Moms And Babies–Brittney

Today I’m featuring my blog friend, Brittney from Far More Than Rubies!  Brittney and I have been blog friends for a long time – she was one of the first blogs I followed, and I still love reading her posts!  We went through a lot of the trying-to-conceive/pregnancy/new baby journey together, and it’s been so good to see how the Lord has worked in her story as well!  Read on to learn more about her!

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Brittney and I am 24 years old. I grew up in Orlando, Florida and graduated with my degree in Elementary Education. Ian was my friend in high school, we began dating long distance in college and we got married a month after we both graduated from college. I started blogging about one month before we got married in 2008 and we began trying to get pregnant in 2009. We moved to the Middle East in 2010 for my husband's work and gave birth to our little girl in April of 2011.

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

Grace Madeline and she is almost 6 months old!


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

Our days look about the same, every day, with weekends being a little more relaxed.
6:45-7:15 I get up, shower, and get dressed
7:15-7:30 Ian and I eat breakfast together and pray for our day
7:30-8:30 Grace gets up, nurses, I change and dress her while Ian gets showered and then we play with her for a little bit while we get things around for the day
8:30-9:00 Drive to school and walk Grace to her daycare classroom, then get set up in our own class
9:00-11:00 We are in our first 2 classes for the day (we're studying Arabic)
11:00-11:30 I either eat lunch at my school or walk to her daycare to nurse her, depending on if pumping was successful the day before
11:30-1:30 We have our last 2 classes for the day
1:30-2:00 Pick up Grace from daycare and go home and nurse Grace
2:00-4:00 Grace sleeps while Ian and I relax from a long day of language learning, this is our time for emails, chores, or dinner prep
4:00-5:15 Grace gets up, nurses, and we play with her
5:15-6:00 Usually, Grace naps and we study or I cook dinner, but she is about to drop this nap
6:00-6:30 Turn the water heater on, feed Grace 4 tbsp of rice cereal, and eat our dinner
6:30-7:00 Bathe and get Grace ready for bed, bedtime routine of family prayer and Bible story before she nurses and I lay her down
7:00-11:00 Homework, Homework, Homework! Clean up the kitchen from dinner (I don't clean as I go, ha!) Ian sometimes goes out on visits during this time or we meet with our accountability partners. TV and blogging is done and I skype with friends and family during this chunk of time, before falling into bed and doing my quiet time.

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

  Wide-Eyed, Mimicky, Contagiously Happy


What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I had no idea the joy I would feel of just being with her. I love her with all of my heart and can't wait to hold her as much as possible. Still, 6 months later, school and sleeping time are torture since I am not with my baby girl!

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Breastfeed! I know that is not helpful for you ladies who can't nurse, but it is probably the only way that I got back down to where I was before I was pregnant. It took about 4 months, but I wasn't watching what I ate at all and do not have the time or place to exercise. Even if you are averse to breastfeeding, like I was, give it a try!

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

Being intentional with each other is what has helped the most. I must make sure I make time for us. Communication is key- I've gotten better at expressing what I am stressed or tired from so that he can help with those things so that we have more time together. And some days, you will be super tired and emotionally drained, but you'll learn to appreciate half an hour watching a tv show with him.

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

A swaddle blanket! And a larger one than most stores sell. I know alot of moms think their babies don't like being swaddled, but it is a natural reflex to struggle against something holding them down. In the end, the Moro reflex can be present and active in a baby up and through their fourth month, making solid sleep hard to attain. Learning how to swaddle correctly and tightly saved our sleep during the first few months!
Footie pajamas- I'm not sure if Grace is cold natured or if living in the desert means we crank our AC higher than normal, but our baby will only sleep in footie pajamas- for naps and nighttime sleep! There are some great footie pajamas out there and we've become experts at what materials and button types we like the best.
An instrumental CD- Grace falls asleep every night listening to the same CD, and it has become very much a part of our nighttime routine. Find something that you enjoy listening to so that those late night feedings are relaxing for you as well!

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

Our trip to France in August. It was alot of quality family time and was a  great adventure I am sure we will remember forever.
That, and any time I can be out in public as a family. Pushing our stroller, changing diapers in public bathrooms, feeding in a restaurant, has all been things I longed and dreamed for, so now it is surreal!


Any advice for first-time mothers?

Routine routine routine! I don't mean live on a strict schedule, but find a routine and try to stick to it. Even before I became a mother I knew that children (and even babies) thrive with predictability, and I've noticed that I became more flexible in my scheduling when I knew that Grace was comfortable with her routine.
Also, try to forget about the pressure out there to be hip and trendy with your child rearing. I think so many people stress themselves out by trying to do too many things because it seems like it is the most accepted. Remember that your child is not your project- she is your family!

Thanks Brittney!  Check out Brittney’s blog to read more!

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Lauren said...

i love Brittney! Grace is so adorable and I just love her blog!

Carly Anne said...

"Your child is not your project..." That is such a poignant statement. Loved this interview.

Claire said...

Love what she said at the end! "remember your child is not your project, she's your family"... so true and such a good thing to remember in the child rearing process! What a sweet momma!

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