About Me

12.08.2016

Delainey's Birth Story + Our Moment of Truth




If you're a woman and you have ever taken a pregnancy test, you know that feeling... Whether or not you're planning on having a baby, the second it comes down to the results appearing after taking a pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking. It's either going to come up positive and you are officially expecting or it's going to come up negative and it's time to try again. You want a test that's reliable to provide you with that kind of result. That's why, when I was late last year and wondering what was happening, I opted to use e.p.t., the original home pregnancy test invented nearly 40 years ago.

http://clvr.li/2ertoRb

I can still remember the day we found out we were pregnant with Delainey. It was the most amazing feeling watching two lines show up on the test and knowing that we were going to be welcoming a life into this world. With e.p.t.'s accuracy rate of 99.9%, I knew it was officially happening as soon as the lines started to show. We tried for years, so this wasn't my first rodeo with a test, but it was the first time the whole testing thing resulted in a baby around nine months later.  Sharing the news with our family, hearing her heartbeat, seeing her on an ultrasound, it was all so amazing... and the nine month journey started with just a little plus sign on a test I took at home.

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During those nine months, I learned so much about myself and found out my body is capable of things I never even thought were possible. I learned that hormones really do play a role in your emotions and that sometimes they are truly uncontrollable. I also learned to love my body - while it may have expanded, it also created a life and that is beyond amazing.

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The life it created came into the world 9 days early, during Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hermine, while my doctor was out of town. 

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But let me start at the beginning... we were walking around Target browsing the aisles, when I got super uncomfortable and knew something was different. These contractions weren't just Braxton Hicks, they were intense and almost indescribable, that's when I told my husband I thought we should leave... and he knew something was up, mainly because I never say I want to leave Target.

After we got in the car I called my Doctor's office to be reminded he was out of town. I spoke with his assistant instead and she told me to just wait it out and to call again if those feelings got closer together or my water broke, otherwise I just had to wait. Later that afternoon they got more intense but I waited to call, then around 7pm, I knew it was time to call. We phoned the doctor, which meant she called the hospital ahead of time for us, and they had a bed open waiting for me when I arrived. They started to monitor my contractions and after about an hour of monitoring they decided it was time.

To say I was nervous is an understatement... but I was also so excited. We spent so many years preparing for this day and it was finally here.

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While I'll spare you the gory details about my actual labor, I will say I spent around 20 hours in labor total, from the time my doctor told me to wait it out until 12:01pm on September 2nd. Those 20 hours proved to me I'm capable of anything like bearing through unbelievable pain, adapting to unexpected change, laughing in the face of what I should fear, and so much more. I gave life to something so amazing that day, but honestly, she gave life to me.

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And what is the craziest part of it all, you may ask? I would do it all again, in a heart beat... and when we decide it's time to try again, I'll only turn to e.p.t. to give me the answer I seek in that moment of truth.
http://clvr.li/2ertoRb


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



12.07.2016

5 Tips to Help You Perfect Your SELF SHOT Family Photo!

http://www.philips.com/Avent


Taking a family photo can be a daunting task, from avoiding a double chin, to the one family member that excessively blinks, to a baby that wants to be fed at the exact time your shoot is scheduled, getting a family portrait perfect isn't always easy! This year I feel like we kinda have mastered the whole deal though. Even with a few funny outtakes, everything went smoothly and we were able to get some gorgeous photos of my Daughter.

http://www.philips.com/Avent
If you're planning a holiday shoot soon, I highly suggest you check these 5 tips out to help you and your family perfect your photo this year!

http://www.philips.com/Avent

1. Make sure everyone is fed - Getting food together for my hubby and I is always an important task before our shoot. Making sure we've both had a good meal just before the shoot is important... we don't want any "hangry" episodes and the same goes for Delainey. I've shared before that Delainey is exclusively breast-fed, but that doesn't mean that I don't pump and share the task of feeding on occasion. The morning before our photoshoot was definitely one of these occasions, we made sure Delainey got a good full feed in with Phillips Avent Anti-colic bottles.

http://www.philips.com/Avent

These cool bottles are perfect for my babe. Many people have trouble finding a bottle their baby accepts, but luckily we never had that problem. These were one of the first bottles we tried, actually, and she's always excited when she gets to have a meal from her Avent bottle! She's not the only one that enjoys feeds with an Avent bottle though, we love it when she feeds from these too! Mainly because they do exactly as they say and reduce gas, making all of our lives easier!

http://www.philips.com/Avent

While we've never had to deal with colic (*knock on wood*), many families do. Luckily, these bottles help reduce colic and studies have shown babies fed with Phillips Avent Anti-colic bottles experienced 60% less fussing at night. Don't take my word for it though, Phillips Avent partnered with actress (and new mama) Sarah Chalke and she's experienced the woes and worries of colic herself and has real life evidence that these Anti-colic bottles help!


Other than making sure your baby is fed, it's best to make sure their feeding is going to be as comfortable and rewarding as possible and that's why we choose to use our Avent Anti-colic bottle before photoshoots.


2. Dress well - Once everyone has a full belly, it's time to get down to business. Getting dressed can take a while, for myself and my little gal. We both have full closets and tons of cute clothing, but making sure we find the right outfits for photoshoots is complicated! Here's the scoop, too much pattern isn't flattering for any photo. That's why for this shoot we decided to let D steal the show with her colorful, patterned Ric Rac and Ruffles romper and my husband and I went with more neutral looks.

When it comes time to pick out your outfits, go with a less is more approach. Choose to put your husband in a plain, one-tone shirt over stripes, don't wear a paisley print dress, don't put your daughter in stripes, etc. Keep things cute and timeless with more neutral looks and you'll always love your family portrait.


3. Get silly - After you've dealt with your wardrobe, it's time to get a little silly in front of the camera. Talk to each other about your favorite memories, blow raspberries at your kids, chant "A E I O U" until you're giggling in delight. The sillier you feel, the better your photographs will probably turn out.


4. Light it up - Lighting is pretty much what makes a great photograph, other than the subject of course. Make sure you shoot when the light is the best, most of the time that means waking up at the crack of dawn to catch what photographers refer to as "the golden hour". Luckily there's another golden hour at sunset as well. These are the BEST times to shoot if you are using natural light or shooting outdoors. If you are shooting indoors, find the brightest spot with indirect sun in your house - I promise your photos will turn out the BEST there!


5. Go overboard - People think my husband and I are crazy when we take photos, but in reality we're pretty smart. We take at least a handful of photos each time we're asked to take a photo for a stranger and we're shooting ourselves we've been known to take more than enough. Why take so many, you may ask? This tip helps with the family member that blinks too much, it's the way you can ensure you are able to capture that little baby smirk, and it's easy to accomplish. When you're taking photos, take more than you think is enough, and then a few more. You're guaranteed to have a few great photos in the bunch.

http://www.philips.com/Avent

That's how we've managed to get such amazing photos lately, so tell me... do you have any tips for taking great family photos? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!


Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.

12.06.2016

4 Reasons You Should Add Crown & Ivy to Your Wardrobe

I admit I'm a shopaholic, there's no denying that fact... so today I need to share I'm absolutely head-over-heels with some new pieces I added to my wardrobe. I mean, when you find jeans you just LOVE and tops that are the perfect mixture of cute and cozy, that's when everyone you know needs to hear about it, am I right? If you agree... get ready to fall in love with Crown & Ivy as well! Here's 4 reasons you should add this amazing brand and their cute clothes to your wardrobe today!

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1. Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants style jeans - That's right, their jeans are unbelievably comfortable and have just enough stretch that my new mama bod looks great in them still. They offer just enough structure that I don't feel like I'm rocking jeggings but they are comfortable enough that I don't even notice I'm wearing pants, the perfect combination for a cozy winter day - in my opinion!

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2. Patterns and Design - From open flare backs with fun dancing elephants, like my new top, to playful reindeer on a sweater, Crown & Ivy has a little bit of everything and it's all so cute. I walked around the Crown & Ivy section of Belk and went on a bit of a shopping spree this past week. After having a baby I need some new winter items and fell in love with everything C&I had out on the shelves! Whether you want to add a cute new vest or a funky new scarf, Crown & Ivy likely has the perfect new quirky addition you are looking for and that's why I love this brand so much!

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3. Sold at Belk - When I go shopping, I like to go where I'm treated well and the service is attentive and that's exactly what happens every time I step into a Belk. I love that I was able to find the items I needed and the lady that helped check me out was super helpful and friendly and even made sure to apply hand sanitizer before handing me my receipt, she said she was doing it "just in case" but wanted to make sure"to keep my baby healthy" by not exposing her to any extra germs. It may not seem like a major detail, but customer service like that matters BIG TIME to me. I like that at Belk I feel like the employees actually care about the customers, it says a lot about the company!

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4. Dressy or Casual -  Crown & Ivy has you covered! This brand offers a little bit of everything, as I mentioned. I loved being able to grab something a bit more sophisticated and sassy like the open back sweater and then I was able to grab a fun and funky, cozy long sleeve tee with a giant pineapple on the back! It's this playful nature to the Crown & Ivy line that keeps drawing me in, yet I'm still able to dress like an adult. 

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With all of that said, I think it's easy to see why I'm so in love with the Crown & Ivy line at Belk. Interested in seeing all the other adorableness in the winter 2016 collection? Click here and tell me your favorite item from the line, I'd love to hear all about it... or take a second and stop in to your local Belk sometime soon!

12.04.2016

Keeping My Peanut Healthy & Safe with Aralyte

Thanks to Aralyte for sponsoring today's post, regardless all opinions expressed below are my own.

https://aralyte.com/

Interesting fact: Food allergies run rampant in my family. My husband has a wheat allergy and others in his family share the same allergy, some of our family are allergic to soy, some to bananas, and my mother-in-law is scary allergic to peanuts. With all of these allergies and the possibility of an allergic reaction, I'm nervous to start giving Delainey real food here in a few months when she starts to signal she's ready. From bananas, to wheat, to peanut butter, we hope she's able to eat it all without a care in the world... one way I've recently discovered to help her at least enjoy one of these foods is Aralyte.


https://aralyte.com/

What exactly is Aralyte? Aralyte is a new product, recently developed to help parents tackle the growing peanut allergy problem in the US. Recent research, including the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy trial, has shown that early exposure to peanuts can reduce an infant's risk of peanut allergy development by as much as 98%! Aralyte is a safe, pediatrician recommended way to introduce peanut protein into your baby's diet.

https://aralyte.com/

Obviously, I was a little skeptical about using this on my little peanut, but with leading pediatric physicians and allergists from over 200 clinics recommending Aralyte and only all organic ingredients, this seems like a safe way to hopefully help D not develop a peanut allergy. I'm doing everything I can to make sure she is healthy and happy and I think preventing allergies from developing is definitely going to benefit her in the long run!

https://aralyte.com/

Are you worried about your baby having a peanut allergy? This convenient and safe way to introduce peanut protein may be the answer for you as well. Click here and start the process today! Plus, you can use the coupon code below and save 15% off the cost of the first 3 months, or two weeks, of the Aralyte regimen. Don't dilly-dally though, the coupon is only good until February 4th!

https://aralyte.com/


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