Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! Is it just me, or has this been the longest week ever. I honestly didn't know if I would make it through. Maybe in part because my baby who has been solidly sleeping through the night for over a month spent every night this week waking up at least twice. Seriously. This has been the worst he has slept in months. He seems to be eating just fine and is happy as can be so I don't think it's the obvious answer is a growth spurt. Which makes sense because his little toes are magically stretched to the end of his 9 month jammies, which is breaking my heart because at 12 months he isn't in the baby section anymore, but the toddler. My heart is breaking. Stop growing baby boy!!

On a happier note though, it's Friday. Here are some of my favorite things going on!

1. Dance team sections are tomorrow! 
I have been so busy being a mama, wife, student, and employee that I haven't been able to watch my favorite team all year. That will finally change tomorrow. I cannot say enough how exciting dance competitions are, I miss dancing and also cheering on my sissy so much. And I will likely still get nauseous and shake when they announce places. Dance cult for life.

2. Gap and Old Navy have super buck redemption this week! Which comes in handy because like I said, baby boy is outgrowing all of his baby boy clothes. And spring goodies are rolling out and I am bursting with excitement of dressing my little man. 

3. Plaid. I have never been too big into plaid, but lately I am loving it. I just got this skirt I have been eyeing for months with aforementioned super bucks and am super excited for it to arrive. 
Slowly but surely I am building an awesome work wardrobe. I also love love love my blanket scarf. So big, so soft, and so cozy. Plaid is making it's comeback, folks. Take note.

4. Baby boy rompers. Last summer when my little party crasher arrives, I had to rush out and buy him some newborn clothes. This outfit still kills me.
 I squeezed him into it as long as possible. He was soooo delicious in it, and it matched his baby shower and nursery theme (because yes, I coordinate such things). Carters has rolled out some summer outfits on their website, and this one has me melting. 

5. Saying goodbye to January! January is always the longest/saddest month of the year. The holidays are over, it's cold, we are stuck inside, and the days are painfully short and dark. February is equally icky, but it is also only 28 days. I say goodbye to January with no sadness, and hope Mr. Groundhog shows up next week and tells us it will be sunny and 75 by mid March. It happened in 2012, and it can happen again. I am already counting the days til I can break the jogging stroller back out and enjoy some sunshine with my boys!

Anyone have big weekend plans!? I suppose I didn't even MENTION the superbowl...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The favorite jammies

I can honestly say that I think my baby looks absolutely adorable in everything that he wears. Every new outfit he wears, my mom tells me 'that is really his color'. To date, red, blue, gray, green, ivory, black, and brown are all 'his colors', according to my mom. I won't argue, the kid is cute.
There is just something about baby jammies though. Is there really anything better than a baby fresh out of the tub with combed hair and clean jammies on? It isn't fair that they go to bed so shortly after getting into the cutest of all apparel, and is probably why on the weekends we rock the jammies well into the late morning most days.
With all of that being said, I have come to find that with every size comes that pair of jammies. You know, the ones that never make it into the drawer because you put them back on the second they come out of the dryer. The ones that cause you to fight back tears when you finally accept the fact that you can't squeeze your baby into them and you pack them away. While I could eat my baby up in every pair because he is just so darn squishy, these are the pairs, to date, that made me melt the most.

These jams were given as a gift, and I just couldn't get enough. I never imagined my baby would fit into newborn jams (none of us were little babies), but since Jackson was born early these ended up getting use for a solid month or so. He was sooo tiny. I can barely look at these now, because I cannot comprehend how my baby fit in those. It really is so fun to watch them grow, but to be reminded how small they once were breaks your heart!

0-3 months:
Ahhhh, the fleece football jams. These were soooo soft and cuddly. The last time he wore these, he may have been physically incapable of moving his legs, they were so tight (it should be noted that mommy had class, he had been wearing 3-6 month jammies for weeks, and daddy is the one who put him to bed). Just look at that little guy; already rocking the football cleats!

3-6 months:

I should start this section off by saying I had a lot of 'favorites' in this size. Options really increase once you get out of the itty bitty stage, and our Jammie collection got pretty big.
These old navy jams are my absolute favorite (and I deem them gender neutral, which makes my heart happy because I know I will for sure get to squish a baby in these again!) the little owls, the soft colors, the v neck...I just can't. Too much cute. I just packed these away last week, and yes, I'll take a tissue if you have one!

6-9 months:

This is where we currently sit. Gap and Old Navy start sizing in 6 month increments now, so I am hoping I can finally start enjoying my favorite jams for longer periods of time. Of course, my favorites have to be our Christmas jams. It was so adorable watching him examine the rudolph on his tootsies. He was not sure about that red nosed reindeer, but mommy sure loved it!
When the day comes to say goodbye to footy jams, don't try to get in touch with me. I will be quietly (or obnoxiously) crying in a corner.

Some runners up to the favorite jams!:
Sooo tiny
The famous shark butt jammies
Weiner dogs: in honor of Annabelle, obviously.
Navy really IS his color
The spooky jams

The cuddliest jammy jams
I mean, really. Rudolph toes. Enough said.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Who Likes Free Money?

I had heard about Ebates time and time again, but didn't think too much of it. Everything seems to have a catch, so eh. A few months ago, though, I finally took the plunge to sign up (which is free), and started clicking the nice little links to bring me to my favorite websites that I shop more than I care to admit. And wouldn't you know, money magically appears in your ebates account. Seriously. I was signed up for a month and a check appeared in my mailbox. It took zero work, and I was making money from my shopping. Or getting back money to make the total cost of those diapers a little less painful, however you want to view it ;-)

The beauty of Ebates is you can search for any website. Nearly every site I have shopped off of is on ebates, and quite often larger retailers (target, old navy, etc) offer double cashback. I earned nearly 10% back on my last old navy purchase. Seriously. I love it. I highly recommend if. In an era where more and more of our shopping is done online (case in point: I now order baby food and diaper wipes online, because no mama likes hauling jumbo boxes and a carseat out of the store), why wouldn't you take advantage of a nice extra check showing up in your mailbox? Sign up, you will not be disappointed that you did! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunday Runway

One of my all time favorite things to do is get my hair and makeup done and call it work. Seriously, love it. While I would obviously love to live in LA and do this full time, I like food a little too much, have a full time job, and too great a fear of rejection. So, to have fallen into the situation I am in is a win. Laid back, minimal commitment, and FUN.
It started over a year ago; I was literally in the midst of my wedding/honeymoon and saw a posting for an audition for a local bridal magazine. I had to submit a few pictures and fill out a form; it was too easy to resist. Wouldn't you know I got an email saying I was in, and a few weeks after my wedding I got to model bridesmaid duds. No complaints here.

A few months later, I received another email to participate in a runway show at the local bridal show and to come audition. I sadly deleted the email as my thin waist was slowly leaving me for the sake of growing a human. I would be 18 weeks pregnant at the time of the show...probably not the ideal model. So, obviously I encouraged my younger, beautiful sister to tryout, because if I couldn't do it I was going to live through her. So I tagged along to her audition as moral support. And, days later received an email saying they needed another girl who wore my size, and agreed to select dresses that disguised my bump if I was in. Well, I suppose...

So sissy and me ended up doing a runway show together. Was never on our to do list, but seriously to model with your sissy is the BEST. Why haven't we done this sooner?

We got to participate in the show again this past weekend, and I was feeling fabulous as a baby boy wasn't trying to make himself visible under my dress this time. We were up bright and early for hair and makeup, had some quick rehearsal, and did two shows.

 It is all so laid back and does not feel like work. I'm sure if it was a full time job the glamour would fade, but it is honestly a treat to get dolled up every few months and call it a 'job' for the day. I'll keep doing it as long as they will have me, no doubt.

On a similar note, the wedding expo had SO many amazing vendors. I was married a year and a half ago, and the options and services available have seriously grown so much. The decorators have stepped up their game ten-fold. (Not gonna lie, it makes me a little jealous) Bakeries continue to hand out samples of their treats (my mom had a solid 5 petit fours from the Cold Spring Bakery booth). And we found a new service for ice cream bars. I am now impatiently waiting for my sister to get engaged so I can take over her wedding and plan it for her. Kidding. But not really.. :-)

Happy Monday everyone, did anyone else do anything exciting this weekend?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Favorites Lately.

I am on a kick with a mashup of random favorites lately. As winter kicks in full force (hello highs in the negatives) it is the little things that help me keep my sanity.

Favorite song: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

It isn't often that I hear a song that I immediately fall in love with, but this is one of them. I first heard it on the Victoria's Secret fashion show, and was hooked. It makes me want to call my husband and tell him I love him right now. Love and soul in this one. Nice work, Ed, you may have won me over with this one.

Favorite Photographer: Amanda Baloun

Ok seriously. This girl covered our wedding, took some pictures of my little man this fall, and just took some more stunning pictures of my sister (by the way, is it fair for someone to be as beautiful as my baby sister?) Amanda is so talented, so fun to work with, and so sweet. I have known her since her age was in the single digits, and I love that she is still a friend of my sister and a face that I see around. Check her stuff out, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Favorite baby jammies: Carters Terry Cloth 

Do not ask me why, but I absolutely die when I see my little man in terry cloth pajamas. They are light and breathable, and somehow make my baby even more adorable. He sadly just outgrew the grey jammies above (aka his coon but jammies, because is there anything cuter than a baby butt with a raccoon on it?)

Favorite Scent: Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel

This is a holiday scent, and majorly clearanced out right now. But it is a scent that works year round (read: no peppermint or balsam in July). I may have ordered up multiple bottles and candles to last me through the year. Get it while it's still there!

I hope you enjoy my Friday randomness. I am ready for a weekend of baby giggles and folding piles of laundry. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Gradual Move.

Newlywed magic, 4 years in love,

Just over a year ago, Mike and I got married. To be honest, not much changed. We were both blissfully happy on our wedding day, relaxed and in love on our honeymoon, and got a kick out of referring to each other as husband and wife. Our day to day really did not change much, though. For the sake of honesty: I unofficially ‘moved in’ with Mike on a ridiculously gradual basis at an unidentifiable time our relationship. It really was never an official ‘move’, as I started off coming home from school in Minneapolis on the weekends, and I missed the guy so much that I would spend Friday nights at his place.
I don’t know if I could even call it ‘sleeping over’, because we had so many heartfelt, in depth conversations in our early relationship, it usually entailed staying up until 3 or 4am talking, and Mr. Bright and Early was up and at em two hours later around 6am. So let’s just say that I ‘napped over’.
As our relationship progressed and we got more serious, Friday night turned into Friday and Saturday night. I mean, I didn’t get to see the guy all week, and spent much of the weekend days with my family and friends. I had to maximize time spent on those weekends home. And, while I of course still love my husband, let me tell you something; those first few months, I was absolutely enamored with him. I could feel people beginning to roll their eyes at me when I talked about him, because he was all that I thought about. I knew a few weeks in that he was the one, for real. So, of course the next step in the progression was to occasionally stay Sunday night and leave early Monday morning to return to work and school, because why go be lonely in my apartment when I could watch TV and cuddle with my favorite person.
Nine months into our relationship, things really changed when I transferred schools. All of the sudden, I was home, all of the time. And to this day it was the best decision I ever made. My happiness level increased ten-fold. I am just not meant to be far away from my family, I don’t do it well. Mike was on a job in Duluth at that time, which meant being out of town from EARLY Monday morning until lateThursday night. Obviously, when that boy got home on Thursday after a long week of work I HAD to go over. I mean, I missed him! And even though I was home, I spent half of the week being unable to see him. The more I grew to love him and the relationship that we had, the more I loved spending lazy evenings with him on the couch, just being content.
Fast forward a year. Mike finally wrapped up the job in Duluth, and a summer gig in St. James. For the first time in our relationship, we were both in the same town, at the same time, all of the time. It felt surreal to be able to see him any day that I wanted. As much as I tried to stick to weekends at his house, it just seemed silly to get in my car late at night every night to drive home. So 3 nights a week turned into 4, turned into 5, turned into every night. Around 2 to 2.5 years into our relationship, I was at Mike’s full time. However, was I truly ‘living there’ if half of my clothes and belongings were still at home?
That was a whole other process, the moving of the things. I never packed my bags to ‘move in’. I would bring clothes for the next day, but then leave the clothes I had worn the day before. I would take off my jewelry, until eventually it was all sitting there on the nightstand. I would pack up my laptop to do homework, until eventually it just stayed put in Mike’s living room. When I would online shop, it started to make more sense to ship things to Mike’s house, so I would, and as a result any future mailings I received from said stores went there, too. The process was so incredibly gradual, I honestly cannot pinpoint the exact day, month, or even season that I started really ‘living’ there. How’s that for a good memory?
Every relationship is different, everyone has their own beliefs, and everyone has their own situation. Moving home landed me back with my parents (who, let me be clear, I love dearly), which meant I had no lease to terminate, no apartment to pack up, and a house full of two parents, three siblings, and a dog that felt crowded that I didn’t mind escaping from to the quiet of a house with no one else but my love. For me, this was how Mike and I were meant to ease into a life together. So, by the time our wedding rolled around, I didn’t have to pack a bunch of boxes, say goodbye to a personal space, or adjust to Mike’s irritating habits (trust me, I have plenty of those, myself, but neither of us scared the other away, which is impressive). We enjoyed our first months of married life watching or favorite shows, eating our tried and true meals we both agreed upon, and planning on when to bring a baby into the mix (answer: 9.5 months later). While we may not have experienced the newlywed period of figuring out how to function as a team and playing house, we did get to enjoy the quiet after the wedding knowing that we had worked out the majority of our quirks. Did you know that adjusting to having another person in bed is quite the undertaking? It took MONTHS before I could sleep soundly and not be awoken by every obnoxious snore. In fact, this still wakes me up at night half of the time, which is why they invented the couch…
The gradual move in may not make sense or work for everyone, but for us, it taught us to work together as a team and function as a family, gradually. And now, we have thrown a baby into a mix, and are relearning how to manage the day to day with a miniature person in our midst, but more on that another day!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Five Months.

I really can't believe it! Our little man was 5 months old on Saturday. He is changing so much, and has more personality every minute. My current favorite thing that he does is stand tall on his little chubby legs, look down at me with his little double chin, and give me the cheesiest little ham of a smile I have ever seen. In case you were wondering, yes, I love him even more than I did last month. No, I did not know this was possible. And yes, I am 150% obsessed with my little muchacho.
Age: 5 months.
Height: 27 inches. 90th percentile. Still busy being big.
Weight: 18.4 pounds. 80th percentile. His height finally surpassed his weight. Our little chunk is leaning out ;-)
Milestones: we officially can't leave this guy unattended, as he rolled off the couch! Mom was at work, and was glad she didn't hear about this until AFTER dad picked up baby and ensured that he was smiling, giggling, and ok!
He is also sitting on his own! He topples over eventually, but we have gone a few minutes sitting alone, unsupported. He is really getting so big, so fast!
Sleep: we went through about 2 weeks of what I would consider sleep regression. He was up once a night between 1-2, and then was usually up and fussy from 4am on. About a week ago he decided to start sleeping 8-9 hours straight again. We do whatever we can to keep him awake, but he is down and out by 7:30pm lately, and wakes up between 4-5am. Can't complain!
Best Moment: on Christmas we had dinner at my parents, and he was wiped out and napping. He was laying on the couch in the living room, the lights were dimmed, Christmas music was playing, and the tree was glowing. I got so overwhelmed with how perfect my baby is and how lucky and blessed I am. This mama may have gotten choked up just watching him sleep. I am so looking forward to the magic of holidays in the coming years with my little boy.
Worst Moment: 2 weeks of sleep regression. He also got his first fever/cold, and so the Sunday after Christmas he literally cried and cried until he passed himself out, and the second he would open his eyes from a nap they would fill with tears and he would cry again. Sick babies are no fun and break your heart.
Health: First sickness, but he recovered pretty fast and is back to his normal self. He still has quite the cough going on, but there is no slowing down this guy!
Eating: we have started with rice cereal, and adding in veggies. He likes peas, is NOT a fan of carrots, and tolerates sweet potatoes and squash. We tried our first fruit (apples), this past weekend and he had NO problem chowing down that!
Teeth: Still none. However the only thing that would soothe him while he was sick was us massaging his gums and putting on baby orajel. I am kind of shocked a tooth didn't break through, but who knows. I am in no rush for him to start biting me while he eats, so it is all good :-)

I really cannot believe another month has passed; next month our update will be on a 6 month old. That is half of a year. Seriously!? I handle him getting older only because he is more and more fun every day. He is the light in our lives, silly, adorable, and just perfect. Jackson for the win!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year: New Resolutions!

I am usually not one for resolutions. I am the grumpy person at the gym who is irritated that 'resolutioners' show up and take my treadmill that I am dedicated to year round. However, a little 6 pound squishy who arrived in August forced me to heavily reevaluate how I spend my time and how I prioritize. I have eaten more pizza in the past five months than I care to admit, and my house is not exactly clean. So, I am using the new year and resolutions to help myself create new habits that allow me to be the best mama I can be, while living in less filth and eating more real food.

1. Meal plan/prep on the weekends.
Right now our refrigerator is literally empty. Between caring for a baby and prepping for Christmas, our eating habits have been put on the back burner. My goal for this year is to start creating menus, buying for the week, and doing prep like browning meat or chopping veggies on Sunday, so that meal prep during the week is easy and less likely to be sacrificed in lieu of pizza or Subway.

2. Exercise.
On maternity I literally went on a walk or a run every single day. The weather was perfect, so I just put my little man in the jogging stroller and took off. I fully intent to get back into this habit come spring. However, it is currently ten degrees below zero, so this option is out. We are finally finishing and cleaning up our basement, so my goal is to do insanity again. This way, I can come home and not take away extra time from my little man, but still get in a workout. Weekends when I have more time I still hope to get to the gym to get in my runs.

3. Cleaning.
Our house is filthy. On Sunday mike was doing dishes, and the second our sick baby fell asleep I instructed him to stop immediately. Sometimes a clean house isn't worth waking a sick baby. But, I think if Mike and I can each dedicate 15 minutes each day to doing some sort of cleaning, it will keep the mess from piling up. Of course deep cleaning days still need to happen, but eliminating the clutter and wiping things down on a regular basis should make a world of difference.

4. Go to church regularly.
Since Jackson was born, we have been to church twice. And I cringe even saying that. Unfortunately in times of being overwhelmed it is easy for us to skip service so we can sleep or relax. We have both decided church is going to return as a regular event on our calendar. I am excited about this resolution, and it is the one I am most intent on keeping.

5. Sleeping.
I resolve to sleep through the night on a regular basis in the year 2015. I really think my little man should be open to negotiation and willing to come to some sort of an agreement on this one.

Ultimately, these resolutions are my motivation to develop a GOOD routine for our family, that involves time management, good health, and happiness. I would love to hear tips from anyone who has a good routine in any of the above areas. Rome wasn't built in a day, but the key is to decide to start and make the first move!

Happy 2015 everyone, make it the best year yet!
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