New Mom Life: Survival Schedule

New Mom Life: Survival Schedule

After having my baby I felt overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done on a daily basis. I would forget to pay bills, my house started looking messy, I felt frumpy, and just out of control. So, at that point I could either accept my new tornado like life, or I could take control over it. This is when I decided to sit down and write down everything that needed to be done. I created a master list. I prioritized the things that needed to be done on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. After breaking this list down, I realized that I could take control of my life.  I just needed to create and stick to a very specific schedule.

I put together my own personal binder of mom schedules! This binder included my babies learning schedule, feeding schedule, sleeping schedule, cleaning schedule, meal prep schedule, fitness schedule, personal beauty schedule, family time schedule, couple time schedule, bible devotion schedule, and bill pay schedules. The first week is always the toughest. It is easy to get distracted with the number activities that tend to need the attention of a new mother, but I found that some things just need to wait. As a mom that has zero baby help, I had to decide what activities could wait. For example, I could live without having a perfectly vacuumed car on a daily basis, but I could not live with a giant pile of dishes. I could live without dusting the windowsill every day, but I could not live with a full kitchen trashcan.  Once I prioritized the chores that needed to be done it was easy to create a day to day cleaning schedule.

I hate feeling frumpy. Beauty and mom pampering time can sometimes be a challenge. Since, going to the beauty salon with a baby is not ideal, I had to buy my time. I chose a low maintenance hair color, which would allow me to get away with spending a little less time at the salon and more time with my baby. I became pretty good at doing my own manis and pedis. Now, if you can get away for a bit of a spa day go for it! But, in my case I lacked a sitter ,so I had to do these at home as a time saver. The gym is my place of stress release. I am fortunate to have a trainer that doesn’t mind holding my baby while I train. However, if this is not an option for you I would suggests finding a gym that offers childcare. In my experience gym time is always time well spent.

It is not the most romantic thought to schedule couple time, but it is necessary.  Date nights use to be spur of the moment, but now our lives revolve around the needs of a sweet little baby. So, if you don’t have a sitter improvise. We do a lot of home date nights, or we plan a date around his nap time.  This gives us a chance to spend some quality couple time.

Life will never be the same, but that’s not a bad thing. Being a mother can feel overwhelming. Some days I am so frustrated I cry, but that’s okay. I do my best to prioritize and stick to my schedule. I found that this particular system works for me. However, I also know that sometimes you just got to roll with whatever the day brings. Like most new moms I’m learning as I go. Mom life is tough but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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Flying with Baby

Flying with Baby

Traveling with a baby does not have to be a stressful event. The first time I traveled with my snugglebug he was 2 months old. We flew from Nevada to Texas to visit his grandparents. The flight itself was easy because he slept most of the way, and it was relatively a short flight. The tricky part was packing everything that he needed in an organized manner, and of course getting through the airport security check point.

Our first trip, I wanted to pack for all possible weather conditions, and baby messiness. So needless to say I over packed. We got to the airport early so we did  not have to rush, which was great. However, I was so worried about putting my shoes on that I forgot the formula at the security check point. I had to rush back from the terminal to retrieve it!  Thankfully, because of the extra minutes I made it back in time to board the plane.  , make sure you wear some easy slip on no distraction shoes, and check in as many bags as as possible so you do not have to worry about it at the security check point.

Once we boarded  the plane, my baby decided that it was time to poop. The airplane did not have a changing table in the bathroom, so I sat on the toilet and changed him on my lap. It was a balancing that I was not expecting. It was an interesting first flight, but I learned from it.

I learned  that freezer size zipolock bags are the best way to coordinate outfits.  Just place 1 outfit in each bag. Include accessories. This way you will know exactly how many outfits you are packing for each day. Buy disposable changing pads in case your plane doesn’t have a changing table. You can use the toilet seat as a changer as long as you have you protective sheet. If you are traveling with a companion, you could totally change the baby in your seats. However, be mindful of poopy smells. Best tip is be quick and carry a smell proof baby poopy bag in case you have to stay in your because of turbulence. Make sure to pack handwipes and Clorox wipes in your diaper bag. You will need them! Babies love touching very germy  tv screens and magazines. Let’s talk about security check point tips. Get there at least 15-20 minutes early! Your stroller will also be checked so again give yourself time. Organization is key to a stress free trip! Last tip, Don’t pack anything that can easily be purchased around your destination area. I packed waaaaay to may diapers when there was a Target next door. Also, make sure you call the airline ahead of time to let them know that you are taking a lap child. This should cut the wait time and the original check in counter. Hope your next trip is extra smooth!

Planning Baby’s First Birthday!

Planning Baby’s First Birthday!

I wanted to make his first birthday extra special! I spent two months preparing for his special day. I decided to make it a Sesame Street theme party. I quickly learned that taking a baby to buy party supplies is definitely not easy. Most of my party shopping was done online. I spent a great deal if time on Pintrest, Amazon ,and Party City.

I never knew how much work actually goes into planning and executing a baby’ birthday party. It can easily turn from fun to stress. However with the proper planning stress can be avoided. First, I created a budget and a master list of all the things that I would need for the party. I included everything from balloons to catering.

After the list was completed ,I created a timeline of when each of the items needed to be purchased or booked. Once I settled on the number of people that would be invited I acquired everything that could be stored plates, table cloths, goody bags, etc. The second month I proceeded to order the cake, extra tables, chairs, and I booked a caterer.

Two weeks before the party I double checked the RSVP cards to get a final head count. The week before the party I called the caterer, baker, and table supply to double check that they had the correct time and date.

The day before the party I blew up all the balloons myself, and I set up anything that would not spoil. I put the gummy worms in Elmo cups, and prepared Cookie Monsters Cookies for plating. Finally, the day of the party I woke up extra early to complete the party set up.

Thankfully, some of my favorite people volunteered to help decorate. The party was a success! The kids loved the Abby bubble wands, and not a single cookie was spared. My snugglebug received all kinds of cute gifts and lots of hugs. I am so thankful that I was able to put it all together for him. The only thing I would have done differently is obtained a photographer. Maybe not a professional, but a friend who loves to take pictures! This way I could have focused more on my hostess duties. My baby is growing up, and each day I thank God for these precious memories.

We Are Worthy

We Are Worthy

My journey to Jesus has been a complex one. I once held a very legalistic view of what a Christian should be like. I was overwhelmed by the many shoulds and should nots of everyday choices.  I was never good enough to obtain salvation. In the eyes of those that surrounded me at the time,  I could never dedicate enough time to study scriptures, preach the word to others, participate in church activities, and behave in a pure enough manner. I was never good enough. No matter how much I tried to do things the way that I thought God wanted them to be there was always someone telling me that I was not good enough to receive salvation. I lacked humility, my clothes were too short or too tight, my smile was too flirtatious, my goals were not that of godly woman, and I was too outspoken for my own good. With all of my flaws, what was the point of trying to reach God’s love if everything about me was so unlovable? I figured that one of the ways to win God’s favor was to log in hours of ministry outreach work or give elaborate commentary during church services. Even though I participated in such activities, I never really felt close to God. It felt a almost mechanical. I would show up participate but I never felt truly close to God. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that I could never earn God’s unconditional love, because it had already been given to me.

A few years back I decided that I have had enough of the repetitive and empty nature of my then faith. I knelt, and I prayed. I prayed to God that he would find me, and that he would guide me to a place where he wanted me to be. At first, I thought he might not answer me. What if I had offended him by asking to leave a faith that for so long I had been taught was the only true faith. I took a chance anyway. It so happened that I came across a nondenominational church. The first time I listened to the pastor he introduced me to the term “God’s Grace”. I had never heard of such a thing. He said that Grace was the gift that God gives us even though we are undeserving. He said that I could never earn Gods love because God already loved me. This concept itself was foreign to me. I had always thought that I had to work to earn God’s love. I was intrigued.

After a year of praying and analyzing scripture my old mentality began to melt away. I read about how God loved and used sinners in his ministry. He loved people that would be considered as the outcast of society. God gave power to the weak and made them triumph over their adversaries. The more I read the more I realized how wrong I had been. God is not a policeman itching to give a ticket. No! God is a loving father that is ready to pick you up when you have fallen. He is the type of father that you can turn too when you are lost.  He sees our hearts and knows our minds. He knows our wants, our needs, and our fears.  He loves us.

As the shackles of my past fell from my heart I began to make new friendships. God blessed me with the opportunity to become friends with individuals that embrace me for who I am. These friends always strive to lift my spirits. They remind me that God is the only one that truly knows my heart, and that he loves me despite all of my flaws.  I no longer live in fear. I live in hope. He sent his son to save me. My heart and my mind are now free.

I am now a mother. I am so grateful that I had my moment of awakening before my son was born. I never want him to feel that he is unworthy in anyway. I am so thankful that I will have the opportunity to teach him about God’s unconditional love for us all. We are his children. There is nothing that I would not do to keep my child safe and happy. I would do anything for him, be whatever he needs me to be. God sees us with the eyes of a loving parent. I am worthy. We are worthy.

Baby is Watching

Baby is Watching

I have always believed that children learn best by example. My son is still a tiny tot, and yet he is already starting to imitate me. I pray that I will prove to be a good role model for him to follow. I want him to be kind, generous, loving, patient, strong, and that he love God. I want him to be the type of human being that others love to be around. I want him to have a magnet type of personality. I pray that he has a strong voice, but that he also able to listen to voices wiser than his own. I want him to know the Lord, and to always walk in faith.  I want him to be self sufficient. I want him to be confident but also humble in heart. I hope that he is cautious but is also not afraid to live life to the fullest. Everyday I pray that I set a good example for him, but truth is I am anything but perfect.  So I also pray, that the days that I’m less patient, not as loving, and selfish that God remind me that my little one is watching.

Drops of Kindess

Drops of Kindess

We live in a world that is filled with stress factors. As a new mom I have discovered a few new stress triggers such as public tantrums, forgetting to pack diapers, and judgmental looks from non parents. It is so easy to judge others when we are not walking in their shoes. Before having my baby I did not understand the pressure that comes with motherhood. Sometimes a simple smile or an encouraging word can make all the difference in the world. My sweet friend invited me to brunch. It was not the first time that we had dined out with our babies. However, this time around it was different. It was the first time that we had gone to brunch since our babies had discovered their outdoor voices and their ability to throw things. A few minutes into the meal my nugget had a meltdown! I quickly got him out of the high chair to quiet him. As I unlocked his seat caught a glimpse of unkind looks coming my way. Instead of being annoyed like most people would be my friend just said “Its okay, he’s just a baby” and calmed him down. Earlier that week I had visited a coffee shop. I was craving an iced coffee. As I was leaving with my coffee in hand I realized that I would need help opening the door.  I struggled for a bit to hold the door open for myself and my baby. Even though people were near the door they did not volunteer to help me. I guess it was because they were consumed in their own conversation and laptops that they didn’t notice me. Finally an elderly gentlemen walked over and said “Let me help you”. Our world would be so much better if we would just take the time to help each other. It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary act. Sometimes volunteering to hold your friends baby while she finishes her meal makes all the difference. Holding someone’s door can make someones day a little better. Take a moment to do something kind for someone else. You might not think it’s a big deal, but every little drop of kindness can help alleviate this stress filled world.

Tired Mom Thankful Mom

Tired Mom Thankful Mom

My baby is walking! I was so proud to see him moving towards me with a big smile on his face. I was overjoyed the first time he walked  back and forth to share kisses with us.  he is definitely on the go, which means that I am on the go! I am constantly climbing stairs, chasing bubbles, dancing, and making sure that all cabinets are locked. I am no longer able to enjoy a meal with out a tiny little hand reaching out to grab a piece of my sandwich. All outings revolve around nap times, and snack times. I am now wearing a backpack instead of a trendy bag. It is filled with toys that sing, books, and shakers. I can hear his favorite Sesame Street songs in my sleep.  My windows have tiny hand prints on them a few minutes after they were wiped down. I wear my hair up so that he can’t pull on my hair, and studs have replaced by dangle earrings. My snugglebug is now eating solid foods so now I have to meal prep for him as well. At the end of the day I am exhausted, but I am grateful. I thank God everyday for giving me the opportunity to be a mother to this amazing little human. A tiny human that kisses me with strawberry jam on his cheeks, and that hugs me while holding sticky play dough in his hands. I am so grateful for the moments that we splash around in the bathtub even though my  mascara tends not to live up to its water proof advertisement. I am thankful that at the end of the day I am exhausted because I got to spend the day with my gift from God. I am tired but forever grateful for this time.

What Does it Mean to be a Christian Mom?

What Does it Mean to be a Christian Mom?

What does it mean to be a Christian mom? Well, for me it means that I always have someone to turn to for help. My family resides in a different state. My husband’s family lives three hours away. It is easy for me to feel overwhelmed, and lonely at times. For over ten years I worked in the field of education. I was very much use to living a on the go life. I interacted with different people on a daily basis. After giving birth I was blessed to have the opportunity to stay home with my baby. I absolutely love getting to snuggle him every morning. However, there are days when he is extra fussy. These are usually the days when there is a lot to do on the day’s agenda. This includes cleaning the house, running errands, cooking, doing laundry, paying bills, etc. Now, on top of this I have days where my back is killing me from carrying around a chubby baby. Now, where is my husband in all of this? Well, my husband works long hours so for the most part it’s just me and my snugglebug. Not too long ago I was having a very crazy day. It was crazy enough that I broke down in tears. I knelt down and I prayed to the Lord .I  asked him for help. Now, help did not come in the form of my mother, a nanny, or a cook. No, help came in the form of friendships. I have met some amazing moms that have helped me to keep my sanity. Together we share our stories, grow from our mistakes, and remind each other that each of us has another identity besides being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself on being a mom, especially a stay at home mom. Believe me it’ not an easy job. It’s a 24/7 job. You never get bathroom or lunch breaks unless the baby boss says it’s okay. Every day I thank God for my amazing little baby, and I ask him to give the strength, wisdom, and energy to get me through the day. I ask him to provide me with beautiful mom friendships that help me to grow as a mother, and as a person. I am thankful for all of my blessings. I know that no matter how crazy my day gets my God is always there to listen to my prayers. My whiny, happy, tearful, glad, and just to say hi prayers.