My Own Mommy War: Breastfeeding

Mommy Wars are a big thing these days. They seem to be popping up on more and more topics. Breastfeeding vs. Formula, Circumcision vs. Uncircumcised, Vaccinations vs. Anti-Vaxers and I’m sure I could go on and on. I have opinions on all of these things, I could share them with you but the only person I can assure they are right for it me. Every mom has to face decision-making on a daily basis with their littles and they can only do what is right for their family.

The Mister and I are both RNs, if you didn’t know that tidbit about us. We have chosen to educate ourselves, chose a Pediatrician we trust and agree with and go from there. This post is about my own personal Mommy War, the mommy war I have with just myself. We have had some issues with breastfeeding, Baby D struggled with latching, we used a nursing shield and pumping. It wasn’t easy but after we came home from the hospital we exclusively used breast milk. At one point we had almost 150 ounces of frozen milk stocked up. I felt like we would never use that milk. Then Baby D got bigger and you know what bigger babies do? They eat more! Over about a months time we went through all of the frozen milk stash, I wasn’t able to an equal amount to replenish the stash. Fast forward to this weekend. I’ve had some anxiety and stress about this, you know my own mommy war. We are going to have to use some formula…

mommy war

 

We’ll see how it goes, I hope that Baby D likes it. I won the mommy war, I can to understand that what has to be done to win is whatever is best for your baby. We are using as much breast milk as possible and Baby D has gotten to have 4 months of exclusive nursing. This is what we need to do for him now as he grows. Other moms may use formula exclusively, it may or may not been their first chose, but for reasons that are their own they are doing what they feel is best for their little.

Now, I’m fighting the whole way, I’ve been doing everything I know to increase my milk production. Taking Fenugreek supplement, chugging water like a crazy person (I love my Eddy Camelbak Water bottle with custom monogram sticker). pumping after every nursing session  and while I’m at work, and eating one of these yummy lactation cookies from Milkin Cookies everyday. No sure if it is working yet, but I will keep you up to date!

milk production

Did you  have any personal mommy wars? How did you power through them?

Ikea Paper Shop & A Giveaway

Ikea has gone and done it again. If you didn’t already love them for them aisles full of organization goodies, home decor and those yummy meatballs, you are going to love them now. Many stores have just debuted their new Ikea Paper Shop. It is truly amazing! Ikea Round Rock hosted a fab event for area bloggers and you know Baby D and I had to attend.

There was yummy drinks, cookies and the best little chocolates (all available in the Swedish market), lots of our blogger friends  and tons of fun paper goodies! The new paper shop has everything you need for trendy and colorful office supplies, Bold and bright wrapping goods, perfect for the upcoming holidays. Party kits complete with paper plates, banners, cups and cute decor.

ikea paper shop

 

We headed home with some amazing swag and decided that our readers need some goodies too! Enter below to win these awesome pieces from the Ikea Paper Shop collection. Them make sure you head over to Just My Little Mess for another chance to win Ikea paper shop swag.

ikea paper shop giveaway

 

Have you been to Ikea Paper Shop yet? What was your favorite part? If not, what are you looking forward to about the Ikea paper shop?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It All Started with HELLO! Lindt Hello Chocolates

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lindt HELLO!

While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love to say hello to friends, new or old, local or distant. I’m a gift giver, no  question about it. I love to make up a sweet package for a special someone in hopes of brightening their day. Happy mail is one of my favorite things and I love passing the happiness on to others while saying hello!

lindt hello happy mail

I love to include a few of my favorite things in my happy mail packages. A sweet treat is always a must have for me. Lindt chocolate has an amazing new line that is perfect for sharing with a friend! This week I’m working on a few packages for my blogging friends and each one will include one of Lindt’s tasty treats. I can’t decide which is my favorite so I picked up one of each flavor an a package of the fun minis to share with friends at work!

lindt hello chocolates

Lindt has created a new kind of chocolate to help you say hello to new and old friends alike. Say “hello” to the fabulous flavors of the Lindt HELLO collection:

– Caramel Brownie: Discover the irresistible combination of smooth milk chocolate, hazelnut and caramel brownie filling

– Strawberry Cheesecake: Satisfy your cheesecake craving with rich milk chocolate and a light, fluffy strawberry cream cheese filling.

– Crunchy Nougat: Smooth milk chocolate,– now that’s yummy!

– Cookies & Cream: Chocolate, cookies – and a crunch! Savor a chocolaty experience like no other, with chocolate chip cookie pieces and cream filling.

lindt hello variety

A FEW EXTRA GOODIES: A WEB SERIES & SWEEPSTAKES

Lindt Chocolate is partnering with Ashley Tisdale to co-produce “It Started with HELLO” premiering on September 12th on the “It Started with HELLO” Youtube page. The first episode, produced by Tisdale, will premiere on September 18, 2014. Three additional new episodes will debut weekly through October 9, 2014. It is a fun, new romantic comedy digital series capturing couples as they make their first connections, and is inspired by the cheeky personalities of the new Lindt HELLO products.

From September 12th through October 9th, you can visit the “It Started with HELLO” Youtube page to view new episodes of “It Started with HELLO” weekly and share their opinions on who they’d like to see paired up next. The first teaser video will introduce the cast, and preview the series, and each week a new episode will premiere, showcasing the romantic stories between different couples. You can even choose the ending to each episode.

AND…

You can enter their sweepstakes every day for your chance to win* sweet experiences from Lindt Hello Chocolate and who wouldn’t want to win chocolate!lindt hello heart

* No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years or older (19 in AL or NE and 21 in MS). Void where prohibited. See Rules at for weekly sweepstakes entry periods, prize descriptions, odds and other details. Ends Noon on 10/14/14. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., One Fine Chocolate Place, Stratham, NH 03885.

Who would you connect with by sending a happy mail package to? Which of Lindt Hello bars would you include?

Car Seat Safety Tips

A few weeks ago it was National Car Seat Safety Week. I enjoyed reading up on all the safety tips via my favorite blogs and thought I would share some of the wisdom I gained with you.

car seat safety tips

Your littles should be in a rear facing seat until they are at least 2 years old.

I hear a lot of people say they moved their child to front face when they reached X amount of pounds and most state laws say 20lbs and they can move forward facing, but rear facing really is the safest position. I know that my little guy is not a huge fan of the car seat, we are going to move him into his convertible seat today. I’m hoping that the more upright positioning will make him a little happier and allows us to follow car seat safety rules.

Car Seat straps should NEVER be washed in the washing machine.

Car seats take a lot of wear and tear, let face it sometimes there are messes that warrent just throwing the whole cover in the washing machine. Sadly this is a no no for straps. Car seat safety says straps should only be spot cleaned or wiped down. By submerging the straps you can alter the fire retardant materials on them and certain ingrediants in your cleaners can effect the integraty of the materials.

Car seats should NEVER be placed on top of a shopping cart.

Car seats can not be safely placed on top of a shopping cart and secured. Even if you are able to latch the seat in place, this is not its intended purpose and it may come unlatched easily. Making your child no longer secure.

Make sure you have an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) sticker on your car seat.

An accident would be terrible, but what would be worse is if you were unable to speak to first responders and they don’t know anything about your little one. Our I.C.E. sticker has Baby D’s name and date of birth on it. It also includes both mine and The Misters names and cell phone numbers. Make sure that you include if your little has any allergies or medical conditions.

Life as Leels has a free I.C.E. you can download {HERE}

Favorite Baby Apps

We live in a digital age, sadly I would be fairly lost without my iPhone. It holds the keys to my sanity, my families shared calendar, ALL of my pictures, music, email, heck I even have an app to remind me when I’ll have my period. It only seem natural that there would be a million and 52 baby apps out there. Surely we need to keep track of every single thing about our babies. I’ll admit that when Baby D first got here I really did keep track of every feeding. I was so worried that I wasn’t feeding him enough or that he’d gone too long between nursing that I was trying to find a trend. That lasted about 6 weeks, about the time we started sneaking a feeding in while sitting in the back seat of the car after a morning walk.favorite baby apps

I try not to get too caught up in the baby apps, but I do have a few that I really love. Some are just for fun, others for education and one just for sanity!

The educational baby app would be The Wonder Weeks, I’ll warn you in advanced that the app only gives tidbits of information, they really want you to buy their book. However it was enough information for me to be happy and I am very pleased with the app as it is. It helps you to see when your baby will start and end their developmental milestones. Often there are a lot of behavioral and dare I say it, sleep changes that take place as well during theses “leaps”.

Record keeping baby app would have to be Baby Nursing, brought to you by American Baby. This one is free and allows you to tracking, pumping, bottles, nursing, vaccines, medications, dr. appointments and growth charting. Most of the options come with the free version, however for $1.99 you can unlock all of the apps usage/

Sanity= Sleep Sounds. We don’t use a sound machine for Baby D at home (mainly because I can’t find the one we were gifted, its in a closet somewhere I’m sure). He does however love to sleep in his swing with the music playing. Fast forward to our first big out-of-town trip. we flew with grandparents to Colorado to visit Baby D’s Uncle Jack & Aunt Rachel. New place, new adventures, new noises means no sleep for baby! This baby app (free) allows you to play lullabies, white noise, nature noise (like our swing) and you can set it to a timer.

My all time favorite app, which I feel is my most used baby app as well, Instagram. I love snapping pictures of our family adventures, Baby D being silly and life. This app as I am sure you know allows you to share with friends, family and the world via your photo stream as well as allowing followers to comment on pictures. We use this one every day for sure, to follow along with us click {HERE}.

 What is your must have kid apps, games, videos, cameras?

Adventures to The Thinkery ATX

thinkery atx

Yesterday we went on our first official play date. We met our friend Max and his mommy, Jamie, at The Thinkery. Word on the street is that this is where all the cool kids hang out. After our play date today, I would have to agree! We had so much fun. Our first stop was story time. The Thinkery offers story time 3 times a day and integrate songs, activity and sign language into each of the stories. It was challenging but Baby D managed to do a little sign language with my help and he’s almost a pro at the hokey pokey.

thinkery atx garden

After story time we headed over to the garden area, which is perfect for the littles. Baby D isn’t crawling yet so we played in the big pillows and did a little baby yoga. Then we had some sitting up time to see what all the bigger kids were up to. The garden themed area is full of soft, plush noise makers and mirrors. What little person wouldn’t love it! Baby D really enjoyed the mirror triangle and we know it’s a favorite for his buddy Max as well.

thinkery light room

The light room was really fun with a giant lite brite. I’ll admit I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to make a 6 foot tall lite brite for Baby D’s big boy room when its time.  We did play with our shadows for a few minutes and checked out a few of the other fun light activities.

We had a great day at The Thinkery and I know that we will be headed back soon. There are tons of activities for children and adults of all ages. Baby D also tried out the water wall, but wasn’t real sure what to think of it. He loves playing in the water so next we’ll spend more time in this area for sure.

How to Trim Baby Nails

trim baby nailsThe first time you have to trim baby nails its scary business. For the first few months Baby D’s nails would start to peel off and it was easy and painless to trim back. Well last week I got a note home from his school that said he had scratched his face and to please trim his nails. I’d heard horror stories about the first time someone had trimmed baby nails and struggle that often results in clipped skin.

I was truly dreading this moment and came home with a look of terror on my face. The Mister asked me what was wrong and I said we had to trim baby nails! Surly I am not the first mom to be fearful of this. It’s like a right of passage, you know its right up there with sleepless nights and blow out diapers, learning how to trim baby nails.

how to trim baby nails 101

#1 Gather your equipment: We weren’t entirely sure what to use, so we got everything out. emery boards, baby clips and nail trimming scissors. We ended up using the clippers.

#2 Give baby a bath: This will help soften the nails as well as calm baby and mommy down before the big event.

#3 Enlist a helper: This is really a two person job. Someone to hold baby and someone to focus on the clipping.

#4 Place baby in your lap facing outward and try to gently unclench that tiny fist for prime nail exposure.

#5 Using your index finger gentley pull back the skin under the nail to expose nail length. This really helps the person clipping.

#6 Gently trim baby’s nails. Carefully not to go too close to the skin, Boo Boos will happen.

trim baby nails 101

We made it successfully through 9 nails! On the last nail the skin got clipped. I’m not sure which of the 3 of us was more upset. After some snuggles and nursing all was okay.

trim baby nailsUpdate: Just last night I found that if you will clip one side of the nail you can easily peel the remained off. Half the clips!

 

Easy Date Night for Under $10

Thank you to the makers of the HERDEZ® Brand for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try the Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls!

Date night, oh how I miss you. Gone are the times of late night pizza dates and fancy dinners, we haven’t been to the movies in who knows how long. Eating out with a newborn is kinda like working with the monkeys at the zoo. I say that in the most loving way possible. There is a lot of bouncing, swinging, rocking, feeding and crying involved. I needed to find a solution that The Mister and I could enjoy, and not be stressed out the entire time. We needed an easy date night, something we could even enjoy at home. It’s time to get creative. If you hang out with us regularly you know I’ve been learning to cook and while that is going great, with cooking comes cleaning. I needed to find a yummy food to make for an easy date night dinner with little clean up.

easy date night

We love Mexican food. I was born and raised in Texas, it’s pretty much in my blood. We decided to try Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls by Hormel. They had tons of variety so I was able to get a few option that we would both like for us to share.

Just because you cooked dinner in the microwave, doesn’t mean you have to eat it in a plastic bowl. I set the table with our normal dishes and even used a few candles.

Since Baby D went to bed before dinner we paired our easy date night with a dvd rental, since movies are a thing of the past. I grabbed my favorite theater candy and relaxed on the couch to enjoy.

easy date night under 10 dollars

What is your favorite easy date night combo?

Losing the Baby Weight: Mommy Workout Gear

It’s one of the biggest mommy stresses out there, losing the baby weight. I know that I thought about it during my pregnancy. Everytime I went into the doctors office first thing I did was weigh and I immediately thought, that’s two more pounds I’m going to have to work hard to loose. I had a lot, I mean a lot of swelling starting in my 3rd trimester, this was a complication we had to deal with during delivery.  I had a healthy weight gain up to that point, by the time I went in for delivery I had gained 55 lbs. I’m only 5’5″ and this really took a toll on my body. I started having knee pain, something I hadn’t experienced in years. My back of course suffered too.

For the past few years I have been a regular exerciser and knew that I would start working on losing the baby weight as soon as the doctor cleared me back to regular activities. With an unplanned C-section that took a little longer than anticipated. When we got the all clear I was excited to get to it! Here are some of my favorite things to help make losing the baby weight comfortable and fun.

Losing the baby weight

LuLuLemon Yoga Pants- these pants are truely amazing. I wore them through out my entire pregnancy, they had just the right amount of stretch and now that I am losing the baby weight you would never know they’ve been stretched!

Pretty Yoga Mat- There is something about sitting on my pretty yoga mat that calms me down. I love the colors and patterns.

Bob Jogging Stroller- I could not live without this thing! We have not used any other stroller yet. Ours is a hand me down and was in great shape when we got it. Check out craigslist or local consignment shops for a great deal on jogging strollers.

Work out tank/nursing top (gillian o’malley)- Since I am doing more walking than jogging I am able to wear a top that offers a minimal amount of support and A LOT of comfort. I wish I had a million of these nursing tanks. I wear them to workout in, around the house, and even when we travel.

Camelbak Eddy Waterbottle- Best water bottle ever. I feel that I drink way more water when I am drinking through a straw. It fits perfectly in the holder on the stroller and I don’t have to unscrew the lid everytime I need a drink.

Make an Impression with Mommy Calling Cards

Just 3 months ago I was handing out business cards when I met new customers or made a contact. Since Baby D arrived I decided to take a break from my business and now I’m ready to hand out mommy calling cards. I am absolutely in love with the concept of mommy calling cards. They are perfect for making playdate, meeting parents at school/daycare and really anytime you want to make an impression. I’ve been searching the web for the perfect mommy calling card and I think I hit the jackpot. Minted just introduced their new foil pressed line and it is all gorgeous! The cards are classy and not too childish. If you are a stationary lover like myself you you probably feel the same way I do when you see pressed foil, swoon much? I think I have narrowed it down to one of these 3 and need your help deciding which one to order.

MOMMY CALLING CARDS

Along with these amazing cards, Minted has also introduced Foil Pressed Stationary and you know I need some of that as well. I think this will be perfect for corresponding with friends, bloggers, brands and pretty much anyone. I know I will be ordering some as gifts for the upcoming holidays as well.

Foil Press Stationary Minted

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