Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Benson's 0-3 Month Update Video

You guys! HELLO! It's a beautiful Wednesday here in Ohio and I can't wait to take the kids outside to swim and enjoy some sunshine! But before I do, I wanted to share my newest video with you all. I finally got around to filming an update all about the first few months of Benson's life. It's a quick recap filmed during naptime, but I enjoyed making it and I hope you do too. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Baby Essentials 0-3 Months!

If you are a regular around here, you know I LOVE a good shopping guide. Sharing my faves with you is one of my favorite things to do... Especially for baby items. There are SO MANY ITEMS on the market these days and it can be intense and overwhelming when shopping for your (or family and friends) new little one! My two youngest are only 21 months apart and I was still shocked at all the new things available to me for the new baby! Benson just turned four months old (update coming soon) so I thought it would be a good idea to share our 0-3 month essential items. Linked above are products I literally would have STRUGGLED without. The newborn phase is fleeting but intense and the last thing you need is a bunch of stuff in your way that you will never use! In some cases less is more, so lets jump in and get to the important stuff! 

Muslin Swaddles: Obviously any brand or print will do. I just linked one of my favorite prints above! I LOVE muslin blankets, whether it's a full quilt or a swaddle. They are lightweight enough for warm weather, but you can bundle your little squish up in the winter as well. The vast majority of brands I have tried have stayed soft and held up wash after wash, and they are usually big enough to grow with baby through toddler hood. Depending on size and brand they can be a little pricey, but I feel like they are worth the investment. 

SwaddleMe Wrap: My son was born late February and I constantly worried about him being too cold. Regardless of the time of year, it is not recommended for babies to sleep with blankets. After googling around I decided Swaddle wraps were my safest bet to keep him warm and feeling safe. There are so many different styles on the market, but the idea is the same... keep your babe nice and cozy and safe for the night! 

Latch Bottle: As you probably already know we planned to breastfeed but wanted a bottle on hand for emergencies or if we were going to be separated for more than an hour or two. I researched so many different bottles and finally settled on Latch by Munchkin! Benson had literally ZERO issues going from breast to bottle and back. I was so worried he would have latch confusion but it was smooth sailing! I liked the nipple design and the anti-colic valve inside the bottle, and they are priced modestly. My only concern is they have become hard to find in my area, so you might have to order online. 

Medela Sonata Pump: As mentioned above we planned to breastfeed, but I wanted to pump for emergencies or short separations from my baby. whether you plan to EBF, exclusively pump, or breastfeed and supplement its good to have a pump on hand. 

Muslin Burp Cloths: You will never have enough burp cloths. Lets just get that right out of the way... lol! I prefer muslin burp cloths because they are soft and I don't have to worry about hurting my babes face while wiping it clean. They look nice, feel nice, and do their job. You can't ask for more than that! 

Cloud Island Sleepers: My babies tend to live in sleepers the first few months of their lives... okay. The first year of their life if I'm being totally honest. They are comfy, cozy, easy to take on and off for changes... I live for them. Especially if they have zippers! This momma doesn't have time to be messing with snaps at 3 am. No ma'am. Cloud Island has some of the cutest and most affordable sleepers I've found. I love how many cute prints they offer and there are usually mittens and hats to match! The zippers are smooth and they wash well... that's a yes from me, Simon. 

Fisher-Price Starlight Swing: Both of my babies LIVE for their swing. There are a lot of options out there, but I've never went wrong with FP. If there is one "extra" baby item you invest in, make it a swing. Trust me. 

MAM Pacifiers: I know pacifiers are somewhat of a controversial thing, but I have let my children use them and they have been a life saver. So far MAM brand have been a fave in our household! 

Mittens: Tiny hands. Cold Fingers. Sharp nails. Do you and your babe a favor and keep mittens on them at least the first month! You are not "taking their hands away". Protect their delicate skin and keep them nice and warm... and you cant tell me they don't look cute! 

So there you have it fam... My must have, can't live without, essential baby items for 0-3 months. Think of something I left out? Disagree with an item on my list? Leave me a comment below! Thanks for hanging out, until next time... 


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Farmhouse Decor Faves From Amazon!

Macrame Plant Hanger Weave Throw Rae Dunn Mugs Galvanized Windowsill Planter/
Round Baskets

The last three months have been full of nursing, newborn snuggles and late nights. Other than baseball games and grocery shopping, I haven't been going out much. Outings with two under two are not easy, so unless I have someone to watch Benson I choose to stay home.  Whenever we are trapped in the house I find myself browsing (or actually shopping...shhhhh) online. Talk about a bad habit! Today I was looking at some of my fave Farmhouse Decor Instagram accounts, which led me to poking around the internet for farmhouse decor, and voila! Here we are! Let me tell ya, (like most home decor) this stuff can get expensive fast. I'm a mom of four, so I have a hard time justifying spending a ton on home items unless they are pieces we will keep and use for a long time. 

I wanted to share (and link) a few of my favorite items that are easily accessible and affordable. I feel like mos people are familiar with Amazon, and to be quite honest I was surprised at the variety of Farmhouse decor they have! I hate when I see an item I NEED on a blog or Instagram, only to find that where it's sold is accessible to me. Then I spend a few hours scouring the internet trying to find a dupe and I am never quite satisfied. Amazon has SO many cute things to choose from, but today I chose five Farmhouse staples. In the future I would love to share a few more of my top picks with you! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring Break 2018 Adventures

The past week has been a crazy one. My older two children were on spring break, which came at an odd time. We are used to spring break starting on Good Friday and having the week after Easter off. Unfortunately this year it didn't fall that way, but it is what it is. Even worse... the weather has been DISGUSTING. 

Mother nature is clearly confused because break started with a warm sunny day, and Easter night it snowed. Every day in between was mostly chilly, rainy weather. Typical for spring I guess, but not awesome when you have three kids that want to go out and play and are literally bouncing off the walls. We were fortunate enough to go on TWO picnics and enjoy the park. I don't get fancy with our picnic lunches... I literally throw some coldcut sandwiches (or PB for my picky eater), a few snack size bags of chips, bottles of water and maybe a fruit snack in a reusable shopping bag and we hit the road. I figure its not about being crazy creative so much as spending time together, right? Plus they eat it as quickly as I will allow so they can go play, anyway. The point is, we had fun! Flying kites, dinosaur fossil digs, wooden structure adventures...and a treacherous seesaw. We did it all, folks!  

This year we had a chill Easter. With a newborn I wasn't trying to get super crazy. Personally, we don't go over the top with baskets (and forgot to snap a photo of them this year). I see some people on social media treat Easter like a second Christmas... to each their own, but that's just not how we do things. We prefer to buy a little bit of candy and activities for outdoor play. I am upset that we were so relaxed this year we missed the opportunity to get the kids picture taken with the Easter Bunny. As a kid I hated it, but my kids don't seem to mind...we will have to make up for it next year! WE did dye eggs of course, and we even went so far as to bake small Easter egg cakes for the kids to decorate. I scored major cool mom points for that one. Elizabeth wasn't really interested in dying eggs, and she ate more icing than anything else, but they had a good time and that's all that my momma heart needs. I love to see them get excited for festive activities. 

Brandon and I also decided to have a small egg hunt at home due to the weather. We didn't really want to drag the baby out in the cold, and Elizabeth had never participated before... maybe next year we will take them to one our town hosts now that she knows whats up. It took her a little while to figure out what we were doing, but once she did she loved it! I can't wait for next year... Benson could be waddling around by then. 

Even with the unfavorable weather we had a wonderful break. I'm happiest when Brandon and I get to spend time with all the babies, it was much needed. I cannot wait for warmer weather and summer break! We spent some time scouting out a few new spots for fun in this summer...I cannot wait to share with you! As always, thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little bit of your day with me. I hope you had a blessed Easter spent with loved ones.

He is Risen! 


We're Baaaaaaackkkkk!

One thing I have loved from it's first day (other than my children, lol) is YouTube. I remember hearing about it on a school news program we watched daily in junior high. Things have changed quite a bit since then, but I still enjoy the platform immensely. Back in the day I had a channel...I mostly posted beauty and fitness videos. Boy, how things have changed! My channel these days focus' on fitness, family, mom life, just lifestyle things in general. I wouldn't say anything is out of the realm of possibility, but those are the main topics of my content. All this to say, after a LONG YT break, I am back! I just posted my first vlog since Benson has been born. We are going to try to get back on a semi-regular posting schedule soon. I hope you all enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Baby Update: One Month Old!

O N E 

Benson Reid is one month old! I know I'm becoming repetitive... "I can't believe it," and "I don't know how.." But its true. I feel like time moves so swiftly and between sleepless nights and busy days I don't realize how much has passed until we hit milestones like this. He amazes me everyday! I feel like he's always been a member of our family...and we finally feel like our family is complete. 

On March 20th we went to his one month checkup and it went PERFECTLY! He now weighs 9 pounds and 7 ounces! He gained almost two and a half pounds in a month! I am so excited (even though I miss having a tiny newborn) because there was slight concern in the beginning with how much he lost and how slowly he was gaining it back. Fortunately all is well and he is gaining great. He is 21 and a half inches long, so he is considered proportional in height and weight which makes my momma heart happy. Everything else checked out good as well! Our pediatrician was impressed and surprised by how active and alert he is for a month old. She said its probably because he has three older siblings and it stimulates him, and he wants to try to "keep up" so to speak. He is pushing himself up during tummy time and his head control is awesome as well. 

Unfortunately his sleep schedule isn't going as well as everything else... We are still tweaking his schedule, but he wakes up at least twice a night to eat (which is fine, obviously). However his last feeding is at four am and he seems to think that is the perfect time to wake up for the day. I have the hardest time getting him back to sleep, and by the time I do and go back to sleep myself its nearly time to start the day. My toddler sleeps in for no one, yall. 

Benson loves to cuddle, nurse, and stays up for long stretched during the day, with two long naps in between. Newborn clothes are now too small and that breaks my heart! I'm not ready to pack those away yet. Maybe its because hes our last, but I'm finding it a lot harder this time around. He is still mommas mini, other than it looks like his eyes will stay blue. 

Elizabeth and Benson have gotten used to each other. Its so sweet how much she loves to hug and love on him now! If he cries, she immediatley runs up to me and says "Mommy! He's crying'! Baby crying." It's the cutest thing. I want to do an in depth post about parenting two under two, but I can say this now: its not easy. Loooooord in Heaven, its not easy. But its so worth it. 

Thank you all for following my pregnancy journey, and continuing to follow along now. I appreciate every single one of you who read and visit my social media. You're the best and my major motivation for sticking with this. So thank you! 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Induction Birth Story!

It's been three weeks since Benson's birth. 

T H R E E weeks. 

How is that even possible? I don't know where the time has gone. 

Well, I do know... A lot of diaper changes, breastfeeding/pumping, and laundry. (btw why do newborns go through so much clothing? Our record is four changes in one day. FOUR.) Tonight I have a few spare minutes to myself, so I thought it would be a good time to share our Birth Story... before a little person starts crying, lets dive in. 

I had my 39 week prenatal appointment on February 19th, 2018 at four pm. It was your basic baby check up... they weighed me, checked my blood pressure, took a urine sample and then I undressed so the doctor could come in and do her thing. After what felt like ages, my doctor came in and checked me. I was still sitting at 80% effaced and had made progress... 3cm dilated! I was excited that my body was headed in the right direction, but after a long discussion we decided we were going to move forward with a 39 week induction. (Our reasoning and decision making process could be an entire post on its own, so I wont get into that here.) So I signed the paperwork as she called the hospital to let them know that I would be coming in at 7am the next morning to get things started. I was excited, nervous, and so so so ready to meet our baby... but I was also struck by how sad I felt. It was officially the last night I would be pregnant, ever. I tried to soak in every kick and movement as much as I could while I tied up loose ends around the house and finished packing our hospital bags. 

I decided this time I was going to be rested and ready to go for this delivery. After all, I knew when he was coming, so I had an advantage this time.However life, as it often does, had other plans. Brandon woke me up at 11pm (an hour after I went to sleep) yelling for help because our toddler was throwing up. Cool. right? Impeccable timing. As anyone that has dealt with a sick toddler already knows, I got no sleep. I'm talking like two hours, and that wasn't straight through. When my alarm went off at five I was ready to cry, I was so tired and overwhelmed. Nevertheless, I got to the hospital with time to share and was registered quickly, put in my room and met with my RN. Right as I went to the bathroom to change into a gown, I lost my mucus plug! I wasn't surprised as I had been having contractions on  and off since the doctor checked me the day before, but it still grossed me out a little bit! 

Funnily enough, we were in the same room I had Elizabeth. The familiarity was comforting as they started my IV and hooked me up to the monitors. I was already contracting, so we decided to wait a while to start pitocin, hoping they would pick up. Unfortunately the monitors kept losing his heart rate, and contractions weren't consistently picked up either. After discussing it with the on call doctor, we decided to break my water so she could put a monitor directly on his head so things would be more accurate and consistent, and then we would start the pitocin. I was a little worried about having my water broken, but it was very quick and didn't hurt. The relief I felt after they did it was UNBELIEVABLE.

Obviously I knew once my water broke the contractions would become more intense, but I was enjoying the sweet relief while I could. At this point it was around ten am, and I was measuring at five cm. I was still up walking, rocking, and doing whatever I could to be get through each contraction. I had Brandon applying counter pressure to my back and hips, which helped SO much. They were bringing me water, ice, and other "clear" liquids and I ate ice chips and chatted with Brandon and my Mother In Law to pass the time. I would get up and walk around to try to help things along...Brandon had to follow me with a towel because I was still leaking EVERYWHERE hours later. 

Around four pm I needed to pee, and unfortunately when I got up the monitor came off his head. I called for my nurse after I was back in bed. She and another nurse came in and had to put it back on his head...and lets just say she was not as skilled as the doctor. Half way through the process the aid said "Wow, you must have a high tolerance for pain..."
Yall. I am not a violent individual... but I wanted so badly to kick her square in the face. I have never been in so much pain in my life, and my daughter was a dystocia delivery. I could barely move after that I was so uncomfortable, on top of the fact that my pitocin was now at an 11. After two hours of laying in bed feeling like I was going to be sick with every contraction, I called my nurse and asked for an epidural. It's a process, and they had a c-section scheduled, so it took a while for the anesthesiologist to get to me. She checked me right before he came in the room and said I was at a seven...and that I was probably in transition.

I sat up and made way to the edge of the bed to make room for the doctor and all his supplies and realized it felt like I was sitting on the baby's head. I literally couldn't stand to sit down, it was so intense. I waiting in a almost squatting position over the bed until they were ready to get started, and tried to be as still as possible through the procedure. Once he was finished I got back into a comfortable position in bed and realized I could still feel my feet, and could (barely) lift my legs off the bed. I couldn't feel my contractions anymore though, so the nurse didn't seem concerned. She had me lay down in an attempt to get some rest. Almost immediately I felt discomfort in my chest, so I called her back in and she sat me up and called the doctor. I ate some ice chips and by the time she made it to my room I felt fine! They think my epidural leaked and caused the pain... I'm just glad it wasn't anything more serious.

At 9:40pm I felt an odd sensation in my bottom that continued to build. When my nurse came in at ten to check me I told her something had changed, and asked to be checked. She did her thing and said "Let me set up and call the doctor, it's time to push!" I was shocked. My labor with my daughter was thirty seven hours long, so I was expecting to have a long labor this time as well. She asked me how long I pushed with my daughter, and when I told her three hours due to dystocia she calmly said she wanted to do a practice push, just to try to see if he was in the same situation. She held my leg and Brandon held the other as I grabbed the bars and pushed to the count of ten three times. Thankfully he came right down and they could see his little head! I asked if he had hair, and she went to get a mirror so I could see what was happening. I remember looking up at Brandon and seeing him look a little teary. I didn't understand why at the time, but looking back I imagine he must have felt some anxiety (and excitement) as well.

I pushed a few more times and she made me stop halfway through my last contraction to wait for the doctor. Brandon asked "Oh, you're not trying to deliver a baby tonight?!" she laughed and joked that it was above her pay grade. My doctor came in ready to go, and asked where I got my yellow hospital socks because she wanted a pair... and believe it or not, we spent my down time between pushing talking about socks.

Yeah. Socks.

Two contractions later, after pushing for just a few minutes, she asked me if I wanted my baby on my chest. Of course I said yes, pushed again, and Benson Reid was born at 10:39 pm. I remember hearing the nurse say "Well that didn't take three hours!" as I opened my eyes and saw the doctor holding him in the air to take off the monitor from his head. My first thought was how little he seemed... especially in comparison to Elizabeth. She put him on my chest and chatted with Brandon while they waited for the cord to stop pulsing. I honestly couldn't tell you what they were saying, I was so absorbed and wrapped up in the new little baby on my chest. The doctor asked Brandon if he wanted to cut the cord and he declined...but after some encouragement from myself and the doctor he took the scissors and did it! He was unable to do that with the other kids, so I think that experience made this birth a little extra special and made him feel involved in the process. For whatever reason I was (and still am) so proud I could have burst.

After some snuggles they took Benson to weigh him and check his vitals. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long! SEVEN pounds! After having a nine pound baby, that seemed so small to me. After I received stitches from a first degree tear, and my epidural was taken out, they had me up and walking to the bathroom to try to pee. Things went well and I was wheeled to my postpartum room by midnight.

We were finally discharged on February 22, and I couldn't wait to get home and introduce Elizabeth to her baby brother. She wasn't super impressed, but I think I will save that story for another post. I hope you all enjoyed reading our birth story... I definitely have enjoyed sharing it. I tried to keep it brief but include all the major events! I will post Benson's one month update soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

© Mrs. Mom Life
Maira Gall