Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boba Carrier Giveaway is over!

Thank you all for entering the Boba Carrier Giveaway!  

And the winner is....

Heather Pohland!

(You are one lucky lady!  Do you play the lottery?)

Congratulations!  I will contact you within the next 24 hours with further details on obtaining your carrier!  

Again, thank you all for participating!!!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

There is so, so, so much left to do!

I am at that point in my pregnancy where I've realized that in just a few short WEEKS, this new baby will be with us.  

This pregnancy has always been, for me, about getting to that next big thing.  

In the beginning, it was living day to day (really ultrasound to ultrasound).  It was waiting with a rapid heartbeat, clammy hands, quick breaths- all mine.  It was hoping and wishing I would get just one more day with this beautiful child inside of me when her future was so uncertain.

As the pregnancy progressed beyond the initial fear and feelings of loss, it became about each milestone as we passed it.  Again, this was typically measured in ultrasounds for me.  The NT scan, the anatomy scan, the 26 week check-in scan, and now even, coming up on the 31-32 week check-in scan.  

I've found myself just thinking still about getting to that next big thing.  But, in all that time, the pregnancy has been progressing, and now I am only around 60 days away from this new baby's arrival, if she goes to 40 weeks, which little man did not.  

It has just begun to hit me that the next big milestone/accomplishment is her birth.  
And with that, I've realized just how much I need to do before she comes.  Because I'm a planner, I'm going to write it all out and hopefully put some order in my life.  I'll update later on how I'm doing.  And, by later, I mean, in a few weeks, because who knows how much longer I'll have!

- Tear apart car seats (new baby & little man's), wash, and re-install in both DH & my cars.

- Wash/sanitize bottles.

- Call insurance company, try to get started on getting my new pump.

- Bring bassinet up from the basement and wash all linens.

- Dig through all little man's tubs of old clothes in the basement to find onesies/socks/anything unisex that can be used again.  Wash said clothing.

- Reorganize the new baby girl clothing in the nursery room dresser so that it is in some semblance of order based on sizes and functions (pj's versus outfits).

- Pack hospital bag.

- Finish little man's toddler room.  Secure dresser to wall, finish spray painting wicker baskets, finish painting oars, finish organizing book shelf, find picture frames and pictures for book shelf.  Send out fabric for bunting flags and hang them when they are done.  

- Transition little man into said toddler room.  
(Cross your fingers for us!)

- Make and go to endocrinologist appointment.  
(Oh, yeah, I didn't mention that yet?  Yes, now my thyroid levels are off, so I get to meet with another specialist this pregnancy.  Joy.)

- Meet with our doula.

- Make freezer meals.  
(Beth- I'm looking at you!  Let's get a date picked out!)

- Stock up on groceries/pantry staples we'll need after the baby (such as milk for little man, snacks, bread to freeze, easy dinner options like macaroni & cheese, etc.).

- Buy a new video monitor for little man's toddler room.

- Wash boppy and boppy covers.

- Submit all required FMLA/STD paperwork.  Finish all discharged charts, orient maternity leave coverage SLP to all of my clients.  Finish getting all co-workers competencied on the Visi-Pitch equipment.  

- Clean the carpets.

- Deep clean the heck out of the house.

-Stock up on all new baby basic need stuff that I used last time around, like breastmilk storage bags, newborn disposables for the hospital, Lansinoh soothing gel pads, etc.  

- Finish all of the little baby proofing tasks we've been putting off because we're able to keep an eye on little man all the time now.

- Even if we can't get out for a real date, at least order in pizza one night and watch a few movies just DH and I after little man goes to bed.  

- Put my feet up for like 10 minutes before this baby comes?

I'm anxious just looking at this list.  

Okay, help a mama out here.  What am I missing?

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Friday, October 26, 2012

All I want to do is sleep.

(Have you entered the Boba Carrier Giveaway?  Find it here!)

I am seriously tired.  

I'm getting to that point in the pregnancy (I'm 31 weeks today) that it gets tough to make it to the end of the day.

I honestly don't remember it being this way, at least not this early, with little man.  I really felt good with his pregnancy up until very close to the end.  It could be because I've been working more.  It could be because I've been resting less.  All I know is that I'm just tired.

This is exactly where I want to be.  All.the.time.
Take today, for example.  For whatever reason, I could NOT sleep last night.  I didn't end up falling asleep until probably around one in the morning.  My alarm goes off on long workdays at 5:00a.  I pretty much dragged myself through the day, going through the motions for part of it.  By the end of the work day, I was just completely done.  

DH called and asked me if I'd mind if he stopped by the store to pick up some new shoes on the way home, and I actually told him that yes, I did mind.  Normally it wouldn't bother me at all- but today, I just couldn't handle doing dinner and bedtime without him, especially since he got home late last night and I did dinner and bedtime and bath time on my own with DS and then promptly collapsed after.  Thankfully, he came straight home, but it made me feel bad that he wasn't able to get the shoes he needed for work because I needed the help.

Man, this fatigue. 
Sometimes, it comes on all of a sudden.  We'll be out doing something and all of a sudden I just NEED to lie down and rest.  It's not something I can control; I'm just almost blind-sided by pure exhaustion.  I can't quite focus correctly, I can't finish most tasks, and I'm just overwhelmed by it all.  

A few weeks ago, I laughed people off when they said I was nuts to try to work until the end of my pregnancy.  I kind of wanted to ask the people making those comments if they would be paying my salary for not working before the baby.  Now, however, I think I'm nuts for trying to keep working up until the end.   
I will probably keep working until I have this baby, just like I did for little man- when my water broke on a Saturday after working a 10 hour Friday shift- but I have quite the feeling it is going to be a lot tougher these last ten weeks, especially if the past few days are any indication.

Has anyone else felt this overwhelming fatigue at the end of their pregnancy?  If you have, please give me some tips on how to get through it!!!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I cut my hair!

(Have you entered the Boba Carrier Giveaway?  Find it here!)

I posted about this on the blog's Facebook page the other day, but I went and got a haircut/style recently.  As I mentioned, the last time I had my hair cut was for family pictures, one year ago.  This time?  We're getting family pictures done in a few weeks, so I needed another cut.

Yep, only once a year.

Thankfully, because I'm extremely cheap, I scored a Groupon for a haircut and highlight for a really low price.  I think it was supposed to cost around $60 for the Groupon ($150-something typically), but since I had referral cash in my account I ended up only paying somewhere around $30.  I did tip, though, so that added a little bit on the top.

Obviously, you take a chance when you get your hair done on a  Groupon, because most times it is a newer stylist trying to gain clients, but I've done this for the past few years and haven't had terrible results.  There are a few parts of my hair that I'd change, but overall, I think it went pretty well and I'm happy with the end result.  

Here's a before:

And here's my after picture:

My after picture was actually taken the next day, because my phone died on the way home from the appointment, while I was talking to one of my bloggy friends.  (I'm sorry Nicole!)

I'm really thankful that I went- it was a pretty relaxing experience.  I'm not used to having someone else wait on me for a few hours, and that felt nice.  I'm honestly pretty sure I fell asleep in the shampoo rinse chair because I was so relaxed when she was doing the conditioning treatment.  

Typically, this type of thing goes against my crunchy nature.  Not only am I using actual hair products like shampoo and conditioner, but I'm also letting someone put tons of chemicals onto my head.  I justify it a few ways.  First, I only do this once (maybe I'll start doing it twice now?) per year.  Moderation is key.  Second, I'm doing foiled highlights, which I feel is just a little better than all over color, because the chemicals are only touching my hair (which is already dead) and not actually touching my scalp.  Third, I really, really don't want little man or new baby to grow up and think their mom is a schlumpy slob.  Hence the Mama Makeover Challenge, which I'm still doing a decent job of keeping up.

Have you done anything recently for yourself?  Tell me what you've done!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Facebook Marketplace Pages- A Thrifty Mama FYI

(Have you entered the Boba Carrier Giveaway?  Find it here!)

I recently made an amazing discovery.  

Honestly, it's almost as good as Pinterest.  Actually, no, I'll say it.  It's better than Pinterest.
I recently discovered my local Facebook Marketplace pages.

Several friends were recently discussing ways to buy and sell used items for their children, and they had highly recommended using a Facebook Marketplace page.  I'd never heard of these pages, so at first I had no clue what they were talking about.

Apparently these pages exist to serve as a local way to save money (or earn money if you're selling) by purchasing used toys, clothing, furniture, and home goods.  My friends invited me and now I am a happy member of a boy's clothing page, a girl's clothing page, a kid's clothing page (for both), a women's clothing page, a furniture page, a toy and game page, and a general marketplace page.  

You know how you can sit on Pinterest and scroll through pictures for what seems like hours?  Well, you can also do this on a Facebook Marketplace page.  The items are never-ending, used, and low cost.  Not to mention, since it is local, you don't have to pay shipping, you just stop by the person's home and pick it up.
I purchased a used Mamaroo in complete working condition for $60 the other day, which normally retails for $200!  

I also saw a Beco Butterfly 2 baby carrier listed for $40.  The one I saw on the site retails new off of Amazon for $140.  Not to mention children's books for $1 or less each, sleepers in great condition for $1-2, bikes for less than $10, wooden/high quality high chairs for $20, the list goes on and on.  

I mean, these are crazy, cheap deals.  

If this is the first you're hearing of Facebook Marketplace pages, ask around to your friends.  If they haven't heard of it, do a Facebook search for your town name/county name and the words Marketplace or the category for which you're looking.  If all else fails, start your own webpage and invite your friends.  They'll probably invite theirs, and then you'll have a nice little market of your own!  

Does your area have local Facebook Marketplace pages?  What has been your best score?

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Potty training- Why the rush?

Since my last toddler update post, little man has been showing some signs of potty readiness.

He has figured out the whole routine, going to the bathroom, tugging for me to take his bottoms off, sitting on his potty, even getting paper and wiping at the end.  He has also started to point to his bum and say "poop!" at appropriate times.


I'm burying my head in the sand.

At 20 months, directly before we have a second baby, I am not quite interested yet in walking that path.  I recognize that when we do potty train, it will be a very good thing for little man, but I'd like to take one step at a time right now.  As we are going to transition into a toddler room and toddler bed- as well as bring his sister into our home in the next few months- I don't want to change too many things at once in too drastic of a fashion.  

Not only that, but seriously, why the rush?

Honestly.  Maybe it's just me, but how can potty training be easier at this point?  With a little one this little, there is no way that stopping and finding a bathroom every single time they need to potty is going to be easier.

Sure, changing dirty diapers isn't always the most pleasant thing in the world, but I'm pretty sure shampooing a car seat or couch due to an accident is a lot less fun.  

But, with everything else in this culture of child-raising, it seems that as soon as a child can possibly do something, if they are not doing it, our culture is either looking negatively toward that child or their parents.  Our society as a whole puts so much pressure on individual achievements- the faster, the better.  And our children feel the brunt of this from the moment they grace us with their presence, in some cases.  

When will they sleep through the night without rocking or comfort?

When will they get rid of their pacifier?

When can they do this, that, or the other independently?

As a parent, I am making the choice to let my child grow on his own time, at his own pace.  If he is truly ready, we will know at that time.  It won't be forced, pushed, or pressed just because it sounds like a great accomplishment for a child before the age of two.  

As for right now, I'll continue to diaper my babe happily and completely pretend the thought hasn't even crossed my mind about searching for a bathroom everywhere we go.  

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

For a little fun, a Baby Pool :)

I did a baby pool last pregnancy with little man, and it was really fun to see what my friends and family guessed about his arrival, so I've decided to try it again this time around!

Below is the link to my page, where you can head over and take a guess on all the little details about new baby girl.  You can guess on birth date (my actual due date is December 28th, for your reference!), time delivered, weight, length, hair color, eye color, and even names!  

For every entry, you will be scored on how correct you were once I enter the actual birth information after baby girl makes her arrival.  There isn't a prize for this one- it is just for fun!  

So, join in, and tell me how you think baby girl's arrival is going to go!

Here's the link:

The Naptown Organizer's Baby Pool

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hair Tutorial Review: Flat Iron Curls

Lately, as you may have noticed, I've been getting into doing my hair more.

Since the Mommy Makeover Challenge, I've been really trying to put my best foot (and face!) forward, and really try to look better than the "I'm a mom I did my best" look.  :)  You've seen my headband braid tutorial review and my curling iron curls tutorial, but this one tops them both.

Before I go any further, this is the EASIEST way to curl your hair I've EVER found.


I timed myself curling my hair with my flat iron this morning and it took me exactly 9 minutes and 30 seconds.  Yep, just under 10 minutes.  Do you have 10 minutes?  Yes?  Then you can do this hair style.  Here's a look at the finished product:

For this hair style, all you need is your hair and a flat iron.  I did not use any product in my hair, although I suppose you could, the curls would just stay tighter for longer.  I've never been one to have a hairstyle actually stay in my hair without going limp 10 minutes later, but I promise, I still had curl at the end of a very busy day!  (I've updated a picture at the end of the post as to what the curls look like at the end of a day without any product on my hair for your reference!)  

The technique is SO simple.  Instead of running the flat iron straight down your hair, like you were straightening your hair, you twist it up 180 degrees so that the hair is wrapped around the edge of the straightener, pointing up in the air.  Take each piece of hair and run it down the straightener flipped up toward the sky.  The slower you pull the hair through, the tighter the curl will be.  (Check out the original tutorial I used here.)  One of the commenters in the original tutorial remarked that it is like curling a ribbon with scissors, and that comparison really seemed to make sense to how this technique is completed.

And, that's it!  You're done!  Really pretty looking soft curls with wave and body are so easy with this flat iron curling technique.  You can also choose where you want to start the curl, so if you'd like more curls higher, you can start closer to your scalp, and if you're like me and want more curls underneath the level of your chin, you can start lower down.

The picture I took below is of me after an entire day of running around.  This included work, errands, and taking little man out on a walk in some pretty windy fall weather.  I did brush my hair out at the end of the day as it got tangled during the windy walk.  Again, I did not use any product, but I was still happy that I had some body and curl to my hair at the end of the day as well!

 I did try this with a simple spritz of hairspray on a workday more recently as well and found that the curls do stay much tighter with just a few sprays.  

You ladies really need to try this out, it is SO quick and easy!  The flat iron curls are at the TOP of my list right now for easy hair options.  And, you could always add a headband braid or bang braid to this style and have curls and braids, which is twice as cute and would only take a few quick minutes of braiding before you went to bed the night before!

If you try this tutorial, head on back over here & tell me in the comments how it worked on your hair!  I'd love to get some feedback on this one!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Boba Carrier Review & Giveaway!

You all know by now that I LOVE babywearing.  

It is such a simple and easy way to keep your kiddo right where they need to be, up close and snuggled into you!  One of my favorite babywearing options is a soft structured carrier, or what I tend to call a pack carrier- because they honestly remind me of a backpack.

I've talked before about how we own an Ergo baby carrier as well as several other non-soft structured carriers in our household.  One of the main reasons I love a soft structured carrier is because you can wear it for long periods of time without feeling sore or uncomfortable, and with all the snaps and straps, you know that your child is tucked in tightly to you and very secure.  

I recently was given the opportunity to score a Boba Baby Carrier 3G and test it out to share with my readers, and I am so happy I did!  Since my other soft structured carrier option at this time is the Ergo, I'll focus my review on a comparison of the two products.

But first, here are a few pictures of little man and I enjoying our Boba 3G at the zoo!  

(You'll notice in these pictures that he is riding a little bit low- with his legs a little bit more straight and less 'frogged' than I would have liked- mainly due to the fact that I am almost 30 weeks pregnant.  I'll talk a little bit later in the review about how I could have fixed this, and now do fix this easily, with the provided accessories that came with the carrier.)

Let's just pretend I still fit into my fleece...
Carrier pictured in the Soho print

 There are many, many reasons why I love our new Boba 3G, the first being that the print is ridiculously cute.  Besides the "ZOMG the cute is overwhelming me!" moment I had when I opened the package, there are tons of logical reasons why I'll choose this carrier over the Ergo.

To start, I am obviously pretty pregnant, and will be wearing a little squishy babe in just a few short months.  To be able to wear new baby girl in the Ergo carrier (by itself- carrying babes from 12-45 lbs), I'd need to buy an additional infant insert for $25 (in addition to the carrier cost) to fit a 7-12lb baby.  The Boba 3G comes ready to wear a babe 7-45 lbs with no other accessories required.  Based on the instruction manual that comes with the Boba 3G, by simply folding over a part of the carrier, you create a higher rise and can wear little babe right up where they are babywearing safe and kissably close to you.

Another feature I loved was all the pockets and gadgets the Boba 3G came with, standard.  Our Ergo carrier has two pockets on the front of the carrier- one to hold the hood to cover baby's head & one zippered area for keys/wallet/etc.  The Boba not only also comes with a napping hood and pockets (although these are placed in the waistband), but it comes with my favorite feature- a purse strap holder.  With the Boba, you are able to snap your purse or diaper bag strap onto the shoulder strap, so you're not constantly fussing with it falling off of your shoulder while wearing your little.  This is a design feature that I really, really enjoy.  

As I mentioned above, little man rides a bit low while I'm pregnant because the waist strap has to sit under my baby belly, and this caused him to have a straighter leg and less 'seated' position than I would have liked in these pictures with the Boba.  I typically have the same problem with our Ergo babywearing while pregnant.  However- with the Boba- I'm able to quickly remedy that by attaching the included (read: no extra charge) foot straps onto the waistband.  These put little man's hips, legs, and spine into a healthier and more natural position.   These foot straps are not available on the Ergo carrier.

One of the last reasons that I really, really enjoy the Boba carrier is how easy it is to adjust.  While the Ergo is also easy to adjust, the Boba is more customizable.  For example, in the picture below you can see that the shoulder strap adjusts both on the portion of the strap closest to the seat of the carrier as well as the end of the strap.  I've heard this is great for nursing, although I've not personally nursed little man in this carrier.

The chest strap adjustment is also much easier in the Boba.  The Boba's chest strap almost slides up and down a track easily, but still stays put where you want it, while the Ergo's chest strap requires you to slide a buckle over an additional strap up and down (kind of like you adjust your bra straps) that while it works, and is easy, isn't as easy as the Boba.  

I also find, as you can see in the picture below, that the Boba straps tend to be just a bit more curved at the level of the shoulder, and are just a bit more comfortable.  Although, that is a personal preference on wear, and you may find it feels differently based on your body style. 

Overall, if you couldn't tell already, I LOVE our new Boba 3G Baby Carrier.

And, because I love it so much, and the Boba Family team is so awesome, we're going to give a carrier to you!  The winner of this giveaway is going to get to pick not only what carrier you'd like from Boba (a Boba Air, a Boba Wrap, or a Boba Carrier like I reviewed above), but you also get to choose what color or print carrier you'd like to win as well!  

(Sadly, dear Canadian friends, this giveaway is only open to those of us who reside in the US.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent Tutorial Review

I finally did it.  

After buying laundry detergent at the store for years, I finally went ahead and tried making my own. 

I searched the internet and Pinterest for different recipes, but most contained the following ingredients:  Washing Soda, Borax, and Fels-Naptha soap.

Surprisingly, all of these ingredients were easily found at my favorite grocery store, Mejier.  I purchased these two boxes of washing soda and borax, as well as 6 bars of Fels-Naptha soap for about $15.  
While looking on the internet, I was searching for really easy recipes.  Many I saw required boiling or melting the soap and ingredients, turning it into a liquid detergent.  For me personally, that just seemed like a lot of work.  I need something that I can whip up in a few minutes and not have to worry about it for a few months, to be perfectly honest.  

The recipe I ended up using was just that- extremely quick and easy.  There are basically three steps, as you'll see below.  

Above we have step 1: Grate one bar of the Fels-Naptha soap into a container.  I chose a plastic, lidded container that my grater fit into, so there were no other dirty dishes in this step except the grater.  This step took me about 5 minutes to complete. 

Step 2: Pour one cup borax into your plastic tub with your grated soap.  The hardest part of this step for me was opening the box.  

I really hate those "to open- press here" tabs.  They take me forever to open and I always end up just shoving a knife into the box.

Step 3:  Pour one cup of washing soda into the container of soap and borax. 

That's it.  

The mixture you come up with will look something like my container below.

Instructions for use:  Add one tablespoon of this mixture to your laundry.  I have a HE machine, and per user reviews of this recipe, it is recommended just to dump your tablespoon straight into the washer with your clothes.  If you don't have an HE machine, I believe you can just put this straight into your soap drawer/spot just like you would put in powdered detergent.  

I've also read that adding a few drops of essential oils in your chosen scent can give your laundry a fresh smell to it, but I prefer the detergent to be unscented.  While washing, you can definitely smell this soap, but by the time it is rinsed and dried, your clothes don't smell like anything- they're just clean!

I personally added a laundry detergent scoop I had sitting around my laundry room to put the laundry soap into the washer.  

In terms of being environmentally friendly, I'm not exactly sure if this recipe is any better for the environment after it leaves the washer, but I'm going to guess it has to be at least a little better than those detergents with chemically-added fragrances!  I will 100% say that it saves me a ton of packaging from the plastic bottles I'm not using in purchasing something like a Tide detergent.

In price comparison, this detergent cost me about 6 cents per load, as opposed to about 24 cents per load for a liquid Tide bottle and about 32 cents per load for one of those fancy washing machine "pacs" that recently entered the market.  If you take that savings by 4 loads a week for a year, you'll end up saving almost $40 a year over your Tide liquid detergent and about $55 a year over something like a washing machine pac from Tide.  

If you add our savings from cutting back on our needs around the home in cleaning products, we save several hundred dollars per year with everything added up (such as hand soap, floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, etc.).  I'm a huge fan of saving, and I believe every dollar counts.  

It took me a little while to get here, but I'm glad I decided to make my own detergent.  It was so easy, much cheaper, and works really well.  We've been using this detergent for at least a month or two and our clothes have been nothing but clean and fresh when I am putting away each load.

Would you/have you tried this laundry detergent recipe?  Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Hair Tutorial Review: The Headband Braid

Since the Mommy Makeover Challenge, I've decided to break out of my rut with my hair as well.  

If getting dressed in the morning wasn't as hard as I thought it was, actually doing something other than just air drying and straightening the ends of my hair couldn't be that tough either.

My first attempt, which you saw on day two of the challenge was the braided headband.  I'm a HUGE fan of braids, especially after little man was born.  You all know by now that I only wash my hair 1-3 times per week, so anything that can stretch me a few days longer between a wash is really helpful.  By adding a quick braid of my locks (especially the front of my hair which touches my face, thus getting greasy more easily),  I can easily stretch my hair an extra few days between a wash.  

I really appreciate that you can sleep in a braid as well, which really helps my schedule in the morning.  I've found that if I shower immediately after we put little man to bed, and do something to my hair that night before I go to bed, like an easy braid, that it looks perfectly messy by the time I wake, and I'm ready to go on my hair for the day.  

While I've done a braid of my bangs for several years now, I'd never actually used a braid as a headband.  So, when I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, I was really excited to try it out!  Check out the final product below, and then I'll explain just what I did to make this look work!

This method was extremely easy if you know how to make a simple braid.  I did not use any products with this hair style, only a small clear elastic hairband and one hair pin.  

To begin, I grabbed a small strand of hair from the right side of my head.  I part on the left, so pulling hair from the right side was a better option, as it left more hair on top to cover.  In the original tutorial, she used a much more neat looking piece of hair, sectioned into a small square.  But- let's be honest- I'm a mama, I grabbed some hair, braided it into a long band, and didn't mind what the underportion of hair looked like, as it will be covered anyway!

One thing I found to be really helpful was to continue braiding almost to the very end of the strand of hair.  If your hair is not very long, you may have a problem with getting your braid to be long enough.  However, if your hair is pretty long, you shouldn't have any trouble.

After you are finished with your simple braid, tie it off on the bottom with your small, clear rubber elastic.  I loved using the clear version because it was so small it kept the closure of the braid from getting bulky or sticking out on the other side.

Then, just as simple as the braid was, flip it over your head.  You'll have to decide based on your hair how much bang you'll want to keep in the front.

The picture below is what your braid will look like underneath with your hair pulled back.

The next step is to grab one bobby pin, and secure the braid in place where you'd like it to land.  I used the below picture as an example of where I stopped my braid.  I actually did also find a shorter bobby pin (about half the size of this one) and flip it over so that the ruffled edge faced toward my skin.  That way, I didn't have the bobby pin sticking out when I placed the hair on top back down over the braid.

After you secure the pin in place, pull your hair back down on both sides and you're done!  So simple!

Here's another picture of the finished product:

I braided this the night before (hence my ratty t-shirt I wore to bed) and woke up to it looking just right- a little messy - the next morning.  In the original tutorial, the blogger goes on to show how she teased her hair up in the back, which I did not do, but is always an option as well.  Overall, this was a win for me- easy, cute, and simple.  This is such an easy way to amp up your hairstyle for the fall!

Do you think you ladies will try the headband braid?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Door Jammer Winners!

Thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway for three sets of Door Jammers from BumbleFly ~N~ ButterBees!  If you haven't checked out Sarah's Etsy page, you may want to, as she's been adding a bunch of awesome new items!

The following lovely ladies have each won a Door Jammer from Sarah:

Claire Thorn
Heather Pohland
& Amanda Aubrey

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Monday, October 8, 2012

And with that, I think we're done.

This post was from a few weeks ago.  I didn't quite have it in my heart to post it until now, but little man is officially done nursing.  Since this post, he stopped completely, and has not asked to nurse one time.  I'm thankful for the wonderful nursing relationship we've had that lasted 19 months, but also feel very bittersweet still about it being over.

I should be sitting here feeling really proud of everything we've accomplished, little man & I.

But, right now, tears are the only thing that is happening.

We'd only been nursing 1-2 times per day now with little man at 19 months old, but this past week I worked more days than I normally do, Wednesday through Sunday.  Little man nursed for the last time on Friday night.

On Saturday, I didn't offer, and he didn't ask.  We gave him a cup of coconut milk, and he was a happy camper.

On Sunday, I didn't offer, and he didn't ask.  Again, little man had a cup of milk and was happy.  He even learned the word for milk to talk about the drink in his cup, which made me cry a little more.  I don't know why, but I always thought that when he started saying the word milk, it would be in association with the kind that I provide him.

Now I sit here, on Sunday night, long after little man has fallen asleep, thinking that we are probably finished nursing.

I'm worried he may ask to nurse tomorrow morning and I have nothing left to give him after not nursing for three days, but I'm also worried he won't ask and won't need me for that any more.  Logically, I understand that our nursing relationship wasn't going to last forever, and my being pregnant probably made it less likely to succeed due to a smaller supply and probably a different taste to my breast milk.  But emotionally, it is a really, really tough night for me.

I know in my mind that little man isn't a baby any more in many ways, but in my heart, I still see him that way.
He is still a baby to me.  

He is still my baby.  

While I am so very thankful for our baby daughter on the way, and I am so hopeful to have a long-lasting and as mutually beneficial nursing relationship with the new baby after her birth in December, it doesn't take away any of the sting that this part of my relationship with my first child is over.  

Back in the early days of breastfeeding little man, I longed for the days of not having to cart a pump around with me, to be able to leave the house for more than 3 hours without having to return to nurse or pump, to have my body back to myself again.  

I know that I carried little man and my body will always be partly his, as evidenced by the stretch marks he left behind for me to keep, but without this part of our relationship, it just feels the connection has become less concrete, less tangible.  I obviously am continuously, extremely connected to my child, but it just feels very different tonight, not being able to show him my love in that specific way.  

I've previously heard several quotes referencing parenting being about teaching your child not to need you anymore and learning how to let them be free and find themselves without you.  Well, if this is any indication of how that feels, being a mother is going to be both the best and the hardest thing I've ever done.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Seven!

Today is the last day of the Mommy Makeover Day Challenge, but don't worry, you can still link up!  If you haven't gotten all of your posts in or would like to join in the challenge late, you can still add your link until the end of October!  Check out the rules here!

We made it!  I wore REAL clothing (minus my scrubs for work-days) the ENTIRE week!  

I am extremely, extremely thankful that I kept with the challenge for the whole week.  I know it doesn't seem like much, but really, for me, getting dressed and being presentable changed how I felt about myself this week.  I didn't feel so gross all of the time.  I was more inclined to actually get out of the house and do something.  I made an effort to do more fun things with little man.  

It was not difficult at all to do.  As you may have notice by my descriptions of my morning routine, I am a quick and easy type of girl in terms of getting ready.  Getting ready each day this week just took waking up a few minutes early.  And I know on days that I don't make it up before little man, he is super patient and will play quietly for 10 minutes while I put myself together.  

It just has to be a goal of mine, and I think that it is an important goal.

Now, I'm not saying that I'll never wear my yoga pants or DH's t-shirts again, but I think that those days should be fewer and further in between than the daily pajama party I was having before.

Let's make a pact.  In a year from now, when I have baby girl at home as well, someone come back here and call me out.  Make sure I'm still doing this, please?  :)  I may even start a monthly link-up to check in on how we're all doing, if there is any interest!

How did you ladies do in the challenge?  Do you feel any differently now that it is finished?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Six!

Welcome back to the Mommy Makeover Challenge!  We're on day six of a seven day challenge, but you can still join us tomorrow to link up!  Check out the rules here!

Yes, it's Saturday, but I work on Saturdays, so that means I have to drag myself out of bed and look presentable on the weekend.  Ugh.

How long did it take you to get ready?  I get to wake up quite a bit later on Saturdays, almost an hour later, so I typically move a bit slower and take longer to get ready.  I'm pretty sure it was a little over a half hour today.  

What did you do differently than your normal routine?  Instead of picking out something easy for work, I actually looked for an outfit that I didn't mind wearing after my shift was over.  Since I had such luck on Thursday with just staying in real clothes after work, I tried to do the same today.   

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do?  I ended up working a pretty long shift today, and after I was finished at work, had to run a bunch of errands before getting home to DH and little man.  By the time I did all of my errands, got everyone fed and bathed and in bed, I was back in my pajamas for the night.

Did you feel any differently?  Yes.  I actually hadn't worn this sweater to work before.  If you look closely at the shoulders, there are little cut-outs and you can see through some of it.  I tend to dress somewhat conservatively for my job because I do work with the elderly, and I had been apprehensive about wearing something you could see a tank or bra straps underneath.  I made sure I had an extra tank on under the sweater, swooped my hair in front of my shoulders, and figured I'd try it out since I'm trying to look different this week.  I actually really LOVE this sweater and felt really comfortable but still felt that I looked nice the entire day.  To be totally honest, there is a coworker of mine at the hospital (I'm not sure if she is a social worker?  I haven't ever spoken with her) who is always dressed to the nines at work.  Hair done up, adorable shoes, trendy clothing- you know the type!  I passed her in the hallway and actually didn't feel like the big, pregnant lady for a change.  It was a good feeling!

How did you ladies do on day six of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Five!

Hey all!  Welcome back to the Mommy Makeover Challenge!  If you're new here, or just finding the challenge, we're on day five of a seven day challenge, so you can still join in!  Check out the rules here!

Obviously, it's another work day, as I'm back in scrubs.  It was also before 6:30a when this picture was taken, so if I look like I want to crawl back into bed, it's because I did.  :)

How long did it take you to get ready?  Maybe 15 minutes again today.  I seriously need to stop hitting the snooze button.  I had showered the night before, about a half hour before I went to bed. 

What did you do differently than your normal routine?  As I mentioned before, my morning routine on workdays is to brush my teeth, brush my hair, slap on some make-up, and try to run the straightener through my hair before I throw on some scrubs and grab a Larabar as I run out the door.  Today was no different.  

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do?  I didn't go anywhere out of the ordinary, but on the days that I work a long shift, by the time I pick up little man and get him & DH fed, it is time for the bathtub for little man and then bed.  At that point in my day, my ankles are too swollen to carry me anywhere else!

Did you feel any differently?  If by differently- you mean uncomfortable - because my hoodies and zip up sweatshirts are barely fitting now- then yes! :)

How did you ladies do on day five of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Four!

Hey all!  Welcome back to the Mommy Makeover Challenge!  If you're new here, or just finding the challenge, we're on day four of a seven day challenge, so you can still join in!  Check out the rules here!

I've added in two pictures for today, I'll explain why below :)

How long did it take you to get ready?  A little bit longer than normal, maybe over a full half hour, but this is mainly because I don't go into work until much later on Thursdays so I can be slow!

What did you do differently than your normal routine?  This is where picture number two comes in.  I got dressed in my not-dressy-but-not-jeans outfit for job #2 today like I would most Thursday mornings, but instead of ripping my nicer clothes off the second I walk in the door to grab a pair of yoga pants, I actually STAYED in my khaki pants and top, and added a little jacket to it to run some errands.  

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do?  When I got home from work in the afternoon, DH, little man, & I ran a ton of errands, buying spray paint for some craft items, getting light bulbs to fix the broken ones in our bathroom, did a bit of grocery shopping, etc. 

Did you feel any differently?  I completely did.  It took absolutely ZERO effort to actually just stay in the clothes I was already wearing for a little while longer, and while walking around the stores, I was NOT that schlumpy mom in stretch pants and a t-shirt.  Even though I probably didn't look amazing, it felt so much better and I think I was carrying my head a little higher knowing that I made it out of the house- pregnant, with a toddler, and a husband in tow- and still managed to put myself together.

How did you ladies do on day four of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Three!

Hey all!  Welcome back to the Mommy Makeover Challenge!  We're on day three of a seven day challenge, so if you are just finding the challenge now, you can still join in!  Check out the rules here!

How long did it take you to get ready?  This is a work day, so probably in between 15 minutes and 20 minutes, as I like the snooze button in the morning.

What did you do differently than your normal routine?  Well, as you can see from my classy, obligatory, work bathroom picture, I'm wearing scrubs underneath my jacket.  Although, I did pull out a jean jacket and straightened my hair.  

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do?  As I said, work.  Wednesdays are kind of a boring clothing day for me.

Did you feel any differently?  Not really, today.  I ditched the jacket after about 20 minutes of running around the doctor's office in which I work on Wednesdays.  If anyone can think of some cute ideas for making scrubs a little more fashionable, let me know!

How did you ladies do on day three of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day Two!

Hey all!  Welcome back to the Mommy Makeover Challenge!  We're on day two of a seven day challenge, so if you are just finding the challenge now, you can still join in!  Check out the rules here!

How long did it take you to get ready?  It took me probably around twenty minutes to get ready, but I had braided my hair the night before.  I'll be posting a tutorial on the braided headband in a week or two, because I love it so much!  

What did you do differently than your normal routine? I again set my alarm a few minutes early to get up and get ready.  (I shower at night after little man is in bed, that way I can just let my hair air dry and don't have to waste time blow-drying it!  I'm all about speed here now!)  Other than my hair, I put on a quick bit of makeup and threw on jeans and a top.

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do?  Since I was actually in clothing on a Tuesday, I took little man out to the park.  He played on the park equipment for a little while, but really spent a ton of time just playing around the walking path.  He found many an interesting new rock to put in his jacket pocket.  He also loved hanging his little head over the side of the bridge (while held cautiously by his worried mama) and dropping said rocks into the creek below. 
Did you feel any differently?  I am completely thankful that I was leave-the-house-ready today.  I hate to admit it, but little man and I don't go out as nearly as often as we should on my days at home with him.  He had an absolute ball at the park and it kind of made me feel a bit guilty that we hadn't been doing stuff like this all along.  It was so easy to get out of the house when I was already done getting dressed for the day before he even woke for the morning.

How did you ladies do on day two of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Mommy Makeover Challenge Day One!

(If you haven't already heard, I'm hosting a Mommy Makeover Week here at The Naptown Organizer.  For further details about how you can join in and link up, see the post here!)

Day of the Challenge? Day One!

How long did it take you to get ready?  Surprisingly, even with my hair (see tutorial), it only took about a half hour to get ready this morning.

What did you do differently than your normal routine? I actually set my alarm to get up a bit earlier than little man does, and did my hair and makeup as well as getting dressed while he was still sleeping.  That way, by the time he woke up, I was already fully dressed and ready to get him going for the day.

Did you go anywhere outside of the home?  Where did you go/what did you do? Today was ultrasound day!  We went to the Maternal Fetal Medicine Department at the hospital to be checked for a 26 week ultrasound.  DH met little man and me there in the late afternoon.

Did you feel any differently?  I did, actually.  I thought it was just going to be a typical day, but wearing uncomfortable clothes.  I actually felt really good and put little man in something a little more schnazzy than his normal t-shirt and fuzzy pants look for the ultrasound as well!  I actually did feel a little better even at night after I was back in my pyjamas as well, while I was doing chores/laundry/ironing/etc.  It was fun that my hair and makeup still looked nice at that point.  Overall, for day one, I think it was a definite success!

How did you ladies do on day one of the challenge?  Link up or let me know in the comments below!

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