My First Mother’s Day

First Mother's Day

I never want Phoenix to feel like he “completes me.” My conversations with God (when we were trying to get pregnant) often were me confessing   my feeling that I wasn’t sure a childless life would be enough for me. A spouse or child will never fulfill anyone, but coming to that realization isn’t easy.

All of this plays into my first Mother’s Day.

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Phoenix at Nine Months

Phoenix at Nine Months an Update

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

Nine months. How are we here already? Phoenix’s month eight update left off right before our five-hour road trip to St. Louis. This was Phoenix’s third road trip, but my first solo drive. How was it you ask? Well, Phoenix cried for most of the drive but we managed. Nap training has been a saving grace for us, but this always means Phoenix doesn’t nap on the go anymore.

Phoenix had his well-visit today so I have updated stats. He is 28 inches tall (40th percentile) and weighs 15.15 lbs (4th percentile). We love our petite little guy.

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The Best Parenting Podcasts

Best Parenting Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts? Podcasts are treats to me while cleaning or cooking. It seems every week I find a new podcast to subscribe too. It’s hard for me to keep up!

Listening to podcasts used to be an arduous task. Each episode had to either be played on your computer or downloaded onto an iPod. The process is much simpler now! The free podcast app on your phone allows you to search and download episodes to your favorite shows. The episodes than live directly inside the app.

I listen to podcasts not only for entertainment, but also education and encouragement.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite parenting podcasts.

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Phoenix at Eight Months

Phoenix Eight Months Update

Month eight has been all about mastering the skills Phoenix learned in month seven. Not only does he crawl and pull himself up on all surfaces, he squats and tries to stand on his own! He is so coordinated! Phoenix learned one new exciting skill this month — clapping! It is so adorable.

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Our Journey with Nap Training

Nap Training Tips

A few weeks ago I shared our sleep training journey. The first post was all about bedtime, but today let’s talk about naps.

As a reminder, Phoenix was not a particularly content newborn. He was fussy and cried a lot. After the first two weeks, naps were rarely longer than 30 minutes unless I wore him. Even then, he didn’t peacefully drift off. He cried himself to sleep while I walked him in his Ergo. He woke up crying, like clockwork, every two hours during the day to eat.

I tried Babywise’s routine of eat-play-sleep. I’d witness it work with other breastfed babies (though usually it with formula fed) and thought it made sense. Except Phoenix was hard to calm down. So, instead of nursing him to sleep, I often drove around or took walks. Both of which are sleep associations. The stroller naps worked until around two months when he became more alert. This started a challenging season where, for a few months, the only way Phoenix napped was if we wore him.

This, of course, isn’t and wasn’t sustainable. Phoenix was even more irritable because he never received sufficient, restorative, sleep. At 3.5 months we started sleep training with nights and slowly worked our way towards naps.

I learned a lot along the way.

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On Sleeping and Not Sleeping (Sleep Training Tips)

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

sleep training tips

I talk a lot about sleep or the lack of sleep we have experienced since Phoenix was born seven months ago. I was hesitant to write this as the sleep situation in our house is not perfect, but sleep for small children is about progress not perfection. Parenting comes with a lot more nuance than books account for and while books have their place, I love hearing real situations. Real situations with specifics.

Several of you have asked me what we are doing and before I get into the details, I want to say three things.

  1. Sleep training can exist without scheduling feedings. This is a mistake I made early on. It also doesn’t mean your baby will sleep for 12 hours at night without needing to eat. Our sleep training goal was for Phoenix to fall asleep independently and go right back to sleep after each feeding. Your goal might look completely different and that is okay!
  2. Crying It Out (CIO) is not a sleep training method. There are a vast number of methods and ways to sleep train. We are using the Three Day Sleep Solution. The amount of parental involvement is dependent on your families needs. The amount of crying is dependent on your baby’s temperament.
  3. Sleep training can be implemented in stages. We started first with bedtime and slowly worked our way towards the amount of nighttime feedings and naps.

After I started writing, I realized this post needed to be split-up. Below I’m sharing how we started sleep training and where we are today in regards to bedtime. Next time, I will share about naps, more on the Three Day Sleep Solution and answer any questions you may have for me.

I hope you find encouragement and a little more sleep.

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Phoenix at Seven Months

Phoenix at Seven Months Update

I really can not believe Phoenix is seven months old. This month Phoenix was very active and slept sporadically, until last week. We introduced solids, though he still prefers nursing. He sits up with ease, pulls himself up in the crib (which we subsequently lowered) and crawls! I believe he’ll be walking by nine months.

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Sunny Walks with PinkBlush (+ a giveaway)

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Sunny walks with PinkBlush Maternity

Phoenix has gone back to fighting naps almost everyday since learning to sit up over a month ago. It’s been an exhausting, albeit fun, month! No one fully told me how many developmental changes a baby goes through during their first year. As soon as we master a “schedule” Phoenix goes and learns something new. I think Phoenix is a little on the early side for rolling, sitting-up and crawling. I have a feeling he’ll be walking before he’s 10 months old.

He surprises me everyday. I just love being his mama.

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Why It’s Important to Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Kids

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Children

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This day seems to stir up conflicting emotions for many people. I’ve always looked at the day as an excuse to bake treats and exchange meaningful words with friends and family.

I started thinking about why I don’t struggle with this day (and it’s not because I am married). It’s because my mom made it fun not at all about significant other’s. I wrote a blog post for Red Tricycle about why you should celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children. My mother taught my brother’s and I life is too short to be cynical about a day where you have an extra reason to spread love around.

“My mother loves Valentine’s Day. In the midwest, February is cold and gloomy with spring still several months away. Valentine’s Day happens at the exact moment when everyone needs a pick me-up in the form of a heart-shaped cookie.”

You can read the rest of the article here!

 

2016 | A Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

It seems like a lifetime has passed since I rang in 2016. That night might also be the last time I’ll voluntarily stay up until 4 am. Haha! On the last day of January 2017 I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the past year. It’s almost impossible to put into words the impact 2016, as a year, holds for me.

For many, 2016, held sadness and hate, sorrow and despair but it’s also the year I became a mom. A role I desperately wanted to embody, but wasn’t sure if/when my desire would be fulfilled. Becoming a mother has simultaneously felt instinctual and foreign. I’m sure most parents feel this at some point.

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