Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ten on Tuesday [No.50]

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I am having the hardest time ever keeping y'all updated with Ten on Tuesday posts! You haven't had one since this one in July!
But you've seen lots of other fun posts between then & now, so I'm not 100% slacking, at least.
Today I'm back with a fun roundup of things from around the internet, pics of life lately, and all kinds of fun whatnot that ToT is famous for.

Probably the biggest life update that we have going on over here is that we welcomed Baby Charlie home in September!
I posted his birth announcement, then his birth story, and then his one month update if you're interested in getting caught up with our little man.

Since bringing Charlie home, he's had lots of adventures. . .
 Meeting big brother, Forrest for the first time!
I can't wait to see them grow together & become best friends as Charlie gets older.
 He visited his MawMaw & PawPaw Upchurch, Chris' grandparents.
We were so excited to bring them their littlest grandson to meet.
He attended his first Inter Se meeting, which is a women's club that I'm a part of.
He of course was loved on by all the ladies!
 We had our first trip to the farm with him & although he doesn't look too thrilled in the picture, I think he loved it!
We sat down in the pasture & watched Daddy get up a steer we were taking to market and we checked out our replacement heifers-Charlie approved.
 He also went to his first birthday party, his future bestie Anna Claire turned one and we wouldn't have missed for anything!
 His first seasonal jammies-we love these Carter's jammies!
 We had our first date night as a family of three!
One of our favorite little spots is a restaurant down on the river where they have an awesome buffalo chicken pizza so we took Charlie there for our first night back on the town.
 He's been practicing his tummy time skills and loves it (as long as he can look out the window while he does it!)
And most of all-he turned one month old!
The blanket he's on in this picture was a quilt hand-quilted for me by my dad's mom-my MawMaw so that made it even more special!

We had beautiful newborn photos done by my favorite photographer & friend in the whole world-Amy-Cole Photography!
I'll be sharing more of these in a big post, so keep a look out!

I loved Cynthia's guide on how to plant a window box garden!
I've got a live list for my handy-man and one of the things on there is to build some hanging boxes for our patio space-I'm thinking they will be beautiful for Fall, filled with Fall Crocus, Lead Plant, or maybe just classic mums!

Mama's been working on slowly getting her groove back, so when my middle sister comes over a few times a week, we venture outside with Charlie and Forrest for neighborhood walks.
The weather has been awesome the past week so we've been loving getting out in the fresh air!

Y'all-I finally found the best basic tee from Old Navy (which is obviously sold out because it's awesome), but now I want to pick up the long-sleeved option for Fall!
They probably have more color options in store, but I'm loving the maroon that's online (it's the color I bought the basic tee in too!)
Plus, at only $15 you can't really beat that price.

Just a few more life updates. . .
 I dedicated an entire blog post that you can read here to us being named the 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family for the state of Alabama, but I just want to highlight this accomplishment in case you missed that post-Chris and I are just so thrilled to share our love of agriculture and are blessed to receive this honor as a family.
 After being named 2018 OYFF, we have been asked to speak at a few local meetings and had the honor of meeting our local state representative, Mike Rogers at one of those meetings.
Pardon my giant hair in this picture, but we were also asked to participate in "Cowboys in the Classroom" last week & with the local Cattlemen's Association we went and read to the students of our local elementary school and helped educate them about the beef cattle industry.

I have about zero sewing skills, but I also am trying not to spend a million dollars on this nursery for our little boy-so I'm trying to find ways to be frugal on things that "don't really matter" for example-the crib skirt.
I found a few that I like online, but they're all around $30 or upwards and I just think that's kind of crazy...so I googled, or Pinterested actually, and found a tutorial for a no-sew crib skirt that my sister & I attempted for the nursery and to be honest with you...it turned out pretty darn well. In fact, if I can convince her-we just might make another one in a different fabric!

Just a few farm and animal updates. . .
 The Sunday before we were induced, we spent our day with Willow (aka one of my horses) and Chris bathed and groomed her for me.
I hope that one day she'll be Charlie's horse & we'll all be able to ride together...but until then, I'll just be glad to be cleared to ride again!
 If you think we've forgotten all about Forrest you would be wrong-we still love our first born fur child more than ever.
However, a week from today he has an appointment at the University of Auburn's Vet School/Vet Clinic because he's been having some problems that started just after we brought Charlie home.
He started having pain while walking up the stairs (and our house has A LOT of stairs) and then stopped being able to go up them at all & also can't climb into/jump into a vehicle anymore.
He's a very large dog at 93 lbs so we can't just carry him around either.
Our local vet seems to think he might have a partially torn ACL or CCL (meaning surgery), so we want a second opinion before deciding on surgery.
So until his appointment/surgery Forrest has been living downstairs in our basement and getting regular potty breaks and loving/petting sessions each day...we look so forward to having him back upstairs with the whole family!
And just 'cause, I wanted to include this beautiful shot I took the day we brought Charlie to the farm for the first time-our girl's look good and all is right in the world.
And just a few more bonus pics/updates that never made it to the blog. . .
 The Cattlemen's Association hosted our first annual rodeo in our county and Chris is on the board, so we were there both nights-y'all it was SO fun!
I can't wait for next year already (and am so glad that I won't be pregnant for the next one!)
 Chris' sweet cousin Haley got married on Charlie's due date, but he held off so we could make it to the wedding 😉
It was such a beautiful ceremony and reception!
And I never got to share this picture, but the sweet ladies at our church threw us a baby shower!
Everything was beautiful & now that Charlie has been born and his name has been revealed, I can finally share the details from both of my showers with y'all!

Well, that was a huge picture & brain dump-but I hope y'all enjoyed it!
Hopefully I won't wait so long to do the next Ten on Tuesday 😊

Until next time. . .

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Charlie: One Month

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 Y'all-I cannot believe that our sweet Charlie is already ONE MONTH OLD!
It seems like just yesterday we were waiting on him, then I shared his birth story, and now here I am with his first monthly update on the blog.
Weight: I'll have to return with both of these on Monday after his one month checkup!

This is seriously the most irritating thing y'all-baby clothes sizing is just as bad, if not worse than grown up clothing sizes!
Charlie can still wear most of his newborn things, but they're getting pretty tight and probably won't last but a few more weeks. He can fit pretty well in some three month things (like the orange/blue outfit) but other 0-3 things are huge on him!

Charlie sleeps pretty well for a one-month old. He's a rockstar of a napper, but when we go to put him in his bassinet at night he doesn't really love that.
He has a "witching hour" between 9-12 where he doesn't really want to sleep, so we're trying to get past that.
Once he's asleep at 12 though, he really only wakes up once in the middle of the night.

He's eating every 2-3 hours during the day, and gets a little bit of a longer stretch at night.
He typically doesn't stay awake too long after I feed him, but when he is awake-man is he alert!

Our little boy has been so healthy from day one and we do not take it lightly how blessed we are for that.
I don't know if I can attribute that to him being a 100% breastfed baby, but I'm hoping that I'm doing my part in trying everything I can to keep him healthy.
(And yes, fed is best-no mom shaming here on this blog!) 

He really honestly only cries when he's hungry or wants his diaper changed. He also isn't crazy about being buckled into his car seat or when clothes are too-involved and I have to do a lot of buttoning or moving things over his head.

Riding in the truck
Going for walks in the neighborhood

Dirty/wet Diapers
Waking up alone (when he's in the bassinet in our room and we're in the living room/kitchen)
When Forrest licks his foot 🙈
Being in the carseat when we aren't moving/going anywhere

Being born/Coming home!
Our sweet boy is trying really hard to hold his head up and it makes me really happy and kind of sad all at the same time-it's all going so quickly

Places You've Gone:
The Pediatrician
Anna Claire's first birthday party!
The Farm
Nana & PawPaw's House
Gran & Papa's House
To the Barn for my Inter Se meeting (all the ladies loved you!)
Talladega/Calhoun County Young Farmer's Meeting (your very first YF meeting!)

Y'all, I'm going to be really, really honest here.
I was terrified of the postpartum part of pregnancy!
Everyone tells you how awful it is and all the internet/Pinterest posts tell you that no one tells you how bad it really is-so I'm thinking, it's going to be really bad...but it wasn't!
I honestly felt great from the time I got into my recovery room at the hospital, but I felt really really good when I got home.
My pain level was basically a 0 by the time I got home and just finding a routine and hitting our groove has been the best thing for me.
I'm doing okay with the sleep, if I need to catch a nap I can do that early in the mornings, but most days I don't even need one.

I'm super thankful that I didn't gain a whole lot of weight while pregnant & now all of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit, heck some clothes I couldn't wear pre-pregnancy fit!
I credit all of that to being pretty conscious of what I ate and my activity level during pregnancy as well as afterwards, I'm just so much more thoughtful of how I fuel my body now.
This is an absolute must-have, especially for breastfeeding Mama's!
I'm so thirsty all of the time, so I try to keep my big Yeti full of ice and water at all times and within arms reach so that I always have hydration on hand.
This app was recommended to me by one of our nurses at the hospital to help us get in a schedule with Charlie's feeds (we had been writing them down on the marker board and it just got to be too much to keep up with there).
This app is really simple to use & keeps data on his wet/dirty diapers as well if you're trying to keep up with all of that data too.
I know that the use of pacifiers in breastfed babies is debatable, but Charlie has taken a bottle (when we were supplementing with pumped milk) from the beginning and has had his wubbanub from basically day 2 when he was under the bili-lights.
We've never had a problem with nipple confusion yet!
He has a regular Soothie paci that we let him use in his bassinet at night, but his wubbanub stays in his mouth so much better when we can watch him.
This was highly recommended to us & we love it! In fact, Charlie is sleeping in it right now as I type out this post.
This one is automatic and has different noises as well that Charlie likes. We also use it to just bring him around to different places around the house with us because it folds up so easily and is super handy to bring around.
75% of the time, Charlie is in his pj's, it's just a fact of life with a newborn!
These Carter's ones are a personal favorite.
They zip up, making them really easy for nighttime changes and are lightweight but warm enough that he only has to wear those at night.
They're inexpensive, wash well, and come in tons of patterns.
A lot of people who buy these seem to not like them, but I really love our Bassinest!
Like I've mentioned, Charlie isn't the best about going down-but once he's asleep for the night he sleeps really well in the Halo.
I love the swivel feature and how the legs go under our bed, so that he's right beside my side of the bed making it really easy for me to check on him throughout the night.
This didn't make it onto the graphic, but it should've because we use it nightly and it's been a big source of comfort for both Chris and I.
We just strap the little sock on him under his footie pajamas before bed & turn it on through the base station or the app.
It monitors his heart rate and oxygen levels and will alert us if either one drop or get too high throughout the night.
This will definitely be a must for us when he moves into his nursery too!
 If you had any products that your baby's loved for months 2+, please let me know below!
Until next time. . .

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Shop for a Cure

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It's so difficult to believe how fast this year has gone by...how is it already October?!
I know now that we have Charlie, time is going to fly by even faster so I'm trying to enjoy each and every second.
Cherishing each and every moment is so important in our lives, but even more so in the lives of those that have been touched by any type of cancer-but breast cancer in the month of October. My Mother-in-Law bravely fought and beat breast cancer, so we especially choose to celebrate this month in honor of her battle.
I always try to do a round-up of items from brands that give back, but not only do I share them with you-I also try to let you know how much of each purchase is given back and where it's given back to, because that is very important as well!
Remember that the holidays are coming up & so many of these products would make amazing Christmas gifts that go toward a good cause. 💖🎀

BECCA will donate $8 from the purchase of each of these highlighters to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation from September 1, 2018-November 30, 2018. 
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 5% of the purchase price will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
100% of U.S. sales benefit Bright Pink, which is a non-profit dedicated to prevention & early detection of breast and ovarian cancers in young women. 100% of Canadian sales benefit Rethink Breast Cancer, a charity that supports young women affected by breast cancer.
For each spray purchased, 20% of the purchase price is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Alex & Ani will donate 20% of the purchase price with a minimum donation of $25,000 between January 2018-December 2018 to the American Cancer Society.
30% of proceeds will be donated to Bright Pink, a leading national non-profit focused on prevention & early detection of breast & ovarian cancer in young women.
Sales of this brush support the Look Good Feel Better Foundation, which is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. 
For every duo purchased, Bobbi Brown will donate $17 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
For each bottle purchased, Bloomingdales will donate $19 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
GlamGlow will donate 20% of the purchase price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with a maximum donation of $50,000 between 9/1/2018-12/31/2018.
An unnamed portion of these proceeds go to METAvivor.
In addition, there is an entire page of Julep products in their Let's Get Closer to the Cure collection that qualify to donate.
Make sure to enter the code THINKPINK at checkout to qualify your purchase as well as to receive the free Lip Addiction in Covet for free.
Lilly will donate $26,000 will go to support Bright Pink.
Lilly also has additional products in this "Print with Purpose" collection.
Throughout the entire month of October, a portion of proceeds of these two styles of sandals will go to Breast Cancer Research.
From October 1, 2018-October 31, 2018, Kendra Scott is donating 20% of the purchase price of this collection up to $125,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 
In addition to that, for every piece purchased from this collection, Kendra Scott will donate a gift of jewelry and a handwritten note of encouragement to a woman undergoing cancer treatment.
During the month of October, Vera Bradley will match every dollar you donate to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, up to a maximum contribution of $100,000.

I hope that you take the time to go through this list & perhaps you'll make a purchase that will donate to one of the charities that means the most to you, or just make a donation (or perform an act of kindness!), or just say a prayer or send a positive thought to those who are undergoing treatment, are losing their battles, to the families and the friends and all of the people effected by this disease.

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Charlie's Birth Story

Professional Photos by Amy-Cole Photography

I have been trying to find time in this crazy new phase of life to sit down & put these words down somewhere, whether in a journal or here on the blog and I'm so glad I was able to steal a few minutes to do just that!

As you all probably know from this announcement/introduction post, but we welcomed our first baby-a little boy, Charles "Charlie" Levi Upchurch into the world on September 13th, 2018 at 11:35 PM & this is his story. . .

The Friday before; September 7th, I was about to hit 41 weeks pregnant and my doctor had requested we come in for an ultrasound, just to check on our boy & make sure he was still doing okay since I was right at my due date of the 8th. He checked out great on his ultrasound & we were given the go-ahead to wait until the following Monday (my regular appointment day) to come back in for a non-stress test & to make a final decision for our boy.
On that Monday, the non-stress test went really well, but rather than just waiting to go into labor naturally, we opted to be induced on Wednesday the 12th because my doctor wouldn't be available starting Friday the 14th at lunch until the following Monday and it was very important to me that she be there, if possible!

So, on Wednesday the 12th Chris & I headed towards Birmingham for one last little afternoon out before we had to check in to the hospital at 5. We went out for dinner & dessert, we just enjoyed our time together as a family of 2 before becoming 3! (Or four, because Forrest 😉)
 One last selfie before heading into the hospital & then one last selfie before we got everything started Wednesday night! (PS doesn't everyone want one of those stylish hospital gowns?!)
Wednesday night was pretty tame, we got everything ready for Thursday morning & tried our best to get some rest.
Thursday AM, my nurse was in bright & early to get us ready for my doctor. She came in at 7 AM, broke my water and got us dosed up for the day, then she said she'd be back around lunchtime.
Needless to say, when she returned I had made 0 progress, still stuck around a 3 or 4.
In fact, despite everyone's best efforts by 4 PM there still wasn't much progress going on & the term c-section was starting to be mentioned, which of course I wasn't in favor of if I could help it.
My doctor sort of gave me the deadline of having to make progress by 6 PM or we were going to have to start thinking about changing our course of action, so I really started praying that things were going to be cranking up.
I had an epidural around lunchtime, so I needed an extra boost twice and it still didn't give me the relief that everyone says it does-so I was in some pretty intense pain by this point, but I was totally committed to doing whatever it took for us to bring our boy into this world-hopefully without surgery!

When my doctor came back to check on me, she had great news-I was progressing!
So, basically after several hours of waiting and praying that we would get to this point, we started pushing around 8 or 9 (y'all-time really flies by when you're trying to get a baby out!) and he arrived at 11:35 PM. It couldn't have worked out better (except for maybe a little earlier ;) ) but our photographer was there & that meant the world to me, and both of our families were in the waiting room. 💙
The first moments with our boy were so sweet.
He unfortunately swallowed some meconium when he was born, so we didn't get to hold him as soon as he was born-but it was just a few short moments after & Christopher still got to cut the cord.
I couldn't have been happier with my choice of doctor & the team of nurses and medical professionals I had while in the hospital. They all knew how badly I wanted this birth to go as I had envisioned and they worked with me to get me to my goal.

Our sweet little man was born with the most beautiful head full of hair!
His daddy finally got to hold him before we headed up to our hospital room, he had been itching to get ahold of our boy for the longest time!
He was and is absolutely smitten. 💙
When we got upstairs to our room, the sweetest nurse in the world helped me get ready & into the bed, then gave Charlie his first bath (including washing all of that hair!) right in the room with us.
Then, Christopher brought all of our family in to see him-such a sweet moment!
Almost as sweet as when he brought me a giant meal of chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and corn nuggets because I hadn't eaten anything for 24 hours! 😂
On our first full day, the pediatrician with hospital expressed a little concern over Charlie's bilirubin levels, so he had to spend some time under the lights, but was still able to do so in our room.
Chris & I hated to see him cry because he didn't like being exposed after being swaddled, but it was necessary.
In fact, we ended up staying a full extra day after I was officially discharged because his levels were borderline.

My sweet husband knows just how much I love getting flowers & we definitely needed something to brighten up our hospital room, so he arranged for his mom to bring some flowers when his parents came to visit us on Friday night-they were so beautiful!
Also, our hospital does something called "Birthday Boxes" where they send each new baby a box with birthday hats, a mini birthday cake, an engraved baby spoon, a onesie, etc. Just a lot of cute little things to celebrate being born-it was precious!
On Sunday morning, we were up bright & early hoping to be discharged & the pediatrician didn't disappoint-we were able to go home...Chris & I have never packed up a room so fast before!
(I also don't think I've ever posted a makeup-free photo on the blog before, but I definitely didn't care about wearing makeup that day...I just wanted to be back at home as fast as possible!)

My sweet mother-in-law & our neighbors both showered us with sweet blue ribbons to welcome us home, both on the door & on our mailbox! We absolutely love our family & friends-they made coming home even better than we imagined.
When we got home, we had to have a little birthday party to celebrate Charlie's homecoming-so we pulled out the birthday hats & his little birthday cake and celebrated our baby boy.

Sweet cousins 💖
 Chris' parents celebrating our boy!
 Another makeup-less picture, but who cares because Charlie is the only one anyone is looking at ;)
Aunt Trystan and the cousins 💛

 Charlie was born just thirty minutes before Chris' birthday, so when we got home we celebrated Chris' birthday too-of course Forrest had to join in on the fun too!

My parents love baby Charlie!
This was Charlie's coming home outfit-you can't really see it but even the ear tag on the calf has his initial!
Big Brother Forrest loves his little brother Charlie-they're so sweet together & I cannot wait to watch them grow up together.

Well, that's Charlie's story-of how he got here & the first few days with him.
It's hard to believe he's already two weeks old & growing and changing each and every day.
We are absolutely in love!

Until next time. . .