Holiday gift guide for a new momma

1) A snarky adult coloring book for those free moments she has (they’re few and far between!) #momlife:  color to relieve stress

2) A cozy blanket to relax with. Snuggle up with that baby! get cozy

3) A “mama bear” pop socket to accessorize her phone. Lord knows she’ll be spending a lot of time on it googling everything! accessorize her lifeline

4) Tea to uplift her mood and spirit. Real talk, it gets lonely sometimes! the pick up she needs

5) Bath bombs for those moments she gets to herself and finally gets to relax: self care is essential

6) Mommy’s own sippy cup. Enough said mommy’s time to whine

7) An amazon echo dot for those moments she is holding her baby and has no hands to google anything with (“Alexa, why is my baby drooling so much?”) she will need answers

8) A eucalyptus and spearmint candle to reduce her stress when it’s needed! stress relief

Holiday gift guide for a one year old

 

  1. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone – for your music loving baby
  2. Fat Brain Personalized Name Puzzle – to facilitate baby’s learning 
  3.  Little People Caring for Animals Farm Set – for your animal loving baby 
  4. Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Lil Snoopy – a classic must for your baby
  5. Melissa & Doug Safari Chunky Wooden Puzzle – easy to grasp puzzle for your baby
  6. Melissa & Doug First Play Wooden Touch and Feel Puzzle Peek-a-boo Pets Mirror – touch and feel puzzle for your baby
  7. Fat Brain Toys MiniSpinny – a travel toy for baby
  8. Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck – a toy to stimulate imagination 

My daughter is 13 months and has some of these toys! The others she is getting from Santa this year 😉 All toys are relatively cheap and are perfect for all one year olds! Happy shopping!

How to stop looking at your phone

I listened to insanely powerful podcast the other day and just have to share it with others. It was an episode in the “3 for 30 Takeaway for Moms” podcast series. It’s title was, “How to Stop Looking at your Phone and Why it Matters So Much”.

I’ve written before about how guilty I feel when I catch myself mindlessly scrolling through my phone when I’m with Amelia. I know deep down that all of my attention should be on her, but phones can be so darn distracting! So sometimes I fall I into this trap…& I hate it. So, when I saw another mom post about this podcast I had to listen. It was everything I needed and more. It was a wake up call.

Dr. Katie Penry, a licensed clinical psychologist talks about children, their development, and how being on your phone impacts that. Here’s some interesting facts!

-Almost 80% of your child’s brain development happens from age 0-3 years, through consistent verbal and non-verbal interaction with their parents

-Look at your baby and attune to who they are and what they love–react to each other–Harvard Psychologists call this “Serve and Return”

-Daniel Stern, a renowned American psychologist, found that 70%-80% of the time that your baby is alert, he/she is looking at you

Think about that…..almost 80% of your child’s brain development happens from age 0-3 years through consistent interactions with their parents….& 70-80% of the time that your baby is awake, he/she is looking at you.

After I listened to this podcast, I put my phone down for an entire evening….& played purposefully with Amelia. We interacted, she looked at me so many times for approval or for my reaction, I made purposeful eye contact with her….this sounds ridiculous when I type it, because quite frankly it is….it felt so intentional, yet so right, and for that reason I felt so much guilt. Why have I ever allowed my phone to distract me from these precious, meaningful interactions with my daughter who needs my attention so much right now? For her brain development for god sakes!

You may have the image in your head of me just laying in the couch, constantly on my phone whenever I’m with her. This is not the case. However, occasionally, I was allowing my phone to win my attention over. Ugh.

What I liked most about this podcast was that Dr. Penry recognized that we can’t just throw away our phones or never use them again. We are very much in a society where they are needed, and can be used for positive things. Really, what she was saying, was just to simply lay some ground rules. Here they are…

1) Decide on some sacred spaces and places where you will not use your phone. (This matters more than arbitrary time limits for yourself). For example, she said you could choose while you’re breastfeeding, at the dinner table, or at the playground

2) Tell your kids what you are doing when you are looking at your phone. This holds you accountable for ONLY checking your email if that’s what you vocalize you’re going to do

3) Use your phone’s non-notification settings to help you be present at important times of day. I didn’t know this about our phones but you can set limits on screen time and set times that you don’t want to receive notifications

Dr. Penry tells a story about a two year old on the playground who was going down the slide for the first time. Instead of being present in the moment with her daughter as she went down the slide, this mom recorded it on her phone. Understandable, I’ve even been guilty of this (recording Amelia’s first steps). Instead of looking at her daughter, she looked at her daughter through the screen of a phone. A missed opportunity for connection. It makes total sense that our children are looking to our phones as a means to be seen. We so often look at our children through the lens of our phone that they’re picking up on that. No wonder why children are drawn to our phones…!

I’m not saying to never use your phone. What I’m saying is simply to be present with your child when you are with them. They really need you, for their development. In that one evening, I was shocked by how many times Amelia looked at me for approval. How sad that previously I had missed some of those moments because I was looking down at my phone and not at her. Moving forward, and making changes is what matters now!

I invite you to take the #lookupchallenge with me. Here is the link: 7 day look up challenge

Put down your phone, be more connected to your children, stop passively engaging your phone and be more purposeful in your actions!

Letterboard letters organizer

I love using letterboards. Letterboard are great for fun quotes, holiday sayings, or for your children’s important events (such as birthdays, my first Christmas, etc.) When I first started using letterboards I was finding that I was spending so much time going through the letters to find which one I wanted. It took me a good amount of time and it was all sorts of unorganized.

Then I had the idea to sort the letters in a container so it would be way easier to find what I was looking for. I went to hobby lobby and found this plastic craft organizer for $1.99. Beads and jewelry accessories were 50% so I got it for only .99! Let me tell you, it’s make my letterboard creating so much easier & faster!

It’s been a hot minute

Guys, it has been a hot minute. I just logged on to my blog for the first time in a while and noticed that my last post was in August. What? That’s two months ago. I have been slacking. Okay, truthfully I just can’t get my shit together…

Turns out, I suck at time management. I suck at prioritizing. Lastly, I suck at committing to something and actually following through. I’m not putting myself down here…I’m just stating the facts. Those are some of my personality flaws….it is what it is.

I am having SUCH a difficult time managing everything. I may seem semi put together but everyday feels like a scramble. There’s so much to be done. I never feel like I am “ahead” or like I just have free time to do something I’d actually like to do and not something that I have to do (clean the house, pick up toys, etc.) that is… if I want my life to be partly in order.

I have completely neglected my blog and social media presence. As I previously posted about on my Instagram, unfortunately, it’s the first thing to go. I need your tips! How do you balance it all?

When I pick Amelia up from daycare and am finally home with her after a long day, I don’t want to be taking the time to create a post or think of captions for my latest picture. Turns out, it’s a lot harder that it seems! Which I know sounds ridiculous…

I really try hard to not always be on my phone when I’m with her. I want to be present in the moment with her and interact with her. I get so angry when I see parents who are always sitting on their phones when their child is trying to get their attention. So, I really strive to not be that person… do I find myself sometimes mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? Yes. Do I hate it? Yes. I get so annoyed with myself.

Then I think, all the time I just spent scrolling through Facebook could have been spent writing a blog post or doing anything else more productive. I don’t take anything away from scrolling through social media apps. It’s an unhealthy habit. A mindless one…

So, I want to say sorry. Sorry to myself and sorry to my readers for not living more purposefully. I want to be able to prioritize my time so I can reestablish my presence! But truly, as I mentioned above, send me your tips! I’m thinking of setting a goal to write a blog post when Amelia falls asleep at night or even on the weekends when she naps. I can do it. I’ll get my shit together…..slowly but surely!

Baby must haves

I was gifted an Ollie Swaddle and Binxy Baby and truly wish that I had received these wonderful products months ago!

The Ollie Swaddle from Ollie World: This product came in the cutest packaging. It came in a great box with adorable illustrations. It also came with an instruction card on how to swaddle properly and a nice mesh bag for storage. The swaddle itself is made of a moisture-wicking fabric to prevent overheating and is so soft! There is only one size needed for entire use because it can be used from newborn to transitional use. The stretch fabric allows snug yet loose design and the baby’s arms to be placed either in or outside of the swaddle. There is a bottom opening for hassle-free diaper changes….like where was this product when I was changing diapers at 3 am and had to take the whole swaddle off, waking Amelia up?! I swaddled Amelia in the Ollie Swaddle for nap time recently, with her arms out of course and she slept for 4 hours. She also thought that it was the funniest thing (see pictures below). You can purchase an Ollie Swaddle here.

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The Binxy Baby: The Binxy Baby fits most standard grocery carts and can hold up to 50 pounds in weight. You can even place your car seat in the Binxy Baby. It acts as a very nice car seat sling! It has been safety tested and let me tell you what, it is so convenient! It can be easily rolled and stored in a diaper bag, or simply in a purse (that’s where I keep mine). It takes up little space in the cart and you can still put groceries or items on either sides of the Binxy Baby and even underneath it if needed. The Binxy Baby comes in so many adorable patterns. A lot of people stopped to talk to Amelia and several made comments such as, “Man, I wish they had something like that when my kids were young!” or “This is so convenient, it’s like a baby hammock!” Amelia loved it because she could still see everything and was very comfortable. You can purchase a Binxy Baby here. Follow this link to receive 10% off your purchase!

DockATot

When Amelia grew out of her Rock N’ Play, she had a hard time sleeping which made for a crabby baby and a very tired mom! When we put her in her crib, it felt too big to her. She was used to being swaddled & snug in her Rock an’ Play. Her crib was too big and vast for her..& she didn’t like it. It wasn’t an easy transition by any means.

Out of desperation for a good night of sleep, she began spending some of the night in our bed. She would start out in her own crib but when she woke up hungry, I would bring her to our bed.I do love co-sleeping and all of the snuggles, but I was concerned about her safety and wanted her to have her own safe space….and then I was introduced to DockATot!

Our friends over at DockATot sent us their DockATot Grand for Amelia and it has helped her sleep much more soundly! We have family about 6 hours away, so we often travel to go see them. The DockATot is portable and easy to transport for those nights away!

Once I saw the Carrara Marble pattern, I fell in love! The Carrara Marble pattern can be found here. It is such a beautiful cover, and is completely machine washable which if you are a parent, you know is a must have feature!

The DockATot Grand is a multi functional lounger. So far, Amelia has enjoyed sleeping in her DockATot as well as playing in it. The bottom of the DockATot is soft and padded and provides your baby with a nice cushion while both sleeping and playing.

The DockATot is all natural, 100% cotton and has been tested for breathability. DockATot’s come in two sizes Deluxe (0-8 months) and Grand (9-36 months). The Deluxe is for babies who are 0-22 pounds and the Grand is for babies who are 22-40 pounds. I have several mommy friends who have mentioned that the Grand is perfect for toddler bed transitions!

Click here to shop for your own DockATot! And here if you’d like $10 off the purchase of a DockATot! It would also make for a great baby shower gift!  😊


Sweet dreams, my angel 💕

Motherhood

Those rolls. Those 6 little teeth. That big, over exaggerated grin. The way she looks at me with those big, beautiful eyes. I want to soak it all in. She is growing so fast and this is such a fun age.

Amelia is 9 months old now and is learning something new each week it seems. Her latest is learning to climb up a whole flight of stairs and shouting “kitty” when she sees Stella.

Oh sweet girl, if only I could pause this stage. You are so much more than I could have ever imagined. I am one lucky mom.

Mom guilt

Sometimes I begin to think that somethings got to be wrong with me….I can’t shake this mom guilt! Here I am sitting in my new home with piles upon piles of boxes to unpack and new rooms to fill. Our home needs to be decorated to make it feel like home and officially ours. There’s so much to do!

So, I sent my daughter to daycare so I could get stuff done. The second my fiancé walked out the door with her to drop her off I started to cry.

How dare I drop her off when I could be spending the whole day with her? Sometimes I get so stuck! If I drop her off before work I’m fine because I know that I have no other choice but if I COULD be spending time with her and I choose to drop her off….? I lose it. Mind you this is for something that has to get done, we have to unpack and get settled. If I were dropping her off to go get a massage or something or even make a solo target run the mom guilt is even worse.

I know moms have to take care of themselves and have alone time and I’m a HUGE advocate for self care…so I don’t know why I can’t practice what I preach. I hope it gets easier. I don’t know if it’s because she’s growing so fast and I’m afraid I’ll miss something or what. Moms, please tell me I’m not the only one! Any advice or even a “you’re not the only one!” would be helpful 💕

Soft and cozy

This crib sheet from New Mom Designs is so soft and cozy. Amelia loves sleeping on it and loves the soft, minky fabric on her hands. It’s a beautiful latte color, so it matches many nursery themes and is gender neutral. It’s a crib sheet that truly stands the test of time and can be used for years!