Milkful Momma – Gourmet Lactation Bars

20616079_10209605905536734_230309639_o-e1501686742660-1024x1024 Milkful Momma - Gourmet Lactation Bars

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.

20616079_10209605905536734_230309639_o-e1501686742660-1024x1024 Milkful Momma - Gourmet Lactation Bars

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!

LINKS:
Facebook | Instagram | Website

Leaving The Military: “So, What’s Next?”

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile have probably noticed that I am in the military. Well, that journey is going to come to an end very soon. And in the

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
The day I graduated boot camp.

military, there is a process where you have to go all over the base or everywhere in your command/unit to get signatures – check out. You have to literally check out of the military as if you were checking out of a hotel. And everyone you check out with will ask you this question:

“So, what’s next?”

There’s nothing wrong with asking that but that seems to be the question on everyone’s minds when you’re about to separate from the military. And I would always answer them politely, with the same, rehearsed response:

“I’m going to be a mom. Stay home with the kids. Go back to school in a year to finish my degree once we find out where we are going next (husband is remaining active duty ) and maybe pursue personal training.”

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
First time on a ship.

I am pretty sure I have said that about 100 times in the past few days. But is that really what I want? I am writing this post after I had a minor panic attack when I sat in my car, thinking about what IS next? I mean, I know I am going to be a stay-at-home-mom for awhile and I am going to take care of the babies. I am going to sleep in when the kids let me and I am going to color my hair purple. I will have more time to write and to keep the house clean! As for the “real” adulting stuff, I am not sure. And then all the questions started to pour in.

Will I ever get a job that pays as much?

Will I ever get another job with the same amount of benefits?

How will my current job in the military translate to the civilian world?

Am I making a mistake?

After a little bit of speed texting to a good friend of mine (who happens to be a vet) and a lot of ranting, venting and…virtual hyperventilating, I realized,376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

I don’t know what’s next. And it’s okay that I don’t.

So, even though I am giving the answer mentioned above, to every single person who asks me what I am going to do with my life after the military, I don’t exactly know what I want to do! I have so many passions and interests that maybe it’s time for me to explore those options. I mean, for the first time in five years, I won’t HAVE to set an alarm everyday. I won’t have to wear a uniform or do my hair. I don’t even have to run a brush through it if I don’t want to. I won’t have anyone telling me where to go and what to do and have to “follow orders.” Well, besides the orders that I am taking from the tiny dictators my husband and I have created.
376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

For the first time in five years, I don’t have a plan. Nothing specific or set in stone. And as much as I LOVE to plan things out and plan my day (insert The Happy Planner) – do you know how freeing that is? I can take my time with things and not feel rushed.

My husband and I got married almost three years ago and ever since then, we have spent our weekends getting the laundry and housework done. Many meals were just quick and easy and not as healthy. We went out to eat (a lot) which we won’t be able to do as much when we’re broke (ha…ha…ha..). And we never got to go anywhere because we were too busy on the weekends just taking care of things in our home!

So, if I am going to sit here and talk about my plans for what’s next, I would have to say:

More weekend adventures with the family
Taking my kids to the park
Reading to my kids
Potty training my son
Doing the laundry throughout the week instead of letting it pile up until the weekend…
and putting it away sooner than three weeks from now.
Making healthier meals for the family
Actually CLEANING my house – not just picking up
Read books
Teach my kids things about life
Laugh with them, hug them, kiss them, and just BE WITH them

I spoke to another friend about my worries and she reminded me of one major thing:

People do this everyday.

She is so right. People DO do this everyday. There are people who never even joined the military and are doing this whole stay at home mom thing and are killin’ it! Everyone finds a way to make things work for them and their families. As much as I am afraid of making a mistake as a mother and a wife, I cannot dwell in it and feed the fears. I just need to embrace it.

One of the best things I ever did with my life was joining the Navy. I learned a lot, lived a lot, and fell in love. I matured and I gained so much more knowledge than I ever thought possible. I met the love of my life and started a beautiful family. I became a strong and more confident woman.

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

And guess what? I joined the Navy wanting to do 20 years and retire…but did I KNOW what I was going to do with the rest of my life? With those 20 years? Nope. And I did just fine. Even better than fine.

Sometimes, we just need to remember that not everything is certain. But we can be certain to make an amazing life for ourselves with whatever comes our way.

So, what’s next?
We shall wait and see.

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"
The last day I would have to leave my kids to go to work. 4/4/17

Navy sponsored cruise to Hawaii. We made it!

A post shared by @ lifewithabbyd on

IYAOYAS @jackiemoonn @ayanabxtch @devilish_ways

A post shared by @ lifewithabbyd on

376292_3456229416747_707591486_n Leaving The Military: "So, What's Next?"

It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not “Okay”

*Please note: This is a sensitive and real thing that I went through. It was not easy to write and some parts may make you think I am a horrible person…but if you continue reading, I hope that you will understand. Thank you. <3

Did you know that today is World Maternal Mental Health Day?

It is! It has been declared the first Wednesday in May and I’ve been given signs for a long time now, to share my story. Even more signs popped up in the past few days. It’s something I have never really shared with people and if I did it wasn’t in depth, but I wanted to share this in hopes of someone reading it will know that they’re not alone.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"
Photo: Amanda Glenn Photography

This here is a photo of a mother who absolutely loves and adores her child.

This is also a photo of a mother who had/has a hard time with this adorable, little babe.

And I don’t just mean, had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. That, alone, was a battle. But I went through stages of anger, fits, rage, crying, sadness, and hopelessness…and I didn’t know or understand why.

This tiny baby would cry because he was hungry or wanted to be close to me. I had fed him, changed him, burped him, took clothes off, put more clothes back on, rocked him, swayed him, swaddled him, hugged him, wore him…and nothing was working. I feel like this is something quite common. And when you can’t figure out what’s going on with your baby, it’s perfectly normal to cry! Instead, I got angry. I was filled with rage when I couldn’t get him to stop. Following the feelings of anger and rage, I began to really cry. Not only cry but completely sob until it hurt.

I hated the mother I was.

Why would I get so upset at this sweet, baby boy? I grew him in my belly, birthed him, and nourished him with my body through breastfeeding. He was MY baby. My love. Everything I lived for.

So, why did I get so angry all the time? Why was I filled with so much anger when it came to the simple cries of a child needing his mother?

Postnatal Depression is real.

From someone who already struggles with depression (that’s a whole other story), I felt that the post partum part hit me hard. It was always difficult for me to understand what was going on within me and I thought that it was going to destroy the bond with my child and I. As much as it pains me to say this…I was almost afraid. I would get so angry and upset that I was afraid that I was going to be one of those mothers that would actually hurt their child. Yes, it was that bad.

Did I want to hurt my baby? Absolutely not. Never in a million years would I ever want 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"to do such a thing. It is my job to protect my child and to keep them safe. And I will do that until my last dying breath. But was that a real fear of mine? Yes. It’s scary.

But I didn’t know that it wasn’t just me.

Over 75% of women do not get diagnosed or receive treatment or support. And 2 in 10 women have a mental health problem during pregnancy and in the first year, following birth. Think of all of the women around you, having babies. That’s a lot! I’m willing to bet that many of them are hiding it from you and are hiding it well. The problem is, we need to speak up about it.

I had no idea what was going on with me. I thought it was just my regular old depression, short fuse, and bad temper coming in. I didn’t think I actually needed any help with anything. When I was about 6 months post partum with my son, a friend of mine (whom I finally admitted a few things to) said,

“That sounds like post partum depression. I went back to talk to someone and got some help with it.”

I had no clue that she was going through it too! She actually experienced a lot of what I was going through. The anger and the sobbing. She went almost immediately having her child. I went back to get some help and I was given the runaround. Because I was 6 months post baby, I was no longer considered having post partum depression and they thought it was something completely different. So,  I looked forward to meeting with the doc and talking about what was going on – to finally get some answers.

Not long after being in that room with the doctor, I left feeling worse about myself. I felt as though I was an unfit mother. The doctor ridiculed me for the things that I was saying and for how I was feeling. He threatened to find a way to take my baby away. Now, that was one of the scariest things for me. That was why I didn’t want to get help or tell anyone about it. Because, how do you explain to someone the anger you feel inside and what’s happening in there…but that you’re not actually going to do ANYTHING like what you’re feeling? Some people can’t comprehend that until they are in the same situation. And if you’ve never had depression or post partum depression – you’re not going to get it.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"
Amanda Glenn Photography

Needless to say, I never went back again. I never went back for help. I just continued with feeling the way I did. I talked to my husband and a couple friends here and there. I tried my best to be the best mother I could for my son. I loved him with everything in me. I wanted the feelings that I would feel every now and then to just go away. I did, however, feel a strong bond with him through breastfeeding. I missed him so much when I had to go to work. I snuggled with him and played with him and had all of the marvelous moments that one would have with their baby. My love never changed.

But I did realize that as he got older and we started trying for our next baby, my feelings weren’t as bad as they once were. Mind you, I was on the Mirena and although it is localized in just the uterus – hormones are hormones. And I learned a long time ago that I cannot do a lot of birth control because of the hormones. The Mirena still affected me. When I got it taken out, it took some time to get pregnant again and those “crazy” feelings weren’t as strong anymore.

Not until I ended up in the ER. Not many know about that situation. It’s hard to talk about but I will say that, depression caused by pregnancy and birth DOES happen. I had my kids close together. My hormones had gone up and down over the past 3 years. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to talk about or admit. And it’s not easy to know that you’ve had this happen to you.

Throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, I had been attacked from others about “mental issues” and being “mentally unstable.” And let me tell you,

It was a time where I was the strongest I had ever been.

Did it hurt when people talked about it as if it was nothing? Hell yes. Did I want to go off on those people? You betcha. But what was that going to solve? Absolutely nothing. It just made me realize that it really is something I needed to talk about. And the sad part was, it was in reference to the night I ended up in the ER. So, over the past year, I realized I needed to talk about this. So, here I am writing this super long post. 18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Anyway –
As much as I had bonded with my son, I did notice a disconnect. And I still do to this day. My pregnancies, their births, post partum side – everything is like night and day between my children. I didn’t feel the same feelings I had with my daughter after birth like I did with my son. My pregnancy was fitter and healthier the second time around. Hormones are weird like that, where they really can mess with the body in a very negative or even a positive way. But because of this disconnect with my son, I have felt the pang of guilt on more than one occasion. It hurts me to know that I get angry at him easier.

 

That disconnect actually worried me while I was pregnant with my daughter.

What if I love my daughter more than I love my son? What kind of thought is that?! A real one. And it sucked feeling that way. To be honest with you, I don’t love either of them more or less than the other. BUT – I can totally see a difference in how I am as a mother BECAUSE of my daughter. Because my pregnancy and the BIRTH was so different, I felt more of a connection immediately. When my son was born, he was rushed away from me completely. I am not blaming our disconnect on that whatsoever but I can see the differences throughout pregnancy and birth with each of them. I did post about my birth story with my daughter and I described it as a “healing birth.” And that’s exactly what it was. No, I don’t love my daughter more than my son. But we all connect differently to each other. And that’s okay.18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

Honestly, there’s a chance that most of me getting angry easier is just due to him being a toddler and those “terrible-twos” are quite difficult. He is a lot like me. Go figure. But I can’t dwell on the fact that I used to be a certain way towards him. I can only move forward and learn from my mistakes.

I wish I could end this post where I tell you that I got the help I needed and I am fixed. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Somehow, in some way, my body healed itself. Not completely, but I noticed that I am no longer as angry or hopeless as I used to be. I don’t cry nearly as much as I did and my heart is more open.

I do, however, urge you to get help if you need it. If you feel ANYTHING like how I have described it in this post, please talk to someone. A doctor, a therapist, a friend (who will then refer you to a doctor or a therapist) but don’t let yourself think you’re helpless. Don’t think that you’re the only one.

You are NOT crazy. This happens. You are not alone.

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

18280802_10208845007314754_1932360827_n It's Okay to Admit You're Not "Okay"

“You’re Killin’ Me Smalls”

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"
Life is getting super hectic around here and not so routine.

Since going back to work at the end of February, there have been a ton of ups and downs when it comes to having a set schedule. I went back to work, had to take a class that involved learning about transitioning out of the military, going back on leave for a couple weeks, then back to work. For me, consistency AND routine is key to me staying sane.

Oh man, it’s going to be hard for me when I am no longer in the Navy and I become a stay-at-home mom!! There’s no way I’m going to be able to come up with some sort of routine while I have two little ones at home! I mean, I came face to face with that realization while I was on maternity leave for about 18 weeks. But I figured it was just because I had a new baby at home…I could be very wrong. It could simple be because I have two littles to take care of instead of one! Not only that, I have never been a SAHM, yet, so I know things will change once I realize I am not going back to work.

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"
One of the things that might keep me a little more sane is the fact that I am realling starting to get into writing again. I have a few projects lined up for me that I plan to take on and hopefully excel in. Maybe writing will be something I can set up as a schedule? Maybe post at the same time every week. Post two times a week? It’s definitely something I can look into.

I just want to make sure I don’t go crazy while I am transitioning from the working/military mom to the stay at home mom life. I am not going to sit here and thing life is going to be a breeze. I know there will be hard times. As much as I loved working, I hated being away from my kids. As much as I hate being away from my kids, working was a nice break sometimes. There are some mothers that totally ROCK at either one of these lifestyles and I am just not one of them. Who knows, I might end up going out and getting another job down the line. It could be something I am totally passionate about. But in the meantime, I am good with staying at home with my babies.

On another note, I thought I would mention these adorable shirts (and onesie) that we are wearing! It’s not everyday that we get to be matching, happy, and clean all at the same time! Well, my daughter wasn’t overly happy but she wasn’t crying, so there’s that! Anyway, these are totally adorable and I loved that we could match, without looking exactly the same. Plus, it’s quite comical. In case you don’t know where this is from, let me help you out.

If you haven’t seen this movie….go find it and watch it. This movie coined that phrase and thanks to moms all over, we have been able to turn this phrase into a #momlife slogan. And we love it.

My friend Heather created these and she’s starting to create more for her shop and it’s so exciting. She hasn’t yet released THIS option but I am excited to share it with everyone. Heather is also an amazing photographer (she didn’t take THESE photos but she’s done a bit of photography for our family in the past) so be sure to check out her photography and all of her other work!!

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW!
FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

b29b217c-2bfe-40c5-911b-53a532ca0764 "You're Killin' Me Smalls"

January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wear

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to WearIt’s pretty crazy that last week, I put on makeup AND did my hair. Not only once…but twice. 😂

It’s kind of a big deal for myself and other moms that I know. I know there are a few (okay a lot) of those uber glamorous Instagram mom’s that have it all together, but I’m not one of them. And oh my gosh, I love looking at those moms Instagram accounts! Girl. You’re rocking it! It also helps that they’re probably really good at makeup whereas I’m lucky if I can get my contour down correctly. Contour, highlight, blush…ahhhh!!!

Either way, it’s always fun to play with makeup and I did the look shown above, before I went to pick up my friend of 11 years up at the airport! I’ve been living far from home for the past 4.5 years now and it was really nice to have a friend come and visit me.

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wear
We’re no strangers to the “selfie” or “usies” as I like to call them, but somehow we managed…two. I guess that’s what happens when you get older. You enjoy the moments and make the memories with your friends instead of documenting everything. That, or you’re too busy chasing around your toddler while nursing a baby…either way, it’s life!

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to WearI did manage to get in a few workouts while my friend was here. But I think the most important thing was to make sure I spent time with my friend. We may not have done much of anything (quite literally – we ran errands and sat on the couch), but it was nice to just “do nothing” together. It’s actually what we used to do! We Netflix and chilled before “Netflix and chill” because what it is now.

I do believe I managed to do my “one selfie a day” task but just didn’t take them in the same spot daily. That’s okay…just taking the selfie is important for this challenge of mine. And I think posting once a week is really a lot easier than trying to post daily. Unless I have some exciting news, I probably won’t post it every single day anyway.

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wear
Besides running errands, I also discovered skincare. Literally, skincare is new to me. I’ve been all about makeup since the days where raccoon eyes were cool. Oh, they were never cool? No wonder middle school was so rough on me….

Well, I started a new skincare regimen with Clinique. I also discovered that I have dry skin…who knew? Clearly, I need to put down the makeup and just take care of this skin. I’ve got a birthday coming up and I realized, I’m not going to look young forever (unless these Filipino genes hold up well) and I need to take care of my skin. So, there’s a 3-step kit that I’m trying out and I was able to try out a sonic brush too. I’ll link the kit below as well as the lovely doll who helped me out with my skin! Im thinking that these selfies will also help me figure out if the skincare is working and what it’s doing to my face. So, let’s see how this goes!!! 😆

I think that’s about it for my update. A new challenge starts on the 16th and I’m excited. I’m sure I’ll talk about that a lot! But for now, here’s the rest of this week’s selfies!

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wearimg_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wear

Clinique products I’m using: 3-step kit for type 2 dry skin

The lovely gal who helped me out: www.instagram.com/nnstagram 

img_0576-1 January 8-14: Friends That Visit and the Makeup I Got to Wear

What’s in My Hospital Bag 

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
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.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
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.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

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. 😳

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

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.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

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. 😂

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

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.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
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!!

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
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.

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 
 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,

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

img_6942 What's in My Hospital Bag 

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

dsc_0743_fotor One Month Old - One Month as a Mom of 2

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.

dsc_0743_fotor One Month Old - One Month as a Mom of 2

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.

dsc_0743_fotor One Month Old - One Month as a Mom of 2

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…

dsc_0743_fotor One Month Old - One Month as a Mom of 2

Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet

img_7271 Morning snuggles, nursing sessions, and baby feet
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

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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?!

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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. 😉

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom

  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.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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.

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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!

img_1797 Being a Boy Mom
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