Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What do I do when I'm sick?


This week has been really rough for me. I was so looking forward to this thanksgiving break because J and I were going to have a whole week to hang out with Piper. We were going to decorate for Christmas and Hanukkah. So many plans. THEN... I got sick.

Now ordinarily I get sick every year around this time--BUT this time I am SICK. All caps intended! I have a bilateral ear infection and strep throat. I haven't been able to sleep because of the seering ear and throat pain. The thought of eating--and the actual act of eating has brought me to tears. It is rough.

To top it all off--I was not aloud to hold my baby for 48 hours while I took antibiotics. It was so hard to let go of the reigns and let my husband do everything. I know that he is a great dad, but it made my heart hurt to have to refuse to pick her up when she crawled to me. Did I mention that J also had a pretty nasty cold.

So what do you do when you are sick, your partner is sick, or you both are sick? How do you care for your little one when you feel like actually pulling a Van Gough with your own ear? How do you keep your little one from catching it? Here is what we did?

1. Assess the situation and decide which one of you is the lesser of two evils (if you are both sick).
 In our situation, I was obviously more sick and it was more dangerous for P to get strep than a cold. The person who is less sick becomes the primary caregiver. They will be in charge of everything for the 48 hours that the other parent is quarantined.

2. Buy those hospital ear loop masks from the grocery store and wear them whenever you are in the same room with your baby.
 I made J wear his all the time that he was with P. I also had one on whenever I was in the room with her.

3. If you are the most sick, then don't physically touch your baby until you are no longer contagious. If you can help it. If you are the only one there and your significant other is at work, then obviously to have to do it all. I would suggest wearing the mask and limiting contact as much as possible.

4. Wash your hands, wash your hands, and over wash your hands.
J was really good about this one. He washed his hands constantly and used hand sanitizer before he touched P.

5. Try not to touch your face, nose, or mouth.
If you do, then wash your hands immediately. Be ultra aware of what you are touching at all times

6. Try not to allow your baby to touch your face, nose, or mouth
I know that sometimes this is avoidable, but it really is important

7. Take a shower every day to get rid of the germs
It just goes without saying that you want to take a hot shower to get rid of anything lingering on your body so that your baby is not exposed to it.

8. Wash all bed linens after you are no longer contagious

9. Even after 48 hours is up and you are no longer contagious.
 Keep your contact with baby frequent if possible. No kisses. Don't let them touch your face, and don't touch their hands or face.

It is so hard too navigate with you are feeling so bad. You yearn to snuggle with your little baby that you love so much. While at the same time you do not want to get them sick. I hope these tips that we used help you navigate this difficult season where flu and strep are common.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On This Day...


On this day two years ago I married my best friend. Since that day we have gone through a whole bunch of change. I hardly recognize the girl that I used to be and barely remember those first months of wedded bliss. Regardless, there is no one else I would trust with my future. J does a great job of taking care of me and P. For that reason, and many more, I can say that I am more in love with him today than I was 2 years ago. Since I have never really told our story, I figured I would delve into that today on our anniversary.

I met J in March of 2009 as I was visiting the high school that I would be working at the following school year. I was observing many of the teachers that day and eating lunch with the department. I will never forget the first words that my future husband would speak to me. J is a very funny/sarcastic guy. He always seems to be the loudest and, at times, rudest guy in the room. People (including me) are attracted to his crazy personality. When he entered the work room for lunch that day he sat right next to me and introduced himself. He then said, "I've got a really important question for you. It's really been bothering me. Can girls poop and pee at the same time?" Needless to say I was horrified and quite embarrassed as a 22 year old college student. I was already feeling so overwhelmed and out of place that day.

Not long after I started working at my new school I grew to really like and respect J. There was no romantic connection there yet--he was married and I was in a fairly serious relationship with my college sweetheart. By the end of that first semester J was going through a really ugly divorce and custody battle, and my relationship had ended. J and I became pretty good friends over the rest of the school year. Our friendship continued to get stronger over the following school year, but I was in another relationship and he was still going through his divorce. Finally over the summer of 2011--we found ourselves both single. We spent a lot of time together that summer. We went to the movies, we had dinner together a lot. We even went to a comedy club together. I had no idea that he had feelings for me. BUT--I was about to find out.

After school started again in August--it was pretty clear to everyone else that we were a little closer than friends. J and I had a dinner date planned. He came over to my house and we cooked Chicken Cacciatore together. Afterwards, he ended up kissing me. AND scaring the crap out of me. I had no idea he had feelings for me, and I was worried that a relationship would harm our friendship. J was texting me all night telling me how we needed to be together--but I was trying to resist. Then I realized that he was my best friend and we would probably be prefect together.


That Friday I met my future Brother-In Law and Sister-In-Law at a Braves game. That game is the day that we celebrate as our official dating anniversary. Even though--I always claim that we had been together long before that. Every year we go to a game on our anniversary if we can.

By J's birthday on December 14th we were engaged and planning our wedding. In April we all moved in together as a family. I have so many amazing memories from the time that we were engaged. We went on a cruise in June together and had a blast. J took me to see Taylor Swift, and to the circus. He really spoiled me.

Then on November 18th 2012 we said I Do. I remember that I really had to pee as I was waiting to walk down the aisle. Then when I saw him--I didn't have to go anymore. The whole day was a whirlwind. The next day I woke up in Texas and we got on another cruise to Mexico. It was the best time of our lives. We won the newlywed game on the cruise ship, we swam with dolphins, and learned to salsa dance together.
Ahh, memories.

Our first year of marriage brought a lot of challenges and changes. J accepted a new job, and we found out we were having a baby all within the same week. It was an exciting time, but a stressful time.

Now I sit here writing this as our 10 month old is sleeping right above me upstairs. I couldn't imagine anyone having a more loving father than my daughter. J loves that little girl so much. He loves to play with her all day long. She is definitely a daddy's girl. I have mentioned before that J is extremely supportive around the house. He bears most of the housework so that I can take care of P without worrying about much else. I love him endlessly for that.

Happy Anniversary J! I love you more now than I did two and three years ago. You are a great father and an amazing partner in life. Here's to many more happy years.

I love you,
Caroline

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Friday--My X-Mas List

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a much more restful weekend planned than I do. Today is my dad's birthday, so I will be seeing him this weekend. Then I  have an early morning makeup job followed by the shower that am throwing for my future sister-in-law on Saturday. Then I am taking P to see her G-Daddy for his birthday Saturday night. Then Sunday we are headed to a baby shower. Whew! That's a lot for one weekend in my opinion.

This X-mas will be extra special because it will be P's first. Since I now have a child--I don't expect many presents for myself. I would rather people spoil her than me. See how evolved I am! Nevertheless, I figured that some of you might be struggling over what to put on your list for this year, so I decided to share with you what is on mine. Most of these things are things that I have been wanting for a long time, but haven't bought because we are saving up for our house and I would rather spend my extra cash on things P needs like diapers and wipes and personalized shirts. Who knows, maybe I will get a thing or two on this list from my family this year.

The Toms Booties are super cute for this fall and I have a friend who has a pair and swears that they are very comfortable. I think that they would be warm and cozy for those cold mornings when I have makeup shoots. I would be comfortable and stylish.

As you know, I have been drooling over the above Michael Kors watch for at least a year or so. I have not bit the $150 bullet that it would require to actually own one, but I think that most women would love it as a gift, so it is firmly on my list.

I love monogrammed anything, so that is why you see the necklace and oversized monogrammed sweatshirt on my list. These are just two of the thousands of endless possibilities that there are. Really I am a southern girl that believes that you can monogram just about anything. I have been wanting one of these cut out necklaces for a long time, but they also tend to be on the pricey side. The sweatshirt is much more affordable and therefore a better option for the gift givers in my family.

Since I am a makeup artist--I am always needing new supplies, and help with that in the form of gift cards means that more of my checks can go to P than restocking materials. Therefore, I always have Sephora gift cards on my list. I also think that most women love these little black cards. Let's face it--makeup is expensive.

The leather leggings are all over pinterest these days. For the last two winters I have been eyeing them and loving how they look with oversized sweaters. Seriously cute. Check out the women's fashion page on Pinterest and I guarantee you will see a pair on the first page.

And then there is a cream J.Crew puffer vest. Oh, how I love thee. I have a pink one that I love and wear all of the time, so I know that this one would get even more use since it is neutral. I know that I am not the only one out there that wants this vest!

I wish you all a very happy weekend, and hope that my list has sparked some new items on your x-mas list!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy 10 Months P!


Wahoo! We are in double digits! P is 10 months old! Oh, how weird it feels to say that I have a 10 month old. While reading through some of my favorite blogs this week I read this phrase, and it has really resonated with me.

"When you have children the days seem long, but the years are very short."

This is a very true statement that I think sums up my feelings as my daughter grows older. Yes, in the moment things can be stressful and daunting. I get overwhelmed a lot while home with her. With each new coming age and stage there are a world of challenges that come along. Each one bringing unwanted adjustments to my life. Yet, I manage to make it through. I like to think that I rock at being a mom. I guess I am a little biased, but whatev! So no matter how long each day feels--each month goes by so quickly and I find myself writing these monthly updates with a dumbfounded look on my face, wondering where the time has gone. I know that in two short months I will be writing P's first year update. I am sure the tears will be splattering the keys. I would expect nothing else from this sentimental mommy.

P's tenth month of life has been no exception to the above rule. I have been tested and challenged in this month. I have been pushed to my breaking point more than once. I have shed some tears for sure. BUT--I have also laughed and played a whole lot more than any previous month of her life. P is surely an entertaining little girl. She is little miss sassy pants for sure. I wonder where she gets her little attitude?

In this month P has learned to stand. She pulls up on just about anything that is steady enough. AND--sometimes things that are not so steady as well. She has started to walk around the couch and coffee table while holding on. She can let go with one hand and eat puffs or drink her water. My guess is that we will have a walker before 1. It's just a hunch.

P has also grown her hair long enough to have a very tiny ponytail on top of her head. Too bad she has become annoyed by the big bows I used to decorate her lovely head with. Now she prefers to rip them out and chew on them. Needless to say that we don't bother much with bows anymore.

I am happy to announce that P is doing great in the sleep department. After our 9 month appointment with P's doctor we made some schedule changes that you can read about here. Now we have a baby that sleeps 12 full hours most nights! We are so very thankful for this new stage in P's development. We hope that she never looks back.

We learned that the toys we had for P were a little too baby-ish for her when we observed her playing with older kid toys on play dates. So our new mission is to start upgrading her toy stash. She loves her new shape sorter, ring toss, and v-tech piano. I know Christmas is going to bring her some new fancy toys that are age appropriate.

P has returned to loving her baths. She wants to sit up, crawl around, and even stand in the tub. So we have resulted to actually getting in the bath with her for more protection. She loves to splash J as he makes quack sounds with her rubber duck. She also repeats the quacks. So adorable!

We have started exploring finger foods, but we are still kind of scared. P has a pretty hefty gag relex and I do not like cleaning up vomit. She loves shredded cheddar cheese and this has become a quiet time activity for her. When we go out to restaurants we just dump a big pile on her tray and she will sit quietly and feed herself for 30 minutes or more. It is really cute and quite amazing to watch your baby become more self sufficient.

P had her first major holiday with Halloween. She was an Owl and she tolerated her costume well. Unfortunately, it was unbearably cold for her that day and she couldn't really stay out long. We still got some cute family pics, though.

We are really looking forward to her first Thanksgiving and her first Hanukkah and Christmas. We think that it is really important for her to participate and know about both holidays. I can't help but think that she is so lucky for getting to have presents for both!

Yes, this is quite the exciting time in our little family. I am a tad bit nostalgic for those tiny baby days, and slightly sad that it is going by so fast. I just try to focus on how much fun her little personality is and it gets me through. I can't wait to share with you all her first birthday! It should be a "hoot".

So here's to you my little ball of energy. My rough and tumble, hard headed, strong willed, beautiful baby girl. You bring so much light into my dull days. Your giggles and smiles are contagious. No one can deny how truly beautiful you are becoming. I love that you can't sit still, and I hate it all at the same time. I treasure the times that you want to sit in my lap, and give me sweet wet kisses.

"So whenever you doubt just how special you are, and you wonder who loves you. How much, and how far."

 Know that I love you to the point of insanity, and I always will.

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sick Baby?


Welp, It finally happened. Piper ran her first real fever yesterday. She has run low grade fevers a few times over her 10 months of life, but most the time I barely noticed. She was acting normal and playing, eating, pooping, and peeing.

Yesterday afternoon when I woke her from her 3:00 nap she was very warm to the touch. Her back and stomach felt very hot to me. Her forehead was definitely warm. When I woke her I could tell that she just
wanted to go back to sleep. I brought her down stairs and she seemed disinterested in playing. She kept crawling over to me and climbing in my lap. This is something that she does when she is tired, so I knew something was up. I took her temp and it was 99.4. I thought, no big deal. She is just teething (breaking those top 2 teeth can be a booger). AND...I didn't give her any medicine.

I know-burn me at the stake. I feel horrible now looking back on it. But, hear me out. I feel that people over medicate their kids and I don't like to give her medicine if I can help it. Plus, the last time I gave her medicine she choked very badly and then projectile vomited everywhere. Needless to say I am not 100% comfortable with giving it to her.

So I waited it out. When my husband got home she smiled as he entered, but didn't want to crawl all the way to him like she normally does. I left to go get a shower present, and when I returned my husband told me that she felt really warm to him. She had been whimpering and not really playing like normal. I took her temp again and was surprised that it was 101. uh oh!

Enter the guilty feelings. The horrible, nagging, gut wrenching guilt that I had let my baby suffer in pain and yucky-ness for 3 hours. I felt like the worst mom in the world for letting her feel poorly. I just assumed that it was no big deal because she had run similar little fevers before. They always went away in an hour or so, and she was back to feeling better. This one was getting worse.

So now we are checking her temp around the clock. She is not a huge fan, but I don't want her feeling bad. I hope she is back to being my bubbly happy baby soon. Hopefully, there is not a doctor's visit in our near future.

What do you do when your baby is sick? How do you help them feel better when they are running a fever?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Makeup Favorites


Makeup is a huge part of my life. I try never to leave the house without a full face of makeup on. Since this is my side business--I want to be the best advertising I can be. These 5 makeup products are my 5 favorite products for everyday wear. Whenever I leave the house I have these on. Some of them are cheap, and some are expensive. All are quality and get their money's worth.

1. ELF Primer
This stuff is like $5 and it feels better than many other primers out there on the market. It helps my makeup stay all day and look flawless without making me oily. It mattifies my skin perfectly. I just love this stuff. You should always prime your face everytime you wear makeup. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is skipping this step. Skincare is so important to a flawless look.

2. Mabelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer
This stuff is one of my favorite new finds. I wrote about this once before--but it is that special. It has replaced by heavy duty MAC and Benefit concealers. I put a coat on before foundation and a coat on after all of my makeup to highlight. It is DA BOMB!!

3. Buxom Lip Plumping Gloss
Admittedly, I am not a lipstick person. I would rather wear gloss. I love the warm tingling feeling that this gloss gives me. It is long wearing and rarely sticky. I am impressed with the colors in the collection and hope to own all or most of them eventually. Try this stuff. You won't be sorry.

4. Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner
My cousin has been wearing this stuff for years. This past Christmas she gifted me some and I have been in love ever since. Yes, it is very pricey. To be honest, though, I don't feel that the drugstore brands quite live up to the staying power and pigmentation that this stuff can give you. It will stay all day and all night. I have slept in the stuff and it does not budge. When you have hours where you need to be presentable, then this is what you need!

5. Lorac Unzipped Palette
I am an Urban Decay Naked Palette fan, but I LOVE this Lorac palette. I think that it is much better than the Naked 3. The shadows in this palette are much larger than the ones that you get in the Naked palette and I love their pigmentation just as much. The champagne color and rose gold color are my favorite. I use them daily on myself and on many of my clients. They just look good on all skin tones. While it is expensive--I think it is worth the money.

What products are part of your everday routine?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Favorite Fall/Winter Recipes


One of the biggest reasons that I love fall and winter so much is the food. I love stews, soups and chili! I get a ton of use our of crockpot during the colder months. I know that this trend will only continue as P gets older and gets into activities. My mommy friends say the fall months are the busiest. Plus, I love the way the crockpot makes my house smell.

I am not a good cook. Truthfully, my husband does most of the cooking in our house. It is a system that works for us. He does the cooking, and I feed P. However, when we have a crockpot meal--I get to do most of the work. It makes me feel like a good little housewife all over again.

Here are my favorite quick fall meals

Poor Man Stew--This is a family recipe and favorite. I grew up eating this, and I think it stems from the Depression Era which makes it doubly cool in my book.  I love to serve this with Buttermilk Cornbread. I even put my corn bread slice in the bowl and ladle the stew on top. SO GOOD! Here is my recipe.

1 lb Ground Beef --Brown, drain grease and dump in large soup pot
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans creamed corn
1 medium onion chopped
Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Be careful not to let the corn burn
Combine beef, tomatoes, and onion in soup pot. Allow to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes
Add corn and cook an additional 15 minutes
Serves 4

Crockpot Chili--A seasonal favorite. I love to serve with shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos.

2 lbs Ground Beef browned and drained
2 medium onions
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans red kidney beans
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Salt

Add all ingredients to large crock pot and stir. Allow to cook 10-12 hours on low. Serves 4

Chicken Noodle Soup--Just a feel good meal. I love to serve with Grilled Cheeses

1/2 of a medium onion or 1 small onion chopped
1 large bag egg noodles
2 cans of chunk chicken drained
2 can sliced carrots drained
water
bouillon cubes
parsley flakes

Sautee onion in olive oil in bottom of large soup pot.
Fill pot 2/3 of the way full with HOT water and add 4 bouillon cubes
Bring water to rolling boil and then add noodles. Boil until tender (12-15 minutes)
Add carrots and chicken and reduce heat to low
Simmer for 10 minutes
Sprinkle parsley on top. Serves 4.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 large can of salsa
1 bag brown minute rice
1 can black beans
quacamole
sour cream
shredded cheese of choice

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot. Cover with entire can of salsa. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Shred chicken and allow to sit and soak up salsa.
Cook rice and black beans to directions.
Place rice, black beans, sour cream, quacamole, and cheese in separate bowls. Allow family to make their own burrito bowls. Serves 4.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

4 Chicken Breasts
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot and cover with sauce. Cook on low for 5 hours. Shred and allow to sit in sauce for 15 minutes. Serve on buns for sandwiches. Serves 4.

What are your favorite quick fall meals?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Separation Anxiety

This weekend marked a very important milestone for P. It was the first time she had spent an entire 24 hours or more away from both of her parents. We have my brother in law's wedding coming up, and we knew that we needed to have a practice run. She will be away from us for 2 days, and I didn't want to just go cold turkey. It would drive me insane with worry.

I am happy to report that little miss P did a great job. She stayed at her Glammy and G-Daddy's house. When I walked in to get her--she glanced at me and just went right back to playing. She could care less that I was there. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic! I picked her up and gave her a big hug and kiss. I told her how much I loved her and missed her. The whole time she just whined to get back down to playing. How it hurt my heart and made me smile all at the same time.

While I am elated that she did so well out of her element for over 24 hours (this is not how I predicted it), there was a part deep down inside that was a little sad that she didn't seem to miss me. Don't get me wrong--I didn't want her to be inconsolably crying from the anxiety of being away from her mommy. But--dang--can I at least get a little whimpering? Can I get a sad tune of her repeating mamamamama? Nope, nothing. Just a happy, healthy, little P.

P also slept through the night while at my parents. If you want your baby to sleep well away from home--good luck. P normally hates sleeping in the Pack N Play. I finally figured it out that the PnP was for playing and not sleeping in her mind. At my parents house--they have their own PnP for P. We have been very careful to never let her play in this one. It is only for sleep while she is there. My parents bought a PnP mattress, mattress pad, and sheet. I highly recommend these things to all of you! It makes it more comfortable for her and more like a bed. We sent her with a blanket that I snuggled with the day before. That way it smelled of mommy. The blanket went in the PnP with her. Then she had her sound machine, pacifiers, and her lovie. All of these things combined for a happy baby P.

I now feel a little bit better about leaving her for 24 to 48 hours for the wedding. I will still be crazy missing her. I will still spend time rummaging through my photos of her on my phone. Truthfully I hope that part of me never changes. I love missing her.

I think I can successfully say that it is only me that experienced separation anxiety. I have become very controlling when it comes to P. I would prefer to do everything with her myself. I just feel like I do it better and with as little upset to her as possible. This may not be the best thing. When I watch anyone trying to do something with P--I hold my breath. I fight the urge to just do it myself.

She is a challenging baby. She is strong willed, and hard headed. My anxiety goes through the roof at the thought of someone else feeding her solids. I know that she cries, slaps, screams, and kicks me on a daily basis. I just cringed at the idea of her doing that to my mom. I worried that she wouldn't eat her food. That she wouldn't drink her milk. That she would be hungry and wouldn't sleep. But my mom found a way to get her to eat and sleep. HURRAY! I had nothing to worry about.

It is important for me to have time away from my daughter. I understand that. It was amazing to get to sleep in a little on Sunday morning! But--I think I still prefer to wake up to her smiling face each morning at 7 am sharp!

Do you have separation anxiety when being away from your little one? How do they do away from you? How do you cope?