This is the place for moms In The Making, who smile with the messes, embrace the unexpected, and know that every day is a blessing.

Friday, May 30, 2014

How To Survive A Stressful Day

Surviving a Stressful Day - Me ahh face

Do you ever want a reset button for the day?

Everything just went all wrong… you accomplished less than you wanted to, you had less patience than you wanted. Things were messier, kids were crabbier and the list goes on and on…

...after extensive research from Megamind (lol)...

Pic Mega Mind in elevator with girl - I’ve already looked into reset button… its impossible


...I can say there isn’t a current working reset button for our days. But we do alway have tomorrow.

Devising a strategy for surviving a stressful day can be tricky. You need to find what you can’t change. It might seem negative, but once you know that, you can focus on the things you can improve.

I recently had two days back to back that couldn’t have been more different. Sure the circumstances were identical… but on day #2, I decided it would be a great day. I was going to eliminate all the external stress that I could.

Things that transformed my stressful day into a magical one:

  1. We read stories for a long time… while not accomplishing anything. (except quality mother son time, which is probably the most important thing anyway!)

    me and Charlie reading stories
  2. We set aside our weaning goals and just nursed.

  3. I’ll confess we did enjoy a few pieces of candy together… not a great idea for everyday, but it gave me the happiest baby alive during a few key moments when a meltdown wasn’t ideal.

Charlie looking up smiling

These three simple things took a day that could have ended in tears and made it beautiful. Think about your stressful days. What are the things you can’t change? Now that you’ve got that, is there anything you could do to improve the situation?

Far away story reading

Rome wasn’t built in a day, you don’t have to accomplish all your dreams at once. If it is going to be a stressful day, maybe it is a good time to relax on a few other things.

How do you transform stressful days into great ones?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why You Are Incredible

Do you know why you are incredible?

[Me smiling - You are incredible ]

Because you are a mom! Simply by being a mother you are among the most incredible on earth.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

As mothers, it is easy to see others who might have more talent, money, or less weight and stress. But you cannot compare yourself, you are an incredible gift to your child.

  1. 1st, You gave your child life. While this seems like an obvious one, sadly it isn’t today. You didn’t have to welcome your child into this world. You did and that alone makes you a hero!

  2. If you adopted your baby or are a foster mommy there aren’t words to describe what a great mom you are. You have forever changed you baby’s life!

  3. [charlie feet on my shoes]
  4. 2nd, You love your child. Sure there might be moments when you could be a bit more patient or slightly more fun. But your child is the center of your world.

  5. [Charlie looking at me]
  6. 3rd, You sacrificed for your child. Pregnancy is not easy, labor gets it name for a reason. And the funny thing is once they’re born, pregnancy and labor can sometimes seem like the easy parts.

May is a wonderful time where mothers get a day dedicated to them! My son woke up at 6:45am to help me appreciate the day. But as he stared at me with his adorable eyes and kissed my face over and over and said, “mom!” How could I be upset? This is what I waited for, these are the moments that make motherhood great!

[charlie feet facing forward]

Everyday should be Mother’s Day! You wouldn’t be here without your mom, and your baby’s adorable life is here because you said yes to the joys, struggles and surprises of motherhood.

[Charlie looking and pointing]

You might think being incredible looks something like this…

[pic of Mrs. Incredible]

But it actually looks just like YOU!

How do you remember that you are a great mom, even when you’re feeling blue?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How Do You Appreciate The Baby You Have?

Do you appreciate the baby you have?

[Charlie without shirt ]

Yes!...Obviously… is the natural answer. And I don’t think any of us as mothers would say that we don’t appreciate our incredible children.

But what about when you would like another child, and things aren’t working out? You’re unable to conceive or get pregnant for a myriad of reasons. It truly puts you in a hard situation.

On one hand you have people who perhaps think you have too many kids or are overly feisty about having another, so they’ll make comments like, “Why would you want another you already have one?”

Then there are the people who had a baby at the same time as you, and already have another? You find yourself asking what is it that they did so right that they get a baby when I cannot?

[holding dandelion]

This is when we need to stop to truly appreciate the child or children we already have. Even if it can be hard, it doesn’t help comparing ourselves to others. There are woman who would give the world to be in our situation. Woman who are struggling to even have one child.

Ways to appreciate the baby we already have:

  1. Cut yourself some slack. It will be hard sometimes, if you need to take a break from mom’s group or being around a lot of pregnant moms, it’s ok.

  2. Remember the joy when you first discovered you were pregnant. Think about the anticipation you had waiting for your baby’s arrival. You waited so long for this moment, it is here, savor it.

  3. [pic of Charlies feet]
  4. Find something fun that works for just the number of kiddos you have. Having more kids is incredible… But some things work better with a small group, do the things now that would be harder if you were pregnant or had a baby.

  5. [pic coffee cups]
  6. Find a friend. This can be the loneliest time… it seem like everywhere you look there are preggo mamas. It is deceptive though, you’re not alone. There is another mom out there who’s in the same situation as you. Find her! It might take courage to say, hey wanta do lunch? Or how about some ice cream? But trust me, it will be the best thing for you!

Now is the time, stop reading the blog (but do come back soon!) and go spend some quality time with your kiddo.

I would love to know, how do you appreciate the baby you have right now?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dealing with Miss Perfect Mom

“Pregnancy was just the best time in my life, I just felt so great!” “Labor was just so easy… one push and the baby was out.” “I really don’t understand what the big deal is…”

Have you ever encountered the “perfect mom”? Her life is just perfectly easy, wonderful, and she truly believes the rest of the world is just faking their symptoms.

How do you deal with the perfect mom?

If you are the “perfect mom” go easy on your bragging.

For the rest of us, we need to have a strategy so we can endure their odes of wonder with a smile on our face without leaving enraged or discouraged.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

Tips for Dealing with the Perfect Mom:

  1. Know that she really isn’t perfect. Even if she makes it her mission to tell you why every aspect of her life is better than yours, she isn’t perfect in every way or else she wouldn’t be human.

  2. Know there are things that you are incredible at. Sure you might not be the best at going through pregnancy without clinging to a toilet for dear life… But there are things that you are the best at… Even if its not your style to flaunt it to the world… You can smile and know that in your heart.

  3. Try to be patient. Sometimes people really have to push their point because they don’t fully believe it themselves. If they truly are the best mom they should not need to convince you that they are.

  4. Reexamine your own life. Watching the perfect mom talk can often remind us of what we don’t want to look like. If doesn’t help if we only look good, by pointing out the lameness of someone else.

  5. Avoid the situation. I’ve learned the people and situations that I don’t have the patience for and I simply avoid them now. Sure this isn’t always possible, but don’t put yourself in a situation where you know you’ll leave upset.

What are your tips for dealing with “the perfect mom?”

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Is Weaning So Hard?

Were you ready to wean your child?

I don’t want to stop nursing… My son is 17 months and I’m just not ready. Are there downsides to still nursing at this point? Absolutely… Trying to wrestle and nurse a big boy like him in a restaurant or at mass… is always difficult. Then there is always the biting…

Pic me with puzzled face text: Why is weaning so Hard

Overall, I treasure that time with him. I don’t know if it is because I am gone working during the day that it seems extra sacred to me, or I simply enjoy that one on one time.

Pic of me nursing in the graveyard

I also know that it is so good for him. Plus, he doesn’t really enjoy eating all the much… As we affectionately call him… he is a “chunky chunky boy” so I’m not overly concerned about him eating… But still with him not loving food, I’m not thrilled about the idea of quitting nursing.

Pic of Charlie eating strawberries from nexus

Nursing is easier. If he is upset, I can quickly make him happy by nursing him.

Lastly, it was a nightmare getting started with nursing. We had an incredible struggle!! There were countless nights filled with tears as he struggle to gain weight and encountered one obstacle after another. I secretly hoped I could just transition another baby into nursing before finishing with him…

Looking at the hand I’ve been dealt… it doesn’t seem like that’s possible at this point. Life has dictated I’m going to have to spend some time away from my son… so I have to start the weaning process… But how do I find motivation for something I don’t really care to do?

Were you anxious to wean? If not how did you make it a transition that made you both happy?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

An Incredible Baby Carrier That's Quick, Simple, and FREE

How on earth do you get things done while carrying a child? With an Incredible baby carrier!

Baby Carriers can be great! But also really expensive, complicated, or confusing to use.

I have always been very intimidated by the fancy wraps that people wear… but I am excited to say I have conquered my fear!

If you have ever struggled with trying to get things done while holding a baby… I’m happy to say this is a million times easier… plus it is inexpensive.

Steps for this Incredible Baby Carrier

To start you will need a piece of fabric 5 to 6 feet by 4 feet. You do not want stretchy fabric, it needs to be a fabric that will have some friction.

The free option would be to use a bed sheet or a big towel.

Gretchen’s baby is about 10 months old and around 15 pounds. Mine is 17 months and about 24 pounds. But you can do it with any size baby once you get good at it.

If you are terrified at this point, you are in a good place. I am alway scared that I will drop the baby which has always kept me from trying this in the past. Have someone help you!

  1. Swing your baby onto your back. This is the most difficult part. If you start out with the baby on your hip and you’re bent forward slightly it will help. A spotter is great for the first few times getting started.

  2. Once the baby is on your back, you will need to balance the baby while adjusting the cloth over the baby’s back, holding the sides of the cloth in each hand. You want to be pulling the baby snuggly against you. Once again, this part always scares me, but Gretchen assures me that you will feel if the baby is slipping. (If you get nervous at this part feel free to go slow, start over, or wait till someone can spot for you.)

  3. Once you are holding the baby on your back with the cloth, make sure the cloth is even, so you have about the same amount of fabric on both sides.

  4. Wrap one end of the fabric under your arm. Bring down your arm to hold it securely.

  5. Take the second side and wrap it across your chest. You will tuck the fabric tightly like you would a towel. You want to make sure that you are tucking and rolling it outward. This will make it more secure.

  6. Now it’s time to scoot the boot(y). You’ll want to check where your baby is and move them up your back. You’ll want your baby’s legs to be wrapped around your hips. Then wrap the cloth under your baby’s bottom and legs. (It is optional to just go under the baby’s bottom and leave the legs out… but we’re doing a wrap with the legs inside.)

  7. Gather the bottom of the cloth into each hand. Cross one end over and tuck it under your baby’s leg on the opposite side.

  8. Wiggle around a little bit, make sure you feel like you baby is secure. If you need to readjust where you tucked the fabric to make it a bit tighter do that now.

  9. Victory Dance! You did it. Now your arms are free for dancin’... or dishes, laundry….

You can do this! You might have to try a few times. Have someone help you so you don’t have to worry about dropping your baby while you're figuring out the technique.

I would love to hear from you! What is the most effective baby carrier for you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Creating Beautiful Cakes with Maria from Dream Sweet

Do you ever want to make those incredible cakes that you see in the fancy bakeries for your kids birthday parties?

I know I do, but there seems to be a chasm between my skill level and the cakes I see. Maria from Dream Sweet, shares with us today how we can take some simple steps that will transform our cakes into magical wonders.

Listen To This Podcast Episode

But that’s not all… a quick search on Pinterest will give you hundreds of ideas of how to make the most beautiful cake etc… The true secret that Maria shares with us is the encouragement that even experts make mistakes. She shares how the birthday cake that she made for me was a tumbling disaster!

We really need to hear this. Someone who can make incredible cakes... fail sometimes too. So often we look at our own work and are the most critical. I thought my birthday cake was beautiful… but to her it was a crumbling failure.

Even when things don’t turn out the way we’d like, we have to smile and know life goes on beyond a crumbled cake.

Knowing that there are a few fun things to make our cake attempts more glorious:

  1. Rolling out Starbursts - Unwrap and roll starbursts out. Then you can cut them into cute shapes or mold them into flowers.

  2. Put two colors of frosting into a ziplock bag, cut off the tip and make cute two colored letters or decorations for your cake.

  3. Actually follow the directions on how long to mix the cake. Sometimes we tend to mix things the bare minimum… until the ingredients are barely wet. Actually taking the time to fully mix the cake will give you an overall much yummier taste.

BONUS: Maria forgot this tip on the podcast, but wanted to share. After you finish frosting the cake if you sprinkle a little bit of water on the frosting then go back over it with a spatula… it will be smooth as silk.

How do you stay inspired if you project starts to crumble?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dealing with Baby Haters

Have you ever been in the grocery store and someone gave you a rude look and took a jab at your parenting or kid’s behavior? How did you handle someone insulting your family?

There is a moment seared in my memory when I had a cashier explain to my husband and I that there were things that could be done to avoid pregnancy… while I was about 5 months pregnant. I had recently lost a child in a miscarriage so enduring this crass comment killed my soul for weeks.

preggo belly

Living in a small town I see this same cashier over and over again… (obviously avoiding her line at all costs) Last night, while I was checking out of the store, there she was… with an empty line. I however chose the one with people.

me carrying Charlie in store

She proceeded to walk over and ooohhh and ahhh at what an incredible baby I had. How sweet and adorable. I wanted to shout, “No thanks to you, you never wanted us to have this child!”

She clearly has a skewed view of parenthood that prompted her to make her original comment, (reminding me that I could have avoided this pregnancy…) I knew I needed to show joyful motherhood and smile as she fawned over my baby.

Yet, it was so difficult. How could I let her adore my child, when she was so hateful to him while he was in my womb?

How do you respond when someone insults your family?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why Do We Shun Nursing Failures?

Nursing is an incredible awesome gift that a mother and child can share. But why are there haters for those who cannot succeed?

I feel like there are three camps:

  • Nursing is the ONLY way.

  • Bottle are the ONLY way.

  • And then the mother’s who feel horribly guilty because they can’t nurse.

This week I’ve talked with a bunch of mom’s who gave their hearts trying to nurse. They did all the things you’re supposed to do. They even met with multiple lactation consultants, when they encountered problems.

Despite their best efforts, they weren’t able to nurse. It came to a breaking point. Emotionally they were defeated, physically they were suffering. Yet there was this odd paradox… finally in giving a bottle they received joy in taking care of their child, yet they felt judged and shunned for not doing what was “best” for their baby.

I could identify with the pain they experienced… I struggled immensely when I started nursing my son. He was losing weight and I felt like the ultimate failure, I couldn’t provide for my son! Meanwhile, my friend was bursting at the seams with milk… which always make you feel great!

People kept telling me to stick with! Things would improve, and some statistic about how most mothers quit nursing like 48 hours before things were about to get better.

It got the point I had to start supplementing with formula, because I couldn’t take it anymore. While seeing him happy and well fed I felt like a loser with every bottle he took. Then a babysitter wasted 2 oz of pumped milk!! I gave my life pumping that bottle!! I almost died (Ok not really, but it felt like I would)

I consider it a huge blessing that after a month of torture… (physically, emotionally etc.) I was able to just nurse full time! I was able to quit supplementing!! But not everyone is that lucky.

I truly appreciate the people who encouraged me to stick with nursing. I’m glad I did. Now nursing takes no effort at all. It is incredibly healthy for my son, way cheaper, and I can share that special time with him.

But what about my friends? They aren’t bad moms… Are there benefits they lost in not being able to nurse? Absolutely! But I don’t need to tell them that… they are already weeping for themselves.

The most difficult thing, they said, was the people who continued to talk “at” them about all the benefits of nursing and why they should be doing it. Or why they simply need to stick it out for longer.

Another difficulty is when people would oversimplify nursing… It is so easy, it’s natural, I don’t understand all the fuss. But it's not easy for everyone.

I want to encourage my friends to nurse! I want them to succeed! If they need encouragement in the storm before smooth sailing, I want to be there cheerleader!

However, I never want to the be one with judging eyes, who makes them feel small or worthless in their struggle. This is hard because an offhand comment about how all great mothers nurse, or that formula fed babies get sick more often… said between nursing moms in innocence, can crush the mom who is secretly struggling. (I know I've felt crush by these comments before).

How did you choose nursing or bottles? Did you ever feel guilty or judged about your choice?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Treasure Every Moment

A Mother's Lullaby Comic
What is it about my day   
That makes me asleep

My son up all night
With more than a peep

Is it the running round all day
At least in my mind

Stuck on a hamster wheel   
Unable to unwind
sisters crazy face
Sure I have my moments 
Of domestic bliss

But in the crazy rat race
Often that, I miss 

I know life can’t go on pause
For a week or two

How does life as a mom
Make sense for me and you

Savor moments now and then 
When things are golden

Over look the crazy times
When walls of life are fold’n

Find a great ‘n close friend
To share your thoughts each day 

Know that you are not alone
Crazy in the fray 

Babies are not young forever  
Trials ebb and go
Charlie snuggling with me at cemetery
Treasure each day as a gift
Your heart with overflow

Listen To This Podcast Episode

Sometimes it’s easier for us to focus on what we’re going to do in the next 15 minutes than it is for us to focus on this moment right now… but time with our children is precious and we need to savor these moments.

Of course, some are those times when you have a kid who's up screaming in the middle of the night. (If I could savor that a little less… that’d be awesome.) But, we still have to think about the changes that will be coming up in their lives.

I’m starting to wean my son Charlie. Nursing is a season in his life that is about to go away... And I’m kinda sad to see it go. It took me a long time to get the hang of it. So now, when I do nurse Charlie, I really take the time to appreciate that special moment that we share, because I know that it’s going to be coming to an end.

Our kids are always getting bigger. One day, they will stop clinging to our legs, or crying when we leave the room, or trying to tackle us when we’re getting something hot out of the oven. And as crazy as it sounds, we’re gonna miss it when it’s gone.

Here are some tips to help you savor these moments in your life:

  1. Remember the special moments each day - This can be early morning, late night, or during a nap.

  2. Make goals to have special moments with your kids - I did this by dedicating some time to read with my son each day.

  3. Take time to do silly things - Anything that brings a smile to your kids face. For us it’s bubbles.

  4. Don’t waste moments - A trip to the store with your kid might seem like a chore, but it can be almost as good as a relaxing moment at home if you have the right attitude.

  5. Make the mundane fun - Challenge yourself to find a fun middle road between a chore and a play date. For us, sometimes that’s walking to the store instead of driving.

Know that every day there are opportunities to treasure where your kids are now. How do you treasure each day?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why does Cleaning Make My House Look Worse?

Untitled Document Why Does Cleaning My House Make It Look Worse?
I wake up early, run around 
Put the toys in place

All my efforts are a fail
My house is a disgrace

Sure if I never cleaned
Or I never tried

I would understand my plight
Wouldn’t ask... now why?

The further I dig into things
Try to organize

The bigger mess seems to ensure
Cleaning seems unwise

I know the storm before the calm
Worse before its better

Wish I had a little more hope
I won’t get a failing letter 

Listen To This Podcast Episode

We’ve been really trying to dig in and clean. Find the root problems to why messes seem to haunt our home and pull the problems up at the root.

Charlie with cereal on the floor
Leaving the cereal box within reach... big problem lol

I’m excited about this process… Ok that's a lie. I’m not excited… I’m excited about having a beautifully organized house so I never have to clean again. But the problem is that every time we pull things out to rethink our process. It creates a heaping disaster!!

Top Ways to Make Your House Look Worse While Cleaning:

  1. Pulling out things without time to actually solves the problems.

  2. Trying to organize things when the basics of the house are undone.

  3. Trying to tackle too many areas at once

  4. Taking apart the old system for organizing (even if its a bad one) without a new one to replace it. Example… Not using our coat rack for all our coats, so now the extra coats are ending up on the couch or floor while we decided on new coats hooks etc.

Charlie with Coffee
Maybe if I got my coffee back I'd be better at cleaning lol

How do you rethink problem areas in your house without creating a monster in the process?

I can’t wait to hear your ideas!