Moms And Babies - Lauren and Elyse


This week I'm featuring my blog friend Lauren from The Lucky Layman's! Lauren is another old-time blog friend of mine - I've been following her blog for years, and I loved reading about her pregnancy and now about her adorable baby girl! She has some good advice to share, so read on!

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I'm Lauren, a 29 year old momma who works part time for our family insurance agency and stays at home part time with our baby girl.  I've been married to my husband Nick for 5 years and since about a year ago, we aren't only husband and wife but coworkers as he came to work for my dad as well. I love deep friendships, trying to be crafty, baking, and spending time with the incredible amount of family we have surrounding us.  



What is/are your baby's name{s} and how old is/are he/she?


My daughter's name is Elyse Ann.  She was born on December 13, 2011...after almost 24 hours of labor.  But she was so worth it!!!


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

Our weeks get a little crazy since I work from 8:30-5 on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday...but Wednesday and Thursday are by far my favorite days since I get to stay home with Elyse.  

6:30:  My day begins when Elyse wakes up, or when we go get her from bed.  She nurses and then plays on our bedroom floor while we both get ready for the day.  I try to go ahead and shower/get ready before Nick leaves for work so I can take my shower without worrying about what she's getting in to. 

7:30-8:00:  We have breakfast together, she normally eats oatmeal or Greek yogurt and some sort of fruit.

8:00-9:00: We play in the living room floor, watch a little bit of Disney Junior, or she has some independent play time while I do a few things around the house.  

9:00-10:30ish:  Naptime and time for Momma to get a few things done...laundry, dishes, making baby food, prepping dinner, blogging, reading, etc.  

10:30:  Elyse wakes up, has a snack and more playtime. 

11:00:  Elyse nurses, we have playtime...this is also when we run errands if I have anywhere to go.  

12:15:  Lunch for Momma and Elyse--she usually eats a veggie, some fruit, and a little bit of meat depending on what I have for lunch that day.  

12:15-1:00:  Playtime, reading, watching momma work around the house, etc.  

1:00-2:30ish:  Naptime, and many times this is also naptime for momma!  If I get everything else done earlier in the day then I allow myself 45 min-1 hour for a snooze or at least total relaxation in front of the tv or with a book.    

3:00:  Elyse nurses and it's time for afternoon playtime!

3:15-5:15:  We play some more in the floor, go for a walk, get dinner ready for daddy, etc.  

5:30-6:00:  Dinner as a family...Elyse has pretty much the same thing as she did for lunch-veggies, fruits, and some meat from our plates if it's appropriate.  

6:00-6:45:  Family play time--we'll go on a walk around our neighborhood, run a quick errand, or play outside in the backyard with Bogey, our yellow lab.  

6:45:  Bedtime routine starts---bath, bottle of expressed milk, bed.  

7: 15-7:30:  Out for the night, and then it starts all over again!  


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


Happy, Smiley, Independent--yes, already!

What's your favorite part about being a mom?


There's so much I love, but I would say right now it's during those days when we're at home together with just the two of us, playing in the floor, and she looks over at me as if to say:  "you're my momma and I love you so much!"  I love to watch her learn and develop on her own...so often I'll just sit in the floor and supervise as she moves from toy to toy or book to book just examining all the little details and learning for herself. 




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


I did an entire post on this a month or so ago, but I would say that the biggest thing is to just give yourself some time.  I breastfeed Elyse which has helped tremendously, but I've also had to work hard to lose that last little bit of baby weight.  I try to eat fairly healthy snacks when I'm home, I've practically completely given up pop, I go to Zumba 2x a week, and I try to go for a walk with Elyse either by myself during the day or as a whole family after Nick gets home from work.  Just moving in simple ways can make a huge difference!  

As far as appearance goes...One of the mom's (mother of 3, with one on the way) on a blog I read, said that she always makes herself put on jeans and get ready each day.  I don't always follow the jeans rule, but I always put on makeup and while my hair might get put in a ponytail, it's still a cute one.  Getting ready for the day makes me feel so much more productive from the beginning and since I already have all that done before Hubby leaves for work then it leaves me more time to get things accomplished or just play with Elyse. 
 


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

We actually went out on our first, no-baby date just ONE month after Elyse was born.  My parents might have had to push me out of my house, but I'm so glad they did it!  We really try to spend quality time together and go on a date 1-2x per month, if not more.  With both sets of grandparents only about a 15-20 minute drive away, we have no excuse not to spend quality time alone together.  Those date nights are so important to remember who you were as a couple before baby arrived and while it might sound crazy, many times we have a fairly strict "no-Elyse talk" rule...meaning that for the most part we talk about things other than Elyse for the entire night.  This might be a serious conversation or a fun conversation, but whatever it is Elyse isn't dominating our thoughts for just a few hours.  Also, with Elyse being in bed so early in the evening we try to take advantage of that quiet time together and we either watch a movie, sit outside on the deck around the firepit, or just watch television together as we end each evening.  


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



*Halo Sleep-Sacks were a life-saver for us.  We probably swaddled Elyse a little bit too long, but she was sleeping quite well so we didn't want to mess with anything. 
 
*A good breast pump:  If you're a nursing momma, having a pump and teaching your baby to take a bottle is so freeing.  Elyse has never had formula, but takes at least 1 bottle a day and many times (especially when I'm working) she has bottles for 3 of her 4 feedings.  Being able to pump has given us so much freedom to go places and do things that we might not have been able to do (or things that would have definitely been more difficult) if Elyse wouldn't take a bottle.  Thankfully I'm a cow and have a ridiculous amount of frozen milk in our freezer...this certainly helps out when we're in a pinch!  


*One Sleep Theory:  There are so many books and studies out there about scheduling and sleep training a baby that it's hard to know where to begin.  You'll eventually find one that works for you (I'm a big fan of Moms on Call and I didn't find that until she was 9 months old), but just try one at a time.  If you jumble them all together then you'll never be able to figure out what to try next or what isn't working.  Give your baby some time, they'll tell you exactly what they need if you just listen to them.  




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


*There are so many...but I would definitely have to say our trip to Destin, FL.  I was definitely nervous about how things would go, but was oh so pleasantly surprised with how well Elyse did with such a long drive.  It definitely makes me more excited for future family vacations. 
 
Any advice for first-time mothers?

#1:  Do not Google anything...ever...especially in those first few, hormone filled weeks.  Regardless of what you type, Googling will tell you that your baby has some sort of terrible illness and should be rushed to the ER...and obviously this is not good for a new momma's mental health.  Find someone that you can trust and for all those times you are tempted to Google...call or text them instead.  

#2:  Let your husband make some decisions...and maybe some mistakes.  Being Elyse's mom, I'm with her a whole lot more during the day, but Nick is just as important as I am.  Sometimes I don't do a very good job of allowing him to make decisions or do things on his own without telling him exactly how I think he should do something...and pretty much every time his way hasn't been bad, just different from how I usually do things.  Give your husband the confidence to be a good dad and participate in every part of raising your baby.  

#3:  Know that chances are good that what worked for your friend won't work for you.  Sure, that advice is a good place to start...but even good advice will most likely need tweaking to take into account your precious little unique bundle of joy.  No baby is the exact same as the next one...so don't try and make them that way.  

#4:  Recognize that tomorrow will be different.  Notice that I didn't say that tomorrow would be better, but tomorrow will certainly be different.  You are going to have some rough days, and while the next day might even be a little bit worse....you can pretty much count on the fact that it's going to be different from the day before. 


#5:  Cherish every moment.  We're already planning Elyse's first birthday party and it seems like just a few days ago that I was being told that I had to have a c-section for her to make her arrival.  Those hard days a so fleeting, but so are the good ones...and it's the good ones that I hold on to and the ones that make me tear up when I think about how fast she's growing.  




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Thanks Lauren, I love those last tips you had to share! Be sure to stop by Lauren's blog to get to know her better and say hello!

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Kate Craig said...

I love reading about other babies the same age as mine!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

This was a fun interview! Love the advice on not googling everything!

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