Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday!
- ONE - I am loving my new Crystal Faye coffee mug and was excited to participate in an instagram coffee date with so many fabulous ladies this week!
- TWO - Charlotte friends, I have to brag on Lettuce Carry, a new grocery shopping experience offered in our area that allows you to shop online for your groceries and delivered to your door the next day! Lettuce Carry offers over 15,000 diverse items including a complete selection of fresh food (including local and organic), household items, health and beauty supplies, tobacco, beer and wine. I was generously offered $50 to try Lettuce Carry and decided to use this service for the first time earlier this week when I had no time to set foot in a grocery store and was really happy with all of the items that were delivered from avocados and beer to fresh dried fruit and deli cheeses. The cost of each item was about the same price I would pay for Harris Teeter groceries (minus VIC savings) and the delivery is free! Since I love grocery shopping (like, I really love it), I will probably continue to use this service during the weeks that I don't have time to leisurely peruse the Teeter aisles. Lettuce Carry also offers gift cards which make for great gifts for new Charlotte moms!
- THREE - I haven't had to cook much lately because we've had lots of awesome friends bring us meals. So the first real meal I've made since birth requires documentation - grilled chicken salad with cucumber, blueberries, avocado and egg!
- FOUR - Now that Caroline has arrived I am finally able to enjoy the Shandy's that I've been looking forward to for awhile! Since Teeter offers a build-your-own 5 pack, I stocked up on a variety to test out what my go-to shandy for summer will be. I've really loved all of them. Any recommendations on others?
- FIVE - Your weekly dose of Caroline: Aunt Lindsey (and Uncle Ryan) came to visit (and help!) last weekend // Caroline's new Infanteenie Beenie arrived this week and I'm pretty much obsessed // Family selfie during our Emergency diaper run to Target // Charlie gaining more interest in his sister and alerting us for diaper changes
 Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
  1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!). 2.)  Share the logo on your blog and link back. 3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Infanteenie Beenie {Winner}!

Thank you to everyone to entered the Infanteenie Beenie Giveaway! And a huge thank you to Infanteenie Beenie for hosting such an amazing giveaway!
Congratulations to Stasia on winning your choice of any Infanteenie Beenie (up to $19.99)! Check your email!
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
And just because I can't help myself...
 Make sure to visit the Infanteenie Beenie Etsy Shop, Facebook Page and Website

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! It's hard to believe I have a two-week old on my hands these days. Since this is my first Friday back to the link-up since our little on debuted and because my camera roll is completely filled to capacity with pictures of my sweet pea, today you're getting 5 of my favorite pictures of Miss Caroline!
- ONE - We received the sweetest gift from my friend and co-host, Natasha! Caroline absolutely loves her adorable new Molly & Millie Chevron Bubble from Sugar Bit!
- TWO - We've been getting out a lot this week to meet Daddy for lunch.
 - THREE - Don't forget to enter my Infanteenie Beenie Giveaway for a chance to win an adorable little hat for your favorite newborn!
- FOUR - The best snuggles are post-bath!
- FIVE -  After extending her trip an additional week, my mom left yesterday and I've been sad ever since. I already miss having her delicious home cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner every night (not to mention the help with laundry, vacuuming, walking Charlie, watering our plants, running errands, grocery shopping, etc.)! Thankfully my sister and her hubby are coming in today to spend a few days with us! 
Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
  1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!). 2.)  Share the logo on your blog and link back. 3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Her First Bow {Infanteenie Beenie GIVEAWAY}

It took me months to decide on the outfit Caroline would wear home from the hospital. I don't think I have ever obsessed so much over a piece of clothing since picking out my wedding dress! I knew I wanted something simple, traditional, monogrammed, pink, soft and of course include {her first} bow. I shopped and shopped and shopped until I finally came across the perfect little newborn beenie from Infanteenie Beenie.
  I immediately knew this high quality, made by hand hat was the one for Caroline and purchased it right away. Unsure of how little Caroline would be at birth, I really appreciated the guarantee that the hat would fit and stay snug to all newborns. As promised, her hat fit her perfectly and she loved it...and so did all the nurses! I can't tell you how many nurses came by just to see Caroline in her little bow beenie!
Once we arrived home I emailed Missy Woolf, owner, maker, designer and curator of Infanteenie Beenie to tell her how much everyone loved Caroline's beenie. She was so sweet and generously offered to give away one of her adorable beenies (up to $19.99) to one of my readers!
Whether you're having a baby boy, girl, twins or just picking up a gift for a new mommy-to-be, Infanteenie Beenie offers tons of hat options for precious little newborns. A few of my favorites...
Now for the hard part...picking out a beenie from all of the adorable options!
Shop Girl Beenies // Shop Boy Beenies // Shop Twins Beenies
Found a favorite yet? Use the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win your choice of any Infanteenie Beenie (up to $19.99)! The giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 28 and the winner will be announced on Thursday, May 29.
A little bit more about Infanteenie Beenie:

  Born on April 16, 2012,"Infanteenie Beenies" are the only newborn hats GUARANTEED to fit & stay snug on all newborns! Whether you have been blessed with a bouncing baby boy or a sweet little girl, your baby will have the best quality hat during their hospital visit. Just hand the beenie to your nurse right after delivery and your baby will instantly have comfort, warmth & style in one bundle! Better yet, your baby will make a bold impression in the nursery and all their first photos will look absolutely amazing. These hats are handmade from newborn hospital hat material allowing you to keep the traditional newborn nursery look, with added style for your newest addition. 
  Make sure to visit the Infanteenie Beenie Etsy Shop, Facebook Page and Website.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Caroline's Birth Story

I woke up bright and early on my due date, May 6, excited and hopeful that our 40 week checkup scheduled for that afternoon would bring us good news. When we arrived to our appointment we were immediately hooked up to a monitor for a stress test to measure the baby's heartbeat, kicks and contractions. All looked good so we proceeded to the exam where we found out I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. That was great news, but still not progress I had hoped for. Our doctor estimated that given my progress he was betting she would come two days later and stripped my membranes for some insurance.
 Caroline Grace Marcellino
May 7, 2014 at 4:42 p.m.
6 pounds, 11 ounces
19 inches long
That evening I felt crampy, like really crampy. I went to bed early and woke up around midnight with contractions that were 6-10 minutes apart, lasting for about a minute each. For 4 hours I laid awake timing my contractions until they got so intense that I decided to squeeze in one last bath in hopes we'd be packing the car for the hospital later that morning. Although the frequency of my contractions wasn't changing, the intensity certainly was, so around 8 am Matt called the hospital and discussed my symptoms and contraction patterns with the nurse on call. She instructed us to come in. We packed the car and Matt dramatically sped to the hospital like he was acting out a labor scene in a movie. He detoured through parking lots to avoid traffic lights, cut people off, used the horn and doubled the speed limit. Okay, not really, but I should also mention we live less than a mile from the hospital.
By 9 a.m. we were checked into triage, dressed in a hospital gown, hooked up to an IV and my epidural had been ordered (I didn't waste any time asking for it)! After two bags of saline were administered, we were admitted into our labor & delivery room and I finally received my epidural. This was by far the most painful experience I had throughout labor. Matt almost fainted from watching the process and I cried from the pain. However, a few minutes later I was happy, happy, happy once the drugs set in and from there on out I was all smiles. My epidural was perfect and I was so thankful to still be able to feel my legs for pushing but no pain at all. Since I was up all night from the contractions I took a nice long nap for the next few hours.
Around 1 pm Matt's parents arrived to the hospital and awaited Caroline's arrival. About 45 minutes later the nurses came to check on me and informed us that I was 5 cm dilated and they were going to break my water to speed things up.
During the next few hours I took another long nap, snacked on ice chips, played on my iPad, listened to music, texted our friends and Matt journaled about our labor.
At 4 pm the nurse came back to check on me and excitedly told me that I was 10 cm dilated and that the baby's head was already coming down the canal! She ran to get the doctor and told me that I would be pushing in less than 10 minutes! Matt and I couldn't believe it. Within minutes we were about to have our sweet baby girl in our arms and I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of our labor! We hugged, kissed and prayed. In came lots of nurses, equipment and the doctor. We were given the option to watch our birth in a mirror and although everyone advised me against it we opted to do it and I'm so glad we did! Matt was able to comfort and hold me while we watched Caroline enter the world together. It also really helped motivate me to push because I could see her coming with each push.
I know it sounds crazy but I smiled and giggled through the entire labor. The nurses kept telling me they've never seen any mom so smiley during labor. I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt. After 15 minutes of pushing Caroline literally popped out at 4:42 p.m. and Matt cut the cord! She came so fast and the sound of her first little cry made my entire world stop and time stood still in that moment. She was immediately placed onto my chest while the nurses wiped her down and there she stayed for the next hour. Within minutes of being placed on my chest we locked eyes and Caroline gave me the best present I could ever receive - her first smile. Her beautiful eyes were wide open and she was incredibly alert as she reached up and touched my face over and over again. 
After her first feeding (she did great!), Caroline was measured, weighed, bathed and her footprints stamped.
Later that evening we were notified that our postpartum room was ready for us. As we started packing up the nurses tried to get me up for the first time. I made it a few steps before I fainted and fell to the floor. Matt was an absolute mess. I woke up to a tube of ammonia under my nose and a blurry vision of tons of nurses standing over me telling me I was in the hospital and had just given birth. After awhile they moved me back to the bed, pumped two more bags of saline into my system, gave me some sugar and I napped for an hour. Matt paced the room frantically and continued to ask the nurses tons of questions. I've never seen him more worried in my life and the nurses referred to him as the "worry wart dad" for the rest of our stay. After that exhausting ordeal our nurse had us upgraded to a nicer postpartum suite with a beautiful skyline view of Charlotte.
Over the next two days the grandparents visited with us, a few girlfriends stopped by, we rested, recovered, changed lots of diapers, learned how to breastfeed and got to know our little babe. The nurses were so wonderful and we had such a great experience. 
On Friday we were discharged and so excited to get home and introduce Caroline to Charlie. As we exited the maternity center we got to turn the lullaby key which plays a lullaby throughout the entire hospital. It was such a sweet way to say goodbye.
 {first car ride home}
Since coming home we have been absolutely smitten with our little girl. We are finally getting the hang of feeding, sleeping, changing, etc. and our sweet babe is starting to sleep nice long stretches (3-4 hours) through the night which has been great. My mom has been staying with us and it is so nice to have her help, especially with Matt going back to work (today). Mom and I get out of the house quite a bit to run errands, shop, eat lunch, etc. and I never have to worry about cooking, cleaning, walking Charlie, laundry, watering the plants, running to the grocery store, etc. I'm going to be so sad when she leaves.
Caroline is also doing so great and has already had two routine check ups. She smiles quite a bit, has really strong legs and arms, can lift her head and roll to her side already. She rarely cries unless she's hungry and she absolutely loves getting baths!! She and Charlie are still getting acquainted. The first few days he was pretty terrified of her but is now warming up to her and checks on her when she stirs.
Thank you all for your prayers and support through our pregnancy and labor. The emails, calls, texts, blog comments, flower deliveries, gifts, cards and visitors have poured in these past 10 days and we feel so loved and blessed.
Blogging tips