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Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

We all have one, the mom bag…the thing we hurriedly pack on our way out the door for the day.  Have you ever stopped to think about what you need to be packing just for an outing with your kids?! Gabrielle, from our Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts on what you need to pack in your mom bag! Take a look…

mom bAG

Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

There are a lot of changes that come with motherhood.  Physical and emotional changes are to be expected, but there was one change that caught me completely off guard.  The more children I had, the bigger my purse got.    I started off with a convertible planner that had an attachable purse strap.  I transitioned to a bag that was a large enough to carry my planner and a make-up pouch.  Not long ago, I was shopping in a department store and found what I thought was the perfect bag.  Then I looked at the price.  I could not figure out why the not-a-name-brand bag was so expensive.  Then I looked up at the overhead sign.  Apparently, I had wandered into the luggage section in search on my perfect purse.  So basically, I’m wandering the streets with a carry-on bag hanging from my shoulder.

With a bag that size, the surprises are unending.  It is not unusual for me to reach down in my purse and find anything from an Arizona Iced Tea to Zoo passes from two weeks ago.    It is also not unusual for me to turn my purse upside down only to find that the one thing I’m looking for is not in there.  My purse manages to be both a vacuum and a black hole.

I made a conscious effort to pare down the number of items in my purse.  I did a web-search for “What should I have in my purse?” What I found is that some of you are magicians and are fitting twice the amount of items I have in my bag into your cute little clutches.  I also found at that I’m missing a few essentials, and I’m carrying some things I might not ever need.  Anyway, after a couple of searches, I narrowed it down to a few essentials.

Some form of Picture ID

This one is self-explanatory.  The day you leave it at home is the day you’ll be pulled over for speeding or  the day your favorite cashier asks for your ID when you try to buy that bottle at home.

Money

Paper or plastic?  I strongly suggest both, and a little pocket change wouldn’t hurt either.  That way when the mom in front of you is fishing around for two pennies to cover her groceries, you can swoop in and be the superhero.

Cellphone

This item is to remain in your purse until you have reached your destination. Absolutely no texting and driving!  It can also be used to make a call to explain that you’re running 10 minutes late if necessary.  (It’s almost always necessary at my house.)

Breath Mints

Another no-brainer.  They can be actual life-savers (See what I did there?) Ranch dressing breath is not attractive.

A Mirror & Lip Gloss

You can do wonders with fresh breath, a sparkling smile.  (Just use the mirror to make sure you got the remaining spinach out of your teeth.

Hand Sanitizer

Because you’re a mom, and public restrooms are just gross.

Facial Tissue

Because you’re a mom and kids are just gross.

Personal Care Items/Toiletries

This category is broad on purpose.  Tailor it to fit your needs.  Just be aware, accidents and emergencies do happen.  Be prepared.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

 

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The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

Impromptu dates with your significant other not only help to keep your relationship exciting but also serve as an important time to spend some time connecting without the kiddos in tow. We’re excited to share today’s post, and to welcome, the newest member of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, Gabrielle. Today’s post is one that is near and dear to her own heart. Take a look…

Impromptu Dates

The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

A few years back, my husband and I decided to play hooky from work.  We dropped the kids off at school and then met for breakfast.  After breakfast, we went to the mall, hung out at our favorite book store, and did a little window shopping.  We saw a movie, then we grabbed some lunch and hung out for a bit until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We had such a great time that we decided to do it monthly.  Now I know many couples have standing monthly date nights.  They hire a baby-sitter for the night, or send the kids off to grandma’s house for the weekend.  I absolutely support this, but I strongly recommend trying a date day at least once.  The benefits are amazing.

First, we save money.  There’s no need to hire a baby-sitter.  Also, the meals are much cheaper during the day.  My husband and I can eat both breakfast and lunch for the same amount of money that we would spend on a dinner date.  Lunch dates are a great way to experience fancy cuisine in smaller portions and at a cheaper prices.  Check your favorite spot to see if there is a lunch menu.  Want to see a movie, instead? The theaters are empty and most offer matinee pricing.

Second, we save time.  My husband and I once attempted an impromptu dinner date on the weekend.  We found ourselves wandering up and down 119th street looking for any place that didn’t have an hour and a half wait for dinner.  We were so hungry, we wound up at a chain restaurant eating tacos.  On date days, the longest we’ve ever had to wait was a couple minutes for a server to actually notice there was a customer who walked in the door.  Not only that, but a six-hour marathon date provides enough adult conversation, that you don’t go crazy when you return home to non-stop Disney channel reruns.  We don’t have to try and get everything in between the appetizers and dessert.  We have all day.

Finally, it’s like a micro-vacation.  Who does not need a day off in the middle of the week?  When is the last time you spent eight hours alone with your significant other?  Our date days allow us time to slow down and just enjoy time with each other.  We can go to the amusement park and not be stuck in the kids section, riding the same tiny roller coaster multiple times.  We can go gaze at million dollar homes and dream together.

Date days have become a priority in our household.  We tell every couple we know to at least give it a try.  The only people we haven’t told are the kids… and grandma (because she’s our daycare provider and we do not want to ruin our good thing!)

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

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For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…

coaching

For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

Avoiding the summer slide can be difficult, especially when your children are eager to get out and enjoy pool time, run around with friends, and get away for that much needed family vacation. Make sure that your child doesn’t fall behind before the new school year starts with these six simple (and fun) ideas from Erin. Take a look…

beat the summer slide with six steps

 Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

School is out for the summer!  My kids and I are embracing summertime full force with picnics, parks, pool time, and nature walks. We are loving summer and I know the “official start” to summer may be up for debate but it has definitely started in our house!  I definitely plan on sharing some super fun summer activities and boredom busters later on this season! However, I thought it was important to share with you some tips on beating the summer slide, where knowledge and skills are lost over the course of summer.  I read a statistic recently that said when kids go back to school in the fall that teachers will spend around six weeks re-teaching old material to make up for lost time.  My kids’ education is so important to me, so hearing that stat made me think about some ways to beat that summer slide and keep the kids learning and on track for the next school year.  Take a look at some ideas here and feel free to add your own ideas below in the comments.

#1 Read

Read 20 minutes a day. Read aloud. Have your child read to you. Listen to audio books. Lead by example and encourage your kids to read by enjoying a book yourself. Let your child pick out a book based on their own interests.  Read outside on sunny days or build a fort on rainy days and read inside the fort. Make it fun and engaging!

#2 Visit The Local Library

The MCPL branches have a fantastic summer learning program going on now until July 31st for ages birth to 19 years!  Kids can earn points by reading, doing small various activities at home and attending programs throughout the summer. Book prizes are awarded with each completed level and drawings are taking place throughout the summer for tickets to the Royals, Legoland, Powell Gardens, Coco Key, and much much more! Check it out and sign up online.

#3 Sharpen Math Skills

There are some awesome math apps out there like Reflex, which uses fun games to practice math skills.  You can also create good ole fashioned flash cards for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  Workbooks and activity books can be fun for road trips or for the daily commute. I’ve found some great flashcards and workbooks at Dollar Tree and Five Below.

#4 Take Field Trips

KC has SO many things to do for kids! Make it fun and educational by visiting fun places: Union Station and Science City, Money Museum, SEALIFE, KC Zoo, Harry S. Truman museum, Burr Oak Woods, National WWI Museum and the list goes on and on.

Pro Tip: Check out FieldTripGuideKC.com for inspiration on enriching activities for your kids! 

#5 Learn Around The House

Use everyday tasks you can encourage your kids to learn different things.  Take the kids grocery store and give them a chance to practice math skills, cook together, do fun science experiments with everyday household items, measure things inside and outside the house, chart the weather highs and lows and different weather patterns.

#6 Play Board Games

Uno, Monopoly, Bananagrams, Battleship, Memory, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Checkers and Chess, Dominoes are all great games to boost brain power!

By providing opportunities for your kiddos to keep learning throughout the summer months, you will give them an excellent head start to school in the fall and have some fun in the meantime!  And the teachers will thank you for it too!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)

Happy Monday, Kansas City! It can be difficult to focus on ourselves as parents, but practicing self care is an absolute must to maintain sanity in this crazy life. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, shares some ways we can all take care of ourselves, and what happens when we do. Check it out..

The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)

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The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)

As a mom or dad, we tend to always have a lot on our plate. From working outside or inside the home, taking care of kids and keeping them on schedule, helping our husbands or wives with their various schedules like work, appointments and things. And even helping others outside the home can be overwhelming and take a lot out of us.

Once I had kids, a lot of the time I would take to get myself ready for the day or unwind for the day seemed to vanish into thin air. I would get so wrapped up in everyone else’s schedule that my time would seem to be nonexistent. One of my kiddos was born with several life threatening heart defects, so running around the city to different doctors was when I really had “down time”. I was in the car most of the time headed to a different doctor every week. Then when it came to the weekend I was shuttling my step daughter back and forth from our house to her mom’s house. So there was a little more down time since we lived in different cities lol. But it wasn’t until my 4th child that I realized just how important taking time for myself would be.

 

WHEN YOU DON’T TAKE THE TIME

When you don’t take some time for yourself, you start to feel like you are falling behind in life. You feel overwhelmed, worn out and let’s face it, you don’t look like yourself. I mean if you ever ran into me at 5 below on one of my busy days, whew sorry! My hair is a mess, I probably have on some form of athletic wear, sweats or even an old pair of crocs. Not to mention my stress level is at a million because I just want to get in and out without buying one more Shopkin 5pack for the girls. Side note, I’m really kinda upset I know what that is lol) But when we don’t take time to take care of our self, physically and mentally, we begin to crack.

WHEN YOU DO TAKE THE TIME

When you take a little time for yourself, the world seems to be in a different color. The stress of the day no longer has you seeing red! You are happier, your body is no longer getting stress paralyzed and you tend to just have more fun. I know I like when I am happier and so do my kids! When we became parents, we automatically signed up to be the best parent we could be for them. Same for your husband or wife! We are on our A game and it brings so much more love and positivity into the house.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Look I get it, we all can’t up and leave for a weekend away or take a mid-week trip to a spa. And honestly those things are GREAT! But you can take time to take care of yourself at home every day for 30 minutes- an hour and feel just as relaxed and recharged.

  • Prayer- For me saying a small prayer throughout the day can help me focus and take on the day.
  • Music- Music is so powerful! It can change your mood, relax you and even empower you.
  • Laugh- Watching a show or short movie that is funny definitely helps. Laughter is a natural healer and if you can just take a moment and laugh, you will feel better!
  • Writing- Writing for me is one of my biggest stress relievers. I am able to focus all my energy, emotions and thoughts in one place. It really helps to ease stress!
  • Hot Showers- A hot shower can go a LONG way! Put on some tunes, relax and enjoy!
  • Getting Ready- Sometimes, when I just dress up, put on my makeup and act as if I am going somewhere important, I feel better! I feel like I have everything together and I feel much more at ease. When you look your best, you feel your best!
  • Exercise- Everyone knows that exercise increases endorphins, a natural chemical in our body that not only helps with pain but also puts us in a happier mood.

 

There are so many ways to make sure you are practicing self-care. These are how I make sure I am relaxed, focused and energized for the day. Whatever you do, make sure it is something that relaxes you, makes you feel happy and is good for you!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog

 

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this
Winter Break

 

Winter break to parents mean one thing NO SCHOOL! And if you don’t have a plans, cabin fever can kick in pretty early. So, this winter break, keep the kiddos entertained, save some money and have a great break.

 

Here are a few things you can do anywhere!

 

#1 Build a snowman

Most of the time there is snow on the ground so why not play in it!? Get all bundled up and head out side to build your own Olaf or snowman. No snow? No problem! Make your own indoor snow with baking soda and white hair conditioner!

 

#2 Have a family talent show

If it’s TOO cold to go outside, have a family talent show. My kids love, love, love America’s Got Talent so they are always up to show what they can do! Let the kids practice during the day and after dinner let the show begin!

 

#3 Have a movie marathon

If I could, I would watch Netflix all day! There are so many different movies and shows available it would probably take years to watch everything! So make a list of the ones you want to see, grab some snacks and enjoy!

 

#4 Have a scavenger hunt inside

What kid doesn’t like a game where you seek hidden treasures?! Make a list of little toys, random items or shapes and let the kids explore around the house!

 

#5 Go ice skating

NEED I SAY MORE?

 

#6 Game night

Pull out the classics, make your own or play some of your kids! There are so many games out now, you can have game night often!

 

#7 DIY night

Hooray for Pinterest lol! You could lose yourself in so many different crafts it’s unreal! Pick a theme and once everyone is done, you can even put on an art show!

 

#8 Have a slumber party

Turn your front room into a fort and let your kiddos imaginations run wild! Or if you don’t want to risk losing a night of sleep, wear your pajamas during the day and make little beds in the front room.

 

#9 Redecorate rooms/home

When the kids are older, this one is definitely a go to! They can help with heavy lifting, deep cleaning and even give you a break by decorating their own space.

 

#10 Make a special brunch

Brunch is my favorite so why not make a special one during their winter break! They can invite their friends and you can invite yours! Really feeling hum drum during the break? Make it special with unique invites and dress up!

 

#11 Snowball fight

This one in my opinion is more for the kids themselves lol. Let them burn off some energy with a friendly snowball fight in the yard.

 

#12 Visit a museum

This is probably one of my favorite things to do! Most museums are free and have tons of cool stuff that will keep everyone happy. Check your closest museum for special kid activities, they are sure to have plenty during the winter time!

 

#13 Go sledding

Like having a snow ball fight, this is one activity that is sure to use up that extra energy! I mean they are basically running up hills! HAHAHA

 

#14 Bake cookies

Baking can make your day go by so fast! Plan to make a few different items, play some music and fill your home with sweet smells! Plus the littles love using cookie cutters!

 

#15 Visit distant family members

One sure way to avoid cabin fever is taking trips! Long or short, a change of scenery will keep the entire family pleased!

 

#16 Karaoke party

We love music in my family so we are always singing! So why not take it up a notch and invite some family or close friends over!

 

#17 Read your favorite childhood books

This one is more for me than the kids lol. I love reading classic books I grew up with to my kids. Plus the looks on their face when they hear a new book is always a great feeling.

 

#18 Go to a sport event

Just about every major city has some form of sports team. NFL, NBA, MLB, Arena or Semi- Pro. If you aren’t sure, just look your city up, google knows everything!

 

#19 See a musical or play

There are always special plays or musicals that come to town around this time of year so the pickins aren’t slim!

TIP: want to cut costs on those expensive play tickets, call your local box office and ask for group rates! Get the whole family or group of friends involved so you won’t have to pay as much.

 

#20 Have a dance party

Sometimes you just gotta dance! Forget the dishes, stop folding laundry or whatever chore you have and spend 10 minutes just dancing! You will feel more relaxed and the kiddos while get a break from “boredom.”

 

#21 Invite family friends over that have kids

Play dates are a win win. You can still do an activity with your kids but also have adult to talk to! Everyone is happy!

 

#22 Visit the library

Another favorite thing to do is visit the library! They always have family activities that are educational as well! Plus it’s FREE!

 

#23 Update family photos

Winter break is the perfect time to update those family photos. There are no after school activities, no homework to do and you have more time throughout the day to get the whole family picture ready. Plus, they are usually ready in time for when they go back to school!

 

#24 Go shopping

Taking the kiddos shopping is always eye opening even if it’s only window shopping. You find out what they like, dislike and can even get some ideas for birthday presents!

 

#25 Learn about other countries and what they do in winter

The world is a big place, and whatever you are doing, someone may be doing the complete opposite. Research and discover what other countries are like during winter!

 

As your kids get ready for winter break, I hope these tips give you some ideas on what you and your kiddos can do for a fantastic break!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

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25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog


Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Sleep, glorious sleep. It’s the wonderful thing that often evades when we first become parents, and the 18 years that follow. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has some fantastic steps on how to get your little one on a great sleep schedule. Take a look!

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a
Sleep Schedule

 

If you don’t have a newborn, this post is going to be a real snoozer for you because today I’m giving out advice on how to train your baby to love sleep as much as you do.

 

When I was asked to write a blog post about advice for new parents, I really had to think for a bit. Our oldest just turned 6, our middle guy is 4 and our “baby” turned 3 this summer, so I should be full of advice. But here’s the deal, I barely remember those newborn days. You hear that new parents? It’s going to seem like an eternity (lack of sleep does that to you), but in the grand scheme of things it’s a very short period in your life and theirs, and I PROMISE you will make it to the other side.

 

One thing my husband and I became quick pros at was how to get our babies to sleep. Outside of eating, sleeping is my favorite activity, so the faster I could get my kids to sleep during the night, the happier I was going to be. This advice won’t work on all babies, but it worked like magic on our babies, who were all sleeping soundly throughout the night around 8 weeks. Hope it helps some of you.

 

Five tips that MIGHT help your baby be a great sleeper.

 

Set a schedule

Put your baby to bed immediately following his last feeding at about the same time every night. We’d do this pretty late, after 11PM in hopes to buying ourselves some quality sleep in the prime sleeping hours. Our babies usually got pretty drowsy after eating but if yours needs some extra help going to bed, try giving him or her a bath. Babies are usually pretty alert during baths which can wear them out. And who doesn’t love to rest once they’re all clean, warm and snuggly?

 

Swaddle that baby

The swaddle is easily in my top five products for newborns. I can’t say enough about this product. If you don’t have one, buy one (actually 3 because you know, $H*t happens) and wrap your baby up like a Chipotle burrito. Sure, you can go the old fashioned route and just use a regular blanket but babies tend to turn into Houdini in the middle of the night and one loose arm will wake them (and you) up.

 

Change first, feed second

When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, always change her first. When she’s feeding there’s a good chance she’ll fall asleep while feeding or at least be nearly asleep. Changing her after you feed her will cause her to wake up and want to party.

 

Keep the lights off

Start training your newborn from day 1 what’s day and what’s night. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, keep it all business. Keep the lights off, keep it very quiet, change the diaper, feed her, swaddle her, turn on the sound machine, put her back in bed and tip toe out of there.

 

Teach your baby how to fall asleep by herself

It’s tempting to always want to hold your baby and let her fall asleep in your arms first, before placing her in her crib, but it’s important they learn how to fall asleep on their own without all the help, too. Don’t be afraid to put an awake baby down to sleep. Turn on a mobile and sound machine and she’ll start to pick up clues that she needs to go to sleep

Like I said, it’s been too long since I was dazed and confused and spit on and peed on and had no sleep and woke up at every little movement on the baby monitor and wondered if I’d ever get a good night’s sleep again … so I’m sure I’m forgetting some great tips, so please share yours. What worked or is working for you and your newborn?

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

 

 


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A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges


Hello, Kansas City! Any parent knows that life as well as parenting comes with it’s fair share of trials. To continue celebrating mom’s and motherhood this week, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, reflects on her family’s challenges and how they managed to overcome. So, if you’re in a tough spot, or have been in the past, this post is for you. Check it out!

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

Motherhood. The biggest challenge you will ever face and the most rewarding experience, indeed. My own journey is a bit unique compared to some. I became a mother when my husband (then boyfriend) received custody of his son, who was 9 at the time. We had been dating each other for 3 years and I was 22. I had no idea about being a mother. I just knew in my heart we had to get him out of the horrendous home life he was in at the time. I won’t sugar coat it. It wasn’t easy. But we got through it. If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a mom, it is that at times things are going to be extremely challenging, but you get through it.

 

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

Fast forward to 2009, we were blessed with a baby girl. As you can tell from her picture, she was a wild and crazy baby. And now she is a wild and crazy 6 year old. Life with two in the house was a chaotic, beautiful mess. From a screaming baby to a moody teenager, I’m not sure how we made it through it, but we got through it.

 

We found out in 2011 we were going to be parents again. Or so we thought. We suffered a terrible loss and again in 2013. But here we are. We got through it.

 

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

In 2015, our beautiful rainbow baby boy was born. And also, in the same year, we were given the title of “grandparents.” We were blessed with a grandbaby girl 4 months after our youngest son was born. We are living a crazy, strange life and we are getting through it.

 

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

My point of all of this is that we are not alone in our journey as moms. New moms take note: some days are going to be extremely hard and that is ok. Give yourself a break. Take your sweet bundle of joy that won’t stop screaming for hours on end to grandma’s house for a few hours. Have a date night with your significant other. Do something for yourself. You are doing a wonderful job! And I’m here to tell you, you will get through this.

A Celebration of Motherhood: Overcoming the Challenges

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdErinV2

 

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Celebration of Motherhood: Advice for New Moms

We’re continuing with our great Celebration of Motherhood series. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Emily gives new mom’s a little advice (along with some of her own experience) to help with the transition into motherhood. Let’s continue to celebrate the ladies in our lives that literally make our lives what they are.

Celebration of Motherhood: Advice for New Moms

Celebration of Motherhood: Advice for New Moms

One of my favorite things I look forward to each day is looking at the “On this day” feature on Facebook. I get a glimpse of how my daughter has changed over the years and see what things she accomplished on this day in the past. Recently, I’ve ran into a lot of posts about my pregnancy coming to an end 5 years ago. This is especially fun for me because I’m 27 weeks pregnant now and I get a glimpse at all the emotions from having my first baby. It’s nice to compare this pregnancy to my first. I wish I had the experience I’m having now five years ago. But all the pain and discomfort was worth my little girl.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was overcome with emotion. I was young and scared, but I’ve always wanted to be a mom. That’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted out of my life. Perhaps the strangest part of my pregnancy was that it came six weeks after my mom found out she was pregnant with my little sister. My mom and I were pregnant at the same time. When I called her to tell her, she went from crying with joy to not knowing how to feel and back. My pregnancy started out normal. I’m the lucky one who doesn’t get morning sickness. I can count on one hand how many times I got sick with my first baby and it was only because of the fish oil in my prenatals. I started showing very early. It wasn’t until I was around thirteen weeks that I found out I was pregnant with twins. I went to the emergency room for bleeding and found out that there were two babies, but one wasn’t developing. From there on, my pregnancy became difficult. I found it hard to handle the weight from my growing stomach. I had severe muscle pains, especially in my back, that prevented me from even sleeping right. On top of that, my kidneys retained water and I had that pain as well. I became enormous and uncomfortable. I was impatiently waiting for my sweet girl to arrive. Especially after my sister was born. I couldn’t wait to hold a baby of my own. I got in some good practice, but I wanted MY baby. Maci was born two weeks after her estimated due date. However, she came the day of her original due date that the doctor changed. My advice to any pregnant mama is to look at a due date as an estimation. Don’t rely on that date because the baby will be here in their own time.

Like my pregnancy, labor wouldn’t come easy for me either. Her heartbeat kept dropping the entire time I was in the bed. I tested positive for Strep B and had to be put on antibiotics. I wasn’t allowed to walk around. I was admitted early in the morning following a doctor’s appointment. Labor progressed slowly. The doctor had to break my water. I was still going incredibly slow, so I started pitocin. My original intentions for labor were to deliver drug free. Honestly, the contractions were not terrible. I could handle them and wasn’t in severe pain. However, I was young and impressionable, so I was talked into an epidural. This stalled my labor and in my opinion, made things worse. I couldn’t lay on my back to push, so I was constantly flipping. I pushed for three straight hours and the whole time Maci was unstable. She finally arrived at 3 in the morning, but she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a heartbeat. She was immediately rushed into the NICU and I hadn’t even seen my daughter. I was in and out of awareness and had lost a lot of blood. What seems like an hour later, a nurse came in with pictures of my beautiful little girl. She was stable, but needed to be monitored. I was able to sleep for a few hours. Then I was able to shower and meet my little girl.

The moment I laid eyes on my perfect 7 lb, 20 inch daughter I fell in love. She had just closed her eyes for a nap. I whispered hi to her and her eyes popped open immediately. That memory is one I will never forget. It was an instant connection just by her hearing my voice. I got to hold her and try to nurse her. Then it was time to go. I had all the fun hospital paperwork to fill out and had to be checked on myself. Around 8:00, my now husband wheeled our daughter into our room. She was finally able to meet her family. I’ll never forget watching my parents and siblings meet her. There was so much love in the room. My favorite was watching her bond with her daddy. He would hold her and I’ve never seen a love so pure. It might have been a picture perfect moment, until she decided to use a certain finger towards him. I like to say she was born with a silly personality. We struggled a bit with breastfeeding, but it can be hard as a first time mom. I would recommend any new mother to utilize the lactation consultant at the hospital. It can save your breastfeeding relationship with your newborn.

When we brought her home, I feel like I was blessed with an easy baby. She hardly ever cried and was usually pretty happy. She was a tiny little thing. I could state at her for hours and loved to keep her close. I chose to cosleep with her, so it made nights easy. Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I was still trying to figure out how to be a new mom. I was exhausted. There were nights that my mom came and took her so I could get some extra sleep. But she was loved and she made my life a whole lot brighter. She grew up with her aunt and found determination to succeed at everything. She was meeting her milestones quickly and began walking at 9 months. She became fiercely independent and developed a strong personality. She gave my life purpose and she’s been the center of my whole world from the time I saw those two pink lines.

I have a few words of advice for any new mom:

*Always make sure you are comfortable with your OBGYN. I believe my pregnancy would have been a lot easier if I had higher quality of care and someone I could trust as my doctor.

*Excercise during pregnancy. Of course, this should always been done under the recommendation of a doctor. However, this pregnancy is significantly easier than my first now that I’m working full time and exercising.

*Sleep when the baby sleeps. Seriously. I know this is common advice, but I know it’s harder to follow. It’s a life saver, though. You can’t function without sleep. Make sure you nap when the baby naps.

 

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdEmilyV2

 


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A Celebration of Motherhood: The Habit of Parenting

Good morning, Kansas City! We continue our celebration of the great moms in and around the Kansas City metro today with our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy. She gives us the low down on what her experience was when she first became a mom and the habit of parenting. For any new parents out there, wondering when the heck it will get easier, this post is for you. Take a look!

A Celebration of Motherhood: The Habit of Parenting

A Celebration of Motherhood: The Habit of Parenting

I was the first of my friends to have a child. We had moved for my husband’s job, I didn’t have a job and we didn’t need another income so I decided, “Heck! Let’s just start parenting now.” But as my pregnancy wore on, I began to worry. I didn’t know what to do with a baby. I hadn’t even babysat in 15 years. All our friends and family lived more than 400 miles away. My husband and I were on our own.

 

When my daughter arrived, I was overwhelmed. I had trouble nursing, so she never really slept. She wanted to eat non-stop. I was exhausted, dirty and felt like a failure. I called my mother in tears. “I just don’t get it! It’s not coming to me.” I truly believed that some sort of motherly knowledge would just suddenly bloom within me and I’d let out a calming sigh, grow six more arms and suddenly do everything perfectly. It didn’t work like that for me.

 

“It’s only been a week,” my mother said. “Give it two more. It’s always crazy the first three weeks.” It sounded like BS to me, but I looked at my calendar and told myself I just had to get through two more weeks.

 

During the second week, I showered maybe twice. I still felt like a human food bag, but for two moments I felt clean. My husband encouraged me to sleep whenever he was home and I wasn’t nursing, and I kind of did. The third week, we began supplementing, and I no longer felt terrible for letting the baby cry for two minutes. (I’m still not a mom who can let them cry it out- I am totally weak when it comes to tears!) And I began showering close to regularly.

 

The end of the third week slipped by without my noticing. My little family had reached a routine and things were much happier. Since that time, I have heard that it takes 22 days to break a habit or to make a new habit. With your new baby, your entire life is nothings but new habits. The way you eat, sleep, relax, talk, everything.

 

When I go to showers and people ask me for advice, I always give the same. Give yourself, your spouse and your baby three weeks. It’s a new time for all of you. You all have to adapt and it feels overwhelming at times for everyone. Give it three weeks and then hopefully, it will all seem a little easier.

 

A Celebration of Motherhood: The Habit of Parenting

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

 


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