Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Newborn Diaries | Brotherly Love

Brotherly love

This is a topic that does something to every inch of my being. Brotherly love. When we learned we were pregnant with another boy my mind could only begin to imagine how my heart would feel the first time I watched Cruze display any sort of affection towards his baby brother. Being a baby himself, I could not quite imagine exactly how he would respond to a newbie in his home. Would there be jealousy? Resentment? Or just excitement? When Caleb was born Cruze seemed interested in this tiny little person when he met him at the hospital. But the moment was over the second he spotted the baby's pacifier and then of course, all attention was on how to successfully claim that paci as his own. 

There goes that pacifier again :/ 

 When we brought Caleb home, Cruze definitely noticed a shift in the home. Things were just not "normal" to him and his behavior was evidence of this. Since we had family in town to help us care for Cruze, it seemed like Cruze purposely distanced himself from me. This killed me. I didn't want him to feel abandoned or betrayed. I wanted him to feel safe, secure and confident in the fact that I still loved him the same way I did before. At the same time, I obviously had to give a lot of my energy to Caleb. I had no choice. Since Cruze is a very active and curious child we had to do our best to keep distance between the two boys. He would want to hold him but the moment he got too close, he would grab at him as fast and hard as he could. I realize that he had no intent to hurt him. He just simply did not understand. This was not a new toy that he could tote around and toss in the air. This was a very tiny and fragile little person. His baby brother who was here to stay. So we did what we thought was best. The two boys were barely ever in the same room at the same time. This is something I now know was wrong.

When the time came for me to be home with both of them by myself, Phillip and I started making an effort to let Cruze kiss on baby Caleb and touch his toes, hands and belly. We would tell him to do "nice". When Caleb would cry we started looking to Cruze for help with comforting Caleb. Now? Cruze has become to much more gentle with his baby brother. When Caleb is unhappy Cruze immediately looks at him with the sweetest, love filled eyes and says "is okay baby cay-bub". Yesterday as Caleb was having a complete meltdown in the car, Cruze turned to him and after tilting his head to the side, he said "awww, is okay" and then.. proceeded to sing to him the Barney theme song. Seriously. These are now the moments I live for.

"Hold Baby?" the words I hear all day long

He now puts the boppy on like a pro and SO fast. He just gets so excited to hold his baby

I look forward to watching their love and bond grow. And to think I was once so scared about somehow robbing Cruze's role as the only child. No. I took nothing from him. I simply gave him one of the best gifts he could ever get. That of a sibling and friend for life.

Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY || Lace Crown

easy DIY lace crown

When Phillip surprised me with my "push gift" DSLR I immediately started planning mini photo shoots of my newborn at home. I'm no professional (believe you me) but that didn't stop me from trying to mimic photos I've pinned over the past few years. One thing I've always wanted was a picture of my baby with a little crown on. After all, these boys are our little princes. 
This was a VERY quick and easy DIY project. If you know me at all, then you know that easy diy's are the only diy's I attempt. Mostly because when I have an idea for something, I want to see the finished product asap. I need to work on that whole "patience is a virtue" thing.
What you'll need >>>
Fabric stiffener | I used Aleene's from joann fabrics with a 40% off coupon. You can also use mod podge
Lace | Pick one with the thickness and shape you like
Paint | this is only if you don't want the finished product to be the same color as the lace (most likely white). I wanted a gold crown and, lucky me, I happened to have some gold pain from a previous easy diy. ** paint must be water-based acryclic
Form/mold | I started off with a vase but it wasn't the right size so I switched to a candle jar. Choose a cylinder object that is the approximate size of the crown you would like.
not pictured >>> 
Parchment paper
Steps >>>
Here's where the "bad blogger" in me stepped in... I didn't get pictures of the process but honestly, it was just so easy and quick. Plus my hands were too icky to pick up a camera.
  • Wrap your piece of lace around the mold to see where the two ends would meet
  • Cut to the size you need. I actually recommend going a little past that point so that the lace will overlap a tiny bit
  • Now wrap the mold in parchment paper and tape it so that it stays
  • Pour enough fabric stiffener in the bowl to coat the lace
  • Mix in your paint of choice until it is your desired color
  • Dip the lace into the mixture and coat. I rolled it, smashed it, etc. until it was completely covered. You should really wear gloves for this but impatient Eliza wasn't having any of that.
  • Then pick up the lace from the mixture and slide between two fingers to remove any excess liquid.
  • The entire lace piece should be completely moist but not dripping in stiffener
  • Wrap the lace around your mold as pictured below. The lace should be moist enough to cling onto the cylinder object.
  • Allow to dry. I did mine late at night and left it sitting overnight. In the morning, all I had to do was remove from the mold and peel off the parchment paper and {obviously} marvel at my handy work. It was perfect!
And here it is on my little model :) 

diy lace crown

newborn lace crown diy
He approves

Monday, March 31, 2014

I confess

I have some things on my chest that I must confess...
I totally didn't mean for that to rhyme but it made me feel cool
My two year still takes a bottle filled with warm almond milk every morning  
He also is addicted to his pacifier for naps and bed time (and tries to sneak it during the day too)
That vogue cover with Kanye and Kim that everyone and their mother is hating on? I kinda love it.
Like a lot.
Since becoming a mom of two I have had many days where I feel like a superhero.
Often, these days are followed by days where I feel like my cape has shriveled up and needs to be
thrown out. You win some, you lose some, right?
Trying to start a new business while watching two littles is really, really hard sometimes. And I often realize that I have ZERO idea what I'm doing or what step to take next.
I have so much going on this week. So much. The thing I'm looking forward to most? Getting my eyebrows waxed.
I'm a really bad blogger. I think I've just had to terms with that. Three years in and I'm pretty much just where I started off.
I'm a chronic DIY starter. Starter. Not finisher. However, I've completed a few DIYS recently and I'm pretty excited about it. Wanna see them? Good luck. Cuz I'm a really bad blogger, remember?
 Ah... that feels better ;)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday? Is that you?!

Whoa! Friday ALREADY?! My weeks are just flying by. And while I feel like that's a good thing since they say 'time flies when you're having fun', it's flying so fast that I can barely keep up with anything. Like blogging for example. Seriously, this post is coming to you from my phone app while I burp my baby. I got skillz I tell ya.

I think it's time I start planning my posts out in advance? It only took me three years to figure that one out ;) anywho, it's Friday! I'm so excited to have my husband for the next few days and to get started on some house projects. 

I can't wait to share what we're working on but if you'd like to take a guess, you should check out my Pinterest. 

This weekend will be for park dates with my boy, family walks, cleaning (yes I get excited about these things), that top secret house project and shopping. This mama needs some postpartum clothes to make me feel a little more confident in my bod while my baby weight hangs around (for DEAR life!). What are your plans?


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Newborn Diaries | Leaving the house and my best tips

*If you prefer to just read my tips, scroll to the bottom of the post. Although, I'd love for you to actually read the post ;)

After Cruze was born I was terrified to leave the house with him. Terrified. Mostly because I didn't want him to get sick while so young. I was and still am fully aware of the fact that something that may seem as minor as a simple cold in an adult can manifest itself differently and far more severe in a newborn baby. But I was so aware of this fact that it consumed me. The few times we left the house, I felt like I couldn't breath. It was bad. After Cruze was a few months old and I thought I would feel okay venturing out, I realized that not only was I still nervous about him getting sick but now? I didn't know how to manage my time to actually get out of the house before his next nap, diaper change, feeding etc. Many of the days I tried, would end in me half dressed and frustrated that yet again, we stayed home all day.

In hindsight, while I know that a certain amount of anxiety is normal, mine was excessive. And I desperately needed to get out of the house. I was starting to lose my mind just a tad. So this time around I've made an effort to get out sooner. I've done things that are SO unlike me. Like going out with my friend to a mall when Caleb wasn't even a month. I've done this a few times now. Since I know how important it is for my sanity, I'm trying to think of ways to balance keeping Caleb safe and healthy while also maintaining some sort of normalcy for myself and Cruze.

To do this, I choose only places that are outdoors. This way we are not in a closed room or building with anyone who can potentially be carrying something like the Flu virus or worst. I try to choose times or days that are less busy and only if a store is empty, I will go in. This has worked well for us since we live in an area that has many outdoor shopping/activity options.

Another thing that gave me anxiety with leaving the house with Cruze was the idea of failing him somehow. One time I felt so good for getting out when, on my way home I realized he needed to eat. Like, I completely forgot to feed my baby. I was a mess when we got home. A big bawling mess. I was so concerned about not holding my friend up too much while we were out that I wasn't thinking enough about myself and more importantly my baby boy.

That experience taught me something. Only go out with people who are patient and understanding or if they're not, don't care about what they think when you need to spend an hour in a dressing room to change, feed, burp your baby and regroup. That's what I learned I needed to do. So now? If I need to take a break with baby I go into the dressing room of an empty store or my car and take as much time as I need to take care of my baby. And if the person I'm with doesn't like it, then I don't need to be with that person. It's that simple. Now that I have a baby and a toddler, these breaks are even more important.

Now I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't admit that I still have some anxiety with leaving the house. It's just more manageable this time. I've also had some moments where I've felt like the worst mother in the world for even taking my newborn out and exposing him to anything that can hurt him. It's all just a big balancing game. Trying to stay sane while doing right by my children. I don't have it all figured out but I'm doing my best and learning along the way.
Here are a few of the things I've learned to do

1 - Choose places that make me feel good about being there. I choose outdoor areas so that we are not engulfed by anyone's yucky germs.
2 - Pack the trunk with an extra of everything. This way, if I forget an essential item, I don't go into a complete panic.
3 - Dressing rooms are my friend. Pick up a few shirts to try on and head on in. I use this time to let Cruze run around, I entertain him while nursing Caleb. And I don't leave the dressing room until I feel like everyone's needs are met.
4 - Prepare well. Pack your diaper bag the night before if you know you'll be heading out. Set out outfits for everyone and decide on a look for yourself that is as fuss free as possible. Think: nursing friendly and easy to move in

5 - Bring snacks for yourself and other kids if you have any. I've learned that snacks are the perfect weapon when shopping with a toddler. I've also learned how important it is for me to keep up my calories in order to nurse. So I pack bananas, granola bars and water. 

6 - Take time to cuddle the babes. Sometimes we can get so busy with what we have to do that we can forget the other things. Cuddling and doting on my babes keeps everyone in a cheery mood. 

And this could be the most important tip of all

7 - smile, laugh, sing. Really. Make yourself laugh over the things that may go a little wrong. Just spilled your child's sippy cup all over your white shirt? Baby wipe that junk up. You forget the wipes? wet a napkin. No napkins? Laugh. Just laugh and remember that one day you'll be looking back on that very moment with a smile on your face. Then put on your favorite tune and sing your heart out on the way home while patting yourself on the back. 


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