Baby Glasses!

A couple of months ago, we took Isla to get her eyes looked at because her right eye kept turning in and was getting worse as time went on. We were hoping it’d correct itself sooner than later, but we are glad we ended up getting it checked out because she does indeed need glasses! I wasn’t expecting to hear that she needed them right away, but boy did it make a difference.

Glasses aren’t cheap! We paid just under $200 for Isla’s, so we were really hoping she wouldn’t pull them off constantly and would learn to enjoy wearing them because she could actually see better. And that’s what happened! She’ll tug at them here and there when she’s tired, as to be expected, but for as many hours a day that she does keep them on, I couldn’t be happier.

There aren’t many options at all from what I’ve seen for baby glasses. Her face is still just too small for anything other than Miraflex glasses. I will say that they do offer a couple of different frame shapes and enough color options that I stared at them all for 10 minutes before finally making a decision. I’m overall super pleased with our experience with these glasses and would recommend them for any of your kiddos.

If any of your little ones wear glasses, please share your pictures with me! Isla has always made friends with strangers in public, and her sweet new frames draw people in even more, and it’s so awesome to see the smiles she puts on so many faces.

Don’t Forget to Encourage Your Mom

I had lunch with my mom today. Before I go further, I want to encourage those of you who have the opportunity, to go grab some lunch with your mom in the near future. It will be good for the soul.

I brought Isla with me, so we had about as deep and meaningful conversation as you can have with a busy 11 month old, but in between those welcomed disruptions, was an exchange of life-giving words. I prayed on my way to lunch with my mom that my words and conversation would be of importance, spiritual value, and encouragement.

At some point, there is some sort of shift where you are not so much a dependent, needy child but instead more of a peer of sorts with your parent. Meaning, we can offer one another advice in many areas of life and share wisdom that we have gained with them if they are willing to listen. For parents, this may feel uncomfortable at first, but I think it can be so healthy as we go through different seasons of life. My mom has been in a stressful point in her life for a few years now as her academic career has brought her so close to the finish line in graduating to become a nurse anesthetist. She still has a couple of months left to go, and for her, and all of us really, the end couldn’t get here fast enough. Despite the endless homework and long clinical hours can lie true energizing moments. That amazing conversation with the patient before going under for a surgery, the constructive criticism from your boss helping you know how to improve, and the discipleship amongst your peers in school, give opportunities for my mom to make lasting impacts among all of these she interacts with. For you, this may look very different with what you have going on in your daily lives, but fellow moms, seize each moment with grace given from above.

My mom has endured so much throughout her entire lifetime. She is stronger than she knows, and I hope I can be there for her the way she has walked alongside me in my life. She may be in a stressful place right now, but she has been through so much already, and I’m excited to see how she uses daily moments to allow Christ to bring life in every circumstance.

The “Mom-Strong” Body

My body will never be the same after having a baby. And I’m totally fine with that. It doesn’t mean that I’m fine with not getting in shape or being strong, however. We have to be strong and healthy so we can be there as best as we can for our little ones. Not to mention they watch everything we do, so we need to set a good example.

My stomach may never be as toned, and with the ab separation that still seems to be creating a weird hanging pouch when I do a plank, I can confidently say that it’ll never be the same again.

So let’s celebrate our changing bodies mommas! I wouldn’t have this new body if it weren’t for my baby girl, and I would rather have her a million times over than have a firmer stomach. It almost sounds silly to think about the things that were once so important to us before we became moms. I don’t want acceptance of my “mom bod” to be an excuse for complacency though. Everyday I get to work on gaining my strength back and being an example to my daughter on what good disciplines look like.

So moms, let’s encourage each other to embrace the “mom-strong” body we now have. Whether it looks like stretch marks and loose skin or wider hips that force us to size up in pants, we all have in common the strength that moms share. And for adoptive moms out there facing infertility struggles, this post is not meant to trigger negative emotions about what your body didn’t do for you, but instead celebrate the life that’s in your home and the love that you can shower your littles with because you are also incredibly strong.

Family Fever

Isla is 10 months old now, and I’ve got to say, I haven’t experienced what you would call “baby fever” yet. But what I have been feeling for the last month or so now is what I am calling “family fever”, meaning that I don’t necessarily want to go through having more babies so much as I am just so excited to have all my kids here with me (however many that may be) so that we can all be a complete family and my kids can begin growing up together. Planning for vacations would be easier for sure. Knowing how we will fit all our kids in our 3 bedroom home would also be nice—especially if we have more than 2-3 kids! Sometimes I think one more baby would be perfect. 2 kids. My husband and I wouldn’t be outnumbered, and they would have each other as best friends. Then I have days where I think I could handle 3, maybe 4, or more kids! What makes me think I can realistically handle this-I have no idea. All I know is I love my family. My baby that I have already, as well as my unborn children. My husband and I are having conversations about adoption as well and when that would take place down the road. With all these unknowns floating around in my head, I just have to pray that God captures my thoughts and helps me to enjoy today that I have with my Isla girl.

She most likely won’t be an only child forever, so why not spend as much time with her as I can! I know that I have family fever like crazy right now, but to wish away time is definitely not the answer. How do you guys deal with “baby” or “family” fever? I’d love to know your thoughts!

What I Eat In a Day

Before I got pregnant, during pregnancy, and after pregnancy, I haven’t changed my diet besides adjusting my caffeine intake. Over 2 years ago I cut out meat and dairy due to digestive issues I was experiencing, and I’ve never looked back! This post is not to say that this is what you should or should not eat, but rather to share what works for me personally, and if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them!

Before breakfast, I take my favorite probiotic, which is Good Belly. It’s non-dairy, and the flavors are delicious.

For breakfast, I have a bowl full of brown sugar oatmeal and sometimes a piece of toast as well if I’m extra hungry. Also, I can’t go without a cup of coffee! I just add stevia in the raw to sweeten it.

For lunch, I usually have a veggie burger, rice, and some sort of veggie like broccoli or green beans.

For an afternoon snack, I’ll try to go for fruit like banana or apple with peanut butter.

For dinner, I normally have a baked potato with lentil vegetable soup or a family fave which are sweet potato tacos. If you’re curious about these, let me know, and I’ll share how I make them!

For an evening snack, after I’ve put Isla to bed, I’ll have a cup of decaf coffee with half of a Lenny and Larry’s vegan protein cookie or a couple Biscoff cookies.

What I eat does not vary a whole lot, unless I’m going out to eat, and in that case, it just depends on the menu. But I can almost always find something to eat anywhere, and I honestly love my diet. When people ask if I miss eating steak or ice cream I can’t deny that it may smell or look delicious, but I know that how I feel outweighs any indulgences that I no longer give in to. Plus, there are so many dairy and meat free options now, that I hardly ever feel like I’m missing out!

How Sleep Training my Baby was Successful

My husband and I started sleep training our daughter after a stressful night of waking up several times to a crying daughter. Just hearing her make any sort of noise was sending sheer panic down my spine, and I knew it was time to help Isla sleep through the night!

Ideally we would’ve started sleep training her around the 6 month mark, but because of her still needing nightly feedings on demand (due to low BMI) and living in a one bedroom apartment, we couldn’t begin this process until she was closer to 8 months old.

We moved into our new house just before Christmas, and I couldn’t have been more excited to set up Isla’s very own bedroom so that she could sleep in it that first night. Because she had been in a bassinet and never really liked sleeping in a pack n play, I was nervous as to how she would enjoy her crib. When her bedtime came around, we put her in the crib, and after going in a couple times to help her settle in, she fell asleep in her big girl room! But a few hours later she woke up and started crying…loudly. The kind that lets you know that she’s not just going to give up any time soon. After feeding her, she went back down to sleep. A few hours later, it was another trip back into her room for her Tylenol and Benadryl cocktail.

Morning came around way too soon, and I started off my day feeling exhausted. The following nights looked very similar, so it was no surprise to me that I broke down one night when she started crying right when I had gone to bed. My husband and I decided to start sleep training our daughter the next night. There wasn’t a magic formula to it, we just put her down to bed, she fell asleep, and when she would wake up, whether it be 30 min or 5 hours later, we let her cry it out. We thought this would be so hard on us to hear her cry and even starting with 5 minutes of crying it out can feel like a lot. We were so surprised, however, when she went back to sleep after crying for just a couple minutes! It was like a whole other world opened up to us when we realized that we didn’t need to go check on her every time she made a peep.

Fast forward over a month later, and all of us are much better off after sleep training! There are still ups and downs of course, and not every night is perfect, but the overall application of letting our baby cry it out for a few minutes before checking on her allowed her to learn self soothing, and this well-rested momma is a testament to it!

Side Note: In my opinion, a lot of factors can go into sleep training. If there are any details unclear or if you have any questions or comments on what worked for you, please leave a comment!

Isla’s 1st Christmas

How does everyone do Christmas when they have littles that have specific nap/bedtimes? I’m so glad we survived our first Christmas with a child—I really wasn’t sure how it would go! Isla went to bed past her bedtime probably 4 nights out of the past week. She would get a little fussy, but as long as I was holding her or playing with her, she stayed overall in a pleasant mood.

That leads me to another question. When you have extended family in town, do your babies let others hold them? I think Isla is going through separation anxiety in general, but if it even looked like someone other than me was going to hold her, she would immediately start puckering her lips about to cry. WHY? I know it’s just a phase, but it can be tough during the holidays when there are so many family members that want to hold her and give me a little bit of a break! I look forward to next year when she hopefully will go to more people.

Overall, seeing my daughter get so many presents and be around her whole family this Christmas was so special for me as her mom. She even started getting the hang of opening presents! A super fun present we found out as well is that she will be going on a Disney cruise in February!! I am so stinking excited!! What was your favorite gift that your child got this year?

I Have A Question…

Moms out there, I need your help! I’m starting to come face-to-face with a depressing reality. Outside of being a mom, I don’t know what I like to do, what I want to do, what my style is, or even where to start. I feel so lost! I wish I would’ve known myself more before having my baby. I wish I would’ve taken more risks and pursued more things outside of my comfort zone before becoming a mom because now I feel like I can’t.

Have any of you moms out there been through this? What helped for you? I love being a SAHM, I don’t think that the solution is for me to put her in daycare and go back to work. But I feel like there is something else that could be implemented to help me begin going through these mental and emotional blocks that I feel I have. I feel like my hair, skin, and makeup don’t even reflect me anymore. I feel like I’m putting out there a version of me that seems half put together and like I’m in survival mode. Now that my daughter is almost 8 months old, it’s definitely more than time to put some effort into myself so that I can be a good example for my daughter as someone who is sure of herself and confident instead of apologetic when entering a room.

I can’t wait to hear from you all! Thanks in advance for your feedback!

My Isla Girl

I know she is only 7 months old, but any other mommas out there relate when I say that there’s just a way your child looks at you and interacts with you that makes you feel like you are the best of buddies? I’ve been feeling that way with my daughter lately and it makes being a stay-at-home mom such a blast. We will be on the floor playing and she will give me a look that just stops me in my tracks. She trusts me so much and it’s such an exciting and terrifying feeling all at once. My Isla girl, your mom is so in love with you. So is your dad-we can’t leave him out! But I’ll say there’s no denying the special bond that I have with my daughter. It can make separation anxiety a real thing (LOL!) but I wouldn’t trade each and every day with her for anything. People tried to to explain to me the love you have for your child before my daughter was born, and being able to hold, feed, care for, and love this child far surpasses what I could have even imagined. I’m so grateful to God for this blessing.

Apologizing to my Daughter

The other day was not my best by far. I was tired, short-tempered, and easily irritable. Most days I feel like this, but I have been working on really trying to change my outlook and attitude when feeling that way so that I can be the best wife and mom to my family. However, Isla was super fussy so I thought I’d go ahead and give her a bottle. When sitting her on my lap, she started bucking and crying. My short fuse was lit and I said, “shut up, shut up!” Ross heard me say this and reminded me that we don’t talk that way towards or in front of her, even if she is 7 months old and doesn’t know what we are saying yet. I know that is true, and I immediately wanted to take back the words that were said, but I couldn’t. What I could do though was apologize. A little while later, it was her nap time, and I decided to lay in my bed with her. We were staring at each other, and I was overcome again with regret that I let my temper snap in front of my sweet daughter who had done nothing wrong. I verbally told her I was sorry for telling her to shut up, and that may seem unnecessary because she doesn’t understand, but it’s good practice for me. I want to be so quick to apologize because I know that I can best get back to mending a relationship after wronging someone after doing so.

I know that I will have a lifetime of apologies to give, and that’s ok! I want to model for Isla what it looks like to desire such a close relationship with her that I don’t want another minute to go by before I do my part to let her know I am sorry and that I don’t want to go on continuing to act that way towards her.