How to stay sane- barely.

Do less. As a stay-at-home mom, I would like to say that my house is always spotless, I have a gourmet dinner cooked every evening, I have showered, put myself together, and have worked out, all while keeping the baby happy on a daily basis. But the truth is, if it was even possible for me to do that every day, I would probably be losing my mind! I have learned the best cure for stress is putting the broom down and painting your nails instead.

Do more things that make you happy and relaxed. Break household duties down by the week. Trying to do everything in one day won’t ever happen, so why attempt that everyday just to fail? Of course there are definitely many tasks that DO have to been done daily, so why pile up more? Instead, read a book or have coffee outside when you get a few minutes of free time.

Close your eyes for 5 minutes. It’s not always possible to nap when you desperately need to as a mom. But even if the baby is awake, put him in the play pen for a few minutes, lay on the couch and close your eyes. It’s amazing how much this can help and keep you going throughout the day!

Walk, lay out in the sun, have tea. Liam and I (and Dylan when he’s home) love walks and hikes and are outside for a lot of the day. (Soon it’s going to be so HOT so we have to enjoy it while it’s still nice out!) I love to lay outside and tan. Even when Liam is awake we both enjoy hanging out in the backyard which makes this activity easy and stress-free! I love relaxing and having tea. Mother’s Milk is mainly what I drink because it is good for lactation and caffeine-free! (I get plenty of caffeine with my coffees throughout the day!) When Dylan is home he landscapes and gardens in his free time to relax. He has both the backyard and the front yard looking beautiful and has planted lots of sunflowers and vegetables. We do chores and cook together and take it easy on one another when some things can’t get done immediately.

Take a warm bath. Light a candle and take an amazing bubble bath. The first time I did this since I gave birth to Liam was just a couple weeks ago and my body NEEDED it! It felt so good until he woke up half way through. But don’t let that discourage you! Things like that will always happen, but you can continue it later or try again the next day, no problem. I rocked him back to sleep in my towel then got right back in!

Eat healthy. If I eat almond butter on a piece of toast in the morning, salad for lunch, and protein and veggies for dinner, I notice a tremendous difference in my mood! Also, because I don’t have time to cook for myself everyday, I have been on a healthy frozen dinner and granola bar diet, and believe it or not I’ve lost over 15 pounds!! (Since February.)ย 

Drink a lot of water. Always have a bottle on you. Whenever you get a second drink water! If you are anything like me, you probably are never drinking the recommended daily amount, and being a mom of a baby you NEED it! Especially if breastfeeding.

Focus on and love your partner. Need I say more? Hugs and kisses and cuddles whenever possible is the best thing to help me stay strong. Having a happy, loving relationship even when we are both busy every second of the day is so important to us.

If someone wants to help, let them. I have never been away from Liam ever. Mostly because he was a high needs newborn and I knew there was no way I could leave him. Now that he’s older, he has stranger anxiety and isn’t familiar with many people who could watch him. Luckily, lots of mornings Dylan will get up with him so I can sleep longer and he takes on cooking and cleaning whatever I can’t get done. Someday I might get out of the house, but for now all the above is what’s keeping me sane- BARELY!

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Swim Lessons ON HOLD

Our pool is open and we plan to go there as a family on one of Dylan’s days off in the next couple weeks. I will take pictures and update his progress of being in the swimming pool for the very first time!

Swim lessons in the bath tub became difficult as he learned he can climb the walls, randomly dive into the water, and give Mommy a heart attack every 2 seconds. Bath time, diaper changes, outfit changes, and so many more daily duties have become stressful now that the dare devil is always on the move! I’ve learned to make these activities short and sweet! Being in the pool together will be much more effective! And hopefully soon we will be ready to start Mommy and Me classes!

Check for updates in a couple weekends! Thanks for supporting Liam and his goals and accomplishments!

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The months flew by.

Wow I can’t believe how old my baby is getting- he’s almost 7 months! This has been the shortest 7 months of my life, never did I realize how short life really is until now!

I thought I would compile his first 6 month photo shots into one post! The first month was such a blur of overwhelming love and exhaustion that I don’t have one with the chalkboard! But looking back at my tiny bundle of love at one month to choose a photo made me so sad! He was just a tiny little thing, I can remember exactly how he smelled and how I felt when I look at each photo.

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Swim Lessons Week Two

How did Liam do this week? AMAZING, couldn’t you have guessed? I mean the kid is practically Michael Phelps already, doing dives, swimming laps, winning medals… no big deal. Haha, I’m only kidding of course. I know you all hoped I would be reporting back with breakthroughs and big news, but that wasn’t really the case this week. He did learn two really huge, important things to know about swimming in the big bath tub, though.

The first- HOW FREAKING COOL it is when you lay on your back, with your ears in the water and listen to all the sounds around you. I remember doing this as a kid ALL THE TIME. It may not be the breast stroke or holding your breath under water, but it is pretty awesome if you ask me (or Liam). He thought it was so FUNNY!

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The second- THE DRAINING PLUG. Ohhhh yeah. It’s shiny, it’s silver, and when you open it suddenly A WHOLE BATHTUB FULL ofย  water is sucked into a mysterious tiny black hole. Yeah, it’s pretty self explanatory how amazing draining plugs are in my opinion.

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So is he doing cannonballs off the side of the tub yet? No. Am I pressuring him to be Ryan Lockte at 7 months old? No.

What we did accomplish last week: Filling the bathtub with more water. While playing, he dipped his face into the water a couple times this week. We worked on holding him up by his tummy and letting him kick his legs and move his arms. I slowly bring him across the water to a toy that he wants. We also do this on his back to practice floating.

What we are working on this week: Continuing to practice kicking legs and moving arms, and floating. Following his lead with putting his face in the water. Filling the tub gradually with more water.

My neighborhood’s pool is opening up in less than a month! We may venture there before signing up for official lessons next! I’ll keep updating each week!

Thanks for reading!!

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(almost) 7 month old schedule

After weeks of being totally off schedule, hanging out at 3 in the morning, and being exhausted, he finally put himself back on track. I’ve read about “Wonder Weeks” where babies are suddenly much more fussy and become difficult sleepers for a couple of weeks, and he definitely fit the description. Also, people kept telling me to keep him up later so he’ll sleep through the night, and Dylan works later so I wanted to try it out and it completely backfired. He was awake at odd hours and napping way too late in the evening. He is in his crib for bed at 7pm every night now. He sleeps until 7am, waking to eat a couple times during the night. Now that I have figured out his 7 month schedule, he is the happiest baby ever! When he is awake, he’s all smiles and content with everything. This has been such a relief.

His schedule is mainly baby-led. I listen for his cues and write down his sleep and awake times and feeding times for a few days to see the pattern. When he was 5 months old his awake time was 2 hours. This was the longest amount of time he could stay awake (at 3 months it was only 1.5!) Now he is awake for 2 hours until his first nap, 2.5 hours until his second nap, and 3 hours until he goes to bed! The rest of the day is parent-led, I plan walks, story times, swim lessons, independent play times, and other activities when he is awake. Throughout the day (when I remember) we work on saying “Da-da” and “Ma-ma” (he hasn’t said any words but babbles a lot!) He responds to his name and is learning so quickly!

We are currently focusing on reading lots of books. Liam is amazed by his books. When he sees one he immediately crawls and stands to get it. When I read to him, he focuses on everything, on the pages and on my expressions and voice. He makes eye contact with animals and people and anything with eyes. He coos and smiles and gets excited! He even helps me turn the pages. We try to read at least 10 books a day if not more. Most are short baby books, but we have a few long ones that he loves to read too. His toys don’t keep his interest for very long and causing mischief around the house can only go on for so long, so we keep entertained by reading!

After his first nap, I keep all electronics, tv, Facebook, WordPress ;), and my cell phone off or away. (I usually keep my phone on in case Dylan calls or for emergencies, but I don’t use it and it is put away). I am someone who worries all the time so these worrying thoughts can be distracting and when I make an effort to stop worrying and just enjoy the day and relax, I feel so much better (I try to do this all day long, not only during ‘no electronics’ time.) The tv and computer aren’t always on and I’m not always on my phone, but are these distractions ALL put away at the same time for a long period of time every day? I realized that without being conscious, I probably didn’t go more than an hour a day with all electronics put away. Now for about two or so hours everyday, I make sure I turn off the background tv or music even if I’m not watching or listening to it. I don’t use the computer or my phone and I focus on Liam and the animals for the whole time. I enjoy our time together by hanging out in the backyard, going for walks, reading stories, and appreciating all the things in our life. This is so peaceful and one of my favorite parts of the day!

I’ve also began to appreciate breastfeeding more. In the beginning, I was nursing him SO much. Every hour- 1.5 hrs and it was so exhausting! Any minute not breastfeeding was a relief. Now at almost 7 months old, he doesn’t nurse as often and when he does it is for a shorter period of time! I wanted to make this short time we spend together more special. We go to our rocking chair in a quiet area and relax. I keep water with me so there are no distractions or reasons to leave. I just focus on the moment, nurse then burp him, and give him a BIG kiss! I have been nursing him for around 210 days and only have so much longer to go. This has been a very spiritual journey for me because everyday (for 210 days or more) for multiple times a day I’ve had to sit down, relax, and feed my baby for as long as he needed. Whatever I needed or wanted to do at that moment had to wait. Now that I’m not doing this every hour, I can REALLY relax, appreciate and enjoy it (although I did even then anyways). The months keep flying by and soon he won’t be a baby anymore.

Here is his official schedule: (His awake time in the morning varies by a few minutes, he naps 2 hours after he wakes for 2 hours, then is awake for 2.5 hours, naps for 2ish hours, is awake for 3 more hours, then goes to bed 12 hours later from his awake time.)

7am wake up, change diaper, feed and let outside dogs, Jonah, and feed the chicken

730am-830am play time with his dad before he leaves for work

830am-9am read stories/walk, change diaper

9am Nap time in crib for 2 hours.

11am nurse, change diaper, independent play time, walk, read stories

12pm eat lunch(organic, homemade purees), swim lessons

1pm walk, read stories, change diaper

130pm Nap time in crib for 2 hours.

330pm-4pm nurse in dim, quiet room

4pm change diaper, read stories, independent play time

5pm long walk with dogs

6pm eat dinner (organic, homemade purees), feed all animals dinner

Dim all lights, turn off tv/music, put white noise sounds on (plug-in fans, bathroom fans, noise machine, humidifier)

Let Jonah outside at 630pm, he comes home at 630am.

630pm bath time, read stories, lotion, pajamas, say goodnight to the animals and the house

7pm Bedtime in crib.

830pm wakes up to nurse then refuses to be rocked back to sleep and put down in his crib. I lie down with him in my bed for a few minutes until he is asleep, then sneak out to hang out with Dylan! Ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

(He wakes up a couple times in the middle of the night to be re-swaddled or eat, then goes back to sleep.)

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Nature Walks

Going on walks with Liam in the carrier is very relaxing for both of us. If I’m getting irritated from keeping the kid out of trouble constantly, we take a walk. So I’m sure you can guess that we take A LOT of walks. Probably about 5 a day and sometimes more. We go with the dogs, we take long trips, we go without the dogs, and we take short trips too! Whatever gets us out of the house and into a peaceful state.

I bring my phone and take pictures along the way. Because Dylan works from 830AM to 830PM (which is pretty much all of mine and Liam’s awake time) everyday except Sundays, I send him pictures all day long of everything Liam is doing. I started sending him all the beautiful sights we were seeing to hopefully brighten his day.

It has been 80 degrees outside, sunny, and just lovely for a few days now. Everything is starting to blossom again. It is wonderful out and there is much to appreciate.

I thought I would share with you some of the recent nature shots I’ve taken for Dylan on our walks! The first three are actually of our backyard! Dylan did all of the work in a day and a half. It went from being completely rocks, to a chicken coop with dirt pathways, beautiful plants, and a hang out area for all of us on turf. We are continuing to work on it, but I am so so proud of what he accomplished this past weekend!!

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Swim Lessons Week One

I know I said I would update on Friday, but we had a busy busy weekend! But Liam’s “swim lessons” (at-home, bathtub swimming, that is) are going fantastic!

On day one (and for a couple days after that), I began by filling the bath pretty full and getting in with him. Finally I decided I would fill it with little water and let him get in the big bath all by himself! I was SO nervous and my heart was pounding the entire time! I don’t think I let go of him for more than a couple seconds at a time. He did SO well. He wasn’t afraid and nothing went wrong!

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He went to the other side to grab his rubber ducky! He had so much fun. After doing this for “swim lessons” during the day and bathtime in the evening, I have become more relaxed. He plays around perfectly.

He would probably like a small pool in the back yard this summer too! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a video of him playing around in the tub. I used a cover for swim trunks to take a “modest” video ha ha ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week’s accomplishments: Saying good-bye to our beloved infant whale bath, playing in the big bath with mommy and then all by himself!

This week’s goals: Practice kicking legs and moving arms techniques in the big bath. Last week we focused on getting comfortable in the bath and playing. This week we will focus on swimming techniques with a little play too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now we have been doing lessons in the afternoon when he is finished eating solids so it makes it easy to clean him up! We still do normal bathtime in the evening where he plays while I wash him and read him stories before bedtime.

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