that you are having problems with breastfeeding. They will give you a recommendation for a lactation consultant, and with our insurance and the Affordable Care Act, it was completely free. Breastfeeding has saved my family thousands of dollars for formula between the two kids and has been a wonderful experience. I feel so incredibly close to my babies when they are breastfeeding, and even get a little sad when they stop. Also get support from your friends and family, and health care providers. I was very fortunate to have my mom to talk to who breastfed me and my siblings, and my maternal grandmother who breastfed all six of her children (and who was taught by her mother who breastfed all TEN of her children). If you don't have friends or family who have breastfed (I only had one friend who has children) talk to your ob/gyn (or midwife), your pediatrician, a doula, or a lactation consultant. These people know what they are talking about and have most likely seen it before. Even with the challenges I faced, I consider myself very lucky that I was able to breastfeed effectively.

(nursing my daughter at the top of Mt. Mansfield two years ago)
I am so honored to participate in the Breastfeeding Diaries because it is such a wonderful resource for moms. By sharing our experiences we can learn so much and support each other. If you want to hear about my breastfeeding experience with my daughter (it includes talking about nursing while hiking a mountain!), and what other resources helped me, feel free to take a look over at All Things Big and Small, where I talk about motherhood, babies, cloth diapers, and budget-friendly home decor. Thank you so much Julie for having me!

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Sweet BABES Bridgeman Bow GIVEAWAY

October 20, 2015

It's no secret...Sadie and I love BOWS. Until those beautiful red locks come in, my girl needs to rock a bow every day. And let's be real....even if she had a head full of hair we would still feel the same way about bows. What's the saying? The bigger the bow, the closer to heaven, right?

Jessica, the designer and creator behind the Etsy boutique Sweet BABES Bridgeman, sent Sadie a few bows and of course they quickly gained a spot in our bow rotation!

Each bow is crafted with care and put on either a clip or soft nylon headband. Sadie loves hers and I love how soft they are on her little head!

Sadie's will be able to wear these bows for a long time, I'm sure! This one is part of a chambray, burlap, and lace set that is just too cute for words!

Jessica has kindly offered to give one lucky reader a bow of their choice on either a clip or nylon headband! You can view the collection of Sweet BABES Bridgeman bows here

And if you just need to get your hands on some bows now, use code "REDSHOES" at checkout for 20% off any order of $10 or more, now until 10/31/15. 

Enter below! The giveaway runs until 9pm EST October 26, 2015. See my official giveaway rules here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sadie Mae: 4 Months

October 19, 2015

Our sweet Sadie Mae turned 4 months old several days ago...but I'm a little behind! I still can't believe she's already 4 months. On one hand it seems like she is still brand new, and on the other it seems like she's been with us forever. I can't imagine life without our baby girl.

Sadie has the most beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest, softest cheeks ever. She has a tiny bit of hair, but what she has is red! We'll keep sticking bows on her head so that everyone knows she's a girl.

This girl is all personality and smiles lately. Except when she's hungry or tired....or just wants mama. She has the best belly laugh and cracks up at the silly things Hudson does. She wants to have her eyes on him at all times and has trouble sleeping if she knows he's around. I have a feeling this girl is going to have major heart eyes for her big brother.

Sadie is a champ at eating, tooting, burping....and just about everything. She is a fairly decent sleeper at night and typically sleeps from about 8:30pm-7:15am....sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night to eat but often she sleeps all night. We've had a few 4:30am wake ups that have been a little tough on me, but otherwise she's a good sleeper. Except she doesn't seem to nap unless we are in the car or I'm holding her. If 20 minute cat-napping were a sport she'd take home the gold medal.

She's working on some teeth and can suck on her hand like nobody's business. Any toy we give her goes straight in to her mouth. A few of Hudson's toys are going to have to be put away as soon as this girl is on the move.

We love this little lady so much and I am beyond thankful that she is ours. What a wonderful gift we've been given!

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Hudson and Wrigley

October 16, 2015

We often joke that in order to be in this family, you have to have golden hair. My husband is the odd man out when it comes to this requirement....but Wrigley fits right in.

Since moving out of our house, Wrigley has not left my side....he's a little confused by all of the changes, and I can't blame him. Luckily as long as he's with his family, he's happy. I don;t know what we would do without this sweet boy.

Hudson and Wrigley are finally becoming buddies. Now that Wrigley trusts that Hudson won't yank on his tail or pull his hair they are two peas in a pod. They are always chasing each other and whenever Hudson plays with his toys Wrigley is near by...and often gets to play too.

He's such a good sport.

See what I mean? We have the best dog ever.

I recently switch Wrigley's food over to Rachael Ray's Nutrish Zero Grain Beef with Bison. I had such a great experience with the Nutrish cat food I knew this would be a hit with our big guy. The food is made with simple, natural ingredients like real U.S. farm-raised beef, which is always the number one ingredient, combined with wholesome vegetables. And there are never any grains, glutens or fillers.

Wrigley loves the taste and I love that real meat is the #1 ingredient. We love our boy so much we want him to be healthy and that starts with good nutrition.

Such a handsome guy. I've been trying to get a photo of Hudson in this playhouse for ages....Wrigley had no problem turning on the charm...especially when a treat was involved. Right now he's the only member of our family that will let me take photos of him without complaining. #toddlerproblems

Is your dog basically a member of your family too? Remember when switching your pet's food to mix it in slowly with their current food so as not to upset their stomach. Click here for a $3 off Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain pet food coupon. You can find out more about Rachael Ray Nutrish on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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