My Life

Milestones!

Hey guys! As of the 9th of this month Noah is six months old! I figured the half year mark would be a great time to update on the milestones he’s reached, especially because he’s reached a few over the last few weeks.

The first super exciting milestone Noah has reached is being able to sit up on his own! He’s been doing amazing with this new skill of his. He still topples over sometimes but he loves to sit and play with his toys now instead of having to lay down or have mummy hold him. He even pulled himself from leaning back on the arm of the couch the other day into a sitting position (which is when I took that photo yesterday because I was so proud of my little man).

He’s also cutting a tooth! It’s about to come through on the bottom of his mouth, approximately right below where he’s sticking out his tongue in this photo. He loves to stick out his tongue now and it’s usually right where his tooth is going to be popping through. Seeing him with his tongue out now is one of the best indications that he’s happy or excited and it’s super cute.

And last but certainly not least, Noah has finally reached every sign of readiness for solid foods (6 months old, sitting unassisted, no more tongue thrust reflex, uses pincer grasp, ready & willing to chew, interested in mealtime) so he’s started eating real food instead of just boobie milk! The first thing he ever ate was a baby mum mum followed by some butternut squash and then some baby cereal (over the course of a few days, not all at once). His expression trying butternut squash for the first time was hilarious and I wish I’d gotten a picture or video of it. When he first put the mum mum in his mouth he latched onto it and started sucking on it like it was a breast and it was absolutely hysterical.

I’m so excited for what the next few months will bring with his development and I’m so grateful to be able to watch him grow!

What milestones have your babies reached recently? What were your favorite milestones to reach with your kids? Let me know in the comments!

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Infants

Noah’s Birth Story

So Noah will be 6 months old in a few days and I figured I should probably make this post sooner rather than later while it’s all still fresh in my mind. So here’s the birth story I’ve been putting off writing for 6 months.

I just want to share now that I’m not happy with the way his birth went. I still look back on it and try to forget it instead. There were a few moments where I thought things had gone very wrong. There were a few complications and my overall reaction to his birth wasn’t one of joy and happiness and awe like the typical birth story. If that’s not something you want to read about then don’t read this, I just want people to know childbirth isn’t always the magical amazing thing it’s made out to be even when mom and baby both walk out healthy.

Noah was born on May 9th 2017 at 11:03am. He was a scrawny little thing but he weighed a decent 7lbs 9oz. For weeks leading up to his birth I was in early labor. I was getting small contractions which were very far apart and dilating. I lost my plug, had my bloody show and it was a really long waiting game. I also got what’s called prodromal labor. Basically, the definition I was given is it’s false labor that feels really really real. For one reason or another, usually because baby is in a bad position or in distress for some reason or even just because, your body gives you intense and timetable contractions which present like active labor but they end up going away when and if whatever is wrong with baby resolves itself. I spent quite a few hours curled up in bed or whimpering on my couch because of it. On top of all that Noah was head down and engaged with my cervix effaced and partially dilated for the last week and a half before he was born. The last bit of pregnancy was not fun at all. But eventually, like all pregnancies, mine came to an end.

Active labor started for me around 8am, the time I usually woke up around then. Both my babies gave me the courtesy of letting me get my usual nights sleep before a very rude awakening – contractions from hell. I woke to some of these contractions with Noah. I was bedsharing with Michael at the time – and still am to this day in fact. When I woke up Michael had his knees digging into my back and his arm over my face and I sat there for 5 minutes trying to get away from him without waking him. For most of my pregnancy I tried not to get out of bed at night to pee if I didn’t have to and it usually resulted in a painfully full bladder. My first contractions felt similar to this pain and I figured that’s what I was feeling. I got out of bed, went to the bathroom and was still in intense pain. I decided these were definitely contractions. I waited a little longer than I probably should have to tell anyone because like I said already, I had been having false labor that felt very really but the pain got so intense, so quickly I knew that it was real.

I called my mum, started packing a bag for Michael and tried my best to get everything ready for the day while feeling like I was dying. I can’t remember if Michael woke up before or after my mom got home to pick me up but she helped carry his bag out to the car and I got his car seat installed and buckled him in. Lemme just tell you that was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. If you’ve never tried buckling a toddler into a car seat around a 9 month pregnant belly while having intense contractions every 2 minutes I don’t recommend it. We got to my grandmas (she agreed to watch Michael while I gave birth), I had to carry Michael inside and then stay there a few minutes to stop him from crying and missing me (even in labor I tried to make sure he was happy, yay me) and then got back in the car to meet Tyler at the hospital.

We got to the hospital, my mom dropped me off and went back to work. She ended up picking up my dad and meeting us after the baby was born. We got to the hospital before the midwife. A nurse checked me out and informed everyone I was 10cm dilated already. Aka I had no chance at an epidural (good, because I didn’t want one and if it had been an option I might have got it). I had been having the urge to push since we were in the car but resisted it. Eventually we got me into a room. I stood for a bit but had to get an IV due to low iron and had to lay down. I breathed through the contractions, held onto the bedsheets as best I could. At one point the midwife decided she needed to check my dilation despite the fact I was already at 10cm upon arrival and had been checked numerous times. She shoved her whole hand in despite my protests and telling her to stop and checked my cervix. A contraction had started just prior to this and it was extremely painful. I literally ended up yelling at her to get her “fucking hand out of my vagina, now!” But she continued anyways. Awesome.

I waited for my body to start pushing on it’s own but it never did. I was still having that urge though and eventually decided I would just push on my own. My waters broke as soon as I did and surprise – they were stained with meconium. That means baby pooped in the womb and was at risk of infection. Awesome. They checked his heartbeat after a few pushes and it had dropped. At this point we had the room prepped incase something went wrong. Baby was getting stuck and he needed to come out right then. They flipped me on my side and had me deliver him from my side. I pushed and pushed and didn’t stop until he was out.

When Noah came out he was super purple. Not crying. Had the cord wrapped around him numerous times. They cut it off of him and then took him away. Still not crying, not moving, not making any noise. I asked if he was okay. No answer. Asked again numerous times. No answer. Eventually he started crying and they said he’s fine. So, no delayed clamping, no immediate skin to skin, I was in shock from the way he was born, the fact he wasn’t crying and nobody would tell me he was alright. When they gave him to me he was cleaned off and wrapped in a blanket and I was too stunned to take anything off of him for skin to skin.

I fed him for the first time and it didn’t feel real. I let tyler hold him, my parents, Tyler’s brother. I don’t think any of it felt real until a week or two after he was born. I just kept thinking back to his birth and those few moments where he didn’t cry or move or anything. Nothing felt right. I spent weeks living in sort of a trance, doing and saying things I was supposed to say and just feeling numb and in shock I guess or feeling angry at everything. I didn’t have the same immediate attachment to Noah that I did to Michael. I didn’t have the same bond and I didn’t have the same instinctual ability to care for him that I did with Michael. Looking back I hate that. I feel like I was robbed of such an amazing thing. I feel bad for not feeling the same way with both of my babies. I spent weeks having flashbacks to Noah’s birth that left me hyperventilating and on the verge of tears. I still feel like something is going to go wrong and I’ll lose him any second. So this is what the birth story of someone who’s gone through birth trauma looks like. This is what it looks like when you leave the birth of your child with postpartum ptsd, depression and anxiety.

I know that so many mothers have experienced so much worse. I know Noah was fine and I was fine. We both walked out healthy and okay. I know this might all sound ridiculous but I’ve avoided talking about it for so long. I’m not going to do that anymore. I’ve had people asking about his birth story because they loved reading Michaels. Here it is, as best as I can remember.

Parenting

Let’s Talk About Mom Guilt

Today I want to talk about something that I think we all go through as mothers – Mom Guilt. Let me set the scene for you – the day is over, the kids are in bed, I’m looking at their sweet little faces and thinking back on our day and I start to wonder..did I do enough for them today? Have I loved them enough, given them enough attention, played with them enough? Did I lose my cool with them when I should have taken a breather instead? Did I tell them no when I could have said yes? Was I a good enough mother to my babies today? As I ponder these things I get an overwhelming feeling of guilt swelling up in my chest. This is something that’s happened every night of my children’s lives. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s felt this or had this experience.

Now the other night, like clockwork I looked down at my sons innocent little faces and started doubting myself. After a minute I thought to myself – I wonder how they feel about me, if they ever think about these things like I do. I thought about how happy Michael is to see me if I’ve been out for a while without him. I thought about how my snuggles are the most comforting thing to my boys. I thought about the fact that Michael needs to have some part of his body touching me to fall asleep most nights. I thought about how he tells me all the time that I’m a “good boy” all the time and that he loves me out of the blue. I thought about how I’m one of the only people who can make Noah laugh. I thought about all of this and decided that there is no way these boys would ever say I’m not enough for them.

Could I maybe do better? Yes. We all could. At the end of the day though my boys love me. I’m their mommy. It doesn’t matter to them that I didn’t focus all of my attention on them all day. They aren’t still focused on the fact that I didn’t let them have a third pack of fruit snacks earlier. They don’t care that I went and cleaned up the house while they napped instead of snuggled them. All they care about is that I’m their mommy and I love them to pieces.

Now maybe this isn’t some crazy revelation, maybe not everyone needs to read this..but in 2.5 years as a mother I never looked at things this way. So if you deal with mom guilt regularly I’m going to encourage you to change your thought process when it starts to nag at you. Think instead of the happy moments you’ve shared with your children. Think of the little acts of loves they give you. Think of how much you mean to them. Realize that you are enough.

Motherhood is hard, it’s a crazy, wild, intense journey and as long as you’re going through it with love and caring for your children – you are enough.

My Life, Reviews

Recess VoxBox/Influenster Review

Hey guys! Today I’ll be posting my first review on my blog! The review is about the Recess VoxBox that I received complimentary from Influenster. Yes you read that right, everything in this box was completely free & I’ll share how you can get your very own VoxBox free further on in the post, so keep reading.

So, first I’m going to talk about what I got in my box. This box was packed full of back to school essentials – perfectly fitting for September which is around when I received the box. It came with some beauty products and lunch box fillers. We got Maybeline Lash Sensational Mascara, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo & conditioner, a Kiju Organics juice box, Welchs fruit snacks and some Soft Granola Bear Paws. You can check out my reviews on all of these on my Influenster account here but I honestly loved almost everything I got in my box aside from the bear paws (sorry bear paws) which I found to be a little dry but Michael devoured anyways.

Now if you’ve never heard of Influenster before I’ll fill you in on how it works because I’d like to review the process of receiving the box and such as well. Basically the site is full of reviews. Each member can review whatever products they want, complete snaps which are little surveys to gauge your interest in certain items and connect their social media accounts to determine their level of influence to earn a chance to receive a VoxBox. When you’ve been selected to receive a VoxBox you’re connected to that campaign. Throughout the campaign you have chances to earn badges by reviewing and posting about the products you’ve received in your box. Earning badges puts you into draws to earn prizes and ups your chances of earning more VoxBoxes in the future.

Overall I’ve found my experience with Influenster to be amazing. The VoxBox I received was filled with amazing products, most of which I will be buying again. It came to me quickly in the mail. The packing of the box itself was pretty cute and I’m a sucker for cute packaging. The website is easy to use and so is the app on my IPad. The badges are simple to earn. And who doesn’t love free stuff, am I right?!

I’d recommend this site to anyone who’s looking to be a brand rep or just loves free stuff. It’s an amazing experience.

If you’d like to join you can do so here.

*disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links*

My Life, Uncategorized

Life Dump; Giant Word Vomit Update

I’m going to apologize in advance for the quick and not very detailed style of this blog post. I’m just trying to bring everyone up to date as best I can and I’ll make some more detailed and specific posts shortly, this is a bit of a catch all update post.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here, primarily because I went through a pretty rough patch and took a bit to sort myself, and my life out. There have been so many changes. The biggest change by far is that I now have TWO little boys not just one. Noah Alexzander was born May 9th at 7lbs 9oz. He’s been an amazing little addition to our family. There are some things regarding him and his first few months that I’ll be touching on in some other posts but those are some topics for another time. Right now I want to talk about the positive direction that our life will be taking.

Aside from the arrival of Noah the biggest change that life has taken by far is the change in mindset I’ve had. The first couple months after Noah and last little bit before he was born were pretty dark and negative and I’ve done a complete 180 and am living so positively and it’s had the BIGGEST impact on my life and happiness. I’ve started to practice the Law of Attraction and intentional living and it’s been phenomenal. I’ll make a more in depth post about that soon as well. This journey of positivity has led me to and been hugely impacted by the business that I joined since last writing here.

I joined a company called It Works. It’s an amazing health and wellness company who focuses on helping everyone to live the healthiest lives possible and to help it’s distributors to live a life of financial freedom. It’s been so different from anything I’ve ever done before. The company itself is super supportive of its reps, provides tons of training, is constantly offering amazing incentives and pushing its reps to reach all of their goals. I’ve never worked with a more uplifting, supportive and caring company or team and I’m so so thankful. Without this company I’d still be in such a dark place. If anyone would like to learn more about it you can reach out to me and I’ll answer any questions but it’s truly been an amazing experience. I’ll post links to shop or join at the end of this post as well.

I’ve also become pretty passionate about makeup and beauty. I have a few subscription boxes I’ll be posting reviews and unboxings of, and I’ll review makeup individually as well. I’m quite excited about that.

So that’s everything.

Important Links

It Works: shop // join

Subscription Boxes I Receive: BoxyCharm // Ipsy // Medusa’s Makeup

Social Media: Instagram // Twitter

*this post does contain a few affiliate links which basically means if you click them and sign up/purchase something via that link I could earn something from it*

Parenting, Toddlers

Picky Toddler Survival Guide

So Michael has been a picky eater for literally his whole life. He wouldn’t take a bottle until over a year old. He didn’t have any interest in solids until 7 or 8 months and even then it was only sweet potatoes sometimes or little tastes of gravy or whipped cream from his daddy’s food. He didnt eat multiple meals a day until over a year old and only wanted boobs for the most part. He has always been weird about food textures and temperatures. Even now he’s fairly picky with his food. We went through a long period where basically all he would eat was cheese, cereal, cookies, chips, popcorn, pasta and chicken nuggets and he wouldn’t try anything else. His diet is only slightly better now, he’ll eat sandwiches, pancakes, grilled cheese, he tries most meats, loves potatoes, etc but still only just picks at most foods. I’m sure he’ll probably be pretty picky for the rest of his life honestly but I’m also sure that we can work around it.

One of the first tips I have for those dealing with picky toddlers is to try not to force anything or make them feel like they have no choice but to eat the things that they don’t like. Everyone has foods that they dont like. If they’ve already got an aversion to certain foods then trying to force them to eat it will most likely just turn them off of that food even more.

Which brings me to my next tip, don’t stop offering foods that your kid doesn’t like. Don’t force it on them like I’ve already said but keep re-introducing it. Sometimes a kid could try a food 30 times, not like it 29/30 times and finally on the 30th try decide that they really love the taste of mashed potatoes and BAM their menu has just expanded.

Another fun little tip is to try to make foods they don’t like look like foods that they do like. Hide veggies in pasta dishes, mashed cauliflower can hide in almost anything, make chicken smothered in cheese, make foods cookie or muffin shaped. Make the food fun for them and they may be more likely to try it.

My last and probably most important tip is to find balance and keep things positive. Offer foods that they don’t like for them to try without withholding the foods they do like or forcing anything on them. Put it all out on the same plate and encourage them to try the new foods. Let them eat what they will and keep from being hungry.

If you’ve got a picky eater too what tips do you have that you found worked best? Share them in the comments!

You can also check out this Pinterest board I made with some food ideas for Michael.

 

My Life

38ish Week Pregnancy Update

It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve made anything more than a short little pregnancy update, so here we go. At 38 weeks (and 3 days) here’s a detailed update on this pregnancy and Noah.

According to my last growth scan a few weeks ago Noah is in the 53rd percentile in size despite my belly measuring a bit small (like it did my whole pregnancy with Michael). I’ve started dilating and had bloody show. Noah I’d head down and engaged and everything is looking great.

I’ve been having prodromal labor on and off which has sucked. For those who don’t know what that is its false labor that presents exactly like real labor – real labor pains, timeable and consistent contractions, etc. Except it doesn’t lead to any labor progress or the birth of a baby. Basically it’s all the pain with no reward.

This last week especially I’ve been feeling super pregnant. I’ve been exhausted and uncomfortable and just blah. Michael’s afternoon nap has turned into mine and Michael’s afternoon nap. Hopefully when Noah is here we can have a 3 person nap but I won’t get my hopes up for that. My belly is getting uncomfortable to be carrying around and getting comfortable with. As I mentioned before I have been having contractions, however I haven’t only had them when prodromal labor decides to torture me, yesterday I had them on and off super inconsistently which was great.

Michael has been talking about Noah more. He still just calls him baby or brother but he talks about him coming home and where hes going to sleep and what things in the house are for him. I still don’t think he has any concept or understanding of what’s going to be happening but its cute to hear him talk about it anyways. I’m excited to see how he reacts to having a little brother – even though I think he’s probably going to hate me and baby for a little bit.

TL;DR Version

How far along? 38 Weeks 3 Days.
How big is Noah? The size of a watermelon. Yikes.
Total weight gain/loss? Last I checked about 45 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Sometimes. I should probably be wearing more of those honestly. I did buy some maternity underwear from Thyme Maternity the other day though and they’re amazing. 10/10 do recommend.
Sleep? HA. hahaha. ha. haha. No. I nap with Michael during the day most days but other than that pregnancy insomnia is real and I barely sleep at night.
Best moment this week? When Ben decided to tell me how I would have a baby by saying I would go somewhere for them to get him out and then he would come out of my GINA.
Symptoms? Exhaustion, food craving, back pain, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, contractions, prodromal labor, frequent peeing, etc etc.
Food cravings? Slushies mostly. Always slushies.
Food aversions? Not really.
Gender? Boy.
Labor signs? Bloody show, contractions, baby is head down, dilation has started.
Belly button in or out? Out this time, that never happened with Michael.
What I miss? Comfort, sleep, not being in pain.
What I’m looking forward to? Finally having baby and getting to cuddle a sweet squishy little thing instead of dealing with being pregnant for he next couple weeks.
Milestones? Cant think of any.
Bump? Hugggggge bump. Perfect for use as a table (like in the picture above) as long as baby isn’t going crazy in there.

My Life

Hello, Hello.

I feel like at this point I’ve made quite a few blog intro posts. Hopefully this is the last fresh start I decide to have. For those who don’t know my name is Cailea. I’m 20, nearly 21 and I’m the mom of what will soon be 2 little boys.

My first is Michael and he was born April 11th 2015. He’s 2 years old now and he’s such a sweet little boy. He’s truly one of the silliest, sweetest and most thoughtful little boys I’ve ever known. You don’t have to take my word for it because I’m his mum so I’m sure I’m quite biased but he’s my biggest accomplishment not only as a mother but as a human being and I’m grateful for him every day. He’s recently started sleeping though the night consistently (again), we’ll be potty training soon and he’s doing fairly well when it comes to speaking, learning animal noises, shapes, colors and how to count.

As for Noah, I’m 38 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy has been so different from my first. With Michael things were relatively easy. The morning sickness was worse in the beginning but its been constant with Noah, whereas it ended in second trimester with Michael. Noah is constantly moving, always giving me little kicks and jabs and rolling around and making my belly do the wave or sticking his limbs up in my rib cage or into my pelvic bone and making me cringe. I’ve also been getting what’s called prodromal labor with Noah. You can read more about that here if you’d like. It’s essentially false labor that feels completely real but doesn’t result in a baby….a.k.a a giant and literal pain in the ass..or uterus..or whatever. Not fun. I’m predicting Noah will take after his father more than me and be a crazy, energetic and wild little boy whereas Michael has taken after me and is quiet, gentle, calm and collected. So basically, wish me luck.

I’ve recently finished my first semester of an Early Childhood Education program which was…mediocre? I’m proud of the progress I made despite numerous road blocks but don’t feel like I’ve learned a single thing that I didn’t already know due to being a parent and the research I did on my own to be able to give my son the best parenting that I could. I’ll probably be going back to school in January after taking some time off to care for Noah while he’s still little.

I’m currently in direct sales but am not overly satisfied with the company I sell for and I’m looking for a change. I guess change is something I’m looking for in most areas of my life. Change of businesses, possible change of schooling, change in my life as a mother and to top it all off we’re moving on June 1st..so change of location. So on that note this blog is being made, to document the changes that are coming in my life and to let others join in for the ride. Wish me luck as my whole life turns around in the next couple of months!