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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : October 2013


Someone Wants To Say Hello

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It's 6:46 in the morning and I am sitting here with Wesley swaddled and snuggled right next to me in the softest white, cotton blanket. The world outside is still waking up, waiting to shine its sunny face, and the peacefulness of these quiet, dark, early morning hours are accompanied only by the sweetest coos and subdued squeals.

My mind and heart are in that sweet spot of contentment. Nothing brings pure, untainted bliss like the smell of newborn breath and that tiny head wedged right in that special nook of your neck reserved for babies. And those perfect tiny ears and that silky smooth skin! I just can't quite contain myself from smothering his darling face with kisses.

Welcome to this crazy and beautiful world, Wesley Matthew Rodriguez. Making your unexpected, though highly anticipated entrance on October 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm, you're  a million times better than we dreamed!


Refashioning Your Scarves

 Scarf: c/o Brickyard Buffalo. Tee: Target. Boots: Kohl's. Purse: c/o Hearts. Hat: Target. Sunglasses: Free People.

A heaping pile of scarves in various prints and colors sits next to all my handbags and accessories. I love a good scarf since they can bring an otherwise minimal and drab outfit a punch of color, however I get a little bored just wrapping them around my neck and am constantly wondering how I can freshly style them.

With the whole kimono trend thing going on, I thought to myself, "I can wear my scarves draped as a shawl to resemble the kimono!" It was a really profound moment for me, guys ;) It's particularly great paired with a 9 month baby bump because it's lightweight and covers those extra lady lumps I've managed to grow in the last few weeks.

The Aztec print scarf I am wearing is especially spectacular because the print is fun and the colors are perfect for fall. You can snag it right now at Brickyard Buffalo, the queen of pop up markets. Be sure to stop by today as all the items are listed for only a few days at a great discount (Christmas shopping, anyone?) and are good as gone once they are sold. Bonus! Brickyard Buffalo is offering free shipping this entire week, so all of the items are at an even better price when you factor that discount in. I'm thinking I might need to pick up this monster print for the boys' room and probably this acorn garland, too.

Now while you folks hop on over to shop, I think I might hop on over to the doc. These Braxton Hicks contractions are starting to get a little gnarly... !



Just The Two Of Us

There are exactly just two more weeks of Luke and mommy time. This little nugget and I make a good team as we go adventuring, run errands, snuggle up on the bed with popcorn in hand while watching Toy Story (the current favorite), and spend countless hours reading the same ten books over and over again.

Something inside of my motherly conscience aches knowing that it will no longer be just the two of us, but I excitedly await the moment Luke and his baby brother get to meet. That moment he stares into that squishy, pink face and gives his little brother sweet kisses and exclaims, "baby!" I am so ready for my heart and love to expand more than I knew it could, and I guess all of that makes the rest of the sadness and anxiety over the change float away.

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Coming To Grips With Having A C-Section

This morning I woke up feeling okay with the way this pregnancy is looking to end. 

Today marks 37 weeks, which is "full term" if we are speaking technically. I cannot believe we are already at this pregnancy milestone! Where oh where did you go, time? It is coming to a close, and a close I was not anticipating, but one I have finally met with peace.

A few weeks ago, I talked about my concerns and fears about baby boy being breech, especially the frightening reality of a c-section that goes along with the breech presentation. Well, guess what? He is still as breech as they come, little head tucked squarely in between my ribs. I can just picture him straight as a board, feet rigid and maintaining his post. We've a mini soldier in this womb! Of course, this means a c-section is now planned. In 16 days to be exact.

My thoughts? 

I am completely and absolutely okay with it. All those fears and apprehensions have melted into an overflowing feeling of calmness and security. 

We had originally planned to do ECV, but that was actually the thing giving me the most anxiety. A mother's intuition -- you just gotta trust it in those questionable moments. I don't know, I suppose that tiny inward voice kept badgering me, saying, "Abbey, there is a reason he is breech -- don't mess around with this. Let him be." Once I accepted the reality of this urging, instead of the need to be in control to ensure the ideal birth experience, everything just felt right. Even if it didn't seem right according to my neatly, perfectly packaged birth plan. You know, the one that was supposed to be totally natural and unmedicated, complete with hypnobirthing and the ultimate expression of, "I am woman, hear me roar!" That whole bag of tricks. But you know what? All of that expectation and judgment in regard to childbirth needs to be thrown out the window. 

Honestly, I am tired of the pressure and preconceived notions of how people should bring their babies into the world. You like having your babies in a tub in the middle of your living room floor? You go for it! Epidurals are your best friend and you completely believe in them? More power to you! You actually prefer to have scheduled c-sections over vaginal deliveries? I don't see anything wrong with that either! Having your baby this way or that way doesn't and shouldn't make anyone more awe-inspiring, or conversely, make them feel inadequate. A good mother is one who trusts her instincts, knows her body and mental limitations, and does what is best for baby and family. The fact that a woman makes the sacrifice to be dubbed with the title of "mother" is the victory and beauty in all of it. 

So, yes. I have come to grips with having a c-section, instead of demonizing the mere thought of it and submitting myself to subconscious guilt from outward pressure and influence of the "natural" childbirth movement. It is how God is intending this boy to enter the world, and at the end of the day I just have to let go and remember who is really in charge. I am replacing my faith with fear, and that faith has finally set me free.

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Patagonia Riding Boots Giveaway

Boots: c/o Patagonia. Denim Shirt: Target. Tee: Target. Denim: c/o Isabella Oliver (on sale). Hat: Anthropologie. Watch. UO.

Fall is in full swing and you probably are thinking about all your boot options for the fall and winter season. There are so many choices! 

First, there is the most popular ankle boot, which may be even trendier than that pumpkin spice drink in your hand. Then we have the over-the-knee boot that I am still convinced only lanky supermodels look good in. Of course there is the rain boot, particularly the Hunter boots (these have only been on my wishlist for oh, say, 2 years!), that will always and forever be great for mucking around in. And then we have the good ole', mid-calf riding boot -- it's a classic, really. You know, your trusty leather boots you can always count on to tuck your jeans into, pair up with some knit boot socks, or just keep your footsies and legs from freezing on a blustery winter day.

Oh, you don't have such a pair of beloved riding boots? Well, mope no more, my friends. Today is your lucky day. You can enter to win your very own pair of Patagonia Tin Shed Rider boots! There are three color options to choose from, and these babies are the real deal. Every other pair of riding boots I've owned have been of the cheaper variety and inevitably have been tossed in the trash after a season because they start to peel, crack and lose their shape. Retailing at $229, you can bet your bottom dollar that these boots will last you for decades. Truly. They are 100% leather, water resistant, and totally solid, true to the Patagonia outdoor aesthetic, and I am pretty sure I could scale a mountain in them with the amount of grip and support they provide, all while maintaining a sleek look. Oh, and if you haven't noticed by now, I have the beefiest calves east of the Pacific and they fit perfectly since they have an angled topline for us gals with thicker legs (no over-the-knee boots for this mama!).

Sounds like a boot dream, right? Enter to win in the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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DIY Tassel Garland

Tassels are like the new mason jars in the world of crafting. They are everywhere. You can count on them lurking in your Pinterest feed over and over again, and as I like to to say in the overly abused, nearly iconic words of Portlandia, "put a tassel on it!" Really, though. There is no escaping the grip of the tassel fringe!

I finally relinquished my willpower and made one of these ever so popular tassel garlands. I am in charge of a Young Women event (the youth group for teenage girls at my church) coming up soon, and thought a couple sets of these garlands would spiffy up those ugly, brown church walls.

This DIY is for the crafting novice, so don't be fooled by all the fancy fluff and beauty these little fringe-puffs exude. It only calls for tissue paper in the colors of your choice (one single sheet makes 4 tassels!), scissors, a glue gun, string, and this DIY post for the directions on how to make them.

Wouldn't this garland make the perfect Christmas decoration, too? I am already thinking of the metallic silver and gold adorning our walls, or even on the Christmas tree... yes, I am liking that idea! 

Truly, the possibilities are endless for making and using tassels, and they are an excellent, easy to make party decoration if you are needing some inspiration. Have fun tasseling!

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The Steal: Aztec Print Cardigan

Hey, remember that one time I had a little online boutique? Yeah, me too. The perks of getting apparel at a wholesale price changed my closet and my approach to shopping. 

It's now been a couple of months since I closed up shop, and I've found myself aching in withdrawal, especially when I see a jacket or a dress priced for $80 that I know for a fact was purchased for $20. I know, I know, people have family to support and businesses to run, hooray for capitalism, blah, blah, blah... but I can't even! It would weigh too heavily on my conscience for paying a hefty 300% markup. And it should on yours too, if you care about that kind of thing (I'm one of those freaks in line at the store, "Wait! Hold on! I have a coupon!"... I am sure the people at Michael's loathe my existence). I can handle reasonably priced merchandise, and that was the whole mission behind Sprightly So. I wanted to give you on trend, quality items for a good price, while obviously still making a profit. The best of both worlds! But alas, motherhood took over and apparently I am a horrible multi-tasker because my heart just wasn't in it 150% like it should be when you own your own business. Someday, though. Someday. The timing will be right and the stars will align and it will be a magical concoction of designs and fabric and fashion awesomeness. Until then, I've got another thing up my sleeve.

I give you The Steal, my oh-so-catchy title for the new deal I've come up with to implement the wonderful world of wholesale into all of our lives. Grab a chair, and listen up, because you will want to be a part of this and I am going to give you the run-down.

I've started an Instagram shop, @shopalongabbeyroad (yes another one of those hashtag instashops, but mine is different and fabulous), where I will be offering an item I am wanting to buy for the wholesale price. You see, the way wholesale works is that you most often have to purchase the merchandise in bulk. Since there is no earthly reason why I need 6 of the same item in 3 different sizes, that is where you lovely peoples come in. If you love what you see, you can place your order by leaving the size you want and your Paypal email in the comments on Instagram. I will always list the quantity and size available and it is a first come, first serve type of deal. Shipping is an additional flat rate of $6 and I currently only ship within the US (I generally ship Priority Mail). Once the sizes are all snatched up, I will send everyone a Paypal invoice. The invoice must be paid within 24 hours, and once it is, the wholesale order will be fulfilled. I will email you to get your address and ship your item out within 2 days of receiving the merchandise (it will be approximately 4-5 days from the date you pay the invoice). In the event an item has sold out from the wholesaler in the time it takes to get buyers for all the sizes or to receive paid invoices, I will let you know in the comments it has been sold out, or refund you via Paypal if your invoice has already been paid. Easy peezy.

Okay, so now that you read that attorney-like of a novel description of how it works, I give you the first steal: The Aztec Print Cardigan. (as seen here most recently in the beige color on the uber famous Kendi of Kendi Everyday... for triple the price of what you will be paying). You may also recognize it from last year's Sprightly So inventory. It was so popular it sold out within a few weeks. I never got the chance to keep one for myself and was reeealllly regretting it. But, not anymore!  I've found a solution to all of our problems! It has been up on the Instagram shop for a day now, and there is only one medium left. It is priced at $23 (Paypal and applicable fees included), plus $6 shipping. If you know you and this cardigan are meant to be, act fast and leave your comment on my shop Instagram (@shopalongabbeyroad). In the off-chance you don't have Instagram, you can leave your size and Paypal email here in the comments, but only if you DO NOT have Instagram. It will get rather messy and confusing if I start taking orders all over my social media platforms.

And that's pretty much it. I am super excited about this new little diddy I've come up with, and I hope you are too. Not sure how often I will be posting wholesale items. I guess that is to be determined by my shopaholic mood swings ;) But seriously, it will be at least once a month, if not two, so be sure to follow along. Also, feel free to email me with questions or suggestions of items you want to see, and we'll see if we can work something out!

Happy wholesale shopping, my friends, and stay tuned for the next installation of The Steal!

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Bates Nut Farm

|| Abbey || Flannel: Target. Tee: Target. Pants: LOFT. Beanie: c/o Boden. Scarf: c/o Hearts. Boots: MIA. Nail Color: Essie, Sole Mate. || Luke || Shirt: Old Navy. Pants: Baby Gap. Beanie: c/o Mini Boden. Shoes: Converse.

Along with the rest of the world this last weekend, a-pumpkin patching we went to the famous Bates Nut Farm!

It was exceptionally more eventful this time around compared to our pumpkin patch trip last year (which are still some of my most very favorite pictures!). Luke personally greeted each of the large pumpkins with a nice, big slap and spent the majority of his time either a) attempting to climb on them or b) eat the remnants of the rotting ones. Boys... At least he let me sneak in some kisses. I just adore how he closes his eyes and puckers up. True to textbook fairy tale kissing form, because he is a little prince after all!

Later,  in-between nearly getting ourselves run over by the hay ride tractor because Luke is absolutely captivated by anything that roars and hums with an engine, we found ourselves the perfect pumpkin. Matt decided it was my spirit pumpkin, if you will -- "round in all the right places and a little quirky." Thanks, Matt! ;)

And to end the day off right, we all split a funnel cake slathered with the gooey good stuff. Can you believe it was the first funnel cake for all 3 of us? I know, it's seems practically impossible considering the absurd amount of sweets we consume on the daily. We give the funnel cake two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Thank You

Tunic: c/o NV Blue. Maternity Boyfriend Jeans: Kohl's. Booties: Kohl's. Purse: c/o PB&J Boutique. Sunglasses: Target. Watch: Fossil. Bracelets: H&M. Lipstick: NYX.

First off, I just want to extend a big, fat, loving THANK YOU to all of you lovely ladies that commented and sent me emails in regard to our little fellow being breech. Your advice and personal experiences have been extremely useful in helping us make the correct decision and feeling at peace with whatever path God has in store for us as we greet our baby boy. I am so lucky to have such a genuine, awesome group of readers and friends I've made in this blogging journey. You all are the reason I love this little space on the interwebs so much, so again, thank you. I just love ya' all to pieces and would give you a big ole' pregnant bear hug if I could! 

Second, this tunic from NV Blue is treating my baby bump right these last few weeks. I try to stay away from anything that doesn't hide my tushy, and this top does the job in making me feel classy, put together and slim (as much as a pregnant lady can feel slim... and FYI, I am 5'2" and got it in a size small to fit over my bump to give me some room, should you be wondering what size works for you). They also have the sweetest tunics for little girls! Definitely be sure to stop by and check out the shop. It's all designed and made in San Francisco, and I always give an enthusiastic high five to American-made small business!

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

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My Baby Is Breech

And I am feeling overwhelmingly defeated.

Today marks 35 weeks on the dot, and yesterday's checkup confirmed baby boy still hasn't budged. His darling little head is wedged up under my right rib, precisely where he was two weeks ago.  The panic is beginning to set in, because I only have one week left before our odds really plummet. Only 3-4% of babies are in breech presentation by 36 weeks, and after that point it is highly unlikely they will spontaneously turn on their own. I am trying to maintain a positive vibe, but inwardly I am completely and utterly flipping out (pun intended). 

As for techniques to flipping the little fellow, you name it, I've probably tried it. Acupuncture (moxibustion), chiropractic adjustment, downward dog, pelvic tilts, laying upside down, ice packs and heat pads, playing music low on my belly... Luke thinks I'm crazy with all of his wonky, side-eyed glances as I spend the good portion of our mornings in some sort of upside down position. Come on, gravity! I'm counting on you!

Let's talk about getting adjusted for a quick minute. My brother-in-law is a physical therapist and is trained in adjustments and all that lovely stuff that makes your back shiny and spiffy. While we were in Arizona last week, he helped a sista' out and cracked and popped everything back into place. And guess what? My right leg was 1 inch shorter than the left because my SI joint was so off balance. ONE INCH! That is enough to make a pelvic floor angry. But, apparently my newly realigned pelvis isn't tempting enough to get baby boy to drop his head down. Sigh.

Then there is the acupuncture and moxibustion (pictured above). I am an ecstatic fan of this approach, and crossing all fingers and toes that it does the trick. One of my best gal pals is in med school and has been feeding me article upon article about this technique and anything related to breech presentation, so I am feeling optimistic. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my picture of my moxa stick, which I think is the smelly equivalent to bong water. Hey, it's good to get a little pseudo-rebellious every once in awhile, right? ;)

The last and final attempt we will make to spin this bébé is ECV. Have you tried this before? Did it hurt? I am a teensy tad nervous, but would rather exhaust all my resources to get him flipped before we opt for a c-section, which leads me to my next question...

Who has had a c-section? What was your take away and experience with it? I was so amped to have an unmedicated, natural birth and am already feeling robbed of it with the likelihood a c-section may have to happen. And that's only the beginning of my worries. I am really great at inducing my own full-blown panic attacks in medical situations, and I've made the mistake of reading people's horror stories with c-sections gone wrong on those awful birthing forums. The whole sensation of not being able to tell if you are breathing from being numbed to your neck? Ummm, that's not going to set well with me. I can already guarantee that. Does it always feel like that? And what about those people that claimed they could feel the incision? Eeep! Please, please, please reassure me, mamas! I would like to hear your positive, successful stories.

So yeah. Keep Baby Número Dos in your prayers that he will impress us all with his acrobatic abilities and spin head down in the next week! And overall, I am truly overcome with gratitude that he is strong and healthy and that this is the only small issue I have to worry about. We are very blessed in that regard and can't wait to meet him in a few short weeks, no matter his choice of dramatic entrance into this grand world!

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Color By Amber

 Bow Necklace: c/o Color by Amber. Maternity Denim: c/o Isabella Oliver. Sweater: LOFT. Boots: MIA. Lipstick: MAC Rebel.

Today I am thrilled to be teaming up with Color by Amber and 9 other bloggers to bring you a fabulous giveaway. Color by Amber is offering 1 winner $100 worth of jewelry! Color by Amber creates gorgeous and unique pieces from our natural world, which are encapsulated in 40% recycled ecoresin. Earth friendly? Why, I think I'll talk one of each, please! To sum it up perfectly, each piece of Amber is a beautiful expression of style, sustainability, and social responsibility.

Be sure to stop by to see how these awesome lassies styled their pieces, and then enter the giveaway in the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Oh, Disneyland

The magnetic pull of the magic of Disneyland caught hold of us, even all the way down in San Diego. We attempted to fill the void this last year with season passes to SeaWorld, but to no avail. I mean, the absence of those glorious, beastly corn dogs alone can make your heart ache and yearn for the goodness of the Disney life. Our hearts belong to the happiest place on earth, annual passes and all (here is our moderate to severe obsession with Disneyland in past days seen here, here and here).

And Luke in that Mickey hat that I posted on Instagram? Frame-worthy. It's clearly a natural habitat for us. 

I would also like to take another parent brag moment to say I am thoroughly impressed with Luke's prowess on all things cookie. The chocolate dipped gingerbread man does not mess around. Thanks for tipping me off on that one, Luke RoRo. You know how to make your sweet tooth of a mama proud!

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