How Baby Wearing Saved me During Deployment

Being a new mom is hard! Being a new mom and a solo parent all at once is double hard! There is no one else around to hold the baby when doing household chores, or someone to do those chores for you! Enter baby wearing! Without it this deployment time period would have been so much more difficult!

Before I was pregnant I spent years and years babysitting. And during those years I discovered the beauty of baby wearing! It made chasing other kids so much easier! Have a toddler want to get out of the house but have a little one to watch too? Pop that baby in the carrier and chase the toddler around wearing him out!

So when I found out I was pregnant I was so excite to get to wear my own baby! But until she was here I just didn’t understand how big a part of my life it was going to be! As ya’ll know my hubby has been in Korea for most of baby’s first year, and although I live with my parents I know its not their job and responsibility to watch my baby all the time or to clean up after me. But being the only parent around the house day in and day out, my little girl has become quite clingy and only wants to be with mom a good part of the day.

Don’t get my wrong I love the cuddles, but it makes it very difficult to get anything done if every time I leave the room she screams! Which let me tell you, definitely happens! That meant every time I needed to pee, make food, do dishes, hang laundry, get laundry off the line, I was greeted by sad cries of my little girl!

Enter my baby carrier! I started with just two different carriers- a Baby K’tan and  Baby Tula Free-to-Grow structured carrier.

But soon after actually using them when she was just a couple months old, my collection quickly grew because I realized just how valuable this baby item was to my sanity!

Why baby wearing saved my sanity this deployment

Anyone who has spent any amount of time (whether a weekend or a year) Solo Parenting know that if there are kids in the house it can become difficult to get chores done, dinner made, or even just give your arms a break for a hot minute! When your solo parenting stent is a bit shorter it can be more justifiable to let housework wait, and eat take out for a couple days. But when you’re solo-parenting for a whole year, these things are just unavoidable.

I got chores done!

I tried everything to keep her contained to do chores. I tried doing them during naps and she would wake up, I tried putting her in the highchair with a toy- she screamed; I put her in the exersaucer where she could see me- and she screamed. One day I gave up, popped her in the carrier and realized I was able to do so much all without her screaming! It was a game-changer!

Not only could I clean my floors, hang laundry, and take the dog out; but, when she’s on my back I can even do dishes & prep and to some degree cook dinner! And more than that! She was so so happy to be hanging with mom

I get out of the house

When you’re the only parent while running errands it can get tricky! Especially when baby was itty bitty and couldn’t sit up in the cart babywearing was the only way to effectively grocery shop because otherwise the carseat took up the whole cart and I couldn’t push the stroller and a cart by myself.

Even more than errands- going to the beach, or other fun outings were made so much simpler than having to lug the stroller, which inevitably she would want out of and carried around leaving me to hold her one handed and push the stroller one handed.

Also it made travel solo internationally so simple!

It helped me heal

Due to some circumstances with her birth I was experiencing a lot of pain in my hand and wrist. Leaving me feeling like my wrist was weak and might snap while picking her up. Obviously, this is problematic when you’re the only parent around. With a newborn this can be hard because they want to be carried and cuddled. I didn’t want to deny her any cuddles, but some days is really was painful. BUT with the baby carrier she be cuddled up close to me without using my hand!

 

Baby wearing is my deployment hack when home solo parenting with a baby and even a toddler! I would love to hear your deployment parenting hacks? How do you get stuff done? Share your wisdom before I have to do this again!

 

 

Being a new mom is hard! Being a new mom and a solo parent all at once is double hard! There is no one else around to hold the baby when doing household chores, or someone to do those chores for you! Enter baby wearing! Without it this deployment time period would have been so much more difficult!

Daddy’s First Father’s Day

We spend so much time talking about Mama's first Mother's Day but there is something so essential that changes a man when he becomes a father. And as a mama there is nothing sweeter to see. Here are some ways you can celebrate dad for his first Father's Day!

We make a lot of fuss over Mother’s Day! Lots of lists of what Mother’s really want for Mother’s Day- gifts, a day away, a day of no responsibility, a mani/pedi, and on and on. But there is definitely a lot less love spread around the blogging world come Father’s Day. Well I am here to help all of the new, first time mom’s find incredible ways to help first time dads celebrate Father’s day!

This is our first year being celebrated as a mom and dad! Growing up for me we always did small little things- often hand made gifts and cards for Mother’s and Father’s day. It wasn’t a big holiday but we always enjoyed them together as a family. To me that is always the most important part, is being together. Celebrating that we are an even bigger family before.

This year unfortunately, due to the Army we are celebrating apart! But I don’t want my husband to miss out on being celebrated for being the awesome dad he is just because baby and I are away from him right now.

So whether you are together or apart this Father’s Day, here are some ways to help celebrate the father in your life!

 

If you are together, you have far more options for fun celebrations, so we are going to start there!

  • Does dad have a favorite hobby?
    • Chances are your hubby has been imagining enjoying all his favorite past times, and teaching them ton his little ones since he became a dad. Whether its fishing, hunting, sports, cars, or anything else there are probably ways he can share them with his little one even on his very first Father’s Day! Ok well maybe not hunting, but you can probably take the baby fishing at the lake or a fishing pond. Take the baby to a sporting event if its in season. The point is get out and do something with dad and baby, even if isn’t your favorite thing. It is his day! So do whatever it is with a smile on your face!
  • A 100% Daddy Spoiling Day
    • Ok so maybe dad’s favorite hobby’s aren’t baby friendly. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be spoiled on his day. Make his favorite meals, go his favorite places, watch his favorite shows and movies. Do whatever it is he wants! When it comes to Mother’s day this is often a popular route for showing mom appreciation but somehow it doesn’t always get translated to dad!

But, Maybe you are like us and dad is deployed or away for Father’s Day. Here are some ways you can celebrate him from afar!

  • Go all out on a care package!
    • Here are some great ideas for your first Father’s Day Care Package: a craft made by baby for dad. Framed picture of him and baby if you have any, or just framed picture of baby if you don’t. Send Dad his favorite treats- does he love a certain type of goodies that he can’t easily get where he is at? That is a great way to make him feel special. Do you have the ability to video call? Let him and baby spend some face time together via the computer! The older the baby the more fun it will be for her, but Dad will love it regardless! And finally send something with hand or foot prints in it. Being able to see a tangible item of baby’s growth will help make him feel like he isn’t missing as much!

Regardless of how you are spending Father’s Day help him feel special and celebrate him in his own way!

 

What is your families favorite way to celebrate Father’s Day?

We spend so much time talking about Mama's first Mother's Day but there is something so essential that changes a man when he becomes a father. And as a mama there is nothing sweeter to see. Here are some ways you can celebrate dad for his first Father's Day!

DIY ECO-CLEANING RECIPES WHEN YOU HAVE A BABY

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of
them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of
their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more
attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

If you look at those back stickers on the cleaning products you will
probably notice a lot of warnings saying to keep away from children and the
harmful side effects they can cause if they come in close contact with
them.

As always we will count on our faithful natural cleaners- they represent no
danger to children and some are arguably considered even more effective
than the chemicals-based ones, those cleaners are the “usual suspects”-
lemon, white vinegar, baking soda and if you need something even more
stronger- hydrogen peroxide. Using these natural ingredients we can make
ourselves a lot of different types of DIY cleaners with strong cleaning
powers.

Using Baby Safe Homemade Cleaners

The use of home-made cleaners all from natural products are the best
resolution for your cleaning chores. The baby’s skin and brain are
especially vulnerable to chemicals and we strongly recommend you avoid
using them with your child around the house. Those DIY natural cleaners
will also improve the air quality in your home and decreases the amount of
air pollutants caused by the regular, store-bought cleaners. Avoid those at
any cost, because babies have faster respiration, which means they will
inhale faster and more of the pollutants.

Baby Safe Dish Washing

To perform a proper cleaning on your cookware and avoid the harmful
chemicals, you will need sea salt mixed with lemon juice or baking soda and
water mixed into a paste. It is better and safe to use those given that you
spent a lot of time in the kitchen with your baby in arms or in the
stroller. It will also ease your mind on the licking action that takes
place on whatever item’s close to your baby.

Baby Safe Laundry

When doing laundry and especially when using a fabric softener we suggest
you make your own, as the regular one contains lots of chemicals that can
endanger the well-being of our child- you will need one part vinegar[2] and
two parts water to achieve the desired result.

To clean the mirrors and the glass at home using natural cleaners you will
need to combine all the following ingredients in one spray bottle – ¼ cup
rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 cups
water and if you want to you can also add a few drops of essential oil.
This mixture is highly effective window/glass cleaner and can’t have no
harmful effect to your baby(even if he tries to lick the cleaned surface).

Can’t forget to mention the recipe for removing stains, because let’s
face it- they are everywhere when baby’s on board. Here hydrogen peroxide
plays a main role, because of it’s incredible stain removing powers. You
should also try the mixture of washing soda and white vinegar- simply
sprinkle some soda on the stain and spray it with a mixture of white
vinegar and water with ratio 1:1.

And for the toughest stains we suggest a more complicated mixture, but
still as organic: 2/3 dish detergent, 2/3 cup of ammonia, 6 tablespoons
baking soda and 2 cups of warm water. Assemble all of these into a spray
bottle then spray action follows, wait for a few minutes and end with
regular laundering.

Those DIY natural cleaning solutions are not good just for your baby, but
also for you- one can never be too careful with what he uses to clean
around the house!

This Post was Brought to you by Zowie. Zowie Ashton is from London and her hobby is to write articles and
guides related to parenting and cleaning.  She runs a small company and loves to travel with her awesome family.

 

 

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

What it’s like When Your Baby Refuses the Bottle

Ah do you here that? Someone else is feeding the baby at 4am, you get to close your eyes a little longer! Except not because your baby refuses to eat from anything else except your boob. It can be exhausting and lonely even though you know it is good for your baby and you feel bad admitting otherwise, but its ok to.

Do you want to know how much money I have spent on bottles? Well don’t worry I am not going to add it all up, because I am pretty sure I do not want to know the total costs. Especially since it has been all for not. After all the money I have spent on countless brands of bottles, my baby still arches her back, screaming hysterically, and flailing arms and legs, turning beet red when given bottle. Clearly, not ideal!

While I absolutely love that I am able to successfully breastfeed my daughter, it would be nice to get a bit of extra sleep just one night while someone gives her the 4am bottle. I love her snuggles during that time, but if I could just run to the store and leave her with dad or grandma and grandpa without fearing her getting hungry and no way to nourish her.

It definitely makes things interesting and challenging. And exhausting. It can be lonely. Especially if you aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in front of others so you retreat to the bedroom at home, the car if you’re out, or if you’re lucky enough that the place your at has a nursing mom’s room. If only your baby would just take a bottle you could let someone else bond with the baby in that special way. You could shower without the baby having to be asleep. You could run a quick errand, get a massage, a manicure, or a much needed Starbucks!

But we are told we are the lucky ones. We can breastfeed. Our babies latch great, we make plenty of milk, we may even have a supply in the freezer hoping that one day baby will wake up and forget she hates her bottle. But sometimes, it does not feel so lucky that there is no break for us.

Now I know I am lucky, our breastfeeding relationship is great. At almost 5 months old we are going strong, with clearly no signs of stopping. Almost half way to our goal. I also know that I am lucky in that because I am blessed enough to stay home with her, there is no pressure to take a bottle other than convenience for me.

When we are told we are the lucky ones, it can feel stifling like we can’t wish for things to be different.

Ah do you here that? Someone else is feeding the baby at 4am, you get to close your eyes a little longer! Except not because your baby refuses to eat from anything else except your boob. It can be exhausting and lonely even though you know it is good for your baby and you feel bad admitting otherwise, but its ok to.

What to do with Little Ones When in South Korea

Recently my little one and I traveled to South Korea to spend a month with my husband who is stationed here. We had such a blast exploring what we could while we were here! So much more we wanted to do! But here are my tips for traveling with a little one here in S. Korea.

The past month my baby and I have been traveling South Korea while we visiting my husband here! We have had so much fun and got to see so much, although so much more we wanted to see and didn’t have time for! Partly due to lack of time and partly due to lack of planning we stayed in our small little areas and explored where we were. But with a bit more time and planning we might have gotten to see so much more.

So I am sharing my favorite things we did while here & my tips and tricks I learned in my treck that might have helped us see more so that you can make the best out of your trip.

I am gonna start off with sharing what I most wanted to see while in Korea! Here was the list of things I found from hunting through Pinterest and Google.

Things to do in South Korea

What we Actually Did

Turns out Seoul is a huge city! I have never been in such a large city in my life. To put it in perspective for you the population of Seoul is 3x the population of the entire state of South Carolina (Yeah blew my mind too!!!). So not everything in the city was super close by. That prevented us from going and doing some of the things on our list, the the Indian Soul BBQ restaurant and the Trick-Eye Museum. Its ok, because I don’t think a 4 month old cares much about the trick eye museum. But while we may not have eaten at that Korean BBQ restaurant we did get to go to a very similar place down in Pyeongtaek (near Camp Humphreys). It was an all you can eat place and they give you variety of meat to choose from and you cook it yourself at the table over a grill right on your table!

But we made it to the Zoo at Seoul Grand Park. It was a huge zoo and we didn’t even get to see it all. It was an easy Subway ride to the zoo.

My biggest travel tip is to avoid the stroller at all cost!

It would have been a nightmare trying to get a stroller on and off the subway and up and down all those stairs. We wore her in a baby carrier and when she was getting heavy, we just switched! It worked out so well! It worked great for the plane too!

Walking around the zoo was fun! Not only did they have a huge selection of animals to see- Elephants, Giraffes, Gorillas, Tigers, Lions, and so many many more. There was also a lot of history there and Greenhouses to see and view all different flowers and plants.

We also tried to get to Busan and see the coast one weekend. Busan is the second biggest city in South Korea. However, when we got to the train station to buy our tickets (we got there at 10am) the next train wasn’t until 5pm. So we took the subway to the next train station, found a train leaving in the next hour, except the first 2 hours of the ride was standing room only. That was not something we were willing to do with a 4 month old. So we adventured around the town instead.

Bonus Points! We found a mall and did some shopping. I got to buy a variety of Korean skin care products! That is definitely something I will be requesting in more packages for the rest of his time here.

So lesson learned! Buy your tickets in advance.

We did try to do this to be fair, but the website was in Korean. If you can ask your hotel lobby for help, a travel office or if you know someone ask for help and pre-buy your train tickets. Then maybe you will actually get to your destination unlike us!

If you go in the Spring, Definitely seek out the Cherry Blossoms

And not just the flowers! While they are absolutely beautiful, the treats are great too! I got to try Starbucks Cherry Blossom Milk Tea, and quite a few other things! They are so tasty! And don’t worry if you don’t like Cherry Flavored things. They taste much more like Strawberries than anything else. Also the Cherry Blossom souvenirs are great too!

We didn’t go to any of the Cherry Blossom Festivals. The day we were planning to go it rained and was very windy! Also the hubs is not big into crowds so we just enjoyed them at our own leisure and found the treats at various different places!

Overall we did quite a bit considering we only had a couple full weekends to explore since the hubs did not take any leave. I encourage you to go an visit! Take the kids if you have them as there are plenty of places for them. One of the biggest things around are the themed cafes. We didn’t frequent them really, especially since our Little Miss isn’t even crawling yet there wasn’t much need for them! But they also have animal themed ones where they have roaming animals around- sheep, raccoons, rabbits, cats and more!

We had a great month here visiting and exploring! Have you ever been to Korea? What were some of your favorite things to do there! Any travel tips for traveling with little ones? Leave those in the comments too so I can build up my stock of ideas for our next trip!

Recently my little one and I traveled to South Korea to spend a month with my husband who is stationed here. We had such a blast exploring what we could while we were here! So much more we wanted to do! But here are my tips for traveling with a little one here in S. Korea.

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary When Your Spouse is Deployed

One of the hardest parts of being a MilSpouse is missing those important milestones. But those special days don’t have to be a complete loss; in fact, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in spite of the distance. All it takes is a little patience and creativity!  

One of the hardest parts of being a MilSpouse is missing those important milestones. But those special days don’t have to be a complete loss; in fact, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in spite of the distance. All it takes is a little patience and creativity!

Plan a Skype Date:

There’s nothing better than seeing your spouse’s face after weeks (or months!) of separation. It might be a little difficult to coordinate times to set up a Skype call, especially if there’s a significant time difference, but it’ll be well worth the effort once you can see them smile and hear their voice. Step it up by eating dinner together or streaming a movie or keep it nice and simple with a regular conversation.

Send Gifts:

Part of the fun of gift-giving is seeing your spouse’s reaction. But if they’re not right in front of you, that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as satisfying to hear they received a special something to commemorate your wedding day. Besides, you can always send something small for that day and give the big gift when they get back. The anticipation will be enough of a present!

Don’t Spend It Alone:

The only thing that self-imposed isolation will bring is unnecessary sadness. This is a happy day, so spend it with people you love! Let your family and friends know about your anniversary and plan a get-together or celebration.

Go out to see that new action movie with a sibling, go on a shopping trip with your best friend, or check out that new exhibit at your local art gallery with your dad. Whatever you do, just don’t wallow at home. After all, your spouse would hate to hear that you spent the day pining away and counting down the days till their return.

Make Plans to Celebrate Later:

Nobody says you have to celebrate your anniversary on the actual day it occurs. If you are unable to spend your anniversary with your spouse, it’s simple enough to reschedule for when they return home.

Plan to go to your favorite restaurant or have a candlelit dinner at home.

Start looking up prices for plane tickets to a dream destination.

If you both love horseback riding, skiing, or surfing, plan a day to do your chosen activity together when your spouse returns home.

No matter what you decide to do, throwing out these ideas will make their return all the more exciting.

Write Love Letters:

While phone calls are great, their impact is short-lived. However, with good upkeep, the written word will last for years to come.

Talk about things like how you felt when you first realized you were in love with your spouse, what you appreciate and admire about them, and your hopes and dreams for the two of you in the future.

When you’re finished writing, you can spray the paper you write on with your perfume or cologne as a romantic personal touch.

Nothing compares to being next to your spouse, but these ideas will close the distance the slightest bit and keep up your spirits until the day they return for good.

 

One of the hardest parts of being a MilSpouse is missing those important milestones. But those special days don’t have to be a complete loss; in fact, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in spite of the distance. All it takes is a little patience and creativity!  

Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Challenge Coins Ltd. She writes for a variety of MilSpouse blogs on topics related to financial strategies for military homes and getting closer to your spouse.

 

A Letter to my Military Child

April is The Month of the Military Child. Military children are the only members of the family that did not choose this life. They are resilient and adaptable. They go where they are told and move more in their short childhood than many do in their entire life!

April is The Month of the Military Child. Military children are the only members of the family that did not choose this life. They are born into it. They are resilient and adaptable. They go where they are told and move more in their short childhood than many do in their entire life! They make life both harder and easier for us as they give us a distraction during deployments and TDYs, but also require us to go through stints of solo-parenting which is never easy.

So even though my little one is still much much to young to know what is going on around here, that she will have had more than one home before she even turns one. That before she starts kindergarten we will most likely have lived in 3 or more states. That due to the “needs of the Army” we spent the much better half of her first year living with Granna and Papa away from Daddy. A  military child goes through so much more than will ever be none. But I want her to know I see her. So this is for her, so she can look back when she’s older and knows that I admire the strength she will grow up to have; that I believe in the resiliency she will develop.

To You My Military Child,

My little one, look how big and brave you are. As I sit here writing this you lay only feet away sleeping in a tiny dorm where we visit daddy in South Korea. I know you will never remember these days, one because you are tiny; and two because you spent the majority of the trip asleep in your carrier as we went from place to place adventuring. You won’t remember that when you were born it was your grandmother who sat with me because your daddy was far away. But you will hear these stories many many times as you grow up. And one day you will experience them and you will remember this path the military has led our family down. Because we don’t plan for it to end soon. But we don’t get to plan much. We are like the leaf in the river drifting to where the send us; never anchored down.

It can be a hard life, but a rewarding one. One filled with adventure and awe as we will travel places many never will- before you were six months old we made it to your first foreign country. Hopefully not your last. It will teach you resilience, perseverance, kindness, and so much more. I know this because I know what it is like to not have a childhood home. I know what it is like to move more times than you can count and can remember.

It will teach you to value memories made rather than objects as moving with many things gets tedious and inefficient. But your memories will last a lifetime. Cherish them and you will never forget where you came from and who you are. It will teach you that people are people no matter where they come from or what they look like. You will make friends of all races, genders, and anything else. It is the people who will pull you through the hard times and celebrate the good. Never underestimate the power of friendship, even when you struggle with a friend. An argument or disagreement doesn’t have to be the end. Everyone has different experiences it is what we learn and take away from them that shapes us.

It will be hard, goodbyes are hard, but thankfully with the technology we have it makes it so much easier to stay in touch. We may grow apart from people sometimes and that is ok, but be there when someone needs you and they will be there for you. You will have friends from all over the world, how many kids get to say that! It may not always feel that way, but remember it can be a blessing.

We won’t always be close to family. Sometimes, most of the time, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins will be far away. It will be hard, and you will miss them. But they will never stop loving you. They will always be in your corner no matter how far. They are always just a phone call away. Sometimes it will be daddy who is away. He will miss concerts, recitals, games, and school plays. He will miss Birthdays and Holidays. But know he does it because he loves you, not because he loves his job more. He makes that sacrifice to provide for us, to give you the best life possible. I know it can be hard to understand, but he will hate missing it, even more than you do. Know that he will always do everything in his power to be there physically for you. And when he can’t know that he is always there for you anyway.

But no matter what this life holds for us, know that we love you. That we see you, and that we are grateful for the sacrifices you will make every single day to help your daddy fulfill his dream. We will always be there for you and nothing about that will ever change.

Love,

your mom and dad.

 

 

April is The Month of the Military Child. Military children are the only members of the family that did not choose this life. They are resilient and adaptable. They go where they are told and move more in their short childhood than many do in their entire life!

Spring Has Sprung: Regaining Mental Clarity as Winter Fog Lifts

Spring is here and now is the time the winter fog is lifting. Green is returning to the world and flowers are blooming. We can let is stay there or we can take advantage of the renewing season. We can renew our mind and attitudes- seeking mental clarity.

Ah spring has arrived! Hopefully we can push through this last small cold front we all seem to be experiencing and getting into the most beautiful iconic spring weather!

I am ready for shorts and tanks again (ok I know Hawaii is always this kind of weather but I am weathering the end of winter here in Korea, totally unprepared for the snow we just experienced). I miss my shorts and flip-flops. The earth is in bloom again- grass turns green, flowers bloom, trees grow their leaves again. We are all coming out of our winter drearyness ready to take on the world refreshed. At least that is how I have always viewed spring.

We recently had our family pictures taken and we were talking to the photographer about what dreary weather this winter was in Korea (thankfully I escaped the majority and am just riding out the tail-end). But winter can feel heavy- its cold and dreary making it difficult to get out of the house. Even in places like Hawaii where it is warmer in the winter it is the rainy season that can get you trapped in the house. This is even more so with a little one in tow.

But Spring gives you a new fresh breath ready to take on the world renewed. To me it is more renewing than the start of a new year. Granted I have never been one for winter. Summer is my season always has been, and probably always will be- I am a true southern girl at heart.

Anyway… I think the awakening of the Earth is a wonderful time to mentality and emotionally awaken finding clarity to continue through the year. Just go up to Alaska where they have only a few daylight hours a day in the winter time and you will find a much higher incidence rate of SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder) than in southern cities like Miami for example. People need daylight and sunshine. Beyond the fact that our bodies need Vitamin D- which other than supplements only comes form sunlight, sunshine and beautiful weather just seems to give you a pep in your step.

So as Spring rolls in fighting with greater and greater force here are some things you can to do enter spring with renewed clarity:

 

Spring Cleaning is a thing for a reason.

There is a reason everyone talks about spring cleaning. Spring cleaning brings a refreshing to your home. Whether you use it as a purge to get rid of all unwanted or unneeded items or just a good scrub down so everything is fresh, cleaning can be a great way to get a fresh start. I don’t know about you but I love when my house is clean- even though I whole heartedly admit to hate cleaning, I love the final product. I never feel rested even if I am resting if when I look around my house it feels messy. It begins to give me anxiety. So getting up cleaning my house- finishing the dishes, putting away the laundry, scrubbing the toilets, and cleaning the floors all give me deeper and deeper sense of refreshment. I list this first because if you are like me then I can’t give in and enjoy or re-evaluate my goals with that hanging over me.

Get outside and Enjoy

Spring is a beautiful time. This year I am lucky enough to be in South Korea during Cherry Blossom season. I am so excited to get to see the cherry blossoms bloom. Based on the pictures I have seen from friends and years past it is truly a spectacular sight to see. But everywhere has something that makes getting outside more enjoyable in the spring time. In Hawaii the rain lifts, in the south flowers of all type bloom, there are baby animals all over you might get to catch a glimpse of! It truly is magical. So get out and enjoy. This will also give you the much needed dosage of Vitamin D you might have been missing all summer.

Regain focus by Creating/Reevaluating Goals

Maybe you made goals in January or New Years Resolutions. But maybe you have gotten off track. I know I have. But as the world begins to renew itself, it can be a wonderful opportunity to regain your focus by creating or re-evaluating the goals you already made. It is also a quarter of the way through the year. So how have you done? What do you need to go to continue to meet your goals? Do you need to get back on track? Make some mini-goals to help you get there.

 God Intended Spring to Be a Renewing

Whether you are religious or not, you can’t deny that spring is an awakening seasoning. The plants bloom, chicks hatch, baby animals are born. More animals give birth in the spring than any other season. Easter is also a quintessential Spring holiday. It is the ultimate spring awakening and renewing. Our lives can be renewed through Christ who was brought back to life. You can’t get more renewed than that! But because God intended it to be so, he will provide you ways to find refreshment and clarity as we leave winter behind and enjoy the wonderful World He gave us!

Spring is here and now is the time the winter fog is lifting. Green is returning to the world and flowers are blooming. We can let is stay there or we can take advantage of the renewing season. We can renew our mind and attitudes- seeking mental clarity.

Must Haves For Baby Sleep

Baby sleep sounds like an oxymoron, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes all you need to help your baby sleep is a bit of preparation and a few basic essentials you too can help your baby get some good sleep.

Baby Sleep… It sounds like a bit of an oxymoron to some. Even though all newborns seem to do is sleep, you some how managed to only ever be exhausted. That is because babies sleep only a couple hours at a time, which means you only have a couple hours of a time to sleep. And if you are anything like me, you don’t fall asleep quite as fast as your newborn. Or if your baby is like mine their favorite place to sleep is on top of you and so you never manage to get in a good nap along with them.

Now I am not going to pretend to be any sort of baby sleep expert. While my baby sleeps pretty good most nights at 4 months, we definitely don’t have nap times down pat. She naps in the car, she naps on me and will fall asleep briefly when I lay her in bed if I nurse her. But at nights she wakes once to eat between 4 and 5, and then again at 6 or 7 then sleeps till about 9am.

But we struggle greatly with nap times. I have a couple theories about why that is. With such a tiny house it is hard to get our room quiet enough, it is bright and sunny in the room which also makes it warm and it is nearly impossible to cool it down and get it dark.

But it also leads me to conclusion that what I am doing at night that fixes those things really are working.

So here are my top items to help my baby sleep:

1. Sound Machine

We keep a sound machine running in the bedroom. I like to use the ocean sounds. To me it is the most soothing white noise so I can still sleep while it blows out all the background noise of sirens, cars, and shouts throughout the neighborhoods.

This one has six different sounds you can choose from so you can choose the one that is right for you and your baby! Babies are so used to constant sound that silence can actually make it harder for them to sleep. Before babies are born they never experience silence as the inside of our bodies are quite noisy with all the blood rushing through the veins and arteries. That is why shushing helps. So yo prevent you from having to spend your evening making sushing sounds to help baby sleep, invest in one of these to help!

2. Sleep Sacks and Swaddles

Babies are not supposed to sleep with lose blankets to help reduce the risk of SIDS, but you also want to help keep them warm throughout the night. Also my baby is very active so having a sleep sack helps keeps her legs from flailing and keeping her awake. When she was itty bitty we used the zipper sleep pods, then because she was a very long baby she lengthed out of them pretty quickly so we moved to the velcro sleep swaddles. Then when she needed her arms out we moved to sleep sacks. It keeps her warm and I think it helps weigh downs her legs so she doesn’t lay in her bed and continue to play with her feet when she should be napping.

3. Pacifiers-

Ok, so I know not all babies take a pacifier, some never will. And that is ok. But if your baby does it can help so much. My baby loves her pacifier and often time when she is nursing at night she falls asleep when she unlatches she will often start rooting around. Not because she is still hungry but because she loves to suck- it is kinda what babies do. When I offer her the pacifier she takes it and drifts right off to sleep.

4. Full Belly

Babies sleep so much better when their bellies are full. However your schedule works whether you nurse the baby to sleep or feed her, get her ready for bed and then lay her down, just make sure that the last feeding of the night is a full feeding and baby has a full tummy. This will help baby sleep longer at night because they won’t be hungry as quickly.

5. Darkness-

This is probably the number one reason why my baby sleeps so great at night and hardly at all during the day. No matter what I do, I cannot make her bedroom dark in the day and keep it cool enough for her to sleep. If I close the windows the room will be super hot, and then she won’t be comfortable, but light streams into the room with them open.

And Snuggles.

When all else fails I know it can make the days long, and the nights even longer. But they are only that little for that day. When they wake up they will be bigger than you remember from the day before. And one day they won’t need or want your cuddles to fall asleep. So if you can just snuggle them. Baby’s crave physical contact. It makes them feel safe and secure and will in turn sleep better. And then as if the baby is a stick of dynamite, move them into their own bed as carefully as humanly possible! And with a little bit of luck hopefully you will get some sleep too!

 

Baby sleep sounds like an oxymoron, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes all you need to help your baby sleep is a bit of preparation and a few basic essentials you too can help your baby get some good sleep.

Last Year We had 2 Pink Lines, Today We have You

A year ago on St. Patrick’s Day you made my dreams come true! Just a couple days before I couldn’t imagine that in a year I would be a mom, but here I am. And Loving every single bit of it.

A year ago I woke up with nothing more than a feeling that I should take a pregnancy test. No missed period (or so I thought), no nausea, no symptoms. Just an overwhelming feeling that I should. And since I had plenty didn’t seem any harm in what I assumed would be wasting them. And then I saw it the faintest of faintest second line. I didn’t quite believe my eyes so I tried to take a second one but I only got a single line on that one. So I stopped and picked up one of those digital pregnancy tests on my way home that day. Saving it for the next morning to try again. Sure enough there it was. A positive test, two of them!! I went to my doctor for a confirmation test and that was positive too!

I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home from work so I could share this with him. A text just wasn’t going to do it! So I set about trying to find the best way to tell him. Do I blurt it out, try to be clever, get cute? I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it from him so I went simple.

It was St. Patrick’s Day a quick trip to TJ Maxx and I found clover socks and a cute picture printed from Etsy and that was that.

I couldn’t imagine how just a year has changed my life. In my life I have gone through some crazy things in a year, but nothing has been as life changing as this. Just a couple short years ago I went from girlfriend, fiance to wife. That was a big change I know that sounds crazy to say because obviously motherhood is one of the biggest life changes that ever. But you just can’t fathom it until its happening even though this is something I have wanted for so long.

So here it is, a letter to you my baby on the one year anniversary I knew you were mine.

Dear Little One,

This is your momma and I love you more than you will ever know. I love you through every late night and early morning. I love you when all you want is me even when you deny me a break because of your refusal to take a bottle (even if I did work so hard to pump all that milk for you that will forever sit in my freezer now). And I would cuddle you forever if you would let me.

You are already showing me all your independence. You love playing and being active. You are so busy and you can’t even go anywhere yet. But I know that won’t last long. Our days are numbered for your stationary time. Then I will be exhausted while chasing you down for the rest of my life. But I will watch with joy as you find all the new things about this world we live in.

I look at you and see perfection. I had nine long months to prepare for you.To imagine what you would be like, look like, act life, sound like. And everything is more and better than I could ever imagine. Your first full laugh was the best thing I have ever heard. When you snuggle into my chest while nursing are such special moments that I will always treasure. Even your independence when you wiggle to free yourself from my arms because you area already so independent.

You just keep being your awesome little self and I will keep loving every sleepful and even sleepless moment with you. Because a year ago I had two pink lines (well more like 8, because I just couldn’t believe you were coming to me) but today my heart is more full than I could have ever imagined because I have you.

So St. Patrick’s Day may be considered a lucky day for the Irish.  But I could never have dreamed I would get so lucky!

Love,

Your Mom