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!
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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”
“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!
Her birth story is completely different than with my first. I learned many other techniques to help from the first and I pretty much knew what to expect. It went so much smoother than before. My pregnancy and birth were both much easier this time around.
I was late this time around, my oldest came at 37 weeks and Quaytn came at 40 weeks and two days and I had to be induced.
Knowing this is the last time I will be pregnant and giving birth made me very emotional, but I am happy with her being the baby forever.
I was incredibly nervous about birth again because my first experience was not all rainbows and unicorns. The extreme pain and commotion in the birthing room is something I will never forget.
With COVID being around with this birth, my husband was the only person I could have in the room with me. In the end I am happy about that because it made the whole process a lot less stressful with less people in the room.
I think I am in labor.
Once I hit 37 weeks, I really thought she would come any day after that since by son came early.
Quaytn decided to be stubborn and not show any signs of entering the world early at all.
On July 20th, 2020 I was exactly 40 weeks to the day. I have done anything I could possibly think of to try to put myself into labor. That night I was having what I thought were contractions (I did not go through labor first with my son, my water broke first so I wasn’t sure what it really felt like)
I was timing them, and they got down to 5-8 minutes apart. I really did not want to have to wake my husband up and call my grandma to watch my son if it was just a false alarm, so I waited as long as I could until I could not take it anymore and I was nervous since the hospital is a 30 minute drive from our house. It was around 3 A.M when I finally decided to wake my husband up and call my grandma.
With it being the time COVID is around, we had to bring everything with us and in the hospital with us because once we got in, we were not allowed to leave and come right back inside for any reason.
Once we got there, they checked me in and monitored me for about three hours. I was having contractions and they said I was in early labor but since I was not dilating fast, they sent me home. I did tell them I did not dilate with my son on my own, but they said it did not matter and still sent me on my way. They did give me an incredibly low dose of Ambien to help me sleep for a couple hours once I got home since the contractions were keeping me up all night.
Back at home
It was around 7 in the morning or so when we got back home. We called my grandma to see if Kendyn could just hangout with her for a little longer so we could take a nap and she was fine with that. So, we had the air mattress in the living room, put on a movie and crashed hard for about 3 hours. My husband woke me up because my phone was ringing, and it was the hospital calling to schedule me to come in for an induction!
We scheduled it for that Wednesday morning which was less than two days away! We were so excited and nervous because we finally had a date that we would be meeting our baby girl.
We made sure that we spent all the time we could with Kendyn and took him to Scene 75 just us three for our last outing without a baby.
It is Induction Day!
July 22nd, 2020
The day is finally here! My induction was scheduled for 8:00 A.M. and I had planned to get up early, make a nice breakfast for everyone, and enjoy my last moments with Kendyn being the baby.
We didn’t get up with our alarm and had about 30 minutes to get up and ready. So I warmed up a breakfast sandwich, got our things, gave Kendyn lots of love and he made sure to give us juice and snacks in case we got hungry (my heart exploded).
We made it to the hospital around 7:40 A.M. Checked in and was greeted by our nurse that would be with us the whole time, and let me just say, she was AMAZING!
Once we were in the room, I put the beautiful hospital gown on and I had to get tested for COVID before she could start any meds or my iv. While we waited for my results to come back, we all three sat in the room talking about life and laughing, it was so nice.
It took my results about an hour to come back and it was negative. As soon as those came back my nurse started my iv and started the Pitocin around 9:50 A.M. My nurse was so amazing, she made sure I was comfortable the entire time and sat with us and just talked. She told us that her shift was over at 7 P.M. and we are going to have a baby before that.
She told us to try to take a nap and relax and she would be back around 11:30 A.M. to check how far along I am.
Well taking a nap and relax is easier said than done while in labor and in the hospital. So I just laid there, put headphones in and listened to calming music.
My contractions started getting bigger around 11:00 A.M. and the nurse came back in to check me, I was not dilating very quickly so she upped the Pitocin dosage. We then planned for my midwife to come in and break my water and then get the epidural. She had me sit up while we waited for my midwife to come in so we can move Quaytn down farther in the birth canal.
My midwife broke my water around noon, and I got my epidural after thar around 12:30 P.M. so I could try to relax more. After my epidural, I laid on my right side for a while, and I started to worry because I could still feel my contractions on my left side. I told my nurse I was feeling them, so she had me sit up to try to get the medicine to equal out on both sides. Before I sat up, she checked how far dilated I was, and I was between a 7 and 8.
Around 3 P.M. I told her I still felt my contractions on my left side, being the amazing nurse she is she called a doctor to come in and give me a half dose of lidocaine to help. Man let me tell you, it worked very well and fast!
I received the lidocaine around 3:10 P.M. and my nurse helped me lay on my left side. Once I laid down, I started having the constant feeling of having to push, even between contractions. I told my nurse about it and so she checked me again and I was fully dilated and ready to push!
She let my midwife know and had me do a couple practice pushes. Once my midwife got there, I started pushing around 3:46 P.M.
It was the most relaxing time. I know that sounds weird but my experience from my first one to this one, I would say this one was way better. It was only my husband, my nurse, my midwife, and one other nurse to help. In between contractions we were just talking and laughing, I know I said it a million times before but it was such an amazing experience.
I pushed for 17 minutes and we had our beautiful baby girl at 4:02 P.M. on July 22, 2020!
She was 8lbs. 3oz. and 20.75 inches long with a full head of hair!
We were only supposed to stay 24 hours after birth but she had higher levels of jaundice, so we had to stay an extra day until it leveled out.
We were able to leave the morning of the 24th around 9:30 A.M. and we were so excited for her to meet her big brother that has been anxiously waiting for her to come!
Her great grandma (Gigi) and Kendyn were the first two to meet her and they just could not get enough of her.
It seems like everyone makes sure to prepare for the baby by making sure your bags for the hospital are packed, the car seat is installed, and the nursery is ready. It is rare that we think about what mom will need after delivery. This list I have put together is what helped me with my son and it is what I will be doing when I have my daughter. With my son I had to do a lot of research since I was a new mom and had no idea what I needed. This list is not a pretty one but it is definitely an essential one!
Numbing Spray- I used before and will use again Dermoplast. This is what the hospital gave me with my son and this time I bought an extra one so I wont run out.
Peri-Bottle- It will sting a bit when you use the bathroom after birth. This bottle was a life savor! You simply fill the bottle with warm water and spray while using the bathroom to help with the sting.
Nipple Cream– This is a huge necessity for breastfeeding moms. I chose to use Earth Mama’s Organic Nipple Butter (You can find it below in the link to my amazon storefront.) It is natural and safe for baby, meaning you don’t have to worry about wiping it off before nursing. It is amazing to help soothe, moisturize, and protect sore or cracked nipples.
Breast pads- I have decided to use reusable this time, I feel like it will be easier and help on having to buy them all the time. You can find the link below to my amazon storefront to find them.
Padsicles- If you put witch hazel and aloe on a pad and freeze it, it will help with relief.
Nursing tanks/bras- These are amazing if you plan on breastfeeding, it makes it a lot easier to snap and unsnap the straps. I also have these in my amazon storefront.
Water and Snacks- This is so important and so easy to forget at the same time! The baby is taking most of your nutrients, you need to make sure your not getting dehydrated. Keep taking your prenatal and have water by you at all times. While breastfeeding, your appetite will grow, so make sure you have snacks near at all times.
Haakaa- I wish I knew about this with my first. This goes on your boob that you are not nursing on and will catch the letdown so you do not waste any milk. I did end up purchasing one for this time around so there will not be any wasted milk!
I hope you found this helpful! Please share with your expecting mama friends or postpartum mamas! I hope everyone has a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery and a quick and smooth recovery!