Dear Readers: Since Childhood Writing Has Been A Coping Mechanism For Me

Dear Readers,

I’m going to create a category called “dear readers” where I can be transparent and raw with my feelings and experiences for a moment. A way to release all that does not serve me in a positive way. I would like to reveal a vulnerable side of myself to better connect with all that follow this blog.

But as well, I would like to write these to share with my children one day.

I’ve reached a point where I desperately need to express and empty in writing all these unresolved emotions and “traumas” that I have been carrying for many years. I do not wish to past these to my children. But I hope to gain solutions and euphonies to help them when they face these obstacles one day.

I’m not really into your typical therapy. Talking about it can only do so much for me. Writing and reading are my therapy. I have to write it all down. I have think about it. I have to soak myself in emotion and words and allow myself to shiver.

It’s a puzzle that I know only I can truly solve.

Since childhood writing has always been a therapeutic tool for me. A way to strip the emotional pain or negative emotions from myself.

It’s always been a processing tactic for me. The only thing was, I would write it all down and then just completely ignore what I wrote. Well I’m older now and instead of ignoring the problems after I write I’m digging deeper for discoveries to better myself.

Writing was the release…..but as my love for reading has grown I also know how reading others writings can encourage and help others. Which is why I decide to share and write what I do on this blog.

My mom was in an abusive relationship during a good chunk of my childhood. Lots of screaming and crying behind closed doors. And I would hear her get thrown around often behind those closed doors. I know they didn’t want to fight in front of us, but our ears provided plenty of visuals.

This could be where my love for writing stemmed from honestly. I would write as they would be fighting. Expressing my hate for my stepdad. I would write prayers for help. It was all so sad really. The most vivid memories of this are from ages 9, maybe 8 to 14.

I know it was sad because there was a moment where I sat down (I’m thinking early 20s) and read those old childhood journals and it disturbed me so much that I didn’t want to remember any of those memories ever again. So I destroyed those journals.

But just because the words are destroyed doesn’t mean the actual memories are erased. My body still remembers.

Being much older now and developing a more sense of self I regret destroying those time capsules. Because now I’m really trying to heal myself to be a better mother to my children and those journals were like a cheat sheet to healing.

And now it’s like playing a guessing game. Something will trigger me and I’m sitting there left and confused, pondering it all day.

Truth be told I thought I was completely fine and “happy”. It wasn’t until I had children that all my repressed emotions began to expose themselves like weeds during a rainy season.

There’s a great part of me that sometimes feels overwhelmed, like now for example. Where I have to sit in a puddle of feels and just think about it.

It’s like, thinking you aced a test and then getting your test back and seeing that you failed. Sometimes I feel/think like “I’m healed, I’m good. I’m past it all.” I think that I can officially move forward and then I’ll have a humbling moment (usually provided to me by my kids) and I’m left dumbfounded. I’ve been shown that my emotions from my past are still greatly controlling me. That the work is definitely not complete.

It’s extremely frustrating. Parenting. Having “screw up” moments is really hard. Putting your tail between your legs in front of your children is super hard.

You want to be the best mother for your children however life shows you that you’re still a child yourself and that you’ve got lots of growing to still do.

Anyways, today I share and tell and I’m looking forward to sharing more.

Lots of love always,

m.g.

Stories To Share: “Spreading Sunshine For Jaylen”

I came across Janes story on Instagram just a few years ago. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I was on Instagram and she popped up in my “similar accounts you follow” I happened to watch her Instagram story and on her story that day she was sharing this loss that she experienced a few years ago. It was so raw and I could feel the emotions. I had no idea who this woman was but I could feel her pain and sorrow. Her story completely pulled at my heart strings. I was instantly pushed into the present. Her strength is admirable and she gives hope to so many who have or will face something difficult in their life. Her story is a reminder on how precious and fragile this life is. And when storms come, the rainbows will guide us.

This story has been shared by given permission.

Stories To Share: “Spreading Sunshine For Jaylen”

It was September 21, 2013, we were headed to my sisters house to celebrate my son Jaylen, second birthday. He was turning 2 on September 25.

My sister had a swimming pool and we loved to swim, especially living in Texas with the heat, so we planned a pool party. It was just my family (husband and two kids) and my sisters family (husband and three kids) who were there. An intimate party with just family. Everyone was having so much fun, the kids played in the pool for a few hours. It was getting time for dinner so we started getting cleaned up, got the kids out of the pool and headed inside for dinner.

Shortly after dinner, my sister and I started cleaning up so we could sing to Jaylen and have birthday cake. I watched Jaylen walk outside and sit on his dad’s lap. A few moments later I looked outside and saw that Jaylen was not on his dads lap anymore so I immediately walked outside and asked Mike where Jaylen had gone. He mentioned that he had followed his brother Ian, who had just walked by, to the garage.

Our lives changed forever that night because Jaylen had not followed his brother to the garage, instead he found his way to the pool (steps from my husband) and lost his life that night. It was a matter of seconds that he was out of our sight. No splashing or screaming. No crazy loud night with distracted parents. An extremely peaceful, calm, enjoyable night that turned tragic. 

Since that day life has never been the same. Trying to navigate life after losing a child is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Many nights I would sob, wondering how I would make it to the next day. I distinctly remember nights pleading to God to help me through to the next day because I didn’t know how I could go on. Miraculously, little by little, day by day, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, life became manageable again, although never the same.

Days after losing Jaylen, a family member had the idea to “Spread Sunshine” on Jaylen’s behalf. It’s started out as family and friends spreading sunshine to our family, which warmed our hearts during such a tragic time. Since then, our family has continued “Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen”. Each September, we do random acts of kindness in honor of our son, sharing a card with his story on it, hoping others will pass the kindness along to others. In a time that can be extremely hard, it has brightened our month by continuing this beautiful act of kindness in honor of Jaylen. 

We are now about to enter our eighth year without our son. It’s hard to believe we have made it this far, but on our journey, we have been blessed to find so much beauty along the road. When you experience something so tragic, you can’t help but see life through a different lens, and what a gift each and every day is. Live life to the fullest, love harder, cherish the moments because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Jane GarnerRodan+Fields Consultant

If you have a story that you would like to share please contact ‘The Wild Gems’ . You can always remain anonymous as well. I believe sharing our stories has the power to not only heal ourselves but others as well. We need to always be reminded and to remind others that we are never alone and that love continues and will continue to push through even the darkest of moments.

God bless.

7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

 

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and we went to Puerto Peñasco Mexico with our two toddlers and our 5 week old baby. Are we a little crazy, maybe some would say…. but we made some amazing memories!

We had an absolute blast, and I am so happy we went!

To be completely honest I was very hesitant about taking our newborn on a trip so soon. If my husband would have changed his mind I would have been completely okay with it.

However we had been planning this trip and we had people that were coming and meeting us there. So we really did want to go!

Me being the worry wart that I am, I actually called her pediatrician asking for precautions to take when traveling with a baby and safety measures at the beach. Well, they told me they don’t recommend doing anything like that until they are two months and have had their shots. Not really what I wanted to hear, but I kind of expected it.

When I told my husband what their pediatrician said his reply was, “babies are born in Mexico all the time.” Uhh ok.

This just goes to show who’s the more cautious parent in this relationship.

Well we ended up going, obviously.

We traveled to Mexico in our RV and from where we live it’s only about a 3 to 4 hour drive. So it’s really not too bad.

(What’s great about a newborn is they sleep so much! Our daughter pretty much slept this whole trip! Saturday to Sunday. She is a dream, and did better then expected. )

I am going to share some tips that worked for me and hopefully they work for you too IF you do decide to take a mini trip somewhere with a beach and your precious newborn.



7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

1. Take Help With You

My mom went along on this trip and I can’t imagine how the trip would have been had she not come! She was so helpful! I was able to spend uninterrupted quality time with my other two daughters and enjoy the ocean with them. When my newborn was nursing or keeping me busy she would be with my other two daughters catering to their needs. My husband and I weren’t stressed at all because of the help! His dad and friend were there too and when they say it takes a village, they aren’t lying! Whoever they are!

You will enjoy your trip so much more if you have helping hands.

2. A Hand Held Misting Fan Is A NECESSITY

The times we were sitting on the beach under the umbrella I always had a misting fan at reach. It was a fantastic, and a very convenient way to stay cool for my baby and myself since we didn’t really get in the water. It was super humid so this is so helpful.

Do not forget a misting fan!

3. Co-sleep With A Pack N’ Play Mat

With being in an RV, I really didn’t want to pack the whole pack n’ play because you know how big they are and there wouldn’t really be any space in the RV for it. If you’re staying in a resort I would just bring the whole thing probably, but for us the mat was good enough.

I slept in the back with our baby with just the pack n’ play mat on the bed. I felt safe because she wasn’t sleeping on the soft mattress (it’s not advised to let your newborn sleep on a soft mattress due to SIDS) and I felt it was secure enough where I knew I wouldn’t roll on her. The bed was a queen bed and between two closets. It was the perfect way to co sleep and nurse her at night.

4. Keep Your Baby Covered When In The Sun

Newborns can’t wear sunblock so you really what to limit as much sun exposure as possible. A little sun isn’t going to hurt, but you really don’t want them exposed to direct sunlight for more then a few minutes.

When I would walk from the RV to the beach I always had a blanket over her, like a small receiving blanket. And when we were outside we were always in the shade.

5. Know Where The Local Hospitals Are

This is safety precaution to take for your peace of mind. IF, something did happen you want to know where the local hospitals are. You are taking your newborn so it’s best to be as safe as possible when traveling with a newborn.

6. Trust your Instincts And Know Your Limits

If you feel baby is getting too hot go inside. If you feel that would be too much for the baby then don’t do it. If you don’t want to take your baby there, then don’t go. (When I say there, I mean like a restaurant, shops, wherever) Don’t feel pressured. Trust that you know what is best for your baby.

7. Take Pictures And Just Have Fun!

Do your best to just enjoy yourself! Don’t let your worries consume you! You’re an amazing mama and you know your baby! So, again, trust YOURSELF and make memories!

(I only took her out to beach in the mornings and in the late afternoons. It wasn’t too hot during those times and the rays aren’t as strong.)

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5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

What is a kinship adoption?

A kinship adoption is an adoption of a child by an extended family member. An example would be a child’s Grandma, Grandpa or maybe an Aunt, or Uncle.

If a kinship adoption is occurring the circumstances are not typically ideal and can be very heartbreaking for many people involved.

Substance abuse is a prime example of why a kinship adoption may occur.

The great thing about a kinship adoption is the child or children remain within their family who they are usually already familiar with. Which can help with a smoother transition for the child or even other family members.

In many cases it is preferred that a child that needs to be adopted remains within family but sometimes it just cannot be done. And that’s ok. Each adoption case has a story and is different.

Having had guardianship over my niece now for over two years and legally adopting her with my husband I would like to share the struggles of a kinship adoption and maintaining an open relationship with the birth mother.

(It is entirely up to you if decide to keep an open relationship with the birth parent or parents. It’s difficult because the birth parent or parents are related to you in some way and your relationship is now impacted and will no longer be the same going forward.)

I am sharing these struggles for other people that may be in the process of adopting a family member or having to make the decision of taking a child in and gaining an idea of what to expect if you accept this responsibility.

What matters is doing the absolute best for the child.

I am sharing these struggles so YOU reading this have an idea on what to expect when adopting a child and maintaining an open relationship. I hope this will allow you prepare in some way and to go into this process aware and confident.



5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

1. The Whole Family is Affected

When you take in a child within the family the whole family is affected. If the child has other siblings it can be even more of a challenge because they may not know the whole situation. Family members are hurt, upset, concerned and it takes a toll on everyone. The family members that are very affected are the ones taking the child in. It can create hardships within your own family and significant other. It can be even more difficult adapting when you have children of your own for many different reasons.

2. It’s Drama And A Whole Lot Of Emotion

The relationship with the birth parent or parents becomes very unstable. The relationship will be different and emotions will constantly be high. The birth parent or parents are more comfortable saying how they are feeling or saying very inappropriate things because they can “get away with it” because you are indeed kin. Hurtful actions and words will take place and you can’t take what is being said or done personal. Easier said then done.

3. Developing Boundaries And Ensuring EVERYONE Is On the Same Page

A birth parent or parents may have lost custody but they will expect to still be able to see their child whenever they want. They also may expect to still have a say in the raising of the child.

The child is no longer in their care. This is where you need to establish boundaries. The child was taken away for a reason and when the boundaries are set it is very important that the rest of the family respect your wishes. This is the struggle. Not everyone will be on the same page with your boundaries. You may be blind sided at times and will have to constantly remind other family members what is and what is not okay when it comes to the birth parent or parents.

4. Doing What Is Best For The Child

Other family members will share their input and it’s hard to separate those feelings and what’s really best for your child. You will want to accomadate to what they want or you will try to make everyone else happy. It’s easy to lose track of what’s best for the child because now relationships with other family members are interfering and you don’t want to upset or hurt anyone. It’s very difficult and it becomes very upsetting when other family members are upset with you when you are just trying to do what’s best for your child. They will have a difficult time seeing things from your side and perspective.

5. Not Receiving Empathy/Lack Of Support

Some family members will not take the time to really notice the struggles that you are facing or even take the time to understand how hard this has all been. Especially when it happens out of the complete blue. This is why it feels like you are going through this alone at times.

People have a hard time understanding that you made THE CHOICE to take the child and other family members will take advantage of the situation not truly realizing what your position truly entails. Especially as you move forward and as the child gets older. If you decide this or that, a family member may lash out at you because they don’t agree with a decision that you made. When really, you should be supported whether they like it or not.

The birth parent is asked about, the child is asked about, but often you won’t be asked how this is all affecting you.



With writing this my goal is to share common struggles you may face when handling an open kinship adoption and to ensure you that you are not alone.

It’s hard. I know it is.

But I also know the many amazing things that come out of a kinship adoption. Before we took in my now daughter I remember googling the pros and cons of taking in a family member because I wanted to know what to expect. I knew taking her in would be hard and would open plenty of cans of worms but I also knew it was the right thing to do.

You are doing the right thing and that child you may have now is very fortunate to be with you. YOU, are their parent. Despite the struggles you are facing and will face there is no better place they could be.

To the person or persons taking in a Child within the family:

What you are doing is brave and takes courage. I want you to know you are doing the right thing even if you feel confused and stressed right now. Taking a child without any time to prepare is extremely challenging and many others don’t know the hardship of it all.

You are not alone in how you feel, you are not alone in this process, and you are not alone with your decisions.

There will be challenges and there will be tears, however, there are many rainbows within these storms I can assure you.

20 Habits To Teach My Daughters



woman carrying child in carrier while standing beside girl

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

As a mother and a parent you can only hope and pray that when the day comes for your kids to venture on their own and do their own thing that they will be more then okay.

More then anything you want them to always be happy, to chase their dreams and to overall be a good person.

As much as you always want them to need you, you also want them to be independent and to be able to solve their own problems and to provide solutions to others.

In order for them to be independent and successful it’s important to develop good habits at an early age. Of course that’s my own personal opinion.

Being a mother to 3 girls, it’s very important to me for them to develop good habits in more then one category.

I want them to live an amazing life, with more joy then regrets and fears. I hope they feel accomplished while staying humble. And I pray that my 3 daughters will always stay close with one another through their lives. (I have faith they will hold each other accountable when they don’t feel like confiding in my husband or myself)

Teaching my daughters good habits while they are young I feel will only benefit them.

To me it’s much easier to develop a good habit then to break a bad habit.

With that being said here’s a list of habits I will teach my daughters in hopes that they will continue these habits as they grow older with age.

I do believe in these good habits and I know they can provide fulfillment in their lives.



20 Habits To Teach My Daughters

1. To Always Make Your Bed

Making your bed is such an easy way to start your day in a positive way. It encourages you to keep the rest of your room clean and tidy and did you know that making your bed every morning lowers stress levels. Also a nice made bed just makes you feel good and is nice to get into when it’s time for bed, am I right ?

2. To Have A Vision

Having a vision on what you want in your life and what you want to accomplish leads to motivation and productivity. Having a vision helps you to stay focus on your dreams and goals. It’s about knowing where you are going and what you want to do along the way.

3. To Stay Active

There are numerous benefits to staying active in your life. Higher self esteem, more confidence, lower stress, more energy, and that’s just a few of them! I want my daughters to choose activities, to explore, and to challenge their amazing bodies. We are more capable then we think.

4. To Be Mindful Of Their Diet

Im not saying I don’t ever want my girls to eat junk food, that’s just not living. I want them to be mindful though. To eat foods that will provide for them and not just be full of empty calories. Your health is so important and no, you can’t control everything. However you can control what you are putting into your body.

5. To Pay Themselves First

I don’t want My Daughters ever living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been there and I’ve seen it with working in banking. I don’t want my daughters constantly being or feeling stressed by money. Paying yourself first means to put money into a savings every time you get money . Debt is a heavy burden. I want my daughters to be smart with handling money.

6. To Read

Reading is so power and I truly believe that. There is so much to be said and to learn through books. Words can influence and inspire. To have a habit of reading is having a habit of eagerness to constantly learn and grow.

7. To Be A Giver

I want my daughters to always know, that they will always have enough to give. I want them to give freely. I know how good giving feels and it’s also something we are instructed to do. The more we give, the more that will be given to us. To help another person or persons is being a light in their life. And I will always encourage my daughters to shine bright.

8. To Be Optimistic

Life is life. It’s not always fair and many things will happen in life that we just won’t understand. However, we choose our attitudes and our behaviors. Remaining optimistic and trusting in all situations will provide more peace in our lives. Who doesn’t want more peace and rest and in their life. I know if my daughters can remain optimistic through even the tough times that they will live a happier life and uplift others along the way.

9. To ALWAYS be Grateful

You’ve heard it before, omebody always has it worse. When you think your situation is a horrible one you will only be shown how grateful you really should be. I want my daughters to give thanks in all things, even the bad things. Everything that happens is shaping and guiding us in some way. Our trials are what strengthen us. No matter what, I want them to always be grateful.

10. To Clean Up After Themselves

People don’t like messy people. Sorry not sorry. It’s polite, it’s good manners, and cleanliness is just overall a great habit to have. I don’t think I need to say anymore.

11. To Always Take Time To Learn Someone’s Story

Everyone has a story. Not all are comfortable sharing theirs but some need to share theirs. Listen to them, learn from them. It is a privilege when someone decides to share something very personal with you. I want my daughters to take the time to listen to what someone can offer them through their own experiences. And to always thank them after they share something. It can take some courage sharing a story, we all know that much.

12. To Treat Yourself, Often

Often times we do so much for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Treating ourselves lifts our spirit, boosts our mood, and is overall refreshing. It’s important to take care of yourself. Your happiness matters. As my daughters grow up and their lives become busy I will constantly be asking, “What have you done for yourself?”

13. To Sleep When Tired

Sleep is rejuvenating and we need sleep to properly function. It’s so important to listen to your body when it is tired and needs rest. Don’t just drink another coffee or energy drink. If the body is tired then rest. I also believe sleep has healing powers. I wish for my daughters to develop good sleeping habits.

14. To Be Courteous Of Others

I want my daughters to be courteous and respectful of others. Everyone has a story and everyone is going through something or has gone through something. There is no room to judge others or to ever think you are superior of another person.

15. To Pray/Meditate Daily

Prayer. Enough said. ( Joshua 1:9) I know with prayer my daughters will never feel alone.

16. To Live More Minimal Vs. Material

Less is more. The greatest things in life are not material things. Those types of things can only provide a temporary happiness. Then we become bored, and want something else. Training ourselves to live minimally and developing a habit of separating needs and wants will take you much farther and provide more clarity and freedom. I don’t want my daughters feeling they have to have specific items to feel joy.

17. To Practice Affirmations Often

Affirmations provide a type of awareness and self identity. We are capable of so much however many times we convince ourselves that we are not deserving or worthy. With practicing positive affirmations often we are reminding ourselves of our potential and what we are capable of. With encouraging my daughters to do affirmations I know they will begin to recognize how strong, courageous, and beautiful they truly are.

18. To Laugh At Yourself

We aren’t perfect, we are human. We are going to make mistakes in our life. Instead of dwelling over something that is out of our control or becoming fixated on something in the past we need to develop a habit of laughing at ourselves and brushing it off. We can’t change what’s been done but we can control our reactions. I want my daughters to learn to laugh at themselves vs beating themselves up.

19. To Serve Others

We all need one another. Giving your time is the best gift you can give. There are so many opportunities to serve others and in doing so I know others will help them when they are in need.

20. To Always Pause, And Enjoy The Moment

You know that country song that goes, “I’m in a hurry to get things done oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun, all I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”

We are always in a rush. Our mind is always on the next thing. We become so distracted that we don’t stop and enjoy where we are. Life is too short and too fragile to not just embrace moments. I want my daughters to stop and enjoy the sunset, to lay outside and look at the stars, to put their phones down. I want them to stop and to smell the flowers.



“Here’s To Strong Women. May We Know Them. May We Be Them. May We Raise Them.”

 

What kind of habits are you teaching your daughters?

The Only 10 Things You Need To Pack For Your Scheduled C-Section

This may be your first baby or it might be your second pregnancy like mine. Whatever your situation may be, you have been scheduled a C-section.

I had my first baby 3 years ago and that little munchkin did not want to come out. I don’t blame her though. My belly had been her home for months and now we were trying to force her out. Long story short my first labor and delivery resulted in an emergency C-section.

If you aren’t prepared to have a C-section, it can be a very overwhelming experience. Some of you can relate I’m sure. However, I have made a list of things not to forget to bring with you to the hospital so your experience can be more of a positive one and to make it as comfortable as possible.

Often times when we feel overwhelmed or stressed it’s because we feel out of control in our situation. With having a scheduled C-section you already have more control then other Mothers going into delivery. For the most part you have an idea of the process and what the recovery will be like.

(My advice if this is your first C-section; read positive uplifting C-section stories, express your concerns to your doctor, and trust.)

This list will help you be more prepared and will be a great outline to customizing your own hospital bag.


  1. BOOKS/MAGAZINES/MOVIES/IPOD

Bringing books or movies will help you to stay entertained while you are waiting. Before the surgery and for after. If books or movies aren’t your thing, I would suggest packing whatever it is that soothes you and will help the time pass.

I bought some soothing music on iTunes nights prior to my surgery to calm my nerves. It helped tremendously.

2. A ROBE/NIGHTGOWN/COMFORTABLE PAJAMAS

I am all about being comfortable. While you can stay in your hospital gown the whole time (exactly what I wore the whole time for my first) this time around you may want to feel a little bit more like yourself and in something that is yours.

You will be in the hospital for about 2-4 days, depending on your situation. In that period of time you will want to wear clothing that is not to body hugging or tight. The looser, the better.

This time around I ordered a loose, breastfeeding nightgown from amazon. A robe is great as well because it allows you to be completely covered when necessary but also extremely easy to uncover when needed.

3. BOPPY PILLOW

With my first C-section the pain totally caught me off guard and I was having the most difficult time figuring out breastfeeding. I couldn’t get into any comfortable positions and I became so frustrated. Arriving home from the hospital I began to use my boppy pillow that I received as a gift from my baby shower, which became my breastfeeding lifesaver.

Using it at home, I wished I had brought it with me to the hospital. Bringing the pillow this time will make nursing my baby so much easier and more accommodating for the both of us while we are in the hospital.

(When getting comfortable with breastfeeding I don’t know but newborns love the ‘football position’. The boppy pillow makes it very easy to be comfortable for you and baby.)

4. COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR

Don’t forget your slippers/crocs/or whatever your favorite comfortable shoes are. It’s encouraged to walk for a faster recovery after having a C-Section.

If this is your first C-Section, it will be difficult at first. I am positive my recovery could have been better if I had got moving but I just laid in bed. And when I did start moving my calves became very sore which scared me, and then that lead me to the emergency room because of googling.

Don’t just lay in bed. Take your pain meds, wear your belly band (the hospital should provide one) put on your slippers and walk as much as you can Mama. Your nurses will be encouraging you!

5. SNACKS

After your baby’s arrival you’re going to be tired and hungry. Especially because you were just required to fast before your surgery.

Although you’ll be hungry you may not be able to eat due the aftermath of the anesthesia. It made me extremely nauseous so I actually didn’t eat till the following day after my surgery.

However once you do regain your strength you will be very hungry and having some assessable snacks will provide convenience to you and whoever else is with you.

6. YOUR OWN PILLOW/BLANKET

With my first labor and delivery I didn’t anticipate staying in the hospital as long as I did. Looking back it would have been nice to have my own pillow and blanket. A little piece of home to make the nights and stay that much better and soothing.

7. UNDERWEAR

Just because you’re having a C-section doesn’t mean you are not going to bleed. Often times we forget about the fun stuff that comes with recovery after birth.

Pack underwear that you don’t mind if it gets ruined, because more then likely it will. in a nutshell, you’re going to want underwear that can support giant maxi-pads.

(The hospital will more then likely supply all your pads and underwear needs so have peace of mind that even if you forget or don’t include this in your hospital bag your hospital has got you covered girl!)

8. CAMERA/CHARGER

Double check you brought both. You are going to want to capture so many moments! These are the pictures you’ll be looking back on and wanting to cry about every time. Especially as they get older and older.

The hospital stay goes by so fast and before you know it you are at home. Take it all in and capture all the details!

9. TOILETRIES

Keep it simple. More then likely you’ll have at least one shower in the hospital, so I would recommend bringing your own towel as well.

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, brush, lip balm. Keep it to a minimal. You just had a surgery!

( Your hospital will more then likely provide all of this! So don’t stress if you forgot something!)

10. GOING HOME OUTFITS FOR YOU AND BABY

What a relief it is when they tell you that you can all go home.

I would suggest a loose dress for yourself. Again, you don’t want to wear anything that’s going to be rubbing against your incision.

That’s it!! Keep your hospital bag simple and don’t overpack.


Oh my goodness who else can’t wait to hold their newborn!

person covering infant with swaddling blanket

Photo by Isaac Taylor on Pexels.com

What are the things you are packing in your hospital bag that you don’t want to forget? I’d love to hear your thoughts or experience’s with your scheduled C-section.

Wishing you all a healthy, smooth, amazing, labor and delivery. A moment to cherish forever, that also goes by way too fast.

 

 

 

Quiet Activities To Do With Your Spouse Once The Kids Fall Asleep

What do you and your spouse do once the kids fall asleep?

Do you both get on your phones, or attend to solo activities that don’t involve each other? Be honest!

First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong if you do those things. My husband and I spend many evenings like that. We each have our own things we want to do or catch up on.

However we both know that when the kids are down for the night that it’s also an opportunity to spend some time together. Might not be able to go on an actual date but we can definitely do an activity with one another.

I have a list of activities below that you and your spouse can do once the kids fall asleep. They are fairly quiet activities so both of you won’t have to worry about waking up your kids. 


Quiet Activities To Do With Your Spouse Once The Kids Fall Asleep

1. Do A Puzzle Together

Honestly, when is the last time you’ve even done a puzzle? This is a great quiet activity with many benefits for the both of you. Lowers stress levels, delays dementia, improves your memory, and that’s just a few! There are so many “puzzle levels” out there, so have fun picking one out together and accomplishing it together.

2. Watch A Movie Or A Documentary

Netflix, amazon prime, red-box. Movies are so accessible these days. And there are a lot of great ones out there! A great opportunity to snuggle with your honey like old times. While cuddling you two will be increasing your oxytocin levels, which, makes you both feel calm and at ease. I knew I loved cuddling for a reason. 

4. Give Each Other Massages

Light some candles and bring out the essentials oils. Another great stress reliever. We could all use less stress right?

Go full body. If you’ve never had your butt massaged you’re missing out my friend.

5. Do Self Portraits of One Another

We’ve all seen Titanic right? Where Jack does a self portrait of Rose and she’s naked. I’m not saying you need to be naked but definitely have fun with this one. Make it a competition and have your friends pick the best one!

warning: you both may begin to laugh uncontrollably. 

6. Read Together

Whether it be magazines or a novel this is a great time to stimulate your brain and then have an open discussion about what you’re reading.

7. Give Each Other A Foot Rub

Currently getting a foot rub now as I write this haha. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband.

This is such a great thing to do for one another. It’s relaxing, feels good, and gets the blood flowing!

8. Go Outside And Stargaze

This obviously depends on the weather. But if the weather is nice pull out the lawn chairs and just enjoy the stars. Let the deep convos begin. What is life?

9. Cook Or Bake Something Together

The possibilities are endless! Don’t make it too complicated of course. You could make cookies, prepare some overnight French toast for breakfast (yummm), get messy with rice krispy treats, make some French bread pizzas, etc!

10. Slow dance

I’m such a sucker for the lovey dovey stuff. Turn the music on low, dim the lights, and just dance. Something so simple yet so intimate. Dance to your wedding song and get lost in the moment.

Have you heard the song Heaven by Kane Brown? Oh my goodness, you’ll cry.

11. Do Yoga Together

Yoga is a great way to wind down and enter a relaxing state of mind. You two can get even more creative with couple yoga poses. If you two end up laughing hysterically because these couple poses are winning, I say embrace it.

12. Do Facials Together

Try a DIY facial or get some sheet masks from the store. Definitely take a picture. Who doesn’t love a refreshing face to kiss later!

13. Play Cards Or A Board Game Together, Like Scrabble

Bring on the nostalgia. Let the inner child be exposed and start reminiscing with one another. A great time to learn even more about each other and how you want to raise your children.

14. Make Ice Cream Sundaes Together

Go all out and do full on ice cream Sundaes! I’m talking hot fudge, nuts, cherries on top, whip cream, the works! Or make up your own type of Sundae together! This is teamwork if you ask me.

Or, just have ice cream cones like this couple pictured above, they look like they are having fun.

15. Plan A Vacation

Make some coffee or tea and take a moment to dream together. Plan a trip and write down some goals you two would like to accomplish. You two are more likely to accomplish those goals when you write them down. Once you’re done writing your goals place them in an area where you two can see them often.

16. Take A Bubble Bath Together

Dim the lights, light some candles for a very relaxing and intimate time. Pop open a bottle of bubbly or open a bottle of wine. Relax.

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman? You two can recreate that. If this leads to something else, don’t look at me!

17. Have A Staring Contest

Believe it or not looking into each other’s eyes is a very intimate thing. Fall in love with each other all over again with this fun activity.

Tell each other why you love one another. Sounds cheesy, but you’ll never forget the sweet things he ends up telling you.


There ya have it! A few quiet activities you can enjoy with your spouse once the kiddos are sleeping tight!

Any quiet activities you would like to share? I’d love to hear it!

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you can have fun and become closer to your spouse with a few of these!

I have 3 Requests Before You Meet My Newborn

Having a newborn is a very joyful, exciting, and can be extremely overwhelming and stressful experience. Especially if this is your first baby.

With figuring out breastfeeding, motherhood paranoia, a body that is still healing from birth, sleep deprivation…..it’s a lot to process in the beginning. Not to mention your hormones are now adjusting to this change that just happened. It’s exhausting.

And everyone adapts differently. Everyone. Don’t compare your yourself to anyone else.

Once you have your newborn, it’s like flys to a light. Everyone wants to come visit you and meet your new little bundle.

First of all, if you’re a new mom, don’t feel obligated to tell everyone yes to meeting your baby right away. This is a precious time and again, you’re also healing. They can wait.

With my first I didn’t allow anyone to see me or meet my baby in the hospital. Everyone is different I know, but personally I didn’t want to see anyone. Not even my family. And once we got home, everyone wanted to come visit….and for the most part I let them.

But in my head I was thinking I just had major surgery, I’m bleeding right now, I’m in pain, I’m so tired…….why are you here? Let me be for a little bit and give me a moment to bond with my baby. But did I say any of that…..of course not.

When you have your baby believe it or not you become extremely possessive and mama bear kicks in high gear. You let people hold your baby but in your head you’re shouting; give her back! Don’t hold her like that! Okay, she wants her mom now….

With a new baby, have people visit when YOU are ready.

Remember this is YOUR baby. It’s OK to have a few requests with people meeting your baby for the first time. Know that much.

SO with that being said, I’d like to share my own requests:

  1. If You’re Sick, Please Stay Away

You’d think this would be a no brainer but it’s surprisingly not! Well, truth be told I think deep down people know they shouldn’t be getting close to a new baby when they are sick but unfortunately it happens. And it happens often sadly enough.

Listen, I know you may be anxious to see those cute little cheeks and baby lips. But if you are sick, feel like you are getting sick, or literally just got over something please STAY AWAY.

Please wait till you are better. This is a newborn, my newborn, and I don’t want any harm to my baby.

2. DO NOT Kiss MY Baby 

Please do not kiss my baby, ESPECIALLY, on the lips. This is my baby and I do not feel comfortable with you kissing my baby.

Now, you may offend people with this request, if you choose to tell people the same thing. Shocking I know, but unfortunately true. The people you will offend are the family members. But listen, they need to respect your wishes. If you see them kissing your baby, do not hesitate to step in and say something if you are not comfortable with it. Also, don’t feel the need to explain your reasoning.

As I mentioned previously, I am not comfortable with it. That is all I need to say.

3. Make Sure Your Hands Are Clean

Please, if you’re going to hold my baby, wash your hands before you hold her. More then likely you’re going to be admiring how adorable her little feet and hands are which will you lead you to touching them….

But what you don’t know is she sucks on her hands for comfort.

Now you know why I ask that your hands are clean.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Those are my requests

  • If you’re sick, please stay away
  • Do not kiss my baby
  • Make sure your hands are clean

Simple, right?

Do you have any newborn requests or stories you’d like to share in relation to my requests. Please let me know!

Enjoy your newborn Mama, and don’t be afraid to put the foot down when needed. 

  

If You Have Been Experiencing Mom Guilt, I Want You To Try This

Being a Mom can be challenging. That’s the truth, and for many different reasons and unique situations.

While Motherhood is absolutely amazing and very humbling, it’s full of struggles, hardship and what many other Mothers would call ‘Mom guilt’.

You really won’t hear too many Mothers going around talking about the struggles they have with parenting, a lot of times we keep our hard times to ourselves.

Why? Because we are ashamed to even have these feelings and emotions. We feel embarrassed and unworthy at times. It’s difficult when these types of moods occur.

I got to a point in this Motherhood journey where I knew I needed to change myself. Some of my actions were definitely uncalled for. How could I expect my little one to control their temper when I could barely control my own.

I found myself constantly complaining and it felt like I was pouring out nothing but negative things. I was loosing my patience on my toddlers. I was crying because of my behavior. I was disappointed in myself. I couldn’t believe some of the things I did and said. I truly felt unrecognizable.

My faith has always been important to me. Even more important and guiding once I became a Mother. I knew at this point where I was that I needed to be put in my place. I needed perspective and I needed an adjustment in my attitude.

When I decided that I needed to do something, a devotional book came to mind. In the past I would watch motivating videos on YouTube in hopes of being inspired or driven in some way. This time, I wanted something tangible and something that I could reference back to when needed.

I also knew a devotional book would strengthen my relationship with God, which is what I really needed. I needed help with Mothering my children because I was tired and burnt out to say the least.

I went onto amazon and I believe I typed in, ‘women’s devotional book’. Trusting God Day By Day: 365 Daily Devotionals by Joyce Meyer was one of the books that showed up in my search.

I choose that specific devotional book because of the numerous great reviews.

Mothers, I want you to try reading a devotional everyday, preferably from a devotional book. I personally suggest a book because more is said then just the devotional itself. Insight is shared, perspective is gained, and the author finds a way to connect you with their words, that you can apply to your every day life.

Try reading a devotional first thing in the morning, if not first thing in the morning then sometime during the day. 

(note: When you are reading your devotional have your bible, a journal, and a pen handy. Write down whatever stands out to you, or write down more specifically, what it means to you.)

I would like to share that reading a devotional everyday has truly helped me with my Mothering. I am more patient then I was, I am more empathetic, and I have gained more self control.

A few slips are going to happen. You’re human. However you will get closer and closer to where you want to be. You got this Mama! I am praying for you!

This is the devotional book I am currently reading daily and I am so grateful!

I’m so incredibly thankful for this journey and my beautiful daughters who have brought new colors into my world. Thank you so much for reading. I hope this will bring more peace to you and your family if you choose to try this.

@coffeewafflesandmotherhood

Simple Ways To Keep Your Toddler/Kids Entertained This Summer

When I originally wrote this blog I focused on toddlers. However this still applies to kids in grad school!

Okay, let’s be real for a second. It really isn’t that hard to entertain a toddler. You give them an empty box and it’s the best thing ever. If you’re really feeling spontaneous give them a role of toilet paper and let them go crazy, they’ll get some giggles from that, seriously lol.

My point is, if you do a search for activities for toddlers you get a list of crazy sensory activities. It honestly overwhelms me. I know without doubt my toddler would absolutely love to do those activities. However, I personally just don’t have the patience to do all of it. I would have to go buy supplies, which means I would have to go to the store, and then come home and….yeah you get my point.

Call me lazy, but I prefer simplicity. With it being so hot this summer I need simple activities.

Look at her! Balloons and water! SIMPLE.

smiling girl sitting on gray stainless steel basin playing with pink balloons

Photo by Georgia Maciel on Pexels.com

Below I have put together a simple list to do this summer with your toddler broken, into 3 categories.

  • Things To Do Outside
  • Things To Do Inside
  • Things To Do When You Have The Time, Money, Or Energy

sidenote: Mama, don’t feel you need to constantly entertain your toddler. Allow them to be bored and learn to entertain themselves. Letting them learn to entertain themselves enhances their imagination and creativity.

And some days, they will just want to watch movies or youtube ALL DAY. Let them. We all like to have lounge days sometimes, even toddlers. 

THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE

  1. SplashpadPool

Do a search in your community. Typically they are free to the public and a great way for your toddler to get wet and wild. Bonus is they will take a long nap afterwards!

2. During The Weekend Find A FREE CONCERT

You’d be surprised how many places have free concerts. Check events on social media and ask around. There’s a lake near where we live and they host summer evening concerts. Families come, bring snacks or pizza, and let their kids observe and dance!

3. “Paint The Garage”

Get a bucket of water, and some paintbrushes. Let your toddler dip the paintbrushes in the water and fling or “paint” your garage. They can see the water strokes and they really think they are painting. Harmless, clean, easy fun! Fun with sponges too!

4. Bubble FUN

I think we forget sometimes how much toddlers love bubbles. Make it a game and encourage them to pop the bubbles as fast as they can. You can find a cheap bubble maker at Walmart for like 9 bucks.

5. Go Fishing

Toddlers love new things and trying new things. We bought our girls fishing poles before a camping trip we went on. Before we actually took them real fishing my husband let them play with their poles. They spent a good hour just casting the string out and reeling it back in, in the front yard. So if there’s not a lake near you, let them pretend!

6. Play With Chalk

You can get so creative with chalk! It’s especially fun with you wet the chalk first and then start chalking the side walk. A fun way to explore tons of colors too!

7. Invest In A Water Activity Table

For my girls 3rd birthday we got them a water activity table from amazon that came with a few water toys. They can splash the water, pour cups, put their toys in, and it’s just a fun activity that doesn’t make a huge mess. The water dries and when you’re done, pour the water out. Perfect for those hot days when you want to get outside.

8. Get a Plastic OR Blow Up Pool

Perfect for those days when you don’t want to leave the house but you want your toddler to burn some energy. Sometimes a kiddy pool is more fun then an actual pool because you’re in the comfort of your own home.

9. Let Them Play With The Water Hose

Because this is just a classic summer activity. My toddlers have an absolute blast with the water hose. My husband gets a little mad because they make a mess getting water over everything lol, but they have so much fun with something so incredibly simple.

THINGS TO DO INSIDE

  1. Build A Fort

Take the cushions of the couch, bring out the blankets and pillows, get the mattress off the bed! You can get extremely creative with this and it’s an easy clean up!

There was a time where I took our mattress and had half of the mattress on the floor and half of it on the actual bed. It became a slide for my girls and they had SO MUCH FUN climbing on the bed and sliding down the mattress. That is pure, cheap, entertainment. This kept them occupied for quite some time let me tell you.

2. Turn Some Music On, AND DANCE

Who cares if you don’t dance well, your toddler isn’t going to judge you. Your toddler will love dancing with you. Bonus- you’re also working out. #momwin

3. Do A CRAFT

Don’t make this too complicated. Let them create art with finger paint or let them make a macaroni necklace. Keep it simple mama.

4. Make Rice Krispy Treats

They will love you forever first of all, and this is something really fun they can help with.

5. GET YOUR TODDLER A WATER DOODLE MAT

Just trust me on this. It’s the best ever. You can buy these mats on amazon. Check out the reviews!

6. READ BOOKS

Need I say more. Buy some puppets and have them read. Become extremely animated as you read them a story. A great way for your toddler to learn and for you to bond together.

THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME, MONEY, OR ENERGY

  1. Go To The Movies
  2. Visit a Museum
  3. Take Them To a Trampoline Park or Some type of Kid Zone
  4. Take Advantage of “toddler time” at specific places
  5. Visit the library Or A Barnes And Noble

Wishing you a cool summer! xoxo

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What will you be doing this summer with your toddler! Drop it in the comments!

@coffeewafflesandmotherhood