standard delicious apple twisting

Because you’re not supposed to pull (pick), you’re supposed to twist. Try telling that to your two year old.

The last THREE years we’ve been apple picking, we haven’t actually picked an apple. It was more like apple purchasing. We’re either too late in the season, too early, or they don’t allow u-pick during the week. NOT THIS TIME! We picked apples! Off a tree! Dane’s old enough now to really enjoy it and we walked away with $20 dollars worth of apples which is hundo p going to contribute to our pants not fitting. Adding to salads? Lets be honest. Not. Happening.

Also, don’t be fooled by that sweet smile down there. Dane climbed up those hay bales and starting booming that sign with his shoulder. He KNEW he wasn’t supposed to. He absolutely tests his limits but loathes being in trouble. That’s just age two. Zero self-control and big emotions.

That’s all for now.

it’s time…to use the potty

We unintentionally started learning how to use the potty and I am super happy to report…Dane did great! We started because Dane got his first diaper rash from waking up a few mornings with a lovely #2 diaper. I wasn’t going to start teaching Dane how to use the potty for multiple reasons: we are moving, Travis is MIA… possibly KIA (busy season for youth ministry), I have two kids (Did I mention that?), and Dane loathes diaper changes and legit would not let me touch the diaper. So…WAS he ready? Oooof, what a loaded question, right Heath? Yes and no. He showed more interest last summer at 16 months. Diaper changes were a battle and the thought of literally adding something else to my plate would push me over the edge.

Well, we went over the edge…

Since I am basically on my death bed, I DID NOT read any potty learning/training books. No time for that. We do enjoy this Everyone Poops book ;). Instead of gaining knowledge through books, I reached out to my village. Do you have that one friend you text to ask a million kid questions? Hi, Heather. My bast frand, Heather, also has a blog and she wrote about their potty training experience. You can read about it [here]. I read it when she posted but texted her when it was our time …like what do I do? He’s naked anyway to air out that rash so we went for it.

I’ll try and keep it short. Key word: try. First, I purchased an over the potty seat and a step stool. Bathroom ready…check. We did naked bum for 3 days, I loaded him up with liquids, and I guess we did a combo potty learning/training because I did use a reward system. That’s the ABA therapist in me. I love token boards! And change is hard for Dane so visuals help. Another great tip from Heather… no underwear for a while. It gives a false sense of a diaper. So he’s freeeeeeeee, free…. Now, some babes can learn with underwear but I put underwear on Dane the first day and he peed in it. So every child is different. The no underwear worked for us. Eventually you can put underwear on once they are desensitized from the diaper feeling. I kept my language positive and avoided the “do you have to go question”. It was simply, “It’s time to go pee-pee”! It worked! He peed. He got it. He immediately got a treat. The first day he peed 18 times. EIGHTEEN. So I had to quickly change my reinforcement schedule and back off on the mini cookies I decided to use. Eye roll. Poor choice. We faded to 5 stickers and then a treat. There were a few times in the learning process where he said, “I have to go pee-pee” but actually did not. So I verbally praised his attempt to sit and try. Next up… ditch the diapers at nap and overnight. He’s waking up dry. Sometimes. Praise but I’m not ready to tackle that yet. Alright, that was not short…here’s the bullet point version:

  • Get yo’ bathroom ready…potty chair and step stool.
  • Naked bum for 3 days at home. Try no undies.
  • Token/visual reinforcement chart. Reward every try/pee/poo and eventually fade to 5 stickers then a treat.
  • If you have a boy, stock up on these multi-purpose wipes. That thing is a hose and it goes everywhere!
  • Diapers for naps/overnight until they wake up dry.

 

Alright, mamas. Good luck. May the force be with you.

expect the best & plan for the worst

Do your best, prepare for the worst— then trust GOD to bring victory. Proverbs 21:31 (MSG)

Man, being a mom is hard. Being a mom of TWO littles… I can’t even explain it. We are still adjusting over here. This season is tough. This message I so needed to hear because if you ask Travis I may or may not be a little bit of a negative Nancy. And by a little bit I mean, a lot. I’m wired to plan for the worst. I’m a planner. Type A. I am planning not expecting. Planners always marry expectors. Hi, Travis. We gotta balance each other right! I hope this message speaks to your heart and helps you let go of control and expect the best. Ask for God for His good gifts in your life.

• Expecting the Best – the Bible calls that FAITH

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

• Planning for the Worst – the Bible calls that WISDOM

We all have problems in our life. God wants to give us wisdom to handle and manage our problems.

Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later. Proverbs 22:3 (TEV)

How do you do both at once?

1. STOP PRETENDING TO BE GOD.

“God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will learn about good and evil and you will be like God!” Genesis 3:5 (NCV)

“But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 (NLT)

Humbly, turn to Jesus and ask for strength. Make that choice to depend on God and not yourself.

2. BASE YOUR PLANNING ON GOD’S WISDOM

God’s wisdom for margin:

• Invest your MONEY. save & give.

The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. Proverbs 21:20 (TLB) “Give, and you will receive . . . The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.” Luke 6:38 (NCV)

• Spend your TIME. This is the core of where I struggle with margin. I over-schedule. I am a list maker that hardly manages getting that “reasonable” list completed. Not happening. I need wisdom on how to spend my time. The danger of overloading our schedule is like overloading a plane… we crash.

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 (AMP)

• Take care of your BODY

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)

• Be diligent in your WORK

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV)

• Value your RELATIONSHIPS. We are made to relate to others. We need community.

Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Colossians 3:14 (CEV)

3. TRUST THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL. of finances, health, relationships. Trusting that God is in control is counter-culture. When a problem arrises and we are afraid, we try to grab on to control. I find that I like to be in control as a parent. It comes from a good place of protection. But my control will fail us. Only God has the power to be completely in control. How do we trust him? We wait on him in patience. We stop to wait and see God. He wants us to stop, wait, and practice self-control.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in patience – to wait for him to save us. Lamentations 3:25-26 (TEV)

4. BELIEVE THAT GOD IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR YOUR BEST. 

Since he did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for the sake of all of us, then can we not expect that with him he will freely give us all his gifts? Romans 8:32 (NJB)

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

Ask God to work for YOUR best. Watch [this] inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life.

pumpin’ mama

I am a pumpin’ mama. I have to pump those first few days to relieve engorgement. I know… supply and demand…but I HAVE to, its painful and I basically drown my poor babies because I am so full. And I figure one day, I won’t be making as much milk so might as well stock up now 😉 It’s also nice to have some milk stored away for date nights.

This post is in partnership with Aeroflow Breastpumps and Medela, brands I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Now that engorgement has subsided, I typically pump in the morning after Tristan’s first feeding in order to build up a stash before I go back to work in August. Yup, I work part-time, so I knew I was going to need a pump again. My first pump was a Medela so I knew I wanted another one. I am currently using the Sonata by Medela. It’s SUPER light weight which is awesome since I will be on-the-go once school starts in the fall. And it’s quiet…like quiet as a mouse quiet. Another HUGE plus is the parts can be washed in the dish washer. AMAZING! Alright, another cool feature… Bluetooth. Say whaaat! You can connect your pump to the MyMedela app. Fancy! The app is legit. It’s free and designed to help mamas meet their breast milk feeding goals by tracking nursing/pumping sessions, as well as baby’s growth. There are helpful videos and informative articles and even 24/7 access to a board certified lactation consultant!

I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Sonata! You can qualify for a breast pump through insurance by completing Aeroflow’s qualification form [here]. You will be contacted via phone or email by a Breastpump Specialist who handles everything from contacting your doctor to verifying benefits with your insurance provider. It’s a pretty simple process!

Post in partnership with Aeroflow Breastpumps. All opinions are my own. These products are truly things we love and would purchase.

postpartum necessities

All. On. Amazon. Praise!

Amazon: a mom’s best friend. Thank you, Mr. Amazon for being there for the mama’s (me) who don’t have time (or energy) to go to the store. Sorry, to all the husbands (Travis) who don’t like Mr. Amazon because their wife can make purchases with a thumbprint. It’s almost as bad as an unnecessary Target trip.

I truly enjoy reading blogs. My friend, Brittany, shared an amazingly detailed hospital/what to have ready at home post, where she mentioned having a caddy for all things postpartum. GENIUS!!! We live in a two story condo and carting all my stuff around was super annoying. Like two trips up and down the stairs. Nope, not happening this time. So, I got myself a caddy to stay organized and keep everything in one place. Baby in one arm, caddy crap in the other.

  • basket caddy. I just like baskets. Three, tiny compartments in the front. One big one in the back. It’s perfection.
  • belly bandit bff wrap. I had this with Dane and while it’s good for a plethora of things (e.g. expedite fluids through the body, may help muscle memory and body shaping, comfort after c-section, etc.), I noticed it most with back pain! My back was so sore… this was amazing!
  • oat mama lactation tea: I was so excited to find this on amazon! Super excited to try it out. It’s basically spring so I’m thinking iced chai lattes. Yum!
  • extra peri bottle. We have a bathroom upstairs and downstairs so I will need two.
  • colace. Do I have to go there?
  • brewers yeast. Make and treat yo’ self to some lactation cookies. My fave recipe is from Jessica at how sweet eats. They freeze well! Find it [here]. note: i used half the cinnamon.
  • always undies. Trying these out this time since I ran out of the mesh undies from the hospital.
  • always overnight pads without wings. 
  • tucks. My fave!
  • nasal aspirator. Ok, I know there’s this brand that everyone loves where you suck the snot…I can’t figure the thing out! It didn’t work for us. This is my fave and it’s super easy to use.
  • nursing tank. 
  • manual hand pump. I do like having a hand pump for night time. I don’t want to use my electric pump at 3:00 am. This one pumps directly into the bottle.
  • breast milk storage bags.
  • quick clean pump wipes.
  • perineal spray. This stuff is the bomb! I am not a fan of the dermaplast from the hospital so this my fave alternative.
  • nursing balm.
  • nursing pads: disposable and reusable.

And one last thing, not on amazon but worth mentioning… fenugreek bars from mrs.milk. I got salted caramel dark chocolate. Need I say more?! Currently salivating.

So. Much. Stuff. But it is all needed! Of course, first time around, I had other stuff that I didn’t use (nipple shield, milk catchers/saver). I have everything ready, now were just waiting on this little babe.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, purchase, and fit our style. 

the minimalists hospital bag

AKA what you actually need. 😉

First time around, I way over packed. Like checked every list on Pinterest and basically moved into the hospital with our behemoth rolling suitcase for two days. Terrible idea because we had to unpack ALL that junk when we got home. But first time parent is a tad bit frightening until you figure stuff out. But like, do you ever figure it out? I don’t think we have. I 100% felt comfortable with overpacking but this time around… Basic. Necessity’s.

Baby 2, I’m going minimal. And my birdling bag exudes minimal (I actually said that in my head but then I had to look it up to make sure it meant “displays”. And then Travis told me no one actually says that word. Well, I do.)

These are the items packed away in that gorgeous bag:

  • nursing bras: these Lamaze Intimates ones are my new fave. They are super soft! And the lace trim makes them cute and not frumpy.
  • Diapers & wipes: the hospital supplies these too so I’m still debating if I want to toss in what we are comfortable using. Let’s be honest, it’s not happening but these items will be ready at home.
  • nursing pads: I like both disposible and reusable.
  • nursing balm
  • pacifier
  • new mama bottom spray
  • toiletries: legit didn’t shower the last time and I probably wont this time because I like to be dirty/think of it as camping. JK. Sort of. But I would rather shower at my house than in a gross hospital shower. I’m just planning on skin care/face stuff, toothbrush/paste, and makeup.
  • socks/slippers
  • baby blanket
  • going home outfit for mama: this dwell + slumber caftan is perfect for nursing and loose. It will cover the weird postpartum belly.
  • going home outfit for baby: pajamas. Dane went home in a super cutesy outfit but baby 2 is going home in a footie. Easy. Done. Primary has great budget friendly basics!
  • car seat cover
  • snacks: Oat Mama lactation bars!
  • phone charger: Make sure it’s extended or portable! Those dang outlets are so far away.
  • wallet with ID and insurance

 

My friend Brittany, made the best check list! I think it is succinct, perfect for first time moms. And it’s cute! Like really cute! Download [ here ]!

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 

v happy bellies

Picky eating. Not my favorite phrase but this is normal. Yes, normal and a temporary part of childhood development. Fussing over eating broccoli? Normal. Doesn’t want carrots but happily ate them yesterday? Normal. Only drinks from that one, dang green cup? Normal. I love [this] article by pediatric feeding specialist Melanie Potock, fellow SLP. She mentions red flags that may warrant a discussion and/or referral to a specialist (speech or occupational therapist). If any of these stand out to you, definitely consult with your ped.

  1. Consistent avoidance of particular foods
  2. Extreme pickiness when deciding what to eat
  3. Gagging when presented with certain foods
  4. Anxiety around trying new foods
  5. Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
  6. Weight loss/slow growth
  7. Extremely limited range of “safe” foods

Back tracking to picky eating…I love that Melanie notes in her new book, Adventures in Veggieland, “Kids will most often live up to the labels we assign to them” (251). Like cool cat, little Einstein, picky eater, migraine-giver. Just kidding on the last one. Or am I? I get asked if Dane is a picky eater. My response: we are trying our best to become healthy, adventurous eaters with v happy bellies and the occasional side of pizza or mac ‘n’ cheese. Other advice I received from an Instagram follower…. look at what your kiddos ate for the week rather than meal by meal. Great! So snacks all day but doesn’t eat a legit meal is cool since it’s not an every day occurrence.

My personal interest in feeding peeked because I am trying to prevent “food jags”, where toddlers insist on eating the same foods, over and over (250). I also truly enjoy meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking/baking. Healthy (ish) is the goal for my tribe.

Let’s start with some stats. “According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kids need two to three servings of veggies per day” (2). The visual Melanie gives is a large egg: toddlers get two to three eggs of vegetables per day. Note: please tell me, you’re like oh shoot, my toddler def isn’t getting that. Because Dane is not. Maybe like one egg. If I’m lucky. And it’s me. All me. I don’t cook enough veggies or incorporate veggies into what we are eating. But all that is about to change!

What I really love about Melanie’s new book are the recipes. They are super easy to modify to meet dietary needs or restrictions (DF, GF). We have some dairy sensitive tums (Travis) and our favorite recipe so far has been the kale pene pasta. One, because it’s crock pot. Hello, easy. Done. Two, because it’s suuuuper delicious. It does have some cheesy goodness (ricotta, asiago, parm, and mozzarella) so I cut the ricotta out and just did tiny handfuls of mozzarella and a parm/asiago blend I found at TJ. We wolfed it down! Other recipes, I’ve made from this book are the spinach cucumber sammie (winner), honey butter carrots (winner), beet dip (working on it), corn salsa (winner), and chocolate spinach pudding (winner). Next on my to make, taste test list: cauliflower caramel corn, chicken broccoli enchiladas, broccoli cheese squares, and corn chowder.

Ok, keeping it short. Was that short? 10/10 recommend [this] book. What’s included: the science behind expose, explore, and expand, parenting in the kitchen, the importance of family meals (we eat the early bird special at 5:30/5:45/6:00), household friendly (husbands approve) veggie recipes by season, addressing feeding and sensory challenges. Get aaaaaat. You’ll love it.

Feel free to peep some of the feeding things we use to encourage filling that scrumptious belly with all the yummies! We also love our ezpz mats. It’s a happy face! And research shows, if we present food with a smile, children are more likely to eat what they are serverd. Plus, my OCD, type-A-self loves how organized and pretty food can look.

I’m a medical affiliate with ezpz fun and like any other affiliate links, I receive a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy commission. However, with this link: http://wwwezpzfuncom.refr.cc/prouty

interested buyers receive 10% off their purchase!

Reference

Potock, M. (2018) Adventures in Veggieland. New York, NY: The Expierment.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 

called to be loved

Over the weekend, I found my little binder of all my church notes. Dated back to 2011! There are so many good messages to share but this one is gooooood. Like really good. I was totally mind blown by the simple truth that my first duty is not to do anything! Let God love YOU. His love isn’t based on what you do, it’s based on who HE is.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Eph. 1: 4-5 (NLT)

  • the first purpose of my life is to be loved by God!
    • This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. Jude 1:1 NLT
  • my first calling is to enjoy a relationship with God.
    • I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. Romans 1:7 NLT
  • that relationship is to be his son or daughter.
    • See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! 1 John 3:1 AMP

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Eph. 3:17-19 (NLT)

God’s love for ME is:

  • wide enough to be everywhere.
  • long enough to last forever.
  • deep enough to handle anything.
  • high enough to overlook my mistakes, sins, and faults.

WHAT CHANGES HAPPEN IF I STAY AWARE OF GOD’S CONSTANT LOVE FOR ME?

  1. I feel accepted rather than ashamed which sets you free from addiction of approval.
  2. I’m bold in bringing my needs to God.
  3. I have peace in pain I don’t understand.
  4. I have the courage to take risks.
  5. I worship instead of worry.

Beloved, fill you heart and mind with the truth of his word. Watch [this] inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life.

strollin’ with my homies

Homies. Plural. TWO. I can’t.

Alright, first, the expectant mother parking is legit. Walking. is. a. choooooore. I. Am. Out. Of. Breath. Thinking. About. Walking.

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Trav and I adventured down to our local buybuy BABY so we can expand our UppaBaby Vista to a double. DOUBLE. TWO. I still can’t. Mikayla and Brad, our expert store associates, were super helpful in explaining what we need to make that happen. They let us try different seating arrangements and attachments. We decided to go with the piggy back (weight limit 50 pounds), upper adapters, and the rumble seat (weight limit 35 pounds) which comes with the lower adapters. Note: original seats (on the top) go up to 50 pounds. So when the car seat or bassinet is not in use the oldest/heaviest child is recommended to sit in the top seat.

buybuy BABY is my fave baby store! Their employees suggest helpful product advice, not just for baby registry but for all product and gear. Check with your local buybuy BABY, but our buybuy BABY offers a serivce called Tot Squad on Saturdays, where they clean items (e.g. car seats, strollers, pack ‘n’ plays, high chairs, etc.) with natural products. Appointments are recommended! Since we had our uB Mesa with Dane, 100% we are taking it to be cleaned for the new babe. Baby things get nasty! Tot Squad will also demonstrate how to install your car seat ($50) and they preform car seat checks ($35). Super cool for first time parents!

We love our uB and are so grateful for buybuy BABY and their services! Dane loves the “skateboard” and I’m definitely seeing that we will need a second feeding trough AKA snack tray for the future babe. Side note: our tan leather handle bar covers are from Lux & Leather. And they’re gorgeous.

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Falling apart

Everything’s falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. Psalm 119:107

We live in a world where things fall apart. This world is not perfect. Thankfully, God is in the business of putting things together again. Not only relationships, but businesses, houses, lives.

Totally needed to hear the message from pastor Tom Holladay. How to put it together again. Once he said, “when you’re at a point where you are worn out”… I was in. Because me. Hi, that’s me. SO worn out. Beyond. Feel like my life is falling apart. It’s impossible to catch up on rest and keep going with all that’s going on for us right now. It’s a busy season and I know it’s only going to get busier. Hello, new baby.

1. HOW TO START

  • mourning- expressing your hurt to God.
    • God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt 5:4. Mourn what you’ve lost so you can move forward.
  • fasting- focusing your heart (and attention) on God.
    • Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Joel 2:12. Fasting is usually with food but most people (ME) need to fast from entertainment since that is what takes up most of our time and attention.
  • praying- asking for help from God.
    • Lord, my rock, I call out to you for help. Psalm 28:1
    • I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. Ephesians 1:19.

2. HOW TO KEEP GOING (keep up the energy)

  • Take time to say thank you.
    • First, I want to say that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because people everywhere in the word are talking about your faith. Romans 1:8
  • Choose to celebrate.
    • The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b. You want strength, you need joy.

3. HOW IT LASTS

  • For anything to last, it must be dedicated to God. Your marriage, heart, business, faith.
    • The priests and Levites first dedicated themselves, then the people, the gates, and the wall. Nehemiah 12:30.
    • Why rebuild at all? Yes, it’s easier to start over but the value of the relationship or marriage or business is priceless.
    • God has the answer, for all my fears.

As mentioned in previous posts, these are not my words. Simply my message notes that I hope someone who feels like they need to “put it together again” will hear the Lord speaking to them and listen to this weekend service.

Watch [this] inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life including your work, relationships, health, and more.