Separation Anxiety, it’s a thing.

Happy Wednesday, loves! Wow, it has been some time hasn’t it? To say the least, the last two months have been extremely busy for me and I’m finally in a place where I have some time to get back into writing.

Our girl is nine months and she is all over the place! It’s so fun to see her personality coming out a little more each day. At her nine month checkup, her doctor expressed that at this age, babies tend to get separation anxiety from their parents and I’m definitely feeling it. She’s developed a sense of need to be around us or held by us. If we’re not in sight, she panics and cries looking for us.

Some helpful tips on how we’ve been dealing with separation anxiety include –

  • Arrange childcare with familiar faces. This helps so much when we leave for work because she is left with someone she is already comfortable with and knows. She also goes to this person willingly which is a great help when I need to pass her around for a few minutes.
  • Practice separation at home. Allow your baby to crawl or venture off in another room (safe, but unsupervised) where you are not in sight and give them a few minutes before going to get them. Also telling them that you’ll be right back gives them a sense of trust when you do come back for them. It reassures them that mommy and daddy will be back to get them.
  • Keep your goodbyes short and simple. Once you leave for the day, leave. Coming back multiple times to say goodbye or you forgot something in the house makes your baby think that you’re coming back to get them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my clingy little babe, but it can definitely be exhausting and make you feel frazzled, but remember it’s only temporary. Spend some extra uninterrupted time without your devices with your little one. Read them more books, play with them, or even take naps with them. We work so much that 80% of our days are not spent with our kids.. We need to remember that they’re only clingy because they love us. Reciprocate those feelings in return.

P.s.

Here’s a little update picture of Rylee!

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Recap – San Diego, CA

Happy Weekend, loves! This month has flown by extremely fast, hence, my lack of writing this month. I finally have some down time in between work, projects, reading, and of course raising Rylee. Our family did a quick weekend trip to San Diego, CA with our cousin & his girlfriend and it was to say the least, an interesting experience. We had a great time, but traveling is definitely not what it used to be.

It’s one thing to be stuck in a car with your husband and eight month old teething baby singing to Disney soundtracks for six hours, but it’s another thing when you’re also stuck in a car with a couple who doesn’t have kids. Granted they didn’t mind when Rylee had her occasional “Wrath of Rylee” tantrum, but I definitely felt the need to apologize on her behalf lol.

We stayed at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and the Pier South Resort, Autograph Collection. Both hotels were absolutely stunning & I wish we lived by the water more and more. The best part of the trip was being able to see Rylee discover sand, the beach, and the pool for the first time! I’d never seen so much joy in her face as I did when she got to play in the water.

There were times when we disconnected from our fellow couple and unwound in our rooms or explored hotel grounds without them and I find it so funny because we all had different intentions for this trip. Yes, we all went as a group to spend time together and to get away from Vegas, but while they were off being super cute and in love, strolling down the pier, our little family of chaos was getting excited about the usage of swim diapers and Rylee cutting two top teeth! Oh, how times have changed! Regardless of what this trip was about, we all had a great time together!

A few tips to remember when traveling with a baby:

  1. Don’t forget dish soap to wash bottles! Silly me forgot to pack soap and had no way to wash Rylee’s bottles in the room.. FML right? Thankfully we got some delivered by the hotel staff!
  2. Download their favorite movie/show on the iPad before you leave or have Netflix of Hulu on your phone! This will help tremendously during your drive or during dinners to keep them occupied.
  3. It’s always better to over pack than under pack. My husband knows better not to question how many bags I bring on our weekend trips because he know’s he’ll lose if he tries to fight me haha #MomsAlwaysWin

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Review Wednesday – DockATot

Happy Wednesday, Loves! Today I’m sharing details about one of my favorite products to date; DockATot. When I first discovered the DockATot I fell in love. This all natural, 100% cotton multi-functional gem has made parenthood just a little easier. It’s perfect for co-sleeping parents and playtime/tummy time. I’m lucky to call myself a DockATot partner and experience this product first hand and share all the great things about it!

It comes in two sizes – The Deluxe which is for babies 0-8 months and the Grand (which Rylee has) is for babies 9-36 months.

Some of my favorite features of the DockATot include:

  • Interchangeable covers. They offers different covers and they’re all so adorable!
  • Transitions baby from parents bed to their own.
  • It’s easy to transport to & from grandparents houses or vacations.
  • It’s great for cuddling!

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve gotten our DockATot and Rylee loves it! She plays and sleeps so well in it that I have no doubt once we transition her into her big girl bed, it’ll be a smooth transition. I love that DockATot has two different sizes and can really grow with your baby.

The prices may intimidate you, but I promise it’s worth every penny and a really great investment! Head over to DockATot now and save yourself $10 off when you click this link!

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Disclosure: I received this product as part of a partnership with DockATot. All words and opinions are completely my own. 

 

Things People Don’t Tell You – Labor, Delivery, & Recovery

I was reflecting this past weekend as I was spending time with my little family and it dawned on me that my baby girl is going to be eight months in a few weeks! Seriously, where has the time gone? My husband and I always talk about wanting to have more kids or when the best time to start trying is and when I think about how hard these eight months have been, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be trying for about another year or so lol. We love spoiling Rylee with love and attention and I’m just not ready for another one just yet!

It got me thinking about my pregnancy though and how great of a pregnancy I had until I hit my third trimester. For those of you who don’t know, I had a really difficult third trimester and had kidney issues (what the doctor had thought), which resulted in me having a tube inserted in my lower back and a drainage bag attached at my hip until I had to deliver. Super inconvenient and embarrassing, but then it brought me to my topic today; the sh*t no one tells you about labor, delivery, & recovery.

Labor:

  • Labor is nothing compared to how you see it happening in movies.
  • You feel extremely exposed and violated because of all the nurses that come in and out of your room to check on you every few hours to see how much you’ve dilated.
  • If you’re getting an epidural, you’re also getting a catheter down there. It’s really uncomfortable, but the good thing is, you won’t feel anything down. Downside is you won’t be able to get out of your bed until your baby has finally arrived!
  • You can’t eat when you’re in labor. I literally went 19 hours with no food or water and was miserable. Ice chips are your best friend!
  • There’s a lot of waiting around.
  • Contractions are painful! Take it from someone who had to go through four epidurals because the medicine kept wearing off. I felt every contraction and it was awful. At one point I was begging for a c-section because I couldn’t take the pain anymore.

Delivery:

  • You wanna talk about being exposed?? During delivery you are sprawled open with a light shining on your whoo-ha while not only your doctor, but 4-5 nurses are watching you push.
  • The doctors encourage your significant other to look because that’s your baby being born.
  • There’s a good chance you’ll poop on the table. Thank God it didn’t happen to me, but I’ve heard horror stories of that happening!
  • Once you’ve pushed out your 7 pound babe, you still have to deliver the placenta. All you want to do is have skin to skin with your baby or watch them being washed, but that’s not the case. Thankfully pushing out the placenta is quick.
  • There’s a good chance you’ll get stitches down there if you start to tear during delivery.
  • You will cry the first time you see your beautiful baby girl/boy.

Recovery:

  • The first time you gain feeling back to your legs is really weird. The nurses will be in and out of your delivery room to check on you.
  • You will have to be accompanied by a nurse the first time you get out of bed and go to the bathroom.
  • There is so much blood. SO. MUCH.
  • The first time you pee will feel so weird and a little painful.
  • Your stomach does not go back to normal.. I poked my stomach multiple times during my stay at the hospital and it was so jiggly and flabby, like jello.
  • Sitting, walking, getting in bed or in a car for the first time is going to be difficult. Make sure your significant other can help support you getting around.

Tips I Suggest:

  • Bring your own undies & pads post delivery. The ones they give you at the hospital are cheap and don’t work really well (in my opinion).
  • Wear flowy dresses postpartum. They’re convenient when having to use the restroom.
  • Most hospitals are pro-breastfeeding, but the honest truth is breastfeeding is extremely challenging for most women. If you choose to give your baby formula, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about not breastfeeding.
  • Give yourself credit! You had your baby in you for nine months. You are a rock star and a total badass.

Last but not least:

I know it sounds super scary and borderline stressful, but the truth is, I would go through all of this again if that meant I got to bring another beautiful soul into this world. Pregnancy and motherhood has changed me for the better. Although the experiences I had still bring back a lot of memories and feelings, I’m living my best life having a daughter that I can share this with one day.

Keeping it Together

People often ask me how I keep my cool and stress levels down.. The secret is I don’t. I have my wonderful husband to vent to on a daily basis about work, plans, and basically everything! That’s the great thing about him though, he just listens. I may have a lot going on in my life, but that definitely doesn’t mean I don’t stress. I think I’ve just found ways to keep it cool.

Being a full-time meeting planner is tough. The hours are long, the clients are hit or miss, and there’s times when weekends have to wait because I’m working an event. On top of that, I find time to hang with my squad (daughter & husband), read a least two books a month and meet for my monthly book club meeting, run our family photo booth business, focus on blogging, run my decodingmotherhood Instagram and personal Instagram, and make time for our friends and family. I love being busy, but it’s not an easy job!

Below are my secrets to keeping it together and staying organized!

  1. Utilize your calendar! I never knew how much I rely on my calendar to keep me in check. Below is a little snippet of how I keep my calendar organized. Green are large groups my team and I manage, the purple are the groups I mange, blue are daily meetings, and yellow are personal events. I literally would not know how to function without my calendar. calendar
  2. Delegate cleaning and organizing tasks! My husband and I like to joke and say we live in a frat house because we constantly have people coming and going. We have a funky little family with crazy schedules and we only have three bedrooms which one is dedicated to being a guest room which complicates things when my sister is in town and wants to stay with us, but we also have our cousin who is a flight attendant who gets room rights during his stay, and my other sister who is also our live in nanny! Talk about a full house right? But with that being said, our house is always a mess. Being the mom of the house, I delegate everyone on the weekend to do their set of chores. It’s actually pretty great because the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathrooms are all spic and span and all I had to do was tell them. #momwinscontent_df66c5f3546937d7df51ae5a538504a3
  3. Schedule Date Nights and Friend Dates. Living in a chaotic world requires some sanity which typically means going out with your friends or significant other and leaving the little babes at home. We all need to unwind sometimes and for some of us, that means endless laughter with those closest to you and a bottle of wine. pexels-photo-696218
  4. Find time for yourself. This is so important and probably the most underrated of them all because some mothers don’t think they deserve an hour or two to themselves because they’re so busy taking care of everyone else, but they really do. I take advantage of this when I can and it usually results in manicures and pedicures, bubble baths, or a long nap under the covers. pexels-photo-534116

 

Review Wednesday – The Ollie Swaddle

Happy Wednesday, Loves! When Rylee was first-born, she loved being swaddled and she still does. She is such a snuggle bug so any opportunity she has to be swaddled or snuggled, she’ll take it! I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with The Ollie World to promote their Ollie Swaddle also known as the Smarter Swaddle. While most swaddles are made from a general poly blend or cotton, the Ollie Swaddle is made from a custom moisture-wickering material which helps prevent the little ones from overheating which I think is amazing seeing as I find it hard to maintain the temperature of our house especially during the warmer seasons. The Velcro they use is seriously top-notch! My daughter is a wiggle worm to say the least so she’s been able to break out of all her swaddles, but this is one swaddle she just hasn’t broken out of. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in her quality of sleep. She’s definitely a lot more calm in this swaddle than she has been in any other swaddle we’ve used in the past.

One of the smallest, but best part of the Ollie Swaddle is the little loop at the bottom of the swaddle which makes it extremely easy for diaper changes. My daughter is at the age where she is rolling over and over and refuses to stay still during her diaper changes, but while she is calm and in her swaddle, having easy access from that little loop at the bottom makes a big difference for us parents. The price for the Ollie Swaddle is $59 and although it seems a little steep, this is such a great investment because as your child grows, the swaddle helps ease the transitional stages.

Head on over to The Ollie World and get your swaddle on! You can save 10% by clicking here. Make sure to follow their Instagram for giveaways!

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Disclosure: I received this product as part of a partnership with The Ollie World. All words and opinions are completely my own. 

A letter to the Overwhelmed momma’s –

It’s the crack of dawn and you’re running on a few hours of sleep. Your day begins with fresh brewed coffee, cream, and sugar. The sun is rising and your little one is still tucked in bed.. You enjoy the very little time you have for yourself before chaos strikes. Once your five minutes is up, you hear the baby cry and you’re immediately by their side.

There are times when you feel like you can’t hold it together because the stress is too much to handle between raising your little babe and trying to find sanity. I can’t even begin to emphasize how many nights I’ve been frustrated because of the lack of sleep taking over me. I’ve snapped more times than I’d like to admit, but that’s the thing; no one expects us to be a perfect mother. We can’t always keep it together and there will be times when you feel like you just can’t do it. And that’s okay.

I’ve only been a mom for five months and I find myself continually telling my husband that I don’t want anymore kids, that Rylee will be an only child because I just can’t do the sleepless nights, erratic crying, and uncontrollable fits of tantrum anymore. But there are so many more sweet moments when I roll over and see her smiling face next to mine, her little hands finding their way to my face so she knows her momma is next to her, and those glimpses of her playing by her happy self. Those are the moments I live for, the moments when I know I can have five more kids because those moments are the ones I truly love.

We’re all overwhelmed, we’re all tired, but that’s what keeps us going. Knowing that we have kids to raise and set examples for regardless of the situation we find ourselves in. My inspiration is that cute little girl I get to wake up to every morning regardless of how sleep deprived I am.

Every mother is different and has different ways of raising their children. Our beliefs may be different, but one thing that remains the same is that at the end of the day we’re just trying to raise our children the best way we can. Motherhood is a long and hard road, but it’s also the most rewarding.

So to all the overworked and overwhelmed momma’s out there – you are not alone. Keep pushing yourself and test your limits of being a mom. I guarantee your journey will be the best one yet.