10 Month Update

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I have been trying to sit down and write Alyson’s 10 months update for the past two weeks but since we came home from our trip to PA we have been either super busy or sick. This girl is growing so fast, my momma heart just can’t handle it. I ordered her first birthday party invitations over the weekend and it really hit me that in just about a month and half now, she will be one. If you know me at all you know I am a big planner and had her theme picked out when she was probably a week old but actually putting everything together has made me more emotional than I thought. I will try to save all the mushy and emotional posts till closer to her birthday and be prepared because there will definitely some of those.

I am currently trying to write this while Alyson is climbing all over me , trying to tell you her version I guess, but this is clear picture of what our life has been like lately. She is climbing onto and over everything possible. The poor dog gets treated more like a pony lately and I am not sure he is a fan, but he is super good about it. She is starting to stand on her own for longer periods of time and I know it will not be long until she just takes off walking.

I know as soon as I type these words out I will probably regret it but I am happy to say that Ally is not a picky eater. She has been doing great with eating all the solid foods I have given her. Some of her favorite is avocado, eggs, chicken and bananas. The hardest part with her when it comes to food is when we eat something that she can’t have, she is not a fan of that and she lets us know.

Each month that passes I see more and more of her personality come out and the older she gets the more sassy she becomes, so we keep joking that one maybe good [ but are we joking lol ].  She went through this phase for a few months of hating to get in the car seat [ once she was in she was fine] but actually getting her in the car seat/stroller was a heart- breaking task. We recently installed her big girl car seat and she seems to like getting in that a lot better.

She had a busy month this past month with a two- week trip to visit family back in Pennsylvania that also included her first trip to the beach. I was very impressed for how well she did with the entire trip & how well she liked the sand.

We are so happy that it is starting to actually feel like fall, that we celebrate with a trip to the park. She always loves getting to see and play with other kids, so we are enjoying that while we can. We have lots of fun fall events planned that I can’t wait to experience with her. These next few months of the year are my favorite and now getting to share it with my mini , just makes it that much better.

Friday Frenzy

Happy Friday Friends! I am excited to bring to you a new ongoing series called Friday Frenzy.  The Friday Frenzy’s will be dedicated to highlight five top moments/purchases from the past month/months. So let’s dive in!
1. I am going to have to say my top moment this past month was getting to have a night out with my husband. Our nights out without Alyson are few and far between and it was super nice to get to spend time just the two of us. It also happened to be at the Florida Georgia Line stadium tour concert. We saw Florida Georgia Line in Florida when they toured with Jason Aldean and they were awesome. When I heard that they were touring and bringing Nelly and the Backstreet Boys I kept giving nice little hints to Ryan, that we should go. Lucky for me , he caught on.

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2. Most days I am lucky to wear something other than pajamas or work -out clothes [ that rarely see a work out]. I am sure you have seen people selling LipSense on Facebook or Instagram and probably thought it’s just another one of those annoying products, scams etc. You may still think that but let me tell you, this stuff is amazing. They have other products besides lipstick but I have only tried the lipstick so far. When I do wear make-up, I love getting to wear lipstick but I would always worry about it smudging, wearing off and now with Alyson I don’t want to leave lip prints all over her face. I have a few different colors now and Dark Pink has to be my favorite. It gives just enough color to pull together any outfit! [ I am wearing it in the picture above ]

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3. I am a sucker for trying any new beauty products. I have always struggled with acne though my teenage years and even at the very beginning of my 20’s [ woah I am half way through my 20’s , cue breakdown now]. The older I get, the more aware I have become of the products I use on my skin. I have not always taken the best care of my skin and I am trying my best to make up for that before it is too late. I spend way too much time and money [ my husband would agree] at Ulta. The other week I saw this cute little pack of different face masks. Each mini mask also comes in a larger version but I grabbed the box with a sample of all five to give them each a try, and find out which was my favorite. So far I have tried three of them and the pure to the pore is my favorite. I will say the berry bubbly mask was the weirdest feeling mask I have ever tried. It actually makes bubbles on your skin as you apply the mask and they just start popping. It is hard to even describe but let’s just say I will not be purchasing the larger version of that one.

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4. Getting to work from home has been a huge blessing on our family. After I had Alyson , I could not imagine having to leave her. I wish all mommas got to stay at home with their littles. Maybe I was just a little naive on how easy working from home with an infant soon to be toddler would be. Somedays are just plain down rough, she has been going through a rough sleeping phase and it has also been throwing off her nap schedule. When the baby is not happy, well let’s just say it’s hard to get anything accomplished. The other day after a rough morning, I decided to say screw it, let’s just get out of the house, so I packed up her diaper bag, got us both ready and we headed out to lunch and the park. We were only gone a little over an hour but boy what a difference it made for both of our moods. While I am so thankful I get to be at home with Alyson all day, she does not get my full attention as I am also balancing working, and boy do I feel guilty of that sometimes. It was so nice to get to just enjoy being her momma and give her hugs and kisses without trying to send emails or answer phone calls in between. These days are going by so fast and I just want to make the most of them.

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5.I did a post a few weeks back about Faith In Motherhood, and how important that is to me. Sometimes life gets chaotic and while I am not proud of the amount of time I have been dedicating to my bible or time with God, I know this “busy” season will pass and soon enough I will be getting to share more about God and doing a bible study with my mini. Motherhood is beautiful and I would not change it for the world but sometimes it can also feel lonely. I was searching for a devotional dedicated to motherhood that was something quick that I could read every day.I found this one on amazon and it has been exactly what I needed. Have you ever been reading through your devotional and one day the message just speaks to you like, God knew exactly when you should start it because of that one day , you would come across the verse that was exactly what you needed to hear. I have had a few of those while reading through this so far, and it is such a wonderful feeling to know that through any season of life I have entered, going through or about to go through, I never have to walk through them alone.

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Next week we leave to go “back home” [ no matter where we live, or how long its been Pennsylvania will always be home to us]. I will be taking these next few weeks to just enjoy our time with family and friends, so I will be taking a short break from posting. Hope you all enjoy your weekend and these last few weeks of warmer temps!

 

9 Month Update

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It is crazy for me to think that 9 months ago we were waiting for our little girl to arrive. I am starting to plan her first birthday party and my momma heart is getting sad. [ and realistically, I already knew her party theme before she was a month old lol ].

One thing that has stayed the same from month to month, is that this girl loves to eat. Puffs have become her best friend lately. We have just started making the transition from puree baby foods to solids. [ If you have any tips, send them our way]. So far it is off to a great start and she loves her momma’s cooking. She finally now has two teeth and some looking like they will pop thru any day.

Last month, she pulled herself up and once that happened, she could not be stopped. She walks along all the furniture and gets brave sometimes and tries to let go. She loves walking with her Zebra walker and seems to want to walk back and forth all day long. I know it won’t be long now before she starts walking on her own, and I am not ready for that for many reasons lol

She can say da-da and ma-ma [ when she wants to] now and waves bye-bye. She had her 9- month appointment the other day and she weighs 18 pounds 15.8 ounces and grew like what seems an entire foot between her check-ups. It was not quite an entire foot but she is now 2’ 3.5”. She is in 18-month clothing and size 3 diapers.

Last weekend was a big first in our household. I have been lucky enough to be able to work from home, so I have been with Alyson all day since she arrived. I have left her for a few hours, here and there, but we had our first night apart. I, of course, probably missed her way more then she missed me but when you have your God-parents and three lucky kids to play with, who would.

This next month is going to be super busy with travel and many visits with family. It has been a few months since we had our last road trip to Pennsylvania, so now that she is more active, I am a little more worried about making that long drive. If any of you mommas have any advice to make long road trips more “fun” for little ones , send your tips my way.

Surviving Motherhood In A Social Media Driven World

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Hey ya’ll! I’m Britney, I’m a 27 year old wife and first time mom to a beautiful seven month old little girl name Raelyn. I was really excited when Tinicia approached me about writing about my journey through motherhood and sharing it with you! Looking back on the last year and a half of my life I have been through so many things I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share with you all. From the first time I saw two pink lines on that test, to spending 40+ hours in labor, to breastfeeding failures, and beyond it has been a rollercoaster. Becoming a first time mom in a world full of social pressure has proven to be quite an obstacle all on its own and I wanted to share my struggles and triumphs with you about just that.

I remember being so excited when I was added to my first mom page on Facebook, l had finally made it to the elite group known as Moms. At first I didn’t read too much just posts here and there, cute pictures of people babies and growing families. It wasn’t until Rae was here and I started to struggle with breastfeeding did I really see the toll they were taking on me as a mom and a person.

Raelyn was a champion breast feeder in the hospital but as soon as we got home it all went downhill fast.  My first full day home with her she would NOT latch, after quite a few hours of only nursing 5 minutes at the most we decided to call the doctors and take her because I was terrified something was wrong. After the scolding I received from the only doctor available at the office (who does not ever see my daughter now) about causing long term brain damage from low sugar levels I finally got her to latch and eat and things seemed to be on the up and up. Over the course of the next month I still struggled, I had never been in so much pain from just nursing and getting mastitis TWICE in four weeks and being shamed by the lactation consultants who could never fit me in. This all led to Rae being a formula fed baby after the second round of mastitis and my milk completely drying up.

Things got much better in our house after this, Rae was happier & so were Mom & Dad. That was until I realized someone had added me to multiple breast feeding mom groups on Facebook that clogged my newsfeed with so much negativity and bashing. I would spend hours at night reading about how awful formula is for babies and how people who didn’t breastfeed didn’t care about their babies and so on. I already struggled with massive guilt for failing at breastfeeding and the added cost buying formula and seeing all my friends flourish at nursing and this sent me in a downward spiral of post-partum depression. I spent hours a day crying thinking I had “broken” my daughter and that I was robbing her of a healthy life, because according to all the mom groups breastfeeding was the only way to keep your baby healthy. As you can imagine this put a strain on my marriage and mental health.

Finally one day after one of my mom guilt meltdowns my husband sat me down and made me remove myself from all of the breastfeeding groups I was in on Facebook. The day I deleted myself from those I started to feel so much better. Society has a way of deciding how we should all raise our children and everyone else’s opinion should matter when In fact it does not. Finding a group of positive and understanding moms can be a game changer in your motherhood journey! Social media should inspire and encourage you in your new life not condemn you for the choices you make. The best piece of advice I ever received when I became a mom was this, “Never regret a decision you made as a mom whether it turns out good or bad because at the time it was the best decision you knew how to make.”

The point of what I’m writing to all you struggling mommas is do what you think is best for YOU and your kids, no one else. Is that Facebook mom group making you feel like you are messing up? Remove yourself. Following moms accounts who make you feel like you are failing? Unfollow them. Surround yourself with encouraging people who know the struggle is so real in motherhood. The day I realized this, my motherhood journey changed in the best way! Social media can be a haven for meeting so many inspirational and uplifting women and let it be just that, uplifting and encouraging.

I hope that someone can read my struggle and be encouraged to be confident in their motherhood choices, whether it is to breastfeed, formula feed, having a natural birth, having an epidural, or any other “controversial” topic. In case no one reminded you today you are enough, you are strong enough, brave enough, compassionate enough to raise your babies to be the best they can be! We all believe in you and are rooting for you.

Love The Skin You’re In

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As women, we often pick apart how we look and constantly compare ourselves to the girl next to us. Last week I was scrolling through Instagram [ probably avoiding doing the laundry or dishes, just being honest], and I came across a new mom. She had just given birth to her sweet baby girl less than a month ago ,which also happened to be her third baby, and I would have never guessed that she had just been pregnant. Did I feel a little discouraged that I didn’t look like that right after having Alyson or heck even look like that now almost nine months later, absolutely. I was then reminded that it’s okay that I don’t look like that and it really made me think about how harsh I am on myself sometimes.

As a mom, and a mom to a beautiful girl, I do not want her to grow up thinking that it’s normal to pick apart how your body looks. God created us to be exactly who we are, belly rolls, double chins and all. It took me nine months to grow a healthy baby and it took me almost nine months to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. Even now that I am below my weight I was when I got pregnant, my body is completely different. Clothes fit differently, things have shifted and changed but I would not change it for the world. My goal as a mother is to have my child [ or any future children] grow up understanding that it is important to love the skin you’re in, regardless of what others might look like.

It has taken me many, many years to come to terms with the way my body was built. Somethings will never change no matter what I eat, or how much I work out and that is okay.

We can be so harsh on our bodies by picking apart all of the things that are “wrong” but each day our body allows us to get up in the morning and move, breathe, and enjoy life. I encourage each one of you to give yourself, a friend, or family member a compliment. Our bodies truly are a gift from God that we should treat with respect.

Diaper Bag Essentials

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For the next few years instead of carrying your most glamorous purse, you will be swapping it out for your diaper bag. This bag will become your new best friend. I started out with a Skip Hop diaper bag. I don’t have anything bad to say about the particular bag or that brand but I recently switched to a backpack, and let me tell you how life changing that was.  There are many brands including Skip Hop that also have backpack diaper bags but with the new back to school discounts on cartwheel I purchased this one from Target.

Having a hand’s free bag with an infant is definitely a game changer. With each season your child is in, the necessities in the bag may change, as well with the time of the year. Right now, we are enjoying all the beautiful weather that we can here in Chicago, because soon we will be freezing our tails off.

Below I have included what is in my diaper bag right now, as well as where the item was purchased [you will see where my paychecks go], with a brief description why it is a must have for us. I would love to hear what you find to be an essential in your diaper bag.

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Diaper Bag: This was purchased from Target. If you could not already tell, I absolutely love this bag. It is much easier to carry, more space [like Mary Poppins bag, I am not kidding], and the side pockets are easy access for keys and phone. The front pocket is usually filled with snacks for me and Alyson, my wallet and lip gloss.

Wipes: You can purchase baby wipes from almost any store. I typically purchase mine from Target for convenience. I do know that Babies R Us offers a 10% discount off ANY item(s), every Thursday if you have their credit card.

Diapers : You can purchase diapers anywhere as well. For both the wipes and diapers we choose the sensitive brand, as I felt more comfortable to use it with Alyson.  Always, always, always check to make sure you restock your diapers and wipes. Trust me I have been in a few situations where I made the rookie mistake and did not check before we left the house, and we will just leave it at that!

Clothes: I love the bodysuits from Carters. They always run great sales, have good coupons, and clearance. This is another item you want to check often to make sure you are restocking. Alyson had a blow out the one night at bible study, thankfully it also happened to be at our best friend’s house, and even luckier for us she happened to buy her an outfit that day. Lots of rookie first time mom mistakes happening over here!

Shirt for Mom: These “work-out” shirts are some of my favorite. Also purchased from Target. Starting to see a theme here, so does my bank account, my husband and my family! They all keep telling me I need to work there so I get a bigger discount. I have found myself in too many situations where I am covered in spit up or a blow out, where I did not have a change of clothes.

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Face Wipes: Everyone around me makes fun of me but I am a freak when it comes to germs around Ally. I know that as a child she will get sick, be covered in germs but I love having a pack of these, as a quick go to so I can wipe her down if random people feel the need to touch your child, because they will.

Small Bag: It may seem silly to have a bag inside of a bag but I put her diapers, wipes and change of clothes in here, as an easy grab when she needs changed. You can even put their messy outfit in there as the bag is lined.

Toys: I have a few different of Alyson’s favorite Toys thrown in the diaper bag. She loves swinging the turtle around to make noises and loves looking at herself in the mirror.

Teething Giraffe:  Sophie has been our best friend lately, we make sure we never leave the house without her. You can purchase the teething toy from just about any baby store or online.

Bottles: We have been using these bottles since she was about a month old. They worked best with her acid reflux.  I like to portion out the formula scoops prior based off what she has been eating lately so it is easier when she does get hungry.

Fan: This fan has been a huge saving grace during these summer months. It’s not a super power fan but it works great to keep her cool when we are at the zoo or out for our daily walks. I found this one at Target but I know you can purchase it from Walmart or Amazon.

Sunscreen: We choose the Neutrogena sunscreen to use as it was the brand we felt comfortable with. You can purchase the sunscreen of your choice from just about any retail store. [ Fun fact: Doctors recommend that babies less then 6 months old should not wear sunscreen or very limited if they do.]

Bug Spray: We choose the Honest Company bug spray as a personal preference again. I will say that this stuff smells amazing for it being bug spray and does a good job.

Sanitizer: I am a “crazy” mother according to my husband, mom and brother. I always make sure I have hand sanitizer in my bag and ready for quick access. I love the little Bath and Body works hand sanitizer and they always have the cutest holders.

Changing Pad: The changing pad I have in my bag currently came from my previous diaper bag but I personally like to have one in my bag to put over the changing stations in stores, in the car or at friends. You never know when your little one will decide to start peeing while your changing them.

Pacifier: After many, many tries we finally found a pacifier that Alyson would take. The soothie brand are her favorite. Alyson is usually pretty well behaved but always good to have it close by just incase.

Pacifier Clip: These awesome clips were a gift from her God- Mother in her Easter basket. Let me tell you how many times these saved her pacifier from having to be thrown out. These are from Amazon but I know they have some at baby stores as well.

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How My Placenta Kept Me Sane

Hello! I’m so so stoked to be guest writing today for Tinicia. Seriously girl thanks so much for asking me to do this. I am truly honored.

So this topic might be a little controversial but if it helps even one mom, I’ll be the one to talk about it.

First, a little bit about me. I’m a wife to an amazing husband and a mommy to two amazing little babies. I have an almost two year old and a six week old little newborn.

My heart has never known so much love each time I gave birth, but goodness gracious the postpartum journeys were completely different.

Hazel Grace was my first. We were SO EXCITED for her to be here. It was going to be the sweet little girl we needed so badly after all the little boys we had, she was my parents first grand baby, and who just doesn’t get excited about a newborn! I was so excited to be a mommy. I heard horror stories about postpartum journeys but went on about my business thinking “that could never be me”. When she first arrived I cried, duh. And then I kept crying uncontrollably while I would stare at her, normal right? But then this is when things got scary. Months and months later I was still in this uncontrollable crying phase. I felt SO LONELY. I sometimes resented my role as a mom, and I just felt HORRIBLE. I felt like I would never be “normal” again. I just wanted to be happy and enjoy my newborn. Finally, things leveled out after so much personal development and soul searching but that took until she was a year old.

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Well, not long after that, I found out I was pregnant again. I cried and cried because I feared the postpartum journey. I had JUST started to feel normal again. Would I be okay this time or would I go through the depression all over again? These thoughts haunted me my entire pregnancy until a friend mentioned placenta encapsulation. When she said “it’s supposed to help with your emotions afterwards and help with postpartum depression”, I was sold. Like sign me up for whatever makes me feel like a normal human being and be able to enjoy my newborn.

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So I did it. 

 

I encapsulated my placenta and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. My family kept commenting on how calm I was and how I truly was just soaking up my moments with my second born. I can’t tell you how relieved I was that it worked. I haven’t spent my days sobbing when my husband goes to work, I’m able to handle the crying without feeling like I’m going to lose it, and overall I feel like I’ve just been more PRESENT because my emotions are in check. 

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I’m not a doctor. I don’t know all the medical research on this. What I do know is that it helped me tremendously this time around.

I just want to add though, mommas, it’s okay to not be okay. Your littles think you hung the moon no matter how out of control you feel. You were equipped for this. You are ENOUGH to fulfill your needs. So today, whether you’re struggling or you’re taking this day by storm, in proud of you. Motherhood isn’t easy but it sure is special.

Xoxo

Logan Weir