First Moms And Babies Feature - Kara

Welcome to the first installment of Moms And Babies!

I've been inspired by so many lovely ladies through blogging - and alot of them are moms and have cute little kiddos. So after a bit of brainstorming, I decided to do a mom/baby feature on my blog! See the new little tab in the corner to read more.

Basically, I'll be featuring new moms, along with their babies, every week or two with an interview on my blog. At least until I run out of mommy-blogging friends to interview, which could take a while.

So, without further ado . . .

The first mom to be featured is Kara! I've been following Kara's blog, Just1Step, for a long time now (is it two years, Kara?), and she has a ton of great advice and insight into being a mom and following the Lord.

She also has wonderful picture-taking abilities. I have Blog Photo Envy every time I visit her site.

She has a sweet little boy who is over a year old now - but I'll let her tell you more about him!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'll be 28 years old on May 14th. I'm a follower of Jesus. My 3-year anniversary with my wonderful husband, Dave, is on June 21st. We have one son (see next question). I work four days a week as a biostatistician and I stay home on Fridays with our son. I would love to say that I give the majority of my free time to God and to learning about Him, but instead I tend to waste the majority of it on frivolous worldly things. I love music, plants, photography, blogging, being organized, running, and reading.

What's your baby's name and how old is he?

His name is Krewson Lee, Krew for short. We also call him Crouton and Witto Boy. He was born on March 5th, 2010, so he's about 14 months old.

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Well, every day is different. I could give you the condensed version or the long version. I'll go long. :)
Monday - 6:30am wake up, let out dogs, get Krew milk, take already-awake Krew out of crib (he wakes up at 6:30am every day), take Krew into bathroom and try to entertain him while showering and getting ready for work. Hand him off to Dave to take to daycare. Drive 25 minutes to work. Work 8 hours. Drive 25 minutes to pick up Krew from daycare. Drive home. Feed Krew. Let Krew play outside covered in food remaining from dinner. Give Krew bath to clean off food. Put Krew to bed. Use remainder of evening to cook, eat, clean the house, go through mail, edit pictures, blog, read, and tackle the million of other items on my to-do list.
Tuesday - Same as Monday up through Krew's bath. Then I go to Bible study with some girlfriends.
Wednesday - Same as Monday up through Krew's bath. Then we all go to church small group.
Thursday - Same as Monday.
On days when I'm home with Krew (usually Friday through Sunday), he typically wakes up at 6:30am, eats around 7:30 or 8am, naps around 8:30 or 9am for a couple hours, eats again around noon, eats a snack around 2 or 3pm, takes a mid-afternoon nap of about 30 minutes whenever he chooses, eats again around 5:30pm, and goes to bed around 7:30pm. I try to get all my stuff done and play with him around that schedule. :)

If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

Happy, determined, independent.

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Just watching him, as cheesy as that may sound. Everything he does is fascinating to me. I love watching him study the world and try to figure it out. I love watching his face as it goes from happiness to joy to confusion to surprise to giggles and laughter to seriousness. I love the words he tries to say and the way he points at everything. He's non-stop entertainment. Others may beg to differ, but I know Dave feels the same way. :)

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Have patience. There's more involved than just weight. Your body changed. Things moved all over the place. It took me probably four or five months to lose all my weight, but even then I didn't fit back into my biggest pre-pregnancy pants until seven months. It took that long for my hips to move back. Also have acceptance. Things are probably never going to look the same again. If they do, you are very blessed. I still don't fit into several pairs of my pre-pregnancy pants, and my stomach no longer looks the same despite the very few stretch marks I got. Consider the changes to be your wonderful mark of mommahood. They are the mark of a blessing.

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

I am very blessed in this area in that Dave and I have had minimal ups and downs since Krew was born. That's not to say we haven't had any disagreements or issues. We have. But God has blessed us with pretty complimentary personalities, so we've been able to work through it all somewhat easily. Still, I want to remind all mothers to remember that your marriage comes first. I know that many non-Christians and even some Christians will argue with me over this. But I stand strong in the belief that this is God's will. Are there exceptions? Well, yes, there are gray areas just as there are with nearly every other argument. Such as an abusive or wandering husband. I don't claim to have any knowledge as to God's will in that situation. But in general, I stand by the belief that Jesus is #1, husband is #2, and children are #3. My other advice would be to make sure your husband knows you love him...daily. Hug him, give him kisses, be intimate when he wants it, spend time sitting down with him, talking to him without distractions. And of course tell him you love him. I think it's very easy for moms to become so preoccupied with their kids that they forget there is this wonderful man standing next to them who would be touched by an equal dose of their love and affection.

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

Self-foaming baby wash. Aquafor. Travel baggies for messy clothes and poopy diapers. Wipes, wipes, wipes. A butt thermometer and infant acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen on hand at all times. Lily Padz and a big nursing cover if you're nursing. A noise maker. A changing mat for your diaper bag. Swaddle cloths. I actually wrote two blog posts on recommended baby items if anyone wants to check them out. :)
The "Must-Haves" Baby Registry List
The "Must-Haves" Baby Registry List - My Additions

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

There have been a ton of wonderful moments and outings - I don't think I can pick a favorite. So instead can I share my least favorite? Over Christmas this year, we were 12 hours from home, visiting my family for over a week. Krew got pink eye in both eyes, had two teeth coming in, and came down with a bad virus (fever, congestion, runny nose). It was the most miserable parenting situation I've faced thus far. He was irritable, clingy, threw complete temper tantrums if the slightest thing didn't go his way, and refused to go down for bed (think hours of crying). Nearly every moment was a struggle. He didn't want anyone to touch him except me or Dave, yet he wanted us to be touching him always. On top of that, I was worried about his health and frequently wondered if I should be taking him to urgent care. This craziness lasted for the entire vacation. I remember being so exhausted, thinking to myself, "Dear God, please don't tell me this is my new child. Please let my old child return. I can't handle this new child. This new child is out of control." Fortunately, after returning home to a schedule, the virus going away, quite a few times of not getting his way, and a lot of crying at bedtime, he returned to his formerly jovial self. I was so so so so grateful. I also learned the importance of structure and schedule with my child.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Don't expect it to be all sunshine and butterflies after your baby is born. Some new mothers have a wonderful first few months, but many do not. I actually developed postpartum depression that severely clouded my first few weeks at home with Krew. Even after the depression lifted thanks to medication, there were still times when I didn't feel like being a mother. There were times I cried and wanted to scream. There were times (and still are) when I thought to myself, I cannot believe I have to raise this child for the next 18 years. It doesn't make you a bad mommy, it doesn't mean you don't love your child. It means you're human. We are imperfect creatures trying to live a perfect life and be perfect parents to little human beings who are also imperfect. Clearly, it's an impossible situation. I recently read, if the Perfect Parent couldn't raise perfect children, how do we expect to? Adam and Eve messed up and their only parent was perfect in every way. We have to turn to God for the strength and wisdom to make it through each new day as it arrives. And trust Him to pick up where we fall short. :)

Thanks Kara!
Head on over to Kara's blog to read more.

If you have a baby and are interested in being featured, please shoot me an e-mail at I'd love to "introduce" you!

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Emily Powell said...

such a cute family!

Melanie said...

Love your new feature!!! Its great to read insight from other moms..helps me as a 'mom to be' to know a little more of what to expect in the coming months!!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Thanks so much for featuring me, Callie!! I love your idea of moms and babies.

And yes, I believe it's been two years or more. So crazy. You've been a great blogging friend. :) Maybe someday we'll get to meet in person..if I ever make a random trip to that part of the country, haha.

Meghan said...

I am loving this new feature. Thanks for posting this!

Rachel and John said...

What a lovely idea!!

Jenene said...

Callie, this is such a great idea! You must know a lot mommy bloggers; I can't wait to "meet" more of them!

lindsey said...

Love this!!! I'm not a mom yet, but I am definitely taking notes for when the time comes. :) "Moms and Babies" is such a great idea!

Tatiana said...

she's got a beautiful family! loved reading this :)

She Said... said...

I really like this feature! I will emailing you soon!

And I think I found a new blog to stalk! I totally agree with her when she said "I stand by the belief that Jesus is #1, husband is #2, and children are #3".

Thanks for introducing her! I can't wait to "meet" more mommy bloggers!

Lydia said...

Such a great idea!! It will be great to get more advice from other moms!

Julie S. said...

What a great idea! :) thanks for sharing!

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