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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stitch Fix Report: November

Another month means another Stitch Fix box. For those of you who don't know, Stitch Fix is a way to have clothes picked for you by a stylist and delivered to your house.  Each box comes with 5 items and a return envelope.  If you like something, you keep it.  If you don't, you ship it back in the pre-paid envelope that you just drop in the mail.  To get a fix you pay a $20 styling fee, but that goes to the cost of an item if you keep something.  You fill out a style profile, answer questions, and can link a Pinterest page to show them items you like.  Oh and you set a price range....important for me! Easy peasy.  I've done this for over a year and seriously several of my favorite clothing items showed up in the Stitch Fix boxes!

After seeing some other people do Stitch Fix Reports and share their items, I thought I'd join in.  Here were the contents of my Stitch Fix #14.

 This dress was cute, but I wasn't crazy about the color and the waist hit me kinda funny.  It was fine, but not something I loved.  Plus, it is pretty summery and due to the fact that on Friday the high is going to be 34 degrees, that wasn't ideal.  Verdict:  Return. 

This dress was also cute, except for the strange gather on the chest.  It just looked strange on me, like there was some sort of catch on my bra or like I didn't know how to correctly operate an iron.  Verdict:  Return.

This shirt I had actually seen on someone else's blog and pinned it on my Stitch Fix Wants page.  So they shipped it to me.  Hard to beat that--find the clothing you like, it shows up at your doorstep.  Excellent.  I absolutely love the black leather elbow patches on this.  I'm planning on wearing it with black skinny jeans and boots!  Verdict:  Keeper.

This sweater was strange.  The thing on the top looked like a dog collar to me.  Then in the back it was open and had two flaps, so I'd have to wear a black tank under it I guess?  It was just too much.  Verdict:  Return.

This sweater was very similar to one I had pinned on my Pinterest page.  I love it!  It's really warm and I think will look fantastic with skinny jeans or tights.  Verdict:  Keeper.

If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, click here!  (If you use that link, I can get a credit for referring pretty please do that!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BB Two Months

Two months down with our little guy. He is more fun every day!  Here is what he was up to during his second month.  (If you missed the first month, click here.)

--First road trip to the farm in New Mexico, which included...

...hanging out with Uncle Denton
....his first show steer sale
...meeting his Godparents

--Solo trip to town with his mom. 

--Lots of bubble baths with dad.

--Hosting lots of visitors, including...

....Aunt Lisa (who shares his red headed temper)

....Flintstone who always wears purple
....Aggie Friend and her significant other (BB approves)
...Austin, who cheered for the wrong team
....the famous Hobo for Christ

--Watching football with dad. 

--His first Halloween.
--Celebrating mom's birthday.

-- Pickup shopping with dad.

--My favorite shots. 

Monthly Check In

Weight: 9 pounds, 10 oz.

Length: 23"

Likes: mornings, bubble baths, his binky, being held.

Dislikes: Burping, sleeping in his bed. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

People Not Policies

Because of the interesting path my life has taken, my Facebook newsfeed is likely quite unique. Many of my friends, predictably, are gun-toting, boot-wearing conservatives.  Many others are granola-eating, peace sign-making liberals.  Makes for some very interesting reading. 

Over the past couple of weeks, the debate over the Syrian refugee crisis has raged on my newsfeed.  Some calling for a ban on bringing them in, period. Some calling us to all open our doors blindly. Certain people claiming they are all terrorists, while others seem to think they are all saints. Fear. Confusion. Political spin. It's all there in black and white on my computer screen. 

And honestly, it frustrates me. I come to the same conclusion I reach with nearly every issue. It's not as black and white as we want to make it.  We're it so, things would be easier.  We're all refugees terrorists, that would make decisions simpler. If only they were all saints, knowing what to do would be simple.  

Alas, life is not black and white. And this leaves us with complex situations to fret over. I am not here to say what is right or wrong. I am not here to debate policy or argue national security or choose a political party ideology. God bless those who have to balance keeping our nation safe with showing kindness to those in need. And I honestly believe from the bottom of my heart there are good people on both sides of the debate who are truthfully arguing for what they believe is the right thing.

That said, can we just stop for a minute and realize that we are dealing with real people here? There are--whether we want to think about them or not--innocent people fleeing absolute hell at the hands of ISIS. Babies and mamas and good men....people just like you and me....whose lives have been turned completely upside down.

(Photo via Christine Caine)

And while we sit in our warm houses debating lofty policy, while I watch my baby sleeping soundly in his bed, across the world, others just like us are homeless, terrified, and hungry.  They struggle to know what to do. They, like The Boy from Texas and me, are trying to do what is the best thing for their families.  "You have to understand that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land." These words, read months ago, still haunt me. 

It's easy to debate and philosophize over ideologies and politics. It becomes harder, I think, when we focus on the human element.  People, not policies.

And so, regardless of your stance on immigration policy or refugees or the screening process or red states of blue states, please remember there are people--good people--caught up in this mess. They need to be seen. To be remembered. To be loved, even by those of us who live across the globe and will never see their faces or, God willing, feel their desperation. 

So please, I beg you to remember, regardless of your political beliefs, we are dealing with people, not policies.  

Pray for them. Pray for us. Pray for our world. Lord, have mercy. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Truth from the Trenches: Baby Registry

Today we start a new series on this whole being a parent thing, Truth from the Trenches.

I found the whole registry process completely overwhelming.  There is just SO. Much. Stuff.  And you don't have a clue what you really need or how it works or (sometimes, at least for me) what the heck it even is!

But never fear.  I, your Type-A friend, am here to help.  

First off, I have the list I put together and used that I am happy to share.  It has everything I compiled from the 27 separate lists I gathered up.  If you want a copy, just comment below or let me know somehow and I will send it your way.  

Second, here are the top ten things that I have found to be must haves for the newborn stage.

Diapers. Duh, you are saying.  First decision is cloth or disposable. I think poop is disgusting so disposable was a given. We registered only for Pampers and got a closet full of diapers in all sizes.  At the hospital, they gave us several packs of Huggies. You take the free stuff! After using both, we prefer Huggies.  The lining seems to be better. 

Diaper pail.  If you don't want your room to smell like poo, get a diaper pail. There are all different kinds. We have an Arm & Hammer one I like quite well. It's bigger than the diaper genie so you don't have to dump it as often.  Also register for bag refills for whichever pail you choose. 

Pacifier.  I thought everyone used a pacifier. I now know it's controversial. kid needs his binkie!  He likes the Soothie brand green ones and there is another small one that is flat in the front that works well.  These things will grow legs and walk off I swear, so you want to have lots of then around!

Burp cloths.  However many you think you need, get double. Then probably double it again.  If your kid spits up as much as mine, you need lots to avoid doing laundry three times a day!  Our favorite are the ones that are actually cloth diapers. We have done of those that people like Chicken Plucker sewed cute material down the middle and some that are just plain cloth diapers. They seem to be the most absorbent.

Clothes with mittens and feet. Babies have razor sharp finger nails and super cold little feet. Our luck at keeping mittens and socks on basically did not exist.  So clothes with those protections built in--especially the first couple months--are a life saver.

Sleepers. With zippers.  Confession: My kid does not look like he is from baby gap.  But sleepers keep him warm and cozy and are easy to get off and on.  Unless they have buttons, which are the devil. Sleepers with zippers is the way to go.

Boppy pillow.  I cannot say enough about the boppy.  I don't think I could have breast fed without it. 

Something your kid will sit in.  Swing, bouncer, mamaroo, nap nanny, we have tried it all.  Probably the best liked and most convenient for us is the boppy newborn napper. 

Swaddle blankets.  Super Mom told me to get Aiden and Anias bamboo swaddle blankets and not bother with anything else.  We love them.  They are great for swaddling but also just as blankets especially in the summer or if your kid is hot natured. 

Gas drops. Baby gas is no freaking joke.  Whoever  invented these deserves the Nobel Prize. They are a must have in your cabinet.

Lastly, every baby is different so what works for me might not for you. Everyone told me this and I found it super annoying.  Until I learned it was true. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Newlywed in the Kitchen Recipe #30: New Mexican Chicken Bubble Up

When I first saw a recipe for "cracked out chicken bubble up" on Pinterest, I had to try it.  Frankly, we were not fans of the bacon ranch flavor. But I thought it had potential so I decided to use the basic recipe and make it New Mexican. Which meant taking out bacon and ranch and adding green chile.  Much better!  It is quick, easy, and filling!  Kinda of like an enchilada casserole with biscuits rather than tortillas.

The Boy from Texas Rating:  3

New Mexican Chicken Bubble Up

2 C cooked, chopped chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1C shredded cheddar cheese
Green chile (I used 3 hot chopped peppers)
12 oz can biscuits

Heat oven to 350.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except biscuits. 

Cut or tear each biscuit into 4 pieces. Add to large bowl and toss. 

Bake 30-40 minutes (original recipe said 30, took my oven 40) until biscuits are golden brown.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sh*t No One Tells You About Being Pregnant (Part III)

Today we will wrap up our series on Sh*t no one tells you about being pregnant. This means we also wrap up sharing my baby bump photos.  Enjoy. 

11. Stretch marks. 
Oh, the stretch marks!  I know (hate) some people who don't get them. I made up for all of those people and have a tummy covered in these dang things.  I put on lotion, I exercised, I gained exactly what I was supposed to and lost the baby weight by 3 weeks post partum.  Didn't matter.  And I have yet to find a cure. I just tell myself it's a small price to pay and I probably don't really need to be in a 2 piece swim suit anymore anyway. 

12. Personal stuff. 
There are lots of strange things your body does, especially at the end of a pregnancy.  And while I refuse to share details on a public blog forum, if you have any questions I am happy to answer them, or at least share my experience! 

13. Hips like a grandma. 
I cannot tell you how many times I said to The Boy from Texas "my hips are killing me." I sounded like a dang nursing home!  But I had a hard time with pain in my hips, particularly at night, which made sleeping nearly impossible. 

14. Aforementioned impossible sleep.
I wanted to punch the next person who told me to enjoy sleep now and rest up while you can. I didn't sleep for crap for at least the last trimester. Between killer heartburn, hip pain, and having to pee every 5 minutes, it was a disaster.  You are supposed to sleep in your side. So whatever side I was laying on, that hip would cramp up after about 30 minutes, causing me to wake up to roll over, waking up would cause me to have to pee, so I would end up waddling to the bathroom and by the time I got back settled in, the routine started over again. I kid you not when I say I am more rested now even up for midnight feedings than I was then. 

15. Tears and hormones.
Your emotions are basically taken over by something (or someone) else. I am not a crier and in comparison to some other people I know I didn't get very bad.  But the one thing I do know is I could not watch any video of a soldier coming home without weeping. Random, I know.  Good news?  You just think pregnant hormones are bad. Wait for what The Boy from Texas calls the post partum roller coaster ride. 

16. Doctors are liars.  
"Oh, I think you are going to go into labor any day now! We won't even have to talk about inducing," I was told at 35 weeks. We induced at 40 weeks. "You will only have to push for like 30 minutes." Forceps got him out after 4 hours of that joy.  My dad says they tell you this so you don't jump off a bridge because of the truth.  Maybe so. 

And now, our final bump photos.

34 weeks

35 weeks
36 weeks
37 weeks

38 weeks

39 weeks

40 weeks

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BB One Month

Seriously, one month came and went and it all feels like a blur.  (Yes, this post is almost a month late!) Here is a recap of BB's first 30 days. 

-- Hospital Visitors

-- Going Home

--More Visitors

--First photo shoot

--First family outing to the doctor 

--First trip to church

--Great Grandpa Joe's 83rd birthday party

--Meeting the dogs

--My favorite shots

--Monthly Check In

Weight: 8 pounds, 7 oz.

Length:  21 inches

Likes: Watching football with dad, sleeping on anyone's chest, taking his heartburn medicine.

Dislikes: Sleeping alone, blankets, clothing.