Friday, August 30, 2013

5 on Friday

It's been a little bit of a roller coaster week.  It puts life into perspective - even with the highest of highs, the lowest of lows can be thrown our way in life.  In the end, it's the people in our lives and their love and support that matter the most.

I have been feeling so weird lately not being able to spend as much time in "blog land" as I would like.  This is my hobby, my refresher, the thing I enjoy sneaking away and being a part of... and for the last couple weeks, it's been put on the back burner.  But that is okay - and I am sure everyone who writes a blog completely understands that sometimes life happens, and other priorities come into play.

But, I am finding time today... way late, but better than never, to spend a few minutes with 5 random thoughts on Friday.  I love this idea and the ladies who came up with it!

ONE.  My sister had her beautiful baby girl, Stella, last Friday at 7:32am!  She was 9pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long.  And my sister is a total rockstar!  I am so beyond happy for my sister and her husband... they are going to be the best parents, and it's such a wonderful time in their life.  And I am so thrilled that Andie has a new best friend.  Those girls are going to have such a special relationship!  What a blessing.  And my parents are so happy - they have 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters... and they are just over the moon.

TWO.  Andie rolled completely over for the first time today.  I say completely, because a few weeks back, she was going about 95% of the way back to front.  But now, she has made it all the way over from her belly to her back.  It is a big day in our house... we are so excited!

THREE.  I am so excited for fall.  Don't get me wrong, I love summer time, but fall and winter are my favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler temperatures, the colors the trees turn, and just the feeling of the seasons turning.
My fall table decor... just a couple more weeks until I can bust it out!

FOUR.  A few weeks ago, I posted on my instagram (@tracyzlesh) that Andie was not loving the car.  We ended up switching out her carrier into a big girl car seat, and she has been so much better in the car.  She doesn't always love it, but it's made a huge difference.
We got the britax and it seems to be a good fit for her!

FIVE.  I am already starting to get excited about ordering my new Erin Condren planner.  I have had mine since last November, and next month I am going to order my new one.  I am SO excited and can't figure out which one I want to pick.

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 on Friday

ONE.  Dear Baby Gap & Old Navy, your 40% off your entire site sales are getting ridiculous.  You get me every time.  Why do you insist on having the cutest baby girl clothes ever... then have these sales.  You're cornering me.  I am way too big of a sucker for these sales you keep having.

TWO.  Speaking of amazing sales...  A lot of people stop and ask me about my perfume - it's my favorite scent - called "Miss Marisa" by Ebba.  They have my favorite smelling candles, too, called "Beach Rose" - which I have in Andie's nursery.  And, I just got TL hooked on their cologne, "White Tea for Men".  I love it because it's not a heavy fragrance that gives me a headache.  Their entire website is 30% off right now... so we are stocking up.

THREE.  I am so freaking excited for my niece to get here.  We're calling her Stubborn Stella, although, it's really my sister's body that is keeping her in there.  She is more than a week late, and we are all soooo anxious to meet her.  Good news... the doctor told us she will be here by next week.  So at least my sister knows there is a new beginning in sight. :)  She has been such a trooper - dealing with this heat and her rapidly growing beautiful baby girl.

FOUR.  My latest "Favorite" is Chai Tea Lattes.  I love iced chai teas from Starbucks, but considering the amount of ice they put in their drinks - it costs about $1.00 a sip.  I found these Keurig Cups at Target and the tea is pretty darn good.

{via pinterest}

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Swimwear Ideas

I have been daydreamin' a lot of the beach, sand in my toes, ocean waves... ahhh, it all sounds amazing!

I love the high waisted swim suits.  I love a lot of one pieces, too.  These high waisted suits I think may be a good fit for my body type, but I don't really know.  These two are from Topshop - and I am thinking about getting one to try out.  They remind me a lot of the look Taylor Swift goes for.  They look a little old fashioned, and I like that!

Looking for a fresh place (besides Target & Victoria's Secret) to purchase some suits.  Any ideas?  I know a lot of it will be going on sale soon with the season change, so I want to get one when they do!

Soak up the Sun

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Mama Must Haves (0-3 months)

These are my mama must haves for the first 3 months (also see: First Month Baby Essentials)

1. What to Expect the First Year - my mom got this for us and we use it to answer basic questions, curiosities, and for guidelines about what to expect.  It's nice because it has an index and I just look in the back if I need an answer or advice for something specific.  It's been parked on our nightstand since Andie was born.

2. Madela Breast Pump - I love my backpack breast pump.  This thing works so well, is easy to use and for me is easy to take places.  It's nice because TL can wear it if we are going somewhere and it isn't too girly.

3. Madela Quick Steam Bags - these things are a lifesaver.  We put everything in them - pacis, bottles, lids, toys, you name it.  It only takes 90 seconds and you can use each bag 20 times.  I have a feeling we will just always use these while we have young kids.

4. Clip-down Nursing Tanks - These nursing tanks are amazing.  My mom got these for me (my sister gave me hers, too) and they make it so easy.  I wear them at night and when I am at home lounging.  It makes it so nice for breastfeeding and they are really comfortable.

5. Aden and Anais Blankets - everyone raves about these, and for good reason.  They are light, perfect for putting over the carseat when she is sleeping, great to put over her during the summer, and they get softer with every wash.  They are expensive, but I registered for them and they are worth it!

6. SwaddleMe blankets - at first, Andie hated being swaddled.  It made her freak out, but starting at about 5 weeks old, we started using these blankets (we put her in them when she is almost asleep) and they work great.  They keep her warm and they help constrain her little arms.  She was waking herself up because she would flinch and hit herself in the face.  They also make them feel safe, I think.  Either way, she has gone on some very long (6-8 hours) stretches while wrapped up.  Definitely worth a try!

7. Boppy & Covers - especially for the first two months while I was getting used to breastfeeding, the boppy was very important to me.  I used it every time I fed her and am just now getting to a point where I feel comfortable with out it.  They have some pretty stylish little covers and I have 3 of them so I can wash them every couple of days.  Somehow, milk always ends up getting on it.

8.  BrAun Thermoscan - my sister got this for us for Christmas and it works really well.  TL uses these at work (he is a paramedic) and they are quick, easy to use, and accurate.  Being the paranoid first time parent that I am, I use this at least a couple times a week.

9. Bebe au Lait Hooter Hider - I love this thing.  I use it because it makes me feel more comfortable when I am out in public and need to breastfeed Andie.  It is big and the plastic around the neck is large and keeps it cooler for her while she eats, and I can see her well.  This is a little more pricey, but I purchased a less expensive one and didn't care for it.

10.  "Mom's One Line A Day" - This book is adorable, and it's great for me to use every day for the little milestones.  Sometimes I will forget to do it one night, and it's great because I just catch up the next.  You only write a sentence, but I am sure it will be fun to look back and keep track of the little everyday happenings.  It also lasts for the first 5 years of their life!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Letter to Andie: You're three months old

Dear Andie,

How are you already 3 months old?  What happened to my tiny 5 pound baby?  You're doing exactly what you're supposed to do, sweet girl... growing, learning, and thriving.

Your third month was full of new little milestones, changes, and lots of smiles.  We started out going to the doctor for your 2 month check up.  You weighed 10 pounds 8 ounces, measured 22.25 inches long and are a very healthy baby.  Your shots were horrible, but daddy stayed with you while I hunkered down in the corner.  You slept for hours after the shots.

We took our first overnight trip to Monterey for two nights with family, and you were so good.  You are such a trooper.  You slept well in your little pack and play, and strolled around with us in your bassinet.  You get attention everywhere we go.  People always comment on your adorable chubby cheeks.

Your smiles make my heart beat fast and my insides melt.  You have been using those sweet smiles to communicate with us.  I love making eye contact with you and seeing you smile at me.  It's during these moments that I realize you have fulfilled something deep within me, you make me so happy to be a mom.

You've learned to take long naps in your crib during the day, but it still isn't a routine for you yet.  Sometimes you'll go only 30 minutes, and sometimes it's 3 hours.  Occasionally, you don't want to be in your crib and you just want to be held and snuggled.  We love to snuggle with you!  You are still waking up about once a night, sometimes twice, but you eat and go right back to sleep.  I don't mind one bit.

You've done well at taking a bottle from daddy when I go work and out with friends.  You've only had a few, but I know how much he loves to have his special time with you.  You've continued to do pretty well breastfeeding.

Gramz always says you're a blanket baby.  You love holding on to blankets and shirts.  You have tiny feet, your newborn sized shoes still don't fit.  You're wearing 0-3 month sized clothes.  Some are still a little big.  You are in size 1 diapers.  Daddy and I had our first date night since you were born on August 3rd, and Gramz & Pops came to our house to watch you while we were gone.  You slept the whole time!

We took you to your first doctor's appointment on August 2nd because you had 3 days of lots of unusual crying.  Your pediatrician thought you may have had a little intestinal virus, but the next day you were back to your normal self.  You weighed 11 pounds 6 ounces at that appointment.  Growing girl!  You're also getting very strong, getting close to being able to hold your head completely on your own (even with those cheeks), and we are always shocked by your strong little legs.

You are often a little fussy in the evening, but nothing that can't be fixed with being held, talked to, and comforted.  You like to talk, coo, scream, and yell to get our attention.  You like driving in the car, but have had your moments where you want to be out of your seat.  You go everywhere with me and do very well being out and about.  During this month, you started using your big girl stroller, you love being able to see your surroundings.  You also are starting to like watching the tv.

You are so much more alert, smiley, happy, and occasionally a little "demanding".  You have acquired some new nicknames from us:  Little butts (daddy calls you that), Mrs. Demandy-Andie, little bug, mrs. cheeks, Jean Jean girl, little pooh butts, sweets, and of course, my baby girl.

You bring endless happiness to my life, even in the moments you are sad or grumpy.  There is so much excitement, even in the little things, and it really puts life into perspective.  We still spend a lot of time just staring at you.  You are so special and I am reminding myself to cherish every day with you, because these days with my little Andie are numbered.

I love you so much & feel incredibly lucky to have you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

5 on Friday

ONE.  My girlfriend works for Dermologica and his given me some really great products over the years.  She recently got me addicted to the Ultra Sensitive tint sfp30.  Because my face is so pale, it adds a little color to my face... plus, I love that it has spf.
TWO.  TL and I had our first night out since Andie was born last Saturday to celebrate my dear friend Shannon's Birthday.  It was so much fun to see these wonderful girls and enjoy the beautiful evening.  Thank you to my sweet parents for coming to hang out with Andie.  They apparently have the magic touch because she slept for all of the 4 hours except for 15 minutes of it. :)

THREE.  The niners preseason game was last night (we lost, but who cares about preseason anyway!?).  I am so dang excited for football season this year.  It is my favorite sport, and I am excited to have people over for away game days.  It also means my favorite time of year is approaching.  I love fall/winter.  
{this was playoffs against the saints two years ago... best game ever!}

FOUR.  It's a fact... these smiles make all of my insides melt.  Grainy picture... but night time before bed is some of my favorite time with her.  I can't believe she's going to be 3 months on Sunday.  Ugh.  Time needs to sloooow down.

FIVE.  I have always been SO bad at painting my nails.  But I love it when they're painted.  I went and got a pedicure with a few girlfriends on Sunday and ended up having my nails painted as well.  They used OPI Up Close & Personal and I love the color.  It's light enough that you won't tell right away if it chips, but it also adds a little sparkle and character to my nails.  Now, if only I could find it at Ulta.
This pic makes it look a little funky, but I love it on my nails.

Love this link up - thanks for hosting girls!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Travel Bucket List

TL and I have been very fortunate to travel during our first few years of marriage.  It was important to both of us and we made a priority to do it because the time we are together traveling is truly a time for us to connect.  It is also wonderful for us to experiences new places and make new memories together.

Now, we have a new little sugar to throw in the mix, and although traveling will never be the same (or as uncomplicated) as it was when it was just the two of us, we still have the same passion for making new memories and experiencing life together.  I have seen many people travel with their little ones and they inspire us to want to do the same.

So... here is my little bucket list for places and experiences in the US:

Portland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, British Columbia
The Grand Canyon
Nashville, Tennessee
Nantucket, Massachusetts
(we actually want to rent a car and drive up the coast - Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine - during the fall someday)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Niagara Falls
Boston, Massachusetts
Chicago, Illinois
Yellowstone National Park
Washington DC

Anywhere I should add to the list?  Hidden gems?
Are you from any of these places?  Where should we stay, see, and eat?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thank you for breastfeeding.

To the couple who wrote me this note and paid for my meal, thank you.  Thank you for encouraging me and reminding me that breastfeeding in public is okay.  I shouldn't have to hide in a closet or bathroom to feed my baby.  I was truly touched by your act of kindness, and will certainly pay it forward when the opportunity presents itself.  I have kept this note and will remind any of my discouraged friends about it.

While the girls were in town, TL, Andie, and all of us went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  We ate outside at a casual table, played cards, and listened to a live band.  All of the tables were taken and it was pretty lively.  I knew she was hungry and just decided to feed her outside.  I covered up using my favorite little cover and hunched down comfortably on the couch.  I didn't think anyone would notice or care.  But, I did hesitantly look around to make sure no one looked agitated by it.

Later that night when we asked for the check, our waitress pulled out a note from a stranger who was also eating at the restaurant.  It said "Thank you for breastfeeding.  Your meal is on us."  I ordered a delicious and somewhat expensive meal, and it was all paid for.  I was completely blown away.

I posted it on facebook and right away, it gained attention and got shared on a few pages.  Breastfeeding isn't easy.  So much more comes into it than I ever thought.  You have a baby and you think 'well, it's natural, it should be easy to just feed your baby'.  But it definitely isn't like that for every mom.  Some feel lots of pain, some don't produce enough milk, others deal with painful infections.  I have been so fortunate to have a somewhat smooth journey in breastfeeding.  Andie latched on well from the start, I produce enough milk, and I only had to deal with a clogged milk duct once.  It is definitely a commitment to your child.  I have been able to pump milk and store it, but I get very nervous about giving her a bottle too often because I don't want her to have any confusion.  Everyone has to figure out what works best for them and now that she is approaching 3 months old, I am starting to get a little more comfortable with her getting a bottle of my milk.  I love breastfeeding her.  It's a special time for just the two of us.

This note has made me feel better about my decision to feed her when we are out and about.  Hopefully, because I shared this experience, it will help other moms feel confident to do it as well.

And a note to the moms who aren't able to breastfeed... just like I appreciate that people don't judge me for breastfeeding, I don't judge you or think you're a bad mom because you give your baby formula.  There are many reasons women can't breastfeed and it is not anyone's place to make you feel like you're less of a mom because you don't.  I know there can be a lot of guilt associated with not breastfeeding for some women and there shouldn't be.  We do our best as moms, and that's all that matters!  Being a mom is all about figuring out what works best for our baby and us and we need to embrace the fact that everyone does it differently.  #mommysupport

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 on Friday

ONE.  My mom and friend, Shells, sent this to me this week.  It came in their inbox and the subject was "Hi Andie (plus, free shipping today only)".  Aww, Andie.  Love seeing her name out there in a feminine use.

TWO.  TL has been daydreaming about owning one of these for years.  He is constantly looking them up, researching them, and dreaming about taking our family on road trips.  Maybe someday... but for now, I will enjoy listening to his once a week sales pitches to me.  I'll admit, I am usually not one for campers... but this does look fun.  Start saving, hun... maybe after the kid(s) are a little older.

THREE.  I am ridiculously, out of my mind excited for my niece to be born.  My sister is now 38.5 weeks pregnant with Stella and I am counting down the days until I meet her.  Having the entire experience of birth and having a newborn fresh in my mind... I am thrilled for my sister and BIL to have this baby.  They are going to be fabulous parents.  I am also excited to take 4 million pictures of her and Andie together.  BFFCs.  Bring on the matching outfits and girly accessories!

FOUR.  Have you seen this commercial before?  If you haven't, watch it.  It makes me laugh every. single. time.  Very clever!

FIVE.  I love this quote.  It's our intangible qualities that our children truly cherish. This is my dad and Andie.  I guess "children's children" would be more fitting for this picture.  Although, we'd all be in his arms if he could fit us.

Thanks, ladies, for hosting this fun link up!