My Breastfeeding Journey

This is a post that I have been wanting to write for awhile, but I have somewhat been avoiding. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because it makes me feel really vulnerable to talk about my struggles. Maybe it’s because it means I have to talk about nipples on the internet.

Regardless, this post has been weighing heavily on me lately, so I felt like maybe this was the right time to share it. I really hope that this can connect with someone who is potentially experiencing the same difficulties and give them hope.

And if you aren’t interested in hearing rather personal details about my nipples, this might be the post to skip. I won’t be offended, I promise. Just thought I should give you fair warning. Here goes nothing.


When I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to try to breastfeed once Colton was born. I had heard so many things about the “wonders” of breastfeeding and all of the “breast is best” hype and was adamant that I was going to do everything in my power to exclusively breastfeed. I mean, how hard could it possibly be? Women have been doing it for millions of years. I was pretty confident I could handle it no problem.

Well you know what they say about assuming…

Breastfeeding has not been an easy experience for us. In fact, it has probably been the biggest struggle for me as a new mom, which was something I never, ever expected. It took us several months to even start to get the hang of things, and I lost count of how many times I thought about quitting.

I know that everyone’s experience with breastfeeding is going to be completely different, and there are probably many moms who have struggled more than I have. But I wanted to take this opportunity to share my breastfeeding journey with you all, just in case there are any other new mamas out there who are starting to lose faith (like I nearly did 1000 times when I was crying at 4am). Know you are not alone, and that it does get better. And that you have to make whatever choices are best for you.

breastfeeding journey

My Breastfeeding Journey

After Colton was born, breastfeeding was probably the least of my concerns. Those first few days were such a whirlwind of doctors and nurses and just staring at my new baby that I didn’t really think too much about how breastfeeding was going. Yes, we had a lactation consultant visit us a few times in the hospital, but at that point everything looked like it was going OK. Colton was latching on, and while it wasn’t the most comfortable thing, I just chalked it up to it being a new experience.

Except that after a week, things weren’t really getting any more comfortable. In fact, they got less comfortable. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and just seemed to get worse after every feeding. Everyone kept telling me to get to the 2 week mark. That after that, your nipples adjust and everything just becomes habit.

Well, 2 weeks came and went. And still no relief. One of my nipples started to heal, but the other one looked horrible and I literally had to mentally prep myself before getting him to latch on each time, because it was so painful. I can’t even tell you how many tears were shed in those early weeks, both in frustration and in pain.


After 3 weeks I put in a call to my hospital’s lactation consultant and explained the issue over the phone. After going through a series of questions (was Colton eating, gaining weight, no inflammation or fever, etc), she suggested that priority number 1 was to get my nipples to heal, and number 2 was to get checked out for latch issues.

She was also really worried about the possibility of getting an infection or clogged duct, which can lead to problems like thrush (in both baby and mama) and mastitis. While there are some prescription creams, she suggested a DIY method. My first trip out of the house alone with Colton was actually to my local CVS to pick up the ingredients.

The week was a constant cycle of heal and re-injury. The ointment would help me to heal, but then every time he fed on that side it would reopen and we would be back at ground zero. Cue more tears. Not only from the pain, but also from feeling like a failure and wanting to quit (and then feeling guilty over wanting to quit). Postpartum hormones are no joke, especially when you are dealing with additional stress!

A second call to the lactation consultant suggested that I come to one of the local breastfeeding mama groups hosted by my hospital, where there was always a lactation consultant available to answer questions. Contrary to the fact that I post about my life on the internet, I am actually an introvert, and the idea of showing up in a room of strangers and popping out my boob was completely terrifying.

It was actually Chris who convinced me to go, if for no other reason than to get out of the house for 2 hours on a Wednesday morning. So I went. And let me tell you, I’m pretty sure it was the best decision I made in those first few weeks of Colton’s life.

Not only was this group a chance to talk to other adults for a few hours, which was a welcome change to my normal diaper-nap-eat routine, but it was also reassuring to hear so many other moms talk about their struggles and successes too. It made me feel like I was not alone, and that all new moms experiencing a learning curve.


I also got to talk one-on-one with a lactation consultant, which was a huge help. After running through her list of questions and watching him eat, she guessed that the most likely source of my pain was that I am an overproducer with a fast letdown (a great/terrible problem to have) and it was causing Colton to have a shallow latch. In simple terms, the milk was coming out too fast for his little mouth to handle so he kept pulling back to keep from choking. And taking my nipple with him in the process.

So on the positive side, I definitely did not have a milk issue, which was a common problem in our group and for that I feel very blessed. On the negative side though, there isn’t much you can do to fix a fast letdown other than to a) pump a little bit before feeding him and hope it slows down the flow, and/or b) wait until he grows into being able to handle it.

At this point we were probably 5 weeks in, and I felt like all of a sudden I had this huge ray of hope. Some of the other moms in the group told me to give it until the 3 month mark, and then it would be all smooth sailing from there.

Well 6, 7, 8 weeks passed, and we were still running into the same issues. Some days it would be fine, and then others I felt like we were right back at the beginning and I was in so much pain. I put a smile on my face when we went out or spent time with other people, but inside I was really struggling with everything and wondering if this was the right decision for me.

Around 8 weeks we moved to Atlanta, which meant that I had to leave my moms group. At my last visit I talked to the lactation consultant again who took a look at things and basically just told me that things had been pretty damaged and were unfortunately just going to take awhile to fully heal (complicated by the fact that that area was constantly being used and thus healing was going to be a slow process).

I can’t even tell you how many times I repeated “3 months, 3 months” in my head. While I had been so incredibly gung-ho about breastfeeding exclusively, there was a part of me that was starting to accept the idea of throwing in the towel if things didn’t get better.

Then we turned a corner. Somewhere right around the 11 week mark, I noticed that there wasn’t as much pain, and my nipples no longer looked like they had gone through a shredder (sorry for that visual). It wasn’t comfortable, but it no longer made me tear up every single time.

So I guess the other moms were right. It took 3 full months for things to even become remotely “natural,” if you could even call it that. Something that I just assumed would happen right from the start.

Now here we are, my baby is almost 6 months old (how is that possible?) and I have managed to stick with it and exclusively breastfeed him this entire time. Even now, we still have our ups and downs. There are days when I am still in pain, or when he’ll choke while feeding. He has even been known to throw up all over me mid-feed from getting too much at one time (not so fun for anyone involved). But we are still working at it, because I’m confident that we are going to get through it.

I do not say that to brag or imply that moms who don’t breastfeed are doing something wrong. In fact, if I have learned anything from this experience, it is to not judge moms who make a choice that they feel is best for them. Because breastfeeding is not always easy, despite the fact that everyone makes it look that way.


So what is my point in all of this? I just want other new moms out there who may be struggling with the early days of breastfeeding to know that they are not alone. For some people, it is hard and emotional and one of the most difficult things you’ll do in those first few weeks. And there is so much pressure since it is something that falls on mom entirely.

But have hope. Have hope that it will get better if you are able to work through it, or have hope that you’ve done the best you can if you decide it isn’t the right decision for you. And have hope that you are not the only mom out there who is struggling with this.

If you ARE having issues, I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to reach out and seek some support. I know that I personally have a very hard time accepting help from other people, but this is something that you really can’t do on your own. And there are so many people out there who can help.

Here are some potential options:

  • Call a lactation consultant from your hospital. They can often answer questions over the phone, or may be able to set up an appointment with you (at the hospital or at your house) to check things out and see where the problem lies.

  • See if your hospital offers any kind of moms group. They are great for both information and moral support.

  • Check out La Leche League and see if they have any group meetings in your area. They also have great resources online!

  • La Leche League also has some great facebook pages you can check out, with tons of info!

  • Talk to your OB. If you are really at a loss for resources, your OB’s office may have some connections for you.

  • Talk to other mamas! While they may not be able to diagnose your problem, you’ll be amazed to find how many other mamas will share their struggles with you once you open up that line of communication. Realize you are not alone!

I know that this experience is going to look different for every single mama. In fact, this could even look different for me when we have our next kid. But as a new mom, I think it is really easy to feel extremely alone. And I want other moms out there to know that you’re not alone. Everyone makes breastfeeding seem easy, but the reality is that it is not always that way. And that is ok.

You are not alone.

Body After Baby: 5 Month Update

I feel like my theme song this month should be “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…” because I’ve pretty much been just a touch behind on everything this month! Including these update posts.

One of these days I’m going to get a hang of this schedule. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.

But better late than never, right?

So even though we are like 17 (eek) days late, he is my 5 month Body After Baby progress.

Body After Baby

Finally I had a breakthrough on the scale! I was stuck right around the +10lb mark for a couple of months there, and I was starting to get a little frustrated by it. I know that the number on the scale shouldn’t matter and that I should base things on how I feel and how my clothes fit (which I do try to do as much as possible), but sometimes not seeing the number change on the scale can start to beat you down.

So I am now about 4lbs or so up from pre-pregnancy, which is a HUGE confidence booster. On a total non-scale victory, I also was able to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy jeans. Given, they are still a little bit tight (this mama grew a butt while pregnant!), but just the fact that I could actually put them on and be comfortable enough to walk around in public is a HUGE non-scale victory!

5 months BAB


This month I checked several things off of my mommy list, including handling our first teething experience and flying (solo, might I add) with a baby. I am not going to lie, I had some serious anxiety about flying by myself with Colton. Probably more mommy anxiety than I’ve had since he was a newborn, but it just seemed like such a daunting experience with so many possibilities for things to go horribly.

Well, they went just fine and I mentally was able to give myself a giant pat on the back for handling an entire weekend of traveling with a teething baby by myself. And I now give super serious props to all the single parents out there. Hats off to you all, you are seriously super-people!


Eating has probably been my biggest struggle since having Colton. I was so good throughout my pregnancy about making healthy food choices, and for whatever reason once I had him that all went out the window. Breastfeeding hunger is no joke, and I pretty much find myself to be constantly hungry.

This month was a lot better in the eating department though. Not perfect, by any stretch, but better. I have tried to focus on keeping healthy snacks around instead of just grabbing whatever is quick and easy, and I do think that has made a difference (especially on the scale this month!)

Post-Thanksgiving Chris and I are going to do a 24 Day Challenge (modified version for me), because we both agree that our eating habits need a bit of a jumpstart. Hopefully that will help us keep a healthy mindset through the holidays!

1 -5 months


While exercise definitely wasn’t perfect this month, I have finally gotten into somewhat of a routine which is a huge success in my book. I was having a really difficult time when I first started school in finding a way to balance school work AND mommy duties AND gym time. But I’ve come up with a schedule that, for the most part, gets me to the gym 2-3 times a week. Would I like to go more? Absolutely. But you have to start somewhere, and right now this is what I can manage with my schedule and I am OK with that.

All-in-all, I’d say that this was a pretty solid month. I’ve made some positive changes and identified the areas where I am still struggling. I am confident that the 24DC is going to be a great way to kick out some of those bad eating habits that I’ve fallen back in to. And if nothing else, my mommy confidence got a big boost this month!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me: What do you do to deal with all of the holiday goodies temptation?

Feeling like a true Atlantan

Well hello Monday. Is it rude of me to say that I am NOT very happy to see you?

Colton decided that sleeping was overrated last night, so Chris and I switched off getting up and rocking/feeding/holding him back asleep. Which basically means that no one involved got a whole lot of sleep. I don’t know if it’s a sleep regression, teeth or something else all together, but what I do know is BRING ON THE SPARK!

And maybe a nap.

ANYWAY, sorry I didn’t end up posting anything late last week. I had posts all planned out, and then this happened:


Thursday night Virginia Tech played Georgia Tech in Atlanta, so you’d better believe we went! It was the only chance we had this year to see our beloved Hokies play, and see our longtime coach in his last season before retirement. Made even better by the fact that the Hokies won (which is a bit of a rarity this season!)

We didn’t end up going to bed until after 1am though. Which is insanely late for us, because we’re old.

So needless-to-say, we were hurting on Friday. Hardcore. #worthit

By Saturday we had finally caught up on sleep and felt somewhat like normal human beings again. Some friends of ours invited us out to one of the big parks in the city, Piedmont Park, to enjoy the sunshine. It’s been raining in Atlanta almost nonstop for the past few weeks, so this was such a welcome change!

They have a 1 year old, so we had fun checking out the dog park and walking around for awhile. We also stopped to check out the geese and the turtles, which Colton found fascinating!


We also made a stop by the park’s big playground. This is actually the first time we’ve ever taken Colton to a playground, so we weren’t really sure how he’d feel about it. It was pretty crowded so we mostly stuck to the slides, which he wasn’t really sure what to make of!


Eventually Chris got brave and took him down one of the big slides!


Even though he wasn’t really sure of what was going on, he did enjoy looking around at all the other kiddos having fun! He is such a little observer right now. We also met another little guy who was just one day older than Colton which was fun.

Eventually we called it a day and headed back towards home, with a stop for sandwiches and Costco on the way. Although we did have an epic poop experience at Costco that resulted in a complete change of clothes and me carrying him around wrapped in my jacket because I didn’t have an extra sweater for him. #momfail

The rest of Saturday was super chill. Chris and Colton took an epic nap while I did homework, and the rest of the day was pretty much spent watching football. We are exciting.

Sunday was about as equally chill. We did church in the morning, and eventually met up with Chris’ aunt and uncle for dinner where I had an epic chile relleno (but it was way too dark to get a picture – boo!)

All-in-all, it was a pretty great, sunny weekend and one of the first where I really felt like a real Atlantan! I can’t wait until Colton is a little bit older and we can do more exploring and hanging out at the playground, because there are so many options here!

I hope you all have a great Monday, and please send your coffee vibes this way. I’m definitely going to need them today!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend?

Baby Colton – 5 Months

Ok, I’m like 10 days late on this one. This stomach bug threw us all off and we kind of forgot about taking pictures until yesterday. Whoops! Parenting at its finest, people! But better late than never, right?

5 months old

Dear Colton,

5 months already! Where did this month go? I can hardly believe that next month we’ll be hitting the half-year mark. Where did my little baby go – weren’t you just born yesterday?

This month has been a rougher one for you, but you’ve managed to tough it out with a smile on your little face most of the time. You started out the month with a wicked cold, including a super stuffy nose and a cough that just would not go away. It was so hard to listen to you struggling to breathe through your nose, and your dad and I had to spray your poor nose with saline drops constantly, which you absolutely hated. Then at the end of this month in the span of one week you popped out 2 teeth and got a stomach bug. Yikes! Your poor tummy was not having it, and you threw up on me at least once a day for a whole week. I forgive you though, because every time you’d just look up at me and smile while we were both covered in puke.

5 months old

When you weren’t sick, this month was full of new discoveries. You became obsessed with eating your toes, and grab at them every chance you get. You also learned to roll over, which you do all the time now. You’re very good about getting from your back to your belly, but sometimes you forget (or get lazy) about flipping back over and just yell at me when you’re tired of being on your tummy. You also have discovered some favorite toys this month, including your rattle and your baby paper. You basically love everything you can make noise with (like a true boy).

We had a lot of visitors this month, and it was so much fun to watch you interact with all of them. You love meeting new people and aren’t scared at all when you get passed around. As long as people are willing to feed you, play with you, and let you take a nap on them – you’re cool. You have also been loving daycare and have so much fun watching all the other babies. The ladies at daycare love you and always tell me how chill you are. I also get comments everywhere we go about your big blue eyes and your Charlie Brown curl right on your forehead.

This month you have just started to turn into such a big boy. Your personality is really starting to shine, and we love to hear you chattering away or belly laughing at the silliest things. You definitely know who your mommy and daddy are, and we always get a big smile when we come into the room. I know it wont be like that forever (hello teenage years), so I’m savoring it while I can.

5 months old

Colton, you are such a joy and have made our lives so much fuller. I am so lucky to be your mom. Even when we’re having a stressful week, or you puke on me right as we’re about to walk out the door, I can’t help but just laugh and your big, goofy grin. And when you fall asleep with your arms wrapped around me, I can’t bear to put you down.

It has been a great month, despite everything, and I can’t wait to see what the next month has to bring. And I am still in complete denial that you are going to be 6 months old in just a few weeks.

I love you,

Your mommy.

5 Month Update

Stats: I’m not exactly sure at the moment, but at about 4.5mo he was:

Weight: 14lbs 9oz

Height: 25 3/4 inches long

So he is probably at least 15lbs at this point! Long and lean!

Eating: Still exclusively breastfeeding. Because he is gaining weight well and sleeping through the night, the doc okayed us to wait until 6 months to start solid foods. He eats about 6-7 times a day, and when he takes a bottle they are typically around 4oz.

5 months old

Sleeping: Thank goodness after about a week of rough nights at the beginning of the month, he is back to being a very good sleeper. We’ve had a few random wake-ups here and there (one time he woke up throwing up, which was super fun), but otherwise he has been great. He has started flipping himself onto his belly in the middle of the night though, which is scary!

Mood: For the most part he is still a super happy, super chill baby. His front 2 teeth have both popped through in the last week though, and he has not been a happy camper about it. There were a couple of days there where all he wanted to do was be held. All. Day. Long. Even daycare wrote “I had a really rough day, mommy” on his daily report once. Yikes! Poor guy is not loving this whole teething thing. Hopefully once it is over we’ll go back to our happy, observant little self!

Clothes: Almost all 3-6 month clothes. He is still super long and skinny, so he doesn’t really fill out the 3-6 month outfits (the pants will slip right off of his skinny legs!) but he is so long that the 0-3s don’t fit anymore. I have a feeling we might have a tall little guy on our hands, just like daddy.

5 months old

Likes: Blowing bubbles at people, having conversations with Laney, his rattle, anything that plays music, taste-testing everything, grabbing onto your lips/mouth/chin while eating or falling asleep, rolling over, watching people, playing peek-a-boo.

Dislikes: Being hungry, loud noises (he gets super scared), growing teeth

Nicknames: Bubbers, Bubs, Buddy, squirmy-wormy, Squirms, Nakey-baby (during bath time)

I am: Really feeling like a mom this month. Between the teeth situation and a stomach bug, I have experienced so many things that I would never have imagined before being a mom – like being thrown up on at least once a day for an entire week. I used to think that I’d never be able to handle that (me and puke don’t mix), but I have really impressed myself with my ability to calmly handle the situation and take care of my poor, sick little buddy. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you have someone depending on you!

C is: An awesome dad. I can already see how much trouble he and Colton are going to get in to when Colton gets a little older. They are like 2 peas in a pod, and no one can make the little guy laugh quite like daddy. It melts my heart every single time.

5 months old

Flying Solo

Well hello there, long time no talk!

Sorry for my unexpected ghost status. I mentioned early last week that we thought Chris had food poisoning. Well, apparently it wasn’t food poisoning and turned out to be some sort of 24-hour-ish angry stomach virus that ended up getting all three of us. And then on top of that, Colton popped his first tooth out and was not a happy camper about it.

So yea… I’m pretty sure I was puked on at least 5 times last week, and spent a whole day home with a baby who literally would not let me put him down even to use the bathroom. It was bad.

Thankfully we seem to have come out the other side of that mess. Colton’s tooth is still bothering him a bit (I think the 2nd one is on its way up too), but otherwise he seems to be feeling much better. And I’m appreciating not getting thrown up on constantly.

Oh the things you never thought you’d be ok with until you have a baby…

ANYWAY, despite last week’s craziness, Colton and I did end up having a fun little adventure this weekend – a whirlwind trip to Virginia to celebrate the lovely Lindsay’s baby shower! Which means that this mama flew solo with a baby. I seriously was way more stressed about this than I probably have been in a LONG time!

Here is how our weekend went.


I picked Colton up from daycare after my morning class and we headed straight to the airport. Thankfully one of Chris’ cousins actually works at the Atlanta airport, so he was able to meet me in the parking lot and help me navigate all my stuff through the airport. The Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the US, so his help was seriously a lifesaver!


Getting through security was a little crazy (I plan on doing a whole post about the lessons I learned when flying solo with a baby!) but I made it to my gate with just enough time to grab a drink before boarding.

I was so incredibly stressed leading up to this flight, worrying about how he would do. Would he scream the whole time? Would he puke all over my poor seatmates (remember, he’d puked like 5+ times in the last few days)?

Thankfully, most of our flight looked like this:


I was very lucky to end up seated next to a young guy who was SO kind during the whole flight. He even told me at the end (when we were discussing how rude people can be about babies on planes sometimes) that he would have yelled at anyone who tried to say anything mean to us. So sweet!

Overall, Colton did really well on the plane. He woke up near the end of the flight and didn’t love the descent (even with a bottle he still screamed for a second and grabbed at his ears), but otherwise he did great.

My sister-in-law picked us up from the airport and we met up with my in-laws for dinner before heading to my mother-in-law’s house for the night.


Colton and I were up early on Saturday morning with a day full of plans.

First up, I dropped Colton off at my dad’s house for a little playdate while I headed to a baby shower for Lindsay. I also got to see the lovely Aileen there too, who also came in just for this occasion. Fredericksburg bloggers club reunited!

photo courtesy of Lindsay’s mom

I had such a great time celebrating Lindsay and her new addition. Colton can’t wait to have playdates with her baby boy. They are destined to be besties already!

After the shower I picked up the baby and headed back to my mother-in-law’s to pack up all of my stuff before headed down to Richmond to spend the evening with my sister-in-law. I haven’t really seen her since we moved to Atlanta so we had a great time hanging out and chatting over dinner, and she got to spend some quality time with Colton.

Once we came home and put Colton to bed, I ended up staying up and chatting with my sister-in-law and her friends until well past midnight. Whoa. I seriously can’t remember the last time I was up that late. #grandmastatus

But it was a great time and even though that 6am alarm came WAY too early, I am glad that I got to just have a night to chill.


6am. Yuck. I was so not feeling it when my alarm went off. I can’t hang with the young kids anymore.

I did manage to drag myself out of bed, however, so we could make it to the airport by 8am. Thankfully Richmond airport is much smaller than Atlanta, so I had no problem maneuvering all of my stuff around. Colton didn’t seem to mind too much either!

20151108_082518 (1)

Please ignore the serious bags under my eyes. Ooph.

Colton was a touch fussier this flight because he was seriously fighting sleep for the first 20 minutes or so and was just being plain squirmy. But eventually he passed out and spent the entire flight snoring like an old man. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it sure felt like it! His poor little nose was not loving the dry plane air.

Even though the flight went smoothly, I was SO happy to arrive home. We had a great time seeing everyone, but man was it exhausting! And I have a total new respect for all the single parents out there. I only ran solo with the baby for like 48 hours, but have a whole new appreciation for having a supportive partner and and an extra set of hands.

Anyway, the rest of our Sunday was super chill. It was a gross, rainy day here in Atlanta so we ate Panera soup for lunch and took a 2 hour nap. That is my kind of afternoon.

So here we are, back at Monday again. It was such a fun weekend, but I am definitely wishing I had an extra day to recover! At least we got our first solo flight experience out of the way, and I will hopefully have way less anxiety next time we have to do this. Oh the lessons you learn as a new parent…

I hope you all have a great Monday!

So tell me: Any baby-flying stories? Either as a parent or as a passenger?

Here is to 3 years <3

I am interrupting my regularly scheduled posts to bring you this special message instead:

Today marks 3 years of marriage to this guy:

In these 3 years, he has never stopped making me laugh. He is the king of terrible puns and is always willing to act ridiculous to make me smile.

In these 3 years, he has also never stopped making me feel loved. Even when I was super pregnant and felt like a giant blimp.

He shares my love of Hokie football (well, anything Virginia Tech, really), traveling, and watching way too many TV shows.

In the last 3 years we have:

– each changed jobs (twice for me, if you count me starting school)

– traveled out of the country several times, and to lots of places in the US

– run 3 half marathons and several smaller races

– bought and sold a house

– moved several states away

– had a baby

He has always believed in me and allowed my to pursue my dreams (even if they might seem just a touch crazy). He is also hands-down the best father for Colton that I could ever ask for.


I am so blessed to have you in my life, and it has been the best 3 years of my life. Here is to 3, 13, and 30+ more.

In the words of Brad Paisley (and our wedding song):

…and I thought I loved you then…


Baby Frankenstein visits the Aquarium

Well I hope you all had a great Halloween weekend!

Colton’s first Halloween was definitely a huge success! However now we’re dealing with some sort of food poisoning/stomach bug in our house, which is just no fun for anyone. Knock on wood, it hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m doing double duty right now taking care of baby and sick hubby.

At least half of our weekend was good?


My mom actually came into town to visit on Friday, so I picked her up from the airport in the evening and she got to spend a little time with Baby Colton before he had to head to bed. We all decided not to stay up TOO late, because we had some exciting plans for Halloween and knew we were going to be up early in the morning.



We were up bright and early on Saturday to head to the Georgia Aquarium for their trick or treat event. Obviously Colton is a bit young to trick or treat (more for mom and dad?), but we had fun dressing him up in his Frankenstein outfit and hoped that he would enjoy the bright fish.


At first he wasn’t really sure what was going on…


But he pretty quickly got into it! We walked around for about an hour looking at all the fish before his little brain decided it was too much and he crashed hard in his stroller. Which was perfect timing, because the rest of us were getting hungry. So while the baby napped, the adults grabbed lunch.

Colton woke up cheerful again, and off we went to look at more fish!


He especially liked the Tropical Fish section, where everything was super bright and you could walk right up to the glass. We probably spent 20 minutes on the floor here just staring at the fish!


Eventually we decided that it was getting close to the end of his tolerance level, so we headed back to the car and made the trek home. Which was perfect timing, because Chris and I were able to catch the end of the Virginia Tech-Boston College football game (Go Hokies, we finally won one!). Colton, however, was too pooped to catch any of the game.


Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent just hanging out and watching football. The Saturday usual. Eventually my mom played babysitter while Chris and I ran out to grab dinner with some friends from college who were passing through Atlanta.

We came home just in time to put Colton to bed, and originally planned to head back out to a Halloween party hosted by one of my labmates. However, apparently Colton’s tummy wasn’t feeling well (foreshadowing here…) and he ended up projectile vomiting ALL over our bed, himself, and me. Gross. GROSS!

Needless-to-say, we nixed our evening plans and instead did about 3 loads of laundry. Fun.


Unfortunately it was a bit of a rough night for us. Colton woke up several times, and Chris started to feel sick. And Colton didn’t really get the whole “daylight savings” thing, so we were still up pretty early.

The rest of the day just kind of went downhill from there. Chris ended up spending most of the day in bed feeling extremely ill, and Colton (while thankfully not puking anymore) was just in a very fussy, clingy mood all day. So we just spent most of the day at home, on the couch.

So definitely not the best weekend ever, but at least we made it through Halloween successfully! Now I can’t wait until next year when Colton can actually enjoy it more.

I hope you all have a great week. And cross your fingers that all of this grossness going around my house passes quickly. Gross.

So tell me: What was your favorite childhood costume?

Five Favorites Friday: Newborn Gear

It’s FRIDAY!!!

This has been a long, busy week for me so I am super pumped that I’ve actually made it to Friday without my brain exploding. Now I just have to make it through one presentation first thing this morning (eek!) and a few meetings and I’ll be home free. Well, ish.

My mom is coming into town this weekend, so we have some exciting plans to show her around Atlanta and maybe even do some fun Halloween-y things. Next Tuesday is also our 3rd anniversary, so I’m hoping to talk my mom into a night of babysitting so that Chris and I can go out and celebrate with a nice, baby-free dinner. Where we’ll probably talk about the baby the whole time. That’s parent life for you!


So today I thought I’d do something a bit different for Five Favorites Friday. To be honest, I couldn’t really think of too many unique things I’ve been loving this week. Except for wine. I’ve been loving wine.

Instead of just leaving you with nothing, I thought I would share with you some of our favorite baby items from the first 5 months! Now, one of the first things I’ve learned about babies is that they come with a lot of stuff. A LOT. And you really don’t actually need like 95% of it.

That being said, there are a few things that have really made a different in our lives through these first few months. I’ve included a link to every thing below, but just as an FYI, they are amazon affiliate links.

The Mamaroo

4Moms Mamaroo Bouncer, Grey Classic

I was on the fence about getting a 4Moms Mamaroo , because although I’ve heard that lots of babies (and mamas) love them, they are also seriously pricey. And you all know I’m a serious cheapskate. But thanks to the magic of Craiglist, we found one that had barely been used for about 1/2 of the cost of a new one. WINNING!


Colton loves the movement of the Mamaroo (even after he had his 2mo shots, like in the pathetic picture above), and has taken many a nap in it. I also love that there are so many adjustments that you can make – the speed, the type of movement, and even the colors of the little mobile that hangs above. Definitely a great purchase, and I highly recommend checking out used ones before you shell out the dough for a brand new one!

The Ikea Leka Playmat

LEKA Play mat IKEA

A family member got us this Ikea playmat and it has been such a great addition! Our apartment has mostly hardwood/laminate floors, so they are not exactly comfy. But this playmat is actually very thick and has a lining on the bottom to keep it from slipping around the floor. I totally feel comfortable laying Colton down on it and knowing that it’s not going to hurt (as much) if he plops out of sitting or rolls over ungracefully on it. He also has just figured out that it has cool things attached to it and loves to reach for the frog and the fish.

Tummy Time

Also, it’s $24.99. That’s my kind of price point!

The Basic Rattle

Fisher-Price Rattle 'n Rock Maracas Musical

Yup, you buy your kid all these cool (and expensive) toys and fancy gadgets, and what does he like best? His super basic, super old school rattle. Seriously, it’s hands down his favorite toy. He shakes that thing like crazy (and whacks himself in the face quite frequently!) I even tried to get a picture but he wont hold still long enough for one!

So lesson learned: sometimes the tried and true toys have stuck around for a reason.

Baby Paper


We got some Baby Paper sent to us as a little thank you add-on to a cloth diaper purchase, and I’m actually convinced that this might be the most ingenious thing I’ve ever seen. Someone realized that babies love the feel and sound of paper crinkling, and made a million dollar idea out of it. It is literally a piece of crinkly fabric. That’s it. And my kid is in love with it.

As a mom I also love it because it’s super easy to throw into his diaper bag and provide endless entertainment. This might be my new go-to purchase for every new mom friend!


aden + anais Musy Mate Lovey Nursery Blanket, for the Birds Owls/Elephant

Colton got several of these little blanket-stuffed animal things at my baby showers and I remember thinking, “what in the world is he going to do with all these stuffed animals? He’s a baby!”

Well, once again my naïve pre-mama self was proved totally wrong. Colton loves his lovies! In fact, we have three – Mr. Lion on his changing table, Mr. Monkey in his rocker, and Mr. Bear in his car seat . He loves to grab them and snuggle… or munch on their faces. Plus they are super soft, so I’m not worried about him whacking himself in the car with it! That’s parenting for you.

So there you go – 5 of my favorite things from the past 5 months that I’m not sure we could do without. Colton already has a whole collection of toys going on, but I’m pretty sure he would be perfectly content to just hang out on his playmat with his rattle and his Mr. Lion/Bear/Monkey and his Baby Paper.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be as easily entertained as a baby?

But now we’re getting ready to move up to the next phase of life, where he is rolling over and reaching for EVERYTHING, so if you have any advice on good 6+ month toys, please let me know!

So tell me: What were your favorite, “cant live without” newborn items? Any suggestions for 6+ months?

WIAW: Hidden Pantry Edition

Is this week feeling extra slow for anyone else? I swear it should be at least Thursday by now!

Maybe it’s the weather. I don’t know what it is like where you guys are, but Atlanta has been super cold and rainy lately. It’s totally “curl up with a good book” weather. Which is great if you can do that. It sucks if you actually have to be productive.

But I’m trying to suck it up and think happy, productive thoughts today. If you live somewhere sunny, please send those vibes this way We could use all the help we can get!

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it is Wednesday, and you all know what that means. It’s time for another round of What I Ate Wednesday! If you’re not familiar with WIAW, head over to Jenn’s blog for more info on this fun blog phenomenon.


WIAW Breakfast

I’ve been trying to be better about using up some of the items we have in our pantry before purchasing more stuff, so I went old school (and by old school I mean my obsession from fall 2014) and topped my oatmeal with PB2 (<— affiliate link, FYI). I also added some blackberries, cinnamon and a little bit of jam for sweetness. With a side of coffee because, well… morning. Duh.


Since I ate breakfast at around 6:30am, by 10:30 my tummy was grumbling. I keep a big jar of trail mix from Target in my desk drawer, so I snacked on a handful of nuts (so many jokes, so little time) while working on a paper.



WIAW Lunch

Once I got back from my workout at 1pm, I was STARVING. However I only had a few minutes to each lunch before I needed to go pump and head to class, so I didn’t even grab a plate – I just scarfed down my food. We are running a touch low on lunch options right now, so I tried to use up what we had left in the house, which included a ham and cheese sandwich (with LOTS of deli mustard… I have a problem) and half of a honeycrisp apple.

Can we just talk about how gigantic that apple is? It’s literally almost the size of my sandwich.

Snack #2

On Tuesday I have an afternoon class followed immediately by a lab meeting, so I tend to not get home until later in the evening. Which also means that if I don’t eat something small, I’m usually ready to grab whatever I can get my hands on by the time I get home. So during lab meeting I snacked on a blueberry chobani. No picture, because that would be SUPER awkward in the middle of a meeting…


WIAW Dinner

Chris gets all the props for this one: Thai green curry with chicken over spaghetti squash. In the spirit of trying to use up some of our random pantry items, Chris found this thai green curry spice mix hidden in the back, which had a recipe for green curry with chicken on the back. The recipe already included the potatoes and onions, but we amped it up with some green beans and put it over spaghetti squash instead of rice. Yummmmm!

Topped with sriarcha of course because that’s just how I roll.

Eaten while catching up on Quantico. Anyone else watching this show? I am in love. Plus, I have a personal connection with Quantico in real life, so it’s even cooler.


Spin class

Well hello spin bike, my old friend. It’s been awhile!

I finally made it back to spin class after, I don’t know, a month? The timing just was really bad for awhile, but I’m so happy to have made it back to class again. And boy did it hurt! The instructor had a very big hill focus which was awesome, but my legs were already screaming about 15 minutes into class. It was definitely one of those “hurts so good” kinds of workouts.

Overall it wasn’t too shabby of a day. I am really trying to focus on making better eating decisions and I think today was a pretty good representation of that. By no means perfect, but definitely a good start.

Well now I’m off to brave the rain (and traffic) and attempt to have a productive day of paper writing. Yikes. Wish me luck!

So tell me: What did you eat today? What did your workouts look like?

How do empty weekends become so full?

October has been a super crazy month for us, and I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of happy it’s almost over. School has been super busy with midterms and everything, and we’ve also had company every single weekend so far. And while I love visitors, I was so happy to see that we had a break in between company. One free weekend to ourselves!

We originally planned on this being a “no plans” weekend. HA! Somehow that “no plans” weekend ended up being super full! Full of awesome stuff, but still. Busy, busy, busy.

One of these days I’ll actually get an all PJs, all day weekend!

Here is what my “no plans” weekend actually looked like:


So, confession time. I’m THE WORST about getting my hair cut. I am a total cheapskate, but at the same time I am petrified at the idea of going to a place that does $15 hair cuts (no offense to any of those stylists – I’m sure they are great and I’m just totally ridiculous). So instead I just put it off. For months. MONTHS.

Like I’m pretty sure the last time I got my haircut was before I was pregnant. Ouch.

Needless-to-say, I was definitely overdue. Plus, Colton is in the grabby stage and just loves to get fistfuls of my hair. So with midterms over, I finally bit the bullet and went to a place that came highly recommended to me – Salon Red (for any of my fellow Atlantans, I went to the Candler Park one).

I absolutely loved my stylist, Lyn, who took into consideration my super fine, super straight, very blah hair and convinced me into chopping a whole bunch off and doing a long bob.

long bob

And I love it! It is so light, and the layers she put in makes it look thicker than it actually is (which is a miracle in my opinion).

Now if only I could figure out how to do these loose curls on a daily basis. I am terrible at curling my hair. Any tips or tricks?

The rest of Friday night was spent hanging out with my boys and watching Jurassic Park after the baby went to bed. Yup, the old 1993 version. I hadn’t seen it in ages, and we figured that it needed to be rewatched before we rented the new Jurassic World.


As much as I would have loved to sleep in on Saturday morning, Colton had other plans and we were up at our usual 7am. Luckily he did allow us some snuggle time for another 45 min or so before he decided he was super hungry, so we got a more relaxed start to the day than usual.

First up on the agenda was heading to the outlet mall! There are several around us, but we picked the one about 45min away that had a Carters outlet. Oh how priorities change when you have a baby…

So we shopped around for awhile (and I picked up a few things for myself at Loft) before spending way too much money at Carters. Colton is going to be one well dressed baby! I just can’t help it – is there anything cuter than little plaid shirts for babies? I mean, really.

We also stopped at Which Wich for lunch. I was my first Which Wich experience, and I was super impressed!

which wich sandwich

They have SO many choices for sandwich toppings (including a TON of unique veggie options for my veggie friends). I ended up going with buffalo chicken and sticking in lots and lots of veggies.

which wich sandwich

So yummy!

Later in the afternoon we headed back out to our local Hokie bar to watch the football game. It was at 3:30, which is kind of an odd time for food, but Chris and I ended up getting a big nacho platter to split (which then counted as dinner it was so much food!)

Hudson Grill Atlanta

The game was crazy and ended up in 4 OTs (yes, FOUR), and in the end we lost by a point. Booooooo.

But it’s hard to be upset when you’re hanging out with this guy!


I spent the rest of the evening doing homework… because I’m cool like that.


We were up early again on Sunday morning to head to church, and did some Trader Joe’s shopping afterwards. I love that our TJs is literally around the corner from our church. So convenient!

It was a beautiful fall day, so we also had some fun with a little photoshoot outside of our apartment.


The rest of Sunday was spent getting stuff done. We deep cleaned the house, did some more grocery shopping, I did some studying… the usual Sunday excitement around these parts.

All-in-all, this “no plans” weekend ended up being pretty full. Thankfully it was all full of fun stuff, and was definitely a nice break from entertaining company for a bit. Now we’re looking ahead to 1 more weekend of company, and then Colton’s first airplane experience (eek!!!)

November is already gearing up to be just as crazy!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend?