Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1st Birthday Party - Pink/Zebra Minnie Mouse

So I was thinking of a blog topic and even though my daughter's birthday party was back in November I thought I would share her birthday party pics!

I have no crafty bones in my body - I try to be a DIY momma with style but things just don't "click" very often in the DIY world for me!

I was going to make her cake, but honestly I didn't have time or any patience. Her party was at a local hall and her guest list was 75+ people. Talk about enough people to have a small wedding! We wanted to have a big first birthday party - will hopefully be small close friends/family this year for her 2nd.
LOVED her cake, and it was exactly what I had envisioned. The Minnie Mouse was a second layer so we had plenty of cake. I had it made at a local grocery store for roughly $80 bucks.
 I initially went to a family owned bakery but they were rude and laughed at the pictures I brought them for her cake. Uh... thanks but I will take my business somewhere else.
The only downside of a zebra cake is the black icing stains your teeth for a little while! whoops!
The smash cake was free
Of course she loved the cake, and she even shared some with Daddy!

My Mom helped me with the hall decorations:
Pink tablecloth and zebra wrapping paper in the center

Not sure why this is upside down - I can't flip it! Anyways centerpieces were glass jars from the dollar store filled with black and silver straw. We made the Minnie Mouse faces and #1 with foam and hot glued them together. Then we attached a zebra bow from ribbon.


We had a Pizza Party - these plates were for chips/pretzels/snacks at each table. Dollar store black plates hot glued together with a bow to look like Minnie Mouse.

Balloons! There was some "helium shortage" so we paid an arm and a leg for these balloons! I had to have them ;-)

No Minnie Mouse Party is complete without a big poster of her!
That Minnie Mouse Balloon lasted about a month in our living room after the party!

I probably should have covered the high chair with something.... anything but I didn't. Oh well... The decorations were zebra fabric and foam hot glued to string around the tray.

Gianna and her cousin.

I purchased her outfit off of Etsy - Embroidery & More shop. You can check out the shop HERE!

Her outfit included the Tutu, onsie with her name embroidered, and the headband. I paid $48. I then found a pair of zebra slippers with a hot pink bow on top on Ebay for $4!! Score!

The shoe's hot pink bow, and the tutu's pink tulle don't really match but for $4 bucks I can't complain!
She wasn't sure why everyone was singing to her. haha.. This is the look of pure shock! & Of course the headband was torn off for 90% of the party.
Photo Collage of her 1st year I made. All I did was cut several pictures in random shapes and tape the back of them together. I laid them all face down in a large plastic frame from Target $10.  Family canvas photo in our Pittsburgh Steelers gear on the right.
Family Photo - I was exhausted! I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve with no sleep before her big party!
Spoiled Rotten =)
Sound asleep in a sugar coma!
There you have it - my baby girl's first birthday is long gone - I can't say that I am looking forward to her 2nd birthday :(
 I don't think I did too "bad" for not being a crafty person ;-)
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Breast Feeding - what they don't tell you!

Hi Everyone!

I am no expert when it comes to breastfeeding, but I can tell you what I know and what worked for me. My cousin (who is more like a sister to me) is pregnant and due in March. She already has one lil girl who is 4 and she did not breastfeed her. All of a sudden she wants to exclusively pump (she is refusing to put baby to breast) for this child and came to me for advice.
I went to her house yesterday to give her a breast pump tutorial. Brought back sweet memories of my not so little baby girl - and made me realize I am SO ready for another baby!

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had no family members to ask questions to. My mother did not breastfeed me and no other women in my family did it either. Everyone kind of gave me this dumbfounded look when I said I wanted to breastfeed her. I ended up taking a breastfeeding class, which was very useful, and read lots of books. It sounded easy enough so why not. Plus, formula is freaking E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. Also, breastfeeding is supposed to help you lose weight well that shit didn't work for me!

So I had my daughter, and every book I read said that you need to put baby to breast immediately, so that's what I knew I had to do. All I kept thinking was "if I don't put her to my boob I feel like she will never latch on" so I literally pushed her out, she got checked out, and I was immediately asking my midwife if I should start nursing her. That first time was the easiest. She must have been HUNGRY because she was sucking away!! I know she didn't get much and it was only the colostrum but it made me happy that she latched on so easily. When I got to my post partum room (around 2 AM) I told my nurse I didn't want Gianna (my baby) to leave the room but she told me it would be better if I got some rest. I had no idea this was the only rest I was going to get for the next several weeks! I fed her again and then I fell asleep they took her to the nursery for about 4 hours.

I asked to see a lactation consultant to make sure I was doing everything right. These women are very knowledgeable and even gave me tips. I highly recommend seeing one before being discharged. They kick you out of the hospital so damn fast after having a baby. I had been cradle holding her with my boppy pillow to nurse but I always felt like I was suffocating her so I was uncomfortable the whole time.
This is the boppy pillow I have. I used it daily until my daughter was 9 months. 

On the right shows how your back can hurt if you don't position properly. This was my least favorite position
They showed me how to do a football hold which worked much better.

The middle is the football hold which ended up being my favorite. The 3rd one is laying down and I did that position during the night which was more comfortable than sitting up with her.

Things nobody tells you about nursing your baby:
  • It hurts! Everyone told me "if it hurts you aren't doing it right" - well everyone told me I was doing it right and I was still in PAIN. I would cringe when it was feeding time.
  • Don't even waste your money on the Lanolin cream. It did nothing for me!
  • I ended up getting a prescription ointment from the Pediatrician for my cracked nipples. Yes, they crack and bleed until you get used to it. It took me about 3 weeks to get "used" to it.
  • I will spare you cracked and bleeding nipples but just google it - it is horrific!
  • Pumping takes time to set up and time to clean up, then its time to start all over again. A pain in the ass but worth it.
  • Don't waste your money on these bras:
  • Instead just cut two little holes out of an old bra - saves a lot of money and more comfortable
  • Start pumping early - I went a whole month without pumping when I first had my daughter and I never got a "stock pile" - something I regret every day.
  • Watch out when your milk comes in - I could soak a T-Shirt in 1 hour full of breastmilk if the baby slept more than a couple hours and I started leaking
  • Your boobs will increase a few cup sizes while nursing, and look like flat pancakes after you dry up.
  • Clogged milk ducts and engorgement are no joke- breastfeed and pump consistently to avoid it
  • If baby is cranky and won't go to sleep I just put her to my boob and she was out in 3 seconds.
I'm upset that work got in the way of my breastfeeding - not to mention formula is ridiculously expensive. My insurance covered a free double electric pump but my employer did not give nursing mothers any amenities. It's hard to walk away from a patient who is critically ill to pump when the other nurses who could watch my patients were just as busy with their patients.

My daughter was exclusively nursed for 2 months then nursed and breast milk fed from a bottle for another 2 months until I finally dried up and couldn't do it any longer.

Most importantly- If hubby won't get up in the middle of the night to help out feeding with the breastmilk you generously left out for him to give to her - squirt him in the face with your milk from your boob. I got so good at it that I was able to squirt him from the bedroom door! haha he learned real quick :)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blogger get together

Hi! As I stated last night, I am back to blogging after WINNING a bet with my man and taking 7+ days away from it. I wanted to spice up my blog, so I made a few changes, but overall I think it will always be a work in progress!
I recently purchased a Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch. Since it was my first one, and I don't know much about them yet I settled on this one:
I will let you know how I like it once I use it for a few weeks!
I'm excited to tell you about my night last night!
As I have said before I am a Pittsburgh Blogger (HOLLA!) so I knew I would run into other Pittsburgh Bloggers sooner or later. This is one of the BEST cities around - sorry if you aren't from here! ;-) I'm not sure who found who, who started following who, but I became blogging friends with Katie and Lex.  
I always thought about eventually meeting up with other bloggers but we live in a crazy ass world, and it's hard to trust anyone these days. It's sad!
 I got an email in the beginning of February:
I'm not going to lie, I was nervous! Nothing against either one of them- I love their blogs but like I said we live in a crazy ass world. So we decided to meet last night and I am glad we did!
Although we had to battle Pittsburgh Penguin Fans & traffic (we didn't realize our original destination was going to be packed with Pens Fans for the game) we finally met up in a freezing cold parking lot.
We enjoyed dinner - chatted - and had lots of laughs. It was a great time and I am glad I went.

I borrowed this pic from Katie, don't sue me! haha
By the time I picked up my daughter, she was ready for bed, and passed out in the car on the way home.

She loves animal print - or maybe I do.....


I stole some cuddles with my thumb sucking baby girl, and put her to bed.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"You blog too much"

"You BLOG too much" - those 4 words came from my loving fiance several days ago. Little did I know, he was watching how much time I spent blogging, how much time I spent reading blogs, and how much time I spent on my phone looking at emails/instagram/facebook/twitter/pinterest... etc etc etc. He told me that I haven't been paying any attention to him wah wah wah and he wanted me to delete it. This is coming from a man who never had a social media site. Not even MySpace back in the day! He knows all about them but chooses not to partake in the fun. I tell him all the time that I will make one for him and he gets pissed - he has no interest in it!
So basically he has an iPhone just to get sports updates, don't flip phones do that too?
I argued that I do NOT spend THAT much time on here, and explained that it is kind of like an outlet for me. I can talk about anything- I read about interesting things, I am making blog friends, I can vent about weight loss, mommy-hood and life in general. He still doesn't get it.
"You couldn't stay off of there for one week" One thing about us, if we make a bet - I am GOING to win. Trust me :) So I responded with "I can stay off of there for more than a week" We made an undisclosed bet and I was forced not to blog for at least a week.

Needless to say, I won! Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow!
I can't say I didn't cheat, because I did read all of your blogs daily. What he doesn't see doesn't hurt!
So I am back! I am in the process of changing up some things on the blog, possibly a new title - I am not creative so I can't think of anything catchy. Help me out :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Battle of the Bulge - Fat girl problems

I'm going to break it down
My never-ending list of:
 Fat Girl Problems!
I have known for a while that I needed to lose weight and get healthier. I had lots of moments when things happened to me and I knew it was time but it always got shrugged off until....
One of my patients asked me when I was due! My daughter was already a year old and she asked me when I was f*cking due! I was MORTIFIED! I was SO happy nobody else was around to hear her. I explained that I had a newborn at home which is a huge freaking lie, but I had to get out of the convo asap  because I was not pregnant. She just said OK. I don't think she even remembered asking me that question 5 minutes later, she was very confused and the nurse working before me was pregnant so maybe she thought I was her ya I am totally using that as an excuse - it was now the end of my shift so there is no way in hell that she could think I was the nurse from over 10 hours ago. This is when I officially started blogging to put it all out there, no holding back!
#1 Skinny Friends
I know I am not the only one who feels like this. Now really, if you are not fat, quit complaining about being fat! Around me at least!
#2 Muffin Top
Ya, I have one! So what? I am working on it but it does not disappear like magic. Mommy's had that belly/muffin top stretched out for 9+ months, I worked "hard" for that muffin top!
#3 Cropping Pics

I just laughed my ass off going through a ton of pics on facebook! I cropped E.V.E.R.Y. S.I.N.G.L.E. P.I.C.T.U.R.E! The pic above was cropped so you don't see my arm! Then I had to crop off some of him so it was centered and it didn't look like I cropped it. Then I had to make sure the date was cropped off in the bottom corner so that nobody knew it was cropped! Whoever invented cropping was a genius!
#4 Thinking you were fat
That's me - about 6 years ago thinking I was fat as hell! What was I thinking? I know I am not a twig there, and I know I never will be (I was born big boned haha) but damn I would kill to look like that again!
Or how about this pic:
I remember being on vacation (about 5 years ago) and I was so mad I didn't bring my shapewear! I am about to pull those jeans out and hang them on my wall for inspiration!
I know I wasn't a skinny minny but seriously, what the hell did I let happen to my body?
#5 I hate going clothes shopping
I can only go clothes shopping if I am in a great mood about it, which is next to never! Everything I try on has something wrong with it! I end up buying clothes way to big just to hide myself. 
I have not worn the following in over 5 years:
-Dress above the knee
-Tank top
It's ridiculous, and it is freaking HOT in the summer time wearing capris and shirts with sleeves!
#6 Public pools and the Beach
Lucky for me, my family usually goes to the Outer Banks for vacation.
If you have never been there, it is nice and quiet (depending on which part) and you usually have the beach to yourself. Or there will be another family 100 yards away. It's not like Ocean City Maryland or Myrtle Beach with everyone on top of each other.
We decided to get season passes to a local waterpark/amusement park this year. Ummm to say I am nervous is an understatement. I know my daughter will have a BLAST at the waterpark, but for me to be with her... in a bathing suit... sounds like a recipe for disaster!
I have lots more to share! Look for it later this week! 
Do you have any "Fat Girl Problems" you would like to share?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'm going to pull your heart strings

As a mom with a huge heart, I want to share a story with you about a local woman in my community. 

First and foremost, I do not know this woman - I have only heard AMAZING things about her. I am sharing this because we live in a society where we hear so many HORRIBLE things that happen everyday and there is little light shed on people who make a difference in the world. 

Her name is Kate and she (and a few others) started an organization called Project Sweet Peas several years ago - I believe in 2009. Project Sweet Peas helps families in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) deal with day to day struggles that come along with a premature baby or a baby born with defects. They offer comfort and care packages, and offer keepsakes if a family gains an angel. I know people that they have helped and they are seriously amazing!

Just this week,  Project Sweet Peas received a $20,000 check from JP Morgan Chase & Co. through its Chase Community Giving Program. Can you imagine how many families they could help with that money!! You can watch a video clip about it here!

From what I have read, Kate founded this organization after losing a child that was only 3 days old about 6 years ago.  She did not get anything to help her and her family remember her daughter. She knew she had to do something to help other mommy's out there that were going to be in similar situations - that is how Project Sweet Peas was formed. 

Kate then went on to have a miscarriage, and then was blessed with twins and then a son, all three were born premature. Her son (I believe he is 3) is currently getting therapy several days a week. 

Kate has recently taken a leave of absence from Project Sweet Peas - she must now care for herself. She was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I seriously hate that C word. It is such of a horrible thing. Kate recently turned 29. 20 is way too young to have that C word attached. 

As I cried (because I am a SOB) reading her story I came across a Facebook page earlier today entitled "Crawford's Rocking Cancer" This page was set up to inform family, friends, and supporters of her progress. 

As much as I hate Cancer I know that there are fighters out there and they can overcome it! 

I sent some encouraging words to her as a supporter. 

What I saw on that Facebook page today literally had me bawling:

"Dear Friends,
It is with a shattered heart that I share this news with you. I was admitted to the hospital today after my scans. The surgeon came up to my room and shared with Steve and me the test results from my MRI, CT and Bone scans.
The cancer has rapidly spread through my body. It is now in my other breast, liver and 2 places in my spine. I am officially fighting Stage IV (4) breast cancer. Our worst nightmares have just came true . . ."

Why do bad things always happen to good people? This seriously breaks my heart. A devoted Mother to 3 (after losing 2) and wife now has to deal with cancer that has spread throughout her whole body. It gives me chills re-reading it. 

All I am asking is that you hug your kids a little tighter, give your significant other a kiss "just because", and never hesitate to tell the ones you love that you love them. 

Feel free to follow along on her journey and show support through the facebook page linked above!