8 Tips to Stay Safe During Rattlesnake Season

Standard

A friend took our oldest son on a walk that other day and they came across a baby rattlesnake! When I heard that it sent chills up and down my spine. Baby rattlesnakes mean there could be bigger ones nearby! So I took to the internet and researched everything I could to keep my kids and myself safe during rattlesnake season.

Some websites claim that roughly 8,000 people are bitten by snakes in the U.S. each year. That is a terrifing number! So I will be keeping a sharp ear and eye out for rattlesnakes and be applying these tips whenever I can!

Continue reading

Create a Hanging Flushable Wipe Dispenser for Potty Training

Standard

We are still in the throes of potty training but I haven’t had to clean up an accidents in a while so yay! I wanted to make the process a little easier on both of us so I did a little brain storming and came up with this handy-dandy hanging wipe dispenser!

It had been somewhat of a battle with my son because when we first started he didn’t care about going on the potty at all. The hardest thing about potty training for me at first was remembering to take my son to the bathroom to go and to ask him regularly if he had to go. Now that he has learned to go when he feels the urge it was high time for me to figure out a way for my son to be able to easily wipe himself.

Continue reading

A Letter for Moms After Mother’s day.

Standard

It’s the day after Mother’s day and things have gone back to normal for the most part. We resume business as usual and most everyone forgets the day before how moms were celebrated.

If I could sit and talk to you the day after Mother’s day what would you tell me? Would you say that it was one of the best you’ve had or was it hard because you didn’t actually get to celebrate for one reason or another?

Since I can not be with you, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that you will be touched and remember that someone is still thinking about you the day after Mother’s day.

This letter is for the mom who…

Continue reading

DIY Mother’s Day Gift: Hand Print Key Chain

Standard

Since I have only been a mom for four years (I include the time in the womb) I don’t readily think about what I’m going to do for Mother’s day because I am usually thinking about what I want to do for my mom and mother-in-law. So when I saw this the other day I knew what I wanted to make for the special mama’s in my life.

I love handmade gifts! Especially the ones made by those you love. J asks me almost every day if he can make a craft. I try to prepare things ahead of time so that when he asks I can just whip out the project and he can easily put it together by himself. This one is so easy that there is really no need to prep. Continue reading

The Ultimate List of Essentials for Postpartum Recovery

Standard

After I had my first son I’d wish someone had told me that there were so many things that you need for your postpartum recovery. I just thought that you push a baby out and you get to love on them, dress them in cute clothes, feed them and rock them to sleep all the while your just a little tired from not sleeping through the night, right?

Other moms out there are shaking their heads knowingly that I had no idea what taking care of another human being was going to be like and how utterly exhausted you will be too if you don’t care of yourself as well.

People would jokingly say, “Just you wait”. I thought they were just being dramatic. But after I had become super anemic after the birth of my son it was so hard to even to walk from one end of the house to the other. I thought other moms must be crazy when they said they were getting stir crazy a few weeks after their baby was born and I’m over here  like, “Woman, I can barely stand up and keep my eyes open let alone get out of the house!”

Now I make a little postpartum care kits for first time moms so they have an easier time recovering than I did from the first one. This is a mostly natural list because I am not sure what is in the depends but everything else has natural ingredients and is what I used.

The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am not a Doctor or other health professional so please consult the appropriate professional before making any changes to your diet, health, or other applicable areas.

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure here.

Facebook Blog post photo, postpartum, ultimate, essentials, natural

 

Iron

The little bit of iron that is in prenantals is not enough to make up for the amount of blood you lose after a baby is born. And it is A LOT. Then you continue to lose quite a bit for several weeks after. Fun, huh?! If you become anemic this goes double for you. Now with that being said, you can get iron poisoning so only take the recommended amount on the label.

This liquid iron that my midwife told me to take helped get my hemoglobin back up really fast! Like a few days fast. I could already tell. My thoughts were clearer. I had the energy to stand up. I could stand up without feeling like I was going to faint. I highly recommend this form of iron because your body will process and use it very quickly.

On its label it says that it is combined with fruits and veggies to counteract constipation which leads me to my next essential item…

The Squatty Potty

Okay, there, I said it. This one is a little weird to talk about but it is a must. After you have your little bundle of joy you will find the next time you need to use the restroom it might be a bit…difficult. The squatty potty will help “eliminate” that problem.

Long story short it helps you have a better “go” by having your legs like you are in a squatting position. This will help you go to the bathroom without straining because that is the last thing you want to do after pushing your baby out. It will reduce hemorrhoids and hopefully help you eliminate everything to keep you healthy! You can watch their very interesting video here.

Something else to combat constipation is to drink plenty of water. I saw someone had marked a water bottle with hourly lines to make sure they drank the recommended amount for their weight daily.

Essential Oils

There are so many good uses for essentials oils but the ones that I will talk about are going to be for the “baby blues”.

Dr. Axe says that these are the four top essentials oils that help uplift your mood.

  1. Lavender – To relieve stress and induce sleep.
  2. Bergamot – Improves blood circulation and gives energy. Works against anxiety.
  3. Chamomile – Best medicinal herb for fighting stress and promoting relaxation.
  4. Ylang Ylang – (pronounced ee-long, ee-long) Promotes good feelings.

Some other good ones are tangerine, grapefruit, sandalwood and frankincense. If you want a more in-depth reading you can go to Dr. Axe’s article here.

So if you already have some of these oils just use a few drops of each in a diffuser and relax.

Pineapple Juice

Not only is this juice super yummy to drink but there so many ways that is helpful. There is no data on this, just personal experience, that says that it will relieve clogged ducts.

It does contain bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory protein enzyme in the pineapple, which may be why it relieves the pain of mastitis.

Pineapple is also very high in vitamin C, and contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (turns carbs into energy) Potassium and manganese (a trace mineral that thins the blood and creates connective tissues and does loads of other things!) And the Dole pineapple juice is now in a BPA-free can. Woo-hoo!

I mixed mine with coconut water to get the benefits from that as well.

Deodorant Wipes

There is an unsavory fact that most moms don’t always get to bathe, that or they have no energy to do so, after they have given birth. And with moms who have more than one little this becomes almost impossible. On the days when you need to freshen up and there isn’t anyone to help you by watching the baby so you can get cleaned up, these little deodorant wipes come in handy.

They are also great to throw into your purse or diaper bag for a quick way to get rid of B.O. when you are out and about because it’s hot or you forgot to put deodorant on that morning!

Padsicles

This was the weirdest concept I had heard about but they helped SO MUCH! There will be all kinds of discomfort down there and you may not be able to sit directly on your lady parts for days. So to make these…

You’ll need:

  • Aloe Vera – Try to find one without dyes or synthetic ingredients. I can’t remember which one I used.
  • Heavy duty pads.
  • Witch Hazel (This is what is in Tucks pads).
  • Water.

How to make:

First dilute the witch hazel with the water. Add about a tablespoon of witch hazel to 4 tablespoons of water. Then you are going to take your pad out of the package. Keep the outer packaging.

Add your water and witch hazel mixture to your pad and let it soak in. Then apply about 2 tablespoons of aloe vera to the pad. Then place the pad in its packaging and store in the freezer. They last for quite a while in the freezer.

Replace pad as often as needed. I didn’t usually wear them at night because I needed the extra absorbency of the pad to last me through the night.

Nipple Cream

Now I didn’t end up needing nipple cream so there isn’t I have tried personally. But I know that for most woman it is a must because your nipples may crack and bleed but you can prevent this by using a good nipple cream. If there was one I was going to use it would be this kind because it is vegan and all natural. Works on mom and baby!

Sitz Bath

You need so much care for down there! This relieved a lot of discomfort, especially if you tear. I hope you don’t but you might. It also helps relieve hemorrhoids if you get them.

A sitz bath is a shallow bowl that will place on your toilet that you put warm water and herbs into and you “sitz” (sorry, I had to.) on it. This kind even comes in pretty colors!

My midwife made a different recipe for me but you can use this kind for your sitz bath.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops chamomile essential oil

Dissolve the epsom and baking soda in warm water. Then add the rest of your ingredients. Add enough warm water so that your lady parts are sitting in the water. And don’t worry about it overflowing. The extra water will just pour over into the toilet out the back. Sit and enjoy for as long as baby will let you. 😉

Notice how there are so many uses from the same few products! Which is nice because you can get the most healing for your buck.

Feminine Wipes

Toilet paper, even the softest kind, is the not the nicest or easiest way to get clean after you’ve had your baby. I highly recommend feminine wipes because it is quite refreshing and you can see that you are getting clean. Hopefully, wherever you have your baby they will give you a peri bottle but I found that this doesn’t always do the trick when going more than just pee. So it was nice to have these wipe as well.

I’d like to get more and use them for when it is my monthly time. I don’t plan on using tampons in the future so these will be nice when wanting to feel clean during that horrible week.

I would use them sparingly though because you don’t want to upset the delicate ph balance of your girly parts. If it’s cleaned too often or too well you could get a yeast infection. One or two will work just fine to be thoroughly cleansed.

And above anything else listed here, the best thing you can do postpartum is…

Rest!

You’re probably thinking this goes without saying because you’ll be exhausted but you’ll be surprised how many things you will try to do that you could easily ask someone else to do.

Need a glass of water? Ask someone. Need an extra pillow? Ask someone. Need help getting to the bathroom? Ask someone. Just ask. It is that simple.

All of these products really helped speed up my recovery and I hope they are helpful in making yours quick too.

Already had a baby? What were your “must have’s” for your recovery?

3 Secrets to a More Confident Life!

Standard

I wanted to bare my soul a little in this post and share some insecurities that I struggle with and some things I have learned to help me overcome them. These things I have learned through experience and from others along the way. I am not fishing for compliments to stroke my ego. I am writing this in the hopes that it can help someone conquer their insecurities.

I am a super sensitive person. I pick up on vibes from people very easily which is a good and bad thing. The good side is that it helps me be more sensitive to people’s needs and to be compassionate when someone is hurting or struggling. The bad side is that if I pick up on a negative or unfriendly vibe it can bring up all kinds of insecurities in me.

What did they mean by that? Why did they say it like that? Why did they interrupt me when I was speaking? Do they really want to hear what I have to say?

I feel that moms can be super critical of others and themselves. We judge one another’s diaper choice, choice of stroller, choice of lotion, to bottle or breastfeed, to go to public school or to home school, organic vs. non-organic. The list goes on. We forget that these are preferences and not the absolute, only way to rear a child. On top of that we judge ourselves for not looking like a victoria secret model a month after having a baby. Momma, let’s get real for a moment while I divulge the inner workings of my mommy brain.

The other day I was at Target in the checkout line and my older son asks for some tic tacs. I tell him that we have cookies that he made with my mom at home so it’s no to the tic tacs. I was totally unprepared for the crying that ensued. He screamed at the top of his lungs that he needed those. I stood wide-eyed and shocked that he was acting this way in public. How did I react?

Did I…

A: Yell at him to stop yelling.

B: Look around to see if others were seeing if I was trying to kill him.

C: Become embarrassed at the thought of others judging my parenting.

D: Give him what he wanted to make him stop screaming.

E: None of the above.

If you answered E, you are correct.

I remembered what I had heard from many other parents that your child is not trying to embarrass you (at least at this age) they are merely expressing some very strong feelings. Appropriate for the situation or not, expressing strong feelings none the less.

I took a deep breath, walked over to the shopping cart, gave him a hug and said, “I’m sorry that you are sad that you can’t have the tics tacs but the answer is still no.” Then I went back to putting my items on the belt to check out. He didn’t stop crying until after I was finished but I think I could have made things a lot worse had I become angry with him.

I would like to say that I handle every single situation like that but that wouldn’t be honest. It is easy to get frustrated on only a few hours sleep. And then trying to meet the daily demands that we put on ourselves is exhausting. But these next steps help foster the kind of parenting that will be gentle but firm.

#1 Remember Whose You Are.

sky-1084433_640 confidence, confident

When you remember that you are a child of God you don’t have to look around to see what others are doing. You don’t need to measure yourself against anyone’s else standards because they don’t matter. You won’t need to look around for others approval.

It reminds me of a great children’s book by Max Lucado called “You are Special” about a wooden wemmick named Punchinello. He lives in a town with other wemmicks and they judge each other by giving gold stars or gray dots. Awesome, beautiful, amazing wemmicks get gold stars and lame, mediocre and awful wemmicks get gray dots. Punchinello, no matter how hard he tries, only gets gray dots and feels bad about himself for having them.

He meets a wemmick named Lucia and she doesn’t have any dots or stars! She tells him that the secret lies with the Woodcarver Himself. So Punchinello decides to visit the Woodcarver, Eli. When Punchinello come to His workshop the Woodcarver notices that he has many dots. Punchinello tries to justify himself but the Eli says,

“I don’t care what the other wemmicks think. All that matters is what I think, and I think you are pretty special. The gray dots only stick if you let them.”

At the end of their conversation, Eli tells Punchinello to come and visit Him every day. As Punchinello is leaving Eli says “Remember, you are special because I made you and I don’t make mistakes.” Punchinello says to himself “I think He really means it.” And a gray dot  falls to the floor.

I have to remind myself quite often that people’s negative thoughts, words, actions only stick if I let them. My Heavenly Father doesn’t think that way about me. David wrote Psalm 139:17 saying “How precious also are Your thoughts towards me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

#2 It’s Not About You

luggage-compartment-1977186_640 baggage, problems

When we remember that other people’s problems are not about us it is much easier to let them go. I was trying to park at an event the other day and went the wrong way. One of the workers acted like any smart person would have known better when they were telling me that I went the wrong way. At first I was embarrassed by my mistake but then quickly thought to myself “I can’t let someone else’s rude behavior ruin the rest of the event for me.” So I gave it to God and let it go.

Many times we pick up the negative baggage that others give us because we think how could they treat me like that?  We are not meant to carry that around. From the book of 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says that we should give all of our cares (including negativity from others) to God because he cares for us.

The next time someone is rude or harsh towards you remember that it is coming from a place of insecurity or hurt. One of my favorite quotes, and I am not sure who said it, is

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

Again it goes back to step #1. We are children of God and shouldn’t let others dictate our feelings or how we act in any given situation.

#3 Pray For Them

beach-1868772_640 prayer, praying

This might be the hardest thing for me to remember to do. I want to be upset because I have a right to be, don’t I? But when I look at the life of Christ I can see he has a different way of handling things. He prayed while on the cross, “Father, Forgive them. For they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. If Jesus could pray for those who had crucified him and forgive them, then I could certainly pray for the person that just cut me off in traffic, talked behind my back or for rude comments made to my face.

The bible also says to bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you, Luke 6:28. I’ll admit that the first thing that comes to my mind is not praying for someone who has just been rude or hurt me but I want Christ to be so much in my thoughts that I begin to start thinking that way. Which means that I won’t end up thinking about how they hurt me and again focusing on myself. Instead, I will be looking at the real issue. That the one trying to hurt me, knowingly or unknowingly, is the one who needs my prayers most.

What are some things that you do to help you be a more confident mom? I’d love to hear from you!

This post contains affilates links. Read full disclosure here.