Moms And Babies - Julie

This week I'm featuring Julie from Back To The Basics! I've been following Julie's blog for about a year now, and I always enjoy reading about her sweet little boy. I think she has alot of great advice to give, so check out her interview below!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 25 year old stay at home mom and wife to my husband, Brandon, our son, and baby #2 who is due in October. Brandon and I are high school sweethearts (aww!) and have been married for 3.5 years, but have been together almost 10! I have a Bachelor's of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences, and worked as a teacher's aide for a year before deciding to stay home with Brayden. I blog over at and I am also an aspiring photographer. I love Glee, music, blogging, baking, being with my family and friends, and mostly being mommy and wife!

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

Brayden will be 2 on July 24th. I seriously can't grasp that he is almost 2! His other nickname? Moose.

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

Brayden wakes up anywhere from 7-8:30am, depending on how tired he is, if he is sick, etc. Lately, he has been sleeping a bit more because he is getting his two year molars. I get him up, change his diaper, get a sippy, and then we cuddle on the couch in front of Mickey Mouse or The Wonder Pets. After a show, we get some breakfast (Nutri-Grain bar, cereal, fruit, etc) and I put his clothes on. If we are leaving that day, it's generally around that time so I can get things done before he needs to take a nap. On Wednesdays, we go to Kindermusik class then play at a friends house and he naps in the car. When we are home, we play with his tractors, go outside if its nice, read books, just try to keep him occupied. If he is playing independently, this is when I generally try to start laundry, do dishes, shower, etc.

If we are home at nap time or at my mom's, he usually goes down for his nap between 12-1pm and sleeps 3 hours at the minimum. What can I say? I was blessed with a VERY good sleeper. After his nap, he generally wants to watch part of a movie while he wakes up, and while he does that, I start dinner. This is where the day gets fun. My husband farms with his dad and grandpa, works for my parents, and just does a little of everything. He doesn't really have a set schedule, and during the spring, summer, and fall, his schedule is pretty much weather related. If he is coming home late for dinner, I make it anyways. If he won't be home until after bedtime, Brayden and I will eat Mac and Cheese or something easy. It just depends. On a perfect day, Brandon is home around 6pm, we eat dinner together, the boys play while I clean up, and then it's time for Brayden's bath. Brayden gets a bath almost every night. It's his favorite thing! After that we play some more, clean, or pick up toys. Between 8:30-9, I get his blankie and paci, rock him for a few minutes, and then put him down awake.

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

Independent, curious, infectious.

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

The unconditional love that I get from Brayden is definitely my favorite. No matter how bad of a day he is having or how many times we have to talk about why we don't do certain things, I know at the end of the day, he loves me. And I love him. Seeing him learn and thrive is another one of my favorite things. I love it when he learns something new and shows us- it's amazing. I also love seeing our family grow, seeing the love my husband has for Brayden and for the baby growing within is incredible.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

You are asking the wrong girl! :) Since Brayden was born via emergency c-section, I lost almost 25 pounds of the 40 I gained in the hospital. The last 15 plus about 15 more came off because of breastfeeding. I know, I know. I don't know how I got that lucky! But wait! I was eating a LOT to keep my milk supply up and when Brayden would cut out a feeding, I wasn't. SO, those 15 pounds plus about 8 more came back on faster than you can say weight gain. I weighed just a few pounds less when I got pregnant this time than when I did when I was pregnant with Brayden. I had to learn how to just accept what I had and that bringing a baby into the world can be very traumatic for your body. It takes time, and it will never be the same. I have also learned to embrace higher rise jeans, and shopping at Gap instead of American Eagle! :)

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

I will admit, it was tough at first. So many changes, me recovering from a c-section that we weren't planning on, breastfeeding, and Brandon going straight back to work the day after we came home from the hospital- yikes. Recipe for disaster. But, Brandon was very encouraging and hands on. We had our moments, that is for sure! But we realized that we were a team now- a family unit. Slowly, I started being able to leave Brayden for short periods of time (I nursed exclusively for 8.5 months) so we could go eat dinner or run errands together. But I struggled with post partum anxiety, so even doing that was hard. Brayden didn't sleep anywhere but home until he was a year old. I don't regret that, but I know that with this next baby, that I will have to let go a little bit for the sake of my husband and I. Our faith in God really pulled us through some of those dark days. Without the Lord, I know my worries and fears would have robbed me of even more precious time with my boys. I am thankful that Brandon stood by me through those rough patches and I know our marriage was strengthened, even when it didn't feel like it then. Carving out time for date nights has been really important for us, and now that Brayden likes to stay with his grandparents, we try to do it once a month if we can!

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

The Itzbeen timer was a HUGE lifesaver for me! I was nursing, and then on two painkillers when we came home from the hospital, and since the timer has 4 individual timers on it, it was perfect. I always thought that I would be able to keep track, but I was so sleep deprived and sore that I am glad I had the timer! Gas drops, ibuprofen, and acetemenophin packed in the diaper bag at all times. Extra shirt for mommy in diaper bag, too! Wipes, wipes, and more wipes- they serve 100's of purposes. Bottle of water for sippys or mixing with formula. Boogie wipes.

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

This past October, we had the opportunity to go to Estes Park, Colorado for 10 days with my parents and my sister. It was amazing! I was SO nervous to travel with Brayden, but he was the ultimate traveler, and I know that the memories we made there will be with us for a lifetime. He did get sick one night while we were gone, but since my family was there, I didn't feel as helpless as I would have had I been home! As long as we kept Brayden on a pretty good schedule, he did really, really well. This is also when he started dropping his morning nap and I let him cry for a few minutes for his afternoon nap. It made a world of difference when we got home, and I was so glad I wasn't alone when he was crying it out. My mom was such a blessing!

Any advice for first time mothers?

Don't always expect the worst. I expected Brayden to be an awful sleeper based on what I heard from other moms about the newborn stage. So when he slept a lot? I just looked at him, wondering when he would wake up. DUH. GO REST! As hard as it is to accept help in the beginning because we want to be super mom? There is nothing wrong with calling someone to come sit with your baby so you can rest. Don't be afraid to call the pediatrician/lactation consultant/doctor for any advice, as dumb as you think your question is. And don't go crazy trying to keep a clean house AND a happy baby. There will be days where your baby will just want you and you will get nothing else accomplished. Treasure these moments, because they are few and far between. Those chores will always be there!

Thanks Julie!

Check out Julie's blog to read more!

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LeAnna said...

Ahhh, I love what she said about higher rise jeans. Word. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love Julie! Her blog is one of my daily must reads ... so fun to read more about here over here. And fun to find your blog now too :)

Maegan :)

Kimberly said...

I love Julie and her little moose ;)
I also admire her bravery going through PPA and deciding to have another baby. She gives me hope that one day too I can have another. Julie rocks mah socks.

Heather @ Simple Wives said...

Sweet pictures!

Lydia said...

Is it bad that I could never shop at American Eagle??? OH well. The sacrifices we make for the sweet love of a baby!

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