Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coffee Talk: Fired for Blogging?

Have you heard about the TV reporter who was fired over a blog post?  Shea Allen wrote a post titled No Apologies: Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter where she candidly admits to doing several things on the job that her bosses did not appreciate.  The post is pretty funny and I can appreciate it because I love brutal honesty. 

This made me think about how we all use blogging and social media.  My favorite blogs and twitter feeds are the ones that are brutally honest.  People can relate to honesty.  My least favorite aspect of social media is when people try to pretend that life is roses 100% of the time.  I know tons of people (myself included sometimes) who feel like crap about their lives after perusing Facebook and seeing how fabulous everyone elses's life is...at least that is the way it feels sometimes. 

I commend Shea for being so honest with her post, but at the same time you have to accept the consequences of doing so sometimes. 

I try to be as honest as I can about what I write about, but there are certain topics that I just can't touch.  If I have to question whether or not I should post something, I usually don't.  You must tread lightly with certain topics: those being work and family.

Sometimes I wish I was anonymous so I could post the funny story about the in-laws or the craziness at work, but then I censor myself because I need to keep my job and I need to stay married....ha!

Just curious what your thoughts are:

Are certain topics off limits on your blog or social sites? 
Has there been a time when you posted something online that you later regretted? 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Five Things That Surprised Me Most About Parenthood + Giveaway!

We are just about to celebrate Jack's 3 Month Birthday so I think this is a great time to reflect upon what parenthood has been like thus far.  Jason asked me the other night if being a mom is what I thought it would be.  For the most part, yes.  It is amazing and wonderful just like I thought.  There are aspects that are easier than I thought -- like balancing work and baby time -- and there are aspects that are harder than I thought -- like breastfeeding. 

Here are five things that surprised me most about parenthood:

1.  The emotional roller coaster the first few weeks
I was a total basket case the first two weeks of Jack's life.  I cried at the drop of a hat.  Not out of sadness, but out of overwhelming love, stress, fear, worry, and happiness.  I loved this little baby so much that I couldn't stand it.  Everything just pulled at my heartstrings and made me cry.  I remember that I could not watch the news those first few weeks because it would make me too emotional.  I even broke out into tears when my mom surprised me with a cake from my favorite bakery for my 30th birthday (10 days postpartum)! 

My baby boy and I on my 30th birthday.  He was the best present ever!
 
2.   Breastfeeding is hard work and will take up most of your time at first
I wrote about this topic here, but in summary I was just ignorant about the amount of work and dedication it takes to breastfeed.  It's 100% worth it in the end (and I actually LOVE it now), but I really thought something was wrong with me in the beginning because it wasn't easy.  

3.  Staring at your baby is the most fun thing to do
What do Jason and I find ourselves doing for fun these days?  Staring at Jack.  We can watch him for hours on end...smiling, sleeping, playing, even fussing.  Forget Netflix.   Our baby boy is all the entertainment we need these days!




4.  There is no standard answer to your baby problems
Being a first time mom, I asked a lot of questions at the hospital when Jack was born.  I was so surprised at how many different answers I was given to the same question from the hospital staff.  One nurse would say to feed our baby anytime he cried and for as long as he would eat.  The next nurse advised us to watch the clock and stop his feedings after a certain amount of time.  I got so frustrated, but quickly learned to listen to all the advice I was given, but then rely on my instincts and trust that I knew what was best for my baby. 




5.  How sensitive baby's skin is
The first few days of Jack's life we used the hospital provided wipes during diaper changes (the kind you wet with water first).  No problems.  When we went home we started using the traditional wet wipes and Jack immediately developed the worst diaper rash.  It looked horrible and I felt like a terrible mom!  I tried several different brands of wipes, but nothing seemed to make it better.  At Jack's 2 week check-up we showed the pediatrician who told us to stop using wipes altogether and start using water and washcloths to wipe him at every diaper change.  She said lots of newborn's skin is too sensitive for wipes.  No one tells you these things! 

So we basically moved all of the cute changing table items into the bathroom, nixed the wipes and wipe warmers (what a waste) and bought a ton of cheap wash cloths for each diaper change.  We are still doing all diaper changes in the bathroom to be next to the sink and he does well.  We also religiously use Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment now at every diaper change to keep the red away.  I picked it up after reading other bloggers rave about it.  This is the only creme that has worked for us (even compared to a prescription creme we tried). 



Dr. Smith's is now available nationwide at Walgreen's as of last week! You can find your closest retailer by visiting doctorsmiths.com.

To celebrate their nationwide launch, Dr. Smith's is doing a giveaway for the readers of The Perfect Catch!  They are generously giving away one $50 Walgreens gift card and a supply of diaper rash ointment to one lucky reader.  Enter below, good luck and now tell me...

What surprised YOU most about about parenthood? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 27, 2013

love, love, love





I'm in love with this bag.  How great for fall!  I love gray.  I love crossbody bags..especially now with a baby.  It would look great with my all black outfits I love to rock in the fall/winter.  It would go with both black and brown tall boots.  Okay, that is all.  Hope you are enjoying your Saturday. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday

It's Friday!!!  Hope you had a great week and are looking forward to an awesome weekend.  Jason's dad and stepmom are staying with us this weekend from Arlington so we will be hanging out with little man, doing some grilling and just hanging out at the house....it's too hot here in Houston to do much else.  I'm hoping to get a workout in too. 





I'm linking up with the Five on Friday gals again this week.  Enjoy!

--ONE--

This week I learned that Ashley will be coming into town for a whole week in the near future...let the countdown begin!  We haven't seen each other since giving birth to our boys.   Can't wait to introduce the babies and hopefully fit in a quick pedicure and gab session. 

--TWO--

I'm so proud of Kate for being a real woman and embracing her post-birth bump for all the world to see rather than hiding it. 



--THREE--

I have never looked forward to 4:30 p.m. more in my life.  It's when I get to see this smiling face after being away from him for hours. 



--FOUR--

Does anyone else miss Google Reader as much as I do?  I guess I'm just resisting change.  What are you using? 

If you arent' already, follow me on bloglovin':

Follow on Bloglovin
.  



--FIVE--

Have you seen the Mom's One Line a Day 5 Year Journal?  I love it and know I will cherish it in the years to come.  I keep it on my nightstand and it takes just a few seconds to write down a thought or milestone of the day.  It's also so helpful when I'm trying to remember things later for Jack's baby book.  This makes a great shower gift too!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Houston Book Signing



Blogger extraordinaire and creator of the Houston Blogger Symposium, Megan Silianoff will be at Brazos Bookstore on Thursday, August 8 to discuss her book 99 Problems But a Baby Ain't One

The event starts at 7pm and will include a presentation, Q&A and book signing. 

I'm thinking about leaving the baby with Jason (gasp) and attending.  Anyone else in Houston want to go? 

You can also pickup a copy of her book on Amazon

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Breastfeeding Survival

One of the most surprising things to me when I had Jack was how difficult breastfeeding was, at least in the beginning.  This was one area that I was NOT prepared for.  I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, but was truly ignorant on the topic and just assumed that once I had the baby I would learn the ins and outs at the hospital and call it a day. 

I'm almost three months in and still breastfeeding (even as I start back to work), but I'm just now getting to the point where I truly enjoy it.  I am so, so happy that I didn't give up when it was difficult even though there were days when I came close.

I will save my personal breastfeeding story for another day, but I wanted to offer my Breastfeeding Survival Guide tips now in case someone else is having struggles of their own. 

I also want to say that although breastfeeding was something I wanted to do, I do not believe it's the only choice.  There are many reasons why some women just can't or choose not to breastfeed.  At the end of the day, as long as baby is getting food and growing that is all that matters.  I think it's more important for mom to be happy and healthy for her baby than to struggle with breastfeeding. 

Chelsea's Breastfeeding Survival Tips

1.  Do your research. 
Read as much as you can prior to having the baby.  I read tons on pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care but zilch on breastfeeding, aside from the overall reasons why it's good.  If I had been more educated, it would not have been such an emotional struggle during the hard adjustment part.  I would have known that my struggles are common, have easy fixes and how to get help.

My favorite resources:
The Girl in the Red Shoes Blog series called "The Breastfeeding Diaries"
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The Nursing Mother's Companion

2.  Invest in a quality pump (especially if you will be going back to work)
This is something that I did do and boy am happy with it.  I can't imagine not using a double electric pump.  Pumping is already a pain to work into your daily life.  Why not make it as easy as possible on yourself?  I purchased the Medela Pump In Style Advanced On the Go Tote and am 100% happy with my decision. 

3.  Invest in multiple sets of parts (if going back to work and/or exclusively pumping)
All of your parts much be cleaned after each use. Before I went back to work I tried to pump 1-2 times a day in between feedings to build up my frozen supply.  Now that I am back to work I'm pumping about 3 times a day.  All this means is that you are washing your parts a LOT.  It's been so much easier to have multiple sets so I don't have to wash in between every pump.  Make sense?  I have 3 sets and it's working great for me. 

4.  Three Magic Words:  Hands Free Bra
I do not know how I would pump without this.  Using the hands free bra I can get a lot done while pumping.  Trust me, if you aren't doing something else while pumping, the time will drag and you will hate it.  I have come to actually enjoy it because I let myself browse Facebook, read or check my emails.  When I was home with little man it gave me those hands to play with him if needed. 

5.  Learn how to use your pump and related products BEFORE the baby arrives
I purchased my pump before the baby came, but then tucked it away in the back of a closet until I needed it.  When I wanted to start using it I felt overwhelmed because I was trying to get everything cleaned, read the manuel, and learn how to properly put it together all while tending to a fussy baby.  In hindsight I should have mastered the pump while I was bored on bed rest with nothing else to do but watch Friends reruns...oh, the life. 

With that said, DO NOT stress about pumping right away.  I made the mistake of trying to pump too soon for various reasons (wanting to build a freezer supply for when I was back at work, let Jason assist with feedings, to encourage my milk to come in quicker).  All of these are bad reasons.  Pumping too early isn't going to do anything for you but add stress to your already crazy life.  Trust me.  I think 6 weeks is ideal to wait to pump. 

6.  Identify help BEFORE the baby arrives
Just like you want to know who to call in case of any emergency before the emergency, you should identify a local lactation consultant who you can call should you need it.  I never ended up calling for reinforcements, but had I already had someone's name and number I might have reached out for help (and saved a lot of worry and stress).

7.  Make "Feeding Kits" to keep wherever you have breastfeeding sessions.
This way every time you feed your baby (in the beginning it's practically 24/7) you have what you need, thus making you a happier, less stressed mommy.  I like to have these things on hand at every feeding:

-  Water
-  Snacks
-  Burp pad
-  Swaddle blanket since feedings often lead to naps...for both of you!
-  Boppy Pillow for baby
-  Pillow for you in case you want to doze
-  iPad or iPhone for entertainment or if phone rings
-  Hair ties (I always got hot when I had long hair)
-  Clock to time feedings
-  Remote (if I'm in a room with a TV...feedings are a great time to catchup on the DVR)

Part of being successful at breastfeeding is to be comfortable and relaxed.  This will help baby relax who will then eat better.  Figure out what you need to find your "happy place" and make sure its within an arms reach away!
 
Chelsea's Breastfeeding Checklist:
  • Boppy or My Brest Friend Pillow - I own the Boppy and think it's perfect.  It seemed more versatile than the Brest Friend since it has uses for baby too.  Inside tip:  the Boppy covers from Pottery Barn Kids, although a bit more $$, are the best because they are thick and so, so soft. 
  • Baby Connect App for iPhone - keeps track of how long each feeding is, diaper changes, and when baby sleeps.  You can then view averages and patterns which is very useful for doctor visits and your sanity.  Remember, lack of sleep does crazy things to your brain.  An app to help keep track of these things will be a lifesaver. 
  • Water Bottles with Lids and Straws (drinking lots of water is good for a breastfeeding mom and it's my opinion that a cute cup promotes water drinking...and a lid and straw make it easier when a little one is attached to you)
  • Lanolin
  • Nursing Cover- for feeding in public, the car or when you have visitors
  • Nursing Friendly Clothing - Not necessary, but it makes your life easier, especially in the first few weeks when all you are doing is feeding anyway.  I'm not saying you need to go and purchase "Nursing Clothes."  Just "nursing friendly."  For me this was spaghetti strap dresses, v-necks, wrap shirts and dresses, button-ups.  Anything that gives you quick and easy access without making you totally strip down.  I never found a nursing bra I liked, but also felt this wasn't necessary. 
  • Nursing Friendly PJ's - Again, spaghetti strap nightgowns and tanks that can be easily pulled down.  I own this nightgown and cover by Jessica Simpson and LOVE it.  It was the only thing that made me feel pretty during that first week when I felt fat and gross. 
  • Hands Free Bra
  • Breast Pump
  • Extra pump parts
  • Freezer bags and storage set - A good labeling system is key, especially if you have someone care for your child when you are not home.  Our nanny can easily know what milk to use on which days without me even telling her since we have a great system going. 
  • Nursing pads
Any other tips you want to share?  Good luck and please email me if you have any specific questions. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Even the Royal Baby Is Relatable

One of the things that is so endearing about Kate Middleton is her use of items that are accessible to us "real women."  The fact that I can own (aka afford) the same rain boots as Princess Kate makes us common folk feel special. 

Now, even the royal baby is getting in on the action.  I was so excited to see him swaddled in the exact same blanket that Jack loves to be wrapped in by aden + anais.  As a brand, they must be ecstatic. 


Royal Baby
 
Baby Jack
 
 
aden + anais Jungle Jam cotton muslin swaddle blanket in the bird print.  Order fast...I have a feeling this pattern will sell out soon!
 
 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five on Friday

Told you this would be my only post this week!  Time to link-up for Five on Friday.  Hope ya'll had a great week.


--ONE--

I started back to work this week.  It was not as bad as I had anticipated...in hindsight I wish I would not have spent my whole maternity leave dreading going back to work.  God takes care of these things. 

--TWO--

Last Sunday Jack and I attended a Ladies (except for Jack) Brunch/Tea Party to celebrate Ashley's birthday.  It was so fun and Jack was great.  We each brought a dish to pass, but the entertainment was provided by Erin who ran her car into a ditch and had to be towed out by AAA! 

Happy Birthday Ashley!!!!

 
--THREE--

I'm hooked on two shows right now that are completely out of character for me.  American Ninja Warrior and Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls make my Mondays better (both on NBC).  I'm also loving Mistresses on ABC on Mondays...I just love Alyssa Milano.





--FOUR--

I spent countless hours researching the perfect infant seat when I was pregnant.  Only 2.5 months in and I'm already thinking about convertible car seats for Mr. Jack.  Originally I planned on buying a Britax since so many Bloggers rave about it, however the Chicco Nextfit (same brand as my infant seat) was introduced just a few months ago and all I am hearing are RAVES.  My friend Lauryn and Sis-in-law Stephie both have one and love it.  Anyone else have a Nextfit? 

Intrigue Pattern


--FIVE--

I have come to love breastfeeding.  It started out as something I did just for Jack since we all know the benefits of it, but now at week 11, I've learned to actually LOVE it.  It's the one thing that only I can provide for him.  I've even grown to love breast pumping...probably because the competitor in me gets excited about how much milk I can pump out in a day.  I've turned it into a game, ha!  I have a post coming soon about how I survived the rough parts of breastfeeding. 

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm linking up with Darci over at The Good Life Blog for the popular "Five on Friday" post.  I've been loving all of my blogger friends Friday posts....it's just basically a list of 5 random things that are on your mind.  Sometimes random is the best, huh?  With the craziness that is my life right now, these might be my only blog posts each week, ha! 

--ONE--

I'm starting back to work full-time on MONDAY after being out since being put on bed rest at the end of April!  Phew, that's a long-time of being out and I'm a whole new person now...a mom!  It will be a hard transition I'm sure, but I know I can get through it.  Say a little prayer for me on Monday morning if you can.  My and my breast pump are about to become best friends. 

--TWO--

I can't believe my baby boy is 10 weeks old today.  My long and lean little newborn has turned into a little chunk! 


One week


Two Months


--THREE--

Getting your body back after baby kinda sucks, I'm not gonna lie.  I took advantage of having our nanny this week by working out during the day which is so nice.  Once I go back to work it's going to be so hard to get those workouts in.  After work and on the weekends I'm just going to want to soak in my Jack time.  Working Moms...any tips on making this work?  The only thing that comes to mind is jogging with baby, but it's so darn HOT in Houston right now...

Seeing what work clothes fit (or don't fit) after baby kinda sucks too.  I refuse to wear maternity pants after baby!

--FOUR--

I met my stepsister's baby boy Brody this week.  He was born exactly one month after Jack.  It will be so special to watch these guys grow up together. 



--FIVE--

If anyone has the shopping bug, Loft has some cute stuff right now to help get you through the heat, yet transition you into Fall, especially if you love cardi sweaters as much as I do.  As I said in #3, I refuse to wear maternity pants right now, but I did have to get some work pants a few sizes larger than I was pre-pregnancy.  Depressing, but at least they are cute!

I didn't end up purchasing this dress because it wasn't workplace appropriate, but it is cute, cute, cute and very figure flattering (in case you are on the prowl for a great dress).





Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!  Thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment if you are new here so I can say hello and check out your blog too.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jack: 2 Months!






Length: 24 inches
Weight: 12 lbs 7 oz
Head Circumference:  15 inches
Taken July 3 at 2 month doctor's appointment
Size 1 Diapers

Milestones this month:
  • Taking you out in public!  We waited until you were 6 weeks to take you anywhere besides the doctor.  Since then you've been to church, a few restaurants, the grocery store and a few of mommy's favorite stores...can we say Target!!!
  • First road trip to Corsicana, Dallas & Arlington
  • First trip to Matagorda...and first boat ride!
  • First trip to the beach...the same one where we got engaged. 
  • Meeting Nanny, Uncle John and the Purifoy Clan
  • Jack's first visit to my office
  • You started really smiling out of reaction and recognition this month.  You get a huge smile on your face when mommy or daddy enter the room.  You also started talking and cooing this month
  • Getting shots at 2 month checkup.  You did great!  Mom and dad were soooo nervous though!
  • Moving into size 1 diapers and 3 month clothing

Things you like this month:
  • Still loving bath time
  • Nap Nanny and My Little Snugabunny bouncer
  • Your nanny who started this past week...I'm so happy and know how lucky we are to have found someone to watch you while I'm away at work at our own home. 

Things you don't like this month:
  • You still don't love Tummy Time, although you are doing great at lifting up your head and moving it side to side.  You are a strong little guy!
  • Going too long without being held...that's okay by me though! 
  • That's all I can think of since you are overall a really happy, easygoing baby

Special memories this month:
  • All of the smiles you give us when you see me or Jason. 
  • Breast feeding starting getting a lot easier this month and I now really appreciate the special time that we get together when nursing. 
  • Celebrated our first father's day
  • Taking you to the beach for the first time where Jason and I got engaged and your first boat ride.  You loved both!

Dear Jack,
 
You continue to be such a happy, easygoing baby.  Whose child are you?  You are turning into a little chunk and we LOVE it!  The best thing you are doing now is smiling at us.  You have the most adorable smile in the entire world.  I really love breastfeeding you now...we just had to get the hang of it (those gas drops helped tremendously too).  People continue to tell me that you are "all boy."  Your nicknames are chunk, munchkin and munch.  Your nanny calls you pappito and mi amour which you love too.  I am sad to start back to work since I will miss so much time with you, but I feel so good with who will be taking care of you.  We will get through this transition and make it work for us.  I love you so much little munch-munch.  MUAH! 
 
Love, Momma

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Do

I know it's such a cliche to become a mom and go out and chop your hair into a "mom do", but I did it!  My hair is so thick, it was taking me 45 minutes to blow-dry and style...or a quick 20 minutes if I washed it the night before and rolled it with curlers the next day.  Regardless, it was too much! 

Since I go back to work in about a week (plus now having a baby who requires my attention while getting ready) I wanted to make my life easier and cut it...I also got rid of my highlights in an effort to cut down on how much time I needed to go to the salon for root touch-ups (this will also save $$).

We ended up cutting about 5.5-6 inches off!

Without further ado...


Before

 
 
After



 
 

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