Back to School

With school starting back up this week, I’m having mixed emotions.  All of the littles will be in school except Jonny.  Jaxon is going to first grade, Julia is going to Kindergarten and Jayde will be in preschool.  Being home with them this summer has given me the chance to see Jaxon and Julia develop their “negotiation skills” as well as their “leadership skills” and I’ve watched Jayde mimic their every move.  She’s growing so quickly and even tells us that she’s not a baby anymore.

Speaking of back to school I thought I would put together a short list of ways to celebrate the first day of school!

1. BTS breakfast party.  For 99 cents I put together a fun little breakfast party for the kids. 99 cents were for the balloons.  Everything else I had at home.  I spelled out “1st Day of School” out of regular 8 1/2 x 11 colored paper cut in half and with the scraps I made large confetti squares.  We had pancakes, fruit, powdered sugar and strawberry syrup in the fridge so that was easy.  The kids really liked it and were very surprised.  The best part was they went to school with a positive attitude.

first day of schoolfirst day of schoolfirst day of school
2. Lunchbox love. A special note like, “Hope you’re having a great day!” or a bite of your child’s gave candy {just a bite} with a note that says he/she can have the rest of his/her treat after school.
3. After school snack surprise. Granted I never need a reason to eat ice cream, the first day of school is a great reason to make a pit stop on the way home and discuss the first day over a cone.
4. Make a sign.  I found some really cute printable signs to send to Hubby for printing.  Here’s where I found them.

first day of school

Praying you and your family have a wonderful year!


MOMMY 101: Coping with New Baby Jealousy

fighting kids


[image via]

Anyone with a sibling can attest to having “disagreements”.  It comes with the territory.  In some homes more than others, but disagreements none the less.  I have two siblings, both male.  Our disagreements were usually over the remote control, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, or who got to be player 1 on Super Mario Brothers {did I mention I’m old}.  I’d say that all of our disagreements were rather minor.  No one ever grabbed a knife, no one ever used a curse word and mom never had to “pull the car over”.  I’d also say, at least from my perspective, that there was never any jealousy among us. I’ve mentioned before that I come from a very humble upbringing and what we had we shared.

As I watch my family grow and the unique personalities of each of my children develop, I am beginning to see power struggles that were not there before.  Jaxon and Julia may as well have been twins because they match each other tit for tat and neither likes to go down without a fight.  There are times when they’re in the heat of a battle {usually over who gets to use the blue Power Ranger action figure} and I watch and listen, of course pretending to be completely oblivious, to how one of them skillfully tries to convince the other to give in.  When the disagreement turns into one or both of them screaming for mommy, that’s when I tell them to come up with a “win-win”.  A “win-win” solution is something that Jaxon’s Kinder class focused on last year and I try my best to pull that out of my bag of tricks every time they disagree.  There’s something about working together to come to a conclusion that makes the solution much more enjoyable.  Not only for children but for adults as well.  No one feels slighted or taken advantage of each party can move on.  9 times out of 10 Jax and Julia able to negotiate something and everything’s right with the world again, but there are times when it doesn’t go down exactly as I hope.  That’s when it’s time to turn out the lights and go to sleep.  What is it about bed time that makes kids flip out?  It’s like you’re sentencing them to death.  It’s worse than a spanking.

Not only are there power struggles between the children, but now that we have another little one at home, I’ve been praying that the older children don’t begin to feel jealous of the new baby because he’s getting so much of my attention.  The other night, at bedtime, Jaxon dropped the bomb.  “All you care about is Jonny!  You don’t love me!”  His words penetrated my heart.  I tried to tell myself that he was very sleepy and so he was just being overly dramatic.  Didn’t work. I knew he felt and meant what he said.  What’s worse is I couldn’t console him at that moment because I was nursing Jonny.  All I could say from the other room was, “That’s not true, Jaxon.  I love you very much!”  I couldn’t help feeling like I was failing my child.  No mother ever wants her child to feel unloved.  When I was done nursing Jonny, I put him down and went to Jaxon’s room but by then he had cried himself to sleep.  I got in bed with him and woke him up so that he knew I was there.  I reassured him that I loved him and made clear how important he is to me.  He was mumbling “okay mommy” between snores.  Part of me wants to believe that an episode like this won’t happen again, but I know how smart my children are and I know that they have a tendency to say whatever it is that’s on their minds.  The question is how will I respond.

I’ve been thinking about a solution ever since this happened and I feel like there really is no quick or single solution.  Assuring my children of how much they mean to me is a daily task that must be carried out in actions, not just words.  Getting back on track with one/one dates are a must.  And regardless of how tired I am, when Jonny’s asleep or with Daddy I have to turn that time into quality time with the kids.

In my online search for solutions, I found several tips for coping with this very common syndrome and how to give children the reassurance they need.

1.  Allow your older children times when they can be a “baby”.  For families with very young children {2 years old}, it’s harder for parents to expect the older children to be “baby’s helper”.  Afterall, this older child is still a baby as well.  It’s important to snuggle the now big brother/sister like you used to when he/she was the baby.

2.  Reinforce good behavior.  Everyone likes to be affirmed when they’re doing something good.  We like it even more when someone else is told how great we are.  When caring for the newborn in earshot of older children, tell the newborn how thankful you are that he has a great older brother to help take care of him.  The older sibling will hear this and feel good about himself and the baby.

3.  Talk about it.  I was surprised to see there are a number of children’s books that deal with newborn baby jealousy.  Angelina’s Baby Sister by Helen Craig is a book about a girl who is excited about the arrival of her little sister but quickly becomes jealous once the new baby begins receiving all of the attention.  There is a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and I guess the title is self-explanatory.

4.  Recruit the extended family.  Grandparents love nothing more than to love on their grandchildren.  This is the perfect time to plan some special bonding time with the grandparents and older siblings.

5.  Introducing baby.  When the siblings first meet the new baby, try allowing someone else to hold the baby or placing him in a crib so that when you make introductions you can hug and cuddle the older siblings at the same time, reassuring them that you still have time for them.

6.  Picture time. It’s inevitable that you’ll want to snap as many baby pictures as you can.  Try making sure the siblings are in as many of those pictures as you can.

One thing I know for sure is no matter how many blog posts I read, books I scan or advice I receive, nothing beats prayer and hearing from God.  In every challenge I have, I trust that God will work it out sooner or later.  In the meantime, I’m exercising my God-given wisdom and learning as much as I can about this issue.  Anyone struggling with this challenge, I encourage you to take it to God.



MOMMY 101: 20 Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag?

I’m going to be completely honest.  With Jaxon, I was super prepared way in advance of my due date.  It almost became an obession.  The nursery was done, the closet was organized the diapers and wipes were in size order, everything was perfect and like I said, way in advance of my due date.

All of my deliveries have been a breeze so consequently, I started to get more and more lax with the hospital prep, namely my hospital bag.  With Jonny, I prepped my bag about a week before his due date, which in normal people’s time is cutting it very very close.  It’s not that I had been procrastinating it was that I kept getting distracted, which happens so easy to a pregnant brain.  I had everything I needed except for JONNY’S CLOTHES!  #FAIL  How do you forget to pack your newborn baby’s clothes?  Hello?  Someone…Bueller?  Just completely and totally forgot and didn’t even realize it until we were about to head home from the hospital.  Thank goodness for a sweet and understanding husband who puts up with my blonde moments.

For those of you who are much better at life than me, here’s what I packed in my hospital bag and of course something very important that I didn’t pack.  Make sure you get your bag packed at least 2 weeks early.

Coming from a lady who’s had 4 children (wow, it’s crazy typing that) here are the must have items for your hospital bag.  You don’t have to run out and purchase these exact brands, but just make sure you have these items in your bag.  Got it?

Hospital Bag



1.  Bath Robe – Bring at least one robe {two is better} that you don’t mind getting soiled.  Some moms don’t like to wear the hospital gown at all and prefer their own garments, which is totally your choice and if that’s you, then bring two.  I don’t mind the hospital gown because it gives you the easiest access to taking care of your business if you know what I mean {you probably don’t but you will}.  Be aware that your robe could get blood on it, and whatever robe you bring it should allow you to nurse {if you plan to nurse}.
2.  Skid-Free Socks – Be sure and bring a pair of socks with the rubbery bottom to prevent skidding.  Once you’re out of the bed, you don’t want to worry about possibly slipping on the hospital floor.  Some moms also opt to walk the hospital halls while pushing their baby in the crib so skid-free socks are important.  If you don’t bring socks, ask the nurse staff if they have socks you can borrow.  The last thing you want is to catch a cold or bring any more germies home with you.  PS. the hospital will give you a plastic bag to put your belongings in when you arrive.  Use this bag to put your soiled garments and make sure hubby dumps then in the washing machine as soon as you get home.
3.  Nursing Bra – There’s so much I can tell you about nursing, but we’ll stick with the bra for now.  If you plan to nurse, this is a necessity.  Nursing bras come in all kinds of designs.  I personally like the one above that allows you to snap and unsnap the breast flap.  It makes things so much easier.
4.  Comfortable Sandals – Be sure to bring a comfortable pair of slides or sandals that you can wear home from the hospital.  Again, make sure they are comfortable and non-slip.  After giving birth, your lower extremities are usually pretty week.  I’ve personally made the mistake of underestimating how weak my legs are and the fact that my body is still recovering and could have almost taken a spill a time or two.
5. Duffle Bag – If you want to bring a big cute bag, bring it.  Since the hubby was lugging everything into the hospital, we opted to bring a manly Nike duffle bag.  Make sure the bag is not overstuffed as there are typically items you’ll bring home with you from the hospital {for example, formula, feminine pads, disposable panties}.
6.  Phone + wallet + ID + Insurance Card + Hospital papers – Seems like a no brainer, but it’s so easy to forget to bring these very important items.  When you know it’s time to head to the hospital, ditch the purse and just put these 4 essential items in the duffle.
7.  Eyeglasses – If you wear eyeglasses, bring them.  You want to see what the bun in the oven looks like dontcha?
8.  Sponge/Washcloth – Hospitals usually don’t provide toiletries.  Take your shower sponge and/or washcloth.
9.  Soap – While I don’t recommend that you applying lotion or any other moisturizer, since your baby is still so fresh, I do recommend bringing a fragrance free soap for showering and wash-up. You might even want to bring the soap you’ll be using to bathe your baby and use that.
10.  Brush – Take only your essential hair products like a brush. You want to look at least halfway decent in your pictures?  Trust me bring it. Otherwise, in 10 years when you’re looking back at these hospital pictures you’ll be blaming hubby for “not telling you” that you looked a mess.  I learned the hard way. LOL
11.  Baby Layette – Bring at least 2 pairs of baby clothes including a head beanie and blanket.  Since baby’s body is learning to regulate it’s temperature he’s going to need your help to keep him warm and comfortable.  Even if it feels warm out to you, it’s good to keep a light blanket on him over his clothes.
12.  Book/Kindle – Especially if you’re being induced, bring a book or something to keep you entertained as labor can take a while.  I had an epidural with all 4 of my children so literally once it kicked in, I either fell asleep or watched TV.
13.  Toothbrush + Toothpaste – because no one wants to smell stinky breath, not even baby.
14.  Nursing Pads – These guys come in all kinds of varieties.  I use the disposable kind from Lansinoh and I love them!  Even if you’re opting not to nurse, you’ll still need nursing pads because your body naturally produces milk, if you don’t pump or nurse you’ll have leakage, not to mention painfully engorged breasts.
15.  Nursing Cream – The fact that nurses and doctors sometimes don’t tell you is that nursing is painful at first. If nothing else, it’s uncomfortable.  Not all women, but some women have a difficult time nursing which leads to dry, cracked and even bleeding nipples.  If this is you, ALWAYS consult a lactation specialist first.  When choosing a cream to use, make sure you select a product that is 100% pure lanolin.  This will heal your nipples the fastest and is the safest for your baby.
16.  Chapstick – The whole process of delivering a baby is dehydrating.  Once baby is born, you’ll want to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, of course. Chapstick is also important.
17.  Deodorant – Another item to make sure and pack.  It’s just as important as the toothbrush and toothpaste.
18.  iPad – Another device to divert your attention while waiting for baby to make his debut.
19.  Comfy Go-Home Outfit – Because your luxurious stay at the hospital has to come to an end eventually, be sure to pack  a lightweight outfit for the ride home.
20.  Charger – You don’t want to miss any of those precious moments so make sure you have all of your necessary gadget chargers.
I pray that your pregnancy and delivery are all that you want it to be.

MOMMY 101: Stuff for Baby

If you ask me, it’s a conspiracy.  There are tons upon tons of cute thingamabobs and whatnots for baby girls but when it comes to baby boys, you can hardly find a stitch of cuteness anywhere.  Granted, Jonny won’t be leaving the house for the first two months of his life, but it’s the principle, right?

While Jonny was napping a stole a few minutes and found some really cute boys stuff for the little mister.  Take a look.




MOMMY 101: Baby’s Here!



You know the feeling.  You roll into work a few minutes late hoping to squeeze by to your desk without anyone noticing.  That’s kind of the feeling I have about this blog post.  I feel soo terrible that I’ve been away from the blog for so long that it’s almost awkward coming back.  Here’s the truth, I’ve been major MIA for a while quite honestly because I was beginning to get blogger’s remorse.  Did I just coin a term?  Blogger’s remorse is the feeling of regret from neglecting your family and loved ones for the sake of blogging.  Now I guess I can’t say I was full on neglecting my family and loved ones, but it just felt like every time I had a small chunk of time to work on a post, I felt the need to instead read a book with my littles, play Barbies or take a walk with them.  As a result, the blog suffered.

Blogger’s remorse coupled with the fact that I didn’t have the energy to put together an outfit that would fit, much less look cute, led me to take somewhat of a sabbatical.  Still, it would have been nice for me to mention that instead of disappearing off the face of the earth.  All that’s to say, I’m sorry for being away for so long.

For now, I wanted to share with you all that baby Jonny Luis Young was born on Friday, July 25th and this picture was taken just seconds after he was put into daddy’s arms.  He’s a dream.  There’s something about the bond between mothers and sons that’s unlike anything on earth.  I’m writing this post as he’s napping, which will probably be the norm for quite a while.  Stay tuned for more pics (better pics) of Jonny et al in upcoming posts.

Thanks for sticking with me.



9 Fourth of July Finds

It goes without saying that the real meaning of fourth of July is to celebrate our wonderful country’s independence.  Independence that is hard fought for and protected.  On this day we celebrate liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.  Traditionally, Americans like to spend fourth of July with friends and family enjoying good food and the great outdoors.  And it doesn’t hurt to look super cute while doing so.

- find your favorite item below -