June 27, 2018

Thriving on Schedules + Routines

Finding the right schedule for your busy seven to nine month old baby can be extremely tough! I know first-hand dealing with a crawling, walking along furniture, eight-month-old. My little Nova loves being on a schedule. Finding a flexible, yet consistent routine has helped me go from a surviving mother to a thriving mother. Knowing what comes next and having pockets of time to myself throughout the day is what we both needed!

This particular schedule that I will be sharing with you has been working wonders for our little family - especially for Nova and me! I have found so much peace knowing she has more structure in her life. With all that said, every day is different. There are days where she doesn't take her first nap until noon. Or the dreaded days that start at 5am. There are times I completely throw the schedule out the window, like when we are visiting family. Regardless of how our day ends up going, because we have a proper schedule in place, Nova gets back into the swing of things as if nothing ever went off course. She bounces back so quickly and I owe it all to this lifestyle of routines and schedules!

See, always busy and causing trouble! ↑ As she gets older, things will continue to change but I will always work hard to make sure she has an age-appropriate routine! This schedule works really well for us. Nova is still breastfeeding 5-6 times per day and eats solid foods about 3-4 times a day. She sleeps about 12 hours during the night and about 2 hours during the day, between 2-3 naps.

The thing I love most about schedule samples shared by other mamas is that they are extremely flexible! I encourage anyone reading this to explore what is best for you and your baby. Every baby is different and so is every family so it is important to remember that things can always be moved around! My intention for sharing our schedule is to simply provide somewhere to start. I remember when Nova was about five months old and I was clueless about scheduling her day. It was other blog posts that helped me to know what was expected at her age and a great base for our personal schedule. I hope this helps anyone struggling with scheduling or needing some ideas!

You're doing an amazing job, mama! Good luck with those cute babes, we all need it!

Email me for the pdf version of our schedule to print ("email me" on the sidebar) 

June 11, 2018

n o v a : e i g h t | m o n t h s

Ryan and I have enjoyed this stage with Nova more than I expected! She is much more independent now and sleeping in her crib for naps and bedtime which makes for a really happy mama! Nova laughs so stinking much. Anything Ryan or I do makes her giggle and it has completely lit up our home! Being home with her and hearing those giggles more than cries makes my heart feel so full!

Being a stay at home mom was always my intention. Now that it is here and I am living it day-to-day, I realize how different it is in reality than it seemed in my mind. There are days that I miss working and making money for our family. There are days that I think I'm going to go full Brittany and shave my head because my baby can't stop pulling on it! But then there are the days, that come more often than the others, when I realize that staying home is a privilege. Watching her grow and learn right before my eyes is worth all the hard moments, which in reality do not come often. Being her mom is so easy, especially when she smiles at me with those big blue eyes!

| h e r  e i g h t h  m o n t h |

loves going to the water park!

completely fascinated by other babies and children

does not like it when you tell her "no" 

walks along furniture like a pro!

loves when meme and papa kahuna come to visit and snuggle her!

favorite veggies: spinach, peas and sweet potato

favorite fruits: pears, apricots and watermelon

actually enjoys car rides now!

Nova is such a sweet soul and I love getting to know her more and more as each day passes. She makes every day so much better. Life with her is beautiful.

June 6, 2018

My Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding is a journey! A tough, sometimes frustrating, exhausting journey. It takes you up and down an emotional roller coaster for months that feel like years. I never imagined I would struggle like I have. In my whole life as an aunt to 13, a babysitter and nanny to many babies and children, nothing in that time could have prepared me for nursing MY baby. I grew up watching my two oldest sisters nurse their children and was exposed to mothers that bottle-fed expressed milk. I thought I knew all there was to know about breastfeeding. 

How difficult could it be? If it’s natural, it will come naturally, right?
W R O N G. 

When I was close to delivering Nova, I hadn’t  had a second thought about nursing her. My choice was to exclusively breastfeed and that was that. Things like sore nipples, a proper latch and back-to-back feedings never crossed my mind. When that first feeding began, the terror I had been unconsciously suppressing came to the surface. It hurt. I cried. She cried. It was awful. Nothing about it was helping me bond with my newborn daughter. It was completely heartbreaking! Being so unaware of what a proper latch should feel like, I left the hospital with a nipple shield. Again, blind to it all, I continued to use the shield for six weeks. Six whole weeks with the very thing that caused my problems and I didn’t even know it. My supply was effected so negatively that Nova began loosing weight and I felt defeated. You can read more about that here

After much research and prayer, I was able to wean Nova off the shield. It then took several weeks after that to notice an increase in my supply. Once that happened, I felt like [how I imagine] someone feels after running a marathon. Exhausted, proud and accomplished. 

I know that because I tried my best and did not give up, I’m a good mom. It’s took me a long time to figure that out. It’s took me even longer to actually admit it. During her first few weeks of life, I was constantly feeling incapable. It is incredibly easy to slip into that mentality as a mother. If you are a mother struggling with those feelings, I want you to know that you are AMAZING. You are worth more than you know. You are strong. Don’t give up!

“To mothers, especially young mothers, who often feel overwhelmed and underwater while striving to raise a sin-resistant generation, never underestimate your central role in God’s plan. In stressful moments... know that GOD SANCTIFIES YOUR MOST DIFFICULT DAYS. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee,’ He peacefully reassures.” (Elder Brian K. Taylor) 

Nova and I are still navigating through our journey. It’s been the best and the worst in so many ways. But those moments when I realize the miracle that is life, I forget about the pain and fear. It’s quickly replaced with hope and love when I see that little girl look up at me with her daddy’s eyes. There is no greater joy than to see my daughter happy and healthy. As she gets older and enjoys more solid foods, I see the end coming near but I will look back with zero regrets. Even if I had to supplement and lose more sleep due to pumping sessions, it was all worth it. 

To Nova, thank you for being patient with me. For being happy even when you were frustrated and hungry. Thank you for being my ray of light in one of the deepest trials on my adult life, thus far. Thank you for bringing the joy and peace our family needed. I love you, my sweet girl.