Friday, June 28, 2013

Attachment Parenting {Guest Post} {PFALO}

Today I’m guest-posting on Kaitlyn’s blog Wifessionals for the Preparing For a Little One series. 

Preparing For A Little One

I’ll be talking about my experience with Attachment Parenting.
Go check it out!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We have a BIG girl!

I’m a few weeks late on announcing, but better late than never!  

Hadleigh is POTTY TRAINED!

Oh yeah people, you read it right!  We thought it was going to take for-ev-er to get her trained, but surprisingly it was pretty easy.  That’s not to say there weren't times I wanted to scream, because I did.  All in all, we are so very proud of her!  So for those of you who want the details, here goes!

At first, we were taking a really laid back approach to potty training.  We were letting Hadleigh guide us for the most part (if that makes sense).  If she was interested in going pee-pee on the potty, we were all for it.  We didn't press it.  Part laziness on us, but we also didn't want to “bully” her into it if she wasn't really ready.  We switched her over to exclusively pull-ups.  She would go pee on the potty for daycare, no problem.  Daycare is three days a week and they pretty much take them every hour or so.  Even though she went for them, it was hit or miss.  If she had to go pee and she just happened to be on the toilet, she went.  Otherwise, pull-up it was.  We could tell when she was going #2, so I tried to catch her and take her to the bathroom.  A lot of times she would throw a fit about going to the bathroom on the toilet, so we didn't fight her.  We had sporadically tried the cold turkey approach, but it failed miserably both times we tried (another reason why we were letting her call the shots for the most part.)

Then one Friday when I picked her up from daycare her teacher told me that if I wanted to bring in underwear on Monday, that she would work with her.  I immediately responded with “You know what?  We’re going to cold turkey one more time this weekend” It was a quick decision – ½ made so I didn't look like a lazy mom to her teacher and ½ because it was time.  Whatever motivates, right?!  So, we got home and I immediately put princess underwear on her.  She did it for the most part at school, so I knew she could do it.  The rest is history.  She ran with it and did amazing.  There were a few accidents that weekend, but she needed those accidents to get the feeling.

We still use pull-ups but only at night.  And she has had a few accidents here and there.  I blame those on either 1) us not taking her in time or 2) her not knowing the art of holding it.  We don’t make her hold it, but holding it long enough to make it to the bathroom.  She will get so caught up in what she’s doing she waits until she can’t anymore.  Going #2 was such an easy transition for her too.  She just did it.  At first, she would ask for a diaper to go into but we stood our ground and didn't give her one.  She eventually ran to the bathroom herself to go.

We will still ask her to go to the bathroom every now and then, just to make sure.  For the most part, she is now telling us or just going on her own.  I know she feels like a big girl and very accomplished – and it’s so nice not having to change her dirty diapers anymore! Woohoo!  We are proud parents!

Also linking up for Wildcard Wednesday

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Gymnastics, Museum, and Swimming

Another weekend gone – what the?!  We had another fun-filled weekend with the girls.  Saturday, Kristy, Lily, & Bo all came over to play.  All 6 of us had fun catching up since we haven’t seen them in what seems like forever!  Lily had a gymnastics session right after, so we decided to tag along.  Her and Hadleigh had fun – especially on the obstacle course!  It was nice to see how Hadleigh did at the gym, since we will be putting her into dance or gymnastics very soon.  She was really excited to talk about gymnastics, but when I asked her if she wanted to dance or do gymnastics, the answer was “dance”.  I’m thinking I might need to just sign her up for dance, or both?!

That same afternoon, Daniel and I took the girls to one of the local Children’s museum locations out in Short Pump.  It’s definitely not as good as the downtown location, but the girls had fun and it seemed to tire them out! 

Sunday was a super lazy day.  Daniel worked in the yard while the girls and I stayed in our pajamas to watch princess movies.  Later in the afternoon, we took the girls swimming again.  It’s so nice having Daniel’s grandparents pool so close!

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Boys behind the blog {Link-Up}

I’m linking up a little late with Mallory & Stephanie for the boys behind the blog J  I talk about Daniel all the time on here, so I figured it was a great time to get a little bit form him personally. Enjoy!

1.        Does your wife/girlfriend/fiance use your real name or a nickname on her blog?
Real name
2.       If you had a blog, what would the title be?
I would never have a blog, nor do I have the time.  I’m not really one to put my life out there on display for everyone to see; generally I leave that to Erin.  The only reason I have a Facebook now is because Erin got tired of me getting on her page. 
3.       Do you ever feel ignored by her because of the blog?
Not really.  It’s something she enjoys doing so I don’t mind. 
4.      How has her blog changed or evolved throughout your relationship?
I wouldn’t say the blog has evolved, just the amount of time Erin spends on it.  It used to be something that she would update periodically, but since the girls were born she has become a lot more involved.
5. What is your favorite post on her blog?

I don’t think I have a favorite blog post.  For me it is getting on there and looking at the picture of the girls.  A lot of the stories are geared towards mothers and aren't necessarily things I would take an interest in.

Boys Behind The Blog

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Struggling With Postpartum Depression {PFALO}

Today I’m linking up again for the Preparing For a Little One series J I love this!  I’m taking a post I previously had written about this.  Here’s my story!

Preparing For A Little One

Your hormones are raging – crying one minute, laughing the next, all while you have a baby on your chest nursing and trying to stay awake.  That’s pretty much how the first weeks feel like.

My Experience with Hadleigh
I was on bed rest in the hospital, which made me depressed all by itself.  Being in that all white room alone everyday takes a toll on anyone.  So, I was already at a disadvantage mentally.  {The nurses actually told me, most of the women on the floor end up being prescribed anxiety/depression meds} Then I had a normal birth – just not the birth that I had planned and hoped for – I really wanted to avoid the C-Section.  Yes, I know births are never as planned, but it doesn't make it an easier.  I had a doctor who I felt didn't have my best interest/wants at heart, so that left me with a ton of "what ifs?" afterwards. I also was put on tons of medication for the anxiety, the blood pressure, the pain, and the panic attacks I had the night after Hadleigh was born. I swear the first week is still foggy in my mind – because that’s how I felt.  Hadleigh was an awesome baby and I did a damn good job taking care of her, but I was depressed. 
Going into the birth I was down and then the hormones after the birth just added fuel to the fire.  Breastfeeding came so easy to me, but it made me anxious not knowing how much she was getting, so I decided to exclusively pump.  Huge time commitment and being down, I ended up stopping when she was about 2.5 months old.  My best friend has since told me she thought I was crazy (not literally) for no longer nursing so quickly since it came so easy for me and not so easy for her. Body image was horrible, not to mention your body just sits differently after a kid.  On top of that, as a new mom (and even now as a mom of two) it’s still hard for me to get back to/figure out who I am outside of being a mother.
I finally started getting out of the post baby depression around the time I got pregnant with Hayden – that’s a whole 15 months.  Luckily, I was already on some anxiety medicine, I think my depression was somewhat mild because I didn't really think I was, until I wasn't anymore (does that make sense? Just go with it.) Maybe it just took me 15 months to put myself back together?  

My Experience with Hayden
This time around post-baby was WAY different.  I pretty much knew what to expect, so I tried to be prepared.  I upped my anxiety meds a little {with doctors consent} a couple weeks before her birth - I was having anxiety about having anxiety in the hospital, which I knew wasn't good. I went back to my regular dosage a month or so after she was born.  {And for me, the meds work.  They aren't for everyone, but if I wasn't on them I wouldn't be able to manage the daily anxiety I have}  I was on rest this time around, but not in the hospital, so my spirits were up. Hormones still went crazy and I still had the crying fits afterwards, but they went away.
I was very laid back this time with the feeding and didn't beat myself up over it.  I do however have the body image issues, and still figuring out slowly who I am outside of being a mother but that's for another post. 

All-in-all having kids is amazing, but it does take a toll on you emotionally. Your life totally changes, priorities change, you’re super tired, worn down, and you just have to get settled into your new normal.  Whatever that new normal is, and believe me – it will change as soon as you think you got it down!  I guess my purpose for writing is to get it out there and maybe it might help some mothers-to-be or moms who are living it or have lived it.

No story is perfect and no one’s experience is perfect.  I think that is part of the problem – pictures , other blogs, movies – well society in general make child birth / motherhood look like the easiest  thing to go through.  While it is amazing in the fact you have this beautiful being you and your love created, it’s damn hard.  

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fathers Day Weekend

It’s Tuesday, but I’m posting our weekend re-cap.  It was a good one!  Daniel had class this weekend (bummer), so the girls and I headed to the river for a night.  They have a yearly festival called RivahFest close by, so we walked around there for a few hours Saturday.  We walked from booth to booth looking at the arts & crafts, old cars, and even walked through the kids area.  Hadleigh and I went on a BIG slide.  It was pretty tall – I’m not really sure how much fun Hadleigh had on it. Ha. She didn't have much of a reaction.  Then, we were walking over to see what else she wanted to do, and she caught a glimpse of Snoopy (dressed up character). FLIPPED.  She does not like those characters at all.  I can’t blame her, cause this mama doesn't really like them either.  Our Disney trip next year should be interesting ;)

After the festival we just headed back to “relax” on the river.  Hadleigh had fun playing in the sand and water with both sets of grandparents.  Hayden did not like the water one bit – she likes her water warm – miss priss.  Hayden and I hung out in a beach chair for a while, but then Hayden and Hadleigh played in the sand together.

Father’s Day was low key for us.  I made breakfast for everyone, and then Daniel went outside and did some yard work (I think he secretly likes yard work).  The girls and I lounged, played games, and watched movies.  When daddy was done outside, we packed up everything and headed to the pool!  It was a lot of fun and the girls loved it. 

Daniel, thank you for everything you do for us! We love you so much and are grateful for you!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Blog-Lift? What?

Have you guys noticed my blog makeover?! I freaking love every single thing about it.  I cannot begin to tell you how amazing Marquis is.  She is so sweet and has great talent in creating EXACTLY what you envisioned, but better.  Throughout the entire process, she answered all my questions and offered advice.  Being a small blog, I need all the advice and help I can get J  I have a long way to go, but the new blog design definitely has me motivated. 

If you’re in a blog slump, or just don’t know what to do next – I highly suggest blog design.  It will work wonders for that inspiration you were looking for.  And go over to Simply Clarke and check out Marquis blog – she’s pretty fabulous.  

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Kinderfeets {Giveaway}

Sign-ups are open for the fabulous Kinderfeets Giveaway
This event is free to join with an announcement post. 
For participation, you will receive 2 free links (Facebook and Twitter)
Sign-ups for the event closes on June 28th
Sign up for the event Here

Tips For Quick Recovery After Labor {PFALO}

Linking up with Wifessionals again!

Preparing For A Little One

I had a C-Section with both girls, so this post is based off of my experiences. 

Carry a pillow wherever you go.  This is huge for a “c-sectioner” Any move you make feels like your incision is popping open.  So carrying the pillow and pressing it on your stomach as a barrier to any movement was my saving grace. That and trying to remember to get up and sit down slowly.

Buy huge granny panties.  It’s not cute. But nothing on you will feel cute.  Three reasons granny panties are the best thing ever after delivery. 1 – you’re still swollen from pregnancy & delivery 2 – you’re bleeding, so ruin some granny panties 3- for “c-sectioners” you want some underwear that hit higher than your scar. Believe me. It does not feel good when it hits against it, even if they’re seamless. And actually, steal the disposable panties the hospital give you – they’re actually really comfy.

Stock up on pads. Again, gross.  But you have to wear something and you don’t want the diapers the hospital give you to wear for weeks.

Ban funnies. This goes for anything – funny friends, funny jokes, funny movies…anything. You will want to kill whoever makes you laugh the first couple of days.  If you must laugh, have that pillow handy.

Drink lots of water.  The hospital tell you this, and it’s actually true. Ha. You’re producing milk, losing blood/fat…staying hydrated is key!

Don’t worry about how jiggly you are.  I know it’s hard.  But trust me, it eventually gets better.  It may not get right back to what you were prior to pregnancy, but it gets better.  You just had a kid – you have enough to deal with than worry yourself about dieting and losing the weight right away.

Don’t feel bad to turn away guests. You have a lot of shit going on. If they don’t understand that, then that’s their problem. Your friends and family that have been through it, will totally understand though.  It’s exhausting entertaining guests on top of tending to your newborn and yourself!

Don’t feel bad accepting help. If someone offers to clean, cook, watch your older child…say yes!  Take advantage of the offers so you can relax and enjoy your new family member J

Rest & relax.  As much as you can, when you can of course. Everyone says it, but no one truly does it. 

Recovery is so different the first time around versus the second.  Not that I didn't recover, obviously I did, but it’s more difficult. This time around I didn't allow myself to relax – even in the first few days after delivery.  I actually was just talking to my girlfriend the other day and told her I remember walking up the stairs (we have 14 steps) holding my 2 year old in my arms less than a week after delivery. Yep. Seems crazy even for me to look back on, but I did it.  I felt so much guilt right after delivery because I was tending to a newborn instead of all my attention going to the oldest. So I did what she wanted and what made me feel better emotionally and less guilty.  It’s just not realistic to rest as well as you should when you have older kids running around. 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Birthday Prep

Have I mentioned that Hayden’s FIRST birthday is in about a month?! No?  I might still be in denial.  So, there’s another party to plan!  Hayden’s will be smaller than Hadleigh’s, but I’m still excited to get crafty.  I don’t think I’m going with a “theme” as I didn't for Hadleigh’s first birthday either - more on color scheme and just plain old cute. 

I’m having a hard time deciding on which invitation to choose:

Here’s a few decor pictures I’m loving 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Liebster Award

Yay for Jenny on nominating me for the Liebster award!  I had seen a few posts on other blogs a few months ago, but I didn't think anything of it.  Then today, I received a comment that she had nominated me.  Thank you Jenny!

The Liebster award is given out to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  They are nominated by other bloggers, which makes it more fun.  This is just a fun way to recognize each other, build your blogging community, and discover new blogs/friends!

Here are the rules:
1.  Each person must post 5 things about themselves. 
2.  Answer the questions that the tagger set for you, plus create 5 questions for the people you choose to nominate.
3.  Choose 5 bloggers to nominate and link them in your post.
4.  Go to their page and tell them about the nomination.
5. Follow and social media connect with everyone tagged. questions answered:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I loved reading other blogs, I had just gotten married, and figured there was a lot I could write about! It has definitely become my therapy, and I love the fact I have all of these moments with my little family I can look back on.
2. Where do you find inspirations for you posts?
Mainly my girls.  Most posts have something to do with them or being a mother.
3. What is your favorite link-up you do each week (if you do one)?
Right now, I enjoy Wildcard Wednesday & Preparing for a Little One. 
4. Mountains or Beach?
Beach, hands down!
5. If you had an all paid vacation to anywhere, where would you go?
A paid vacation around the world? Ha! I'm horrible at making a decision, this is way too much pressure for me to think about just ONE place.
6. What are your top 3 favorite movies?
Footloose, Moulin Rouge, and I can't think of a third!
7. Who is one celebrity you wish you could meet?
There's plenty, but I'm going to talk for the 15 year old me and say The Backstreet Boys
8. What is your favorite post on your blog?
Any big life events - my marriage recap post, Hadleigh's birth story, or Hayden's birth story. Those are givens!
9. What is your favorite day of the week?
10. Favorite color?
It changes, but right now coral
11. What is something you are passionate about?
My family.

My nominations:
Ashley @ Dashing Tales
Kaara @ In the Kitch with Kaara
Kristin @ Hopelessly Ever After
Rachel @ Everyday Simple
Christina @ Tailgates and Tanlines

5 questions:
What is your dream job?
In what ways are you self-confident?
How and when did you meet your spouse/significant other?
What is one lesson you would like to teach your child(ren) about life?
What is the nerdiest thing about you?

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Preparing for a Little One: Attachment Parenting {Guest Post}

Original Post over on Wifessionals.

If you would have asked me before if I practiced attachment parenting, I probably would have laughed or just not known what the heck you were asking me about.  My experience has been less research- based and really just the way we parent.  It kind of just happened.   If you Google on the subject, a list of about 7 or 8 activities pretty much defines what researchers call attachment parenting.  Ultimately, it comes down to being there for your baby’s every want and need while making them feel safe and secure.

Birth Bonding – The hospital we delivered at makes sure this happens.  They are huge on the skin-to-skin and “magic hour”.  The staff wants to make sure the parents get that initial bonding time with their new baby.  Although I think the bonding goes a lot further than the first hour, it was amazing to have them on board with the idea.  The birth was still crazy and I didn't end up having the full hour of just quiet bonding time, but don’t worry – there is plenty of time to bond with your baby!

Breastfeeding – Research says parents should be there for the baby’s wants and needs.  I believe this can be done breastfeeding or formula feeding.  I formula fed my first while I’m still breastfeeding my second, 11 months in.  I think they focus on breastfeeding because it is quicker to give the baby the need.  I feel bonded by both of my girls, but the nursing bond is 100% true.  Maybe not in the beginning, but you will get there, I promise.
Nurturing touch – This goes back to the safe and secure aspect.  And the fact that you are “attached” to your child will form the greatest bond and relationship.  I do practice baby-wearing, but only on occasion, and it was more when the girls were younger.  They are both active, so I don’t “wear” them very much.  Although, I do feel like I hold them A LOT ;)  For me, cuddling and loving on them is just as effective.
Bedding – Co-Sleeping or bed-sharing.  We bed-share, something I didn't think I would be doing, but here
I am!  With our first, we would bring her in bed with us if she woke up in the early morning hours.  She would go to sleep in her crib and now her bed, so it hasn't been an issue.  With our youngest, it was a convenience to have her in the bed with us since I was breastfeeding.  She still nurses once on most nights.  I love her in bed with us and I know she feels very secure, but I’m questioning when you stop.  I’ve tried moving her to the crib (without letting her cry it out) and I haven’t been successful.   I know at some point she needs to learn to be independent and fall asleep in her own room.

Constant Loving Care – For us, it hasn't been an option for me to stay home.  Thankfully we have my husband’s mother watch the girls while we both work.  We choose to put our oldest in day care part-time.  Wherever the girls are, they are receiving loving care.  I would love more than anything to be able to stay home with them and have constant care with one of us.  As parents, we have to make the best decisions.
Positive Discipline – Children learn by example.  Even if testing boundaries, remaining calm and positive will go so much further in teaching.  I’m conscious to try not to be too negative around them.  I don’t want them growing up being pessimistic, negative, or not confident.  I do think the way you go about talking to them, especially disciplining them, can effect that.

Balance – This is hard.  I’ve been a mother for almost 3 years now, and I still struggle with this.  You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to get away with some friends,  get away with your husband, or even get away alone.  It’s healthy.  You can’t be the best mother you can be if you are angry, worn out, and stressed all of the time.

I am by no means an expert and I truly find my style a little bit of “my own”, although I do identify a lot with the attachment parenting.  If anyone has any questions (or advice) at all, please do not hesitate to e-mail me!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Calling my Inner Mermaid

Can we talk about how it’s crazy Hadleigh will be THREE in less than 3 months?!  Insane.  When I started asking her what kind of party she wanted, she first said “Princess”.  But then a few months ago it has been consistently “Mermaids”. She says it way cuter, I’ll try and get it on camera.

So, I took to Pinterest this weekend to find some inspiration for the party at the end of August.  I really hope she doesn't change her mind, because I'm really starting to love the mermaid theme myself.

I cannot wait to start crafting and bringing all my ideas together!  Do ya'll have any clever or cute ideas for decor or food?  I'd love some more ideas!

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