Monday, September 30, 2013

Back To Work I Go

I’m going to do something I don’t normally ask you to do, but I KNOW I am going to need it. If you are the praying kind, would you mind saying a prayer for me today? You see, I head back to work today after 14 weeks of maternity leave. And I am dreading leaving my sweet angel.

I knew even before I had Baby K that going back after maternity leave would be hard, I just didn’t realize it would be this hard. How do I go from spending all day every day with a child I prayed so hard for, to only seeing her for about 2 ½ to 3 hours each weekday? As anyone who is a parent knows, she has changed my life in the most amazing way possible. I can hardly remember what my life was like before her; how did I survive without seeing that beautiful smile all day? These 14 weeks have been wonderful, while also extremely challenging, and I have learned so much about myself, about my husband and most importantly about my daughter. She has changed so much in just three short months and I don’t want to miss a thing. I look back at pictures of her from when we first brought her home from the hospital and she doesn’t even look like the same baby anymore. But oh I remember those snuggles and having her asleep on my chest, I’m really going to miss those moments during the day when I have to sit in a zillion meetings.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I have a job to return to because I know with America’s current economy there are plenty of people wishing they had any type of job. It’s just going to take some getting used to, being away from her. Baby K and I have spent so much time together; she knows me, knows to expect me, knows that I will kiss her and love on her every second that she needs me to (and plenty more times after that).

I just really need some encouragement today, need to know that there are people sending up prayers. I know she will be fine (she’s with her G-ma during the day for the next two weeks, then her Daddy for two weeks after that, then sweet Gina who will watch her regularly starting in November), I’m so thankful we are surrounded with people to love on Baby K when I am at work. I just wish it was possible for that to be me.

I’m a little nervous about returning to work because my life is COMPLETELY different. For the past three months, my calendar has been clear. If we needed to make a doctor’s appointment or book a childcare interview, I was free and could do it whenever. “3 o’clock tomorrow you’re free? Sure, you bet I’m there!” was always my answer. I could schedule walks with my girlfriends and their sweet babes (or dogs!!!)  and get tons of parenting encouragement in the flesh whenever I needed it. We could swing by Tolar’s work and have lunch with him whenever we wanted. Anytime Baby K needed something I could run right out and get it. Now I go back to having a full schedule, having events that I need to attend, having to schedule appointments weeks in advance and having to cram errands and chores into the weekends. So I’m struggling with being completely available for my daughter and my sweet Tolar.

I’ll need to apologize to my friends that I probably won’t be available for much, especially these first few weeks back. And from 6-8 p.m. every weeknight, I know I won’t be reachable by phone. Because I will be spending those precious hours snuggling my baby. Eventually I know I will find a balance, God always has a way of working things out. But I could just really use some prayer as I transition back into the work force.

I’m so thankful for EVERYONE who has already prayed for me. Your encouragement on facebook, here on this blog, your texts and phone calls are amazing. Thank you for your support. This thing called life is so much better when you have people walking things out with you, so thank you to everyone for helping me along this journey.

Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five For Friday

Today is kind of a sad Friday for me; it’s my last Friday of maternity leave.  Even though I must return to my office life after the weekend, I still have TONS to get excited about. Here are my top five moments from the week.

1.) I saw this shirt in the Kids section of Target and it made me smile; I might have wanted to buy it for myself. I certainly miss dance! And then of course I immediately thought of my wonderful friend Jennifer and how I need to call her back. Jennifer, I'm so sorry! A call is coming your way soon.

2.) Ever the lady…our little Baby K passed out cold after being carried around in the Ergo. She didn’t move from her carrying position until she woke up!

3.) This one is for Tolar! Baby K made a rock fist in her sleep. Definitely his daughter.

4.) Tolar had to work in Philadelphia this week, so as a last hurrah, Baby K and I joined him on yet another work trip. We climbed the Rocky stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and really enjoyed the skyline view of the city.

5.) You can’t go to Philly and not get a cheese steak, right? That was my first EVER cheese steak too.

Linking up again with Lauren Elizabeth for this High Five For Friday post.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

3 Months Already???

Suddenly I find myself the mother of a three month old. Um, I have no clue how that happened.  I mean, I feel like I JUST found out I was pregnant and now my little munchkin is growing so rapidly!!!! Tolar and I are having an absolute blast with Baby K. She is smiling all the time, which just makes our hearts burst. I have been so fortunate to be able to stay home with her for the first three months of her life and it has been incredible to watch her change.

Stats: I don’t have everything since she won’t go back to the doctor until she is 4 months, but I weighed her on our scale at home and she weighed in at a solid 12 pounds!

Development: She is noticing EVERYTHING. I am so happy that she is actually looking at people when they talk to her instead of giving them the cold shoulder and looking elsewhere. Plus, she loves for me to hold her over my shoulder so she can look around the house at everything (I still say she has an early taste for home décor!). K has started cooing, especially when we are in the car, and it is adorable. Like I said above, she smiles all the time. I love to go into her nursery first thing in the morning and have her see me because she gets so happy which just makes me pick her up and kiss her all over. Seriously, I’m in love with this baby!

Loves: To kick! Whether she is in her crib, lying on our bed or in her bouncy seat, the girl constantly has those legs moving. She also likes to stand, which makes trying to dress her very interesting. I will try to get her to sit up, but she immediately pulls her hips up so she is in a standing position. I love to see her stand up though; my girl is getting so big. She loves to cuddle too and I will NEVER complain about that. I could hold her all day long. Her Daddy likes to make her fly and she loves that too. I think we are still at a 100% success rate of no crying during her flying around the house with Daddy.

Dislikes: Being tired. She has started to fight sleep in the afternoon (anytime between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.) which then makes her really fussy because she is super tired. Any mamas out there with advice on what to do to get her to take a nap longer than 20 minutes in the afternoon, please share your advice!

Sleeping: We actually just started applying techniques from The Baby Sleep Solution and so far, the nighttime sleeping is working. Thank you Jesus! We get a solid 9-10 hours out of her at night, which has been such a blessing to these very sleep deprived parents. Now if we could just master the naps.

Diapers: I recently discovered nighttime diapers. I cannot believe I didn’t realize that they made these for infants. I thought that they only made nighttime diapers for older children that were potty training. These things have been awesome in keeping Baby K from waking thru the night. Of course, if her diaper is more than wet, we will change her, no question about that. I certainly don’t want her to get another UTI!!! She is still holding steady in size 1 diapers and we are strictly a Pampers household. We had way too many blowouts with Huggies.

Eating: Doing great, clearly. My girl doesn’t miss a meal and she also doesn’t let me even begin to forget when it’s time to eat again. J

Clothing: She is steadily in 3 month clothing at this point. A few things are still a little big on her, but for the most part 3 month clothing is where it’s at.  I actually thought she would have worn 3 month clothing earlier, so a lot of her clothes are for warmer weather. I need to buy her some more cool weather/fall outfits in the 3 month size. I’m heading to a consignment sale with my girlfriends Summer and Courtney this weekend, so I know I will come home with lots of goodies for my girl.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wore Collaboration: All Black

I am so excited about today’s post, because the lovely and oh so pretty Jessica from Love & Loyally is joining me today for this What I Wore post. So we get to peek into her closet and see her fab outfit choices as well.

Jessica and I decided to showcase a color (or some might say a lack of color) that we both have a lot of in our closets – BLACK. You could totally call 2013 my black year because I have worn a lot of it. I rocked black like crazy while I was pregnant to try and minimize the look of my expanding body and I’m still wearing black while I shrink my body back down. Besides providing a slimming look, black is just so chic and timeless. So it’s the perfect color to work with for multiple occasions.

When we selected the color black, I told Jessica “let’s put together an all black outfit that doesn’t look like we are going to a funeral” and funnily enough we both added some leather to our ensembles. Because surely leather is not worn to a funeral. J I love how Jessica sassed up her look by adding polka dots and sequins and then grabbing a hot pink clutch. I am seriously pinning her images now because I want to recreate the look. I added some pearls and bronze shoes to my outfit to add a little pop. The secret to not looking like you are going to a funeral is all in how you accessorize. And everyone knows how I feel about accessories.

My outfit details:
Skirt: Target!!!
T-shirt: H&M.
Cardigan: Zara.
Shoes: Burlington Coat Factory (old).
Pearls: My Grandma's.

Jessica's outfit details: 
Jacket and Blouse: The Limited.
Sequin Top and Pants: J. Crew.
Shoes: Michael Kors.
Clutch: Gap.

Be sure to hop on over and check out Love & Loyally now, it is one of my daily reads for sure. You are guaranteed to see more of Jessica’s amazing outfits plus a whole lot more. And if you need even more of Jessica, follow her on twitter or facebook!

Now tell us, do you like to wear all black? What do you add to keep from looking like you are going to a funeral?

(I’m linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesdays, Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesdays, Style Elixir for Style Sessions and Rolled Up Pretty for Whatever Whenever Wednesday.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm Not A Miracle Worker, But This Thing Might Be.

Sorry guys, I have to get away from my style, beauty and life posts to talk to you about something that has changed my life. It’s called the Miracle Cleaner and the name says it all. Remember when I talked about my bathroom renovation and how I was so excited to have it all brand new because it meant everything was nice and clean and sparkly?

Well, sadly our shower has started to get a little mildew in one corner. Not too dirty thank goodness, but enough to have me freak out because seriously how can the place you go to get clean stay dirty so often? I have bought a couple different cleaning solutions and scrubbed as best I could (with a tooth brush mind you!) and nothing seemed to work. So I scoured trusty Pinterest and found the answer in something called the Miracle Cleaner that you can make at home.

I didn’t put much faith in it because a Clorox brand cleaner that I bought didn’t work, so I wasn’t sure if something I could make at home would work – but it did! The grout in my shower corner is back to looking almost like new and our shower pan which started to get a little dingy completely looks brand new. And I barely had to use elbow grease to scrub! I just applied the solution and swirled my scrub brush around in a circular motion on the shower pan and I could see the dirt coming up right before my eyes. For the grout, I actually applied the solution, let it sit for a little while by scrunching up paper towels to get it to stay and then scrubbed with a tooth brush. It was so easy.

So what is this miracle cleaner you ask?
1 part Dawn Dish Washing liquid
2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide

That’s it! And both of those products are $1 or less, so you will also be saving some serious cash in the long run!
These are exciting pictures aren't they?

You can use a spray bottle to hold everything or even an old dish washing bottle; I actually used my peri bottle because it has really good spraying power (good riddance to that thing – new Moms, you know how I feel!).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Embracing Day Two Hair

I never thought I would say this, but I have come to embrace two day hair. I have had very fine/thin and oily hair my ENTIRE life and have always thought that I needed to wash my hair every day in order to not end up looking like a greasy mess. The only time I would allow myself to not wash my hair was if I pulled it up; this Southern girl was not going to let anyone see her with the slightest bit of oil on her locks.

Then REAL life happened and I became a Mom with a newborn where daily hair washes are an extreme luxury. And you know what, no one died over seeing my hair unwashed on the second day. Most importantly, I didn’t die. Yes, it is true; I have come to embrace having my hair go unwashed on the second day. I kind of like it too. I definitely have more time to cuddle with my little girl or even catch a few extra zzz’s which surely have escaped me the past three months. So life is great.

I have talked on here numerous times about my love for dry shampoo and this post is no different. To achieve satisfactory day two hair, I just wash, dry and curl my hair as normal on the first day. Then the second day, I use A LOT of dry shampoo, brush out my curls so I have nice waves instead and tease to please! With fine hair, my hair goes flat constantly, especially day two. So if I just tease my roots at the crown to give me a bit of extra lift, I am good to go. That’s all there is to it. Day one I have curls, day two I have waves. And we lived happily ever after.
earrings: Stella & Dot.

Another thing I have come to accept about my hair maintenance during motherhood is that I don’t always need to use my hair dryer. Some days it takes me all day to get ready and by the time I even get around to thinking about styling my hair (washed of course), it has already air dried. So I just curl it as normal and again tease to please. The results are pretty much the same. So take that split ends, I won’t be seeing you as often!

There you have it, some extremely deep thoughts and sage advice for you on this fine Monday morning.

Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five For Friday

Hello Friday, I’m glad you are here. Yes, even though I am still on maternity leave and staying home with Baby K, I get excited about Fridays. Because that means that Tolar is home more over the weekend and we get to spend time together as a family. So you better believe I’m happy the weekend is here!

Jumping right into it, here are my top five moments from the week:

1.) Tolar had a little bit of fun playing with Baby K. Seriously, I can’t handle the cuteness.

2.) The weather last weekend was AMAZING. We took total advantage and had a picnic outside, right along the Potomac River. It was pure awesomeness.

3.) After years of searching for a buffet/side table for our dining room I finally found one! I tell you we have looked everywhere: Marlo, Ashley Furniture, Grand Home Furnishings, IKEA, Target, Restoration Hardware, Thrift stores, everywhere. Thank you to Wayfair for having this beauty! We got it in a cherry finish, can’t wait for it to arrive next week.

4.) Lately Baby K has been full of smiles when she wakes up in the morning. As soon as I bend over her crib to say good morning her face just lights up. Makes this Mama’s heart so happy!

5.) It was a family affair for the women’s ministry (DC Sisterhood) at my church this week. I was serving on the social media and usheristas teams, Tolar played drums on the worship team and Baby K got to go to the church nursery for the first time ever!

So that was my week. How was yours? I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for this High Five For Friday post.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Heart My ErgoBaby Carrier

Since Baby K arrived, I have tried out several different baby carriers, hoping to get the whole “baby wearing” thing down.  In fact, I’ve tested out a total of four! And the fourth carrier is the winner. I am extremely excited to have found a carrier that is comfortable and that I love – I just wish I would have discovered the goodness that is the ErgoBaby carrier earlier on in my maternity leave. I sure would have gotten a lot more house work done with Baby K strapped to me!

Seriously, the ErgoBaby carrier is amazing. I first found out about Ergo when we traveled by plane with Baby K so we could celebrate my nephew’s first birthday. Tolar and I ended up chatting with another Mom who was traveling with her toddler and she used the ErgoBaby and highly recommended it to us. She told us a little bit about its features and when we got home I did some research and decided, yep, we needed this carrier. And I am in love!

I feel I must confess that ErgoBaby has ZERO clue who I am, I have not been paid for this post. I simply just adore their product and want to tell everyone about it.

She's smiling, I think she likes it too!!!

Let’s start by telling you how secure Baby K feels. With another carrier I used, I never felt hands free. I always had to keep one hand on Baby K because I felt that I could never get the carrier tight enough around my body. But not with the Ergo, I slide Baby K in and she immediately feels tight and secure. As soon as I snap the last buckle, I can leave my hands off of her and go about my business. Speaking of snapping, it is so simple to snap everything and get Baby K situated. I prefer buckles instead of having a carrier that ties around me. I can put on the Ergo and have Baby K ready to go in about 2.5 minutes! There is no struggling to get her legs through the correct hole, I just hug her against me and wrap the carrier up around her.

Also, I love that there are a couple built in safety features. With the waist belt, you simply slide the buckle through an extra strip of tight elastic that holds the buckle in place should it come undone (but it won’t!). And there is another buckle that snaps between your shoulders to keep both arm straps on you. I don’t ever have to worry if a strap will slip down my shoulder.

Every time I have carried Baby K in my Ergo she has fallen asleep. So for you Mamas out there who are having a hard time getting your baby to sleep, test this product out. It’s a miracle worker. And I must tell you that I also love the thick waist belt, because it hides my postpartum stomach. Yep, I said it, I just had to. I am completely comfortable when I wear this!

You definitely will get your money’s worth with this product, because the Ergo can be used for a long time; up to 45 pounds! So Baby K will have a nice little carrier for a couple years. I can definitely get down on that.

Here are a few more thoughts to consider that are great about the Ergo:
-has a hood to cover baby’s face if napping
-contains a zipper pocket, perfect for holding a cell phone or pacifier
-you can carry baby on your front, back or hip
-machine washable

Its official, this is an amazing baby product. I would recommend this to anyone.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wore: Back To Work

My maternity leave is coming to an end. Cue the waterworks; this is one sad mama over here who just wants to spend every single moment cuddling my baby. I have been so blessed to stay home for 12 weeks already and I have a huge thank you to send to Tolar who agreed that I could stay home for a total of 14 weeks. With a week and a half left to go, I find myself preparing to go back.

Preparing emotionally because I know it is going to be hard to leave my little bundle of joy. Yes, I have already had a few break downs and I know more are coming. I’m really trying to stay positive and tell myself that “I have a week and a half left – let’s make the most of it.” Instead of thinking “Oh man, I only have a week and a half left – the end is going to be awful.” I am cherishing every smile, cuddle, giggle, diaper change, feeding session, cry, EVERYTHING!

I’m also preparing in a literal sense too. Dressing my post-partum body is VERY difficult. In fact, I have had a harder time dressing after baby than when I was 37 weeks pregnant! Parts of my body are different sizes than they were before, maternity clothes are huge, I still can’t quite fit into my prebaby pants. Oy! It’s a nightmare getting dressed because I refuse to buy larger clothes. So I find myself shopping my closet and trying on different outfits so I have a nice arsenal of ideas to refer to when I do go back to work. Thankfully documenting my outfits on here each week has also helped – I can just look back through my Wednesday posts to see what I wore and recreate some looks.

Wish me luck as I return to my full time job. Hopefully I will feel confident in my clothing for the office and I also hope to feel confident in the decision to return to work. 

Shirt: New York & Company. 
Pants: Target.
Shoes: DSW.
Necklace: Frock Candy.
Earrings: Target.
Bracelets: Stella & Dot, Frock Candy, New York & Company.

I’m linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday, Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday and Style Elixir for Style Sessions.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Should I Watch Next?

Hi, my name is Lindsay and I am a Netflixaholic. Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I have spent a lot of time with my trusty Netflix. From laying on the couch cuddling my baby, to feeding said adorable baby and getting up in the middle of the night rocking that precious babe, I have needed some serious tv entertainment to get me through. Yep, Netflix has been a saving grace for my sanity these past 12 weeks.

 I might have watched three full seasons of a certain tv show in about a week and a half…and my husband was shocked at how quickly I finished! And now I’m really sad that Parenthood doesn’t have any more new episodes on Netflix yet and I desperately need something else to watch. Oh how I miss crying over eight out of ten episodes of Parenthood. I really identify with Kristina and probably cried every time she did. The show is good, people! Judging from all of the comments on Friday's post a lot of you agree. Can we start a twitter party to discuss the show? #ParenthoodPink Just kidding. Maybe not.

So that’s where you come in! I would love your suggestions on what tv series to watch next. What do you love, what keeps your interest, offer up anything and everything. However, there are a few certain items to consider when offering up your suggestions:

-I have watched the following shows while on maternity leave:
Hart of Dixie
Revenge (rewatched because I already catch it in real time)
Orange is the New Black
Desperate Housewives (well while I was pregnant, strange choice I know!)
Friends (all time favorite show)
Pretty Little Liars (rewatched the first season)


-I’m looking for a feel good show a la Hart of Dixie or Parenthood, I don’t want anything scary.

-I DO NOT like any of the Law & Order shows, especially SVU. It’s really not my deal to watch a show about someone getting raped when I am up in the middle of the night (wow, never thought I would type a sentence like that on my blog – let’s see how many strange web searches bring people to my blog because of that!).

-If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a girly girl. :)

Taking those thoughts into consideration, can you help me find a new tv series to watch? Pretty please? Leave a comment below, tweet me, e-mail me. Whatever. Just send your suggestions. I will be ever so grateful!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Let's Giveaway Some Stuff

Hey everyone! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in case you didn't know its Monday again. Man, that weekend flew by fast. The weather here was absolutely beautiful and my family and I took full advantage of the cooler temps with no humidity. Can I get an AMEN for humidity finally taking a hike? That means I have a couple weeks of good hair days ahead of me before the cold weather brings tons of static electricity to my hair. You win some, you lose some...

To help soothe your wounds about starting another work week, my sponsors and I want to giveaway a few things. Hopefully this will put a smile on your face and help make your Monday a bit more bearable.

All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. You can enter using as many entry options as you want, but of course the more options you choose the better your chances.

Here is what is up for grabs:

Chits and Giggles

Handbags & Handguns

Boutique Sui Numeris

Pursuit of Pink

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 13, 2013

High Five For Friday

First things first, when did we get to the middle of September? I can’t handle how quickly time is flying by and I know it’s only going to get faster the older Baby K gets. Which is why it is so important for me to document as much as possible and to reflect on all of our memories, large or small. So without further adieu, here are my top five moments from the past week.

1.) We FINALLY took Baby K to a Sunday morning service at DC Metro Church. It was so wonderful to be back with our friends and to worship right alongside my husband and my baby girl.

2.) I found this little diddy and wholeheartedly agree. J

3.) Baby K had another first this week; we put her in her crib to sleep at night. Praise The Lord I made it through the night AND the week! My sister texted me after the first night to see how Baby K did, but then corrected herself to see how I did.

4.) I have been watching Parenthood like crazy on Netflix. I had heard of it before, but never got into it. I think I was just waiting until I became a parent to check it out and I totally love it.

5.) We bought an Ergo Baby carrier and I LOVE it. Maybe even more than love. We tried three other brands of carriers before we bought the Ergo and I am so happy to have this one. It seriously rocks.

Well that was my week, how was yours? I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for this High Five For Friday.