Friday, January 30, 2015

Kingston's Closet - 6 Month/Valentine's Pictures

I've said it once and I'll say it over and over and over again ... I LOVE dressing a boy! Styling my little boy into a little hipster man is one of my favorite things to do. It all started during those first few months during those middle of the night nursing sessions. My bloodshot/sleep crusted eyes would spend so many minutes looking on Instagram and Etsy for inspiration. From the beginning, I was never going to be one of those moms who dressed their boy in dogs or lions (unless its modern/graphic etc.). As of today I'm following 783 'people' on Instagram and if I was to guess - 400 of them are handmade business's tailor to the little people. Needless to say, I'm as obsessed with online small business shopping as Olivia Pope is with drinking her fine wine. 
{Did you catch the returning episode of Scandal last night!? It was a good one!}

Harems // BeliefWear
Moccs // Similar by Feather&Filly
Tie/Bowtie // Random Facebook Co-Ops 
Slouchy // Sugarlime Lane

I plan to do some shots in the shirt/pants/shoes and then some topless with the hat and tie/bowtie. Hopefully I can also get some of him with mamas smooches too! 

I can't wait to see how this outfit turns out in photos. People probably think I'm a little crazy/eclectic with Kingston's style but my goal is to start some trends! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recipe: No-Bakes {Lactation Style}

If you turn to Pinterest for lactation promoting recipes - you will come across tons of different options to help get your juices flowin'. You will find more then enough different variations of cookies/brownies/baked goods that incorporate these 3 magical ingredients: fenugreek, brewers yeast and flaxseed. 

I kept coming across the oh so simple no-bake cookie lactation recipe. Luckily, I make some pretty mean no-bakes and I figured I would incorporate the three ingredients into my recipe. 

1. In a saucepan - boil sugar/cocoa/butter/milk to boil for 1 minute
2. Take off heat and stir in pb/vanilla
2. Once combined, add liquid mixture to oatmeal/flaxseed meal/brewer's yeast/fenugreek and mix 
3. Spoon onto wax paper and let cool 

*brewer's yeast is different than baker's yeast 
*flaxseed meal or ground flaxseed will work
*both brewer's yeast and flaxseed meal can be found at your local health food store 
(but I also found flaxseed meal at Dillons)
*I used the fenugreek supplement capsules and opened them up to create 2 TBSP
(about 1/3 of the bottle) 

This is a super simple recipe that is deadly because it's so delicious! I'm sure you could add these 3 magical ingredients to just about anything - but what's the fun in it if they aren't sweet? Next time around I'm going to double the recipe just because I can and because I know I'll eat them. 

I've been chowing down on these the past few days (usually 1 cookie an hour or so before I pump) and I've seen an oz or two difference overall in what I'm pumping at work. It's not much but I'll take whatever extra I can get! 

I'd love to hear if you have success with this recipe or if you've tried any others! 

PS - If you don't want to make the cookies but still want to produce more milk, I was recommended by Kingston's Dr - A Mother's Love supplement. It's a combination of blessed thistle and fenugreek. 

PSS - If you make some cookies using the recipe above - you might as well finish off the fenugreek using the recommended dosage on the bottle.   

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Draining the GOODS ... on the job!

 I guess you could say that my life these days revolves around that little 'tingle' of a let down. Anyone who has had the pleasure of pumping knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say I have a love/hate relationship with my Medela. Pumping is such a time consuming process but the fruits of my labor is so rewarding in the end. What keeps me going is the pure satisfaction of knowing I'm able to give my son the best nutrients possible except mine is seasoned with a little Dr. Pepper!

 I remember back to the very beginning of mommy-hood when my little gremlin was eating every 2.5-3 hours a day and it seemed like such a CHORE to fit in another session to pump. It's still a chore to fit in these pumping sessions, but now this chore happens while I'm at work. 

Thankfully at my job we have access to a 'mothers rooms' where you can book it as many times a day as you need and it's a quiet secluded place to get away to pump. Currently on my calendar, I have the room reserved at 10a/1p/4p and I'm able to come home with about 12-14 oz of liquid gold a day.

Below are some tips/tricks/advice that have helped me have a successful pumping experience so far. 

Tips, Tricks and Advice

1. Make the time. As hard as it is to get away from the hustle and bustle of work - find 20 minutes or so a few times a day to get away. If you can't get away multiple times a day, try your best to pump in the morning. I'm not sure why, but we produce more milk in the morning than in the afternoon. 

2. Find a way. I know not everyone is as fortunate to have dedicated pumping rooms, but if you can't find an open room - sneak away to the restroom or invest in a car adapter. 

3. Pack the right supplies. I always have two small Medela bottles with a (correct sized) breastshield, valve and membrane. An extra big bottle with lid to pour the pumped goods in, an extra lid for the small Medela bottle just incase I pump more than what the big bottle can hold, and a freezer bag just in case my memory fails me and I forget the big bottle or extra lid at home. Lastly, all of these items fit nicely into a handheld cooler that snaps on my pump's bag and fits easily in the fridge at work. 

4. Don't wash the parts after each pumping session. Fresh breastmilk is good in the fridge for up to 8 days - so the bottle and parts will keep the same way as long as they are stored in the fridge. Most days, I wait until I'm home from work and toss everything in the dishwasher to be cleaned. This means I don't wash anything all day through 3 sessions of pumping and it saves so much time!

5. Wait for that second let down. Usually I spend 20 minutes during each session and if I'm patient I can have two let downs (sometimes even 3) in that time frame. If you find yourself not being able to have a second let down, when you notice the milk is no longer coming ... switch the pump back to the 'quick sucking' speed which usually helps promote that let down. More let downs = more milk. 

6. Pull up pictures or videos of your little one while you are pumping. Some say this helps relax you and aids in the let down process. Either way, it helps me miss my little one less and if it helps with the let down thats a bonus. 

7. Have a package of oatmeal for breakfast and try to drink as much water as possible. Like I said before - my drink of choice is dr. pepper and I'd drink that all day everyday if I could. But I can't, so I make sure to fill my tumbler full of water as soon as I get to work and I make sure it says full throughout the day. Do what it takes to stay hydrated, preferably with water. 

8. If you have your own office, invest in a handsfree bra so you can multi-task and work while pumping. 

9. Consider freezing your freshly pumped milk and using your freezer stash for the next days bottles. This is a little more work and costs a little more because you having to invest in more freezer bags, but this way your freezer stash won't get close to expiring. The worst thing ever would be having to throw away frozen milk that you slaved over, all because it had expired. 

10. Always double check your outfit prior to leaving the pumping room. Thankfully I haven't had anything happen to prompt this piece of advice, this is just one of my biggest fears. How awful would it be to return to your desk with your cami still pulled down under your bra or your breast pad hanging out the top of your shirt? SO awful!

Hope these helped!! 
Working/pumping mamas ...what's worked best for you? 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

What Do You See?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I see. . . 
A sinner. Someone who doesn't spend as much time as she should with the Lord.

I see. . . 
A 25 year old with already such deep wrinkles.

I see. . . 
That same 25 year old with the hormonal acne of a 12 year old. 

I see. . .
Someone who cares too much about materialistic things.

I see. . . 
A stomach full of stretch marks and the lumpiest scar across my abdomen. 

I see. . . 
Crooked fingers and crooked teeth and lets not forget about that special toe. 

I see. . . 
Nails that don't grow fast enough and hair that's not thick enough. 

I see. . . 
Someone who gossips and argues just a little too much.

I also see. . .
A hardworker. Someone who tries their best at everything.

I see. . . 
A woman who loves her family and who loves the Lord more. 

I see. . . 
Someone who would rather give than receive. 

I see. . . 
An athlete.

I see. . . 
Someone who loves to love.  

I see. . .
A best friend, a daughter and a sister.

I see. . . 
A wife and a mother. 

I see. . . 
100% authentic. 
All the good and all the bad... It's me.  

Boy am I thankful for a Lord who loves me for me.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

For the LOVE of Rugs!

If you haven't heard yet . . .  CT and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. (I guess you call it purchasing even though we are really just loaning it from the bank) That's if the sellers can get their act together ... but that's a story for another day. Anyways, it has been so overwhelming and exciting trying to come up with color schemes, decor options and deciding on furnishings. 

The living room is the one area in our new home that I'm having the most difficulties making decisions on. It's the first room anyone coming into our home will walk into, it's the room where most of my time will be spent and it's just the hub of our home. Decorating this room is a huge decision and obviously one I don't take lightly. 

A few things that I've made decisions on so far:
1. Color scheme: Grey, White, with Emerald & Black Accents
2. Walls - Light Grey 
(still need to decide on accent wall which will be the color of our kitchen. Right now I'm leaning towards a light green.) 
3. Small sectional in front of our fireplace 
4. Kingston's former changing table by our stairs
5. Our watercolor portrait as the focal point when you walk in

Fortunately, we have wood flooring throughout the majority of the house, so I knew from the beginning that I wanted a fun rug in the living room. I'm still looking for one that 'speaks' to me without breaking the bank. I know if I could just decide on something, it would easily make the rest of the room come together. 

Here are a few that I've thought could possibly play the part. 

Bouvardia Crewelwork Rug from Anthropologie

(This is seriously amazing and on sale... but still $480 - which CT would never go for!)

Frontier Juniper/Winter White Zig Zag Rug from Wayfair
(If only I didn't have a chevron rug in King's room and chevron bed sheets ...)

Safavieh Retro Black/Light Grey from Wayfair
(Because we are totes a black and white family)

Marrakesh Shag Grey Rug from RugsUSA
(I love the texture of this but I feel like white couches is a must with it - which I'm not so sure I want to do.)

Couture Magnolia Grey Rug from RugsUSA
(This one is only $99 which makes me love it even more!)

Pantone Prismatic Watercolor Rug from Target
(My decor options would be endless if this was my rug. Plus it matches our painting perfect!)

So ... as you can see there are many different options I like and I don't really have any one distinct style. My mind is going in 6 different directions and it's time I finally decide on one. 

Help a sista out - which is your fave?

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Life Lately

I honestly don't know how us moms do life, especially the ones who work out of the home. I know I am in constant motion going from one thing to the next from the moment I wake up (which is usually at 530a). Getting myself ready, Kingston ready, Christian ready - working an 8 hour shift while trying to make time for 3 pumping session, making dinner, picking up the house, bed time routines. You name it  - us women are seriously amazing. God was so right when he gave these responsibilities and the personality traits  to the women - because I wouldn't have it any other way. I really feel a sense of accomplishment and power when I'm able to successfully get through my day knowing all that I do. 

Anyways, where I was going with that rant ... I haven't been writing much because we have been busy these last few weeks. Hopefully now that the holidays are over, I'll have a little more time to sit down behind the computer. Be prepared for more things baby and all things having to do with our new home! 


Life lately:

1. We have completed all our paperwork for our house loan and the inspection has been done. Now we are just waiting to see if the seller will make the recommended changes (new dishwasher, fix some plumbing in master shower, and fix a piece of siding that is rotten) and to finalize our loan. We close in about 20 days . . . I can't wait! Even though I'm nervous for that first payment to come due.

2. Two weekends from now we plan to take a trip up to Kansas City to visit the new IKEA and Nebraska Furniture Mart. We are on the look out for a new couch, king size mattress and a dining room table. I'm hoping for some good deals. This sista likes saving money. 

3. Once this house stuff is finalized - I plan on trading in my car and getting something much less expensive. Right now we have two car payments which is totally unnecessary because my car is only driven to and from work, the grocery store and a few other errands. I would love to have a car that's reliable and with no payment. Ideally I hope to find a 4 door Honda - in good condition with medium miles. I hear those cars last forever! 

4. Tax season is quickly approaching and the word around the block is that having a baby gets you more of a return?? If that's the case, I think Kingston is going to buy us some new carpet. 

5. I've been working at Koch for about 15 months now and I have yet to have a formal review. My boss said it's coming but needs final approval from her boss. What makes me nervous is that all the other team members have had their reviews approved and have been given them but mine is still in limbo. It had me worried but my boss assures me it's nothing bad.  Who knows. Hopefully I'm not in the process of getting canned. :/ 

6. CT's sister stayed with us for a while over Christmas break. Kingston had such a good time with his Aunt and I love seeing other people love my son. It makes this mama's heart so happy. 

7. Thank goodness for the buy, sell trade sites on Facebook. Prior to moving I plan to get rid of a bunch of our junk, and previously I've had such good luck using those sites. This way I'll be able to make a little extra cash and not have to tow it all the way across town. My goal is so start as fresh as possible in the new house. Right now we have such a mixture of stuff from my home in Salina, stuff from CT's college days and my college days. I know eclectic is a popular style but it's definitely not mine! 

8. My sister graduated from college last May and her first student loan payments is coming due this month. She has one private loan from Sallie Mae that is going to cost her $400 a month and there is no way for them to lower it any. Like seriously ... how can anyone afford that? And that's only one of her loans. She still has another one on top of that one to pay! Poor girl. Why haven't hackers used their talents to wipe out the student loan databases? People without student loans don't know how good they have it. 

9. Because my husband gained some pregnancy weight with me and it's the new year - we've started trying to eat healthier. No more eating out (which we are SO guilty of), more fish and veggies and no juice. I'm still drinking my coffee and dr. pepper so I'm not fully committed to this 'diet'. I guess you could say I'm more of the hubbys cheerleader and cook. 

10. I chopped off my hair and I love it. Out with the old long stringy pony and in with the new long bob. I'm trying to work on that MILF status. ;) 

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