5 Reasons to Let the Pinterest Mom do Her Thang

There’s a lot of snark and eye-rolling that can be found describing the mom who does everything oh-so Pinterest perfectly. As much as I love snark, I am not here to partake…this time. Oh no, I love the Pinterest moms! And that’s not just because I occasionally try my hand at a project or two.

Little Pookie Cupcakes

Pig cupcakes I created after perusing Pinterest.

Pinterest Moms make the world a better place. They put the time and effort into crafting and creating an experience for their kids’ birthdays and holidays. They’re making gorgeous, delicious cakes, themed DIY decor, over-the-top Easter Baskets. And that’s okay. It does not mean I have to meet them at every embellishment. Continue reading

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Stitch Fix is a Mom’s Best Friend (plus other delivery services we love)

Before children, the idea of having a personal assistant seemed like some sort of unattainable dream; a frivolous luxury even. Now, with the variety of home delivery services and the reality of trying to accomplish a to-do list with two kids, having a sort-of personal assistant is actually very accessible.

From grocery shopping to planning date nights, the internet really does have it all. Here are some ways you can add a little personal assistance to your hectic life: Continue reading

When Mamas are Spread Too Thin

I’ll make this a quick post…

Mallory and I each have a list of things we’d like to write about on this blog. As you may have noticed, we haven’t been keeping up and those lists have been tossed, desperately, aside.

You see, the past few months we have been battling sick children who don’t like to sleep. Some of the time we’ve been sick ourselves and often we are both facing these challenges while our husbands are away.

Just letting the chaos and mess exist for a bit…luckily it can be cute sometimes.

By the time we’ve recovered, we usually just wanted to rest or catch up on this or that. Unfortunately “this or that” rarely ends up being the blog. (Please read on, as this post is not an admittance of defeat, but an attempt to hit the reset button.)

We have been spread much too thin to take-on all of the things we’d like to do. During this time, it’s been helpful to give ourselves permission to half-ass the house work, turn on the tv or tablet a bit more and to vent our woes to each other (after all, misery loves company).

Now that we’re both on our second kid, we find ourselves in a perpetual game of catch-up. But now I think it’s easier for us to admit we can’t do it all. I think we’re able to say, “I need a break,” and make it happen – even if it’s for as little as 5 minutes.

Luckily, being such good friends, we also keep each other accountable. Now that we’ve wallowed in our problems, it’s time to look ahead and give our blog some extra TLC and attention.

Stay with us, friends, and Happy New Year!

Gallbladder Surgery while Nursing

After experiencing some excruciating pain that felt like extreme heartburn, I was actually relieved to find out I just had gallstones. I thought I was dying. Apparently, pregnancy puts you at risk for developing them. The gallstones were too big to dissolve and not big enough to warrant immediate surgery, so opting for gallbladder removal was going to be totally up to me.

I sat on the idea for several days because my new baby boy was still only about 4 months old, so I was worried what effect the surgery would have on our nursing relationship and (since he was still so little) I worried that juggling him and my toddler while recovering would be impossible on my own. Continue reading

Giveaway – New Baby Dove

You’re buying into the message they sell. Remember that.

This was part of one of the lessons taught in an advertising class I took for my public relations degree. The prime example used for this lesson was Dove and their “Campaign for Real Beauty.” We examined it as a brand that excels in messaging that reaches beyond their products.

Since taking this class I’ve always viewed Dove with high regard. I’ll gladly reach for their products over other brands. So, when they approached us with a chance to do a giveaway for our readers, I was more than happy to participate!

Now, as a mom, I’m elated to see their messaging hit all the right marks again with Baby Dove. “There are no perfect moms, just real ones.” Check out their commercial:

It’s one of those ads that makes you feel pride in the chaos and uncertainty of motherhood. Furthermore, I love that now I can look to Dove for the full package: something for me, something for my babies.

Want a chance to win a New Baby Dove Rich Moisture package? Hop on over to our Facebook page and join the conversation about #RealMoms there.
A little about Dove’s new products:

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Baby Dove Rich Moisture range has been developed for babies with normal to dry skin and goes beyond mildness to actively replenish lost moisture and nutrients into baby’s skin. All products are hypoallergenic and mild with a fragrance specifically developed for delicate baby skin. Available in Tip-to-Toe wash, baby lotion, baby bar, shampoo and baby wipes.

(The baby wipes are my favorite for my own personal use! Nice for freshening up quickly when you’re covered in the dirty sticky sweat of the South.)

babydovesensitive

Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture range has been developed to take extra special care of babies with sensitive skin. It is fragrance free and designed to be kind to dry skin; is hypoallergenic and pH neutral. Available in Tip-to-Toe wash, baby lotion and baby wipes.

Disclaimer: I received samples of this product for my honest review on this blog.

The Southwest Nursery Theme of Your Dreams

Is it possible to be a fan of a new mom? (Some may even call it a mom crush). Well, I’m a fan of new mom, Kayla and after this post I think you will be too!

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Meet Kayla. Her maternity photo shoot is actually like a sneak peek into her nursery theme. “I rented the dress from MamaBump rentals and we took the pictures in Balboa Park Cactus Gardens. The head piece was made by my cousin!”

Seeing as my nursery decor is still just sitting on the nightstand and also lacks originality (woodland creatures w/ random lurking jungle creatures) it doesn’t take much to make me ooh and ahh over anyone’s nursery. But, oh man, am I swooning over Kayla’s nursery! So much care and detail went into the overall creation that I could feasibly make this a series of blog posts about her nursery, but that might be bordering on obsessive. Continue reading

HOOT For Kids

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This Box arrived to me at the perfect time. I had just gotten sick with mastitis, followed by a sinus infection and was trying to rest as best I could with a newborn and toddler (plus it was raining outside). I was feeling guilty about all the hours of screen-time we were racking up and needed an easy way to distract the toddler.

Enter HOOT Box.

What is HOOT Box?

HOOT stands for “Hands-on Occupational Therapy.” This is a subscription service that sends you a box of toys (just once, every 3 months, or every month – you choose) curated by an occupational therapist. Boxes are ideal for newborn to 6 years old. In our HOOT Box we received 3 toys – animal puzzle blocks, a zebra on wheels, and a Green Toys Submarine. Our box came with a list of suggested activities that could be done with each toy and identified what skills each toy would hone.

The box brought so much excitement to our day! Here’s what I loved about it:

  • An Aid for Parents – Sure, it should be pretty easy for parents to figure out how to play with kids toys, but with a list of suggestions from an actual occupational therapist, I felt better equipped to help my child with actual skills. Plus, I admittedly lack a lot of creativity when it comes to my child’s toys. This helps me with my own skills in that department.
  • Break up the Monotony – Again, I was lucky enough to get this at a time where I really couldn’t do much with myself and I needed help engaging my child. But I think this is the perfect thing to order sometime during the summer (or, for military families, maybe during deployment??) as a way of breaking up the monotony of your daily routine. I like the idea of holding onto the package and saving it for a (literal or figurative) rainy day.
  • Watching Your Kid Discover – I really enjoyed just watching my son pull out each toy and start playing with them his own. This was probably the first time he’s said the word “submarine.” I’m not sure he even really knew exactly what a submarine was before. Then I watched him slide the zebra along the submarine. It didn’t take long for him to exclaim, “I wuv my zebra! I wuv my submawine!” It was such a joy to experience something new alongside him.
  • Home Convenience – I’m going to write another post later about my newfound love for subscription services, but trying to go through and leave a toy store or toy aisle can be maddening with a toddler who wants to touch every toy and who ends up sneakily adding random thing to your shopping cart. Getting a HOOT Box means leaving all the extra toys and meltdowns over toys behind.
  • Gift Idea – for the grandparents or friends who ask constantly what your kid wants or who don’t know what would make an age appropriate gift, tell them to gift a HOOT Box!

Disclaimer: I received free samples of this product for my honest review on this blog

 

Dear Village

Dear Village,

I heard you outside when you mowed my lawn for me this week. That’s twice now since my husband left and has had to spend this month away from us while I was left to care for our toddler and newborn. Maybe you haven’t heard a lot from me lately. I’m, at times, a bit discombobulated trying to adjust to our new normal. I’m not quite sure how to thank you for all that you’ve done for me…

You’ve helped me corral my half naked son running in the street and even let him play in your houses in all that naked glory. You even reassure me about my potty-training failures (hence, all the nakedness).

You probably didn’t realize that when I moved across the country in my third trimester, I had already accepted the fact that our second kid wouldn’t be getting the celebration and preparation that our first did and was I feeling a bit guilty for it. So, the insistence on throwing Baby No. 2 a shower not once, but twice, really touched me more than you know! Seeing so much selflessness for someone you had just met is indescribable.

I also arrived here wondering how my labor might play out and what I would have to do to find care for our first-son. I appreciated your initial offer to watch him when the time came, but was really blown away when, without batting and eye, you took him for an indefinite amount of time.

When we came home from the hospital we were welcomed with decorations and then meals for our family everyday until extended family arrived.

Family, you too are part of our Village. I loved having you all visit from hundreds of miles away to share time with time with these little boys in our new town, but to also help me cook, clean and to distract a busy fun-loving toddler. Having an extra pair of hands (or 2 or 3) turned out to be a necessity, especially as I tried to learn to soothe a fussy, gassy baby. This has been a very different experience compared to the first-time around.

There are so many more things I’m forgetting to address specifically, but every gesture, gift, text, call, or note has meant the world to us. When they say “it takes a village,” now, more than ever, I have felt exactly what it means to have that reliable support system surround us in every possible way. You are our neighbors, family, friends new and old, near and far.  Although it will never be enough, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Thank you thank you thank you!

*End Sappy Post*

Oh Yeah, I Remember This… (Labor and Post-partum Thoughts the Second-time Around) 

It’s funny how the second kid kind of becomes an afterthought. Okay, wait, that sounds kinda cruel. Seriously though, I remember being so precious about every little thing with my first pregnancy – I dared not lift a heavy thing, eat or drink a drop of forbidden poison like caffeine and I began studying up for a healthy, efficient labor. When the second kid was on his way, I was still too busy with my first to even remember I was pregnant at times.

Preparation this second time around really only included figuring out how to juggle the toddler whenever the second one decided to come. When he was finally on his way, a few things happened differently, a few things had become second nature, and a few things were of the oh-god-no-wonder-I-blocked-this-feeling-from-memory variety.

Here are a few that fit into the latter category: Continue reading

You’re Gonna Jinx It…

“My baby has always…” is a phrase that often pops up in mom groups and is one that makes me toss my head back in maniacal laughter (okay, not quite so dramatic…maybe I just smirk). Because to assume a certain behavior from your baby/ toddler will last forever makes you woefully unprepared for the curve balls they will inevitably throw you.  I think the most common example I come across is, “My baby has always been a good sleeper…” usually followed by some new inconvenient night-waking problem. Well, I’ve said this before, but a sleeping baby gives a mom a dangerous dose of hubris. 

Usually my urge is to welcome these moms to the real world and tell them to treat themselves to a well-deserved coffee-run; This too shall pass. But by the time I get there, a dozen or so moms have already tossed in their $0.02. Some even comment about what has always worked for their 6-month-old 🤣. Somehow, saying that your baby “always” does “x” is most egregious when it comes in the form of advice.

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So, what else are perfect lil babies always doing? Let’s explore: Continue reading