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First Blog Post! Welcome To My Little Slice Of Paradise <3

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!

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Stock photo that came with the blog. I would change it but I need sleep plz pray for me 😪

A Rant Most Of You Millenial Moms Might Get

Hello, my Gals,

It’s been a hot minute. I thought I’d do something different.

There’s a lot of Mom/Parenting parodies of songs out there, and more often than not I cringe at them, unless they’re done really well and I personally find them #relatable

I’ve been thinking about the Bennet Brauer rants that Chris Farley (God rest his soul) did way back in the day when Saturday Night Live was really a thing, and a good one at that.

Most of you might not get what I’m talking about. Truthfully, I barely remember it, myself. But it’s one of his most Iconic roles, and always one that is highlighted when people remember him.

And to be honest, the videos already almost #relatable in their original form.

Just so you’ll get the gist of what I’m saying below, at least watch the first one. Or both, if you want to (Or neither, I can’t tell you what to do, I’m not your Mom). Farley’s performances are hilarious!

Part 1 (Skip to 1:45)

Part 2

Part 3 (This particular rant is the most referenced, and yet I can only find the written quote for it online! But you may have seen this one in passing if you’ve seen a Chris Farley tribute)

Ok well, without further ado, here’s my Mom parody of the Iconic Bennet Brauer rants:


Part 1

That’s right, ya grrl, m3lz here with a parody.

Not quite what you’re used to, perhaps (or maybe you know it all too well)?

Not a tidy picture, is it?

I guess in today’s filtered society, apparently Jane Q. Reader is only comfortable getting her opinions from a Barbie Doll.

Well, maybe I’m not an “Insta Model,” or a “MILF.” Maybe my house isn’t “Aesthetic,” or even “Presentable.” Maybe my home decor isn’t, “Pleasing to the eye.”

Maybe I’m not “Witty” without a heart-attack-inducing amount of caffeine. I have no “Charm” or “Appeal.” My Mom Brain as made me not “Smart” or even “Average.”

My toddler doesn’t “Pee in the potty (yet).”

I’m not always “Clean.” I don’t always “Smell good.” My nails aren’t “Polished,” or “Clipped.”

I have nothing “Interesting to say (outside of what Vinny said the other day and how Mikey smiled again for the 5000th time and it’s still not geting old and never will).”

I guess I don’t “Play the game.” (Btw you all just lost The Game)

When my toddler eats, he doesn’t always “Use silverware” or “Wipe his own face.” I don’t always “Wash the table or his eating station afterwards,” or even “The next day.”

So, I guess I just don’t “Fit the mold.” And if that’s the case, I’ll just step back and I’m sure John and Jane Doe can go back to enjoying the endless parade of parenting bloggers who don’t “Make people cringe.”

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Thanks, that’s all for now, Kevin.

Part 2

That’s right, ya grrl m3lz, back with another parody.

Thought you’d seen the last of old Scrunchymomz, perhaps? Thought the internet algorithm would have sent me and my “Low like and view ratios” on a slow Uber to Portland?

^Other Mom Bloggers/Vloggers/Influencers…

…&& ya grrl. #nofilter

Well, maybe I don’t “Look the part.” I’m not “Svelte.” I don’t “Look comfortable on camera.” I’m not “Savvy.” I don’t “Understand what’s going on in the News.”

I’m not “Likeable.” I don’t “Get along with people.” When I go to Aldi, I don’t “make eye contact.”

I guess I don’t “Fit the mold.” I don’t “Wear the latest clothes,” or even ones that don’t “Reek like sour cream and onion.” I don’t “Change my bra.”

I’m not “Slim Thicc.” I don’t have “Nice bobs.” I don’t “Exercise.” And when I do sweat (From chasing my toddler around and trying to pick up in his wake whilst attending to a newborn), I don’t always “Shower.”

My house is not “Sparkling,” I don’t “Clean the area between the fridge and counter.”

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We’re supposed to clean walls now??? Who has time for that??? #aintnobody

But, for the time being, I guess the “Algorithm” is opting for my approach until Jane Reader tells them she’d rather get her two cents from Mom bloggers who haven’t “Made babies cry,” or “Drink Trader Joe’s moscato straight from the bottle,” or, “Leave old dried up deodorant cakes under their arm for weeks at a time…”

*The part where Chris Farley is lifted by wires*

I’m crying! I’m crying, holy Schnikes!

I have a weight/body image problem, can’t they fix me??

Back to you, Kevin!!!1!!11!!

Part 3

That’s right, m3lz again with yet another parody!

Didn’t think the algorightm would have me back, perhaps? Thought they’d have my booty replaced by one of them Victoria’s Secret mannequins?

Well, maybe I’m not “The norm.” I’m not “Camera friendly.” I don’t “Wear (or have) clothes that fit me.” I’m not a “Heart-Eyes react.”

I haven’t had “sex with my husband in at least a good month or two.” I don’t remember “How that works.”

I don’t “Fall in line.” I’m not “Hygienic,” I don’t “Wipe down toys after every use.”

I lack “Style.” I don’t have “Self-esteem.” I have no “Charisma.” I don’t “Own a toothbrush that wasn’t purchased after 2017.”

I don’t “Let my acne scars heal.” I can’t, “Reach all parts of my body.” When I sleep I, “Sweat profusely.”

But I guess the powers that be will keep sending me emails on how to improve my site until Jane K. Reader starts to swipe left and say ‘Thank u next,’ so they can go back to Mom bloggers who don’t “Frighten children,” who don’t “Eat expired cold cuts,” who don’t, “Pop their whiteheads with a safety pin they used to wear in their sweatpants back in high school.”

Thank you, Kevin.


Yeah, so that’s it. Basically #Abigmood when it comes to my experiences in motherhood.

Obviously I’m far from perfect. Obviously, that’s true for the majority of us. And what we see from those other Moms on Instagram and YouTube or Netflix isn’t always what you get. I know without a doubt they all have their struggles, too. No matter how glamorous they appear.

I can make myself look “Glowed Up,” too!

But I do my best every day. And some days, I don’t do as well as I thought I could. But all days, it’s entirely the best thing I’ve ever done.

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#blessed.

How have your adventures in motherhood gone? Is it what you thought it would be? What would you change, if you could? How do you hope to grow in the years to come?

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2

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Don’t Throw It Away! Here’s How To Reuse That Basket Stuffing!

Hello, My Gals!

Two posts in one day?? 😱 This probably won’t be a regular occurrence. 😂😅

But since Peter Cottontail is just around the bunny trail corner, I figured I’d put something up on recycling plastic Easter grass. 🌱♻


✝Growing up, I always thought Easter was a beautiful holiday. Not only because of what it represented in my faith, Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life, but also because of the beautiful imagery and colors. Bunnies, ducklings, chicks, pastel eggs, etc. 🐣💖

I also really liked the look of the strips of soft-colored cellophane that padded the contents of my Easter baskets for years. But of course, it was all for aesthetics, and after all of my Reese’s eggs were devoured, those tiny strips of colorful plastic would be discarded along with the candy wrappers. 🚮

😨I shudder to think of how many lawns you could cover with the amount of that grass sitting in the landfill, from my family alone…

Thankfully there are more environmentally-friendly alternatives to this filling now, like shredded paper that can easily be recycled, biodegradable grass, and even edible grass! Though more often than not, the tried-and-true OG plastic grass is cheaper and easier to come by.

But this doesn’t mean there has to be so much of it choking up the environment! Here are some things you can do to repurpose the stuff, and keep it out of the landfill (at least for a little bit longer if anything).

📦Packing Away Fragile Items🥂

Everyone loves bubble paper. There’s something so satisfying about popping those little plastic pockets of air.🤩😌  And of course they’re quite useful in protecting fragile knick knacks from breaking when packed away.

Open and Closed Cardboard Box
It could also be a pretty good alterative to getting more of those styrofoam peanuts

But consider hanging on to plastic grass to do the same thing! If you have a lot of baskets to fill with it, you can use what would otherwise be thrown away to cushion any ceramic Easter decorations you have until you need them again next year! Or, you can hang on to the stuff for the next time you need to store fragile valuables.

🏞Make A Scene🎭

If your child’s school or your home school curriculum should ever call for a diorama as part of a lesson, that Easter grass could come in handy in setting the stage for a natural habitat scene! 🌳🌲🦔🦌

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Found this on Google Images. Whoever made it did a good job! And they used paper Easter grass, otherwise known as “crinkle”

🖍You could also hang on to it and incorporate it into various crafts, using it as hair, nest material, you name it! Let your child’s imagination run wild (maybe even yours, too)!

🛏Stuff It🧸

For those who like to make DIY toys and stuffies for their little ones, Easter grass could make the perfect filling for certain doll furniture! 🛋

A tiny bean bag chair or a bed, for example, could be stuffed with the grass.

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Doll furniture found on Google. Picture the beanbag stuffed with leftover grass 💭

🚼You could also DIY some sensory baby toys using socks without mates and Easter grass! Your baby will benefit from the crinkly sounds the grass makes inside of the soft socks! Be sure to supervise play in case of any leakage.

🐴Oh Hay!🌾

Most Easter grass you see is green, and therefore would make the perfect pretend grass for toy horses! Yellow Easter grass would make great play hay as well!

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Feed your little ones’ horses some fresh cut Easter grass 😋

And if you have blue, purple, pink, or all of the above grass, it would make some magically tasty unicorn food! 🦄

👀Be sure to supervise play with small children, and find a means of storage for pretend livestock food to avoid messes!

🌱Reduce, Reuse…🌎

Recycle! ♻ If you have a space for craft and gift wrapping supplies, put the grass in a Ziploc bag and save it until you need to stuff your next Easter baskets!


 

These are just a few examples I could come up with, but the possibilities are really endless when it comes to repurposing! What are some other ways you could reuse grass? Let us know in the comments! 💬

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2

 

 

Educational Activities With Easter Eggs

Hello, My Gals,

Happy Good Friday to all who celebrate! On this day, we observe how Jesus died for our sins 🙏💓

It’s also the time of year where we put candy in plastic eggs and hide them for little ones to excitedly discover 🐣🐰🍫

My little ones are still too young for Easter Egg hunts, but my oldest at 20 months has had a plastic egg obsession for a month or two now. And he hasn’t even seen all of those surprise egg videos on YouTube. He likes them without knowing they’re “cool” 😎🤓😂

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We still use his Christmas outfit as pajamas XD Hey, if you can get clothes to survive through the toddler wringer, use them as much as possible!

And since he loves playing with these things so much, I figured I would try to incorporate them into our daily learning routine, and thought I’d share our activities with my fellow home-schooling Mamas!

#️⃣Counting🔢

Okay, so maybe this is one of the more obvious activities, but it’s a good one! I got a dozen colorful plastic eggs at Target for only $1!! 🙌🙌 And I held on to Vinny’s Easter Basket he got from his Auntie Angie last year.

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So cute!

For this counting activity, I simply scatter ten of the plastic eggs about the living room floor, and let Vinny collect them into the basket, counting how many eggs to in as he does so. Then when and if he takes the eggs out, I count them as he does that.

Another fun thing we started doing is putting pom-poms inside the eggs, and then cracking them over his head. He absolutely loves this activity. We simply take the plastic egg apart, put pom-poms inside while counting them, and then take the egg and count up to the number of pom-poms inside and crack!

The anticipation of the pom-poms falling on him makes this an engaging counting exercise. He begins to associate higher numbers as meaning more of something by waiting a little longer for the pom-poms to fall, depending on how many we put in.

I would definitely do this activity supervised with kids under 3, and make sure you clean them all up afterwards!

🎨Colors🖌

Though most of them come in just a few pastel shades, playing with plastic eggs is a great way to strengthen color skills.

While we play with them, I will say aloud which color each egg is while Vinny picks it up. Pretty simple and straight-forward.

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But then I like to take it a step further. While he takes a nap or overnight while he’s asleep, I’ll take some of the eggs and switch the color shells around. Then the next time we play with them, I’ll say, “Uh-Oh! These don’t match! Let’s find their matching colors!”

For this activity, we take the eggs apart (one of Vinny’s favorite things to do with the eggs), and then I will hold up the shell for Vinny to find the matching color to. Once we put the matches together, I’ll say the color aloud to Vinny. Again, pretty simple and straight-forward, but fun!

✋Opposites🤚

I know, how can you teach opposites using plastic eggs?

By getting different sizes!

I got six larger sized plastic eggs from Target for $3. I initially got them to put on our floating shelves for seasonal decoration, but since I ended up with some left over, I figured I’d let Vinny add them to his collection. I also intend to fill them with some healthy gummy snacks, semi-dark chocolate, and cheddar bunnies for his Easter treats.😋

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Anyway, since he has these different sized eggs, I figured I’d use them to teach him the difference between “Big” and “Small.”

For this activity, I’ll simply put the two different sized eggs of the same color together and tell him which one is big and which one is small.

Sometimes I’ll even put the smaller egg inside of the larger egg, creating sort of a nesting doll. When Vinny cracks open the large egg, I’ll say “Big!” and then when he gets a hold of the other egg, I’ll say “Small!” He got the concept pretty quick the first time we did these exercises, and would point to the big one and say “big!” and to the small ones and say “small!”

We’ve also been going over the concept of “Apart” and “Together” using the eggs. When he takes them apart, I’ll say “Apart!” and then pick up the shells and put them together, saying “Together!” After a while, Vinny would pick up pieces, hand them to me, and say “Together!” as if to ask me to put them together for him.


These are just a few examples of some imaginative games you can play with your little ones as a fun way to help them learn! 😁😆💡📚

What are some other activities and games using eggs I haven’t thought of? Let us know in the comments! 💬

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2

 

Labor && Delivery Story Sequel, Natural Vs. Epidural

((Sorry it’s been so long, my gals! 😬 As you can probably deduce, I’ve been a little busy these past several weeks. ☺😊🤱

I took some time to adjust to two under two life, and then I let things get away from me. But I’m going to do my best to get back into a weekly/bi-weekly schedule, and I have lots of content planned, so stay tuned!))

😊💘 So, my husband and I had an eventful Valentine’s Day! 💝☺️

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💚 Meet Michael Antonio! He was born February 14th at 7:07am after a 7 hour labor and delivery.

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“Speedy Delivery!” 😂 I mean, sort of. More on that in a bit 

⚖📏 He was born at 39 weeks and 5 days gestational age, and was a healthy 9lb 2oz and 21.5 inches at birth.

He’s been such a darling baby so far. 🥰🥰🥰 He’s been sleeping 6-7 hours solid at night since he was almost 4 weeks old! 💤💭🙏🏼 I’m still not getting much sleep, though, as I’m getting up in the middle of the night to pump milk at least once, and of course, doing periodical breathing checks. 😅😅😨

So let me give you the details. It was pretty intense!

🤰Prologue😪

At about 38 weeks, I was starting to get very, very uncomfortable. 😣 And honestly a little surprised and disappointed that Mikey had not made his appearance yet. I’ve heard that second babies come sooner than first babies (although of course everyone is different), and was hoping that I would have been able to meet our second son sooner rather than later.

So once I hit 39 weeks, I decided to try out the old induction tricks and wives tales. 💁🏻‍♀️

We had Chipotle for dinner pretty much every night, with extra hot sauce. 🌯🔥😋 I was drinking and eating pineapple like it was my job. 🍍🍹 I did lunges and squats every second I got. 🏋🏻‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️ I followed a few “Baby Mama Dance” videos, and Just Danced as often as possible 💃🏻👯‍♀️ And finally I tried spending some more “alone time” with the husband. 😘😝😅

But nothing seemed to be working. I know you can’t expect these things to work right away, but I was starting to get frustrated. Because with every passing day I was getting more and more miserable. 😩😫

Which brings us to the day before Valentine’s Day. My husband brought me a red velvet cake with our nightly burrito bowl dinner to lift my spirits. I emotional-ate half of it. I got really tired at around 9pm and decided to go up to bed.

🤰🏻Early Labor⏱

❗️Around quarter to midnight, I was woken up by a violent cramp. 😵😵😵

At this point, I had been having some pretty intense braxton hicks for a few weeks, so I assumed it was just more of that. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

‼️Next thing I knew, I was getting woken up every 15 minutes with more of these wrenching menstrual cramp pains.

This felt all too familiar…

“You should probably stay home today,” I said to my husband as he came into our room around 1am (he had fallen asleep on the couch after I went to bed).

🤩”Baby time??” My husband jested.

🤐”Maybe.” I said. I didn’t want to jinx anything.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that!

I made a few errors in my timing, but this is more or less how things progressed.

⏱From this point on, it was hard to get any more sleep, because every 10 minutes I was in searing pain. Within that hour, I was getting contractions every 5 minutes or less!

A little after 2am my husband called my Mother In Law, and then the OB on call. At this point, I was doubling over every few minutes, but managing to breathe through it each time. 😵😤

💩💩I also felt like I had to go to the bathroom for about half an hour at this point, but was afraid to. 😅😅 I know needing to push can feel like the same thing, and I was paranoid about delivering my baby at home in the bathroom. 🚽👶🏼😨

I mean, we were literally a 60 second drive from the hospital, so I figured I’d wait to go there in case the worst happened.

🚙💨 My in-laws arrived at about 2:45, and I waited out another contraction before we got into the car. We made the one minute commute across the street to the emergency entrance of the hospital. I got out of the car to the receptionist as my husband parked the car and got our bags. 👜🧳

👋🏻 “Hi, I need labor and delivery, please.” 💅🏻 I asked the kind gentleman at the desk as composed as I could. He seemed puzzled at my outwardly calm appearance, but believe me, I was in agony on the inside. 💀💀💀 He got me a wheelchair and we were on our way!

We were admitted at about 3am. I met my first nurse and she began my intake (people think it’s hard to answer questions at the dentist, try being interviewed while in the throes of back labor 😵😵) and then she proceeded to “check” me. 👈👈😂

“Hmmm, I can’t seem to find it…” I remember her saying (I apologize, some details might get a little fuzzy).

😱😱😱”What?” I asked. Can’t find it. What did that mean? Was I not dilated?? That couldn’t be, I thought.

“Let me get someone else,” she said, leaving me in a silent panic. After a little while, she brought in another nurse who proceeded to jam what felt like her entire fist into my business. 👊✊ I felt like a calving cow. 🐮🐄🤠

Now at this exact moment, not only did I have to take a huge post-chipotle dump 💩💩💩 (sorry if this is tmi…but this is a labor and delivery story so… 🤷🏻‍♀️), but I was also contracting and having back labor, all while this woman’s entire forearm was pressing against my internal organs. It was literally the worst thing I’ve felt in my life. 😰😰

🏳️ “I need the epidural this time!” I blurted out. My plan was to go natural this time, like I had before (with minimal use of gas and air). But honestly, in that moment I felt if it was going to continue like this, and I possibly wasn’t even dilated enough (or at all??), I wasn’t sure I could go another several hours of that every 2 minutes.

After they were done with their torturous examination, I decided to try to go to the bathroom, 💩💩 and I felt worlds better afterwards. 😌🙏🏼 The contractions themselves automatically became much more bearable. However, I was still getting the terrible back pain. 😓 The doctor came up shortly after this to check me herself.

I remember the nurse saying that sometimes the baby’s head can be positioned in such a way that makes it difficult to find the cervix, for some reason? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ I was hoping this would be the case, as I was going to be upset if it turned out I wasn’t dilating, or something crazy. I did not want to get sent home after all of this.

“Well, the reason we weren’t finding it was because there is no cervix.” The doctor said, matter-of-factly.

She looked at me and smiled gently. “We’re at 10cm.”

🤯 “Oh.” I said, breathing a sigh of relief, while at the same time feeling a wave of shock run through me. Within 3 hours I had gone from “When is this baby coming??” to “He’s basically already here!”

💉 Not long after the doctor had finished, the anesthesiologist had showed up with his equipment. Even though the doctor had told me I would be pushing much sooner than later, I looked at the epidural longingly.

Although I was so close, the doctor said I still had the option of taking the epidural, and my back was killing me. It was worse than it was during my first labor, which was the only thing that made me consider it at the time.

Getting an epidural was a bizarre experience. It was very uncomfortable, a little squicky, but not super painful. It just felt like a couple of bee-stings in my back, which is what I’ve been told it felt like before. 🐝 And compared to what else I had been feeling, that night wasn’t bad at all. 👌

Truth be told, it was worse on my husband than on me. 😅😅

After a minute or two, I was able to relax a little bit. At the same time, though, I was shaking, which made me feel a little anxious. 😧😧

Things kind of slowed down from here. For the next hour, I took time to try and settle my nerves, joking around with my husband and the nurses.

Then at 5:30/6, the doctor came in to help speed things up. She broke my water, 💦and mentioned that she saw some meconium, or baby’s first poop (lot of poop talk in this post lol sorry 💩😂). This meant that NICU would have to evaluate Mikey before we could have skin-to-skin time.

I looked at the doctor in horror, I didn’t want anyone to take my baby from me so soon! 😰😰😰 Thankfully, she reassured me that he wouldn’t leave the room, and that staff from NICU would come to us to check him out and they’d have him on my chest as soon as they could. 🙏🏼😌

And then it was time to get down to business 💪💪💪

🤰🏻Delivery😫

I had a hard time getting him down and out. I had to go more or less by vague pressure and indication from the doctors to push.

💉 After half an hour, the doctor said she would have to give me Pitocin and turn down my epidural to help give me something to “push against.” I wanted to avoid Pitocin if possible, as I’ve heard the contractions from it can be unbearable, but at this point I just wanted him out and safe. 💯

For some reason I continued to have a bit of a hard time getting him out. The doctor, nurse, and my husband swear I was doing great, but it felt like a struggle! 😣😣 But I continued to push as hard as I could, and then…

💘My Valentine’s Baby👶🏼

It felt like another hour, but soon enough there he was! 😍😭😍 My second baby❤️

I saw them take him to the warmer as a swarm of NICU staff surrounded him to check his vitals. After a couple brief moments, he was on my chest. 🥰🥰🥰

Apparently he got stuck at the shoulder while pushing, and the doctor had to reach inside me and assist him out, which is part of what held things up for a while.

But I didn’t care. Whatever it took. He was here. The best Valentine’s Day gift ever. 💘💝💖🙏🏼💚🤱🏻

🌱Pros And Cons: Natural Vs. Epidural💉

So how did this labor compare to my last?

As I mentioned with my first labor and delivery (btw if you read this please forgive the formatting…still haven’t gotten to fix it 😓), it started out with dull period-cramps. The only thing that clued me in that it was the real deal was their consistency. And then, things very gradually progressed from there. I feel like I had time to get used to the pain and get through it with little to no problem (until that back pain at the end 😖😖).

Whereas this one felt like I went from zero to 100 within mere hours. 😵😵

🚶🏻‍♀️To put it into perspective, it was like going from a walk to a jog to a run with Vinny and a full on sprint right out of the gate with Mikey. 🏃🏻‍♀️

So now that I’ve experienced a natural birth and a birth with epidural, here are my personal pro’s and cons:

💉Pros Of Having An Epidural👍

  • Pain relief, obviously 😅🙏🏼
  • It gave me time to relax and center myself and really take things in 🧘🏻‍♀️
  • It gave me the opportunity to maybe get some more sleep which would mean more stamina 💤
  • It allowed me the center of mind to text loved ones 🤳

💉Cons Of Having An Epidural👎

  • In my case, I feel like it slowed things down. I couldn’t feel my contractions all of the way, which I think took away the “urgency,” if you will, and I think it inhibited my ability to push effectively. I think I might have been able to push and have him born sooner, had I not gotten the epidural. 🕛🕞🕒
  • I couldn’t stop shaking–anesthetics and analgesics can make people shaky, and I felt very shaky while under the epidural, which I think amped up my anxiety a bit 😬
  • Because I didn’t have feeling in my lower half, I couldn’t get up and move around to speed things up or use a tub or birthing ball for pain relief and anxiety, and I was trapped in bed, needing help to shift positions 😑
  • I wasn’t able to squat, which was part of my initial birth plan. Squatting helps gravity assist in getting the baby out, and is actually how it’s supposed to happen, but obviously it was not an option if I couldn’t feel my legs. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • I now have constant back pain. It’s ironic the reason I got the epidural in the first place was because of back labor, because now I have back pain because of the epidural. 🤦🏻‍♀️ It’s a common side-effect, and it doesn’t happen to everyone. Eventually I think it does go away (at least I hope it does!!!), but even as I write this, the site where I got the epidural aches, and occasionally the left side of my back will go numb around the site. Laying on my back is also very uncomfortable still, and standing for long periods of time bothers it as well. ☹️

🌱Pros Of Having A Natural Birth👍

  • You can move around! Because you can feel your legs, you can move around, change positions, get into a tub, etc to relieve pain and anxiety and move things along. 💃🏻
  • You can feel everything, so you know what to push against. 💪
  • Less possibility of back pain from epidural site. 😌
  • Less possibility of feeling shaky from pain medication, just from nerves if you tend to shake when anxious or in pain. 😌😌
  • Bragging rights 😂

🌱Cons Of Having A Natural Birth👎

  • You can feel everything, and it’s painful 😕 If you’re someone with a high pain tolerance, and if you’ve had extreme menstrual cramps, it might not be so bad, though! My labor the first time felt exactly like really bad periods I used to have, and so did this one, aside from the perfect storm of pain I’d had upon admission. 💀
  • Anxiety–pain can heighten feelings of anxiousness and possibly cause you to doubt yourself, but trust me, you can do it! 💪

So, given these pros and cons, what would I do again? It depends.

I think I would prefer to go natural again, when/if we have another baby. I feel there are fewer cons to a natural birth than one with an epidural.

For me personally, giving birth naturally was an empowering experience. But, I’m not against getting an epidural again, either. I guess it depends on the size and placement of my next baby.

🌳Because Mikey was a big baby, and because of his position in my pelvis, it was more difficult for me than last time. And because of how quickly things progressed, I think it seemed even more painful.

So if this type of situation happens again, I might opt for the epidural. 💉👍

Of course they also say that each subsequent labor goes a little faster, so next time I just hope to have enough time to make it to the hospital! 😂😂😬🙏🏼

So that’s my story this time, and I hope I can offer some insight to any expecting Mamas who are debating natural vs. epidural.

I say ultimately, go in there expecting the unexpected. If you’re set on going natural, go for it! But, if things change and you feel you need an epidural to get through, don’t feel bad! I still feel it was worth it, even though without it I could have shaved an hour or so off my whole labor and delivery time, and my back probably wouldn’t hurt so much rn. 😓😓

Here are some pictures to bring you up to speed! 😊😊

Last bump pictures, exactly 39 weeks 🤰🏻

🤰🏻How have all of your labors been different? What are your biggest birth fears? Any other words of wisdom for expecting ftm’s I might’ve left out? Leave them all in the comments! 💬

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2

My Toddler’s Overnight Bag

Hello, my gals! 😁❤️

38 weeks today!! 😨🤯🤰🏻 Things are getting a lil real!!

🤕Lately I’ve been having a hard time getting around due to a lot of lightening crotch, and apparently little Miguel’s head is resting pretty low these days so he’s getting ready! ⏱⏱

I’ve slowly been preparing things for baby number 2️⃣ this past month between getting out his bassinet and living room cot, setting up his diaper and clothing station in our bedroom, getting some freezer meals prepped, and as you saw in my “What’s In My Hospital Bag” post, the hospital bags.

Last week I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something, and then it hit me–Vinny needs his sleepover bag! 😱😱

My in-laws have graciously agreed to keep Vinny at their house for the 2-3 days my husband and I will be at the hospital with baby Mikey 🤱🏻👪💚 And since it’s getting down to the wire, I knew I had to be prepared in case the unexpected happens.

I figured I might make a post about what I put in his overnight bag because I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this out there, and if any of you Mamas getting ready for baby number 2, 3, 4, etc are having your little ones stay over a relative’s house, maybe this will help be a guideline for what to send along with your toddler!


👕Clothes👖

I packed enough clothes to last 3️⃣ days.

The first thing I packed for him was the onesie, and I made sure to provide two for each day in the very likely event he gets one dirty. 😅 I included three short sleeve and three long sleeve onesies for him.

I also included his “Meeting Mikey” outfit in the bag. 😍 This is what he will wear to the hospital to meet his little brother and for all of the pictures we’ll be taking of them together 📸💚💙

I packed a couple pairs of pants. One pair of “Kicking Around The House” track pants, and one nice pair of nice khakis in case my in-laws want to take him out of the house. He also has the jeans to reuse if needed.

I included a couple of t-shirts as backup, but the onesies can also be used as a top if needed. I will leave the outfit combination in Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop’s capable hands. 😁

💤I packed a couple pairs of pajamas. I sent one pair of warm footie pajamas and another pair of cotton Batman jammies. He also often just wears onesies to bed, so again, whichever he sleeps in is at the grandparents’ discretion.

In order to fit three days of clothes and jammies, plus backup clothes into this diaper backpack, I used the Konmari method of folding. 🧺 I had pretty much binged Tidying Up With Marie Kondo when it came out and now I am absolutely infatuated with the Konmari method! 😍🤩It’s seriously life-changing! I’m slowly working on incorporating it all over the house. 🏠🧹🧽📦

Like seriously, if I had tried to fold these the way I used to, they never would have fit in this bag! 😤😤It’s crazy!

I was able to tuck all of his onesies in a mesh compartment in the bag and the rest of this clothes in the actual bag next to and on top of a fresh pack of wipies.


👶🏻Diapers and Wipes🧻

I packed enough diapers for 3️⃣ days and a whole new pack of wipes. Vinny will go through up to 4️⃣ diapers in a day, so I fit 12 size 5’s in the front pouch of the bag, three overnights in a zipper compartment of the inside, and the wipes inside of the bag next to and underneath his clothes.


Toys and “Wubbies”

Vinny’s loving Gram and Pop-Pop have a lovely assortment of toys and books ready for their grandbabies in their living room, all of which Vinny loves, so luckily I didn’t have to pack much in this regard. 🙏🏼

🧸He does, however, have two “Babies” he sleeps with at night, a black teddy bear and this little white one. He prefers to sleep with both, but will be okay with at least one. So I’ve packed this little guy so he has something to remind him of home at night and help him sleep. 🐻💤


🍎Food, Supplies, Etc🍼

Being 18 months old, Vinny has been eating “people food” exclusively for a while now, so he will be able to eat some of whatever Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop eat, and they always have healthy snacks to offer him such as bananas and apples. 🍌🍎😋

I did pack three days worth of his absolute favorite snack, these Earth’s Best strawberry cereal bars. 🤤😋 These things are like crack to him. I try to limit him to two a day because although they’re made with relatively good ingredients, they’re still a little sugary 😬😬 But I figure it will be a little something to provide comfort to him while he’s away from home.

🥛He also has flax milk that he drinks with dinner that I supplement with vitamin D, DHA, and Probiotic, so we’ll likely drop off a carton in the next few days so they have that on hand, and we will be able to fit his vial of vit. D, DHA, and a packet of probiotic with administration instructions in one of the “hidden” compartments of the bag.

Also not pictured are his ibuprofen and syringe (in case of teething), eating utensils, binkies, and toothpaste and toothbrush. I was able to fit these things in the “hidden” compartments.

I may also send along a small, separate bag with a pair of snow pants and his winter boots 🥾 in case they want to take him outside, as it’s snowy where we live right now. He will be wearing his winter jacket whenever the time comes so he’ll have that prepared.


Misc💁🏻‍♀️

So that was about it for what I packed for our little one, but of course every child’s needs may vary.

For instance, the people taking your little one may not have toys and books available, so I would suggest sending a few favorite toys and books along with the clothes and necessities. If you need to include these in a separate bag, that’s totally fine!

Much like we’re sending winter play clothes, it might be a good idea to send some seasonal play clothes as well, like bathing suits (along with sunscreen and big spray!) in the summer, or a raincoat and rain boots if you have a rainy season so that your trusted guardians can get outdoors with your littles. ☀️🌨🌧

💊And if your child has medicines they need to take, it would be a good idea to get a separate baggie for these with instructions if necessary. You could also include a list of any food allergies or anything else your guardian should know before feeding or administering medications, etc.

It would also be helpful to do a quick write-up of your child’s daily routine for your babysitter so that they can anticipate his or her needs. 📋✅

If you can arrange to drop off a car seat and booster/high chair ahead of time, or if you can get assistance with loading up the car real quick when the time comes so that your sitter has these at the ready, these will definitely be helpful!


And that’s about it, I think! No matter how much I prepare, I always feel like I’m still missing something 😅😅

I’m definitely getting anxious the closer it gets! But getting little things like this out of the way helps. ☺️☺️

💬 What do you think of these lists? Am I missing anything? What would you include in your toddler’s bag? Have you tried the Konmari method? If so, how has it helped you, or not helped you? Let us know!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure 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: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)