The Joys of Staying Home!

BabyLegs Lucky Lady legwarmers

Lucky Lady Legwarmers

There are days when I question my sanity and my decision to be a stay at home mom. Let’s be honest, toddlers are no joke!

My daughter is almost 2 and I feel that this age is very fun because she is so curious! However, it is also an age where most children discover the art of screaming and throwing tantrums when you say ,”No you can’t have candy.” or something as simple as ”Wait a minute, I can only do so many things at once!” As I sit here writing this blog, I think about the future PTA meetings I’ll be attending and future ballet practices I’ll be driving her to and honestly, it makes me feel great that I will be able to do that!

But then reality hits me in the face – or was that mashed potatoes that my toddler threw because she decided it’s time to play with her food instead of eat it? This is the life of being home with a toddler. Messy hair, food all over your clothes and floors, toys all over the place, and your Tivo set to record every episode of Dora The Explorer or Blues Clues. I have to say, it’s challenging but I am all for it and I would definitely give it all up just to see a smile on her pretty face everyday.

Whether you decide to stay at home or return to work, being a parent is a challenge. How do you manage your life with kids?

 

Being a New Mom

There I was, checking into the hospital to deliver a precious new baby. I had waited nine months to meet our prince or princess and the time was now! I had planned and prepared for this day since I saw the double lines on the home pregnancy test, but nothing had me prepared for the flood of emotions I felt when I was walking to the labor and delivery floor. The thought of becoming a new mom had me feeling anxious, excited, and scared.

While checking into the hospital, I remember thinking to myself, “This is it! You are going to leave this hospital with a baby!” At that moment I became anxious and so many questions ran through my head —Would I be a good mom? Would my husband be a good father? Can I REALLY do this? Once I delivered my baby and my husband said “It’s a GIRL!”, all those questions went away. They placed my daughter in my arms and I instantly fell in love with her. As I held her, I couldn’t imagine life without her and she was only in my life for a few minutes. Any anxieties I felt about becoming a new mom were washed away with excitement of my new adventure.

BabyLegs newborn leg warmers

Most little girls dream of being a mommy and now I was one! I was so excited to have a new baby and couldn’t wait to get her home to love on her even more. While we were at the hospital I let them keep her in the nursery at night so my husband and I could get some rest, but I did miss her so much when she was gone. I was so happy when they wheeled that bassinet into my room. She was the best baby; she only cried when she needed to be changed, fed or burped and slept most of the time. I was eager for them to discharge us so I could take my baby home and start taking care of her on my own. Finally, they discharged us and we headed home…daddy, mommy and baby! On our first night home, my excitement was now mixed with scared feelings.

Being at home with my new baby was the most scared I had been in a long time. The first night I was scared that I had done something wrong because she would just cry all the time. She didn’t sleep that first night except for an hour and that was while I was holding her in the rocking chair. I was reassured by friends and family that it would get better and they were right. We just had to work with her and get her on a schedule. By night number six she would sleep for four hours and wake up for feeding, then go back to sleep. By two weeks, she would stay awake and look at us for a few hours before going back to sleep. When she was six weeks old we had her sleeping in her room for five to six hours at night and waking twice in the night to feed. We followed her schedule and she remained happy, as were we.

A new baby can be one of the happiest times you experience. When I think back to the day of delivery, I remember feeling anxious, excited and scared. I’m sure those feelings are normal for a new mother. I read all the books and asked experienced moms, but nothing really prepared me. I just had to learn my baby’s cries and go with my gut on what needed to be done.

Every new mom’s experience is different and for most of us, adjusting to this new life as a mom is a wonderful challenge. What was your new mom experience?

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I will be married 3 years in October.  We have a soon to be two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.

 

“Itchy Spots” (or Eczema, as it is Called Elsewhere)

Four years ago, the extent of my knowledge regarding eczema was its existence as some kind of skin rash. Having worked with a person who had psoriasis, I somewhat (incorrectly) equated the two and felt bad for people who dealt with them but didn’t give them much thought myself. So, when my son had a circular patch of red, bumpy skin on his arm, I never considered eczema but thought it was ringworm. Daycare thought the same and the nurse at my son’s clinic confirmed the suspicion and said to use Lotrimin on the area. A few days of Lotrimin, however, brought about no change and my mother, a RN, was visiting, so I asked her opinion. She thought it looked like “contact eczema” and suggested we change laundry detergents.

This change seemed to do the trick at first, but it wasn’t long before what came to be called “itchy spots” in our house started popping up all over my son’s arms and legs and occasionally his back and stomach. All of these spots were circular in nature (similar to ringworm), not like the eczema photos I’d seen on posters in the doctor’s office, and daycare was concerned that this was some type of fungal infection and therefore contagious. So I did some research and saw a pediatrician and it turned out eczema appears in more than one form and the form my son had was Nummular Dermatitis or Nummular Eczema which is often misdiagnosed initially as ring-worm due to its circular appearance. So, no ringworm (phew), but still the unpleasant “itchy spots” remained. Typical eczema remedies – cortisone on the “itchy spots” when they were red and Aveeno when they were not, no use of soap (just Aveeno bath wash), free & clear laundry detergents, and no bubble bath became the routine at our house. Still, for a long time my son would go through periods where he had these horrible “itchy spots” that he would often pick at and worsen. The crease on the inside of his elbow was particularly bad and I had difficulty getting the eczema to clear from that area. Of course, this is also an easily accessible spot to itch, so I took to covering it with Band-aids to keep my son from picking at it.

ScratchingIn the meantime, I kept researching and came across a link between eczema and milk protein allergy. I spoke with the pediatrician about the possible connection between that two, but was told that it was unlikely and there was no proof of a connection (the same thing I was told about my son’s reflux and a possible milk allergy) and so, we just continued our “itchy spot” routine. It wasn’t until this year, as my son’s “itchy spots,” all-but disappeared and then were gone, that my daughter (who is eczema free) was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. When we saw the specialist regarding this, the conversation with him resulted in the following conclusions:

1. According to the specialist, it was surprising that my daughter did not have eczema given the obvious milk protein allergy.

2. Milk protein allergies are often the cause of night-waking (something my son has always struggled with).

3. My son likely had a milk protein allergy which caused or at least aggravated his reflux and eczema and was no longer struggling with it because he had outgrown the allergy (as most children do by the time they are six) or reduced his milk intake to a level where it was not affecting him.

Having one of those, “if I had only known then” moments, I wished I had just taken my son off dairy a few years ago to see what happened despite the pediatrician’s assurance that a milk allergy was not likely. It certainly would’ve been nice to ascertain a connection between the two four years ago, but hindsight is always 20/20. Still, I would be curious to know how many out there have found an obvious connection between their child’s eczema and a food or other allergy. I also encourage any of you dealing with eczema to explore the possibility of it being caused from a food allergy – and follow your instinct even if your doctor says there is little chance…see a specialist or try eliminating dairy. It might be worth it.

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About the Blogger:

Hi! My name is Shawna. I am a married mother to two adorable children and love being a mom. My children throw me unexpected surprises more often than I can count, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. Thanks for reading!

Testing the Waters

PhotobucketWhen I was little, my brothers and I would spend every day swimming at a neighborhood park. It was a lake, and it was FREEZING, but we always had a ton of fun in our inner-tubes & jumping from the high-dive. My mom made sure we knew how to swim well, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that not all kids swam like we did.

My mom was a certified lifeguard for over 10 years. Over the years I have heard her tell countless stories of the horrors that can happen at a pool when no one is watching, or even when they think they are watching. I won’t go into the details but a lot of them involve moms, just like you and me, who are talking with friends and not necessarily keeping their eyes on their children. In fact, a couple of close friends of mine have had a couple of similar swimming scares as well. 

What can we do? My mom believed the best thing she could do for us to be safe was teach us to swim at an early age. My brothers Photobucketand I would take swimming lessons every day, all summer long, every year. I didn’t know that it wasn’t typical for kids my age, and it didn’t really cross my mind until I got married (one of many other previously undiscovered differences between my husband’s upbringing and mine).

We started our oldest son in lessons when he was 3. Our goal was to get him used to the water since he was a sensitive child, and hadn’t yet grown into the coordination he needed to truly swim. At age 4 he started taking lessons more regularly, could float by himself, and glide underwater. At age 5, he took off! He started swimming by himself, and we kept him in lessons as much as we could. Now at age 7, I would still never leave him unattended, but he has the basic skills down. 

PhotobucketWith both my children, it just CLICKED. Once they realized they could actually SEE things under the water with their cool goggles, they were hooked. It was getting them to that step. Then they spent half their lessons scoping out the underwater view and sneaking up on their classmates!  Learning to swim is a necessity in my home. It may be different in other homes, and that’s okay.

For me, I feel much better knowing my kids have been taught water safety in a controlled environment. They know not to go in without an adult. They know what to do if someone falls in the water. They know what it feels like to wear a life jacket. The more I can prepare them the better off they will be and I can’t think of a better way to prepare them than by giving them the opportunity to swim at an early age, in a safe environment, as often as possible (and it’s amazing what you can teach in a bathtub).

I am so grateful to my mom for the countless hours she spent with us swimming at the park (amongst a million other things my mom did for us) and I can only hope I am being a pinch of the mother she was to me, for my children. I am grateful my children have had the chance to get to know her, swim with her, and laugh & love her.


About the Blogger:

My name is Alee, and I am a stay-at-home mom to three kids. I love to make crafts, scrapbook, and help out at my kids school.

Cheap Christmas Craft Time!

I am always on the lookout for cute little projects that I can use as Christmas gifts for my 2nd grade students to their families.  This is one of my favorites and I’ve heard that these end up actually being used for years and  years!


Glass Magnets

You will need:

Round glass pieces that can be found at any craft store or dollar store

Modge Podge & brush

Glue gun

Round button style magnets

Heavy white paper

Crayons/color pencils or markers

 

Step one: Trace the outline of a round glass piece onto white paper.  You can cut out several of these (always do some extras for mistakes).

Step two: Have your child draw on the little circle, the more color and background the better it will turn out!

Step three: Using a small brush, paint Modge Podge onto the colored side of the circle and attach to the flat side of the glass piece.  Smooth the edges or trim with a scissors.  Let dry for a few hours.  At first, the wet modge podge will appear very smudgy.  As it dries, it will become clear.

Step four: Use the glue gun to glue a round button magnet to the back of the glass piece.  Let dry and you’re done!!


About the Blogger:

Hi! My name is Trisha and I am wife and mom to two little ones that love their Babylegs. I also teach 2nd grade and make hand stamped jewelry! It’s a busy life, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything!