How I Got My 14 Month Old Off the Bottle

This post contains products that I was given in return for a post. The opinions presented, however, are entirely my own. Parenting is tough you guys! I mean as soon as I get the hang of something its time for … Continue reading

Balancing Act

Well I have spent the last 3 weeks student teaching 3 days a week on top of being a mom, wife, and taking care of household chores, and I am feeling a bit (okay very) overwhelmed. Now Monday the fun begins.

Monday my university coursework officially begins, which means I will be gone 5 days a week 40 hours (plus an evening class), with homework and assignments.

My question to all of you amazing women is what is your trick to balancing it all?

I realize that I am going to have to let go of some of the housework, which means the cleanliness level is going to decline a bit. I just honestly don’t know how I’m going to handle that because having things neat and organized is what keeps peace in my life. It keeps my stress level a little lower, and just generally makes me happy.

Asking for help seems to be the most common advice I seem to get from people, and honestly it is probably the hardest for me to follow. I HATE asking others for help. In my mind I want to still be the same kind of mom and wife that I am now, before returning to school (and eventually working). I want to make dinner, do my family’s laundry, etc, and I totally realize that this is old fashioned. Doing these things for my family is a sort of validation for me. I feel like a better mom to my daughter when I do her laundry, prep her food/bottles, and put her to bed. I feel like a better wife when I do my husband’s laundry, clean, and make meals. None of these things are true to anyone around me, but they hold true for me.

I’m trying desperately to mentally prepare myself to ask for help.

I’m trying to let go of the need for perfection (or at least close to it) around the house.

I’m trying to keep my priorities in order.

But these things are all a lot harder than I ever thought they would be.

Please give me all the advice or words of wisdom you have Mommas!

Love Always,

Sam

Sand Between Her Toes

We made our first trip out the coast this past weekend, and boy did my little girl LOVE the sand! She was completely obsessed with it and wanted nothing more than to play and sit in it. This trip was … Continue reading

A Surprising Compliment

Hello Lovelies! I just wanted to pop in and say first off that all of you Mommas are amazing and doing a wonderful job at this crazy journey called motherhood (just in case no one has told you today). The … Continue reading

Road Trippin’ With a Baby

We survived our first road trip with the little one. I call that a parenting a triumph and milestone for my husband and I. Now let me be real with you and say that there were definitely a few times when I was on the verge of ripping my hair out. Here are a few things that worked for us and kept all my hair firmly attached (messy but attached).

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Let the Baby Sleep and Drive

I tried to time the day with my daughter to where she would be ready for a nap when we were loading up and heading out. Our plan was to drive until she woke up and pray that we made it to our destination without a meltdown. This seemed to work great for us on the way there and she woke up just before we arrived. For the way home she wasn’t as ready for a nap and we paid the consequences. Picture a full blown “I hate my car seat” meltdown with an hour left to drive. Lesson learned: leave later with a tired baby.

Bring a Partner

Having two of us meant that one could drive and one could (attempt to) soothe baby, feed the baby or just offer moral support for the relentless screaming. Not having to face a very unhappy baby alone was seriously a lifesaver.

Have a Bottle Ready

We bottle feed our daughter (see my post on why here) and so we had a bottle made and easy to access in the car. On the way to our destination she woke up just before arriving and was hungry. We saved ourselves from an impending explosion of pissed off baby by having a bottle ready to feed her in the car. Boom happy baby, happy mommy and daddy.

Put Their Favorite Toy in Their Car Seat

My daughter has this little giraffe rattle-like toy that she finds super interesting, plus she loves putting it in her mouth (win-win for a 6 month old). This was just another meltdown prevention tactic that worked for short spurts of time. Anytime with no screaming in a moving vehicle is good.

Let Them Nap

We arrived to our destination past her bedtime plus she had been sleeping the way down so she was up late that night! Of course my daughter doesn’t know what sleeping in is so she was up at 5:30 am like usual. Now normally she takes two naps per day, morning and afternoon. The day after we arrived, however, I threw her nap schedule out the window. Instead I simply took cues from her and put her down to nap when she was tired. This provided with my happy little baby when she was awake, which was perfect because she met lots of family that day.

Overall our first mini road trip with our 5 and a half month old went pretty well. We learned plenty for the next one though.

What are some of your road trip tips?

Love Always,

Sam

What am I Even Doing?

I thought by now that I would have the hang of this whole motherhood thing. 5 months I shouldn’t be winging it on a regular basis, or so I thought. Man I was SO wrong! You guys pretty much everyday … Continue reading

My First Mother’s Day

My husband is a very simple man and also a very typical man (i.e not always the most thoughtful and slightly oblivious). Leading up to Mother’s Day I was getting a little disappointed when everyone kept asking him what we had planned for the day (it was my first one with Charlotte), and he repeatedly responded with things like “I don’t know”, “nothing yet” and “I have no idea.” My feelings were a little hurt to be honest that he hadn’t put in any thought; I am already thinking and planning his first Father’s Day after all so why hasn’t he been doing the same?

The “big” day came and my daughter woke up early and was cranky but my husband let me stay in bed and took her and our dog to the store. I had a feeling he was off to get me flowers because he’s good about that for other days like my birthday and our anniversary, but I stayed in bed and relaxed and never let on that I knew. He came home with a sleeping baby, flowers and Starbucks! Just the added the thought of a nice coffee was thoughtful for my dear husband. Then to my surprise he made me pancakes, from scratch (like with no bisquick!) and they were delicious

 

It was cloudy and overcast here, plus it rained the night before, so the picnic that I had wanted was not in the cards. He suggested a walk at a park I rarely get to go to since most of the paths are secluded and I don’t like walking them alone. It was absolutely amazing. There were hardly other people due to the weather, my dog got to go off and do her thing as we went, and my daughter was very well behaved. Most importantly it was relaxing and calming. My husband and I were just able to talk about anything and about nothing, something we rarely have time to do these days. There is always something that needs to be discussed or decided upon so leisurely conversations just don’t seem to happen much.

The rest of the day was spent at home and while my husband’s thoughtfulness sort of ran out (probably due to him being exhausted and dreading the work week), that morning was better than any extravagantly planned out day. My husband is sweet and loving in a way that is all his own, and I realized that’s why I fell in love with him. There is no over the top production with him; he does things his way and usually last minute but its always more fun that way. More importantly, he puts thought into making me happy. It may not be the kind of thought you see in the movies or the kind that you can brag to friends about but its the kind that means something. I’ll take my simple, thoughtful husband over a social media worthy surprise, any day.

It’s the love behind the gesture that means something, not the gesture itself.

How was your Mother’s Day? What did you and your family do for the day?

Love Always,

Sam

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Take a Minute, (not just on Mother’s Day) for Yourself

Wednesday was just one of those days that veteran moms warn you about while you’re pregnant. Those days where you are drained of patience but still have to push through, those days where NOTHING will make your little one happy, those days where you go in the bathroom to breath and cry a little. Needless to say it was not fun. I counted down the minutes until my husband got home, and of course he had to work a little late (because that’s just how it goes); I desperately needed just a little help.

I needed a break, and bad. Once I got 5 minutes to eat and take a second I felt alright, and then the mom guilt set in to go back and be with my husband and baby. She was being cute and happy with daddy and I wanted to be apart of that. You guys, thank goodness for my husband that night because he made me go in and have some “mommy” time. I don’t think I would have done it without him pretty much forcing me, but why?

Why do we feel like we have to be with our little ones constantly? Why, as moms, do we feel guilty for taking an hour to just be alone?

I took a bubble bath that night. I put my headphones in and listened to some relaxing, (non-Disney) music (aka my Jason Mraz station on Pandora). I couldn’t hear if the baby was crying, if she was being absolutely adorable, or if the dog was barking, and it was amazing. I leisurely scrolled through Pinterest with no guilt and with no constraints. I wasn’t searching for anything or any answers, so I could just look and listen and relax. I didn’t realize how much I had needed it until I got out. I felt rejuvenated and refreshed. I was ready to make tomorrow a better day, and I was ready to happily soothe a cranky baby.

With Mother’s Day approaching, everyone is talking about gifts and wonderful brunches, but ladies we need to pamper ourselves more than just once a year. You know that saying “Happy wife, happy life?” It really should say “Happy wife, happy baby, happy life.” No more mom guilt for handing the baby to the hubby or sitter or friend or who ever you trust to take an hour and just breath and relax because having this time (at least in my  humble opinion), makes for a better mom. You have more patience for the tantrums or epic spit ups or blowouts; *gasp* you may even see some humor in them because you’re not completely and utterly drained.

Celebrate this beautiful thing that is motherhood this Sunday, but also celebrate yourself all throughout the year with a little “you” time.

What do you like to do to relax and recharge? Tell me in the comments below.

Love Always,

Sam

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My Challenges of Breastfeeding

We’ve all heard before “Breast is best” but what happens when a new mom cant breastfeed their baby for one of the several reasons out there?

Mom Guilt. That’s what happens.

I had every intention of breastfeeding my daughter. During pregnancy, I had grand plans of nursing and then pumping on occasion to build up a supply for when I went I back to school. I read all these great articles about how women had enough milk pumped that they were able to stop at 8 months! Well I am almost 4 months in and NONE of this has happened!

First off my daughter fell asleep EVERY time we nursed after only about 5 minutes. I tried everything to get her to stay awake and nurse the recommended 15 minutes on the first side. I researched and read countless articles and posts, but nothing would keep that baby awake and NOTHING would wake her back up (except laying her down and walking away of course). This led to countless nights of absolutely no sleep for me, and this just wasn’t going to work. You see my husband can’t help during the week at night and I just simply cannot go 5 days with zero sleep (you can read about why I don’t normally nap when she does here).

Alright, plan B then. I will pump and feed her a bottle of breast milk. I nursed every so often (about twice per day) to keep bonding because again I read so many articles dictating how crucially necessary it is to nurse in order to properly bond. This worked for a little while I will admit. We were moving right along for about 2 months with little problems, and then she started demanding more milk. Nursing just caused frustration for the both of us so I dropped it and went to exclusively pumping. Fine. At least she was still getting breast milk.

And then the 3 month mark hit. She needed at least 5 ounces of milk and would sometimes require 7-8 ounces. I pumped every time she ate plus more frequently in the evening because all of those “breast is best” articles stated thats’s how you build supply. Well slowly over the period of a week I used up my little freezer supply to supplement her appetite with what I was producing. One day the freezer was empty and I had a screaming baby at 9 o’clock at night and my husband looked at me (both of us with terrible bags under our eyes) and he said “Baby, use some of the formula you have. It’s okay.” Honestly I teared up and cried a little as I made the bottle.

I felt like such a failure as a mom. I was giving my baby formula.

You know what? She slept better than she ever had that night 5 hours in a row! I kept diligently pumping and reading to figure out how to build  up my supply. Nothing seemed to work and I couldn’t let my baby go hungry. Formula kept becoming more and more of a necessity. Now I am at the point where I am exhausted from trying to pump enough because sometimes I only produce 1 ounce total! I haven’t changed my pumping schedule, but my milk keeps dwindling not increasing. And you guys I feel like I failed her.

I am so worried that now my baby will:

be overweight

have a weak immune system

not get the nutrients she needs

be behind the breast fed babies.

And the list goes on.

But here’s the thing, I am tired of feeling like this! I tried everything and my body just simply doesn’t produce enough milk for her, and is running out. I don’t know why but I can see it happening. I’m not a bad mom because of it. I read to her daily and we do tummy time, and sing songs, and do all the other recommended enrichment. It’s not fair that the media and other moms have put such a shame on women for not exclusively nursing or breastfeeding.

Well guess what!? Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

If you fought through and exclusively breastfed/nursed that is awesome! You are amazing and a wonderful mother!

If you couldn’t nurse/breastfeed because  of any multitude of legitimate reasons that is awesome! You, too are amazing and a wonderful mother!

Mothers need support because this is a tough gig. I don’t want to be ashamed to buy formula at the store anymore or fear that some mom is going to lecture me on my poor or “selfish” decision. I just want to do what’s best for my baby and myself and feel supported.

Please don’t ever feel the dreaded mom guilt when you are doing what works for you and baby.

Love Always ,

Sam

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A Rant from a New Mom

Alright fair warning that I’m going to use this post to vent a little (a lot) about some frustrations of being a new mom brought on by “veteran” moms. I say this out of love, but seriously give us a break and think about a few of these. 

Here is my list of things/comments that are so not helping me out. 

  • The constant flow of incoming advice (even when I didn’t ask for any) 
  • The telling of your worst horror stories about your children
  • Bragging to me relentlessly about how early your child hit a milestone that mine is taking longer to accomplish.
  • The need you feel to “parent” me on how to be a parent.
  • Asking me how my husband is doing as if you assume he must be struggling (this one actually seriously offends mine).
  • Telling me you think I’m doing something wrong
  • Questioning me about the pediatrician I chose so that I can gain your approval
  • Judging me as a parent based on the brands I choose to use. 

Here is my list of what I wish other moms would say or do for one another. This should be a sisterhood because let’s face it folks motherhood is hard! 

  • Feed me and tell me I’m pretty ( but seriously bringing food to a brand new momma and telling her she looks great is really all she needs in her life at that moment.)
  • Tell me that baby is absolutely beautiful (throwing in perfect doesn’t hurt either).
  • Tell me how great you think I’m doing and that I’m adapting to motherhood wonderfully.
  • When I’m upset that my beautiful baby isn’t hitting a milestone tell me a similar situation with your children.
  • Just be supportive and don’t judge me. (This is all I really ask)

In all honesty I am not trying to be mean but rather express my frustration as a young new mom. I love my fellow mommas and I’m so thrilled to be able to call myself my daughter’s mom, but it’s hard sometimes feeling constantly judged! Let’s make motherhood a club of supportive, happy women just trying to survive on kisses and caffeine. 
Love Always,

Sam