Co Sleeping

Co sleeping is a either a big no or a non-issue to some.  For us it wasn’t a big deal.  All our children have slept with us until they were like 3 or 4. Then transferred to a toddler bed that was always next to our bed before they started sleeping in their own rooms. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you can and can not do. This is more about what worked for us.

So, we all know the first month with a newborn you aren’t getting nearly enough sleep on top of trying to get your routine down. So co sleeping with a newborn can be done, but please keep in mind the dangers if not done safely. I was always told to not let my husband sleep by my babies because fathers do not have motherly instincts. Honestly, that’s crap because even mothers can end up rolling over on to their babies as well.

At first I always tried using a Pack ‘n Play with a folding bassinet. It worked for a couple of days until it was hard for me to keep my eyes open while nursing. So it ended up being used for naps instead. I would also like to quickly say that we always had a crib for our first 3 but they very rarely got used. It was our bed then straight to a toddler bed.

We ended up just sticking with a Snuggle Nest. Can be a little irritating because you still have to pick baby up to nurse or feed then put them back in. But it was cheap and that’s what we ended up sticking with.

Now if I were to ever get pregnant again I will for sure be buying the Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper Bedside Crib. The reviews are 4.8 out of 5 stars. To me that’s pretty darn good when there are over 5,000 reviews. If any of you mommies use/used it let me know. It hooks up to your bed and the wall can be lowered so you can reach baby easily. Which would be perfect for nursing or feeding time.

I do have to say that for me personally I preferred co sleeping. Mainly because our babies grow so fast. I wanted to be always near them and still prefer it that way. I know that one day they won’t be in our house and will have their own families so sharing a bed with my babies was never about being too lazy to put them back into their cribs. It was always about the bond. So do what you feel is best. Co sleep safely or don’t at all. Totally up to you.

-share your smile with the world

 

 

Outdoor fun

I’m so tired of these overcast skies. I can handle a couple of rainy gray days, but every day. I cannot. I live for the sun. I love the brightness of everything outside. It’s like medicine for the soul. Since January I think we get like a week of beautiful sunshine then BAM here come the ugly gray skies.

I’m one of those people who needs the sun and prefers the sunshine over being inside loving the rain. Sometimes it’s nice but not alllllllllll the time. Come on God give us the sun please!!! If we aren’t outside then that just means extra messy in our house. Anyhow, excuse my ranting I wanted to tell y’all about this cool thing I got back in February.

 I bought an inflatable from Sam’s club. Best thing ever if it were not such a pain to set up but I’ll take that over dealing with a messy home all day everyday. It’s called My First Waterslide Splash and Slide. If you’re going to purchase anything for you or your kids that involve swimming or getting wet, get it early. Always try to go for them when it’s out of season for best savings. Hence me buying back in February.

The kiddos were out on it a day ago. Now I wouldn’t personally be outside getting wet when its 82, windy, and cloudy. Call me crazy but I at least need some sun to keep me somewhat warm. Anyhow, they were out there for a good couple of hours playing on it. Had my 8, 5, 4, and 2 yr. old, as well as my husband playing in it with plenty of space for them to run around in.

Ladies marry yourself a man who has no problem getting down and dirty with kids. One who will go outside and have mud fights, snowball fights, get wet in a child’s inflatable not meant for adults, or willing to still play hide and seek. One who has no problem still playing cars or dolls when their babies ask them to. The most attractive thing about my husband after children is when he’s in daddy mode.

I digress, now if you want a couple of hours of sunbathing with a book and a good drink. Get yourself one. Well get your kids one. Even a little pool or slip and slide to get wet with. Most children love playing in water with toys.

We ended up putting a tarp underneath to keep the dirt and grass buildup minimal. Now it’s a heavy son of a gun so if you have help then use it. The instructions were easy to read and made assembling a breeze, its just getting it unfolded and folded back up that is the pain.

Today I didn’t end up setting it up, had them get wet on the trampoline instead. Don’t want them to get bored doing the same thing every day. So, it will be good for the summer to keep switching back and forth. Speaking of summer, wooooooo hoooo were finally done with school. Been looking forward to this since the second half of school. Cheers to you parents out there finally on summer break. Try not to go to crazy.

Live life and smile my friends.

Breathe

love through it all

 

As a mom you kinda forget what a clean house looks like.

What does a quiet home sound like?

Does your mind ever just slow down from all that you haven’t done and still need to get done?

Having a moment of weakness when you haven’t had a moment of solitude to get your bearings?

Makes you wanna scream your heart out to release the frustrations from the day, week, maybe months?

Who knows maybe I will.

I just need to get rid of the clutter.

In my mind, my life, my house.

All 3?

 

I will miss the mess.

I will miss the loudness.

I will miss it all.

 

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Love through it all.

Best Toy Ever

 

Momma’s get your kids a trampoline. I mean if you want something that’s going to bounce the energy right on out of your child. Invest in one. Life saver for sure, or maybe I should say sanity saving haha. Honestly though, you can do so much on a trampoline.

Their favorite thing has to be this water sprinkler I found on a fluke scrolling through amazon. I had already so many variations of sprinklers, but the net wouldn’t let as much water get through like the one I found.  It’s a water sprinkler that you attach to the top of the net and just tie it around the top. It’s pretty awesome and I sure wish we had one like it when I was younger.

Chalk chalk chalk!! My kids love using chalk on the trampoline. I recently discovered sidewalk chalk paints that came with two packets in each canister, so you get 2 uses out of each one. Now that was in March at a Dollar General store and I haven’t been able to find anymore since then They probably played for an hour with them before wanting to jump. Although I do think that they may have just wanted to roll around in it haha.

Do yall remember playing dodgeball back in elementary?? Ok, so I’m not sure if it’s a good idea yet but I’m gonna do it anyhow. Amazon carries the soft foam dodgeballs and I’m going to get the kids some and see how they take to them. I mean they shouldn’t be able to hit too hard, right?

A camp night on the trampoline would be nice as well for when summer finally gets here. Something different, hopefully before mosquitos start taking over. If you have any tried and true mosquito repellents let me know because my husband and kids get huge welts from mosquito bites.

Get a trampoline. It’s the best outdoors toy I could have ever purchased. Beats a swing set by a mile for my littles.

 

 

Give a smile today.

Middle Child

Any of you a middle child? My husband is so his perspective on how to raise my middle is always so helpful. I don’t know about ya’ll but I always have some kind of guilt trip with any of my kids. I’m either not showing or giving enough love, I’m not playing enough with them, I’m not teaching well enough while home schooling my daughter. It’s always something. Right now, I’m more talking about my Baby J. He’s 4 now, but we’ve always called him by that nickname.

Baby J is probably one of my most entertaining, charismatic, and very independent child.  He came a week early before my scheduled operation. He was so quiet and such a calm baby, now he’s loud and crazy hyperactive.

Micah is my 5-year-old, so they are a year and half apart. He’s my neediest, so he was always needing attention and wanted to be right on top of me. Even after I gave birth to Baby J. He also co-slept with us until he was 4 while Baby J was already in his toddler bed by the time he hit 2. He has never just been able to entertain himself which is why Baby J ended up not getting as much attention for a while because I just knew I could count on him to entertain his own self unlike Micah.

Micah has now grown to be more self-sufficient but still prefers to have someone to play with. He’s my hardest worker and would rather be doing some kind of job with his dad or grandparents. As for Jace (Baby J), he would rather be bouncing on my couches, his bed, or the trampoline. He needs anything that will run his energy out because boy does he carry a lot.

For a while Jace would be playing in his room all day. He loves loves looooooves any toy action figures. He and Nic (my youngest) just adore their action heroes. Anyhow, Jace would play all day and you wouldn’t see him unless he was needing the restroom or was hungry. Whereas Micah and the new baby were the ones I had on me all day – every day.

So one day I asked him if he was ok and he just said “I’m otay momma”, so I just left it at that. Then he started to yell when he was angry, or would have such a bad attitude, and would resort to hitting instantly if someone made him mad. So my husband and I talked about it because I didn’t understand what was going on. He basically asked how much love does Jace get. I cried so much because I was guilty of not giving him any. My older ones would come to me when they needed love and I expected the same from Jace. Not even realizing he’s only a toddler so why would I expect him to be able to tell me what he needs. Heck, us adults have a hard time talking about what we may be struggling with. Disciplining a child for hitting unless defending oneself is a must if you ask me. It’s one thing to be bullied upon and have to fight back and its another when someone has a toy you want so you go hit them so you can take it. I do know that disciplining all the time isn’t going to work, not when they are clearly acting out. For Jace though, I knew why , so it was a no brainer on what we needed to do.

I took Jace one day and just held him. I let him explain to me all about his little toys and who they were or what they do. Who’s the who of the crew. I then told him that it was important that when he’s feeling left out or doesn’t feel like mommy is giving him enough love, that he needed to come tell me “I need love” and I would instantly know it means he needs attention. I always try to give plenty of hugs everyday to my kids. I know sometimes for us moms it’s a struggle because we are being touched all day and sometimes it becomes sensory overload. But we must sacrifice a little and give those hugs and then when our spouse is back home taking some time for yourself is a must. It’s important to do so for your sanity.  Cuz a girl can get wild without some self-care, know what I mean?

I find when a child is acting out there is always a reason why. Figure out the why before its too late and you end up with an out-of-control teenager. Discipline is important in our household, but we always talk to them and ask what is going on, making sure they know they are loved and feel safe enough to talk to us. Not in a way that I’m being a friend, but I’m your parent and it’s my job to help you with whatever may be going on. Parenting is hard and yet sometimes it’s an easy fix.

 

Stay blessed amigos!

Patience

Patience, God bless you if you have an abundance of it. Share some.

So I’ve learned to listen to my children. They are each so different and have their own way of listening, understanding, voicing, and loving. You really have to pace yourself and listen to their needs. Realizing that has helped me to parent each of my kiddos in a much more healthier way. Now I’m not saying you can’t yell because sometimes you gott full coach on them to make them “hear” you. 

My husband and I have decided to take the approach of listening first then react accordingly. I think it’s important that we acknowledge that our children are small and don’t necessarily know how to process their feelings and then understand that that’s ok. Heck we are grown ourselves and sometimes struggle with our own emotions.

Do you ever notice when your child is mid freak out and nothing you try seems to work? Especially when you yourself are full of frustration and irritation from already dealing with the days work you’ve had to do whether it be from house chores, kids or both and/or working outside of the home. So, there you are all frustrated and ready to blow. Don’t. Just stop and breathe. I have some 

Some things that work for us; either hugging them while speaking softly to them, removing them from the situation whether you’re out in public or in your home. If in public try going to your car or finding a more secluded area. I find holding them and letting them that know when they are ready to calm down then we can go back to whatever it is we were doing usually works. If at home take them outside to run off steam, to their room, or yours and let them cool off on their own or lay them down for nap.

Not all children are the same and I understand that especially when some have disabilities and that can make parenting a little more different. These are just some minor tips I myself have learned over the years with my little ones. 

Moms

So I’m a momma to 5. Crazy? No, I love being a mom. My youngest is actually 2 and I think I’ve become way more laxed compared to my first 2. Also I should put out there that there are 4 boys and 1 girl. I know, God bless her little soul.

Moms definitely don’t get enough credit. Like we literally hold it all down. We gotta cook, clean, do the dadgum laundry, some of you are also juggling a fulltime job outside of momming, be everything in one. Shoot when companies ask for skills or what your prior employment was, putting “mom” down should be all the confirmation they need to hire you.

Although, I can’t necessarily leave dads hanging when some of them actually come home and help their spouses out. Or when they have no problem being an awesome dad while their wives have some “me time” as I like to call it. You know getting them nails did or whatever you do to pamper yourselves. I could not be the mother I have become without the help of my husband.

Postpartum depression sucks

Postpartum depression. It is a very real disorder, and I don’t believe it’s spoken about nearly enough. There’s information out there if you look for it but I do not believe I hear enough about it on social media, tv, or even at the hospital after you deliver. Like it’s a taboo subject. Those of us who suffer or have suffered with it should not be ashamed about it. We should be open and honest about postpartum depression disorder.

For myself I was one month away from turning 21 when I gave birth to my eldest son. It was an emergency cesarean since he was stuck, and his heart rate was racing at 220. Probably the most scared I have ever been with any of my deliveries, and I’ve had all 5 via c-section.

We are shown how to clean them, take care of their umbilical until it falls off, how to breast feed, and how to swaddle them. Nowhere in that time that I was there was I ever spoken to about postpartum and signs to look for.

I think our first four months were smooth for him and I. I got the rest needed and had plenty of help from my husband and mom. When I started Medical Assisting school is when everything started going downhill. I enrolled when my baby was 3-4 months. My mom had mentioned one time that I may have postpartum depression and I shrugged it off. You know like we all do when our moms tell us something we don’t like. We ignore and move on. Nope it wasn’t helping me to just move on and continue to ignore it.

Now, I believe that we all experience it differently. Like I would go 0 to 100 real quick. Just completely flip my lid if I didn’t like what I was being told on how to care for my child, or if my husband said something I didn’t like, I would just get so angry. It was scary because I had no idea why I was being so ugly sometimes nor why when my baby would cry, I was like whatever he will be fine. Or just feel so totally displaced in my mind that when my child would touch me I would feel so frustrated and always when I nursed. Some days I would just cry, and I had no idea why. I mean he was already 6 or 7 months so surely, I should not be so hormonal anymore, right? Wrong. I was so very wrong. I never even sought help nor did I tell anyone what I was feeling. I felt alone, scared, and depressed over feeling I wasn’t good enough for my son since I couldn’t even love him the way he deserved. It seemed to go away on its own eventually and so we move on with our lives.

I ended up pregnant with my daughter and gave birth 2.5 years later. My son was going on 3 years when I had his sister. This pregnancy was smooth just like with my sons and with this delivery I knew what to expect since my doctor had already told me I was going to have to have a c-section. So, my appointment was early morning and everything went smooth. No issues other than another rude nurse. Honestly, if you’re going to be working in labor and delivery then try not to be a jerk. Especially when you get new moms, its already uncomfortable having someone change your pad and having your whole hooha out in the open. Rant aside, my girl came out a healthy 7lbs.

It was a good 2 months before I started to feel the same way I did with my oldest. Now prior to giving birth I did look into postpartum and even told my doctor, Dr. Brown about what I felt and went through with my first. Now, Dr. Brown did end up explaining postpartum symptoms, but he never mentioned the anger I would have. So for a bit I just thought maybe I was bipolar. Anyhow, he told me to come in if I ever felt frustration from holding him or cried a lot more than usual.

Well turns out with my second I ended up feeling suicidal from feeling like I was letting my daughter down and not being able to love on her like I had imagined I would. I would wake up every day feeling guilty from the day before and try so hard to just do better. One day it was just too much. Too much sadness, too much anger, too much guilt, and I just thought maybe my family would be better off without me to keep causing such turmoil.

God saved me. He gave me a man who fought for our family, who helped me the day it was too much and wanted to be done living. He gave me a choice, to seek help or I had to leave. I mean men don’t really know much about ppd. How would he know what I’m suffering from when he has never heard of it?

After one week I felt the change. I was able to breathe again. I started to feel more balanced, more connected, just more alive. I have dealt with PPD with all of my children and made sure to get help each time. I don’t think I ever told my family what we went through until years later. Because I felt ashamed. That is the worst feeling, because it is not your fault and many women still tend to blame themselves. Please do not.

Seek help! Postpartum depression is common and treatable. Get the help needed and know that by doing so it doesn’t make you weak, broken, or unworthy of having children. Love yourself enough by helping yourself.  You are a mother, a superhuman in my opinion.

I do want to share that in my darkest days I pray to God through the rosary. It is the one thing where I feel Him when I cant be in church. Let’s speak up and share what postpartum depression is so that other mom’s are aware of it and know when to seek help. Surround yourself with support.

 

Stay blessed my friends.