Showing posts with label Moms And Babies Feature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moms And Babies Feature. Show all posts

Moms And Babies - Kristin

 
 
This week for Moms and Babies I'm featuring my blog friend, Kristin from Deeply In Love!  I've been following Kristin's blog for a long time - I think hers was one of the first blogs I started following when I really got into blogging four years ago!  It's been so fun to keep up with her as we both have started our families.  Read on to learn more about her and her adorable little boy!
 
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Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm Kristin.  I'm a "still hanging onto my 20s by a thread" Christian,
chiropractor, wife to Tyler, and mommy to the sweetest little boy who
was born at home (yes, on purpose!).


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

Tanner will be one on October 11th and we are in full party planning
mode for the big owl-themed celebration.


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

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (just until noon on Saturdays,
so it's not bad at all!) I work at my chiropractic office and we have
a nanny who comes to the house to watch Tanner.  A typical
"non-working" day looks something like this.  I am a very "scheduled"
person, and so far it's worked out beautifully having Tanner a
"scheduled" baby as well.
6:30-6:45 - work out (we have an elliptical in our basement and then I
do some weight stuff as well)
8am - wake up Tanner and nurse
8:30-9:30am - Tanner goes back to sleep and I shower, eat breakfast,
and get ready for the day
9:30-11am - wake Tanner, he eats breakfast, and we have play time, go
on a walk, or have a play date
11-12:30pm - Tanner naps and I eat lunch and try to get things done
around the house
12:30-2pm - wake Tanner, he nurses, and then we play or head out and run errands
2-4:30pm - Tanner naps (yes, he sleeps a lot!).  I use this time do
things around the house, start dinner, do things for work
(newsletters, etc), or blog (which I don't do nearly enough of these
days)
4:30-5:30pm - wake Tanner, he nurses, and we play
5:30-7:30pm - Tanner eats dinner and we look forward to Daddy getting
home from work!  We play, go on a walk many days, and try to eat
dinner while keeping Tanner happy - we rarely get to sit down and eat
together these days!
7:30-8pm - Bath time, nurse, then bed time for Tanner!  He sleeps the
full 12 hours every night and we are so thankful.
8pm-10 or 11pm - Tyler/Kristin time :)  We do whatever we feel like
doing - from watching tv to working out to just enjoying time
together.  This is very valuable time and I soak up every minute.


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

Happy, inquisitive, chatty.


 

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What's your favorite part about being a mom?

This is a hard question because I love every aspect.  I love knowing
that God chose me to be Tanner's mommy and the responsibility that
comes with it.  I have endometriosis, so I consider the fact that I am
a mom to be a miracle in itself.  I think my favorite part is the bond
that Tanner and I have.  I didn't know such a bond could exist between
two individuals (similar to Tyler and I's relationship, but also
different) until I became a mom.  The love I have for Tanner can't be
put into words.


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

The first month, my hair was in a ponytail almost every single day and
makeup was a luxury that rarely happened.  When I started to find time
to get ready in the mornings (or in the middle of the day, as it
sometimes turned out), I started to feel like myself again.  When I
was able to find time to work out again, I felt more like myself.  Try
to find time, but don't rush it.  It will happen and it will be
amazing when it does.  My weight didn't fall off with breastfeeding
like I was hoping, but good ol' healthy eating and exercise coupled
with breastfeeding is my advice!


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

We are very bad at scheduling date nights, but we try to do them
sporadically (I think we've gone out 3 or 4 times without Tanner since
he's been born).  We both want to make them more of a priority, but
it's been hard with me exclusively nursing (which I wouldn't change
for the world!).  Finally putting Tanner in the nursery at church has
been huge as well, for our relationship with each other and our
relationship with God.


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

This sounds ridiculous, but breast milk - ha ha!  As a chiropractor, I
think and parent very holistically.  We have been blessed and Tanner
has not yet been sick, but when I think he has been exposed to
something, it is awesome to know that I have the best medicine in my
body... and it's free!  The Breast Friend nursing pillow was a
life-saver for me in the beginning, especially since I'm 5'11 and
didn't want to be hunched over nursing all the time.  Another big one
is the sound (white noise) machine.  Tanner started sleeping through
the night very early and I give credit to the sound machine for that!


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

Hard questions, Callie! :)  One of my favorites was going out to eat
when Tanner was just a couple weeks old.  Tyler and I felt like
rockstars to have "survived" our first outing.  Tanner was an angel
and slept in his car seat the entire time.  We also recently had a
great trip to Ohio to visit my family.  We went to the Ohio State Fair
while there, which is somewhere I always dreamed of taking my kids
someday.  I am from the country and grew up attending the fair, so it
has a special place in my heart.


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Any advice for first-time mothers?

Breathe :)  Being a mom is hard work and I always tell people that the
first couple weeks, you and your husband are in "survival mode."  Try
to sleep as much as you can during that time and also soak up all the
newborn cuddles that you can.  Secondly, never forget what an awesome
blessing it is to be a mom (although I don't think it's possible to
forget!).  Many women don't get the opportunity to be a mom and my
heart breaks for them.  I truly believe it is the most amazing,
selfless, and beautiful "job" in the world.  I constantly thank God
for allowing me to be Tanner's mommy.

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Thanks Kristin!  Be sure to stop by Kristin's blog and say hello!


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Moms And Babies - Amanda

Today for Moms and Babies I'm featuring my dear blog friend, Amanda from A Sweet Serenity!  I met Amanda back in the very beginning of my pregnancy with Wyatt, and she is one of those girls that I know I would be great friends with if we only lived closer!  She has such a sweet heart and she has been such an encouragement to me through the last couple of years.  Check out her interview below to learn more about her and her adorable baby girl!


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Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a 26 year-old stay-at-home-mom, married to my husband, Alex, for going on 4 years. I love being crafty, spending quality time with family and worshipping Jesus. 

What is your baby's name and how old is she?
 
My daughter's name is Natalie Grace and she is 9 months old.  

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

 My day starts whenever Natalie wakes up, usually between 7 and 8 am (I haven't gotten to that place where I rise early to get things done before she wakes up. I was a morning person until Natalie was born!)
7-8 am: wake up
8 am: feeding
9:30 am: nap (can last from 30 to 90 minutes. She's still unpredictable. Someone please tell me that their child is this way, too!!!)
11 am: feeding
11 am - 2 pm: run errands, play time at home, sometimes Natalie naps during this time if she only took a short morning nap, which means I get lots of time to clean the house, take a nap, browse Pinterest ;) .
2 pm: feeding, play time
3 pm: Natalie may take a long afternoon nap if she was awake in the middle of the day, so this is when I would clean the house and get things ready before Alex gets home from work, otherwise, we play some more or run errands now.
5 pm: feeding
6 pm: Alex gets home from work, we juggle the baby while we eat dinner
7:30-8:15: Feeding and bedtime. Depending on her naps that day, Natalie may be ready at 7:30, but if she took a good afternoon nap, she'll stay awake a little longer.
8:15-? Time with Alex. We usually talk and watch a movie or a tv show on Netflix.

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

Cheerful, determined, and energetic.


What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Everything! I dreamed of becoming a mom starting as a little girl. Motherhood was quite a shock at first, dealing with the hormones and life just being different than ever before, but soon it became everything I'd hoped for. I love being able to stay at home with Natalie and be the one who takes care of her and teaches her about the world around her. I love the privilege of being entrusted to teach her about God, to hide His Word in her heart, to discover and live out her destiny. I love the connection that Natalie and I share and the way that her birth has changed the dynamics of my relationship with Alex. It's just all so incredible!
 There are some not-so-fun moments, but the good far outweighs the bad. 

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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
  
So many people have said it before, but since it's what worked for me, I'll say it again: breastfeeding. When I was pregnant, I didn't have any cravings, and I tried to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks to keep the nausea at bay. Not going overboard thinking I was "eating for two" probably helped me to gain a healthy amount of weight in the first place, which made it easier to lose after the baby was born. I'm not the best at keeping up my appearance, as I tend to go without make-up more these days, but I would like to make a more conscious effort to look put together for Alex's sake. On the days that I keep that in mind, I do tend to put forth the effort to fix my hair, wear something cute and put on mascara!  

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?
 
I'd love to say that we have regular date nights, but that is definitely not the case right now. We keep the lines of communication open and work through issues before they become bigger problems. I'm so thankful that we have had an easy time agreeing on how we want to parent our children thus far. Even if we disagree at first, we've been able to talk it through and come to a solution. We also try to get out of the house a couple times a month as a family to do something out of our ordinary routine, like trying the new frozen yogurt place around the corner from our house as a treat after dinner one night. Living on one income as definitely put a strain on our finances and there isn't a lot of disposable income, so little things like that are special. I'm a tight-wad and Alex is a spender, so we balance each other out.

Are there any must-have products you would recommend to other moms?
  
It seems like there are different 'must-haves' for every phase of motherhood thus far, but one thing that has been a lifesaver multiple times is some sort of baby-wearing 'apparatus'. We bought a Baby Bjorn carrier at a yard sale and Natalie fit in it for the first few months and then I started using a ring sling. The Baby Bjorn made those long evenings with a fussy baby more bearable and now that she's older, I use the ring sling when she refuses to sit in the stroller or shopping cart or when I'm at music practice at church. A few other things that I have really used a lot along the way are a Boppy pillow and the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, which occupies Natalie so I can cook dinner or work in the kitchen during the day.

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
 
This is a tough one! We haven't gone too many places together yet, but lately we've really enjoyed playing together as a family before Natalie goes to bed. She usually still has quite a bit of energy to get out before calling it a night, so we've had a lot of fun playing with a ball on the living room floor or taking her outside for some time in her swing. Recently, the three of us were sitting on the couch and she leaned over and gave both of us big, wet, open-mouthed kisses over and over. Even though they were slobbery, they were the sweetest kisses ever. 

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Any advice for first-time mothers?

Motherhood is gift. It's overwhelming and challenging and might be completely opposite of what you had dreamed of, but God is only a desperate, tired prayer away and He'll give you the strength to make it til bedtime and to make it through endless middle-of-the-night feedings. Keep an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving so that you don't let all the exhaustion distract you from the blessings that are right in front of you. You are the best mother your child could ever have and these short moments of babyhood will be gone before you know it, so choose to savor it and don't beat yourself up over the moments that you weren't the 'perfect mom'.

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Thanks Amanda!  Check out Amanda's blog to read more about her sweet family!

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Moms And Babies - Cait

Moms and Babies is officially back for the fall!  For those of you who are newer readers, Moms and Babies is an interview I post each week with a different mom blogger, and it's a great way to get to know other moms in the blog world!  I currently have all the spots full for the fall, but I'll let you know when I start liking up more moms for the spring!
 
On with today's feature . . .
 
Today I'm featuring Cait from The Blessed Life!  I've been reading Cait's blog since before she got pregnant with her adorable little girl, and I always find her blog encouraging!  Read on to learn more about her!

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Tell us a little about yourself.
 
My name is Caitlin.  Most people call me Cait.  I share my heart on my blog, theblessedlife.  First of all, I’m a Christian, saved by grace and constantly striving to follow Christ.  I’m a wife to Justin.  We celebrated 4 years of marriage on July 19th.  We have known each other since Kindergarten! He was my first boyfriend in 4th grade and is my absolute best friend.  He’s a patient, kind, hard-working man and amazing daddy.  I’m a new mommy to Adeline Grace.  She’s the most amazing thing that God has ever blessed me with and I’m daily in awe of her.  I’m a part-time elementary school art teacher (this is new for this upcoming school year).  I will teach K-5 art 2.5 days out of the week.  I was a 3rd and/or 4th grade teacher the past 4 years.  I also work part-time in the office for my family’s landscape business.  These recent job changes have, praise the Lord, allowed me to now be with my sweet girl more.
 
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What is/are your baby's name{s} and how old is/are he/she?
 
Our baby girl is Adeline Grace.  She was born on November 9, 2011 and is 10 months old.

 
Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.
 
Our days change almost every single day and we stay on the go quite a bit.  However, a typical summer day goes like this:
 
8:30-9 Adeline wakes up.  I hear her chatting in her crib on the monitor.  I go in and greet her with “Good morning sunshine!” as her smile melts my heart all over again! I change her diaper, change her clothes if we have places to be (leave her in PJs if not), and nurse her.
 
9 We come into the kitchen and eat breakfast.  I make mine and hers.  Adeline usually eats oatmeal and sometimes some type of fruit.  I feed her and let her play in her highchair while I eat.  After this, I get ready while she plays in the doorway of my room and our bathroom in her Exersaucer.
 
9:30 We are out the door if it’s a day that I’m working for my parents.  If not, Adeline plays on the floor or in her Jumperoo while I clean a bit, play a bit with her, or we just stay lazy.
 
10:30/11ish Adeline goes down for her morning nap.  This usually takes 15-30 minutes to get her to go to sleep.  She sleeps for 30-45 minutes.  Maybe an hour on a good day.  I have a cat napper! During the nap, I get some things done around the house if we’re home and work if we’re at my parents’.
 
12 I nurse her and then we eat lunch.  She typically eats veggies and/or fruit for lunch.
 
12:30-2ish Varies.  Playtime, reading, walks, out and about for errands, etc.
 
2ish Afternoon nap.  Same routine.  She fights sleep…naps for a short while and is back at it! J
 
4 I nurse Adeline.
 
4 or 5 Justin gets home from work and if we’ve been at my parent’s, we head back home.  Justin usually takes a quick shower and then plays with Adeline while I fix dinner or we get ready to head out to eat with family some nights.
 
5 or 6 Dinner – Adeline eats at the same time as us in her highchair.  She usually has oatmeal/rice cereal and a veggie/fruit.
 
6-8 Varies.  We stay really busy, but if we’re at home, we lounge around or spend time outside.
 
8:00 Bath time if it’s bath night.  Bedtime routine begins…PJs, vitamins/gas drops as we rock, I nurse her and then put her down for the night. She almost always goes down really easy at night.  Many nights she will fall asleep nursing.
 
3 am or so – Adeline will wake still to nurse sometimes around this time and goes right back down.  (I’m okay with this and haven’t worked at all on nighttime weaning.)
 
7 am or so – Sometimes she will wake again to nurse.  Sometimes not.
 
We start all over! 
 
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If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality{s}, what would they be?

How do I choose only three?! ;)
 
Spunky, sweet, joyful. 

What's your favorite part about being a mom?
 
Oh the joy it brings.  Seriously.  I’m in awe every single day of how much I love our sweet girl.  I love nurturing her and loving on her and teaching her things.  I love introducing her to new things and watching her smile and laugh.  I love to see her hit milestones and learn how to make new, silly faces.  I love how she pulls me outside of my comfort zone as I’m an introvert and she’s already such a little extrovert.  I love how I can’t get enough of her and that God chose me to be her mommy.  So amazing.
 
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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight and/or keeping up with your appearance after baby?
 
I’m a huge advocate for breastfeeding.  Thank the Lord, through much prayer I know, it has gone so smoothly for us since the beginning.  I know it’s what has helped me lose my baby weight!
 
I’m also a huge fan of the myfitnesspal app.  I love the accountability it provides for my diet choices and my activity level.
 
And finally, get moving in practical ways.  Do some lunges while holding your baby.  Take a walk pushing the stroller.  Clean your house quickly during a nap.
 
As far as appearance goes, as soon as you feel comfortable leaving the house without baby, treat yourself to a haircut.
 
Clean your closet out as soon as you can of all your pregnancy clothes and wear those clothes you couldn’t for 9 months as soon as you can.  You’ll feel like a new woman!
 
And even if you’re just going to be around the house…put on at least one article of clothing or one type of make-up or one good-smelling lotion that makes you feel good and confident. 
 
What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival{s} to keep your relationship strong?
 
Confession…we have been horrible about dates.  Both of us would prefer to just take Adeline with us when we go out.  We prefer “family date night” on Fridays as we like to call it.  However, we have done some little things to keep our relationship strong.
 
We often rent movies and cuddle on the couch after Adeline goes to bed.  We watch TV together, even if it’s something one of us dislikes ;).  We have heart-to-hearts a lot in bed before we go to sleep…talking about what’s going on in our lives and sharing those deep-down thoughts.
 
Again…this dating your spouse area is a work in progress in our lives right now, for sure!
 
 
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Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?
 
I could go on and on but here are the first three that come to my mind…Sophie the Giraffe, Moby wrap, Gentle Giraffe and/or Sleep Sheep.

 
What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?
 
We recently took a long weekend family vacation of just us three to the Smoky Mountains.  We stayed in a great lodge-like hotel that had a great swimming pool and lazy river that we enjoyed.  We hiked, ate lots of good food, and went to a huge aquarium.  We laughed a lot, snuggled as a family a lot, and took lots of pictures and videos.  We just had a wonderful time as just us three enjoying being around each other and soaking in those moments that can so easily get passed by if we don’t slow down now and again.
 
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Any advice for first-time mothers?
 
Oh my.  I’m still one, so I’m still learning.  But just on my almost 10 months of experience, I could write an entire post on this. Oh wait, I probably have on my blog! ;) However, here are my top ten pieces of advice…
 
10.  Don’t get overwhelmed by it, but document every moment you can.  Journaling, pictures, blogging. Whatever works for you.  You’ll be so thankful you did.
9.  Trust your husband and let him help.
8.  Don’t be surprised when you do those things you said you would never do.
7.  Be over-prepared when you go places.  I mean, diaper-filled-to-the-brim, will-hardly-zip, over-prepared.
6.  Don’t beat yourself up.  If you make a mistake, take it for what it’s worth, have a good cry, learn from it, and move on.
5.  Don’t worry about specifics on milestones.  If your child is happy and thriving, that’s all that matters.
4.  When all else fails, call your mom.
3.  Don’t compare yourself to other moms.
2.  Do what you think is best for your child.  You and your husband know them better than anyone else.
1.  Pray.
 
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Thanks Cait!  Stop by Cait's blog to learn more about her family and say hello!
 
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Moms And Babies - Jen



This week I’m featuring Jen from Our Love And Our Blessing!  I found Jen’s blog last year and she writes about all kinds of stuff - I really enjoy reading about her boy, since he’s a few months older than Wyatt it gives me a glimpse of what the future holds!  She has such a cute family, read on to learn more!



Tell us a little about yourself.

Howdy!  I'm Jennifer!  I'm a Texan that loves Jesus, all things DIY, my husband and, of course, our baby boy Boston.  I'm a stay-at-home mom and I'm truly having the time of my life.  After 10 years of dating, I married my husband almost 6 years ago.  He's not only an amazing husband but he's now an amazing father that impresses me more and more everyday.  God has been way too kind to me. 

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

We have one son, Boston James, aka my sidekick.  We are together 24/7 and I love it that way. :)  He's a lively 19 month old!

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

Our day starts between 7-7:30 (when B wakes up), Jer gets him, changes his diaper and feeds him his breakfast while I sleep in until 8.  Jer gets me up in time for him to head out to work (if he doesn't work from home that day) and I take over.  I pinch myself sometimes for having a husband that wants to have that bonding time with just him and Boston in the mornings, hence, why I get to sleep in.  :)  

Once Boston finishes breakfast, we have a little bit of learning time on the floor.  He loves for me to pull out his number, color and alphabet flash cards.  So we lay them out on the floor and practice them.  Around 9, he goes down for another nap until about 11.  This is the time I get to eat my breakfast (standing up at the counter, which is something that happens often now that I'm a mom), tidy up, and do a little blog writing/commenting.    

When he wakes up, we either head out to our weekly mom's group at church, run errands, have a play date, head outside to play in our back yard or at our neighborhood park and have lunch all before his next nap at 2pm.  He sleeps from 2-4p.  This allows me to do some crafts and/or blog stalk.  When he wakes up we go for a 45-50 minute walk in time to get home and start dinner for when daddy gets home.  Thankfully, we now have a pretty structured day.  It hasn't always been like this.  I've never made him stick to a schedule, so it's nice to have that now.  

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When daddy gets home around 6p, we eat dinner and then have playtime (typically on the living room floor) as a family.  We head upstairs at 7 for bath and bible study (really....daddy reading the bible to B).  By 7:30, we are tucking Boston in and saying his prayers.

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


3 words to describe Boston are: cavalier, playful and loving.

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What's your favorite part about being a mom?

1)  Having an indescribable feeling of love for another human being.  It's powerful.  It's not like the love I have for my husband.  It's different.  It's total awesomeness!  Many times, I can't imagine him grown up and moving out of the house.  I could literally get teary eyed.  I wish he could live with us forever and always be my sweet and innocent baby.  Yes, watching him grow and learn and become more of a "person." instead of a baby, has been fun but I love him being little and dependent on me.  :) 

2)  He's definitely taught us to be less selfish.  Being together for so long, kid-less, we could go and do anything whenever.  Not anymore.  It's all about him and we love it!  

3)  Getting to share something so special with my husband.  Something that is a part of both of us!    

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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight, or any beauty tips for new moms?


Nursing helped a lot!  Although, I still have about 15lbs to loose.  :)  A few beauty items that I use often are: bronzer, blush, mascara and carmex.  These have been my "go-to" items since becoming a mother.  I use these when I don't have time or don't feel like putting on make-up but still want to look presentable.    :)

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

Along with planned date nights about every other month, we often make our weekend evenings special after Boston goes to bed.  We either.... watch some recorded shows, rent a movie, build a fire and/or have a dessert.  Even though we are not "engaging" in each other, it's still a fun night on the couch with the hub-ster.  It's now become a tradition and something that we look forward to.  

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

1) A good sling.  I used the Baby K'Tan (uber easy to put on) to carry B around everywhere until he was about 1.  I carried him at least 3 different ways, from kangaroo style to forward or backwards facing with his legs hanging down to carrying him on my hip.  When he was a few weeks/months old, he would nurse in it if he needed to while we ate out at a restaurant, or while I grocery shopped and nobody ever noticed,  

2)  a good stroller that is light and has lots of diaper bag/shopping bag space, and 

3) a swing!  Boston would sleep great in it while I got some things done around the house.

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

My favorite moments are family time playing on the floor.  Being at home with our baby as a family is my kinda good time!  Although we recently celebrated Boston's 18 month birthday at the zoo and had a blast!

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Any advice for first-time mothers?

It's okay to not be perfect.  It's okay to feel crabby due to the loss of sleep.  It's okay to let the house become a disaster zone for a couple of days.  It's okay to ask for help from family or friends.  And it's okay to NOT compare your child to others - every child is different.  Lastly, take it all in while they are newborns/infants because it goes by way too quickly.  I often mourn to have my newborn back in my arms.  I wish I could have those moments back for just one day - even the "middle of the night" wakings (my precious bonding time)!  Deeply cherish those early weeks with your baby.  :)

Thanks Jen!  To read more check out Jen’s blog!

Moms And Babies–Bridget



 

This week I’m featuring my blog friend, Bridget from Just A Little Part Of Me!  I love Bridget’s blog because I feel like her heart for Jesus shines through every post, and it’s so refreshing to me.  Read on to learn more about her and her little girl!

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Bridget.  Wife to Dave.  Mama to Abbie.  A part time working mom.  Child of our King who is trying everyday to follow hard after God and His will for our family in this sometimes crazy world.

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

We have one daughter, Abigail Elizabeth (Abbie) who just turned 1 on April 3rd, 2012.

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

Since I work part time 3 days a week....those days are pretty self explanatory....work, eat, sleep :)  I'll focus on the days I am home.  Abbie gets up between 6 and 6:30- I nurse her and we play, I eat my breakfast, do my devotion (if she will allow it) and then she goes back down for a nap about an hour after she wakes up.  During that time I fit as much as I can in- finish my devotion, workout, shower, and get ready for the day.  No I am not supermom....my workouts are only about 20-25 minutes long.  Then she wakes up from her nap around 9-9:15 and nurses again.  I will be sad when the morning nap is gone.  Not sure how I will fit in these things then but we'll cross that bridge when we get there!  After she nurses she eats breakfast, and I either eat a snack with her or try and do some kitchen clean up or laundry folding at the table while she is eating.  We play, go to story time at the library, run errands, or have play dates after that.  She eats lunch at noonish, nurses at around 1 and then goes down for an afternoon nap until 3.  Afternoon nap time is typically my downtime- reading, watching a chick flick, taking a nap myself, or catching up on something else that needs done.  At 3 she gets up and nurses, eats a snack, and then we play for awhile, or she plays while I work on supper, etc.  We try to eat around 6.  Afterwards is bathtime and then nurse and down to bed by 7 or a little after.....bedtime = mommy free time, or catch up...whatever needs to be done, and sometimes if I am lucky its time for an in home date with Dave. \

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

Happy, Decisive, Funny- I can already tell she is going to be a hilarious prankster.

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What's your favorite part about being a mom?


Oh my goodness I don't even know how to summarize this!  I have had a job for so long....since back in junior high and am pretty self sufficient.  Being a mom and cutting down to part time hours was really hard for me.  My hubby and I have worked so long for me to stay at home with our children but we just can't do it yet...hopefully soon!  All that being said because now that I am a mom there is nothing I would rather do than spend all day with my baby and any future children we have.  I have never been so passionate about anything in my life as I have about being a mother and managing our home.  I was scared before she arrived...wasn't sure how I would handle it and if I would run away from home yelling for work to let me come back full time....but I don't regret cutting back on hours for a moment.  Even whining, crying, tears, and crankiness aren't enough to send me away for forever...out for a latte maybe...but not to be gone for good :) I think if I have to pinpoint one thing as my favorite it would be the feeling of knowing how wanted and needed you are.  I am sure when she is a teenager I will question whether or not she feels this way but for now I will soak it in....I used to kind of be scared of babies.  They always cried, but when you have your own, they cry, but most times its cause they are crying for you.  This time when you hold them the crying stops....other people's babies don't stop crying for you when they want their mom or dad.  I love that.  My baby needs me....to nurse, she crawls to my lap to read to her.  She clings to me when she is unsure.  She presses in more tightly when she is approached by a stranger....cause she wants me.  What's hardest is every step of the way there is joy in watching them grow but also sorrow as you let them go a little bit more....its a balancing act, but its the best job in the world!

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

It wasn't easy for me.  It took me about 10 months to get back down to my pre preggo weight.  It was hard work.  4 months post partum I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (your body doesn't make enough of the hormone that helps keep your metabolism up...therefore I wasn't burning many calories).  I lost about half of my baby weight after leaving the hospital and started working out and trying to eat healthier after my 6 week post partum check up but my weight hardly budged.  I think under normal circumstances had my thyroid not been an issue I would have steadily lost the weight.  Even now 6 months after being diagnosed we are still working on regulating my dose....I think we are at the right dose now though!  I have bloodwork in a few weeks to check, but I am feeling much better!  I think my biggest tips for people in general who have normal metabolisms is don't starve yourself to lose it right away...if you are breastfeeding you need calories to make milk!  So don't worry about it.  Focus on eating good foods not brownies and cookies (but do enjoy one every now and again!)  Workout as you feel up to it.  Working out post partum was much harder than I thought it was and that is normal.  Your body just did a major thing!  Give yourself time to heal and if working out means starting out with a short walk...well you have to start somewhere!  Relaxin is in your body for about 5-6 months post partum so go easy on yourself and ease into your new routines.  Workout wise I did Jillian Michael's 30 day shred, and am now working on Insanity ( I do it in shorter increments though cause I don't have enough time to do the full workouts on a daily basis).

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

Loaded question....I wish I could say we were better at this but we aren't.  My husband is working full time and going to school full time right now so time is close to non existent.  We try and make time every week to watch our show (Parenthood) together or a movie.  We do spend a lot of our Saturday mornings while Abbie is taking her morning nap- chatting or catching up.  Dave's parents live down the street so if ever need a quick lunch date on a weekend its not too hard to make it happen.  If we are going to be really honest....don't forget about sex ladies.....it's important!  Make time!! (that's all I am going to say on the matter :)

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


Miracle blankets!!!  Hands down the best swaddler ever invented.  They are literally baby straight jackets and have no way of allowing a baby to escape. 

My Bum Genius 4.0 snap diapers...love them!  I can never imagine our house doing anything but cloth cause I love them so much.

Footie zip pajamas...feet don't get cold, zipper works faster than snaps.  I seriously want them in all sizes so my daughter can wear them until she leaves the house :)

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


Again time as a family in our household is hard.  We have done a few things- trip to the zoo, a camping trip on Lake Michigan, a couple other camping trips, the discovery museum.  I guess my favorite would have to be our first camping trip.  It was when Abbie was about 8 weeks old, and we got set up, spent our first night there which was fairly chilly so I spent most of the night making sure she was cuddled close to me and warm,and the next day it just poured.  Our entire campsite was under water.  We sat in the tent with Abbie hoping our tent wouldn't leak and it didn't...can't believe that one cause it was literally sitting in 2-3 inches of water.  Finally when there was a break in the rain we packed up as much as we could.  It started pouring again so we ran Abbie to the car and waited while Dave packed up the tent in the pouring down rain.  It was sad cause it ended sooner than we had hoped but it was our first real trip away as a family together and it makes for a good laugh now!  On the plus side of our busy schedules, Dave's parents have gifted us a week of their timeshare in Colorado for the week after he graduates in May....absolutely cannot wait!!!

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Any advice for first-time mothers?


Breastfeeding- one of the most rewarding yet most difficult experiences of my life.  Push through it, it’s so worth it!  But if you decide it is just not working for you...you aren't a failure for that and don't let anyone tell you differently, however if you really really want to and are just frustrated and not sure how to make it work seek counsel!  Lactation consultants, other nursing moms, heck, head over to my blog and contact me.  I would love to offer you some advice!!

I'm a pretty big advocate for natural childbirth.  Don't get me wrong...labor hurts.  I also know its a touchy subject.  No one is wrong for what they choose to do for their labor.  My biggest advice for first time moms is just to educate yourself on your birthing options and then make a choice as husband and wife as to what works best for you, all the while still being flexible because birth can be pretty unpredictable. 

Body image post partum- its hard.  You beat yourself up cause the minute the baby is out you realize you aren't pregnant anymore and you still have a belly.  Give yourself a break.  Enjoy the life that God just used your body to make.  Cherish and take care of your body that was chosen to do so. 

Above all in whatever you do, do what is best for your family.  Do what God calls you to do as parents and as man and wife...follow hard after Him and be obedient to what he calls you to, and if you do that...there is no reason to compare yourself to what others are doing or are not doing.  You don't need to feel guilty if something didn't work and you had to try something else.  God gives us each unique abilities and roles.  Trust Him!

 

Thanks Bridget!  Check out Bridget’s blog to read more about her!

Moms And Babies–Andrea



 

This week I’m featuring Andrea from Dear Baby Boutique!  I love reading Andrea’s blog – she writes about life with her sweet little girl, but she also posts about the sewing projects she works on, and I’m always so impressed with her skills!  You can also check out her shop here.  Read on to learn more about her.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi there! I'm Andrea.  I have been married to my amazing husband for {almost} 4 years and last February we received the greatest blessing when our sweet daughter, Gracie, was born.  I work 4 days a week {while Gracie stays with her Grandma's who love and dote on her ALL day long}.  I love spending time with my family, sewing, crafting, shopping, sweet tea and a good cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer.

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

Gracie Ann, she just turned 1.

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

On days that I work, Gracie wakes up at 5:30, we cuddle and play in bed for a bit, I give her a sippy cup of milk and she drinks it while sitting inside my bathroom sink watching me get ready.  We leave the house by 6:30, she goes to one of her grandma's houses, I go to work.  She plays, I work =)  I call about a million times a day.  I pick her up around 5:30, go home, cook dinner, play, give G a bath, read some books and she's in bed by 7:30.  After that, I get things ready for the next day, blog, check e-mails, sew, do laundry and hang out with the hubby.
On days that I don't work, she wakes up at 5:30, we cuddle and play in bed.  I give her a sippy cup of milk while I make my coffee and unload the dishwasher and make my grocery list.  We play and she eats breakfast at 7 or 7:30, and then takes a nap after that usually for around two hours.  I either work on work stuff, or do house work while she naps.  She wakes up, has a snack and we play some more.  I usually try to run errands during this time as well.  Gracie really likes to be on the go and love to see people!  She eats lunch around noon and goes down for a nap sometime between noon and two and sleeps for another hour or two.  I try to prep dinner and do laundry and maybe sew something or make a craft while she's sleeping {on a good day}.  When she wakes up, she has another snack and we play for several hours.  Sometimes I take her for a wagon ride depending on the weather.  Eric comes home around 5:15 and we repeat the same night time routine as before.

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

strong-willed, giggly, serious

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What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I love the amount of love and joy she brings to us everyday.  Something as simple as her laying her head on my shoulder changes my whole day.  I love that she teaches us so much, even though we are her parents.  She has taught us about the important things in life.

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Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Well, everyone is different, but I will say that nursing worked for me.  I nursed Gracie for a year and I can definitely tell that I have to watch what I eat now that I've stopped.  It literally melted the pounds off for me.  And let me be honest, I rarely find time to eat much now, and when I do, she normally eats half of whatever is on my plate!  It never fails that when I start to eat something, she gets into something and I have to chase after her.  By the time I get back and warm my plate up {like 10 times} it's not even appetizing anymore.  So I guess that helps too..

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

This is something I really need to work on.  We have only been out a few times the last year because I have a hard time leaving G when I don't have to {She's just so sweet I love to have her with me all the time!}  Does anyone have any advice for me?

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

We loved the Boppy, her cradle {she slept in our room for about 6 months}, the little lamb cradle swing, the moby wrap and a vibrating bouncer  when she was younger.   And honestly... now she is more interested in cardboard boxes and whatever tiny specs she finds on the floor than any toy I can buy.  I wrote a post about a few other baby items here:
http://www.dearbabyboutique.com/2011/12/my-list-of-favorite-baby-items-3-9.html


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

I love going anywhere now as a family.  At first, it was easier for one of us to stay home with her, but she love to go places now and she's so funny! She loves other kids and always tries to get their attention.  We were all out to dinner the other night and she just stared and smiled at a little girl next to us and yell "hey!" at her every once in a while.  Then she would laugh and clap when the girl would wave back.  It's just little things like that that make going out with her so much fun!

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Any advice for first-time mothers?

Well here is what I wish somebody would have told me:  Stop worrying so much!!! If they get a few ounces less per day than the books say they're supposed to have, it's going to be okay.  If you pump a few ounces less one day, it's going to be okay! If they don't eat or sleep much some days, or eat a ton and sleep a ton some days, that's all normal!  Stop googling everything and just go with it.  You know your baby better than anyone and you will KNOW if something is wrong.  I would research baby gassiness for hours upon hours while Gracie was sleeping because she had a sensitive little tummy.  And every baby is so different, so while I always enjoyed hearing what worked for others, don't be afraid to let an extra-pushy friend or relative know that you're going "in a different direction" because she's your baby and you can =).  And MOST IMPORTANTLY, pray pray pray!! I have never prayed harder in my life... for my child's health, future, salvation, my patience, for her to know that she is loved, the list goes on and on.  And thank the Lord every day for the little blessing that he has trusted you with.

 

Thanks Andrea!  Check out Andrea’s blog to read more from her!

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