Bye Bye Bottle.

Hey loves!

It’s that time again where I should try weening my little one off the bottle. My youngest is about to turn 14 months old and this girl loves her bottle, or as she would say ‘ba ba’. She has an attitude like her mama and she’s already starting with the tantrums if she doesn’t get what she wants. I have a spoiled one on my hands, so taking her bottle way is worrying me a bit.

She loves having her bottle first thing in the morning, before nap time, and before bedtime. We’ve switched out the bottle for a sippy cup when she eats her food. Sometimes she throws it on the ground and wants nothing to do with it and other times she’ll drink it, shortly to realize it’s not her bottle.

My oldest was a little hard to wean off also, but we were finally able too. After going through a handful of different sippy cups, he finally found his perfect cup and it was all a piece of cake from there on out. They didn’t have half of the options they have today back when he was weaning off the bottle.

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We discovered the Nuby 360 Insulated Wonder Cup and few weeks ago and we love it. It comes in a variety of colors and designs, so it’s great for any little one learning to drink from a cup!

Little miss independent loves the fact that she can look like she can drink out of the big kid cup just like her big brother does. This nine-ounce, BPA free cup is perfect for little ones 12 months and older. She’s able to drink out of the cup from any side also.

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With the weather being very dreary and cold here in the Central Pennsylvania, we were able to get the cup outside on a warm day while visiting the park, and the entire time it stayed cold! As a matter of fact, it can keep liquids cold for up to six hours!

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While she hasn’t quite let go of the bottle yet, this cup is helping immensely! She won’t drop it on the ground during meal time and she genuinely enjoys drinking out of it. It’s a step in the right direction when it comes to weaning her. I was excited to discover this cup.

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While you can find the cup on the Nuby brand website, you can also find it at Babies R Us.

Follow Nuby on:

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*I received this product from Nuby as a review, but all opinions are entirely my own*

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Tips to Help a Jealous Older Sibling.

 

Before I met my husband and we had our daughter, it was just my son and me. He was the only baby. He didn’t have to share me with anyone, share his toys, his grandparents, nothing. My only concern was him and only him, so he became a big mama’s boy, and to this day he is glued to my hip. I knew it would be a little tough bringing another child into the world.

When our daughter first came home from the hospital our son was so excited. He was eager to have a playmate, a best friend, a little sister. He was doing a great job with adding a new addition to the family and having to share mommy. Until he started to realize that she was here for good, and that he wasn’t mommy’s only baby anymore.

Why can’t we give her back”

“Do I seriously need to share my mom now”

“I thought I was your only baby”

Even for me the change was tough, I couldn’t imagine how it was for him. I got it, I understood. I knew it had to be tough so a big concern for me was figuring out how to make him never feel any less important than his little sister. I wanted him to know that they were both my babies.

From the day she was born and still to this day he is the most loving and caring big brother to his little sister, but he has his jealous moments, as I’m sure all older siblings do. He tries to act like a baby towards me thinking it will get my attention more, which I time and time again inform him that he is the big brother, he shouldn’t act like that and he needs to show his sissy how much of a big boy he is. There are times where he is a little too rough with her, and I need to inform him that hitting her isn’t the right thing to do.

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After experiencing this as a mother of two, I wanted to share some pointers that I have been working on to help refrain my son from getting jealous towards his little sister.

Give them their alone time with you. This is one I try to do weekly. Children enjoy one on one time with their parents. I try to do some activities with son by himself. We’ll go to the playground or make a craft together. We’ll try to do something that our daughter isn’t old enough to do yet, so I can show him that being a big brother can be fun because he can do some things that only big kids can do.

Teach them. Children learn through experimenting. You certainly don’t want them to experiment by hitting the baby and realizing that they are hurting them so encourage them to be gentle with the baby. Teach them to hug the baby softly, gently hold their fingers, or rub their feet. Let them know that a baby is fragile, and they aren’t as strong as them yet. Also let them know, that sharing is a good thing and just like they should share their toys they also should share mommy and daddy.

Never blame the baby. You don’t want your older child to think they can’t do something because their little brother or sister ruined it. You don’t want to tell them they couldn’t go to park because their sibling has a doctor’s appointment. Explain to them that you must run some errands first before going to play. You never want your older child to look at the younger one as a ‘burden’.

Involve them. Always try to involve the older sibling while taking care of the younger one. If you are about to feed them a bottle, have them help you hold it up. If it’s bath time, have the older sibling pick out the bath toy for them and help you wash them. If the baby is fussy, see if they can help get them to laugh. Having them do things together can help their bond grow stronger.

Give them praise. Support them. Let them know they are doing a great job at being a big brother or sister. Tell them they are doing a wonderful job when they help you out with the baby, and that you can see them becoming the best of friends. Reassure them that it’s fun being a big boy or girl, but also express how much you love them and that you understand it’s a big change in their life.

Don’t try to “fix” their negative emotions. Instead of insisting that their emotions aren’t real, try to understand how they feel. Show sympathy, but attempt to turn it into a positive outlook. Let them know that you understand how they feel but their little brother or sister loves them very much and needs them to help them grow up to be big like them. Also be sure to let them know that their help is really helpful to Mommy and Daddy and that you are very proud of them. You never want them to feel like they are wrong for feeling the way they do.

Never Compare. You don’t want your older sibling to think that you love the younger sibling more. So comments such as “you should be sleeping like your sister” or “see how they are being good” shouldn’t be said to big brother or sister. I’ve tried to refrain from those kind of remarks all together, even as they both get older.

These few tips have helped my son really enjoy his role as the big brother. Him and his little sister have built such a strong bond since the first day we brought her home. He still has his moments of jealousy, but just those few simple pointers has helped him tremendously along the way.

I hope they can provide some help for you other mama’s out there too!

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What I’ve Learned From Becoming a Mother

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When I became a mother, my entire life changed. During my first pregnancy I thought motherhood would be a breeze. I thought I knew it all and I was one hundred percent prepared.

“I read the baby books, I’m good”

Yeah… nope. I wasn’t good. I learned so much once my son was born, and even more when my daughter came along. Motherhood is one crazy, intense adventure. You will never have it all figured out. Every day of motherhood is completely different and your kids will always surprise you.

Here’s some things of what I’ve learned along the way! I’m sure you mama’s out there can all relate.

  • Silence is not Golden. If you have a toddler, you’ll understand. Unless they are sleeping at night, do not underestimate the silence. Chances are they into something they are definitely not supposed to be into!
  • Your house will never stay “magazine” clean. Let’s just be real. Little ones get into everything! They drop food on the floor, pull out every toy possible, put their fingers all over your windows. Trust me, I clean up multiple times a day to make my house look good enough. But, it will never be spotless.
  • Toys are pointless. I have bought numerous toys for my children over the years, and what do they play with? Tupperware, boxes, cups, etc. Half of their toys just lay around or eventually get packed up in boxes. I certainly don’t recommend going overboard with toys. If they want a new toy, tell them they should donate one first to another child who’s in need of toys.
  • Everything happens at the worst times. When we’re running late and rushing out the door, guess who decides to blow out her diaper last minute? Or my toddler, who decides to vomit in the car when we’re going somewhere that requires him to wear nice clothes. Always make sure you are prepared because anything can happen! I always pack extra, or give myself extra time.
  • Sleep is non-existent. Seriously, it’s not. You may think waking up every few hours only happens in the beginning, but no. There is the teething, the stuffy noses, or that random ‘I want to wake up in the middle of the night’ playtime. It’s inevitable. Let’s not forget that they decide to wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekends, but want to sleep all morning during the week when you have places to be.
  • Forget about privacy. Just the other day my son had a massive meltdown because he wasn’t in the bathroom while I was taking a bath. He absolutely lost it. They will follow you to the bathroom, the kitchen, your bedroom. You’ll always have a little one watching you.
  • Half the time you’ll look a mess. I’m that mom who will doll her kids up, and make them look adorable while I’m sporting no makeup and a mom bun. The effort and time to get myself together is rare. I’ve come to not even care what I look like anymore. Then when I do get dressed up, I feel like a freaking queen!
  • Pick your battles. As much as I love for my kids to look amazing, if my son wants to wear two different socks, I let him. I’d much rather have him all mix matched then dealing with a meltdown. If my daughter keeps pulling out her ponytails, whatever. She can have crazy hair for the day. Sometimes it’s just easier that way.
  • Take one moment at a time. Things will rarely go as planned. It’s nearly impossible to plan a whole day without something having to get switched up. I now go with one activity at a time. If we have time for another, then we’ll do it. I’ve given up on creating an entire day worth of activities.
  • Baby wipes are life. If you’re a mom and don’t agree to this, I’m shocked. Those little wipes can be used to everything! Cleaning butts, cleaning faces, cleaning tables. They are the best thing ever! I’m pretty sure when my kids no longer use them, I’ll still buy them.
  • Always put extra food on your plate. My daughter is only 11 months old and already wants to eat what’s on my plate. Don’t even get me started with my 4-year-old. I tend to always put double on my plate of what I know they like to eat, because it never fails that half of it won’t be eaten by me.
  • If your kid wants to snuggle, then snuggle! As they get older is doesn’t come often. So, when they ask, do it! Even with my younger one. She’s on the move now so she barely wants to sit still, but when she does I soak up every single minute of it. I can’t get enough of it.
  • Your car will never be clean, probably for the next 18 years. You’ll start with baby toys and pacifiers, move on to toddler toys and snack crumbs, and end with sports bags and water bottles. It’ll be an ongoing battle for the next few years!
  • Coffee is your best friend. Before kids, I could go without coffee. Now a days, coffee is my best friend. I’ve learned to love it and I’m sure you will too (If you don’t already).
  • You will feel like you aren’t doing a good job some days. It will happen, you’ll feel the mom guilt. But always try to remember, tomorrow is a new day and those tiny humans will always love you no matter what happens!
  • Raising a child is difficult, no matter what age you are. I was a young mom. I had my son at 22. People tend to think having a child at younger age will be harder. But I disagree, being a mother at any age is hard.
  • The worrying never goes away. I thought once my little ones were older and more independent, I’d worry less. That’s not the case. My son is four and I still constantly worry about him. I don’t think that’ll ever change, even when their adults.
  • You’ll be late to things. This happens, a lot. My husband and I are constantly late to events. Usually it’s that we forget something for the kids, or we underestimate how long it takes to get all four of us ready. Don’t feel bad when it happens, usually everyone gets it.

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My Appreciation For My Husband

I’m going to get a little mussy for a second, and take a moment to brag about my hubby.

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Last night the kids and I stayed at my parents house because I had some appointments to go to that were down that way. I decided to meet my husband for lunch since we didn’t see him much of yesterday, and I had both kids with me. Of course, Monday’s are a hectic day for him, so we were only able to pick him up, order some Chick-fil-a through the drive thru and drop him back off. He knew he had people relying on him at work, and although we knew how much he’d rather sit and eat with us and avoid everyone who needed him, he went back in and most likely skipped lunch all in general. On my ride home, I had to explain to my son why he couldn’t eat with us. I told him that as much as he would have loved to eat with us, daddy was a hard worker and didn’t want to let anyone down. My son answered back, “Yeah, that’s good. He’s my best friend. I’ll be able to see him later”. My heart melted.

As you all may or may not know, I met my husband back in 2015. Not only did he have to accept me into his life, but he had to take on my 1 year old son also. We were a package deal, if you want me, you got my little man also. Without hesitation, my husband took him in like he was his own, and from that day forward we were all inseparable. It’s not easy taking on someone else’s child, it’s one of the toughest jobs you could put on somebody. The way my husband handled this whole co-parenting situation was more than I could have ever asked for. He still handles it just as well, three years later. That’s just the beginning of my appreciation towards him.

My husband is one of the most hard-working men I know. He will work all day and night just to make sure the kids and I are taken care of. He has put in overtime and even picked up a second job at times just so we don’t have to struggle. Words can’t even describe how much the kids and I miss him during the day, but he was raised to be the provider and the hard worker. He will give his last dollar to help someone in need. He’s always looking to better himself, and won’t stop until he succeeds.

When I became pregnant with Liliana, I was lucky enough to stay at home with my kids during the day. He wanted me to be the one to raise the children while he paid the bills and provided for us. Not only does he handle his daily work load at his full-time job, but he comes home, helps me take care of the kids, and even cooks dinner for us at times. He’s also in school to get his degree. He knows I have my moments where I am stressed and my anxiety is through the roof at times. He just scoops the kids up, fixes them dinner and lets me have some time to unwind. He’s my hero, and I always want him to know that.

Besides all the hard work he puts forth, the way he loves our kids and I is the most amazing feeling I could ever ask for. He has a heart of gold and never fails to let us know how much he loves us. He is a trusting, reliable, selfless man and he never would let us down. I don’t get to say often how much I appreciate him, but I do more than anything in this world. He has put up with my moodiness, my tears, my anxiety, and my pain better than anyone ever has. Just the other night he sat in the Emergency Room with me for twelve hours and didn’t want to leave once to grab some food because he didn’t want to leave my side. Not to mention it was from 5PM to 5AM the next morning. It was a long night, but he made sure to keep my needs before his.

I just want to say thank you to him. Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for never hurting us in any way. Men like him are hard to come by, and sometimes they need to be recognized for that. I love my husband with all my heart.

Family Goals For 2018 That Everyone Can Achieve

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Not to long along, I posted about New Year’s resolutions for myself. Well, last night as I was watching the ball drop on the television, I thought why not set some family goals for the new year too. Family goals don’t have to be difficult, they can be simple and I feel they are even more powerful then self-goals because you are holding each other accountable, and motivating each other to achieve these goals as a team. This is a fantastic way for us bond as a family and although Liliana is still young, I’m hoping it will teach Kyle (and eventually Lilly) some valuable lessons in life.

I am setting daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals for 2018. Time goes by too quickly and my kids are growing faster than ever. I’d hate to waste quality time with them, and I’d also hate for them to grow up lacking responsibility. Empty nesters nailed it when they said your kids grow too quickly. I want to make the most of this upcoming year. I get my kids are quite young, but I believe responsibility and quality time with family needs to be taught at a young age. So, who’s with me? Let’s set some goals 🙂

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Daily

  • Be On Time
  • Pack Healthier Lunches
  • Nightly Story Time For The Kids
  • Create Daily Chores
  • Get To Bed At A Decent Time
  • Set Clothes Out Nightly
  • Talk About Our Day
  • Get Outside (Weather Permitting for us Northerners)
  • Pray Before Dinner
  • Drink More Water (Less Juice & Tea For The Kids & Hubby)
  • Tell A Daily Joke

Weekly

  • Take a Family Walk/Hike (Again, Weather Permitting)
  • Eat Dinner Together
  • Eat Breakfast Together On Saturdays
  • Weekly Chores With Allowance
  • Game Night
  • Have Kids Help With Putting Away Groceries
  • Put Down Devices (Just One Night! No Electronics, Just Family Time)
  • Talk About How Our Week Went
  • Visit Grandparents
  • Mother/Son & Daddy/Daughter Date Day

Monthly

  • Save For Something Fun Outside Of The House (Dinner, Bowling, Arcade, Etc)
  • Try A New Recipe Each Month (My Son Is Such A Picky Eater!)
  • Have The Kids Help Me Make Dinner
  • Go Out With Grandparents/Family
  • Spend The Night In A Hotel (Maybe Every Few Months)
  • Buy A New Book To Read
  • Get A New Toy (If Chores Are Completed)
  • Organize Our Bedrooms

Yearly

  • Save For Our Family Vacation
  • Donate Old Toys/Clothes
  • Host A Family Party
  • Start A New Tradition
  • Volunteer Somewhere
  • Create An Emergency Plan
  • Clean Out Our Closets
  • Visit A New Place
  • Take A Family Photo
  • Visit An Indoor Water Park In The Winter
  • Visit An Amusement Park In The Summer

I’m truly excited to incorporate these goals into our daily routines and create some responsibility for the little ones, but also to reward them in exciting ways. Have you set any family goals for 2018? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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One Successful Christmas

Another Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye. With all the stress and anxiety finally over, it was all worth it. My babies were in all their glory on Christmas morning. Of course, with me being that ‘crazy’ mom, I spent about fifteen minutes figuring out the perfect way to sit the presents under the tree. I don’t lie when I say my husband probably thinks I’m crazy. We obviously knew they would just get torn open in the morning. But that’s what this Momma does. That’s what make me feel satisfied. I went through all the madness of shopping and wrapping. You better believe they will get laid just perfectly.

Funny thing with yesterday morning was my husband, the kids grandparents, and I were up before both the kids. Around 7:30-8 we decided to finally wake them up because I couldn’t wait any longer. I never thought watching your kids open presents on Christmas morning would be more enjoyable then when you actually received all the gifts. Seeing my kids faces light up when then opened their gifts not only gave me a sigh of relief because they were so happy, but I sat there thinking “Yup, I did that, I made my kids that happy”. I tell you, it’s one good feeling.

Of course Liliana wasn’t understanding the whole ‘Santa came’ thing this year, but she definitely enjoyed tearing up some paper and seeing her toys. Kyle on the other hand was absolutely hilarious. Just about every gift he tore open was followed by a “Whaaaaaat no way, mom look as this” or “Mom! Santa did good”. I really need to start recording his reactions so when he’s older I can embarrass him to his friends and girlfriends (I’m totally going to be that mom). One moment that truly melted my heart was that Kyle was willing to take time to help his little sister. He handed her presents, helped her open them, and showed her all of her gifts. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever witnessed.

One thing I’ve learned about Christmas Day is don’t forget to have batteries! I’m so relieved we had plenty this year so all the toys were able to work properly. I forgot them last year and that was a total mom fail. Within the course of an hour after gift opening, Kyle had about 80% of his gifts up and running. I’m pretty sure my fingers are about to fall off from all the twisting, snapping, and box opening I was doing. But that’s what motherhood is all about, exhausting yourself so your kids are happy. With all the gift hiding, traveling, and eating terribly I’m ready to get back on track for the new year. I’m already excited for next year though.

I hope yours was just as great as mine was!

Being A Pit Bull Mom w/ Two Little Ones

So I wanted to get away from the Christmas vibes for a second and talk about my pups.

There is always so much bad news going around about babies and pit bulls together. I get it, they have a bad name, but my question is, have you ever owned one while having little ones in the house? Because mine are amazing with both of my children, so I’m not sure why everyone talks down about them. Maybe I can be wrong, and I somehow, magically got lucky with the only two good ones on the planet but who knows. I just want to express some positive information on these loving pups, and tell you my story of being a mom with pit bulls around my babies. I’m very compassionate about this subject, because I despise the fact that my babies get disrespected just because of their breed.

When I first met my husband, the two dogs were his. There’s Keo, our 8-year-old pure Blue Pit who is the most loyal and protective dog I’ve ever met, it’s amazing how smart he is. He’s always alert and knows what’s going on 24/7. Any bad vibes going on around us, he’ll be sure to make it known. Then there is Ripken, our 6-year-old rescue. I’m pretty sure he has some boxer in him, but he is our lover, he loves to cuddle and sleep. He’ll sleep right on your chest and stay there all night long as long as he’s under a blanket. He’s scared of everything under the moon, but my boy can catch a bird like it’s nothing, then bring it to you as a gift.

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My son was a little over a year old when he met the dogs, and I do admit I was nervous bringing him over there. Slightly because they were “pit bulls” and all I knew at first was the stories you heard all around you, and how terrible and harmful they were with kids, but it was mainly because they were never really around young children before. I firmly believe that the only stories that news stations or other sources want to put out about dog bites involve pit bulls, because it grabs the attention of viewers the most. It just gives them another reason to keep talking bad about the breed. I’ve worked in Urgent Care facilities where people have come in for dog bites, and guess what, they weren’t pit bulls, not one! You don’t see those going around, do ya? Some of those bites were brutal too. So anyway, about a few hours into the first encounter with Kyle, I had no worries in the world, the nerves were gone. Those dogs adored him and I could tell Kyle loved them back. All they wanted to do was play with him, sit by his side, and cuddle. Not one growl or sign of aggression what so ever.

Above was the first day they met.

From that day on Kyle and the dogs were inseparable. Keo is the most protective dog towards him. When Kyle was younger, Keo would block steps to keep him from falling, he’d walk right next to him just in case he fell over, if he bumped his head he would lick him until Kyle felt better. Even with me, he doesn’t leave my side. No matter where I’m sleeping he’s right next to me. If I’m rocking the baby at night, he’s right next to the rocker. Even when I’m in the shower, he’s lying on that floor. To this day Keo never goes a minute without making sure Kyle is okay. If he’s in his room playing, he’ll make sure he runs in there every few minutes just to make sure everything is good. If Kyle is playing outside, Keo will cry until he’s out there with him or he’ll stare through the window and never look away. Just the other night, we didn’t hear Kyle crying in his room, and Keo licked my husbands face until he woke up. It’s amazing how intelligent these dogs are. Ripken is probably Kyle’s best friend. They lay together, read together, even wear clothes together (pictured below). He lets Kyle do anything to him, and he just sits there and enjoys it. Every night he’ll jump up in Kyle’s bed and want to sleep with him. He never wants to leave his side either.

Then Liliana was born. They were never around an infant before so I was little curious on how they would react. I wasn’t sure how jealous they would feel, because they were definitely used to being the babies. Before I came into my husband’s life, it was only him & the dogs. There were a few things I made sure to do before the baby came home, and it really seemed to work..

  • Play baby noises before the baby is actually here, especially a baby crying
  • Put them in the nursery a lot to get used to the scent
  • Have them smell the new baby detergent you use
  • Have someone bring a blanket home from the hospital so they can smell it before the baby arrives
  • Give them a little extra attention so nobody feels jealous, such as extra walks
  • Let them sniff the baby when they arrive
  • Never show negativity around they baby, so they see them as a positive addition. (Which of course they are!)

When she first came home they absolutely loved her, and still do as she grows. Honestly Keo was scared to go around her at first. She was so little and fragile, he didn’t want to do anything to disturb her. He did start laying by her side though when she slept, and when she cried he’d go up, give her a teeny lick and walk away. Ripken was all about her when she came home. He always wanted to kiss her or lay his head right on her feet while I fed her. He was already the biggest cuddle bug ever, so she was someone new to lay with. These dogs wouldn’t hurt these kids, they live in their home, they are family. I don’t just have two kids, I have four.

Overall, I am a firm believer that ANY dog could potentially do harm to a child. It’s their instinct, they are dogs. They all have similarities. I’ve heard stories of someone getting bit by a dog as small as a chihuahua. You obviously never want to leave a baby alone with any dog, no matter how big or how small. You never know. I just disagree with the fact that all pit bulls are harmful, and I wanted to show a little positive outlook on the breed, because in my eyes they are amazing. They are loving, protective, compassionate dogs. They were even called Nanny dogs back in the day.. I’m pretty sure that shows something right there. My boys do not deserve to be treated bad just because of their breed. People have even walked away from me while I was walking them in my neighborhood. All these dogs would do is lick you to death. I have no regrets with raising my children around Pit Bulls, and I probably will continue for years to come.