Friday, July 28, 2017

10 Minute Mama Make Up

In the days before a baby I used to have extra time to spend doing my hair and make up each day for work.  I have always enjoyed make up and have used it since late grade school so it's always been part of my routine.  When I was on maternity leave I rarely ever put make up on unless we were leaving the house, but once it was time to return to work I knew I needed to figure out a way to get myself showered and ready along with a baby ready for the day plus getting the animals fed, the dog outside, my cooler bag and pump, purse, and diaper bag ready and everything into the car and out the door.  Sounds like a total shit-show I know, but it is possible for me to leave the house having done all the aforementioned with a full face of make up and looking like I didn't just wipe a giant glob of spit up off of my shirt before I even left the house.  

I spend roughly 10 minutes on my make up each day and I get compliments all the time about how "fresh" I look and how good my make up looks, I attribute it to quality products and practice.

Foundation - you want something that is going to cover and hide the fact that you hardly slept as your daughter is struggling through the 4-month sleep regression.  I'm currently LOVING this Too Faced Born This Way foundation.  I like consistency, I like that it doesn't settle into fine lines, and I like that it lasts for the majority of the day.  

Powder/Bronzer/Mineral Veil - Either one of these or all 3 depending on what time of year it is and the consistency of your skin.  I like Bare Minerals Original powder foundation in light, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (seriously smells like chocolately heaven), and Bare Minerals Mineral Veil.  Typically, in the summer I use all 3, my skin tends to be on the oilier side and I always like a few swipes of bronzer just to make me look like I've gotten some sun. 

Blush - I'm currently obsessed with Benefit's Hervana blush.  It smells like roses and it's a pretty pink shade that I love, especially in the summer. 

Mascara - Too Faced Better than Sex is my current favorite, I got it as a free sample when I ordered my foundation and so far it's pretty amazing, not sure about better than sex, but maybe just as good.

Eye Liner - Bare Minerals Last Line Long-wearing eyeliner has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  Tried and true, and lasts all day. 

Brow Pencil - I've tried lots of brow pencils and powders but this Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil has been my favorite.  It's thin so you can really get a good precise fill, just as the name suggests. 

What are some of your favorite quick and easy make up products and techniques?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Georgia June - 5 Months

I can't believe I'm typing Georgia's 5 month update!  I can't believe it was F I V E months ago that I was in the hospital in labor with her and finally delivering her because it seriously feels like it was maybe a month or two ago.  Time is flying and Georgia is growing like a weed! 

At her 4 month appointment she was about 1/2 an ounce under 14 pounds so I'm certain she is now over 14 pounds and probably 25.5-26" long. She's now in size 2 diapers &  she is already fitting into some 6 month clothes in Carters (which runs small) and in 3-6 month stuff in pretty much every other brand.  I even had her in some 9 month Carters footless pj's the other day, cue the tears because our little darling is getting SO BIG!

At what seemed like the literal SECOND she turned 4 months she hit that "sleep regression" that EVERYONE talks about.  Except for her it wasn't actually regression because she never was a bad sleeper since day 1, I mean we have never in 5 months been up "all night" with her.  She was sleeping 4-6 hour stretches since her first few days of life so this is just a sleep protest or maybe just growing pains.  She used to sleep solid and sound, then all of a sudden she was fussy and always wanting her pacifier she was thrashing her legs & turning herself almost over in her bassinet.  Finally at 20 weeks I put her back in her Dockatot in our bed, sleeping arrangements that we stopped at 8 weeks (there's the regression part) but it made it easier on me than having to constantly attend to her bassinet.  For a few nights towards the end (and definitely the worst part) of this mental leap (thank you Wonder Weeks App) she would only sleep in my arms.  Luckily she now seems to be back to her normal self and sleeping nice, long, sound stretches again. 

Her fingers, and everything else she gets in her hands, go into her mouth all the time & she is a drooling machine which makes me think a tooth might break soon but so far nothing really feels like it's coming yet.  She's been at this for a good month though now.  She is a party animal and has some serious FOMO if anything is going on around her.  Seriously she has to be awake and watching and participating in it ALL.  She will fight you tooth and nail if you want her down for a nap during a party or other social event.  She's my little smiley social butterfly.

She isn't quite rolling over yet but she is so close.  She can roll from tummy to back but not vice versa.  She does love tummy time and she loves to stand.  Her legs are so strong & her head control is perfect.  She's pretty much a side sleeper and gets herself wedged so close to the sides of her bassinet it scares me.  Luckily it's mesh and she can breath just fine.  She is also getting really close to being able to sit up soon, she can sit for less than a second on her own but you can tell she is really working at it.  Not sure how she has the strength to hold up that big head (head circumference is in the 92nd %tile!) but I think having to hold that noggin up all the time has made her neck insanely strong.

Watching Georgia grow and thrive has been so amazing.  Every day she makes us laugh with her talking and smiling, and lets be honest, her farting too which she thinks is hilarious.  We have been so blessed with such a well-tempered baby and we are enjoying every second of her, even those tough nights when she's up a lot, it's all I ever wanted for so long so as long as coffee is still in existence, then I am happy to be up with her.  Happy 5 months to our perfect little peach!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Eggs - The Closing Chapter

I know not all of you follow me on Instagram where I posted our final decision about our embryos a few weeks ago.  If you remember we were in a bit of a dilemma about what we were going to do going forward with our left over embryos that consisted of my eggs & Joe's sperm.  The cost to store them was rising, the cost to move them was expensive, and we weren't ready to try for baby number 2 just yet.

So if you saw my Instastory then you heard that we did decide to try to donate the 2 remaining frozen embryos to research rather than transferring them.  My clinic gave me 5 research labs that periodically accept frozen embryos donated for research so I checked online and unfortunately, none of those places were taking donations at the time.  I was bummed because the thought of discarding them is really kind of hard.  Even though the odds were stacked highly against them and I was 100% fine with not transferring them, it is still sad when you think that these potential lives are just being thrown away. 

So at this time the papers have been notarized and sent in for our 2 remaining embryos to be discarded.  I will never go through another egg retrieval (on myself or a donor for that matter), I will never have embryos created in a lab again, the only chance of ever having a biological child of my own is if by some miracle I get pregnant naturally & I am OK with all of this.  Sometimes life puts tough choices in front of us, having infertility has certainly proved that to us time and time again, but it could be worse and we are definitely thankful for where this journey has landed us in the end and that is as parents to our beautiful baby. 

Although we are on what many refer to as "the other side", our lives and our choices continue to be affected by infertility.  I will never forget the roller coaster of emotions that come along with this disease—the heartbreak, the tears, the disappointment, and the unknown, probably the scariest emotion of all.  We still have to consider the fact that I'll be losing infertility treatment coverage next year, we still have to think about when we will start telling our babies about their roots and how they come from a donor, we still have to come up with money for meds, for a cycle, for travel, & chances are we may never be able to conceive a baby on our own and that still stings. 

But, what I've come to realize throughout this entire process over the span of 5 years is that biology doesn't matter to me.  I've learned many other valuable things about optimism, and perseverance too, but undoubtedly, the most significant realization I've had rom this experience so far is that DNA is irrelevant.  At one time it absolutely meant everything to me, I just couldn't bring myself to even consider a child via egg donor that was not "mine", but now I'm older and clearly much wiser and I realize that my child is mine.  We are playing the cards that we are dealt and although it took us a lot of time and effort, to us we came out as winners.  Georgia is our full house, she is our trophy, and she is the symbol of our hard work and determination to win against infertility. 

So I close the book now, officially, on my eggs.  Once they're gone they're gone and I am ok with that.  I can say with unwavering certainty that I would not change the outcome of our journey for anything.  Georgia is such a special little lady and she already, at just a few months old has an amazing tale to tell about how she was brought into this world.  I'm not sure there is a child on this Earth that is as loved and wanted as she is, although I'm pretty biased when I say that.  I know that we made the right decision with our last 2 embryos and I'm happy to be able to get some closure with them.  Now we can focus on our little peach and continue our plan to grow our family.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lark Adventurewear

As you may know there are tons of amazing baby clothing lines out there today.  Everything from big-name brands to smaller independently owned shops who are carving out their niche in the world of baby fashion.  Recently I received a piece from Lark Adventurewear and I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this little romper is.

First off, the fabric is eco-friendly and contains no chemicals or synthetic fabrics which is an instant win for us.  It's also unbelievably soft and my favorite and most functional detail about this romper is the kimono opening which makes putting this outfit on a serious piece of cake.  It also buttons at the bottom with 4 buttons so diaper changes are quick and easy!  I wish there was a way for you guys to be able to feel how soft and stretchy this material actually is! 

We put Georgia in this in the evening so she could play in it for a bit and also sleep in it.  The fabric is moisture-wicking so it kept her cool and dry, something that we definitely like to have right now since she is beginning to drool quite a bit.  She actually had a pretty bad drool rash on her neck, chin, and chest which we were able to heal with some hydrocortisone.  I was happy to be able to put an outfit on her that I knew wouldn't irritate it more since she was starting to itch at it, I knew it was bothering her.  This outfit was perfect to help with her rash. 

I'm seriously obsessed with this romper and cannot wait to get my hands on the colorblock footie in vintage floral, such a cute print!

You can get free shipping on any purchase using code SHIPPING at checkout!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Our Favorite Bows

One of the questions I seem to get asked most about Georgia's outfits are where I get her bows.  We are total bow addicts and she wears one every day.  I'm taking advantage of it now while she's young and doesn't notice them yet.  Although we have a ton of different brands and styles, all that we love, we do have some favorites that have proved to be good quality, the best colors, the best fit, or ones we just seem to use the most.

From top left to bottom right:

Best Bow Subscription - Little Poppy Co - we love these bows!  They fit amazing and the quality of the bow is seriously on point.  They lay nice and flat and always come in festive and fun colors & different styles.  This is our only bow subscription that we have at this time.  It's $11.99 a month plus shipping so we pay $15.49 a month for 3 bows that come in the mail.  I love the convenience of a bow subscription because you know you're getting 3 new bows.  The down side is you don't get to choose your bows, however, I've been happy with every single month so far.

Best "good cause" Bow shop - Raising Little Ridley's - these bows are near and dear to my heart because they are made to support a great cause - funding IVF for the owner of the shop!  Tina does an amazing job with her bows and one of my all time favorites in Georgia's collection is the bomb pop bow.  I'm also a little biased towards this shop because we just happen to share the same last name!

Most Used Bows - Lilly Belle Market - we get tons of compliments on these fun bows, the set we bought in particular is called the Mermaid Tail Bow Set which is currently sold out, however this shop is LOADED with bows, seriously so many choices!  I happened to buy these when I ran across them on a sale and was so happy with the quality of the bow.  We get a ton of use out of these.  I'd say these are probably our most worn bows next to the Little Poppy Co bows.  The bands are a little different, they come on a white elastic band rather than a nylon band.

Best Head Wrap Bow - Baby Bling Bows - I absolutely adore these bows.  They're so versatile size wise because they fit baby all the way up to adult.  They're so stretch and they come in the best colors!  I am totally obsessed with the royal blue one and the cactus print one that Georgia hasn't had a chance to wear yet.  Right now the only downside with these bows is the ALWAYS end up over her eyes, we then just refer to them as sleep masks rather than bows.  So when she does wear these I try to make it for shorter periods of time.

Most Sentimental Bow - The Itsy Bitsy Bow Co - honestly this peach colored bow is the only bow I own from this shop but it is one of my favorites!  I love the peachy/orange sherbert color and I love the wide style of this bow.  Georgia has been rocking this bow since she was just a few weeks old and luckily it still fits her, despite her head size putting her in the 92nd percentile it still fits her well & it still looks adorable on her.  This is one of the first bows I bought for her just a few weeks before she was born and I had to have it because of the color.  I believe I bought the very last one she had in the shop too.  This is just one special bow.

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