Feb 27, 2015

February 2015 - Where my Dolla Bills Went

Ah, February. What a strange month. It's so short, but it usually feels long because everyone is just so over winter. And man, what a winter! It hasn't been too crazy in Oklahoma, but I know a lot of the country is stuck under constant snow and spring feels so far away. Hopefully we'll all be wearing shorts and sandals soon! Anyway, I am sharing, once again, what I added to my wardrobe this month. I didn't need much, but I found some good deals that I couldn't resist!

1. loft chambray
After seeing this on Shanna, I decided I really wanted it. I wear my light colored chambray (seen here) all the time, but it really isn't fitting my postpartum body right so I was looking for a replacement. And anything tunic length is great for me (it doesn't actually fit like a tunic... but that's what I get for being so tall). I watched it for a while and when it went on sale with an extra 60% off (same sale going on now!) I took the plunge and I got it for $22. I've had it for 4 days and already worn it twice, so definitely a win.

2 & 5. merona tee
I was wandering (dangerously) through Target and stumbled across a shelf full of these Merona tees... on sale for $2.80. Um, okay. I bought the two shown as well as a green and blue striped tee. Nuff said.

3. naturalizer booties
I have gushed before, but I really love Naturalizer shoes. I own a few pairs and they are just so comfortable. A lot of their shoes are not cute, so you kind of have to look hard, but I found this pair on the Naturalizer website on sale for $39.99, but I signed up for their emails to get $10 off and free shipping, so I paid $29 total. I love them so much - seen here.

4. sleep tee
I was hunting for comfy dress that I could wear around the house and not have to change to run errands (obviously my life is pretty exciting) and I found this in the sleepwear section. It it thick material so it doesn't look like a nightgown at all. And I was so excited to find a long-sleeve dress! $22.

Total: $81.40

***Linking up with other budgeting bloggers

Feb 23, 2015

Style: Award Shows and Cold Weather


striped blouse: old navy // cardigan: old navy // jeans: target // 
boots: eric michael (similar) // necklace: f21 (similar

I never watch award shows. I think they are so... boring (don't judge me). I DO love movies [Does anyone not love movies? Well, besides Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect? Who else is excited about PP2? Whoa, I just went a totally different direction...]. However, I have been totally out of the movie loop since Piglet was born so I felt pretty good about the fact that I had seen two of the movies nominated for Best Picture - Boyhood (really good and surprisingly interesting) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (liked it, but I usually like all Wes Anderson films). Hopefully I'll get a chance to see the other 6 sometime in the next... well, year. Do you ever try to watch all of the movies nominated for best picture?

And this is where I should say something about what I'm wearing... I got this blouse as a replacement for a maternity version I had that I really loved. It such a classic piece - I've already worn it a lot! And the cardigan is so warm and cozy which is great because it was freeeeezing outside when I took these photos. I feel like every smile happening here is a secret grimace. 

Happy Monday, friends. 

Feb 18, 2015

Style: Jeans... Again

stripe shirt: gap (similar) // vest: c/o joules // jeans: target  // necklace: f21 
// boots: naturalizer // headwrap: target (similar)

I don't know if you've noticed... But I've been wearing the same jeans in nearly every post recently. I only have one pair of jeans that fit (I'll address post-partum clothing issues another time) but I've been dressing so much more casually during my time off of work. It has definitely been a challenge to figure out how to make the same pair of jeans look differently. I mean, I know jeans are basic, but I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately. Aaaaaallllll that to say, I actually really like this outfit. I wore it for a little while on Valentines Day (yay pink!) and I really like how it turned out. 

I just asked my husband what else I should talk about on the blog today and he just said "OMG... mom party!" in an mock-female voice. I have no idea what that means (though he always starts off talking about the blog with OMG) but I thought I'd share. Happy Wednesday!

Linking up:
Because Shanna Said So

Feb 16, 2015

Style: Cozy Sweater for a Cold Day

sweater: f21 (similar) // pants: f21 // booties: steve madden (similar and cheap!
// earrings: kendra scott (christmas gift from my sis!)

Happy President's Day! Eric has the day off so we are going to be spending it together, which I am so excited about. It's snowy and cold and wet, so I'm thinking it's going to be a movie marathon, hot chocolate kind of day. It was actually 78 degrees on Saturday (I wore shorts!) which is pretty outrageous, but also pretty wonderful. Valentines Day was spent cleaning the house from top to bottom. As in, scrubbing the tub and cleaning spots on the carpet - yes, we know how to celebrate the Day of Love. Afterward, we took a walk and picked up a pizza. It was obviously totally romantic. 

Also, these pictures are total crap. I just had to let you know that I know. And yes, I know you can't even see my shoes. #bloggerfail.

Linking up:
Let it Shine via Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Manic Monday with   More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express

Feb 11, 2015

Style: Valentines Day & Wal-Mart

shirt: f21 // jeans: target // booties: dolce vita (similar) // necklace: walmart (so similar - on sale!)

I had "good blogger" intentions of posting something Valentines inspired this week. I'll probably end up wearing something red or at least this shirt with hearts all over it on Saturday, but unfortunately I'm way too lazy to take pictures beforehand and talk about it on the blog. Just getting that out there.

Eric and I have an ongoing Valentines tradition of eating in - we go to the store (usually Sprouts or Whole Foods) and buy a bunch of nice food that we would never buy (think steak, crab cakes, etc) and cook it together. We usually enjoy a glass of wine and a movie at the same time. It's totallycrazyandwild as you can imagine. This year we actually walked to the grocery store (because it was 70-freaking-degrees outside) and Piglet joined us on our adventure. The whole thing took nearly double the time (I'm learning that everything with a newborn does) but it was really wonderful.

Also worth mentioning - I went to Wal-Mart recently. I haven't been in a looooong time and I do wish I had a #peopleofwalmart picture to show you, but I randomly walked past the jewelry aisle and saw the necklace I'm wearing for $5. I decided that it was my reward for braving the store on a Thursday evening. Treat Yo Self, am I right?

Linking up:
Because Shanna Said So

Feb 10, 2015

Piglet's Birth Story

*** Disclaimer #1: this is a birth story! If words like "dilate" and "uterus" freak you out, I highly suggest you skip this post.

***Disclaimer #2: I am not a medical professional. My opinions are exactly that - opinions - and should not be taken as medical advice (duh).

***Disclaimer #3: My son's real name is not Piglet (duh, again). 

I had a wonderful pregnancy. I was never sick, I felt great, and it was overall an enjoyable experience. If you are interested in hearing more about it, you can read my short reflections on my first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. I was healthy and the baby was healthy so we had no complications going in.

Also, I think it's important to share a little bit about my birth expectations/hopes. I think it's really strange when people ask you "are you going natural or having an epidural?" Here's the deal, it's really no one's business and yet some how we have created a birth culture around "my way is better and I am judging you if you don't do it the same way as me." Silly. All that to say, I DO think it is really important to be informed and not go into the birth process blindly. Obviously you have to be flexible because the baby runs the show (something my doctor constantly reminded me of!). I read a lot of literature, talked to a lot of friends, watched documentaries and felt really good about it. None of it scared it me, it just made me feel empowered.

So, my expectations/hopes: I had an OB in a hospital, so that obviously limited my options somewhat. As far as pain management goes, I really wanted to try to not have an epidural, but I wasn't going to be really disappoint if I ended up having one. My goal was to have as natural as a birth as possible. I REALLY did not want to be induced. Emergency c-section rates are really high with inductions, plus from what I had heard, the drug they give you to induce labor (pitocin) causes really intense, painful contractions that are really difficult to manage without an epidural.  

So. My due date was November 20th. My mom was two weeks late with all four of her kids, so I fully expected to go a little late. At 36 weeks I was dilated to a 1, so I kind of thought "maybe I'll be early!" but then, when my due date came and went, I wasn't too concerned. My doctor tried to get me to schedule an induction before thanksgiving but I declined and we scheduled my induction date at 13 days past due (I was allowed to go 14, but my doctor was on-call for day 13 so that's when we made it). Thanksgiving came and went, and at 10 days overdue I was starting to get frustrated. I wasn't really even nervous anymore, it was just like "let's get this over with!" I tried every single thing I possibly could to bring on labor (walking, teas, supplements, etc) but nothing worked. I never even felt a contraction. BUT, the baby was doing great - lots of movement - I think he was just really really cozy.

On the eve of my induction date, I was still really bummed that I hadn't gone into labor naturally, but I was also relieved that the birth would finally happen. I prayed really hard that I would go into labor that night, but I had also been meditating on Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord" for the few weeks leading up to my due date and even though it was hard, I really trusted the Lord's timing.

On the morning of the December 3rd, Eric and I headed to the hospital. We got checked in, filled out a lot of forms and got everything hooked up. My nurse, Katy, asked me my birth plan and I replied bitterly "well, I didn't want to get induced and I wanted to have a natural labor." She looked a little bit taken aback (sorry, Katy!) but I was kind of glad I told her the truth.

They started the pitocin drip around 10am. At that point, I would tell Eric, "oooh I think I just felt a contraction!" We sat in the hospital room and watched HGTV (thank you hospitals for having cable). After the first hour, things started to get a little more intense so we turned off the TV and I started using some pain management techniques. I bounced on an exercise ball, Eric rubbed my back, I walked, etc. It hurt pretty bad - I had to concentrate through each contraction - but I still felt like I was doing okay. I wanted desperately to hold off on getting an epidural as long as possible (the epidural can slow down labor). Then, the next hour or so. Oh man, what can I even say. I can't even communicate how horrible the pain was. If you've ever had pitocin without an epidural, than you know. I essentially had no breaks between contractions so I couldn't regroup or refocus. It felt like my brain was on fire. I didn't know who was in the room, what was happening... it was rough. I held out as long as I could until I finally whispered to Eric "epidural." He later told me he was completely relieved. I'm convinced they were waiting for me to ask for it, because the anesthesiologist came in the room within five minutes. He introduced himself but I literally have no idea what he even looked like. Getting the epidural might have hurt, but I have no idea because the pain of the contractions were all I could feel.

So, I got the epidural. Unfortunately, it took about 15/20min to kick in and I had to lay on my back to wait. That was honestly the most painful part of the whole experience. Moving around, doing different breathing techniques, etc helped with the pain a little,  but just lying on my back was pure torture. I just concentrated on the fact that the pain would subside soon. I got checked again at this point and they told me I was only at a 4. I was so disappointment because I had really hoped that all of the pain had been worth more than 2cm. While I was laying on my back waiting for the epidural to kick in, my OB came in and expressed concern about the baby's heart rate. She told us that if it didn't normalize soon they would take me back for an emergency c-section. I couldn't talk at this point (I was still in so much pain) so I just started praying and begging the Lord to calm the baby's heart rate. This was exactly the situation that I did not want. They turned the pitocin down (the contractions were coming too fast and strong for the baby) and I focused on breathing deeply to get more oxygen to the baby (I was wearing an oxygen mask at this point). It took about ten minutes, but the baby's heart rate finally normalized and my OB said things were okay. I was so, so relieved. The also checked me again at this point and I was at a 6, which was so encouraging to hear.

So. All of that was pretty intense. After that, things were a lot calmer. The contractions slowly became a lot less intense. I was able to communicate with Eric again (it felt like I hadn't even seen him in an hour - it was so nice to be able to hold his hand and feel comforted by him). The contractions still hurt - I had to stop talking and breathe through them, but it was nothing like what I had experienced so I was fine with it. I could actually still move my legs a little bit (I think I essentially had a low dose epidural - the anesthesiologist mentioned that since I am tall, the standard dose wouldn't be as strong), which was nice. My nurse (whom I later found out was also a doula - she was incredible!) helped me lie in some different positions with a peanut ball that supposedly help speed things up. It was nice to actually feel like I was doing something to help that labor along, but I didn't actually expect it to work. About an hour after having the epidural, my doctor came in, checked me and announced that it was time to push. Eric and I started freaking out! We absolutely did not expect things to go so fast (it had been less than 5 hours since we got to the hospital).

I pushed with my nurse for about 40 minutes. I won't go into a lot of detail about that, but just say that it was a lot of hard work. I was definitely exhausted afterward! After the 40ish minutes, my nurse said it was time to bring the doctor in and all of a sudden there was a flurry of activity and a bunch of people came in. When I saw the baby's nurse come in with a bed, a hat, etc I started to get really excited! I was about to meet my son! I pushed 3 or 4 times (it hurt... I could feel a lot... I can't imagine what it would have felt like without the epidural) and all of a sudden, he was out! I honestly can't describe what I felt at that point... Just joy. He as born at 4:05pm, so the whole thing only lasted 6 hours. They took him to his little bed to check him out and Eric went over and held his hand. It was just lovely. Lots of tears (from me and from Piglet). I remember thinking "of course it was you all along."

All photos taken by the wonderfully kind, thoughtful and talented Photos by Esther. Love you, friend.

Feb 4, 2015

Style: Brown, Red & The Gilmore Girls

sweater: old navy  // jeans: target // 
booties: franco sarto (similar) // socks: smartwool 

Even though I'm essentially wearing a sweater and jeans, this outfit is a little outside my comfort zone. I don't wear a lot of reds or even browns, so combining the two is different for me. Also, I am wearing socks with ankle boots. Craaaaaazy town. On top of all of that, I am wearing my hair straight, which is not my favorite. Ironically, my hair is naturally this straight. I mean, the grass is always greener, am I right?

Another thing I must mention... Gilmore Girls. I occasionally watched it back in High School, but now that it is on Netflix, it has become my "nursing show" (which sounds really weird). I can't get over how dated some things are. A lot of the characters don't have cellphones, "show me how to use a computer" is a constant phrase, plus there are just so many slicked back ponytails (and not in a good way). It's so crazy to think about how fast things change. Deep thoughts, my friends, deep thoughts.

Linking up:
Because Shanna Said So

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