Thursday, June 30, 2011

Breastfeeding: No Pressure, No Guilt

I may never bring up this topic again, but during some office chit-chat this week I was left a little ticked off. Someone I respect very much caught me off guard with her condescending views towards women who do not breastfeed.

It's no secret that breastfeeding is by far one of the biggest topics discussed during and after pregnancy. Giving your little one the best possible nourishment from the get-go is important, this we all know. But if you want my two cents, some people are beginning to cross a line.

The importance of breastfeeding is now being pushed on women, not just presented to them. 

Personally, I was never completely sold on breastfeeding. In fact, I didn't decide until 36 weeks that we were going to give breastfeeding a real try. So, I went off to buy all the breastfeeding necessities (minus a pump). I was nervous about it, but I new Baby J deserved a valiant effort.

Our couple of days at the hospital went better than expected. He latched well and I was even producing colostrum. Due to a breast reduction I had in December of 2007, I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to breastfeed and that the entire thing would be a complete nightmare. But to my dismay it was going wonderfully, at least for the first 48 hours.

Upon returning home, I sat down to feed Baby J and nothing happened. We tried and tried but nothing. So, I supplemented with formula. Then, we tried again about an hour later. Still nothing. This sad cycle continued and after a couple of days I gave up. I told myself it was okay, that we would just bottle feed. I was bottle fed and so were my brothers, we've all turned out pretty well if you ask me.

Now that I knew we weren't breastfeeding all I could think about was the dreaded day my milk would come in and I'd have to deal with engorgement. Part of me still thought I'd try to breastfeed once the milk came in. Ten days post labor came and still no engorgement. Then 15, 20, 25. It never happened. I never produced milk. 

Does this make me a bad mom? Hell no it doesn't! Do some people consider me a bad mom because I'm not breastfeeding my baby? You bet they do. They say I should have been pumping around the clock, that I should have tried harder.

Well, ladies, I'm here to tell you I put forth my best effort, one that I am proud of. I didn't let the pressure of breastfeeding get to me, which is hard to do these days. And after feeling guilty for a couple of days I thought to myself "what are you feeling guilty for? Absolutely nothing!" I'm still nourishing my baby with good food and lots of love. The fact it isn't my natural milk is something I couldn't help and honestly even if I had produced milk I can't promise I would have followed through with breastfeeding post-maternity leave.

If you're debating breastfeeding or feeling pressured in any way. Step back, look at what's best for you and your situation. Decisions others make for their life are just that, their decisions, they don't have to be yours too. 

And just because we're talking about making "newborn" decisions, a photo of sweet Baby J at just ten days old...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Last Twenty

After having a baby my days seem so busy. There's always a chore or activity just waiting to be done. Then maternity leave ended, and those "busy" days are something I now look back on with laughter. 

Being a working mom is no joke.

Now that mommyhood has begun, you're technically working 24/7. Then you factor in your actual day job, the husband, your house, the pets and your personal sanity {oh and let's not forget about friends}! 

Is 24 hours in a day even enough?

But at 8:30 pm every night the world stops turning {at least mine does}. I grab a bottle and my baby and close the nursery door. The next twenty minutes are spent rocking with my little man. We talk, we smile, it's beautiful. Then I lay him in his crib, whisper "I love you"and quietly close his door.


These last 20 minutes have quickly become my favorite time of day.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Woo Hoo! I am loving that it's Wednesday! 

{Let's just say it's been a long week at work.}

Also, it's almost July and I'm pretty pumped. Why? Because our three year wedding anniversary {August 2} is just around the corner! That would be exciting in itself, but we've got big plans! Or, at least big plans in the world of me and Hubby B.

On August 5, the Mr. and I will jump in the car and head to Charlotte to see these guys...

{via}

I love them. He loves them. This is rare for us to both love a band. 

About two years ago, long before Baby J was even a thought, we saw them in Nashville. And y'all, words cannot describe how good the show was. I mean, damn. They were so good!!!

This means that August 5 will be the first night I leave my precious baby at home and spend the night an entire hour away. 

Cue the nerves?

Nah, I'm too excited to be nervous about leaving Baby J {at least for now}

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

Lately, Baby J has been showing off many, many new faces...


and I just can't get enough of them!

I could just eat that sweet face up with a spoon.





Photobucket

Link up with Daphne to join the {WW} fun!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Toddle-Along

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite blog hops! 


Every Tuesday sweet new ladies shower me with the sweetest comments, which I love. But I must say, I love reading your blogs even more!

To those of you stopping by new this week {welcome!} To those of you who have become a follower thanks to this linky {thanks} I'm so enjoying following y'all too!

Thanks for hosting Mama G and Kristin!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Motivational Monday

Before I found out I was pregnant with Baby J, I was putting everything I had into my attempts to be accepted to law school. After receiving my Bachelor's degree and not being able to find a job, I decided to go for law school (something I had secretly been wanting to do for three years). 

So, I threw myself into studying, so much that it was detrimental. But I wanted it. Either way sweet Baby J put a stop to that dream. There was no way I could go to law school and be pregnant, or a new mom for that matter. It's just not realistic, it's not something we could ever afford now. 

That leaves me here. I have a wonderful job which I love. But is it my forever job? Can I see myself there for the rest of my days? I'm still not putting the degree I received to use. However, when I tell people I received a journalism degree they often cock their heads back in laughter while telling me it's a dead medium. To those people I say f* you, but I digress.


I'm currently being presented with the opportunity to follow another dream I've had tucked away. 

But I'm scared. 

What if it fails, what if I fail? 

Half of me is screaming, "there are too many risks." The other half is screaming, "Do it already!"

{all via}

Attempts to talk me into having a little courage are welcome!

Happy Monday Lovelies!

Three Month Survival Guide

Guess what y'all...my baby is now three months old! Three months! How is it possible that it's been three months since the doctor took me by surprise and sent me to the hospital.

That's right, it's been 85 days since I went to the doctor for our 38 week check-up and was told then and there that "we'd be having that baby in the next 24 hours." Our three days at the hospital were a whirlwind. And now our first three months has almost come to an end and I'm happy to say we are in a beautiful daily routine. Life is filled with a happy, cooing baby and a mom and dad who couldn't be more blessed. 

How'd we do it? Well, besides remembering that parenthood is a team effort, these little goodies got us from week one to week twelve.

These have been a lifesaver (we have three). Whether you use this brand or another, I'm officially a believer in swaddling. We swaddled Baby J up until the day of his three month birthday. He almost immediately falls asleep after being swaddled, it's been key factor in our bedtime routine.

You need a lot of burp cloths. A lot. If you think you have enough you don't, get more. My boss got me these wonderful bibs and they are ah-mazing! I know you probably want those adorable burp cloths with your little one's monogram, but they're not nearly as wonderful as these! 

Nuk Pacifiers

I'm sure every baby is different, but this is the only brand of pacifier Baby J will use. Picky baby you say? You bet your butt he is. That's okay with me because this is a great brand and one my entire family of dentists recommend.

Bouncer Chair

I can't say enough about the need for this chair. The words "Life Saver" are an understatement.

If you aren't ordering these last three things through Amazon then you are crazy. In fact, our true survival guide around this house has been our Amazon Mom/Prime account. If you don't have one, get one. You'll thank me. We've saved hundreds of dollars already.

Well, that's the gist of it. The things I needed on a daily basis for these first three months. Like I said in the beginning, remembering parenthood is a team effort is key to having a happy baby!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let's Call it a "Working" Vacation

Whew! I have barely made it through the week after last weekend, but here I am, finally on my couch with my baby and the DVR. Thank you Lord!

Last Thursday through Monday night at 9 pm was part vacation, part marathon, part parenthood challenge extraordinaire. 

{Super-Mom}


Last weekend in Nashville had been planned long before we found out we were even pregnant due to a friend's wedding. After Baby J's arrival it quickly became about Hubby B's entire family meeting the new man of the family. 
Our first leg of the marathon ended at my Dad's house in North Carolina on Thursday night. We visited for about an hour, put Baby J to bed, hung out a while longer then hit the hay. Waking at 6:30, we were on the road for Music City by 7:45 am. 

The trip was going smoothly until our GPS kept telling us to turn around. After about twenty minutes of Hubby B hollering that he "likes going this way better," he realized he'd merged the wrong way. Yep, that's right, we were headed towards Chattanooga not Nashville. Of course this was also the very moment we needed to stop because Baby J was screaming.

After some fussing at each other we got back on the right road, got Baby J a new diaper and got momma a Diet Coke. We still made pretty good time and reached stop number two, my MIL's house, around 1 pm central time (yep, we even changed time-zones during this vacay).

 Just three hours after our arrival, every long lost in-law gathered in my MIL's living room. There was more cooing coming from that room than I've heard in the last month, and it wasn't from J. Even with all the hustle and bustle it ended as a pretty good night. 

Saturday night we got all dressed up and headed to downtown Nashville for the wedding. I love weddings, love them. And smack in the middle of this beautiful city? Yes please. So amazing.


{Also, we cleaned up pretty well, if I do say so myself.}

What ensued that night was a beautiful ceremony and a lot of beer celebrating. This was the first night I spent more then three hours away from Baby J before/during bedtime. Don't worry, I survived.

After shaking off a slight hangover, I wished Hubby B a happy first Father's Day and told him to get his lazy butt moving! Stretch three of the marathon was quickly approaching. By 11 am we were off to the opposite side of Nashville, where we attended college and where my FIL lives. 

Are you exhausted just reading this? Me too. We're almost done.

A dear friend of ours threw Baby J a little shower and it was lovely. We didn't get to see as many as friends as we'd hoped, but the important ones were certainly in attendance. The rest of the afternoon/night was spent with my FIL and other MIL.

Hubby B and I snuck away for a few more hours to enjoy a free, full-time babysitter lovin' on Baby J. The next morning we packed up and headed out. By 8 pm we finally made it home.

Guess who slept the whole drive back to our house. Me? Nope {I wish}. Hubby B and Baby J slept the entire seven hours!

And just to brag about my baby a little...after sleeping most of the way home that day, he still slept through the night! We've got a good one y'all!


Boob Tube Babble: SYTYCD

Lately, I haven't had time for my favorite shows. Work is taking over my usual television time, how lame is that?

Anyway, I'm here catching up on So You Think You can Dance rather than cleaning the house. Much more productive, don't you think? I thought so too.

This is the eighth season of the show, which is crazy. When this show started I didn't think it would last. Obviously I didn't have enough faith in America's love for dance! And I'm glad for this because now I can turn on my tele and see beautiful routines like this...



and then their are routines like this (see below) that leave you in awe once again not just of the dancers but also the choreographer. Plus I love some good hip hop!

 (on a side note: I don't know what the hell the hair stylist was doing, but I don't like it)



I wish I could dance like them, but it's many a long time since I stepped foot in a studio. At this point that might just be embarrassing.



Boob Tube Babble

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

After attending our friend's wedding this weekend, I'm dreaming about all those beautiful moments that make the day so special for every couple. If you're married, you get it, if you're not, I'm sure you'll figure out what I mean some day soon!

My cousin sent me a website she and her friends are obsessing over, and of course I was immediately hooked. I mean who wouldn't love a tumblr site dedicated to marital bliss?

This Wednesday, I'm loving love. 

Join me...





{all photos via}

Be sure to check out what Jamie is loving today!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

What better day to start my new WW {Weight Watchers} lifestyle than on WW?

So here it is my friends. I mentioned it last week and now it's time. Time to lose my baby weight, time to lose the weight I wanted gone before even being pregnant, time to be healthy so I can enjoy the many years to come with Hubby B and Baby J.


Is this true? I have no idea, but I sure as hell hope so. 

Let's say goodbye to a few things I indulge in a little too often...



and hello to things I'll begin indulging in a lot more...


{all photos via}

I'm nervous and excited. The cookies will certainly call my name, but I'm going to be strong and I hope you'll be there to help me!


Photobucket


Happy Wednesday Y'all, don't forget to link up with sweet Daphne to share the WW love!

Toddle-Along

I loved the sweet comments left from last week's blog hop so much it encouraged me to join Mama G once again. 



Ladies from last week, thanks for all your lovely words and encouragement. Anyone stopping by this week {thanks!} I hope you take a look around. 

Many updates soon to come now that we're finally settling back in from our marathon vacation last weekend. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Motivational Monday

{via}
Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever read. "Hang out with Steve" is my favorite, I will be giggling about this all week!!

The inner thoughts of an eleven year old are truly amusing. 

Sometimes we adults get caught up in the social statuses of life and I think that can be reflected in this list. Don't get caught up on what's makes you cool, being yourself should be more than sufficient. I don't think we remind each other of this often enough.

*Road-Trip Update: We are in our old home of Tennesee for a couple more hours then hit the road to return home. It's going to be a long six and a half hour drive with Baby J, but I know we'll make! Updates on our trip later this week, it's been a good one! Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend*

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Get-Away

Sorry about the lack of posting this week lovely readers! 

Here's a quick update on our little life:

We finally made it to Nashville yesterday and Jackson met every family member under the sun last night. My MIL is officially in heaven, and Hubby B and I got to sleep in this morning! That's right, I said sleep in. I wasn't sure I'd ever know what those words meant again. Hooray for Grandparents!

Tonight we head off to a dear friend's wedding. I just love weddings, especially ones I get to go to with Hubby B. They always just make you feel so happy inside. It's almost like a mini renewal of our vows as we sit there holding hands while the preacher speaks.

{via}
A good southern wedding at a historic church in downtown Nashville followed by a reception at a rooftop location with great views...Sign me up! 

 We'll be back to reality on Monday with all the nitty gritty details of the weekend!

Happy weekend y'all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Toddle-Along

Since I'm new to the bloggy world and love finding new sources of inspiration I thought I'd add my linky to Mama G's Tuesday blog hop!





I just stumbled across her blog {Growing up Geeky} the other day and it was love at first site, so you should check it out too!

What may you ask drew my attention to her blog? That's easy, Baby J is also growing up "geeky" since Hubby B is quite a geek himself. Oh, I can only imagine the excess of gadgets J will have in life. 

So, if your're stopping by from her blog, {thanks!} and even if you're not {thanks!}

Stay and look around! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Freshman Fifteen...And Then Some

This is where it started.

Denny Chimes - University of Alabama
Like most people during their Freshman year of college I gained those dreaded fifteen pounds and pretty quickly. 

If you hadn't realized you gained weight before returning home for the holidays, your mom made sure you knew it. After returning from Christmas break my friends and I jumped on the work-out wagon and hit the gym. We HAD to lose that weight. 

After a couple of months I realized I was still gaining weight while all of my friends were watching it melt away. I was thoroughly confused. I've always been bigger, but I didn't know why if I was working out as much as my roommates and eating the exact same food why I wasn't losing weight too?!

The Freshman Fifteen hit my scale like a ton of bricks and by April it was screaming at me. I had somehow gained 35 pounds. It hurts to say. Seriously, I just vomited a little thinking about it. My self-esteem was quickly plummeting. Not only was I gaining weight consistently, I was finding myself sick by 2 pm every day and hadn't had a period in several months.

Do you think I was pregnant? Well I wasn't, thank you very much. 

I swallowed my pride and headed for the doctor's office. Low and behold it turned out I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome {PCOS}. I was horrified and relieved at the same time. At least now I knew what I had, but it's one of those things that can be hard to treat and to live with on a day-to-day basis. On top of all of that, my doctor said with my medical history I only had a 2-5 percent chance of having my own children (more about this another time).

So why am I bringing this up now?

Because I've decided not to let my weight continue to take control. Weight Watchers is in my near future friends! 

Follow me on this journey? Help me to stay motivated? I could use it!

{via}
Come back later this week for more to my weight gain and loss story!

Photos for Father's Day

I snapped these sweets shots of Baby J the other day. Lately, he's been all smiles even with the sniffles and sneezes. 

He was wearing this cute little onesie we snagged from Wally world (that's right, Wal-Mart it was like three dollars and Hubby B was excited about it!) 



All I have to say is don't look down on some Wal-Mart clothes! These have made for the perfect photos to frame for Hubby B's first Father's Day!

I've been having some big issues getting good shots of this moving mess of a baby, but my mom's camera is making all the difference. So, you could say this is one excited momma.

Motivational Monday


Whenever someone leaves home and returns for a special occasion they always want to impress everyone back home. 

At least I assume everyone is this way, I know Hubby B certainly is. 

Well, this week we're returning to Nashville for a friend's wedding. From Thursday to Monday every second is packed with plans with family and friends. Having left Nashville for his first time just seven months ago, Hubby is certainly excited to go back and show off his handsome little man and talk about the two promotions he's received. He's got a lot to be proud of!


So, this is it. 

The week has begun and I've got my eye on the prize (the prize is making it back home next Monday). We leave Thursday afternoon, are having a sort of lay-over night at my Dad's in Asheville, NC, then leave bright and early Friday morning for Nashville. 

{all photos via}
Please keep us in your thoughts this week, it's going to be a hectic one around here!

Oh and of course Baby J woke up Sunday with his first ever cold! I guess that's daycare life for ya!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

I've decided to link up with Katie for her Saturday linky. So, here's a little insight to our typical Saturday morning....


Sweet Baby J is off to our traditional family lunch at a local deli. Last one to arrive pays, so you never want to be late. At least that's the running joke we have, my grandmother is actually the one who pays. Free lunch with good company, yes please!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fashion Fridays: Bohemian Summer

The past three years I've been living outside Nashville with Hubby B (until we moved back to my hometown last October). And every year around this time the hippies start flowing into town. It's like bees to a hive. You just can't keep a hippie from attending Bonnaroo

So, in honor of the music festival that just a year ago I was making plans to attend, some boho love:


Have no fear, thanks to this little thing called the internet Hubby B and I will be front row at Mumford and Sons tomorrow night. Yep, we're going to have the best Bonnaroo experience possible:

Dinner at our favorite sushi place then head back home to live stream the show. All without having to take the wrath of the Tennessee summer sun.



And just because kids are so cute as little hippies...

{all photos via}



Link up with Kori!