Milkful Momma – Gourmet Lactation Bars

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For all of you breastfeeding mamas out there, I decided I would write this post for you! If you’re anything like me and you’re always busy, whether it’s with work or the kids, you’re probably not going to take the time to make yourself some lactation cookies. I did make some for myself not long after my daughter was born, but let’s face it. I am not very good at doing a ton of stuff in the kitchen while my kids are awake and while they’re asleep, I’d rather be working out.

But these little nuggets of lactation GOLD are amazing.

I was so excited to be contacted by Milkful to receive a free box of these delicious treats to try out. How nice of them, right?!20616079_10209605905536734_230309639_o-e1501686742660-1024x1024 Milkful Momma - Gourmet Lactation Bars

I actually started noticing a dip in my supply when I was getting ready to go back to work after a long period of maternity leave. Not only that, I was starting to work out pretty heavily. After seeing my supply drop and not being able to pump as much as I thought I would need for my little while I was at work, I decided to not workout as intensely and to make sure I was taking in enough fat calories. Enter: Milkful Lactation Oat Bars.

I decided to start eating these. I figured, they were probably better than me trying to make my own lactation cookies and they were free, so why not?

So, they have 3 flavors/kinds of bars that you can choose from. I was sent a variety pack and I am pretty thankful for that! I was excited to try them all. Here’s the cool thing about these bars (I mean, besides their milk-boosting power):

SOY FREE
EGG FREE
DAIRY FREE
WHEAT FREE

It’s true. And they are freaking delicious! I know, you wouldn’t think so with how much these bars are FREE of. At least, I didn’t think so because I am a total dairy snob. Hey, I am from Wisconsin. I like my dairy!

I first tried the Blueberry Almond Coconut one. Let me tell you, if you love coconut, you will love this bar. I personally, am not a huge coconut fan. Don’t get me wrong. it was good, but I didn’t like it that much. It wasn’t a flavor I would reach for often.

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Then I tried the Chocolate Banana Nut. I thought,
Okay, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
And I was right. It was delicious. Chocolate is always delicious.

But the winner…oh man. The winner here is the Maple Walnut one! I didn’t even expect that at all! Mostly becuase I thought the chocolate was going to win. But this one was definitely my favorite. Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised. It also makes me happy to know that I am helping boost my supply without having to take any other supplements/pills or drink some disgusting tasting tea…

I definitely recommend this to any mama who may be having issues producing. I would even recommend it to any mama who just wants to eat something delicious and make sure her supply doesn’t drop! If you’re looking to get some, make sure you head on over to Milkful to order yourself some, today!

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Plan With Me – February 5-11

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Hey folks! It’s time for yet another “Plan With Me” post. Funny thing is, it’s Thursday and the week is almost over. But I had to try and post some photos anyway!!

I did actually find the time to decorate my Happy Planner and it was fun. It’s a big week in my life….

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MY SON TURNS TWO. Insert all the feels and the tears. That is precisely how I am feeling at the moment! It’s really great watching him grow up but it’s still so sad seeing him go form a baby to a toddler. And we are celebrating his birthday with an “un-party” if you will. It’s basically just a big play date and food for everyone. I went ALL out last year for his first birthday and I really don’t feel like doing that again to be honest.

To me, the first birthday makes a lot of sense to go all out. Having themes and crazy decorations and everything just makes sense. But then again, growing up, I didn’t really have a lot of themes or large birthday parties either. I vaguely remember a 7th birthday party in the basement of my house where we bobbed for apples and played pin the tail on the donkey…but I don’t really remember any parties after that. They were more of a, “You can have 3 friends over. There’s pizza and cake.” Turned out just fine, actually!

This week was also the beginning of the 2nd phase in my 12 week fitness program. Didn’t know I was doing a program/challenge? Oh yeah, that’s because I still need to write about it! Oops! I’ll get to that soon.

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I had to add the little superhero munchkin in there to help motivate me. 3 weeks down and 9 more to go! Unfortunately, I spent one of those weeks sick and just didn’t end up working out but it turned out okay!! I still saw some changes.

Man, I really need to do an update on that, huh? Hopefully next week I’ll have some goodies on here.

As for the rest of my life, there isn’t much. I’ve decided to do more documenting in my planner. Like, on Monday I drank a lot of coffee and really needed it while I vacuumed every room in the house. Maybe I’ll add a photo at the end of the week to this post as an “add-on” to recap what happened during my week.

I tend to take my PWM photos “before the pen” because:

  1. I think it looks cleaner to see more white space.
  2. I hate my handwriting.

But here’s the rest of the photos. I hope you enjoy! And yes, there’s a tiny human hand pointing at some stickers in my planner. He’s such a good helper.

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Stickers are from The Happy Planner sticker packs and OnceMoreWithLove shop on Etsy. Scrapbook paper is from Hobby Lobby and the washi tape is from Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I keep tape for so long I don’t remember where they come from!

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What’s in My Hospital Bag 

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Well, now that I have actually had my baby and am incredibly behind on posting this…I figured it’s a good time to finally get this post written out and published!!

I literally started typing out this blog post the week I had my daughter. Not only that, I had finally finished packing my darn hospital bag! Can we say, procrastination? 😂 Hey, it’s how I work and at least I still was able to get the photos taken for this post.

With my first pregnancy, I packed A LOT of things that I didn’t need. I packed a lot less this time but even then…I didn’t use a lot of what we brought. I give birth rather quickly, so I don’t really have time to use everything. 😂 I will go over what I packed and what I didn’t need.

1. Nursing tanks and bras – I was not smart enough to bring these with me when I gave birth the first time. Why? I have no idea. But I didn’t bring them and it would’ve been smart too. The second time around, I didn’t even use them because I wore a different kind of gown and just walked around without a bra ok underneath. As for the tank tops, the best ones are the ones you find at target that are camis with the built in bra. Those worked the best for me…I don’t mess with those nursing tanks that have clips and what not. Also pictured are some socks with the little grippers at the bottom. Kind of like slipper socks. Brought those in case my feet got cold while in bed and if I was too lazy to look for my slippers (they always got kicked under the bed by nurses) I could still get up and move around.

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2. Gown/Robe – for my first birth, I just used the gowns they gave me in the hospital. They’re not horrible but it felt nice being able to use something of my own to hang out in and sleep in. A gown and robe was perfect. Use the gown they give you to give birth in and once you’re all clean, you can get comfy in your own clothes. That was very nice! I also brought some slippers with me because I want to be comfy. There aren’t any carpets/rugs are the hospital (obviously) so avoiding that cold, hard floor is good.

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3. Tennis balls –
I didn’t plan to have a natural birth the first time so I didn’t even need these. As for my second birth, I planned to go all natural. I read many blogs and heard that using tennis balls to massage the lower back will really help and alleviate the pain of the contractions. Same with using a birthing ball (not pictured). But of course, I didn’t use either of these things because…I labored mostly at home and was at the hospital for a total of 19 minutes before my daughter was born. 😳

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4. Hygiene products & makeup –
I really didn’t think I’d need too much makeup but I wanted it…just in case. The first time, I brought makeup and didn’t even touch it. The second time, I brought makeup but I used very minimal the day we left the hospital. As for hygiene products like deodorant and toothbrushes/toothpaste…the hospital gives you a lot of things. They actually give you ALL of that stuff including shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. But, if you’re like me, you can find comfort in using your own things from home. Plus, by not using the toothbrush they gave me, my hubby had one to use! For some reason, we were smart enough to pack my bag and my daughter’s bag but didn’t think to pack the daddy bag! Definitely pack one! The most important makeup product would have to be CHAPSTICK. I need chapstick all the time and being in the hospital…you’ll just want it even more. I even brought some extras…lanolin and tucks pads. Trust me, both are great. I also had coconut oil with me (not pictured) which I ended up using over the lanolin. More natural was the way I chose to go with what I was putting on my nipples and into baby’s mouth. Also, a note with the makeup. If I were to use it, I didn’t bring my most expensive items. My high end makeup stayed home for the most part or I grabbed things that were small in size. More like…travel sized items. They were perfect.

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5. Hair ties & bobby pins –
something so simple…but important! Okay, maybe not super important but my first time, I had short hair. Bobby pins were a must to get my hair out of my face. This time, I have long hair so hair ties were going to be my go-to during labor. Well, never used them again because I just went into the hospital and delivered fairly quickly. Hair was down, in my face, and I was a sweaty mess. Oh well. 😂

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6. Post partum girdle –
I had heard many great things about wearing a post partum girdle from a few bloggers/vloggers and I figured, “why not?” Well, after my first birth, I got a band from Amazon. Problem is, I got it a couple weeks after my son was born and I didn’t even order the correct size. It was way too tight on me and well, I was a bit “fluffier” after my first so it wasn’t comfortable to wear when I felt like my fat was spilling out over the top. I did, however, manage to plan ahead. I ordered the B.F.F. band from Belly Bandit and it was highly recommended by many bloggers and on Instagram accounts including Diary of a Fit Mommy. The funny thing is, I used it for literally…2 days and it was too big on me. Either I got the wrong size or I snapped back rather quickly. Make sure you measure your belly when you’re supposed to!! The site will help you out with that.

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7. Snacks – we packed a few snacks for us (mainly for me) to keep me going during labor. Some hospitals don’t let you eat because in the off chance you have an emergency c-section, there’s a chance of asphyxiation while in surgery. Well…I’m not about to go through hours upon hours of labor and not be properly fueled. That’s just dumb. At least it is in my opinion! So we had a few items with us and I had looked up some recommendations on what to bring. Granola bars are perfect and rice cakes. Honey to help with the glucose levels and food that is NOT heavy or colored red…just in case you throw up. You don’t want it to look like there’s blood in your vomit. Again…I didn’t use these either time. At least…not during labor. They were great for snacks while in recovery!!

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8. Clothes – make sure you bring clothes to leave the hospital in! And make sure you bring clothes that are going to be comfortable to leave in. I mean, unless you’re superwoman, don’t assume you’re going to be back to the same size you were before you got pregnant. You’re going to be a bit swollen still and your uterus is still working it’s way back down. I was actually pleasantly surprised this time around how I bounced back a lot better than my first. The first time I pretty much looked like I was still 6 months….maybe 7 months pregnant. I had also gained an awful amount of weight. Anyway, this time, with a due date of November I knew that it could be pretty warm or it could be chilly when I gave birth. So, I planned accordingly. A maxi dress, a cardigan, leggings, and a long sleeve button up. All can be interchanged to make an outfit. I ended up giving birth in October this time and walked out in the maxi dress. It was quite comfortable!

9. Depends – unfortunately, I don’t have this pictured. But you all know what they are. In the hospital, you’re going to be given HUGE and I do mean huge pads. Among those you will receive the wonderful mesh underwear. You may or may not fit into the underwear you wore before but I didn’t. Especially not the first birth. I wore that mesh underwear like it was going out of style! Whatever, I just had a baby and my lady bits needed some healing. Second time, I had depends. I forgot who gave me the idea but it was a friend of mine and it was a GREAT idea. Seriously, get them and try them out. You’ll thank me later. 😜

10. Diffuser & Essential Oils – I was so excited about this one. I knew I wanted to use a diffuser and essential oils to help set the mood in the delivery room. I was going to labor through my contractions, have some oils diffusing to help keep me calm, and to use some oils to help with the pain. You guessed it – I didn’t use them. With my insta-births there was no way I was going to be able to use them! Although, I do use a diffuser most nights anyway so it was nice to have a little lavender at night while I stayed the night at the hospital.

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 What not to bring: a lot of people made lists of what to bring and I thought about it but…I didn’t need a lot of what was on people’s lists. Obviously, it’s up to you what you bring and what you feel you might need. Consider this blog post just a helpful list of things to get you started. But here’s a few things that I either read or was told to bring that I just didn’t feel were necessary.

  1. Blanket – ask the hospital staff for more if you really need more
  2. Pillow – see above
  3. Valuables – if you’re anything like me, you’ll lose them
  4. A lot of cash – literally just bring a few bucks if you feel like you need it (I left the house without my wallet and I didn’t feel like I really needed it)

Honestly, the list is pretty short. But you’ll figure out what you need and don’t need. Also, don’t forget cameras, phones, and chargers. Those are going to be pretty important!

I hope this helps some of you get started as you’re trying to figure out what to bring to the hospital. I’ll be posting again with things in the diaper bag! Be sure to be on the look out for that! 👀 Thanks for coming by and checking out my blog!!

Much love,

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The Mama Breastfeeding Two Babies

Anyone see that photo of the mom nursing both of her children at the same time?

Yeah, that’s me. It’s crazy to think that a photo that I had posted to my Instagram page was reposted many times and commented on by so many people. I wrote about how it felt to nurse both of my kids at the same time and it really was an amazing experience for me. You can read about it here:

Ever since my husband snapped this photo of me a few days ago, I've been going back and forth in my head, trying to decide if I wanted to post this photo or not. I'm not new to posting breastfeeding photos and I am not new to nursing in general but I found this to be quite an experience that I shared with both of my children. This was the first time I nursed them both at the same time. . . My son is getting closer and closer to being 2 years old and my daughter is almost a month old. They are growing up far too fast already! There's a tremendous amount of bonding that you get when you nurse your littles and man, it's crazy how it feels to be able to nurse both of them. My body is providing milk for not just one but for two of them. It's seriously amazing what our bodies can do. . . Brother seems to be nursing more now that little sister is here. But he's been pretty good at learning that sister needs milkies first and that's all she eats. It took a little bit but I think he's starting to understand a little more. Although, he does ask a lot more often to nurse when sister is already on there. So when I am able, I do my best to let him too. The look on my face is me saying, "I'm doing it!!" 😂 There are so many things I said I'd never do as a mom or that I won't be able to do…but here I am. Doing these things and it's awesome. . . . . #momdotme #motherhood #motherhoodrising #tandemnursing #tandem #normalizebreastfeeding #toddlernursing #letthembelittle #attachmentparenting #naturalbirth #momlife #mommyof2 #crunchymom #crunchymama #milkies #breastfeeding #newborn #kidsofinstagram #badassmom #candidchildhood #breastfeedwithoutfear #4thtrimester #4thtrimesterbodiesproject #takebackpostpartum #postpartum #postpartumbody #badassbreastfeeder

A post shared by @ lifewithabbyd on

Even pages like PopSugarMoms, Essential Baby and FitPregnancy wrote about the photo and shared it on their Facebook pages. It was really cool to see that. My friends and even followers on Instagram were sending me messages and tagging me in posts that had my photo on it. And as I would see these posts, I would look at the comments as I left my own. 

Many mom’s were sharing their experiences nursing their babies and even tandem nursing as well. It was wonderful and encouraging to read these stories! 

The sad part about this is, there were a lot of negative comments. These pages, magazines, and blogs that were reposting my photo or writing articles about it, were using my photo as a way to encourage women. To empower them. To show them how strong our bodies can be. And yet, there was always some yahoo that decided it would be great to say,

“You showed your tits on the internet, good for you.” 

&

“It’s sad that you’re just desperate for attention.”

Those are just the two main ones. Not only that, I ended up receiving messages. Messages that were saying incredibly rude and inappropriate things that I don’t even want to repeat. It was just very upsetting to read these things and to see how they would defend themselves when others would respond to them. 

The thing about this photo is that…it was a wonderful moment that I got to share with my children and my husband. Not only that, the ONE time my husband actually took his phone out to snap photos (without being prompted by me) was this moment. Right when I said to him, “I’m doing it!” Because I was shocked and excited that I finally did it. 

For some odd reason, I was scared to nurse both of them at the same time. I saw photos of mom’s doing it but I had never seen any of my friends do it. I didn’t even know it was possible until I became a mom. But this special moment that I shared with my family, I wanted to share with the other moms that were following me on Instagram… my excitement! I never posted for attention…that would just be weird. And for someone to say “tits” as if I was a porn star showing off my goods…that’s just foul. I was just doing what my body was intended to do! 

There were even comments about how some women can’t breastfeed or can’t do it for that long. Someone decided to tell me it was rude of me to rub it in the faces of those who couldn’t. Well, I’m sorry but I didn’t post it to rub it in. I never claim to be better than any other mom and I’m not one of those people that think you’re horrible for giving your baby formula! Is your baby fed? Then that’s all the matters! But please, don’t continue the vicious cycle of tearing women down. It sucks and I say as women, we just try to end that! Building each other up and empowering one another is what I stand for, hence the reason for my post on Instagram. 

Thank you to those who had shared my photo. I was a little worried about having my photo going around the internet, but I will tell you…I am darn proud of the fact that I am doing so many things as a mother that I either swore I’d never do or that I didn’t think I’d be capable of. Turns out…I am a lot stronger than I realized. 

?s=100&d=mm&r=g The Mama Breastfeeding Two Babies

One Month Old – One Month as a Mom of 2

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Our little girl is officially one month old! What that also means is I have officially been a mother to two beautiful babies for one month now. Has it been easy?

No.

But it’s been a month full of love. Even in the hard moments, I try to remember how wonderful and amazing my life is. I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a mom to both of these children.

This past month has been totally different than the first month of being a new mom. When I had my son, I also had my husband home quite often to help me out when I needed it. This time, I have two babies with me, at home, alone, without help. It is TERRIFYING.

I was incredibly terrified of being home with two babies by myself. When I was pregnant, I had a bit of anxiety about it and would worry about whether or not I am going to be a good mom to both of these littles. I tried to figure out ways to prepare myself for being a mother of two. I rearranged my living room about 10 times during the weeks that I was pregnant, my husband built a learning tower for our son so that he could help us with things in the kitchen since he’s become so independent, and I went on Pinterest and pinned every blog post I could that talked about preparing your toddler for a sibling.

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But the thing is, there really isn’t much you can do to prepare. All you can really do is to do your best at remaining calm in all situations and to find inner peace. Because let me tell you, when you have a child gearing up for those “terrible-twos” he will test your patience as much as possible and you will need all the peace you can get!

You also can’t prepare yourself for things like:

  • How much your first born LOVES his sibling. He will literally try to sit on her to give her hugs and kisses.
  • How to remember to eat after all the kids have been fed and taken care of.
  • How to get a week’s worth of clothing and diaper laundry done…before the next week starts.
  • How to get out of the house on time.
  • How to make time to workout (I have yet to try this since I haven’t yet been cleared to do so).
  • The amount of coffee you will consume in a day…and how many times you will warm the same cup in the microwave.

There are many more things you really just can’t prepare for…but being home with both of these kids have really opened up my heart and my mind in so many ways. I am starting to understand “the other side” as not only a mom of two but a mom to two babies who stays home with them. I get it that it’s not always easy and I get that you never really get a “break.” You’re always mom and you’re always needed…24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Before going on maternity leave, I had that break from being mom when I was Sailor instead. Being in the military and working gave me that. I am slowly learning more and more the true meaning of “there are pros and cons to everything.” I know what that means but experiencing it makes a total difference.

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But at this point in time…I wouldn’t change a thing. This is where I’m called to be and I’m enjoying it for as long as possible…as my toddler spills an entire bag of pretzels on the floor for the 13th time today…

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Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet

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4 weeks ago, I woke up looking down at my belly and wondered when I was going to meet my daughter. Little did I know, I was going to be in early stages of labor at the gym that evening and would deliver the next day. I look down today and see a tummy that has been home to two beautiful babies. Stretch marks from the first pregnancy that “ruined” my first ever tattoo that I got when I was 18 and the same ones that stretched between the holes of my navel piercing that I took out when I joined the military. My belly isn’t completely flat but it’s crazy to see the differences and changes my body has made over the past 2 years. And today, I look down and I am proud. I am proud of what my body has done and what it’s going to do. The #postpartumbody is a body (as are all bodies) to be celebrated. I never realized the joy and beauty there is in this body the first time. But I’m so glad I found all of that this time. 

**this post was originally posted on my Instagram account and had a lot of responses. I decided that I would post it to my blog as well. ❤️️ 

img_7271 Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet

Being a Boy Mom

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I may have only been a boy mom (mom in general) for about 15 months but I totally love it!

It’s hard to believe that this time, two years ago, we were getting ready to be out at sea and I would later find out I was pregnant. During my first pregnancy with Aston, I wanted a girl. I have no shame in saying it! It’s the truth. But that was at first. Growing up, I always wanted a girl first if I had kids. I grew up with a sister, I was the oldest, and my cousins that were around my age were all girls. It just made sense to me. Either way, I just wanted a healthy and happy baby. When I found out we were having a boy, my husband about jumped out of his seat. My first thought was,

‘What am I going to do with a boy?!’

I think that is totally normal for anyone who doesn’t have much experience with boys. I’ve never even babysat for baby boys before! But I seriously went into a little bit of a panic mode. I told my husband that I wasn’t ready for a boy. I came up with so many questions:

How do I dress a boy?
How do I change a boys’ diaper?
How am I going to potty train a boy?!

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And many more as I am sure you can imagine. But eventually, as I was buying things for him and for the nursery, I became more at ease and of course, excitement overwhelmed me. And now, having been a mom for the past year, I just love being a boy mom. And I wonder, what will it be like if I find out I am having a girl in a few weeks? We shall save those thoughts for a later date.

But I have compiled a small list of things I love about being a boy mom. I am SURE many of these things are fairly similar with little girls, but what do I know? I have a boy. 😉

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  1. I never have to put him in pink.

I know, you never HAVE to put a girl in pink or anything, that’s not what I am implying here. But I just love that at the baby shower, I didn’t receive a million pink things or have to return things because of the color. I made a point to tell people not to give us anything with that baby blue color. Bright blues, navy blue, dark blue….anything but baby blue. I am just not a fan. And I don’t like pink like that either. I am sure if I have a girl, I will change my mind. But for now, I am glad it’s blues and other things.

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2. There really isn’t much accessorizing.

I mean, if he wants to go ahead and wear fancy bows in his hair, that’s fine by me. But for the first year, I am pretty sure he doesn’t have much of a preference besides, “Get this thing off of my head.” And that goes for hats or anything else. But I don’t need to put anything on him. Hats sometimes are cool. I think some moms put bows or headbands on their little girls because people can’t tell if their baby is a boy or girl. Hey, some can’t it happens. We have gotten she occasional, “She’s so cute” but it never bothered me…except when he’s decked out in all blue in a shirt that says, “Dad’s little dude” or something like that. Come on. Maybe some moms actually like the bows and headbands! Again, I will have no idea until I have one for myself but for now, I will enjoy keeping it simple.

“Get this thing off my head.”

3. His clothes are simple.

Onesie or shirt. Pants. Shoes. Done. Okay, it’s not that different from girls but I guess it all comes down to preference! Some people put their girls in a dress and they’re good to go, so that could be simple enough. But then there’s leggings or tights and back to the hair bows. And I guess with boys you can add bowties and suspenders, but I can keep it super simple with Aston.

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4. I am the only girl he will ever love…for now.

I get to enjoy the fact that my little baby loves his Mommy so much. No other women in the world is going to love him like I do and he won’t look at anyone like he looks at his mommy! I feel pretty awesome when he comes running to me with open arms and a huge open mouth kiss. Yeah, we’re working on the whole kissy face thing.

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5. Cars, balls, trains, turtles, etc.

These are the kinds of toys he loves to play with. Again, no pink and nothing super fancy. I mean, at this stage he’s just throwing a lot of his toys around anyway but I love that we can play catch (more like fetch) together and he has a grand old time. And he loves playing outside. I was the kid that hated being outside and hated getting dirty…but this kid is adorable and loves playing in the dirt. And I really don’t mind it all that much! Put him in a diaper and no clothes and he’s good to go!

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6. I’m the only girl.

Hey, it sounds a little selfish but I really like the idea of being truly the only girl around. Like before, I mentioned that I am the only girl he loves right now…but I also like that I get to be the girly one. My husband and my son’s attention is on THIS pretty girl in the room! Ha! I don’t know how to explain it really, but it’s nice being the only one. Plus, when I am trying to get ready, I don’t have to share with anyone. Oh man, if I have a girl this time around, I can only imagine the teenage years! And if she’s anything like me, I am really in for it!

7. Their clothes really do have the cutest sayings on them.

Many of the shirts and onesies you find for a boy could work for a girl too. And yes, all the frill is great for a girl. But if you’re not into frill…and you see some dinosaur eating a cookie while drinking milk…that’s just super freaking cute! I love the Mama’s boy ones or the Dad’s little guy. I just love that stuff.

8. Diaper changes.

You can wipe up, down, side to side….doesn’t matter. No worries. As long as the poo is gone.

9. “Boys will be boys.”

You totally understand that saying when you become a mom. I mean, he’s only one but he does such silly things that I couldn’t see a little girl doing. Then again, we will just have to wait and see. But things like picking his nose and discovering his…ahem…penis. I can’t help but laugh when he does these things!! I probably shouldn’t laugh. He probably does it more because I laugh at him.

The bottom line really is: I love being a mom. And I love being pregnant with my next bundle of love. in about 2 weeks we find out what we are having and it’s going to be fantastic. And it doesn’t matter, boy or girl, I am sure I will have posts about how different it is to raise another baby. <3

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom

To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

Dear Mommy of a 1-Year Old,

You did it.

Didn’t think you’d make it this far with all of your hair still, huh? Well, you did and you are fantastic.

The first year of anything you do in life isn’t easy. And the first year is definitely a rough one. Then again, we have the rest of our lives with our children and I am sure there are many more years to go that could be just as trying as the first!

But hey, you did it. You ROCKED being a mommy.

You made it through those sleepless nights.
You learned not to wake a sleeping baby.
You figured out the difference between a hungry cry and a sleepy cry.
You have a new outlook on life.
You figured out that being a mom is hard work…
and it’s the best thing you’ve ever done with your life.
You realized that you don’t care about what others think about you…
– your clothes
– your hair
– your parenting style
You figured out that there are more things to think about and none of them are for you.
You figured out that you are much stronger than you know.

Many people told you what it was going to be like having a baby. They told you the pros and the cons and well, a lot of times they left out the really juicy stuff that you wish you had known. But you, you learned that every child is different and you did everything you could to make sure you kept your sanity and kept your bundle of joy safe and happy.

Moms talked to you about topics like (some more controversial than others):
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding
Circumcised or not
Cloth diapers vs disposable
Binky (paci/nook) vs not using one
Babywearing or stroller usage
vax, delayed, or nonvax
and so much more.

It’s all a mess sometimes but everyone parents differently. Everyone makes their own decisions based off of what they believe is right and what works for the family. And you did exactly that.

Good for you, mama! Keep doing what you’re doing.

And now your baby is 1 and it’s a huge step. Don’t worry about where they are.

If they’re walking now, great. If not, that’s great too. Some people want fast movers and some enjoy the immobility for as long as possible.
So, they’re not talking yet, it’s okay. They will, when they are ready.
That first birthday party? It doesn’t have to be extravagant. You don’t have to stress about the theme, the decorations, or who is coming. You can if you want, but your child will not remember it. It’s all for you guys anyway. And a little thing I must add: Really, don’t worry about who is invited.

We had a huge issue with people getting upset with us for not inviting them to our son’s first birthday party. Grown adults whining about not coming to a 1 year old’s party. The thing is, last minute, we decided to have the party at home. Our home is tiny and there wasn’t tons of room for children and tons of adults and we didn’t have the funds to buy enough for so many people! And believe it or not, these were people that hadn’t talked to us in MONTHS. So, we decided to go with the people who our son would recognize and know the most and feel comfortable with. That was that. Don’t stress about it and don’t let people treat you terribly because of the decision you made.

You have now experienced what everyone told you when they said, “Enjoy it now. They grow up so fast.”
That year really did go by fast, didn’t it?

Don’t be sad. Believe me, I was. But I didn’t need to be. My child is growing and it’s what we, as mothers, do. We get sad but we are happy for them. And we get ready for the next stage in their life. Be prepared for the obstacles that may come:

First year molars
First words and steps
Tempter tantrums
Terrible Twos

I haven’t experienced much yet, but that’s just what we’ve gotten so far.

Just remember: You are one amazing mom. You’re a rockstar. You are the best mom for your little baby. And as they grow and change, so do you.

Love,
The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

13151501_10206151479938253_4589970671008760466_n To The Mommy of a 1-Year Old

“Meternity Leave?” This is Maternity Leave

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

Alright, there is a popular article that has pretty much gone viral all over Facebook and Twitter. I have seen it pop up on my feed quite a few times and I finally caved to read it.

The article on the New York Post titled, “I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids ” by Anna Davies has stirred up quite a few blog posts and Facebook posts from moms all over, giving Miss Meghann Foye a piece of their mind. And well, being a mother myself and having finally read the darn thing, I decided to write about my feelings on this subject as well.

No, Meghann. I haven’t read your book. And there’s a very good chance that I won’t, mostly because I barely have time to read books as it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to sit here and say that I have never been in your shoes before. I have. I was once one of those women that focused solely on career and friendships as opposed to thoughts of having a husband or kids in my future. Well, I thought about it but after numerous breakups and heartache, my life became more about me than about having a “we.”

I joined the military with every intent to put in my 20 years, retire, and live a fabulous life of being single and never having any other responsibilities besides the ones that are needed to take care of myself. And hey, that’s totally fine. More power to anyone who takes pride in what they do with their life. Countless jobs before, I thought it was unfair that mothers got to take time off of work. I mean, what did I know? I just saw these moms getting paid to take time away from work or even what you said in the article in the NYP, people got to leave work early to pick up the kids and having a friend who just suffered a breakup wasn’t a valid excuse. Been there. I was like, ‘Why the heck can’t I get out early because I live 30 minutes away and I want to go out with my friends…but I have to drive all the way back home then all the way back HERE just to do so.” We all worked together, downtown…it just made sense.

Then being in the military, I thought the same thing, at first. People got to get out of working a 13-14 shift because the daycares on base shut down after a certain time and you HAVE to pick up your children. People got time off and got away from the job that we were all sleepily working at on a Friday evening…still here…

But that’s the thing. You never know anything about anything unless you have been through it. This whole concept of “Meternity Leave” just makes no sense to me. That’s what vacations are for. If you work in the corporate world, you get paid time off and well, many people who don’t get paid time off for vacation, still get time off to themselves to do whatever they please.

Maternity leave is not a vacation. Maternity leave is a time of bonding with your child and having those precious moments with them. Because those first few months are some of the most important times that baby needs to be with their mother. And 3 months off? Not many people get that luxury. When I first had my child, I was given 6 weeks paid and I took an additional 2 weeks of my own time that I had saved up. And that’s in the military. Granted, we have recently changed things a bit and we now get those 12 weeks – paid, but that wasn’t the case before. And think about many people outside of the military who are ALLOWED to take those 12 weeks or more off…but many moms can’t afford to take it off because that time off isn’t even paid for! So, the entire time that the mother is supposed to be spending time with their child and learning how to be a mother, they are spending time stressing about the bills that need to be paid and how they are going to make up for the time lost at work.

Ask your friend who decided to leave her corporate job and start a new business after she had her baby. What is it exactly that made you want to do that? I am willing to bet that it wasn’t…”I had an awesome vacation from work and I wanted to continue it.” It is very likely the fact that she pushed a melon sized child out of her vagina and realized what was important in her life and what her focus needs to be on. And let me tell you…I highly doubt she had a “break.” Do you really think stay-at-home-moms ever get a day off? Wait, don’t even answer that. I am willing to bet I know which side of the spectrum you’re on when it comes to THAT conversation.

But here’s the main deal with this post. THIS is what maternity leave looks like. And if you’ve never had a child, you wouldn’t know.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

This beautiful moment after I had my first son is nothing short of amazing. Everything I felt was worth it. But what you don’t see here is that, I was terrified. Nurses and doctors didn’t speak to me. They acted like I wasn’t even there and they just had to get a melon out of me. What you don’t see is them pushing on my stomach and passing my placenta out and stitching me up. What you don’t see is the pain that I endured or the fact that because doctors wouldn’t talk to me, I had no idea what was going on.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

You may see me smiling here but what you don’t see is that I am cuddling with my child in the early morning, after hours of fighting him to nurse. I had to battle with him to try and eat for the first 6 days of his life. He had jaundice and wasn’t nursing at all and I didn’t understand why. So, laying down with him in bed was one of the only ways to get him to calm down.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

What you see here is a mom who stayed up all night with their crying baby. Trying to put him back to sleep after hours of trying. Many nights I fell asleep sitting up in my bed because my baby only wanted to sleep in that position.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

No, I am not squishing my child, but this is a great example of what you DON’T see moms go through during maternity leave. Finally, a satisfied baby. Fed and ready to pass out. But mama? Covered in milk from leaky boobs, stained shirts, nipples that are sore and completely cracked from learning how to nurse her baby for the first time, and breast pads to help from a milk waterfall from streaming down your clothes. As you can see, it doesn’t always help.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

There is always poop. I bet your “Meternity” never has a bunch of poop…or pee all over you. Or vomit for that matter, unless you’re covered in your own vomit from those margaritas with your girlfriends at the bar because you’re celebrating her newfound singleness.

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

An exhausted mother. Sleeping with an ice pack in between her legs, wearing very large mesh underwear from the hospital, and feminine pads that resemble diapers. It’s the healing process. You don’t see that, do you? That’s because most women don’t post that all over their Facebook pages. You don’t see the heartache some moms go through when they look in the mirror and see their bloated stomach STILL looking like they are 6 months pregnant because not all moms lose weight while nursing. You don’t know the feeling of having a stitch stuck in your lady parts because it didn’t dissolve like it was supposed to. And you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to be intimate with your husband, 1. because you can’t and 2. because you have no energy.

There is no such thing as a “break” when it comes to maternity leave.

So, go ahead and suggest to everyone that you deserve your “ME” time. Because honestly, us moms never really get that “Meternity Leave.” Once you have a child, there is no such thing as ME time. It’s about your kids. It’s about family. And yes, that’s a choice that we, as parents made for our lives. But don’t you dare say you need paid time off to have time to yourself just because women have a baby and get their time off.

Also, I found an article that I found completely hilarious after I started writing this post. And for those of you that want “MEternity leave,” I say, go for it. As long as you abide by the rules of this post. And I absolutely love it.

So you want maternity leave without the kids? OK. Here’s how that should go.” by Elizabeth Bromstein

2016-05-10_12-53-47 "Meternity Leave?" This is Maternity Leave

And Then There Were Four…

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...

Now that the entire family and the Facebook world knows the good news, I can share it publicly…anywhere I want. Including this blog. 🙂

That’s right, Aston is going to be a big brother! And we are all so excited!

I did post the other day (April Fool’s day to be exact) and I talked about my experience with miscarriage. It’s a sad thing for anyone to have to go through at any point in their lives. But it’s also something real. It does happen. And I will not dismiss it and act like it didn’t happen.

I know that God will use that situation as a reminder or a lesson at some point in my life. we mourned our loss and we moved forward. And you know what? It’s okay to move forward too. Some people may think that it’s not okay to just move on past what just happened to you, but it really is okay! There is no sense in dwelling on the things that you cannot change. Especially something that happened beyond your control.

So, here we are, now with baby #2 on the way. And it’s such fantastic news! Hubby wants a girl and I want another boy. Let’s be honest, I want a boy because I already have all of the baby boy things and I don’t need to go out and buy all the extra stuff then! 😛 But for real, I don’t care as long as we have a healthy and happy little baby. Isn’t that all any parent really hopes for?

This baby will be a fall baby. He or she is due on November 1st and we are pretty excited. Not only that, I am so excited about that fact that I will get an entire 18 weeks of maternity leave! The military changed some things around over the past couple years and I made the cut off by a few days. It’s pretty fantastic. When I had Aston, I was home for 6 weeks and then took an additional 2 weeks of my own time off to stay with him. I wasn’t ready. I really was NOT ready to go back to work after only 8 short weeks with him. And I have missed him every moment since.

Of course, I still see him every night when I get home from work and on my lunch breaks if I take them, but I love being home with him. Yeah, I get the crazies every now and then when I am home with him all day, but I assume eventually you get used to it! 😛

Anyway, there’s the announcement. I am so excited and feeling incredibly blessed to be having this little peanut growing inside of me. Such a gift to be able to carry a child not just once but twice. <3

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...

12973018_10205948156655298_5075545641529279649_o And Then There Were Four...