Life Update – January 2018

Standard

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

Standard

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.
    IMG_20171230_102117842

    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.
    IMG_20171230_102016384

    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.

IMG_20171230_102213008
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?!

IMG_20171230_102339916
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 7 Blog Challenge – Favorite Children’s Book

Standard

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 2 Blog Challenge – Dream Job

Standard

What is your dream job and why?

Over the years while taking so many different collage classes I have had a plethora of “dream jobs.” I just did not have a for sure idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up! Honestly I still would not say that I had a precise dream job. All I can say for sure is that my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher is almost in my reach! Now to some this may not seem like the dream but I love kids and have always wanted to help people. In this profession I get to do both how awesome is that?!

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I almost have a finished degree, but I just love learning about all different kinds of things. I have taken nursing classes to psychology to criminal justice and many different ones in between. If I am being totally honest with myself I would take ALL of the classes and just continue to develop my knowledge about many different things and be a stay at home mom and student (if only I could get paid to do that!).

Another dream I have is being able to work for the college I currently attend. Ever since I started at this school I have had such a love for it and I am so passionate about the program. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced and to be able to share what it is all about to other students would be amazing!

Yes, I have many different dreams but who doesn’t?! But for this moment in time I am beyond excited to become an elementary school teacher.

Tell me, what is it that you are passionate to do in life?

 

Day 1 Blog Challenge

Standard

What is the meaning behind your blog name?

As you all can clearly see my blog’s name is Mommy’s Real Life. But what’s behind my reasoning for this name starts out with how anyone who knows me says that I am brutally honest when it comes to my “mom life”. I tell it exactly how it is. For example while pregnant if someone asked how I was feeling I would not give the expected answers of “Oh I’m tired but it’s all worth it” or the ever asked question “Are you excited?” With which you are obviously supposed to reply with “Yes!” My answers were always much more candid (which we can get into deeper later).

My life is not cookie cutter perfect by any means! But one thing is for certain I do NOT try and make it seem that way. Mommy’s Real Life is me expressing what it is like to keep a family going even when it might seem tough. I want to be real and open and honest about the different aspects of what life is like being apart of a young family. And how to normalize the thoughts and ideas that I know other moms and dads are having but might not be expressing.

My journey is just beginning but one thing is for certain “I’m keepin’ it real.”

In honor of National Cookie Day…

Standard

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.

IMG_20171204_151517205

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

IMG_20171204_152114685

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!!

 

IMG_20171204_152917600

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*

 

IMG_20171204_153544803

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

IMG_20171204_154359398_LL

 

IMG_20171204_154542246

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!

Standard

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

Standard

23415342_10209945093053844_6461491561086169214_o

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!

To move or to not to move…

Standard

So this has been a nagging thought in my head for months now (not that I can do anything about it right away) but I read an article last night describing the budget deficit that my current school district is in. This is bad for two reasons; my sons will be going to school here and I will be becoming a teacher here in the next year. So after sleeping on that thought and waking up everything inside of me told me that I CANNOT live here. I don’t know what it was that took over because I’ve known were not in a very good school district but I wanted to make it work because all of our friends and family are here. And if we move it will be to a place we know no one and won’t have the help like we do here. I feel like I like the idea of starting fresh in a new city but it also terrifies me! My question for you readers out there is…have any of you done this? How did it turn out? And if you could recommend a place for a young family of 4 to move to (anywhere in the U.S) where would it be and why?

Pre-Labor Blues

Standard

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.