May 2014 | Olive and Tate

Five on Friday

 Hey ya'll! Happy Friday!
Gotta love a short week, huh?!

As usual, I'm linking up with Christina and Co. for a quick edition of our weekly Friday faves.

1. Blog Update

I (finally) did some work on the Newlyweds:North mobile edition. The mobile edition should now be much better for iPhone/Android viewing. If your phone still makes the blog look wonky, you can always view the blog in Web Version and you'll see a teeny version of the regular ole blog on your phone.
I also update the comments section so that you no longer have to deal with word verification. There was a time that I was getting spam on post comments so I had to lock some things down. I'm hoping we're all in the clear and now ya'll can have free reign to comment quickly and easily!

2. Maine Weather
Seeing as I've spent the last 7 months complaining about snow, I think it's only fair that I compliment our northern home on attempting to bring Spring to us. The sun is now out from about 5am until 8:30pm which is a huge switch from Winter where we have sunlight from about 8am to 3:45pm. We've also reached highs in the low '70's and feel like we live on a whole new planet full of green leaves and blooming flowers.

3. Walking Shorts

Ya'll, these are my favorite new preggo essentials. I wore them in Greece under all of my dresses and they kept my thighs from rubbing together! They aren't Spanx and aren't meant to be slimming so they are actually comfy. I wear undies underneath of them and they also help hide any panty lines if I don't feel like wriggling into a thong. I went a size up from my normal size and was able to pull the waist band up over my bump to help smooth things out. You can find these babies at Target!

4. Our Fave Summer Dinner

I force my family to eat this meal once a week during the summer/now. And then I bogart all of the leftovers. Sorry I'm not sorry.

5. Baby Bags
So, last night I started packing the hospital seems so early to do this (7 weeks to go!) but things have gotten a little unpredictable during my third trimester so I followed my apps advice and went ahead and got the ball rolling. Of course, the baby is the only one who is completely packed...and he really doesn't need anything but his going home outfit. At least it's a start! Any suggestions on what I should pack for me? Especially if I end up needing a C Section?

Have a fab weekend ya'll!

DIY Diva: The Easiest Nursing Covers, Ever.

Hey ya'll!
 I thought I'd share with you the easiest DIY baby projects of.all.time.

Seriously, you cannot go wrong with either project...

I spent some time perusing Nursing Ponchos on Etsy and while there are so many cute ones, they typically run around $40 or so. That seemed a teensy bit expensive for something my boobs will leak all over so I hit Pinterest to see if anyone had attempted a DIY version...and wouldn't you know it, a million people had!

I don't own a sewing machine so I was also impressed/completely sidetracked by a handful of DIY No Sew Infinity Scarf tutorials that I thought could easily be manipulated into Nursing Scarfs...and (ta da!) the easiest Baby DIY's ever were born!

Here's what you'll need for the Nursing Poncho:

1 yard of soft fabric that will not fray when cut (look for super soft t-shirt material that will roll when cut)
Approximately 23 seconds of free time

Here's the method:
fold your yard of fabric in half
cut a neck hole
do not stress about perfection

Total cost: $4.50

 Feel free to note that I did not stress about perfection...
I bought the last yard of this particular fabric (on sale at JoAnne's) and left the white border right where it was! I could easily trim it off but why bother?

 The poncho can be worn different ways to maximize coverage of you and the babe.
Please excuse my almost 9 months pregnant bare arm but I wanted your to see the versatility (gah, the things I do for ya'll!)

 Ok, next project, the No Sew Nursing Infinity Scarf

Here's what you'll need:

60 inches of soft fabric that will not fray when cut
(I found mine right next to the poncho fabric, on clearance at JoAnne's)
60 seconds of free time

Here's how to make it:

Lay the material out length wise
At each end, cut 2 inches or so into the frabric at varrying intervals
Tie strips of one end to the other

 (like you're making one of those fleece blankets that everyone has from a few years back)
Don't worry about how many strips you cut or if each side has the same amount, you can always double tie if needed.
 I was concerned that the tied ends might be a bit bulky on my neck but honestly, I have zero complaints. 

Total cost: like $3.00

ooooh baby, here's a better shot of that sculpted arm for you.

Just like the poncho, the scarf can be worn many different ways to maximize coverage and even better, it can be worn at all times as an accessory.
I went with a light weight fabric because I'm expecting a July babe - if you're having a winter babe, you could certainly do heavier fabric, just make sure that it has a bit of stretch or you leave extra room for everyone to wiggle around/bust out the goods and still be covered up.

This length covers my entire torso, including my bump, so I'm confident it will cover the babe when he arrives.

Keep in mind that you most likely don't want a fabric that is super sheer or see through for this project.

Added bonus: both items fold up teensy tiny and take up minimal room in the diaper bag.
Because the material is super soft, they can also be used as a burp cloth and the poncho could certainly be used as a blanket, car seat or ground cover for baby in a pinch.

If ya'll make one of these, send me pics! 
I'd love to see your handiwork!

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Bumpdate: 32 Weeks

How Far Along: 32 Weeks

Size of Babe: the apps say a head of lettuce, but we know he's a bit bigger than that!

Gender: baby boy Gray

Symptoms: babe is still breech, so there is some discomfort with that. I'm uber fall asleep with a Starbucks in my hand, while walking through Target at 1 in the afternoon tired. I managed to take an unplanned 5 hour nap on the sofa in the middle of the living room this weekend while Mark and Justin lived life around me, as loudly as possible. I'm guessing my day time exhaustion is a result of the tough time I'm having getting comfy at night and all of the waddling to the bathroom. I've also developed a raging sweet tooth which is a completely new thing for this carb loving, salt licking girl! 

Loving: lemonade, ice cream, hot fudge, naps, giant tee shirts, nice weather, fruit loops, three day weekends, a finished nursery, grilling season, friends over for dinner, tan legs, baby rolls and nudges, that my parents got an iPad so that they can see the bump/the babe whenever they like

Loathing: a shedding lab, dirty floors, a baby head at the top of my belly, baby feet under my ribs, late night runs to the bathroom, chipped toe nail polish

Husband: is working hard both at work and at home. I know for sure that our yard looks amazing and I'm hoping things are going that well at work!

Wedding Rings: I miss them like whoa

Belly Button: is flat

Movement: is very strange these days...his head bumps against the top of my belly and it hurts...and instead of tons of quick punches there are lots of rolls and slow stretches.

Maternity Clothes: yes ma'am. And an occasional stretchy dress or tunic from the regular girl section. 

Best Part of the Week: finishing the nursery! It was a family affair with Justin, Mark and I all working through the home stretch. We also found a really sweet children's book store downtown that carries such fun items. Tons of Maine authors and toys for discovery and play. I can't wait to head back there and add to Gray's book collection!

Worst Part of the Week: We missed the Memorial Day Parade! We made it downtown just in time to see the backs of the last parade marchers. Totally not a truly bad thing, but I don't have much to complain about, so that'll have to do!

Missing Most: my shoes (only flip flops fit these days), getting dressed with ease, my family, having tons of energy, being able to get out of a car without making grunting noises.

Can't Wait For: our baby boy to get here! And, honestly, to get this body back in action. It's super rogue under these maternity jeans.

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Anniversary Weekend

Hey ya'll! 
I hope that everyone had a fabulous weekend and took a minute to think of those who serve our country. I had my husband home for a long weekend and man did I put him to work! I am pleased to report that we celebrated our anniversary, completely rearranged and finished the nursery and checked off almost every single thing on our house to do list! I am so relieved that all of these things are completed and out of the way before the baby comes. Just one more major house project left to go: the new runners on our stairs and in our hallway....those babies should arrive today and will hopefully be installed next weekend! 

And now, our weekend in photos:

Poor quality iPhone photo of our anniversary date night at our fave restaurant in Bangor

 The weather forecasters predicted rain and storms all weekend but instead we were treated to amazing weather, something no Mainer takes for granted. We even got out of bed early to take Macie for a long walk through town just in case the rain came later in the day.

Downtown looking all gorgie in the spring weather! 

I have recently developed a killer sweet tooth and we went to Gifford's Ice Cream no less than three times this weekend. Gifford's is a local institution and when it opens for the season Mainers flock to get in line...

And yes, this is my current dish of choice. A Pot Hole Sundae consists of two scoops of ice cream divided by a river of hot fudge and chocolate crispies with a ring of whipped cream. It.Is.Awesome.

Justin got a ton of yard work done...I had honestly forgotten how sweet our back yard is when it's in bloom. Seeing as it's been covered in snow for the last 7 months, I'm impressed that anything green showed up this spring, but it did and I'm loving it! 

And no one year anniversary would be complete without a super old cake shipped all the way from Virginia to Maine! Excuse our outfits, we decided to wait until our actual anniversary to eat our cake, not the night we got dolled up for our fancy dinner.

We pulled out our toasting flutes that were gifted to us by my grandparents who used the same flutes to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  And, if you look closely, you'll see the back up desert I purchased in the background, just in case the cake was a complete loss. Surprisingly, the cake held up well and we got through a piece or two!

See ya'll tomorrow! 

365 Days

On Sunday, this guy and I celebrate one year of marriage...
 and what a year it's been!

In honor of my typical Five on Friday post, here are my five favorite memories from the past year (in chronological order)

Our Destination Unknown Honeymoon

That time Justin bought our house in Maine....sight unseen....

This announcement...

Our World Travels:  Winter Escape and Babymoon

And of course, our biggest adventure yet to come...

I never thought this year would come close to holding all of these twists and turns...our first year of marriage was really one for the books. I am so grateful for this life that my husband and I have and I know for certain that I wouldn't want to do this crazy journey with anyone else.  Jus, thank you for our life, these adventures and our son.
You're my best husband, always.

Sleep, Baby

Ok mamas, so what's the deal? Can we really "sleep train" an infant?
I called my mom yesterday to ask her if she had used any sleep training methods for me or my brother and she said "sleep what!?" I'm guessing this was not the jam in the '80's. Leave it to the Millennium moms to be the over-scheduling generation from infancy.
I decided that our trip would be the perfect time to start my baby sleep research and frankly, I can't tell if I really believe that some of this stuff can work or if I think it's just a life raft for parents-to-be who are terrified of the newborn/infant stage. 

I read On Becoming Babywise poolside and my first thought is that the best way to get a baby to sleep is to read Babywise out loud to them. It certainly worked for me. That book is booooring....and wordy....I mean, give a girl a break! How about a bulleted list and a handy chart or two for easy reference?
On the upside, I can see that there are a few tips and practices that I think sound reasonable and realistic. I will attempt to implement some of these when the babe is old enough but not too old because then all hope is lost (!) (and if he doesn't have colic, reflux, GERD or a generally fussy temperament).

Up next on the reading list is The Happiest Baby on the Block...

Any advice out there? Is all of this pointless?

Will I ever sleep again?
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Bumpdate: 31 Weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks

Size of Babe: officially huge. He tipped the scales at 4 full pounds at our growth ultrasound. The apps say he should be 3.2lbs and the size of a small coconut. To add insult to injury, Gray's head measures in the 90th percentile (he gets it from his daddy). And finally, because my son loves me so much, he is completely and totally breach. Looking back, he's been breach for most likely the last few weeks and was definitely breach in Greece. We kept poking at the hard part just under my bra line saying things like "what is that?!" and then making educated guesses like "a foot". All of those things combined have now lead this pregnancy to be labeled "a funky little third trimester" by my OBGYN team. Typically, we would assume the babe would get the memo and would flip himself but sadly his giant head may actually prevent him from being able to make the turn. Trust me, I'm pretty sure he's trying based on the massive head slams into my diaphragm. At this point we won't move my due date but instead need to wait and see if he's able to flip himself. If not, we will then evaluate his head size and determine if attempting to turn him is even worth it....because his giant head may not come out the regular way anyway. Ouch. If he can turn himself and his head seems doable (uh, what?) then we'll most likely be good candidates for early induction thanks to his extreme chunkiness. 

Gender: boy, duh.

Symptoms: well, now that we know he's breach, we can attribute most of my extreme aches and pains to all of the physical activity in Greece and his position. Because his rump and legs are down in my pelvis or stretched across it, I'm feeling very intense muscles pains in my lower abdomen that get worse as the day goes on or if I change positions. I won't lie, his head at the top or my abdomen is very uncomfortable and not exactly pleasing to the eye. Surprisingly, my excessive swelling can also be attributed to his breach position and is now being monitored. As it turns out, breach + third trimester = exhaustion. Last night I fell asleep at 6:30 and slept in my clothes until 9am this morning.

Loving: all of the projects I've completed in the nursery in the last 2 days. Most are just waiting for  Justin's final touch and then the nursery will be complete! 

Loathing: our crazy house. Suitcases everywhere, laundry piled up, our new runners still not here's very rogue.

Husband: is back to work. I'll only see him at the dinner table until the baby is born.

Wedding Rings: sike

Belly Button: is flat and sore like a bruise

Movement: God, yes

Maternity Clothes: mixing and matching....wishing it was warm enough in Maine for maxi dresses

Best Part of the Week: seeing his little face! He has fat cheeks, his eyes are open, he's practicing his breathing and he has hair. He's healthy and happy and taking up every inch of space that he has.

Worst Part of the Week: when the nurse practitioner said "well, we don't know what your pelvis is 
capable of because this is your first baby. You'd be surprised how much a pelvis can take!" Uh, no.  

Missing Most: vacation life

Can't wait for: our One Year Anniversary date night this weekend...and a Lady Date!
And all of those stupid house projects finally getting checked off of the's getting a little ridic around here....

Fun Facts

Hey ya'll! We're back in the States but definitely not back to normal....
Here are a few fun facts to get you through your Monday:

We woke up Friday morning in Santorini and went to bed in Jersey.
So many flights were canceled out of Philly that every single hotel in the greater Philly area was we rented a car and drove to Jersey just to spend the night.

I broke my own travel rules about a carry on bag and let Justin pack mine.
I ended up with no clean undies or a toothbrush but I did have approximately 40lbs of European gummy candies.

Even after the day we had on Friday, when they asked for people to take a bump on our flight to Maine on Saturday, we volunteered. Even when we found out they couldn't get us home until Sunday. Thank goodness they only needed one person to give up their seat and we decided that I am too pregnant to stay back alone and Justin thought we should stick together.

I have approximately one million loads of laundry to do.
All are mine.

When we arrived home in Maine we were so thrilled not to see any snow.
In fact, we have things growing in our back yard! All are green and seemingly healthy despite being under 80.1 inches of snow this Winter.

That's right, the snow totals are officially in for this Winter (they waited until the middle of May to make sure we wouldn't get more....) and our town got 80.1 inches of snow between December and April of this year. For reference, that's roughly 10 inches more than the average winter...and because it was so cold, none of it melted off until the end of April.

My husband has a habit of collecting random things on our travels and bringing them home.
This trip has resulted in a dozen or so volcanic rocks in varying colors, shapes and sizes (also in our carry ons, instead of undies). I now need to find a home for his rock collection. I think that will have to be a task that waits until tomorrow.

Today I get to see baby Gray's face and finally find out what's going on with his gigantic self!
And maybe do a load of laundry or two....or 12.

See you kids tomorrow!

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Travel Week: Megan from Willow Way!

Happy Friday, loves! We're headed home today which means hours and hours of traveling with this bump on board so send your happy mama thoughts my way!

In the meantime, I'm so excited to share this post with you! Meet Megan from Willow Way...she is the mama to Olivia and creative mind behind my fave Etsy site for all things girl, Willow Crowns. Today Megan is stepping up and being brave enough to share her tips with traveling with a kiddo....I can't believe I'll need these tips in just a few weeks! Megan and her hubby are actually from the area where we now live in Maine and she provided so much support and advice while I was struggling through my first winter so I know she's got some amazing info in store for ya'll.

See you kids on Monday! 

Hey ya'll and greetings from Houston! 

I'm Megan. I blog over at Willow Way and I'm so glad Steph asked me to guest post for her. I'm brimming with friendly resentment that she's in Greece while I'm not, but that's not why she asked me to write, so I digress...

I'm from Maine originally but have recently made my way to Texas with my husband and 17 month old daughter, Olivia. Since we live 2,000 miles from home we do our fair share of travel, so I thought I'd share my best travel tips for babies and toddlers, especially since Steph will soon be traveling with a little guy of her own!

Before I get into the nitty gritty, here's my number 1 travel tip of all time:

Remember it won't last forever.

Sometimes no matter what you pack, plan, or pray for, your travel goes horribly wrong, your kid cries incessantly, and you miss a connection. The good news is, it will be over eventually so try to take deep breaths and if that doesn't work, take a Valium (kidding, kidding...sorta).

In all honesty though, traveling with kidlets doesn't have to be torture and you don't have to pack a ton. Let's start with the essentials

Whether you choose to wear your little or push them in a stroller, you'll want a way to transport them. I loved wearing Olivia  (in the Baby Bjorn) when she was an infant since it left my hands free and she'd fall asleep in the carrier. Once she started walking, I preferred the stroller so I could let her out to run around when we had time and then just pop her back in when it was time to go. I check our stroller at the gate and love our Britax B-Agile. It closes with one hand and only weights 17 lbs so it's ideal for travel.

I only carry on one bag when I'm traveling (I check everything else because packing light is a skill I never learned) and my Longchamp bag (the large size, duh) is my go to. It's water proof, stores a ton and squishes under the seat in front of me really nicely. I pack snacks (more than you ever think you'll need because half will end up on the floor, guaranteed), the iPad (loaded with Fisher Price apps) and the essentials like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and my wallet.

Another thing that seems small, but makes a huge difference is a pacifier clip. Liv used a pacifier for the first year and unless you want that thing rolling up and down airplane aisles, get your hands on a clip, pronto.

I also stash one (or two) of the Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets in my bag, regardless of age. They're great if the plane is cold, you need something to wipe up a massive milk spill, and are great to change diapers on while in gross airport bathrooms. They're fantastically lightweight and take up virtually no room, so stock up, people. 

Now, let's talk tips.

1. Pack lotsa diapers. Especially for those precious infants. The kiddos can have some, um, bowel issues with the pressure changes and blow outs at 10,000 feet ain't pretty.

2. Make friends with the flight attendants. Make nice the second you board, compliment their nail polish, throw yourself on their mercy, whatever it takes, but get on their good side. They'll usually let you know if there's a row with an extra seat so your bebe can have their own. That's the jackpot, right there.

3. Check out the first class situation. Lots of times if first class has openings on the day of your flight, you can upgrade for only $40 or $50 and have lots more space. If that doesn't work, I always try to get the very front row of seats (in the aisle) when booking our flight so we can have the extra legroom. That way Liv can sit on my lap for takeoff and landing but sit on the floor and play during the flight. The other bonus to this is that there isn't a seat in front of her for her to bang on and potentially concuss the passenger in front of us. You also get to deplane first this way.

4. Don't board first. They'll give families with children the opportunity to board first, but extra time in a confined space with my toddler is my personal version of hell. I let her run wild around the gate area for as long as possible before I have to confine her.

In the past year I've flown with Olivia 6 times, 4 of those times by myself, so we feel like we've got it down by now, but I'm certainly not an expert. We had switched to formula by the time we started flying with her, so I haven't had to worry about pumping/nursing while traveling but I imagine airplane bathrooms and nursing covers can be your best friends in those situations. If your babe's on formula, I highly, highly recommend the individual packets that you can mix with a bottle of water (which you can get anywhere).

All in all, traveling with kiddos is totally doable and it's usually more stressful for the adults than the kids. Olivia happens to be a first class people watcher and thoroughly enjoys our travel much so that she declines to nap. We get through it though with a minimum of emotional scarring.

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Travel Week: Laura from Happily Every Parker!

Hey ya'll! Meet West Coast Mama-To-Be, Laura! I was so excited when she announced that she and her handsome hubby are expecting a sweet baby girl just a few weeks after baby Gray is scheduled to arrive! Ya'll have got to check out her blog Happily Ever Parker and check out the pics of her first love, Finn...he's famous! 

Hello Newlywed Northerners! I am Laura and I blog over at Happily Ever Parker! It's been awesome having a blog buddy in Stephanie because we are just a month a part in our pregnancies. So when she asked me to guest post while she is gallivanting in Greece I was more than happy to oblige. Now I sure do wish I was babymooning in Greece - or anywhere for that matter! We will more than likely be staying local as we are hoping to buy a house this year. So here are some awesome places in my beautiful state of California we can get to by car!

San Francisco - a gorgeous place that I am lucky enough to call my work home. And for that reason this location is off the menu!

Mendocino - a tried and true favorite of ours. I never mind the drive up the coast and its beauty is never lacking!

Monterey - another one of our absolute favorite places. We have shared many a special moment here, getting engaged is one of them!

Lake Tahoe - we love visiting friends here and it's an awesome location come winter or summer!

So many amazing places you can go and that is just naming a small handful of locations in Northern California! Notice my theme is water - I am always a happy girl when around it!

I am hoping we can make it to a location that we have yet to go to. Shamefully as a California resident I have never been to Yosemite! However we always travel with our pup, Finn, and not a lot of places in Yosemite allow dogs.

Either way since I can't be in Greece crashing Stephanie's babymoon I won't be too picky. And if I really had my choice?

It would be Maui!

Thanks for having me Steph and have a wonderful time!!

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