My Favorite Shops – Man Edition

I don't have as many favorite shops to buy J presents at, but I do have a few.  These are shops that I have previously purchased from or I have gotten wish list items from J from.  Once again, I have not been compensated in any way for this post

iusb_760x100.12449850_kv24I love the scents of their shaving products, and J loves their beard oil.  I got him a sample kit of the beard oil for Christmas last year and he uses it daily.  He says that it makes the skin less itchy, and I can see that it makes the hair softer and more manageable.  They also have other bath/beauty products for men and women in their shop (I am eyeing the lip tints).

115e_TG_logoIf you have a geek that you know and love, you have probably already found this shop.  It is the best conglomeration of shirts, toys, food, and accessories that any geek or nerd would like.  There is something for everyone here!  I love the giant microbes, no surprise since I am a microbiologist, and J likes the cube warfare gear.  I have also bought my brother many a t-shirt from here for various holidays.

 

 

bellroyJ is very picky about his wallet.  It has to have the right number of slots for cards, not be too thick, and fit in his pocket just right.  He found this site and sent it to me as his wish list for future gift ideas.  They have very high quality wallets, a little pricey, in different sizes and configurations.

Work, work, work

Now that I am back to work full-time, after a short bout of pneumonia, I am having a hard time figuring out what my goals are.  I love my children and want to be there for them, especially since schools/daycare/activities in my town seem to always end at 5pm.  Being there for them is really difficult with my current hours and commute.  On the other hand, I am enjoying working on my projects, having adult interaction, and bringing home a paycheck.  I guess this is the dilema of every mom out there; what is the balance between what is best for me and what is best for my family.

Guilt Attack

This morning, as I was sitting on the couch feeding R, L scoots over next to me and lays his head on my shoulder.

L: I love you, Mommy.
Me: I love you too.
L: I miss you, Mommy.
Me: I miss you too, Buddy.

Enter the working mom guilt.

L has been having a hard time since I went back to work.  R has been having a hard time too, but I think her issue is more that she still refuses the bottle.  L got used to me being home and having energy to play with him in the evening.

It’s all coming back to me now

Yep, slowly but surely the weight is coming back.  Despite my healthy-er eating and a little exercise.  (I cropped out the actual numbers, because I just don't want to share that depressing fact with the world)

Weight chart 07-30-14

Let's be honest, when do I have time to exercise?  Either before the family wakes up or after the kids go to bed.  That leaves me with 4 am or 10 pm.  Really.  I am not exaggerating.  Who wants to wake up that early?  I know I should have done better while on maternity leave, but there always seemed to be something more important to do.  I am trying not to make excuses, but I just keep hitting bumps in the weight loss road that trip me up.  I need to get better at making exercise a priority.

As you can see, I did really good for the first month that R was around, but then it started creeping back upward.  No I am fighting off pneumonia and the cough is making it really hard to do any type of exercise.  So, while I am waiting for my z-pack to work, I am going to mentally psych myself up for some ass-kicking in August.  I have the 4th Trimester Body pictures then and I would like to feel comfortable in my body.  Even if I have only lost a couple of lbs, I think that little bit will make me feel infinitely more positive.

Back to Work Again

I don't even know what to say about being back to work. I am both happy and sad about it. Happy that I am getting things done, getting a paycheck, and having adult interaction. Sad that I am missing R, not getting things done at home, and disconnected from the happenings in the office. I have to assume that every working mom feels similarly to some degree.

The biggest challenge to going back to work is R not taking a bottle. She refused every time we tried the month before going back to work, and now she is refusing at daycare. This means that she is not eating all day long; she is just waiting for me to get home. It is stressing me out. She is already quite stubborn and opinionated in her own quiet way (L is stubborn and opinionated in a much more vocal way).

So, today J is taking R to the pediatrician to get her weight checked. Since she is not eating all day, we need to make sure she is gaining weight at a proper rate still. I do not think I would be as worried if she was reverse cycling and eating more at night, but she is still sleeping good at night. I can't believe that she would be getting all of her needed calories from just eating in the evenings and morning. Well, I guess we will see what the doctor says.

Fingers crossed that she will take a bottle soon. Silver lining: I can freeze all the milk I am pumping during the day (a whopping 7 oz total per day) to use in the future.

Birthday Party Prep

We are going a little crazy right now, getting ready for L's birthday party. We have a lot of work to do on the yard, inside the house, and decorations to make before Saturday. To top it all off, L has a bad cough and is really grumpy. And on top of a grumpy preschooler J has a fever, body aches, headache, and chills. So, R and I are staying away from the boys as much as possible and I am trying to get the bare minimum of party prep done before Sat. All this to say that blogging is taking a back seat for the next few days. I hope to be back on Monday with pics of the party and thoughts on my last few days of maternity leave.

12 weeks01My sweet little girl is 12 weeks old already!  I am so enjoying this time home with her and not looking forward to going back to work soon.  I will miss her so much!

My Favorite Shops – Mommy Edition

To continue with my series, here are a few of my favorite shops for myself.  Since my weight (and dress size) fluctuates on a yearly basis, I do not spend much on clothes that will probably not last more than a season.  I am a sucker for well made and unique jewelry and home decor.  Once again, I was not compensated in any way for this post.

iusb_760x100.13851676_abunIf you are ever looking for an excellent quality jewelry gift in gold, silver, or rose gold I recommend this shop.  I have one of their simple silver inital necklaces that I wear almost every day.  J got it for me to commemorate the birth of L, and I am looking forward to getting an R to add to it to commemorate her birth.  When it comes to jewelry, I am a fan of simple and understated pieces with good quality.  On my wish-list are the stitch bar earrings, stackable rings, and the tiny hammered rose gold hoops… hint, hint J…

logo_transIf you haven't heard about Toms shoes yet, I am going to think that you have been living under a rock.  They are an amazingly comfortable pair of shoes that donates a pair to children in need in third world countries every time you buy a pair; their motto is "One for One".  I wore the Toms canvas classics in black to work every day while I was pregnant.  They were comfortable and forgiving on my poor swollen feet.  I am also a fan of their ballet flats and L loved is tiny Toms we got him last year.  One thing to note, there is quite a variance in size between the different styles (I wear a 8.5 in classics, but a 9 in the jutti flats, and an 9.5 in the ballet flats) so check the review to see which way the sizes run, big or small, before ordering.

logoMy favorite thing about this shop is that the inventory is always changing.  My least favorite thing about this shop is that the inventory is always changing.  If you like to browse for great home furnishing ideas, this is the place to go.  Unfortunately, if you find something that you like, you need to jump on it because it will only be around for a short amount of time (sometimes sold out within minutes).  My favorite purchase from here is a rustic sunburst mirror that is currently residing above the fireplace.  I have received many compliments on on it, and getting a large mirror that I love for less that $100 is a major win to me!  I am currently considering a this garden stool to add to our living room.  It has an interesting texture…I just have to find a place to put it…

UntitledI am a sucker for Mommy jewelry.  I never thought I would be, but I just love having necklaces with my kids initials and/or birth stones on them.  This shop does not only make Mommy necklaces, but you can customize a charm necklace to have a variety of items on it for any purpose you could imagine.  I have not had a chance to purchase one of these for myself, but they have been on my wish list for almost 3 years now.

iusb_760x100.12458663_h9e6I love furniture made with reclaimed wood.  The history, texture, and color variation makes each piece unique and a statement.  Currently, I am living with 80% IKEA furniture in my house (durable and cheap cause kids destroy furniture), but as soon as my current coffee table dies (aka. gets so many scratches and dents that even J is embarrassed by it), I am going to be purchasing this beautiful replacement.  It is irresistible, right?