Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2013 was an amazing year and 2014 is even better!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa 2013

It was a success!  After a 90 minute wait, one tired baby and one cranky toddler, our visit with Santa was a success.  I'm so proud of Addie for not only waiting that long but for also talking, though softly, to Santa and not crying!  

There will be no posts on the blog tomorrow or Wednesday due to Christmas so until I write again, Merry Christmas to you all!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Graham Month 3

What a busy month!  As we approach Christmas it seems the weeks have flown by.  I've also just accepted an opportunity outside my current employer so it's been hectic for me to put in notice and have that announced.  I've been hugging on Graham and Addie lately as all of these terrible stories come out near Christmas for families in need.  It makes me appreciate moments with my babies even more.

Stats:  Like last month, I'm not sure what his exact stats are.  Next doctor visit isn't until 4 months and it's actually after he turns 4 months.  I imagine he is weighing in at 13lbs.  He's wearing 3 month clothes comfortably.

Sleep Schedule:  Sleep at night seems to be getting more consistent.  He goes about 5 hours then eats and sleeps another 2-3 hours.  Naps are still a mess.  He's still sleeping about 45 minutes at a time. 

Food:  Still solely on breast milk with occasional supplements of formula.  He eats about 5 ounces at a time every 3 hours.

Firsts:  He experienced his first Thanksgiving.  First time mama clipped his finger accidentally when clipping fingernails.  He's noticed his toes when sitting in the bumbo.

Favorites:  Nursing, still is favorite thing.  Though he loves watching his sister and likes to talk to her when she actually pays him any attention.

Though he won't get Christmas this year, I'm still excited to experience Christmas with 2 kids.  I'm sure he will change a lot over the next month growth wise and we soon get to introduce cereal.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Arrives

We finally did it.  We busted out that Elf on the Shelf.  I had originally planned to get it out on the first of the month but the more I thought about it the more I thought Addie wouldn't really get it.  Plus, I didn't want to do all that work if she still isn't at the age to comprehend.  So I waited until closer to Christmas so I didn't have to move him as much.  Saturday morning was the day!

 photo f92af11c-5202-4b2e-8fab-0289b3f59ee1_zpsa45d2a15.jpg

I spent Friday evening getting everything laid out and prepared so I would just have to quickly throw the breakfast down and make the hot cocoa.

Addie and Rick went out to his parents lake house Friday night so when she got home she saw Santa had a package delivered.

She loved her donuts.

The hot cocoa with marshmallows was also a huge hit.

We had about a 5 minute conversation after reading the book as to what the elf's name should be.  She continued to say, "I don't know" or "nuffin" when we asked what his name should be.  I was tempted to name him nuffin but it seems he may have received a name over the past several days.  She's started referring to him as Frosty.  We'll see if that sticks.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Graham's Newborn Photos

I just realized I never shared Graham's newborn photos with you.  Let me be really honest here, the photographer we used was referred to us by a friend.  I checked out their photos and really loved the style and quality of her work so I figured I'd give her a shot.  She's just getting into professional photography as more than a hobby so she was offering a great rate for a cd full of images.  I won't be doing that again.  It wasn't a good experience, I found her to be very unprofessional.  It took me 8 weeks to get my photos back and about 3 of those were her sitting on the photos not sending them out.  It's unfortunate because I think for the most part her work was really nice.  Professionalism sucks and that's what will bite you in the end.

Enough with that negativity, enjoy my beautiful babe.

My sweet Addie and her baby blues.

This picture captures her personality so well.

Such a sweet little baby.  Hard to believe he screamed through 95% of the time we were there.  


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Breastfeeding: Round Two

Breastfeeding was never not an option for me.  I always knew I wanted to try it out for the health of my babies so we didn't have bottles or formula in the house.  It would have been to tempting at times to back out when breastfeeding got difficult and boy did it ever get difficult.

With Addie, it was painful and exhausting and after two weeks I got such a bad infection from my c-section that I had to go on antibiotics. The antibiotics I was on were ones that's I was unable to breastfeed on.  So for nearly 2 weeks I pumped and dumped.  If you've ever nursed before you know two things.  First, pumping at 2 weeks old and introducing formula can have a devastating impact to your supply and/or your babies ability to switch back to nursing.  Secondly, pumping and dumping for 2 weeks is a really difficult thing to do.  Whoever made that saying, "there's no use crying over spilled milk" never nursed.  That stuff is liquid gold!

I was able to get back at nursing with no issues.  Addie didn't have any nipple confusion and she nursed until she was 13 months old.  I can't believe I made it to 13 months.  It was exhausting and the pumping at work got old, but I kept at it and I enjoyed being able to feed her for such a long period of time.

When Graham was born, again, no questions, I was going to attempt nursing.  I was lucky enough to have zero issues nursing him.  In fact, he came out with his tongue jutting out of his mouth ready to nurse.  He latched quickly with no issues and has to this day enjoyed nursing, almost too much.  At 12 weeks old, he nurses every 2 hours during the day.  He's gaining weight like a tank.

I've been very lucky to have had two successful attempts at breastfeeding because I know not everyone has a path like mine.  My advice to any new moms is always to attempt to breastfeed.  You have to make the attempt for 4 solid weeks before you decide if it's not for you.  It can be a really stressful time and a you'll probably want to give up quickly but I've heard several instances where it seems nursing was given up pretty quickly.  Not everyone does, I realize, and sometimes there are issues with milk production.  I highly recommend speaking with a lactation consultant multiple times if needed before switching to formula.  If at that point you feel like you've given it all you can and used all your resources, then make the transition.  What's most important is that your baby is receiving proper nutrition and gaining weight but the one thing you don't want to do is regret ever trying.

It really can be the most beautiful thing.  I love when Graham pops off and looks up at me with milk running from his mouth and smiles a full smile at me.  It's amazing!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Appetizers for your Dinner Parties!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client.

 Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

I'm always on the lookout for great holiday appetizers or easy dinner party recipes. I had a chance to try out SeaPak's Spring Rolls recently and love them for an easy meal idea and as an option for healthy quick dinners. We're always having parities to host during the holidays and I'm always looking for an easy appetizer so I don't have to spend much time preparing. Read more about "The 15 Best Frozen Appetizers to Serve at a Party" as mentioned in the Ladies Home Journal. These spring rolls make the best party snack because they're convenient, take a short time to cook and come with a dipping sauce that is amazing!

Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

I also wanted to make a fun dip myself so I made an Asian dipping sauce:
1/3 cup balsamic
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

I love hosting parties using all white china as it really makes my food pop so I've served up the spring rolls on my white china with the dipping sauce it comes with along with my asian dipping sauce. You can pick these up at Wal-Mart. The Today Show even featured these spring rolls!

Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

Check out SeaPak's Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages for more great appetizer options and recipes.

Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

I seriously cannot get enough of the dipping sauce that comes with these spring rolls.  Sweet and spicy and A-MA-ZING!

Holiday Appetizers, Dinner Party Recipes, Easy Meal Ideas, Healthy Quick Dinners, #shop, #paktheparty, #cbias

Go out immediately to Wal-Mart and pick these up in the freezer section for an easy holiday appetizer for your next dinner party!


Happy Holidays

We officially have less than 2 weeks to Christmas!  Cue panic since half of my shopping list is completed.  The one thing we do have marked off the list is our Christmas cards went out a couple days ago.  How sweet are my babies?

Moments later, Addie tried to dump Graham off her lap.  

Happy Holidays!


PS.  Don't forget to enter the great giveaway going on now.  You can enter to win a $50 gift credit to Uncommon Goods, enter here.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Love Wine? Try the VinoVinti

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of VinoVinti for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love wine, but I'll be honest, I didn't really start drinking wine until a couple years ago.  Since then I've turned that around and love trying new wines.  I'm still a sweet, white drinker and love me a Moscato.  Rick and I often check out local wineries in our area or any local wineries while we're on vacation to do tastings.  Another great way we like to try out a variety of wines is wine tasting parties.

Usually the host requests each couple to bring a bottle or two (1 red, 1 white) and can set a theme.  Last time, our theme was Wines from Around the World. We each brought a wine from a different country and each person got to taste all of the wines.  It's a great way to try new wines you may not purchase an entire bottle of until you're sure you enjoy it.  

If you like wine, then you need to try VinoVinti.  VinoVinti removes excess carbon dioxide from wine, improving the flavor and adding years of smoothness.  There's always someone at the party who brings a cheap bottle of wine and VinoVinti can help improve in seconds.  It's easy to use, removes the acidic flavor sometimes found in wine in 20-30 seconds!

If you're planning to attend a wine tasting party or have friends and family who love wine, VinoVinti would be a great gift!  You can purchase the VinoVinti directly on their site and you should like VinoVinti on Facebook as I recently did.

Check out this video on how to use the VinoVinti.

**Please drink responsibly, and as always, only drink if you are at least 21 years old or older**

Visit Sponsor's Site

Whatcha Wearin Wednesday: Winter Maxi Round Two

Apparently, I'm really loving this maxi skirt for the winter.  So much that I wore it two Wednesday's in a row.  I may need to put it away for a couple weeks.  It's freezing here and for some reason I want to wear dresses and skirts with leggings.  For some reason leggings seem so cozy to me so we'll go with it.

Similar to last week I've got the basic black maxi with the white tank.  This time I layered it with a cardigan and skinny black belt along with a coral colored scarf.  This time I wore knee high black boots to keep me warm.  So comfy and I'm loving this for work and as a possible option for Christmas Eve services.

Skirt:  Black Maxi from Old Navy
Tank:  White Mossimo tank from Target
Cardigan: Tan from Target
Scarf:  Coral from Groopdealz
Belt:  Skinny black belt - thinking from Target

PS.  Don't forget to enter the great giveaway going on now.  You can enter to win a $50 gift credit to Uncommon Goods, enter here.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Product Review & Giveaway: Uncommon Goods

It's that time of year when I should be getting my final shopping done in time for Christmas.  It never fails though that I leave something until 2 days before and I'm scrambling to find one last gift. Each year I plan to do better and each year I fail.  Luckily, I found a company that offers so many unique and affordable gifts for everyone on your shopping list.  Uncommon Goods is a "privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people."  Most products are created in the US and half are handcrafted!

I'm really loving that you can also have gifts personalized.  I'm looking to get Rick a gift, but I want to step it up a bit and have it personalized.  You can check out some of those gifts here.

I, or should I say, Addie & Graham had a chance to try out some of Uncommon Goods products.  Addie tried out the Nursery Rhyme blocks you can find here which she just loved!  Every time she grabbed a block she'd say, "what does this one say?".

And Graham?  He got to try out these sweet Babiators.  My little Carlos!  You can find the babiators here.

How stinking cute is he?

Uncommon Goods make its easy for you to find gifts in your price range.  Most of the gift exchanges we do are $50 limits so I can easily check out Uncommon Goods' section of gifts under $50 here to get some really good ideas for our exchange.

Here comes the part where you get really excited!

Giveaway Uncommon Goods is offering one of my readers the chance to win a $50 gift certificate!

How to Enter  Just follow the instructions in the Raffelcopter widget below.  Make sure you complete the first task as it is a mandatory task.  Once you complete the mandatory task, all other tasks are optional but do increase your chances to win! Open to US & Canada only. The giveaway is open to all and will close at midnight on Monday, December 16, 2013.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note:  I received these products free of charge as part of a review, however all opinions are mine and are true.


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