Left Photo

Left Photo

Middle Photo

Middle Photo

Right Photo

Right Photo

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beach Family Portraits

beach family portraits

beach family portraits by coachgaines featuring sparkly scarves

I'm hoping to get some family portraits on our trip to the beach this summer.  I tend to gravitate toward red, white, and blue.  What do you think?

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Working Out After Baby

If I thought I had excuses for not working out before baby, I had no clue how many I would have after baby.  Time, exhaustion, chores... multiplied over and over again.

I will admit...
It is more difficult to schedule a workout and I am a lot more physically and mentally tired at the end of each day now, but I am trying.  And, that's all any of us can really do, right?
But, because of these things, I need a good workout more than ever.

When I work out regularly, I feel more energized.  I feel better about myself.  My self-confidence soars and I'm a much nicer person to be around.  So, it's a priority.

A lot of people suggest exercising while baby is napping.  If you've had a baby you know that nap time is precious and if you aren't napping as well, you are probably sterilizing bottles and cleaning spit-up out of your hair.  So, I didn't exercise during nap time.  I also didn't join a gym because I only get so many hours with baby before he goes to bed and I don't want to spend one of those hours at the gym.

I encourage you to include baby in your workouts.

Put baby in a stroller and go for a walk or jog.  He will love taking in the sights and sounds of outdoors and you will get some great cardio (and a little strength training pushing him).  Not to mention the vitamin D is great for both of you.

Get out your yoga mat, lay baby down on it and practice some yoga with him.  He will love the attention and you will get a great core workout.

Use your baby as weight.  Lift him above your head, do some squats while holding him, and twist your core with him in your arms.

When I first started exercising I was pretty discouraged that I couldn't run for long without getting winded or do jumping jacks without taking bathroom breaks.  It took me some time, but it eventually gets easier.  Our bodies just did something pretty amazing and we need to be gentle with them for it.

As part of the #1800 Minute Challenge, I intend to share a little more about my workout regimen after baby and how I am finding creative ways to break a sweat.  Hope you join me!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts for a New Mom

new mom mother's day

new mom mother's day by coachgaines featuring modern home decor

If I had a friend that was currently expecting or had just had a baby I would make a special basket just for them for Mother's Day.  I would include all the things that a mom might not know about that can make her introduction to motherhood slightly easier.  I would put them all in a basket that could serve multiple purposes like this one.  That way they could use it as a hamper or book basket in the nursery.

Things like Mother's Milk tea and Gaia to help with breastfeeding, nipple balm and vaseline to soothe dry/cracked skin, sweet smelling hand sanitizer and soap to fend off bacteria, nursing pads to alleviate stress and chocolate because it makes everything better.

Friday, April 25, 2014


This week has been so jam packed and busy and I've been exhausted!  I just don't feel like I can catch up for some reason.  I guess that's just the life of a mom.  I'm not complaining.

We had a fabulous spring break/Easter weekend with our little man.

CT and I went for our first run in our jogging stroller.  I've been running with our regular Britax stroller that his carseat snaps into because he wasn't big enough to sit in this one on his own.  This makes life so much easier!  Looking forward to our first 5k.

Carson had his 4 month wellness check up and is doing so well.  He has made substantial growth and is now eating cereal 1-2 times a day.  I plan to make some sweet potatoes this weekend to introduce.
He obviously loves it!

I'm back on my health and fitness bandwagon.  I'm not quite sure why it took me so long after baby to get back on it, but I'm back.  I'm getting ready for our beach trip and I'm looking forward to being able to wear more of my pre-pregnancy clothing!

How was your week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tips for Flying with Baby

Flying with baby can be a little intimidating. Flying is a tad daunting in itself. Throw in the potential for a baby meltdown and things can be really frightening. Here are a few tips I picked up along the way:

Check Your Bags
I didn't do this the first time and had to carry my baby, my carry-on, and my suitcase through the airplane.  It wasn't impossible, but it wasn't easy.  The second flight I checked at the gate and that made life much easier particularly when it came time to de-board.

Pack Wisely
No one likes to carry a heavy bag on their shoulder, especially when you're already toting around a little one.  Pack things that can work double duty.  For example, a receiving blanket can also be used as a burp cloth.  Plan for delays (pray they don't happen to you) and bring extra formula/outfits/diapers just in case.

Wear Baby
I can't promote baby wearing enough and literally use my Tula almost every day (here is a great resource comparing the Tula to other ergonomic carriers).  Wearing baby means no heavy stroller or carseat to maneuver through the airport and being hands-free.  Holding baby in your lap for a flight can get a little strenuous on your arms and back so having the option of using the carrier provides relief.

Fly Direct
I drove an hour and a half to the airport rather than using my local airport so that I could fly direct.  It made my travel time about 4 hours (including security/baggage claim) as opposed to 6-8.  Every minute counts when you have a little one.  Do as much as you possibly can ahead of time.  Check to see if your airport has family friendly security lines (saves so much time and doesn't require you to remove shoes or baby carriers) and check-in prior to getting to the airport online.

If baby starts crying, the noise on the airplane is already so loud the only people that will really be bothered are the ones sitting next to you.  And they won't be nearly as upset as you are because you're the one trying to figure out what is wrong.  Babies cry.  It's what they do.

Provide Entertainment
Bring various forms of stimulation for baby including rattles, teethers, pacifiers (if you use them), and musical toys.  I downloaded a lullaby app prior to boarding that helped baby rest and relax.  If your baby is old enough you may want to download some age appropriate games or videos like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Schedule Flights Around Naps
I didn't do this on the first flight and I ended up holding a 15 pound baby supporting him while he "stood" on my lap for 2 hours looking at people.  I was fine, but sore the next day.  The second flight was at nap time and I was much more comfortable.  I even read my book on the Kindle app!

Whatever you do, keep your cool.  Babies pick up on our nervousness and stress and it can cause them to feel stress as well.  The happier you are (even if you are pretending), the happier baby will be.

Monday, April 21, 2014

4 months

Dear Carson,

If I could bottle up this swollen loving feeling I have for you and sell it, I would be a millionaire.  You are the greatest joy.  Each day Daddy and I see you growing and our hearts just runneth over with love for you.  Your smile is single-handedly the best part of our day.

You are starting to communicate with us and you get so frustrated when we don't know what you are trying to say.  You use your body and noises to let us know when you want to go to bed and when you are through eating.  You're just itching to be mobile.  I can see it in your face that you want to go go go. We don't mind if you slow down on that one - we want to keep you our sweet little cherub baby as long as possible.  

People still can't decide who you look like.  50% say Daddy, 50% say Mommy.  We think you have the best of both of us: your Daddy's mouth and nose and Mommy's eyes and hair.  

I'm starting to see your personality shine through.  I think you are going to be an independent, problem solver.  You like to go to bed awake and if you stir in the middle of the night, you just find your thumb (you prefer your left) and pacify yourself back to sleep.  You love music especially lullabies and Disney songs.  Thankfully you're also a fan of The Avett Brothers and Jack Johnson since Mommy and Daddy like them.  You are determined and inquisitive.  You are so lovable and snuggly.

I love you, bubby.  More than I ever thought physically possible.

4 Month Update
Weight:  15 pounds
Length:  inches
Nicknames: The Milkman, Milk Monster, CT, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Bubby, Monster, Buddy Boy
Sleep: We can count on you sleeping through the night at this point.  You generally go to bed around 8:00 and wake up around 6:30 a.m.
Eating: Every 3-4 hours, 6 oz. at a time.  We introduced you to cereal for the first time last week and although the spoon is a little frustrating for you, you love the cereal!  And it keeps you full so you are napping better during the day.
Clothing: 3 months

  • Snuggling
  • Your Fisher Price Seahorse
  • Laying on Mommy or Daddy's belly
  • Bath time
  • Riding in the car
  • Walks/Runs with Mommy
  • Your changing pad
  • Your "wubby" aka elephant blankie
  • Lotion massages
  • Being hungry
  • (You're pretty much the happiest baby ever so you don't dislike much at this point.)
Exciting Moments:
You tried cereal for the first time
You started making motor noises with your lips

You are reaching for things and shaking them around (you really like to tug the wipe off while I'm changing you and wave it around)
You are splashing like crazy with your hands and feet in the tub
You got to meet Stacey, Kenny, and baby Cane (You shared the same due date with Cane, but since you came early you are almost exactly 1 month older than him - you will probably be in school together.) and Hannah, Barrett and baby Baiden (another potential future classmate)
You flew for the first time on your 4 month birthdate to meet family in NY and see Uncle Josh, Grandma, and Grandpa and so many other people that love you (You were a rockstar by the way.)
Momma's Milestones:
I signed us up for our first 5k on May 3rd

I am starting to fit back into my pre-pregnancy pants
I lost 5 pounds and purchased myself a pair of sneakers to celebrate

Look how much you've changed in 4 months...

Friday, April 18, 2014

4 Month Must Haves for Mommy and Baby

4 month mommy must haves

4 month mommy must haves by coachgaines featuring New Balance

Freezer Bags: I am just now at a point where I can start freezing a surplus of milk.  I'm actually using Target brand bags and they work fantastic in my Milkies freezer.

Sneakers: I just bought this pair and they are so comfy.  I love that they are bright and cheerful, too.

Tula: I can't say enough about this baby carrier.  It is so comfortable and easy to use.  Carson loves being worn and it lets me be hands-free around the house or out in public.  It is was a saving grace while traveling to New York.

Retro Metro foldover bag by Thirty-One: I bought this on a whim when my friend offered up her half-price deal.  Wow.  I am so pleased with it.  It is much bigger than the picture alludes to (in a good way) and has pockets on the outside and inside.  I was able to put wipes and bottles on the outside, my iPad and Kindle on the inside, and use it as my carry-on and diaper bag while in New York.  It is going to get soooo much use.

4 month must haves for baby

4 month must haves for baby by coachgaines on Polyvore

Lullaby CD: Music is the greatest pacifier for Carson.  If he starts fussing I just play some lullabies and he instantly soothes and becomes quiet or falls asleep.  I keep them in the car and at the house.

Short Creepers: It's starting to get hot in the south so these have been perfect.  They are easy to wash and are much more comfortable than sleepers in the warmer months.

Bibs with vinyl backing: Carson is starting to drool.  A lot.  These keep him semi-dry.  (Planning to purchase one of these and see how they help with the situation.)

Blanket:  We call this his "wubby" because our neighbor (also his sitter) gave it to him and that's what her grandchildren called their's.  He loves this.  Seriously, hangs onto it all day long and rubs it on his face.  I have a feeling this is going to be his personal favorite.

What are your 4 month must haves?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Definition and Perception of Healthy

Most of you know I teach middle school and since we were all middle schoolers at one point we know how awkward and difficult that period of time can be.  It was brought to my attention recently that some of my middle school girls have been skipping lunch because they are "fat" and "need to lose weight."  (There words, not mine, not ever.)

This alarmed me and made me realize a few things:
1. The lack of health education our students are receiving is hurting them.
2.  My own body image plays a role in the body image of my students.
3.  Students need to be educated on the true definition of healthy, not the media's perception of it.

Now I know we all struggle with body image at some point in some way.  If not, go you!  I wish I could say the same.  I just feel like we are doing our youth a huge disservice not educating them on the definition of healthy vs. the perception of health.

Skinny does not = Healthy

We all (myself included) have this idea that to be skinny means health.  That is so not the case, particularly when young girls are skipping a meal to be thin.  So, I'm doing my best to infiltrate as much literature and information about health into my lessons for the last 9 weeks of school.  It hurts my heart to think that these girls don't value themselves and are aiming for the media's portrayal of beauty.

There are so many things we can do to be healthier and none of them include skipping meals.

I guarantee you are more influential in the life of a young woman than you realize.  Please, be careful what you say and do in front of them.  When they see us judging ourselves and struggling with our own body image, they learn to do the same.  When they see us stepping on the scale, they worship the number that floats to the top.  We are way more influential than we realize.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Top: OldNavy, Scarf: SamMoon, Pants: Joe Fresh for JCPenney, RayBans, Bracelets: Alex & Ani

Ever since I decorated CT's nursery in elephants I find myself loving them.  Suddenly it was really important that I get an elephant scarf and when I saw this one, I couldn't help myself.  It was in my cart and headed to my door within minutes.

My Papa collected elephants and growing up he would let me get all the elephants out of the armoir in the living room to play with them.  They were really delicate and it always made me feel special to get to play with them.  There were elephants made of marble, rock, glass, jade, and wood.  I lined them up and paraded them around the coffee table.

I'm not sure why or how Papa started collecting the elephants.  He and Mimi traveled quite a bit and I think he picked up elephants along the way.  When he passed away Mimi let us each choose a few to keep.  When it came time to decorate the nursery I knew I wanted it to be a compilation of sentimental pieces so I decided to choose the decor around 2 elephants I chose.

Is there an animal print you love?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things People Don't Tell You: Back to Work After Baby

I decided to write a mini-series titled Things People Don't Tell You because there are so many things that people don't tell you in regard to pregnancy, parenthood, etc.  In fact, Pinterest and blogs and social media make it all look so easy and glamorous and natural.  And a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.

So, I'm willing to be honest and open and share the things that people don't tell you in regards to pregnancy, delivery, bringing home a baby, breastfeeding, etc.
You can see my previous posts here and here

If you have questions or suggestions for future topics, please email me.  I'm happy to share!

Going back to work is hard.  But, honestly, the build-up to going back to work is even harder.
I wish someone would have told me that all the worrying I was doing and stressing over how I would cope with going back to work was actually the worst part of doing it.  (In retrospect I think my mom did tell me, but I didn't get it until I actually went through it.)

These are the things you can do to make going back to work easier...

Practice waking up in the morning and getting ready (even if you have nowhere to go) for at least a week in advance.  Getting into a routine before it is mandatory helps work out kinks.

Visit the daycare center/sitter several times with the baby before you go back to work.  Observe how things are done in that environment and how they change/feed/etc. your child.

If possible do a few days or half-days of daycare a week or two before going back to help emotionally prepare you for being away from the baby for an extended time.

Give yourself approximately 15 minutes of lee-way.  Some days you might end up with 15 extra minutes and some days you may need those minutes to change a dirty diaper or an entire outfit after a blow-out.

Prep as much as possible the night before: make the coffee, make the bottles, pack lunch, pack the diaper bag, fill your water bottle, etc.

If you are breastfeeding discuss with your employer your physical needs.  (All employers are required to provide time for you to do this).  Locate a comfortable place in your building where you can go to pump as often as necessary.

Frame a picture, create a travel photo mug, or keep your phone on hand so you can look at pictures of your little one throughout the day.  This helps milk come in when pumping away from home and keeps you happy.

Remind yourself that you are doing this so that you have extra money to buy and do fun things for baby.  It is nice to have the extra.  Acknowledge the fact that you are doing something difficult (and give yourself some grace). Being a working mom is no easy task; you are fulfilling work duties, mommy duties, wifely duties, etc. on a daily basis.  You are a supermom.

Purchase a few new articles of clothing/accessories/shoes to wear to work.  Having some fun new pieces in your closet can make you feel more comfortable and confident in your post-partum body.  It also makes getting ready in the morning more fun.

Purchase items that will make pumping more convenient: a mini fridge to keep your milk cold, a hand pump (I keep this in the car in the event that I forget my pump at home or leave the building without it), a backpack pump to make carrying easier, bottles and lids for storage, and the hands-free pumping bra so you can still get work done while pumping at your desk.

pumping conveniences

Friday, April 11, 2014

What's in my Carry-On

This weekend CT and I are flying home to visit my family.  I'm so excited to introduce him to aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts, etc.  A week full of mountains, sap boiling, maple syrup tasting is about to commence.  We couldn't be more excited to see Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Poo.

Here is what is in my carry-on for the trip...
my carry-on

Any flying advice?

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I have this burning desire to remember each moment in time.
My sentimental heart is beating out of my chest,
each little milestone we witness with Ct,
his smell, the way he feels in my arms.

I want it all, forever.


Listening to lullabies on repeat.
Reading Insurgent and struggling to get into it.
Making milk.  Like a boss.
Wearing my TOMs with everything.
Sewing burp cloths for the drool monster.
Running a 13 minute mile with the stroller.
Waiting impatiently for spring break.
Wishing time would slow down.
Singing "Happy" by Pharell Williams in my head.
Learning to ignore unsolicited opinions about parenting.
Working on National Boards any chance I get.
Feeling excited for spring break.
Playing with squeaky toys in the bathtub.
Shopping for the perfect swimsuit.
Drinking water like its my job.

What are you up to?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fire Engine Pants

Sweater: Ann Taylor Outlet, Pants: Joe Fresh via JCPenney, TOMs, RayBans
Before going back to work I dropped CT off for a half day with the sitter and went shopping.  I wanted to get a few pair of pants I felt comfortable in and that reflected my personal style.  Even though I'm not back into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, I still want to be true to myself and my fashion.

So, I hit up JCPenney's Joe Fresh line and became even more obsessed than I already was.  I got these pants and a pair in green and I want more.  I'm a sucker for bright colors.  Here are a few more items from the line that are on my wish list...

joe fresh

What do you love?

Linking up with Shanna, Liz, & Lindsey

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Things People Don't Tell You: Breastfeeding

I decided to write a mini-series titled Things People Don't Tell You because there are so many things that people don't tell you in regard to pregnancy, parenthood, etc.  In fact, Pinterest and blogs and social media make it all look so easy and glamorous and natural.  And a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.

So, I'm willing to be honest and open and share the things that people don't tell you in regards to pregnancy, delivery, bringing home a baby, breastfeeding, etc.
You can see my previous post here

If you have questions or suggestions for future topics, please email me.  I'm happy to share!

Breastfeeding is such a controversial topic.  Anyone and everyone has their opinion on how long, how often, when, where, everything breastfeeding.  So, please, take this post for what it is: one woman's experience breastfeeding for the first time.  I simply want to share things with you that I wish I would have known going into this as a new mom.  Understand that not every experience is the same.

Some things I wish I had known about breastfeeding...

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world.
But, it doesn't always come naturally.  Don't beat yourself up if it takes time for you (and your baby) to get used to it.  No prep class or counselor is going to totally prepare you.

And for some women, milk just doesn't come in or one side produces more than the other.  That is a lot more common than you can imagine.  Disheartening, but common.

It is a commitment.  Regardless of whether you decide to nurse or pump, you must be 100% committed.  Breastfeeding means nursing every 3 hours and pumping after every nursing session.  Or it means pumping every 2-3 hours.  There were days in the beginning when I felt like something was attached to my breast 24/7 be it baby or machine.

With that said, a simple trip to the grocery store becomes one of the most scheduled events in your life. 

All babies don't nurse the same.  Some are slow, some are loud, some are pros.  Don't get frustrated or stressed because baby can sense that.  (Easier said than done.)  Just be patient and work with your little one to find the perfect position.

There are several different ways to hold a baby while feeding.  Try them all out and figure out what is most comfortable for both of you.

Sometimes breast milk isn't enough to completely satisfy baby.  It devastated me when I had to give CT some formula because he hadn't gained weight at the one month mark.  I found out later it's actually a lot more common than you think.  It's okay to mix the two or supplement to help your baby sleep longer stretches (particularly at night) or to keep him satisfied longer.

Don't try to be super mom.  It is 100% okay to admit you are tired, to pump so someone else can feed baby while you rest, or to introduce formula/cereal so you can rest longer.  I promise, it won't hurt the baby and it will make you a better mommy to share responsibility.

You will get sore.  But, use lanolin sparingly.  Your body can become dependent on it like chapstick.

Keep disposable nursing pads on hand, but purchase some cloth ones.  Personally, I hate things you have to throw away on a daily basis and I feel more confident with the absorption of the cloth ones.

Make a comfortable space for nursing/pumping.  At first I would sit in the living room with my husband because I felt so secluded being in the nursery all the time (because it was frequent), but I created a nice space in the nursery where I am comfortable in my rocking chair, with my iPad in a basket beside it, and a small lamp and clock to keep track of time.  Now that CT is sleeping through the night, I still go in there to pump in the middle of the night.

That's another thing...just because baby is sleeping through the night doesn't mean you can.  In the beginning you will need to pump every 2-3 hours, but eventually you should be able to go 3-5.  I still wake up once in the middle of the night.

Lastly, (and maybe most importantly) educate your significant other on breastfeeding so that he can support you through this.  There will be nights where you cry through a feeding or mornings where you cry out of exhaustion.  If they understand they will be able to support you when things get tough and you want to throw in the towel.

Enjoy these moments.  They go quickly.  Those mid-night feedings are exhausting, but there are only so many.  Soak them in as precious bonding moments that only you get to share with your little one.

Do what is best for you, your baby, and your family.  Always ask a doctor if you have a question.  No question is a stupid question.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Campfires and Pie

After a full day of pictures with the Easter bunny, lunch with old friends, and grocery shopping last Saturday Justin and I sat around the campfire eating pie and chatting about life.  It's pretty incredible to sit back and think about how much everything has changed in such a short time, but then again its as though it was always this way. We were talking about high school parties, college tailgates, and newlywed weekends and we agreed none of it compares to this chapter in our lives.  It's amazing how one little person comes into your world and suddenly its as though life didn't exist before him.  How quickly these stages of life go by and each time it seems like those were the best years...until these years.  We sat there watching the logs smolder and dodging the smoke reliving the day he was born, bringing him home, and just being his parents.  We sat for hours bragging on the sweet boy we made.  How happy that baby makes us.  How blessed we are to be his parents.  Just thinking about it makes my heart swell.  It swells for my little family.  Oh, how I love them so.
One thing is for sure, life just keeps getting better and better.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Something Close to my Heart

I've always loved babies.
When you have your own baby, 
your heart quite literally explodes
in a good way.

That's why this has always been something close to my heart...

But now, it's even closer.

We found out that CT was going to be a healthy baby boy the exact same day one of my best friends laid her baby boy to rest.  It was easily the happiest and hardest day of my life thus far.
There are so many things you just aren't in control of when you are with child.

Attending Parker Grey's funeral felt impossible.
Impossible that he wasn't given time on this earth, that his mom and dad
couldn't bring him home and smother him with love.
Impossible that God needed him so soon and at such a young age.

March of Dimes raises money and awareness to prevent babies and mothers
from experiencing pain like this.  Every day babies are born too soon, too small, or too sick.
March of Dimes is working to stop this so my husband, CT, and I are walking along with our friends and their family to help raise money for this cause.

I'm asking, if you have room in your heart to donate, please consider donating to this cause.

You can sponsor me and my family as we walk 
in memory of Parker Grey 
in honor of Carson Thomas
by clicking this link.

Or, if you live in the triad area, join us on April 26 as we walk.

(Read Carson's birth story here)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Things People Don't Tell You: Pregnancy

I decided to write a mini-series titled Things People Don't Tell You because there are so many things that people don't tell you in regard to pregnancy, parenthood, etc.  In fact, Pinterest and blogs and social media make it all look so easy and glamorous and natural.  And a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.

So, I'm willing to be honest and open and share the things that people don't tell you in regards to pregnancy, delivery, bringing home a baby, breastfeeding, etc.

If you have questions or suggestions for future topics, please email me.  I'm happy to share!

Pregnancy.  Celebrities make it look glamorous   Parts of it are.  Parts of it aren't.  And those are the parts you don't hear about too often.  I'm lucky.  I had a great, healthy pregnancy with very few hiccups.  In all reality, pregnancy didn't mean anything different in my world aside from no wine, none of my favorite cheeses, and a much slower gallop when I went for a run.

However, things happen in pregnancy that you just don't even have any warning about until they happen to you.  These are the things I wish I had seen coming...

Snoring.  Normally, I'm not a snorer.  I sawed logs while I was pregnant.

Swelling.  Yeah...everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  And there is no time rule.  It happens when it wants to, where it wants to.  I would put my feet up at night and by the time I got out of the shower in the morning they were too swollen to fit in my shoes again.
Awkward Moment: Sitting in a gas station parking lot in a dress having your husband tear your boots off.  Yup, that happened.

Gas.  I mean, yeah...  All the time from every direction.  Sorrynotsorry for the overshare.

Buy new underwear.  Unless you want to buy new after.  Either way it is inevitable...they stretch out no matter how you carry.  I carried high the entire time and still had to get new.

Yoga.  It helps.  I truly believe it helped me to have a quick and easy labor/delivery.

Stretch marks...not just for the belly.  Lather up everywhere.

People say the meanest things.  Things they would never say to you if you weren't pregnant.  I can't even begin to count the number of times I was asked if I was absolutely certain there was only one baby in there.  Or the number of times someone said to me, "Wow.  You don't look as big in person as you do in your pictures."  Thanks but no thanks!

I think the most important thing that people don't tell you that you absolutely need to know is not to read every piece of literature that gets thrown your way.  It will stress. you. out.  Don't compare your pregnancy to other people's and don't get hung up if you aren't feeling baby move by a certain week or if you've gained more than the suggested amount by month 8.  Every single pregnancy is unique and stressing over the small stuff will just ruin the whole experience for you.  Enjoy every second of it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Random Wednesday Coffee Date

If we were to sit down for coffee today I would most definitely be drinking out of this travel mug.  I wash it every evening and carry it to work every morning.  If I can't be with my sweet babe, at least I can have all these pictures with me wherever I go.

I would probably have at least 2 cups.  It's become the standard for me.

I would tell you that leaving my baby at the sitter every morning hasn't gotten easier.  And when 3:00 rolls around, I bound out the door as fast as possible to get home and see his smile.

I would also admit that CT's nap schedule makes me nervous.  He still isn't totally adjusted to being with the sitter all day and there are days when he just doesn't nap at all for her.  I just keep praying he works it out and she doesn't change her mind about keeping him.

I would probably start talking about his first trip to the Adirondacks.  It's coming up in a couple short weeks and I'm already thinking about what I need to pack since they will probably still have snow there when we arrive.

I would ask you how winter treated you and celebrate the fact that its spring now!

I would ask if you had any advice about flying with an infant and may even take notes when you give it.  I'm a little nervous about that...

I would admit that coming back to work has gotten me out of my bubble and confess that I really just want to crawl back in it.  I have decided that if I can't physically be in my bubble anymore (you know the one...where you have a baby and your world rests in your arms no matter what else is happening outside) then I will at least reside there emotionally and mentally to escape the silly drama of day to day life.  So many more important things in my heart.

I would probably talk your ear off because the majority of the day I talk to middle schoolers and then come home to my babe.  Neither of which have a whole lot to say to me.

I just noticed that the majority of our conversation is focused on being a mom and I would kind of chuckle because I have wanted so badly to maintain a sense fo self, but he is the best part of me and I can't help but talk about him.

I would also admit that I've done a little online shopping recently, but I deserve it because I've sold quite a few items from my closet.  So, (husband) technically speaking I haven't spent money because I've just used the money I made from those sales.

Also, I would probably brag that I deserve that shopping because I met my first goal of losing 5 pounds.  And I weigh in tomorrow to see if I've lost any more this week.  This warm weather has me motivated and I've already gotten 45 of my 1800 minutes.

I would also ask if you know of any upcoming 5ks in the area?  I'm itching to run my first one with the baby.  Running with the stroller has proven to be a fun challenge for me and this warm weather has me motivated.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tips for De-cluttering and Organizing the Linen Closet

Apparently my nesting has kicked in a little late because since being home all day with my little man I'm noticing all the things that need to be done in our home and attempting to tackle them one room at a time.

As I went through the process of de-cluttering and re-organizing (who am I kidding...just plain organizing in the first place) our closet, I found several tips that made the process much easier.

Downsize. You would not believe the things I found that I had multiples of.  Silly things!  Things like sample size bottles or shampoo and conditioner from hotels.  I get it, those are convenient when traveling, but not convenient enough to warrant having 20+ bottles laying around the house.  Those got put in the donate pile.  Too many bottles take up too much space.

Use stuff!  Sounds pretty simple right?  I'm one of those (weird) people that hangs onto things for something "special."  I mean, I hang onto Bath and Body Works body wash because it is fancier than normal body wash and I don't want to waste it.  Whaaaat!?  Seriously, I just started using a bottle that I got two years ago for my birthday.  I guess making a baby is a special enough time as any...

Containers.  I put just about everything in containers.  Our linen closet serves as storage for linens as well as our bath supplies and medicine so it was essential that is all get organized into containers based on how often we used items, what they were used for, and simply containing chaos.  I used small baskets for wash cloths and sunscreen.  I used larger baskets for CT's bath towels, towels we use on the dogs, replacement bath items (back up shower gel, shampoo, etc.), and ironing accessories.  I bought containers with lids for medicines, dog needs, and sunscreen.  (We don't have a medicine cabinet).

Toss it.  I am a huge collector of stuff.  For some reason I hang onto it just in case I might need it one day and typically it's trash.  Like a half used bottle of hotel shampoo? Yeah.  I tossed it.  I hate waste and especially hate feeling wasteful so I have a really hard time with this one.

Categorize.  Put like things together.  Better yet, put like things in baskets, bins, and bags.  Stack the things you use least often on the bottom and most often used on top or in the front.

 Having a hard time narrowing down?  Ask yourself these questions:
  • Do I use this every day?
  • Have I used this in the last week, month, year?
  • Is it worn out or easily replacable?  Does it need to be replaced?
Based on your answers to these questions you may decide to keep, toss, repurpose, or donate items.  
Keep items that you do use on a weekly or monthly basis, but organize them accordingly.  Those items don't deserve a spot at the front of your closet. 
Keep items that are hard to replace or expensive.  Even if you don't use them often, it may benefit you to hang onto them so that when they are needed you aren't spending a large sum.
Toss items that are old and worn out.  For example, crusty hair gel, separated nail polish, etc.
Repurpose items that are old, but can be used in another area of the house.  Old washcloths and towels make great dust rags, car wash rags, or doggy towels.  Glass candle jars can be cleaned of used wax and used for more storage.  Think about putting Q-tips, cotton rounds, and hair ties in them.
Donate items that can still serve a purpose even if they don't serve one for you.  Items such as full hotel shampoos, excess lotions, or linens that no longer fit your beds or color scheme.