Memory Keeping

Since having my first child five and a half years ago, I’ve been wondering just how I would store my kids important papers/documents/keepsakes. Everyone has their own method that they’re passionate about, and I listened to so many ideas, but ultimately I (finally) landed on this, my own, method. I’ve seen this same idea all over the internet, so I’m not at all claiming it as my own. I’m just super excited about it so I’m sharing it with you in case you’re on the hunt for a good storage idea too! And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. It was super simple and very satisfying.

I ordered file folder boxes and files. The boxes I ordered came in a pack of 4, so I even have one ready for my next baby! Then I ordered a pack of files for each box – the packs I ordered came with 25 (I think) and there are several extra folders in each box, should we decide we need them for something in the kids future. I put the folders in the box and labeled them (in this order):

Baby

Toddler

Preschool

Kindergarten

1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

12th Grade

Stats

Medical

Keepsakes

Documents

Then, with my cricut machine, I cut out their first initials in vinyl and applied them to the front and voila! Told you it was easy!

I don’t plan on keeping every single paper from school or piece of art they create (like adorable scribbles on scraps of paper, you know?) But I’m going to mindfully keep the papers that my kids worked extra hard on or are extra proud of. The papers that have a funny story behind them or are particularly adorable. The ones I think they’d be happy to see someday when they’re adults showing their own children their memories.

I have put the bracelets we wore in the hospitals for their births in the Baby folder, along with ultrasound pictures, etc. In the boys Toddler folders, I put the bag of clippings from their first haircuts. Things like that. I also knew I had to have a folder dedicated to their stats from doctors appointments. I’m obsessed with my kids stats so I wanted them readily available.

What else would you add?!

Powerful in a Sweatsuit

Did you watch WandaVision? The series just finished on Disney+, but you can – and absolutely should – still watch it if you haven’t already. I give it all the stars and all the thumbs up. Wanda Maximoff, AKA, The Scarlet Witch, has always been one of my very favorite MCU (marvel cinematic universe) characters, but I think this show put her at #1 on my list.

Anyway, this post will have very small “spoilers,” if you’re worried about that. But mostly, I just want to talk about how…

MOMS ARE FREAKING POWERFUL

Here is why my brain is in this place, and here is how Wanda is also a part of this thought: In the last two episodes of WandaVision, Wanda is in a pretty intense ‘battle.’ She is kicking butt, defending herself and her sons and husband, protecting her loved ones and what she cares about, being super amazing and super powerful….ALL WHILE WEARING SWEATS!

I mean, let’s hear it for the queen!

It made me think of real life. I can’t speak for all of you, but I know I do a lot of my mommin’ while wearing a cozy sweat suit. I also know that sometimes it’s real easy for me to get down on myself because of not always getting ready or accomplishing everything on my to-do list. Or maybe I’m feeling a little guilty because I’m not the “perfect mom” I follow on Instagram. You know?

But then I watched Wanda, who was being awesome and so powerful. In sweats. I mean, will I ever shoot magic red orbs from my palms, be able to alter reality and control things with my mind? Unfortunately, no. But I CAN do amazing, awesome and powerful things in my sweats too!!

Toward the end of the final episode, Wanda turns into The Scarlet Witch, for real. It’s soooo cool – definitely still fan-girling about this. Then she dons her new superhero suit, which, might I add, is the best MCU costume I’ve yet to see. It’s an incredible scene, I won’t lie. But you know what? The new outfit isn’t what made her so cool. It was her and her actions. Sweatsuit Wanda is just as powerful as New Outfit Scarlet Witch.

The outfit, the situation, the location… that’s not what makes us powerful. We as moms, are doing powerful things every single day. And let’s be honest, we are probably in sweats. Our powers and things we balance, accomplish and work at are tremendous. We all have a little New-Outfit-Scarlet-Witch inside of us, we’re just doing it in our Wanda Sweats – and we are awesome! I hope you know that. I hope you believe that.

Sleep Training Baby Sis

K guys. If you pay any attention to me, you probably know that I don’t sleep at night very well. Why? Well, besides crippling anxiety, it’s because little Flora struggles so hard at night time. It was more common than not to get like maaaaybe two hours of sleep – and not consecutively. I rode the struggle bus – heck, I think I drove the struggle bus – daily, and I knew I needed to figure this out. When I don’t sleep, the first thing really affected is my mental health and…obviously I don’t want that. It also made Flora struggle to be the happy girl she naturally is and it was negatively affecting her naps during the day! It’s safe to say, things needed to change.

So I started simple and hey, somehow it’s working finally! I’ve tried this many times, but now it’s clicking for us both and I’m not lying when I say I have cried about this.

I love sleep.

How We’ve Done It

•At dinner time, I make sure she has a nice, full belly

•She takes a nice, warm bath and thoroughly enjoys every second of it (it’s adorable how much she loves baths)

•We lotion her up and put her in cozy jammies and her sleep sack

•We go in her brothers room to read a book, do scriptures and prayer, then we kiss her brother goodnight

•I nurse her for a few minutes then put her in her crib. Sometimes she is asleep, sometimes she is drowsy. I’m not a stickler on that.

•I turn the video monitor on and leave the room and close the doors

Typically she’ll cry for several minutes, but is then able to soothe herself back to sleep (YAY!) And each night she falls asleep quicker. I’m so proud of her. Seriously.

During the night she will occasionally whimper, but is able to fall back asleep on her own. If she is really sad, I go comfort her for a minute by patting her back and speaking softly to her. She also typically wakes up around 2:30/3 and we nurse – in all honesty, this ones for me. My boobs can’t handle going all night without nursing yet.

It’s amazing. It’s so refreshing and it feels strange and so satisfying to be able to sleep so well at night again. It’s been a long time, after all.

Sometimes it’s Hard, Guys

I’m trying to figure out how to say this without sounding insensitive. It’s been on my mind for the past week and I just want to share my thoughts on the topic.

The last few days I have seen several posts about how parents shouldn’t complain about their children. Mainly, the reasons seem to be because it scares future/hopeful mothers.

Here’s the thing. I totally get that! I remember when we were trying for Harrison, it never sat right with me when people would complain about their kids. I mean – you have a kid! That’s something people dream about and pray so hard for. So complaining about these little miracles just seemed downright awful. I still fully understand why people would say this, too. If you know me, you know I 100% believe people should have their own opinions and have every right to believe what they want to. Everyone has their own thoughts and that is GREAT! and I mean that!

However, now I’m a mother. I’ve had this title for a little over 5 hours now. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s my grandest blessing and greatest honor. I love my three children with my whole heart and life with them is even better than the best adventure I could have ever imagined. But motherhood can also feel really isolating and lonely sometimes. Sometimes you feel that way because of what your kids are doing. And..hey, I know it’s not great, but sometimes complaining a little bit feels good. I know that personally, when I whine a little and other moms can relate and share their advice or even their solidarity, it helps me feel less isolated. It helps me feel like I’m not doing motherhood all wrong. It helps ease the mom guilt. I promise I’m not doing it to scare anyone about motherhood. I’m not doing it to make anyone feel like I’m ungrateful for my children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It just helps me feel less crazy. It reminds me it’s ok if every second isn’t a piece of cake. It reminds me that motherhood isn’t always a walk in the park, and THATS OK. I’m just grateful that there are other moms out there who validate these feelings. I hope I can validate them in other moms, as well. Motherhood is a journey and we are in this together!

As for you wonderful and valiant hopeful mamas and mamas-to-be, I truly hope that when I periodically complain about my kids sleep habits, picky eating or tricky behavior, you don’t see it as me trying to scare anyone or be inconsiderate to people. I’m doing it because just like you are on your journey, I am on mine and this is how I handle it. Guys. I promise you that I’m not trying to scare you. Motherhood is lovely and I’d never try to convince anyone otherwise.

Ok now I feel like I’m rambling. Do you get what I’m saying? I just basically want to say – I get both sides!! But I don’t feel like people should feel like they should be silent about things that help them mentally (like talking about all aspects of motherhood) out of fear of offending. Does this make sense?

Please just know I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers. I adore all of you. Everyone. I will validate all your feelings. Whatever side of this matter you’re on, I absolutely get it.

Alright I need to stop now because I feel like I’m talking myself in a hole. Haha! All of you keep being incredible. I love you all dearly.

A Woman in Office

Wow, is Chelsea getting political on a post?!

No. I am not.

Just hear me out.

I am writing this on November 7th, and today, Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. Which also means that today, Kamala Harris became Vice President. Today, a woman got into the office after a long, long, long line of men before her.

I’m going to be honest. The whole feminism thing has never been something I’m super, super passionate about. I mean, I wholeheartedly believe that women should be treated equal and can do anything a male can do. I don’t believe for a second that women are a lesser power or the weaker species. I’ve just never got all worked up about it before or gone out of my way to be any kind of vocal about women’s rights and things like that. I always supported it, but I didn’t put much into it after that.

Then I had a daughter.

When I look at my sweet baby girl, I daydream about her future. I look into her big hazel eyes and wonder who she’ll be. I wonder what she’ll stand for. I wonder what she’ll pursue. I wonder in what way she will change her part of the world. I wonder how she’ll impact those around her. There is so much I don’t know about her future, but one thing I know for certain is that I don’t want her to have to face any obstacle that her brothers wouldn’t have to face just because she is female. I want her to be able to be whatever the heck she wants to be and I want her to be able to do whatever the heck she wants to do.

Kamala Harris being in office is a step in the right direction. Its proof to these little girls (and big girls) that women can do whatever they put their minds to. Truly, I love what Vice President Harris said in her victory speech when she said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last — because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

I hope Flora is one of those little girls. I’ll make sure she’s one of those little girls. I want her to know that yes, she is a woman, and she can do anything she puts her mind to. I’m happy that, though she won’t remember the time of Biden and Harris, she’ll be able to look at history and see that a woman was in office. Who knows how many more will have been in as my daughter continues to grow older. I hope it doesn’t stop. I really don’t. Because little girls, whether they’re paying attention to politics or not, still pay attention to what other girls are doing.

I’m very close-lipped about politics. This post is in no way indicative of who I did or didn’t vote for and I have no intention of getting into that. I’m just looking at this, this moment, as a win for girls. The symbolism and significance of a woman, no matter what she stands for or claims she’ll do, is pretty amazing, empowering and exciting. I don’t speak out about much stuff like this, but people being treated equally is something I’ll always be in favor of.

And my daughter can do and be anything she puts her mind to.

Taking Care of MOM

You hear it all the time as a mother. “You need to take care of yourself.” But that can be so hard sometimes. Its something you just don’t totally get until you’re actually in it. I know its so incredibly important to take time out for me. I’m a better mom and wife when I make sure I’m taking care of myself and doing things for myself.

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out just what to do, though. What can you, as not only a mom, but a human being, do for yourself to rejuvenate yourself, refresh yourself and keep the relationship with yourself alive and healthy? I’m going to give you a few of my go-to self care things and some of my fantasy ones as well to hopefully inspire you to do something for yourself!!

Ideas to Take Care of Yourself

  • Take a bath. Not one to wash your hair, shave your legs and ponder the meaning of life. A bath to sit in hot water with a sparkly bath bomb, snacks, a Diet Coke and either a podcast on or something on YouTube. Lose yourself in the moment full of things you love and a whole lot of mindlessness.
  • Go get your nails done. Pick a color that makes you happy. Rock it.
  • Set aside time for yourself to read a book, a magazine, a blog or something of that nature. If reading isn’t your thing, I personally love to listen to a podcast while browsing instagram — or pictures of my kids haha.
  • Exercise. My personal faves are yoga or running. Or heck, try a new workout! Maybe you’ll find something you love and it could become your new outlet.
  • Take a nap. I know some people don’t identify as a ‘nap person,’ but I certainly am and I’m fairly certain that naps can solve lots of problems.
  • Go grab a soda. Going on a ride, listening to music or a podcast and getting a delicious Diet Coke? Sign. me. up. Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me.
  • Call your mom or a trusted family member or friend. Talk to the people who don’t live in your home and just chat. They should be some people that make you feel good.
  • Ice Cream and a show. One of my favorite things to do in the evening is to sit on the couch, watch tv, eat ice cream and play around on my computer. Sometimes I work on blog posts or sometimes I lose myself on Pinterest. Either way I feel awesome.

Those are only a few ideas, but they’re some of my tried and true ones. What are your go-to’s?!

Just remember. You’re amazing and you absolutely deserve time to yourself. You are just as important as your children and your husband. Don’t forget that!

The Start of Something New

…it feels so right to be here with you, ohh!

{bonus points for you if you know what thats from}

On Monday I committed myself to something, and I have every intention of staying committed. I started exercising and paying attention to what I’m putting into my body. I am feeling so motivated and empowered and am actually very excited for this journey I’m taking myself on.

I started working out a few weeks ago right around 6 weeks postpartum, but long story short, I just lacked the motivation. I also didn’t feel all the way healed, because while I exercised a lot still hurt and didn’t feel right. So it was a short lived thing. But now I am about 10 weeks postpartum and feelings leaps and bounds better physically and mentally, and I’m ready to do this.

I want to be clear about something though, I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m not doing it to get my “pre-baby body,” either. I’m doing this to feel good about myself. I’m doing this to do something good for myself. I’m a mom and a wife — so I spent the good majority of my days doing things for others to make them feel good. But I need to do things for myself, too. I need to make sure I’m feeling good, as well. I’m totally a believer that when you’re putting yourself as a priority, you’re a better person all around. I need to do that. However, if I do lose some pounds and tone my body up while on this journey, then awesome – I’ll have worked hard for it, so I’ll be proud of myself. But ultimately, I want to keep my body, my wonderful body, healthy and happy.

I’m excited to start this! I’m excited to feel stronger, feel more confident and get back that body confidence thats so easy to lose when you’ve recently had a baby and all you see is flabby, stretched skin, extra pounds, stretch marks and a tired face. I’m doing this for me – to feel like me, again, and I’m ready!

Do you have a goal? Start today!! Lets reach our goals together! Lets motivate each other! We can do this!!

Baby Sister!

Flora

June 11, 2020

Details and birth story coming soon. For now, just know that we are all doing so, so well. Our hearts are full as full can be. We have already been so blessed by having this sweet little girl in our family! I can’t wait to share more of her with you later. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up all the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds because this is my heaven on earth!

My ECV Experience

On June 4th, Craig and I went into the hospital to get Baby Sister moved from a breech (head up) position to a head down position. This was so I could have a much better chance at vaginal delivery and a VBAC. It was also because we didn’t want to possibly risk another experience like Emmett’s birth, which was a bit scary (thankfully only for a moment). We had a few different options of how to go about this all, but ultimately, Craig and I felt best and most peaceful about attempting to move her, and now that all is said and done, and she’s still head down, I feel that it was all very worth it and I’m glad we had the procedure done.

My experience with an External Cephalic Version, or ECV, was painful, but good. Here is the quick recap of how that day went.

Early in the morning we went to the hospital and got all registered and situated in a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and was hooked up to the heart monitor to track Sisters heart, and a contraction monitor, just in case. I was hooked to an IV and then my doctor came in to explain to us what was going to happen. He told us about things that could go wrong and how they would handle those situations. An anesthesiologist came in, also just in case I needed to be whisked away to have an emergency c-section. The anticipation of the procedure about to happen was slightly nerve wracking, but I knew, I truly knew, I was in good, prepared hands.

I was given some muscle relaxer drug that kicked in really fast and made me feel so loopy and a lot more relaxed. It definitely wasn’t anything that muted any pain, but it did help my stomach stay soft and easy to work with. I was also given a shot in the back of my arm (not sure what that was?) and then a few nurses came in, the anesthesiologist stood nearby, Craig stood near by head and my doctor positioned himself beside me and began the ECV.

Overall, the whole procedure took less than ten minutes. It went smoothly and thankfully the baby cooperated with everything going on for the most part. My doctor definitely knew what he was doing and I was grateful to see how often he checked the ultrasound to make sure she was doing ok in there with all this chaos. Right towards the end when she was nearly all the way head down, her head was being a little stubborn and getting into place, and then all the sudden it was like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly where it should, I felt her head pop into the exact spot it was meant to be. I don’t know how to explain it except that all the sudden she just fit really well where she was at. The procedure was not comfortable at all. It hurt really bad. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and just tried to focus on breathing. I got so hot and felt so sweaty. I could feel my feet flexing hard (nurses later commented on that, too) and my hands were squeezing my gown as hard as I could. It was tolerable pain, but it was not fun at all. I was terribly sore the next couple of days and am still sore in one specific spot. It was rough, but thankfully, not long.

When it was all finished, I was monitored for the next hour, as well as sisters heartbeat. We both checked out just fine and were able to be discharged!

I was told to take it easy the next couple of days and be mindful of good fetal movement (which thankfully there was so much of). Now that it is all said and done, I am grateful for the experience. I’d say it was totally worth it and I’d recommend it to someone who was faced with that possibility with a breech baby.

10 Best Things About Pregnancy

I’m just about to have my third child and have officially reached the point of just being done. Every night and every morning, I plead/pray that labor will start within the next few hours, and I’m not going to lie, when it doesn’t, I get pretty bummed. I’m ready. I’m so, so ready. I want this baby out of my belly and into my arms.

As my attitude about being pregnant feels like it’s steadily declining here at the end, I decided this morning that I was going to try my best to change the way I’m viewing it for today at least. Today I want to dwell on all the things I love about pregnancy and the miracle that it is. I want to remember how very fortunate I am to be able to carry children. I want to have the blessing this phase of life is, no matter how uncomfortable or long, at the front of my mind.

So with that being said, here are

The 10 Best Things About Pregnancy (according to me):

1: The Movement. It’s both magical and crazy all at the same time. Admittedly, it’s also a little painful at times too. But to feel all the kicks, rolls, stretches, jabs, hiccups and twitches is something truly phenomenal. That is a real life, living, human baby inside of me growing and wiggling! It’s amazing.

2: The Connection. Before baby is born, no one is connected to her/him like you. It’s this special bond only the two of you have until they make their debut into the world. I love that currently, I’m the only one that really knows my daughters movements or the only one that really has (the tiniest) grasp at what her personality will be.

3: The Belly. I know women have varying opinions on pregnancy bodies and big growing bellies, but I personally adore mine. I really do. I feel most confident in my skin when I’m pregnant and I am dang proud of my giant belly! With my boys I never got stretch marks, but this time around I have a couple small ones and I’m strangely excited about them! I love what my body is doing and the crazy changes I’m going through. It’s a blessing that I’ve wished for since I was a little girl, and to be living it now is a dream come true.

4: The Food. I’ll be honest, not being judged on what you’re eating or how much you’re eating because you’re pregnant? Ah-mazing.

5: The Stories. I could talk pregnancy/birth all day long for the rest of my life. I love creating all these memories that I can share with people. One of my favorite things ever is sitting around with fellow moms and sharing stories about our pregnancies, births, etc. It’s bonding and it’s beautiful and it never ceases to blow my mind just how different each experience can be.

6: The Daydreaming. I love imaging the baby. Who will she/he be? What will their name be? What will they look like? What will their personality be? What will their interests be? Will they be born with hair? Who will they most resemble? It’s thrilling.

7: The Anticipation. Ok, anticipating your babies arrival can also be terrifying or feel excruciatingly long, but when looked at with the right attitude, it’s exhilarating. Waiting to add another little soul into your family is so special and exciting!

8: The Shopping. Buying tiny baby clothes and accessories is the. best. It also helps makes things feel real. Once you get a significant little stack of items for them you’ll find yourself obsessing over them and looking through them frequently.

9: The Attention. I’m just being honest here – you get special attention when you’re pregnant and hey, it’s kinda fun! You’re a tiny bit of a celebrity when you’re walking around with a big bump. People treat you a little kinder. It can be awkward for sure, but it’s also kind of sweet.

10: The Space. My current favorite thing is just starting at the space my daughter will take up once she arrives. Her nursery. Her bassinet in my bedroom. Things like that. She is going to figure out quickly how she fits into this family and fill that space so beautifully and I am beyond thrilled to watch it all take place. I know she’ll change the dynamic in our family and rock our world in the best possible way and seeing her spaces helps me remember that and get SO stinkin’ excited!