Category Archives: Baby

Real Talk, New Baby

 One of the biggest things I had to learn whilst being a new parent was that it was ok when my child was crying. Yes, I needed to check on them and tend to their needs but it didn’t have to happen that second. The world wasn’t going to end if I finished my meal or drink.

I would however get into trouble if I didn’t take care of myself and instead rushed to my child’s aid. You are not a bad parent by taking time for yourself. In fact, it is imperative. You cannot look after your child to the best of your capabilities if you do not take the time to eat, drink and rest.

As long as you know that they are not in trouble, you do not have to stop what you’re doing to ease their crying. Yes make sure they are fed, changed and comfortable but if tears come in spite of this, do not feel that you have to give up your meal to nurse your bub – they can wait until you’re done!

Christine – http://www.wealthinthebible.com/

FIRST YEAR
Remember how I said everyone has an opinion? This doesn’t stop… ever. You’ve spent nine months carrying this beautiful child around in your body, went thru your own personal hell to get it out and now that baby is here you need a whole new set of advice and tips from other parents.

Breastfeed vs formula: there is a hot debate and many good moms have fallen in the battle. Do what is best for you and your baby and stick with it.

If you do choose and can breastfeed my advice is don’t quit too early. This is not an easy feat. Finding the right position for baby and you and getting the latch is a difficult task. Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally. All those sweet photos of loving moms nursing their happily sitting still babies can be a bit overwhelming and disheartening to a new mom.

Even after nursing two kids I did not remember the toe-curling pain involved with nursing a new born. The pain wasn’t from the onset of the first few latches or even the incorrect latches. The worst pain comes when the milk starts to fully come in and baby is nursing. I can compare it only to a sensation of microscopic needles sliding thru my ducts. Thankfully it does not last the duration of nursing, only the first few weeks of milk coming in.

When baby does get the hang of it he’ll get so comfy he’ll be zen, and start practicing baby yoga while nursing. Just let it happen, it’s a funny experience.

You do what you think and feel is best for you and baby. Mother’s intuition is a real thing. Trust it.

 

LESLIE
Emotionally, I was a wreck after they were born. I was worried they were going to die and that my babies would be taken from me. I couldn’t even text or talk to anyone without crying my eyes out for the first few days! I know my body was going through major changes, it definitely got to my head.
Pumping…I could write forever about pumping. My advice is to get a good pump if you plan to breastfeed. You never know, breastfeeding might not work out and if getting Mama’s milk is important — invest in a good pump! I pumped exclusively for 11 months and it was the single hardest part of the entire journey. If you are on fence about providing them breast milk — just do formula. It will be much less stressful — but it is more expensive, so be aware of cost. My point is, don’t stress about feeding the baby — formula, breast milk…whatever you go with, just be confident in your choice. The baby will grow just fine!
Sleeping is an essential part of your child’s growth. We avoided co-sleeping and put our babies in two separate cribs. They never slept in our bed and preferred to be in their own room. Get them into this habit early; you’ll be grateful for it later. If you still want cuddle time, do it for the first or last bit of naps. Avoid interrupting sleep cycles. They need sleep to grow, to build their immune systems and to be mentally happy! We also didn’t try to be quiet during sleep time. That gets them in the habit of sleeping through noise. You can’t shut your house down for naps! I have a friend that couldn’t even wear jeans in her house because the friction noise of her walking would wake up the kids — no bueno.
I am a fan of daycare or some kind of group learning (library time, outings with friends, etc.). My kids are super smart (and no, I’m not just biased) and they are very social — it’s because they spend time with others and have a lot of structured learning time each day. Have them go for a few days or hours a week, it doesn’t have to be a full time thing.
When they fall, have them get right back up (preferably on their own). For example, if your kid falls down the slide — have them go down that same slide immediately after — it helps them overcome their fears. Just don’t coddle… 🙂
I attempted to make my own baby food (all organic) and it was a short lived activity. I ended up just buying organic baby food and then pureed some things on-demand. Avocados were a great first food. Rice cereal is basically a waste, but we did it just to get them used to texture.
Make sensory toys! Crumpled up paper, bottles with water and glitter…stuff like that is a fun craft and is great for their learning time!
My last piece of advice is two fold:
1. Get out every day! It doesn’t have to be a grandiose activity, even just an outing to the store is good for them and YOU!
2. Lower your expectations and then lower them again!

RENEE

Being happy during the first year took actual effort. I thought just having a baby would be overwhelmingly satisfactual and fulfilling. In reality I had lost all concept of time management and felt I had no purpose other than to nurse this infant and shower away my strange new Mom smell. I had to come up with a personal mantra to chant during these low times and eventually I found happiness in my day-to-day routine and found an outlet through exercise.

Real Talk Part 2… L&D

L&D also known as labor and delivery is what naturally comes next in this segment. There are some great tips and stories for you to learn from, or just laugh at while relating.

  • If you think you can do it ala natural… more power to you. I tried it and my 9lb+ babies made contractions horrific
  • When you deliver in a hospital you’ll have tubes, IVs and straps on almost every part of your body. When you’re attached to these machines on your bed, don’t plan on getting up.
  • Not getting up means you’ll need a catheter… yep a catheter
  • While you won’t be eating… they’ll still let your husband eat, even when you’re bearing down trying to push his spawn out!
  • Forget the big overnight bag full of stuff for you, just grab a few essentials in your bag. I brought a cross stitch blanket I had been working on thinking I’d have time to finish it. I did except I was being hooked up to monitors making it nearly impossible to sew.
  • Ice, ice, baby. Then lots of fluids. Get a good lip balm and have plenty of ice chips nearby.

ELIZABETH

1. Just get the epidural 😉
2. I didn’t know my water could just slowly leak out. It didn’t really “break” it just leaked…
3. Be nice to your nurse and she will be nice to you.
4. Know yourself. This is about YOU! No one else. Don’t feel obligated to have a mom in the room.
RENEE
 
I had no expectations for labor or delivery but I expected to be fully recovered in six weeks. Due to complication during and after delivery it took me 12+ weeks to be back to “normal.” During labor (the actual pushing portion) I felt pain that was only outmatched by the sensation to drop a deuce. I asked the doctor-while pushing-if I could please take a break to go to the bathroom. I only remember asking once or twice but according to Dane I asked about 30 times!
ELYSE (check out her blog and adventures too)

When I first got my period, my Mom wouldn’t let me use tampons, which was terribly embarrassing, obviously. She said they were dangerous and yet I just couldn’t let it go. About a year later, she finally allowed me to use one, and of course, I was terrified. I had waited for that moment and begged for it, and then when it came down to it, I had to stick that thing, where!? I finally got the courage and it got stuck. Terribly stuck. Don’t ask me how, and I can’t even begin to explain it without further embarrassing myself, but my Mom wasn’t home and I called her in hysteric tears. So then here I was, sitting in the bathroom with a stuck tampon, with my Mom racing home to save me. And even better than that, within the next few moments, I was on that same bathroom floor with my Mom trying to take the stupid tampon out of me. It’s ok, you can laugh. If it weren’t weird to put emojis in here, I would be crying laughing with you. Probablynot our best Mother-Daughter moment!

So what’s this have to do with labor? Well, that tampon ended up creating this really strange tear. Every Gynecologist I ever saw, said it wouldn’t be a future problem, which always weirded me out. I couldn’t use tampons much because of it, so how would it not be a future problem?

Then I got pregnant with my first baby and I was in labor, and I kept telling the Doctor about the tear. I had this fear that the baby’s hand would pull it on the way out and make everything worse, as crazy as that sounded. And trust me, they let me know how crazy it sounded.

Sure enough, it became a big problem. It was the worst experience of my life, and it all started because that little baby hand pulled at the small tear and made it so much worse.

Not only that, I was at a terrible hospital, with a Doctor who wasnt present, and the nurse helping me was even worse. I kept telling her that I could feel my legs still and I was panicked. She kept telling me I was wrong.

And I felt wrong. I felt like since it was my first baby, I must not know anything; that since they were Doctors, they must know everything.

But here’s the thing; they don’t know me, and they don’t know my body.

You don’t need to know everything, but you do need to know yourself and know your inner voice. You need to trust your instincts. And that goes with being a Mother as well. With my second and third, I was extremely picky with my Doctors and did tons of research. With my third, I even switched Doctors when I was 30 weeks along because I didn’t feel right about going through the labor experience with the office I had been seeing. And I was incredibly grateful I did that.

No one told me how much I needed to trust my instincts.

There’s a lot no one tells you about labor, and I have stories for days of terrible experiences I had with my first. However, there is one thing I wish I would’ve been told that first time, and that is how important and vital and necessary a good nurse is. The Doctor? I’ve had a rainbow of them, and that doesn’t matter as much. But a bad nurse!? That could literally make or break the entire experience.

Some might disagree with me, but you have to think about the time they spend with you. In labor, you are with the nurse longer than you are with a Doctor. That nurse is tending to your needs, she is coaching you through contractions, and she even coaches you through pushing correctly if she is a good one. Because yes, there is a wrong way to push! If you need more epidural (that was me), she is the one that gets the right people, and she is the one who needs to be listening to you. The nurse makes ALL the difference. I honestly cannot stress that enough.

So then you are probably wondering how the heck you choose a good nurse.

With my third, I had thought I researched the Doctor heavily, but then there were many things within the office that were unorganized and appointments of mine were rearranged without notice. It made me uneasy, and even though I enjoyed the Doctor, I was not confident going into labor with that office. So at 30 weeks, after a lot of research, I switched Doctors. The first thing I did was ask to meet the nurses that had the potential of being with me through labor. It sounds so crazy, but I even had to go to the hospital at a random time to meet one of them. But this was my body! This was my baby! I needed to make sure I would be taken care of.

So meet those nurses. Make sure you know your team. And trust yourself and your instincts. Don’t feel bad if you have to tell someone they can’t work on you because you don’t feel comfortable.

Focus on getting a good team, not just a good Doctor.

LESLIE

I had a legitimate fear of pooping during delivery. Thankfully, I had a c-section and didn’t have to worry about that. It’s silly to even worry about something like that — the doc is up “in your business”, a little poop shouldn’t be a big deal!

During delivery I wish I would have been calm enough to appreciate that first view of my babies. I was so worried about their well-being, it was hard to be calm and appreciate that first look into their eyes. My babies went to the NICU, so I really feel like I missed out on that initial bonding time.
Get yourself a special robe and hard soled slippers for the hospital stay. Something just for YOU!
Hopefully you have found some helpful hints here. What are some of your L&D experiences? Want to share your experiences? Let me know!

Real Talk Part 1…. Pregnancy

The world is full of advice and helpful hints, on and off line. The trouble is figuring out what is helpful and what is utter nonsense. In this mini series I have asked some fellow moms in virtual reality and some of my own close friends for their experiences and tips. Together we are talking about and helping you tackle parenthood and giving it to you straight up. Follow along for the Real Talk as we dish out to you here on my blog.

Settle in and let’s get started with part one… pregnancy. My first little tidbit applies to all of topics in this series and is this; EVERYONE has an opinion. <insert eye roll>  Seriously! Complete strangers will stop you and give you advice ALL.THE.TIME. Learn the smile and nod method quickly, it will be used for many years to come.

PREGNANCY

Congratulations! You’ll hear this for the next 9-10 months. Yep, depending on how you count your pregnancy it will last from 9-10 months.
Let me break this down for you… There are 30 days in the average month, the rest have 30, except that one with 28. How many weeks are in a month? You don’t know? There’s no straight answer? When you are tracking your pregnancy it is by the week, 0-13 weeks is the first trimester, 14-26 weeks is the second trimester, and 27-40+ is your third trimester. Yes nine months and ten months become interchangeable in pregnancy. Save yourself the headache and start counting the pregnancy by weeks, much easier. If you must break it down into months, make each month 4 weeks long, hence the ten months. Let’s face it, when people ask how far along you are, the majority will not be calculating your pregnancy. You’ll know this because the next question is usually “When are you due?”

Around the middle of the 2nd trimester is when these questions begin because you have most likely begun to show your pregnancy. Yay! Baby bumps are cute and adorable, the miracle of life right there for all to see. Somehow this equates to your body suddenly becoming public property. There is something about the pregnant belly bump  which says, “please rub me” in our culture… hmmm is that something to do with a Buddha belly? It is completely acceptable for you to say please don’t touch my belly. Become comfortable with speaking your mind, blame the rudeness on the hormones… it is really ok.

Baby belly with Baby K

You will experience a plethora of emotions. I’m being serious here. I cried watching The Little Mermaid…. dead serious. I also was easily upset by the small things, like a single dish being left in the sink instead of put in the dishwasher. Yep, I admit it.

If watching sappy movies doesn’t make you cry morning sickness might.  Such a deceptive name… MORNING sickness implies you will feel ill in the morning… lies! There is no defined time it will hit you… middle of the night while you’re sleeping, cleaning the house, walking around the store… it does not and can not tell time.  From about the middle of my first trimester thru the rest of my pregnancy I had morning sickness. For all three of my pregnancies, especially my redheads. It didn’t matter what I did or did not eat, I was nauseous. Even taking a shower made me gag, acid reflux and stomach acid were no friend of mine.

Thankfully by the time I was pregnant with Little Man I had found a few tricks to help ease my stomach.  If you find yourself having all day sickness try snacking throughout the day instead of having three big meals. Ginger, in all it’s forms, helped me immensely. Particularly ginger ale and candied ginger. You may not like the taste but it may help.

Even with morning sickness I had pregnancy cravings. They would vary pregnancy to pregnancy as well as day to day. Generally with Dawn I wanted chicken, especially fried chicken.  With Little Red I craved pasta, and usually scampi or alfredo style.  AJ still says I asked him to buy pickles and ice cream so I could eat them together but I don’t remember that. I did like my pickles during that pregnancy tho. This last time with Little Man it started off as sushi (I didn’t eat it, except a crunch roll here or there) and then faded away to Italian cold cut subs. With each craving I managed to sneak in healthy foods here and there like a salad or a fruit smoothie. Most importantly I drank a ton of water.  Of course drinking that much water with a baby pressing on your organs means frequent trips to the bathroom…

Be prepared to lose control over your bladder. Sneezing… coughing… you’ll get a little bit of bladder leak. Kegel exercises will help strengthen those muscles, but let’s be real… buy some liners.

The last little bit of advice from me is you will lose your mind. I mean this literally. Once you are pregnant you slowly begin to lose your memory, it’s called mama brain. I misplaced an entire month one time, yep completely forgot all about March. You are your child’s life support, everything he/she gets is from you. It makes sense they will take part of your brain along with your blood and nutrients. It’s completely worth it!

Here’s a bit of advice from my gal pal Leslie, who had twins by the way!

Leslie’s cute pregnancy announcement.

I didn’t realize how swollen I could get! I had to wear flip flops in winter just to get through the last few months of pregnancy.

I also wasn’t expecting that I’d have my milk come in before delivery. It was just a bit of leaking, but I was very surprised.

Let’s talk Maxi dresses and skirts! Those were perfect for wearing throughout my entire pregnancy! I felt stylish, but oh so comfortable! Throw on a maxi dress and flip flops and you’re all set!

It was amazing to see the babies move in my tummy! It was an “alien” experience — but oh so wonderful! I remember worrying about the lack of movement toward the end, but that is normal as the baby (in my case, 2) run out of space.

I felt wonderful during pregnancy! My hair was more shiny, my skin was superb and I felt emotionally so very happy! Getting to the point of motherhood was a big hill to climb, so I think I was more forgiving of all the aches and pains.

Stretch marks…none of mine showed up until the 8th month. Then they just seemed to show up overnight. I was super careful about lotions — didn’t want any toxins; so just be aware.
Food! I ate whatever I wanted. I didn’t gain much weight, so I decided to just eat what felt right. Your body will have cravings, just balance them out with good food choices. I ate something raw with every meal and then ate that brownie if I wanted it!
I felt exponentially better when I stayed hydrated; very important.
Twins growing in mama’s belly very nicely.
My baby sister Elizabeth is the most recent first time mama I know and she has some great advice to share already!
  1. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep
  2. Forgive your husband because he just doesn’t get it. He does his best. Be patient with him. And really when he says something stupid…. just forgive him.
  3. Save your money! Don’t buy expensive stretch mark cream. Use coconut oil ALLLLL over your belly every single day. I did and I didn’t get any stretch marks.
  4. Enjoy every second. It goes by quick. You feel like you have been pregnant for years, but once it’s over, it feels like it just flew by.
  5. Take pictures.
Isn’t she a beautiful mama to be!?

Pregnancy advice quick view

  • full term pregnancy is 9-10 months, 40 weeks = 10 months, 4 weeks each
  • EVERYONE has an opinion
  • “How far along are you?” and “When are you due?” are interchangeable, sometimes used together, questions.
  • Your baby bump will somehow become “public property”.
  • Hormones will mess you up, emotionally and physically.
  • Stretch marks can be prevented
  • Drink lots of water
  • Find comfy clothes, maxi skirts and dresses are great
  • Take care of yourself
  • Cravings are normal and your body’s way of communicating
  • Pregnancy brain is real and will turn into mama brain.
  • Pregnancy is a life and body changing wonderful experience
  • Sleep is important
  • Trust your body
  • Your bladder will leak… no matter how often you use the bathroom
  • Love your significant other… and yourself!

 

I hope you’ve learned a few things, laughed a little (oops… hope you have a liner on), and found some helpful advice in our real talk. Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to add? Share with us. This is part 1 of the mini series. Part 2 will be about labor and delivery.  If you’d like to contribute your tips for any part of this mini series, let’s talk!

A Day in my Shoes

Let me start off by saying most days, unless I’m going to the gym, I don’t get my shoes on!

Being a stay at home mom is overly glamorized most of the time. It isn’t all bonbons and soap operas all day long. 

My weekday starts just before 7am as Dawn is heading out the door to the bus stop. Thank goodness she can walk and the winter weather has been holding off. Although truth be told I think she hops a ride with the neighbors. Oh well. 

I get out of bed and most mornings before I can walk out of the bathroom baby K has woken up and is fussy. Diaper change and breakfast. Then just over an hour to get Little Red out of bed, ready and off to the bus. 

While Little Red is getting ready and eating breakfast I try to tackle the messes which seem to accumulate all on their own over night. 

Someone has usually, trying to be helpful, given baby K a dry bowl of their cereal. Maybe it was from yesterday? I find it somewhere during the morning. 

Within an hour of being awake my hot water for honey has been reheated a few times. I find a few minutes to have my morning hot honey water. 

Most mornings it waits until after a workout at the gym. Ya know when Baby K is ready for a nap and won’t be put down… 

Honey water and to do lists. Sometimes I have to do lists for my to do lists haha oh boy! 

I have high hopes for my day and even get the dishes done before starting on some laundry. 

The clean clothes make it to the bed before meltdowns begin. 

Lots of snuggle time and some nursing until I can gently and quietly move away from him in whatever sleeping position he finds himself. 

If I’m quick enough I can take a shower and change into normal clothes. Sometimes it is a choice between a shower or getting dinner started before kids start coming home. 

Pack up the sleeping babe and off to the bus stop to pick up Thing 1 and Thing 2. 

Ah the glamourous life of a stay at home mom. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

FunBites Review

I have the opportunity to review another Shark Tank product, FunBites. 


Admittedly it took me a few trial and error attempts to get this right. 

Do not put the pieces together until you have completely cut your food into the fun shapes. The top piece is for pushing the cut slices out. 


I don’t recommend using it on lunch meat for making lunchable type meals, unless you get your meat sliced thick from the deli. Not on the thinly sliced prepackaged lunch meats. 

Fortunately it is perfect for cutting up sandwiches. Baby K loved PB sandwiches and the FunBites makes it easier for him to handle a sandwich. 


I actually get him to sit and eat when his food is cut up with FunBites! 

Curious, I sliced an apple to test FunBites on it as well. Score!

Yay for fun lunch time! Check here for instructions and tips. 

I recommend immediate cleaning as there are small spaces and it will become more difficult to clean. Either way a bottle brush would be handy. 

There are a variety of cutters to choose from and I am excited to try more! 

Looking to get some amazing fun at your mealtime? Get yours and enjoy a discount! It’s never too early to start getting ready for Christmas gifts. Below are some coupons and tips for you to save!

* 20% off any FunBites COUPON CODE to use at WWW.FUNBITES.COM, code is FUNBITESROCKS which is good for 20% off any order. Also there is always FREE SHIPPING when they Buy 3 or More!

* BOGO ON MINIONS: COUPON CODE to use at WWW.FUNBITES.COM; code is MINIONSBOGO and gives consumers a buy one minions get one free. Great for holidays gifts or Minions parties!

Re-Play Review and Giveaway

I am a self proclaimed granola mom in my parenting styles of K. Baby led nursing, bed-sharing, cloth diapering, and basically anything we can reasonably do. Needless to say I am pretty excited for this week’s review and giveaway of RePlay Recycled.

If you’ve never heard of Replay, you’re not alone. I only recently found them myself. They make kids dishes; plates, cups, eating utensils, bowls, etc. What makes them different? Their products are made from recycled milk jugs AND they are 100% made in the USA! On top of that they are dishwasher safe! What more could you ask for?

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds great but buying local and made in America products is expensive. I’m a big fan of supporting local and American companies, but admittedly can’t always afford to do so. Most of the time these companies have a higher price tag. Not so with Replay! Check out their prices and products here.

I chose the navy blue set and we love it. The color is true, deep and vibrant. These products are durable and sturdy. My kids are tough on just about everything, these dishes stand up to even my tough terrors. Boy K can grip and use all of the utensils and cups with no struggles.

When I washed everything in the dishwasher I was anticipating towel drying them like I do with our other kid dishes. Nope! They all came out dry and ready to put away (I still had to dry the other plastic dishes.)

I thought and tried everything for this review with these dishes (except the microwave – don’t do that) and I have nothing but great things to say about these dishes. Yes I would absolutely recommend these dishes.

K has always enjoyed playing with silverware and now that he has some in his own size meal time is his time! Even at just over a year old he can hold and use the sippy cup with ease. Love these dishes!

aqua_starter_set_1024x1024

Now that you’ve fallen in love with these dishes, let’s do the giveaway! This set has the divided plate, fork, spoon and no spill sippy cup, shown here in aqua. If you win the giveaway you choose your color set, and there are plenty to choose from! (I love that they have more than basic colors.)

How to enter:
Comment below for an entry
Follow me and comment on my Instagram post
Tag your friends for extra entries on Instagram

If you’d like more information on Replay Recycle here are their social media links: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and their website here.

The giveaway will end May 30th at 11:59pm ET and the winner will be announced the morning of 1 June.

 

Mysteries of Cloth Diapering

This April we were blessed to add Killian to our little family, making us a family of five. He is such a bundle of joy but it has been five years since we had a baby and let’s face it, a lot has changed. We needed to make decisions on what and how to raise this little one. Along with sleeping and eating we needed to determine what diapers we would buy. Through a friend I learned about cloth diapers a few months prior and I began looking into using cloth diapers for this baby. With the cost of disposable diapers and the thought of adding more trash in his world’s land fills, cloth diapers was looking like the best option. Besides there are a ton of cute and fun prints on cloth diapers!

AJ was supportive but hesitant to begin our cloth diaper (CD) journey. I purchased a few used diapers here and there and had a good small stash to start.  Here we are four months into CDing and we love it! We have mostly pocket diapers for right now but are venturing into the various types and brands available.

The questions I am asked most are about rashes, changing time and laundry. IF he gets a rash it is because I did not change his diaper when it was full. He does not get a contact rash from the diapers we have been using or the inserts (don’t ever put microfiber inserts in direct contact with baby’s skin). The few times I have found a rash it has usually been from heat/sweat or rubbing because we didn’t check his leg holes. Coconut oil clears it right up and is gentle enough to use on the diapers.

Changing time: The amount of time it takes to change his diaper is about the same as a disposable. The only difficulties we run into are when he is being a wiggle worm, but that would be the same with disposables. If we are out and about I have a travel wet bag to place dirty diapers into until we can get home. Simple and easy.

Laundry: I do laundry for five people now, one of whom (my husband) goes through about two outfits a day on average (it use to be three). So one more load of laundry during the week really is not much different. Since we are still breastfeeding exclusively (aka: ebf), the poo is liquid and not much different than having to wash out pee. Diapers do require their own wash and drying cycle but so do whites, towels and jeans. It is not much more.

If you are interested or curious in cloth diapering I suggest trying it out. Find a local swap/sell group, get a few cloth to try out and see if you like them. If you don’t, well you either have spare diapers on hand or you can resell them. We sure enjoy this new adventure.

A Wedding, Play Dates and Catching Up

This last week I was in Utah for my little sister Elizabeth’s wedding, and wouldn’t you know I don’t have a single picture! I have nothing from outside the temple, the reception or any of the events in between! UGH I really wanted my Christmas present early. (Yes I know what I’m getting from my husband for Christmas, I do the shopping haha).

I did however manage to get one picture with some girlfriends from California. Let me back up. Over five years ago I left sunny Southern California for, well the east coast. It seems in the last five years (okay it started before that too) there has been a steady exodus from Southern California to Utah, mostly Utah and SLC counties. I have stayed in touch with a few of my close friends, and stalked others on Facebook. It seems I am not the only one doing this though.

While in Utah I managed to spend 30-60 minutes each with a few of these friends. First up was Kashia and Carly. We met up for dinner and I managed to pull out my phone for a stranger to take a picture of us. 20141210_191414[1] Yes both Carly and I are pregnant and Kashia continues to be fabulous in every way!

Friday night my friend Leslie and her husband Theo watched my girls and took them to their ward Christmas party. They were a serious life saver at the last minute when I was in a pickle. I love them so much for being those kind of friends and they always have been. If you need a sweet tooth fix visit her shop on Etsy here. I saw some of these delicious treats while visiting with their cute family Friday night.

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Saturday Stephanie and I walked around the mall in Provo with Amy, a high school friend from when I lived in Utah. We didn’t have much time together, but it was nice to be able to see her and chat for a little bit. After picking my other sister up from school we stopped at Christa’s house. Everyone else was headed down our way for Mother of the Bride dress shopping. Christa showed me a few tips and tricks for truffle and chocolate making. I am hoping to put some of those skills to use this Christmas season.

There really is something to be said for actually sitting down and chatting with someone to catch up. Not everything in a person’s life is posted online whether it be Facebook or a blog. Who wants to just put it all out there anyway? It warms my heart having these moments and memories of connection with these women (and Theo). We have all grown in different directions but can still come back and rekindle a friendship with a hello, hug and chat. I know I am blessed to have these women in my life even if it is from three-quarters of the way across the country.

Altitude aspirations

1.  Flying is not comfortable if you are over 5’9″. For every inch you are over that height your discomfort increases, particularly if the person seated in front of you decides to put their seat in a reclined position.

2. Being 25 weeks pregnant and flying alone with a teenager not so bad, actually helpful. Add a young, spunky, very active child to the mix and being able to stop and pull over every now and again starts to look a lot better than flying.

3. How were children and for that matter some adults, entertained during a flight prior to handheld electronic devices? I flew to England when I was 14 years old and while there might have been an in-flight movie I did not have a screen in front of me the entire flight from LA to London.

4. Having been on a flight when both our girls were lap age I feel sympathy for anyone flying with little ones. On a midday flight I find it perfectly okay for a child to make some noise. My sympathy decreases the later the flight.
So to the mother desperate to calm your sporadically fussy child in the middle of the afternoon, no worries. Just take a deep breath and try to sooth her the best you can but don’t stress too much about it (when your shushing becomes louder than the cry you’re probably feeling exasperated, just breathe).

5. To the woman sitting next to my little one, please read and heed the previous thoughts.

6. Common decency and kindness go a long way, no matter who you or where you are.

Mommy Scenario

A friend and fellow blogger, Katie posted a “tag blog” and I thought, sure why not. A lot of these are topics discussed on a lot of Facebook pages in my feed too. I’m not “tagging” anyone, I lived through the chain letter phase (yes the ones written on paper) when I was younger, I’m not continuing that in electronic form, ever. So if anyone completes this on your own blog, feel free to put a link to yours in the comments below.

1. Your kid is refusing to eat dinner. Do you stand your ground and demand they eat what you made or make something else?

I run into this quite often with both my girls and any sort of vegetable. My girls would love to eat nothing but mac’n’cheese for every meal all year long. It doesn’t happen. I have stopped trying to make salads for dinner because no one would eat them. The basic rule in our house is you have to at least try two bites. If they do not want to eat the meal at all there is nothing else to eat the rest of the night and they get to go to bed if it becomes a temper tantrum situation. I try to make foods I know they like with some healthier options as well. No matter what, #2 does NOT like to eat soup.

2. Your kid has a melt-down at the store. Nothing is working to calm them. Do you leave & come back another time or do you grit your teeth and finish shopping?

I am not leaving the store in the middle of a shopping trip. If I am with AJ I may take the kid outside for a breath of fresh air or a spanking, whichever they need/want. I get embarrassed when they act up but it’s not like they are screaming because I beat them. I do not have the time to plan another trip to a store when there is a melt down.

3. Your kid gets too many toys for their birthday. Do you make some returns or save them for a rainy day?

This is a tricky question. If it is something they already have or received two of the same item then yes I will return one of them and let them pick something else out. When they have an abundance of toys/things to the point where they aren’t cleaning up after themselves, toys will go “away”. These will be put away out of sight and later they will be brought out one at a time on random days just because.

4. Your kid is protesting sleep. Do you give in at 3am, get them up & turn on a movie? Or continue to rock them, nurse, etc to try and get them back to sleep.

Oh heck no! I will not let my kids stay up just because they don’t want to go to bed. Now if they are sick I will stay up and snuggle to help them feel better and get some sleep. Bed time is bedtime on a normal night though. They know this and sometimes bedtime is done in tears but it is still bedtime.

5. You have an appointment and no babysitter. Do you bring them with you or reschedule?

What kind of appointment are we talking? Prenatal checkups – no I do those, but I’m lucky enough to have a built in babysitter with Dawn being 14.

6. You have 20 mins until unexpected company arrives. Do you rush to clean up your messy house or just figure “hey it’s okay I’ve got kids!”?

Ok wait, 20 minutes for unexpected company? That’s a little bit of time to tidy up and hide the piles of clean laundry I haven’t folded or put away yet. Our problem at our house now is a lack of storage space. We have a very open floor plan with minimal closet space. We are still trying to find a place for everything. That being said, my friends know me and know how I am. I am not a dirty messy housekeeper just a lived in house.

7. You’re running late & only have time to do hair or makeup- which do you choose?

I’d say makeup but I haven’t put makeup on the last few times I’ve been out, especially after getting my hair cut. So I suppose I choose hair.

8. You’re at the park and another child pushes yours. Do you intervene and correct them or go find the child’s parent?

I would say something to the kid. I’m not going to go yell at the kid or anything but a “hey it’s not okay to do that, you need to keep your hands to yourself” kind of talking to. I know some moms are not tolerable of other parents stepping in like that but if your child is hurting or putting my child in danger I will step in. My #2 has a habit of touching other kids, but by being nice. She loves giving hugs, kisses and holding hands. I remind her to ask and get permission prior to touching someone else and kisses are always only on the cheek. I would hope if another parent saw my child hit their kid they would use the same approach.