Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Gift Guide Giveaway

Welcome to the 2013 Christmas Gift Guide Giveaway Event!
A celebration by Ashley Suzanne
It's the start of the giveaway event that I've been waiting and preparing for for months-the Christmas Gift Guide bash in honor of my favorite holiday of the year! Ashley Suzanne is giving away TWO fabulous prize packs to celebrate! All these giveaways items will be perfect for those on your Christmas list! I'm so excited to start off this awesome event!

The first Prize Pack is open to
US and CA
and includes:
Little Green Pouch Starter Kit - ARV$38 
Simple and Stunning Gift Certificate - ARV $40
Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket - ARV $27
Cole Haan Mini Johnny Strap - ARV $44 
Jack and Lily Footwear Choice - ARV $30-$38 
Smart One 3.0 Diaper - ARV $25 
Pick and Draw cards - ARV$30 
Pick and Draw Activity Book - ARV $12.89 
Frecklebox $30 electronic gift card - ARV $30 
The Legend of Ranger Book - AVR $11.66
Copy of book: The Sparkle Box - ARV $19.99
Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas! - ARV $15 
Wreath of choice - ARV $25 
Stock-It-Pockets - ARV $24.95 
Complete set of Baby Santa books - ARV $45 
Oh Deer Pouch - ARV $20
Pick Your Plum Box - ARV $25 
Thermal-Aid Blue Bear - ARV $15 gift card - ARV $25 
Single Growth Chart of Your Choice - ARV$115 
The Big Top Circus Mystery - ARV $12.99 
Digby Differs - ARV$17.99 
Hank Finds an Egg - ARV $16.99 
Mystery at the Museum - ARV $12.99 
Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep! - ARV $16.99
One free year subscription to - ARV $79 
Giant Microbes Gift Set - ARV $61.79 
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Gift Set - $69.90 
Personalized Birthday Crown - ARV $20 Tovolo Breakfast Gift Pack - ARV $51 
The DaddySwag Gift Set - ARV $89.95 
Mountain Green Baby F & C Gift Set - ARV $24 
Mountain Green Cleaning Gift Set - ARV $29.91
Harlequin Book Gift Set - ARV $80 
Light Gray Cable Knit Poncho - ARV $85 
Galerie Anais Three 8x10" Prints - ARV $46
Rolly Polly Ball - ARV $35
Kinderfeets Balance Bike - ARV $100
GlassDharma Gift Card - ARV $100
Daddy Diaper Pack & Bag O' Books - ARV $119 
Charlie Diaper Bag - Cocoa Brown - ARV $159.99
A Family pack of Headphones - ARV $90 THEBOSSI STUDDED black bag - ARV $199
Total Value - $2157.88
The second {and final} Prize Pack is open to
and includes: Baby Handprint Kit - ARV $8.00 
Onesie Extende
rs - ARV $15 Simon & Schuster Book Gift Set - ARV $33.95 
Outfit of Choice from Rock Me - ARV $52
Live Clean (Baby) Gift Set - ARV $30
2 in 1 Deluxe Baby Beduga Diaper with insert - ARV $15
Nappy and T-Shirt Gift Set - ARV $30
Balboa Baby Stroller Liner - ARV $35
Pliers + 100 White Snaps - ARV $25
Little Love Buns Detergent - ARV $15 
WubbaNub Little Lion - ARV $16
SoftBums Velcro Omni Shell+One Size Dry Touch Super Pod - ARV $30
One-size Buttons Diaper Cover & 2 Daytime diaper inserts - ARV $18 Kungpoo Diaper + Insert - ARV $15
Baltic Amber Teething Necklace - ARV $18.99 
7oz Wide Mouth Thermal Baby Grows Up Kit - ARV $29.99
Rumparooz G2 - ARV $25.95 
Witch Littles: Magic in the Garden 5 Copies - ARV $74.75
Now Write! Screenwriting - ARV $14.95
DolphinOlogy 10 Copies - ARV $49.50 
Random House Children's Books Gift Set - ARV $38.97 
Twas The Night Before Christmas Book - ARV $14.95
2 pack of KleenSlate's Double Sided Hand-held Whiteboard - ARV $15.99 
Too Scoops Kids/ milkPOP t-shirt - ARV $45 
Precious Pink Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener - ARV $24.99
Vamplet Doll & Bottle of Blood - ARV $20
Happy Napper - ARV $24.95
DreamWorks Holiday Collection - ARV $19.98 
Paige & Paxton Book Series - ARV $28 
The Adventures of Lily Lapp (three-book set) - ARV $39 
Zoo Babies TOOB - ARV $11.99
Gift Code to Chic Canvas - ARV $50 
Three-Pack of Cotton Diabetic Socks - ARV $26.85
5' LoopRope including two 3.5" LoopClips - ARV $23.95
EatSmart Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale - ARV $49.95
Small Bronze Neater Feeder with leg extensions - ARV $37.98 
Budget Sock Monkey Kit - ARV $13 
5 Keeki Pure & Simple Non-Toxic Nail Polishes - ARV $50 
Black & White Chevron Turban Twist Headband - ARV $12
 Houndstooth Button Earrings - ARV $4.50 
Thermal Tote - ARV $18 Gift Card - ARV $25 Planet Wise Sports Bag - ARV $24.99 WallsNeedLove Gift Card - ARV $50 'Anomaly' by Krista McGee 2 Copies - ARV $20
 White or Cinn-Swirl BreadCat Pillow - ARV $32
Scented Scoops Ice Cream Playset - ARV $30
Sweet Creations Cupcake Carrier - ARV $29.99 
Polka Tots Baby Gift Set - ARV $78.89 
Freshly Picked Moccasins - ARV $60
Follow Me Fred - ARV $24.99 
Starry Night Mobile - ARV $59.99
Happy Family Just for Baby Gift Set - ARV $75 
Little Pim Language Discovery Set - ARV $59.99 
Summer Infant RestingUp Napper - ARV $59.99
Baby Magic Gift Set - ARV $55
Sunny Spot Studio Gift Card - ARV $50
Personalized Puzzle - ARV $29.95 
8"x10" Canvas Print - ARV $44.71
16x20 Canvas Print - ARV $78.99 Gift Certificate - ARV $25
Vicks Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier - ARV $79.99 
Red Wine Aerator - ARV $29.95
White Wine Aerator - ARV $29.95 
Spirit Aerator - ARV $29.95
Trucker's Friend - ARV $59.99
BB Blocks - ARV $40 
"KEY TO MY HEART" Key Calendar Necklace with Swarovski Crystal - ARV $80
Statement Necklace - ARV $34
Zipz Shoes - ARV $55 
Dare You To by Katie McGarry - ARV $18 
Savvy Dealz Gift Set - ARV $100 
Erin Condren Design Gift Card - ARV $50
24oz Bohemian Flower Wrap Tervis - ARV $19
6 Genie Bra's - ARV $90 
Tree Hut Gift Set - ARV $50 
Chevron Cast Iron Paper Towel Holder+Chevron Cast Iron Spoon Rest - ARV$60 
BNTO lunchbox adaptor+Wide Mouth Cuppow - ARV $16
Nature's Baby Organics Gift Set - ARV $125 
Baby's First Book - ARV $72 
SimpleSnug AI2 w/Stay Dry Insert - ARV $22 
NUK Gift Set - ARV $100
2 Poopsies - ARV $70 Original & Urban Bundleme - ARV $90
Boppy® Gift Set - ARV $120 
Lorex Sweet Peek Video Baby Monitor - ARV $180 
6 Grovia NB AIOs & 30 Cloth Wipes - ARV $105.70 
2 Glow Bug Cloth Diapers - ARV $25
Janiebee Quilted Nap Mat - ARV $119 
Newman's Own Organics Gift Set - ARV $100 
Sampler Pack of Proteins & Milk Gift Set - ARV $70 
A Year's Supply of Laundry Detergent (4 bottles) - ARV $85 
Cuisinart 4 Quart Cook Central - ARV $129 
Honeywell True HEPA Tower Allergen Remover - ARV $189.99
6.5' Full Pre-Lit Brighton Fir Tree - ARV $519 
State Heart - $29 
Pink Lining Diaper Bag - $125 
Pebbles Jones Gift Certificate - ARV $50 
Elena Double Bangle by Isabelle Grace Jewelry - ARV $118
Colors of Africa Bracelet & Earring Set - ARV $100
Mod Gift Card – ARV $25 
Giraffe Bath and Body Wand – ARV $29.99
 “Colors For Your Every Mood” Pack – ARV $109
Whitening Lightning Dial A Smile – ARV $399 
Core Bamboo Serving Set – ARV $123
Total Value - $6161.27
Disclosure: The winners will receive their prizes from the sponsors above. Ashley Suzanne and other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment and fulfillment. Please allow up to 12 weeks for all prizes to be processed and shipped.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eleanor's 7 Week Update

One of my favorite pictures of the last week.

We are getting more social smiles out of her.  They were still sporadic but last night she really got them going.  She went for an hour or so just smiling away.  Rob would say things like "Smile if mom's crazy" and she wouldn't smile.  Then I would say things like "Smile if daddy is stinky" and she would smile.  Girl is totally on my team.  I love her!

Speaking of her being on my team I feel bad sometimes because Rob says she doesn't like him to hold her.  He can set her on the bouncer or lay on the bed with her and she is happy, but she just doesn't like to be held.  She'll be crying and I'll hold her and she'll stop more often than not.  I think it's normal for babies to prefer their moms (especially since I nurse her)

She slept Saturday night from about 10:30-3:30. We were at a friends and she fell asleep after I nursed her, stirred a little when she got in the car seat, and when we took her out.  I tried to nurse her around 1 put she didn't wake up so I let her sleep.  Finally I was able to nurse her around 3:30.  I think she would have slept longer had I let her.  I didn't because of the clogged duct issues (see below)

Last night I nursed her around midnight and didn't nurse her again until 6am.  That was the second night in a row she got a good stretch of sleep.  I didn't feel any more rested though because I still got up a few time (out of habit to use the bathroom).

Rob took her over to my brother in laws on Saturday.  My sister was gone shopping so Ellie & Rob hung out with my brother in law and our seven month old nephew.  They were gone probably 4 1/2 hours.  I've never been away from her for more than an hour and half ( only once) and total time maybe 3 hours so while it was nice, I really missed her.  Like really missed her.  I couldn't wait for her to get home.  

It still is painful on the left side.  It's always been that side that has been the side that hurts the most.  Occasionally the right side does, but not nearly as often.

I went back to the breastfeeding support group on Thursday.   I'm trying to latch her like they showed me but it's difficult trying to hold my breast and latch her on.  Big boobs are not all people think they are.

I had a clogged duct again on Friday night.  I only slept a few hours the whole night because I was up in pain most of the night.  I couldn't get her to nurse and I couldn't pump.  I also seem to have a hard time with hand expression.  I even looked up you tube videos on tips at 4 am.  I left that screen open on the computer and when Rob saw it I had to explain why I was looking it up. 

I did get the correct size flanges for my pump and it made a world of difference.  I pumped 5 1/2 oz Saturday morning in 25 minutes.  On Thursday I pumped 5 oz in 1 hour 15 minutes.  And since that was the only thing different I can assume that's what did it.  I knew that I had the wrong size ones.  The ones that come standard with the pump weren't working.  I tried a larger size that I borrowed from my sister (they are plastic so it's not really gross to share).  Those didn't work and finding the smaller size was difficult.  I checked several stores and finally had to order them online.  Luckily my sister has amazon prime account so it only took a few days to arrive.

I had my six week check up last week.  My incision scar looks great, and I have no restrictions anymore. I brought Eleanor so that I could show her off and my ob made a comment about it being her first ob/gyn appointment.  That was a little weird and awkward. Lol. 

I'm sort of going to miss going because I really liked all the nurses.  Even though my ob was very much a to the point, get in, get out kind of doctor, I liked him too.

Lots of pictures!  She wore the same outfit twice this last week because it was cute so there are a lot of pictures with her in the vest and jeans. 

My other favorite picture of the week.
Watching Tv already
Aunt Ali
Uncle Jared
Eleanor is only 2 days older than Liam.

Nana Urban
Aunt Lisa

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dream Animals Book

Eleanor has quite the collection of books already.  I love books and I love reading to her already.

I love books with simple pictures, but the ones that have the elaborate drawings catch my interest.

Here is one example of a beautifully illustrated book

“You only have to close your eyes, and when you snuggle in, you’ll be carried to your dream tonight, on wing or paw or fin.” The author Emily paints whimsical, dream-like paintings, full of vibrant and stunning colors that is perfect for both you and your child! Dream Animals is the perfect bedtime journey to take your children on. Share the importance of imagination and dreaming with your little ones this holiday, between the ages of 2 - 5 years old.

*This is an affiliate link

Monday, November 18, 2013

Eleanor is six weeks

I got so used to doing my pregnancy updates on Tuesday's that I'm still in that habit, and I have to remind myself her week changes on Monday's.

Nursing got easier last week.  After taking her to the doctor and learning it isn't a tongue tie and she's just going to have a bad latch I decided I needed to deal with it because I'm not going to quit breastfeeding and I hate pumping for an hour only to get a small amount out. 

Once I forced myself to relax during her latch I realized it wasn't so bad, most of the time anyway. And for a few days it was good, but then it got worse again and I actually took  pain meds because it was so bad.

On Thursday I went to a breastfeeding support group with a friend who has a son 2 days younger than Ellie.  It's free and run by 2 board certified lactation consultants.  One of them helped latch her on and she was on there really deep and it didn't hurt, but I can't seem to get her latched on quite like that.  I might go back actually.

I hear conflicting things on beast feeding.  I hear that it shouldn't hurt, but I also hear people say that it does.

I like the little bond that it is creating.  I love when she holds my finger when she is nursing, and that milk drunk smile I get when she's done.

I'm still trying to put her in newborn onesie's so she can wear them one last time.  They do fit, but I really should move her up into the next size.

She's really developed that grip this last week.  She grabs onto my hair, which sometimes she pulls and my shirt.  And my boobs when I nurse her, which is cute, but sometimes it does hurt.

Eleanor has been sleeping better lately (she's currently napping on me and even though I'm hungry and need to use the bathroom I can't make myself get up).  During the nighttime she will usually sleep a 3 hour stretch before she starts to stir.  She probably would sleep longer, but I usually feed her at that point.  Maybe I don't need to do that anymore and can let her guide when she eats at night.  Any advice on that?

During the day as soon as she starts to make or give cues that she is sleepy, I put her in a sleep sack (if it's a swaddler I still leave her arms out, she doesn't like them in), and if she will take a pacifier I give her that, and put her in the rock n play, or if I think it will work, the crib. Most of the time it works.

My bleeding has stopped.  Actually it stopped a while ago, but I was still spotting, and now that's all done. 

My restless legs/arms has been acting back up this last week. It got so much better after delivery and I'm annoyed it came back.

Rob and I have been going through a little rough patch. I know it's still an adjustment though so I'm not really concerned.  We try to talk it out and come up with a solution or resolution, but it doesn't always happen.  I get annoyed that he is gone hunting or doing hunting related things a lot.  I know he loves to do it, but I had told him multiple times (even before she was born) that I didn't want him to go away last weekend, and he still did it.   I made it through the weekend, but it would have been nice to have him here, just to give me the chance to shower in peace or have a few minutes to myself.

I also get frustrated that when he comes home he holds her, or puts her in the bouncer and watches tv and gets to relax, but I still don't.  I still have to do dishes, and laundry etc... I know that lots of other moms, especially those who work outside the home feel this way also.  I wish I had free time, or at least more of it. 

I don't mean to bash on Rob, because he is helpful with her and he does work hard to provide for us.  And he does do the dishes occasionally or help with dinner if it's been a rough day.  I guess I don't really know what I want from him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

50% Vistaprint Cards

I love Vistaprint!  I've mentioned it before, but they have great products and great prices.  Our wedding stuff came from there, Ellie's birth announcements, and other photo gifts. 

They have a special through the 22nd on holiday cards.   You can get photo cards for around .50 each which is a great deal!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Win an ipad mini!

I've seen these gloves for a few years and thought they were kind of silly.  But I also didn't have a smartphone or a phone with a touch screen until earlier this year.  Now that I do, I totally see the appeal in the gloves and might have a pair on my Christmas list (hint hint).

You can enter to win a gift code to buy your own touch screen gloves or an ipad mini. 

(ENDS 12/2) It's Christmas Giveaway!

Inline image 1

It’s Christmas Giveaway Event

I know that Eleanor is still a newborn and will only be a few months old at Christmas time, but I'm still really excited for her first Christmas.  I love everything about Christmas and having a child just makes it that much better.  We've already started listening to Christmas music (although at this point it just puts her to sleep, lol).

MPM Network Bloggers are super excited to share their Christmas Recipes, Crafts, Decor Ideas and much more with you this holiday season. Make sure you take a peek at the fabulous posts below. Surely you will find something that makes your holiday even brighter!

get the InLinkz code

One lucky reader will receive a $500 Sears Gift Card!

Giveaway ends December 2nd at 11:59pm, open to US, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:Urban Times in Michigan is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Five Weeks Old

With every update I write I just can't believe that she's another week older.  I feel like it was the same way with the pregnancy.  Every week that I wrote another update was another week that flew.


We've been working on tummy time.  She's not a huge fan, but she does okay for a few minutes.

She's decided that she no longer likes her arms swaddled in her sleep sack.  She doesn't sleep as well (thank you startle reflex), but she is happier.

She also been spitting up more lately.  She doesn't burp despite all my best efforts, and winds up fussier and then spits up.  She may or may not have spit up down my shirt right between my boobs this week.  That was fun. Or not.  That might not have been so fun since Rob wasn't home and she was fussy and wouldn't let me shower.

She's not a good day time sleeper.  She will take little 10-20 minute naps here and there but that it's.  So I'm learning that sometimes if she wakes up to give her a minute before I get her.  I usually get her as soon as she whimpers or makes noise, but I gave her a minute a few times and while she fussed she fell back asleep.  I'm not letting her cry it out; she's way to young for that; If she was really crying or screaming I'd obviously get her.  This is more just little fussing noises.

She also falls asleep to music, from 90's pop music to Christmas music.

I'm trying to get her used to the crib because I worry that transitioning her will be tough, but other than a few minutes a day when I do laundry or wash my hands after changing her she isn't in it.  She fell asleep in the rock n play yesterday and I tried to put her in the crib, but she woke up and then cried.

She's outgrown her newborn size pants (she's getting to long for them) and most of her newborn onesies are getting snug.  I went through her clothes and I realize she has a lot, but she doesn't have very many outfits that actually coordinate and match.  So she's probably going to be in some crazy outfits.

Rob gave her a 5 oz bottle on Friday. And she drank the whole thing.  This was after a 2 oz bottle and nursing for most of the few hours before.  I thought there was no way she would.  That's a lot for a little baby. As a result she slept almost 10 hours. Which would be great except that I couldn't get her to nurse more than 10-15 minutes that whole time so my boobs were so full and pumping didn't help.  I spent most of Saturday trying to help the situation.  When I told Rob no more 5 oz bottles for a while he got almost offended because he was just trying to help.  I wasn't mad; I didn't know she would drink it, and then sleep so long either.

When I started pumping I was getting that much out, and froze it in 5 oz increments, but since it's harder to get much out (which is normal apparently), I usually freeze in 2 oz portions so it doesn't get wasted.  I had to dump a few ounces the other day and I was sad.  That took me 30 minutes to an hour to get.  Breast milk really is liquid gold.

Also she is getting really good about focusing on something.  She watched the fan for several minutes yesterday.

One of her favorite books to look at and read.  I love this book too!

Milk Coma


Still in sweatpants/yoga pants and maternity bottoms.  I'm mostly okay with that.  I have my follow up appointment next week and I might start doing some more light exercising after that.

I wasn't happy about Rob going away for 3 nights/4 days to hunt this weekend but I accepted it.  He got permission to hunt property right by where he sometimes hunts, and he's going to do that Friday evening since he sees deer there at that time.  That means he won't go up north until Friday night/Saturday if he does go.  That makes me feel a lot better.

I went to the grocery store this last week and while I'd been away from her for a few times (max 30 minutes) I was gone for an hour and a half, which was the longest ever. It was nice, but at the same time I just couldn't wait to get back to her.

This is kind of a weird thing and I'm not sure there is a connection, but whenever I nurse her (or more often than not) my armpits itch.

I started using the nipple shield again.  I hadn't used it for almost a week but I had to because the pain was getting really bad again.

And speaking of pain, my stomach has been hurting me a lot this week.  It's not painful really, just more discomfort.  Sometimes it's a dull throbbing feeling. I haven't used pain meds though.

I'm still a hormonal mess sometimes.  I was nursing Eleanor this morning and watching Good Morning America and there was a marriage proposal and I got all emotional thinking about Eleanor getting married someday.  Yeah. I'm pathetic.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Favorite Things: 1 month edition

Now that we have hit the one month mark (um...what?)  I figured it would be a good time to share some of our favorite things that we have used this past month.

1) Snuza:  I don't think I would sleep at night without this thing.  It is a motion sensor that clips on to Eleanor's diaper and detects breathing.  If she stops breathing for 15 seconds it vibrates, and at 20 seconds an alarm sounds.  It's gone off a couple times because it was loose, but I still would rather false alarms than not at all.

This is probably one of my all time favorite baby products.  I have already looked into replacement batteries, but I think I'd have to go to a specialty battery shop.  Otherwise I will get another one as a backup.  It's  worth that much to me.

2) Rock n play: Eleanor sleeps in this at night next to my bed.  She loves it.  It cradles her and I think she feels secure in it.  I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about them and so I knew I had to have one.  I got mine from a garage sale for half the price in great condition, but I would have paid the full price for it.

3) Sleep sacks:  We tried a few different ones, but the ones that worked best was the Halo swaddle ones, because they have the zipper that zips up from the bottom which makes diaper changes much easier at night. Now she doesn't like to have her arms in, but they still help to keep her warm at night.\

3) Snugabunny bouncer:  She also really likes to sit in this and watch the birds, and will fall asleep in it often.

5) Newborn diapers.  We didn't buy any, but I'm thankful we were given some because they worked out a lot better the first few weeks than the size 1 diapers did.  The wetness indicator was a plus also.

6) My breast friend nursing pillow: My sister lent this to me and I am thankful because the other nursing pillow I had would have been to snug against my stomach.

7) Keyfit caddy stroller frame. I know I've made mention of this before, but I love this thing.  It's so easy to fold/unfold, it is pretty compact, and I love that the car seat just snaps in.  I've used it a lot on our neighborhood walks.  It's not the best handling stroller on uneven surfaces, but it does okay.

8) Quick snacks:  Granola bars and cheese sticks have become a staple for me.  I didn't realize how little time I actually would have to eat.   The s'mores granola bars are my favorite, but I haven't been able to find just a pack of them in stores.  I always have to get them in a mixed pack, but now that I know amazon sells just them, I will have to invest in some.

9) Ibabylog app.  I have it for my iphone so I don't know if it's just available for apple or android as well.  This app is free and has been a lifesaver.  It keeps track of everything you could want it to.

 There is the obvious one of feedings.  It tracks nursing sessions from which side to the length of each feed to how long in between to how many per day.  It tracks bottle feedings to how long and how much was given.  It also tracks diaper changes (including wet or dirty and if dirty what kind).  You can also use it to track doctors visits, baths, medicine, pumping sessions, sleep etc...  I'm so glad I found this app.

And like I said it's totally FREE! I'm cheap, or better put frugal, but I would have paid for this app.   It can even be synced between phones etc... I have yet to do that though.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photo Gift Sites

I know the grandparents would love some sort of photo gift for Christmas.  I actually already have a mug for my dad with a picture of him and Eleanor, but I know that a calender, or a photo book would also make a great gift.

Here are a few sites that would be great for making photo gifts.

Animal Personality Quiz & Subscription Box

I don't have pets, and I'm not really an animal person, but this would be a fun quiz for those of you who are.


Even though I've yet to sign up for a subscription box I love that you can get one for just about everything, pets included.  Here is one for dogs.