2014, The Year of the Dixons

As the year ends, I’m feeling quite nostalgic. This has really been a banner year for the Dixon family. I was already in the reminiscing mood and then Facebook went and created those “a look back” slide show and it got me thinking, this year has really been dedicated to my family. Specifically, my immediate family.

I found out I was pregnant in late January, and was subsequently sick until I had AJD in September, so this year has basically been focused, one way or another, on that tiny baby growing inside of me. Ian was the perfect daddy-in-waiting and took care of my every need. Poor guy was a rock star. I wasn’t terribly needy (as Ian smirks), but I was just sick all of the time and he was trying to the best of his ability to help me feel better. Endless back rubs and feet rubs every night along with food runs for the one thing that happened to sound good that day, kept him busy. Although it was not a fun time, per se, it was great for our relationship. Nothing makes a marriage stronger like a challenge. Character isn’t what you do when life is easy, it’s how you react when life gets hard. It’s a mantra I like to live by. It’s totally paraphrasing a famous quote, but you get the general gist. Basically, Ian didn’t NEED to be a super hero for me while I was sick, but he did because he loved me. I needed him and he was there, by my side, being the rock in my life. Amazing. I got to witness selfless love and it was so humbling.

Once this little guy arrived, our lives became completely driven by him and his schedule. Not that they had to, but we wanted to. I get to stay home with him, so I enjoy all of our routines and rituals. It’s fun for me. Granted, when he stops taking his 3 hour nap and just wants to sleep in your arms all day, my mind wanders to the dirty dishes I need to do, or the Christmas presents I need to wrap, but then another quote pops into my head:

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow 
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Mom had that poem up when we were children and I never quite understood it until now. It’s actually a small snippet of the poem “Babies Don’t Keep” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton. It’s actually quite the lovely poem. I’ll put the entire one below if you want to read it. I LOVE it.

I feel as if I have grown so much this year- as a person, a wife, a mother and a friend. I am constantly humbled by the love and kindness shown to me and my son by the friends and family in our life. I may not say it enough, but each of you truly are a HUGE blessing to me and I don’t take our friendships for granted.

Life is short. This year seems to have flown by, and I must say that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing. Being a mom is the greatest experience in the world (even on the insane days) and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ian has been amazing and is constantly looking for ways to make my life better and ease the stress of being a new mom. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

That is why I say 2014 was the year of the Dixons. Ian and I grew as a couple, and our small family grew to a threesome. It has been a lovely year, and quite frankly the best of my life. (Haha, that’s saying something considering I was throwing up for 8 months of it!) I hope that 2015 will be just as wonderful.

Speaking of which, I will put up a post about New Years Eve, and then I will see all of you in 2015! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

-Adriele

 

“BABIES DON’T KEEP”

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Author: Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Outfit of the Day: Joga Jeans

I talked about these jeans a bit ago, and I finally got around to getting some pics in them. Welcome to the Joga Jean. It stands for yoga jeans. You combine the two and TA-DA, Joga jeans. These things are stretchy and SO comfortable. Silver is who makes them, and I haven’t worn Silver’s in a decade or two, but when I heard about these I had to try them. I’m in love. IMG_3696

IMG_3736Mommies you will adore these. They’re jeans but they stretch enough if you haven’t completely gotten back to pre-baby weight, they have some give.
IMG_3707This is my go-to “errands” outfit. I love beanies, and these leather converse high tops are a favorite. This quilted bomber jacket from Gap is stylish, but still comfortable and functional.
IMG_3722 IMG_3734Photos by Jacque, Inc
Shirt: Lou & Grey
Jacket: Gap, similar here
Jeans: Joga Jeans
Purse: Kate Spade Sold out, similar here
Beanie: LOFT
Necklace: Banana Republic, similar here
Shoes: Converse
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Do you have a favorite piece of post baby clothing? You should seriously check out these Joga jeans. OH! Order a size down, they stretch.

-Adriele

Mommy Monday: The battle of the swaddle blankets

I have a newborn. This is not breaking news. Being a parent is lovely and totally fulfilling. As with the rest of my life, I like to know what will work the best, be the most efficient, etc. Baby gear is NO different. Take the swaddle blanket- a necessity for my little man who can houdini his way out of any blanket that binds him. Cute, right? No. Not when he works his little arms free (grunting like a crazed pig while doing so) and then proceeds to punch the air with his tiny fists of fury while he works himself into a full baby scream. He is supposed to be sleeping. Not so much. When he is actually swaddled properly, he falls right to sleep and STAYS asleep until we wake him to eat. Perfect, right? So a good swaddle blanket really equals more sleep, which translates to a happier me, and thus a happier husband and household. Happy wife, happy life is NOT A JOKE. It is a real thing, people.

On to the options. (These are the ones I’ve tried…)

The good ‘ol blanket.81WwsVKRrEL._SL1500_

I’ve used the ones from the hospital and these fancy Aden & Anais blankets. They are great for naps or when he’s already tired. If he’s cranky, he can get out of that thing in under 60 seconds even when it’s TIGHT. I use them for all sorts of other things (tummy time, as an extra layer when he’s cold and I’m holding him, etc.) but they don’t really do much for me in the swaddle area.

The Halo Sleep SackHalo-Sleepsack-Blue1

Great option. Think of it as a velcro straight jacket. The velcro holds it tight, but it is also loud. If it’s the middle of the night, or he’s already sleepy, that velcro can be kind of loud. Also, it’s hard to get his first arm flat to his side (super important if I don’t want him to break out of it) before I start on the OTHER arm. Ian has better luck with these than I do. I can’t seem to get it tight enough. Ian is the swaddle master in our home. If he does it, it works really well. ALSO, it zips from the top down, so if you need to change a diaper, you can do so without unbinding the top. Smart idea. Too bad my baby gets even madder if I try that, lol.

The Miracle Blanketmiracle_blanket_step1

My favorite. Hands down. It is a complete baby straight jacket and I love it. Super easy to use and I don’t have to make it crazy tight to keep him in it. Check out the easy instructions/video here. The only downside is that I don’t want him overheating. You’re supposed to keep your house pretty cool at night with a baby regardless, so I don’t worry too much about it. If you don’t keep your house between the recommended 65-70 degrees, I wouldn’t use this.

Honorable mentions

I would love to try the Woombie as well as he gets bigger. My only issue that I could see happening is that he can move his arms underneath the material and that in itself makes him all grunty. It’s like the baby version of “So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…” If he thinks he can get out, he is bound and determined to do so. Even if he can’t, he’ll keep trying until he gets louder and madder, and well… we all know that sort of defeats the purpose when you’re trying to get him to sleep. This might work well for babies that can handle a bit of arm freedom. Mine cannot right now. I do love that they have a Woombie Air, that allows more air flow for hot sleepers. Brilliant idea.

The swaddleMe or the swaddles from Aden & Anais are cute, but not tight enough for my little man. They hold his arms in, but he can break out of them SUPER easily.

The Breakdown

If your baby isn’t fussy or super active, just stick with a basic SwaddleMe, the wraps from Aden & Anais or a receiving blanket. If you like the tight baby burrito idea, use the Sleep Sack. Simplicity? Go for the Woombie. My favorite is the Miracle Blanket. It comes is one size so it lasts a long time, and it holds his little arms INSIDE. Idiot proof. When I’m trying to swaddle my fussy, nay, screamy baby at 4 am, I need something that is easy. This fits the bill. I’m going to use it until he outgrows it, and then perhaps try a Woombie once he’s already accustomed to swaddling every night. (Also, it will be hotter in the Summer months, and the Woombie is lighter so he doesn’t get as hot.)

Do you have a swaddling preference? Let me know in the comments!

Adriele

AJD’s Birth – Guy Friday

In honor of Guy Friday, I thought I would talk about how my little guy showed up! I had a few people ask about my birth story, so I will throw this out there. It’s not super gross or anything, so don’t worry. :) It’s kinda long, so I apologize in advance.

If you followed the blog during the pregnancy you will know mine was ROUGH. I was sick the entire 9 months. I thankfully didn’t have any swelling, but the rest of the pregnancy issues were present and annoying. Hot flashes, light headedness, throwing up, sensitivity to scents, etc. Blah. To add insult to injury I had some issues and had to see several specialists- a high risk OB (on top of my normal OB) and an Oncologist. It was good because the baby was monitored ALL THE TIME, but bad because I had to get blood drawn at least twice a month. Not only that, when they did draw blood it was anywhere from 4-8 vials taken each time. Have I mentioned I have a HUGE fear of needles? (This comes in to play later in the story.) So that sets the stage for you. Lots of needles, and lots of sonograms to check on the baby.

In addition to my medical issues that were new, I had the OLD issue of high blood pressure. It’s a family thing and I have been on meds for years. Nothing makes you feel old like BP meds at the ripe old age of 25. Good times. If I didn’t take them, and exercised and ate right, it would still be 130 over 110.

Now you have all of the background needed for the story.

Set the stage: 4 weeks before my due date. My reg OB was planning on inducing a week before my due date because she was already worried about my BP. I go in for a check up and my BP was super high. Also, I was already 4cm dilated. She promptly sent me to the hospital to get the baby hooked up to a monitor to make sure he was ok and check me out. After a few hours, my BP dropped and I was good to go. At this point, Ian put my hospital bag in my car. Just in case.

3 weeks before my due date. I went to my oncologist (located in the Cancer Center) and thus was preparing for my blood work and general stress related to that building. I had my 5 vials drawn and I went upstairs for my chat with my doc. My BP was 150 over 130. Haha, white coat syndrome. It was always high there, but after I called Ian and said “I should probably stop by the OB’s office and get it re-checked. That was awfully high.” I drove over there and sure enough, my doc sent me BACK to the hospital to get admitted again and monitored.

Well, 3 hours in, my BP was NOT going down. At 5:05 my OB rolled in and said, “well, it’s not going down. So it looks like we’re going to have a baby tonight.” Alrighty then. I was already 5 cm dilated so I guess the little guy was ready to go. I got the potosin at 8pm, had my water broken AFTER I got the epidural, and pushed for 30 min then had the baby at 12:29am.

Here’s the amusing thing. Well, there are several. First of all, I had the BEST TEAM EVER. So I was cracking jokes literally until they told me to start pushing. Even pushing I was still being funny. The nurses thought I was hilarious, if only because I was in such a great mood. Ask Ian, I was a champ.

The bad part was my pesky BP was jumping up and down like CRAZY. We’re talking 170 over 150 and then dropped to 90 0ver 50. Then straight back up to really high again. The cool thing is that I know my body so well, I would tell the doctors and nurses when my BP was about to drop and sure enough, after I said that the machines would beep and show it plummeting down. My OB said she’d never seen anything like that before. I’m special. :) That’s also code for “huge complications risk.” Once she came in at 9, she didn’t leave until I had that baby a few hours later. Good thing I LOVE my doctor and we sat there cracking jokes and telling stories until the baby was ready to come.

So up until this point, the only pain I had was when they gave my my IV’s. Yes. Plural. One for the regular stuff like drugs and saline and one for my Magnesium Sulfate for my BP. That stuff sucks. It makes you feel like you have the flu. Not kidding. And you have to keep that IV in for 24 hours and it’s a long complicated process. That sucked. Everything else was marvelous, but that part was total crap and I hated it.

So other than that extra IV and the drugs that wiped me out, it was smooth sailing. They did have to use the suction thing on the baby’s head to pull him out, but that was because they did such a great job with my epidural (I wanted NO pain), that I couldn’t tell how hard I was pushing. Haha, I was trying, but not going fast enough. Regardless, you know how it ended. I got a BEAUTIFUL and healthy baby boy rolling in at 7 lbs 11 oz, 21 inches long. Keep in mind he was 3 WEEKS EARLY. I shudder to think how big he would have been if he had gone full term. Yikes.

So, can we discuss how odd it is that they hand you a BABY?!?! Why helllllloooooooo tiny person that’s been kicking me to death for months! Nice to meet you. What’s up tiny human that I grew? So weird. Awesome, but weird. Am I right?
10404367_10152680031226210_6928078186979239921_n

So that’s my story. Non complicated birth to balance out my terrible pregnancy. :) God knew I couldn’t handle a bad birth, lol.

Anything weird happen with your birth story? Tell me in the comments. They crack me up. (Nothing gross please!)

-A

Outfit of the Day: Blue Coat

Colored coats are the easiest way to add style to your winter wardrobe. They are a lovely change from the normal black coat. I have a few long wool coats, but all were in basic neutrals: black, winter white, grey. I was on the lookout for something colorful and when I saw this coat from J.Crew Factory I fell in love. I went to J.Crew.com and was looking at coats and nothing struck my fancy, so I hopped over to the Factory side of the site and saw this lovely option.
IMG_3629

I love it because the silhouette is that of a basic trench, the color is what makes this coat unique. I always prefer to keep one element of style classic when looking for something different. Example: this coat has a basic trench body, but the color isn’t typical. Another option is to pick a coat in a basic color with interesting detailing- ruffles, bow, embellishments, etc. Don’t do a crazy color AND detailing. That’s a bit much. Keep one element basic.
IMG_3676IMG_3648 IMG_3687 IMG_3665

Photos by Jacque, Inc.

Coat: J. Crew Factory
Pants: Ann Taylor (similar)
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Pigalle
Handbag: Tory Burch Thea
Scarf: Hollister
Sunglasses: Sole Society

How do you stay cozy and stylish in the Winter? Let me know in the comments!

-Adriele

I’m Back!

Hello friends! It has been a LONG time! I am officially back and ready to start blogging again. Life is insane, but in the best way possible. I have a few changes to update you about:

First, my baby boy. I could talk about him all day, every day. To say I’m a proud mom is the understatement of the universe. Needless to say, I adore him. Although his full name is Alexander James, I refer to him as “AJD,” and as he gets older, I am learning a LOT about parenting. Although parenting is subjective (everyone needs to do what’s best for them) baby gear is NOT. Haha, I will occasionally post about products I like and also ones not worth the money. Obviously others will have varying opinions about products, but I’ll let you know what is tested and why I like it. Nothing huge like stroller comparisons, just gear related. How AJD, Ian and I like/dislike certain things. I like knowing if stuff is worth the hype and money, so I will pass on any knowledge I acquire to you! Also, I will have a quick post here and there about AJD and the joys/perils of mommy hood. If you follow me on FB you’re already privy to my posts about screaming babies and other such fun times.

Secondly, I will also be doing beauty product recommendations. I spend a LOT of time in Sephora and due to my OCD regarding products, I test a LOT of makeup, etc. Need new makeup brushes? I can tell you which ones rock that won’t break the bank. Want to start wearing primer? I can tell you what the best one on the market is and some less expensive options. Don’t know what primer IS? I can help with that too. I am a wealth of useless beauty knowledge. Although I am not a beauty BLOGGER, I have many friends that just want a quick post here and there. I’m all over it. I may even do some instructional videos to help. Sometimes I prefer just to watch a video over reading a post. I’m lazy like that. If you have beauty questions (this includes hair products too) comment on a post, hit me up on Twitter, or send me a FB message.

Lastly, I will still be doing outfit posts. Additionally, I will continue giving style/shopping advice. I love outfit posts, and showing what trends are out there is always fun. Even when they’re crazy it’s fun to talk about them and how ludicrous they are. (Adult overalls, I’m looking at you.)

I have missed this, but taking care of a newborn is hard work. Who knew? Lol, ok so EVERYONE knows that, but it doesn’t quite sink in until you’re home and you’re thinking “oh right. This is MY baby. No one is coming to pick him up and take him home. He IS home. Weird.” I’m still working, but as a consultant, I get to work from home, so Ian, baby and work take top priority and blogging comes after that.

I welcome any and ALL comments. I adore hearing other parent’s stories about what their babies did at this stage.

I’m really excited about this! I’ve missed you all! Hope everything is going well in your worlds!

-Adriele

I May Regret This…

Happy Monday everyone! Guess what? I have lost my mind. Ok, I haven’t, but I’m about to do something insanely crazy. I’m about to list my entire closet on Poshmark and see what happens. Never heard of Poshmark? Check out this link for an explanation.

Why have I lost my mind, you may ask? Well, last week I complained a bit about my new body and how tops don’t fit me. That got me thinking… since I’m not in an office on a daily basis, I don’t need an ENTIRE walk-in closet dedicated to work clothes. Honestly, I am trying to edit everything in my life down. So here is my plan: pick out what will work NOW with my current lifestyle, and sell/donate everything else. I have three walk-in closets (well, 2.5 as I share the master with Ian) filled with clothes and shoes and accessories. I wear maybe a third of it. Yes, I do love having the perfect item for that one time that I’ll need it, but let’s face it. I’m a mom now and I have got to learn to let stuff go. If I won’t let AJD (my baby) hoard toys, I probably should set a good example and not hoard clothes.

Questions I’m sure you have:

1. What about all of your shoes? Oh the HUMANITY!!! 
I am going to get rid of all of the ones that I don’t wear but once a year. I will keep the Louboutins, because, well… they’re Louboutins. Let’s be honest, do I really need a pair of hot pink pumps? Probably not.

2. Are you going to list your Poshmark closet on here?
I am leaning towards no. I haven’t ruled it out, but I don’t really want to use the blog to sell my clothes. Poshmark is basically like an online consignment shop. I COULD just donate all of them, and seriously considered that, but figured my husband would MURDER me if I did that. If I want to continue to shop, I should probably not just donate a small wardrobe (half of which is basically brand new) after he’s been lecturing me for 7 years about how I don’t “need” this many clothes.

3. What prompted this?
I purchased a fair amount of clothes in the past 2 weeks and realized that I don’t wear most of what I have in my closets. There’s really no need to keep stuff around for a style “rainy day” because, let’s face it, I’ll just go buy what I need if that situation arises. Then I thought about how I’m becoming a clothes hoarder and how for the next year (or as long as I keep nursing) my body will NOT fit in the clothes I have. Time to edit. I worked in a business professional office for years, and I do not need an entire Olivia Pope wardrobe. Some pieces, yes. An entire closet? No. I’m sure my designer dresses would look really awesome with baby spit up on them… oh, wait. No.

4. Are you sure about this?
Absolutely. When I make a decision to do something, I do it. I’m very determined like that. ;) Side note (wait for it, this is a huge revelation): they are just clothes. At the end of the day, I have bigger priorities. Now, if Ian (I know you’re reading this sweetie) brings this up in conversation, I will deny, deny, deny and say that I am delirious due to the lack of sleep. :)

So that’s my huge revelation. Do you guys think it’s because of the baby? Is this normal to make large life adjustments once you have a tiny human? Am I crazy? Thoughts?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

-A