Moms And Babies–Natalie






We’re finally back with Moms And Babies!  I decided to switch the feature day to Tuesday for a while to see how that works. 

This week I’m featuring Natalie from Extraordinary Love!  I started reading Natalie’s blog back when we were both still trying for a baby, and it’s been a blessing to see how the Lord has worked both of our stories out!  Read on to learn more about Natalie and her daughter.

Tell us a little about yourself.

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I am a 20-something wife, mama, and child of God! I have been married to my sweet husband for a little over 3 years. I am so blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom to our daughter! I have a degree in Elementary Education which I used to teach preschool for two years,and I plan to use again to home school our children!

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

Our daughter's name is Callyn Elise and she just turned 6 months! (Born 9.25.11)

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

I feel like there is no such thing as a 'typical' day with a baby, but as of late, this is how our schedule goes :)

Around 8:00-Callyn wakes up and nurses. I have breakfast while she plays, and we just lounge around in the mornings usually.

Between 9-10 Callyn goes down for her first nap, which is usually 1 hour. I use this nap to have my quiet time and catch up on e-mails or administrative work I do for our church.

Wake up and play some more

12:00-Feeding

12:30-1 Next nap. This one is anywhere from 1.5-3 hours. I eat lunch and do laundry and cleaning during this nap. Sometimes I'll grab a shower and occasionally I'll squeeze in a workout.

Late afternoon-Callyn wakes up and we do lots of playing. This is typically where we leave the house for things like a walk or errands, if we need to that day.

4:00-Feeding

4:30-Daddy comes home and plays with Callyn while I start dinner

Around 5:00-Callyn goes down for her evening nap and we'll have dinner during this time. Sometimes she'll sit at the table with us in her booster if she's not napping while we eat, which is fun.

Some evenings we have things going on for church, and other evenings we just have family time at home. I think this is Callyn's favorite part of the day-when we're all together. She just laughs and laughs and has a great time!

7:30-bath and get ready for bed (pray, pajamas, snuggles)

8:00-Last feeding and bedtime

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

Joyful, Funny, Snuggly

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What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Honestly, I love everything about it! But I think my number one thing would be that I am able to experience God on an even deeper level. We tried for 15 months before getting pregnant, and every single day I look at Callyn and am reminded of God's faithfulness! I think it has also really helped me to understand the love that God has for me as His child and has deepened my relationship with Him in that way. Of course I love the snuggles, kisses, and watching her grow & learn every day, too!

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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?

Don't make the mistake of thinking you can eat anything and everything you want just because you are breastfeeding! My weight fell off in the beginning. I only had about 4 pounds to go when Callyn was 3 weeks old (partly due to the fact that she was almost 9 pounds at birth!) but I was eating so many sweets, thinking it was fine because I needed the extra calories for breastfeeding. Well, I didn't need THAT many ;) I ended up gaining a few back and am now doing it the old fashioned way-eating healthy & exercising! I do think breastfeeding really helps though! Also, if possible try to be active with your baby. In the fall, we went on walks almost every day. Finally, cut yourself some slack! I've been bad about this, but I have to remind myself that I carried a baby for 9 months and she was 9 pounds! As far as keeping up with appearance, I think every new mom should buy a few things that make her feel and look good. Things don't quite fit the same after pregnancy and I think you need to find something that is going to accentuate your new mom curves nicely!

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

We try to consistently have date nights away from home (1-2 per month). This was hard in the beginning when Callyn was nursing every 2 hours, because by the time she finished eating and we drove somewhere, we pretty much had to turn around and go back. So as soon as she started eating every 3 hours or more, we went on our first date. Being away from home helps us to focus more on each other. Spending time together in the evenings after Callyn goes to bed has been good too. For me personally, asking my husband what I can do to make him feel more loved, or checking in with him to make sure all of his needs are being met has helped our marriage a lot! I think it's easy for moms to put their babies first and focus a lot on our babies, but we need to let our husbands know they're still #1!

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

A sound machine! I ignored everyone's advice about that, but one night when Callyn was a little stuffy, we used a humidifier that was pretty loud and she slept better than ever before! So now we use a sound machine for every nap and at night and it has really helped her sleep (we live on the corner of two semi-busy streets so it helps to block out a lot of that noise).

A swing was a lifesaver for us in the beginning. Callyn took long naps in that when she wouldn't sleep in her crib and slept in it when she had a cold so she was a little bit more upright...I was very sad when she outgrew it so soon :( 

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

I would have to say Callyn's birth! I laid in bed when I was pregnant every night thinking about what the moment would be like when she was born. What would she look like? What would I say to her? What would giving birth be like? Would I feel an instant connection to her? So many questions were answered right in that moment. God blessed me with exactly the kind of birth I wanted and as soon as she was laid on my chest I remember thinking 'This is it. This is the moment I've been dreaming of for so long. This is the baby I've been praying for for years! She's really here, she's really mine! And it's better than I ever thought it would be.’

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Any advice for first-time mothers?

Do what you think is best! You will get advice from everyone under the sun, but YOU are Mama, and you know your child better than anyone else! I wasted too much time feeling guilty about not doing it a certain way and I've been able to enjoy each stage a lot more, knowing that we're doing what we think is best for Callyn! Don't feel guilty if something doesn't work out the way you wanted, or the way people tell you it should. If your baby is doing well and you're doing well, then great! Also, pray a lot! It helps :)

 

Thanks Natalie!  Check out her blog to read more!



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Lyndsey said...

Callyn is such a gorgeous baby! I can't believe she is six months already! Our babies are growing up TOO fast!

Crystal Renee said...

Ahh! I have got to start reading her blog. I love the hairbows! I love her story as well. I might need to take some advice.. :)

Andrea @ The Dawley Fam said...

I love Natalie's blog and Callyn is so cute!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Natalie! You are such a good mom!

Amanda said...

yay!!!!! natalie is one of my favorite people! she is an awesome momma. and of course callyn is beautiful!

Stephanie said...

Very sweet Natalie!

Thanks for sharing!

Selene said...

lovely lovely blog!
S.

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