Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Valentine's Decor

I have been jonesing for a holiday to decorate for and now I have a mini one!  We really don't have much Valentine's Day decor, but a few touches here and there still feel festive.  

I started with the front door.  This deco mesh wreath is dying slowly so once I have a free moment I need to either fix her back up or figure out something else.  For now, I think the cute Target mat can distract. :)

Then on Saturday I was at my friend Missy's getting my hair done and she had the cutest "LOVE" sign on her front porch.  I asked where she got it and found out she makes them!  Of course she does!

Sidebar - we chopped!  Feels good to get the staticky mess off my back. :)  And she MADE that wall behind me!!  Amazing!!

Hello fresh hair.  Now someone come teach me how to make it look like this everyday. :)

This was my weekend of catchup pampering and also got my nails done!  (And toes, which haven't been touched since I was pregnant...).  Of course had to do some Valentine's nails!

Missy also has a background with plants/landscaping, so I asked what would be a good thing to put in our pots on the porch in the winter since I thought it looked too bare without anything.  She suggested getting some sticks!  So I sent Nate into our backyard forest to gather some sticks for me.  I strapped on Bradley and decorated away!

I think this is a great free way to get some character on our porch!  It made Bradley very sleepy. :)

I put the LOVE sign outside and really like it, but am too afraid it will get stolen.  We haven't had any issues with that, but why risk it?  At least when it is brand new. :)

My sideboard was looking a little bare, 

so this was the perfect place!  The little girls like it here. 

 Instagrammed. :)

 Bradley has also been dressed for the holiday! :)

We found out this weekend he has croup and RSV. :(  So sad.  We bring him outside a lot to get some fresh, cold air and he likes it.  So thankful we have been in the 30s so we can do that!  Praying he gets well soon and can get back to day care (and mom can get back to work!!).  My heart breaks to see him this way. :(

Do you decorate for Valentine's Day?  Would love (I'm a nerd) to get more inspiration!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Day Care

The hardest part about going back to work is being away from Bradley (obviously).  Like, really hard.  Really really hard.  Ok, you get it (and most of you deal with this same issue).  My first two weeks back at work my mom came up to watch Bradley, so of course his care was immaculate.  That made it SO easy to go back to work.  The week after that was quite possibly the worst week of my life, and if you followed along on Instagram you already know about this.  

Photo before his first day at day care

Long story short, I went to feed Bradley on his first day at his day care and I was APPALLED by the treatment and care (or lack of care) that the babies received.  Every baby was left to "cry it out" and not even glanced at, all had bright red/tear stained faces at all times, they weren't spoken to, acknowledged, etc, let alone things that were advertised to us like using sign language or even getting a snuggle here or there.  There were other things I noticed too, but you get the point!  

I brought up my concerns to the manager and she was a nice lady, but was super defensive and had an excuse for everything.  I knew this was NOT going to work.  There are very few things that can make you feel more helpless than knowing your child is not being cared for well.

I continued going each day that week so he would have at least 30 minutes of love and attention in the day and my final straw was coming into the building, hearing him crying (more like screaming) from the hallway, and seeing him flat on the ground in unassisted tummy time with his face smashed to the floor because he wasn't strong enough to be left alone.  I grabbed him and they said he "just started crying" (obviously a lie by the state he was in).  I left bawling because it took every ounce of me to not leave with him but I didn't know what to do about work.

I pretty much spent every waking moment researching and frantically touring other facilities since I knew he could not stay there.  I didn't know what to do and was about to quit my job and just stay at home with him but LOVE my coworkers, boss and job, and didn't want to lose that as well!  Plus they were beyond supportive of my hot mess self.  That Thursday night, one of the facilities I toured said we could bring him in that Friday for a test day so he was out of the previous center after just four days.  

When I picked him up after his "test" day at the new center he was all smiles, bright eyed, and loving life!  I knew it was night and day from his time at the first place.  They also created this sweet poster of all the fun he had!

We switched him right away to the new center and it has been the best decision!  Granted, I will never be totally at ease being away from him but know they are loving him as much as they can, and I LOVE THEM for that!  I think it helps that they all happen to be super sweet moms, too, so they get it.  It is super close to my work as well, so since I EBF (exclusively breast feed) and barely pump enough, I am able to go feed him over lunch every day which uses one less bottle (and I get some snuggle time).

How cute are all of his little welcome signs?

They also had us make a sheet with some fun facts so his new friends could get to know him. :)

I'm pretty sure all of this drama caused some PPD for me (I did NOT handle it well), and I do worry that I am semi still struggling with that, but not full blown.  I have to deal with it until I know if I can ever be a stay at home mom or if working mom is the life for me!  For now, we are so grateful for our new center!  

Here are some more cute pics they have taken of him. :)

Anyone else have as big of a constant struggle/inner conflict as me, or am I just a crazy new mom (or both)? :)  And BELIEVE ME, I know that being a SAHM can be even MORE difficult!  

I also feel like I am in a constant state of rushing around, not getting everything done, not spending enough time with him, while at the same time not getting enough "me" time but that is a whole other issue.  The struggle is real, fellow moms!  So glad we are all in this together!!

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week In Pictures

Recent happenings through the eyes of my phone camera.

Mini Vikings fan!

Special fruit delivery from my parents!  Helps us get through these MN winters!

Just chilling.

Friends!  Still can't believe Chimi and Sushi are not only making peace but breaking bread. :)

Bradley and Boo!  Trying to force him to love on Boo. :)

Loving rolling on the floor and talking!

More floor fun.

Nate went to check on Bradley and it seemed like he was gone for a while.  Turned on the monitor and there he was sleeping with his hand in the air! :)

The snuggliest.

Bradley's new favorite place to be!  We bought this from a JBF sale for $10 before he was born.  Good find!! :)

Snuggly sisters.

I always have lots of snack and beverage options at work each day! 

So me!!

I die over cute outfits like this!  And his sweet face!

Bradley's first New Year's Eve and first New Year's Eve outfit! :)

Ringing in the new year with Dad.

Sprinkles also enjoyed NYE!

NYE nails!  I have bit them down to stubs so I need to get back on track with my polish changes.  Maybe that should be my resolution!

I was so sad to take down our Christmas decor like always.  Last chance for quite a few months to enjoy my favorite ornaments!

Always takes me a while to attack it all.

We took Bradley to Benihana!  He wasn't as impressed as we were hoping. :)

My view ALL DAY LONG.  I will keep up as long as I can but figuring out how to get more supply, how much he drinks versus how much we have in fridge, when we will run out, is EXHAUSTING!  Cheers to all of you moms in this struggle, too!  We can do it!

It should be illegal for Target to sell these cookies.  They disappear way too fast.

Bradley had his first trip to Clear Lake!  He was excited for tummy time with Papa.

Love when these girls snuggle!  Melts my heart!

Back seat road trip time.

The marquee light obsession continues...got this for my parents for Christmas!

Baby Bradley camouflage!  

Testing out the high chair!  We haven't started solids but he likes to sit at the dinner table with us. :)

New sweater from my mom!  Bradley loved it, too. :)

Love all of his faces.  So much personality!

Bradley's 4 month check up was a success!  70th percentile for weight and 97th percentile for height. Makes sense. :)  He loves his pediatrician, too!

We need groceries BAD so got sushi for dinner.  AMAZEBALLS!  (Green dragon roll).

Our whole house looks like this - a disaster.  Who wants to be my personal chef/assistant/house cleaner/stylist? :)

The mess exhausts Chimi, too.

We are going to Disney World soon so I have been focused on all things Mickey Mouse, even in my work wardrobe! :)

Instagram shot. :)

Bradley always wants to be held in the mornings which makes it a tad difficult to get ready and leave for work.  I set him down when I stir my iced coffee and prop him up with his daycare bag.  His face cracks me up!

Minnesota weather is killing us!!  Staying warm as best we can.

Our smiley man is so happy tomorrow is Friday!!

TGI (almost) F!!  

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