Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

I'm linking up with Katie this Saturday morning to share my Saturday Morning Scene.  Head over and check out what everyone else is up to and share yours!!!
Started this Saturday morning off with an 8:15am BodyPUMP sess to work it out with some weights - this was my first time ever going to this class and whoa, talk about some muscle burn:)   

We're now enjoying some down time at the usual morning spot - Starbucks:) for some iced coffee and chill time with the hubs and my little girl and the faves.

The hubs and I are also hoping to get some gardening done when we get home...and maybe even re-do our screen porch (that of course will be an ALL weekend project)!!
i seriously despise clover in my flower bed!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful Saturday!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Zumba for the first time

As I posted about here, I am trying to shed the pounds I put on not only when I was pregnant but really even before that.  I came across some pics of myself the other day from before my wedding and almost lost it - what has happened to me??  I was always so conscious before of my physical well-being and somehow I've managed to lose all sight of that in the past few years.  So..I'm desperate to find the right work-out and diet regimen to not only shed the pounds but to keep them gone.  Counting my steps with the pedometer is definitely a step in the right direction but I need more!

Last week my dear friend Lis invited me to join her for a class at her gym so we poured over the class schedule and picked out a Zumba class that we had both heard great things about.  For those of you that have never attended one of these classes, Zumba is designed to be a latin-inspired dance fitness party.  And for the most part it was...the music was fun and fast-paced and definitely latin-inspired.  The work-out ranged from step aerobics to salsa dancing to club grinding to skipping in a circle (not kidding).  One minute I felt like I was auditioning for a strip club and the next I thought I was a kid on the play ground.  To top it all off, the cool down was very yoga-esque.  But, I'll be honest - I really enjoyed myself and it definitely got my heart rate up so I know I burned some serious calories!!  I'm very sore but the work-out didn't drop me to my knees and I was able to finish the class so I felt great about my first trip back to the gym.  The dance steps are fast paced and so I'm sure that the more you go and learn the steps and the rhythm of the class the more you enjoy it and the better your results.  I'm definitely interested in going back as there is nothing better than having some fun and burning some calories too!   I really do recommend taking a Zumba class if you can and I think it helps if you have a friend that will go with you.  I can't even count the number of times Lis and I looked at each other with a shot of relief that both of us were totally out of step!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Cards - LOVE

I must admit - I ADORE Tiny Prints and everything they have to offer.  I ordered our wedding invitations through their wedding paper divas sister company, Addie's birth announcements, and every other personalized greeting or holiday card.  Their quality is great, prices are reasonable, and I love that I can order photo gifts of all of the specialized greeting or holiday cards we create.  I've made it a christmas tradition to order the glossy easel of our christmas card each year so that I can display them around during the holidays.  I know this will be such a special keepsake and so much fun to look back on years from now.  SO, I of course made a mad dash to their website to order our mother's day cards this year..albeit a bit close to mother's day (good news - I just ordered last night and they are slated to arrive Monday - plenty of time:))!  And...right now, you can join their "card club" and you get your first 3 personalized cards free plus a discount on any other personalized cards you buy - all for only $5.99/year.  Seeing as though I order from them as much as possible and I love a good deal, I signed up!  So...heres a sneak peak at what we'll be giving card wise to the mothers and grandmothers in our fam this year in honor of mothers day.  Oh...and if you're worried about getting them to your loved ones in time, Tiny Prints will also ship directly to them for a nominal fee so you can ensure that they arrive in time!!

And..without further they are:

For my momma:
front of card
inside of card
Pretty much everything is customizable - all of the text and you can even choose different layouts on the inside if you want to add more pictures - and the best part - its no extra charge:)

for the hubs mom:
front of card
And..for the grandmothers:
front of card
front of card

I have not been incentivized or paid in any way for this post...just wanted to share some fun ideas:)  And..just in case your curious...without joining the card club I mentioned above, each of these cards would have cost me about $4 a piece!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday - Royal Wedding Style

I'm linking up today with Jamie for "What I'm Loving Wednesday!"  

So, I must admit, this week I am asbolutely loving all of the coverage and excitement about the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  I think they are such a beautiful couple and seem so happy.  It's got me thinking what I would have to have if it were my wedding day again - styles have changed SO much in just three short years that the look would be entirely different.  While I won't be up at 4am to watch the coverage (or will I??), I will be recording it so that I can watch the whole thing!!  So for this Wednesdays, "What I'm loving Wednesday" I'm sharing everything wedding that I'm loving:

the bride:
J Crew now makes wedding dresses and I just love their line.  My bridesmaids dresses were from J Crew but at the time they didn't have any wedding gowns.  However, while looking over their site a few days, I eyed this beauty of a gown that I just love!

And, I highly recommend an up-do on the wedding day because I was SO hot and having my hair off my neck totally helped - so I just adore this up-do that I found at

the bridesmaid's dress:
Here is the bridesmaid dress (also from J Crew) that I just think is adorable and I love the grey-blue color!
the flowers:
For the bridal bouquet and a smaller version for the bridesmaids, I just love these lily of the valley flowers. They are so simple yet elegant - drool...courtesy of

And here are some beautiful centerpiece ideas I spotted on
Love these peonies...
And I just think this is adorable for chair/pew decorations:
the food:
I love the presentation of appetizers and because I would rather eat 10 small meals during the day then 3 big ones - I love heavy appetizers and stations for weddings.

the cake:
I found this cake on and I just loved its simple yet playful style.  The cake is one of my favorite parts of any wedding (hello, sweet tooth)

While looking at the cakes, I also found this awesome little idea.  Instead of tossing the bouquet, serve each of your single friends a mini cake like the one pictured below(one of which has a ring inside it).  Whoever ends up with the cake with the ring in it is said to be the next to marry.

So, there's a sneak peak into all things wedding that I'm loving right now in honor of the royal wedding!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Addie's first Easter

PhotobucketEaster Sunday was a beautiful day in so many ways - not just the weather.  It was a very busy, yet very uneventful day (no major hiccups other than the bruised/sprained/possibly broken pinky toe I suffered at the mercy of our console table (that will teach me to stop rushing around - yeah, it really won't though)) We spent the day with close friends and family and I wanted to share the play by play with pictures:

We started the morning with a delicious Easter brunch over at the besties where Lis put together a wonderful spread complete with puff filled Easter eggs for the kids (Addie is liking these things a little more these days:)).  Addie quickly decided all she wanted to do was eat the plastic eggs, she wasn't interested in playing with them like Trey was - oh, well - it made for cute pictures:)
The plastic eggs were a big hit!

We spent the afternoon with the hubs' fam catching up on everything thats been going on and enjoying some more delicious food (I promise you, I did nothing but graze!)
Addie with her Aunt S
Addie is simply adored by her great grandmother (a.k.a LaLa), whom she is named after (Addie's full name is Madeleine) and LaLa was our gracious host!
Addie with her LaLa
We finished the afternoon at my parent's house where they surprised us by hanging the outdoor swing Addie's Aunt Jackie had purchased for her and putting together a sand box for Addie to play in this summer.  We gorged ourselves on yet another delicious meal and took more pictures.
PaPa putting Addie in her swing
hanging out with Aunt Jackie
Addie LOVING the swing

What a wonderful first Easter we were able to spend together as a family. Hope everyone else had a wonderful Easter too!!
our best Easter family pic - HA!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

happy easter!!!  It is such a beautiful morning here in VB and its supposed to be a fabulous day (they are calling for 85 F and sunny - beach weather:)) We're headed over to Lis' this morning for brunch and an Easter egg hunt and then we'll be spending the afternoon with the hubs and I's families!!  Looks like the Easter bunny stopped by last night and left a few special things for Miss Addie:

And here are some pics we had taken of Addie a few weeks back with a live bunny, chick, and ducking!!  I couldn't believe how calm these animals were.  At one point Addie grabbed a fistful of the bunnies fir and the poor little bunny didn't even flinch!!
I think she sneaked a peek of the easter bunny!
grabbing the poor bunny
so sweet!

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Picture People success

So as I mentioned here, we spent yesterday morning getting some 6 month (albeit a few weeks late)studio pics done of Addie.  She had just woken up from a nap and was a bit groggy in the first pictures but I'm still super pleased with the results (despite the 3 hours we spent in that place yesterday!  Note to self - don't take Addie to Picture People on the Friday before Easter - esp. when its spring break for all of the local schools):

Happy Saturday - I still can't believe tomorrow is Addie's first Easter - I'm totally the overzealous first-time mom right now - someone please help me and return me to earth and my sanity:)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Our journey down the breastfeeding road...

Before I get going on all things breastfeeding I wanted to put a few disclaimers out there -

First, breastfeeding was a choice that I made for my family but its not the right choice for everyone.  I fully support families that choose to formula feed as there is a lot of great nutrition in formula that isn't found in breastmilk.  Secondly, I am a full-time working momma (hence the name of my blog;)) that is unable to nurse with the exception of Addie's first feed in the morning so Addie generally is bottle fed my breast milk which means I pump ALOT!  And lastly, these experiences are my own and I know everyone is again, please trust me when I say, this is what worked for us, but I get that it's not best for everyone's situation.  I'll give you the long story and try to summarize at the end with a couple key take-aways that I've learned (feel free to skip to the bottom if you just want the short story:))

The hype and our choice:
So, here we go - I figured I'd start at the beginning.  Before Addie was born, the hubs and I signed up for all of the Parenting classes that were offered through the hospital we would be delivering at.  There was a separate class just for breastfeeding, which we attended, but literally from the outset we were told time and time again "breast is best."  The instructor told us 2 years was what we should shoot for and well, we won't be making it that far in my house - right now I'm just hoping to make it to 9 months.  We took it all in, and made the decision we would start with breastfeeding and take it as far as we could.
Addie just a few minutes old

Our first try:
My dear Addie arrived and after they had cleaned her up she was handed to me and I was told this - "You have about an hour before we need to take her up to the nursery for about 2 hours to check her over - you should try to get her to latch on but your family is waiting outside to meet her so whenever you are ready for us to let them in, just let us know."  Whoa - the pressure was on - I wanted so badly to introduce her to my family but I had heard so much about getting the babes to latch on ASAP.  What's a girl to do?  So, we tried...and not long enough before giving up- she didn't want to latch.  I was stressed about the timeline and my family not getting to see her before she went up to the nursery.  So, we stopped trying to get her to latch, invited the family in and figured we'd give it another go once she got back from the nursery.

Latching on:
Fast forward through that first day - I was struggling to get her to latch.  She would open wide, I would offer my breast and she wouldn't latch - I was frustrated and confused, the videos made this all look so easy.  Was I already failing as a mom???  Enter Margo, the lactation consultant, she showed me how to basically force Addie to take my breast (by shoving in as much as possible) as soon as she opened her mouth and it worked!!  Hooray - it was a small victory.  Margo stressed to me making sure she had the perfect latch but I'll be honest, I was just happy to get her to latch.  We also tried different holds - the football hold was suggested at first but that just wasn't comfortable for me so we went with the cradle hold and thats what we are still using!

The day after:
On to the second day - Oh boy, I was paying the consequences of Addie not latching correctly.  I soon realized that my nipples had started to crack and were even bleeding a little.  It was extremely painful when Addie would latch on and so, when Margo came back to check on me I showed her my mangled nipples.  She offered me some breast shields (for those of you that are prego - take all of the free stuff you can get in the hospital!!!) that I could put in my nursing camis (which oh by the way, made me look like I had small round cones in my cami - hey Madonna, I have the nursing momma twist on your cones) to allow more air to get to them.  She also gave me a couple sample tubes of the Medela nipple cream (which really helped).  And, by the way, that ended up being all I needed for nipple cream.  I returned the tube I had bought at the store and kept my free samples!

The first few weeks and leaking:
After we got home from the hospital, we tried to get into a routine but Addie was a snacker.  She preferred to eat for only about 5 minutes a side about every 2 hours.  Talk about attached; I felt like a milk machine but I kept going.  Trust me when I tell you, there were days and nights (she would nurse 2-3 times a night) where I wished we were formula feeding because I was so exhausted and stressed.  The books said she should be eating about 10-15 minutes per side at each feeding and we were nowhere close to that.  You wouldn't even believe my elation when we went for Addie's first weight check and she was back to her birth weight and even a little bit over.  Hallelujah - the quick feeds were getting the job done!!  The hubs and I tried to go about life as normal as we could - I swore by my hooter hider.  It's perfect when you're out and about and also great when you have family over and don't want to leave the room to feed.  I also use it now in the office to cover myself when I'm pumping (I have my own office with a door that shuts but people around my parts tend to knock and open the door at the same time so its always good to be covered:))  During the first 6 weeks, my milk supply was off the charts - when I wasn't feeding I was leaking - it was so crazy.  I used the reusable breast pads at first but they just weren't cutting it.  I had much better luck with the disposable nursing pads but they still didn't do the trick for more than a couple of hours.  I can't even tell you the number of mornings I woke up and my shirt was soaked, not to mention the sheets and sometimes the mattress pad.  And its true, a crying baby will get your breasts going like waterworks - a hot shower also seemed to do it to me too!  It was a humbling experience - I felt like a total mess.  I had the embarrassing experience of leaking through my shirt while out in public so I learned to always keep an extra shirt and hoodie with me at all times.  And seriously, engorgement is a real thing!!  When Addie first started sleeping more than 3 hours at a stretch I would wake up and my breast were SO full, I had to pump them down a little just so Addie could nurse.  I'm not lying when I tell you that my nipples were virtually flat my breasts were so full!  By week 3, the hubs and I decided we wanted to introduce a bottle as thats what she would be eating from when I went back to work at 6 weeks so I started pumping too.  This really helped me mentally because I felt more secure when we were out and about because I could bring a bottle with us and not have to worry about finding a place (often times our car) to nurse.  We always kept a boppy and hooter hider in the car!!  Although honestly, I wasn't that thrilled with the boppy and really only found it useful when we were out and about.  We found that a firm density pillow worked best to support Addie when she was nursing and I actually still use the pillow now in the mornings when she nurses.  Addie did wonderfully and still does going back and forth between the bottle and the breast!

Pumping and work:
After returning to work, I really struggled (and still do) to maintain a consistent pumping schedule and I noticed my milk supply starting to drop off a bit.  This was absolutely heartbreaking for me.  Breastfeeding is such an emotional thing - milk supply can change my mood quicker than anything.  The stress of not getting enough further dwindled my supply (in my opinion) and we were forced on several occasions to feed Addie a bottle of formula.  It was so hard at first, I know there are some great nutrients in formula that aren't in breastmilk but I still felt like a failure because I wasn't making enough to meet Addie's needs.  I cried, I screamed, I got REAL cranky, and then I got over it.  I'm ok with it all now - if she needs a bottle of formula here and there to supplement what I'm not making, its ok (we are currently supplementing about a bottle or two a week of formula)!  She doesn't seem to show a preference to either and goes back and forth between the two as if she doesn't even know the difference.  I do what I can and now that we have started her on solids, she is taking in a little less liquid during the day so I'm hoping my milk supply will again start to exceed her demand.  I currently estimate that I spend about an hour and a half of my day attached to a pump.  I have a Medela Pump In Style pump thats been great and I usually only pump one side at a time so I can multi-task (respond to e-mails, review paperwork, and yes, even catch up on some blog reading) while pumping.  My schedule goes something like this:
7am - Feed Addie on one side and then pump the other
3-4 pm - Pump both sides
11pm - Pump both sides
To store my milk, I use the reusable bottles that came with the Medela pump and also bought a box of the Medela tubes that are 2.5 ounces each to store additional milk in.  We do quite a bit of bottle washing around our house and breastmilk is full of fat so you have to take special care when washing to make sure you don't leave behind a film on the bottles from your milk.  As I sit here today, I'm so glad we choose to breastfeed, and definitely plan to do the same as we grow our family.  I have no idea how much longer we'll be able to go or if Addie will herself decide that she no longer wants to nurse or drink this milk.  As my mom always said, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  I sometimes find it hard to believe that we made it this far.  Sadly, my breasts are not the same - all of the perk is gone.  I've heard from friends that once you stop breastfeeding the perk doesn't come back and the sag stays (I guess thats why people get mommy makeovers which generally include boob jobs).  But I wouldn't change any of it for anything - all in all, its been a wonderful experience.  Who knew our bodies could make such great stuff??!!

So I promised a short story and here it is:
1.  Take your time at first and do your best to get right.  If you don't get the right latch, you'll pay the price.
2.  Get a hooter hider - they are a must - if you don't want to have to excuse yourself every time you need to nurse.
3.  Take full advantage of the lactation consultant and La Leche league in your area.  They are the experts and can be very helpful if you are having any issues at all!
4.  Unless you have a hands free pump, pump one side at a time so you don't feel completely tied down!
5.  Always keep an extra set of breast pads on you - you never know when the sound of someone else's crying baby or your own might lead to a little surprise.
6.  Stick with it - even when you want to give up.  It gets easier - I promise.

So, I think I covered most everything but I'm sure I missed some things.  Feel free to e-mail me, if you have any questions or want to share a laugh!!