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Hurricane Florence: What to stock up on for your infant!

Hi everyone, this is going to be a short one because I don’t know how long my electricity is going to last. As many of you know the east coast is being hammered by Hurricane Florence, which thank God has weakened to a category 1 hurricane but is still doing some pretty hefty damage. I live 2 hours from the North Carolina coast so I am not catching the brunt of it, but we are getting hammered with wind and rain.

I figured I’d do a quick list of items you should back sure you have in the event of bad weather:

  1. Water, water, water. For yourself and especially for formula feeding mama’s like myself.
  2. FORMULA! You can’t exactly feed your little one if you don’t have this. (Anastasia is not eating food, food, yet so that is why it is not on my list)
  3. Diapers and wipes – a given, but if you’re going to run out soon, stock up now.
  4. Any medications your little one is on, make sure you have a good supply.

While I do think that some people panic a bit too much and go too far, you do want to make sure you at least have enough for several days. You don’t know how long you’ll be out of power, or if your water is going to be contaminated… It’s always better to be caught prepared for the worst, then to catch the worst without being prepared.

Right now as I write this over 600,000 houses are out of power, I’m amazed mine has lasted this long. Please keep us in your prayers all.

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Wednesday Weekly: Being Grateful

I realize that I am a few days late but this weeks Wednesday discussion was a really powerful one. Because the discussion this week is about being grateful. Even if the scale isn’t showing what you want it to, or you are struggling with being a mom, life, and trying to live a healthy lifestyle, there are plenty of things we can be grateful for.

It just so happened that this Wednesday was an absolute TERRIBLE day at work. I mean it was awful from the second I turned on my computer, that’s part of the daily life of working in a technical field where you need to deal with customers. To top it off I didn’t do great in the healthy eating department (gained 1.8lbs this week, sad-face) and it was just an exhausting and frustrating week in general. But then at the Weight Watcher meeting we starting talking about being grateful and everyone went around discussing what they were grateful for, no matter how big, or how little.

Top 5 things I am grateful for:

  1. My Faith
  2. My sweet Husband and daughter who are both a huge blessing
  3. A fantastic job, even when it gets really annoying and frustrating sometimes
  4. Nature, getting up and leaving in the morning is so relaxing when I get to see the 2-3 baby deer that like to play in our yard
  5. My mother and mother-in-law, both are such a fantastic support system and it’s so much easier being at work knowing Anastasia is in good hands.

And this isn’t on my list above, but after the meeting I stopped by Chick-fil-a to get something for dinner and there was a police officer behind me in the drive through. Seeing him made me realize that no matter how terrible of a day I had at work, at least I didn’t have a job where I was getting shot at. So I’m grateful for the Police men and women who do have to work in that kind of environment.

So, this week we are working on being grateful, I encourage everyone to try and think of at least 3 things they are grateful for every day. Today specifically, I am grateful for it finally being the weekend, I am grateful I do not work weekends, and I am grateful that I get to go home and play with my amazing daughter who is now 5 months old!!!

I can’t believe where that time has gone! I included some pictures from her 5 month photo shoots. Enjoy 🙂

 

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Spots, spots, everywhere: Oral Thrush, what to do, how to prevent it.

Hello Everyone! Sorry I’ve been gone for a while. The reasons behind my disappearance is that our poor little Anastasia has oral thrush. We caught it one night when I picked her up from her grandmas house after work. She was very cranky and screaming when we would try to give her, her pacifier. That’s when we noticed the tiny little white spots all over her tongue and on her cheeks and the roof of her mouth too. The next day she was still just as cranky and did not want to eat or suck on her pacifier so we called her pediatrician and took her in.

What is Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush is a type of fungal infection. You will see white spots all over your little one’s tongue, cheeks, and such. Very mild cases might clear up on their own without any medical treatment but if left untreated it can also spread to other parts of the body and can also spread to adults.

It doesn’t necessarily ‘hurt’ but can be very uncomfortable and extremely itchy. We know right away when it’s bothering Anastasia because she does this chewing thing with her mouth as if she is chewing on food, but in reality she is just is chewing on her tongue.

Sadly, although I kind of feel like a failure thinking about it, we can’t say for sure how she got it, or where she got it from because she is either at our hours, or one of her grandmas’ houses. The pediatrician also mentioned that the humidity down here (North Carolina) does not help.

But we can say that the best way to prevent it from re-occurring. In order to prevent oral thrush, best thing to do is to sterilize. So every other day we take all her bottles, all the bottle nipples, and all her pacifiers, we even take the measuring syringe for her medications and we throw them all into a pot of boiling water. We let them boil for 10 minutes and then take them out and let them air-dry.

What to do if you think your little one has oral thrush:

If you see white spots all over your little ones mouth or tounge, first make sure it is not milk, if the spots wipe away easily it is most likely not oral thrush.

Call your pediatrician. If left alone it can spread to other parts of the body and even cause terrible diaper rashes as well.

Start sterilizing anything that comes in contact with your little one’s mouth, pacifiers, nipples, even toys.

 

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Another Wednesday Weekly Discussion: Non-Scale Victories

It’s been a busy week I’ll admit. In between working and sitting in the car, for a total of 3 hours, commuting I treasure the moments I get with my sweet little girl and sometimes that makes writing a little difficult. Especially now that she is starting to stay awake longer and is laughing and smiling.

Anastasia Smiling GIF So while we spend our nights talking and laughing at our little girl’s antics the time for writing get’s pushed to the side. But Wednesday’s are my Weight Watcher meeting days (and Weigh-Ins: sadly I am up this week) and coincidentally my mother-in-law watches Anastasia on those days so these are the days that I get a few hours to myself.

Honestly, I really enjoyed writing about my thoughts on last Wednesdays Weekly and would like to keep it a trend, because the weeklies often help me reflect on myself and also focus on the future and what I want to do and plan with Anastasia.

This week’s topic of discussion is non-scale victories (or NSVs). Because living healthy and trying to get to that healthy weight is more than just a number on the scale. Too many times we focus on that number rather than rejoicing and celebrating in our other victories, no matter how big or small. An NSV could be something like fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, adding more fruit or veggies to your diet, making healthy choices and so on. Rather than being proud of these achievements we let ourselves be brought down by the fact that our “number” isn’t where we wanted it to be.

So this week I want to focus on the non-scale victories that I encounter. Like saying no to the bagels in the break room and eating my pre-planned breakfast. Or having an apple instead of chips. Or the fact that my hips are starting to fit more comfortably in the chairs at work. As insignificant as these may seem when you put them all together along with the number on the scale then you realize just how far you’ve come.

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3 things I missed out on due to Pre-Eclampsia: A mental health review

There are some things that not all, but many, pregnant women do while pregnant in celebration of their upcoming motherhood. Due to severe early onset Pre-Eclampsia, there are three of these ‘big-ticket’ things that I missed out on.

For starters, I was hospitalized the week of my baby-shower and told that I would not be leaving the hospital until I delivered (goal was 34weeks). So rather than cancelling the event I sent my husband in my place and we video-chatted the event so that I could say hello to everyone and see my husband opening gifts. It was very beautiful and I am so grateful for my family for putting it all together. But am a little sad now because I was so hopped up on drugs and medicine at the time that I honestly remember very little of the video-chat.

Secondly, My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester photo frame wasn’t completed because I delivered Anastasia before I could get a 3rd trimester ultrasound photo. I completed the set with a photo of her and when people see the frame they are usually confused but then we share our story.

Lastly, but probably the one I was bummed about the most, I never got to do a Maternity Photo-Shoot. I had it all planned out. I have some photos of me while I was pregnant but honestly, if the baby-bump stickers weren’t there saying how far along I was, you wouldn’t even know I was pregnant. Since I have been overweight my whole life it wasn’t really noticeable that I was pregnant, my stomach had only started to round out around the time I was hospitalized. I had planned on waiting until I got closer to my due date when I should’ve been properly “popped” and then going to Duke Gardens, with my nephew (who’s a photographer).

So why do I bring these up now?

It’s not in an effort to gain sympathy, nor is it a “poor me” episode. But rather, now that Anastasia is home, healthy, and thriving. I am able to look back a little easier on the whole experience with a little less anxiety. When I was hospitalized and realized I wouldn’t get to go to my baby shower or have my maternity shoot I would force myself to focus only on the health of the baby because that is what mattered and I didn’t wanted to bum/stress myself out because I needed to keep my blood pressure in check. I was already on edge, terrified, and overflowing with emotions; I’m honestly surprised I didn’t run out of tears.

Then after she was born and in the NICU, Joshua had to go to work after a week and I was home recovering from a C-Section and couldn’t drive anywhere. So I was going through stuff in my office and found the 3-trimester ultrasound photo frame I had purchased as a memento. Again, all alone, I was filled with a deep sadness at yet another thing I missed out on. I found 2 ultrasound photos and put them in there and decided to put my at-the-time favorite photograph of Anastasia as the 3rd trimester. The end result was cute and it is now my favorite frame on the wall because it symbolizes everything that happened in a subtle way.

But the reality of it is, everyone hears of postpartum depression. Some may say it is a myth. Some may think it is impossible to be depressed after having such a beautiful blessing and bundle of joy bestowed upon them. But it is very real. I can only say that I am blessed to have such an amazing support system and an amazing husband by my side because I know it would have been very easy to let myself fall into that pit of despair had they not been there. There were days where the weight of it all, having Anastasia prematurely, me being home while she stayed at the hospital, or simply being alone during the day, would feel insurmountable and there were nights were all I wanted to do was cry. Visiting Anastasia was one of the only things that would help me keep my spirits up and I would honestly just go sit at the hospital and hold her for hours, but then would tear up again every time I had to leave her there and go home.

It feels like forever ago, now that Anastasia is home, and it all feels like a bad dream. But then there are moments when women will want to share their birth stories and I will just walk away because thinking back on that time and everything we went through brings with it the wave of emotions, fear, and anxiety that we faced. With the Lord by my side I was able to cross that bridge and He gave me the strength to continue but it was a struggle, keeping the baby blues at bay.

 

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One of the best feelings in the world is waking up in the morning fully rested and realizing your little one has slept through the night. Immediately followed by the instant moment of panic that little one slept through the night. Which results in you checking to make sure they are ok, which usually ends up with them waking up and screaming because they realized they slept for hours and are now STARVING. #Momlife

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Your shadow is watching: teaching by example.

I was thinking about my reflections on this weeks weekly topic and started to think, how can I teach Anastasia to love her self, and have confidence in herself, when I do not have the confidence or self-esteem myself. As you read in my previous post you know that this is something I struggle with but am improving and self reflecting. But to piggy-back off of this post I began to think, there is so much more that I need to focus on to be a teacher by example.

Do what I say, not what I do!

That is not the type of mom I want to be. For example, I do not like fruit, have never really liked fruit. But how can I show and teach Anastasia to eat fruits because they are healthy or good for her when I only complain about how much I do not like them. As such, I have started introducing more fruits into my diet, this is also part of my determination for a healthier new lifestyle, but this is also because when Anastasia (who if you remember is only 4 months) actually becomes cognizant of what I am doing, I want her to also see me making healthy choices and eating fruit, rather than see me exclaiming my dislike for it.

Just in regards to food, do I want to teach Anastasia that eating nothing but chips and junk is good or would I rather have her see us eating fruits and veggies instead?  As a mother I think the answer is clear, just as I want to live a healthier lifestyle I want to show my little girl how to do so as well.

Outside of food, there’s also activities, once she starts to get older and mobile, would I rather have her live her life plopped in front of a screen or do I want to show what it means to be active, to have fun outdoors and go for walks? Honestly, I’ve already started taking her for walks through our neighborhood, the activity is good for me and the fresh air is good for her.

And then outside of food and health in general. How can a mother tell their child to be respectful and kind if they turn around and are nasty to the people around them. I want to teach Anastasia by showing her. They say that children are your ‘mini-mes’ I think of them as my shadow. Although Anastasia is not old enough or cognizant of what I am doing, unless it involves giving her a bottle, I have many nieces and nephews and often see them following me around like a shadow.

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Thoughts on this weeks Weight Watcher Weekly Topic: You are so much more than a number

On this road to trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and get down to a healthier weight there is one thing that I have really worked on and struggled with and that is getting my mindset in the right place. Because living a healthy lifestyle is so much more than just exercising and losing weight. Many, like me, who have struggled with their weight often identify themselves with the number they see on the scale. I would always feel limited, because there are weight limits all around me. Can’t ride a bike because there’s a weight limit on most bicycles, there are weight limits on roller coasters, hammocks, porch swings, jet skis, ATVs, and so much more. There is so much I decline doing, not because I don’t want to, but because I feel limited. The few times when I would risk the weight limits I would end up in some sort of mortifying, embarrassing predicament, like the tires flattening on a bike for example. One recent occurrence that still burns fresh in my mind was when I went on an outing with my husband and his family and we all went to the outdoor go-carting rink. But due to me being at my heaviest at the time, I was not comfortable of being seen squished in a go-cart and also had this irrational fear that I would be so heavy the go-cart wouldn’t even run. So, instead I politely declined and offered to watch the other girls’ purses and watched them as they go-carted around the track. Well to this day they think I just don’t like go-carts when the reality of it is that I absolutely LOVE them, but am too scared and embarrassed to go on them in my current state. Then there’s the ‘size limitations’ of airplane seats. I love traveling and flying… but am always so embarrassed whenever I have to fly somewhere because of one, needing to get a seat belt extender, and two, squishing my hips into the tiny airplane seats and knowing that I might be making the person next to me uncomfortable.

This week at my weekly weigh-in (down 3lbs!) and Weight Watchers meeting this week’s weekly topic is Boost Self-Esteem. We discussed the importance of getting ourselves to that healthy mindset of loving ourselves no matter what and not defining ourselves by that number on a scale. One thing that a fellow member said that stuck with me was if there was something you would never tell your best friend (i.e you’re fat, or you shouldn’t even think about buying those clothes because they’ll look terrible on you) then you should not even think those things about yourself. Focus on your beauty, inner and outer. This is something that I am constantly struggling with, I’ve had such a negative view about myself that honestly, it took meeting my husband to get me to realize that I am so much more. It took a man who loved me at my worst, to make me realize that if someone amazing such as him could love me then why is it so hard for me to love myself? So look around yourself, look at your family, or your best friend, someone who’s been there with you through the thick and thin, and ask yourself, if they love you so unconditionally, then shouldn’t you love yourself the same way.

This week, my goal is to avoid any negative thoughts, I will not have any disparaging comments or thoughts about myself. I will not negatively judge myself. But instead will focus on the good, will focus on loving the person I see in the mirror because she is loved and she is worth it.

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The 6PM Switch: a discussion about colic, gripe water, and gas drops.

Anastasia has been having fewer episodes so I can finally take a breather to write about something I have been meaning to discuss. For the past month or so that Anastasia has been home after being discharged it’s like she had an on-off switch. She would be an absolute darling during the day, smiling, peaceful, sleeping, and so on. But then when I would get home from work (around 6PM) it’s like the switch was flipped. Every night she would be grumpy, crying, sometimes inconsolable for hours.

That’s right our poor little girl had a mild case of colic. Colic, if you don’t know, is a condition in which baby’s will cry for hours at a time with no clear cause. It usually happens at around the same time every day and although our girl’s case was a mild one (usually we are able to finally calm her down after 2 or 3 hours at most) there are some tips and tricks that we learned to help us along the way.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure by clicking here.

To start off the road of trying to soothe your baby and making nights more comfortable for her, you also want to think about the possibility of food sensitivities. Anastasia was originally taking my breast milk but started to develop very, VERY, bad gas and cramps from them and since my supply took a huge hit when we brought her home we decided to make the full transition over to formula. But she also has a milk intolerance so any formula containing milk will make her projectile vomit and just very uncomfortable and cranky all day. At the hospital she was given EleCare, which she tolerated much better but $50 for a 12oz can was pushing the limit of our checkbook, especially since the can wouldn’t even last us a week. So we are in the process of transitioning her to Enfamil’s ProSobee, and she has been doing fantastic with it. Even having less spit up issues.

But when that switch does flip and she gets into one of her episodes, there are a few things we have found that help us get her back into a calm and relaxed state and finally asleep.

Soothe via pacifier. This is hit or miss, sometimes her pacifier will hit the spot and help her calm down. Or sometimes it will have the opposite effect and just make her angrier.

SRS – Swaddle, Rock, Swing. These are three steps that you can take to soothe your seemingly inconsolable baby. We don’t have a swing but Anastasia loves being swaddled and rocking her in our arms can often help calm her down, or get there.

Hold your baby upright. Honestly, this is one of the most effective ways to get our Anastasia to calm down. She also has terrible reflux, so keeping her upright with her stomach against our chest is usually the best way to hold her, while she may continue to cry and kick up a fuss it is usually the most soothing way for her to be held.

Other than the steps that you can take to try soothing your baby there are also the two items that you can give your little to try and soothe their discomfort. Always remember to talk to your doctor/pediatrician before introducing any sort of medicinal treatment to your babies. 

Gripe Water

Gripe water is a mixture of water and herbs and sometimes some sodium bicarbonate, that will often having a soothing affect on your little ones hurting tummy. Our favorite gripe water is produced by Mommy’s Bliss and we would often just add the dose to her evening meal.

Gas Drops

Gas drops is something I think we use more than Gripe Water because it seems to have a much more immediate affect. Gas drops contains the active ingredient known as simethicone which helps break up the gas bubbles in your little ones stomach. It is also often sweet in flavor which can help soothe your little ones crying fit and help them calm down, after which giving them the relief of being able to pass trapped gas. We’ve tried other brands too but seem to stick with Little Remedies gas drops.

As for which would work best for you or your baby, it varies each time. We’ve found gas drops have a much more immediate affect on Anastasia but I know other moms that swear by gripe water. And then during the worst of the colic days we would often give her a mix of both.

But overall the thing to remember most about your little one’s incessant crying and fussing is this:

It doesn’t last forever.

Because that is the truth of it. Before long you will realize that you are having much quieter nights and you won’t even remember the nights where you wanted to pull your hair out from sheer exhaustion and frustration.

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Another month just flies by

It’s crazy to think that 4 months has passed since Anastasia made her debut into this world. Our little girl certainly has a mind of her own and no one could tell her when to arrive she had to come on her own terms. She has flourished amazingly, is growing and eating great and we absolutely love her to bits. She’s 4 months old actual, 7 weeks adjusted but has been achieving great milestones. She has started babbling and smiling occasionally at us and just makes our day complete. We had a photo shoot this weekend to commemorate the 4th month and well, I couldn’t decide on an outfit… One was more for daddy than for me but I’m sure you’ll know which.

 

 

 

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I hate it when you’re right.

When I was pregnant and would complain about being tired because I had to wake up and pee every 2 hours I was never met with sympathy but rather laughter and was told:

Just wait and see how tired you’ll be when the baby is born.

Then when other people would hear or find out we were expecting the most common phrase we were told (you probably already know what’s coming) was:

Sleep when the baby is sleeping.

Well now that the pregnancy emotions and hormones have died down… I have to say that I absolutely hate having to admit that they were right. Once you add that little bundle of joy into your life you learn a whole new meaning of exhaustion. I’m writing this running on 3 hours of sleep because my sweet Anastasia decided to wake up at 3:30 and not go back to sleep. Your exhaustion is both physical, emotional, and mental. You’re told about all the joys of parenthood. About how great it is being a mother, and the minute you bring that baby home you feel completely overwhelmed. But you know that this too shall pass and you grin and bare it. Because the reality of the situation is, no matter how exhausted, frustrated, or run down you are, when you look at your little baby all mothers agree that it’s worth it.

As for sleeping when the baby is sleeping? That is a laugh. Let me complete that picture for you. When the baby is sleeping and you go to take a nap, the second your head hits that pillow… a cry is going to come from the crib.

There was a pretty good article I read that gave some tips on how to enjoy these moments. Check it out!

Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do.
– Matt Walsh

My Why: A reminder at why I am choosing to be a healthier new me.

For any of my Weight Watchin’ buddies out there you know exactly what I am referring to. But for those of you who don’t know, when you join Weight Watchers you are told to choose a reason why, why you are doing what you’re doing. Everyone has their own reason for wanting to take back control of their body. They could be health related or personal related or maybe they just want to fit into their clothes more comfortably. But ultimately you choose your reason why and when you are feeling down or discouraged you look back to that reason and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Well my reasons why are both in my picture below.20180630_160502I want to life a long and healthy life with my husband and daughter (and any future siblings). I want to be able to enjoy future activities with Anastasia, running, sports, bicycle riding, etc. And if I do end up having additional little ones, I want to be at a healthier weight to avoid the complications and risk I had with Anastasia. So when I feel discouraged or defeated, it’s not an idea or reason that I will be looking at but rather these two right here.

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