Transitioning from the Crib to the Bed

After only 2 years, 2 months, and 3 days in her crib, my daughter has moved on up to the big girl bed. We have had the room set up for a while now with the bedroom set from my own childhood, pretty purple walls, and moved all of her toys and clothes over. Since last night, however, she has been sleeping in the crib that will soon become her sister’s. The transition actually went pretty well, with only an hour or so of tears, talking, and cuddles until our little big girl fell asleep andstayed asleep until 7:30 this morning! So, here are the steps we took to transition our toddler to her big girl bed.

  1. Talk it up. We have been talking about this transition for months.We spent time playing in the room, sometimes pretend sleeping in the bed, and just talking about it during dinner.
  2. Space it out.If you are moving them over to make space in a crib for a second child, like we are doing, make sure you space it out. We didn’t want Aubrey to feel like she was being kicked out of her crib, so we transitioned her last night and are going to wait a few weeks to a month to transition the baby to the crib.
  3. Buy bumpers. Instead of cumbersome and unsightly bed rails, we decided on bumpers that gounder the sheet and have non-slip pads on the bottom so that they don’t slip on the mattress, and they worked like a charm. She didn’t fall out of the bed, and she actually used them to cuddle so I think that’s a win-win. Also, the bed is full-size and not a toddler bed, so this step was super important for us. You can purchase these bumpers through THIS LINK.(note, this is an affiliate link and I do receive commission from purchases through this link.
  4. Let your child pick out their bedding. I took Aubrey to Target- one of our favorite places- and let her pick out her sheets and comforter so that she wouldwant to sleep in her big girl bed. She picked out precious sheets with unicorns AND deer on them(two of her favorite animals) and a pretty pink comforter.
  5. Follow your normalroutine.Josh normally reads a book to Aubrey before bed and prays with her, so last night he did the same thing but in her bed with her, before saying goodnight. This was tricky though because it was new for her and she did shed some tears.
  6. Give them time. After Josh left the room and the tears started, he waited 5 minutes before going back in to comfort her. Then 10, then 15, and we continued to space it out. We would comfort, tuck back in, and then leave again, which leads me to my 7th point.
  7. DO NOT CAVE.There will be tears. There will be some screaming probably. There will most likely be some getting out of the bed. Do. Not. Cave. If you cave, it will just continue and you are postponing the inevitable. We watched her monitor and wanted to cry with her/crawl in bed with her and sleep there all night, but we would’ve been doing her a disservice.
  8. Congratulate them!After a full night of sleep in her big girl bed, we let Aubrey know how proud we were of her and we were so excited that she slept ALL night in her bed!

Now, I’m not saying these steps will guarantee an easy transition, but they worked for us. If you’ve done something differently, and it’s worked, then that is AWESOME! I would love to hear more tips so that I can mention them to other mothers! I’m always open for suggestions

Good luck! You’ll make it, mama

Niki

End of the Week Update

This week has absolutely flown by! I realized I haven’t been able to post in a bit so this is just an update on what’s going on in my life right now. I love writing and putting all of my thoughts into words but lately I’ve been too tired to even think!

Last week, I signed myself up for 4 weeks of boot camp to kick off my weight loss/toning goals. I’m really not concerned about weight as much as I am about how I feel and look. Right now, I’m feeling a little too soft and giggly. That’s just what happens when you have two babies back-to-back. I’ve been to 6 classes so far and I’m really loving it and it feels so good to be using muscles that I haven’t used in a while and did I mention that they provide childcare? It’s AWESOME! So not only do I get to work out, but I get to do so WITHOUT the distraction of kids. And it’s also a really tough workout, henceboot camp, so I feel accomplished when I’m done.

I’ve been eating pretty healthy as well, which is a lot easier when you are on a dairy restriction that affects your baby and not you(I would just suck it up and suffer through it if I wanted some ice cream, but I can’t do that to my sweet girl). I did have a bite of ice cream on July 4th and it went over alright with the babe, but I don’t want to push it. But I can’t have cheese, any of the creams, or a lot of baked goods so it shuts out a lot of the temptation I would normally face. I just find myself craving a lot of bread and sugar still and I’m trying to chug water when I have these cravings(I’ve heard that when you’re thirsty, your mind tricks you into thinking you’re hungry…) But I’ll be honest, I still want some tasty sugar carbs after I chug the water.

I am determined to get this mom bod toned and healthy before this fall full of weddings! I know this body has gone through a lot with housing and birthing two humans, so I’m not going to hate on it. It’s pretty impressive actually. However, I just want to tone it up just in case I have to beat anyone up that looks at my girls the wrong way. Just kidding. Maybe. I couldn’t knock a fly out right now if I wanted to. Today’s workout was upper body and I have jello arms. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow!

In other news, tonight was the first night for Aubrey in her big girl bed! We went to Target yesterday and she got to pick out new sheets and a new comforter for her bed, in hopes that she would be excited to sleep in it. It worked and she was so excited about her new sheets with unicorns AND deer on them. So 7:30 rolled around and we got her ready for bed and all was well. Josh read a book to her, as usual, and tucked her in…and then the tears started. It was SO HARD to not go in there and fall asleep next to her. We were watching her on the monitor and fighting the temptation to run in and save her for who knows how long. I think she finally fell asleep around 8:30, so hopefully she sleeps through the night.

My town is having a Gilmore Girls block party next week, so I’ve been re-watching Gilmore Girls from the start and so it’s just constantly on in our house and I’m loving it! I so wish we could visit Stars Hollow but sadly, it doesn’t exist. Now all I want to do is go up to Boston during the fall(or anywhere in the Northeast) and stay in a bed and breakfast! FYI, there’s a 14 bedroom house down the road that’s for sale and would be a perfect B&B, but it’s 1.5M and also there’s really not a whole lot to do around here, so no wonder they’re selling…

Since I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls all week, I decided to see what it took to get into Harvard these days. Can you believe that pretty much the minimum GPA to get in is a 4.1? That’s MORE than just straight A’s. Also, the minimum SAT score is 1540. If a student had both of those, there’s still only a 6% chance of getting in. That is crazy! I mean it could happen, but I don’t think either of our girls will be attending. UGA is much more attainable. GO DAWGS!

Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt to stain our deck and front porch, if my arms don’t fall off before then. I told the hubs I would stain if he watched the girls so I can’t complain about sore arms or heat! Wish me luck!

And remember- you’ll make it, mama

Niki

Slime-Making for Beginners

We had a very busy week this week, hence my post being several days over due, with celebrating the 4th of July and starting my new workout regimen and making a huge mess in our house making SLIME! We had attempted making slime a couple of weeks ago, with a huge fail. We discovered the reason behind the fail and brought in a slime-making expert(a 5th grader) and tried again! This time was a success and super fun!

The first step is to gather all of your ingredients that you’ll need, which include: ELMER’S GLUE (This is crucial. Non-Elmer’s glue WILL NOT form the slime.), contact solution containing boric acid, shaving cream for fluffy slime(not necessary), glitter(not necessary either). Please disregard the baking soda in the picture. Several recipes called for that but we ended up not using it and it worked fine. Also, we did not use measurements so you can put away your measuring cups and spoons. Yay for wingin’ it!img_5422

Then, we poured one bottle of Elmer’s in a bowl. We wanted this slime to be fluffy so we just added a few squirts of shaving cream. img_5421
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We mixed the glue and shaving cream until combined well, and then squirted a little bit of contact solution and mixed, and continued squirting little by little until it turned into slime that we could handle without it sticking to everything. Be careful if you are making this with small kids, and do most of the mixing yourself. Do not let them eat it or lick their hands. Mine wanted to play with it before we had enough contact solution and it was such a pain to get off of her hands.img_5424

Slime is almost complete!img_5427

Finished Slime! We added LOTS of glitter to ours. At this point, it’s very easy to mix with your hands. You should be able to pour the glitter on and then work it in like dough. Word to the wise, do not use glitter if you don’t want it ALL OVER your house. Someone had already recommended that to us and I thought it wouldn’t be too bad, plus I LOVE glitter, but it literally was everywhere.

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Ready to make more?! Yeah! Now on to regular slime with no shaving cream. Again, pour one bottle of glue into your bowl.
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Since we made just regular white slime the first time, we thought it might be fun to mix things up and add some food coloring! Gimme some pink!img_5434.jpg

After your food coloring is blended into your glue, add your squirts of contact solution and mix until it is a dough-like consistency and does not stick to your hands. img_5436

We got REALLY wild and mixed the fluffly slime with the regular slime, and of course we added more glitter. Notice it is ALL OVER the table.
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Overall, this was a really fun activity and my favorite part was that it took a while to mix everything and play with it and it kept my toddler entertained the whole time. However, this is an activity that you can’t leave your toddler alone with so you can’t just sit them down at the table and think you can go clean or watch Netflix. You are all hands in on this one.

I don’t think we’ll be making a habit of this, however, I have seen some really cool slimes on Instagram, so maybe we’ll try those if we’re feelin’ crazy…

Here’s to making slime, a huge mess, and most importantly, memories!

You’ll make it, mama

Niki

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Most Sundays, I find a little quiet time when my husband takes my oldest daughter to the grocery store to watch a live message from church. I love watching Andy Stanley, and I feel like he preaches about passages in a way that relates to everyone, even non-believers. I think that is what’s so great about his sermons, because he wants to reach everyone and teach them about Jesus, even if they have no knowledge of Him.

This Sunday, I had to catch up and watch the first message in the current series called Me and My Big Mouth, and the title of the message is Quick to Listen. If you have 40 minutes, you can listen to itHERE.The passage in the Bible that sparked this message is James 1:19-20.

19My dear brothers and sisters,take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speakand slow to become angry,20because human angerdoes not produce the righteousness that God desires.

That passage and message hit me really hard, and is something that I have struggled with and am going to work on. Ever since I watched it, I’ve been linking it to everything going on in politics right now and in friendships. The main message is this: In an argument or discussion, we need to bequick to listen andslow to speak. That means that we need to truly listen to the other person’s ideas/points and not be thinking about how we are going to reply. If we are thinking about our reply, we’re not truly understanding. Then we need to ask questions if we don’t understand where the other person is coming from, instead of assuming.

Even if we believe we are right in the argument, we need to understand that the other person also believes that THEY are also right. We need to understand that God does not want us to be rightat one another, but rightwithone another. That really got to me. And when James says “anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” he is SO right! Everyone is concerned with rightness, and self righteousness, but that is NOT the righteousness that we need to be striving for.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,and continues in itnot forgetting what they have heard, but doing itthey will be blessed in what they do.

26Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tonguesdeceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look afterorphans and widowsin their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I keep reading this chapter in James and it gets me even more hyped. Verse 26 says “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion isworthless.” SO MANY people need to hear this. We(I’m just as guilty) as Christians need to be better about our actions and words and truly reflect how God wants us to be.

I know that this message could be helpful in my own marriage and in my own friendships. When someone tells me that I’ve hurt them, instead of claiming my own hurt or defending my actions, I will affirm their feelings and apologize. When I know I’m right, instead of stating my case with evidence or shutting down, I will be curious and patient while the other person explains their point of view. I wish more people would practice this too, and I feel like the world would be much more peaceful.

Try practicing this in your own relationships and let me know how it goes. You’ll make it, mama!

Niki

Breastfeeding Fun Facts

I am no expert on breastfeeding, but after breastfeeding my first for 8 months and currently breastfeeding my 5 month old, I have learned a few things.

  1. It is actually not fun. Breastfeeding is hard work from the moment your child comes into this world. It will get easier over time and you will find your groove, but it is never fun. It may be an awesome bonding experience(totally is) and you may love it(or hate it) but it’s still not fun. Sorry.
  2. It is all about the latch.The latch is essential to all things breastfeeding. My nurse with aubrey was very “hands on” and literally grabbed my boob like a sandwich and then guided aubrey to it. It worked like a charm, but for A LOT of women, the latch isn’t always great. A wrong latch can decrease your milk production, make your baby hungry and mad, make you hurt, and make things very complicated. The main thing is, you have to get alllll of that sucker in the baby’s mouth, not just the nipple.
  3. Your nipples will bleed like Andy’s did on The Office during the charity fun run.Yeah. They will. Lanolin will be your bff for the first weeks, maybe months, until those bad boys get used to the daily torture they’re enduring.
  4. Your boobs will look AWESOME.Until you’re done nursing. Then they just look like sad, half-deflated balloons. So, keep nursing! Yay!
  5. Pumping is a blessing and a curse.It is so nice to be able to pump milk and save it or put it in a bottle so that someone else can feed the baby once in a while, or all the time, whichever. However, it is so difficult to find a time and a place to pump, especially when watching another child.
  6. It is SO rewarding.I love the fact that I am supplying all of the nutrients for my 5 month old right now, as she is fed solely on breastmilk. It is also such a bonding experience and I actually do enjoy it. Most of the time.
  7. Teething also isn’t fun.You would think that doesn’t fit in this list of breastfeeding facts, but it certainly does. Biting happens. If you know what I mean. Biting and pulling. I still haven’t figured out how to stop this from happening, so I’ll just say it’s not fun. What helps is squeezing the breast so that the nipple can’t be fully smushed, but it still doesn’t feel good. We will get past this.
  8. You will always be hungry. Breastfeeding burns calories when you’re just relaxing because you’re producing food for another human, so you will stay hungry. I do, at least. But it’s AWESOME because you will lose weight while eating ALL the snacks. Thumbs up for that one!
  9. All nursing bras are awful.They really need to figure that one out. You can’t wear regular bras with the underwire because you can’t move the cups out of the way easily, nursing bras with no underwire aren’t very supportive and also show leaks like no ones business, and then the nursing bras with underwire are also very uncomfortable and not very flattering. Come on, somebody. Help us ladies out!
  10. You will leak.Not sure why I forgot about this one until the end. But yes, leakage is really bad in the beginning and nursing pads are absolutely necessary. Now, they don’t happen as often, but they still happen if I’ve gone a while without pumping or breastfeeding.
  11. It’s worth it!All the pain, soreness, leaking, and occasional biting are a small price to pay for what you’re giving to your child. So even if you have to exclusively pump or supplement, you are doing a GREAT job! You’ll make it, mama!

Niki

 

Sleep or Lack Thereof

Sleep. Everyone told me when I was pregnant with both of my daughters to “sleep while you can!” and at that point in my pregnancy, I was ready for them to come into the world and I already wasn’t sleeping great so I thought it couldn’t get much worse. I actually thought I would sleep better since I wouldn’t be so uncomfortable anymore and then I’d have a reason to be awake at 2:00 in the morning instead of needing to pee for the 5th time or needing to move my restless legs, or just a racing mind. You know, all of those pregnancy relatedjoys.

You may notice that I said with both of my daughters I thought I would sleep better, and no, they are not twins. It really is true that you forget most of the bad things about birth and the first months of your child’s life. Probably because you’re sleep deprived, at least that’s what I’m claiming. We found out we were pregnant with our second daughter when our first was a year old and sleeping great. So, by the time our second was due, I had totally forgotten that it took almost a year to get to the great sleep, and that I was sleep deprived formonths.

I have several friends that have children and it seems like most of them sleep great. I don’t understand. I’ve read all the articles and blogs on how to sleep train your children, and how to get them to sleep through the night at 2 days old. Just kidding, I’ve never found that one. But maybe I’m just a wimp. I hate hearing my babies cry. That’s why it took 8 whole months to sleep train our first daughter and I cried the first couple nights with her. I loved sleep as a baby, child, teen, and adult. I don’t understand why neither of my babies like sleep! I always say they have FOMO(fear of missing out), because I do too, and I make light of it but it’s really frustrating. I’m waking up at least every 2 hours and the youngest is still sleeping in the bed with us. We’re totally bed-sharers over here and we did it with our first too and it’s the only way I seem to get any shut-eye.

Lack of sleep makes the mind think crazy thoughts, or think no thoughts at all. I went to grab the scissors the other day to cut a tag off, and grabbed the lighter instead and almost started a fire. Should I admit that? I should. I’m being real and that’s about as real as it gets. I’ve done several other really stupid things, but I don’t remember. Because, sleep. Another thing it does is make me frazzled and on edge about anything. My poor husband has to deal with my dramatics as it is, he doesn’t need my no-sleep-drama too. I seriously get so sassy without sleep and I get upset over the smallest things. It’s almost like being pregnant again.

I occasionally let the tiredness become exhaustion and then I’m just looking to pick a fight. My husband works a full-time job to provide for us, and to allow me to stay at home with the girls. I’ve unfortunately argued with him several times on who is more tired. But the thing is, we’re both tired and for good reason. We canboth be tired and no one has to win, because really we’re both losing. It’s so hard sometimes for both parties I think to realize that it’s hard staying at home with kids all day and never having a break, and it’s also hard to work at a desk all day and have meetings and then a long commute to and from work. Luckily for me, my husband is very understanding(that I’m an occasional turd) and also forgetful, so he doesn’t hold it over me.

I just have to remind myself that this is just a phase in our life and it will pass. Hopefully sooner rather than later because this mama is whooped. I know I can’t be the only mama out there that doesn’t sleep, so I hope this hits home for someone and I hope that you know you’re not alone. As mamas we have to support each other; so next time you see a mama with her hair in a legit messy bun(not the stylish ones), leaking milk on one side, with spit up running down her sleeve, just give her a smile and an understanding nod. You’ll make it, mama!

Niki

Monday, Monday

** Monday, Monday… The Mama’s & the Papa’s **

No truer words were ever sung about a Monday than in Monday, Monday by the Mama’s & the Papa’s. Today is no exception. This weekend was SO much fun with my mom and my grandmother in town that it made today especially difficult.

On Saturday, we took the girls to Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Dahlonega, GA. It is such a neat facility and Aubrey thoroughly enjoyed it! All of the animals are rescues and all of the workers are volunteers. There is a small admission fee but all funds go back into the park to feed and maintain the animals. We saw lions, zebras, elk, bears, emus, panthers, and wolves, to name a few. We bought a bucket of food as well to feed some of the animals(obviously not the lions or the bears). It wasn’t too hot and we had such a blast watching Aubrey getting excited over the animals.

On Sunday, we went to INK in Gainesville, GA which is an interactive neighborhood for kids. It is the cutest place for little ones. It is even fit for 2 year olds! It really is a small-scale town with a grocery store, dentist, vet, beauty salon, and more. Aubrey is super independent so she loved doing everything by herself and it was all her size. Small entry fee for that one as well but totally worth it!

Since we were so busy this weekend and went on several adventures, this morning and afternoon were very humdrum. Firstly, my mom and grandmother had to leave us, so I had my own pity party waving goodbye to adult conversation and help with the girls. This morning, I had to go get groceries and take Emery to the doctor to get a vaccine; neither of which are exactly enjoyable. Then, this afternoon, I had to clean and get dinner ready, and then Emery had a huge blowout right in the middle of typing that first paragraph, actually.

It is kind of humorous how every Monday seems to be the same, even though I’m a SAHM and my routine doesn’t really change. It justfeels like a Monday.Itsmells like a Monday. Everything that happens justscreamsMONDAY! But in some ways, I love Mondays because we can start the week fresh with new goals. This week, we are signing up for a summer reading program with our local library and we are going to find and make some easy crafts.

As this Monday comes to a close, I can say with certainty, You’ll Make it, Mama!

Niki