Thursday, August 13, 2015

"One of Those Days" a Painting with Bob Ross

As a mom, specially of multiples, I feel we have all been there. I'm not talking about one of those bad days, just one of those days.

I'm going full on Bob Ross here, and paint you a picture of my morning.

Set up that easel and put up your best blank canvas. Now take a fine tip brush, and break that in half. Open at least two full paint bottles, why not make it six, and just throw them at your canvas. Now you have it, a beautiful mommy moment.

Last night started with being projectile thrown up one twice, which sadly my first thought was I was so happy I just took off my good bra, wouldn't want to have to wash that twice in the same week and not have it available to wear tomorrow. Then I cleaned up just enough to spend the next 30 minutes rocking my poor Austin, now 6 months, to sleep. I honestly have no idea how he fell to sleep with the smell of acidic milk all over mommy, but I got him to bed and showered, barely making it out before he woke up again. But hey, that makes it two days in a row of showering! (Queue in applause)

Fast forward to this morning. Austin hasn't kept much down and mommy has been thrown up on a couple time since showering. I'm sitting with Austin on my lap, while I watch Elora, my beautiful spit and vinegar 2.5 year old, on her hands and knees eating popcorn off the floor that had been there since last night. I guess I don't have to make breakfast. Least I managed to clip her hair out of her face beforehand so she can clearly see what she is eating, I wouldn't want her to get a stray piece of cookie from last night in her breakfast. I mean seriously, cookie for breakfast, what do you think I am, a bad mom?

The painting continues, now amongst the the spilled popcorn on the ground is a couple random towels covering the spots of throw up I haven't been able to clean yet. Near the front door is half of my clean laundry folded and the other half in a pile on the floor, also from last night. This could be the reason I hid when I saw my neighbor come to the door, that or the fact I have no makeup covering what looks like Rudolf has traded me for my nose. At this point Elora is wearing nothing but a pumpkin bib that is for a newborn, I am wearing my husband's Corona shirt, and sick Austin is the only one who looks somewhat put together, besides the patch of hard hair on the back of his head that somehow got puked on.

Austin throws up again. Elora yells "spit up!" and tries to copy him by spitting on him, to which I told her was not ok. So now I'm being growled at.

As I think of Austin's nap in the near future, I'm stuck with deciding which I want more, a shower or coffee. Let's face it though, I showered two days in a row, if I showered again I would really be out doing myself and I wouldn't want my husband to think I have completely lost it.

So, which creamer do I choose?

With that I want to wish you Happy Painting my Friends. Thank you for joining me in my morning adventures.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Austin's Birth Story

11 weeks postpartum. 11 weeks of our new life as a family of four. 11 weeks late for this post.

It is said that once you have children you truly know the meaning of the saying "time flies", oh man whoever said that was pure genius! As I sit here with both babies napping (no I'm not entirely sure how I got this to happen) I have been itching to write again! So here it is...

January 25th.

We woke up early this Sunday morning and laid in bed tickling and laughing with our only child. Taking in every moment and talking about how strange it was that tomorrow morning we would be going to the hospital for our scheduled induction. Our last day as a family of three.


Most of the day we just relaxed at home. Towards the afternoon I started to feel some contractions, not regular but quite more uncomfortable than I have had before. That night was going to be Elora's first over-night at Josh's parents house. So we headed over to have dinner with them. The car ride over I noticed the contractions getting more persistent. So I began timing them. About every 10-15 minutes. By the time we finished with dinner I was really uncomfortable and the contractions were even more frequent. So we said our goodbyes, kissed Elora, only got a little emotional, and headed out. The car ride home showed me just how frequent and bad the contractions were. Josh asked if I should call my Doctor and I said no, we were just going to go into Labor and Delivery, I was not going to wait to call and hear back from my Doctor.

After going home to grab our stuff, we headed to the hospital. 9pm. The lady that signed us in just so happened to be working on my paperwork for the induction. They told us we would be in Room 9. This was pretty great, because I had been to the hospital so much in the last three months that I had been in every room, multiple times, except for this mysterious Room 9. "Holy cow, it's like a suite!" The nurse nurse laughed at my reaction. So we got settled and they checked me. Still only at 1.5cm but the contractions were strong. I had two of my favorite nurses with me that night. They explained if I did not progress on my own they would start the pitocin at 4am.

So now we wait. I was too uncomfortable to just lay down so we began walking the hallway. We both laughed saying it was like a scene from a movie. The pregnant wife waddling down the hallway, in those ugly hospital socks and gown, stopping every couple feet to moan against the wall. Luckily it was the middle of the night, so we had the hall all to ourselves. After that we went back to our room where my nurses, knowing me so well, brought an assortment of snacks. A sandwich, rice crispy treat, and of course my go to drink, sprite and cranberry juice, and a few other goodies piled in.

After awhile the pain was getting much worse, so they checked me again, I was progressing great on my own! No pitocin needed! So they started the IV, and by started I mean poked me a million times until finally getting on to work. The first nurse tried a few times, the next nurse a few more times, then another nurse had my arm all twisted to get the IV in the back of my arm. By this time I was crying, between the contractions and the frustration of being poked with a needle I had enough. Then another nurse came in to tell us that the blood they collect on my first poke coagulated so they couldn't use it and need to draw more. 9 total marks in my arm before I was finally done. Josh had been holding my hand the entire time and was trying to keep cool but he had been extremely upset it took so many times and seeing me in pain was getting to him.

After that ordeal I was able to get an epidural. This time around was a lot harder! With Elora I never felt the contractions because I went for one pain medication to the epidural. This time I, like most women, was having to stay still while this giant needle went into my back during these horrible contractions. I remember just crying saying "here comes another ooonnnneeee". Awe the joys.

Epidural working. Which meant no pain, but a lot of shivering and itching! They wanted me to try and sleep a little (this was around 4am) before I had to start pushing. They checked me again and realized baby was face up and they wanted to get him to turn, so they gave me this giant peanut ball to lay with between my legs. Ya, sleep was not going to happen. I was shaking, and my feet kept itching and I could not scratch with the ball in the way so I needed Josh to scratch my feet every few minutes.

After an hour of that, they came to check on me again. As the nurse checked on me she was just staring, and said there was a little blood and she needed a second opinion. So another nurse came in, a few whispers later, then a doctor comes in. I had no idea what was going on and Josh was being pretty quiet. I didn't find out until later that I was loosing a lot of blood.

Shortly after that, Josh's family arrives with Elora, gives hugs and goes to wait in the waiting area, which happens to be a few seats in the hallway directly outside of my room. Then the room was being set up for delivery and my Doctor comes in, all smiles, and says "It's a great day to have a baby!"

I had a few sets of pushes out of the way when my normally very calm Doctor, looks nervous, tells me I have to give it my all and she needs the vacuum. This made us very nervous because Elora had need the vacuum and that caused her to have a cut on her head and be in the NICU. Our biggest prayer this whole time was that our son would not have to be in the NICU. Josh then whispered in my ear, "Ash, you got to do this, you have to push hard and get him out." Then my Doctor said those fateful words, "Ok, he is coming and I will put him on you just to clean him up and then he will be rushed to the NICU." My heart sank. One last push and he was out. They took him to to the monitors in the same room to check all his vitals. I just stared at him and Josh and wept. I couldn't believe it was happening again.

Within minutes, he perked right up and they nurses said he was doing great and didn't need to leave us. The relief washed over us and I began crying even harder thanking God. I finally got to hold my little man. And it was the best. Josh later told me that I had been loosing even more blood and baby's heart rate dropped to 20 and that was the cause of the scare.

 Austin Allen Bacon 5lbs 15oz 18.5in 7:34am




Shortly after that we got wheeled down to the Mother Baby Unit, baby in my arms. Which is a feeling I wont ever take for granted since last time I was alone. 

So there we were with our baby in our room, and we were so happy to share him with our family! 






This pregnancy was a tough ride, but I would do it all over again for this little person I call 'son'.

We are blessed beyond belief, and we are loved beyond words.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Updates

I have kept a lot to myself the past few months, but after posting a vague prayer request a month ago, I realized it is not so much about feeling vulnerable with more people knowing the situation, but feeling surrounded by love and not being alone during a hard time. My family is blessed in more ways than we could imagine. We have had people we don't even know praying for us and we feel uplifted and showered in care. I have had a lot of people ask what has been going on and I find it overwhelming to even start sometimes. But as the end is near, with only 3 days left, I will try and fill everyone in.

Our second pregnancy began completely different than our first. It was a shock, I had no idea I could be pregnant, and if it wasn't for the growing belly I wouldn't have known for awhile. It was just, easy. That is how I knew it was a boy. The first six months came and went with hardly any sickness, food cravings, or much to prove I was actually pregnant. 

October. Short and sweet. It started with what they thought was kidney stones, which kept me in the hospital for a couple nights. This was my first night away from Elora. Josh was amazing, taking care of Elora, but not wanting to leave me alone at the hospital, so he packed up Elora multiple times a day to visit me. 


After ruling out kidney stones, they sent me on my way and was told to come back if it got any worse. After a few days out of the hospital, I went back. I knew the pain, because it was the same thing I had with Elora. Hydronephrosis, water in the kidney that makes the kidney swell. There are two ways to get the kidney back down to size. Deliver baby, which I was far enough along with Elora that they induced delivery right at 37 weeks, it was a painful delivery with the swollen kidney but after she was out, everything felt much better. The second option is to get a nephrostomy tube put into your side that helps drain the kidney and prolong pregnancy. At 24 weeks there was no way I could deliver baby, but from what I heard getting the tube had it's own problems. From what my Drs had told me the tube would help the swelling in my kidney, but would cause it's own pain and discomfort, I would most likely be on bed rest for the rest of pregnancy, and possibly be on bed rest at the hospital for the last part of pregnancy. I talked to the urologist and asked if I could possibly go without the tube, but without the tube my body could go into kidney failure and of course this is a much more serious problem for both baby and I. So my decision was made. 



A couple weeks later I went back to the hospital to get the tube placed. I'm not entirely sure what I expected but I was scared and nervous. Josh couldn't go back to the surgery room with me, and that was when the lump in my throat started. As soon as they opened the doors to the room, the tears filled my eyes. It was an actual surgical room, everything in it was intimidating and quite honestly scary. I did not feel brave what so ever. The procedure went fine but the recovery was hard. When I first got out it hurt to breath, I passed out, and it was a hard transition once I was home. 


 So this would be my best friend, always by my side, for the next few months. This was when I was at my lowest point. Even if I felt like I could, I wasn't supposed to do anything. I couldn't pick up my daughter when she got hurt and was crying, I couldn't make dinner for my husband, I just felt useless. My life has always revolved around my family and their needs before my own and I wasn't supposed to do my job anymore. Not to mention being completely stir crazy. I got to get out of the house once or twice a week for doctor appointments and that was a highlight for me. I have also never been so insecure, not something I admit easily. Pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful, but I felt like I was constantly trying to find something to wear that hid this horrible tube and bag on my side. When I did get out of the house, I felt like people were staring. I was embarrassed. Even with Josh, I felt like I was hiding, and when I couldn't hide because I needed him to help replace bandages, I would cry because I no longer felt attractive. 


Constant praying on my part and prayers from family and friends helped me. I began to see that with all these trials came many blessings. Josh and I have become closer than ever, with a new appreciation for each other. We both took a new understanding on how much we do for each other and our family. He took on the role of Mr Mom, going to work, then coming home to take care of Elora and I, make dinner, do the bed time routine, and clean house before he sat down from the day. Words will never describe the appreciation and love that I have for this man. He has been my rock and made this experience manageable. The blessings we have experienced as a family has only continued. 

December. Having a tube and being on bed rest means more ultrasounds! Something to look forward to every other week. We found out we would be induced at 37 weeks because of the tube. So the date was set. January 26th at 6am. After setting the date we went back to the hospital to get a series of steroid shots to help baby's lungs develop in case of preterm labor, which with all the circumstances we were told it wouldn't be surprising if I went anytime after 34 weeks.  At this point we found out that instead of having the tube removed right before delivery, that I would have to deliver with it in and not have it removed until a week after baby.


A  week before Christmas the tube stopped working so I had to go back to the hospital to get it replaced. This was by far the worst experience of my life. What should have been a simple easy procedure, turned horrible. They gave me some pain meds but said I shouldn't need to be sedated because it should be quick and easy. They soon found out that it had stopped working because there was calcium build up around the inside, almost like rocks, that made getting it out very difficult. Once they realized it would be more difficult, my blood pressure was only about 75 which was too low for them to sedate me and have it safe for baby or I. So I got to be awake and feel every push and pull they made. Once I got back to the short stay room I began experiencing pain with every breath, it got so bad I started hyperventilating which made everything worse. It took an hour for the pain meds. An hour of feeling like I was going to die and screaming for it to stop. The nurses and doctors were very sympathetic and felt bad that the procedure and been so rough. They didn't want it to get that bad again so I was scheduled for another replacement four weeks later, even though baby would be here in 5 weeks. 

January. The first week I had gone to the hospital for preterm labor with contractions every 3 minutes. Luckily the contractions did not make me progress any so I was released the next day with something to help the contraction. Every day this little man has stayed in has been a blessing. Because I have been to the hospital so many times in the last couple months, I know most of the nurses and they all have been so kind, cheering me on, and even visiting me when I am not one of their patients that day. 
When you ask for a snack after arriving to the hospital late at night, and your nurses love you.

I was scheduled for another tube replacement in the middle of January, but it had stopped working again so I went in to have it done a few days before my actually appointment. I was more nervous going into this one because the last had been so bad, and being further along we were nervous this would send me into an emergency delivery. So I talked to the nurses and doctors before to get all my worries on the table. Again, they were all too kind, having been there with me the last time and wanted to make sure it wouldn't be anything like that and they did just that. The procedure, while it did hurt, was better than the first two and the recovery seemed quick and easy. And no baby yet! More days for him to grow! 

So now here we are, three days away from our induction date. A date we thought we would never make it to. Baby boy has been healthy and growing strong the entire time. I can not thank everyone enough for the constant support and prayers we have received over the last few months. My spirits are high, and I feel strong. Of course I am anxious with this birth coming up. I don't know how it will go with the tube still in, and he is coming the same time Elora did, so there is always the chance of another NICU stay. Then to have a week old and go back to the hospital to get the tube removed, but he is worth every minute of it! 



Some questions I have received...

Is there anything we can do to help?
Pray. For the upcoming days. For the doctors. For the health of our baby boy. For my family as we transition from a family of three to a family of four. 

Will you have any more children?
This is one I get a lot, and it is a hard one for me. I have always wanted many children, as most people know. From our understanding the reason it was so bad this time around was because I got pregnant within 2 years of my first pregnancy and my body didn't heal fully. If we decide to only have two that is fine, I just don't want that decision made for me, but if it is made for me than God has different plans for us and I will be happy to have my daughter and son. If we decide to have more, it won't be for a few years and I will see a specialist to make sure this wont happen again. So everything is really up in the air as of this point, right now our focus is to just get this little man here as safe as possible and not think too much into the future right now. 



A reminder I see daily, that comforts me and gives me peace. 




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Baby #2 is a....

We are over the moon excited to be expecting another baby and that our oldest baby is going to be a big sister! I still don't believe it sometimes!

So what color could that flower she is holding be? And why a flower? Well, we are excited for her just as much as we are for us! Elora is currently obsessed with flowers, and has this goofy sniffing face every time she sees one, so why not incorporate it! (Shout out to Jessica for the cutest idea ever!) She was so excited to have her own very pretty flower and it was so fun taking picture of her with it, smelling it, looking at it, and of course eating it. 

Monday September 15th, a date we had been looking forward to. We would finally be able to call our baby a he or a she. I could finally be able to say my feelings were right, or Josh could say I was wrong and he was right. What could happen! Whatever would happen would change our lives for the better. Our prayers were simple, that our baby was healthy. 

So being that we were already anxious we decided to not have a cute little gender reveal like we did with Elora, and have it be more personal, with just Josh and I finding out right then and there as we got to look at baby and hear its heartbeat. 

So... what did we find out.... 


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A baby BOY! A whole new experience! Good thing we wanted to know because the moment the ultrasound tech put the thing on my stomach the first imagine that popped up was of him showing off that he, was in fact, a baby boy! We are excited for the new experience and look forward to Elora having a baby brother and all their adventures together! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Am I Really Pregnant?

Well not only did this pregnancy start out different than our first, it has only continued to be a complete 180 from the first pregnancy. With Elora I knew right away, I was constantly sick, and overall had a rough go at pregnancy. This time it has been so easy! In fact, if it wasn't for the growing belly, I might still not know I am pregnant! Crazy how that works out. 

This pregnancy, like our first, has been a complete blessing, but in a different way. I am thankful, like most moms would be, that the second one has been easier, since I still have a toddler to chase after and can't just sleep the day away if I'm not feeling up to it. Yes I have had some symptoms here and there. There was a week where heat would make me queasy. I couldn't open the drying after it had been running without feeling a little sick. But that came and went. And I feel much more tired this time around, but that could also do with having a toddler. 

17.5wks

I am just over 17 weeks now and have noticed that I feel more uncomfortable a lot sooner than I did with Elora. Not to mention this baby is so much lower than I carried with Elora, so even leaning a little bit down feels like I'm crushing baby. I have felt many little flutters here and there over the past few weeks, but the past couple days has been non stop, and I am enjoying every single little movement! I think you truly forget the magic of those little movements. I have a feeling this little baby will have some great kicks for me coming very soon, and I look forward to each and every one! 

Yes, we will be finding out the sex, very soon! As much as I think it would be fun to leave it a surprise, I know Josh wouldn't be able to wait, which makes it that much harder. So why not! Of course we will love baby either way! My theory is boy, only because of the difference in pregnancies, and Josh is determined it is a girl. So we will see! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Here We Go... Again!

Well most everyone knows now, it is out in the open, and we couldn't be happier. Yes this Bacon family is expecting Baby #2!


On June 2nd I had Josh's Mom watch Elora while I went to my Doctor. She had asked why I was going in and I said "Regular appointment, don't worry I am for sure not pregnant." While I was in my appointment my Dr and I talked about when we would like to start a family and how we should wait about 7 months before thinking of using fertility treatments again. They ran a pregnancy test just in case, but I again told them I was pretty dang positive I was not pregnant. The appointment was over and I began to walk out of the office when the nurse grabbed me and asked me to return to the room, that my Dr had a couple more things to talk to me about. I STILL did not think it was possible. My Dr returned and said, well Ashley we don't have to worry about fertility this time around, you are pregnant! I was jaw dropped. Stunned. I could not believe it. My theory, I knew right away I was pregnant with Elora, even before a test would show up, so if I got pregnant again, I would most certainly know. Well I was wrong.

They had me go across the hall to get my blood work done right after my appointment. As I was there the shock really set in. The lady doing my blood work said she felt like I was going through 5 stages of shock because I walked in pale as can be, then I was shaking, then I started crying and laughing, and then started freaking out because I had to tell my husband first, but I was for sure going to see my Mom in Law before. I had to lie to her, and I wasn't sure I could.

I barely remember the drive home because my thoughts were running like crazy. As soon as I walked inside Mom knew something was up, maybe it was because the color from my already pale face was completely gone. She asked how it went I blurted out, "I'm pregnant!" She screamed. Now to tell Josh. I ran to the store to get a "Big Sister" shirt for Elora and had her in it when he got home. He played with her for about 45 minutes before I finally asked if he liked her new shirt. He looked at it, looked at me, read it again, and smiled asking if it was real. He was so happy, grabbed Elora and I and gave us a huge hug.

And that is how it all began. We went for an ultrasound shortly after to see how far along I was, found out I was about 6 weeks and our due date would be February 14th. Another holiday Due Date, Elora's Due Date was April 1st, April Fool's Day.

We are beyond blessed. What an amazing surprise.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Teething Adventures

Oh we have all been there! That drooling, screaming, won't let you go for a minute, fun times of teething. Elora started teething at 9 months, with three teeth at once! Of course multiple teeth emerging at once is a bit rough, but I thought it was a little better, this way it is a few days of teething, vs few days per tooth over a  few weeks. Now every baby is different, some you won't even tell there is a tooth coming in, and others it is like the end of the world is coming and you may loose a good amount of hair from going crazy. This is the same for teeth, each tooth coming in is different. I think Elora handled most of her teeth coming in fairly well, but there was one in particular that she had a very rough time with that actually ended her nursing at around 13 months.

Here's a great teething chart to show about when each tooth will come, but remember, every child is different!

Of course there are endless amount of toys, chews, and tricks for teething, but these are a few of mine, and Elora's, favorites.

Fresh Food Feeder by Munchkin
Man these things are nifty! Elora loved these, and it kept her busy and happy for awhile. The first time I gave it to her I put an ice cube in it and she "nom nom nom'ed" it and was non stop kicking and all smiles! After that I cut up some bananas and put those in the freezer so she had a cold banana chunk inside. I think Elora was quite fond of me that day ;) Of course you can put really any fruits frozen or not in here and baby will enjoy it and you won't worry about them. The only downfall I noticed with these was cleaning. They are a pain to clean. I ended up soaking them, washing them in the dishwasher, and using one of those bottle nipple cleaners which seemed to work the best. I know there are other brands of these that come with replaceable mesh bags, but the handle was harder for Elora's little hands to grasp. Even with the cleaning, I would use this again and again! I never thought about it before but juice ice cubes would probably work great too, and easy clean up!

Popsicle Molds   

Cool and refreshing. You can use any one you have or even make your own with a binky and a medicine measuring cup. I do recommend that you do a smaller one, because they won't eat the bigger popsicle and it will just make a bigger mess. Also pay attention to the handle, and if baby can grasp it without trouble. A good idea for younger babies, is to use breast milk! (You can also do breast milk ice cubes for the mesh feeder shown above) and the older babies/toddlers I would use something without a whole lot of sugar, 100% juices, or even plain water, still is fun and refreshing! I normally use a mix water and V8's V-Fusion with Elora, who is now 16 months. I have the mold shown in the picture by Munchkin and I really like it. Only $6 on their website, and I believe I got it for less at Walmart.  

Frozen Peas or Blueberries

As you might be catching on to, anything frozen works amazing! It really helps numb those gums and give baby some relief. This is is more for older babies, as it is a whole food, you want to make sure they are used to having foods that they need to chew on before you try this. You could try fresh first then go to frozen if that helps. This a great snack and helps teething! 

Frozen Washcloth with Apple Sauce

So this nifty trick I found off of Pinterest! This is great for all ages, and as you see I made it to show on the blog and Elora now has been chewing on it for a good solid 15 minutes now. All you do is take a washcloth, I like using the baby ones we have since they are softer, wet the center, spread about a Tbls of applesauce in the center, roll it up (applesauce in the inside), and put it in the freezer. Another plus is it doesn't take long to freeze! Maybe 5 minutes. Check out the original blog where I got this and she shared 6 other home remedies! 
 Wet Center,
Spread Tbls of applesause,  twist, and then freeze!
Finished product! How neat!


How neat are these! I got this necklace and a bracelet from my lovely Sister in Law. Jewelry worn by mommy and chewed by baby! I'm sure you have noticed that anytime you are wearing a necklace, earrings, bracelets, well any sort of accessory, those little hands just have to explore it. That is why I think this is a brilliant idea! Explore all they want, and chew! They are most likely already on your hip trying to ease the pain of teeth anyways, so might as well have fun with a cute necklace! Chewbeads website offers a ton of different colors and varieties of necklaces and bracelets, they even have dog tags now! They also have some other teethers as well. If you are not in the market for something like this, it would sure make a fun gift!

Sophie The Giraffe 

A simple teether that my daughter loves! Those legs really get all those hard to reach teeth. Elora has loved this giraffe since she could first hold it and still loves it! I believe the makers of Sophie really put forth the effort in trying to make the perfect teether for baby, form the look, the sound, the fact it is 100% natural rubber and food paint making it safe for baby to chew, and the all the little parts that can be chewed (ears, horns, legs, etc), this is a great toy and teether! For more information go to their link, and find out just why I like the brand so much!

Toothbrush

A toothbrush. Yes. You better believe it. Honestly this just happened out of no where. I had a dentist appointment earlier that day and got one of those goodie bags with a free toothbrush inside. Elora seemed to really want it, so I took it out of the packaging and watched her go to town. She loves it and will chew on this thing forever. No I don't know if there is something bad about this, but I feel this thing is made for keeping your teeth and gums healthy so it can't be so bad. Plus, it eases her pain! Happy baby, happy mommy, happy family! This also helped when we started brushing her teeth too, she wasn't as troubled by us using a toothbrush in her mouth because she already new it was a safe thing she likes. Just be aware, anytime they find a new toothbrush, it is no longer yours.


Well those are Elora's favorite things to chew on while teething! What did your Baby like most while teething? Check out these and other Teething ideas on my Pinterest Board, I try to pin any neat idea I see!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baby Sign Language

I used to work at a Child Learning Center in the infant room where we taught the babies a few basic signs, such as more, all done, and milk.This was my first real brush with sign language. I won't count the class I took in middle school, because I honestly could have cared less at the time and the only thing I got out of it was how to say "My dream house." During my time at the Learning Center, I absolutely loved watching the children learn new signs and get excited, and from that moment I knew I would do this with my own children as well.

Josh and I started signing to Elora when she was a few months old. We would sign "more" and "all done" the most, but anything that really sparked her interest at the time we would learn the sign for that too. She had this bouncer chair that had a pink and blue bird that she just couldn't get enough of, so we learn how to sign "pink bird" and "blue bird". Same with a few toys, like her elephant, or the dog. Of course her interests change so we did not stick with the random signs and she never ended up learning them, but I'm still glad we did it for the time being. Elora started to sign "more" and "all done" around the time she was 7 months old. But just so you don't get frustrated, this still took a bit of encouragement for a couple months before she really got the hang of when and how to use the signs appropriately.

 Around Elora's first birthday is when she really started to grasp more signs and you could tell she was so happy she could communicate what she wanted. This also makes our lives easier, because how many parents have said "I don't know what you want?" or  "I wish I could know what she is saying or thinking." Of course it doesn't completely eliminate the guessing game, but it helps. Right now Elora's go to sign is "please". If she wants anything she always signs please then points to what she wants. And yes we do encourage this, even if we know she wants it, we ask her "what do you say if you want something" and now she is even starting to say "peas" when she signs it! Our only downfall is she is starting to realize that she may not get everything she wants, even if she asks nicely, and this, to a toddler, is very, very upsetting. We also work on "Thank you" but this sign is a harder one for a child to grasp, simply because they don't get anything for using this sign. Elora knows it but won't do this sign unless asked.

There are so many benefits to doing this with your baby! If you are thinking about doing this, know that nothing but good things will come with the effort you put into it. But like anything you teach your children, you must be consistent in order for them to pick it up and understand it. I recommend starting with one or two basic words that will be often used, once baby has them down, go for more. I also would recommend always saying the sign when you do it as well as when baby does it, even if it is something they understand and have been doing for awhile, the more often you say it the more likely they are to start trying to say the words when signing them too! Also, encourage those who are around baby most to do the signs you are working on too, to help with being consistent.

My personal favorite thing about doing this with Elora, is communication. I have worked with many babies that can get so frustrated because they want or need something but don't know how to communicate that, which is understandable, I would be upset too if I had no way of telling my husband to get me something sweet! ;)

Note, if you didn't do sign language with your baby, well that is fine too! Do what works best for you, we are all Mommies and Daddies, supporting one another in this wild world of raising children! I only write about my experience, and this has been a good one.

I will leave you with a few pictures of signs, if this doesn't make sense, just youtube them! Or ask me and I can send you a video ;) Good luck!
"More"

"All Done"

"Milk"

"Eat / Food"

"Please"


Monday, June 30, 2014

My Personal Top 4 Newborn Items

Before I gave birth to Elora, I was the typical new Mommy that was nesting and thinking everything had to be perfect for the baby to come home to. When I went to the hospital the first time, a week before she came, we knew she would come early and I panicked. I cried and begged my husband to get the room perfect for her. My dad and his wife came and painted while Josh worked, and after he got off work he made the crib and everything else to go into the room. Well turns out she didn't even sleep in her room for about 5 months, or maybe longer. After having your first child you come to realize that you don't need everything right away.

So here is my own personal list of items I could not live without as a parent of a newborn.

Rock 'n Play Sleeper by Fisher Price

This is my number one, could not live without item! Perfect size for the side of the bed, so baby can sleep close. I loved the way it is slightly tilted and seemed to comfort Elora with it's cozy holding feel. I loved this because it was so easy to fold up and tote up and down my stairs, or anyway for that matter, so she could nap or just lay there watching me in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, everywhere! And when she started to fuss, I could gently rock her back to sleep. There was even a couple times when she was sleeping in her crib and had a bad cold with that awful stuffy nose, that I would transfer her into this, the slight elevation helped so much on that poor nose. Another plus, you can find this pretty much everywhere! Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, Online, and more. I have seen it for about $50 and $75 for the Deluxe.

 1 Month Old
5 Months Old

Nursing Cover


I loved, loved, loved my nursing cover! It was given to me as a gift from my dear friend Jolen who owns Maddie Mae and makes and sells these awesome covers/infinity scarfs. Now there is nothing wrong with feeding your child in public, I personally am a bit modest so I don't have the guts to feed without a cover. I loved this cover for many reasons! It covered my back, which a lot of covers don't, and I don't want my whole back to be showing if I decided to not wear a tank top under my shirt. I loved the material, and so did Elora! It was made out of a jersey material and it was light but not see through. It was perfect for those hot days. Talk about multiple uses! I could wear it as a scarf, nurse my daughter, swaddle her, lay it down on the grass, and I even used it as a car seat cover when Elora was sleeping and we were shopping. I loved it so much I ordered two more! They run for about $20 plus S&H. *Click Maddie Mae to go to her Facebook and see her other items she sells such as hats and bags that are upcycled! 

Baby Bullet

Oh yes, my Baby Bullet. Obviously this is a couple months down the road for baby food, but I used it for smoothies for myself as well. I loved making Elora food! And how great is it to know what exactly is going into your food. Now I will admit once she was old enough to start eating meat, I chose not to make that. Something about pureeing meat, just makes me sick. No thank you. But for all her fruits and veggies I would make a few batches, some for the fridge and some frozen to have for later. I super loved the freezer silicone pop out container! Perfect size and easy to get those frozen pieces out! These run about $60, and I purchased mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond with my 20% off coupon making my total $48! I got a lot of my baby food recipes from the Wholesome Baby Food website. Which is a great tool to use for making baby food, it has each food, when to introduce it, and different recipes for it. 

Baby Carrier

First off I have the Baby Bjorn. I used this a lot at the beginning, once Elora was big enough to fit in of course. I loved this because I could hold my sweet baby and do many things around the house, or even shopping or walking. Plus she did much better being held than in a stroller or car seat. You can buy these new for about $50-$70 and I always see them at second hand baby stores or boutiques for less!

The next one I chose to buy was the Boba Carrier. This one is a little more pricey at $125 new. I don't like spending that much money so I waited awhile, trying to find it at a second hand store or on sale. Unfortunately the nicer carriers like Boba and Ergo very rarely go on sale and I think people are quite fond of theirs because you also don't see them in second hand stores often. I ended up getting mine at non other than Bed, Bath, and Beyond and was able to use my BB&B coupon for 20% off, purchasing the carrier for $100! My coupon was one of those in store was, however they don't carry this item in store so I went in and ordered it at the store, able to use my coupon, and they were VERY helpful! I absolutely love this carrier! I love the support it gives me and my daughter, a lot more comfortable than the Bjorn and you can use it a lot longer as well. You can carrier a bigger child on your back! I chose the Boba over the Ergo for a few different reasons. The Ergo needs a infant insert that you purchase separately for $80 where the Boba just folds up to hold an infant. That was my main reason, but I do enjoy the clasp on the shoulder to hold a purse or bag which the Ergo does not have. I highly recommend this carrier, I still use it for walks or hikes and my daughter is 15 months old! Again, a little more expensive than the Bjorn but well worth it in the end!

Well those are my top items, at least those are the ones I could not forget about! If you have any questions feel free to ask!