Wednesday, January 9, 2019

THE BIG BED TRANSITION.


Like most things, I probably have no idea what I’m talking about. And MAYBE no one cares. (It’s ok.) But when you’re a stay-at-home Mom and pretty much only talk to your toddler and other Moms through the Internet - these things can take on a life of their own. And as I sat up the other night (pregnancy insomnia..), I thought - WOW, I should totally blog about this. 

Hahaha.

So let’s talk bed transitions! 

Since we’re about three months out from the arrival of baby #2, we decided to pull the trigger and make the room switch. We went back and forth, and back and forth about - do we buy a second crib? A “toddler” bed? A BED BED? And even though I was pushing hard for a second crib, and then I even liked the idea of a small toddler bed, we landed on a BED BED. A FULL SIZE BED BED. What finally sold me was getting to pick out new furniture for Emily, haha. Johns pitch was basically that another crib mattress was the same price as a full size mattress, and it was too temporary. As in, in two years max Emily would need a bigger mattress. But with a FULL, she can basically take it to college. (Kidding, but maybe?)

I got TONS of advice on this from other Moms and the conclusion I got was that every kid is different.
Every family is different, every housing situation is different and everyone parents differently. So this may not help you or anyone else AT ALL. But I think as Moms we just like to hear other people’s stories anyways. And, like I said - this is my life, so it’s what I have to talk about right now. (WELCOME.)

So Emily - 20 months by the way, got a new “big girl” bed and the baby will get her “baby” furniture. A lot of people suggest waiting until kids either climb out of their crib, or can understand and ask for the transition...which is understandable because there was nothing I could tell Emily to make her understand - but I think we got lucky that she was just like - oh ok, this is happening. I’ve heard some kids will cry at their cribs, wanting in. Or some parents will move the big bed into their room, but still let them sleep in their crib for a while so they can get used to the idea. I read it might be helpful to have her watch us remove the crib from her room. Which we did do - but only because she wouldn’t stay in the other room and watch the Sesame Street episode I put on. She was there for the whole switcharoo and didn’t even flinch when we moved the crib into the room next door. It’s hard for me to say that she wasn’t ready, or that she was, but I don’t think she was overly attached to her crib by any means.



Clearly. Not attached.

*Not a real picture - I thought I'd be sentimental and take some pictures before we moved everything out, and asked if I could take her picture in her crib one last time. Clearly not.

So, no. She never climbed out or did anything that told me she was ready, but she's never been a great sleeper anyway, so it was worth the risk. People keep asking if she's sleeping worse, and the answer is no. But she's also not sleeping any better. About the same.


Other side of the room.

I picked this set out online without seeing it in person and I was pleasantly surprised. It's engineered wood - but it looks real, and who knows how long it'll last! (I don't actually expect it to make it to college, lol.) I got some questions on Instagram about where I got it from, and we get almost everything from Nebraska Furniture Mart, which are only in Omaha and Dallas, but the brand looks like "Little Dreamer Willowton." Or that's the style? Regardless - I'm not sure it's available outside of those two store locations. *And everything else is probably Target.

But enough about decor. If anything is (let me underline and bold this..) not my specialty...that's definitely not it. But maybe now, "sleep training" is.

HA.

Kidding. But we're not doing too bad! I was nervous, but overall glad that we did it now. I got a ton of advice, like I said, (mostly not to do it, lol) - but I really think you just have to work with your kid.

The first night: we kept her same bedtime routine - dinner, bath, milk, books, bed. And let me say it was SUPER comfy to be able to climb my pregnant self into her bed to read books. We used to sit on the floor and Emily would sit in my lap, and that set up was going to last about two more days for me, lol. So, we read the books, then I told her it was "night-night" like I always do. And I laid down with her...

...and l just remembered that I already shared most of this, so let me just let my Instagram stories re-tell the story.





So nothing "interesting" happened, until night THREE when she tried to pull that shit on me again where she left her room one million times. And some kind of instinct kicked in and I parented like I never had before.

A lot - like A LOT of people told me that they lock their kids in their room. So if you're one of those people, don't feel bad. Apparently everyone does it. (But everyone was like, "don't tell anyone, but.....") I wouldn't have tried that with Emily for a few reasons, A.) I'm just not that hardcore. But also B.) because Emily is just too strongwilled. She would fight all night to get out if she really wanted out. So I started off doing what I had been doing - walking her back to her room each time with a kiss and a "night-night." And it wasn't even like she was upset by any of this! She would open her door, and LAUGH at how hilarious she thought she was. And I get it - I'm sure the freedom was intoxicating for a one year old. But after like 20 times, I just sat a chair right at the end of her hallway. To speed things up, and to let her know I wasn't going anywhere. And after TWO HUNDRED more kisses and "night-nights." I stopped playing around...

And this technique will probably only work if your child has attachment items. Which for anyone who doesn't know - Emilys are her two "blankies" which are actually old fleece sleep sacks. (WHY, I don't know. It just happened one day and I didn't expect it to be the big deal that it is now. She will take those to college.) So I took her blankies, and her doll...gave her a kiss and a "night-night" and a "if you don't stay in your bed, you're not getting your blankies." And I left her room...held the door knob, counted to 60 and then repeated. She would scream and cry and NO IT IS NOT FUN. But it worked. I gave her a hug, gave her back her things, put her back into her bed...and she tried that shit three more times before she stayed in her bed, for good.

Just kidding.

She does. But then leaves in the middle of the night...which is where we're at now.

But the fact that I can put her down, and she sleeps for at least a few hours so I can get some quiet time at night is enough for me. What we're dealing with now, is that she comes walking into our room at 1 / 2 / 4 AM...asking for "Elmo?" Or a "baba?" Or sometimes yelling for her binky, which she just left her in own damn bed. (Eye roll.) But none of this really bothers me because I was used to her getting up multiple times a night and having to go to her room and get her out of her crib anyways. So in a way, this is easier. But what's funny is how she zombie-walks, half-asleep, half-running down the hallway into our room. John pulled up a picture to describe what she looks like in the middle of the night...



I've never seen this movie, but the bed head is sort of spot on. After her bath at night, I brush it back and girl's got volume.

So, typically, I let her climb up in our bed (after I tell her no Elmo, and usually have to get out to track down a binky or get her some milk) and bring her back to her bed after she falls asleep. Most mornings, she's somehow back in our bed...kicking one of us in the face - but hey, this is our life right now. And parts of it are pretty funny. Do I miss sleep? Yes. How am I going to do it with a newborn too? I don't know. But it's all a phase, right? Someday she'll be 10 / 11 / 18  and I'm sure not running down the hallway to us, and maybe I'll miss it. 

MAYBE. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS.

Hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I made my goal this holiday season to try and actually enjoooy it - and I THINK I'm doing a pretty good job so far. After last year, and my breakdown (post here) I can see very clearly now WHY I had a breakdown...

- First Christmas in our new house, as what felt like "adults."
*nothing will stress you out more than trying too hard to be an adult.
- Hosted 6 out of town guests...
- I was a new Mom, holding myself to a stupid high standard.
- Just finished a rather long cleanse, which sent me on a spiral.
- And to cap it off, I switched my postpartum meds and expected no change in my mood apparently?

LOL to that one.

So this year, I was determined to do things differently. Which has sort of just become my life motto in general. Like - if I'm not happy, I need to be. (Straight to the point.) (Which I will do now, too.) So a few things we / I decided to do differently this year...

Liiike, Christmas alone.

I know. I know, I know, I know. What is wrong with us? I remember the first year I was in Omaha with John, I was so homesick at Christmas. But looking back, I was also still such a child, so of course I was. But now I've learned that I actually really, really like to be alone. *Let's lol, again.

So, just us this year. And that itself took a million could-be stressers out of my life. We have zero plans, giving me zero expectations. Just the way I like it. And then as far as everything else that comes with holiday territory -  I tried to simplify it all.


Cards.

I FREAKED out last year while attempting to make Christmas cards, and wasted an ENTIRE DAY before I broke down and cried, and started all over the next day. Probably because it was my first year being a Mom and I was trying to find my confidence still, deeeeep in the comparison game wondering how I was doing and if I could pull off looking like I KNEW what I was doing via Christmas cards? I don't know. Why do we complicate these things so much? Again, I don't know. But this year, I took MAYBE an hour - got on the Costco website because THEY ARE THE CHEAPEST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW (YOU JUST HAVE TO LOWER YOUR STANDARDS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SHUTTERFLY AND DO NOT HAVE A GAZILLION OPTIONS), and I just picked a few of the pictures from when Emily went to see Santa. BOOM, done. I didn't even get upset when I got them in the mail and questioned if I really should have clicked the "enhance" photo option because the coloring sort of...sucked.

BUT I DIDN'T. I LET IT GO.

Then I sat up in bed for a few nights and addressed them while happily watching The Great British Baking Show. And when Emily needed an activity, I had her sit and put stickers on the envelopes. (Me last year would have been like LEAVE ME ALONE CHILD, THIS ACTIVITY DOESN'T INVOLVE YOU, EVEN THOUGH IT DOES AND PROBABLY SHOULD.) AND I only ordered 50 - so I apologize if someone didn't get one, but I honestly didn't overthink it. I had like 4 or 5 left, and instead of looking at them feeling like I half finished a project, I put them in the closet. #bye


Gifts.

Another thing I stress and stress and stress over. Since we have always had to mail gifts, it makes things more complicated. And since we've had a child (and a mortgage, etc) we've had to budget said gifts even more so than before and shipping someone a box itself IS basically a gift, lol. And it's not even that we have to do gifts for everyone - we have the laidest back set of family members / siblings. But, I like to. And it's something I think Emily (+ her sister) will take over once they're big enough to decide what they'd like to send / make.

I say "MAKE" because I am going homemade, for now. (Or trying.) I'm not the best at crafts so if you want to see the real deal - here's the link where I got the idea from. I could have totally stressed, because they are completely imperfect and took me for-ev-er, but I can say with all honesty that I enjoyed the process. I did! *And might I add, super cheap to make. Even though I wanted to question the $3.50 charge to mail a small manilla envelope?..I didn't.

AND - while I'm at it, let me quickly address the tree. (Pictured.) We have like, five ormanements because I must have thrown them away/ donated them last we moved. So I took fifteen could-be frustrating minutes of my life, wrapped a sparkly ribbon all around the tree and called it good. WA-BAM.


Emily.

Probably THE stresser of stressers as a Mom on Christmas. Her kids.

Which - what the heck? That's silly. First of all, she's one. And has no idea that that box up there isn't actually a launch pad to jump on and off the couch, or that a bearded man is supposed to bring you everything you circled in the Target catalog. (Do kids still circle things in catalogs?) So, just kept it SUPER SIMPLE again. The grandparents sent the big gifts (GOD BLESS) and spent MAYBE $150 on other things for her. We got her a few additional things for her new kitchen, a baby doll with a stroller - in hopes that she will learn what a baby is...and like it - and then an art easil and some new art supplies for this area of our kitchen I now refer to as her "art studio." *Kidding, but she did recently get a small table where she likes to sit and do stickers and things and she enjoys it, so I'm just expanding on that area. (Our house is way too big for us still, so lots of areas I'm trying to "expand" upon. And it's why we can fit what's essentially a bouncy castle in here..)


And seriously, that's it.

Because I kept everything as simple as I could, I really feel like I've enjoyed December more than ever. I've been able to enjoy treats like never before because I'm not just emotionally eating them, like I was last year. (Middle of the night, cookie dough. So much cookie dough last year.) I've had the mental capacity and the energy to work on other things in my life. Like, we've been more social than ever this month, and I haven't died. (And I don't hate it!) I've been nicer to my family. Like, a lot nicer. And I should add - I've stayed off the internet A LOT more than I have in the past few years, and that's incredibly helpful too. I know I keep preaching this, but internet comparison on holidays can ruin it all. Just don't.

And THIS is in no ways meant to hold a comparision. Maybe you enjoy going all out. YOU DO YOU. I just know, I'm the kind of person who can ruin everything by overthinking / overdoing, and looking around too much thinking there's a way things are "supposed" to be. And I'm learning how to get away from that.

So now I guess it's onto other things to stress about. Like, how I just edited this font 12 times and still hate it. Or how Emily's getting a freaking full size bed next week and I have no idea how to properly transition her. (As if there were such a thing.)

More to come though, more to come.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

PREGNANCY FAVES.



I'm no expert. Anyone else could make a way better (and probably a lot more helpful) list than this, and actually - I loved the majorty of this stuff prior to being pregnant, but here are my PREGNANCY FAVES 23 weeks in...

I'm the kind of person who doesn't need a lot of stuff. I want a lot of stuff, sure, but in my opinion being pregnant isn't super different than not being pregnant and I don't think you have to change your entire life around for it. Obviously take your prenatals and know you'll outgrow your clothes, but you don't have to buy into everything. (This also goes for baby things in general, but let's talk about that when the time comes.) I think there's a huge market for those of us in the maternity and baby world, and so much advice about what you need, or don't need. But everyones world is different, so this isn't that. It's simply the top 5 things that I love and can't live without this pregnancy. Don't buy into it if you don't want to.

But, IF you do want my advice (kidding, lol).....

1. THE SNOOGLE.
Literally, buy this the minute you find out your pregnant. Especially if it's your first pregnancy because then the minute you're ever pregnant again, you'll be bringing it back out. I originally got mine at 10 weeks with Emily because I'm a hardcore stomach sleeper and it's always soo hard for me to learn how to sleep on my side. I feel like my bones are just knocking eachother, and I can't fully stretch out so it's like I'm cramping up, and I hate it. And still, many nights I wish I could just roll onto my stomach - but this makes it 1000% more comfortable to sleep on my side. You can lay with the long side supporting your front or back (I sort of alternate between the two) and you can even prop yourself up in bed, which is nice if your name is Emily...





^^ basically Emily, lol. You really never know what kids will like and decide they're obsessed with.
(Or is that just my kid?) She drinks all her milk, and watches all her shows from the snoogle now. I'm begging John to get her the "junior" version for her new "big girl bed" that's will here after Christmas because I think it might entice her. (More to come, but omgpleasepray.)

I got mine on Amazon, but I think the prices look pretty comparable everywhere. Worth it, worth it, worth it. (And this might be my very best advice here, which is why I've listed it first.)

2. THE BELLY BOOK.
I won't show you mine because it's terribly personal (in the best way), but if you're pregnant and want to document it - CHECK THIS OUT. I used the same book with Emily too and neither girls may be interested in it until they go on to have babies of their own, but it's so fun to have a space to docuement this time. It goes by so slow, yet feels so fast once it's over. And regardless of what your pregnancy was like and the sucky parts (I have sucky parts too), you won't meet a Mama who doesn't say she misses her belly once it's all said and done. And this is set up really nicely week-by-week, with a space for a picture each week and a little entry on how you're feeling, and what's going on in your world. There's a space for notes on each appointment + ultrasound, a place to jot down your cravings month by month and a few pages to write your reflections on each trimester. * I go to town writing little side notes and putting pictures of everything in it!

3. BIO OIL.
This is where someone will no doubt tell me that this stuff is full of junk or something, but we're entitled to our own favorite things. And this pregnancy, I love this junk. It's something I actually started using AFTER Emily was born because my doctor told me it would help "tone down" my c-section scar (sry), and when I was nursing I was terrified my usual tiny b-cup's would get stretch marks (sry again). And I started to really like it, so now I slather it all over my entire body after I shower each night and I feel like this.


It doesn't smell particularly great, but neither does coconut oil day after day after day and I know a lot of people use that. (But again, my world, my opinion.) I get mine at Walmart because I found it's the best price. And because I'm trying to stay out of Target.

4. COUNTRY HEAT.
Yes, I just linked my Beachbody site - BUT HEAR ME OUT. If you don't have Beachbody on Demand, you need it. Pregnant or not. But if you happen to be pregnant, this is my favorite!

Imagine...





Except me, as a turtle.

FUN, RIGHT? Really though! I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I did the whole 30 day program during my second trimester with Emily, and I'm choosing not to commit to anything like that right but I try to incorporate it in at least once a week. Twice if I'm having a good week. The reason why it's the bomb is because:

A) it's low impact.
B) it's fun. (Like, so fun.)
C.) Emily doesn't scream when I turn it on.
And  D.) because as much as I hate to say it, I have to say it. It's a calorie burner. Meaning I can still eat whatever I want. Because I will eat whatever I want.

There's a few other workouts that I love for pregnancy too, but this is a must try.

5. THE BLACK VEST.
Every pregnant women will know what "the uniform" means, and this is mine. I've always been pregnant in the winter, so I don't know what it's like in the summer, but it's important you find your uniform because getting dressed each day can get incredibly frustrating as nothing fits. I don't have a ton of maternity. But because I'm home 99.98% of the time, I don't need a lot. I have about five pairs of maternity leggings (all of which I got on sale), two bras that currently fit, and then I get away with tight fitting shirts and either my old converse or my Costco slippers. But whenever I do leave the comfort of my home, it's in this vest.

It keeps me warm enough during these mild Texas winters. But also because walking around pregnant is what I imagine being famous is like. You get a lot of looks and I feel this somehow gives me some privacy. Like I'm sheilding my baby and also saying, "don't talk to me." ALSO doubles as a muffin top concelear, lol. And when you can't see the muffin top, "you're all belly."

Which is what every pregnant women wants to hear, FYI.


6. TUMS 'SMOOTHIES'
This is obviously a more personal item because not everyone will experience heartburn, but these are a staple in my diet. I know there's a big rumor that babies with hair cause heartburn, and I did have one baby already with a headfull of hair - but I think it has more to do with my short torso, and the fact that my stomach is full REALFAST. My babies live right up in my boobs so it makes sense it feels like my food is in my throat most of the time. So most meals are followed up with these. You could use regular TUMS, but the Smoothies are the best. IN MY OPINION :)

Hands down, HANDSDOWN the thing I cannot live without right now. Take my snoogle, TAKE IT ALL. But I may die without pizza. It's my favorite food, and a big deal because there's nothing else that has been a huge "craving" of mine this time around (I blame intuitive eating, lol) so a lot of the time nothing sounds good at all - which is frustrating. (Apparently typical for learning how to intuitively eat.) But pizza is the one thing I will jump up and down for. I can eat it any time of day, and love it just as much cold, if not more.

And it's not even that Little Caesars itself is the best pizza ever - I know this, but the fact that it's always available, is a pregnancy must. Nothing worse than craving something but knowing it'll take too long to make, or it's too far away or will cost too much. Little Ceasars is only a five minute drive, pizza is always "hot and ready" and waiting for me - ANDDD only $5. You can't beat it.


I told you, helpful right?

What were your favorites while pregnant? What couldn't you live without, or what do you suggest to everyone you know? (For me, it's the snoogle. You've gotta have it.)

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