Thankful Grateful Blessed

It surprises me how even though I was super open about it, one of my biggest and longest struggles is so easily forgotten. I mean I get it. It was MY life not his or hers and they have plenty of things on their mind now. But even some of my closest friends who walked it and hugged me as I cried have said things like “oh yeah I forgot” when it’s come up lately.

Great reminder not to forget the journey. Thankful shirt

Thankful.Grateful.Blessed. from Cents of Style

If you forgot or if you just weren’t around back then I’m talking about getting/having Teddy my little boy. It was a journey. It started with a miscarriage and then years of living life in two week cycles of trying and being heartbroken that we weren’t pregnant. It was lots of doctors visits. Being poked and prodded and what can only be described as being bone weary. If you’ve dealt with infertility you know what I mean. It is exhausting. I have NOT forgotten.

Teddy Birth - Rae Gun Ramblings

But we know how the story ends with a sassy little boy who gets assaulted with hundreds of kisses a day. Who still doesn’t really sleep but who couldn’t make me feel any more Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed. The hidden (or in my case ‘forgotten’) struggle is something that’s been really on my mind lately. Whether it’s infertility like in my case or some other struggle I’ve really been thinking about how we just don’t know the whole story. I feel like with social media and memes and the endless judgey news stories it’s become the norm to take for granted the different paths we’ve all traveled and where many of us have come from.

Thankful Grateful Blessed. Love this shirt

I see images of seemingly “perfect” family moments on Instagram or wherever and it’s hard on those days that you’re flailing to keep your head above water or those of you who were like me a few years ago just wanted a baby of my own not to compare and be jealous. And this is not one of those “people should show us the bad” posts because guys I LIKE TO SEE THE GOOD. I mean I don’t mind honesty and a peek at the bad but I like to focus on what’s going right and what we can celebrate because I believe even when things are the worst and the lowest there is always something to be thankful and grateful for.

Reminder to be grateful and that you don't always know someone's path.

So happy Teddy has his cousins!

I am in a phase of life that is every easy for me to FEEL Thankful and Grateful and Blessed. That hard journey is still very fresh on my mind. It’s there every time someone asks if we’re going to have another baby (which they do ALL.THE.TIME). It’s there like a relative to PTSD telling me I don’t think I could ever go through the “trying” again regardless of whether I could handle the lack of sleep starting all over with a newborn. I know this is totally rambly but I just hope when you see me share my happy moments with my little guy that you know that I KNOW how crazy blessed I am and I seriously appreciate it so much. Even when I’m whining about him endlessly trying to pick my moles or not sleeping, I love him so crazy much.

thankful-shirt-002 Appreciating the little things. Be thankful grateful and know you're blessed

And if you’re not in a phase of life where you FEEL it all the time I hope you can reason it with your brain. I remember some nights laying down and having to reminding myself to be thankful for the family I did have, my nieces, a warm bed, a warm shower, that I made enough money that I could order soda with dinner or buy popcorn at the movies. That lots of people didn’t have those things that I took for granted. That I didn’t always have all of those things. That’s part of what really drew me into this shirt from Cents of Style I feel like it really captured this niggling in the back of my head and heart. This crazy appreciation for where I have been and where I am now.

Love this Thanksgiving shirt. Such cute style idea and festive for the holiday.

If you are feeling the same or if you feel like you need a concrete reminder that even though you might not feel it right now that you know you are still blessed and have things to be grateful and thankful for it’s a good day to shop at Cents of Style. Today for their Fashion Friday they are giving away one of these cute shirts for FREE with every order of $25 or more.

I thought it would be fun to share what YOU are thankful for. I honestly would love you to leave a comment with your own story so I can read it.

Secret Trick to Bra Shopping After Nursing

jockey-disclosure

Among all the other things people forget to tell you when you have a baby is that buying bras gets even more tricky than it was. But today I’m going to share the best trick to bra shopping after nursing and I’ve got a special deal to share too!
Such a great time saving idea for post nursing bra shopping since your size changes so often.

First let me say, that I’ve been settling with a poorly fitting bra for much of this last year. When I stopped nursing I was so excited to finally be back in a real bra. I got a few that fit great but even though I had waited for my boobs to adjust post nursing they changed again and let’s face it bra shopping on your own (let alone with a toddler) is so not fun so it hasn’t happened.

This looks so interesting. At home bra fitting system (would be great post breastfeeding or weight loss)

So when I discovered the RealFit® bra by Jockey, I was intrigued. It’s an at home bra fitting system, plus a great time-saving idea for post nursing bra shopping since your size changes so often (would be great post breastfeeding or weight loss). Last week I tried this at home- the Jockey RealFit® Kit and I’m hooked. The sizing fit kit includes a bunch of cups and a special measuring tape.The cups are way more varied than traditional bra sizes because one size definitely doesn’t fit all! To find your perfect fit, you just lean over into the cups and stand up and see which cup fits you best. For me, one cup was clearly the correct one. See below for an exclusive code for $10 off for my readers!

Easy two step program for self fitting bras at home. I've got to try this.

Then you wrap the measuring tape around where your bra band is and wherever the color block overlaps that is your band size. I was kind of in the middle of the 34 when I measured so I ordered both the 34 and 36 since they do free returns and exchanges (even if you have worn or washed the bra).

Tips on finding the perfect bra size at home.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the 4/36 bras fit me. I got two different styles with their patented comfort wire but they do have wire-free styles for those who prefer that. The RealFit® Kit costs $19.95 but then you get a $20 discount when you order a bra so it’s pretty much free since you wouldn’t really just get the fitting kit you know. Plus they are offering my readers $10 off the RealFit® Kit with the code RAEGUN10* so it’s an even better deal. It feels silly to be as excited as I am about new bras but having ones that finally fit and not having to try on bras with an impatient 2 year-old in tow is kinda magical. Mom magical but still ;)

Real FIt Bras and fitting kit by Jockey review. This sounds so much better than traditional bra shopping

I really like the RealFit® bras by Jockey but what I’m really excited about is that now that I have the kit I can reuse it because after whining to my mom friends about my post-nursing bra situation they said their sizes changed a lot the first couple years after nursing. Fun right? Well I guess I don’t have to feel like I can’t lose weight having to deal with  an annoying bra fitting experience…because you know that’s really what was the biggest thing stopping me from shedding those pounds ;)

Such an interesting idea for bra fittings. Great for after breastfeeding and weight loss.

Even though your size might change and time to go shopping is nonexistent after nursing, there’s no need to settle for ill-fitting bras any longer. Find Your Perfect Size. Use promo code  RAEGUN10 to get $10* off the RealFit® Kit  on Jockey.com. (offer expires 11/30).

*Offer expires 11/30/16 at 11:59 p.m. PST. $10 off only on RealFit® Kit on Jockey.com with coupon code RAEGUN10. Coupon code single use only. Discount applied at checkout before tax and shipping. Not valid on RealFit bra by Jockey style nos. 6701-6703, 6705, 6707, sale items, previous purchases, Jockey Being Family® items or in-store. Selection varies; available on in-stock items only while supplies last. Cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions. No rain checks/cash redemption. Void where prohibited.

Visit Sponsors Site

Ten MORE Things No One Tells First Time Moms and Dads

owlet-disclosure

My very most popular post is my list of Tips and Tricks People Forget to Tell New Moms. So I’m super excited to bring you even more things I’ve learned the hard way that people should tell first time moms and dads!

These are spot on! Why didn't anyone tell me these things with my first baby? Helpful things to know as a first time mom (or dad).

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you were able to read Sydney‘s article yesterday on making baby’s bed safe for sleep. I’m teaming up with Owlet to share some safety (and otherwise helpful) tips for first time parents as well as a huge giveaway (scroll down for details). #ad #spon

After that first post of things no one tells new moms I had lots of readers share the other things they wish someone had told them and  in my own daily life I kept finding myself thinking I should have put this on the list. So in no particular order here are More helpful tidbits I wish someone had told me as a new mom.

1. EVERYTHING is a Phase

I didn’t get this when I wrote my first list. I was so stressed about sleep. I wasn’t getting any of it and once we figured out night time sleep I was stressed that Teddy wasn’t napping on his own. But since then I’ve realized that IT IS ALL A PHASE. Like really. They grow up so fast and the things we’re tempted to agonize about will be over before long. Why was I so concerned about holding my baby for nap? My days of holding a baby (or kid now) who will let me hold him are numbered. When they are babies and toddlers things change so fast. You can stress about figuring stuff out and get things down but soon after you do, things will be completely different so honestly try not to stress that much.

Great list of helpful and strange things no one thinks to tell new moms and dads.

(not a sticker but this was about the age when I tried the “sticker fun”)

2. Babies Eat Stickers

Did you know this? Umm yeah because they do. When Teddy was smaller I thought he’d have fun with stickers so I stuck a few on him only to find him trying to shove them into his mouth. I relayed this experience to my girlfriends thinking it was so silly and they said “oh yeah they do that”. What!? That’s like a thing? It would have been nice for someone to warn me. I was totally paying attention so Teddy wasn’t in any real danger since I snatched them away before he got them in his mouth. But still that is kind of dangerous. I wish someone had mentioned it to me before.

3. Balloons are Really Dangerous for Babies

Speaking of trying to eat things. Let’s talk about balloons. For the record I knew this one but I’ve been shocked at the number of people I’ve met who don’t know that balloons are very dangerous to babies and toddlers or who tried to give my baby a balloon but not watch him with it or were about to let him try and chew on one. Not counting food, balloons are the most common cause of choking death in babies. The flimsy latex contours to the airway and blocks it off. Don’t let babies have balloon unless you can give them 100% of your attention. And by all means do not let them put balloons (inflated or deflated whether waiting to be blown up or popped) in their mouths. Since most babies put everything in their mouths I vote to keep them completely away from their faces and in your own hands just to be on the safe side.

4. Try and Read All the Books While You’re Pregnant

This relates to #1. Everything is a phase and it moves so fast. You go from one thing to another and you’d think you’d have time to research your parenting options and decide how you feel about different things but you guys it all happens so fast and if you’re like most people you won’t be getting much sleep so your brain isn’t going to be working. I WISH that I had read a few parenting books on the big topics like sleep, and eating, and maybe a catch all first two years what to expect type of book while I was pregnant. Not that I think you can totally plan but I would have liked to know a few of the different approaches to the whole sleep thing and ideas to try BEFORE I was in the throws of extreme sleep deprivation. You think you’ll have time since you’ll be feeding them a lot but if you’re like me you’ll wish you had checked out some books sooner. I’d recommend taking a peek at things you think might come up through the first 2 years.

Owlet baby monitor and other tips and tricks people don't tell new moms

(photo courtesy of See Kate Sew)

5. You Don’t Have to Be Paranoid of Sleep

I’ve already mentioned (and if you’ve been around here from a while you KNOW) we got terrible sleep while Teddy was a baby. Like until he was around 2. I’m a natural worrier and let me tell you nothing makes you worry more than the possibility that your baby is not safe. There are so many sad stories about babies dying in their sleep. Every year 3,500 babies while they are asleep, that’s more than 10 times those that die in car accidents. I think almost all moms remember that first time their baby slept through the night mostly because we weren’t asleep ourselves. We were all stressed that something might be wrong but not sure if we should check on the baby and risk waking him or her.

I wish wish wish that I had an Owlet Baby Monitor when Teddy was an infant. I have a number of friends that have used it lately and I’ve been totally jealous. If you’re not familiar with the device it is the only baby monitor that uses hospital technology—pulse oximetry—designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. All that amazing technology is placed into a tiny, snuggly baby sock that the little one wears to bed. It’s totally wireless and connects via bluetooth to a base station and Wi-Fi to any smartphone so you can view live vitals. I did not have many opportunities to sleep since my baby was a “bad sleeper”. But even when he did actually sleep I was filled with anxiety that something would happen which made falling asleep (for the short periods that he was down) really hard. I think I would have slept so much better and easier if I had one of these to ease my worries!

6. Swim Diapers Don’t Hold Pee

Is your mind blown because mine was! I must have just been lucky because I put Teddy in swim diapers on the way to the pool MANY times. But it wasn’t until he totally soaked his outfit at the children’s museum, when he was almost 2, that I realized that swim diapers don’t hold in liquid. That is how they keep from getting heavy in the water. They are just meant to keep poop out of the pool. I guess it makes sense in retrospect but really why didn’t someone tell me this!!!? So there I told you.

Random but helpful info about diapers people forget to tell new moms

(pool time with the cousins, he was SO small)

7. It’s Easy to Mix Up Swim Diapers and Pull Ups

So this is a sillier one but really, why do swim diapers and pull ups have to look SO similar? Color and all. Let me tell you how you can tell the difference when you’re in the water: the diaper will swell to about 10 times the size of normal, get heavy, and the absorbent beads can burst out of the diaper. I’ve been guilty of the mix up and been around to witness more than one other mom who managed to mix up the two diapers. If you pay attention when getting ready to swim you’ll be fine but it’s so easy just to go fast and mix them up.

8. You Might Want to Hold Off On Some Gifts

Especially if you receive a lot of newborn sized clothing you will probably be tempted to wash those puppies up and get them all cozy in a drawer but some babies are born too big for new born sizes. Maybe wash a few and wait to see just in case you want to return some of the itty bitty clothes. The same goes for toys and other gear. You might think you want it before baby is here but once you try it out it might not be your thing. Keep the packaging and gift receipts just in case.

I totally agree these are really helpful for new parents but for some reason no one things to tell first time moms and dads. Great list.

9. The One Month Mark Is Hard

Maybe it’s not exactly one month for everyone but there will be a time near the beginning where you think oh my gosh we’ve had this baby for a while now and it’s still SO HARD what is going on. It makes those very first newborn days seem like cake because in comparison they were. You’ll have less help, if you had visitors or people coming in, or if you or your partner partner that had baby leave and have to start working again. You’ll just feel like you ought to be able to “do more” or that things should be easier but they aren’t yet. But you know what you’re probably all sleep deprived and it’s had all that time to compound. But I promise it will get better. I just want to warn you that there is this point for most of us where it feels like it should have gotten better by now and it hasn’t. Don’t be discouraged that is totally normal and it’s still coming it WILL get better.

10. Decide What You Want Your Hospital Visits to Look Like

Things happen fast (even if they happen really slowly) and you are so tired after giving birth and the hormones and emotions are raging. I really regret not telling (or having my husband tell) people to get out of the room. I had been up ALL NIGHT birthing a child with a super long pushing periodd and people were around and I could not rest. I just wanted piece and to be able to try to sleep. But I felt rude and selfish not to mention totally awkward getting up in my open flap gown all bloody and groggy crossing the room in front of people to go to the bathroom. But you know what everyone else could see the baby later. They could peek in for a quick hello but they did not need to be there in those first hours. I wish I had thought through that stuff before I was there and set some ground rules. In addition to the sleep I needed time to try and figure out nursing WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE. Related to the hospital visitors I really regret not taking my photographer friend up on her offer to come do some birth photos. She didn’t push because you know I had just given birth but I wish that I had decided before I went in that that was just one of the things we were going to do because in the moment I felt disgusting, exhausted, and the idea of being photographed sounded horrible but now I feel like I really missed out.

funny unsolicited advice meme for moms and 10 things people forget to tell first time moms

11. You Get to Determine the Type of Parent You Want to Be

If you’re not already getting bombarded with unsolicited advice from family, friends, acquaintances, and random strangers be prepared. For some reason a pregnant woman or really anyone with an infant is like a magnet for the “experts” to “share” their “advice”. Some might actually be helpful, some might be well meaning, but others will be rude, obnoxious, and flat out wrong. Just remember you are the one who gets to decide how you want to parent. Even if it’s not the same way all your friends and family have chosen it doesn’t matter. Go the way your gut and your own research leads. You can even question the doctors and honestly I encourage you to do that if anything feels wrong check things out do research and ask them to explain their reasoning. There are SO many ways to parent that helps you keep your children safe and grow into awesome adults don’t feel bullied into one way from other people. And remember you can change your mind and try different things out as you learn and experience more. See what works for you, your family, and this particular baby. Even within the same family different things might work for different kids. And above all make sure you let yourself enjoy your little ones.

Now how about an awesome giveaway!

owlet-giveaway

We will have 4 winners total with about $850 for the prizes! So there more chances to win. Enter with the rafflecopter widget below.
  • (1) Owlet Baby Monitor ($249.99)
  • (1) Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($49.99)
  • (1) Evenflo SensorSafe Car seat ($149.00)
  • (1) Burley Solstice Jogger  ($399.99)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to stop by Alyssa’s tomorrow for tips for keeping baby safe outdoors! And if you have any other tips for first time moms please share in the comments.

How to Survive Nursing and What to Do About Plugged Ducts

healthy mama disclosure

Best list of ideas and tricks to try when dealing with plugged ducts from breast feeding

So many people think that just because nursing a baby is natural that it should come naturally or that it should be easy. Thankfully for many moms this is absolutely true but for the rest of us nursing is hard work. Even after taking a breast feeding class and hearing all the advice and tips from mom friends I had a rough go at it. Once Teddy figured out how to actually do it, which in itself took a while, I had plugged ducts almost every other week for the first 6-9 months.

I learned a lot about different things to try and do that helped me and I’ve been wanting to share my two cents on how to survive nursing and especially what to do about plugged ducts. If you know any new mamas you or anyone expecting a new baby soon pass this a long. People don’t always like to talk about this stuff but it’s great info to have on hand in the unfortunate case that you or your friends find themselves in these situations. Please note that I am NOT a professional. Please consult your health care provider when considering any medical issues or taking any medicines or supplements. These are just the things that worked for me and I hope that sharing my experiences will help others who find themselves in the same predicament.

Nursing tips and great ideas and tricks for dealing with and conquering plugged ducts while breast feeding

Drink Plenty of Water

First things first. Make sure you’re drinking a ton of water. Feeding a baby takes a lot of liquid and even in your likely sleep deprived state you need to make sure to stay hydrated. A friend gave me the tip to drink water the whole time the baby nursed and that helped me to remember.

Lanolin (or Olive Oil)

When you first start nursing your poor nipples might get cracked and dried and basically freak out at their new treatment. I was so grateful to have brought a tube of lanolin to the hospital with me. Once home I kept some in my purse and on my nightstand. Use it generously at first and eventually you won’t need it. But there is no reason to endure unnecessary pain.

If You Have Supply Issues Try Fenugreek or make Lactation Cookies

I know not everyone has supply issues but I did. I think my boobs made JUST ENOUGH but really not anything more. I never had great success pumping but when I felt like I needed to boost my supply I found the herbal supplement fenugreek or a batch of these delicious lactation cookies really helped. The cookies by the way are totally fine for the whole family to eat. I actually had to hide them from my hubby because they were so yummy.

Pay Attention to Your Body and Catch Plugged Ducts Early

If you don’t know what a plugged duct feels like it starts with feeling a small hard area in the breast. If it doesn’t get unplugged it can get bigger and more of the breast can feel hard. I recommend the second you start feeling like there is a plug to drop every thing and tend to it like it’s your full time job. After I had experienced a few plugged ducts I started to noticed that Teddy would be weird about nursing and then I’d pay attention to how my breast that he was nursing on felt like and I would realize that indeed it felt like there might be a plug. The sooner you catch it the better.

Great pregnant and nursing friendly pain killers and tips on dealing with plugged ducts

Take Something For the Pain

Plugged ducts can be so painful. For the longest time I tried not to take anything but really it’s a lot harder to take care of a baby and try to unplug the duct if you’re distracted by pain. To be on the safe side you can take a vetted pain reliever like healthy mama® Shake That Ache which is an acetaminophen pain killer that is specifically formulated for pregnant and nursing moms. It’s nice to have an option that you know is safe and that has been researched and tested for when you’re pregnant and nursing. I found the healthy mama® stuff at Walmart right next to the prenatal vitamins. I love how there is this new category of products specifically designed for nursing and pregnant moms so we don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt to find what we can actually take and use!

Be Mindful About Sleeping Position and Pressure

I could not sleep on my tummy (or really even my side) with out getting a plugged duct. It really sucked because I am a tummy sleeper. But I quickly learned that just that amount of weight was enough to cause a plugged duct. I also once got one after letting Teddy sleep on my chest one night where he was being particularly needy.

Dangle Feed

This will sound crazy but I’m telling you that if you are like me you’ll try anything and this actually worked for me. The basic idea is to let gravity help so you want your nipples pointed down. What worked easiest for me was to get on my hands and knees put the baby under me with a pile of pillows for me to rest my head on (so I didn’t have to balance like that with all the weight in my arms) and let the baby nurse like that. So many times this is what ended up really unplugging the duct. Usually after trying some of the other stuff first to loosen it up. Sometimes I was just too tired to fully dangle feed but if I put the baby next to me instead of on my lap leaned over more it had a similar effect.

crazy tips that actually work for dealing with plugged ducts from nursing and breast feeding

Hot Packs

Make yourself some 5 minute hot packs and apply heat to your affected area. Remember your ducts run under your armpit too not just in the normal breast area you think of. I tried to do this before I nursed so that when Teddy sucked it would flow better and hopefully pull the plug out.

Use an Electric Toothbrush to Break Up the Plug

This is my favorite trick. It’s so ridiculously crazy though. Take an electric tooth brush and hold the back or the base to the plugged area. Move it around and let the vibrations break up the plug. You won’t feel it when it breaking the plug up but the vibrations can break the plug into smaller pieces. So when you do this and combo it with breast feeding or pressing your breast in the shower it works great. DON’T USE THE BRISTLE SIDE. You might be desperate to feel like something is happening. All you’ll get is a rug burn on your boob. Ask me how I know. But really when done propery this works. My favorite way to do this is start with the hot pack. After using that for 15 minutes then do the tooth brush then get into the tub and try and press the sucker out and then if it still isn’t out dangle feed. Usually that order would do the trick for me.

Hot Showers

There is something about the hot moisture that helps. What you do is get in the shower run the hot water on the affected area. Some times I’d do a bath first to soak it and then pressing towards the nipple try to press the plug out. You want to press hard. It might be painful but it can really help. Sometimes it hurt so much I thought I was going to bruise myself. Do it over and over from different angles but always moving towards the nipple since you want to press the plug out. You might notice hardened white stuff start to come out before it unplugs. You can try and pull it out or keep pressing but hopefully you’ll feel the wonderful release when the plug comes out and your milk can flow properly again.

Pregnancy and nursing approved energy drink. And other great tips for nursing with plugged ducts

Keep Your Energy Up

Make sure to get as much sleep as you can. But when you have a nursing little one that isn’t always easy. Plus if you have a plugged duct that longer you wait the worse it gets and the higher chances that it will turn into mastitis. So if you find yourself in zombie mode you might want to try healthy mama® Boost It Up which is an electrolyte filled supplement drink great for pregnant women and nursing moms. It’s tested for safety and can give you the energy you need to fight the plugged duct.

Try Lecithin

Finally I found that taking lecithin every day really helped to stop my plugged ducts. What lecithin does is thin out the milk. Nothing noticeable but it makes it less viscous inside I guess. Once I added it to my daily routine my instances of plugs went way down. And then when I did have them they were minor and were easy to unplug quickly with the tricks I’ve shared above.

Good luck. I really feel those of you who find yourself here in the middle of the night looking for some relief. I hope some of these tips work for you. And just know it will pass. Now when I first sense a plug coming on I start with the hot packs. I leave them on until they don’t seem warm any more (15 to 20 minutes). Then I use the toothbrush vibrations to break up the duct (about 5-10 minutes). I next jump into the bath and try and press the duct free with hot water. If this doesn’t work I dangle feed. For me I had to time things perfect since it really worked the best for me to do this order hot pack – tooth brush – shower – dangle feed. But sometimes I’d do hot pack – tooth brush – hot pack dangle feed. You’ll have to find out what works for your body but in my experiences your baby is your biggest tool. Nurse as often as you can.

Breast feeding survival guid and how to treat plugged ducts caused by nursing

Did you deal with nursing troubles or plugged ducts? Do you have any other tips people can try?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

He’s Here! Meet Baby Teddy

Rae Gun Ramblings baby boy

In case you didn’t hear the news over the Instagram or the Facebook the baby came this past Saturday. I would love you to meet Theodore Graham Fischer. We’re calling him Teddy for short. Yes, we did name our child Teddy Graham.

Teddy sI’ll write more of a recap later but the gist of it is that after my water broke at 1:30pm Friday the little guy finally decided to make his entrance late Saturday morning. We are doing pretty good considering I had 4th degree tearing (wahoo) and we’re still figuring out the nursing thing. But we’ve gotten out of the house every day so that is a good sign.

Teddy-002sAnd I’m doing my best to sleep as much as I can so I still haven’t gotten through emails and all of that if you’re waiting to hear from me hopefully I’ll be able to catch up soon enough. We’ve had finally meeting our little guy and the whole family is just in love. The nieces are so so cute with him I know they are going to be the best cousins ever! I can’t wait to share more about my adventure with my little guy. He’s proving himself to be pretty awesome already!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Easy Breakfast Burritos and 37 Week Prego Update

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Jimmy Dean, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RedboxBreakfast http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

Easy Breakfast Burritos at Rae Gun Ramblings #RedboxBreakfast #PMedia #ad

I’ve been trying so hard to get everything in order before Toasty comes. I can’t believe I’m already 37 weeks. Like they don’t worry at all if I go into labor any more 37 weeks. It has gone fast! I’ve always struggled with breakfast but as I’ve been trying to use all my time and energy to it’s fullest I keep finding myself looking at the clock and it being 1 pm and I’ve only had juice. I really need some easy and satisfying breakfast options.

Super Yummy and Easy Breakfast Burritos at Rae Gun Ramblings  #RedboxBreakfast #PMedia #ad

I’ve tried Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches before and liked them ok so I was intrigue when I was given the chance to test out the Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Breakfast Bowls. I’m not going to lie I was a little wary about the microwavable nature of it all and eggs to boot but I went into it with an open mind and I can honestly say I really like these. Like, I’ve already returned to Walmart and picked up 3 more boxes after finishing my trial one liked it.

 Easy Breakfast Burritos at Rae Gun Ramblings #RedboxBreakfast #PMedia #ad

It’s quite a generous portion size. A whole bowl is a bit more than I can finish and I eat more than most of my friends. My favorite way to have it is to put half of it in a tortilla with some avocado and a side of fruit. It’s the perfect amount and I can have it ready to eat super fast. I just throw the left overs in a ziplock bag for another day. I get two meals and most importantly I’m not ravenous and eating cookies and anything in site at 2pm when i realize I’m starving.

Cute materinty picture from Joyous Moments Phtography at Rae Gun Ramblings and easy breakfast idea #RedboxBreakfast #PMedia #ad

And for a wee prego update since it’s been a few weeks. Here’s a sneak peek at our maternity photo shoot that my good friend Debra of Joyous Moments Photography did. I’ll be sharing more pics later this week :)

  • I’ve been going to weekly appointments and everything seems good and on target.
  • I’ve been eating less (as I mentioned) forgetting breakfast (hopefully that will change now) and then just feeling full faster. Plus I think I’ve got some heart burn going on so maybe we’ll have a baby with some hair! Even so, somehow I’m still gaining lots of weight. The doctor keeps calling it water weight ummm okay let’s hope I guess.
  • My showers are over and we’ve bought the last of the stuff we for sure want before Toasty is here. It’s really weird to see baby gear all around our house. I did my first of what I’m sure will be many many loads of baby laundry.
  • With the help of a friend and MANY hours my upstairs (the studio and bedroom area, basically where I spend 90% of my home time) has been totally reorganized and sorted and room has been made for Toasty both in my work area and in the ginormous closet (it has a window, it’s totally and upgrade from what Harry Potter lived in).
  • Toasty is still a crazy moving machine. He loves to camp out right under my ribs. I don’t believe the whole “they slow down” near the end thing.
  • I didn’t think it was possible but I feel even hotter. I’ve been outside in a t-shirt and waking up crazy hot at night needless to say sleep has been crummy.
  • My doctor is out of town the next two weekends so I’m hoping and praying Toasty does not decide to come on one of the days he’s gone.
  • I’ve been getting really anxious about recognizing that I’m in labor. Everyone says “oh you’ll know” but I have a crazy high pain tolerance. You know when you say I hope it isn’t broken and everyone says “you’d know if you had a broken bone” well I’ve had at least 3 broken bones that I didn’t know were broken until one I went in 2 weeks later because the bruising didn’t go down and two when I had X-rays for other things and the doctor asked when I broke it before since he saw a healed break (umm yeah I didn’t know it was broken before). So if you have any non-pain related descriptions of labor and contractions I’d love to hear them.
  • But most of all we are all getting so excited to meet this little guy. It’s really fun to see Daniel get more and more excited every day!

 Easy Breakfast Burritos using Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls at Rae Gun Ramblings #RedboxBreakfast #PMedia #ad

Thanks so much for Jimmy Dean for sponsoring this post and helping me get back on the breakfast wagon. I am definitely a new fan of the Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Breakfast Bowls. Make sure to check out facebook, pinterest, twitter, and instagram!

 Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

 

34 Week Prego Update, Cute as a Button Shower, Birthing Classes, and Bigelow Tea

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Pregnancy Update with Bigelow Tea - Rae Gun Ramblings #AmericasTea, #shop, #cbias

So here’s what’s going on at 34 weeks! I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a music guy. His stuff has been played on national radio, appeared on TV shows, and more.  In fact he’ll be playing at a show for Sundance this weekend. He’s one of those people that will be making music into his old age. All that is to say that every night he’s at his keyboard working on songs and recently I’ve started having him play some stuff for Toasty. It’s kind of a fun little thing we’ve been doing. I have my nightly tea and have Daniel plays him a little tune.  It makes me really excited to see how music will play into the baby’s life when he’s here. Is that cheesy? I just think there is something sweet about it.

Cute as a Button Baby Shower - Rae Gun Ramblings #AmericasTea #shop #cbias

The biggest news is that I had my first baby shower. My MIL and mom threw me a shower this past weekend (my sister and friends have one planned for this weekend). It was a lot of church people and older friends of the family. They did a darling “Cute as a Button” theme and had a super yummy taco bar. It was really nice and let me just say this little babe is so loved already.

Cute as a Button Shower - Rae Gun Ramblings #AmericasTea #shop #cbias

I was totally overwhelmed putting stuff away after the shower. They kind of cleaned out our registry. These ladies went wild. I knew the grandmas were excited but it seems like there are even more people are are looking forward to meeting the little guy when he’s out.

34 Week Prego Update and Herbal Tea - Rae Gun Ramblings #AmericasTea #shop #cbias

Speaking of getting Toasty out, we started our birthing classes and I’ve got to say they’ve been kind of traumatizing. The first class they showed this disturbing animated birth scene over and over where the creepy CGI baby turns his head and I just kept imagining his eyes popping open and being red. And then this last week they passed around intervention tools. Like freaking forceps and this heart rate monitor that they stick ahem up you and screw into the babies head if they can’t get a good external read. What the!!! Now I don’t mind knowing about these things but did they really have to pass them around?! At least they play some quality cheesy folk music while we practice relaxation techniques ;)

beat pregnancy heart burn with bigelow tea - Rae Gun Ramblings #AmericasTea #shop #cbias

And something new, I’m having a bit of heart burn. Nothing super bad but kinda acid-y back of the throat feeling, alot. It’s been a real bummer since I notice it kicks in more after I drink juice. And of course I’ve mentioned before that my prego body reacts weird to water. Like throws up. It’s not the taste. I actually really like water and miss it a lot but when I drink it in about 15 minutes I’ll throw up. So most of this time I’ve been drinking juice which obviously is really high in sugar so I haven’t been the most thrilled but with the new fun heart burn I’ve been turning to Bigelow herbal teas more and more. I’ve always been a big fan of their Mint Medley and Peppermint tea from Walmart but I’ve been branching out to more flavors. It’s been nice to have an alternative that isn’t so full of sugar and calories. I’ve always been a diet coke girl but I really hope to keep the tea trend even after Toasty is here, it’s just SO much healthier. And to be honest by the end of the day I was feeling totally sugared out from all the juice I had been consuming.

Plus it’s a good time to be a tea drinker since for a limited time you can find Bigelow packs with 4 extra bags in them at Walmart. And Bigelow is running a video contest with tea prizes as well as an iPad Mini. To enter just submit a video by January 29 get more info at https://www.facebook.com/bigelowtea.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

One Little Word: Learn and 32 Week Prego Update

One Little Word: Learn - Rae Gun Ramblings

I am a huge resolutions person. I’m a goal setter and list maker. I like to make plans but this year as I sit down to write my goals post I find that I’ve got a wiggly boy in my belly and all I know is that he’s going to be changing my life in so many ways. I find myself just excited to learn what’s next. So this year instead of a bunch of concrete goals I think I want to focus on learning. Learning what life is like as a mother, learning more sewing skills as I do my monthly Sew Our Stash projects, learning how I want the business to look with a kiddo of my own, learning how to improve my cooking, and general learning (like getting into a good Bible reading routine and reading a few non-fiction books).

Prego Update - Rae Gun Ramblings

Necklace from Delicate Industry on Etsy I love it SOOOO much!

It’s been a while so I thought I’d do a little pregnancy update. I am now 32 weeks. And I feel like it has completely flown by. This baby is going to be here SOON. We start our childbirth classes today. I’m a bit nervous. I’m normally a researcher but I have done minimal reading and looking things up (I think it’s a combo of being prego after loss and infertility as well as know so much of that material is fear mongering). Plus I’m older and have know a lot of people to give birth and have babies so I don’t feel completely ignorant about what’s in store but I know we’re going to get a lot of info and it’s going to become even more real. I think it’ll be fun to see how Daniel reacts to all the stuff ;)

I am…

  • feeling more tired. My energy is just lower in the last few weeks, which I hear is normal.
  • sleeping a lot more. I’m having a harder time getting to sleep and I think my quality of sleep is just a bit crummy so I’ve been “sleeping” a good 2-3 hours longer than I’m used to.
  • feeling huge. I don’t know why I did it but I weighed myself the other day. That was dumb. Yeah they weigh me at the doctors but they do it so fast and usually I’m not paying attention.
  • trying to get a bit more organized and make room for a new person.
  • excited for my baby showers (my friends and sister have one planned and my mom and MIL also are doing one together). Registering was a bit overwhelming PS thanks to all of you who gave awesome advice on the Rae Gun facebook page when I asked about what to register for.
  • thinking I want to do some pregnancy pictures but not sure where to do them in the middle of snowy winter here in SLC. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  • getting ready to go on “maternity leave” I have set a cut off date for all made to order items in my shop (that’s pretty much most of my shop). I hope to have some ready to ship stuff listed after that but I’m not going to kill myself and I’m definitely going to take my time to get back into things after he’s here. So, if you think you might want anything from my shop for this Spring (birthday parties, baby showers, etc.) please order before Jan. 24th.

Toasty is…

  • a moving machine.
  • he was doing some weird rhythmic thing that made be a bit nervous but my friends all thought it was probably hiccups which made sense.
  • he flipped out like flailing like a crazy person when I went through the car wash during an exceptionally loud portion of it.
  • just how he’s supposed to be according to the doctor.
  • already spoiled. He’s got a big old pile of fabric (not cheap mind you) and a good sized couple of gift cards to a super cute baby boutique.

That’s all I can think of for now. I do tend to post more prego related pics and tidbits on Instagram and Facebook if you’re curious. And if you have any questions let me know. I am now a firm believer in pregnancy brain since I obviously can’t think of anything.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Sew Our Stash and Prego Update

 Maternity Dress - Rae GUn Ramblings

If you’re new Bev from Flamingo Toes and I have challenged each other to make stuff for ourselves and we post our creations the last Thursday of the month (but since it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow we’re bumping it up this month). Join in on the fun by sharing what you’re sewing for yourself or what you’re wearing that you’ve made for yourself by using the hashtag #sewourstash and we might feature you! You can follow us over at @raegunramblings and @flamingotoes . Here are some of our favorite hashtag posts from last month!

Sew your own clothing

@shaffersisters, @dandeliondrift, @littlemookie, @sewcaroline, @2littlehooligans, @familyeverafter, @sewcaroline, @sewfearless

Okay so today I bring to you a total fail. See this dress. While I was making it I couldn’t decide if it was okay or if I hated it. I used my upcycled shirt dress tutorial but didn’t have enough fabric to make the skirt longer and I haven’t really mastered the whole sewing for a belly yet. In fact I only basted the skirt to the sweater.

 They can't all be winners, sewing fail - Rae GUn Ramblings

So after I had my sister take some pictures I asked what she thought, she didn’t like it. And her boyfriend who hemmed and hawed until we assured him I wanted his real opinion and he admitted his dislike. So even though the top picture is OK these ones above were the next best that I got with all the rest being just awful. So it’s one of those pieces that mostly looks horrendous on but from the absolute perfect angle is tolerable. Oh well. It didn’t take too long.

Maternity Shirt from Casual Lady Pattern - Rae Gun Ramblings

I also made another Materity-ized Casual Lady. I love that that pattern. I need to make more. I keep walking into stores looking at their boring maternity shirts for 30$ that are so plain and leave with nothing. I think I’m going to just cut a bunch of these out this weekend and stop my winning about clothes.

Mockingjay Cowl - Rae Gun Ramblings

Finally I couldn’t control my inner creative book geek and had to make myself a mockingjay cowl. I used my tutorial for making a mockingjay iron on from my mockingjay tank and then this 10 minute cowl tutorial so easy and cozy.

So since I’m flaunting my ginormous belly in all these pictures and I haven’t done a prego update in ages I figured I’d add a few fun facts. I might have been freaking out a tiny bit while editing pictures for today’s Sew Our Stash post. I mean I feel HUGE but everyone is all like oh you just feel that way, but nope I LOOK huge too and it’s only going to get bigger hahaha. Oh well it’s all a part of it right?

  • I’m 26 and a half weeks
  • I just realized that we are getting close especially with the holidays it’s going to go fast!
  • We’re not ready AT ALL. We have nothing. No really what do we need to get?
  • I have my glucose test next appointment which I hope I pass because I still can’t drink water without throwing up and I don’t want to be told to drink stuff with aspertane in it.
  • We have a couple names that we don’t hate. I think we’ve given up on any hope that we’re going to love a name. We won’t be sharing the name until he’s born. It’s way too hard for us to agree on a name and people have no self control in telling you they hate the name or that they know some awful evil person with the name so we will not be risking getting back to no names.
  • I think my mom and MIL have been secretly buying baby stuff.
  • I have bought baby socks and one onesie. I thought I hated the selection of boy clothes but Daniel makes it even worse. He’s declared a hate for anything with words on it, skulls, and bow ties. So I guess this baby is doomed to wearing stripes stripes and more stripes.
  • We call the baby Toasty. Short for Toaster Strudel because he makes the bed so stinking hot!
  • Toasty likes to have dance parties at about 1 am. And he dances like a wild beast. Luckily I’m not usually in bed until later any ways.

Well don’t forget to go see what Bev has been sewing this month! And hopefully the holidays won’t be too crazy and I’ll see some of you sharing your #sewourstash pictures on Instagram :)

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Gender Reveal Party and My First Outfit for My BABY BOY

 Baby boy outfit and how to make shoulder loops - Rae GUn Ramblings

So yup the creature wiggling and and wacking me from the inside is a BOY! Holy moley I know nothing about boys this is definitely going to be an adventure! We did a little gender reveal party with our family and friends that have been with us through all the infertility stuff and for part of it I wanted to make the little guy a couple outfits. More about the party below.

Cute boy mustache outfit from https://www.etsy.com/shop/RaeGun

I have a few boy outfits in my shop like this little mustache outfit. But for the most part I’m lost when it comes to boy clothes so if you have any favorite patterns, blogs, or suggestions please send them my way. I would love to make this little guy some cute stuff and so much that I see in the stores for boys is just boring.

How To Make The Jumper

Cute outfit for a boy and shoulder detail tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

For the reveal I made this little jumper based on a style that I used to sell in my shop. There are plenty of simple baby patterns that you could use to get the same shape but I really love the shoulder detail which is SO easy to do. Basically you make a little strap. I cut my fabric 2 inches by about an inch longer than my shoulder space and then folded the piece in half like you’re making a little strap. Sew one short side and one long side. Right side out it and press. And repeat for the other side. Then when it’s time to attached the sleeve just sew in the “strap” positioning it so it just is a little longer than the finished edge of the collar if you want it to poof like mine or if you want it to be flat you can make it the same distance or a bit shorter. Sew on a button and you’ve got a cute little should detail.

The Gender Reveal Party

gender reveal party - Rae Gun Ramblings

Now I know that not everyone will “get this” which is fine. I’ve heard some down right nasty things said about gender reveal parties in general. In fact I’ve already gotten kind of mean/insensitive comments. But I just figure they are either jerks or don’t know my story. We worked and tried and tried and were so close to giving up on a baby. It’s been a long road and so many people have helped us a long the way. But the unfortunate thing about having  bad news for SO long was that when I finally had good news I was paranoid. I didn’t believe it would last so instead of telling friends and family and being excited, most of them were informed and then banned from talking to me about it. I just wasn’t ready to be excited. I didn’t do anything cute or creative to tell anyone I was pregnant. So I wanted to do something to say thanks for dealing with my nonsense and yay let’s be excited. I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a gender reveal party and so many people got excited. Then I was feeling like that was a silly self-centered thing to do so I mentioned that I might not do it and those friends adamantly insisted that I still do one.

Yesterday as we were getting ready for this party that both my husband and I felt totally silly about I had no idea what to expect. I sent the invitations with all kinds of disclaimers “this is a silly thing”, “don’t feel like you have to come”, “no presents”, and so on. But then we opened the door in the morning to find my MIL had totally bombed our house with baby excitement. So I thought even if this party is just for our parents that was fine they definitely deserved it.

Gender reveal party - Rae Gun Ramblings

I wrapped up the little jumper, a mustache onesie set, a few copies of our ultrasound pictures, some personalized candy that my mom sent me a gift certificate for, and a couple helium filled balloons with “boy” written all over them. But then we had friends and family show up and show up and show up. It was overwhelming. It was touching. We definitely felt loved that so many people cared about our silly little news. We had people write their guesses and when it was time I had the nieces open up the present with all the goodies in it and we just enjoyed a great time with good friends, family, and food. We are so blessed to have many people excited for this little guy and who love us so much.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket