My Toddlerโ€™s Overnight Bag

Hello, my gals! ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

38 weeks today!! ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿป Things are getting a lil real!!

๐Ÿค•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! โฑโฑ

I’ve slowly been preparing things for baby number 2๏ธโƒฃ 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! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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 ๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ช๐Ÿ’š 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!


๐Ÿ‘•Clothes๐Ÿ‘–

I packed enough clothes to last 3๏ธโƒฃ 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. ๐Ÿ˜… I included three short sleeve and three long sleeve onesies for him.

I also included his “Meeting Mikey” outfit in the bag. ๐Ÿ˜ 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 ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™

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. ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿ’คI 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. ๐Ÿงบ I had pretty much binged Tidying Up With Marie Kondo when it came out and now I am absolutely infatuated with the Konmari method! ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸคฉIt’s seriously life-changing! I’m slowly working on incorporating it all over the house. ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿงน๐Ÿงฝ๐Ÿ“ฆ

Like seriously, if I had tried to fold these the way I used to, they never would have fit in this bag! ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜คIt’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.


๐Ÿ‘ถ๐ŸปDiapers and Wipes๐Ÿงป

I packed enough diapers for 3๏ธโƒฃ days and a whole new pack of wipes. Vinny will go through up to 4๏ธโƒฃ 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

๐ŸงธHe 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. ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ค


๐ŸŽFood, Supplies, Etc๐Ÿผ

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. ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ˜‹

I did pack three days worth of his absolute favorite snack, these Earth’s Best strawberry cereal bars. ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜‹ 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 ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But I figure it will be a little something to provide comfort to him while he’s away from home.

๐Ÿฅ›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 ๐Ÿฅพ 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.


โ“Misc๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

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. โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๐ŸŒง

๐Ÿ’ŠAnd 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. ๐Ÿ“‹โœ…

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 ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

I’m definitely getting anxious the closer it gets! But getting little things like this out of the way helps. โ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ฌ 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! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ‘€If youโ€™re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure you add your email and follow so you donโ€™t miss any updates! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ And if youโ€™re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿค—

๐Ÿ“‹ Upcoming Content: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Sonโ€™s โ€œHome-Nursery-School Curriculum,โ€ and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)

This Momz Needs A Time Out

๐Ÿ“–Story Time…๐Ÿ“–

December 29, 2018

Today was a bit of a rough day.

It wasn’t a bad day, per se, but it was definitely rough.

3AM

๐ŸšฝI had gotten up to pee for like the millionth time, and Vinny was up playing with his new Leapfrog talking Scout puppy he got from his “Old Man (my Dad)” for Christmas. I could hear it cycling through its various phrases and nursery rhymes, picturing Vinny grinning each time it responded as he pressed its paw. I decided to just go back to bed and wait to see if Vinny would just fall back asleep. I drifted in and out. ๐Ÿ’ค

4:30AM

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plz.

๐Ÿ”ŠOver the monitor I could still hear, “I’m feeling…happy!” “Let’s play together!” “๐ŸŽถOld McDonald Had a Farm…๐ŸŽถ” I had to go in and take the dog from him so he’d go to sleep. He was not pleased with that, but after Dad came up to help soothe him he went to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜ด

I, however, did not, despite my very best efforts.

7AM And On

๐ŸŒžThe beginning of the day went fine. We had breakfast, played, went for a walk at the Mall and played at the indoor playground. He tried to run out of the play area, so I had to herd him back in, to which he responded with the beginnings of a tantrum. ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ช In order to avoid a category 5 meltdown, we unfortunately had to take our leave. It was more or less his nap time at that point, anyway.

๐Ÿ’คNaptime itself was fine, as it typically is (#blessed๐Ÿ™). When he woke up, he was pleasant. It looked like all he needed was a little more shut-eye! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Then it was dinnertime…

๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•He refused to eat his dinosaur chicken nuggets ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ค (yes, I broke down and gave him chicken nuggets…but at least they were made with cage-free chicken and weren’t loaded with additives and whatnot, so the box said ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ). I fought him for what felt like an hour. Then finally I melted some cheese on top them, and he ate them. ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ™„

๐Ÿง™โ€โ™‚๏ธThe rest of the evening (aka the witching hour, the period of time after dinner leading up to bedtime when he’s at his peak potential for crankiness) was spent trying to do things he knows he’s not supposed to, and having a fit when he was told to stop.

I might have lost my temper a couple of times… ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿคฌ

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#theanthem

When he went to reach for one of the (admittedly) poorly placed Christmas decorations we still had out for the fiftieth time that day, that was when I snapped. I grabbed his arm, and he turned to look at me.

“I. Said. NO!!” I shouted, my voice cracking upwards five octaves. I glared at him, pulling him away from the object he was trying to meddle with.

“What is wrong with you?” I hated the words as they left my mouth, but couldn’t stop them…I knew it was my fault for leaving that stupid thing there. He had more or less left it alone before, but I really should have known better. ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜“

And then he just looked at me and said, “Mumma, Mumma,” and hugged onto me.

๐Ÿ˜”What kind of monster am I? 

๐ŸผAbout this time was the time for his evening milk, which I supplement with probiotic, DHA, and vitamin D in, so I like for him to drink all of it. Of course on this particular day, he refused to drink the last two ounces. ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ค

This infuriated me.

I brought him up to bed in an angry huff. When we got into his room, just as I was about to place him in his crib, he clung to me, again said, “Mumma, Mumma,” and began kissing on me. He just kept nuzzling and hugging and kissing my face, leaning back to look at me and saying, “Mumma…”

I looked at my child, whose large brown eyes glistened in the low pastel light of his humidifier. I could see him smiling sweetly at me, his face the complete opposite of a mirror image of the ugly angry troll face I more than likely wore. ๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ‘บ

๐Ÿ’”I broke down and started sobbing, clutching him to my chest, and he just kept on loving me. I rocked him back and forth until I could get it together, kissed his forehead, gave him his pacifier, white noise giraffe, his “babies (two teddy bears),” and his Leapfrog dog…turned to off mode, of course.

๐ŸŒ…Tomorrow would be a new day, I thought. And indeed it was, as is every day.


I don’t deserve this child. He drives me crazy lately, but some days I really feel I do not deserve him…

๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜ชI’ve been in a funk lately. I’ve had work deadlines looming with daunting projects I’ve yet to piece together, ๐Ÿ“‘๐Ÿ“ฉโŒš deadlines I’ve missed completely that luckily I’ve gotten extensions on, ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ family and social issues,  ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜”a house that’s an absolute mess that I can’t seem to keep up with,  ๐Ÿงบ๐Ÿงน๐Ÿ—‘๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿงฝ a bedroom that at my 35 week milestone finally had a newborn station set up, ๐Ÿšผ๐Ÿงธ๐Ÿคฑ and the aforementioned bedroom still needs to be Marie Kondo’d TF out of, ๐Ÿ“ฆ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‘š๐Ÿ‘• and of course a hormonal roller coaster that rivals the worst of all of my years of PMS since age 12. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿคฏ

I know none of this is any excuse. But I just can’t seem to get it together some days…


Where am I going with this?

๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งI see a lot of Moms in my life and on social media that seem inseparable from their children. They talk about how they cannot be without their babies even for a day, how they’re incomplete without them, and how they’re their whole entire reason for existing, etc, etc…

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#cantrelate

๐Ÿ˜๐ŸฅฐDon’t get me wrong, it’s sweet to see how loving they are with each other and how they enrich each others’ lives. I have absolutely no judgement towards these Moms. I legitimately admire them and their relationships with their babies. ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’–

I just personally don’t feel the same way. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Not to say that I don’t absolutely love my sons, they are still very much my world and my focus, I just have about a few days tops of being around my oldest son round the clock before I feel like I might need to be committed. ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต

Furthermore, I wouldn’t say that my son is my sole purpose for living. And obviously I know this is a figure of speech. But even so, I still don’t feel completely fulfilled just being a Mom and honestly get a little depressed when I go a few days in a row doing #justmomthings.

And because of that, I wonder what must be wrong with me.

๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜คWhy do I lose my cool so easily? Why do I want, no, “need” to escape if it’s just been me and my son for a couple of days? Why do I feel so easily “trapped?”

๐Ÿคณ๐Ÿ˜˜#๏ธโƒฃI know I shouldn’t let Insta Moms and my FB Mom friends make me feel “less.” I know a lot of times (most of the time, approx. 99 percent), people embellish their lives for social media. We’re all guilty of it. And I also know that comparison is the thief of joy. But it’s so hard sometimes not to compare myself to other moms when I feel like I’m doing something wrong every day. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ


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#selfcare

โ˜•๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธAside from needing my “MOM-ents” for self care (and we all need them), I also feel most “myself” when I have time to “work” on my freelance writing and blogging.

But when there’s a shifty toddler running around trying to get into everything, and who can’t be contained in a “baby corral” for more than about half an hour, it’s hard to focus, let alone conduct interviews or do proper research or whatever needs my attention to get an assignment or post done. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ต

Furthermore, if it’s just been us for a while, I start to lose my mind a little. Like I mentioned, my threshold for being at home (even after going out each day) alone with my son is about 3-4 days before I need an “escape (at the point in the story above, I think we were going on day 4. ๐Ÿ˜จ)”

And you know what? I’m starting to realize that that’s OKAY. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿ™I’m very lucky in that I have parents and in-laws who are generally able to take my son off my hands once a week. And I’ve found when I get a break, I can recharge, and it helps fill my Mom cup so that I can pour the best of me into my son for another 3-4 days.

Because when it gets past that threshold…I become a Mommy monster. ๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ‘บ๐Ÿฒ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ

I feel guilty asking for help. I hate admitting that I need help. I hate the thought of putting people out. I hate the thought of depending on anyone for anything…

But I’ve been told multiple times to get over it.

I am blessed to have people in my life who love my son and want to spend some time with him. I need to know that it’s okay to let him get a change of scenery and get socialized, while I do what I need to do to be my best self, for him.

It’s true when they say that it takes a village to raise a child. And I have a very, very good village. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’ฏ


Image result for I'm han solo just dance star wars
Any Moms “Ridin Solo (jay-SON De-RU-Looo),” You Got this! #ilovethisstupidgame #bestworkouts

I realize that not every Mom has the luxury I do, but I do feel that it’s a necessity (more so for some than others, maybe) to get time to yourself to be the best parent you can be to your child(ren). Whether that’s going to work, the gym, or just getting errands done alone, we all need a little space once in a while.

There are resources available for Moms who have to go it alone for one reason or the other. This website lists aid for single Moms by state, including resources for childcare grants and scholarships for Mamas to be able to work and get things done.

Contacting local churches, YMCA’s, and other nonprofit organizations could also be great way to find free or low-cost childcare.

For example, if your form of self-care is an hour to sweat it out on the treadmill, a lot of YMCA’s offer in-house childcare while you workout with a membership, and they can often help with fees if you are struggling financially.

These are just a couple of examples, and I’m sure there’s other resources out there, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! Don’t lose hope if you’re flying Han Solo in the journey of motherhood.

๐Ÿ—ฃIf you’re just feeling lonely or like you need an ear, try joining some online Moms Groups for solidarity and further tips. I’m a member of at least 5 of them on Facebook.

Remember–You. Are. Not. Alone. ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿค—


So, at the risk of this post being too long, (I’ll most likely have a follow up to this coming soon, though, about my SAHM Guilt), I’ll end it right here, knowing that me taking care of myself is just one of my ways of taking care of my baby.

And it’s okay that we’re not attached at the hip. We’re attached at the heart. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿฅฐ

I’ve also started a “Home Nursery School” for him which has been helping with my previous feelings of monotony, and it’s brought us a little bit closer. Seeing him excited to learn and grow really helps me see how much of a blessing it is that I get to devote this time to him. But I’ll have a post on that in the near future!

๐Ÿ’ฌHow many of you feel like you need a break? How many of you can’t be separated from your little loves? Either way, you’re all excellent Mamas doing your best. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช

Thanks for reading, my Gals! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ‘€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! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿค—

๐Ÿ“‹Upcoming Content: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)

What’s In My Hospital Bag–Second Baby

Hello my Gals! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜

โณโŒ›It’s getting so close! I can’t believe soon we’ll be welcoming little Michael Antonio into our family! ๐Ÿ‘ช๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š

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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

(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. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿคž

But I know I’m in God’s hands and He will carry me through regardless. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’ฏ

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

But hey, maybe I have something they don’t? I think it’s good to get a few different perspectives on things anyway!


๐Ÿ‘€Looking Back๐Ÿ”™

They say it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, but in the case of the hospital bag, sometimes less is more.

๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŽ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. ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ช

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, ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ 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. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

Still, I’m tryna be as prepared as possible, you know?

โ€ผQuick 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. ๐Ÿ‘œ๐ŸŽ’๐Ÿงณ

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! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

๐ŸฅI 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. ๐Ÿ˜Œโ˜บ

Anyway, on with it!

๐Ÿ‘œThe Bag๐Ÿ’–

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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! ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿค‘

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. ๐Ÿ‘ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

๐ŸคฑMama’s Essentialsโœ…

๐Ÿ’˜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 ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…). It was only $5! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ 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 Day๐Ÿ’

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โ™ฅA little something to help me feel cute after deliveryโ˜บ

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.

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Super comfy and simple!ย 

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.

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Not aesthetic, but comfortable and gets the job done!

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. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿค•

I have these IceWraps cold/hot packs for pretty cheap on Amazon for my b00bz as well, in case they get sw0l.

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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.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚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.

๐Ÿ’„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. ๐Ÿ˜ŒโœŒ I’m also going to bring my VS PINK (LOL) sponge to help me feel more at home.

 

 

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Cute and Spacious!ย 

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! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ฏ

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…

๐Ÿ‘ถBaby’s Essentialsโœ…

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. ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™

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This hat was custom made for Mikey by my talented and loving cousin-in-law ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

I also brought some extra scratch mittens because newborn nails are little but fierce! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌVinny 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜“

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! ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

I brought a few pairs of socks for his little feet, too. ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

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I always fold socks in a ball like this to save space. I’m no Marie Kondo, but I’m trying my best to be more organized!

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.

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My favorite swaddle from when Vinny was just a sm0l–I love giraffes! ๐Ÿฆ’๐Ÿ˜

I have a blanket and some burping cloths as well for nursing and in case he needs a little extra warmth.

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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, ๐Ÿˆ 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! ๐Ÿ˜œ

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Not our actual Boppy, but pretty close!ย 

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.

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These diapers are actually leftover from my baby shower with Vinny! That’s how fast these little things grow!ย 

๐Ÿง”Daddy’s Essentialsโœ…

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ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. ๐Ÿ‘

accessory bag briefcase buckle
Something like this ought to do it for your Mans. ๐Ÿ˜™

๐Ÿ‘œMy 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! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘›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. ๐Ÿ˜™


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. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ฌHope this helps a bit! How many of you are getting ready for the big day for the first time? ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ˜ 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!

๐Ÿ‘€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.ย  ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿค—

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.

Same But Different: Pregnancy Journies, 2 Under 2

Henlo, my Gals! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ

๐Ÿคฐ2๏ธโƒฃMy second pregnancy is coming to a close! Only about 5 weeks left as of this past weekend! ๐Ÿ—“๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It went by so fast! And yet, I honestly feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜ช

Granted, that may be because I only got about a 9/10 month break from my first one. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

๐Ÿ’–But it’s all for the cause. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿคฑ

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.

๐Ÿ’ญโ”Weird thought just now, maybe it’s like the very first peek into the baby’s personality? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” Not likely, lol, but just a weird thought that popped up just now. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

Anyway.

๐ŸคขFirst Trimester๐Ÿž

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, ๐Ÿคฎ felt like puking most of the time, ๐Ÿคข but I feel that period didn’t last all too long. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

This time, I was N A U S E O U S.  ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคข I seriously had no break in feeling sick from morning through night this first, nay, WORST Trimester. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ’€

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! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ 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. ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿž๐Ÿฅ–

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ดI 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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! ๐Ÿคฏ Like there were little popcorn kernels pop pop popping in my belly! ๐Ÿฟ 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.

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I also showed a lot sooner this time, as is typical for each subsequent pregnancy. Here’s the bump at 10 weeks!

๐ŸฅฃSecond Trimester๐Ÿค•

(TMI ahead) ๐Ÿ˜ฐI 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

They could never tell me quite why it happened, but as long as everything was okay otherwise, I could deal with it.

๐Ÿ™ŒThankfully 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿค• Luckily this went away after a couple of weeks though.

๐Ÿ˜ชI 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. ๐Ÿ˜ต

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! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜‹

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Going swimming the beginning of the second trimester, feeling fly as a mother ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‚

๐ŸคฐThird Trimester๐Ÿ˜ฃ

This time the biggest difference is Braxton Hicks. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿค• 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ 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! ๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿค•๐Ÿค•I also already have already been experiencing pelvic floor pain and “lightening groin,” or shooting pain down, well, the groin. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜“ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ 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! ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ

๐Ÿ™Otherwise, so far so good! Measuring on track! Just super duper tired. ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ›Œ No labor signs or anything like that.

๐Ÿ—“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.  ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฐWe will see! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

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*insert Donald Trump ‘UGE’ here* Bump at 34 weeks!

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! ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ

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! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚ Either way, it’s all worth it. ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐Ÿ’ฌHow have your pregnancies been different? Or had they been more of the same? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my Gals! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ‘€If youโ€™re new here, and if this or any of my upcoming content seems interesting to you, add your email and follow so you donโ€™t miss any updates! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ And if youโ€™re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ™

๐Ÿ“‹Upcoming Content: Whatโ€™s In My Hospital Bag Round 2, Why Time Away Makes Me A Better Mom, and My Sonโ€™s โ€œHome-Schoolโ€ Curriculum: Toddler Months/Years

๐Ÿ’Our Proposal: The Prologue To Our Family๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

Hello, my Gals! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜
So I am 34 weeks with baby number 2 as of writing this! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸคฐIt happened so fast! โฒ๐Ÿ˜จ
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. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Needless to say I was not having that happen again! ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿ™…
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! ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’Ž
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Please excuse my super dry hands and naked nails.Those prenatals make them grow, tho!
Back in November, I had gone to Charming Charlie’s and found this cute lil fella for about $8! ๐Ÿ™Œ I figured it would be cute for Valentine’s Day time, which is when little Mikey is due. ๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’‹
So, while on the topic of rings, I thought it would be fun to share my proposal story. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’ I like that kind of stuff, and I know some of you might, too, so I figured why not? ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Before I tell you the actual story proposal, though, let me take you further back in time a little bit. โณ

๐Ÿ—“Leap Day, 2012โ„

โ„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 ๐Ÿป๐Ÿฅƒ๐Ÿ˜‚) 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.
๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’“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. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž
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.” ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Okay. But you let me know if you change your mind.” I joked.
๐Ÿ’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. ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€
“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.”  ๐Ÿ’‘๐Ÿ’’
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.  ๐Ÿ’ญ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ
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. ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿ””๐Ÿ˜‚
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. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

โ˜€First Day Of Summer, 2013๐Ÿ’ž

Fast forward a little over a year. I was just about to finish an opening shift when a coworker of mine had called out. ๐Ÿ˜“ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚).
๐Ÿ—ณI 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. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿน๐Ÿต
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.
โŒšโฑIt 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. โฑ๐Ÿ™„
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 ๐Ÿ’ฏ).
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… ๐Ÿคฉ
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. ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ
๐ŸคตHe 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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ˜˜
“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. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
“Yeah, I just felt like looking nice…” he said, looking at the floor, fidgeting…
๐ŸžWe 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. ๐ŸŒ…๐Ÿ˜
We used to love going on this trail through the woods, admiring the pond and the nature surrounding it. It was hella romantic. ๐Ÿ’‘๐Ÿ’•
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. โœจ๐Ÿ”…
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… ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ
“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…
๐Ÿ’”What I really meant was, what are you doing the rest of your life?”๐Ÿ’

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That Sapphire, tho. ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ 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! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜


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.
๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸคฏThis 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ
But if you’ve been reading a while, you probably know I’m not like most girls. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
๐ŸคฃAt 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.

๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜˜Some pictures of us from our engagement, and some from our wedding September 20, 2014๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿคต

๐Ÿ’žWe’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.

๐Ÿ’—Maybe because my life truly began when we fell in love๐Ÿ’—
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. ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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. ๐Ÿ’‘๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’ž
๐Ÿ™I don’t know what I did to deserve this dream, but I thank God above that He blessed me with it๐Ÿ™

๐Ÿ“–So that’s our story! Thanks for reading all of that! ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™
๐Ÿ’ฌHow 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! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ‘€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! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ™

๐Ÿ“‹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

Save Money and the Environment Next Christmas!

Hello, my Gals!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ or whatever else you may celebrate, and that going into 2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ9๏ธโƒฃ has been full of fun and happiness and good things to come! ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ

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! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

That DIY label, tho. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ #nailedit

Just a quick photo of some Keto Honey Roasted Peanuts I made for my Dad with Type 2 Diabetes. ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฅœ Sugar free and still delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹

I used ingredients we already had, with the exception of brown sugar substitute and peanuts. Recipe linked in the top picture!


โค๏ธ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. ๐Ÿ˜…

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 them๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฅฐ

So how have I managed to cut down on this stress this year? I’ll tell you! ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™


๐Ÿ›Stop Shopping Altogether๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

In recent years, amongst my in laws we’ve all agreed to stop buying gifts for each other entirely, ๐ŸŽโŒ opting instead to enjoy each others’ company and maybe baking/cooking for each other.

This has been AMAZING. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Now we just get the kids gifts, which is honestly so much more fun! ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ฐSo 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! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Not to mention, time spent together is so precious. The best gift we can give each other truly is ourselves. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐ŸงฎSet A Strict Budget๐Ÿ‘

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. ๐Ÿ’ต

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. ๐Ÿ’Ž๐ŸŽฏ๐Ÿคฉ

๐Ÿ’ญI’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 ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽธso 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. ๐Ÿ‘€

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? ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Don’t feel the need to break bank over these fad toys. Chances are she’ll be over it in a year or two. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ’กI’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. ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ“œGive Them An IOU๐Ÿ˜˜

So this is my favorite because it combines repurposing with saving money and forces you to think outside the box. ๐Ÿ“ค๐Ÿ“ฆ

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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜…

As you can see, my DIY skills could get me a spot on Netflix’s Nailed It! ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜…) to create “IOU Jars.”

๐ŸฅœI 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. โค๏ธ๐Ÿฅฐ

On this note I also included an “IOU,” or something that I would get/do for them in the upcoming year.

๐ŸทSo 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. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ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.

๐Ÿ“ฆGo 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!

๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ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… ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ

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 arenโ€™t the sharpest, but just an example of what you can do with those cute candy canes! ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŽจAnd 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. ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃMy little Vinnyโ€™s Christmas Tree Foot๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿ’ฌDid I miss anything? What tips do you have for saving money over the holidays? Leave them in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

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! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

The “Boy-Or-Girl Blues,” How I Got Over My Gender Disappointment

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. ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ’…๐ŸŽ€๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘‘

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 special๐Ÿ’–). I had even made a Pinterest Board with her name containing the matching outfits we’d wear and hairstyles I could attempt on her. ๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’‡๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿฅฐ

Almost all of my pregnancy symptoms were even “indicative” of a girl–wicked morning sickness, ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ carrying high,ย ๐Ÿคฐmassive breakouts, ๐ŸŒ‹๐Ÿ˜ฌ 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…

๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ”ต”It’s a boy.” She stated, almost too matter-of-fact-ly.

My heart sunk. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’” 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. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”

I know that sounds terrible. After all, he was perfect! Healthy, measuring on time, no concerns ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™ …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. ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜“

๐Ÿ’ปโŒจ๐Ÿ’ฌI 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. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ž

๐Ÿ’ฏGod had other plans๐Ÿ’ฏ

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…

๐Ÿ’”How I Got Over It๐Ÿ’™

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. ๐Ÿ’ฏ 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, ๐Ÿ’ชย 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. ๐Ÿ“’๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ˜Œ 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. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜

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 toย  see that while it might still be a little devastating for me, there’s really so much to be happy about. โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

  • First, I have a healthy baby, that’s plenty to be thankful for.ย ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿ™
  • Second, Vinny will still have a little sibling close in age, which comes with all of the benefits I listed in a previous post. ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘ถ
  • 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. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’—
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๐Ÿ’šOur Second Baby๐Ÿ’š
  • 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 ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’ž
  • Finally, he’s my baby. ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿฅฐ 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. ๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’–


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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Now Mikey has something of his own aside from his brother’s hand-me-downs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š 90 percent of his wardrobe is going to be passed down from Vinny. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘•๐Ÿ‘–๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

And honestly, I can’t wait to see him in it. And I can’t wait to welcome him into our family. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿฅฐ


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! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜˜ Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about how spending less time with my son makes me a better Mom. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ’“

I Used To Stress About The Holidays, Until–

Okay, I’m not gonna lie–I still stress about the holidays. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…ย 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.

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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… ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘Š

Haha sorry, I couldn’t resist. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚

๐ŸŽ„How Being A Mom Has Stopped My Christmas Stress๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

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… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ณ

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.ย 

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

How You Can Let Go Of Some Of That Holiday Tension

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My response to the above image. Less Is More!

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.

How You Can Throw Your Babyโ€™s First Birthday Under $100!

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Our Mr. One-Derful on his official first birthday ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅฐ

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. 1๏ธโƒฃ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰

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. ๐Ÿ‘ช

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! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œย 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ย This may just be testament to his strong will, but I have to stop and think where did he get that from? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

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! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜™


๐ŸฐHow We Cut Costs Like Birthday Cake:

๐ŸŽˆFor 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. ๐Ÿ’ณ๐Ÿ’ฐ

 

๐Ÿ•For food for guests, we ordered pizzas and asked guests to bring along some simple snacks. ๐Ÿ˜‹ย We also made cupcakes for our both parties respectively, as this ended up being much cheaper than buying birthday cakes. ๐Ÿง

 

๐ŸŽ‚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 ๐Ÿ˜‚โœŒ๐ŸŒฑ).

 

๐Ÿ“–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. ๐Ÿ’ญ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜ญ

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๐ŸŽตI tried so hard…
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…and got so far๐ŸŽถ

But I know what you’re all really here for. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to save on first birthdays:


๐ŸŽ€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! ๐Ÿ‘€

๐Ÿ’กFacebook Marketplace and local Moms Groups might be a good resource for this, as well! ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ’ต๐ŸŒณHit 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. ๐Ÿ™…ย 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.

๐Ÿ‘‘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. ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘›

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. ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽˆ

๐ŸกStay 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. ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฏ

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.

๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ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! ๐Ÿ“ฆ๐Ÿ˜ซ

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. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’“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. ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’“


Vinny’s first birthday was bittersweet. ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ญย 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…ย ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ตย 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. ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

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! ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ˜™

๐Ÿ’–Thanks for reading, my gals! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜ย Next time I’ll get into how I worked through a sensitive pregnancy issue maybe some of you can relate to…

Our Growing Family: Twice The Chaos, Double The Love

baby

Holy 2 under 2, Batman! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Yes, as of writing this blog, I am 27 weeks pregnant with baby number 2! ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿ‘ถ2๏ธโƒฃ

Yes, as of writing this blog, my first is barely 1 year and 3 months old. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Yes, at the time of my second child’s birth, my first son will barely be a year and a half old. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Yes, we (sort of) planned it this way. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Yes, I know I’m crazy. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคช

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. ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

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, ๐Ÿ˜…ย two, to have one potty trained by the time the next came along, ๐Ÿ’ฉย and three, so that I would have enough “time” with each baby before the next one. ๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ’ž

But when I got together with my husband, he had expressed wanting multiple children close together, as close together as actual Irish Twins…๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฑย Who’s the crazy one now? ๐Ÿ˜‚

And while in my childfree days I thought this would be absolute lunacy, once we had our first baby, I got to rethinking. ๐Ÿค”

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. ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌย And since we’re spaced about 2 years apart, I feel that the closer together my kids are, the closer they will be. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Here’s hoping! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ย 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. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง

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. ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ’ฌ

And the way I see it, having a sibling so close will help make Vinny more compassionate. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿค—ย 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! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

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. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’—

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! ๐Ÿ˜…

In the meantime, here’s some bump pictures I’ve taken to bring you up to speed. ๐Ÿ˜˜



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! 1๏ธโƒฃ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿง๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ