Henry

Today, you are five weeks old. You smile constantly and really hate having gas. I think you may be the only baby in the world who enjoys having a diaper change. Your favorite place to sleep in as close to me as possible and you sometimes sleep 5(!!!) hours straight. You recently found your thumb and it’s the cutest thing ever. You love daddy’s funny faces and you’ve started trying to do them back to him. I swear your eyelashes grow longer everyday.
I can see you growing right before my eyes. You are so loved. I hope you feel that every single day.

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Breastfeeding

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To put it simply, breastfeeding is hard. I envisioned myself while I was pregnant as breastfeeding beautifully with a huge supply leftover in my refrigerator so I could take luxurious naps and we would always have extra milk.

I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who can do this and I may be able to some day but the first couple of weeks, I couldn’t. I remember it took about a week for my milk to come in and when it did it came in slow and I never felt like Henry was getting enough. We would nurse and nurse and nurse and he would just cry and I felt helpless. I would read countless forums and websites telling me that the first two weeks were the hardest and I just had to make it over that hurdle. I talked to so many different people and they all told me Henry was fine but I never felt sure of myself. He was having plenty of wet diapers but not many dirty diapers and he was sometimes going three days In between them. Everyone would tell me this was normal but Henry would be so uncomfortable that it always made me uneasy. I would sometimes nurse him and cry to Alex that I was failing and I couldn’t handle it. I felt so lost and helpless. I wanted to breastfeed so badly and I couldn’t let myself give it up.

So, I didn’t. I let him nurse. And nurse. And nurse. Sometimes it felt like the entire day was spent nursing and that was okay. I tried to keep my spirits up about it and I kept fighting for it.

Then at week three, I had milk. Henry could eat and was satisfied after 30 minutes or so and the dirty diapers started happening more frequently. I had a lactation consultant come over just for a final “everything’s fine” kind of meeting and Henry had gained a pound and 2 ounces in two weeks which is amazing progress.

I felt so much relief. For the first time since Henry was born I had faith in myself. The best way breastfeeding was described to me was that it takes 85% determination and 15% ability which makes total sense.

I had to fight for my milk, a fight I never thought I would have. I’m writing this because I feel like there’s a whole other side to breastfeeding that’s hardly talked about. I feel like so many women give it up because it seems too hard but they just don’t have the support or answers they should.

Breastfeeding used to be the most terrifying and stressful thing I did and now it’s one of the best and most satisfying. I get to feed my son the way I always dreamed of doing and it’s amazing feeling.

 

A few breastfeeding tips I learned that basically saved me and I wish I knew prior to having Henry:

Let him nurse. And nurse. And nurse. It will basically feel like the only thing you do in the beginning but it helps establish your milk supply so it’s a good thing. For us we spent a few days in bed, doing nothing but breastfeeding and skin to skin. It was definitely hard but also some of the best few days of us figuring each other out.

Water is your milk supply. I’ve noticed a definite difference in my milk if I had a lot to drink that day or not enough.
Don’t read forums. It’s just moms going back and forth on what worked for them and what didn’t and that doesn’t necessarily mean those things will work for you. Go straight to the source. Kellymom and La Leche League were the best places for me to get good advice.

Talk to someone. Breastfeeding is hard because you’re the only one who can do it and that feeling can be deeply overwhelming. I talked to everyone I could about breastfeeding gaining as much information as possible and comforting myself. I would also talk to Alex about all my concerns which really helped because he could put things in a different perspective that I may not have realized.

Get support. If you feel like something is wrong or you’re just unsure of how things are going, make an appointment with someone who specializes in breastfeeding. Hospitals have great resources and most pediatrician offices have lactation consultants on their staff. There are also lactation consultants out there who you can call or will come to you directly.

Don’t let yourself drown. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s a fight to keep your head above water but it’s so worth it. During week two I could have easily given up and just given Henry a bottle of formula. It would have been so easy and the thought crossed my mind way too many times. But I’m so thankful I pushed through because I’m so happy with where I am now.

It gets easier. It does. It may not seem like it but your body does figure it out and your milk supply evens itself out. It takes 6-8 weeks for your milk supply to be established and I’m not even there yet but I finally feel like I’m on the right track.

Enjoy it. When we were fighting for milk, sometimes it started to feel like a chore instead of it being a bonding experience between me and my baby and I hated that feeling. It was so easy to get wrapped up in my insecurities that I was forgetting to see the big picture. He will never be this little again. It was such a better experience for us when I remembered to take a step back and remind myself what it was I was actually doing.

 

Women are absolutely amazing. We grow this this person, birth them and then can sustain them with Just our bodies. I have such a bigger appreciation for women after going through this amazing journey.
Just know that with breastfeeding, you are not alone. It may feel that way but there are always people out there to talk to and to help.
I hope to do updates on this subject because I feel it’s something that is constantly changing and evolving. If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, I’m all ears! This has easily become one of my favorite subjects because of how passionately I feel about it. Never be afraid to talk to someone or to ask a “stupid” question. I’ve asked handfuls of people plenty of questions I thought were silly and they never treated them that way.
Breastfeeding is absolutely beautiful. But it sometimes takes work and can be extremely stressful to come out on the other side. But I can almost guarantee that all the women that do don’t regret how hard they had to work for it. I know I don’t.

One Month With Henry

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Like every mother says, I can’t believe Henry is one month old. This month felt so fast but also so extremely slow. We definitely had some up hill battles but now at the one month mark I am feeling really good.
The first week of Henry’s life was easily one of the most stressful yet amazing weeks of my life. We left the hospital the day after he was born feeling amazing. He was at birth weight when we left the hospital, his latch was great, and he was perfectly healthy. On top of that I was feeling fantastic.

 

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I definitely had some ups and down the first couple of weeks. I really felt like I was having troubles with my breast milk and would get so discouraged thinking he wasn’t eating enough. He gained a pound from his one week to two weeks so that definitely made me feel better but at around three and a half weeks I started feeling down about it again and saw a lactation consultant to really make sure he was fine and I was doing everything right. Turns out Henry just really likes to be nursing and we are doing everything perfect. I felt so much weight come off my shoulders. I definitely feel like breastfeeding is one of the hardest most rewarding things I have ever done and I plan to do a more in depth post about this soon.

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I plan to do one of these posts every month to help keep everyone updated and also a place to remember! Everything happens so fast and I don’t want to forget a single moment.

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Height/Weight:

Henry was 21 inches at birth and although we don’t have another check up until hes two month I can definitely tell he has grown! His legs don’t fit into any of our newborn sleepers any more!

He now weights 9 pounds 6 ounces. He weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces at birth and 8 pounds 6 ounces at his 2 week check up so I would definitely say we are on the right track!

Sleeping/Feeding:

Henry does this amazing thing where at around seven, hes ready for bed. He eats, falls asleep and will normally sleep until around 10. Wakes up, eats and falls back to sleep. Does this every 2-5 hours through the night until around 10 or so. It’s amazing! He still sleeps a bit during the day as well, but only if someone is holding him so its only about an hour or so.

He’s been eating like a champ. 100% breastmilk. Some days his gas really bothers him and the only thing that comforts him is nursing so I feel like we spend a lot of time doing that, which I don’t mind. We seem to be past the 3 week growth spurt and hes been back to cycling feeding. Normally every 1-3 hours during the day with a pretty constant need to be on me from 5-7. Like I mentioned prior, I really felt like we weren’t doing great with breastfeeding so to be in this good place now is such an amazing feeling.

Likes:

Looking out the window, getting kisses, baths, standing, looking at the string lights in our living room, me wearing him, being held(constantly), sleeping on daddy, and riding in the car.

Dislikes:

Anything we have to put him down in- stroller, swing, bassinet. Does not care for any of it(besides the car seat) Also doesn’t like being hungry, having gas, pacifiers and being cold.

Wears:

Mostly 0-3 months stuff now. He still fits into some newborn things but is too tall for the sleepers. He’s also still too small for a lot of the 0-3 month one pieces so he wears a lot of onesies and pants. We’re also trying to switch to his cloth diapers, its still a work in process so we will see how it goes!

Some Milestones:

-Had his first bath at 12 days old.

-Lost his umbilical cord at 6 days old.

-Started really smiling at around three weeks and now he doesn’t stop!

-Can lift his head like a champ.

-Has rolled over once, but it was on the bed and kind of seemed like an accident. Oh well, it counts.

-Has started cooing and making more sounds.

-Went on his first walk during his third week of life.

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I can’t believe its been a month. I love watching him grow and love him so much!

Henry Alexander

On January 16th at 4:57 p.m. We welcomed a baby boy! 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long. Both me and the baby are healthy and Alex and I are settling into our new life. The birth was definitely s whirlwind and I expect to share some of the story soon but for now we’re trying to focus on sweet Henry as much as possible! Thank you to everyone that has reached out, our hearts are so full!

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37 weeks

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Whew. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ve been wanting to update here, but I was waiting for some good news. I went to the doctors two weeks ago and my blood pressure was high so I had to do a 24 hour urine test. My doctor didn’t seem too concerned, since my urine test that day came back negative. Well, two days later the results came back and the proteins in my urine was high. Which is a sign for preeclampsia. I was quickly scheduled for baby monitoring, ultrasounds, blood work and more urine tests. Talk of an induction date was happening and I was starting to get really worried. Like I have mentioned before, Alex and I really wanted a natural birth. We’ve taken the classes and read all the books and really feel ready to handle this drug free. I felt so down about the thought of an induction, and even more so knowing it ups the chances for a c-section 50%.
When I went back to the doctor we did the baby monitoring and he looked great. Exactly where he should be and responding perfectly. I was ordered to do another 24 hour urine test, blood work and an ultrasound. My doctor said I was only two milligrams over the limit for the proteins in my urine and she thought maybe I was just dehydrated when I took the test. We started thinking I had just received two false negatives in a row but we really wanted to rule out preeclampsia. So off to the lab I went.
On Friday morning I dropped off my test and headed for the ultrasound. Everything looked good, but we had to wait to hear from our doctor. That afternoon I got a call that my proteins were fine, my blood work was great and baby looked perfect. I no longer had to have two doctor visits a week. Also, on the scale they use from 1-8 to let you know how baby is doing he was an 8. Also weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Exactly where he should be.
I cried. I have been so stressed and worried there was something wrong. Of course if there was, we would have done what we needed to do to keep baby safe. That was really the top priority. I started to come to terms with being induced only because i want him here and healthy and I would do whatever it takes to make that happen.
But I’m so happy I may still get a chance to let him and my body decide when he wants to come, which is such a relief.
Last night I slept 9 hours straight for the first time in weeks and it was the most glorious thing that could have happened! My hat is off to women who have high risk pregnancies from the beginnings and constantly have to deal with the tests, monitoring and worrying. Things have been really easy up until this point so I can’t even imagine what it must be like to go through this the whole time.
I’m so glad baby is okay, I’m okay.
In other news, I feel like we have everything ready for his big arrival. Which I never thought I would say and I feel crazy relieved.
We’re still working on his space, which I plan to share pictures of when we’re all done.

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We’re trying to get ready for Christmas but are totally unprepared after what we’ve been dealing with the last couple of weeks. We at least have a tree! We’re planning on doing some shopping this weekend, better late then never right?

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I know I mentioned it in my last post but it needs to be said again that Alex is a magical human being. Not only has he been able to go to every single one of my appointments he’s been such a comforting source. Always trying to keep me calm when I would spend too much time worrying about the “what-ifs”.
It’s also the busiest time of the year for his company so on top of all this he’s been working like crazy. I can’t say enough good things about the man I married. And I’m so thankful I have him, especially when I need help putting on my shoes. :)

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Playing Catch up

Hey, Hi, Hello. I’m just going to go ahead and say it- this last month has been extremely hard. It’s been something I’ve had a really hard time talking about so I’m just going to go ahead and say it. We had to rehome Oscar.

Never in a million years did I think I would ever type that sentence. It happened two weeks ago and I’m still in shock. A month ago, he bit Alex multiple times when we were trying to take him outside. He had been really testing us in the weeks prior to that- peeing on our bed, growling at me and then when he bit Alex we knew we had to do something. If it was just Alex and I to think about we would have somehow figured out something to do but with a baby on the way I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to our son. This was not an easy decision. I spent days crying and holding Oscar before the day finally came to give him away. In a word, I’m devastated. Oscar was my baby. I saved him three years ago from a terrible shelter but it always kind of felt like he saved me. It pains me that my son will grow up without him, after months of dreaming what the two of them would be like together. I’m trying my best to be strong, hold myself together but it definitely hasn’t been easy.

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Oscar, I will miss you and love you always.

Aside from that, I am now 34 weeks along. I can’t even believe it. We have been so busy, with birthing classes, hospital tours, doctors appointments and trying to get last minute details ready for the baby. We took a 4 weeks birthing class that ended this last week which we found really helpful. There is never a way to fully prepare for birth but its nice having useful information that at least makes me feel like I have some control over the situation. Some being the operative word.

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My doctors appointments have been going extremely well and baby is perfect. I can’t believe how close we are! He kicks like crazy and it’s been so fun for Alex and I to feel and watch. It’s going to be so weird when he is here and I can’t feel him kicking me anymore.

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Is there anything better than baby laundry? I feel like I’m up to my ears in it but I definitely don’t mind. Each piece is somehow more adorable than the last. We are still trying to decide on a coming home outfit, but I have some ideas!

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My sister and I entered a Instagram contest a few weeks ago and to my total surprise- we won! I was given a giftcard to Baby JIves, which is a company that makes these extremely dreamy and amazing mobiles. I honestly knew I wanted one of these before I was even pregnant so I was so excited to win! We have been working on baby’s space and plan to share pictures soon!

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Here’s a picture of the two of us one night after birthing class. I can’t express how lucky I am to be going through all things pregnancy related with this guy. He is at every single one of my doctors appointments, asks questions, practices breathing techniques with me(better than me!?), massages my back, and is just generally the best possible person to have around. He has been my rock when things have gotten hard and I can’t say enough good things about him.  I seriously can’t wait to see him be a day.

So, that’s been our month. Definitely a whirlwind. I will try to check in on here more in the upcoming weeks. This belly is definitely becoming a sight to see!

Bits & Pieces

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As of today I am officially 29 weeks along! 29 weeks! So crazy to me. The top picture is from 27 weeks and below is 28. So far, so good! I had my glucose test last week and everything came back fine! I was nervous about the test after all the horror stories but it honestly wasn’t that bad.

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Some things for baby boy. The trains were Alex’s when he was a baby and I can’t express how excited I am that Alex’s mom passed them down to us.

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This incredible book was given to us by Alex’s dad at the shower and I love it! The illustrations are fantastic and the story is so sweet. Plus, the lady who writes them lives in Portland! I plan to buy all her books books before baby comes I know they will easily be well loved. (Here is the authors books on Amazon, this book in particular is I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love)

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This was from Ikea this weekend when we bought our crib.(!!!) We haven’t put it together yet but I’m so excited to get everything set up!

And to wrap this up, here is some pictures from fall around here.

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Can’t. Get. Enough.

Our Baby Shower

Last week we flew to Texas for our baby shower! Since most of Alex’s family lives in Houston, we decided to just have the shower there for convenience. My sister also lives in Houston so it just seemed like the best plan. We flew in on Wednesday and the shower was Saturday so it was nice to have some extra time to spend with family.

The shower seemed like the perfect opportunity to fly back to Texas one last time before the baby comes. So crazy to think that next time we go our sweet boy will be with us!

We had the shower at a restaurant in Houston and it was awesome! My mom did all the planning and with help from my oldest sister on decorations they were able to make a beautiful and perfect day. I’m very thankful for all that was done for the day to be a success!

Our nursery theme is moon and stars so my mom decided to incorporate those details into the shower as well and it was better than I imagined. I didn’t take any pictures that day, but thankfully plenty of other people did!

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The cake and cupcakes were homemade by my little sister and they were SO GOOD. I wish I had some now!

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A very close family friend, my big sisters mom, made all the favors bags and shipped them to Texas from New Jersey. I love that there was a Moon Pie and a Star Crunch in each bag. They were so perfect and cute!

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My dad(right) and my stepdad holding up the “guest book” that was hand painted for us by my big sister’s boyfriend, Stephen. It was extra special considering we also did the fingerprint guest book for our wedding. So excited to find somewhere to hang this! I was also really thankful my dad was able to fly in from New Jersey for the shower. It was really awesome having him there!

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My mom also had baby boy his own suitcase made! This picture doesn’t even do it justice. It’s absolutely beautiful! Plus it really came in handy when trying to get all the shower gifts home!

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Opening gifts. My dad made sure he is fully prepared to be an Eagles fan! No objections here!

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A very silly photo of myself, but guys, LOOK at that handsome man sitting next to me! I am so excited to have a mini version of that in just a few months. My heart might burst!

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We played a lot of shower games and this one was something like “who could look the most pregnant” I win by a landslide, right?

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This is one of my favorite pictures taken. Me and my bridesmaids! Best friends I could possibly ask for and I’m so lucky there were all able to be there!

The day really could not have been more perfect! I’m so thankful to have had such a beautiful shower and also really glad Alex and I could celebrate with all our family in Texas. The amount of love for the baby already is so overwhelming and we are so thankful for the people we have around us!

Life Lately

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I’m sure this has been said a million times but I can’t believe September is already half over. We still have some pretty hot days but the leaves are starting to change and there is FINALLY rain in our forecast so I think it will start feeling like fall in no time. This will be the last “new” season for us in our new home. It’s so crazy to think that we have almost been here a year. I remember like it was yesterday being handed our keys, walking through the door for the first time and both running to our windows completely in disbelief that this is where we live and this was our amazing view.  I still sometimes look out those windows feeling that exact same way.

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With September chugging right along it puts us closer and closer to our due date. Today I am exactly six months. Six months! I am so happy to be here at six months. So thankful for a healthy pregnancy and amazed at what my body is doing right now. I love when I’m doing something and not really paying attention to my body and then he moves. And it is almost as if the world has stopped. I get to focus in on these little feelings, learning his elbows and little toes and feeling the roundness of his back shifting under my own roundness while we share this space together. And no matter what is going on or where I am it feels like its just us. It is definitely my new favorite feeling.

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This picture is from last week at 23 weeks.

I also love when it is late and quiet and I grab Alex’s hand and rest it right where I’m feeling the most kicks. “Oh, I feel him! Right under this finger! How cool.” It’s such an incredible thing, just the three of us learning each others movements and the baby learning our voices.

I guess I have reached the “nesting” stage as they call it. My apartment is always spotless and I’m constantly looking for things to do/clean.  We’ve been doing some shopping for baby lately and it has been so fun. His clothes pile is slowing growing and my laundry piles are becoming increasingly more cute. We also got a stroller. The most beautiful, incredible, safe stroller and I am head over heels in love with this thing, seriously. Half of my time is spent just giddily pushing it around the living room imagining sweet baby boy inside.

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Of course someone had to try it out. He lasted maybe two minutes before jumping out. Oh well. If you need me I’ll be here staring at my stroller for the next four months. Crazy how sometimes that seems so close and sometimes so far away! I’m sure it will be sneaking up on us before we know it!

My Current Obsession

Like every woman expecting a new baby there is one thing I never stop thinking about – baby clothes. I look at them in every store, check out all the shops online, even perusing Etsy for handmade, awesome finds. But the same things kept occurring to me in almost everywhere I looked. Baby clothes are expensive. And that doesn’t make sense! You seriously are buying an outfit the baby can wear a handful of times over a couple of months. Plus in the beginning they’re just covered in spit up, food and much worse.

So I decided to try to dig a little deeper. Alex and I tried out a local Goodwill and although I found an awesome collection of books, I was only able to leave with one outfit and it was the only 0-3 month outfit they even had. But it was only two dollars and so so cute and well made, that the spark was lit and I kept searching.

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This is the sleeper I got from Goodwill, so cute!

When I got home I decided to google “online consignment shop baby clothes” and after going through a few websites I came across Moxie Jean and fell. in. love.

The prices are fantastic and most of the clothes are Baby Gap, Carters, The Children’s place, etc. And not only do they have great baby clothes, they also have clothes all the way up to 13-14 years old. So I found a few things I loved, received a 10 dollar off coupon code and spent 22 dollars. On five things! I placed my order and it was seriously sitting at my door in four days. That’s faster shipping than most big companies. When I opened the package I was more than pleased. Everything looked exactly like the pictures, was in excellent quality and even smelled good. Here is what I got:

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This great fleece lined sweater from The Children’s Place. Only 10 dollars and in great shape!

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When I saw these OshKosh overalls with tiedye onesie included on sale for only 3 dollars I couldn’t pass them up!

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This extremely soft Calvin Klein sleeper for only 7 dollars!

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And my favorite- Baby Gap hooded jacket. Since baby boy will be born in January we wanted to get him a pretty heavy jacket. This one is so thick and fleece lined. Plus the hood detaches, which I love. Plus this only cost me 12 dollars. Worth it!

The website updates their inventory every Monday and Thursday. I already have another order waiting to be placed, seriously I’m addicted!

If you click this link you will receive 10 dollars off any order of 20 dollars or more. I am in no way being paid to mention this website, or share that link(anyone can share it, it is on their main page, I just copied the link) I just know a good deal when I see one and couldn’t help but rave about the great deals I found!