Friday, January 31, 2014

High Five for Friday!

I always love Friday blog posts because I get to go through my pictures from the week and pick my favorite five things! I used to have to work to remember to take pictures of my weekly highlights, but now having a baby I find that I take plenty of pictures throughout the week. I am going to try not to baby spam you every week, but I can guarantee that Charlotte will make an appearance one way or another (I'll try not to let her upstage Milo)!

  1. Charlotte had her newborn photo session last Friday and she did great! My friend, Aimee, the photographer was so great with her and I love how the pictures have turned out. Once I get more I will do an entire dedicated post on the photo session.
  2. We're going to Disney World! Our Magic Bands came in the mail and I can't wait to try out the new system Disney rolled out since the last time we were there. 
  3. Charlotte and I went shopping and came across this guy at JCPenny's! I couldn't resist a picture. :) 
  4. Best part about not being pregnant anymore? I get to have a glass of wine or two guilt free whenever I want! Dr. Loosen is my favorite!
  5. Washing bottles has consumed my life and I've never owned a drying rack so it never crossed my mind to get one for the baby. I heard great things about the Boon Grass Bottle Drying Rack so I had to get one. It's definitely worth it! I like that you can put all the bottle accessories any way you choose.
Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

3 Weeks Postpartum - WIWW


It feels so weird doing a "What I Wore" post and to not be pregnant! (Don't worry, it's weird in a good way) My wardrobe still feels limited, but I know once I get cleared to run again (at 6 weeks), I'll be back to my original size in no time which means my clothes won't just feel like museum pieces hanging in my closet! Now if only I could remember how to dress like a normal person and not style everything around a giant basketball for a stomach.

Being that I'm only 3 weeks postpartum, I'm not quite fitting in to all of my clothes, but my selection grows everyday! Right now, I find leggings and dresses to be most comfortable mainly because of where my incision is. Things around my waist are not my friend just yet. I'm proud to say that I've lost 35lbs of the 54lbs I gained while pregnant. The next 20lbs will be challenging but I know I will be back to where I was in no time. The next 3 weeks will be hard because I'm not cleared to exercise yet and what is left to come off will need to be worked off, but I'm going to start to portion control (can't eat for two anymore!) so at least I won't gain back what I've already lost.


If you follow me on Instagram, sorry, but you've already seen this outfit. This look sums up what I've been wearing the past few weeks. Comfort is key, but also looking human and not living in sweats is the goal.

My friend told me when I was pregnant to make sure I got a shower everyday and to do my hair and makeup whenever I can. It seemed so silly and superficial at the time, but it has been some of the best advice I've gotten. Sure, there are days when I don't get around to showering until dinner time, but I'm making time for myself nonetheless. So many of us new moms sink into a rut partly because we tend to put all of our time and energy into our babies and forget about ourselves. It may seem selfish, but I assure you, it helps in so many ways. Take time for yourself and treasure every little moment along the way!

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW
pleated poppy

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Ipsy Bag

I know I have been terrible about sharing my Ipsy bags lately, but in an attempt to get back on track with all things blog related, here is a look into my January Ipsy bag. As usual, I'm quite happy with the products that were chosen for me.



  1. Absolute Makeup Cleansing Tissues - A girl can never have too many of these. Makeup cleansing cloths are one of those items I hate spending money on so when I get my hands on some, it's a good day. I got the pomegranate scented ones and they are definitely different. I'm not used to taking off my makeup with something that smells fruity. These cleansing cloths are soft and work well enough so I don't feel like I'm scrubbing my face raw. They are gentle enough to not burn my eyes when taking my eye makeup off. I also liked the cooling and fresh sensation they gave my whole face once used. All in all these would be something I would consider buying but maybe in a more neutral scent. 
  2. Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm - This was by far the best item in my bag this month! This time of year, you can never have too many lip balms and chap sticks in your purse. Just when my everyday chap stick wasn't cutting it anymore, I was given this little gem to try. My lips went from cracked and burning to smooth and relieved in just a matter of seconds. It was truly magical. I will definitely be buying more of this once I run out.
  3. Yaby Liquid Foundation - I usually wear liquid foundation and then set it with mineral powder. I like a more full coverage look to help even out my skin since my face is covered in freckles and is splotchy. I liked this foundation because it didn't leave my face looking heavy and covered in makeup. The color was dead on too! 
  4. Benefit the POREfessional - Everyone talks about Benefit products, but I'm not one to go out and buy them since I find them extremely expensive. So the only Benefit products I own are the ones that I get through Ipsy. I have noticed that my pores are extremely large on my nose, so I just recently gave those Biore pore strips a try. Can you say ouch?! Those stupid tape strips are torture. While it is rather fascinating to see the dirt that comes off (after all, you just ripped off a few layers of skin), I find it far more effective to actually see less of my pores even after just one application. 
  5. Balm Me Up Body Balm - I have super dry skin but there is nothing I hate more than moisturizing. I have always hated that greasy feeling of applying moisturizer. This body balm feels greasy at first but it absorbs into the skin pretty quickly. The one thing I wasn't a fan of was the scent. It has a tangy citrus scent that is a little strong for my taste. I will use this balm to heal the dry patchy areas such as elbows and the bottoms of my feet. 

One of the things I love most about Ipsy, is that you get full size products and not all just samples like other subscription beauty boxes. For example, this month I got about $45 in product for only $10! If you are looking for a subscription beauty bag that is worth the monthly cost, I highly recommend Ipsy.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Charlotte's Newborn Fashion

Now that I've started to get a hang of this whole mom thing, I'm going to try and blog regularly again. As you can probably guess, some posts will be baby related, but I promise to keep posting DIY crafts, some fashion and of course my journey back to my pre-pregnancy size (or even smaller)! 

Today, instead of my usual high five for friday post, I'm going to try a different link-up. Since I'm a new mom and of course love showing off little Charlotte (as you have probably seen on Instagram), I'm going to use this Baby Mama link up to show off some of the cute little outfits Charlotte rocks throughout the week.

 Dress: Babies R Us
Bow: Handmade by me

 Romper: Old Navy
Headband: Target

Outfit and Headband: Target


Outfit: Target
Bow: Handmade by me

Thank you for all the love and support as we welcomed out little girl to our family. I can't wait to watch her grow every day. In the mean time, I will get back to a regular blog schedule beginning next week! Enjoy the weekend and stay warm!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Charlotte's Birth Story


I want to share my labor story for a few reasons. The first reason is for me. I want to never forget the day, and all the emotions that went with bringing our first daughter into the world. The second reason is for you. As I neared the end of my pregnancy, I read every labor story I could get my hands on in hopes to better prepare myself for what was about to happen. In a sense I became obsessed. I was terrified of what was about to happen. As much as I was prepared to have a baby on the outside, the idea of how she was going to come into this world was a whole new level of anxiety. Let's begin shall we? WARNING: Super long post!

As you all know, I was done being pregnant at 37 weeks. I had convinced myself that I was going early and sometime before the New Year we would be announcing the birth of our little girl. I couldn't have been more wrong. Week after week, I would go to my doctor's appointments only to find that I wasn't progressing. I was 1cm dilated and 50% effaced for 3 weeks. After every appointment I would come home and just feel sorry for myself. I wanted nothing more than to have this baby. I kept thinking I was having contractions, but in reality I didn't know what to look for. What I was feeling was a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions because they never were consistent or really painful.

At my 40 week appointment, I was told to come back early the next week and have an ultrasound to determine how big this baby was going to be and to come up with a game plan. FINALLY, there was an end in site. It was Friday, and I just needed to get myself to Wednesday, January 8th (4 days past my due date). The only appointment available was at 4pm so of course the day just dragged. I finally got my ultrasound and the tech told me that her estimate of Charlotte's weight was 9lbs 4oz! (Now I know these measurements aren't accurate so in my head I was telling myself there is no way this baby could be that big, she is probably no more than 8lbs.) How was I going to birth a baby that big?

The doctor came in to check me and see if I had progressed any further. Nope...still sitting at 1cm dilated. SERIOUSLY, it's been nearly 4 weeks! I could tell he was fighting an internal battle on what to do with me. The logical next step would be to induce labor and hope that my body would naturally progress. However, this doctor knew that with a baby potentially this size and the fact that my body was nowhere close to being ready for labor, he gave me the choice. I could go in and be induced and see how far I would get, but he figured I had at least a 60% chance of everything ending in a C-section. The second choice was to go straight for the C-sections. He was very hesitant on this options because I was a first time mom with no complications other than a potentially large baby. I talked it out with him and said that the odds didn't seem to be in my favor and why would I want to recover from essentially two labors? He agreed, and took me to the receptionist to schedule my C-section for tomorrow morning as long as there would be openings. Wait, tomorrow?! That's it? Just like that I had picked the birthday of our daughter and my husband wasn't even there! Is this really happening? I hadn't even begun to prepare for what a C-section would be like.

Sitting there, waiting for the hospital to confirm my time, I called my husband to let him know what was about to happen. In less than 24 hours we would be holding our little girl. It was so final. We both were ready, but never imagined it would be like this. Scheduled, no drama.

I got in my car and immediately started crying. On one hand I was so happy that after 9 months, I was going to finally meet our little girl, but on the other, I was terrified. I have never had surgery and have a fear of needles. How was I going to do this? I always figured I would be in enough pain by the time I got to the hospital that I wouldn't even notice the epidural. Now they want me to come in like a regular doctor's appointment and poke and prod me when I'm in no discomfort to begin with.

I called my family to let them know what was happening and then just drove home in a daze. Once I got home, we decided to go out to dinner with my parents to take my mind off of tomorrow. I called one of my friends who had a baby a year ago via C-section at the same hospital and she stepped me through everything that would happen. This definitely helped and made me feel more prepared.

Morning of January 9th: I woke up and showered and got ready like any other day (except for the crazy butterflies in my stomach). I did my hair and makeup since I had no idea when I would get the chance to shower next plus I knew there would be tons of pictures. My father-in-law drove up from Richmond and met us at our house where my husband, myself, my mom and father-in-law all drove to the hospital.

It was just like checking into a hotel. We had our bags and were told to wait for a nurse to come and get us. After a few minutes we were taken back to a labor room to prep me for surgery. Normally you get taken back to a big room with just curtains, but since that room was filled, we got our own private labor room to set up in. Once the IV was in and blood work done, they said my mom and father-in-law could come back one last time since we had the private room. We all made small talk and before I knew it the anesthesiologist came in to step me through the epidural. She did a great job explaining everything and making me feel at ease. She really stressed communication through the whole surgery.

Now it was time to head into the operating room. I was scheduled for 10:30am but they were running a little behind so we didn't get in there until 11:15am. They made my husband wait outside all suited and ready to go until the epidural was in. I just remember walking into that cold operating room and everything seemed so final. My heart was pounding but I knew in just a few minutes it would all be ok. I was quite surprised how well I did with the epidural. The numbing needle is the only one I felt and it was just a quick burn, or bee sting as the anesthesiologist called it. Once that was done, they did the big needle and all I felt was pressure, no pain. Suddenly a warm feeling came over the lower half of my body and everything went numb. Not scary numb, comfortably numb. Next thing I knew, my husband came in and sat right next to me and held my hand the whole time.

We were under way and I finally felt excitement and not fear for the first time in nearly 24 hours. I was about to meet our little girl! My blood pressure kept dropping (totally normal) and I would just tell the anesthesiologist that I was feeling light headed or nauseous and she would push medicine through my IV and I was back on cloud 9 within seconds!

Finally, at 11:52am I heard the doctor say, "Looks like we might have a 10 pounder!" All I wanted was to hear her cry. He told me they were still getting her out and that I would hear her in just a minute. the second that baby cried, a flood of emotions just came over me. That was it! She was here!



I was prepared that I wouldn't see her right away but just kept talking and listening to the doctor and nurses to find out how much she really weighed. They finally gave me her weight, 9lbs 12oz. Thank God I didn't try to get induced first!


My husband went over to take pictures and to meet her while they stitched me up. I kept peeking over to my side to get a glimpse of her. It wasn't long before they brought her over to me. It was so wonderful! I just wish I could have held her.





After Charlotte and my husband left, the doctor came over to tell me that he was so happy with the decision we made. He said my body was nowhere near ready for labor and that with her size, there would have been a lot of complications had we gone down the induction path.

Recovery: Now with all the excitement over, I was wheeled into recovery where my husband and Charlotte were waiting for me.


Unfortunately this is where things get a little harder. I had a bad case of the shakes from the anesthesia (which is pretty common) so I couldn't hold her right away. Then my blood pressure and body temperature kept dropping. I remember at one point just feeling soaking wet and then being told that I needed warm blankets. It was torture. I kept telling them, I was hot and begged them to take them off, but they couldn't since my body temperature dropped to 96 degrees.

Usually you are in recovery for a few hours, but I ended up being there for over 3. My family waited and finally everything was under control and they took me to my room. Not even 5 minutes later everyone was there ready to meet Charlotte. I was still struggling to come out of everything, so I don't remember much until about 6pm that night. That was the first time I actually got to hold her.


By the time everyone had left for the night, I was starting to feel a million times better. I got up that night to walk around since I was told that makes a huge difference with your recovery. By the next morning I got unhooked from everything and was able to shower and get dressed. I finally felt human again! I was still sore, but the medicine kept the pain tolerable and before I knew it, it was Sunday and time to leave!



We have now been at home for over a week and everyone is adjusting quite well. I can't complain about sleep because she sleeps for 3-4 hour stretches, I feed her and then she's back out until the next feeding. Sorry for the long post, but I hope this will help someone through their first C-section like so many other bloggers helped me with their stories.

Friday, January 10, 2014

High Five for Charlotte Noel

The time has FINALLY come! We are pleased to announce the birth of our little girl, Charlotte Noel. She was born yesterday, January 9th at 11:52am via scheduled c-section, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs 12oz! I am so happy the doctors decided to go c-section at the last minute. Everyone is doing well and we couldn't be more thrilled with our little not so little bundle of joy. She is the only high five that matters for this week!
Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dressing Up for WIWW

OK, I know I said it last week that I was hoping that would be my last maternity What I Wore Wednesday, but alas it's Wednesday again and I'm still pregnant. BUT I can now say with confidence that this will be my last maternity WIWW post. I have an appointment today that will most likely schedule my induction. Finally, there is an end!

Since this is the last time you will see me dress this ever growing baby bump, I thought I would dress it up! I can't believe I haven't showcased this dress yet seeing as it's one of my favorites. I wore it to work and around the holidays. It's an easy dress to style with tights and boots AND it just so happens to make me feel somewhat normal (even if I am the size of a house)!

Dress is from LOFT Maternity but no longer available online.
 

And that my friends is my last maternity outfit post! I would be lying if I said I would miss it. Next up....how to dress my post partum body! (I have a feeling this will be harder than dressing a baby bump).

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW
pleated poppy

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY Dresser Knob Makeover

This has been one of those projects that I've been putting off for months now. It truly is the last project for the nursery, but I couldn't quite figure out how to execute it. We go this dresser from my in-laws and it happens to match the crib quite well, so painting it was definitely out of the question. It needed a little update though so I thought, "How hard could redoing the drawer pulls be?" The hardest part was coming up an idea that would actually work.

 
First and foremost, measure! Know what you're working with. I figured my current drawer pulls were standard so off to my local hardware store to get some cheap pulls in two different sizes, one for the top and one for the bottom. I immediately started wrapping the smaller of the two in my Lilly fabric and instantly fell in love. Now to put them on the dresser.....womp womp....they don't fit! Ok maybe they'll fit the other size. Nope. Turns out I needed 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch and I had 3 inch and 4 inch. Long story short, this was not going to work!


Maybe we can spray paint these bad boys and give it a shabby chic look. The spray paint didn't stick well to the tarnished metal and even after some cleaning, it still wasn't giving me my desired look. What to do? It was time to forget about the project for a little while.


Fast forward to an overdue pregnant lady trying to occupy her time with something other than counting Braxton hicks contractions and attempting to will myself into labor. It was time to DIY again! The easy solution for these drawer pulls was to buy some cheap wooden knobs and cover them in my leftover fabric from the rest of the nursery projects. But therein lies another problem; each drawer pull has two holes which means I would need two knobs to cover the place of one pull. Would this look dumb? Lucky for me, I found someone on Pinterest who was clearly in the same dilemma as me and made it work. It's whimsical, I told myself. Maybe it will be good for Charlotte and help her practice her fine motor skills. I really was running out of options and out of time. The decision was made, I was going to make 36 fabric covered drawer knobs and I was going to love it!

Now that you know that back story, let's get started on this super easy (but time consuming) tutorial.
 
Gather your supplies:
Wooden knobs
Fabric of your choice
Mod Podge
Paint brush
Rubber bands (I used hair ties since I didn't have rubber bands)
Scissors
 
Take your paintbrush and cover the wooden knob with Mod Podge. Then simply place your fabric square over the knob and begin smoothing and wrapping.
 
Once you have it on there the way you want, take your rubber band or hair tie and secure it at the base. This will hold everything in place while it dries.
 
Wait for it to dry then trim off the excess fabric and Mod Podge the bottom. This doesn't have to be perfect as you won't see it once it's on the dresser. Now you can remove your rubber band and coat the entire knob with Mod Podge. This will give it a little shine and make it more durable. I also think it gives a nice finished and polished look.

And there you have it! All done! Now just arrange them the way you want and install on your dresser. Easy as that!

So what do you think? Did that help our slightly out of date dresser and make it little more kid friendly? I think so!


Monday, January 6, 2014

40 Week Update - The Final Countdown

Well, January 4th has officially come and gone and we still have no baby. It's really starting to mess with my head. I know it's physically impossible to be pregnant forever, but sometimes I feel like she's never going to come!

I have not been progressing at my weekly appointments, so most likely I will be induced at the end of this week. I can't stand the thought of being pregnant for another week, so even though it's not ideal, I'm fine with not going into labor naturally. I thought I would be happy to know that there is an end in sight, but I still find myself wishing today would be the day.


How far along?: 40 weeks, 2 days
Baby is the size of a: Jackfruit
Total weight gain/loss: 50lbs
The Bump: Just when I think it can't get any bigger, it does.
Symptoms: Typical end of pregnancy symptoms: tired, numbness, back aches, etc.
Food Cravings: Still craving ice like it's my job.
Anything Making Me Queasy or Sick: Nope
Sleep: I'm still not getting good sleep, but it's enough to get me through the day. The things keeping me from sleeping are numbness, not being able to sleep on my side and getting up 3 times a night to go to the bathroom.
What I miss: Being active! Right now every task is physically draining. Just going downstairs to get water leaves me short of breath. Hard to believe that I used to run long distances!
Weddings Rings On or Off: Off
Any Names Picked Out Yet: Charlotte Noel
Gender Prediction: Girl
Movement: She has really slowed down. A few times a day she throws a dance party, but other than that I think she is saving her energy for the real world.
Maternity Clothes: Nothing like wearing the same 3 things everyday. The good news is, I pretty much stay inside so no one sees me.
Labor Signs: Been having contractions but nothing regular so I can only assume they are Braxton Hicks.
Best Moment of the Week: Spending quality time with my husband before our entire world turns upside down!
What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I have an appointment on Wednesday to check her size and schedule an induction!

Linking up with Molly @ Still Being Molly for Funday Monday!
still being [molly]

Friday, January 3, 2014

High Five for 2014!

This is the first official High Five for Friday of 2014! Charlotte's official due date is tomorrow and I am ready to start this year off with the best little gift ever! Now if only she would cooperate and come sooner than later. This week didn't consist of any fun or exciting plans, but in the coming days or weeks all that will change. We are just saving our energy for our world to be turned upside down (in a good way of course)!

  1. I decided on NYE since we didn't have any fabulous plans, that I was going to treat these club feet to a little TLC. I got my 2nd pedicure while pregnant and it was just what the doctor ordered. It was so nice to just sit, relax and get pampered for an hour.
  2. There is something about grocery store cookies that make me feel like a child. I see it and I just HAVE to have it! This little snowman brightened my day.
  3. Milo has been so sweet lately. I know, how could he get any sweeter? Well, he did. He loves to just lay next to me wherever I am. This is him snuggled up with my snoogle (pregnancy pillow).
  4. Yay for some snow! I hate the mess and hazard it causes, but it never gets old to look at. I was doing some cleaning yesterday and every time I took a break, I would sit by the window and watch the snow fall. This picture was taken when we went on our nightly walk. I just kept saying, "I love snow!"
  5. One of my Christmas presents was a box of embroidery thread! It doesn't look exciting to the average person, but if you craft or embroider, you know what a commodity this is! Embroidery thread is one of those things that I hate spending money on, so to find this under the tree was quite the treat!
Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Everyday Wear for WIWW

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a GREAT New Years Eve last night and are excited for what 2014 brings! We kept it low key and treated it just like any other night. As much as I would have liked to do something special for our last NYE without kids, I just wanted to relax and enjoy these last few quiet moments before baby.

This outfit post wasn't my favorite, but I think being 4 days away from my due date might have a little something to do with it. I'm officially to the point where I just want my body back. Maternity clothes don't even fit and I feel like everything is swollen. So why even do this post? Well, the truth is, I don't want to pretend. I want to look back at these posts and see that there were days where pregnancy was exciting and fun and then days where getting out of bed and showering was a huge feat.

So here is an outfit that I wear about every other day now, as it seems to be one of the few things that still fits my freakishly large ever expanding body.


Outfit Details:
Sweater - Liz Lang Maternity (Target)
Jeans - Liz Lang Maternity (Target)
Boots - Madden Girl
 


 
Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW! 
pleated poppy