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12 things I’ve learned in the first year as Mom

I’m still in awe that you are a year old. How in the heck has this past year gone by so quickly? I remember it like it was yesterday, your dad and I thought we were going to a football game, and about 8 hours later, you were born. ( See that post HERE )

It’s easy to say this has been the best year of my life. This has also been a year of reflecting, learning, growing, and developing for myself, too. Watching you grow and learn isn’t the only thing we do. We grow and learn right along with you.

So, in honor of your first birthday, I want to give you 12 things that I’ve learned in this first year.

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  1. Everything you thought you “would” or “wouldn’t” do, throw it out the window. – Remember when you thought you wouldn’t drive around in the car to get your child to sleep? Remember when you said you wouldn’t give into letting her/him have the phone? The Television? Yeah. Go ahead and throw it all out the window. Take bits and pieces of what you want, or don’t want to do, and make it your own.
  2. You seriously have no idea what you are doing. – You have read all the books, you have researched it all on the internet. You think you are going to be prepped, ready, and you have loads of information just at your disposal. Let’s also remember, there is no handbook. So while all those things are useful, they have NOTHING to do with your child, family, or life. Take bits and pieces of everything you’ve read, learned, or researched, and make it your own.
  3. Shop all the diapers, and figure out what is best for you. – Don’t just think that one brand is going to be better than another. Sure, they might be for one child, or family, but for your child? NOPE! What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. Try them all, and see for yourself.
  4. Eat the peanut butter. – Let your child experiment with foods. Give them anything and everything you can while they are young. If they don’t like it now, they might like it tomorrow. Eggs, peanut butter, lunch meat, chicken, pork. Whatever we are having for dinner, you are usually eating too. Baby foods are ok, but let’s face it, who really wants to eat that stuff?
  5. Call your parents, and in-laws often. They appreciate it more than you know. – It is just as important for your families to see and hear about different growth and developmental stages as it is for you to see them for yourself. Call them. Send pictures. Give updates. They really do appreciate it.
  6. Smile. Laugh. Cry. – It’s ok to roll with the punches. Remember when I said that you have no idea what you’re doing? Sometimes you get frustrated. Sometimes you think you’re a failure. Sometimes the realization of having no idea what you are doing hits you. It’s ok to smile. It’s ok to cry. It’s also ok to laugh. Remember, “this too shall pass.” Also remember, “The days are long, but the years are short.”-Gretchen Rubin
  7. What really is sleep training? – THIS. IS. A. HOT. TOPIC. I can honestly tell you I have NO IDEA what works or doesn’t here. I can tell you that your dad and I have been blessed with a good sleeper, for the most part. It really didn’t take me long to transition you into sleeping all night once I tried it. I will thank all the heavens and angels above for that.
  8. FaceTime is just as important. – Use the technology you have for good. Keep in touch with your family. Again, they really do appreciate it.
  9. Spend time outdoors. – We live in Texas. This summer has been crazy hot for a baby. But going outside even for just a few minutes a day has helped tremendously. Babies seem to really love the outdoors, and it makes me feel less like a prisoner in my own house. Play outside. It’s ok to get dirty. You will get a bath, I promise!
  10. Put the phone down. – This is hard for me, too. I work from home, so I need to use my phone during the day. But I’m also a mom, and I don’t want to miss things. Spending time with my family is also important. Having some disconnect time is good for the soul. It’s good for your relationships, too.
  11. Take lots of pictures. – Remember that time when my phone was filled with nothing but pictures of my animals? Fast forward a year, and now we have pictures of the animals with the baby. TAKE THE PICTURES! They are amazing for looking back, and for remembering the sweet times                                                                               **This can be good, and bad for baby fever! 😉 **
  12. This  IS the best time of your life. – Seriously though, I can’t think of another time in my life that I can say has been the best time. Sure, the day I married your dad was AMAZING. Relocating, vacations, dinners, parties, anniversaries. They have all been truly spectacular, but this, THIS is really the BEST time in our life.

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Do you have any insight to add to the list? What are some things you learned in the first year of your child’s life?

**Link to our amazing photographer HERE 

 

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An Ode to Mom – My first Mother’s Day

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As Mother’s Day is drawing near, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be a mom. I’m celebrating my very first Mother’s Day this year, and while I’m so excited, and honored that I can now be a part of this amazing group of women I know, love and respect, I also want to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned in just this short period of time. So here it is, an Ode to my mom – and all the mom’s out there, on Mother’s Day!

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Mom,

I just want to tell you – I get it now. While I might not get all of it at this point, I do somewhat understand what it’s like to be a mom. I always wondered if I would hear myself say those words, and now I’m excited and honored to be a part of this amazing journey we call Motherhood.

Remember all those sleepless nights? I get it now. I understand the sacrifice that you made for myself, and my siblings, working, providing for, and making sure that we were nurtured in the best way that you could. You did all these things while staying strong, and trying to keep a smile on your face at all times.

Remember all those missed, or cold meals you had? I get it now. There are times when you would have rather been entertaining your friends and family at gatherings, or times when you were hungry, but we needed you more. You went without those meals, or ate them later, because you love us, and you knew that these times would also pass. You smiled, and rolled with the punches, and never let it get the best of you.

Remember being happy that we were growing and developing, but sad at the same time? I get it now. You were so excited that we were growing, and learning new things, but at the same time, your babies, your children were growing up into their own people, creating their own personalities, and becoming the independent people that we are today. You smiled, laughed, and cried with us all. And did it in the most gracious and loving ways.

Remember thinking that this is the hardest, most tiring, most stressful, but most rewarding job of all time? I get it now. Being a Mother is the hardest, most tiring, stressful job I’ve ever had, and ever witnessed you do. You did it the best way that you knew how, and you did it with a smile on your face. You showed up when it seemed everyone else was walking out, and you have always been by our sides.

Remember that word you always used – Balance? I get it now. I know that you had to balance a job, family, home, and all the other tasks that you took on, all while making sure that we were safe and taken care of. You did it, and you were always there for games, practices, and whatever else we were a part of. You did all of these things, and you did them all with the highest level of integrity, and devotion, daily.

So mom, I just want you to know, after all these years. Thank you. Thank you for being one of the best role models that you could be. Thank you for teaching me valuable lessons on how to be the best mom that I can be. Thank you for sticking by my side, and thank you for being so loving, nurturing, and understanding.

Oh, and mom. I get it now.

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I’M BREASTFEEDING MY BABY!!

So, if you didn’t know by now- I’m one of “those” people who takes it upon themselves to tell everyone that I possibly can that I chose to breastfeed my child. Do I knock the people who don’t, can’t, won’t? NO! I’m VERY convinced that as a parent, and spouse, you need to do whatever is best for your family- no matter what that decision is. I also believe that you stink to your guns, and don’t worry about what others think. HOWEVER, since this is MY diary  blog, I get to choose what the topic is. I’m going to tell you something about this. It’s nurturing, invigorating, and fulfilling. It’s also a great way to lose that post baby weight! I’ve lost about 32lbs so far, and only gained about 27! Above all of those great things-what I would like to tell you more about, makes me so hungry all the time!

I think this is the part that no one really talks about. When people say “eating for 2” I’m not sure they take into consideration breastfeeding. Let us take a stroll down this path. Shall we?

Eating enough calories, drinking enough water. You know if you don’t have anything in your body, you can’t produce enough milk. Eating enough calories and drinking enough water is so important. Here’s the thing. You’re hungry and thirsty pretty much all the time. Oh- and those growth spurts that your child goes through? Yeah- just know you will be  acting as a human garbage disposal during those periods.

Watch what you eat. Yeah- I found this one out the hard way. Broccoli, onion, beer? If I would like to stay up all night with a SUPER gassy infant, then I’ll eat all the of those things. This one is tricky, but you kind of have to do trial and error here. I know there are certain things that my child doesn’t agree with, so I stay away from them. It’s hard, but I do it. I’ve also realized the more “bland” of a diet I have, the better off we will be. Do you know how boring that is for someone who likes to eat spicy foods?! CRAZY, RIGHT?!

Food Cravings. You thought that went away when you delivered? HA! Joke’s on you! I think I crave more different foods now then when I was pregnant. I think this has to do with getting enough calories and eating the right foods. Thai food, wings, Juicy Hamburgers? You name it, I’ve probably had a craving for it at one time or another.

Did you crave anything, or have any strange things happen while you were breastfeeding?

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Crib Life

I did it. I finally got up the strength to move our daughter into her own room. If you ask my husband, he says things are going GREAT! Me, on the other hand, I’m still having a hard time with it, but I know this is a process, and we will get better as we go.

First of all, I’m just going to go on record to say GET A MONITOR! A VIDEO MONITOR! I don’t think I would have moved Jamie at all if we hadn’t gotten a monitor. Even though I know it was time because, well, her Rock and Play was becoming a hazard to sleep in. We found a good deal on a Summer Infant baby monitor, and bought it. I also have to take a second to say their customer service is PHENOMENAL! For some reason our device won’t let us connect to the App on the phone. I called and without any questions asked they are sending a new one! AMAZING! I didn’t even have to argue with anyone. Just called and told them what was happening. That makes this momma VERY proud!

The first night was a Friday. Mommy breakdown #1. I really had some serious anxiety about this whole crib thing. I mean, my baby is growing up. She’s moving into her own room! My husband went hunting that evening with some friends, and Jamie fell asleep rather early. I thought she might wake up again before “actually” going to sleep, but she didn’t. She ended up getting up 3 times that night. Also on Friday Jamie learned a new party trick. She started rolling over both ways. I thought this was an awesome trick, and couldn’t have come at a better time! One of the things I quickly realized was that the worst part about this whole crib situation is walking across the house to get her, nurse, and put her back in her crib. Then I have to walk back to our room and continue on with my sleeping. When your child gets  up 3 times during a night, that’s kind of tough. I was pretty tired on Saturday. But we did it again Saturday night, and she got up 3 times again. The final time, I brought her into our room for the morning nursing session. We are now on night 3- Sunday. She only woke up 1 time!! That would have been great if mommy didn’t have a cold of some sort and was up and down myself all night.

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All in all, I think we are doing a good job. I know this transition won’t be the easiest at times, but I know it’s needed. She needs to be in her own room. It’s time. I’m sure she is happier too! Really, in hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long. Hey- there’s always next time, right?!

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Positive Lifestyle

People that know me, and even people that maybe have just met me could tell you that I’m a generally positive person. Therefore, I will never understand how people can always be so negative all the time. It will never make sense to me. Thus, I have complied a list of ways in which I try to live, in hopes they help someone in this world become more positive.

Starting your day with a smile. Haven’t you ever watched Annie? “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” They were right,you know. The reason behind this is because if you start with a smile, you will think positive thoughts for the rest of the day. It’s harder to be negative when you have a smile on your face. Even when I’m mad, I still usually smile. It’s just what I do. I make jokes about almost everything, and this is why!

Count your blessings, in the morning. Why? Because if you can reflect and be thankful for the things, life, people, you have in the morning, you probably won’t be focusing on the negative things, or it’s harder to see. I use mornings to read a scripture passage, and reflect on how great I feel like the things in my life are. I see my daughter, sing her a song every morning. The same one. Good morning beautiful. She smiles, my heart melts, we repeat. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.

Compliment someone or something everyday. Do you know how you feel when someone you know, or even a complete strange compliments your hair, makeup, clothes, or anything about you in general? It makes me feel warm and cozy, or just like I’ve really done something good with myself. It is a true ego booster- if you will. Have you tried to compliment someone or something every single day, for a week? It’s amazing how people will react to you when you do this. It’s also amazing how you begin to feel once you light up someone’s eyes, or make them smile. It can be contagious.

Say I love you. You don’t have to have a partner to do this with. Family, friends? There has to be someone you love out there. Don’t be afraid to tell them. Tell them at least once a day. Give them reassurance that you love, support, and honor them being in your life. It’s pretty cool to love, and to feel loved. Show it. Share it. Live it!

Walk, Run, Exercise. I’m going to quote a favorite movie of mine. Legally Blonde. Yep, I went there. Well- Reese Whiterspoon had a really good point when she said that “Exercise creates endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands.” All I’m saying is that even spending a few minutes outside walking your street, getting some fresh air and vitamin D can make a huge impact on your day. I always think it’s so cool the way I feel once I crushed a workout. I feel like a million dollars. Like I’m a total badass and I can conquer the world. I feel good being outside. I feel good walking, running, biking. Whatever the case is. Try something to make yourself a little more active. You’ll be happy you did. Hell, you might lose a pound or 2 in the process, and if you’re like me, you’ll be even happier you did!

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I truly hopes this helps someone out there. Maybe you don’t know how to be positive. Heck, maybe you don’t realize that you are being a “Negative Nancy” out in this great world of ours. At any rate- maybe this will give you an idea to try something new.

Take the positivity pledge, I know I have!

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I needed a walk

I’m going to be honest with you, because I don’t know any other way. I’ve been pretty lax on my exercising, and I can’t completely figure out why. Am I depressed, sick, emotional? I just can’t pin point one thing. On the flip side to that, I’ve been feeling pretty bad about myself. Isn’t this always the tricky slope we all go on from time to time? This mean cycle that just keeps repeating itself over and over until we finally get tired enough to make a stand.

Well, folks, I made a stand. I went for a walk. I’ve been running for the last couple years on and off, and I’ve fallen in and out of love with the process every time. This time, I decided that I wasn’t going to pressure myself into running again, I’m just going to listen to my body and go for a walk. While I was walking and still being chased by dogs, and enjoying the beautiful 70º+ weather, (you know, we live in Texas, so it’s beautiful here right now) I started thinking about why we continue to go on this crazy fitness cycle. Why isn’t it easier to stick to a plan, or routine?

What I learned on this walk was that I wanted to run. My body was telling me that running is what I needed. I didn’t run the whole time, but I did run some. It was great too!

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Here are some things that I want to share with you, that maybe will help you along the way to whatever lifestyle change, or fitness journey you are on. My list, my opinions. Feel free to create your own! Whatever helps to drive or motivate you, I think you should do it. Write it down, have a plan. Master the HELL out of that goal/plan!

  1. You are beautiful.– I know that it’s been said before, but you are. You’re beautiful. It’s taken me 32 years to really realize and be comfortable with that, but it’s true. We all are beautiful in our own special ways, and that’s what makes the world unique.
  2. You are strong. – Again, something I’ve struggled with a lot. Strong doesn’t mean you have to lift 300lbs in a back squat. Strong can mean that you fought your own battle and came out alive, and well. Whatever you are doing, whatever you are going through, you are strong for sticking with it. You are strong for fighting for what you believe in. Keep it up!
  3. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE! – JUST DON’T DO IT! Believe me, I know this is tough. I know that it’s a hell of a lot easier said than done. Again, another thing I’ve battled with for a long time. Guess what?! It doesn’t make a freaking difference about what ANYONE else is doing. As the famous Dr. Seuss said: “Today you are you, that is truer than true, there’s no one alive, that is youer than you.” Believe that. Feed off of it. Use it as your own motivation. images-2
  4. Believe in yourself. Whatever is going on in your life, whatever journey or struggle you might be facing. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You got this. You can do this! God won’t give you something you can’t handle. Handle whatever it is like a boss, and keep it moving! You will feel so much better about yourself once you do.
  5. Listen to your body. When you need to walk, walk. When you need to run, run. If you have to lay on the grass for 15 minutes and catch your breath, do that too. I promise you, if you really start listening to your body, and not your mind, you’ll be surprised with what you can accomplish.
  6. Love yourself. If you love yourself, you will respect, listen and believe in yourself. Why don’t we love ourselves enough to take time out of our days for US? No matter what it is, we are doing it for ourselves. Why do we make all these excuses as to why we can’t, and just think about ourselves? It’s not selfish to do something for yourself. Especially when what you are doing is helping yourself to be a better you.
  7. Above all. HAVE FUN! Whatever you are doing, have fun with it. If it’s not fun, try something else until it is fun. You have to be able to experiment to figure out what is best for YOU, and your life. What fits your needs the best, and something you are passionate about, and enjoy. I can promise you, if you don’t like it, you won’t keep it up.

This is my list for you all. Again, this has been a hard battle for me to overcome myself. I can promise though, little by little, if you continue on, you will form a routine, you will start believing in yourself, and you will continue on your journey. You’ll be amazed with the things you are capable of. Always know, there is someone out there who believes in you!!

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Workout #3

Just another manic workout for you, my friends. Let me explain how this one went down. Went to our local crossfit, signed in, looked at the workout, and thought to myself. Sure, this doesn’t look too terrible. It’s only 15 minutes. I mean, you can do almost ANYTHING for 15 minutes. I know, I know, but the Burpees. 15, yeah, that’s a little rough, but I can manage. I got this. Your mind thinks that you are going to use the sit ups and dips as a time to catch your breath in prep for the round of burpees again. I’m here to tell you, friends, that’s not how this goes down. It’s tough, but it makes you a WINNER! Try it at a gym, or at home. If you don’t have rings to do dips with, anything would work. A Box, A Chair, bench. You can virtually do this workout almost anywhere. That’s why I like it too. Even though they are hard, the body weight workouts are usually my favorite, because you can use them again and again. If you are traveling, or need to just move, these are good ones to keep in the back of your mind.

So, without further ado, I present to you – Workout #3.

Remember, this is as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

By the end of the workout, I didn’t throw up, so I counted that as a success. I ended up with 6 rounds completed, and about 10 burpees into the 7th round once the 15 minutes was over. I think that’s pretty dang good!

AMRAP: 15 minutes

15 Burpees

10 situps,

5 dips.

Enjoy! If you do this one, let me know how you did!!