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 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.

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  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??

 

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

In honor of National Cookie Day…

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I made cookies with my 2 year old! Now “unfortunately” I have been craving homemade cookies for a solid month now. (I have a 2 month old what do you expect! Everything takes longer!!) So this morning I put my mind to it, I WAS going to finally make these cookies and I DID IT! Now naturally I had to include my 2 year old in this adventure so this is the short story of baking with a toddler in pictures.

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To start out I need to make sure that my youngest is content without his milk maker! CHECK

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Here we are happily measuring out all the ingredients. Also our recipe  clearly displayed on my computer because I cannot remember a darn thing let alone a whole recipe!!

 

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WAIT what happened to the toddler?! Well dad said that Babe was rolling over for the first time (YAY milestones!) So of course as a sweet big brother does he must go check to see what’s happening.

*quick mom tip – Use a plate to measure over for “quicker” cleanup*

 

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Time to make the dough balls…he just likes to rub the dough in his hands…. but we eventually get to this!

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The second best part of making cookies…getting to turn the light on and watch the bake 🙂

 

IMG_20171204_161533643.jpgAND the final product! Delicious double chocolate chip cookies! and now my craving is satisfied.

 

Happy National Cookie Day!

Motivated!

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DoTheseThingstoGetMotivated

Well I did not make it on to post last week due to Thanksgiving but I’M BACK! I am feeling super motivated after a realization I had last week. My accomplishments between the 1st of September and November 15th:

  • I finished one 4 credit online class along with two 3 credit classes
  • I started working 40 hours a week for the first time in 2+ years
  • I had my second child on October 6th
  • I started a new “beauty” routine (more to come on that later)

So not to toot my own horn but I am feeling very proud of myself. Before I started this semester in school I went through a short period where I thought about taking a term break since I was going to be learning how to juggle two little boys now, but I decided to move on and continue with school. And boy am I so happy that I did! With the way my school works my semester still does not end until the end of February and I can take as many more classes as I would like to do. So onward to my next class; a four credit natural science class. This is a big milestone in my education because it is my last class before I begin to take all of the elementary education classes (YAY!).

For the upcoming week my next goals will be:

  1. Get one section of classwork done in Natural Science
  2. Finally make those cookies I have been craving for the last month!
  3. Wrap some presents
  4. Write 2 different blog posts on top of my weekly check in
    1. Baking with a 2 year old
    2. My new obsession – beauty

One Month In & Goals

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Little Lincoln is officially a month old (and a few days…oops!). This month has been full of firsts for us. He has given dad a few little smirks, he is trying to find his voice now, and he is starting to actually watch people. I love my little boy but now that he is starting to be more alert it is much more enjoyable! Before he was born many knew about my fear of how Ezekiel was going to act…I am pleased to say that he is just GREAT with his little brother. He may not always want to deal with Lincoln, but when he does it is probably the cutest thing you’ll ever see. Watching Ezekiel interact with Lincoln just melts my heart. Not to make everything seem perfect we definitely are having some major tantrums coming from Ezekiel and some colicyness from Lincoln, but taking everything day by day is all we can do.

Onto school…for a while I felt as if I dropped off the planet when it came to submitting my tasks (thank goodness my schooling is self-paced!!). I literally did not do a THING for about 3 weeks, but in the last 2 I have finished one class and am half way through my next.

To hold myself accountable I am putting it out there for all to see that my next goal is to finish the second half of my class by the 18th, because the in-laws are coming to town. That way I can take a week off and not focus to much on school during Thanksgiving. Goal #2 I would like to finish my science class by December 15th, because my school mentor is doing an Amazon giveaway and each class finished by that date is one entry…and who doesn’t love FREE money?! Goal #3 I want to get on here more to create more posts. I would like to shoot for at least one a week.

Now I do want to be reasonable since I do have a one month old and a 2 year old so my posts may not always be super detailed but this is something I want to do for me. With goals put out there for everyone to see I think I will be more likely to do this. And for anyone who wants to be held accountable with another person for any of their goals I am here! Let’s do this TOGETHER!

Unexpected Home Birth

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Our day started off as normally as they have been at 9 months pregnant thinking that at any moment labor could start and we would need to get ready to go to the hospital. I had gone through the night unscathed with no contractions so I decided to go into work. Working at Starbucks on my feet all day has its ups and downs being pregnant. The downs are that I was getting sent home every day because of contractions starting after a few hours on my feet.

Anyways…after about 3 hours of working that morning I started having contractions 10 minutes apart.  I felt as if it was time so I told Tom to come pick me up from work, and while I waited for him to come get me I was overcome with emotion and started panicking. Everything seemed to have come crashing down all at once. By the time we got home my contractions faded off, and I was unbelievably disappointed that I yet again went through a few hours of contractions that led to nothing.

Tom and I decided to go throughout our day and just try to focus on spending some more time with Ezekiel. It was a normal night, with an extra long walk to try and get things going. By the end of the night I had decided that nothing was happening so I texted the bosses and told them although I was feeling fine I could not make it to work because of the mental state I was in. I started making my plans for Friday to keep me occupied while everyone was out of the house. Next thing I know I was asleep for the night…

2:13am I wake up as normal just having to pee for the 100th time that night just like every other night. Everything was normal, I sit there for just a few more seconds hoping that my water might have broken. It didn’t. So I wobble back to bed and lay down. I cannot stress enough how normal this moment was and how much I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. But…

pop. POP. POP! The noise freaked me out a little bit so I went back to the bathroom in case that noise was my water breaking. Next thing I know I started feeling pain ALL OVER.

Now I am not one of those women who believe the movies and think that I could possibly have this baby at home, or in the car or in the elevator for goodness sake! I never prepared for the thought that I may have to do this under the most stressful of circumstances. Especially by this point I figured my labor would start because of work and I would just have to go to the hospital from there. But boy was I wrong.

Back to my instant pain…I was leaning over the sink, walking around and even tried laying back down to ease this. Now this had only been a few minutes but I just couldn’t shake it so I shook Tom awake in hopes he could help me somehow, and to say it was probably time. When he woke up I couldn’t quite figure out how to tell him what I was thinking. All I knew was a contraction should not be lasting as long as this one was…

I was laying on our bed crying out in so much pain as Tom was getting himself and our stuff together, I started telling him that something was not right…something just felt off. He went down stairs to wake up my sister-in-law, Amy who just so happens to be my OB’s medical assistant.

“OH MY GOSH…I have to poop!” While in this non-stop pain all I could think was I need to do this before both Tom and Amy come back up…I know silly thoughts while in labor, but I wanted to be somewhat modest!

Once they got back upstairs, I’m sure you can guess I had not pooped. But I was holding onto the outside of the door frame trying to keep myself standing because by this point my legs were tingling and felt almost numb. Amy kept telling me that it’s okay and that we just have to get to the hospital. By now I knew that I wasn’t making it to the hospital I felt his head right between my legs! I just kept saying “No why is he coming now this shouldn’t be happening.” So Amy decided to take a look to see what was going on…

Now this is when things started becoming a little hazy for me…I remember Amy getting me to lay on the ground while I heard Tom in the background calling 911. Then I heard Ezekiel come out of his room crying, and for the rest of the time I could only think about Ezekiel. Had he seen? What did he hear? Is he okay? I was overcome with terror thinking I had just traumatized him.

2:35am after just a few moments of pushing Lincoln was born right there on our bathroom floor, and I went into complete shock. The paramedics and firefighters arrived, cut the cord and proceeded to strap me into the stair chair to get me out and on the way to the hospital. I was given my baby but was still in shock and started getting very cold.

Once we arrived we were taken straight to labor and delivery so they could delivery the placenta. The nurses took Lincoln to get all his measurements and make sure that he was okay. They had to keep him under the warming lights for about an hour so I knew he was safe and sound. That is when my body just let go and I could not focus on anything except for how cold and terrible I was feeling. I was given heated blanket after heated blanket with no signs of warming up. One nurse finally sent down orders to get me this heated suit that I wore for about an hour as well as some food. Finally I started coming to and felt better, and everything that just happened sunk in.

Some may think that having a home birth was such a cool experience but it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I am beyond grateful and continue to thank God that both Lincoln and I are safe and healthy. Also without the help of my sister-in-law, Amy being there to deliver Lincoln, my husband for calling 911 and making sure to get us in a safe place, and my brother-in-law, Shamus for taking care of Ezekiel while everything was going on I would not have been able to stay so sane through this all (well as sane as I think any person could have been).

After my first birth I suffered in silence from some really bad postpartum depression, and with a 1% chance birth of my second child the chance of postpartum is pretty high. That is why I am taking the time to write this out and process through all of these feelings that come with such an intense birth.

Life doesn’t always go as planned or expected but with the help of people around you it can make such times a lot easier to process. In just 12 minutes my life changed forever, but I have one of life’s most precious gifts to thank for it.

On October 6th 2017 my little baby boy Lincoln was born at 2:35 in the morning by my sister-in-law on our bathroom floor. Weighing in at an even 8lbs and 19.5 inches long he is my second little miracle.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Pre-Labor Blues

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Burning. Contracting. Breath-taking pre-labor. Since Monday I have been experiencing pre-labor pains and I am sick of it! Don’t get me wrong I want to keep my baby in as long as possible to keep him safe and give him the best chance but I have reached the point where I just want this to be over with and for baby to make his appearance. I will have hours of consistent contractions that just do not get close enough together to warrant going into the hospital. Then I will have moments of time that I think my water has broken but UHMM nope! It’s just some kind of nasty mucus. Baby boy is also so far down between by legs that keeping my legs closed hurts so I am just sitting spread eagle…I know lady-like right? While on the subject of how far down he is let’s talk about the head grinding against the cervix feeling. The best I can put into words is that it is the feeling of the sound of when car breaks are metal to metal would feel like down yonder. Then with each hiccup he has it just puts the pressure on my bladder instantly and makes me feel like I am going to pee my pants. All of this on top of the normal late pregnancy symptoms has made it impossible to sleep and impossible to do much of anything. And I know, I know I should treasure the fact that my body is able to produce such an amazing thing but this pregnancy has taken the life out of me! AND I am the women who does not have a connection to this baby growing inside of me like all women say they have! If this is you as well, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is baby number two for me and both times now I have not felt a connection instantly or even a few months after knowing I was pregnant. I do want to note that the feeling will change I love my first son, Ezekiel more than life itself. So come along with me for more discussion on this subject to get the word out that this is not weird or uncommon.