Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ian's 3 Month Update

And just like that, I went from being pregnant to having a 3 month old.

Ian, you're 3 months old!!!
This month with you has been pretty fantastic, but then again, they've all been pretty fantastic. You continue to be a very happy boy and give out smiles all day long. My favorite time of the day with you is just after taking a bath. It's not uncommon for you to be fussy on the way into the tub... it's the end of the day, you're tired, fussy, and usually hungry too, but I put you in the tub with Isaac and all is right in the world. But that's just the beginning: when bathtime is over, your personality shines through unlike any other time of the day! While big brother stays in the tub to play, you hang out with me on the changing table and talk away. Your coos, gurgles, and squeals are almost continuous - I can hardly get a word in! It's as if you're filling me in on the events from the entire day.  These are the moments when I wish I could freeze time and forever enjoy this sweet moment with you.

Each day you've grown more and more aware of the world around you. I love watching you track Isaac around the room -- he's obviously your favorite person, the way you pay attention to every thing he does and says. Trying to nurse you when Isaac is close is nearly impossible, because all you want to do is watch him! Don't get me wrong though, watching this sweet brother love makes my heart flutter in ways I didn't know before you came along.
You're getting better and better at holding your head and upper body upright while you're on your tummy or being held. You love "standing" in our laps. I've seen you roll tummy to back twice in the last few days. You have finally established a pretty predictable schedule, waking up around 7am, eating about every 3-3.5 hours during the day, taking regular naps after some play/awake time, then bath/story time at 7 and you're asleep by 8pm. I feed you one last time around 10:30-11pm and you're down until the next morning. I'm hoping by your next monthly update, you'll be about ready to drop that 11pm feeding. We'll just have to wait and see though. You're sleeping like a champ in your own room at night! You're sleeping unswaddled for naps and I'd like to try that at night as well... maybe.

I have often found myself thinking, "I can't believe I have a kid named Ian." Not sure why that sticks out so much to me, but at least once per day this thought bounces around in my head. Also, I would be doing the monthly updates a disservice if I didn't mention the battle we've had with thrush.  It has sucked. That is all. Random blog thoughts.
During a visit to the hospital (for chart audits, I'm sure), I weighed you just for kicks & grins. I wasn't surprised to see you weighing in at 14 pounds & 11 oz. This was a week ago, so you're probably hovering around the 15 pound mark by now. It's crazy to think that at 11 weeks, you'd already doubled your birth weight.... a milestone typically reserved for 4-5 month olds. You're wearing 3-6 month or 6 month clothes depending on the brand and wearing size 2 diapers.

Slow down child!! This isn't a race!! Ha!

Little brother, you are so very loved. You live up to your name day after day, because God has certainly been gracious to us. I love being your momma with every ounce of my body. You are my treasure.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Five on Friday: update style

Wow, y'all.

Life happens.

Like when you're intending to send an encouraging text to a friend before breakfast and suddenly it's bedtime and still no text.

Or like when you intend to write a blog one day, then two weeks later there's still no blog posted.

Life happens. Thanks for hanging around with me while I sort out this life with 2 babies thing.

Since it's Friday, I thought I'd share a quick "Five on Friday" things that are happening with our family.

1. Potty Training!!! Two weeks ago today, we "threw away" all of Isaac's diapers and started wearing big kid underwear. I learned really quickly that potty training is a process... learning how to pee on the potty, learning how to poop on the potty, and learning how to stay dry during sleep times. So far he's really getting the hang of the peepeeing part. Despite a few frustrating accidents, and lots of gross moments, I'm really proud of my big boy and how well he's doing. It was my goal to potty train prior to going back to work, so I'm really happy that things are moving in the right direction.
Someone wanted to hold his big boy underwear while we were walking one afternoon.
2. Speaking of going back to work, I've got less than a week left of maternity leave!!! *sob* Now, I have been spending some of my free time up on the unit doing chart audits, but those days are just a few hours long and I can take Ian with me to nurse and cuddle while I work. It's a great set up.... but next Thursday will be my first REAL shift since having Ian. I have some seriously mixed feelings about returning to 12 hour shifts. While I know it will hurt my heart to leave my boys for such long days (and I dread pumping at work. ughhhhhhhh.), I also know how desperately I need some time with other adults. So next week will be a bittersweet ending to this short season of life.
Chart audits and baby naps.
3. THRUSH. Oh how I hate you. Ian and I have been battling thrush for a long time now. It creeps up, we treat it and sterilize everything, it goes away.... then it creeps back again. I feel like I do everything I'm "supposed" to do and yet here we are dealing with it again. So frustrating. And annoying. And gross. I am thankful that it's a minor --despite persistent-- problem and neither of us are as symptomatic as we could be.

4. eMeals! We signed up for eMeals a few weeks ago and have appreciated the service a ton. If you aren't familiar with eMeals, it's a meal planning service. You get 7 days of meals and a grocery list. It has expanded our dinnertime choices beyond tacos and poppyseed chicken. Some of the recipes have been really delicious, some have been forgettable, and all have been easy and relatively quick to prepare.

5. Honestly I can't think of a fifth thing. Lame-tastic. So I'll leave you with some sweet brother love:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter 2015

The Mims pray you all had a blessed and joyous Easter! For me personally, my Easter has felt substantially different and more meaningful/significant. Although we don't typically observe the season of Lent, this year I walked through the devotional Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross with SheReadsTruth. There were plenty of days that were hard to swallow, but my heart was really softened by this study and made Resurrection Sunday a great day of rejoicing!

Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice and then defeated sin and death for eternity!

We sing Hallelujah! The Lamb has overcome!!!

I was really excited to celebrate Easter this year with Isaac, because he finally feels old enough to "get it." Last year he was just a year and a half, so all the little Easter traditions were a wash. He really got into things this year though and we had a lot of fun. One of my favorite moments from our Easter week was introducing Isaac to cascarones!!! He was hilarious smashing eggs on his own head!

Here are some pictures from his Easter egg hunt with his class. Despite having an Easter basket for him, we walked out of the house that morning with no basket. Mom brain fail. Luckily, we were able to borrow an extra bucket to catch all the awesome eggs he found.

Oh, the anticipation!!!!
Checking out the treats inside the eggs

Making his way around the playground with Dad and Ian
My handsome boy.
Happy Easter!!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#FeelingBeautifulin5 (VoxBox Review)

So the folks over at Influenster must have known that I was a new mom when making up their most recent product campaign. Or at the least, they knew I needed a little destress/pampering/"me" time. I think I sang a little happy song in my head when I got the email that I'd been chosen for this VoxBox... a collection of 5 (yes, FIVE) different facial masks.

It's a little bit of bliss for this tired momma.

About 10 days ago, I received 5 of the @FreemanBeauty Masks to sample, which has been a real treat. I received the Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask, the Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask, the Cucumber Peel-Off Mask, the Honeydew & Chamomile Facial Sleeping Mask, and the Coffee & Chai Energizing Paper Eye Mask.

I have tried out 4 of the 5 masks and would love to tell you about my experience with them. I can easily say this has been my favorite VoxBox to try and review!

The first I tried was the Honeydew and Chamomile Facial Sleeping Mask. It promises to deeply hydrate overnight and leave skin silky and smooth. You apply it on a clean face, go to bed, and rinse it off in the morning. Personal opinion: Meh. It feels good going on, smells heavily of honeydew (so if you love it, awesome... if not, stay away!), leaves a little tackiness to the skin overnight and didn't seem to make a substantial difference the next morning. I was glad it didn't leave any noticeable residue on my pillow. I think this product would be better suited for someone who has drier skin (mine is on the oily side).

Secondly, I tried the Coffee and Chai Energizing Paper Eye Mask, because if anyone needs to de-puff, reduce dark circles, and invigorate the eye area, it's the mom who's running after a 2 year old and nursing a 2 month old. Because I love you, I've included a post shower, no makeup, hair in a towel, before & after picture. Feast your eyes on this:
Can anyone see the red superhero mask I'm wearing in the "After" shots? It only got worse as time went on... in about 30 minutes, I was super red. There should be a note on the package that says "Do not use this product if you have someplace to be within the next 1.5 hours." About an hour after I removed the mask, the redness dissipated and left me with the same bags and eye circles that I was rocking pre-mask. Personal Opinion: Leave it.

Next, I tried the Cucumber Peel Off Mask. Up until this point, I'd only tried the light-duty masks, but this guy (and the remaining two) promised to remove dirt, impurities and dead skin cells. Bring it on!!!  This stuff was super thick and sticky and had a light cucumber scent. After applying, you let it dry and then peel it off. The package stated it would take 5-7 minutes, but after 20, I noticed there were still some sticky areas. However when it dried.... that's when the fun began. Did you ever smear Elmer's glue on your palms, let it dry, and peel it off??? This mask was the same consistency! It made the little 4th grader inside of me very happy to peel and pick it all away. It was pretty fun and my skin was smoother and a little brighter after using. Personal Opinion: I'd use this again.

Lastly, I have tried the Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask. I have yet to try the Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask, so I obviously can't review it quite yet. The Charcoal mask has definitely been my favorite so far. The activated charcoal is supposed to draw out excess oil while the sugar polishes away dead cells and debris. The consistency is thick and gel-like with sugar added, so it's not the easiest to apply. I basically had to put a little on my fingers and pat it exactly where I wanted it. There was a little warming sensation while it sat for 5-7 minutes and after "polishing" for 1-2 additional minutes, I rinsed it off to reveal smooth and glowy skin. It wasn't overly drying or too harsh. Personal Opinion: I'd enjoy using this again.

I'm looking forward to giving the last mask a try here in the next day or two. You can find this brand at Ulta and at Walmart and the price point is very reasonable. I'm seriously considering getting a full sized tube of the Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask. Many many thanks to @Influenster for giving this stretched-thin mom a few moments of pampering.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fix Six! (March Stitch Fix)

It's Fix time again!! My favorite box of the month arrived on the doorstep last Friday... A whole day later than it was supposed to arrive (doom on you, FedEx.). Regardless, it was awesome and I can't wait to share it with you.

If you are unfamiliar with this incredible service, the concept is simple. Pay a visit to the Stitch Fix website and fill out your Style Profile. You'll answer questions about your body size and shape, as well as your favorite and least desired body areas (for example, I want to keep the girls covered, so that is on my style profile). You'll also answer questions about your personal style. Are you a classic girl? Like a little boho thrown in? Prefer edgy looks? All that is included as well. Link a pinterest board to your profile for extra style inspiration. You can list out your favorite colors and the types of items you'd like to receive. Since I live in South Texas, I have opted out of jackets and outerwear.  Finally, you can set your price ranges for each item. 

Then the magic happens.

A stylist reviews your profile and selects five pieces that she (or he) thinks you'll absolutely love. They are shipped to your door along with styling cards for each item. Try them on and mix and match them with items in your own closet (can't do that in the store!). Keep what you love and send back what you don't -- they send materials to make the return process a breeze. Each Fix has a $20 styling fee attached to it, but if you keep an item, that $20 is deducted from the cost of the item. Keep all 5 items? Give yourself an extra 25% off the total. 

Beware... it's addicting!

So What Did I Get?!?!
 1. Gilli Rae Maxi Dress ($74) (cami: Loft, cardi: Gap, necklace/bracelet: Stella & Dot, earrings: Kendra Scott, belt: dont remember!!) So after keeping a jersey dress by Gilli last month, Sarah picked out a very similar jersey maxi dress. It has a similar cross front neckline and is sleeveless. Love the color, love the cut, love that it's nursing friendly... love it all. KEPT.

PS: I apologize for the fuzzy photos. Not sure exactly what happened there, but it annoys me.

2. & 3. Skies are Blue Edna V-Neck Top and Dear John Lillie Short ($44 and $58, respectively) (cami: Loft, all jewelry: Stella & Dot) I got really excited as soon as I saw this top peeking out of the ever-so-neatly-presented stack of clothing when I opened the box. I was hoping for some colorful, summery printed tops and this was a match. It also has little buttons down the front, which make this top breastfeeding-friendly. I can easily see myself wearing this with just about any color short or pants and if I needed an extra layer, just about any color cardi or a denim jacket. It's cute and versatile, which I am all about. KEPT.

The shorts were also great. They fit well, had a nice rinse, weren't too short or too long. Unfortunately, I already had a pair of roll-up denim shorts in a very similar wash. I just couldn't justify spending $58 on a pair of shorts that were nearly identical to a pair I own already. RETURNED.

 4. Pixley Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top ($44) (pants: liverpool [from last month's fix], bracelet: Stella & Dot, necklace: Simple Addiction) If you caught last month's fix, I received this same top in a different fabric. The fit was spot on, but the pattern on the shirt was a bust, so I asked my faaaaaaaaaabulous stylist Sarah if she had the same shirt in a different print -- and this beauty showed up in my box! Once again, the fit was really nice, the fabric was super soft and comfortable and the pattern was much more my style. I really really loved it. Here's the sad part of this story: I didn't end up keeping it. I'm kind of kicking myself now looking at pictures, but my budget this month just wasn't feeling it and I was left choosing between this top and the Skies are Blue top. When I considered how much more versatile the other top was, it became the keeper. I miss this shirt already. RETURNED.
5. Papermoon Mirsilla Lace Detail Knit Top ($58) (jeans: Kut from the Kloth, earrings, Stella & Dot, baby: Ian) Hi Ian! Someone didn't want to be in his swing anymore, so he joined the photo session/fashion shoot. This top wasn't awesome. I know Sarah threw it in there because I love lace tops and lace details and lace lace lace lace... but this shirt just wasn't awesome. It was a boxy fit both in the body and in the sleeves, which wasn't flattering at all. I haven't jumped on the boxy trend because girls with major volume on top just look sloppy in boxy shapes. One thing I did really like about this shirt though was the softness! It was so comfortable on! That wasn't enough of a redeeming quality to save it though. RETURNED.

Had I kept all 5 pieces, I would have gotten the 25% discount. That in conjunction with some referral money (y'all are awesome!), my box would have ended up being about $34/piece, which is more than reasonable to me, especially for a dress. I'd totally consider this another successful Fix. I love that more fixes = more and more specific and well thought-out pieces from my stylist, Sarah. 

If you're interested in giving Stitch Fix a try, I'd love it if you used my referral link here. It's where I can earn referral credits which will help to feed my Stitch Fix obsession!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ian 2 Month Update

Aren't you just the cutest!

Sweet boy, you are two months old!!! You have really charmed the pants off of us. We love you so very much! Even though you're quickly moving out of the newborn phase, you're still that squishy, snuggly, melt-into-your-arms kinda guy. And momma loves the cuddles.

You have quieted down significantly at night, which doesn't mean a whole lot anymore because we moved you one step closer to the crib-- you now sleep in our master closet each night. The pack n play fits in there quite nicely and you do all of your night sleeping in there. You're taking more and more naps in the crib to get you ready for a big transition to your own room. I've started to notice that morning is the time for the "crap naps" (noisy, fidgety, and usually 30 minutes or less) and your afternoons are more for the heavy sleeping naps (1+ hours).  I'm very very VERY happy to say... you're sleeping longer stretches at night! For the last week, you've been sleeping from 11pm to 6am (give or take about 30 minutes)! Seven hour stretches!! Truthfully, I put you down for "bed time" between 9 and 9:30pm and sneak in a dream feeding around 11. You only wake up enough to latch on and eat for a few minutes and then you're down until morning. Soon, I'd like to start inching that dream feed back to 10pm and hope that you continue to sleep as late each morning. Even though I'd like for you to sleep until 7am, waking around 6 gives the two of us some sweet alone time for smiles and coos before big brother Isaac gets up.

So, now that everyone knows you're a pretty great sleeper.... lets not make a liar out of mom, mmmkay?

We got our first social smiles this month, and so far you've been generous with them! You love getting attention and when someone will sit and talk, you respond with lots of smiles, coos and gurgles. It's the sweetest thing! You also love to watch your big brother. I don't think I ever anticipated the joy that I would feel watching the bond between you and Isaac grow. It's incredible to see how much he loves you. The other day, Isaac asked to hold your hand, and I just burst into lots of little heart parts everywhere.

With Isaac I had the joy of watching my husband become a father. This time I get to watch my little boy become a brother. My heart is so full. 

So far, it seems like you're a very relaxed little guy. You don't like being in the car seat if the car isn't moving, and you fuss when you're really hungry and overtired, but hey, ...so do I. You're still not a fan of being tightly swaddled. All the wraps we used with Isaac are just gathering dust. Just give me a muslin blanket and you've got the right amount of wiggle room without feeling too restricted.

You've been eating well, and luckily, it's been a while since you've gone through a growth spurt/cluster feeding kinda period. Despite this, you are gaining lots of cute little rolls on your arms, legs, thighs, chin... everywhere really. Last week I visited the labor unit and you weighed 12lb 6oz. We will see Dr. Canales on Monday morning for your official 2 month weight and length. (13# 4oz & 23" long) You're still in size 1 diapers and 3m size clothes, although they're getting shorter and shorter by the day. I've already had to retire a set of footie pajamas that weren't quite long enough in the legs for you. You have these incredible blue eyes and a mostly bald head. Thankfully, your spit ups are still very rare. It's been so different to have a child who can wear the same clothes all day long!

Ian, you're a sweet little ray of sunshine in our lives and I want to soak in every tiny moment. I love you from the top of your bald little head to the tips of your baby soft toes. God has certainly been gracious to us!

Friday, March 20, 2015

What's on my side table? (Breastfeeding Edition)

If you've been around since Isaac was an infant, it should come as no surprise that I'm a huge fan of breastfeeding. I think it's an absolutely amazing thing that a woman's body can nourish a child so perfectly and I was really really blessed to nurse Isaac until his first birthday. Not only that, I made SO much milk, I was able to donate hundreds and hundreds of ounces to the Mothers Milk Bank

Basically, I'm a nut for breastfeeding my babes.

So I thought I'd take a second to share some of my basic needs. These are the items I like to have by my side every time I nurse. Chances are good during the day that I'm nursing Ian wherever Isaac is located, which means I may not have everything at my fingertips. However, in the early morning, evening, and sometimes during Isaac's nap, I'll have a moment to gather all my goodies up in one spot and it just makes breastfeeding a little more pleasant. Here's a glimpse at my nightstand:
Sheesh. The books just keep multiplying...
 Clockwise from the top: Lanolin, Cuppawater, chapstick, phone (with cord!), Boppy, pump, book.

And a closer look:
Lanolin: For some reason, this time around, I've had more issues with cracking. Because of this, I'm typically never far from a little nipple cream. And if I'm not, expressed breast milk makes a pretty good lubricant as well! (a little tip for you nursing mommas out there!) Hydrogel pads (not pictured because they're currently in use) have been a lifesaver.

Cuppawater: Because nursing makes you thirsty 24/7. Fo'realz.

Chapstick: Because when your thirsty, you get chapped lips. And as it turns out, applying chapstick nightly gives you lovely lips. Who knew I'd be 30 years old before I figured that one out.

Phone (with cord!): Not only for a little distraction during nursing, but also to keep track of things. I was a huge fan of the Itzbeen with Isaac and this time around I've found an app that keeps up with all the same information for me. The cord thing is pretty explanatory right? By the end of the day, I'm in the red....so I plug it in. Breaking news style journalism is my thing.

Boppy: The workhorse of my breastfeeding arsenal. I use this sucker every single day for almost every feeding. I even throw it in the car when I know I'll be out and about during nursing times.

Pump: Because I'm still in overproduction mode. Now that Ian is sleeping longer stretches, engorgement is an issue, so pumping is a necessary evil. (not pictured: extra nursing pads for those leaky moments) At least my freezer is getting ready for my eventual return to work.

Book: I can't have a "Whats on my side table?" post without talking about books! Currently, I'm reading You & Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan. I'm a big fan of Francis Chan already and this book has not been a disappointment. It's a very unconventional marriage book, but it has been great so far. I'm reading it with Jordan, which is also a joy. In addition to You & Me Forever, I'm also going through the Lent devotional, Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross that was published by SheReadsTruth. It's been fantastic in a wreck-you-kinda-way.

So there's the list of 7 things I'm never far away from. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are tough, so anything that will make the experience easier, more convenient, and more comfortable is a win in my book!
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