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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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5 ways to keep the romance alive after bringing home a newborn.

Since it was my 2 year anniversary yesterday it got me thinking. Romance doesn’t just die after you bring home a newborn. Granted, my type of romance isn’t your typical gifts and chocolates, although I do like to receive flowers. But rather it is things that we can do together or for one another.

After Anastasia was born, since she was in the NICU for so long we only thought about her and really didn’t want to do anything else. But once she got home (and we got some semblance of normalcy) we started to once again focus on each other as well. There are some little things that we do, and some larger, and then there are things that, despite seeming insignificant, can mean quite a lot to your other half.

Breakfast in bed

I don’t generally hear of people doing this that often anymore but this is something I would do a lot before we had Anastasia and it is something I continue to occasionally do when I can (when Anastasia is sleeping). I love to cook and one of my favorite things to see in the morning is my husband’s face when I surprise him with breakfast in bed.

Cooking dinner together

Let’s face it, for our family Anastasia tends to be more cranky/grumpy in the evenings. This makes cooking dinner pretty difficult, and sometimes impossible. But in our house we like to tag-team. One of us tries to calm Anastasia down while the other starts cooking, we’ll trade responsibilities here and there. Usually by the time dinner is finished cooking we are able to get Anastasia down to bed and then me and my hubby get to enjoy a nice home cooked meal together.

Game night (video or board)

Both Joshua and I love games, be they video games or board games. Sometimes if you have the little one with you and he/she is sleeping peacefully, pull out some of those board games and have some fun. Two of our favorites is Game of Thrones Monopoly and Pandemic.

Letting each other take naps (or letting them sleep in)

Any mother out there, seasoned or first timers, will tell you having a newborn home is exhausting work. Sometimes showing someone you care is as simple as taking the baby somewhere, (for a walk, store, or simply in a different room) and letting the other person catch up on a much needed nap. Or if it’s the weekend and you both have the day off, maybe take that morning feed.

Doing something the other would usually do.

Joshua and I are pretty even in our responsibilities. We take turns changing, feeding, cleaning, and so on. But there’s always some things, sometimes smaller things, that either me or him usually do. In our house I am usually the one that pre-measures the formula in the individual serving containers. With my mom/mother-in-law watching it is easier for us to just measure them out and then they just need to add it to the water. Recently, while having a frustrating night with a very cranky baby Joshua went out into the kitchen and did this for me. It’s a very small thing but it’s little things like this that make me smile and be thankful for such an amazing husband. Because after he did that, we both got Anastasia to bed and were able to go to sleep ourselves, I didn’t need to get that ready for the next day anymore.

These aren’t flowers, or chocolates. They are not diamonds or perfume/cologne. These are simply ideas to spend time with or show your significant other you care.

Anniversaries: Before and after children.

So today marks mine and Joshua’s two year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been two years since we got married. But things have definitely changed. For our first wedding anniversary it was just us two, we both took the day off, we reserved a table at a fancy restaurant, and we had a small photoshoot at home. Our outfits matched, we dressed up, it was a very fun night and we have happy memories from it.

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This year things are different. We have a beautiful 3 month old daughter. We were both unable to take the day off from work, we didnt have time to coordinate outfits or reserve a dinner for two. We barely had time to snap a picture of the three of us before going to church.

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No fancy dinner, no suit and ties, shoot even my eyebrows aren’t done. But this is still my favorite picture. The three of us together. It was a quick 10 minute photo but it has all my favorite people in it.

We had family offer to babysit Anastasia tonight so we can go out together but we would rather stay in. I’m thinking board game night.

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Why this Mama wants to take back control of her body

So in all truth. I have been overweight my entire life, there’s no “beating around the bush” and I have probably tried every diet and weight-loss fad in the book but they never stuck.

The only thing that has really worked for me was joining Weight Watchers, I had to stop doing it when I got pregnant but now that Anastasia is home and we’ve established some sort of routine I am getting back on the band wagon! I think it is a mix of how they do their program with a mix of the support you get when attending their meetings.

Why? I mean my reasons in the past were always to look good (of course).

But now my reason is different. I want to set a healthy example for my daughter as she grows older. I also want to be able to run/chase after her once she starts moving. I mean let’s face it ya’ll in the state I am in now that is quite difficult. So, I have quite a tough journey ahead of me, but the only way to do it is to get started. They say the first step is admitting you got a problem. Well my fellow mama’s I got a problem. But I am adamant about doing something about it. I’ll post updates on my progress, setbacks, achievements, recipes and more!

To build or not to build?

buildabearI’m not at that point in my motherhood where Anastasia likes stuffed animals (or toys in general) so this wasn’t even up for discussion at our house. But after reading the, somewhat amusing and laughable, reports of the chaos that ensued with Build-A-Bear‘s pay your age event. I have to ask, would you or would you not have taken part in this event?

Personally. I’d rather pay full price than stay in line for hours. But that’s just me.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/13/build-a-bear-stuffs-pay-your-age-sale-after-long-sweaty-lines-long-waits-and-chaos/?utm_term=.e28726ea8426

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3 Baby Items I Couldn’t Live Without

You know, you’re making your baby registry, looking at the vast sea of baby items out there wondering what in the world you are actually going to need. Some of these items I’m sure some would disagree with me on. But for sure, these are the 3 baby items I couldn’t live without.

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

Changing Table

This is one that I am pretty sure most women would disagree with me on. At least the women around me all do. Some told me it would a waste of money and that we would never use it because we would just lay our baby on our bed to change her. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against changing our baby on our bed, HOWEVER, both my husband and I are taller people and bending over our bed kills our back, so yeah having a taller changing table to be able to change our daughter is a lifesaver (and a back saver).

 

Rock n’ Play

I think for some mamas out there this item is hit or miss, some love it and use it all the time, some don’t use it at all. The reason this item is on my list of must have items is because my Anastasia has terrible reflux issues, she even needs to take medicine for it, and sometimes when it is acting up if she is laying flat on her back she will reflux and spit up out of her mouth and nose. The first time this happened I was panicking like crazy but that was when she was in the NICU still so I had nurses to help and answer any questions. But anyways, one of the best thing for babies with reflux issues is to be at an incline. So whenever Anastasia’s reflux is acting up we just pop her in the rock n’ play and she is able to sleep peacefully.

Owlet Monitor

This is the most expensive item on this list but it is one that I had no buyers remorse in buying. The owlet monitor is a little sock (sort of) that goes on your baby’s foot and monitors their heart rate and O2 stats. For some they probably wouldn’t worry about this but for us we needed this monitor so that WE could get some sleep. Let me explain, while Anastasia was in the NICU she had many bradycardias (heart rate drops below 80), these are terrifying. In the hospital they had alarms beeping whenever this would happen; my husband and I still have nightmares of these alarms. Granted, yes, Anastasia needed to be bradycardia free for 5 days before she was discharged but that constant fear and anxiety was there even if she hadn’t had them in some time. My husband and I would check every 5 minutes to make sure she was breathing ok and responsive. In order for us to get any rested sleep at night we purchased this monitor to use only at night. If anything happens an alarm will go off to wake us up. If we wake up randomly in the middle of the night we can look to the monitor on the nightstand, see that it is flashing green, and know that everything is A-OK. Oh and you get different size socks so you can use this all the way up to 18 months.

There are a few other items I absolutely love but these are probably my top 3 items that I am so grateful to have purchased/received and have really helped being a new mama easier. On the other side of the tracks, there are a few items I kind of regret getting, but that’s a post for another day.

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