10/31/14

happy halloween

Every year I try and make Halloween special. We didn't dress up as a family when I was little but now that I'm a mama with my own little family Jerry and I started a tradition of themes for Halloween. I'm sure with two boys very soon we're all going to be ninja turtles or a family of hulks, but for now, here we are.
Happy Halloween love Alice, her white rabbit, tweedle dee and tweedle dum.
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*Outtake* because you take a million pictures to get two goods ones. Description of Photo Description of Photo

10/30/14

a little corner

We live in a small apartment, I love it, but for 3 people it can get a wee bit cramped sometimes. When I got pregnant with James we considered moving, but then bedrest happened and moving was not an option. Instead I told Jerry we could all fit in our little space, we just needed a little redecorating and maybe some purging, but we'd make it work. I knew I wanted James to stay in our room with us for two reasons: 1. He would be up every 2 hours and I planned on breastfeeding, so I wanted him as close as possible. Any extra steps at 2:30am when you've gone to bed at 12:30am can feel torturous. 2. I wanted to try and avoid waking up Ardo. Newborns in my opinion are easier to put back to sleep than a 3 year old.

We started by rearranging our room, once we did James' corner came together perfectly.
First came the changing table. This is actually Ardo's changing table. It was originally black. Jerry painted it a light green because with James I wanted lighter pastel colors. Also, James is our second born and I'm a second born, as much as I love hand me downs and reusing things we already had with Ardo, I'm a big believe in making items their own. Even something as small as painting, can achieve that. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to get an extra dresser so I bought these bins at target to create a dresser out of the changing table. Description of Photo I bought a new changing pad and covers trying to keep everything colorful but not overwhelming. I don't like to have to many stuff animals because they can become clutter so easily. I found a few I like and James seems to like them too. That little elephant pillow I found on ebay for $2.00. When Ardo was born I got him a few of these pillows for his head to avoid him getting a flat head and it seemed to help.
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I was really hoping to get a mini crib for James because although we have Ardo's crib, it's a much bigger crib. I scoured craigslist because I had a feeling Jerry wouldn't appreciate us getting a brand new one. I had no luck, then one day my friend Laura was shopping at a little boutique near her house. They had the crib I wanted for more than 60% off retail. It was the floor model and they just wanted to sell it. We scored big time. It had a few scratches but the owners fixed those right up for us before we took it home.
Description of Photo I'm huge on pictures, I probably get it from my mama. This pillow from tiny prints was just perfect. The picture inside the pillow is one of the first pictures I snapped with Ardo and James. Although James doesn't use the pillow at night I love being able to dress up his crib with a picture. Truth be told I've stolen this pillow from time to time and put it on my bed too. I just love it. Description of Photo Another cute staple I use to dress up his crib is this pillow with his initial on it. Nice golden yellow and then a little J. Are customizable pillows not the BEST!

Description of Photo I bought these little elephant prints and some wall stickers so I could dress up his wall a little bit instead of leaving it bare white. I initially thought I put the triangles all over the walls but when Jerry started to put them up he made this design and I thought just leaving it at that would be better. I tried having a little elephant theme going on in his corner. Not too overwhelming just in case another animal caught my eye. I think I've done a good job at achieving that.

Description of Photo Lastly is James' dresser. I said before we weren't sure we would be able to even fit a dresser in here, but since we were able too we decided to match the dresser with ours. Again to not create clutter I keep only a few things on top. A few books, Sophie giraffe and a thermometer. The thermometer is so important to me because sometimes I might not realize how hot or cold a room can be. I know the way it goes is if you're hot the baby is hot and if you're cold the baby is cold, but I don't think that always works that way, especially after you've had a baby and your hormones make you feel 1,000 degrees everyday. I like to have a number to gage how I should dress Jamesy boy.
I would like to say I'm done with his corner but you never know, I might add a few more things here and there. Description of Photo

10/29/14

pumpkin patch :: part 2

Description of Photo Description of Photo Yup that's my son with his finger in his nose, I'm so proud of him. :)
Another little tradition we have around Halloween is visiting a pumpkin patch with my good friend Laura. It's been so cute to see our babes grow up together. This year we visited Underwood Family Farm. We'd been here before together and really enjoyed it. The first time we came sweet little Dylan was just over a month old and now she's two! :( Jamesy boy was our baby tho, he basically slept the entire time we were there, it was great! This year we were also joined by Angela and her little sweetie Olivia. Angela is Laura's friend, but I'm gonna call her my friend too! It was 3 mamas against 5 little ones, we managed and had a great time. Hanging out with other parents can be so nice because I feel like they're immuned to meltdowns, and potty accidents, and hay throwing and crazy kids running a muck. It's like EH. Ardo didn't want to ride the ponies but he wasn't afraid this time. I asked him once, he said no and that was that. I told Laura I wasn't going to be all crazy pushy mom and force him. I didn't and we had a much better time. I just let him do him! Description of Photo Ardo and Brooke these two crazy kiddies. I just love them. Description of Photo I wish we could have gotten James in on this picture, but I was not about to wake him. Description of Photo Little Olivia. Description of Photo
Ardo trying to be cool next to the spider, then hopping on.
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Everyone trying to get up on the spider. Description of Photo
I love halloween!
Also, I've been meaning to mention my dear friend Laura who is one of the most creative people I've ever met, along with Angela, opened up La Lune. An awesome little online shop selling accessories for mamas and little ones. Girls and Boys! La Lune is having a 50% off sale right now on their Joyeux Halloween collection. This is my favorite out of the collection. I'm ridiculously excited about what is coming for Christmas. Keep up the great work mamas!

10/28/14

Oreos :: the halloween addition

Description of Photo I'm probably not going to do this again because this was a lot of cookies in one month, but this month I am comparing another set of Oreos. I heard a little rumor about Oreo cinnamon sugar for Halloween but after careful investigation, it appears that was only a rumor. I haven't seen those at all. I did however stumble upon these little gems at Target:: Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple.

Let's get started, first Pumpkin Spice. I really liked these. I always wonder why whenever something is flavored pumpkin it has to be pumpkin spice. Why the spice?? Maybe someone can explain that to me one day. These were really good, the creme was creamy, the pumpkin spice was just right and the vanilla cookie complimented it all. I wish they had these all year around! We all tried this cookie and all agreed they were yummy. Ardo particularly loved these out of all the cookies. He's a cookie monster so I take his opinion very seriously.
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Next is Caramel Apple. OMG GAG!!! These were the grossest cookies I've ever tried. It did taste like a caramel apple, and I like those, but caramel apple flavor is gross! These were soooo sweet, I could barely eat one. My sister couldn't even finish hers, she threw the creme out and just ate the cookie. Ugh, I definitely won't be getting these again…ever!! Bummer too I have to try and get rid of them cause I have the whole pack left with only a few cookies missing. Let me know if you want them, I'll Fed Ex them right over. The concept was great but the taste…………….ummm no. Description of Photo

10/27/14

pumpkin patch :: part 1

Description of Photo Every year since Ardo was born, my mom, sisters and I have taken him to a little pumpkin patch near our house. It's the cutest little thing and with such a small space they really try their best to make the most of it. Ardo decided he wanted to be scared of the ponies this year, he was talking to the ponies telling them to come, and then when the pony came over to where Ardo was....he was terrified. I try my best tho to not let him leave somewhere still afraid. I encouraged him to say hi to the animals and to not be afraid. By the end of the pumpkin patch he was talking to the ponies again, from afar, but still. James had a blast! Well he woke up towards the end and decided to be a happy baby. Description of Photo Description of Photo Ardo drove the tractor, or crashed it, same thing. Description of Photo Gummy smiles are the best. James started smiling so early, it's the sweetest thing.
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10/24/14

james in the giant pumpkin

Description of PhotoArdo was 6 months when he had his first Halloween. I had seen a picture of a baby in a pumpkin on pinterest and really wanted to recreate it. Jerry cut the holes in the pumpkin and my mom basically stood on her head, but we got a great picture of Ardo smiling. James is only 3 months so to get him in a pumpkin supported was going to be a little harder, but I was up for the challenge. Since James is not sitting up yet I figured cutting holes would not be a good idea. Instead I propped him up inside with towels. We cut the pumpkin lower in the back and he was able to lean on the pumpkin, more like tummy time in a pumpkin. It worked perfectly. Oh, one last thing and this is important I fed him right before, James only appreciates life when he has a full belly. :)

Don't worry this pumpkin is organic. Description of Photo Description of Photo
Happy Friday!

10/23/14

Oreos :: the experiment heard round the world!

Description of Photo I'm taking a quick break from my pregnancy and James' update to bring you this post on Oreo cookies. For a long time now I thought it would be fun to compare all the Oreo cookies I could get my hands on. This idea first came to me while I was at target (like most grand ideas). Target usually has a ridiculously large selection of Oreos. I thought to myself, I love Oreo cookies, why not try all the flavors and then share my experience and favorite flavors with all of you! That's what blogs are for, are they not? *WARNING* I might gain a million pounds while conducting this study, but folks, I'm willing to take one for the team!
While I was on bed rest I would crave Oreos. I'm reluctant to say "crave" because if I didn't have one, I wouldn't get crazy or DIE but if I could have one (everyday) I would. I think now more then ever is the best time for me to sample dozens and dozens of cookies. I'm exclusively breastfeeding James...so a few extra calories won't hurt, or is it exclusively breastmilk? My body is his only nourishment, how about that.:)

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I initially thought to I'd buy every flavor and take it from there but then I realized...you know Oreo coma, so instead I'm going to do 1-2 flavors at a time. This first time I'm doing 3 because I couldn't choose between two. Libra problems. The first 3 I tried were ... MINT, REVERSED: Chocolate creme and vanilla cookie, and Birthday Cake.

Lets start with Mint: Mints filling was like a double stuffed oreo, so much creme. The mint taste wasn't overwhelming but you could taste the mint. Tasted a little like mint chip. I think they put more creme so you can get a better taste of the mint. Out of the 3 this was my second choice. The creme was really soft, which I liked. But overall, these get a sideways thumb.
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Next is Chocolate creme with a vanilla cookie: This was my favorite!! I wasn't sure if I was going to like the vanilla cookie but it was vanilla tasting, it just tasted like a white cookie and wasn't overpowering. The chocolate creme was so soft and silky. The best part, they weren't too sweet. They were perfect. THUMBS UP!
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Last is Birthday Cake: My least favorite, but, I was most excited to try. I had been eyeing birthday cake for so long. When my birthday came around in September I told Jerry, "I'm getting these!"
After trying them tho, my first thought was, they are just too sweet. The sprinkles were just too much. The only difference was the sprinkles. Maybe because the other two cookies were very different and these just had something added. I might be a little hard on these Birthday Cake cookies but that's the way the cookie crumbles (see what I did there). So these are a thumbs down, but I'm glad I tried them. Well folks, that's it, my first 3 comparisons. I'm already working on part two…Halloween Edition! Description of Photo
Just a sidenote: These posts are NOT sponsored by Oreo cookie. I just went on quest to try every Oreo cookie and gain a million pounds! :)

10/13/14

James

Description of Photo James was born on July 15, 2014. It's crazy because I went to the Dr that Tuesday as I had every Tuesday for the past 4 weeks. On my way I could tell my contractions were different. They were painful. I had been having contractions for months, but never were they painful. I told my mom on the way to the Dr….uh oh, these contractions are painful, and I'm having one after the other after the other. I get to the Dr and she comes in quickly and says, okay you're going to labor and delivery we're going to try and stop it. I get to labor and delivery and one of my girls is there and sure enough I was in "labor" but they tried to stop it. First, I got an IV then my meds and sure enough labor was starting to subside. They called my Dr and she said to let me go home because I wasn't dilated and my contractions were starting to taper off. I get wheeled out, Jerry takes me home and probably within 10 minutes of leaving the hospital, my contractions come back. This time they come back with a vengeance, a vengeance called labor. The short version of the rest of the story is I go into full blown labor by the time I get home, we call the ambulance, I get taken to a different hospital and James is born. Unfortunately I did have a complication at the end. My placenta detached and James went without oxygen for a little bit so he had to spend a few days in the NICU. You know, I so badly did not want James to have to go to the NICU. I was so strict with myself on bed rest to try and avoid him coming to early. I could have never predicted my placenta actin a fool at the last minute. But it did, and he was whisked off. This time around fortunately and unfortunately, because I had been through this one time before, I didn't let his NICU stay get me down. I embraced that this is our story. I let the nurses do there thing and I did mine. I was adamant about holding him and when it was time to breastfeed I pushed it. I told them I needed a lactation consultant, I needed a pillow and I needed my baby. And that's it, James came home and has been our little joy. Ardo is so sweet with him. He gives him tons of kisses and hugs, sometimes a little too hard but with a lot of love. James is the reason I didn't feel the need to get crazy on bed rest. I knew from the start that sooner than later bed rest would be over and my baby would be here, and now almost 3 months later, the bedrest the NICU stay all gone, but our sweet boy is here to stay. I want to reach out to anyone who is going through a bedrest stay or has a little boo in the NICU, I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me. Maybe I can suggest a few tips or just a bedrest buddy. You are not alone! Okay, just wanted to reach out. :) And of course a few pics of little James.
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He's such a sweet little guy. Description of Photo

I'm almost caught up you guys. ALLLLLMOST

10/9/14

coming home

When I was in the hospital on bed rest the plan for me was to just sit (or lay) tight. My Dr came and saw me every single day and examined me every day, she heard my lungs, felt for the baby, asked me the same routine questions. She asked me them so much I would just answer: NO leaking, bleeding or spotting. Trust me, if there was they would be the first to know. At 30 weeks my perinatologist came to see if my cervix had shortened anymore. It had been 4 weeks since he checked me into the hospital. He came with his machine and right there in my hospital bed, like everything else, he checked my cervix. To my wonderful delight, my cervix had not gotten any shorter, in fact with the bed rest and my medications it had actually gotten a little longer. I couldn't have been happier. I told myself I was doing everything I could to keep my cervix strong and baby in, but I know a part of me would have been disappointed if my cervix had change for the worse. Whenever I saw my perinatologist he would tell me "I know you want to know when you can go home." He then said, if your cervix doesn't show anymore changes at 32 weeks, we're gonna send you home! WHAAAAT?!?! HOME? I was ridiculously excited. I guess I did but I was perfectly content staying in the hospital til I reached 36 weeks July 15. At 32 weeks I had another ultrasound to check my cervix and to my glorious delight my perinatologist told me my cervix had actually gotten longer once again, just a centimeter but I took whatever I could get. And then he said he felt comfortable sending me home! I packed everything up, got in my wheelchair, hugged every single nurse and came home.

Okay I'm going to be completely honest with you, coming home was wonderful, but it wasn't easy. Something I learned very quickly was although being in the hospital was difficult because I was away from my family and pups and nice comfy bed, the nurses made life very easy. They brought me my meds, gave me sponge baths, brought me food if I needed, emptied my commode…they did everything. HOME…Jerry, my mom and sisters did all these things but the day your sister has to empty your commode your life changes :) no but really, those were things that were the most difficult. I had to make sure on a daily basis whenever someone left me, I had plenty of gatorade, water and snacks to hold me over til the next shift. I took my bed rest very seriously, I wasn't a bed rest cheater that "quickly" grabbed anything from the kitchen, in fact I didn't go into the kitchen til the day I came home from the hospital.

I stayed home from the hospital for exactly 4 weeks, only leaving the house to go see my fabulous Dr. On the 4th week at exactly 36 weeks, our sweet James was born….but first a couple belly shots (just because I want to share them on this little space)

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10/1/14

surviving hospital bed rest day

I had this post in my que for awhile but its a post I really wanted to share. I was on strict bed rest for 11 weeks! Yes 11! I was a very good patient too. I am by no means an expert but after 11 weeks I do have a few tips.

1. When people want to visit you…let them!
My mom and sisters come every single day to the hospital and stay all day. Every. single. day. I will forever be grateful to them for keeping me company, it made so many days shorter. In between my family, Jerry brought Ardo a couple times a week, my mama in law would visit and of course my sweet friends, it was the nicest feeling. At first when I checked in, and people wanted to come visit me I wasn't sure because I thought, well it's just me, our little guy isn't here yet. Then I quickly realized how ridiculous that was, and I said yes please come, and they did and usually they brought yummy food!

2. Take your laptop or iPad you are gonna need it.
If you're like me and had to go on bed rest before you could get everything ready for baby, you'll want to do that from the hospital. I spent lots of time on my laptop browsing, pinning, and ordering for little baby, for me, for Ardo, even Jerry got a surprise or two every once in awhile. It was a perfect way for me to watch some of my favorite shows using netflix. Speaking of which while I was in the hospital, I got hooked on Orange is the New Black. I watched season one in a few days and lucky for me season two came out just a few weeks after I was admitted. I cannot WAIT for season 3, I'm trying to get Jerry hooked, he's watched but I don't think he's crazy about it like I am.

3. Nurses are your friends.
NOT YOUR ENEMY. I'm actually not sure why anyone would think to be mean to their nurse in the hospital, actually that's not true I can think of a reason, if your nurse is a snot then by all means do what you must but for me in the high risk unit at my hospital, the nurses were not only angels, they became my best friends. I did like a few more than others I will admit that, but all the nurses were just great. They would come into my room to check on me, to tell me things, crack jokes, always made sure I was the most comfortable I could be. I had a night nurse who would come in to visit even when I wasn't her patient (I wonder if she ever go that dog we talked about so many nights). I actually do miss those ladies. If and this is just an IF, if you need to not like someone I have the perfect group, the people in the white coats…the vampires that came to take my blood whenever my Dr would ask for it. Now THOSE people I didn't smile at I didn't talk to, I let them take my blood then I would complain to them to my nurses later. :)

4. If you there is a network at the hospital, let them come and visit.
This might sound similar to suggestion 1, except in this case you are allowing someone to visit you you've never met. Around week 5 in the hospital my nurses asked me if I'd like a visitor from a volunteer and former patient who was on bed rest. This former patient was already making her rounds so I said why not. I can't remember the name of the woman but she came in and she was so sweet. You could tell she just really wanted to help. Her story was she was pregnant with twins when her cervix started to shorten so she had to stay on bed rest for 3 weeks til she delivered. She and I both thought it was a little funny I had already surpassed her bed rest and had at least 7 more weeks if not longer. Even still, this woman was so nice to talk to because no matter how long, it was nice being able to exchange stories and bond with someone who had gone through the exact same thing I was going through. So my advice is if there is a volunteer who just wants to connect, it's a really nice feeling to do so.

I could probably write pages and pages on bed rest and I might write one more post but these are my tips to start. As I've said before, if any of you ladies are on bed rest right now and would like to email me to talk, I'd be more than happy to talk!

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