It’s 3:25am. I’m awake. Not because my Baby is in need of anything. We’ve actually been blessed with a baby that’s been sleeping a good 6-8 hours since around two months. I’m awake because. Just because.
I realized that I hadn’t written my “first blog post” and it was bothering me that I couldn’t figure out how to just delete it so I’m being OCD and filling it.
I can hear my husband snore from the living room through closed doors…
I wrote a parody of my current situation:
“Hello, futon, my old friend. I’ve come to sleep on you again. Because my husband’s loud, disturbing breathing is impeding my sleeping. And the noise that has reverberated in my brain, still remains…I seek the sound of silence… 😴🛋🛌“
Check out the blog post after this one for the true first blog post. Thanks for staying up with me 😘😘
More scrunchymomz adventures, personal stories, tips and tricks, and some fun DIY/upcycles to come! Talk soon!
⏳⌛It’s getting so close! I can’t believe soon we’ll be welcoming little Michael Antonio into our family! 👪👨👩👦👦💙💚
I’m excited, but also nervous! I’ve been through it all before, and my first delivery went more or less perfectly, but just like each pregnancy is different, every labor is different, so I can’t be sure how this time will go. 😐😐
(btw if you read the link, so sorry about the formatting! Haven’t had a chance to fix it yet…)
I’m also petrified of c-section rn. 😰😰😰 Of course dying in childbirth is still a concern, but for some reason this time I’m particularly worried about having to have a c-section. I really don’t want to have to go through that. 🙏🤞
But I know I’m in God’s hands and He will carry me through regardless. 💖💯
So having been through this once before, I thought I’d do a post on my hospital bag.
Because you know, there’s a shortage of those types of blogs/vlogs. 😂😅🤷♀️
But hey, maybe I have something they don’t? I think it’s good to get a few different perspectives on things anyway!
They say it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, but in the case of the hospital bag, sometimes less is more.
👶💐🎁I actually overpacked the first time, and we ended up getting a lot of flowers and gifts from visitors at the hospital, not to mention free swag from the hospital itself. So all of this combined with the new baby we had in tow, we ended up needing to make a few trips to and from the car. 😪😪
We’ll be going to the same hospital as with our first, and we actually moved to a place that’s literally a 30 second drive from it, 🙌🙌 so we are fortunate that if we forget something my husband can quite literally walk to our house to get something and be back within 15 minutes. 😄😄
Still, I’m tryna be as prepared as possible, you know?
‼Quick Pro Tip: I recommend calling ahead to the hospital or center you plan on delivering at and asking them if they provide any supplies for you and/or the baby, and then plan on having some extra space in your bag, or a separate tote entirely to be able to bring home some extras. 👜🎒🧳
Or if you really don’t want to end up lugging additional things home with you, just gently let people know if you don’t need/want anything extra, and that their presence is present enough! 😘😘
🏥I also highly recommend seeing if they offer a tour of the maternity ward. My husband and I did this with Vinny and it really helped me feel more at peace when the time actually came. 😌☺
Anyway, on with it!
I found this little guy on Poshmark, a used clothing app that I’m currently obsessed with! (#notspon) It was super cheap, and I only had to pay half shipping after using credit I had from selling clothes on the app! 🤩🤑
Supposedly it’s a an original throwback PINK dufflebag, which I took to mean one of the first promotional totes they give you with a certain dollar amount in purchases. 👍 I haven’t been able to verify this, but that wasn’t a huge deal to me anyway. I just thought it was spacious and cute, and would fit everything I need this time, with even a little bit of room to spare. 😊😊
💘I got a cute little Valentine’s Day robe/top from Poshmark–another Victoria’s Secret piece (I’m a little bit of a sucker for VS/PINK 😅😅). It was only $5! 🙌🙌 I know it’s going to be way too short to wear as a robe, so I plan to wear it as a nursing top with some leggings. I just thought it would be cute to wear since we’ll likely be meeting our newest little cherub around Valentine’s Day💝
I also have my robe from the first time I went to the hospital if I need something a little warmer. It’s also very comfy. I got it on sale at Motherhood Maternity the week before I had Vinny.
I brought just a couple pairs of big, old underwear I don’t mind having to say goodbye to worst case scenario just in case. My hospital provides a pretty generous amount of disposable underwear, so I’m just bringing a couple pairs as backup.
I also brought a comfy nursing bra. It’s not very supportive, but it’s comforable and that’s top priority after having a baby and your bewbs are sore af. 😖🤕
I have these IceWraps cold/hot packs for pretty cheap on Amazon for my b00bz as well, in case they get sw0l.
I’m bringing my pair of kitty slippers I wore last time so I have something to walk around in. I have a pair of–you guessed it–Victoria’s Secret slippers from–you guessed it again–Poshmark. 😂😂😂Last time my kitty slippers didn’t fit quite right from swelling, so I picked up some actual slippers in a slightly larger size than I typically wear for shuffling around my recovery room.
💄I will be grabbing my makeup/toiletries bag filled with my makeup essentials, hair ties, chapstick, a small hairbrush, and some hotel-sample sized shower stuff. I have some delightful tea-tree shampoo and some calming lavender body wash to help soothe my nerves once I’m able to take a shower. 😌✌ I’m also going to bring my VS PINK (LOL) sponge to help me feel more at home.
I also have a couple pairs of dark leggings and tank tops to go with my nursing robes/tops, along with my going home outfit, which consists of a loose tank top, comfy shawl, and my nicest maternity leggings. Something comfortable and flattering for my postpartum body. You still look pregnant when you leave, so don’t bring your goal outfit with you! Trust me, comfort over everything! 👍💯
I have three days worth of prenatal vitamins to take at the hospital to take as I begin my nursing journey. I’m determined to make it work this time…
Of course I have his going home outfit that I showed you in a previous post but I also brought a couple more warm things just in case. 😙😙
I also brought some extra scratch mittens because newborn nails are little but fierce! 😬😬Vinny ended up scratching himself up pretty good the first few months of his life when I was too afraid to clip his nails and filing didn’t work very well. 😰😓
The hospital provided a few white half-onesies with scratch mittens on them last time, and I’m going to actually take these home with me because now that I think about it, I don’t think they reuse them and I put them in the linen basket last time. Missed opportunity! 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
I brought a few pairs of socks for his little feet, too. 👣
I will also be bringing a couple of swaddles from when Vinny was born. The hospital provided us with a sleep sack last time, but we already have so many I’m going to tell them to hang on to it for someone who might really need it.
I have a blanket and some burping cloths as well for nursing and in case he needs a little extra warmth.
We’re taking a Boppy with us to help make nursing a little bit more comfortable. I just wrap it around my armpits and cradle the baby to me in a football hold, 🏈 as that’s the most comfortable for me. I might do a post later on about how nursing went the second time and what I wish I knew before. Hit like if you would be interested in reading about that! 😜
I brought a couple of newborn diapers and a travel pack of wipes just in case, but again the hospital provided all of that for us so I didn’t go too crazy.
🤷♂️Generally speaking, the husband’s hospital bag is pretty low maintenance–a change of clothes, pajamas, his wallet, and maybe some snacks and water. But it depends on the person! Your husband or boyfriend or whoever your support person is might feel like they need more than you do! It’s up to them what they bring, but generally, the aforementioned will just about cover it. 👍
👜My husband always has this “bug-out bag” prepared for himself in his trunk in case he gets stuck somewhere, with a change of clothes, a towel, and a bag of toiletries. I don’t have a picture, but if you can imagine an old, beat-up green dufflebag with leather straps, that’s it! 😅
👝👛We’ll both have our wallets on us and they will both be in this bag as well. I’m also having him take an extra towel for me. 😙
I think that’s about it! It seems like a lot, but it’s about half of what we brought last time. We mainly overpacked the baby stuff because we didn’t realize our hospital had the hookup, so I didn’t bring much for him this time. 🤷♀️
💬Hope this helps a bit! How many of you are getting ready for the big day for the first time? 🤩😍 How many of you have been there, done that? What other sorts of things have you brought with you? Think I’m missing anything? Can I ask any more questions? Let me know in the comments!
👀Thank you so much for reading! If you’re new, add your email or follow so you don’t miss any of the upcoming content if it sounds interesting to you. 😁😁And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🥰🤗
Upcoming content: My Son’s “Home Nursery School” curriculum, Why Time Away From My Son Makes Me A Better Mom, and My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt.
🤰2️⃣My second pregnancy is coming to a close! Only about 5 weeks left as of this past weekend! 🗓😱
It went by so fast! And yet, I honestly feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. 😅😪
Granted, that may be because I only got about a 9/10 month break from my first one. 😅😅 But still!
I’ve heard time and time again (and by that I mean for as long as this sort of thing has been relevant to me) that every pregnancy is different. Not just from mama to mama, but I mean from baby number one, to baby number 2, etc, etc.
And speaking from experience, that is so totally true. Things have been a lot different this time round. A little harder in some parts, tbh. 😰
💖But it’s all for the cause. 😌🤱
So I thought I might do a quick post on what was different this time to kind of give some insight on how no two pregnancies are exactly alike.
💭❔Weird thought just now, maybe it’s like the very first peek into the baby’s personality? 🤔🤔 Not likely, lol, but just a weird thought that popped up just now. 😅😅
In my post about my first trimester with my first baby, I mentioned that I was pretty nauseous. It was a little rough, but more or less par for the course. I puked a couple of times, 🤮 felt like puking most of the time, 🤢 but I feel that period didn’t last all too long. 🤷♀️
This time, I was N A U S E O U S. 🤢🤢🤢 I seriously had no break in feeling sick from morning through night this first, nay, WORST Trimester. 😣😫💀
With my first, I didn’t really feel sickly until about 8/9 weeks in. This time, the nausea is what tipped me off that I was pregnant before I took the test! 😬 I would have breakfast and not be able to finish because I felt like I would throw it all up. And this lasted all the way up to the end of the “worst” trimester. There may have been a few days of overlap into the second, even.
From probably about week 3 or so it was brutal sick-to-my-stomachness after every meal. I had been keto prior to this, and wanted to try to stay modified keto/low carb this pregnancy, but alas, all I could tolerate was English muffins and oatmeal. I had quickly become an obligate carbivore. 🥐🍞🥖
But no matter how much I dry heaved, no matter how much water I tried to force down my gullet, I still would not puke (aside again for a couple of times)! It was misery. 😰😰😰
😵😴I also felt extremely weak on top of being tired. Like I’d see spots and get dizzy moving around. Which was hard to deal with with a newly walking 10 to 11 month old who wasn’t content to snuggle or be contained for more than a moment. 😟😭
Aside from that, I didn’t have many other noteworthy symptoms. Just the usual sore breasts, tiredness, headaches, etc.
Oh, except I swear I felt this baby move at about 10 weeks! 🤯 Like there were little popcorn kernels pop pop popping in my belly! 🍿 Last time I didn’t feel movement until after 20 weeks! It’s most likely I just know what to look for now, but it’s crazy how early I felt it.
(TMI ahead) 😰I had some freaky spotting in the second trimester this time! It looked like the beginning of my period for about a few days, so it was very unsettling. I only had a day of normal spotting in the very, very beginning last time. I had never experienced anything like that.
I was nervous something was wrong. Of course I got everything checked out, and luckily everything looked good with the baby. 🙏🙏🙏
They could never tell me quite why it happened, but as long as everything was okay otherwise, I could deal with it.
🙌Thankfully it hasn’t happened since!
I also had a week or two of irritating round ligament pain this time. Last time, it was just uncomfortable and for the most part I only noticed it when I was moving. But I think chasing after a toddler must have made my ligaments angry, so I would have to take time to rest because the discomfort would get to be too much. 😣🤕 Luckily this went away after a couple of weeks though.
😪I still never got that rumored second trimester energy burst. At least for no longer than a couple of days or so. But again, having a toddler and being pregnant will drain your HP like nothing else. 😵
Aside from that, everything else was more or less par for the course! Cravings were more or less the same as last time, too. Lots of spicy food and Panera Macaroni and cheese! 🤤😋
This time the biggest difference is Braxton Hicks. 😬🤕 I’ve been having them since I want to say about 25 weeks. Last time I didn’t have serious Braxton Hicks until about 30ish weeks, and they were mainly that gross muscle tightening feeling. Later on, after 35 weeks, I’d sporadically get what I can best describe as mildly intense cramps, but they would quickly subside.
This time at least a couple times a day I get episodes where I feel like my period is starting. 😣 It mostly happens at night, but it does go away after a bit. I know it’s mostly because I’m not being good about staying completely hydrated.
Braxton Hicks can act up if you’re not getting enough water, so if you’re pregnant rn, go drink some water! I know it makes you have to pee every other minute, but honestly it’s worth it! Stay Hydrated, My Friends! 💧💯
🤕🤕I also already have already been experiencing pelvic floor pain and “lightening groin,” or shooting pain down, well, the groin. 😅😓 Which is fun when I’m trying to take my son out for a walk at the Mall. I never felt anything like that until literally the day before I had my son last time. 😬 But from what I understand, you start to feel all of that lovely stuff sooner with each pregnancy because your body has already been through it before.
I also thought I might have preeclampsia because I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, seeing spots in the corner of my eye occasionally, and have minor swelling in my fingers overnight. But everything checked out fine! Blood pressure and urine tests all good! 😌😌
🙏Otherwise, so far so good! Measuring on track! Just super duper tired. 😴💤🛌 No labor signs or anything like that.
🗓I went three days early last time, and they say that more often subsequent babies come sooner. I feel like with my luck this one will be late, though. 😰😰We will see! 🤞🤞
And that’s pretty much it! As difficult as many moments in this pregnancy were and are, all things considered I think it’s still been very good! 😌😌
Like I’ve been saying, I think the major factor here is I have such a young, needy baby still so it’s been a little rougher this round. I can only imagine how it will be when and if it happens again…
But it is what it is! Who knows? Maybe that one will end up being the easiest! 🤷♀️😂 Either way, it’s all worth it. 🤰🤱🥰
💬How have your pregnancies been different? Or had they been more of the same? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, my Gals! 🥰😘
👀If you’re new here, and if this or any of my upcoming content seems interesting to you, add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🤗🙏
📋Upcoming Content: What’s In My Hospital Bag Round 2, Why Time Away Makes Me A Better Mom, and My Son’s “Home-School” Curriculum: Toddler Months/Years
So I am 34 weeks with baby number 2 as of writing this! 🥰🤰It happened so fast! ⏲😨
In my post about my third trimester with Vinny, I mentioned that I had to get my ring cut off due to me leaving it on swollen fingers for far too long. 😥😥😥 Needless to say I was not having that happen again! 🙅🙅
At 33 weeks, while I was still able to take my wedding and engagement ring on and off with relative ease (it did start to leave a bit of an imprint, though), I took that lil muh off, stored it in its original home and switched it with my temporary ring! 💍💎
Back in November, I had gone to Charming Charlie’s and found this cute lil fella for about $8! 🙌 I figured it would be cute for Valentine’s Day time, which is when little Mikey is due. 💘💝💋
So, while on the topic of rings, I thought it would be fun to share my proposal story. 💖💏💍 I like that kind of stuff, and I know some of you might, too, so I figured why not? 😁😁
Before I tell you the actual story proposal, though, let me take you further back in time a little bit. ⏳
🗓Leap Day, 2012❄
❄I’m leaving my then boyfriend’s house. More accurately, his parents’ house, where he was living at the time.
When you’re a young adult (we were 21 at the time 🍻🥃😂) still living with your parents, sometimes things can get a little heated when you don’t see eye-to-eye. Around this time, there was a little healthy tension between my boyfriend and his parents, and he started getting some phase of life blues.
He walked me to my car in the heavy snowfall, no jacket on, no socks under his old sneakers. I could tell something was up, so I asked him. He took my hand and reiterated to me that he felt “trapped,” and like he wanted to get out from under his parents’ roof and start our lives already.
💖💓My heart fluttered when he said “our.” I looked him in the eyes and before I knew what I was saying, out my mouth came;
“Then let’s leave together right now and get married.” I looked earnestly into his eyes, stepping closer so that we were chest to chest. “Town Hall is still open. We can stay at a hotel until we find an apartment. I think I have enough for a week at an okay place…”
It was definitely wishful thinking, and I know it sounded ridiculous as I said it.
But a tiny part of me sincerely hoped he would say yes. 🤞🤞
He laughed. “You know I would love that,” he said, his genuine love pouring through his deep brown eyes and directly into my heart. “But that’s not what I want for us.” 💗💗
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Okay. But you let me know if you change your mind.” I joked.
💏After a few kisses, I got in my car to go back to my father’s house to work on my sociology homework (I was a senior in college at the time).
About an hour into the essay I had hella procrastinated, my grandmother who had been living with us at the time came home, and she stopped in front of my door. I felt her stare at me for a moment, and I turned to see her with the biggest sugar-eating grin I had ever seen. She continued to stare at me for a bit. 👀👀
“May I help you?” I finally teased.
“Do you know what day it is?” My grandmother asked, still wearing her Cheshire grin.
“…Leap Day…?” I replied.
“No,” she smiled. “It’s Sadie Hawkins Day.”
“Oh, okay?” I shrugged.
My grandmother’s eyes lit up. “That means when a girl asks a boy to marry her, he has to say yes.” 💑💒
She smiled at my aghast expression for a moment, and then made her way to her room.
It was either the weirdest coincidence ever, or the woman somehow knew about my spur of the moment idea for elopement, and furthermore that somehow, some way, my wildest dreams were destined to come true. 💭💖😍😭
I mean I can’t say that my spontaneous suggestion was by any means an official proposal, but if he had agreed to elope with me, I would have gone with him so fast our grandkids would have whiplash. 🏃♀️👰🔔😂
I’ve told my now husband this story so many times since then, and each time he just rolls his eyes and smiles to himself.
He doesn’t want to admit I asked him first. 😉😜😂😂
☀First Day Of Summer, 2013💞
Fast forward a little over a year. I was just about to finish an opening shift when a coworker of mine had called out. 😓 So I volunteered to stay a couple hours on top of my shift to cover until someone could close.
My boyfriend had “Plans” for us that evening, so I couldn’t do a double (darnit 😂).
🗳I got out of work and rushed home to put on some very casual clothes, under the impression that we would be having a calm dinner at his parents’ and be relaxing before a weekend off. 😌🍹🍵
I pulled up to his parents’ house, thinking I was obscenely late, and sure enough, my boyfriend is late coming home from our friend’s house.
⌚⏱It should be noted that my husband has a bit of an on-time intolerance, if you will. He operates on what friends and family lovingly refer to as “Tony Time,” which means if something starts on the hour, you can expect him anywhere from quarter to half past at least. ⏱🙄
To be fair, with important things he’s a little bit better, but still.
So, I was a little irritated with him. He finally got home and I expressed my aggravation with his tardiness for probably the 9000th time in our then three-year relationship. I told him that if he was serious about being with me, he needed to make more of an effort to be on time, and that if he were ANYONE else, this constant lateness would have been a dealbreaker (being on time is very important to me 💯).
He took my hands in his and looked me deep in the eyes and promised me he would always keep trying.
Looking back, that emphasis on always… 🤩
Then he excused himself to go up to his room and change, as he was in workout clothes at the moment, and asked if I wanted to go for a quick walk before dinner, to which I responded with a hesitant yes, as I was beat from my extra long day at work. But I could never pass up an opportunity to be out and about with him. 👫🌲🍃
🤵He came down after several minutes in a handsome button up shirt, a pair of classy dark jeans, and dress shoes. He had run some gel through his hair and dabbed some cologne on. 😍🔥😘
“We’re just going for a walk, aren’t we?” I asked, gesturing up and down to my comparatively scrubby ensemble, messy hair and after-work makeup. 😬😬😬
“Yeah, I just felt like looking nice…” he said, looking at the floor, fidgeting…
🏞We left his parents’ house on our usual route around his neighborhood. As we were leaving, he squeezed my hand and asked me, “So, what are you doing the rest of the week?”
I returned his squeeze and replied, “Ummm, working??” At the time I was pulling nearly full time hours, which he was aware of.
“Oh, yeah, that makes sense.” He muttered.
In his old neighborhood, there is a pond which has a bit of a natural “bridge” connecting it to a trailway around the pond, which in turn connects to another neighborhood–the neighborhood of his very early childhood. 🌅🏘
We used to love going on this trail through the woods, admiring the pond and the nature surrounding it. It was hella romantic. 💑💕
However, this particular day the pond was flooded, so we had to turn around to go back to his parents’ house.
Once we got back, he led me to the swing-set that sat in his parents’ yard, saying he wasn’t ready to go back in. I was still tired, but shared his sentiment of wanting to stay out a bit longer and enjoy the nice weather. The summer sun was just beginning to set. I’ll never forget that beautiful evening. ✨🔅
We swang side by side, hand in hand for a moment or two, just chit chatting without a care. After a bit, I yawned, and he turned to me and said, “Aww, are you tired?” He got up to stand in front of me.
“Yeah, it’s just been a long day,” I shrugged. He knelt down and took my hands. I thought nothing of this gesture, although looking back… 🤩🤩
“So,” he began, his voice wavering. “Remember when I asked you what you were doing the rest of the week?”
I snorted. “Yeah?”
“Well, when I asked you that,” he continued, reaching in his back pocket, shifting onto one knee…
💍”What I really meant was, what are you doing the rest of your life?”💍
That Sapphire, tho. 🤩🤩🤩 Sapphire is my birthstone and favorite stone, and apparently what they used to use in England to propose with, according to my husband. He planned the whole ring himself! 😍😭😍
The first thing I saw was the Sapphire.
Its brilliance, complimented by the twin diamonds and rows of smaller diamonds shocked me. I stared at it for what felt like forever and like no time at all. I looked back at my boyfriend…or, who was to be my boyfriend for only another mere second or so…
“What is this?” was all I managed to say.
“I’m asking you if you would do me the honor of being Mrs. Ramon Antonio Ruiz.” He said, his eyes misting, earnest, and full of love, and full of anxiety.
😳🤯This is the moment when most girls would have begun their cute cry, with the hand over their mouth or hands over their eyes, fanning their faces and nodding through tears of joy. It was the classic “Hallmark,” “Every Kiss Begins With Kay,” “He Went To Jared,” “Netflix Original Christmas Movie” moment that sells so many rings a year. 😮😲😍😭
But if you’ve been reading a while, you probably know I’m not like most girls. 🤷♀️🤷♀️
🤣At this moment, Mel.exe stopped working, and I burst out laughing
“This is a bad joke!” I sputtered. “I hope you know this is a bad joke!”
My fiancee stared at me. “It’s not, though…I’m serious.”
I fought to regain my composure. I had just been so overcome and caught off guard that my all my brain could do was blue screen and send me into a nervous fit of laughter.
“Okay, okay!” I said, and then kissed him hard.
“So, that’s a yes, then?” He confirmed.
I nodded. “Yes.”
With that he put the beautiful, delicate ring on my finger, and the rest is history.
🥰😘Some pictures of us from our engagement, and some from our wedding September 20, 2014👰🤵
💞We’ll have been together for 9 years this Summer, and have been married 4 years as of this past September. It feels like it’s been this way my whole life.
💗Maybe because my life truly began when we fell in love💗
Even though his snoring can be heard from the four corners of the Earth, he can be a bit more of a homebody than I’d like at times, he can be a little bull-headed, he takes forever to leave places and keeps the server around way too long because he won’t stop chatting, and he still has trouble being on time, I could never, in a million, billion, zilion years, in any reality, imagine myself with anyone else. Ever. 💯💯💯
I had prayed for someone like him to come into my life since I was a child, I had prayed that I might have a chance to be married and have a family with someone amazing. I had prayed for a love like this…and to this day I still can’t believe that it’s real…
I don’t know what I did to deserve it, and I still wait for something bad to happen. I still wait to wake up from this dream.
But when he tells me he loves me, when he looks at me with those big, beautiful eyes, when he holds onto me with those big, strong, yet gentle, loving arms…I believe him.
And I love him. And our children. More than anything. 💑💖💞
🙏I don’t know what I did to deserve this dream, but I thank God above that He blessed me with it🙏
📖So that’s our story! Thanks for reading all of that! 😙😙
💬How many of you are engaged or married? What are your engagement stories? If not, what is your fantasy proposal? Share in the comments!
Thanks for reading, my Gals! 🥰😘
👀If you’re new here, and if this or any of my upcoming content seems interesting to you, add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🤗🙏
📋Upcoming Content: What’s In My Hospital Bag Round 2, Why Time Away Makes Me A Better Mom, and My Son’s “Home-School” Curriculum: Toddler Months/Years
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas 🎁🎄🎅🏼 or whatever else you may celebrate, and that going into 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣ has been full of fun and happiness and good things to come! 😌😌
A couple of posts ago, I said I’d share what I’ve been doing to keep things low cost this Christmas, so here ya go! 😁😁
Just a quick photo of some Keto Honey Roasted Peanuts I made for my Dad with Type 2 Diabetes. 🍯🥜 Sugar free and still delicious! 😋
I used ingredients we already had, with the exception of brown sugar substitute and peanuts. Recipe linked in the top picture!
❤️Despite being Introvert AF, I know and am pretty close with a lot of people. I have my biological family, my blended family, my in-laws, and my own growing family. Not to mention my diverse circles of friends.
That being said, I have a lot of people to shop for. Which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you can be stressful, both socially (wth do I get this person this time??) and financially.
In the past I could wild tf out on Christmas shopping with my “disposable” income, but with a mortgage, kids, and life expenses, I definitely don’t have that luxury anymore. 😅
I refuse to go into debt over the pressure of commercialism, but at the same time I do want to do or give something to my loved ones to show how much I appreciate them💖🥰
So how have I managed to cut down on this stress this year? I’ll tell you! 😙😙
🛍Stop Shopping Altogether🙅🏻♀️
In recent years, amongst my in laws we’ve all agreed to stop buying gifts for each other entirely, 🎁❌ opting instead to enjoy each others’ company and maybe baking/cooking for each other.
This has been AMAZING. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 Now we just get the kids gifts, which is honestly so much more fun! 👶🏽👦🏼👶🏻😁❤️
💰So obviously this is the best way to save money, and it encourages appreciation for what you already have. This would probably work best if you have a group of people that doesn’t need anything or who are impossible to buy for.
And if you don’t feel right not having anything to offer on Christmas Day, agree to make each other baked goods or freezer dinners or something of that nature. Everyone loves cookies and not having to cook! 💯
Not to mention, time spent together is so precious. The best gift we can give each other truly is ourselves. ❤️💯
🧮Set A Strict Budget👝
If you don’t think any of your family members or friends would want to go the no-gifts approach, the next best thing is to set a strict spending budget for each person on your list. 💵
This year for my immediate and blended family, I set a budget for $10 per person. And you’d be surprised what you can find for under $10. 💎🎯🤩
💭I’ve found that setting these spending limits forces me to be more creative and thoughtful with what I give. For example, I know my younger stepbrother is a guitar player 👨🏻🎤🎸so I’ve bought for him this year and last a different guitar accessory he doesn’t have, but would be useful, that was under $10!
I did something like this with each person, thinking hard about their interests and needs and going Amazon hunting for the best items within my range. 👀
It can be helpful to perhaps look through your expenses and see realistically how much you can afford to spend on Christmas shopping. Then make a physical list of who you have to shop for, and do some…
For instance, if you can afford to spend $200 on gifts that season, and have 15 people to shop for, the price cap would be about $13 per person (dividing 15 by 200…Or is it 200 by 15? 😅😅 Math was never my strong suit).
Think long and hard about what each person needs or what would really make them happy, and set your sights on stores and websites that work with your ideas and your budget.
You could also coordinate with other family members to see what they are buying for others to see if you could contribute an add-on to their gift. 👍🏻
For example, if you have a niece who is obsessed with LOL Dolls and you know Grandma is buying her an LOL Dollhouse, you could buy her a piece of furniture or whatever goes with that thing. 😂😂
Don’t feel the need to break bank over these fad toys. Chances are she’ll be over it in a year or two. 👌🏼👌🏼
💡I’ve also seen on Facebook to start a fund in the New Year set aside for gifts for the next Christmas Season. So maybe every other paycheck set aside $5-10 or whatever you can swing and put it in a shoebox, open a new account, or whatever will help you not touch it until you start your shopping. 💵💰
📜Give Them An IOU😘
So this is my favorite because it combines repurposing with saving money and forces you to think outside the box. 📤📦
And it is helpful if you really can’t think of anything to get a person on your list that would be useful or appreciated within the budget you just set. 🤷🏻♀️😅
As you can see, my DIY skills could get me a spot on Netflix’s Nailed It! 💯😂
For my close friends this year, I got the idea (although I never checked to see if it was a case of parallel thinking but I like to believe this was an original idea 😅) to create “IOU Jars.”
🥜I buy Teddy’s peanut butter for my family, which comes in a glass jar. In the past I have used these jars for storing food items, loose change, and even for other holiday-related things like hot cocoa and cookie mixes for Yankee Swaps.
This year, I took my collection of peanut butter jars and lids and filled them with my friends’ favorite candy that I purchased from the dollar store, a packet of hot cocoa that I got in bulk, and enclosed a personalized note telling them how much they mean to me and why I appreciate them individually. ❤️🥰
On this note I also included an “IOU,” or something that I would get/do for them in the upcoming year.
🍷So instead of spending a chunk of change on a bunch of hastily picked out stuff for the sake of getting a gift (I go into panic mode if I don’t know what to get someone and I end up just grabbing stuff that they might vaguely like), I included in my note that I owed them either a matinee to see a movie they’re excited about coming up, a brunch date to a cute but affordable restaurant, or a night in with a bottle or two of wine for them to “cash in” at some point during the year.
This way, I still feel like I’ve gotten all my special friends a good gift, but didn’t have to stress about the extra expense all at once.
Not because they’re not worth it. They deserve that and so much more. ❤️❤️❤️We just happened to have a bit of unexpected expenses come up just before to Christmastime and money was getting a bit tight, so this idea came to light as a result.
📦Go Ahead And Horde (Responsibly!)
Lastly as a bit of an afterthought, I save almost everything. Which as a recovering pack rat and someone who is trying to convert to minimalism can be a challenge, but in cases like this it helps!
🛍🎁I have amassed a collection of gift bags and tissue paper over the years for birthdays, showers, and of course Christmas, so I actually haven’t bought any of the stuff in a couple of years. If you have the storage space, I highly suggest starting a big “bag of bags and tissue paper” you can visit for your gift-Giving needs.
I used to spend a ridiculous extra amount on gift wrapping… 💸💸💸
Also, save those candy canes!! Most people don’t like to eat them, and I feel like a lot of them get thrown away, but they make super cute decorations for things other than the tree!
My Insta Pic skills aren’t the sharpest, but just an example of what you can do with those cute candy canes! 😍
🎨And instead of spending extra money on decorations, make some with your kids! It will keep them busy and happy during cold days and your house will be festive and adorable!
Not to mention the priceless keepsakes you’ll have afterwards. 🥰🥰🥰
💬Did I miss anything? What tips do you have for saving money over the holidays? Leave them in the comments!
Thanks for reading, my gals! ❤️😍
Stay tuned for posts on What’s In My Hospital Bag For Baby 2, Why Spending Time Away From My Son Makes Me A Better Mom, and maybe a Second Pregnancy Update/How This Time Is Different Than The First.
If any of those sound interesting to you, subscribe so you don’t miss it! 😘😘
When we first talked about having another baby so soon after our first, somehow I had gotten it into my head that the next one would be a little girl. 👧👗💅🎀💖👑
So convinced was I of this that I had even purchased (from consignment, of course) some girl clothes I had come across and couldn’t resist and had begun saving girly items for a possible sprinkle I’d have for her. I’d even had her name picked out (She was going to be named after someone very, very special💖). I had even made a Pinterest Board with her name containing the matching outfits we’d wear and hairstyles I could attempt on her. 👗💄👠👝💇💅🥰
Almost all of my pregnancy symptoms were even “indicative” of a girl–wicked morning sickness, 🤢🤮 carrying high, 🤰massive breakouts, 🌋😬 etc. I even found myself instinctively calling the baby “she” and “her” in the early weeks. Friends and family were even convinced of it. I was so happy.
But then at my 19 week scan, the ultrasound tech said those three words…
👦🔵”It’s a boy.” She stated, almost too matter-of-fact-ly.
My heart sunk. 💔💔💔 I must have asked the technician, much to her annoyance, three times if she was sure, and to each question she would reply with a cold “Yes.” I can remember watching her type “Boy” over the anatomy in slow, deliberate keystrokes.
I still hate to admit it, but I cried. I hadn’t cried much this pregnancy, but I did that day, on the examination table. I was devastated. 💔💔💔
I know that sounds terrible. After all, he was perfect! Healthy, measuring on time, no concerns 🙌🙏 …but I couldn’t bring myself to be happy.
I cried and cried all that weekend. I was inconsolable. I couldn’t get out of bed. My melancholy continued into that next week, as all I could think of was that I wasn’t getting the little girl I had dreamed of this whole year.
I had begun to suspect that I’d been having issues with prenatal depression leading up to this, too, so I know that’s also a big part of what was making this such a big deal. I stopped eating right when my birthday and anniversary came and went that month, and really let myself go when I found out the gender. I’m paying for that now. 😓😓
💻⌨💬I ended up reading and posting on a lot of forums regarding Gender Disappointment and learned that what I was going through wasn’t completely abnormal. It turns out what I had done was created this person in my head and my heart, and had made her “real.” I hadn’t prepared myself for the very real possibility that this baby would be a “he.” I had gone into this pregnancy believing that I was coming out of it with “my” girl, but this wasn’t going to happen. 🤷♀️😞
💯God had other plans💯
It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with all of this. Truthfully, more than three months later, I still struggle a tiny bit. I still see pictures of my niece and my friends’ little girls and I feel a twinge of sadness and jealousy. And sometimes I lay awake worrying that it will never happen for me…
💔How I Got Over It💙
One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that I can plan for something all I want, but God’s plan is better, and it will always prevail. 💯 And if you don’t believe that, then maybe look at it this way: everything in life, good and bad, happens for a reason. If you’re going through a hard time right now, it’s going to make you stronger, 💪 and it’s going to lead you to where you need to be.
That’s what this is for me.
Finding out my baby was a boy was what led me to Perinatal counseling. 📒🧠😌 I had been debating going before, but didn’t want to take the time and have to have another thing that I’d need babysitting for. But when I went through my gender disappointment, I finally made an appointment, and I’ve been working through some other things that are actually really helping in other aspects of my life. 🙌😁
It was really hard for me to look on the bright side at first, as everyone was trying to help me with. But I knew that I had to get through it, so I made a physical list of all the good. In doing so I’ve been able to see that while it might still be a little devastating for me, there’s really so much to be happy about. ♥♥♥
First, I have a healthy baby, that’s plenty to be thankful for. 👶👣🙏
Second, Vinny will still have a little sibling close in age, which comes with all of the benefits I listed in a previous post. 👦💙👶
Next, it’s another boy, so my husband gets more chances to have his family name passed down in a traditional sense (almost all of his cousins are female, or have a different last name, and he his only sibling is my sister-in-law, so the family name depends on my husband and two of his significantly younger boy cousins), which I know is important to him. 😌💗
Furthermore, as Vinny is named after my husband’s father and grandfather, Michael (Mikey) is named after my father and shares my grandfather’s name. Plus, Vinny was even born in the same month as my FIL and Mikey is due the same month as my Dad’s birthday! Talk about serendipity 💕💞
Finally, he’s my baby. 🤰🤱👶🥰 He’s part of me and the love of my life. If that’s not a reason to be happy, I don’t know what else is.
So maybe I didn’t get my way this time. And who knows what we’ll get in the future? But God willing, someday soon I’ll be able to throw that “Girl Power Superhero Sprinkle” I had already planned in my head, and my little girl will have two super brothers to look out for her and show her how to be her own hero. 🦸♂️🦸♀️🦸♂️🙏😂💖
I had also bought Mikey his own coming home outfit to help make me feel better. I try not to make retail therapy a habit as I have in the past, but it did help a little looking through Etsy at all of the creative, personalized newborn outfits and coming across this little gem. 😍😍
Now Mikey has something of his own aside from his brother’s hand-me-downs. 😊😊 90 percent of his wardrobe is going to be passed down from Vinny. 😂👕👖🤷♀️
And honestly, I can’t wait to see him in it. And I can’t wait to welcome him into our family. 💗👨👩👦👦🥰
Have you or someone you know experienced gender disappointment? How did you overcome it? Any other tips for readers? Post them in the comments!
Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍🥰😘 Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about how spending less time with my son makes me a better Mom. 😅👩👦💓
Okay, I’m not gonna lie–I still stress about the holidays. 😅😅😅 But not NEARLY as much as I used to!
I know I said I’d be posting about a pretty emotional issue this time, but I’ve been having technical difficulties with that one…that will be next, I promise!
In the meantime, I came across this picture on Facebook this morning, so I felt like I needed to post about it.
I had to ask myself, “Why, though?” Why does it have to be like that? I know the pressure is on around the holidays to give our families the “Perfect Christmas…” but why does this “Perfect Christmas” have to be so centered on gifts?
Yes, I understand we want our kids and our families to be happy and have the best, and it feels good to see a loved one’s face light up when you get them that perfect gift. Hearing the words, “How did you know!?” has the same effect as any good drug, in my opinion.
I used to agonize over what to get people for Christmas. I used to spend HOURS at the Mall going over random items debating in my head whether or not to buy them.
I’d ask myself, “Will so-and-so actually like this?” “Is this enough? What else should I get to go with it?” “Am I spending enough on this person?”
But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked… 🔥👊
Haha sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😅😂
🎄How Being A Mom Has Stopped My Christmas Stress👩👦
So my husband has always been very cost-efficient *coughcoughcheapcoughcough* and his money-saving skills have kept us living pretty comfortably over the 4+ years we’ve been married.
Me? Not so much. I was lucky to have about $200 in my savings when we merged our bank accounts. Let’s just say it was a blessing that I never had a credit card in my early twenties… 😬💸💳
So much like Dr. Hammond in the original Jurassic Park, when it came to Christmas I used to “Spare no expense.” But, seeing as how I’m young with expendable income anymore, I’ve had to learn to adapt.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all that having kids is expensive. It’s so true that they’re like those free apps with all the in-app purchases. They come with HELLA DLC, and you kind of need it to properly play the parenting game…
That being said, that leaves a lot less money to get people the type of gifts I used to be able to. Which admittedly at first was a little depressing, but it’s actually been more of a blessing than a curse.
Now that I don’t have tons of money burning a hole in my NES controller wallet, I have to think twice as hard about what to get people, and it has to fit within a tight budget.
Because of this, I’ve learned to be much more thoughtful in what I give. Yes, the gifts are smaller, but they’re much more meaningful and practical, so my loved ones appreciate them more.
I’ve also begun making more things than buying, and even though my DIY skills could get me a spot on the Netflix series “Nailed It,” people are still genuinely happy when they get them, because they’re tailored to their interests and it really shows that I thought of them.
BTW stay tuned for what I think could be a pretty useful holiday hack for next year 😉😉
How You Can Let Go Of Some Of That Holiday Tension
I feel like these days we’ve begun glorifying stress around the holidays. We stress about what to wear, what to cook, what photos to take, who to send cards to, what to buy, etc. We’re constantly bombarded with commercials commanding us to “Act Now!” so that we hurry and buy whatever it is they’re selling.
And let’s not forget the constant reminder of how many shopping days there are left until Christmas.
And as I mentioned before, I completely understand wanting to get the perfect gifts for loved ones. That’s why I haven’t completely stopped buying them. But, if it’s not reasonably within our budget, we shouldn’t feel compelled to go into debt just to satisfy a societal pressure to check off that list.
The whole point of that post, at least in my interpretation, was to say that parents with kids whose birthdays are close to Christmas have a rough go of it because they’re expected to buy extra for them. If that’s really your thing, then again, no judgement! But, it doesn’t have to be that way!
I’m trying to get in the habit of minimalism for my kids, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s so many benefits to it, and getting them in the habit early will help in the long run!
So if you’re a parent and have kids with Christmastime birthdays, and you’re stressing about how to make it all work, this could help! Do some modest gift-giving for Christmas and give a fulfilling experience (check your local library for ways to do this within a budget) as a birthday gift, allowing them to pick out a single souvenir.
Alternatively, if you’re having a birthday party for your child, odds are they’re going to get a slew of gifts from guests. You could try getting one meaningful gift for their birthday to show how special they are, and then give the smaller, but still special gifts for Christmas.
Sorry if this post didn’t make much sense this time! I’m working under a deadline at my library’s computer. Hopefully this helped bring a little insight and made you feel better if you’re struggling with stress right now.
Remember, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Thanks for reading, my gals! Next time will be the emotional post.
The Force was strong with this little one on August 11, 2018, when we threw his very first birthday party with our friends. And then as of 9:26pm August 12, 2018, our little dinosaur officially turned a whole year old. 1️⃣🎊🎉
In an effort to make things less overwhelming for him, (which seemed to go well?) we decided to have two birthday parties for our son. One with our close friends–his nonbiological aunts and uncles–and one with our closest family–his biological aunts and uncles, as well as his cousin, grandparents and obviously us. 👪
Some people go all out with their child’s first birthday. And honestly, I don’t blame them! It’s a big deal! You got your baby to survive a whole year! 🙌🙌 That’s something to seriously celebrate!
Honestly, the first birthday party was as much for me as it was for my son. Despite how incompetent I’ve felt these past 15 months, my son seems to be thriving. 🙏🙏🙏 This may just be testament to his strong will, but I have to stop and think where did he get that from? 🤔😂
That being said, we didn’t have a few thousand dollars to put down on a big hall and guest appearances by the actual Spiderman, nor did we feel like taking out a birthday party loan (yes, apparently that’s a thing). But we still wanted to make it special. 💖💖
Since we had two birthday parties, we ended up spending closer to $150-75ish when it was all said and done (including pizza for guests), but for two parties, and considering how many people we had at our first one, I’ll still call that a win! 🙌😅😙
🍰How We Cut Costs Like Birthday Cake:
🎈For decorations, I scoured Party City online for their best deals for Star Wars themed decorations, hit up Oriental Trading for all things dinosaur, and of course visited the dollar tree to fill in the gaps on the cheap. 💳💰
🍕For food for guests, we ordered pizzas and asked guests to bring along some simple snacks. 😋 We also made cupcakes for our both parties respectively, as this ended up being much cheaper than buying birthday cakes. 🧁
Dino cupcakes 😋
Jedi cupcake 😋
🎂Aside from the pizza, the only expensive part food-wise was Vinny’s smash cakes, banana cake made with almond flour with a greek yogurt and honey frosting (there’s my crunchy side 😂✌🌱).
📖I also made an attempt at a “Year Book” for our son for his friends and family to sign, marking all of his milestones and memories from his first year of life. I didn’t give myself enough time to properly work on it, but when he reads it after he graduates high school, all that matters is that he’ll see what his friends and family wrote to him all those years ago. 💭💞😭
But I know what you’re all really here for. 😉 So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to save on first birthdays:
🎀Got Any Leftovers?
If you have friends or family that have already had babies, ask them if they’ve hung onto any first birthday supplies, or just party supplies in general. You never know what you can repurpose until you look! 👀
💡Facebook Marketplace and local Moms Groups might be a good resource for this, as well! 👍
💵🌳Hit Up the Dollar Tree!
Dollar stores can be hit or miss, but a lot of times they have the basics like table cloths, paper cups, plates, etc. It can be tempting to get all of the themed partyware you see at the expensive party stores, but they’re not all necessary. 🙅 For example, we ordered Star Wars Plates and Cups at Party City, but only half of what we would need. Then we got the rest with a matching color scheme at the dollar store.
👑For another example, if your little girl were to have a (Sofia the) 1st Birthday party, you could pick up a Sofia table cloth, and then one to two (depending on the size of your guest list) sets of Sofia cups, plates, and maybe napkins, and then get the rest in purple or white. And voila! A party fit for a little Princess on a Pauper’s budget. 👸💖👛
Resisting the urge to splurge on themed decorations and instead opting for the color scheme of streamers, balloons, etc from the Dollar Tree will help save a few pennies, as well. 🎉🎊🎈
🏡Stay Close to Home.
People get the idea that they need to have their kids’ first birthdays at a big hall, and if that’s what your heart is set on, and you’ve been saving for it since before your baby was born, then go for it! But you’d be surprised what you can do with your own living space. 🤯🤯
If you don’t have much to work with, but have a friend or family member with more space, ask them ahead of time if they don’t mind you having the party there! You can bake them an extra set of cupcakes to thank them for their troubles.
🛍🎁Don’t go all out for gifts.
This one is hard, more so for some than others. We Mamas want our kids to have the world, but the reality is they don’t need all of the latest toys. The truth is, they’ll play with them for a while but then forget all about them, or play with the dang box instead! 📦😫
I love sticking to the minimalist gift rule every birthday and Christmas for my little ones, because more than likely they’ll be getting a bunch of gifts from friends and family as well. 😅🤷♀️
💞💓Again, I totally get that rush from seeing your kids light up when they get that popular toy. But trust me, they’ll be okay without the entire LOL Dolls or Ninjago set. They might even be better for it. 💞💓
Vinny’s first birthday was bittersweet. 🥰😭 A year really flew by, and the the years will start coming and they won’t stop coming and soon enough he’ll be 18… 😮😵 I try not to think about it too much, despite how much I mutter under my breath that I can’t wait for him to go school when he’s driving me crazy. 🤪🤪🤪
How many of you have the big Oh-One coming up? How many of you have already had it? What is/was your theme? Any other tips for readers? Leave them in the comments! 💬😙
💖Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍😘 Next time I’ll get into how I worked through a sensitive pregnancy issue maybe some of you can relate to…
Yes, as of writing this blog, I am 27 weeks pregnant with baby number 2! 🤰👶2️⃣
Yes, as of writing this blog, my first is barely 1 year and 3 months old. 👶👣
Yes, at the time of my second child’s birth, my first son will barely be a year and a half old. 👶👶
Yes, we (sort of) planned it this way. 🤷♀️
Yes, I know I’m crazy. 😝🤪
In all seriousness, as scared as I am of the prospect of being a SAHM to 2 under 2, at the same time, I’m happy. 🥰🥰🥰
When I was younger, I always thought that when I had children they would be spaced 2 to even 3 years apart. I thought this for a few reasons. One, to give myself a break in between, 😅 two, to have one potty trained by the time the next came along, 💩 and three, so that I would have enough “time” with each baby before the next one. 🤱👩👦💞
But when I got together with my husband, he had expressed wanting multiple children close together, as close together as actual Irish Twins…😳😨😱 Who’s the crazy one now? 😂
And while in my childfree days I thought this would be absolute lunacy, once we had our first baby, I got to rethinking. 🤔
Having two younger brothers, I feel that having siblings made us all better people in certain ways. We had to share, overcome fights, and look out for each other. And while things might have been rough in our early years, as we all got a little older, we all became each others’ close friends in different ways. 👫👬 And since we’re spaced about 2 years apart, I feel that the closer together my kids are, the closer they will be. 💕💕
Here’s hoping! 🙏🙏 I know I don’t know the future, but the more people I’ve talked to and met that have already had children in close succession, the more I heard that while it was rough at first, after a while it was the best thing that could have happened to their family. 👨👩👦👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👧
More often than not, I heard stories of siblings becoming best friends, playing with the same toys (cutting down on the “need” for more toys) and even going to school in almost the same grade so they could help each other through schoolwork and social woes. 📚💬
And the way I see it, having a sibling so close will help make Vinny more compassionate. 😌🤗 Since he’ll be so young when the next one comes along, having a sibling will be more of a way of life for him so he’ll be used to the concept of sharing and being kind. I’m hoping it will help shape him into a kind, compassionate soul. We’ll see when the next one comes along! 🙏🙏
But every family is different! Wether you have Irish Twins or a 10 year old with your next on the way, your family is perfect. God gives us what we need. 💕💞💗
So yeah, that’s about it! Later on I might have a post on how this pregnancy has been sooo different than the first. And in a not too distant future post, I’m going to touch on something a little heavy, which will explain why this announcement is so late! 😅
In the meantime, here’s some bump pictures I’ve taken to bring you up to speed. 😘
Thanks so much for reading, my gals! Next time I’ll let you know how I made my eldest’s first birthday special on a budget! 1️⃣🥳🧁🎉🎁
((Soo, this post is long overdue, and I had written the draft MONTHS ago. 😅😅 But, I have been promising it for all of those MONTHS and finally, here it is! 🎉🎉))
In just his first six months of life, my child has grown over half of a foot. That’s at least one inch per month. At all of his checkups, he has measured in roughly the 97th percentile for height. 😱
Needless to say, all of this growth needs to be fueled by something.
As I’ve mentioned before, and will cover in more detail in a future post, I stopped being able to exclusively breastfeed when my son was only 2 weeks old. By the time he was 2 months old, I had to make the personally heartbreaking decision to exclusively formula feed.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell some of you Momz’s that formula feeding is expensive.💸 Not only that, but it results in a lot of tins and plastic scoops that end up needing to be discarded. And once they’re in the trash, there’s really only one place they can go…
…The Landfill. 😬😬😬
I try to do my part to reduce my carbon footprint, if only by a pinky toe, and admittedly, I’ve spent some nights tossing and turning thinking of all the cans and scoops just sitting in a landfill somewhere from the result of just my spawn’s insatiable feeding. 😓
Like a lot of Moms, I’m addicted to Pinterest. 📌📍😍 I could literally spend hours idly scrolling through recipes, DIY’s, and adorable crafts. Through my hours of pinning recipes I will definitely someday try for real, I’ve also fallen in love with upcycling. 🥰♻
I’ve always been an advocate for recycling. However, the small city in which my family lives makes it hard to recycle, as I’d have to go out of my way to bring recyclables to the center, and with a toddler in tow, the fewer errands the better, am I right?
If you’re like me, you’ve got similar problems. And I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems, and my own personal mini landfill of forumla tins is one. 💯
But don’t worry! If like me you fret about the amount of waste your child’s feeding produces, I’ve come up with a list of suggestions of what you can do with all that would-be garbage! 😁😁🙌
🍼Free coffee, sugar, etc serving spoons♻
According to my research (✨🏫🚌🤣), one formula scoop equals about 1 tablespoon. In an effort to reduce waste, I’ve started saving all of my scoops and keeping them in every scoopable substance in my home, so that I always have a scooping implement handy (If you’re not solely responsible for the kid(s) and nonpregnant at the moment, go back and read that sentence and take a shot every time you read the word ‘scoop’ 🥃🤣).
All of the ones I’ve used have a small hole in the bottom, so to prevent leakage, you could plug the hole with a bead of hot glue and clean the scoop off with some soap and water once the glue is dried.
I have not purchased tupperware for a while, as I’ve been re-purposing the plastic tubs we get with cold cuts, takeaway, etc for leftover storage. I’ve taken to using formula cans for a similar purpose.
I’ve put “wet” leftovers in them before, however, upon further observation, I’ve noticed the “tin” seems to rust if not dried out thoroughly, 😬 so I would opt to store “dry” leftovers like cream of wheat, oatmeal, etc in formula cans.
The cans (in theory) should also deter pantry moths, as the crafty bastards always seem to find a way into resealable bags. 🤢🙅
Be sure to write down the original expiration date as well as the date you transferred the dry goods into the tin to ensure they are used within optimal freshness! ✅
🍼Freezer Compost/Container Gardening♻
Now that we have a porch for it, I eventually plan on container gardening. I have a stash of formula tins saved for this very purpose. 😊😊
This is fairly straight forward, I think, just put some soil and fertilizer in the tin and try not to kill your plants! 🌱💕
Since these containers aren’t the biggest, I would probably plant something small like herbs to season those Pinterest meals 🥘😋 or flowers to attract pollinators 🐝🦋 to your little garden.
If you’re a little more ambitious like me, and want to try planting actual produce in them, I’ve been told to plant crops that grow upward such as tomatoes, 🍅 to keep from having cumbersome overgrowth or having to re-pot right away (crops that grow upward are more feasible for container gardening for this reason). So by that logic, formula tins should be a good place to start for such an endeavor. But don’t take my word for it! That’s just a theory…a CONTAINER GARDENING THEORY! (Anyone else spend wayy too much free time on Youtube sometimes?)
Now, as for composting…for a while I had been storing compost material in a formula tin in the freezer. Much like these formula tins and scoops, I’ve had mini anxiety attacks over the thought of how much food waste I’ve been contributing to the landfills, but until recently I’ve not had an opportunity to actually put this food waste to any use. 🤷♀️
If you try this, I will let you know that between banana peels, avocado pits and shells, paper towels, the list goes on…one 23.2 oz tin fills up rather quickly. I’m currently looking into getting a compost spinner to transport this waste into so that all this effort doesn’t go to waste. 🚯😁 I’ll keep you (com)posted! 😂🤣
My car is a dump on wheels. 🗑🚙 And a part of what contributes to this dump is me absent-mindedly tossing spare change from various Dunkins and Starbucks runs into every compartment within arms reach of the driver’s seat. And when I drive without my son, I like to bump “Gin and Juice” at top volume🎚🔊, which causes the varying sized coins to rattle together causing a cacophony of irritating sound trying to harmonize with my gangsta rap. 🎵🎶😖
Once I actually get around to cleaning out my car, I intend to make a “swear jar” out of one or two of my tin collection and put all of my car/purse/diaper bag change into them, and cash them out once they are full and use a portion for my son’s education, a portion for family fun, and a portion for charity.
We don’t get Chinese food as often as we used to. 🥡🍚🥠😋😢 Not that we got it all that often, anyway. But when we did, we seemed to get an excess of sauces which come in plastic containers of various sizes. I had always hated throwing them away, sauce and all, as we never end up using any, and I always forget to tell them not to include it with our orders. 😓😓😓
It dawned on me one day (unless this is a highly case of parallel thinking) to rinse out one of these sauce containers, fill it with a few servings of formula, and place an extra scoop inside it to keep in my diaper bag for backup for our little adventures. That way when I inevitably forget my one thing each trip, at the very least I will be equipped with the ever-important food source.
🍼Lil Drummer Bois and Grrls♻
I saw this idea on Pinterest, actually. It’s quite simply taking a formula (or oatmeal, etc) tin, and attaching some kind of fabric, etc over the opening and creating a drum from it. Or, you can fill it with beads or rice and glue the top to it and create rain sticks, or even securely attach strings to the opening for a guitar of sorts. Let your imagination run wild so that your child’s can run even wilder. 🥁🎶💭
Parents who don’t mind some extra noise on top of the everyday squealing and mess-making that comes with small children can go ahead and try this one out and let me know how it goes. 👌🤣
🍼Toy/Chatchki/Craft Supply Storage/Swear Jar♻
Pretty much as described, store various small objects in the formula tin as you see fit. 🙂
So these are just a few ideas of ways you can reuse formula tins and scoops and do your part to reduce the carbon (big)footprint! 👣 If we all do one small thing to help our environment, together we can make some kind of headway in trying to make the Earth a little healthier for our sons and daughters. 🌎🌍🌏♻🌱🌳💗
Did I miss something? Or was this all old news? What are other ways to reuse this stuff? Lemme know in the comments! 😙😙
Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘🥰 Tune in next time for a very special announcement!💓💓💓
((This is a phone post so it’s not gonna be particularly fancy with gifs and memes I’m sorry 😐 but I’m at least able to use emojis from phone posts, so w00t! 💯💖😂🤷🏻♀️))
So clearly I didn’t end up posting the next week, or even the week after my last post. But, this is better than going 4+ months without posting anything, right? 😅 I’m getting there, you guys!
The next post will actually be about how to repurpose old formula tins. Not that you couldn’t use your perfectly capable imaginations or look to Pinterest for ideas, but maybe, just maybe, I have some ideas that they don’t 😉
Anyway, being at home all of the time with my son is a blessing. It really is. Having said that though, after a while being a full time SAHM admittedly has kind of, well, sucked from time to time.
I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, for reasons I’ll get into later…but during these trying times, My patience has become paper thin. Actually, is there a substance thinner than paper?
My son has been going through his one year leap, too, and as a result he has been testier than usual. And on the particularly bad days, I’ve found myself thinking “mean thoughts.”
To be clear, these are not harmful nor destructive thoughts, just kind of, well, mean. I feel like I’m not the only one who’s thought similarly, though, so I’m here to share them with you!
Here are some Mean Mom Thoughts I’ve had and what they mean!
💭Advice to women whose husbands ask you to about trying to start a family: You know how when you were a kid and you asked your parents for a puppy, kitten, what have you, and you promised to take care of them, feed them, clean up after them, etc? And how many of you actually held up your end of the bargain when you eventually got your beloved furry companion?
💭This is like that. Like your parents and your dog, you will end up doing all of the hard work while your husband enjoys the fun parts like snuggling and playing, etc. It’s a bum deal. Proceed with caution.
((It should be noted that my husband is 💯 percent the real deal when it comes to sharing the burden. He’s proactive and sympathetic, and I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I try to give him his well-deserved time off, too, although he claims helping out with our son is time off to him. Honestly, he is amazing. #dadsdontbabysit 🙌🏻))
💭*child is wild’n out for absolutely no good reason*
💭*googles if it’s harmful to the body to give night time cold medicine to someone who doesn’t have a cold*
((I would NEVER, of course, but sometimes…))
💭Husband: Idk I think it would be nice to have 5 or 6 kids…
💭Me: Well I’ll tell you what, they’re gonna be our live-in cleaning staff otherwise why would you do that to yourself? That’s the only reason people had that many kids back in the day, it’s the only logical explanation.
((Let it be known, I have nothing but admiration for people with 4+ kids. Seriously, more power to you! And I get the whole more to love mindset, but honestly, I’m walking the delicate tightrope of patience and sanity with just one, I cannot imagine what state I’d be in (mentally and maybe even geographically at some point…) if it were a bad day with three times the crazy I have now. God bless Moms of lots! 💪🏻))
💭*Baby begins his waking klaxon call upstairs 2 minutes before anticipated to wake up time.*
💭*Me, completely invested in a Netflix binge ignoring sink full of dishes and a pile of laundry with a two mile summit at the bottom of the staircase*
💭Nah, d00d, he’s just talking in his sleep he’s fine. Carry on.
((Sure enough he usually isn’t just talking in his sleep and I do get myself up to tend to him. What becomes of the dishes and laundry is a story for another day…))
💭*Grandparent asks if they can take the child for the day at the end of the week*
((We all need a break once in a while. Even the ones who are inseparable from their progeny at some point, I imagine, must need some space to b r e a t h e. Every Mom needs a MOMent to herself, for her health. I don’t feel too bad about this one. What’s that they say about empty cups?))
And for the sake of this being too long, I will end it here. I may or may not have a sequel to this, though. Most likely, yes.
Formula can story first, I promise!! 😜
But long story short, we all have “Mean thoughts” as moms sometimes. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our little ones, nor does it mean we are actually mean moms. It means we are human, we are tired, and we are coping.
Hang in there, Mom. I see you. And I know you see me, too.
Thanks for reading, my gals! Now let’s see if I can make another post within a month! 😂🤣