Family Photos – 2017

A few weeks ago we took on the challenge of family photos for the first time as a family of four. I don’t think we achieved a single photo where we were all smiling, but I know I’ll look back on these images with fond memories of sweet baby innocence when the boys are teenagers and still refusing to smile!

Thank goodness our photographer is patient and works so well with kids. (If you’re in Naples and looking for a photographer, I highly recommend Rochelle Shucart – She is the best!) I am also thankful for the stunning beaches of Naples, Florida… it is hard to take a bad photo when you have a gorgeous sunset over the Gulf in the background.

All I can say is that attempting photos with a toddler and a baby called for a BIG glass of wine after the session ;-)

Here are the final images from this year’s family photos. Fingers crossed the boys (as well as Kyle and I, ha!) are a bit more photogenic next fall.

My Christmas Wishlist {2017}

Less than 2 months until Christmas!!

Yup, I’m 32 and I still make a holiday wishlist. My mom always asks for ideas, so I should really get a list together in like July (haha!), but the beginning of November will have to do this year ;-)

Here are a few items that I am hoping to see in my stocking on Christmas morning…

1. Nike Metcon 3 Amp (White/Gold Metalic, Size 9)

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Oh my gosh, aren’t these pretty?! I’ve been eyeing them for a while, I love them!

2. Saucony Type A8 (Red/White/Blue, Size 9.5)

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I saw a post about these on Instagram and have been obsessed ever since. And yes, I know, ANOTHER pair of shoes. Here is the deal. I donated all but 3 pairs of my athletic shoes to Hurricane Irma victims (there were communities close to Naples that lost EVERYTHING) so I’m short on my BODYPUMP and running and chasing after the kiddos shoes. I could probably list TEN pairs that I would like but I’ll stick to just these two right now ;-)

3. Go Lightly Duffel (Black)

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I’m at the gym practically every day so my current gym bag has taken a good beating over the past few years. I love bright colors but they show dirt and wear fairly quickly. I’d love this black one to use on my daily gym run!

4. Tervis 24oz Tumbler

I cannot decide on a design for the life of me… a beach design… a Disney design… a floral design…?? I give up! If you get me this, I trust you to pick the right one for me!

5. UPF 50+ Luxletic Weekender Midi Pant (Multi Luminescent)

The gym. Brunch. The park. Happy hour. I could wear there pants everywhere! They’re super cute and totally fit the Naples style. Yup, they’re definitely on my Christmas list!

6. Active Hydration Bright Eye Complex.

Look on the Bright Side

Okay, I confess, I actually already purchased this for myself BUT I know I’ll need a refill in the future so it is still on my list ;-) I have tired mom eyes and I cannot wait to give this new product a try. Fingers crossed it helps me look at least partially awake!

7. New Balance for J. Crew 247 Sneakers (Black, Size 9)

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Okay, I know… a third pair of shoes. I am a shoe girl, what can I say?! In all actuality, the J. Crew catalog arrived as I was typing this post and these beauties caught my eye. They’re definitely the “run around town” kinda shoe that I could wear to chase the kids around the park. I need want them!

8. Barrel Top Lazy Susan

Barrel Top Lazy Susan

I’ve wanted a Lazy Susan for a few years now and I am OBSESSED with this barrel top version. I’m not sure if I’d keep it on our table or on our new kitchen island (if we ever get around to remodeling the kitchen post-hurricane – wahhh) – either way, I LOVE IT!

Okay, there it is! I’m sure I’ll edit this post and continue to add things as I think of them ;-)

What is on your wishlist this year?

What is collagen?

Have you heard of collagen?

If you’re the least bit interested in beauty and/or health, I’m sure you’ve seen it referenced a time or two. It is the newest buzzword in the health and beauty industries… and for good reason!

So, what IS collagen?

Per Medical News Today, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.”

Okay, so collagen is a protein… what’s the big deal?

Well it IS a big deal if you care about the health of your connective tissues… I’m talking joint health, healthy skin, nails and hair, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Did I catch your attention yet?

Collagen is important when it comes to your body growing new connective tissue – that means keeping joints, bones and tendons healthy as well as quickly replenishing skin, hair and nail cells (the quicker our body can replenish cells, the younger our skin/hair/nails appear). When we are young, collagen is produced by our bodies in abundance, but as we age and expose our body to UV radiation and other environmental factors, our bodies produce less and less collagen. This is why we associate popping joints, brittle nails/hair, and wrinkles with aging… our body produces less collagen to prevent these age-related issues.

Besides age, what else can reduce collagen production?

  • High sugar consumption (UGH, I KNOWWW… even more reason to keep that sweet tooth in check!)
  • Smoking
  • UV Rays
  • Genetics

So, what can we do to prevent collagen loss?

The biggest factor in maintaining healthy collagen production is – you guessed it, a healthy diet. Consuming the correct amounts of Vitamins A and C, copper (found in nuts, red meats and shellfish), as well as Proline (found in egg whites, meat, and cheese) can aid in the production of collagen.

Along with a healthy diet, I’ve chosen to supplement my collagen over the past few months. I’ve tried a few brands and while, I do think they work (although it is still a bit early to tell…), they either don’t mix well or leave an awful flavor when I mix them into my smoothies or water.

Because I’m always looking for new health and beauty supplements to try, I was SO excited when AdvoCare announced the launch of its Glow system a few weeks ago! There are three products in the system, one of which is a collagen supplment. YAY!!!

Glow is a three-step system designed to promote the health of our skin, hair and nails. It is comprised of three products – Collagen, Skin, and Hair & Nails, and it has received only RAVE reviews from the ladies (and gentlemen!) that were given the opportunity to test it before it was released to the public.

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Step 1 is Glow Collagen. This supplement supports skin firmness and elasticity, promotes healthy skin cell function, and helps support natural collagen and elastin fiber production. It is a drink mix that is a cherry berry flavor and my oh my is it ever tasty!! It is much better than other collagen products I’ve tasted!

Step 2 is Glow Skin. This supplement provides antioxidants to support skin health, helps promote healthy aging of the skin, and supports healthy skin quality and structure. It is a single pill you consume daily.

Step 3 is Glow Hair & Nails. This supplement promotes healthy hair growth, supports lustrous hair (yes, please!!), and contains nutrients that support hair and nail strength. It is also a single pill you consume daily.

As I am now entering my mid-30’s (say whattt??), taking care of my body is one of my main priorities. I eat mostly healthy, I exercise, I *try* to get enough sleep (LOL, I’m a mom… yeah, right!), and I supplement to fill in any nutritional gaps my diet may not provide.

For me, staying healthy also means looking healthy. Is that shallow? Maybe, but if products can not only make me look better but also keep my skin, hair, nails, and other connective tissues healthier, count me in!

I am currently participating in a Glow Challenge where everyone is taking the new AdvoCare Glow System for 30 days and sharing their real results. The online group is private and very supportive, open, and a big ol’ self-love fest. We have been sharing photos of our before images this week along with photos that make us feel like we are GLOWing. I am loving this new “challenge” and all of the love and support we are showing each other.

If you’re interested in learning more about Glow, please don’t hesitate to reach out. There is no time like the present to put a little love into yourself and begin glowing both inside and out!

How to potty train a 2-year old boy…

… or at least a few tips that have worked for us!

After posting a few photos of Dean in his Mickey undies on my Instagram story, I received a bunch of messages from my fellow mama friends asking if he was potty trained. I didn’t plan on chatting about potty training here on the ol’ blog, nor did I think posting the photos would create so much interest, but here we are.

Oh how life has changed! From happy hours and fun vacations to POTTY TRAINING. Sometimes you just have to laugh ;-)

A few things you should keep in mind while reading my “tips”…

  1. I am by no means an expert. Dean is our first born and therefore an experiment (sorry, kid). We don’t really know what we’re doing but what we ARE trying is working so that is why I am sharing!
  2. Not all kids are ready to use the toilet at the same age. You gotta make sure they are READY before forcing potty training on them. Our pediatrician said to definitely wait at least 3 months after James was born before focusing on it because both a new sibling AND going potty on the toilet are huge transitions and toddlers can only handle so many of those at once.
  3. My tips are only for DAY training. We aren’t night training yet for two main reasons… 1 – Dean has FINALLY started sleeping really well through the night (knock on wood…). And yes, it took 2 years for that to happen whereas James has been a good sleeper from the beginning. Like I said above, each kid is different! 2 – We’re in Florida and it is HOT. He still takes water to bed with him at night and I don’t want to take that away quite yet until I know he’s drinking enough during the day. To each their own, but we’re going to hold off on night training for a bit longer.

How did we know Dean was “ready” to potty train?

First of all, he’s been going on the toilet “for fun” for approximately 6 months. (Both #1 and #2) It wasn’t anything we ever forced but if he wanted to try, then we by all means let him! Boys tend to take longer to train and be a bit older when it happens than girls so we didn’t want to start too early and make it an overwhelming situation for him. Our pediatrician said that because he had already willingly used the toilet and showed interest, that he was definitely ready once the baby was older. If he had shown fear or refused to go in the toilet, his doctor said we should wait. Thankfully, we haven’t experienced that yet!

Secondly, he starting pooing in one specific place… he would hide behind a chair and that’s when we’d know he would need a new diaper shortly. Apparently have “a place” to potty in a diaper is a big sign that a toddler is ready for the toilet.

So, what are we doing?

I’m going to number it out for y’all so it is fairly easy to follow. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or post them in the comment section below. I’m happy to help if I can!

  1. We decided to do the “3-day” bootcamp at home. The bootcamp is basically where you stay at home for 3 days straight and really focus on using the toilet each time they need to potty. Did we stay home for 3 days straight? Ummm, NO. This is where I changed the bootcamp up. Honestly, if we tried that we probably wouldn’t have made it through the weekend alive, LOL. We didn’t go out quite as often but we still went to the Y and did a few other fun family activities. I don’t think it hindered his training at all.
  2. NAKED is key!! I personally think it was hard for Dean to understand that undies were different than diapers on Day 1 of the bootcamp. He kept peeing in his new undies and then I would get frustrated (<– my lack of patience is another sticking point during training, ha!) I quickly found out that having him run around at home without any clothes on worked to keep him from peeing between potty breaks.
  3. Set a timer. You will need to find your “sweet time” that fits your kid. We drink a lot of water here, so I found out that Dean’s time between potty breaks is 20 minutes. I started out at 30 minutes and that was too long so I tried 15 minutes which was too short. You want it to be long enough that they have to pee (or poop) each time, but not too long where you risk an accident. I set the timer on my phone and Dean knows when it goes off to run to the bathroom and try. The timer keeps me from watching the clock or inadvertently missing a potty time.
  4. NO TV!!!!!!! I thought we could use TV as part of his reward but I quickly learned that TV proved to be quite the distraction and it caused a lot of accidents when it was on.
  5. Use bribery… specifically candy ;-) <– Don’t tell his pediatrician, LOL. He suggested doing a potty dance. HAHAHHAHAHHAHAH… yeah, right. I’m sorry but a potty dance won’t motivate my child. But wave chocolate in front of his face?? There ya go. We began with M&M’s but those weren’t big enough of a lure. Dean likes the GOOD STUFF. I picked up the mini, bite sized candy along with a bag of mini Reese’s (he IS my kid… and FYI he ate all of the Reese’s first. I was so proud, haha!) and put them in a cartoon tote bag. During those 3 days, he got to pick out a piece of candy each time he peed in the potty. If he tried with no pee then he got ONE M&M. YES, I KNOW it is a lot of candy… but guess what? IT WORKED. After those 3 days we slowly tapered the candy down to once every other potty time and then the candy ran out and we didn’t buy more. For poop, he got to pick out a “BIG TOY” (I picked up a bunch of fun crafts from Target’s dollar section) from a different bag. That was fun for him too!
  6. Buy fun undies that appeal to them. We went with Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Train. He is SOOOO excited to wear them but knows that he has to stay dry when he does wear them.
  7. Understand they won’t be perfect on Day 1. Silly me! I for sure thought as soon as I explained what we were doing to Dean that there would be no accidents. HAHAHAHAHHAAHHA (I have laughed at myself quite frequently during this process.) Day 1 there were lots. Day 2 only a couple. And by Day 3 he was even dry after nap time! Practice makes perfect and they DO understand if you stick with it.
  8. BE EXCITED!! Excitement is especially important when you’re telling them about the fun treats (whatever you choose that appeals to your kid) they will get when they use the potty. And be even more excited when they use the potty! It’ll be the most excited you’ll ever be about pee ;-) If you act super happy when they use the potty, they will want to use the potty even more. And trust me, I never thought I’d be THIS HAPPY about not having to change toddler diapers. It is quite the happy thing – Maybe his pediatrician is onto something with his happy potty dance ;-)
  9. Try your hardest not to show frustration. We’re talking toddlers here, there ARE going to be accidents and probably a lot of them. They’re just little people and don’t always remember what they should be doing. I have limited patience so when I saw Dean had an accident I would turn away from him (so he couldn’t see my face), take a DEEP breath, and then go comfort him if he was upset and tell him it was okay as I took him to the bathroom. Again, you’re going to have LOTS of accidents on Day 1 and then they’ll slowly improve over the next few days. Just remember this time is WORTH IT to save money on diapers and to not have to change diapers ;-)
  10. Use the actual toilet. I’m sure I’ll have some people disagree with me here… We didn’t go with a toddler potty because there was NO WAY I was going to be convinced to empty that thing each time. Ew, gross. I’d rather change a diaper! And two, I didn’t want to have to worry about him transitioning to the real toilet. He also thinks it is fun to use the same potty as we do. Oh, and I guess three, he has to use a regular toilet in public so I didn’t want to confuse him by using a different style at home. We purchased a cheap, small lid that is easy to set on top of the toilet so he doesn’t fall in and it works like a charm.

As a side note, I am not a HUGE fan of pull-ups, but we are putting them on him when we go out in public for the time being. I don’t want him to be embarrassed if he has an accident nor do I want a gross, soggy car seat! We tell him that they’re undies and they aren’t supposed to get wet. Most of the time they are still dry when we take potty breaks while out… and yes, I still set a timer when we’re out in public.

I know he won’t be perfect for awhile, but I am happy to have a start on the intimidating journey of potty training!

Have you potty trained your toddler? How old were they when they were ready? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Hurricane Irma – Before the storm

This post is the first in a series recapping my first experience with a hurricane. I am still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened in the month of September, so thank you for reading my jumbled thoughts on Hurricane Irma. Before I begin I will say, however, that I didn’t get it – I didn’t get the emotions and fear involved with hurricanes until experiencing it for myself. So, if you can’t relate to what I’m sharing, I understand where you’re coming from. I never realized that a hurricane can impact EVERYTHING in your life like food, water, fuel, homes, businesses, jobs, electricity, life savings, etc. I GET IT NOW and this is why I am sharing my experience. I hope others will understand the serious outcomes of massive weather events like hurricanes.

The past 3 weeks of life have been a blur. Most of my fellow Napoleons agree that it has felt like we’ve been living in the Twilight Zone. No one remembers what day it is, what they ate for dinner last night, if they paid their water bill, or what life was like before the storm.

THE storm. Hurricane Irma.

Is she shifting to the west? Yes? No… Maybe she is shifting east? She’s getting weaker, we’re in the clear. Oh wait, just kidding. We’re looking at a Cat. 5 here. The days leading up to Hurricane Irma were confusing. They were full of unpredictable weather forecasts, stress, and the unknown. They were pretty darn terrifying as a hurricane newbie. Although I have friends who’ve lived through their fair share of hurricanes and they were also experiencing the same variety of emotions from sadness to terror to panic to shock.

Approximately 5 days before Irma hit, the forecast was clear. Irma was going to hit Florida. The only thing in question was if she was going to tear up the east coast, the west coast, or the center of the state. No one knew, but it didn’t really matter. Irma was twice as wide as Florida and looked to be the size of Texas on the weather maps. She was going to impact the entire state no matter where her eye hit land.

Panic started to spread throughout Naples the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. In retrospect, the holiday weekend felt like the calm before the storm. And it was, quite literally. Once Tuesday afternoon hit, gas lines were hours long. People were stock piling non-perishables and water at every Publix. (It is recommended you have 2 weeks of food/water/supplies for each person if you choose to ride out the storm.) You could feel the unease in the air.

I don’t take panic well so what did I do? You guessed it. I started to panic.

Imagine learning that a potential Category 5 hurricane is going to devastate your city. Not just “kinda impact” – NO. A Category 5 would completely change the way your city, your HOME, the place where people you love live. It would make Naples look different. It would ruin buildings, flood roads, homes and businesses. It would tear up landscaping and trees as if they were tiny blades of grass meeting the sharp blade of a lawnmower. After the storm, power could be out for weeks in 100+ degree temperatures. There would be no safe drinking water. And no fuel to for vehicles or for generators. Residents would be dependent on the government (military personnel and FEMA) for basics like food and water and places to cool down in the extreme heat.

As a mama of two littles, there was no way I was staying to see what this storm decided to do. My job is to protect my boys and I wasn’t sure I could do that to the best of my ability if we stayed in Naples. I’m sure my fellow mama’s agree that what I’m describing is a SCARY feeling. I didn’t know if my boys would have a home when we (eventually) returned to Naples. I didn’t know if they’d have their beds or their toys or their books or a safe place to live. It felt like a punch in the gut and it still makes me emotional when I think about it.

I do not wish that feeling on my worst enemy.

While Dean was in preschool on Tuesday morning, I ran last minute errands and packed up the house. In less than two hours I had packed clothing and necessities for myself and the boys, moved everything on our lanai into the garage including a 75 pound grill (I knew I did BODYPUMP for a reason!), found important documents we would need to take with us during our evacuation, placed items normally on the floor onto our counter tops in case we experienced flooding, and told Kyle were were getting the heck outta dodge ASAP.

They’re not kidding when they say adrenaline kicks in before a storm!

I will spare you the details of our road trip. 19+ hours in a car with a 2 year old, an infant, and a dog… I’ll just say you didn’t want to be there. Leaving our home and Naples was surreal though. Again, imagine if you were setting out on a “vacation” but you didn’t know if your house would be there when you returned and you had no clue when you would be back. It isn’t a fun feeling.

Throughout the drive and leading up to the storm, I was glued to weather forecasts and CNN. Seeing the devastation Irma caused on her way up to Florida was most definitely NOT reassuring. This storm was continuing to get worse and she was going to impact Naples. It didn’t help to ease my constant concern. While I was relieved to be a safe distance away from the Irma, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about our home and our friends who decided to stay in Naples.

One shining light in the time leading up to the storm was seeing how neighborly Naples became. Strangers were helping strangers put up hurricane shutters and plywood over windows. Those with extra water and supplies were offering it to others. Naples can oftentimes feel… what’s the word… elitist? I’m not sure that’s the exact word I’m searching for but it works. Regardless of where you lived, worked or played, EVERYONE came together to prepare for Irma and it was heartwarming to experience. People really are genuinely GOOD and while I wish it was visible each and every day, it shines through in desperate times.

My memory is somewhat of a blur, but I believe on Thursday or Friday before the storm, forecasters were pretty darn certain Naples was going to get the brunt of the hurricane eye. There was still a chance she could shift eastward or even more westward causing the worst of the winds and flooding to go elsewhere, but it did not look likely. More and more of my friends decided to leave town, even long-time Floridians. That is when you know things are serious. I remember not being able to eat much because I felt sick thinking about what could happen. I was basically living on a liquid (AKA – wine) diet in the days leading up to Irma. The boys and staying busy with friends helped to distract us from the inevitable, but Irma was always creeping in the back of our minds.

A category 4 or 5 hurricane was going to slam into Naples – my home, where my boys were born, where Kyle and I have lived and worked and played for 3 years – in 48 hours. We were safe and my friends who were staying were as prepared as they could be. At this point, there was nothing to do but wait.

To be continued…

Current Favorites

These are a few of my favorite things…

I’ve been loving on a few things lately and – because I always like to know about fun things others enjoy, I want to share my current faves with you!

1. Walmart Grocery Online Ordering – YOU GUYS. This is a game changer! I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of Walmart (Target all the way…), but I have been impressed with this new service since James was born. I won’t lie, the thought of grocery shopping with a toddler and an infant is somewhat terrifying which drove me to try this service back in June. I’m happy to report that not only does it make grocery shopping a breeze, ordering AND picking up is incredibly simple, Walmart has an impressive assortment of organic/natural products, and I find that I save money by not randomly browsing aisles in the store. And yes, you can order items other than groceries… the only exclusion being electronics. So load that cart up with toiletries, WINE (haha), whatever you need!

Here’s the gist of it… you reserve an hour time slot for pick-up, place your order online (they even have an awesome phone app so you can order on your phone!), arrive at the pick-up location and – voila! – your groceries are loaded into your car. Seriously… that’s it! I definitely recommend checking it out! If it is your first time using the service, here is a link that you can use to save yourself $10.

2. Vilia Soaps – My internet friend (One of my favorite kind of friends… the ones you meet online!), Staci, recently contacted me about her new soap company, Vilia Soap Company. She and her husband recently moved back to the United States after living abroad in Greece (#goals) and decided to begin selling handmade soaps made with Greek olive oil. She sent me a few to try and I am pleased to report that these may be my new favorite soaps!

I was a bit hesitant at first because I am not a fan of grandma-esque soaps… you know the kind that smell like decorative soaps? Villa Soaps are NOT like that at all! They offer a perfectly light aroma and hold up well in the shower or by the sink. I also love the flavors of soap. My personal favorite is the Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree!

Because I love her soaps so much, she’s offered to give all of my readers a 15% discount on all purchases until the end of August – Yay! Enter the code olivesnwine during your online checkout and receive 15% off your purchase. This coupon cannot be combined with other coupons or sale items. This coupon can only be used once per customer. There is no minimum order amount on this coupon. Coupon Expires August 31, 2017.

3. Baby Bjorn – Dean LOVED our Baby Bjorn carrier when he was a baby and James has been the same so far. I actually purchased a K’Tan as well after receiving good reviews from friends, but that one is tricky to put on and James does not like it nearly as much. It is what I use to get him to nap if he won’t give in and I carry him in it while running errands. If you’re a new mama or expecting, this carrier is a must!

4. Commit to FIT – YOU GUYS!! I am super excited about this!! (Can you tell by all of my exclamation points?! LOL.) A few weeks ago, AdvoCare launch a brand new line of products called FIT… yep, you guessed it – They are for your fitness game! There are Pre, Intra and Post products as well as a convenient, ready-to-drink protein shake.

The products take the guessing game out of your fitness supplements (HALLELUJAH!) as you take the Pre 30 minutes before a workout, the Intra during a workout, and the Post within 45 minutes following a workout. Easy peasy! They are also made for ANY fitness level and ANY type of workout – How awesome is that?! Oh, and have I mentioned they taste like candy?! Haha… The Pre is a strawberry-lemonade flavor and oh my goodness is it ever good!

I’m happy to answer any question on the new FIT Line of products – They don’t disappoint! Also, if you’re brand new to AdvoCare and would like to try a sample of the new FIT line, please reach out – I have a few more I can send your way!

What are your current favorite products or services? I love getting recommendations so please share!

Breastfeeding and Thrush

If you follow me on Instagram (<– PS. I recently combined my accounts to make my life easier! Make sure you’re following me here for all things wine, fitness, food, and – of course, cute baby/toddler photos ;-) ), you are well aware that James and I had a run-in with Thrush.

Yay.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Ha!

Thrush while breastfeeding is NOT fun and I do not wish it upon anyone. What is Thrush? Basically, it is a fungal infection of your nipples and/or breasts caused by a yeast (Candida) that normally lives on our skin. When the yeast grows out of control and enters your milk ducts, Thrush happens. And yes, it is the same fungus/yeast strain that causes yeast infections in the lady bits. Ick.

For more information and resources on Thrush, check out this site. (Kelly Mom is my favorite for all breastfeeding questions/concerns, check it out if you haven’t yet!)

I am fairly certain both James and I had Thrush from Day 3 or 4. As with all newborns, he had a teeny tiny mouth and, at least for me, that always causes a bit of breastfeeding pain at the beginning. However, this time around, the pain didn’t subside after a few weeks… It just kept getting worse. Not only were my nipples extremely sore and it hurt to wear anything but a super baggy t-shirt, I had stabbing pains after each nursing session. It was MISERABLE and after it got to a point where I no longer wanted to breastfeed, I knew I needed to see a Lactation Consultant.

Yes, I know I probably should have seeked help a bit sooner, but I honestly just thought it was a small mouth/minor latching problem that would correct itself in time. Yeah, no…

The weekend prior to the 4th of July was my breaking point, and decided to Google my symptoms during a Saturday evening 2am feed. FYI – I don’t recommend Googling health symptoms in the middle of the night when you are sleep deprived ;-)

To my surprise, ALL of my symptoms pointed to Thrush of the breasts/nipples. I was also surprised (but I should have assumed) that recent antibiotic usage as well as steroid usage (such as a rescue inhaler for asthma) can increase your risk of Thrush. I had to use antibiotics and steroids twice while pregnant thanks to a nasty chest bug AND I also had been using a rescue inhaler for my asthma as my pregnancy with James triggered some breathing issues for me. AND because I was GBS+ with Dean (no test with James since I had been + before), I was given IV antibiotics during labor. I am certain all of these things combined weakened my natural fungal defenses and allowed the Thrush to set up shop in my body.

Thankfully, James’ pediatrician was open on July 3rd (PSL!) and was able to prescribe him oral Diflucan (a liquid anti-fungal medication) as both baby and mama need to be treated simultaneously to cure Thrush. If only one is treated, the fungus will continue to pass back and forth. It’s a tricky one to rid yourself of!

My OB’s office was closed over the 4th of July weekend and the on call message did not get passed onto my doctor (I was SUPER annoyed because I was in pain and wanted treatment!). Thankfully, I have a few OB’s in the family and was able to have them call me in a prescription for Diflucan as well. I took a double dose which took care of 75% of the pain. Unfortunately, Thrush likes to linger… and linger… and then linger some more. It’s like a bad house guest that JUST. WON’T. LEAVE.

In addition to taking the Diflucan pills 72 hours apart from one another, I also washed EVERYTHING in hot water and vinegar for three weeks, only used towels once (wet towels can harbor yeast… gross), gave James a new paci every 2 hours and boiled pacis after each use, changed my t-shirts/bras every time they got even remotely damp from milk. I am still using a 50-50 vinegar/water rinse on my nipples after each feeding as apparently vinegar’s acidity level creates an unfavorable environment for fungus. I’ve heard direct sunlight helps as well, but I didn’t want to expose my neighbors to such a sight, HAHAHA!

Honestly, it probably took about 2.5 weeks to be completely pain and symptom free. Although sometimes I think I still feel random pains that I think must be related. So, if you’re currently experiencing Thrush, be patient. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that it takes time. It should, however, feel a little better after a few days so if you’re still in excruciating pain, give your physician a call back for a different treatment.

If your Thrush/pain is only in the nipples and not yet the breast tissue, you can try to just be treated with anti-fungal creams. James’ doctor said that they prefer to use oral medication to prevent the baby from consuming any cream. Obviously, ask your doctor and your babe’s doctor what is best for your individual situation!

Moral of the story, SEE SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY IF BREASTFEEDING DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT!

I most likely would have avoided a few weeks of horrible pain had I just seen a doctor sooner.

Oh well, you live and you learn!

Are there any other mama’s who have experienced Thrush? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

James Reilly – One Month Update

On July 8th, James turned one month old!

Similar to Dean, I am going to keep an online “baby book” – It is much easier for me to type these updates than it is for me to write them into a book for some reason.

Kyle, Dean and I are enjoying James! There are many ways he is the same as Dean (looks being one of them), but he is also different as all babies are. He is a MUCH better sleeper than Dean ever was, he also seems to eat more ;-)

Here’s an update on James’ first month!

Length: 21.75 inches – 48th percentile

Weight: 9 pounds, 14 ounces – 38th percentile (<– This is exactly the same weight as Dean was at this age!)

Likes:

  • Eating
  • Being held by Mama and pretty much only Mama
  • Baby art cards/Contrasting colors
  • Bathtime
  • Sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play and DockATot
  • Scratching my face… Mom makes me wear socks on my hands even though I look silly.
  • Being close to Mama in the Baby Bjorn
  • Tummy time

Dislikes:

  • Car rides/Car seat – Oh the SCREAMING!
  • Diaper changes
  • Being hungry – I have a really good hangry scream, you should hear it sometime.
  • Gas bubbles
  • Swaddles (I think we’ve turned the corner on this one as he’s been okay with the swaddle the past few nights!)
  • Pacifiers

Visitors:

  • Grandma Joyce
  • Aunt Laura and Uncle Tyler
  • Ms. Emily and Andy

Places I’ve been… I’m obviously a bit more relaxed about taking him places than I was with Dean at this age:

  • Target
  • Costco
  • My pediatrician’s office
  • The beach/Gulf of Mexico
  • YMCA
  • Riptide Brewery
  • Quite a few restaurants

Nicknames:

  • James-y
  • Milk hound

We don’t have as many nicknames for James as we did for Dean.

Overall, everything is going well. On some things he is a much more chill baby than Dean was but on others he is proving to be a bit more challenging. All kids are different, right?

He’s a great sleeper (knock on wood) so far. We don’t have a bedtime routine quite yet, but he gets a bath every other night and his last feed is somewhere between 8-9pm. He wakes up between 1-2am and then again around 4:30/5am and after he eats for 15-20 minutes, he goes back down fairly easily. Dean HAD to have a paci to sleep when he was a baby but James hasn’t taken to them yet. He tends to just spit them out. Oh well!

James is a good little eater as well. He’s taken to a bottle and has 3-4 without any issue over the past couple of weeks. We had a “fun” battle with Thrush but *I THINK* that is finally resolved. Thank goodness – Talk about painful!! It can linger foreverrrrr so I’m still being overly cautious about it. I plan on writing a post about it in the near future.

Here’s to Month TWO!

Dean’s One Month Update, if you’re interested, is here.

DockATot Review

This is not a sponsored post. I purchased our DockATot Deluxe+ and was not provided any discount from DockATot.

If you’re a new parent, you’ve most likely heard the hype surrounding the newest magic sleeping bullet for babies.

The DockATot boasts some pretty impressive online reviews – Babies sleeping through the night (like 12 hours through the night!) after being introduced to the DockATot, colicky babies being soothed, long naptimes, and cosleeping parents feeling less anxiety by placing their infant in a DockATot, just to name a few.

For the exhausted new parent, reading these reviews is enough to have you clicking “SEND ME ALLLLL THE DockATots” when you’ve been awake comforting your newborn from 2-4am. No, my purchase wasn’t made on impulse in the middle of the night ;-)

After chatting with a new of my fellow new mama friends who have used the DockATot, I decided to take the leap and purchase the miracle worker for James. The price tag is steep – $165-185 USD for the Deluxe+ model, but thankfully, Target now sells the DockATot and I was able to use a coupon to save myself a few dollars.

I wouldn’t say James is a bad sleeper. He is actually MUCH better in the sleep department than Dean ever was at his age. He typically wakes twice per night to eat and goes back down fairly easily. (KNOCK ON WOOD…) The only issue we had been facing is that he does not like the bassinet we used for Dean. He could also “halfway” rollover in his swaddle from birth so we were nervous to place him in a crib or bassinet while swaddled. The DockATot seemed like it would be a good alternative as it keeps babies cozy and warm as if they are swaddled.

I was slightly concerned about safety as there are sides on the DockATot, but the fabric is breathable (I tested it when it arrived) and it has been tested for that specific safety feature. It also claims to not harbor heat, but I’m not sure this is entirely true. James doesn’t get super warm while sleeping in the DockATot but I do think it keeps him warmer than if he were just in a bassinet or crib. The DockATot is also harmful substance-free, machine washable (yasssss!), and easy to travel with in either a car or a plane <– Nice for families that are on-the-go as baby always has a familiar place to sleep.

So, is the DockATot a magic sleeping solution?

Eh, I’m not convinced. It is a nice baby gadget? Yes, for sure! Kyle and I both feel much less anxious if we place the DockATot in our bed as a cosleeper than if we were to not use it. (Also FYI, we have a king sized bed… It would be a tight fit if you have any smaller of a bed size with the DockATot). I don’t think James sleeps any longer when sleeping in his DockATot vs. our Rock ‘n Play or in a baby wrap/carrier. There are also MUCH cheaper (and just as safe in my opinion) options for infant cosleepers on the market.

That being said, we will continue to use the DockATot. It is soft, safe, and easy to use which I appreciate.

As all parents know, there isn’t a single solution for all babies whether it be for sleep or feeding or fussiness. Each baby is different and for every parent that claims the newest baby gadget is a miracle worker, there will be another parent that says it is didn’t do squat.

My suggestion? Before purchasing, find a friend with a DockATot and borrow it for a night or two to see if it works magic on your new baby before spending the big bucks!

Have you tried the DockATot? If so, did it work nighttime magic on your infant?

Time for a change!

Tomorrow, July 8th, marks ONE month since James arrived in our world. Where does the time go?!

I would say that I had a fairly easy pregnancy… actually, I take that back. No pregnancy is EASY, but I had zero health complications and for that I am grateful. I was pretty nauseous until midway through my pregnancy however. For me, nausea = ONLY consuming carb- and fat-filled foods like pizza, quesadillas, cheese, pizza, and more pizza. Did I mention pizza? Ha! I was on the carb-loading pregnancy train, and to be honest, I haven’t yet jumped off yet.

My eating is a bit better these days (by a bit I mean I don’t eat pizza once per day…) and I have more self-control now that my body isn’t being ravaged by crazy pregnancy hormones <– read: I don’t give into every. single. craving. my body throws my way these days. Thank goodness because with James, my cravings were NOT healthy, haha! But my eating still needs a major shift back to the healthy side.

I am *slowly* dropping some of my baby weight, or so I assume based on photos of myself. I won’t weigh myself again until my 6 week appointment in a few weeks. I’m thankful that breastfeeding helps me get back to my non-pregnancy normal. BUT I must say that I am more than ready to kick this postpartum booty into gear and get rid of the rest of my baby weight!

Here are my 2 week postpartum photos:

And my 4 week postpartum photos:

In case you’re wondering, nope, I definitely do NOT like these images of myself but these “before” photos are going to make my “after” photos even more rewarding!

Some may say that 2 months postpartum is far too early to focus on weight loss. I say to each their own! I feel good, James is already a much better sleeper than Dean ever was (knock on wood…), and I’m getting back into my fitness routine next week (Eek! Join me for BODYPUMP, Naples friends!). Eating well and losing the extra weight will only give me more energy to be a better mom and teach better classes!

On August 1st (yes, I know it is a Tuesday – I like starting with the number 1, LOL), I will be kicking off my postpartum 24 Day Challenge! I am ridiculously excited for it if you couldn’t tell ;-)

I know I’ve raved about AdvoCare often on this little blog of mine, but I absolutely believe in this program. It works if you work. Nope, it’s not a quick fix or a crash diet. You don’t starve your body. It is a real food program that teaches us how to incorporate healthy habits into a lifestyle. It is sustainable and you will see results if you follow the plan.

You can find my “Dean postpartum” AdvoCare results here.

Whole, healthy foods + supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps = A healthy, more energized YOU!

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, find more energy, feel fantastic, or you just want to kickstart a healthy lifestyle, I’d LOVE to have you join me.

The products are safe and effective and my supportive and motivating AdvoCare community is the best! If 24 days isn’t your thang, there are plenty of other options – You can shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) for details or to join me.

I am super excited to start feeling healthy and energetic again and can’t wait for you to feel the same – Let’s do this together!

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