Introducing your kids to a new baby

It’s hard to believe this was just 3 years ago! My little guy has gotten so big so fast. In a few short months we will be a family of 5! Fingers crossed Ryder handles baby #2 a little better than brother #1. 😳

When I first brought Camden home from the hospital, if you were holding him, Ryder would just sit there and give you dirty looks. He would refuse to come near anyone that was holding Camden. He would actually tell me to put Camden down. He was not a fan. That first month was definitely one of the hardest I’d ever experienced. It broke my heart that Ryder had such a hard time.

Hopefully now that he’s been around Camden so long he understands that a new baby isn’t a “threat.” He’s so good with Camden now and even tries to share with him (sometimes).

I did screw up with Ryder in the beginning when I had Camden. I thought after Camden was born I needed to give Ryder a ton of attention to make up for the shared attention that was about to happen. People kept telling me Ryder was going to get jealous and would need a lot of individual attention. I shouldn’t have listened to them.

I had my mom spend a lot of time with Ryder as well thinking that individual attention was needed because of everyone’s comments. That actually made Ryders jealousy worse. When he actually did spend time around Camden and I, it was really bad. He just couldn’t handle it and would have melt downs and be extremely upset. What I should have done is let Ryder spend time around just me and Camden the minute I brought him home. I should have gotten him used to being around Camden right away so he could see he and baby will both get my attention. I think if I’d done that, it may have not taken so long for Ryder to adjust to Camden. By giving him too much individual attention, it’s what he expected all the time and wasn’t getting used to having to share.

Obviously now things are ok. We have our days where one kid needs more attention than the other. But for the most part they both understand they have to share moms attention and that they will both get the attention they need. I definitely learned a lot that first time around. I think I have the hang of it this second time. Fingers crossed!

Stay at home parents

One weekend my husband asked me what we had planned for the day. I told him nothing. We actually didn’t have anything scheduled. His exact response was “you mean we have nothing to do and are going to sit in the house ALL day?” I literally thought to myself “yes Chris we are, welcome to my life every day as a stay at home mom.”

Being a stay at home parent is NOT easy. Especially after having spent 8 years in a corporate job then a few years as a teacher. I was used to being around people. So it’s a very different world when you’re around one or two little ones all day, every day. We have our good days and bad at home. Obviously the bad days make it a lot harder on you mentally.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending every minute of every day with my kids. I love that I don’t miss a second of anything they do. But it is very difficult not seeing adults regularly or having any adults to converse with daily like you would at an office job. For a good two years my oldest didn’t really talk. I would actually leave the tv on all day to Friends just so I had the sound of adults to listen to.

Anyone who says being a stay at home mom is easy has clearly not done it or has stay at home amnesia and forgotten how difficult it is. It takes a toll on you physically and mentally. I’ll be honest, I think being a stay at home mom has been harder on me psychologically and emotionally than either of my previous jobs were.

If you are a stay at home mom(or dad), you deserve the biggest gift in the world. If you know a stay at home mom, remember to have empathy for them. They’re doing a thankless job that they love but also really wears on them.

Toddler meltdowns

My toddler is in a stage of meltdowns. Even though he talks he’s still not able to voice or even truly understand all his feelings. He’s still learning. There’s two main causes for them we have learned.

The newest thing that causes meltdowns is hunger. He gets so busy playing some mornings that he doesn’t eat or will eat just a few bites of his breakfast. I get so distracted with the baby sometimes that I don’t notice Ryder hasn’t eaten or barely eaten his food. By 10am we will have multiple meltdowns if this happens. And it’s all due to hunger. When the meltdown happens, if we sit him at the table and get food in him, it’s like he becomes a different child. His attitude changes and you can literally see him go from mad, to calm and happy.

The other thing that causes major meltdowns is tiredness. If he’s overly exhausted he doesn’t understand the feeling so he has a meltdown. The only thing to fix this is obviously sleep. And of course he has a meltdown when we tell him it’s nap or bedtime. If I keep him on schedule and get him down for a nap before the tiredness hits I can usually avoid a melt down. But there are days that he’s been super busy and even when I stay on schedule, a meltdown is just unavoidable.

The toddler stage is super difficult, for you and your child. You’re both learning to understand their emotions and what causes them to feel a certain way. 💙

Working out when pregnant

Recently I was reading an article about current health and fitness statistics on pregnant women and I was a bit blown away. Less than 25% of pregnant women exercise regularly!

There have been so many proven health benefits to working out while pregnant. I think women take “rest while pregnant” too literally. Yes you should rest often while pregnant. But that doesn’t mean laying around all the time doing nothing. I notice a huge difference in my joints and muscles when I exercise vs when I don’t.

If your doctor hasn’t told you, then any google search will tell you there are so many health benefits to working out while pregnant. It helps reduce back ache, constipation, bloating and swelling. These are major things almost every pregnant woman battles with. I had minimal swelling while pregnant with both my kids and I credit that to workouts and drinking lots of water! Additionally working out can lower your blood pressure and help prevent gestational diabetes!

My doctor actually encouraged me to continue lifting weights through my pregnancy to keep my strength up. The only thing she discouraged me from is lifting an extreme amount that I’m not used to, or working out on my back. You shouldn’t workout on your back when pregnant because the uterus puts pressure on a vein that brings blood to your heart. Lying on your back can cause your blood pressure to drop and limit the flow of blood to your baby.

I understand some people don’t have access to a gym whether it be to cost or location. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do things at home. Walking, running, push-ups, body weight exercises, or dumbbell exercises (every sporting goods store sells them and you can get away with one or two sets).

I know there’s that one person who always says “I just don’t have the time.” Working out doesn’t have to be hours long. 20-30 minutes a day is all you need! Obviously it helps to eat a healthy diet as well. When you’re pregnant just the idea of working out may be exhausting. Of anything, a walk is better than nothing!

Food Aversions

This third baby is taking a toll on my diet. I swear I can’t eat anything without getting nauseous. With my second baby I was sick for maybe a month and it went away. But this time around it’s stretching a lot longer.

Strangely enough, the only things that don’t make me sick are: Ice cream, a tortilla with peanut butter, avocado toast, milk, pizza, cheese and vanilla cheerios. You’d think milk products wouldn’t be easy on the stomach and would make me sick. But weirdly enough they don’t bother it!

One strange food aversion I’m having that I had with our second baby is with chicken. I can’t eat chicken cooked at someone’s house. It literally makes me start gagging. I can’t even cook it myself without feeling sick. But I can eat chicken from a restaurant! There’s something about the smell of it cooking in the house that makes me sick. Since I can’t smell the chicken being cooked in the restaurant, it doesn’t bother me.

The first three months I was really battling with food. But now I’ve found a few items I can eat regularly with no major issue. So every day, I eat pretty much the exact same thing. I actually don’t mind it much because I’m a creature of habit and love schedules. I’ve always had my meals planned out days in advance so I’m not doing too much different than my usual other than being limited on foods.

This is definitely proof that every pregnancy is different! I’m learning as I go with each one!

Potty training win

Want to know what the biggest early parenting win is? (In my eyes that is)……When your child finally uses the potty!!

It sounds ridiculous to be making such a big deal of something like that. But when you’ve had to deal with diapers, it’s exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Even if that light may be super far away.

Diapers aren’t cheap and if your child is like mine, they go through SO many. My child drinks so much water during the day. I swear it seems like I change his diaper every couple minutes. Yes that’s a bit dramatic and I know it’s not that often. But if feels like it!

Potty training itself isn’t terribly difficult. I would say the most difficult part for me was getting my child to actually want to go in the potty. A regular toilet scared him. I think the size was a bit overwhelming. So I got him a little kids potty. He didn’t like that I had it in the bathroom at first because it was close to the big potty. So strangely enough I moved it into the living room and tucked it behind a chair so he had his privacy. That’s when he actually showed a little interest in it!

I started by letting him run around naked and just reminding him he didn’t have a diaper on so he needed to tell me when he had to go potty. The first two times he didn’t even tell me. He walked right over to the potty, sat down and went! After that we had a few accidents. He peed on the carpet twice while playing. However he did stop himself. He started peeing then was like omg I don’t have a diaper on. He stopped, told me, then went over and used the potty. While I don’t love that he peed on the carpet, it’s all a learning process so I didn’t get mad at him.

I’ve figured out if I put “big boy underwear” on him, he can tell the difference in the feel of that and a diaper. So he will tell me he needs to go potty if wearing underwear. However, if I put pull-ups on him, he uses the diaper not the potty. It’s almost like it’s done out of laziness. He doesn’t want to stop playing to use the potty so he’s like ok cool I have a diaper on I’ll use that. So lately if we are at home, I have him just wear underwear (and pants) so he gets used to the feel and using the potty becomes a habit!

He does get super excited about using the potty. He would tell me he needed to go then when he finished he would excitedly announce that he used the potty. It was super cute! He gets so proud of himself.

I know we aren’t 100% done with diapers. But we are past the starting line! That’s a success in my eyes!

Back in the red

We are back in the Red in DFW. I don’t care what anyone says. I’m wearing a mask even when I workout. What inconvenience is it really to me? None. I put on clothes in the morning so a mask isn’t any different to me anymore.

I actually haven’t worn makeup since the masks requirement went into effect. With the exception of mascara of course but no actual face makeup. It’s been great! My skin has never looked so even toned and breakout free! I wash my face often or use face wipes. I also wash my mask regularly so that helps quite a bit to reduce any skin issues.

I really don’t mind wearing a mask even after the mask order is lifted. Honestly I’ve never gone this long without catching even just a cold! I credit that to the masks, over disinfecting and hand washing. I know masks are annoying to some but I’m one who doesn’t mind it. I’ll do whatever is going to keep my family and myself healthy! Better safe than sorry!

Zucchini Brownies

I’m not a baker. Never have been. I actually have ruined 95% of the things I’ve tried baking over the years. I can cook decently well but me and baking just can seem to mesh

However, I did successfully bake the best zucchini brownies ever! And I’m not a brownie person! I actually very much dislike brownies, cookies, cake, etc. But these were pretty good! Would I crave them again? No. But that’s because I’m not a brownie person. If I was I’d be making these every week!

I think what I liked about them was that they didn’t have that oily texture. I hate that so many baking items require an oil base. Zucchini replaced the oil in this case. So instead of an oily feel, it was just very moist and soft. None of that greasy feel when you picked them up. I also didn’t feel as guilty having one because I was like well, there is zucchini so I’m getting a hint of a veggie!

Ingredients:

•2 cups flour (I used rice flour)

•1 cup grated zucchini

•1/2 cup cocoa powder

•1 cup granulated sugar

•1/2 cup skim milk

•2 eggs

•1 cup chocolate chips

•2 tsp baking soda

•2 tsp vanilla extract

•pinch of salt

Frosting:

•8 tbsp cocoa powder

•8 tbsp water

•4 tbsp sugar

•1 tsp vanilla extract

Recipe:

•Preheat oven to 350 degrees

•Spray 9×9 pan with cooking spray

•Combine all ingredients (minus the ingredients for frosting) into a bowl and mix until smooth

•Pour batter into pan

•Bake 25 minutes

•Combine ingredients for frosting and mix till smooth

•Once brownies are done and cooled, top with icing

Working out in a mask

I went to the gym for the first time in 6 months! It’s crazy to think masks are the new normal. However, I honestly don’t mind! I love that people aren’t sneezing and coughing all over the place. I actually haven’t been sick in months! By now I’ve normally had a cold at least once or twice. I swear it’s thanks to the masks I haven’t caught anything!

Working out with a mask on wasn’t exactly easy. The gym wasn’t very busy thank goodness so I took my mask off a few times. I do honestly really appreciate the distancing and cleaning required now. I hope it stays that way after all this corona stuff settles. Literally everyone in the gym wiped up and disinfected after they used a machine. It was great! Normally I’d see maybe a few people doing that. It was annoying because you have those sweaty people who use a machine and don’t care to take the time to wipe up after themselves. It was so gross. But now, everyone is cleaning! I love it!

I also really appreciate the distance requirement! I HATE when people stand too close to me in the gym. I like my personal space and when I workout I like to be left alone. By requiring 6 ft between people I get the space I’ve always wanted! It really it was like heaven for me.

I know wearing a mask, distancing and disinfecting is inconvenient for some, but I absolutely love it! Like I said, I hope life stays this way. It’s as if people have finally learned how to be clean respectful individuals

Benefit of fevers

All our lives we have been told (if you paid attention to your Dr or in health class 😉) that fevers are beneficial to fight infection. Having a fever can be scary, especially if it gets into the 104+ range. However, it’s also good. A fever, which is an elevated body temperature, sets in motion a series of mechanisms that regulate our immune system.

If you remember back to health class in high school, your hypothalamus is what sits at the base of your brain and regulates body temp. When your hypothalamus detects pathogens from the immune system, it signals for the body to generate and retain more heat. Thus triggering a fever.

There’s a saying…..”feed a cold, starve a fever.” If you have a fever you should avoid eating. You want your body focusing on the fever and riding itself of pathogens. By provoking digestion, you are over stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Most fevers, a doctor will tell you to just stay home in bed and rest. When my son was 2 he got a fever of 104. The doctor told us to put him in a luke warm bath. If him temp continued at 104 or higher for two hours or more, then we were to take him to the emergency room. It’s scary, but again the body is just fighting an infection.

What’s crazy now days is the minute we find out someone has a fever, we go into full on panic because it’s possible they have corona virus! Before this pandemic, if someone had a fever they were told to go home and rest and no one really thought twice about it. But because of this virus, you get a fever, and people literally run from you! Lol

You body does some really cool things if you just pay attention to it. People are so focused on a quick fix and pump themselves with medication too early so their body becomes reliant on medication vs allowing it to use its immune system and fight it as god planned. Mind you, not all illnesses can be fought off by the immune system. I think we can all agree that there are quite a few cases where medication is needed. Please don’t go on the attack. I am not anti medication. I am just one who prefers to let the immune system try to work first. Then if help is needed, you call your doc and get your body extra help!