baby girl, Baby things, husbands, kids, second baby, stepmom, Uncategorized

Ways to help your firstborn get adjusted with the new baby

I have really thought about making this post for awhile now and it has taken some time to get the list of things just right for all of you!

If you really think about it, you have been telling your oldest that they will have this wonderful little brother/sister to play with, and how much fun and amazing this will be. Now that the baby is here, your oldest is most likely thinking, “How am I supposed to play and have fun with them?”

He then tries to “play” with the baby the only way he knows how. He tries to wrestle and he gets yelled at because he can hurt the baby, he plays peak a boo and gets yelled at for putting the blanket on the babies head, he gives the baby a big hug and then you tell him not to because the baby is too small for the big hugs and he has to be a lot more careful.

Now your oldest is confused at the fact you said he was going to have so much fun with his new sibling and it will be the best thing ever, but keeps getting yelled at for it.

Here is my list of things I thought could help out other families that are about to or are thinking about adding another baby to the family.

  1. Watch what you say

Don’t blame everything that you can’t do on the baby being here. “Be quiet, don’t wake up the baby.” We can’t go play outside because the baby needs to take a nap.” Saying things like this will most likely make your oldest not want the baby around anymore. Maybe try alternative words like, “We can go after the baby takes a nap.” “I can help you in just a few minutes.”

2. Give extra love

Tell them you love them a little extra than usual, give more hugs, find time to read a book or even play a game together.

3. Let your oldest be your helper

Teach your oldest how to be helpful with the baby. Let the older sibling use the camera to take pictures, or help put the babies socks on, he can even help with spoon feeding the baby when it comes that time.

4. Give praise

Whenever you see the oldest sibling helping or doing nice touches with the baby, make a positive comment. Try to make a big fuss about it and how important big brother/sister is and tell them just how proud you are of them.

5. Teach by showing them

Children will learn and do what they see. Your oldest will be always watching you and how you are handling the baby. Your child will learn everything they need to know just from you and watching what you do.

6. Quick reaction times

Anytime you see your oldest being too rough with the baby, act quick. Firmly let them know that hitting or whatever they were doing is not a nice thing to do.

7. Teach soft touches

Teach the older sibling how to give the baby soft touches. Try showing him how to give the baby a gentle back rub and let him know that he is helping to calm down the baby.

8. Hover over them

Whenever you have both of them together, hover close by. If you see your oldest about to get rough with the baby, you can quickly pick the baby up and distract the older sibling by singing, dancing, doing a craft, activity, etc. By doing this you are protecting the baby and also staying away from constantly saying no.

9. TEACH

I saved this one for last because it is in my opinion the most important thing you can do. Your main goal is to make sure the baby doesn’t get hurt, but your second is to teach your oldest how to be gentle and interact with the baby in nice ways. You can sit down and talk to him, show him by demonstrating what to do, and encourage great behavior and nice touches.

These are just a few things I have thought about and I am sure there are way more out there. I would love to hear some of your ideas, especially since I have a five year old and ten month old so we are constantly learning.

baby girl, second baby, Uncategorized

Birthday gift ideas for one year old girl

I cannot believe I am writing this post already. I am currently holding back tears while I plan our baby girl’s first birthday party that is in two months!

I have decided to put together a little list for everyone with some ideas for a one year old girl since I will be shopping soon for our little girl.

1. Books are a great gift idea for young kids

2. Play tent/ball pit

3.Sippy cups with straws are a great idea to help teach your littles to drink from a straw

4.These are always so fun for kids

5.Baby crocs are so adorable!

6.These are perfect to teach your little ones how to do puzzles and they can’t ruin them by mouthing them.

7.Baby dolls are always a great go to for little girls. My daughter just started showing interest in them and I will be getting her one.

8.You have to have a stroller to push your baby dolls in.

9.I got one of these for my son and he loved it.

10. Activity cubes are always so much fun! We have this one already from our son, and our daughter already loves it.

Thank you everyone for reading this post, I really enjoy writing these for you and I appreciate every single one of you who read my blog.

If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links

Let’s connect!

baby girl, Baby things, kids, second baby, Uncategorized

Baby-Led Weaning

I had no idea about this with my oldest, the only baby food I really knew about was the purees. As he got older I started hearing more about it, but at that time he was already out of that stage. So with our daughter I wanted to do it once I did a lot more research and knew I was comfortable doing it.

I want to briefly talk about the term, because there seems to be a lot of confusion around it. Think of it as baby led feeding instead of baby led weaning. That is important to know because you are not decreasing your baby’s milk intake from the start. You are actually adding solid foods to your feeding schedule and gradually replacing breastfeeding and/or formula with the foods.

When your baby starts to have solid foods consistently, the milk feeds will naturally become shorter and less frequent over time. By the end of the first year, it’s most likely that they will drop to 2-3 per day.

When do I serve the solids?

Choose a time of day when you both are relaxed and not on a time crunch. You might have to play around with different times until you find the perfect time for you both. When I started our BLW journey our time was morning. Make sure your baby is not overly hungry or too full. You want your baby to be hungry but not so hungry they are overly upset because then they wont want to try the foods. I usually like to offer solid foods 45 minutes after breastmilk when we first started. You also want to make sure your baby is comfortable, any discomfort could hinder your baby from eating. Don’t make your expectations too high and don’t worry too much about consumption because eating that first month or so is mainly for practice and exploration (it will get messy).

As your baby starts to eat more, add the second meal because you want to work up to three meals a day by the time they are 9-10 months. I personally was at three meals a day with my daughter a little before that but that is just how it worked out with us.

Why did I decide to do it?

I didn’t want to worry about bringing purees everywhere we go. I wanted her to be able to eat with us. I also feel like it has helped with her not being a picky eater. It is also so fun and exciting being able to see her and watch her facial expressions when exploring new textures and flavors.

How do I do it?

There are many people who do long strips of food so the baby can pick it up, but what works with us is we break the food into bite sized bites. She has very good control with her pincer grasp and has always done great this way. There are a few foods that I put in strips for her and they are avocado, banana, and toast.

You want to make sure you are never giving babies anything rounded that could get stuck and always cut food into strips or bite sized pieces. I recommend reading and watching videos on it before you start, just so you have an idea of what it looks like and choking vs. gagging because there is a big difference in the two. There are many accounts on Instagram that has helped me and using Pinterest for meal ideas and once you start it is easy to make your own recipes.

We are about three months away from Quaytn having her first cake…..for her first birthday! I am very positive that our food loving little girl is going to be all over it!

I do plan on writing more about this topic and sharing my meals that I have made for Quaytn with you guys. I do hope that this was helpful to get you started and I know it’s a lot to juggle and you may be thinking that you need more guidance so If you have any questions or want to chat about this please feel free to reach out at any time!

Check out my amazon store for some great mom life must haves and lets connect on social!

kids, stepmom, Uncategorized

Stepmom Stigmas That Need Put Away

Let’s be honest, there are many stigmas that go around the role of “stepmom.” From the evil stepmother in Cinderella, to the evil Queen in Snow White.

We can’t seem to escape the assumptions that are made about us, and it drives me crazy! I was doing some research on different roles and what people think about stepmoms that we can debunk once and for all, and here they are.

We knew what we were signing up for

Honestly, you really have no idea what you are signing up for. I myself grew up in a blended family and I truly had no idea what I was “signing” up for. I also hate that it is called “signing up,” it is parenting, not some sports team. Parenting is hard whether you are biological, stepparent, adopted, etc.

We want to replace the mom

We want to be the stepmom, not the mom! The bond that children have with their mom is truly unbreakable, it is not our bond to have. Mom, our goal is to stand alongside you not replace you. We want to form our own bonds not take what is yours. I love co parenting, we all get along and it makes it so much easier for everyone involved.

We only care about our stepkids during our time with them

Stepparents are still FULL-TIME PARENTS. Our love for our stepchildren isn’t limited to the hours they are at our homes. Being a stepmom does not mean we turn on and off our love for them when they come and go every week.

That honestly breaks my heart when people think that, I love my stepchildren no matter what, they mean the world to me just as much as my biological two do! I don’t get every update or daily phone calls but I do miss them when they are not with us just like I would with my other two.

We only care about our partners

This is where I go back to all those movies that make stepmoms look like evil people. Okay, yes we do love our partners and care about them a lot. We fell in love with them, but we also fell for their children. Being a stepmom does not mean you are selfish, Stepfamilies are a package deal and we accepted the whole thing! Even those stepmoms who have a rough relationship with their stepchildren have love for them and want what is best for them because of the love they have for their partner.

If you are a stepmom or know someone who is, I would love to hear what other ones you have heard about in the comments.

food, kids, Uncategorized

The Christmas Tag 2020

It’s Christmas time and we all know what gives it the most loyal company. That’s right, let’s do a Christmas tag. So grab a drink, maybe a snack or two and enjoy!

Thank you http://www.4graces9.wordpress.com for the tag! Check out her blog after you are finished reading this, she has a wonderful site.

Rules

  • Turn your favorite Christmas music up as you answer these questions.
  • Grab a drink and/or snack while writing
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you and link their site.
  • Answer the 10 original questions
  • Answer the questions set by whoever has tagged you
  • Ask two questions of your own
  • Tag 6 other bloggers to take part

The original questions

When do your decorations go up?

I don’t really have a specific date that we start. The only thing we really decorate is putting the tree up, and we do that AFTER Thanksgiving.

Who is the scrooge in your family or friendship group?

My husband. Surprisingly this year he is actually in the spirit a lot more than usual.

If money were no object, where and how would you spend your Christmas?

I would take the family and we would just go on a vacation and enjoy each other’s company and relax.

What Christmas film do you HAVE to watch every festive season?

A Christmas Story.

Who do you find the hardest to buy presents for?

My oldest step son.

Would you buy lots of little presents for a hamper or buy one main big one?

I would prefer to do little ones, I love wrapping and putting them all together.

What did you leave for Santa when you were little?

Cookies and milk.

Where did you spend the last Christmas?

With my close family, just like we do every year.

Which Christmas song makes you cringe?

I don’t really have one.

If you could be a character in a holiday movie, which would you be and why?

I love the movie The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix. I would be the little girl in the movie because every little kid has always wanted to “catch” Santa. She did and had so much fun saving Christmas.

Grace’s Questions

If you could perform a Christmas miracle, what would it be?

I would love for my late grandfather to be able to meet his grandchildren. He was such a huge person in my life and It makes me sad that he was never able to meet them.

Your favorite Christmas dessert?

I always look forward to my grandma’s puppy chow!

My questions

Do you like to host Christmas or travel?

Do you let your kids open one gift on Christmas Eve?

My nominees are:

http://www.tiphaniimeadors.com

http://www.helloainsmo.com

http://www.thepartyof4.com

http://www.lindsaemetz.com

http://www.sincerelylizzey.com

http://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

I hope you had just as much fun reading this as I did writing it! I hope that you all have a fun and safe Christmas and New Year.

Baby things, business, kids, Uncategorized

Balancing work and family

Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress from divided attention between work and family. I am extremely thankful that I am able to take my children with me to work but I still have to be able to share attention between work and family. The key is to focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance for you.

Make your mornings easier

Avoid starting your day off on a frazzled note by getting organized the night before. Pack the kids’ lunches, lay out everyone’s clothes, and make sure everyone is showered. I also will make sure I figure out what I want to do for breakfast, make sure you repack the diaper bag, backpacks, your purse and make sure you put them out near the door so all you have to do is grab them and go. Divide up the schedule between you and your significant other, determining which parent buys groceries, gets the kids dressed, and who cooks the meals. I also make sure I get up early enough to drink my coffee and exercise. Making sure you have everything finished the night before will allow you to spend a few more minutes eating breakfast and spending time with the kids without feeling rushed out of the house.

Create a family calendar

Make sure you figure out your families priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, chore chart, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and much more. My husband and I have a shared calendar on our phones so he knows when i make appointments. We also have a whiteboard calendar hung up in our home where I write important things including birthdays, bills, school activities, and appointments. Make sure you set aside a couple minutes each Sunday to prepare and review for the upcoming week’s schedule.

Stay connected during the day

Make sure you stay connected even when you’re not together. If you are going to miss or be late to a child’s event, give them something special that morning, like a good-luck gift or a special note. Also look into filming options for the event so that you can watch it later. During your breaks at work. make sure to call and talk to them. Hearing their voice can help you get through a rough day, and your child will be comforted knowing you are near.

Create special family activities

Making time for your kids is very crucial during the week and the weekend. If you are pressed for time, have a family breakfast or family night with games and a movie. Have family outings, and when you do go to the outings avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Focus on your kids’ interests such as hobbies, friends, school. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what you do just as long as you do it as a family.

Spend time with your partner

Do not forget to nurture your relationshio with your partner. Often, if you are busy with work and home, your partner is the first to get neglected. Fostering this relationship will bring back some excitment to the relationship. For some couples, going out on a monthly date night can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on each other. You can always have an indoor date night by cooking a meal together or even sitting together with a glass of wine and talking, not about kids or work.

Have “me” time

If you are managing your time wisely, you can fit in valuable “me” time. Having a refreshing break will help you recharge while taking care of your needs. You cannot be an efffective parent or spouse if you are always cranky, so make sure you take time to care for yourself and feel relaxed. Remember to eat well and get enough rest, the most simple things are the easiest to neglect.

Let go of the guilt

Instead of dwelling on how you can’t be with your kids, think about how your role at work is benefitting your family. Maybe you are able to afford a great school, extracurricular activities, the best daycare, or start a college fund. Accepting that there will be good and bad days, you are not alone and you should discuss your feelings with your partner or support groups.

Uncategorized

The 2020 Elf On The Shelf

If you are an Elf on the Shelf mom like I am, we can actually make this year a whole lot easier. For the first 14 days you do not have to run around like a crazy lady at 4 a.m. trying to figure something out because you forgot to move that damn elf. Last year was my first time doing it and it was rough. Even with Pinterest, I was on a major struggle bus a week into it.

This year I have done some research on different easy ways to set up the Elf on the Shelf. I am sharing them with you on here and if you have any other ideas, I would love to read about them in the comments.

The arrival of the Elf

So since COVID is still here and rising once again, I saw this going through Instagram one day and thought it was amazing and had to share with all of my mom friends. Since the Elf had to travel, he has to quarantine for 14 day!

Can you say “BRILLIANT!”

So if you are like me and bring the Elf on the Shelf out on December 1st, you will not have to move it for two weeks!

10 Days left!

You can’t go wrong when the Elf brings treats for the kids! This is simple and easy, and you can even enjoy some of those kisses if you like.

Who doesn’t like a little hide and seek game? I would do this one on a weekend day so you have more time in the morning and not rushed to make it out the door on time.

This is such a neat experiment! I have been wanting to do it with my son but I am waiting until the Elf brings it now. This is a good one for toddlers and older kids.

This one is so simple! just grab a washcloth that you have already, wrap him up and put him in the fridge. Your kids will think this is so funny that he is hanging out in the fridge. Just make sure he is out of little fingers reach.

If you have a little one that loves this game like I do, then they will surely get a kick out of their Elf playing the game also.

If you want to do this or the flower one, using a baking sheet will make the clean up 100 times easier for you for the next days set up.

Who doesn’t love it when the Elf is a little mischievous? I think this is just too funny and I am definitely doing this one this year. It is so simple with things you already have around the house anyways.

If you have a little one that you know wont touch the Elf, then this is such a cute and simple idea.

If you are not doing laundry one day, this is so simple! Just get some of your kids’ other toys and have them going for a ride in the dryer.

When it is the last day, this is a cute and simple idea to say goodbye, you can even have a letter from the Elf saying bye.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog posts, I greatly appreciate it! I hope that everyone has a fun and safe holiday this year!

Uncategorized

2020 Black Friday Deals

This black Friday is going to look a whole lot different. There are many stores that are already doing black Friday deals online, I have decided to do some research and find some deals for all of you whether you are wanting to do online shopping or still go in the stores.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Black Friday

Dick’s Sporting Goods will start their Black Friday deals on November 18th and they will go through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday November 28th. You will have ten days to shop with them which is actually much nicer because in the past they would only do deals on Thursday and Friday only. The deals will run in store and online during the store’s opening hours. They will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day and doors will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Here are just some of the deals you will find with Dick’s Sporting Goods on November 18th

Up to $1,200 off SOLE Cardio Equipment

Up to $200 off Schwinn Exercise Bikes

Up to $50 off Nishiki Pueblo Mountain Bikes

Up to 40% off select golf equipment

On November 22 the week-long deals begin, and here are some deals you will find during that time.

30% off The North Face

25% off select Nike and Adidas athletic footwear

25% off select Nike, Champion, Adidas, NCAA and NFL products

On November 26th starts the 3-day sale and some of those deals include:

Up to 25% off men’s, women’s, and youth Sorel Boots

The North Face men’s and women’s Alpz 2.0 Down Jacket and Vest for $109.98 and $69.98 (normally $169.00 and $119.00)

I know some of you might not want to enter the stores and want/need the items quickly or do not want to pay for shipping. So Dick’s offers one-hour curbside pickup.

Costco Black Friday

Costco is having a Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The Pre-Black Friday deals started on November 5th and will run throughout the month until Cyber Monday on November 30th.

They are also closed on Thanksgiving Day and opens at 9 a.m. of Black Friday.

Here are some of the deals Costco is having during this time

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Tracker Watch- $89.99 which is $50 off

Google Nest Learning Thermostat with Nest Temperature Sensor is $50 off

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.4-inch S6 Lite 64GB- $279.99 it is $100 off

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II- $139.99 which makes it $40 off

Macy’s Black Friday

They are closed on Thanksgiving Day and open on Black Friday from 5 a.m. until midnight. They have some deals that start November 16th. All of their Black Friday deals throughout the store will start on November 24th and go through November 28th.

Here are some things that you will find during their sales:

$70 off Fitbit Versa 2 Watch

$170 off KitchenAid 5-quart artisan mixer

25% off women’s Uggs

Walmart Black Friday

Their sales will start online on November 25th at 7 p.m. ET. You can order for your items to ship or do curbside pickup. On November 27th, more deals start at 12 a.m. ET for online, and 5 a.m. local time in stores.

Deals starting November 25th

These are ONLINE ONLY

New gaming consoles- Oculus Quest 2 for $299 and Xbox Series X for $499. In stock starting when the sale starts online at 7 p.m. ET on November 25th

Nintendo Switch bundle with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game download for $299

Airpods Pro for $169

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS 38mm for $119 and the 42mm version for $149

Fitbit Versa 2 for $129

Vizio 70-inch Class 4K UHD SmartCast TV for $478

Roku SE Streaming Media Player for $17

Deals starting November 27th at 12 a.m. ET online and 5 a.m. in stores

Google smart home devices- Google Nest Mini V2 or ChromeCast for $18.98. Google Nest Hub for $49.98.

Canon Pixma All-in-One printer for $19

Mainstays eight-piece comforter and quilt set for $35

Select kids’ bikes for $29

Target Black Friday

Target is having sales all month with new deals each week. They will also price match if it goes lower at Target before December 25th

Sam’s Club Black Friday

Sam’s Club is changing their usual Black Friday sale for this year. They are offering a longer event called the Thanks Savings Sale. It will go for 10 days compared to their usual four-day event.

Here are some things that you will find during the sale

Fitbit Charge 4 for $89.88

iRobot Roomba e5 5134 for $229.98

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II for $139.88

Backyard Discovery Oceanview Cedar Swing Set for $999. That is $300 off!

Sam’s club also offers curbside pickup. Sam’s Club is also closed on Thanksgiving Day.

————————————————————————————————–

I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving and stays safe! If your stores you shop at offers curbside pickup you should try it out! It is my favorite thing offered especially with having kids.

Baby things, food, kids, Uncategorized

Holiday family activities

This holiday season is going to look a lot different than we are used to. If you have been wondering how in the world are you going to keep your kids busy and pay for this holiday season, It is time to get creative. I have thought about a few ideas that you can do with the family and I wanted to share with you.

Take a drive around your neighborhood

See everyone’s festive lights and then everyone can talk about which one was their favorite.

Holiday movie night

Get everyone together, pop some popcorn, and get cuddled up watching everyone’s favorite holiday movie

Make a gingerbread house

You can not go through the holiday season and not make at least one of these.

Make red and green paper chains

You can make these to hang around the house, on the tree, or even for a countdown for how many days left until Christmas Day!

Make gingerbread ornaments

You can look up a gingerbread recipe and make cute little ornaments for your tree.

Make a snowman, fort, igloo, etc.

If you live in an area where you normally get snow, try to make the best of it! Forts, snowball fights, snowmen, etc. are a fun way to keep kids entertained for hours!

Advent calendar

You can get inexpensive ones, and they are something your children will look forward to everyday until Christmas.

Go through gently used toys and clothes

Before the kids receive their new clothes and toys, have them go through their items to give to a child who could use it more.

Make cookies or other treats

Make some treats even if you do not want them in the house you can deliver them to your local fire department, neighbors, or other family members. Consider those who may not have family close by or have to work during the holidays.

Write a letter to Santa

If you have little ones that still believe in Santa, this is a great way to have them practice their writing skills with a letter to the North-Pole.

Holiday books from the library

Even with COVID, the libraries are doing curb side pickup for books so you do not have to go inside if you do not want to.

Have a slumber party

Kids love indoor “camping” so grab your pillows and blankets and have a cozy night sleeping by the tree.

I hope these come in handy for you and your family. If you have any other ideas you are planning on doing this year or what you normally do I would love to read them in the comments.

husbands

Things our husbands do that drive us nuts!

I decide to put up an Instagram story this past week about my husband leaving socks laying all around the house instead of just putting them in the laundry hamper, and I asked everyone if their husbands do things that drive them nuts also, and 88% of them said yes and 12% said no. I am not 100% convinced that the 12% was not fibbing haha.

After I did that poll, I decided to do something else and ask you what exactly are the things they do that drive you crazy.

Let me just say that many of them are about those damn socks!

For privacy reasons, I will not be showing the name of the ladies that responded.

————————————————————————————————–

“Every night when he gets home from work, he takes off his socks wherever he sits down first and just leaves them there.”

“He leaves plates laying around, hair in the sink, and socks are everywhere!”

“When he puts dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is right there with dirty dishes in it already!”

“Leaving the washing pile in the bathroom, never puts milk back in the fridge, and socks on the floor.”

“Beard hair everywhere…Not putting things back where they belong. Being a man child.” Laughing face!

“He likes to leave pairs of socks on the side of the bed.” Laughing face!

“Just leaves hats EVERYWHERE”

“Clothes everywhere”

“When he goes to the bathroom to “poop” and is in there FOREVER!”

“Leaving his dirty plate on the side of the sink instead of putting it INSIDE the sink.”

“Loading the dishwasher wrong”

“Leaving milk out after making food or drinks”

These all cracked me up! I hope you got a kick out of them as well, and if your husband does things that were not mentioned here, I would love to read them in the comments.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog, I greatly appreciate it!