Life Update – January 2018

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Hello all!! I have been away from the computer for awhile and wanted to share a quick update! I do have some posts in the works ready to publish here soon I just need to finalize them. Life has just been a bit chaotic and I have not had much time.

Health

Since right before Christmas both of the boys have gotten sick and have basically been “sick” since with a cough, runny nose and all other cold like symptoms. Then BOTH Tom and I have gotten sick multiple times! Between the four of us someone has been sick basically every day….its exhausting! Does anyone have any tips for this cold season? I am about at my wits end with everyone being so sick all the time! I just want my boys and Tom and I to all be healthy at the same time for once HA!

Work

On the 1st of January I started back to work at Starbucks. It has definitely been more bitter than sweet this time. I want so badly to be home with my babies (WHAT me?! I know that was never my intention but this time around it’s how I feel). Luckily I am only working a few days a week but it still just tugs on my heart having to leave in the morning. Especially since little babe is giving his daddy a hard time in the morning. Boy I can’t wait till he’s on some solids and has a little more independence. So far he is following in his brothers footsteps with wanting so badly to be independent but knows that he just can’t accomplish what he wants yet. Being able to move himself around was the best time for Ezekiel, once he started he never stopped!

School

I have officially finished all the required credits needed for my semester! YAY! This has by far been my best semester yet at school. In just 4 months I finished 14 credits, when previous semesters it would take me the full 6 months to finish 12! I am now finally onto my teaching classes as well which makes me so happy because they are so much more interesting. I have the rest of January and February now to work on any other classes to try and pass more before the end of my semester.

Goals

So between being sick, starting back to work and trying to shoot for the stars at school I have been just a tad busy! Even being so busy though life is really good for us at the moment and we are enjoying the start to our new year. I have a few goals for the next coming months:

  • Finish at least one, if not two more classes before my semester ends
  • Continue to work on blog posts – at least one every other week
  • Get taxes done and filed
  • Start the babe on solid foods soon! (YAY!)

 

How’s your New Years Starting? What are your goals for the next few months? I’d love to hear that I am not the only insanely busy one!

How to Survive the 4th Trimester!

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“Why won’t my baby let me put him down?!”

“She only wants to be held by mom and sometimes dad!”

“Why does he seem to startle so easily?”

4th Trimester

Is your baby between the ages of 0-3 months old? And you are struggling with the fact that your baby “isn’t sleeping through the night?” Maybe she seems to cry more than you were expecting?

There are mounds and mounds of articles saying how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 6 weeks old! But this just is not the reality for the majority of babies.

Also parents in our culture are expected to keep our baby quite especially when we are out and about. Though your baby is not happy unless your holding him.

THAT IS OK!

I am here to tell you that it is OK if your baby is not sleeping through the night. It is OK if your baby likes to be held often. And it is OK if he cries out in public!

The 4th Trimester

You still have a newborn even though they might be starting to look more like a baby they are not quite there yet.

Have you ever noticed that when other mammals have babies they can walk and are much more self sufficient than a human baby? A horse is pregnant for 11-12 months, while we are only pregnant for 9 months.

This right here describes the 4th trimester pretty well. It is the first 3 months of your babies life outside the womb. A human body physically cannot be pregnant this long and we have the ability and instinct to be able to care for our babies who are fully dependent on us.

In our society there is a lot pressure to have our babies sleeping through the night ASAP. We should make sure that they are able to “play” by themselves already. And lord help us if she cries when someone other than mom or dad holds her!

Think about it for a minute…your baby was in a place that was the PERFECT temperature, he would get swayed to sleep whenever he wanted, he did not know the feeling of being hungry, and to top it off he was with mom LITERALLY 24/7! How much better could life get? This is all he knows until he gets ripped from the nice cozy home of his. How would you feel if you had everything you wanted and then were forced to move somewhere else where this was no longer true? This is where we as parents come in during this 4th trimester to help our little ones adjust.

How to Soothe your Infant

Now we as parents want to help our babies in any way when they are crying and upset, but sometimes we forget all the different ways we can help them. It is especially hard when they have been crying so long and can’t tell you what’s wrong.

I like to remember the 6 S! – Stinky, Starving, Swaddle, Sway,  Sleep and Sound.

Most likely your baby is in need of one of these things when she is crying.

  • Stinky – Have you changed his diaper recently? Maybe he is upset because he feels too wet!
  • Starving – Does she need to eat? It is hard to tell with a breastfed baby how much they are eating so offering her your breast is never a bad idea! With a formula fed baby you know more what she is eating, but newborns tend to cluster feed because they are going to go through a growth spurt. So go ahead and try!
  • Swaddle – Newborns are used to being in a tight space, which is part of the reason their startle reflex is so great! I HIGHLY recommend a Halo Sleepsack, I discovered this with my second son and it is a lifesaver!!
  • Sway – Another soothing technique that babies like is to be swayed or rocked. It reminds them of the safe place inside mom.
  • Sleep – Has your baby been up for a long time? Maybe they just haven’t slept long enough. Babies sleep a whole lot more than you might think. Getting your baby to take a nap could help them wake up recharged.
  • Sound – Sometimes babies will get overwhelmed with all of the new sights, sounds, smells and may just not be able to calm down. A great thing to have on hand is white noise. I found the best one on YouTube here. There are no ads to inturrupt your baby and the comment section had me laughing so hard! (You will need this since you won’t be able to leave YouTube!)

Not to worry though if one of these things don’t work…you have not failed! It really is hard to be a newborn with so many different things happening.

And it you find yourself needing a moment to take a breath that is also OK! Your baby will be fine, just make sure to put him in a safe spot first.

Life with a newborn definitely takes some adjusting! You will find your groove and the hard times will pass I promise you! Just remember to savor these times with your newborn they won’t be this little for long!

How was life for you with your 0-3 month old? Are you currently in this time??  I would love to hear your experience!

Be on the look out for more info about this time period in your babies! Such as items to help make life easier and how to cope with postpartum depression.

How to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag – A List of Essentials

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Diaper bag

Choosing a Diaper bag

Choosing a diaper bag may seem like a daunting task, but once you figure out what you will need it’s a whole lot easier!

Having been through many different diaper bags I can say for certain that you DO NOT want to cheap out on this purchase. This bag is becoming your life when you go out and about, and if it breaks in the middle of the day….your going to have a rough time.

So first decide what is essential to you.

  • Are you using it for quick trips to the store only?
  • Is it for long days out and about?
  • Do you like a lot of different pockets?
  • Is style important?

There are messenger style bags:Messenger Bag
These are great for minimalists because they typically do not hold a lot. So if you are caring stuff for two kids I would suggest something else.
The positive of these are they are SO easy to carry because it gives both hands free!

There are backpack bags:

Backpack Diaperbag
These are perfect for longer trips as you can hold A LOT more stuff in it. They also have so many cute ones to choose from, or a more plain look so that dad doesn’t mind carrying it either.
The downside, organization is not as easy with this one. I personally use a backpack style and just use the bag system and have a few designated smaller bags for essential items that I want to find easily.

There are purse style bags:
Purse diaperbag
These are great if style is more important to you! You also can find ones that have a better organization system on the inside.
The downside is they are a bit harder to carry along with your baby in his car seat.

My BIGGEST suggestion is to get one that is built to last. They WILL get heavy and WILL break down cheap hardware.

 

What to Carry in Your Diaper Bag

Now that we have chosen our perfect fit diaper bag it is time to pick what goes inside it.

DiaperBag

  1. The actual diaper bag *I have a backpack diaper bag*
  2. A “lovie” – If your babies are one to need a comfort item this is essential
  3. Chapstick – I carry Aquafore because of its versatility. I also have lipstick in case I need to freshen up.
  4. Booger Sucker & Tissues – You just never know when boogers will STRIKE!
  5. Toddler Change of Clothes – If your toddler is potty training it is a good idea to keep some extra clothes handy. Also let’s face it if your on a day trip your toddler is likely to get dirty somehow so this is nice to have for those moments.
  6. Nursing cover – I have a scarf that also works as a cover that I LOVE!
  7. Mom’s Shirt – I carry my own change of shirt because of the constant spit ups from my little one.
  8. Mom Bag – I have a separate little bag to carry all my essentials that are small that I don’t want lost.
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    1. Tylonal/Ibuprofen – I make sure to always carry some form of tylonal or ibuprofen as well as Benedryl.
    2. Gum
    3. Pocket Knife
    4. Pens/Marker
  9. Changing pad & Desitin – I don’t know about you but I hate changing my baby on the nasty changing tables without it!
  10. Swaddle – These are my LIFE SAVERS! Being able to tightly swaddle my baby makes for better sleep, therefore I make sure to take it with us on long trips.
  11. Toddler Bag – Again I have a little bag that I just got from Ipsy to carry a few things for my toddler.
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    1. Crayons – When at a restaurant it is nice to have some more colors that he can use.
    2. Hot Wheels and a plane – These are the perfect size toy to bring anywhere and if they get lost it is OK because they are so cheap.
  12. Teething Ring – When teething happens having something for your little to chew on is so nice!
  13. Change of Baby Clothes – Blow outs, spit up, feedings….need I say more?
  14. Extra Layer – In the winter it is nice to have an extra layer in case it gets cold during the day.
  15. Diapers & Wipes – I have been caught without these and it really is TERRIBLE! 
  16. Burp Cloth – These are versatile in using as a changing pad, wiping spit up, an extra blanket if needed.

Extra Items

Now you have your essentials, there are a few extras that you might want to carry around if you are away on a longer trip.

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My Kiinde bottles are my ABSOLUTE favorite bottle for exclusively breastfed babies. I am able to pump right into the storage bags which double as the feeding bag. This way there is no need to hassle with potentially spilling milk transferring it to a bottle. AND it is only two pieces, the nipple and the holder!

For formula my favorite are the Playtex Drop-ins. You are able to heat the formula using just hot water because of the liners which also make for a much easier clean up! Now what mom doesn’t want that?!

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Having snacks around for your toddler is great for those suddenly hungry moments! Having a little sweet snack is useful when doing important errands that may need for them to behave. I just grab whatever I may have on hand.

Checklist

I have created this FREE Diaper Bag Checklist to help get you started. I have included all of the above mentioned items as well as leaving blanks for you to fill in your own suggestions!

Now I want to know what is your ABSOLUTE essential diaper bag item??

 

Day 12 Blog Challenge – Dream Vacation

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What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to travel around the world with my husband. Cliche I know but it would be my dream to just take off and be able to travel all around. We like to say that were so lucky to have had kids young because we will still be young when they graduate high school! We have our energy now to chase after little ones and will still be capable of doing the things we would love to do later on.

I don’t have a specific travel itinerary set in my mind for this, all I know is there are so many different places that I want to visit still.

If any of you have a specific dream vacation I would love to hear about it to give me some ideas!

5 Easy Hairstyles for the Mom Who Has No Time for Electric Hair Tools

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Are you constantly putting your hair up in just a pony tail because you don’t know what else to do with it? Or just because you simply don’t have the time for a full on hair-do?!

I know I am! But I have found myself growing tired of the same pulled back pony tail look, and I am sure I’m not alone. Though as a mom of two young boys I don’t really have the time to do anything fancy.

Having just a few extra hairstyles that only take a few minutes in your handbook can make you go from feeling drab to fab! Just because we are moms does not mean that we should sacrifice everything for our kids! And I am here to help you learn some tips and tricks to raise your self esteem after possibly loosing that after baby was born.

All you need for these styles is 5 minutes, hair ties, a thin stretchy headband, small claw clips and bobby pins (if you’d like).

PIXNOR Hair Styling Accessories Kit Set for DIY

1. The first hair style involves the headband and some bobby pins. Now this can work with long and short hair. You can see here how to make this look with short hair.

For myself I have very long hair which makes this look turn out a little bit different.
First you take your hair and part it down the middle and put the hairband on top of all your hair.
Next you take sections and wrap it around the hairband to hold it in place, giving your hair a crown like look.
And once you get to the back I take some hair from underneath the back to make it look as if I have it in a ponytail.
To keep it in place I use bobby pins to secure it down. *make sure to hide the bobby pins under your hair to give a more smooth look*
I like to dress it up a bit with a nicer headband as pictured!IMG_20171224_133430252_LL

Hipsy 3pk Women’s Adjustable NO SLIP Running Black Headband Gift Pack

2. Hairstyle number 2 is my take on a “messy bun”. ‘Cause let’s face it how many of us can really make a messy bun look as good as others do in pictures! All you need is one pony tail and some claw clips.

I start by putting my hair up in a high pony tail, and when making the last loop in the hair tie I only pull my hair half way through to give it a bun effect.
*With short hair you can stop here and leave it like this.
Now with my hair there is a lot left over that I pull around to hide the pony tail, using little claw clips to hold each piece in place. you can leave it as “messy” or as clean as you would like! You can see here how it is done!

3. The next hair style only takes 3 pony tails and takes me about 2 minutes to do!

You start by pulling back the top third section of hair into a pony tail.
Then tie it off and gently split it in half to be able to pull your hair up and through, so it then lays flat.
Next grab the middle third of hair along with the hair from the top pony tail and tie it off.
Then separate it again in half and pull through the hair.
Do this all on last time with the remaining hair.
You now have a super easy look that took you minutes to putt together! What time crunching mom wouldn’t like this?!IMG_20171222_165453_785

4. Another one is the bang braid. This just takes a pony tail and some bobby pins!

To do this just make a simple braid in your bangs as large or as small as you’d like.
Remember to pull bits of hair in to keep it flat against your head and once you get to the start of your ear just braid the rest out and secure off with a small pony tail.
Next I like to put up all of my hair into a pony to give it a nice pulled back look.
Easy as pie!

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5. My last hairstyle is a bit of a bonus one…. Grab a hat and call it good! ‘Cause let’s be real your a mom and sometimes this is needed!

The number one thing to remember with any of these style is to just own them! If you made a mistake and it did not turn out exactly as planned that is OK! Be confident mama and own that look because no matter what you look great!

I would love to see your 5 minute styles in the comments below!Mom Hair2

Why You Should Love Winter

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List 10 things you love about the current season.

Current Season: Winter
Current Mood about the Season: Joyful!

Winter has got to be my favorite season (along with fall), because of all that it entails! And I will tell you exactly why you should love winter as well.

  1. The SNOW!
    – Don’t let it drag you down, you can make snowmen or go sledding. Snow is still fun!
  2. Hot chocolate of course 🙂
    – I mean come on you get to drink a big cup of chocolate. BUT it should be made with milk!
  3. The holiday season
    -You’ve got Thanksgiving (sort of it’s close enough), Christmas or Hanukkah (take your pick!), The New year! Its a joyful time!
  4. I’m not dying of sweat!!
    – I literally HATE to be sticky and sweaty it is my least favorite thing ever.
  5. Christmas Cookies…yummm
    – Aren’t the holidays just an excuse to eat your weight in junk food?? HAHA!
  6. The cold, I know I know who likes the cold?!
    – I DO! Because you can pile on the clothes and blankets to get warmer but you can only take so much off to get cooler. Think about that…
  7. Family traditions
    – I just love that my new little family gets to create our own traditions to keep up with. What are some of your favorite?
  8. The start of a new year
    – Starting a new year on a new mindset is always a good refresh!
  9. I don’t know what it is but I love winter meals better than summer
    – Being able to use the oven and make nice comforting foods is my favorite. Although I do love a nice BBQ’d dinner as well!
  10. My winter wardrobe!
    – My wardrobe for the winter I just feel more comfortable it after having two babies my body is definitely NOT the same! And summer clothing makes that obvious. But I am learning to feel better about it all.

There are so many things I love about this current season! What are your favorites? Or possibly least favorites if winter happens to be a season you don’t enjoy.

5 Things to be Grateful For

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5 Things you are grateful for.

Around the holiday season people tend to ask what you are grateful for, or it is something you tend to think about. Though you should be doing this year round especially when you are feeling down!

Remembering what it is that you have in life to be thankful for is good healing for the heart. Because when you are to focused on what there is to be mad or sad or upset about you forget about the good things that make you smile on a daily basis.

  1. For myself I am grateful for my two boys and my husband (obviously!)

    These three boys give me more than anyone could ask for! Watching both boys hit different milestones is amazing! And the relationship I have with my husband is forever growing!

  2.  Next I am grateful for the fact that I have the ability to get my degree at such an amazing school. WGUI have gone to a couple different schools trying to find my perfect fit. I have finally found it with Western Governors University. 
  3. Next I am grateful for the friends and family I have that surround me with such love.
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  4. I am grateful for the fact that I have my strength and determination to get through each day. ThinkstockPhotos-475294810I went through a long period of time where I did not feel like I had this and I am not eternally grateful for this feeling.
  5. Lastly I am grateful that we do not live in a state of struggle. We may not make a lot of money but we know how to live within our means.

Finding at least 5 things to be grateful for may not be easy to do but I have faith that you can do it as well! If you feel like it comment with what you are grateful for!

Day 8 Blog Challenge – Favorite Recipe

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Share your favorite recipe!

With the holiday season in full swing I have been making baked goods galore! And I think I have found one of THE BEST pumpkin bread recipes.

I swear I made this recipe 3 times since Thanksgiving now! You can find the recipe here!

After finding this one I have been trying out some of Sally’s Baking Addiction’s  other recipes and let me tell you I have not found a flaw in any of them so far. I keep going back to her website for tips and tricks of baking as well as different recipes.

If anyone wants to get me her cookbook I wouldn’t say no HA! So for this holiday season I 100% recommend going to Sally’s Baking Addiction to find your next holiday goodie!

What are your favorite baked goods or general recipes?

Day 7 Blog Challenge – Favorite Children’s Book

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What are your favorite children’s books?

Being a mom and a future teacher I LOVE children’s books! I definitely cycle through favorites though because with a two year old you end up reading the same book every night for weeks on end!

Currently I really like Mr. Pout Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark.Mr Pout Pout Fish

It is just such a fun cute book about this fish who is trying to find a friend’s pearl. It teaches kids to face their fears and that if you need help that is totally fine! Because sometimes doing something scary you need a little help from a friend.

Another favorite of mine is There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.WocketPocket

I mean come on who doesn’t like a good Dr. Seuss book? This is one that just makes me laugh right through till the end.

Lastly I have a book website that I absolutely LOVE. Every year for Christmas I buy my boys and niece a personalized book from Put me in the Story. The quality of the books are always spot on and just what I am looking for!

img_20171217_174353020.jpgThese are the books I got this year! I can’t wait to give them to the kids for Christmas. Seeing that they are apart of the story makes kids happy!

What are your favorite children’s books? I would love to find some new gems to get my boys!

Day 6 Blog Challenge – Comfort Foods

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What are your comfort foods?

Yummy comfort foods! What comes to mind when you think of comfort foods? For me I can think of so many ooey gooey desserts that I just love!

BUT my favorite comfort food? Homemade mac and cheese!

We love making mac and cheese with multiple different cheeses then baking it and topping it with a crushed cheese-its and butter mixture to give it some crunch! My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.

This is my favorite because I mean come on who doesn’t like cheese? I don’t really have any special memories around it. It’s just something I could eat on a weekly basis.

What’s your favorite comfort food? I’d love to know