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Friday, April 24, 2015

road trip to arkansas

Ty had to head to Bentonville/Fayetteville area of Arkansas for a couple of work meetings, it's about a 5 1/2 hour drive from where we are so he was driving. We were able to tag a long on this trip but I wasn't too excited about it in the beginning because I wasn't sure how Zoey would do and it was only going to be a 24 hour trip because we had to be back by Saturday morning and his meetings were Friday. It ended up being so fun! We had good conversations and enjoyed some good ole family time! We left Thursday right after we picked up Lexi from pre-school and got to Fayetville for a late dinner. We tried Penguin Ed's a friend of ours had recomended and had some good bbq! I just love the rolling hills with all the greenery and trees!! It was such a pretty night! The next morning while Ty was getting ready for his meeting we landed ourselves downstairs of the hotel in pjs grabbing breakfast.. we sat in a little booth that had a personal tv so we tuned it to Sophia the First for lexi so she didn't miss out on her morning cartoons ;) It was actually really convenient because I didn't have to haul both girls and our food and drinks up by myself! We got ready and headed out and while Ty had his first meeting we found an antique store to stop in at and got Lexi her first troll and a princess ispy book for the road! We had a good 4 hours to kill before his next meeting so we headed to another spot our friends recommended and headed to see the first Wal-Mart. It was in a cute little downtown square and we stopped for lunch at the Station Cafe after we walked through the museum part!
We had a little more time before he had to be at his meeting so I convinced him to stop at another antique flee market mall then headed over to his meeting. We were almost all out of things to do while Ty had his last meeting so me and the girls headed over to McAlister's and hung out on the patio and ate. Then we headed back to Dallas.. all and all both girls did great on the drive.. I was worried with how much Zoey had slept for us she wouldn't sleep at nights.. but she ended up doing great and I even put her down to sleep that first night at the hotel without a swaddle and didn't even realize it until she woke up for her first feed.. so from there on out we have been swaddle free at nights! We have been arms out for a while now but I am glad we are done with the swaddle.. it was just one more step we had to do each night!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

my girls

Yesterday (two days ago as your reading this) I snapped a couple of pictures of Zoey (the ones below).. Lexi is hit or miss when she wants to participate and it's normally a last minute grab the camera kind of ordeal. So anyways today after I finished getting ready Lexi came into my room with this dress on.. she looked way too cute for messy hair so I put her hair up and asked her if I could take her pictures. (You don't want to take pictures of a 4 year old who is not in the mood) she replied with a yes.. then a no.. and then I pulled the reverse psychology trick on her and told her I had a million of Zoey and I hardly had any of her lately.. (she apparently pointed that out to Ty that I only took pictures of Zoey -- which is so not true btw) but that sold her! She was all for it and I didn't even have to tell her what to do, all creative poses were directed by little miss Lexi herself! ha She was kinda cracking me up with the things she was coming up with and keep in mind I'm only sharing a small portion! Gosh I just love these two sweet girls and feel incredibly blessed that they have each other!

Dress: Over the Loom - similar | another similar
Headband: Elle Bowtique
her prop ;) : Book of Mormon

Dress: DKNY brand from Consignment Shop
Headband: Elle Bowtique
Unicorn: Pottery Barn Kids

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother's Day Giveaway with JTV

My mom is without a doubt the kindest, most patient soul! As I have gotten older I have realized how incredibly strong she is. She lost her mom, dad, sister, and brother. She is the only one left in her immediate family. Her brother was the last to pass and lived in boarding homes. After their mom passed away, she took on the role as caregiver for her older brother since he could not take care of himself due to drugs from an early age and I never heard her once complain taking over that task all while raising two young girls (me and my sister) with my dad, and working a full time job. Her actions have always been an influence on how I live my life and I couldn't have asked for a better role model!

In honor of it being Mother's Day, and the fact that it's always hard to find the perfect gift.. I have teamed up with JTV to give one lucky reader a ring that I hand selected for me and my mom!
It would be the perfect gift for you, or your mom!

It's a 4.50 ctw round white zircon sterling silver band ring
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 13, 2015

my breastfeeding experience + lactation specialist giveaway

Breastfeeding seems to be a battle for most.. ok maybe I'm just totally assuming that but seriously breastfeeding isn't one of those things that ever was super simple for me. I thought I learned a lot of what not-to-do's from when I had Lexi (who I only lasted almost 4 months with... and majority of that time I pumped and fed her with a bottle) but I could not believe how much knowledge I was lacking from 1st baby to 2nd. Luckily I was at the taj mahals of labor & delivery hospitals and there lactation consultant compared to my first delivery were mind-blowing. I need hands on learning, visuals, examples, etc.. and they helped open my eyes up to the needs of a newborn baby and guided me through those first 3 days in the hospital leaving me more prepared when I got home for the challenges I would face. Not everyone is so lucky to have great lactation specialist at their hospitals.. so stay tuned I have something for you at the end of this post!

This second baby I was bound and determined to make it work.
Can I be honest.. two of my main reasons were kind of more selfish reasons.
1. It supposedly burns calories.. I have major self motivation problems and I can't cut chocolate out for the life of me.. or eat "healthy" nor can I seem to make myself go work out so breast feeding to burn calories to cut the baby weight seemed like the most ideal plan for me!
2. Did I mention it's free? Money is tigther.. having a baby and buying a house and all.. yes I could think of many more things I would want to put formula money towards!

Ok, ok... so it is hard work. it's no joke. Luckily my milk came in much stronger than when I had Lexi so my milk supply wasn't my first obstacle in the beginning.
My 1st main obstacle was engorgement and clogged milk ducts.

Over the first 2 months I probably had atleast 10+ clogged ducts which always seemed to be on my right side. At first they freaked me out because I thought I was going to get mastitis.. thankfully none of them turned to that point. I pumped out a lot of milk just to relieve my boobs. It took a lot of time and work to get those suckers unclogged but I finally learned how to manage them and take care of them. They would just come and I would have to deal with working them out some painful some not as painful. (that process could be a whole post in itself)

So at about 3-4 months (around the time we moved) my next breast feeding obstacle came.
Low milk supply.. or so i thought.
She had plenty of wet diapers which means she was staying hydrated.
One good thing that came from my new milk supply amount was no more clogged ducts!
I'm not sure how I went from one end of the scale to the other (engorgement to almost deflation) but it came.. and so did Zoey's fussiness. I assumed I had low milk supply that was making her more fussy because she wasn't getting enough to eat.. but now I'm not quite sure if that was the case. I did plenty of googling.. learned about let down.. started realizing I maybe had a slow let down (took a while for the new milk to start flowing from the time she latched on). A lot of stressing to figure out what I could be doing to help.

I ended up going to the store and bought Fenugreek to help with my supply.. It worked almost immediately within 24-36 hours.. somewhere I read that you atleast need to be taking 4-6 pills a day for it be working noticeably.. so I did 6 :) -- another thing I read was that the down side was that you kind of had to keep taking fenugreek to maintain your supply. Well that kind of stinks but I figured it would be better than having to buy formula.. plus I couldn't bare the thought of doing away with breastfeeding since we had gotten so far and things had been so good (clogged ducts and all). There was a bond there that I never knew existed. A couple of days after I started fenugreek I got my first clogged duct that I hadn't had in quite a while.. so I ended up cutting back how much fenugreek I took -- so i went down to a couple a day.. or every other day just to maintain what I felt like was a good supply for feedings. Fast forward I finished off that bottle of fenugreek.. and I didn't run out to Whole Foods and go buy another bottle I kind of just waited to see if I felt like she was struggling to feed and she wasn't.. that was probably three weeks ago and my milk supply has been just fine!

SO, whether or not my milk supply was lacking or she was just going through a fussy period.. I am not sure on. But my second obstacle of low milk supply has wrapped up and we are doing just fine at feedings.

Sadly my obstacles aren't quite done..  even at 5 months. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about my future obstacles such as weaning off night feeds and attempting to get her to take a bottle every once in a while instead of relying solely on my boob. Momma's gotta get out every once in a while! 
But my point is, it's nice to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about and today, I'm teaming up with Lactation Link over on my instagram page (@pillowthought) to give one lucky winner a free online ️Breastfeeding class registration.

Lindsey Shipley is a registered nurse, certified lactation specialist, and mom of 2.  She does in-person and online ️Breastfeeding classes, home and hospital visits (in Utah), as well as phone and email consults! You can check her out on instagram or facebook!
Don't forget to head over to my instagram for details on how to win a free class!
Giveaway Details:
Free sign up for her breastfeeding basics, OR intermediate breastfeeding, OR returning to work and breastfeeding class. All class descriptions are on her website
These courses are streamed via google hangout

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Weekend Recap

Lexi had been begging me to dye eggs so we finally set aside time
to do it last Thursday after Ty got home from work,
even though the package we ended up using was a flop
and all of our eggs ended up being kinda crappy.. lex still loved it!

Earlier that day Lex had her pre-school easter egg hunt,
I wasn't planning on going but the night before lexi told ty I was so I figured I better not miss it!
The last couple of school parties I have gone to she has always wanted to leave with me after it's over so I made sure to let her know she had to stay for the rest of the school day and she kept her word and didn't even ask to leave once it was time for all the parents to head out.
She is becoming such a sweet little girl and becoming
so much more independent than she used to be!
I always look forward to hearing how her days go in pre-school
and hearing about what all she is learning!
Last week when I picked her up one of her teachers told me she was like a mini me..
made my heart happy.. because she is always considered a "daddy's girl"
but she is my little side kick and i love her to pieces!!

Saturday Ty had to take the boy scouts sailing so luckily for me my parents came in town for the weekend and we headed to our local easter egg hunt. Lexi got her face painted like a little bunny and had fun with the inflatables and egg hunt! Oh and we were pretty excited about the food trucks.. me and my mom had In-N-Out and my dad and lexi settled for hot dogs :)

Saturday we did some antique shopping and later that
afternoon we dyed more eggs and did egg hunts in our backyard.
Sunday was suppose to be rainy so we were
lucky that Saturday we had gorgeous weather!

Sunday we had a big Easter breakfast and Lexi got to see what all the Easter Bunny brought her!
Over the last 2-3 years I think we have bought Lexi two different cameras and I have ended up returning them because they were really crappy and I didn't think they were even worth having..
so sadly this left Lexi without a camera.. she has been picking up my dslr a lot lately
and I have noticed how much better handling it she has been.
I have two nice cameras that have been just sitting in boxes
so I figured it was a good time to finally get them out of the box
and give Lexi one of my older ones as a Easter present from us.
She has probably thanked me about ten times for giving it to her
and I love seeing how happy it has made her!
I'll have to share a collection of her photographs once she builds up her portfolio ;)

The Easter Bunny also brought her this cute mermaid tail blanket,
isn't it seriously the cutest thing you have ever seen??
if you know of a little girl who would love one you can buy it here.

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