Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Day in the Life: Maternity Leave Edition

I love when other people write "a day in the life" posts - I am always fascinated to see how other people spend their days.  I wanted to capture a typical day during this season of my life...maternity leave.  I'm heading back to work part time in exactly 1 week, so I know this wonderful season is coming to an end.  I'll never have the experience of being on maternity leave with my first baby again (next time I'll have both a newborn and a toddler!), so I want to always remember what it was like (the best 12 weeks ever!)

Here's what last Friday, a typical day on maternity leave, looked like:

3:13 AM - I hear the baby crying on the monitor; he's hungry.  I can practically set my watch by his middle-of-the-night feeding - it's always within a few minutes of 3:00 AM, regardless of what time he goes to bed at night.  We get up and I nurse Carter.  

Blair brings me a giant cup of ice water (I'm always super thirsty during the middle-of-the-night feeding) and then lays down on the floor in the nursery to snooze while I feed the baby.  

Blair changes his diaper, I swaddle him, and put him back in his crib.

3:43 AM - back in my own bed and asleep.

8:08 AM - Carter's awake.  I look at the clock and can't believe it's after 8:00 AM (he usually wakes up around 7:00 AM, and I stopped setting an alarm in the mornings).  So, the rest of the day is about an hour behind our normal schedule...oops.  

I get up and nurse Carter and change him.

8:47 AM - I throw on some workout clothes and buckle Carter into the stroller; it's 69 degrees outside and we head out for a walk.  

We go on a 3-5 mile walk around the neighborhood every morning.  Today I decide to take the 5-mile route, which conveniently involves a stop by Starbucks (which happens about once a week) :)  Carter likes to look around during the first part of the walk but normally falls asleep in the stroller a couple of miles in.

9:53 AM - Carter and I are sitting on the patio at Starbucks and I'm enjoying a decaf non-fat Caramel Macchiato while Carter snoozes.  I check my email on my phone. Eventually he wakes up and I take him out of his stroller so he can sit in my lap and look around - he likes to watch the cars, people, and dogs that are always coming and going from Starbucks.

10:44 AM - We leave Starbucks and start the 1-mile walk home so I can get home in time for Carter's next feeding.

10:59 AM - We're home; I get Carter out of his stroller and put him on his playmat for tummy time.  

I start a load of laundry.  I do 1 or 2 loads of laundry every. single. day. because Carter spits up so much - we go through a lot of clothes and burp cloths!

11:19 AM - I make myself a quick breakfast to eat while I nurse Carter - a couple of whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins that I'd made previously and frozen, along with some grapes.  I normally eat plain nonfat Greek yogurt with homemade granola and berries for breakfast, but I'm out of berries and I'm trying to clear room in the freezer so I have more room to store frozen breastmilk.  I've gotten good at eating my daytime meals one-handed while feeding Carter.

11:43 AM - Carter's done eating; I change his diaper and get him dressed for the day.  I play with him on his playmat for a little while, then sit on the floor next to him to pump while he plays with his toys.  

I try to pump once after a morning feeding and once in lieu of an evening feeding everyday, which allows me to freeze 8-10 ounces a day and also feed Carter 1 bottle a day (to ensure he'll take a bottle when he goes to daycare).  I transfer the pumped milk to freezer bags, label, and wash the pump parts and bottles.

12:04 PM - I move the laundry to the dryer and start another load of laundry.

12:20 PM - Carter yawns a few times while playing, so I take him to his crib.  I swaddle him and put him down for a nap while he's drowsy but still awake.

12:25 PM - I squeeze in a quick core workout; I'm still not back to my pre-pregnancy workouts (kickboxing) until I strengthen my core muscles better - I don't want to injure myself by doing high-impact workouts before my core is healed.

12:40 PM - I finally get a chance to shower and get dressed for the day.  Unless we have plans to go somewhere, I basically wear the same thing everyday - an Old Navy v-neck vintage tee, shorts, and either sandals or Toms.  I'm up and down on the ground so much with Carter that something comfortable is key!

1:26 PM - I set the table for dinner tonight; our friends from church, the Smiths, are coming over tonight to bring dinner and stay and eat with us.

1:30 PM - I fold the first load of laundry, move the second load to the dryer, and re-stock the diaper bag with burp cloths, a blanket, and a nursing cover (Carter had spit up on all these things the day before).

1:45 PM - I vacuum the living areas of the house (kitchen, living room, dining room).  We're on the floor in these rooms so much, so it bothers me when the floors are dirty!  Since we go on a walk everyday, we manage to track in a lot more dirt than we used to.

1:53 PM - Fedex delivers a package - it's a baby gift for Carter.  There's no card inside, so I'll have to follow up later to figure out who it's from.

2:00 PM - I hear Carter stirring in his crib.

I go get him up and make myself a quick lunch to eat while I nurse him - a toasted cinnamon-raisin English muffin with natural crunchy peanut butter and grapes.  I eat this same exact lunch everday.  I eat my lunch one-handed while nursing Carter.

2:31 PM - Carter's done eating. my mom calls; I talk to her while I change his diaper and then put him on his play mat to play with his toys some more.  

3:11 PM - Carter starts to yawn, so I put him in his crib to take a nap.  I get the few "fall" decorations we own out of the garage and put them up around the house.

3:23 PM - I fold the second load of laundry and put all of the laundry away.  I've started using 3 laundry baskets for my, Blair's, and Carter's laundry to make this easier.

4:10 PM - Carter wakes up from his nap.  We need to run some errands, so I put him in his carseat and into the car.

4:25 PM - We stop by Kohl's.  I don't normally shop at Kohl's, but we've started getting a $10 off coupon in the mail almost weekly this summer, so I'll stop in and pick up an outfit for Carter for super cheap.  They sell Carter's brand clothes (my favorite) there, and they're always on sale for about $12, so I can usually get him a new outfit for $2 or so.  Today I find 2 Carter's outfits for next summer (one in 12-month and one in 18-month sizes) on clearance, so I manage to get both for $0.22.  Score!

4:39 PM - We walk next door to Bath and Body Works to pick up a couple of fall-scented candles.

4:51 PM - Back in the car, we head to Kroger to pick up a few groceries.  I only need a few things so I can just put Carter's carseat straight in the cart instead of carrying him in the Ergobaby carrier.

5:18 PM - We arrive home; Blair's home from work and brought me a Diet Coke from McDonald's on his way - God bless this man! 

He plays with Carter while I unload the groceries and put them away.

5:40 PM - Blair feeds Carter a bottle of pumped milk and changes his diaper while I pump, transfer the milk to bags, label and freeze it.

6:00 PM - The Smiths arrive with their daughter Cadence.  They brought a delicious dinner of homemade lasagna, salad, rolls, and wine (!) and stay to eat with us.  Carter plays on his playmat next to us while we eat.  We have been so blessed to have meals provided by friends several times a week since Carter was born! I can't believe I didn't get any pictures with the Smiths!

7:48 PM - The Smiths head home to put Cadence to bed.  We clean up the kitchen and put the leftovers away.

8:12 PM - I nurse Carter, change his diaper, and put him in his PJs.  We swaddle him and put Carter to bed for the night. 

8:37 PM - I wash pump parts and bottles.

9:20 PM - Finally, time to relax!  Blair and I watch a couple of TV shows from the DVR and have a microwaved smore (which sounds awful but we are addicted to them!)

11:40 PM - In bed!  Carter should be asleep until somewhere between 3:30 and 5:30 AM, so we have a solid stretch of sleep ahead of us!  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Favorite Things Under $10 - September

Today I'm linking up with Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything to share my favorite things under $10!

1.  Ikea Scarf Hanger

KOMPLEMENT Multi-use hanger IKEA Takes as little room as a clothes-hanger, but can store at least 28 different accessories. Can be washed by hand.
No matter the season, I love a scarf!  I used to keep my scarves in bins on a shelf in my closet, but I ended up never wearing the scarves at the bottom because they weren't visible (out of sight, out of mind).  I love this scarf hanger from Ikea because it allows me to hang up my scarves and see them all at once!  It's only $7.99 and can hold 28 scarves.

2. Microplane Pedicure Foot Rasp

Microplane Colossal Pedicutre Rasp Pink

So, this isn't the most glamorous product in the world...but it is amazing.  You know how the foot files you buy at Target to do an at-home pedicure never seem to get the bottom of your feet as smooth as they are after a nail salon pedicure?  You need this microplane foot rasp!  It's the same one they use at the nail salon, and it works SO much better than the flimsy Sally Hansen version - it's made by Microplane, so it's essentially a cheese grater for your feet (gross, but effective).  It has over 1,500 5-star reviews on Amazon...I love it!

3.  Old Navy Vintage V-neck Tees

I love Old Navy's vintage v-neck short-sleeve tees - I own at least 6-8 in both solid colors and stripes.  They're super inexpensive (they go on sale for about $6 all the time), soft, comfortable, and the perfect long length (key for tall girls like me).  These have become part of my mom uniform - they are casual and comfy enough to wear around the house, but when I leave the house, I can throw on some fun earrings, a statement necklace, or a scarf to turn it into an "outfit".  Although they're super casual, sometimes I'll wear one under a blazer to dress it up for work.

4.  Essie Chinchilly Nail Polish

Now that it's fall, I've switched over to what I consider "cold weather" nail polish colors.  Essie's Chinchilly is one of my favorites - it's a gray that has undertones of purple and taupe, depending on the light.  It's one of those nail polishes that people will always ask you what color you're wearing, but at the same time is tame enough to wear on an everyday basis to work.  Love!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love, and A Little Bit of Everything to share my Friday favorites!

1.  The return of my favorite TV shows!


Oh, TV shows, how I've missed you!  The drought of terrible summer reality TV and reruns has gotten old, and I'm excited for my favorite series to return!  Modern Family, Scandal, Parenthood, Nashville, and Revenge, I'm looking at you.  If only Downton Abbey were back now too (so jealous of friends in London who are already getting to watch the new season!)

2.  New fall TV!

I swear I don't watch THAT much TV...but I love giving new series a "trial period" in the fall to see which ones are worth adding to the coveted DVR series recording list!  So far the only one that looks like a real possibility is How to Get Away with Murder.  Love me a Shonda Rhimes drama!

3.  My new plaid scarf

Plaid scarves are everywhere this fall!  While it's not cold enough yet in Dallas for me to feel that I can wear a plaid scarf in good conscience, I ordered this one from Old Navy and love it - it has so many colors that I think it will go with pretty much anything!  The color I got (shown above) is sold out online but might still be available in stores...although the burgundy version is still available online.

4.  HPUMC Moms

This week was the official kickoff for my church's new ministry for moms, which aims to "encourage and strengthen women in their role as mothers and leaders of the next generation".  This past Tuesday night was the first of a monthly dinner and speaker series; this month's topic was Overwhelmed.  I loved the message of encouragement and the discussion with several of the other moms from my Sunday school class who were at my table.  I can't wait for next month!  If you're local to the DFW area, you should come to the October event (Tuesday, October 28 at 7:00 PM at Highland Park United Methodist Church on the SMU campus.)

5.  My new rug for the playroom

After realizing how much baby stuff is already taking over our living room, we've decided to convert one of our extra bedrooms into a playroom to corral the toys (and the children when we have friends over).  My first objective was to find the perfect rug to design the rest of the room around; I wanted something modern and fun but not too "kid"ish.  Oh, and also cheap.  When I was hosting my friend Erin's baby shower last weekend, I loved the hostesses's living room rug...but I was pretty sure it was from somewhere like Pottery Barn.  I asked, and luckily for me, she said it was from Sam's Club (they sell rugs?!) and she had only bought it 2 weeks earlier (so there was a good chance they still had them).  I had to go to 5 different Sam's in DFW before I found one that stocked it, and then struggled to get it out of the store (while also pushing a stroller) and into my 4-door sedan (so maybe I didn't really think this purchase through), but now it's ours!  An 8x10 rug for only $100 is a win in my book!  
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