How sleep training my Son makes me a better Mom

All three of my children are good sleepers.  Of course, they didn’t start that way.  When they were born, as it pretty much is with all baby’s, their sleep clocks were a hot mess. While I don’t remember all the details of how I got my girls to sleep through the night, I am definitely able to share how I got Maverick sleeping through the night and why it makes me a better Mom.

Maverick was a premie, born 6 weeks early.  For the first few months of his life, his sleep schedule was pretty non existent.  I made lots of excuses for delaying creating a routine with him.  He wasn’t ready.   He was born early so he needs more time.  I can’t let him cry.  This list goes on.  After 4 months of sleep deprivation and being in a constant haze, I decided it was time to get his sleep in check.

I will say, for most baby’s sleep training, as they call it, is not a quick process. I attribute our success to being patient and letting Maverick be my guide, while taking it one step at a time.  The first thing I did was create a routine in the evening that even a young baby can become accustomed to.  Around 6:15pm I started with a bath, followed by a nice baby massage with lotion and into his nighttime diaper and pajamas.  I then got him into his sleep suit (we used the Merlin Magic Suit until he was almost 7 months and it was a total game changer) and then fed him his bottle.  75% of the time he would fall asleep and I would then transition him into his crib.  The other nights, when he was awake,  I knew he was fed and clean so I would allow him the opportunity to settle himself down to sleep.  In the beginning, he would fuss a little.  I am a believer of the CIO method (cry it out) to a certain degree.  Unless he was truly crying for several minutes, I would not go in his room.  The few times he had a hard time settling, I would go in and put in his pacifier and just quietly let him know he was okay and it was time to sleep.  After about a week Maverick caught on. I remember saying to my husband in shock, “he put himself to sleep.” Then again the next night and the next.  I couldn’t believe it.

Another area I worked on was addressing his cries and feeding during the night.  In the beginning, when he was a newborn I would get up and go into his room anytime he would cry, assuming he was hungry or needed a diaper change.  When we started the sleep training around 4 months, Maverick was down to one feeding per night which was typically between 3am and 4am.  So, I was getting eight hours of sleep but it was interrupted.  I would have a hard time falling back asleep most nights after his feeding.  My husband and I decided to try another tactic.  Instead of the middle of the night bottle, I had my husband do a dream feed (feeding the baby when he is half asleep) around 11pm.  To our surprise this was the golden ticket.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the clock and it said 6:30am.  I had slept a full 8 hours. I felt like a new woman!  After a few nights, when he would awake and fuss or cry a little I would give him a few minutes to work it out.  Now that he is 6 months, he rarely cries out at night and that is because he has figured out how to self soothe.

Going back to when I said his sleep schedule has made me a better Mom…well, there is several reasons besides just the obvious getting a good night sleep.  It has given me my evenings back to spend with my daughter’s and husband.  Once Maverick goes down to bed, I feel reset and at peace after a busy day.  His bedtime routine is quiet and calm and there is no urgency.  Just me and my little boy. We both get some very special one on one time which is hard with work and everyones schedules during the day.  As I feed him his bottle, I hold his hand in mine and try to soak in every second of his tinniness and the sweet smell of his freshly washed hair.  I know one day this bedtime routine I have come to cherish will fade away.  So I always rock him a little longer and love on him a little harder.


 

Feel free to share your experiences with sleep training successes and woes in the comments! I love hearing from my readers!

 

My Summer Berry Pie Recipe

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We are definitely berry addicts in our house and this quick, easy and healthy pie will satisfy your sweet craving! Even better, most kids will eat it!

I use store bought pie crust from the frozen section to cut down on time but you can totally use a basic pie crust recipe to create your own.  The great thing is you can swap out and do whatever mixture of berries your family is into.  Below is a list of everything you need!


Ingredients

(2) Frozen ready to back pie crusts

(1) Small packages of organic strawberries

(1) Package of organic blueberries

(1) Lemon

1/4 Cup of sugar

2 tbsp of all purpose flour

1 Egg

Preheat oven to 375F.  Clean and cut berries and put them into a bowl, (you can combine them or keep them separately). In a seperate small bowl, mix together dry ingredients, sugar and flour.  Squeeze juice of one lemon onto berries, then pour in dry ingredients and mix together.  Pour berries into the pie crust (be careful to make the berries level with the crust so the juices don’t overflow when they bake).  Take the second pie crust out of the pan and you use a rolling pin to quickly flatten it out.  You can make my flag pie version by cutting strips and stars out of the pie dough. Or use the entire pie crust to top the pie and then trim any excess over the edges.  If you use the entire crust make sure to cut some openings in the top to help it vent while cooking.  In a separate bowl beat the egg and then brush onto the crust to give it that nice golden brown cover.  Cook for 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on the crust).

I then let it sit until room temperature and either serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

ENJOY!

 

Top Ten Baby Item Must Haves For The First Six Months (from a Experienced Mom of Three)

There is a six year age gap between my oldest and youngest.  It has been crazy to watch the baby industry evolve as new technology and innovations seem to be coming out in herds.  Navigating and deciding which baby items you really need when you bring home your little nugget home can be a daunting task.

When I had my first daughter, I made the rookie mistake most first time parents do…I bought way too much.  There is so much change that takes place in the first six months and they grow a lot during this time.  I found many of the items I bought the first time around got used once, maybe twice…and even some not at all.

I remember going through my daughters newborn clothes about a week after bringing her home, I had bought tons of fancy outfits that looked like she was heading out to a gala.  I quickly learned that the first couple of months are meant for sleepers and onesies.  Not saying that I didn’t enjoy dressing her in the fancier clothes for a quick picture but they were far from practical.

Last year when we found out we were expecting again, I had of course gotten rid of EVERY baby item I owned and had to start completely from scratch.  This time around I spent a lot of time researching all the latest and greatest baby must haves, along with buying some of the tried and true products I had found success with when my two daughters were little.

So here you go….I now share with you my top ten baby items you need for your baby’s first six months!

 

Fisher Price Premium Auto Rock ‘n Play

If you only buy one of these products listed below, this one has to be it!  My second daughter lived in her rock and play, but four years ago, to rock it you had to do it manually.  Marlie suffered from colic and rocking her was the only way to soothe her and get her to sleep, it was a lifesaver but I spent countless hours rocking that damn thing with my foot.  So when I learned that they now offered Rock ‘n Play’s that were automatic, I was sold.  It was the first item that hit my registry!  Given that Maverick spent the first four months of his life in it, I can confidently say, we got excellent use out of it.

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Fisher Price Sit Me Up Seat

I stumbled across the Sit Me Up Seat when Maverick turned about 3 months and hit that in between stage where he enjoyed sitting up but still needed some head/ neck support.  My son is almost 6 months and is still using it daily.  You can attach toys to it once your little one is grabbing and reaching.  I loved that it also came in a neutral color like the one below since it was something that was out all the time in our family room.

sit me up

Love to Dream Swaddle

Honestly, I could and probably will write a separate article on swaddles in the future and they were life for Maverick’s first 4 months! I went a little crazy at one point in my severely sleep deprived state, bought and tested about ten different swaddles on the market today.  My son was a bit of a Houdini and was able to escape from pretty much all of them.  He wanted his hands near his face but when he broke out of most swaddles his arms would just be flailing around and wake him up.  By night two of the Love to Dream Swaddle he was sleeping 5 to 6 hours at a time during the night…(a vast improvement from the 2-3 hours he was getting at a time before).

dream swaddle

Dr. Browns Options Bottles

With both of my daughter’s I used Dr. Browns Bottles. They have always been the gold standard, even with the little ones I babysat during my college years.  When Maverick was born, I did breastfeed for the first few months, but my son ended up being diagnosed with a milk allergy and needed to be on a hypoallergenic formula.  I tried about 4 or 5 other bottle brands, mainly because I am not gonna lie…cleaning Dr. Browns bottles is kinda a pain!  But with Maverick’s reflux the Dr. Browns did the best job.  Personally, I decided to stick with the original version of the bottle but to my surprise and I am sure due to Mom feedback they now have a version that eliminates the inner pieces. So, if gas or reflux isn’t an issue for your baby or when they eventually grow out of it, there is only two pieces to clean!

dr.browns

 

Ergo Baby Omni 360 Carrier

Baby wearing has been critical to surviving motherhood as a Mom of 3! I got my first Ergo Carrier when my second daughter was born and when my son was born had to upgrade and get the newest version of their carrier the OMNI 360.  I love that it allows me to face Maverick towards me or outwards (which is great for the days when I need to get stuff done at home or venture out to Target with all three in tow)!  Unlike some of the other baby carriers, the Ergo is so supportive and I can wear it for hours without back pain.

My readers can take advantage of 10% off by using the code jo8KbuYBBM at check out!

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Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat

Love everything about this car seat! It is stylish and clever with a Dream Drape Canopy that hooks via a magnet and keeps unwanted hands out away from the baby while also protecting your little one from any outside elements.  I pair mine with the Nuna Tavo stroller and there was no need for any sort of car seat adapters like you find with most other brands.  It is pretty light weight too, as far as car seats go, at 8.6lbs.  I will definitely be sticking to this brand and upgrading to the Convertible Car Seat version when Maverick is a little older.

nuna pipa

Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

Definitely not a glamorous purchase, but still one of my top items for new Mom’s.  I have owned two other brands of diaper pails and either they required expensive bags or didn’t do a great job concealing the odor from the diapers.  What I love about the Ubbi is that you aren’t locked into buying their bags to use it, although I do use the Ubbi bags.  Also, the steel inside does an awesome job keeping the smell contained.  It comes in a variety of colors and has a very modern look.

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Summer Infant Comfort Height Bath Tub

With three kid’s a functional infant bath tub is essential. This infant tub grows with your baby and eventually the bottom part can be used as a step stool when they become a toddler.  Being petite I love that the step connects to the tub and keeps baby raised at parents level when put into the bath tub.  The infant incline can also be used in a sink when baby is still tiny or on the counter inside the white tub.  This was my second infant tub I purchased since bringing Maverick home, the first was another brand with the built in sling for the newborn but I disliked it as he kept slipping down.

infant tub

Baby Brezza Formula Pro

I LOVE MY FORMULA PRO…I will say it again, I LOVE MY FORMULA PRO!! This has been my personal favorite baby item since having my son! I had read some mixed reviews initially about this machine, but it has been nothing but a game changer!  As long as you keep up with the quick daily cleaning and take good care of the machine, you will not be disappointed.  Literally the bottle is ready in about 15 seconds and I can successfully do it with one hand…because, you know, when you have three kid’s the other hand is usually busy doing something else.  My husband even loves it!  There is no measuring or heating the water.  Just push the button, screw on your bottle top and give it a little shake!  Total lifesaver!

formula pro

Fisher Price Rainforest Music and Lights Deluxe Gym

As I had previously mentioned earlier in this post, after my girl’s were born, I got rid of all of their baby stuff.  One thing that both of them loved was the Rainforest Play Mat, I have pictures of them laying on their backs looking up in amazement at the colors and lights.  When I purchased the updated version of this mat, Maverick was about a month old and seeing him under the canopy of colorful toys brought back so many wonderful memories from when my daughter’s were tiny.

rainforest mat

Well there you go! My top 10 baby items of 2018! Hope you find this post helpful!  I do not receive any incentives from any of the companies that make the products I mentioned here;  just real world experience from a Mom who has made quite a few bad baby product purchases in the past, lol.

xo,

Lisa

 

 

 

 

Peace out 35, hello 36!

June 15th was my birthday!  Usually I dislike getting a year older but this year I was ready to call it on 35…see ya!  Hello 36, I am ready for you!

Last year on my 35th birthday, two lines popped up on a pregnancy test and we found out we were having another baby!  Little did I know what would be in store for me. Let’s just say, I hope I do not have any more brushes with death planned in the future.  If you want to know more about my journey with placenta accreta, you can pop over to my old blog site and read my journey.  Placenta Accreta Got Nothing On Me

The highlight of my 35th year was definitely the birth of my son Maverick, who completed our family.  I am beyond thankful I get to be called his Mama!

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Last year was really rough too, physically, mentally and emotionally for my entire family.  Personally I am still working out some of the kinks from having been through such a traumatic experience, but I am ready to start this new year off fresh!  I think as woman in general it is so easy for us to make light of everything and just to say “I’m good,” when asked.  What I am learning is it is okay to acknowledge when we are experiencing difficulties and instead of surpress and hide these feelings, we should speak up.  Sometimes you can’t get through things on your own and it is okay to seek guidance and help.

As the saying goes, another year older, another year wiser.  🙂

-Lisa

 

Best Gifts for Father’s Day 2018

If you are like me, you totally wait until the last minute to start thinking about Father’s Day gifts, then scramble and scour the internet for ideas.  Like most men, my husband is pretty difficult to shop for…he is the type of guys who usually just goes out and buys himself something he has his eye on.  This usually leaves me in a panic to come up with something both cool and practical when his birthday, the Holiday’s or Father’s Day rolls around.

Sunday, the 17th is Father’s Day, so if you haven’t gotten your man or Dad something, don’t worry you still have time!  One of the reasons I love Amazon so much is because most items get shipped and arrive at my home in two day’s (if you are a Prime member).   Below are my are some of my favorite ideas for Dad!

Bose Wireless Earbuds

Great for the Dad who likes to work out, the Bose Wireless Ear Buds are a total win all around.  Both my husband and I have Android Phones so the Apple Ear Buds aren’t an option.  The sound quality of the Bose is pretty amazing and the charging case means less cords and possible ways to loose them.  In our home things get lost all the time and the Bose App allows you to Find Your Ear Buds by sounding an alarm.

 

Bose Ear Buds

Bubba Insulated Tumber

Definitely a sleek but practical Dad gift!  In Florida it get’s super hot and a plain old water bottle seems to heat up in seconds.  The Bubba Insulated Tumbler does an awesome job at keeping beverages cold for hours!  It comes in a variety of colors and fits into most car cup holders!

bubba tumbler

 

Smart Watch, such as the Samsung Gear Fit 2 (Large)

Personally, having a Smart Watch has been a lifesaver.  My favorite feature is that you get call alerts and can answer texts right from your wrist.  The Gear Fit is completely customizable and tracks everything from steps to how much water you drink a day.  It even reminds you to get off you butt and move when you have inactive too long.

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Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Unlike myself, who can drink hot coffee all year long, my husband is the opposite and prefers his coffee cold!  The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee maker is super simple to use and an awesome gift idea for the guy in your life that can’t live without his morning coffee. It makes 4 cups and goes great together with Bubba Insulated Tumbler I talked about above!

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Last, you won’t find these on Amazon but you can never go wrong with gifting Dad a memorable experience!  A day of deep sea fishing, surf lessons, or a round of golf on one of South Florida’s awesome courses is sure to make Dad feel extra special!

Happy Father’s Day!!

 

 

 

Making Peace with my Postpartum Body

You spend nine months growing a human; your body undergoes an incredible transformation.  So much information is out there supporting Mom’s during pregnancy but there are very few books which prepare you for the aftermath of what your body will be like after giving birth.  This fourth trimester, as many refer to it is often filled with leaky boobs, blow-out diapers and severe sleep deprivation.  As mother’s we put ourselves on the back burner as our tiny humans demand so much of our attention during their first few months.

Having three children you would think I would know what to expect.  After the first child, I found it pretty easy to bounce back…although my stomach was never as flat as before children, the little bit of loose skin and minor stretch marks really didn’t bother me.  I got pretty lucky with my second as well, physically by the time she was one I was back to my pre-baby weight and feeling good about my reflection in the mirror.  But with my third one….not so lucky.  After enduring a scary pregnancy and the traumatic birth of my son, I knew my body would never be the same. Why you ask?  Well, it now carries a vertical scar that starts below my naval and runs down to meet my previous c-section scar.  Given that Maverick’s birth was planned, I knew the incision would be different but didn’t realize the ramifications it would place on my self image.  At around 3 months postpartum, after the initial honeymoon phase most of us experience when bringing home a newborn ended, I found myself very sad and at times depressed about how my new body looked.  Couple this with the constant and unwanted locks of love donation that was my bathroom floor…I dreaded shower day’s (because clearly when you have a newborn and two other children, taking a shower isn’t often a daily occurrence).  Where once stood this very confident woman was someone I didn’t recognize.   I would rush to put clothes on my body, as the sight of seeing myself would often bring tears to my eyes.


Picture of me during my third pregnancy.  I was adamant about documenting it since I knew it was going to be the last time I was pregnant.  Photo credit: VZModa Photography

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Now at almost five months out, a glimpse of my scar in the mirror still takes my breath away.  Although, I may be far from in love with this new body of mine, I am growing to accept it, you could say…I am making peace with it.  You may not find me prancing around this summer in a two piece bikini (thank goodness one-piece suits are very stylish now), but spending my time sulking about my imperfections isn’t productive. Staying active, finding ways to do nice things for myself and opening up to my husband and close family and friends about what I am going through has been critical to helping me heal.

My younger daughter asked me yesterday, “Mommy, when will your boo boo go away,” pointing to the scar.  “It never will fully go away, but Mommy’s who have scars like mine are super strong” was my response.  I have always been the glass half full type of person and I always want to be a strong role model for my daughter’s when it comes to body image and loving their body’s, even the imperfections.  I need to show them they don’t have to physically be perfect…to be perfect. I want them to feel proud of who they are, both inside and out. At the end of the day, each scar, each stretch mark tells my story.  How I grew three, healthy beautiful children in my body….that I overcame obstacles and endured so much to be here today.

 

 

Being a Mom in 2018

As I now have 3 children of my own, I often reflect on my own childhood. I played outside barefoot and rode my bike everywhere. I was the last care free generation who didn’t have to fear that going to school or a shopping mall would put my life in danger.  My friends and I found our own entertainment, playing make-believe outdoors was a regular occurance. My parents didn’t hover over me, I learned from my own mistakes which contributed to me being “street smart.” A child of the late 80’s / 90’s was maybe not as great as my parents had it during their childhood but definitely times were much simpler when I was little.

Today’s Mom has it much harder. Trying to balance children, a home, a job and still making time to find you. Trying to keep some sliver of your previous identity while still reveling in the role of being “Mom” to your precious little creations. Social media everywhere trying to shove us into a mold and tell us how are we supposed to be, how we are supposed to parent. We are contantly competing to fill our Instagram news feeds with fun filled family vacations and our kid’s smiling for pictures in perfectly manicured outfits.

This is not real life! Most day’s I am lucky to slather on some deodorant, brush my teeth and throw on some athletic wear (my typical uniform). We clean dirty butts and messy faces. We handle meltdowns and beg our children to just take one more bite! We worry…constantly…and google everything! We walk around with our baby’s strapped to our bodies and stress over whether our school aged children are participating in enough extra curricular activities.

This blog is for the Mom’s like me who love the crap out of their kid’s but also count down the minutes until they are tucked into their beds for the night.

So, why did I start this blog? To bring you relevent and real life topics on motherhood, parenting and “keeping it real.”  All while adding a little bit of humor and funny stories of my own little ducklings along the way. Sharing all my favorite products and hacks I have learned over the last seven years of being a Mom.  Stay tuned and thanks for dropping by!

XO,

Lisa

 

 

 

Were you a child of the 80’s / 90’s? Comment below and tell me what you loved most about growing up during this time!