Wednesday Giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Time for a weekly giveaway! Caroline honestly hasn't shown much of an affinity, or really any interest period in any toys...up until now, that is!
She just loves cuddling with this little Mud Pie lamb that we've (I've) named Lambie since she loves watching her some Doc McStuffins. It's a combination teether, rattle and soft mini blanket I guess you'd call it. Anyway, she will actually hold it and it's just the cutest thing!

She snuggled herself to sleep while we were in Kroger yesterday! So I'm going to randomly choose a blog follower on Friday afternoon to receive this adorable little toy. I'll post the winner by Saturday afternoon and you can e-mail me your mailing info to get you very own little Lambie. So if you want a chance at this giveaway, just click the follow button and you'll be entered :)

PS Does anyone else's baby have an absolute shit fit any time you put them in their car seat? Caroline just can't stand hers and I feel awful putting her in it. It fits properly so I can't figure out her issue with it. I'm thinking maybe because she falls asleep in it?? Since she turns into an angry little gator-rolling, screaming maniac whenever it's her nap time. I'm so looking forward to her naps in the toddler years...Any tips are welcome.

Sunday Finest~ Christmas Season Edition

Sunday, November 25, 2012 I loved it before it was "back" and I will love it when it's not "in" anymore (though I don't think that day will come) and now I love it on baby Caroline. There's a very thin line between adorable and gawdy when it comes to babies and animal print, but this fress was perfect. I'm not one to do the baby and mama matchy-matchy on a daily basis, but for church and special occasions, like the upcoming holiday party season, I can get on board and at least coordinate!

Blue is an often overlooked holiday color in lieu of the more traditional reds and greens, but in the great state of Kentucky, there is never a shortage of blue, and I love the beaded embellishment on the royal sweater and Caroline's closet will never have enough smocked items.

Caroline  looked soooo sweet in her polka dot sweater dress at church this morning!!! The pictured sweater from J Crew is one that I've been lusting after, but who the heck drops $200 + on a sweater (not that I'm above such shenanigans when it comes to a purse), but if this one ever goes on sale, I'm all over it!

Happy Holiday shopping!

My Favorite Outfit and Giveaway Winner

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I've gotten tons of e-mails about Caroline's coming home outfit that I posted about months ago and where I got it so I thought the simplest way would just be to do a post (link to shop above). I did order this with plans of her wearing it home from the hospital, but she was so tiny that she was just swimming in it, but it fits her just perfect now, except the hat will absolutely no longer squeeze over her noggin. But how cute does it look on her!!!

The burp rag was a gift so I'm not sure where it came from. And in Wednesday Giveaway news. elmosoccers was the lucky name from the hat! Just e-mail me your mailing address and I will send them your way this week! And be sure to check back every Wednesday between now and Christmas for more giveaway goodies! Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday Giveaway

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tis the season for giving, and with that in mind, I thought I'd do a Wednesday giveaway every week until Christmas...starting with this ADORABLE polka dot, ruffled diaper cover by Mud Pie!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will do it old school and draw a name from a hat to choose a winner! No catch, just a Merry Christmas from me to you :) Size on these is 0-6 months and again, made by Mud Pie.
How cute are these little ruffled tushies! Winner will be chosen Friday and named in my 'Fit Friday' post, as well as contacted via e-mail!

Pregnancy...Passes in the Blink of an Eye

Monday, November 19, 2012

With so many people I know either pregnant right now or just having had their baby, I got nostalgic and started looking back at my preggo pics. I never thought I would at the time, but I miss being pregnant and having my little girl all snuggled up in my tummy safe and sound. All you pregnant chicks out there, enjoy this time, because even though it may not seem like it, it does fly by. And it goes even quicker when your little one is out and about, growing and changing seemingly by the minute.
I'm so happy to have documented the journey and would encourage everyone to do it. It's the only time in your life you get a free pass to get bigger daily and have people think it's cute!

Three Months

Baby: Caroline Leeann
Age: 3 months on November 7
Birthday: August 7, 2012
Weight: 13 pounds 3ounces
Length: 23 inches
Sleep: A few 45 minute to 1 hour naps and from 9-6 at night
My Bedtime: 8 pm, the whole time change messed her up for awhile, but we've gotten her adjusted to 8:00 new time for bed finally.
Favorite Toy: The ones that hang from her swing. She loves reaching for them and kicking them
Clothes Size: 0-3 months.
Diaper Size: Just moved up to a size 2 in Pampers
Milestones Reached: Reaching for things she wants
Firsts: Reaching, found her hands, which she loves sucking on
Best Mood: Pretty much all day, but she just wakes up so happy and cooing. She gets fussy around nap time and fights sleep something awful during the day

Still hates Tummy Time, this was pre-fuss.

Would you just look at those fat little thighs! I love them!!! This picture really doesn't do them justice because she has got some chunky little legs, but she has just filled out so much!

Baby Must Buy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So when we first found out we were pregnant, I started reading up on all the things you just had to have for baby and this was at the top of everyone's list, so naturally, I went out and bought one. Then, after Caroline made her arrival, for the first month or so, I'd say, I was convinced that I'd thrown away $100 plus on this thing because my baby absolutely did not nap, let alone sleep all night in her Nap Nanny. As a matter of fact, as soon as I'd lay her in it, she'd start screaming. Turns out that was my bad for not swaddling her correctly. Honestly, I feel like a complete idiot for not learning to respect the swaddle sooner. I thought she didn't like it because she'd flail around in her blanket like a bulldog in a paper sack, screaming her head off, not to mention the fact that I completely sucked at swaddling anyway, but we finally got the hang of it and since about a month and a half old, Caroline has been sleeping, swaddled up nice and tight, in her Nap Nanny and I love this thing. Who knows, maybe she'd sleep just the same without it, but I for one will not be testing that theory. It also helps mama sleep at night too knowing that since she's propped up at an angle to sleep, if she were to spit up, it just runs down her face and she doesn't get choked up on it.
I think we're rapidly approaching the day when she's outgrown this bad boy, but until then, I love the thing! Worth every penny paid for the sleep it's gotten me. Like I said, maybe she's sleep all the same without it, after all babies have managed to for many, many years, but I love ours!
It's been awhile since I've posted a pic of my little princess :) I'm WAY behind on getting her three month stuff up...hopefully get to that this weekend, along with putting up our first Christmas tree as a family of three, plus two puppies (it's early, I know, but I just couldn't make myself wait any longer to see her reaction to the lights!), and I'm working on a post of the things that we REALLY needed over the first three months, versus the stuff that was just kinda nice to have but not really necessary. 

Breastfeeding Essentials

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm three and a half months into my breastfeeding journey so far and though there has been some pretty intense pain, some tears and some frustrating times, I absolutely do not regret my decision to breastfeed my baby. That being said, I completely understand why some women choose not to. It's basically a full-time job and you are 100000% committed to your baby 24/7. By far, the worst time was weeks 2 and 3. I was so sore that I would literally cry while my child was pigging out happily seemingly enjoying my meltdown. But it really does get better if you can just suck it up.
The most traumatic morning would have to be when I woke up with two completely different sized-boobs...I'm talking visibly a cup size difference...What the Heck??!! One side was less sore than the other, so I thought it would be a genius idea to only feed the baby on one side for practically an entire days worth of feedings...smarty pants that I am, I figured out the problem and thank the Lord everything went back to normal, but that would have to have been the closest I came to giving up the breastfeeding thing. Learn from my mistake and alternate! haha Even if one side hurts worse, just get through it! It's so worth it to look down at my baby while she's eating and she'll just peep up at me and give me the biggest grin, milk dribbling out the side of her mouth.
It is hard, it does take a lot of time and for the most part, I'm solely responsible for getting baby girl fed, unless I pump,  which is a job in and of itself. Until Caroline got into a regular sleeping routine (my fault it took so long), she'd wake up constantly through the night wanting to eat and I'd just sit there, tired as hell at three o'clock in the morning glaring at my sleeping husband and snoring dogs cussing all of them in my head. I've passed that stage as well haha. It's just an adventure but it's a rewarding one. Not only am I helping my baby build up her system, I'm helping myself lose weight and establishing and strengthening a bond with my girl. I'm linking to some of the things that I've found to be essential to my breastfeeding. Let me know if I'm missing anything that makes life easier on a mama!

Avent Manual Breast Pump~ I do stay at home most days with Caroline (I only work a few evenings a week), but I have to say, I totally prefer my manual pump over my electric one! I find that it's faster, cleaning it is easier and it's lighter for traveling. 
Nuk Electric Breast Pump~ I did get an electric pump as well as a manual. It's a single pump and can operate by battery or plugging it in. This is suppossed to feel more like a nursing baby, but I've found that expressing is more difficult and takes twice as long with my electric pump. Go figure...
Avent Bottles~ These are pretty much the only bottles we have. I have about 6 of the 4 ounce bottles which is what I leave for the baby for each feeding when I have to leave her with my mom or sister. I have about 6 of the 8 ounces bottles as well but I guess you'd need more if you formula feed.
Boppy Pillow~ Love it, gotta h ave it, can't live without it! It makes feeding so comfortable as far as baby's placement and keeps me from an aching back when I have to lean over and feed the baby if I don't use my pillow. I have an extra cover for mine, which I'd recommend having just in case your little one drools milk everywhere or spits up. 
Target Sleep Bra~ These are by far my favorite nursing bras and they're affordable. I have three of this kind and three of a more public friendly bar. These have no padding so wear out of the house at your own risk, but they are super comfortable. 
Lansinoh Lanolin~ This stuff got me through two weeks of nip hades. I only used it for about the first six weeks so you should only need one or two tubes, but it was truly a Godsend. 
Avent Breast Milk Storage Cups~ I plan on breastfeeding for at least six month, maybe longer, the good Lord and baby's teeth willing, so I've been on a pumping regiment for about the last month and a half trying to build up a freezer supply for once I stop breastfeeding. I'm oppossed to giving my baby formula unless I absolutely have to for some reason, so it's my goal to have enough milk stored in the freezer for at least a few months supply of feeding once Caroline starts eating oatmeal and baby foods. 
Lansinoh Storagw Bags~ I like these storage bags the best as far as taking up less space in the freezer and  they have handy little labels for date pumped and amount frozen. They just lay flat in the freezer shelf and you can stack the up to save space versus the cups listed above, but those cups can attach to my pump so it eliminates a step and a dirty bottle which is always nice, too.

I've left off an obvious thing that I read absolutely everyone would need, but I never used once so I just wasted my money and that's breast pads. The only time I ever leaked was at night and it was only a few times when I was first establishing my supply so I had no use for the Lily Pads. I'm sure this isn't the case for everyone, but I had no need for them. I hope that if you feel inclined, you'll at least give breastfeeding a fair shake and try for at least a month. I won't lie, there is a period that absolutely SUCKS, but it does pass. I know it's not for everyone and I don't want to be preachy or force my opinions on someone else, but I'm so glad I stuck it out. At first, I knew I'd breastfeed for the first six months as recommended and then move on, but I can honestly say I'm considering doing it even longer...Not like 'Time Magazine' cover longer, but maybe a couple more months than I initially planned on. Happy feeding y'all and any other tips or tricks you've learned are always appreciated!

Oh, and listed below are some awesome links with breastfeeding info that I've found really helpful

PS...Opinions on foods that affect your baby when you eat them (aside from the obvious like caffeine and alcohol). I've read both schools of thought. At my breastfeeding class, I was told anything was fair game when breastfeeding except caffeine and alcohol, but I'm curious about other's experiences.

Fall is for Picture Making

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ohhh how I LOVE having pictures done. These were our first family photos and we had a wonderful photographer. She was very patient with my fussy husband and sleepy baby. We were hoping to get some three month photos for Caroline, but diva wasn't having it so we only got two of her on her own. But I'm in love with these!

What I'm Most Thankful For

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanksgiving has always been one of, if not my very favorite holiday.  There's no gift-buying pressure, everyone has a grateful heart, you get together with your favorite family, and I get my mama's ahhh-mazing yeast rolls that she only makes during the holidays. There are few things more fun than sitting down at the table with my parents, hubby, sister and her family and this year, adding our own seat for the children's table.  Even though my mom has given up getting out the fine china in lieu of paper plates, she still breaks out the silverware and it just feels special. Caroline is obviously going to be too young to really pay much attention to anything this holiday season, expect maybe the lights on the Christmas tree when it goes up, but still, getting to experience things through the brand new eyes of your child is a special gift and I can't wait for it all.

It's a hope of mine to instill a thankful heart in Caroline as early as possible. There are so many things in life to be thankful for and she is definitely the top of my list, along with the rest of my family, they really are the best!

 My mom got her this cute little Indian Princess outfit from Babies R's by Koala Baby. Was going to post the link to buy it, but it must be in-store only. Her little headband is from Etsy.

And finally, I give you our little bird. Caroline's first Halloween holiday costume was a little pink owl, although my husband swears it was a turkey. Speaking of Halloween, it's a great time to get next year's costume since they're all half off!
One last picture...Here's Caroline with her favorite cousins right before trick-or-treat :) Cinderella, an FBI agent and little Miss Minnie Mouse.

Fit Friday...At Home Fitness Equipment

Friday, November 2, 2012

When it comes to working out, at home has always been my preference of place over a crowded gym so I have a pretty good collection of equipment. I'm really lusting after a Concept rower to add for when I get back into Crossfit, but it's a nice chunk of change and we have no room for it now. So I give you my favorite at home equipment. Doesn't take up much space but you can still get an awesome workout.
Bosu Ball Balance Trainer~ These are awesome for working on your core strength, especially post-baby. You can adjust all kinds of exercises to make them more challenging by incorporating this ball (it's called a ball, but the underside is flat; both sides can be utilized). Stand on it to squats, lunges, crunches, or even do your upper body exercises while standing on the unstable side of the ball to work your stabilizer muscles.

Rubber Hex Dumbbells~ The To get that toned look, you have to add some weights! And contrary to popular belief, lifting heavy will not make you look like a bodybuilder, unless you're hitting the steroids!

Stability Ball~ Another great tool for working the stabilizer muscles, there are so many exercise variations you can do with the stability ball, not to mention some wicked ab exercises. It's worth noting that you should buy a ball suited to your height. Most will come with an inflation pump and you can usually find these at Wal-Mart or Target.

Resistance Band~  These are a great option to dumbbells and they travel much easier and lighter when you have to hit the road but still want to get a workout in. 

Pure Barre Starter Pack~ I know that if you've read any previous entries here, you know I'm sort of obsessed with Pure Barre. The studio classes are so amazing, but since my nearest one is an hour away, the DVD's have to suffice most of the time, but there is a big selection