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onemorebusymom@gmail.com

Starts and Stops and Starts and Stops and Starts and Stops

Already I feel like a failure as I type this…….

I just knew that this would happen. I knew I would let life take over and, you know, put the blog on the back burner. I knew it and in my head I warned myself over and over and over….but mommy didn’t listen. Eeeek I’m so disappointed in myself.

It all started during the holidays. I kept telling myself “you need to write, you need to write, you need to write!” But I let the stress of the holidays get the best of me. I was so worried about doing my little man’s first Christmas right all the while worrying about getting Christmas right for everyone else in my life. I would be lying to say if it wasn’t a tad bit overwhelming for me.

To add to the mix, James ended up projectile vomiting all over my parent’s dining room floor on Christmas Eve. Or was it Christmas day…. damn I don’t remember! But whatever day it was…. he had what Adam and I term as a “polterJames” aka projectile vomit that looks like the stuff right out of a really bad 80’s low budget horror movie. I remember thinking “What the hell is this?!?!” Even though I had a similar experience with Tegan when she was a wee little one.

Ok now I remember, this happened on Christmas Eve.

So, later that evening when we were back home, another polterJames happened. And then another. Then James spiked a fever. Oh! And James wasn’t keeping any of his food down. So…. guess what, we took James to the Children’s hospital. On Christmas Eve. It was the saddest thing I ever saw. All these adorable little children in their Christmas PJ’s waiting in the ER. James would have had his Christmas PJ’s on too but on top of the polterJames and fever, he was also having explosive polterJames out his rear. Poor kid. All of them. Poor kids.

So, to make a long story short, let’s just say that we didn’t leave the hospital until 4am in the morning and we probably didn’t get to sleep until around 5:30’ish that morning. And like all little children on Christmas Day…. James just couldn’t let his parents have their Christmas wish and sleep in.

So, there’s that.

Fast forward a week.

It’s time for me to start back with my classes. I was working on my MSN/MBA, taking online classes with a college that I shall refrain from naming. And did you notice, I used the word “was”. Let me tell you what happened……

It was the first week of classes. Like any good student, I was eager to get started. So, I don’t know if any of you have ever taken an online class before but usually the first week of class includes introductions. Mine went something a little like this…. “Hi everyone! My name is Melinda and I’m a nurse from Ohio!” Blah blah blah blah……nothing to it. Mindless crap about myself, right?! Well, after my introduction post I went to start on my first actual assignment…..thaaaaaaat was due that night. And you can scold me all you want for procrastinating…but this **it’s hard when you’re home alone in the evening with an infant! As I started to begin working…the little boy I had thought I put to bed decided it was time to scream and cry like never before. Immediately I told myself, I can’t do this …. better not even try…. You’ll start, won’t be able to finish and then fail. Why is my inner voice such a Debbie downer???

I decided to drop the class.

So, to make another long story short, let’s just say that when I called to drop the class I was told I would be charged a 10% fee for participating in the class, no if’s, ands, or buts. I was livid. And when I get angry, sometimes I let my mouth get the best of me. In this situation, it did. I ended up telling the poor innocent girl on the other end of the line that I no longer wanted my name on their roster because I didn’t want to be associated with a money hungry school like there’s. I also demanded that they remove the 10% fee and that I speak with her manager. At that point I was told that my only option was for them to have the manager call me back and I instead suggested voice mail, in which I was transferred to, and in which I let my mouth get the best of me even more. If by some twist of fate that person is reading this…. I’m sorry…it was all out of frustration. But I still don’t want to be a student at your school!

So now I am no longer a grad student. I feel good about it too. I’ve found another program that I am much more interested in from a school with a much better reputation so once I feel I’m at a good spot with James I will apply. And I’ll be even happier because it will be better. Kudos to me!

Soooooo……what else?

Oh, I know! Two more ear infections for James! One of those times he was prescribed Augmentin. Ugh! That was awfulness in a bottle. My poor little man. He hated it with all his little might. He fought Adam and I so hard every 12 hours when his 5ml’s of pure nastiness was due. And on top of that his little bottom was so red and sore from the number this stuff did on his bowels. To be specific, what the number “2” did to his bowels. Thankfully, the last round of antibiotics James received for this most recent ear infection was not nearly as bad. Poor little boy.

I know I could write more. But my mind is going blank now. So much has happened and I’m exhausted. That’s why I am just now typing this. I literally feel exhausted. I have thought long and hard about this. And even though I have disappointed myself…. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Life is full of ups and downs. That’s why it’s called life! So, I’m going to try harder to stay on top of my writing. I do enjoy it, I really do. And I need to do this for myself. Let this be a lesson to myself. If you fall…don’t let it define the rest of your path. Just start over! And you know what…. you can start over as much as you want! Which I’m sure I will slack off again, so I might be starting over multiple times on this journey. And you know what….so what?! Life is good! My life is good! I’m happy and that’s what matters most! I’ll see you again in another 3 months. That was a joke. Hopefully.

March 3, 2017
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Top 5 Baby Items I’m Loving this Month- November

November has came and went. Like literally, I blinked and it was gone! POOF! Just like that! The month of November is always a busy month. This past month we celebrated my daughter’s birthday as well as my own. We also hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. And James turned 7 months old. Which means milestones! He’s officially sitting up on his own unassisted. He’s beginning to drink from a sippy cup. And just this past weekend he’s cut 2 teeth. WOWZERS! With all that being said, I have had a lot of baby items I’ve found new appreciation for! So since I completely forgot to do this for October, I thought I would be good and get my Top 5 in for November! So here we are! My Top 5 Baby Items I’m Loving for November!!!!

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  1. Boppy Pillow- I really think I underestimated the Boppy Pillow when I first heard about it. I mean, I knew you used it as a nursing pillow and it was great for when James was doing tummy time….but now that he is sitting up on his own I appreciate it even more! I love being able to sit him in the pillow so that he can sit on the floor and play with his toys without being cooked up in his Exersaucer or bouncy seat for too long. Plus I still use it when I hold James for his feedings because it just makes it that much more comfortable for me. If you are a new mom, or getting ready to become a mom, I highly suggest getting one of these or including it on your baby registry. It is definitely worth every penny!

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  1. Playgro Baby High Chair Spinning Toy- I love this so much for James. It’s perfect because it keeps James occupied while I’m preparing his meals. He could be screaming his head off and as soon as I stick it in front of him he is instantly engaged. It is also great because it has a suction cup you can attach to the high chair tray so it is not as easy to knock over onto the floor which has become one of James’s favorite past times!

 

selsun-blue

 

  1. Not a Baby Item but-Selsun Blue- James had a pretty bad case of cradle cap that we could not get to go away. We were using an oatmeal based shampoo along with some oil on his scalp and it just wasn’t doing the trick. So following the suggestion of our pediatrician, we started using Selsun Blue and let me tell you, this stuff truly works. James is now flake free so we just have it on stand by now. But if your little one is suffering from cradle cap I suggest mentioning this to your pediatrician and giving it a try!

 

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  1. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo- This little robot is one of James’s favorites! Its so cute because I could be sitting with James on one side of the room and if he sees his BeatBo on the other side he will just smile and smile and smile! I love that it plays music and has fun flashing lights that really grabs James’s attention. But what I love even more is that it is also an educational toy. It teaches colors, numbers and letters in fun little catchy songs. I won’t lie, I find myself singing along at times. Actually, let’s make that most of the time….but I’m not alone! Dad sings along too! Hahah (Sorry Adam!)

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  1. Sassy Teething Feeder- I love this little teether so much because it allows me to help ease James’s teething pain while giving him something nutritious at the same time. So far, all I have used is frozen bananas but James absolutely loves them! He can’t get enough and it’s so cute watching him munch on his frozen nanners! If you have a little one who is teething and want to try a more natural remedy to teething pain then this is perfect for you! We don’t even bother with Orajel anymore!

 

Do you have any baby items that are/were your favorite for your 7 month old? I would love to hear what you found useful! Go ahead and share below in the comments! J  I’m always on the lookout for useful baby items!

November 29, 2016
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10 Signs You Are a Working Mom

Working moms are a breed all their own. (Or should I say all our own? Ha!) If you ask me, it’s not very difficult to single us out, and if you are one of us, forget about it! You just know. But how might you ask? Well, I can tell you that there are some characteristics and similarities that all of us working moms possess. Maybe as you read these you might nod in acknowledgement. If you find the time to read this that is. Am I right?!?!

Well on with the list……10 Signs You Know You Are a Working Mom! 

1.       The fact that you even want to read this! No seriously though, would you even consider reading this if this wasn’t the case…just sayin!

 

2.       Your breast pump bag has now become one of your everyday work accessories, extra parts and all! You lug that beast with you every day to work like it’s going out of style. This along with your purse, lunch bag and work bag makes you the official working mom bag lady!

 

3.       You now carry breast milk. Yes, little bottles of breast milk for your little one. You carry them in your little cooler with its ice packs and you carry them proudly. You might even store them in the employee fridge and your fellow co-workers LOVE you for it! Just kidding. It totally freaks them out.

 

4.       Your days are long….I mean lllooooonnnnGGGG-UUHHH! You wake up at the crack of dawn to nurse or in my case pump. Then you proceed with getting ready for your work day….you know, showering and getting dressed for the day ahead. This is a luxury to most moms. Finding the time to shower and to wear anything besides yoga pants can be hard at times for us mothers! Then, after you complete your long work day, you come home to tend to your little ones until it is time for bed time. This leads into #5!

 

5.       You become a night owl. Not by choice but by necessity. Once you get your little one to bed, that’s when you get sh*t done! Laundry, dishes, chores….all that fun stuff…its done at night! For me, that means staying up way later than when my body tells me! Which then leads into #6.

 

6.       The Mombie. You know, it’s the zombie version of a mom. You are soooo tired from staying up late and then having to wake up at 5am in the morning that you’re like a walking, talking…..well mumbling….version of your true self. It truly is amazing you get anything done, but you keep trucking along because you know you must.

 

7.       Free time? What free time? I’ll tell you what free time….it’s your morning and evening commute to and from work! You look forward to it! You enjoy it! You actually wish it was longer!! This is the one time that you are under no obligations whatsoever! Besides obeying traffic laws of course. But this is your time, you can listen to whatever music you want as loud as you want. You can think about the day and just unwind. I LOVE it!

 james-playing

8.       During your 9 to 5, you find yourself scrolling through pictures of your little one on your phone. I mentioned this once before and I’ll mention it again. I do this ALL the time! I miss my little guy so much while I am at work and I find myself sneaking little peaks at my phone just so I can see his precious little face and picture him in my arms.

 

9.       You NEVER pack your lunch. Because who has time for that right?! Certainly not you! You reminisce of the days when you packed your Mason jar salads every day of the week, complete with every color of the rainbow and jam packed with nutritional value. Now, by the time I get my little man to bed I’m too tired to think about packing lunch. Besides, I have other more important things to do. And in the morning I’m still exhausted because I had to wake up early to take care of my motherly duties (pumping/ nursing). So I buy lunch EVERY day. It’s getting quite expensive actually.

 coffee

10.   Coffee is your new best friend. With the lack of sleep and the long hours coffe is an absolute necessity. You need it like plants need water and drink at least 2-3 cups a day. Big cups. For me, this means I make a cup for my morning commute. I finish it before I even make it to work because I can actually drink it uninterrupted so once I get to work I buy more. Then, around midafternoon, if I still feel in a slump I go for more. Yeah, my coffee mug is an accessory along with my breast pump bag. So what?! Coffee is gooooood!!

 

So, there you have it! If you are exhibiting any of these signs then it is very likely you are a working mom. And with that, it is also very likely you are a super woman! Be proud! Hang in there. Remember you are not alone and there are other working moms out there going through all of the same things you are. If you know another working mom, be supportive of her. We need other moms to share our experiences with… to laugh and cry with because being a working mom can be hard, funny, enlightening and frustrating all at the same time!

Do you have anything you want to add to this list? It’s kind of funny to think of how much your work life changes once you become a mom. I know I didn’t cover it all so if I missed something feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading!

 

 

November 17, 2016
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A Gift Guide for New Moms + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

With the holidays being right around the corner, now is the perfect time to be planning out your gift lists for all those special people in your circle! And I don’t know about you, but this usually gives me the pre-holiday jitters because let’s face it, gift giving during the holidays can be overwhelming sometimes! But you’re in luck! If you have a new mom you’re planning on shopping for this Christmas I have just the thing for you! Here is my gift guide for new moms…..AND……drum roll please……A GIVEAWAY!!!!

Here are some of my favorite items that I’ve found useful during my second round of motherhood and other items that I thought were just plain cute! Also, be sure to check out the giveaway info at the end!

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B.F.F. Diaper Bag – Black Diamond- This bag truly is my “BFF”. I have this bag in “The Countess” print and let me just say that not only is it functional, it is absolutely gorgeous! It’s a diaper bag that I don’t mind to carry! It will keep you both organized and stylish while on the go with your little one!

 

 

 

q-a-a-day-mom

Q & A a Day for Moms- I have the Q & A a Day 5 Year Journal which is great because for each day there is a prompt with a question that you answer with enough slots to last for 5 years. Q & A a Day for Moms is even better because it is specifically for busy moms like myself, who have every intention of keeping a well maintained and up to date baby book for their little one but can’t quite find the time to religiously keep up with it. With Q & A a Day you answer a question and you’re done! It only takes a few minutes which makes it wonderful! Piece of cake!

 

 

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Mama Bear Necklace- This bronze Mama Bear necklace from Tag You’re It Jewelry is sure to please! It’s so adorable and perfect for the new mom in your life! What makes this necklace even more special is you can have it customized with her little one’s names on the back! Can we all just pause for a moment and say…….”AWWWW!”

 

 

casetify-case

Casetify Custom Phone Case- When it comes to a customized phone case, I love my Casetify New Standard Case…..it’s cute and functional and FUN!! For $40 you get a bumper along with an interchangeable back plate that is customizable! Once you have the bumper you can purchase additional back plates for $15 a piece! What’s even better is the shipping is FREE! Here’s a case that I made that shows pictures of my family. LOVE!

 

 

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Mama Makeup Bag- Mama needs her make up bag! Best make it a cute make up bag like this one from Salty Martini on Etsy. This canvas make up bag comes in small, medium or large with a vintage style metal zipper. Can we say CUTE?!?

 

 

 

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Sophie the Giraffe- This is a must have for every new mom! I love the vintage look of this teether and my little one loves the squeaky noise it makes! The dark and light contrasting colors are also great to engage your newborn! This is sure to be a hit for both mom and baby!

 

 

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Mom Life Coloring Book- Because you need to laugh! Being a mom can be stressful and coloring is a great way to relieve some of that stress. Why not do it with a coloring book that will make you smile as well?

 

 

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Baby’s Infinity Nursing Scarf- This infinity scarf is perfect because not only is it cute for mom, it doubles as a nursing cover making it functional as well! This scarf provides full coverage for mom while nursing but still allows mom to make eye contact with her baby. And did I mention that it’s cute? Because it truly is!

 

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New Mom Safety Pin Necklace- This sterling silver necklace by Dogeared is the perfect way to celebrate the new mom in your life! What a perfect little necklace for any new mom! I might just add this to my wish list!

 

 

 

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Momagenda Day Planner- Ok, I’ll admit it! I’m a planner junky. I love planners! Especially this day planner for moms! What a stylish way to stay organized, especially if you prefer to stay organized the old fashioned way, with pen and paper! With several different styles and sizes to choose from, you can’t go wrong!

I hope you’ve found this guide useful. If not, maybe it gave you some other ideas for gifts to give to that new mom in your life! As always, thanks for reading! And don’t forget to enter our giveaway! Please see below for more details!

 

 

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Be sure to hop around and check out my mama friends below for their version of a gift guide for new moms.

The Johnsons Plus Dog

Stressed Mommy

Mama Wild and Free

One More Busy Mom (You are here!!)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is no purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the United States and Canada, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and wherever prohibited by law. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Decisions of Sponsor are final on all matters pertaining to Sweepstakes. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.
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The information entrants provide to Sponsor will only be used to select a winner for this promotion and to receive future promotional emails from Sponsor. Entrants may opt out from receiving those emails from Sponsor at any time.
Chances of winning vary based on the final number of entrants.
Chelsea @ The Johnsons Plus Dog will notify the winner on November 9th, 2016 via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

 

November 1, 2016
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5 Obsessive Things I Did (and maybe still do) as a New Mom

Being a parent can be scary….especially when you have just introduced a new, fresh, little human being into this world. Want to make this even scarier?? This is your first! Whoa! Game changer! This little baby is here now….what do I do with him? And please don’t let me make any mistakes, right?!?!

Now for me, James is not my first. But honestly, he might as well be. My first, Tegan, was born nearly 20 years ago. (Now I feel old!) So when James was born, I would say 25% of me was thinking “I totally got this” while the other 75% of me was thinking “everything is so DIFFERENT now! What do I do?!?!” This leads into what this post is about. The obsessive behaviors new parents display including those of us who are “new again” parents. Here are 5 things I have found myself obsessing over.

Checking To See if My Baby is Breathing

I was guilty of doing this when Tegan was a baby and honestly I thought that during my second round of motherhood I would be better but NO. I check to see if James is breathing ALL THE TIME! (Notice I didn’t use the word “checked”.) At first it was just peeking into his bassinet periodically throughout the night. Then once he graduated to his crib it changed to staring intently at his baby monitor until I saw his chest move. Also included is the occasional run up the stairs to peak into his crib in person because yeah, I still do that too. My biggest fear is for something horrible to happen to James so I honestly feel like I can’t help it. Even if James was my 7th child I feel like I would still be doing this. I just worry so much! When he was still a newborn I even considered getting one of those Owlet Baby monitors but decided against it. When I worked in the Intensive Care Unit, most of the time alarms would sound off because of a monitoring device not being attached properly or coming undone and I pictured the Owlet monitor being similar to that. But I still think that as a parent it would be totally worth it just to have that peace of mind. But when I think more about it, I didn’t have any kind of monitor for Tegan whatsoever. Not even a regular baby monitor. She turned out fine so I just need to try not to worry so much.

 

Changing My Baby’s Diaper as Soon as the Magical Blue Line Appeared

I’m convinced this is a brilliant and diabolical marketing ploy to get obsessive moms to use more diapers. When James was first born, Adam and I would look at that blue line as our signal to change James. We were SOOO trained. Thankfully this did not last long. Diapers are expensive!! But for the brief period that it did, many many diapers were stuffed into our diaper Genie. I didn’t want my baby boy to end up with a red bottom and I was bound and determined to do everything possible to prevent that from happening. Now things have changed a bit. Rather than changing James at the first hint of a blue line, I usually just eyeball his diaper and give it a little feel. If it looks full and is really really mushy I change him. Simple as that! If James can go overnight without suffering from a diaper rash he can go a while with that little blue line on his tushy tush.

 

Constantly Checking Tracking App to See if it is Time for Another Feeding

Having a baby now vs. when I had Tegan means having a plethora of baby technology at my fingertips….in particular…APPS! There are tons of apps available to aide you in raising your littles. One that I really enjoyed and appreciated was the “Feed Baby” App available via Itunes. This app was a total lifesaver for me. I used it to track wet diapers and feedings. For mothers who breastfeed you can keep track of which breast you fed from last and how long the feeding lasted. I used the app to track my pumping sessions, how much I pumped and then how many ounces of breast milk and supplemental formula my little guy drank. But……while using this app, my obsessive like tendencies began to get the best of me! I was on this app so much, my thumbs were giving me guilt trips! HA! I would check this app repeatedly. Most of the time it was to see how long it was going to be until James’s next feeding but I also used it to see when his last BM was, because yes, this is something new moms sometimes obsess over too! This app also facilitated my obsession with how many ounces James was getting each day. OH! And it also takes the data you input and puts it in a graph!! The Type A nurse in me LOVED this! Sadly, the battery life on my phone did not! But it was still great to keep track of feedings and dirty diapers because the truth is, it’s important! But don’t get to the point where you are staring down at the screen on your phone more than you are your sweet little one’s precious tiny face.

 

Watching Everyone Like a Hawk that Holds My Baby

Now I don’t know about how you were/ are with your little ones, but when James was a newborn I watched everyone that held him like a hawk! I would make it natural you know…not like I was staring or anything…heh…at least I didn’t think I was staring. No one was creeped out that I’m aware of! LOL! But my biggest thing was how whoever was holding James at the moment would position him. When he was little it was all about supporting his head. I also hated it when one arm would kind of dangle and look like it was twisted around behind him. I don’t know if you can picture what I am talking about, but if you are like me at all then I think you probably know EXACTLY what I am talking about. I also hated it if I did not feel like they were holding him securely. So if that was the case I was right there beside them. (Am I a baby holder stalker…..yes, yes I am). Then of course James always had to be in my line of sight. If James was not in my field of vision, panic would set in and I would make an excuse to get up to go find HIM. I mean, you never know what a newborn could be getting into! He could be sticking a fork in the toaster or getting into the adult beverages or something! Babies are WILD!!!! Haha!

How I correctly hold James ;)

How I correctly hold James 😉

Now that James is older, I don’t do this nearly as often and I have learned to be more trusting when James is being held by someone other than his immediate family. He is a very robust child, very solid so usually I get him back in a decent amount of time anyways because he’s so heavy. Which puts this mom right here at ease!

 

Obsess Over My Milk Supply

When I started exclusively pumping I obsessed over every single drop of milk I pumped out. At first, when James was younger and not consuming as much, I was able to supply most of his meals. But as time went on the ration began to even out. 75% breast milk in a day changed to 50% breast milk in a day. That was when panic set in. I searched the far depths of Pinterest to find ways to boost my milk supply. I tried supplements, shakes, oat meal and bookies. I tried increasing my water intake (which I wasn’t very good at) and increasing my caloric intake. Some strategies produced a return but nothing I considered significant. But I would constantly check my output (which I tracked with my Feed Baby app) and compare it to the previous day’s to see which direction I was heading.

Now James maybe gets 25% breast milk a day. I still try, but I’ve not been too aggressive with it. He is 6 months old and I feel that getting breast milk from mommy for 6 months is a great achievement. I’m proud I have made it this long, especially with mommy working full time.

 

As mothers, it is perfectly normal to get a little obsessive from time to time. Honestly, I think it would almost be abnormal if we didn’t! Just try not to let it consume you to the point that you worry so much you’re missing out on the important things, like enjoying every moment you can with your little one while they are small. Take control of what you can. Worrying about things you cannot control is exhausting and can be unhealthy! Be a watchful mom, a mindful mom, a persistent mom, a kind, loving, caring mom. Try not to be the obsessive, worrisome mom. These precious early years with your little one will fly by. Relax and enjoy them! 🙂

 

October 27, 2016
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Working vs. Staying at Home

When I first found out I was pregnant with James I had just recently been promoted to a leadership position at my job. Now THAT was stressful. There was so much to learn and yet so much going on in my personal life because of my pregnancy and I didn’t want any of that to affect my new position. I worried a lot about everything and I had the biggest fear that my water was going to break in the office! HAHA! But none of that happened and everything was fine. I managed and everything went great! Then, after what seemed like eternity James was born and I was off of work for 8 weeks due to delivering via cesarean section and let me tell you, I don’t know how many times I was asked whether I was going to return to work or not. Like really? Is that an option?

For me it really wasn’t. I knew I was returning to work. That was the plan from the very beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be a stay at home mom to spend more time with James, but with a grown daughter in college, it just wasn’t in the play books!

While I was on maternity leave I counted the days until it was time for me to return back to work. The first weeks I had Adam with me since he was able to take off of work also and that was such a blessing. He was there for me 100% and I don’t know what I would have done without him. This made those first few weeks wonderful but I still worried constantly about returning to work. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get enough sleep because James would be up 3-4 times a night. I worried that my milk supply would drop since I wouldn’t be able to pump as much while at work. I worried about having James at daycare and having to pick him up after work. I worried about being home with him in the evenings during the week. I worried SOOOO much. About EVERYTHING!

Once I did go back to work, I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I never truly sympathized with my coworkers who had to return back to work after being on maternity leave because I never had to experience this myself. I was a fake sympathizer! What a bastard I was!! Now I feel it. It is hard. I totally understand the feeling of missing your child 9-5. I miss mine so much I don’t know how many times I sneak peaks at my phone just to look at the snapshots I took of James the day before. And when my husband sends me pics of James during the day, whoa what a treat!!

Point is, I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. My scenario is far from unique and being a working mom is not something that has never been done before. I think of all the working moms I know and how they are making it work and it is so comforting to know that we are all in this together. I don’t know how many times I have turned to my fellow working moms with questions or concerns, even if I already knew the answer somewhat. But what a comfort they were. They truly motivate me and make me feel so much better. We all miss our children when we are away, but we are mama bears and we are doing it all for our little cubs.

If you are a new mom and about to return to work my advice is to try not to worry. I know what you are thinking, “YEAH RIGHT”!!! I would say don’t worry at all period but I know that’s pretty much impossible. But in all seriousness, look to your fellow working moms for advice and support. They know best and can totally relate to what you are going through. Another suggestion would be to join a working mom forum. It’s a great place to get other perspectives and can be a great support system for you when you transition back to work!

Being a mom is a job that never ends. It has its ups and downs and is the craziest adventure ride you will ever go on. When you’re a working mom, the adventure ride gets even crazier. But just remember you are not alone and that you are a SUPER WOMAN! And that as working moms, we have each other’s backs!

Is there anything that you do to cope with being away from your little one while you are away at work? Please share them below! I would love to get new ideas!

One other tip I just need to throw in here: If you are able to, hang pictures of your little one up in your work space. I look up into James’s precious little face daily while I’m at work and it always brings me so much comfort.

pic-of-james-at-work

October 8, 2016
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5 Things I Want my Son to Know

As each day passes, I can’t help but to think as I’m looking down at James that he will never be this little again. I get sad thinking that I am one day closer to the day that he will no longer want his mommy to hold him. He will no longer want to play with his toys. He’ll no longer seek comfort from inside his daddy’s arms. He’ll stop sucking his thumb and doing all of the cute little baby things that he does.

It’s sad but at the same time I’m excited to see what the future will bring for our little boy. There’s so much I want for him to see and experience. And so much I want to tell him. So so much! And with time being as precious as it is….I can’t list it all out now. But I can narrow it down….so here are the 5 Things I want my Son to Know.

 

  1. Love Yourself. James, you are so loved. Between me and your father, your sister, your grandparents and all your aunts and uncles….and your fur brother too….you are loved beyond anything you could imagine. But love yourself too, it’s completely ok. As you get older, love yourself enough to do what is best for you. This means taking care of yourself, eating right and exercising. Also, knowing when a situation is disrespecting to yourself and it’s time to walk away. It won’t always be easy, but if you love yourself, that’s what matters. You only have one life on this earth. Make the most of it and love yourself to the fullest potential! Just don’t get full of yourself! There’s a difference!
  2. Don’t be a bully. Treat others as you would want to be treated. There’s nothing more hurtful than to be made fun of. If you see others making fun of someone, don’t join that crowd. Stand up for that person being bullied. They are at their most vulnerable at that very moment. They need someone more than ever. You can be that person to them.
  3. Stand up for yourself. This goes along with #2. I always told your sister, don’t ever bully others. But if someone bullies you, stand up for yourself. Your sister always knew that I would not tolerate her bullying others and that if she ever got caught doing that she would be in big trouble. But if the tables were turned, and she was the one being picked on, I would not get mad at her for sticking up for herself. So James, stick up for yourself if you need to. If you are willing to stick up for others, you should be willing to do the same for yourself if needed. With that being said, it is also important for you to know when it is better to just walk away from the situation. Some times that is needed and that is all you can do.
  4. Nothing is for free, but anything is possible. James, in this life you have to work to get where you want to be. And you have to work hard. Don’t expect handouts. You have to work for the things you want. This might also mean stepping out of your comfort zone. But if you put in the work to back yourself it will all be worth it. Work hard every day with a purpose and a goal. If you do this, anything is possible. The world is at your fingertips and you can make the most of it. Work hard then play hard my boy.
  5. Enjoy life. Life is short. It’s up to you to make the most of it! Live for life experiences, not for material things. Fall in love, get your heart broken, fall in love again, see the world, meet different people, eat different things, enjoy all that life has to offer! Because life is one hell of a ride and you only get one chance at it!

family-looking-at-james

XOXOXO

October 1, 2016
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My Breastfeeding Story

When I found out that I was pregnant with James I immediately decided that I wanted to breastfeed. I always felt like breastfeeding Tegan was an opportunity that I missed out on and wanted to take full advantage of its many benefits with James. Little did I know what was in store for me!

On the day that James was born I was breastfeeding him within an hour of his delivery. It was different for me at first but it truly put me in full blown “mommy mode” and made me more motivated than ever to make it happen. I was determined to breast feed him 100% and in my mind I kept telling myself that I was going to make this happen. How hard could it be? Breastfeeding is easy!!

Well, the first few times James latched on great, but with each added attempt it began to get more and more difficult. I remember the second night, like nearly every minute of it, because I was awake almost the entire time! All I wanted to do was sleep, especially after having a c-section and being up all day. But James would have none of that. It felt like he was crying every 15 minutes and each time he latched on it hurt more and more. He was a hungry little man and he just acted like I couldn’t feed him enough! The new term I learned that night was “cluster feeding”. I hated those two words so much, hated them with a passion. I remember looking over at Adam, who was trying to get in as much sleep as he could and thinking how I just wanted to throw something at him! I was soooo angry that he couldn’t breastfeed too! Why should I be the only one partaking in all this cluster feeding fun?! Do you feel me?!?! It was in this delirium that I began mentally concocting a special bra for men to allow them to breastfeed. Like, I came up with the marketing campaign and everything in my head that night. Hmmm, I wonder if they already have this?!?

So each passing hour while we were in the hospital got worse and worse and it didn’t help that all I wanted to do was get the heck out of there! There was a point where the lactation consultant was in our room for what seemed like hours and even though I know she meant well all I wanted for her to do was leave! I bit my tongue multiple times because I was ready to lash out at this poor woman, who really was doing an excellent job by the way. But it just wasn’t working the way it should. With that, I was tired of trying. I felt like I was getting nowhere. And on top of that I was beginning to worry that James was not getting enough to eat.

Once we were home it got worse. My nipples were getting sore and cracked and every time James would latch on the pain would be unbearable at first, making me tense up like 1000 pin needles poking me all at once. It was awful. The pain would go away after about 5 seconds but I dreaded every time he was due for a feeding. It got to the point where I was getting very upset. I would be in tears trying to breast feed James. I think this made James upset too. It was just awful. On top of that, when we took James to his first doctor’s appointment he had not gained any of his weight back yet. I know this is for the most part normal, but I just felt in my gut that James was not getting enough from me because he was not latching on properly. It was at this point that I decided it was time to exclusively pump.

Let me tell you, that was the best decision I could have made. James started packing on the pounds and I loved that I knew exactly how much he was getting with each feeding. The Type A Nurse in me loved it even more! Now it did come with some sacrifices. First, exclusively pumping is very time consuming because you have to pump enough to mimic the feeding schedule of your little one that way your supply does not decrease. And then on top of your pumping schedule, you still have to feed your little one. But the up side is that daddy can feed now too! Woo hoo!

So I will conclude with this. Everyone is different. Every baby is different. I’m not down for bottle shaming. I think that what is most important is that your little one is getting the nutrition that they need whether it comes from a breast, bottle, breastmilk or formula. You all are super moms no matter what your choice…and that is the thing, remember it is YOUR choice! Do what you need to do and what you feel is best!

And speaking of what you feel is best…..best rhymes with rest….and this mom is exhausted! So I’ll finish here. Are any of you exclusive pumpers, or maybe started one route and ended up on another? I would love to hear from you! Comment below! I’m sure others would love to hear your insights also!

 

September 23, 2016
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Top 5 Baby Items I am Loving this Month- September

With each passing month, it is safe to say that the baby items I love and use change frequently. My use of baby products sort of evolve with James and so it’s kind of interesting to find out what things I find useful as each month passes by. With that being said, I have decided to do a monthly post on the top baby items I am currently loving for that month. If I have repeats I’ll have repeats but I always find it interesting to see what other mom’s like to use. So let’s get this party started! Let’s knock out September’s Top 5 Baby Items!

bandana-bib

  1. Bandanna Baby Bibs from Cat & Jack- James is a very “drooly” baby. And when I say “drooly”, I mean he salivates like it’s his job. He kind of reminds me of the aliens from the Simpson’s Halloween episodes that are constantly salivating as they are thinking of 1001 ways to cook humans. Yeah it’s that bad! But Target’s clothing line Cat & Jack has the most adorable drool bibs. I got a two pack that includes a black cross design along with a gray and white striped design. They’re both super cute and after I washed them they kept their form compared to other drool bibs that I have purchased. James will literally drool until his shirt is soaked, and sometimes this doesn’t take very long at all, so right now, drool bibs are a necessity. And I would much rather have him wear one that looks like a bandanna instead of a regular bib. Got to keep the little man looking dapper!

wubby

  1. WubbaNub Brown Monkey Pacifier- This thing is a MUST! James has been using his “Wubby” as we call it for as long as I can remember now. Whenever we head out with James it is a given that one of us will ask “did you bring his wubby?” James tends to get fussy at times and I think he may even have a hint of a temper. 95% of the time it is appeased via the wubby. So it is safe to say that as James is attached to our hips, the wubby is attached to his lips. James has begun to suck his thumbs more and more, so he has relied less on his wubby than he normally does, but as of now, this thing is still a necessity! I would also like to add that whoever invented the WubbaNub is my hero!

rings-close-up

  1. Infantino Ring-A-Links Teether Set- James is sooo responsive to his toy rings. All I have to do is hold these out in front of him and he is reaching out to grab them. At first, James seemed to be grabbing these more as a reflex rather than with purpose, but now I definitely see the intent as he reaches out and grabs his rings. I think he really enjoys all the colors and textures. Even better is that they are inexpensive, making a developmental must have such as this super affordable and easy to include in your little one’s toy inventory!

giraffe-wholegiraffe-close-up

  1. Bright Starts Giraffe Snuggle Teether- I love this little giraffe so much for James for several reasons! First, it is super cute! That’s a given! Second, it has the crinkly paper inside of it….so I will admit, I do catch myself crinkling it in my own fingers every now and then because I like the feel and I like the sound……what?? Third, it is super cute! Last and most important of all, it is really easy for James to hold on to. Especially when he was just starting to begin holding onto things, this little guy was a go to. Still is. In the early months I think James just really enjoyed staring into those big giraffe eyes, now he likes to hold onto it and chew on Mr. Giraffe’s face…..hehe. And did I mention it is super cute??

bottle-warmer

 

  1. Munchkin Digital Bottle Warmer- This baby is a life saver! We didn’t get one from any of our baby showers and I will admit that I underestimated its value. I went into my second round of motherhood thinking that I was going to breast feed James all the way. Things didn’t quite turn out that way, which is a whole other story. So when it came time to give James supplemental formula we were heating his bottles up by leaving them in hot water for 20 minutes. Now, I, as well as any other parent out there will tell you, time is a valuable thing! Every minute counts….literally….every single minute. So when this baby shaved off 16 minutes of bottle heating time 4-5 times a day which is up to 80 minutes of time given back to us…it was fist bumps and high fives all the way! Also, it made for a very happy baby!

 

I hope you found this list useful! There are so many useful baby gadgets out there and many more that come out each month! I would love to hear your input on any of these items if you use them for your babies! Thanks for reading!! J

 

 

September 17, 2016
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5 Ways to Keep Your Baby Occupied so You Can Get Things Done

If you find yourself struggling to get things checked off your “to do” list because your tending to your little ones know that you are not alone! I struggle with this every day as well as many other mothers out there, which I’m sure is not news to you! My schedule has been non-stop since our little man’s arrival so any time where I can do things I need or want to do is precious. Below is a list of strategies I have been using to try to keep James occupied so I can get things done. James is about 4 months old right now so I know this list will change as he gets older. What’s even better is I know it will get longer! (YAAAYYY!!) But let’s not celebrate too early! Here the top 5 things I do to occupy James so I can get things done! (It is here that I must say: What works for me may not work for you! This is just what I do to get by day by day!)

  1. If you have a MamaRoo, a Bumbo or a bouncy seat of some sort…use it! Don’t let these wonderful inventions sit around to gather dust! One thing I must mention before I go on, make sure to put a little thought into it before getting the MamaRoo. It is more expensive than a regular bouncy seat and there’s always the 50/50 chance your baby won’t respond to it the way you’d like. We bought a MamaRoo for James and it was wonderful during those early months. We could put him in it and he would fall right to sleep. But then we ended up buying a bouncy seat, mainly for trips to the grandparents because it’s just so much more portable than a MamaRoo. Now I find that the MamaRoo is hardly used at all. We have it on standby of course and we still use it from time to time, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on that sort of thing just keep in mind that, although very nice, all the fancy tricks of a MamaRoo isn’t all that necessary.

 

  1. Remember all those people who stopped by to visit and meet your precious new little one when they entered the world and said to you “if you ever need anything let me know” or “I can babysit”?! CALL THEM! Totally take advantage of any help you can get to get things done. Especially if it is down to the wire and something important. It gets pretty frustrating when you can’t get anything finished. Trust me I know. It’s even more frustrating when you feel it is beyond your control. You’re trying the best that you can but sometimes you just really need to get a helping hand and there isn’t anything wrong with that. When your “to do” list begins to manifest itself into mountains of laundry, piles of clutter and in my case, tumbleweeds of dog fur begging to be sucked up by the vacuum that is now gathering dust PICK UP THE PHONE! You’re feeling overwhelmed! Don’t let your to do list get any bigger! Don’t turn down help when it is offered. They wouldn’t have offered if they were not more than willing to help.

 

  1. I know this is bad but sometimes you just need to give in and stick your kid in front of the television. I felt a little guilty about this one at first but the guilt only lasted for like 2 minutes, then I came to the realization that this is pretty awesome….and highly effective! A combination of #1, bouncy seat, and some form of video stimulation whether it be from cartoons or a movie or even just regular television is a combination that James finds very hard to resist at most times. It is effective I would say at least 85% of the time and usually stays effective anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. When I first set James down in front of the television I’m not going to lie, I immediately had the picture in my head of a teenage James sitting in front of the television with a bag of cheese puffs. But that picture left real quick. Time is precious. And being a mom is hard work. You have things to do and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!

 

  1. This one is a given. Get your kid to sleep! Maybe it is just conveniently time for a nap? If it is nearly time, take advantage! My husband Adam and I do not keep any kind of napping schedule for James. We just let him sleep when he’s tired and try to take full advantage of that time. Some days James will nap a lot and other days hardly at all. So any time your child is napping I suggest making the most of that time. I will admit that I have used many of my child’s nap times to sit and scroll around on Facebook and Instagram on my phone. Don’t do that! Unless you really have nothing else important to do of course. Actually, you do what you want with your time! But for me, I know I feel better if I at least get something productive done while James is napping. Even better, if I can get a nap in while James is napping, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot! Sleep is SOOOO valuable anymore as I know many mothers are aware!

 

  1. My least favorite strategy of all…..letting him cry it out. Again, sometimes you got to do what you got to do. I only resort to this when I absolutely have no other choice. And if James cries for too long (longer than 30 minutes) then that is when I usually start waving my white flag. I surrender! James is the victor! I can’t let him cry any longer than that. It’s just me. I can’t bear it. I guess I fear that one day when he’s older he’s going to look down at me and mouth the words “I know what you did” as he releases the handles of my wheelchair and I begin my descent down a very large, very steep hill. But hopefully he doesn’t last 30 minutes. Hopefully #5 metamorphoses into #4 and the child goes to sleep! Usually this is the case and you know….winner winner chicken dinner!

 

So hopefully some of you found this useful. I know it is mostly common sense but sometimes common sense isn’t easy to come by when you have a huge list of things to do and a baby that wants nothing else but his mommy. It is so hard in the early months and really does get easier as each week rolls by.

I want to know what other mommies do to occupy their children to get things done. If there is something that you do that really works awesome for you I would love to know! Comment below with any tricks of the mommy trade you have either used or heard of that I didn’t mention! I’m really interested in hearing what you all do to get things accomplished each day!

 

September 13, 2016
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