Things They Didn't Tell Me About Pregnancy/Birth/Momming

Or maybe someone did tell me, but I didn't listen, or didn't fully appreciate it until I experienced it myself.

*When they "check how dilated" you are, it's not just a look and see. It feels like a semi truck is being shot up your hoo-ha. 
 I experienced this joy when I went to the hospital, in labor, and they checked me. Holy balls, I thought the contractions were bad...
*That after an epidural, you reeeeally can't feel your lower half (and thank goodness for that during!), but even hours later when things are wearing off and you feel like you might be ready to go pee....that bladder is full and you may pee all over the floor when you stand up. 
I don't know this from experience or anything (but I do) #realtalk
*Post Partum hair loss. Ok--this one I knew about, but I did NOT know that it lasts months and months and it is legit LOSS. I brush my hair, and there's hair on the floor. Everytime I look down, there's hair on my shirt, in Ella's hand...all around. Almost 6 months post baby, and it's still happening. 
I originally thought this was kind of a short term, week or two kind of thing. Nope!
*If you have Gestational Diabetes, they check your blood sugar every hour while you're in labor. Finger pricks every hour in addition to labor pain. Blah. And after you give birth, they check baby's blood sugar with heel sticks. Most heart breaking thing ever.
*Breastfeeding is hard, even when it's not horrible. Another one I "knew" people said could be hard, but I never realized HOW hard. I don't think I've met one person who breastfeeding just worked for right off the bat. 
Ella latched right away and I thought we were good. And then she latched again, and again, and again...and my nips! Ohhhhh my nips! They hurt touching your bra, a shirt, the towel after a shower...
The majority of my post-partum tears were surrounding breast feeding. For something that is supposed to be so natural and ingrained in sure as heck can/does have a LOT of hiccups associated with it!

*Mastitis. I never heard about this until I started breastfeeding and I'd only hear rumblings about it. You didn't want it, it was awful, etc. Well, let me tell you, IT IS THE WORST! You feel like you have the flu, your boob hurts, and the best thing for it is to have baby nurse, which hurts reeeeeeeally bad. 
It's even more fun when you get it on vacation. Ask me how I know this.

*Leaving the house with a newborn is tough. I remember thinking "I'm gonna go out all the time and take baby with me" and basically just live my normal pre-baby life, just with my baby alongside. WRONG! Getting out of the house with a newborn is TOUGH. You try and schedule it around eating, you're nervous about baby crying, or a plethora of other things that could go wrong. It was (and sometimes still is) more stressful than I ever thought it would be.

All of this seems negative, but it's not, I promise!
The whole experience of having a baby is new and uncharted territory. And I'm sure if/when we have a second, that will be uncharted as well, because we will be doing it with more than one.
Even though there are some really tough things, it gets easier, and you just adjust to always being on your toes, because every day is different, and each stage brings its own challenges. I'm thankful for other mom friends to text/call/hang out with because  they help get you through the bumps in the road, offer advice or things to try, or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes it feels lonely when you look on Instagram and all you see is happy mom/baby photos and you're in the thick of it. So for all of you new, or soon-to-be mamas, you're not alone. 

Ella has been our greatest gift, by far. And I'd do all of this all over again in order to have her :)
(See, I ended on some sap for you! haha)
What were the things they didn't tell YOU about babies/pregnancy/giving birth??

{WHW}: Right Now

Currently, I'm....

Reading ...
the inside of my eyelids. Oh wait, that doesn't count as reading, but that's about the only reading I've done lately. Still totally slacking in this department which makes me sad. I'm gonna make it my goal to pick up my Kindle this week and get back into my latest Diane Chamberlain book.

Watching ...
again, when I'm not falling asleep on the couch (which is basically every night since Ella's had a cold and been waking up inconsistently), all of my Bravo shows (duh), and MG and I started watching BigMouth on Netflix. It's a little crude (ok, some parts are a lot crude), but it's a pretty funny take on puberty and has us chuckling regularly.
On the menu this week:
Monday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup (the first one of the season! Soooo good!)
Tuesday: Tacos 
Wednesday: Easy Crockpot Meatballs, and Spaghetti
Thursday: Sun-Dried Tomato, Pesto Pasta with chicken (and peas, instead of asparagus because I dont want stinky pee lol)
Friday: date night!

Looking forward to ... 
another date night on Friday night. MG's brother-in-law's sister and her daughter are coming down Thursday night-Saturday morning to visit a nearby college and offered to watch Ella Friday night so we could have a date night. Two in two weeks? We'll take it!

water water water...and tea at night because I'm fighting off a cough from Ella's most recent cold 

this gorgeous face. Every day.

the Winter ahead and all of the colds that Ella (and then me) are going to get. We're already at 3 since the end of August which doesn't bode well for the rest of the year. I should buy stock in Nyquil and tissues at this point.

my dad. On Monday morning on my drive to daycare, all of a sudden I started tearing up out of nowhere, thinking about my dad. Gosh I miss him. I see him in Ella's facial expressions here and there. Sometimes a photo captures it and other times it's fleeting, and when it happens it stops me in my tracks and pulls at my heart strings. But it also reminds me that he's still here, even if it's not in the way I'd want him to be.

Needing ...
to make up our minds about whether or not we're gonna go to Minnesota this year. We normally go in October but those weekends just didn't work out, so now IF we do go, it would be in November which is dicey in Minn. It would be our first time traveling in an airplane with Ella, and during cold and flu season (and you read above how well we're doing with colds already). We'd decided that we were going to skip it this year, but then saw our friends' brother and SIL come with their 11 month old and we miss our friends, so we're debating it again. Part of me wants to not worry and just go with it, because we can't live our lives worrying about what could be. And our friends have 3 kids and everything we could need when we get there (plus they understand if things go awry). It's our yearly tradition to go, so maybe we should just do it. Even though I'm worrying about all of the "what ifs", I think we're leaning towards doing it. Thoughts?

In Awe Of...
how many women have posted "me too" in their statuses (and not in a good way). I didn't post on facebook, but sexual harassment (not assault) has happened to me before. The building maintenance guy at the first school I worked at right out of grad school, unlocked my office door with his master key and then cornered me in there, telling me that I "owed him" after we'd had a discussion the day before about something work related and he felt like he helped me with his advice. I brushed it off as a joke and he said "I'm serious" with a serious look on his face and then got up and left, shutting the door after turning the lights off on me and leaving me in the dark. Luckily he never bothered me again, but it was super uncomfortable and I remember emailing my mom to document what had happened, just in case anything else happened down the line. I never said anything to administration because I was young, new, and quite frankly, scared. 
This wasn't assault, thank goodness, but it's still not ok. I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world where this is acceptable or deemed appropriate.

Wearing ...
I wore fleece lined leggings yesterday for the first time because it was in the 40s when I woke up, and a high in the low 60s. Fall is finally here, yall....I just hope it stays Fall for a bit before jumping right into Winter

Grateful For...
friends. Good, solid, always there for you, no-matter-what friends.
And having a date set to see your bestie, because I miss her!
Link up with us below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Why Is It That....?

I was perusing my drafts and found this one sitting and waiting to be published from many many months ago.

Why Is It That.....
.....when people talk to you about your pregnancy, and you tell them the things you're experiencing (after they ask), do they (9 times out of 10) follow it up with "Oh well just wait until..." and it's almost always something scary. Can we keep it positive please? always crave something that you don't have at home?

....or ChikFilA on a Sunday?

......people who never respond to your emails are the first ones to expect you to respond to theirs ASAP? shows always go on hiatus when I actually have time to sit down and watch them without the DVR?

....the day that I have 40 bags to carry to my car is the day that it's pouring down rain?

....some people feel the need to ask really intrusive questions? For example, a male coworker of mine brought his girlfriend to a work party over the weekend and on Monday an older female coworker commented about how nice she was, and then followed it up with "why doesn't she have a ring on her finger?" They'd been dating a few months, and he is 23 years old. That aside, it's still inappropriate. 

.....the night I'm the most exhausted and in need of a solid night of sleep, is the night that baby gets a cold and is up multiple times? 


Weekending On Time

Do your eyes deceive you?? Yes, it's me actually posting on a Monday with my weekend highlights! 

This weekend was jam packed with highlights, which included:

~Grabbing dinner and bringing it home, and getting to have the cutest little hand hold mine on the drive back
~Passing out on the couch somewhere between 8 and 830 because I'm old. And I'm a mom. With a baby who was sick this past week. Thank goodness I got that extra sleep in because that sick baby was up at 4:30am needing some extra mommy comfort due to her cold.

~Saturday Cooper had an appointment to get his hair did, and he came back looking super handsome!
~We spent the morning in our PJ's, and introduced Ella to the jumperoo, which she finally fit into, and really seemed to enjoy it!
~In the afternoon we took advantage of the nice weather and took a family walk around the neighborhood

~In the early evening, our friend Wendy came over to babysit Ella while MG and I went out on a date night. We've had them here and there when family is around to watch Ella, but this was our first time leaving her with someone who wasn't family. Luckily little miss went down to bed easily and mom and dad hit the town! 

~We tried out a new-to-us restaurant called Succotash, which is inspired by South Carolina cuisine. MG and I ordered yummy drinks, the pimento cheese fundido for an appetizer (oh my word it was mouth watering)  and two delicious main courses

 ~After dinner, we walked around National Harbor since the weather was nice, stopped in a shop to get our friend some chocolate covered pretzels to thank her for watching Ella, and then made our way home.
~When we got home, we stayed up and hung out with our friend for a while before she headed home. Unfortunately Ella woke up between 1-2 am, coughing and had a tough time going to bed.

~Sunday morning we had a pancake breakfast and ran errands, and Ella slept for 2 hours!! All the praise hands!

~We did another family walk in the afternoon, watched football (MG and I both pulled out a win for our fantasy football teams, and I'm now 6-0!), and thennnnnn Ella rolled over from her back to her tummy for the first time!
the look of success!
~We had Chipotle for dinner, Facetimed with our Minnesota friends after their Vikings win, and finished off Sunday night being lazy and relaxing into the week ahead!

This is one of those weekends I'd do all over again (minus the middle of the night wake ups and a baby with a cold)! :) 
Hoping your weekend was just as nice, too!!

Weekly Wins: sick boobies

I'll explain the title in a sec, don't worry :)
Happy Friday the 13th, loves! I can't believe it's already mid-October and Halloween is right around the corner....craziness!

This week has been a bit of a doozy for us. Ella came down with a cold from daycare (again), and on Tuesday afternoon I noticed a couple of lumps from clogged ducts after pumping at work. I spent 2 hours trying any and every trick under the sun to get it out because I've had mastitis once and NEVER want it again. It was still there. 

Tuesday night also brought Ella puking all over me for the first time. So I've been inducted into that club now. Between a full, painful boob, worrying about my sick baby, and feeling like my throat was getting scratchy, I didn't have the best night of sleep, so we stayed home on Wednesday together. This was basically me:
I made it to the OB in the afternoon and she basically told me I had a clog and if it didn't get unclogged, I'd get mastitis. Well, thank you Captain Obvious!

Despite allllllll of that, there have still been some wins for the week, thank goodness!! It's always good to focus on the positives instead of the negatives which is why I started writing these weekly win posts back in June. Here are some this week:

~Ella seems to be feeling better, and even when she's sick, she still offers up lots of smiles. 

~Even though I had to take a day off of work, it gave me a full day of time with my Ella, which is something I miss. We also spent the day in true lazy, sick-day form with jammies, cuddles and trashy tv.
~Lecithin. Say what? Lecithin is a vitamin that apparently thins your milk when breastfeeding, helping to unclog ducts. They are also the size of a horse tranquilizer and you have to take FOUR of them every day (gag), but within the first night of using them, my boob hurt less and I think I'm on the mend (please, baby Jesus!!). So yeah, Lecithin is on my win list for sure this week!
~Date night tomorrow night! My friend is coming to watch Ella while MG and I enjoy a night out just the two of us! Happy to get some just us time together :)

~I got these skinny jeans, and a cute top at Lucky this weekend for $45 total! #score
the shirt is SO soft and it's this pretty light lavender color
~These flowers that my SIL brought to Ella's baptism. They remind me of a sunset and just make me smile
~I discovered the best eye shadow primer, and SUPER cheap (I used to be an Urban Decay girl, but not once they switched to that dumb wand). Milani on Amazon, less than $6! It works even better than the UD one. Go get you some!
~The Imagine Dragons CD is giving me life the last couple of weeks! Been streaming it on Amazon Prime Music when driving and loving it!
~baby giggles

~One last summer treat before Rita's closed for the season
~How much our youngest niece loves our baby girl
On that note, I'm off to make it through today and thennnnnnn, after this week,
Have a good one!

My Best Friend's Wedding

It's about time that I got my act together and posted pics from my best friend's wedding now that the professional photos are back!

On Friday morning (Sept 4th) MG and I woke up at 5am in Ocean City NJ to catch the ferry (because going on 95 S on a Friday towards a beach town is no bueno). The ferry was a really nice experience and made the journey that much more relaxing.
We got into VA Beach around 1pm and had some down time before the rehearsal.

The rehearsal was at a gorgeous country club on the water!
We had the rehearsal dinner afterwards and got to spend time just chatting, catching up, and relaxing before the big day
The next morning I was up early and headed over to Genna's parents house (which is insanely gorgeous btw) for hair and make up. We had yummy lunch from Taste Unlimited--my favorite when I'm in the VA Beach area.
our cute and comfy Bridesmaids shirts
Before we knew it, it was 2pm and we had to head over to the country club and get ourselves together, and get our girl into her gorgeous dress. 
I mean, how stunning is she?
We took photos before the wedding ceremony which turned out gorgeous--the colors of the flowers and dresses, and the background just worked so well!

Love this girl!
They did a first look and the photos were adorable--here's one of my faves:
Before the wedding ceremony, they signed the ketubah (which is part of a Jewish wedding--sort of like vows written down), and I was Genna's witness
Then we lined up and got ready to get our girl hitched! The ceremony was quick, the weather was beautiful, and everything went off without a hitch!
Then it was time for cocktails, dinner, and party time! My handsome husband and I enjoyed our baby free evening :)

At the end of all of the eating, drinking, and dancing, we sent off the bride and groom on a boat ride--
Sorry for the picture overload, but there were so many good ones to choose from that I just included a bunch!
I'm so happy that my best friend found her partner. Seeing her with him, she was so at ease and so herself that it just made me happy watching them together.
Genna, thank you for having me be a part of your special day. I love you so much and am still so incredibly happy for you!