Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Georgia June - 10 Months

I swear it is like I blink and I'm writing another monthly update!  I know I have said this on every one of these posts, but time is FLLYYYYINNNGG by so fast, and it really is so bittersweet to think of how quickly every moment and milestone passes by.  Speaking of milestones, Georgia has been hitting them fast lately.  She went from crab walking to crawling in just a few days and now she is using her walker like an absolute champ.  She wishes she were running already but we aren't quite there yet.  She hasn't stood unassisted but she will be soon I can tell. 

She went from the lazy wrist wave to the perfected little hand wave which is absolutely adorable.  She is also pointing at everything and everyone.  She loves to say mama, and dada, and yaya amongst other random noises, raspberry blowing, and babbling.  She's a real charmer and smiles at everyone.  She acts like she is shy when she meets a stranger and leans in to whoever is holding her but we all know she is a little social butterfly.

Georgia still has ZERO teeth, she is in size 12 clothes mostly, some 9 month stuff still fits her.  I am guessing she's a little over 18 pounds.  She's tiny but she loves to eat.  She eats everything we do and has serious food envy if we are eating and she isn't.  We still do some purees but I make them a lot chunkier now so she has some texture.  Girl has not met a food she doesn't like including sea food (which mama despises but daddy loves).

Poor girl has been sick often this season.  We spent last Wednesday night in the ER with her and she was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection.  Luckily she tested negative for RSV (which is what I thought it might be) and influenza which is going around like crazy right now.  Georgia got her flu shot and so did mama and it seems to have worked for us.  Last Sunday she started this awful cough and then by Wednesday her fever had spiked to 103 so we took her to the ER.  She was given amoxicillin and told to continue motrin and Tylenol until the fever broke which it finally did on Christmas Eve.  As of today she is back to herself about 90%.

Experiencing her first Christmas was absolutely wonderful and I hope to get the time to do a separate post about it, but because of how busy our lives are over the next couple weeks I'm not sure I will get to it.  Although she was sick, she was an absolute trooper.  She was very clingy to mama, but she tolerated being passed around to all her family members so that they could get their cuddles in and mama could get a break!  She loved the pool at Starved Rock and our stay over went really well and was so fun.  Saturday was family Christmas on my MIL's side and wow was it a whirlwind!  LOTS of kids and lots of fun!  Christmas Eve we got to relax most of the morning before we headed out for a late lunch, a visit with Joe's grandma, and then to my uncles, and finished the night off at Joe's moms for our annual PJ's which were extra special this year.  Christmas Day we spent the entire day at our house opening gifts with family members, eating, and watching Christmas movies all day!  Having a child at Christmas is so fun and so wonderful and I'm sure only gets better as they get older.

We are also looking forward to our trip to Punta Cana on January 6th!  Any tips for flying 5 hours with a 10 month old are greatly appreciated!  I cannot wait to see her on the beach.

10 months have gone by in the blink of an eye and when we get back from vacation the planning for her first birthday will commence.  We love you so much Georgia June!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Last Minute Gift Guide

So I haven't done a gift guide on the blog in a few years but I thought it might be kind of fun to do a last-minute gift guide as I am sitting here on Amazon Prime ordering the last of what I need for this years haul.  I am not a last minute shopper at all, I got most of my shopping done the first week of December, but I do have a few odds and ends I needed to grab and I thought it might be fun to do a quick post for any of you who are still finalizing your gifts with less than a week left!

If you're not on Amazon Prime I'd highly recommend it, I buy everything from Amazon, it's so easy on convenient and fast!  So everything here will be linked to Prime products which you should have by Wednesday if you're ordering today!

Amazon Echo - Currently 20% off and comes in some really amazing colors.  If you're not familiar with the Echo, it can do so much--make calls, play music, play audibooks, news, control your TV, order a pizza, request an Uber, even tell you a joke!   It's on sale now, in stock, & arrives before Christmas! 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel - Currently 35% off at $51.99 and perfect for mostly any child!  In stock & arrives before Christmas!  

Yeti Rambler - Everyone loves Yeti stuff, this stainless steel 20oz. Rambler travel mug is perfect for just about any man or woman in your life, you can do hot and cold in it, it's not just for coffee drinkers!  It's currently 24% off!  I like that these are BPA free & can go in the dishwasher!

LED Make Up Mirror - I have been dying for one of these!  This one is currently on sale for $26.99 which is 18% off, in stock, & arrives before Christmas!  I've seen some of these going for $150 on other sites, definitely not willing to pay that!  

Lightbox - fun for ALL ages, this lightbox in particular is currently 40% off and going for $14.99 with Prime!  You can also buy fun emoji and add on sets to make these even more cute and colorful!  I definitely feel like these are such cute gift idea and have had my eye on one for awhile.  

Air Fryer - have you guys seen these or do any of you use one?  I have yet to purchase one but it's also on my list of items I need!  You can save yourself tons of calories with these cooking things like french fries with air rather than with oil!   I have heard amazing things about these!

Moscow Mule Cups - everrrryybody loves a good Moscow Mule, or any of the other varieties of mules there are out there.  A good set of copper cups is must for any mule connoisseur.  Love the price of these, practically getting 2 for the price of one! 

If you're still in the market for some Christmas presents I think this list has some pretty good stuff for some pretty great prices.  I never have been a last minute shopper but now that I have a child it seems like things tend to get done more "last minute" than they ever have before.  Are you an early shopper or last minute shopper?  Or are you a REALLY last minute shopper who buys gifts on Christmas Eve?

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Georgia's Christmas List

Ok, so of course it's not really Georgia's list, more like my list for her, but still! I am so beyond excited for Christmas this year.  We sat in our wait for 5 Christmases wondering if we'd ever get the chance to experience all of the magic that comes along with having children during the holiday season.  This year we finally do and we will definitely be continuing some of our favorite traditions and maybe starting some new ones of our own!

Although in the future we will try to keep Christmas somewhat simple, I think this year I am just really in the gift-giving mindset because I want to make this a special Christmas even though Georgia won't remember it.  I don't think this list is too much, however we may not end up with everything on it this year.  One tradition I would like for us to start as Georgia gets older is giving to others; picking a name off of a tree and giving to a family in need is definitely something I have strong feelings about doing with our children as they get older.  We really want the to understand the importance of giving to others, especially during the holidays.  

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber and Swing - so my parents have the swing and Georgia absolutely loves it.  We thought this swing & slide combo would be perfect for her as well, and can easily be moved from inside to outside.  

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe Ride-On - the cozy coupe is something that has been around for years!  It may be a little bit big for Georgia now, but maybe for her first birthday in February or maybe even next year.

LeapFrog My Pal Violet - ok so for like $17 this seems to be one of the best toys for the best prices.  This is a customizable toy that you can personalize with your phone or computer.  It will say and spell your childs name , it has over 15 learning activities and 40+ songs.  You can also personalize your child's favorite animal, food, and color!  

Christmas Vacation Onesie Set - if you've followed along here for awhile then you know how seriously the Ridley family takes Christmas Vacation, we quote the movie all year long & always kick off our holiday season watching it on Thanksgiving.  Joe's family even throws a Christmas Vacation themed party where you dress up as your favorite character.  I bought this for Georgia to wear to family Christmas this year & I cannot wait to see her in it! 

Magical Mermaid Wooden Bowling Set - I could not get over this adorable little bowling set.  I got it in the mail the other day and it is even cuter in person, perfect for little hands!  This shop also has some really cute rainbow puzzles & I know a lot of us in the infertility community have a special place in our hearts for anything rainbow!  

Silicone Pacifier Clip & Teether - this isn't necessarily a super fun toy, but we are definitely in need of some new paci clips, Georgia's leather paci clips are pretty disgusting now after all the slobber & spit up that has accumulated on them over the last several months.  Although she isn't teething yet, I thought these silicone ones were the best option for her because she definitely prefers to put them in her mouth more often than not!   Plus I think teeth can come any time now! 

That's pretty much it for us for this year!  We really don't want to accumulate a million toys and we will always try to keep Christmas reasonable and simple.  What are you gifting to your littles this year?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Christmas Traditions

I can't believe how close we are to Christmas already!  Thanksgiving seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye, but what that always means for us is the kick off to our Christmas celebrations.  What I love best about this time of year is the many traditions that we participate in, some stem from when we were kids ourselves, others are traditions that we have created over the years as we became our own family.  I always love to hear what other families do because everyone is different so I thought it would be fun to share ours since we just started to kick ours off!

These kind of go in a chronological order starting Thanksgiving night…Joe doesn't ask for much but one thing he is pretty adamant about is no Christmas movies, decorations, or music until after Thanksgiving.  This year he budged a little bit and allowed me to watch White Christmas on Thanksgiving morning which I totally took advantage of!  He kinda feels like Thanksgiving gets overlooked, and it totally does, so I appreciate that he still considers it to be an important holiday worth celebrating.   

Christmas Kick-off, as I refer to it, happens on Thanksgiving night after we have made all of our stops and stuffed ourselves full 3 times, we go home and officially kick off Christmas festivities with mimosas and Christmas movies.  We ALWAYS start with Christmas Vacation.  It's always been a favorite of mine but Joe's family takes this movie very seriously.  You'll hear his mom quoting lines all season long.  His family even has a Christmas Vacation themed costume party every year where attendants dress up as their favorite characters.  We have never been able to make the party since it happens out of town, but we are definitely a Christmas Vacation-obsessed family.  Elf and Home Alone usually follow and then we continue to watch ALL THE CHRISTMAS movies for the next month or so.

Cutting down our tree usually happens the next day, or at least the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Joe and I have been getting a real tree for about 5 years now and it's a favorite tradition of mine.  We had  a blast this year bringing Georgia, she absolutely loved it and laughed and smiled the whole time!  Once we get home we decorate it and drink mimosas and watch Christmas movies.  
Christmas shopping with my mom is something we have done since I was little.  My mom and grandma did it for years when I was a kid and then she finally started letting me come when I was in grade school.  Once my grandma passed away my mom and I continued the tradition.  We always travel out of town where the better shopping is and do lunch & shop til we drop.  Last year I about did drop being that I was 8 months pregnant, this year we will bring Georgia!  Luckily this year we don't have much shopping to do as my parents bought us a trip to Punta Cana in January.  We will probably just do stocking stuffers this year.

Christmas PJs with my in-laws has probably been one of my top favorite traditions.  This year will be different.  This is going to be a very hard holiday for all of us as Joe Sr. certainly played the patriarch role very well.  He always read us the stories out of the Christmas book and we all sat and listened with our matching jammies on and our glass-bottle Coke's in hand.  This year we will let my mother in law dictate how she wants things done, whatever works best for her, whatever is most comfortable for her.  I am still looking forward to this tradition as this will be Georgia's first set of matching PJ's, but it will also be one of our hardest for sure.

Starved Rock Stay-Over has been a tradition Joe and I kind of tagged into a few years ago.  My aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins had been doing this for 15 or more years when Joe and I were invited to start coming maybe 6 years ago.  Starved Rock is a local state park with a really beautiful lodge, veranda, and cabins.  Every year on Christmas Eve eve (the 23rd) we stay overnight in a cabin and play games, much on snacks, watch Christmas movies, and drink wayyyy too much alcohol.  We usually hit the hot tub & go for a nice dinner in the lodge.  It's a great and stress-free way to enjoy Christmas before things get really crazy on Christmas Eve and Day. 

Christmas morning breakfast & stockings & gifts has been something we have always done with my family.  We used to go to my parents' house to do it but now Christmas Day has moved to my house so they come over and we cook breakfast, drink mimosas, listen to Christmas music, and open our stockings and gifts.  We keep the group small at first, then around lunch we do an open-house and the rest of our family and friends trickle in and out throughout the day for pulled beef sandwiches and Christmas cocktails.  We stay in our PJs all day and try to relax as much as possible.  My parents have been divorced since I was 2 and I have always ran around every holiday to family gatherings, then I got married and had a 3rd family to include in the mix so finally when our house was built I said, I’m done, & started having Christmas Day at my house where I could relax & enjoy my day without running around all day long.  It's worked out well and I am so excited for Georgia to experience her first Christmas.

What are you family traditions?  Do you do anything similar to us?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Georgia June - 9 Months

Georgia June is 9 months old!  She has officially been out of mama's belly as long as she was in.  Georgia continues to grow leaps and bounds every day and it's seriously so amazing to watch.  She is pulling herself up onto everything she can, she especially loves to pull herself up at the coffee table & then proceeds to take her pile of books and throw them on the floor.  We also lowered her crib mattress down even though she never sleeps in it. 

I am not sure of her official stats yet, we got on the 29th for her 9 month check up, but a few weeks ago when she had a fever of 103 I took her to the doctor & they weighed her in at 17 lbs.  She's a peanut, but the girl LOVES to eat.  She eats everything we do—steak, eggs, yogurt, fish, pizza, bacon, pancakes, you name it, she has tried it.  She also loves puffs & yogurt melts.  I still do puree food for her to take to daycare.  Lately she's been eating sweet potato & acorn squash with cinnamon.  The girl can eat and anytime we take her to a restaurant she gets to sit in the highchair and taste what we are eating, same goes for home. 

Sleep has improved a lot.  We 100% cosleep with her in our bed between us.  She does not get a blanket or get to use a pillow, she simply lays on the mattress between us.  Over the last 3 or so weeks she has only been waking up 1 time a night to nurse & honestly, she could probably go without the nursing session, but mama's supply is still adjusting and sometimes I need the relief.  Georgia still gets the majority of her calories a day from nursing.  We have been going 9 months strong.  I have a little over 300 ounces of milk frozen & I'm still setting my goal at nursing her until she is 1 year.  I pump 3x a day at work and I'm making just enough to get her through a regular day & then every once in a while I have an extra bag to freeze.  My supply has definitely dipped, but I am still making enough to feed her what she needs each day which is all I can ask for.

We recently upgraded Georgia to a convertible car seat.  She was sooo over her infant carrier.  We ended up going with the Maxi Cosi Pria 70, I got a blue one for myself and the boho one for my mom.  I was really torn and wanted the Boho for myself but the cover does not come off and cannot be washed and a lot of people warned me that it will be hard to clean.  She spends a lot less time in my mom's car so I figured that one would be better for her.  

Other fun facts about Georgia: she has ZERO teeth, she loves to clap and wave, she is obsessed with looking at pictures, she loves to be front facing in her carrier & walked around, I do this with her every time I vacuum and she loves it.  She is also obsessed with her cat and dog, she thinks they're the best, they don't think quite the same as her but they both do really well with her and I've never had any issues at all with either of them.  Our cat does have her front claws and can be a little standoffish to strangers, but she does a great job of letting Georgia explore her a bit and is friendly towards her which is nice.  She likes to look at books and she is making tons of noises, ba ba, da da, na na, etc. lots of giggling, screaming, and just random noises that are so sweet.  I know this girl will be walking in no time.  She has very little interest in crawling and really only army crawls still.  But she loves her walker & loves to stand & be walked around the house.  I think she may skip crawling all together.

She has a ton of hair & I've had to basically start ordering all my bows on alligator clips because she gets wings when I put headbands on her.  She is currently teetering between 9 month clothes and 12 month clothes depending on the brand.  I've got 3 totes in her closet full of stuff that she has grown out of and we have put a lot of that baby-gear you need in those first months into storage like the bumbo, the boppy's, the rock n play, etc. saving it hopefully for our next babe.

We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas with our little peach.  Soon after Christmas mama will start planning her first birthday!  CUE THE TEARS!  I have a theme and pretty much all the decorations picked out already & have for like 3 months, duh.  It's so crazy to think that she came into this world almost a year ago already.  The time is flying!  We are also really looking forward to our trip to Punta Cana in January and would welcome any travel & packing tips anyone has for traveling with a 10 month old! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Picket Fence Baby Store Giveaway!

 Georgia and I are so excited to be participating in another fun giveaway with an amazing online baby boutique!  A few months ago we gave away a $50 store credit to one lucky winner to Picket Fence and we've decided to team up with them again to give away another $50 towards a purchase from their online shop!
metallic bow from Little Poppy Co.
The first time around we went with an adorable little bubble romper, look how little my peanut was back in May!  We looooved this romper, it was such an amazing quality and of course Georgia looked adorable in it!  This time around we chose something from Tea Collection which is one of my favorite baby clothing lines.  Their patterns and prints are adorable and once again, their quality is really where it's at.  It holds up well and we always get tons of compliments when Georgia is in on of their pieces.  
This dress is definitely in the running for Georgia's Thanksgiving outfit this year.  I've been having so much fun shopping for her for all of her holiday outfits and Christmas presents.  I have probably spent way more than I should or need to, but there is nothing more fun to me than buying baby clothes!  Some of my other favorites from Picket Fence are this little pull over sweatshirt from Oh Baby, and this Unicorn Dream book and plush stuffed animal.  
Entering this giveaway is easy, a simple comment on this blog post is all you need!  You can also follow me along on Instagram where I'll be sharing ways to gain additional entries.

Good luck!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Bath Time Routine & an IncrediBundles Giveaway!

I remember giving Georgia her first bath right before we left the hospital to come home.  We decided to delay bathing for 2 days which has really seemed to be the route that many parents and hospitals seem to be going these days.  I remember she screamed the entire time, she absolutely hated it!  This is exactly how bathing went for the first week or so when we had to give her a sponge bath util her little umbilical nub fell off, then we could put her in the tub.  Once she was able to get a real bath she really enjoyed it and always has since then.  
Bath time for us is every other night in the early evenings after dinner.  She usually has pancakes in her hair and sticky little hands so it's best for us if she gets her bath right before bedtime.  This routine also usually helps settle her for bed as well.  When Georgia was a newborn and infant we used the Angel Care tub which we loved!  Then when she got too big for that we switched to the Primo baby tub.  Both of these have been great for us & both are under $25!  We still use the Primo tub now so that we don't have to waste a ton of water filling up the entire bath.  Georgia loves to kick and splash in the water and mama loves it because she can either sit up in it or she can lay back in it which is best for hair washing.  

Undoubtedly, Georgia's favorite part about bath time is playing with her toys.  She loves when water is poured over her hair, she loves to splash and kick her legs non stop.  When IncrediBundles reached out to me to collaborate I was so torn on which route to go.  They offer some really amazing book, toy, diapering, sleep, and bath bundles.  Not only do they offer preassembled bundles, they also offer the option to create your own custom bundle as well!  So after scouring their site for a few days trying to make my decision, I ultimately decided on the Just Ducky Bath Bundle because I had been recently searching for some new toys for Georgia specifically for the bath.
Our bundle came in a day!  I was floored by how quickly their shipping was.  It came in an amazing reusable storage box, and the contents were all wrapped up nicely in tissue paper.   This bundle came with SkipHop stacking bath toys and the SkipHop Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser along with an adorable terrycloth duck-themed hooded bath towel.  Georgia loves to have her hair rinsed and the Moby rinser is perfect for this as it has a rubber lip that fits to her forehead which prevents water from getting into her eyes, it also has a handle on it which is a huge improvement from the plastic cup I was using prior to this!  The towel is big unlike some of the other hooded towels that we own that she has now outgrown, this one wraps all the way around her and is so cute!  
I love the idea of IncrediBundles for baby shower gifts, Christmas or birthday, or even as a gift to yourself.  Something like their diaper subscription would definitely make life easier as a mother!  I am so excited to be giving away to one lucky winner a $50 gift card to IncrediBundles just in time for the Christmas season!  You can enter via the Raffelcopter below, and find me on Instagram for even more ways to enter!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Georgia's First Halloween - Kicking off the Holiday Season

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and for me it usually is the kick off to some of the best times of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Every year we go to a Halloween party hosted by some friends of ours.  Last year we dressed up as pregnant Ariel and Eric, I wore a black skeleton shirt that showed a baby mermaid skeleton in my belly.  I kind of got lazy this year, but I also thought it was kind of creative; we dressed the same but this year we included Georgia as our mer-baby!  I loved how our costumes turned out and luckily they took minimal effort on our part which is what I am all about right now.
2016 pregnant Ariel!

Georgia was a hit as usual & was in a great and happy mood for the party.  I custom ordered her onesie for Etsy and also got her bow from an Etsy shop.  I love that both the onesie and the bow can be worn again, not necessarily just as a Halloween costume.  I was so happy with how everything turned out given that I really didn't do much planning at all for these costumes.  For myself, this year I got (also from Etsy) a sweatshirt that matched Georgia's onesie.  It's funny how different we dress as adults & moms for Halloween.  I had come across a picture of myself in 2007 very scantily dressed, definitely nothing you'd catch me in today, funny how that changes!  Now I am all about being warm and comfortable.

We decided trick or treating will wait until next year.  We live out in the country and only have 1 neighbor so we don't get to pass out candy and don't really have anywhere close to home we can go.  I do have her in this adorable Love at First Bite onesie & fun bow, but I think we will probably cozy up to the fire and a scary movie at home this year.  Next year we will take her to town and probably drive around to grandparents and aunts and uncles houses, but I think this year we will pass.  I definitely miss handing out candy, but I am so looking forward to being able to take Georgia to town so she can trick or treat when she gets older.

Before we know it Thanksgiving will be here followed by Christmas!  We have family pictures coming up in a couple weeks and I cannot wait.  I've got outfits coordinated and we are definitely due for some new family photos.  The holidays are always busy for us as we run around to try to make an appearance at all of the different parties and gatherings.  This year will definitely be hard with Joe's dad being gone, one of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions will certainly never be the same without him, but I know that this will also be an extra special holiday season for us as well as we finally get to experience them with our baby girl in tow. 

Holidays in the past have always been extra tough, we are all too familiar with the pain that comes along with having empty arms during the holiday season.  As always, I just want to remind you that if you're still in the wait, if you're still struggling, if you're still on your pursuit, don't give up.  Don't let this time of year get you down, use it as fuel for your fire, let it motivate you, let it help you keep that determination you have.  We sat in wonder for 5 Christmases, then last year, we finally had our miracle on the way.  This year we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor as we experience our first Christmas as parents.  That being said, I will never forget how hard these upcoming months can be when suffering through infertility.  You are not alone & we are all here for each other as a community even more so during these times.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Georgia's Current Favorites

Wow you guys, these few months of Georgia's short life have been filled with wonderment as she continues to blossom and develop right in front of our eyes & at lightning speed!  These moments are so bittersweet because I can see her personality growing and I just LOVE the darling little soul this one has.  At the same time, it makes me realize just how fast these moments go by and how important it is to soak every moment in. 

I thought I'd share with you guys Georgia's current favorites (and some of mine as well) as we have bought new toys and acquired lots of hand-me-downs, and garage sale finds that have been such great purchases for the fraction of what we'd pay for them new.  I'd highly recommend sale apps like Mercari (use my referral code of JCDXMJ and receive $10 off your first purchase!) for buying used stuff and also selling the things you no longer use!  So without further ado, here are some things we are currently loving!

Hudson Baby Muslin Sleep Sack in Dream Catchers – I shared couple of IG stories with Georgia in this sack and I got SO MANY people asking me where it was from.  It's from Amazon (where else?!)  and although it's not Prime, it came quickly and was on sale for $10.00.  They have several other patterns and sizes.  I felt like Georgia was freezing at night in her bassinet or even when she slept in our bed, her cheeks and hands were so cold but she is not old enough to have a blanket to sleep with so I thought this would work well & it has.  I ordered 6-12 months and 12-18 months. 

Safety 1st Walker – I got this walker for $5 at a garage sale and it was probably the best $5 I ever spent.  My mom has the exact same one but in different colors & patterns that she also bought from a garage sale and Georgia definitely loves rolling around on our hardwood floors.  A brand new one goes for about $45 on Amazon.  I like this one because it has 3 different height adjustments and it plays music and has some toys on the tray they can play with.

Little Tikes Snug N Secure Swing - this swing has been awesome & for $27 on Amazon you just cannot beat it.  My parents have it at their house and the have since hung it in the garage since the weather has gotten cooler, eventually it will go in the basement for winter as well.  And Georgia absolutely loves it!

These organic onesies from Estella.  The fabric of these organic onesies is amazing and so  soft!  I love the hot dog one, the avocado one, and the Old Soul one the best.  I also love their baby toys too.  Right now you can save 15% off your order with Ridley15 at check out as well.  

Vtech Turn & Learn Driver - this is probably her most loved toy right now.  It has all kind of cute songs that you'll undoubtedly be singing to yourself in the shower, at work, and in the car because you'll hear them so often!  Bonus, this is on sale for $12 right now on Amazon!  We got it from at friend for $5 (another garage sale win) and she's been obsessed with it!

What are some of your babies current favorites?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Georgia June - 8 Months

Our smiling babe is 8 months old today!   How this is even possible I do not know but here she is sitting up unassisted like a champ, eating tons of "real food", babbling like crazy, clapping her hands together, and just all around looking more and more like a big girl and less like a baby.

Every day it seems like she learns or does something new.  She's making all kinds of sounds, ba ba ba, da da da, etc. lots of raspberry blowing, grunting, and more.  She's a true source of entertainment and always has us laughing.  Seeing her little mind turning and her eyes watching in wonderment at everything is a truly amazing thing.  She likes to soak in everything in her surroundings.  Sometimes this causes other challenges like taking naps because there's just too much going on in her world to take time to sleep.  

Speaking of sleep, she's not the great sleeper she once was.  She's been nursing 3x a night sometimes, up fussing here and there, and very rarely sleeps anywhere but our bed anymore.  I am about 99% sure she'd be better off in her crib, I think we would both get more sleep,  however mama still isn't ready for her to be in a different room yet.  

We've been breastfeeding for 8 months now which is really amazing.  I know that this journey is going to be coming to an end in about 4 more months, but I am so glad that I've been able to provide this nourishment for her.  It does have it's frustraing moments, like when we have to go to a wedding and she isn't coming with, so I have to pump 2 or 3 times.  It's hard but definitely worth it in my book.  

She is also eating just about everything that we do (minus the oreos and potato chips of course) and the girl seriously loves food.  If she got anything from me, it is her appetite.  Everything from pancakes, eggs, and toast to avocado, pizza, french fries, raviolis, chili, and more.  We know that food before one is just for fun, but boy are we (and she) having fun with it.  She loves it all!  We still do purees as well too, squash with cinnamon and butter, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, etc. and lots of unsweetened applesauce, but she really is loving participating when we eat, in fact if she is not participating with us, she gets mad.

She still has no teeth!  I'm guessing she is around 16.5-17 pounds now.  She just had her first half of her flu shot and she did feel a little under the weather the following day but she didn't even cry when they gave it to her.  She goes back for the second half in the middle of November and then will have a 9 month check up after Thanksgiving.  

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am SOOOOO looking forward to the holidays with our girl!  I've got some gifts in mind I hope to be able to get her & I can't wait to take her to cut down the tree.  We are officially putting up the tree in the basement this year because we have a lot more room down there and I am so excited for it.  I know she won't remember any of it but it is going to be so fun watching her.  She will be just 10 months at Christmas time.  A few weeks after Christmas we leave to go to Punta Cana so we had to take her to get a passport a couple weeks ago.  She of course, smiled for her photo.  My parents and brother are coming so we will have lots of help and babysitters with us so we can hopefully enjoy some adult time & maybe a dinner to celebrate 10 years together.  

We have so much to look forward to in the coming months, up next is Halloween and I'm so excited for our costumes this year!  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Standing Up to Mom-Shamers

Warning, long post, long story, but absolutely necessary to call out bullies and mom-shamers so if you're sticking around for the long haul, thank you in advance!

If you follow me on Instagram or on my personal Facebook then you saw the drama the ensued last week when I found out a girl that I have had some issues with in the past took captions from my Instagram photos regarding a flu shot that Georgia had received and shared them inside an anti-vaccination Facebook group that she had me blocked from several months ago.  I had stated in a photo that Georgia was feeling a little under the weather after her shot & this girl proceeded to call me "dumb" and said "I feel bad for her child".  She claims that she posted it because I "targeted" her in the past about vaccinations which is not at all true. 

I really did not want to have to rehash all of this, but I feel like when someone is bullying, especially behind a computer screen, and they've done it to numerous others, they need to be called out and when you bring not only me, but my child into the situation, then you will be called out in every way I can imagine, so I am going to share the story & the details here because I think that mom shaming and mom judging has gotten very ugly and now that I've been personally attacked (or targeted as this girl likes to say) I feel that it is my duty to make it clear that I don't tolerate this kind of crap.

I was very torn about vaccinations.  Ultimately we decided to do the Vitamin K shot in the hospital but we skipped the hepatitis and we skipped the erythromycin which is the goop they put in the eyes.  I did a lot of research to come to these decisions and with my husband and midwives on board, I am confident in our decision.  When it came to scheduled vaccinations I really was still torn, this girl was, what I considered to be a very good resource because her son had experienced a vaccination injury so I really did want her input.  She added me to this private anti-vaxx Facebook group and they gave me a lot of info on where I could research vaccinations.  I purchased and still use a book called The Vaccine Friendly Plan which I think is a great, non-biased, researched backed book that clearly explains vaccinations and why we did them to begin with and what this doctors recommendations are about them today. 

When it came time for Georgia's 2 month appointment, we decided we would follow the regular schedule of all vaccinations even though I had thought about delaying or eliminating some, we decided vaccination was best for us and for Georgia, we didn’t take any one else's opinions into consideration when deciding, we just chose what was best for US & HER.  So, we had her vaccinated and she handled them like an absolute champ, she had no reactions, hardly cried at all, and that's that.  I decided to post an update on Facebook that included her stats and the fact that we chose to vaccinate.  I specifically asked on the photo caption "no negative comments or judgements will be tolerated so please spare me", I was not starting drama, I was actually attempting to keep drama off of my post but of course, this girl immediately took it as me "targeting" her.  On top of that my aunt had commented "smart girl on the shots" in which this girl proceeded to exclaim that she thought she was being a smart girl too until her son went unresponsive after a vaccination, etc. etc. – Joe being the amazing guy that he is stepped into the comment thread to say that I had asked for no negative comments & asked that she stop.  The next day I had been blocked from all of her social media because the girl seriously cannot handle anyone that doesn’t see eye to eye with her.  If someone disagrees with her, it seems as though she immediately blocks them.  This happened literally, on April 25th, so around 6 months ago.

All had been quiet since then.  I really hadn't heard anything about her at all from anyone, but I guess that is because most of the people that I talk to, she has blocked for one reason or another (come to find out after this situation).  Honestly, I didn’t even really know this girl IRL, I had only ever seen her in person maybe 3 times when she dropped off some Scentys she had sold me and once at my nieces birthday party when I was still pregnant.  I really didn’t know much about her, she didn't go to the same high school, I'm not even sure how we became friends on facebook but she seemed to be friends with a lot of my friends and acquaintances, you know how that happens these days with social media.  But in REAL life, we do not know anything about each other, only what we've assumed or heard from others.  So even though she blocked me, it was no skin off my teeth because I really wasn't friends with her to begin with.  I thought it was sad and really felt like she blew it all way out of proportion.

Fast forward to last week.  I get a message from a friend telling me that this girl had shared my photo caption in the private Facebook group.  She said that my name was blocked out but she instantly knew it was me.  I immediately thanked her so much for being a good friend and letting me know this was going on behind my back in a place where I was unable to defend myself to this girl and the other mothers who were commenting negatively towards me.  I was also very thankful (and she should be too) that she did not share Georgia's actual photo because she would've had a big problem on her hands if that was the case.  When I got home I posted an Instagram Live video about the situation and then the next day, I very lengthy post on Facebook calling out mom-shaming, and eventually sharing her name on a screen shot I had taken of some nasty text messages she had sent me once she found out I knew what she had done.  Yep, I went there.  Funny thing is, before I ever shared her name I had an inbox full of messages asking me if it was this person & saying they had been blocked by her as well. 

Later in the day I had gotten some messages from her explaining to me why she blocked me in the first place which is because I "started drama with her about vaccinations" (which I didn't), I told her she must not have many friends because of how many people she had blocked because they don’t see eye to eye with her.  She then proceeded to tell me that my IVF friends don’t know the real me which really sent me over the edge.  I said fuck you and then blocked her number.  This really really pissed me off because you guys know that I pride myself on my transparency and honesty with my posts.  I share the good and the bad, fortunately for me I have a lot more good in my life than bad.  Maybe that makes it seem like I'm being fake because to her, she cannot fathom what it's like to be as happy as I am with my life.  I can't fathom what it's like to live such a sad, miserable existence where you bully other behind a screen, saying and doing things you never would in real life.  I truly feel like this girl needs help and maybe to get out of her bubble that she lives in. 

The point of all of this, all the details, the background of what went down, is that these types of things happen a lot.  I'm in some mommy groups on Facebook and although they are usually very helpful and very respectful, I see so much shaming, unsolicited advice, and moms just being downright mean to other moms for their choices.  It's typically someone asking for advice on decision they've already made, and then others who don't agree tend to come out of the woodwork explaining why it's a bad decision.  I've seen it being called "informing", but let's call it what it really is, JUDGING.

I am not saying in any way that I am perfect and have never judged someone before.  We have ALL judged and we all have been judged, we always will be.  It's just something that we should all try to work on in ourselves.  For me, I literally do not have enough time to worry about other moms and the decisions they are making.  I only have time to worry about Georgia and her welfare.  She is only 1 child, so anyone who has time for that kind of crap, I wish I knew where you got all this time from because I'd love to have some. 

In the end I know who I am, I know that the person that I portray online is an authentic person and who I am in real life.  My REAL friends and family can and will vouch for that.  I am so so thankful for all of the love and support that was shown to me when I shared this story on social media.  Even though many of my followers do not know me personally, you can tell when someone is being real and when they are being fake.  You all know that I have been nothing but open and honest about all aspects of our lives.  You know what our struggles are, you know what our accomplishments are, you know that I everything I do is for the good of Georgia and her well being and that I would never do ANYTHING to put her in any kind of harm.  You may not agree with my choice to vaccinate, or co-sleep, or breastfeed, but you know that my intentions are only for her good.  If you stuck around for this entire post I truly appreciate it. 

Have you ever been mom-shamed or judged for the choices you made as a mother?  Did you brush it off as we so often do or did you take a stand against it? 
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