spring sunnies

By Nicole.

We’re back with Zappos today and I am happy to share my favorite Spring sunnies! Adding on-trend accessories is such an easy way to update my wardrobe. I tend to stick to pretty, classic pieces in my wardrobe, but when it comes to accessories I love to take more risks. Here’s what I’m loving from Zappos’ collection and you can check out Emily and Jenna’s picks here!

First, these floral frames from Dolce and Gabbana:Spring SunniesSo perfect for Spring, right? I love to pair these with a Springy top and finish it off with a fresh scent. These sunnies and linen criss-cross top went with me on a cruise a few weeks ago.Spring Sunnies  Here’s one more way to wear those perfect soft chambray blues this Spring. Totally loving this trend!Spring SunniesThe next pair I am loving this season is the Elizabeth & James two tone “Crawford” is so gorgeous in person and has gotten me a million compliments already. I love that the colors go with any outfit, and that the white is a soft almost translucent grey so it looks luxe. Spring SunniesAnd lastly, this Stella McCartney pair is so timeless. I know I can wear these until I’m seventy and they will always be chic. I love them paired with a fresh, crisp button down.Spring SunniesAs we said in our last post, we’ve found that investing in sunglasses when you have the right company backing them is everything. Knowing that we have Zappos to turn to with any issues is everything! They are all about providing that “WOW” through their service and it shows. We so appreciate it and frankly, don’t shop online unless customer service is  a company’s priority and shipping is fast and free, both of which Zappos pioneered.Spring Sunnies Maybe investing in a whole designer wardrobe isn’t happening right this second, but we love making these more affordable additions from the fashion houses we love and admire. Check out their crazy amazing selection of Spring sunnies here, good luck trying to pick!

Thanks to Zappos for sponsoring this post, one of our favorite, favorite companies with which we are always proud to partner!

ruby’s studio

When we take an inventory of the things that worry us about our little guys it seems to be the social and emotional well-being that takes up the most brain space. When we send them out the door to school it’s a constant flow of hopes and worries: Are they being polite, are they being friendly, do they know how to ask for help if someone is being mean to them, do they feel comfortable and safe? The list goes on and on. When we heard about Ruby’s Studio presented by The Mother Co. – a 10 part series that covers a huge range of the topics right up our worrying mama alley we knew we had to share! Check out the trailer:

Ruby’s Studio recently released their newest episode The Siblings Show! And suddenly we were reminded of the best thing we ever gave our kids, their siblings! Luckily, they each have a sibling or two to help them fine-tune these types of interactions. A safe place to learn and grow, to make mistakes and try again.  The Siblings Show episode specifically focuses on learning new tools to resolve conflict, boost harmony, and celebrate family, all while enjoying a day of creative play with their cutest show host, Ruby, and all her darling buddies. Our boys went crazy over this episode, we all loved all the creativity and singing, but in a stylish and calming way (is there anything worse than an obnoxious TV show?)  Also, hearing that validation that sometimes being a sibling is hard and that’s okay, seemed to really stay with them.RUBY-A-881x499

The Mother Co. who brings this show to us has awesome additional products like books, music downloads and the series, too! This show feels so nostalgic for us, we remember as kids having similar TV shows that we loved to watch and this feels like an instant classic! We knew with so many of our readers raising preschoolers just like we are we had to share! See all the available episodes on Amazon!

Ruby’s Studio: Series Trailer from The Mother Company on Vimeo.

Earth Day!

With Earth Day coming up we’ve been researching brands + companies that give back to this very special planet. Sweden’s #1 clothing brand for kids and babies Polarn O. Pyret offers a ton of eco-friendly clothing for little ones, but even better for Earth Day, they are helping moms recycle clothing through their continued partnership with ThredUp, the largest online consignment store.

Here’s how it works: Anyone who wants to recycle their kids’ clothing can contact PO.P at thredup@polarnopyretusa.com to receive free ThredUp bags in the mail.  Stuff the bags full of gently used clothes (up to 10 pounds prepaid) and send them in.  ThredUp sells the gently used clothing online and gives a percentage back to the customer to spend on new clothes at Polarn O. Pyret, either in store or online.  It’s a win-win: clean out your kids’ closets and get money to spend on new clothes for the season, like these great spring basics.polarncollage polarncollage2To order your back click here. It’s seriously so easy. Now get Spring Cleaning!

 

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Adoption Story: Rasmussen Family

It is always so incredible to us to read and see how much a woman will endure on the road to starting a family. To some it comes easy, to others it is a fight from start to finish. Read this eye-opening post with one happy ending to see what we mean!
adoptionweek

John and I got married in September of 2006 and got pregnant for the first time in January of 2008. I will admit, this pregnancy was not planned but we were excited. Needless to say, I never made it to my first prenatal appointment. I lost the baby around 5 weeks. My OB/GYN would go on to call this a “chemical pregnancy” which basically means that your body says it’s pregnant but nothing really ever started to develop.
We got pregnant for the second time in July of 2008. This one was planned, but as I look back on it now I wonder what we were thinking :) We were young, in love, and eager to start growing our family. After a handful of positive pregnancy tests, we were ecstatic. However, I would go on to miscarry on Labor Day weekend. I met with my doctor the week following and she very kindly and gently explained that there was nothing I did or didn’t do but just something that happens sometimes. Although that was comforting to hear, it still didn’t ease the pain. My mind raced going over every last detail of what I ate, my activities, etc. I couldn’t come up with an answer, we had done everything right and I knew that I would drive myself crazy if I didn’t just accept the fact that sometimes it just happens and we can’t explain it.Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.13.56 PM

So fast forward 4 years…..
I don’t want to confuse anyone, we weren’t trying to get pregnant. Life has an interesting way of working itself out. John and I would go through job losses, moving in with his parents, finding new jobs, finding a more permanent place to live, and so on. The timing just never seemed right to try starting a family again. To be honest though, when is the time ever right? We decided though that we would start trying again in the fall of 2012. Just a little disclosure, we have only ever tried for 1 month. The getting pregnant part has never been a problem. This time was no different. We got a positive pregnancy test at the end of September. Tears flowed down our faces but we were both cautiously optimistic. My first appointment was set for the middle of October. It didn’t dawn on me to have John come. In my experience, the first appointment always involved a lot of handouts and brochures and most likely no ultrasound. However, because of our experience last time, I got an ultrasound. The baby (but really just the sac) was measuring right on track at almost 6 weeks. It didn’t look like much but according to the experts it looked right. They wanted me to come back in a week for another ultrasound to make sure that things were progressing.

We went in on October 18th and already the baby was measuring behind which isn’t necessarily an immediate concern but they also couldn’t find the heartbeat they should be able to see at this point in a pregnancy. This obviously wasn’t good news but the ultrasound tech assured us that we could just be a little early, our dates could be a little off. They weren’t optimistic but still had a glimmer of hope. We went back in on October 25th for just one more ultrasound to see if anything had changed. Unfortunately, the baby was measuring way behind at this point and still no heartbeat. We were devastated. We thought that this time would be different. We were in a different place in our lives. I was healthier after losing almost 50 pounds. We had done everything right. I had been taking my prenatal vitamins, getting lots of sleep, eating lots of healthy food, and had cut out alcohol a month before even trying. All I kept coming back to was ” what did we do wrong?”

After meeting with our OB/GYN, I decided that I was going to wait and let my body miscarry on its own. It would be exactly 1 month before that would happen. I can honestly say I have never experienced so much pain in my life. Although I knew it was coming, it was horrible. At the same time, I was relieved it was over. After my recovery, we met with my OB/GYN who felt like it was just a fluke. Most miscarriages that happen that early are a result of a chromosomal error. Even then, it’s hard to know for sure. We did some pretty basic tests and everything came back normal. The funny thing about insurance companies is that they won’t cover any of the “in depth” testing until you have had 3 miscarriages. Since my first pregnancy was considered a “chemical pregnancy”, our tally was only at 2. My OB said to wait until I had a normal cycle and gave us the go ahead to try again. One thing we were going to try though was putting me on some extra Progesterone. Progesterone helps to sustain the pregnancy until the placenta takes over at about 10 weeks. Let me tell you, Progesterone suppositories are not fun. We will just leave it at that…
Come January, we were ready. Once again, I got pregnant right away. This time, we waited until I was almost 8 weeks pregnant for my first appointment. We went in on February 20th for our first prenatal appointment and ultrasound. We were SHOCKED when we saw a heartbeat and a baby that was measuring right on track. You see, we had come to expect the worst. We were more prepared for bad news than we were for good news. However, that bubble burst really quickly because the ultrasound tech was concerned about the heartbeat. It was measuring a little on the low side. We were instructed by the nurse practitioner to come back in about a week just to make sure the heartbeat had picked up. We went back in on February 25th and got the bad news, no heartbeat and a baby that was measuring behind. Seriously!? There was part of us that knew it was too good to be true but we had never gotten to this point before. We saw a heartbeat and a baby! What was going on!?Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.13.48 PM
Instead of waiting this time, we decided that I would have a D & C.  So now what?
Well, we were referred to the Center for Reproductive Medicine by my OB/GYN to meet with an infertility specialist. She explained that it wasn’t for infertility reasons because clearly we have no problem getting pregnant but for “recurrent pregnancy loss”. That makes it sound so nice, doesn’t it? She felt like it was time for us to go through some more invasive testing before we tried getting pregnant again. Luckily, our tally was now at 3 which meant that our insurance company would cover the appointments, tests, etc.

We met with the infertility specialist on April 23rd. She came up with a list of about 5 tests that she thought we should start with. A couple of them were simple blood tests, a genetic test, and a saline infused ultrasound to make sure that everything anatomically was fine. Everything came back normal, with the exception of the genetic test. We found out that I am a carrier for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA for short). I won’t go into detail explaining what it is, you can look it up if you want to, but it is a horrible, horrible genetic disorder and one of the most common causes of infant death. Children born with SMA normally don’t live past the age of 2. Now with most genetic disorders, in order for the child to be born with it, both parents have to be carriers. So, our next step was getting John tested. You see, they don’t test both of you at the same time because unless one of you comes back as a carrier of something, it doesn’t matter if the other one is or not. John went in for his test on June 4th and we got the news we were dreading on June 11th. John is also a carrier of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. What are the odds, you ask, of both parents being a carrier of SMA? I think they are about 1 in 4,800. As one of my dear friends put it, “we are a special breed”. Basically it means that we have a 1 in 4 chance every time we get pregnant of having a baby with SMA. We can also produce a carrier of SMA which means down the road they will have to go through the same genetic testing that we did with their future spouse.

The interesting thing about this though is that it doesn’t necessarily explain our miscarriages. All of the doctors I have talked to have said that there is no correlation between SMA and miscarriages. So that’s great, we get this answer but it’s not really an answer at all.
So all that being said and without writing another novel, we decided to pursue domestic infant adoption. It’s funny how life works out sometimes because adoption is something that John and I have always talked about and always hoped to do someday. To be honest, part of us had always felt God pushing us in this direction. I think part of me was just too scared to listen. We officially started the process in October of 2014, were home study approved in January of 2015 and were officially matched with our birth mom on March 11th. Our baby girl is due July 19th and we could not be more ecstatic. The journey to her has been long and full of many tears and doubts but it will have been worth EVERY single second.

More of the Rasmussen Family.

Hoping to Adopt: Cahoon Family

Our story like everyone’s story is unique and has come with challenges but most of all lots of joy. The short version of our story is my husband James was married before for 8 years to an amazing woman named Paige. Paige fought cancer for 6 of those years and due to her cancer was not able to bear children. So James and Paige adopted an amazing little girl that they named Esme. When Esme was 8 months old Paige’s cancer came back and she died 3 months later. After some time had passed James felt ready to begin the next chapter of his life. That’s when he met me and we got married. Wedding268I was so blessed to not only to marry an amazing guy like James but to get to be a mom to the best little girl ever. We were all blessed in this situation. Since we have been married we have been trying to have children on our own and between the 6 medical procedures we have had and all the money we have spent we were left empty handed. We want to add to our family more then words can say. But even more so Esme asks us daily when she gets to be a big sister. We have plenty of love to give to a child and hope that day comes soon.Hoping to Adopt: Cahoon Family

We loved this story and Stacey’s big heart, you can reach Stacey and the Cahoon family via email! jeppy11 @ yahoo.com