Thursday, July 20, 2017

I will not be shaken

The unknown can be a scary thing... so scary it can take over the present moment and feelings, it can bring forth unnecessary and unresolved stress, it can make you think SO much about something that you just can't focus on anything other than the unknown!

There are many unknowns for me lately that can either make or break me:

- When is baby sister arriving?
- How will the transition with 2 kiddos be?
- How will my career take off, and when?
- What do I need to do in order to be successful at doing what I love?

My list can go on and on, but I refuse to let it continue at this moment, especially after reading this verse in my Bible and really marinating on it. I have the Lord in my life, and as long as I stay faithful and study and believe in his word, I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN!

I refuse to let things steal my joy, especially when just over-thinking about them really can't solve them. I'm not saying I don't think about decisions coming up in the future, but I certainly don't need to dwell on them. So I'm letting go of thinking about how baby sister will be sleeping, about how Mata will adjust, about the timeframe I will be launching new beginnings in my career. I'm grateful that I have another Thursday morning to live for and the make the best memories I can today.

My strength comes from within which roots from my God.

The End.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Maternity Photos

This week, I will be 37 weeks and counting! My, oh my how this time has passed by oh so quickly... completely faster than when I was counting down to the big D-day the first time around. My guess is it has to do with the fact that I have a 21-month old to keep busy and entertained. I've shared on the blog about how I'm taking these last few moments before our precious little baby girl arrives to be present with Mata and the Hubs. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit how ECSTATIC I am to meet her sweet newborn face in a few short weeks!

I am beyond pleased with how our maternity pictures came out (yet again). We truly found our go-to photographer while living here in Nebraska when we were preggo the first time. Kate from Kate Florian Photography is amazing!! She captures some of our best moments, which can be a difficult task with a little busy-body toddler that doesn't always like to smile on cue. But here we are sharing the last few moments of being a family of three while getting ready to transition to the family of four!

Grateful for an amazing sunrise this day... Grateful for Kate... Grateful for my boys... Grateful for a healthy pregnancy... Grateful for LIFE.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ode to Dads

When I met my husband 15 years ago (as of tomorrow to be exact!), I was attracted to the similarity in traits he shared with my Pops. I loved his kind heart, his gentle demeanor, and his love for life and everyone involved in it! And now I get to witness him being the same exact way with our LO. He's so nurturing (in a manly way, of course), and I can't say I'm one bit surprised at him killing this Dad game. But what I can say is that I am so blessed... blessed to witness how much he sacrifices himself to be the best damn Father he can possibly be... day in and day out.

Yesterday, we celebrated all Dads in our nation by the hubs doing man-things around the house building things and eating donuts for breakfast and ribs for din din. It was an awesome productive day, and makes me feel humbled for the simplicity in life.

Happy Father's Day to my angel, my POPS and to the love of my life, my HUBS, and to every man in mankind!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Transitioning

I can't believe I'm about one month out until the arrival date of our precious little baby girl! I must say that with my first pregnancy, I was completely aware of the count down, I took cute baby bump pictures every single week in the same outfit, and I was on TOP of the nursery well before the big D-day! With this second round, my energy and attention span is very minimal these days chasing after a toddler with an extra belly in tow. BUT we are sooo very excited to meet our sweet pea and begin our family of four. 

Until that day comes we become a party of four, I am staying present and mindful of our one-on-one time with Mata. It's been just him for going on 21 months, and when baby comes, it'll be a transition for each and every one of our family members. I've been thinking a lot about that lately... how will my LO react knowing my attention will be split between two babies? Will he get the attention he needs from me? How many times will we be waking up in the middle of the night to feed and attend to a newborn? How will I ever manage to get out of the door with two babies in two carseats? Most importantly, what will the football games be like with a baby in a wrap and a toddler who likes to be carried still?!

I have to continuously remind myself that it's OK not to have any of these answers. My faith lies in our Heavenly Father to guide my family and I through this transition, and to stay present in each moment not worrying about how to solve problems forever.

For this last month we have left of being a family of three, I will enjoy every moment we have with one child who is so loving and curious these days! I will also be shopping for cute little newborn dresses and rompers as I start to put some final touches on the nursery for 'sister'!
Any tips on when you made the transition on expanding your family?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hello June

Every summer, we embrace the sunshine with open arms, spend gorgeous Saturday mornings at the local Haymarket Farmer's Market, spend mornings and evenings outdoors in the water, and of course welcome football workouts into our lives. What does this mean for our household? It means the hubs is at work most of the day all week long, almost as if it were season again. Don't get me wrong... summer is still my fave season EVER, but having a toddler to run after and being in my third tri makes me miss the hubs so much more!

We definitely soaked up the hubs' "extra" time in the month of May spending time at the Omaha Zoo, traveling to Syracuse for my sister's graduation, and just spending time outside while the sun was shining and the pollen was heavy! Once May officially ended this past week, business picked as usual in the weight room, and football has resided in our lives.

In other news, I was able to spend some time in May thinking about my career and where I can best utilize my strengths (read more about strengths here). I am excited to actually take action on some of my aspirations that stayed as thoughts for so long. It feels so good to take that ME time and actually focus on my own needs and wants, rather than just this needy little boy who I LOVE serving, but can use the break at times! I look forward to revealing more about aspirations as things unfold throughout June.

Did you make the most of May? What are you looking forward to in June?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Graduate

It's been a bit quiet around here, as I've been busy getting the nursery ready (WHOOP!) and also preparing for the trip we made to Syracuse, NY. I have never been to NY, so when I think of the city, I think of nothing but traffic, taxis and many many many buildings. BUT we were in a very rural area where there were nothing but country shops and farmland. It was almost as if we never left Nebraska. Nonetheless, we got to be with family in a cute little AirBNB home relaxing and enjoying each other's company!
My sister graduated with her Masters in Public Relations, and I am SO very proud of her huge accomplishment. School is no joke... and the higher level you pursue, of course, the higher the pressures are. She breezed through 2 years of her Communications program with such grace and perseverance. Now comes the part of "adulting" and finding a career that she purely enjoys!

I can't tell you how many students graduate from high school and college and just aren't sure of which direction to head in. This is one of the many reasons why investing time into strengths and passions is so beneficial before jumping into any job that is offered. I encourage those newly graduated students (my sister included!) to take time and really think about what strengths you have to offer in the workplace. What product or service interests you the most? Which types of companies offer the best opportunity for you to grow? Can you see yourself working there for the next 5 years? What type of manager can you envision yourself working for and alongside? These are just a few questions of the many that can help you gain some insight into where you should take your resume and interviewing skills. If you need some assistance organizing all of this, you can read this post about how I might be able to help!
Congrats to you, my sister!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Tips to Help Your Monday

Monday morning is here... how often do you think to yourself, "Man... I sure can use one more day of the weekend!"? I think that's why most of us drag on Mondays. It's not an extension of Saturday or Sunday, but instead it's the start of a new workweek.

I came across an article titled, How Successful People Spend Their Weekends which really helps me put things into perspective on the weekends. Although I'm not back in a grey 4-walled cubicle in the corporate world, life is still busier than ever these days. I have a 19-month old boy who needs attention at all times, I'm 27 weeks preggo and constantly nesting in my home making room for a family of four, I'm teaching a graduate course online and I am striving to find the direction I want to head in with my career, whether it be entrepreneurship or not. I want to ensure that my time is used wisely on the weekends because whatever I do (or don't do) on Saturday and Sunday affects how my week starts off.

// Spend time with the Hubs
My hubs has a job that's not a typical 9-5, Monday through Friday deal. He's around the clock, primarily 6 days a week. The minimal free time he does have is SO valuable for us, that it forces us to prioritize that time wisely. On the weekends, I want to ensure that we spend some QT together, whether it be over a movie, sharing a meal, or just talking without any electronic disturbance. This time helps reset for a longgggggg workweek ahead of us!

// Get some YOU time
The one, sometimes two, days that my Hubs is home, I carve an hour or so to be alone. I like to escape to the nail shop, to Target by myself, or even just lounging on the couch catching up with my shows. Try and make this YOU time about relaxing, not working or cleaning... it brings another side of you that allows you to just breathe!

// Get some type of work done
By work, I mean something that will help you progress in your passion. Whether it's soul searching for a new direction in work, or assessing your current career, there's always room for improvement in how you make your living. As the Forbes article says, pursuing a passion can help stimulate different creative ways of thinking. Give yourself that creative space to think outside of the box!

// Focus on at least one home project 
I have been fascinated with minimizing my closet, my kitchen, my kids' rooms... anything and everything around my house. I just tend to look at things and think if I would honestly utilize it in the near future. If I haven't touched it in the past year, I have no problem letting it go. Things such as cleaning out the basement, putting up new shelves, or even gardening really helps my week ahead by having a comfortable home to live in. I'm sure there are many things you need to get done around the house, but if you put one project on the list each weekend, you will see slow and steady progress and also thank yourself during the week!

These weekend things definitely help me have a better week. What are some of your successful weekend tips?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was amazing! The Husker Football team had an excellent run at the Spring Game on Saturday with over 78,000 people. Can you believe that many Husker fans came out to support their guys in some good ol' rummaging against one another? Another reason I love the state of Nebraska... the fans show the utmost support in all of America!

On Easter Sunday, the family kept it light and mellow. The LO was able to dig through a few Easter baskets he graciously received, and played with all sorts of toys that caught his interest a few minutes at a time. The greatest thing was watching him pick up the eggs the Easter Bunny left behind on our lawn and putting them in his basket.... well that's until he discovered they had goodies inside. Once he discovered the taste of a jelly bean (thank you Trader Joe's!), it was GAME OVER. He stopped picking up the eggs and wanted to open the many in his basket just for the one jelly bean I mixed in with cranberries and Aunt Annie's cheese rabbits.

The neighborhood kiddos were out and about, so Mata got to enjoy some fun and play with them and Dada!

We wrapped up Easter Day with a delicious dinner, and called it an evening (after some ice cream). Though we weren't home with all the kiddos to hunt for eggs, we made special memories with our little family here in NE, AND enjoyed my Dad and Stepmom's lovely company! It warms my heart watching the LO interact with family.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter

Easter is such a special and spiritual holiday for me. We typically start our Easter day bright and early back home, by attending sunrise service. Sunrise service is always special... the message of Jesus rising from the dead is such a powerful one, and to celebrate that together with family, friends and fellow Christians completely fills the heart. Then we usually visit our loved ones who passed away, paying respects to our family at the break of dawn. For the past few years, we found a park that accommodates our huge family and allows us space to play sports, run on the playground, and hide Easter eggs for the little ones to collect. We love spending the entire day there, lounging, eating, laughing and watching the little ones play and dance together. It's GLORIOUS!

This year, we won't be home to join in on the festivities with the family... so we'll have to start our own Easter tradition as a little o'hana here in Nebraska. Fortunately, the community we live in hosts tons of different Easter festivities, beginning the week before Easter (last weekend). I took the LO to Michaels a few weeks ago to paint some eggs, which was a ball! We might partake in some Easter fun Saturday morning before the Husker Spring Game (WHOOP!)... then I think we'll set up a nice easy-peasy Easter egg hunt for the LO at our home. There's nothing cuter to see than the kiddos actually finding the eggs all around and putting them in their basket!

What are your plans for Easter weekend?

P.S. Isn't the shot above stunning?! Nebraska sunrises will make for another beautiful Easter indeed!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Husker Babies

As time ticks closer to July, things become more and more real about having another sweet little baby join our family. We are three months (and some change) out and much to get done before she arrives. I bought our first item for the nursery last week and it's motivated me to get a move on her nursery!

We also started to get cute little outfits and pink thangs for baby girl from dear family and friends. One of my FAVES by far has been baby's first ever game day attire... as you know how important game gear is for us! Our sweetest sitter, Claire, gifted Mata and baby girl the most adorable vintage Husker gear for the season. One of her good friends opened up a shop, where she makes and sells  cute Husker gear and also customizes based on what your heart desires.

I mean, how adorbs are these two fits?
Her shop is called H.Flynn based here in Lincoln, NE. Check out her website if your local or not!

We are STOKED for football season to begin later this year... and of course d-day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Social Media Chat

I think most of us can all agree on the fact that social media has taken a huge BOOM in our society as of the past 7 years or so. Just think about these questions for a second... how many times do you pick up your phone to check Instagram? Then switch it over to Snapchat? Now time to check Twitter? Then see what's the happs on Facebook?

I am certainly guilty of picking up my phone quite frequently to see what's the latest and the greatest with everyone and everything. Commercial on TV... check it. Break from working and grading papers... check it. LO is playing on his own or fell asleep... check it (and record it while I can!). It happens so frequently and quickly that when I stop to actually think about it, it scares me!

I think there are some amazing advantages of social media in today's world. Some of which are:

// Hearing about BREAKING NEWS other than waiting until late at night to watch the news. Reading about the news on Twitter has helped keep me in the loop with the things I find most important, instead of hearing about things that I would rather not engage in.

// Reading about BUSINESS ARTICLES that help in today's work environment. Today's workforce is changing, one reason being the immediate access we have to the internet (great article on technology and generational differences). Word travels fast, which can make competition a bit more interesting. But it can also help benchmark on current trends and what's possible.

// The ability to read or hear about PERSONAL STORIES from others who might be going through similar situations as you are. This point is HUGE for me and social media. I love following business people, moms, wives, go-getters... people that align with my personal values. It's extremely helpful to read about what worked for them, how they reacted, or referring someone in any situation.

On the flip side, social media and technology alone can also be...

- Draining of presence and time
- Unrealistic [come on... how many times can you think about yourself taking bright lighting pictures or plunged yourself in beautiful looking blooms?!]
- Depressing to compare yourself to others

All that said and exposed, it's time I take a serious minimalistic point of view on this social media ordeal. I pledge to utilize different technology for all the right reasons and purge all those bad reasons!

What's your stance on social media today?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Springing Outside

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring, and I am excited for spending more and more time outdoors with my LO! I'm sure you can tell by now, but playing sports and staying active is a huge part of our lives, from both my hubs family and mine. Not to say I'm a sucker for reminiscing about the good ol' days of playing outdoors with all of my cousins... from kickball... to pretend carnivals... to ice skating (aka rollerblading). We LOVED being outside and using our imaginations to be whatever we wanted to be. And I will fully support that with Mata and his sister-to-be!

Yes, it would be great if he picked up a sport here and there (football never disappoints my cheering game!), BUT I also don't wanna be a parent who pressures him to be this or that... not as young as he is anyway. So you can imagine how excited I am that Mata loves any type of ball, ever since he was able to hold his first Husker football. He loves watching me chase after the ball that rolls down the street when he throws it out to nobody. I may get tired after the 5th ball rolling down the street, but it's well worth hearing him laugh and giggle.

I swear there's such a huge difference in my LO's attitude and sleep from when we spend time outdoors rather than staying inside the whole day. Moving to Nebraska requires some tolerance of winter days meaning you just can't seem to leave the house when it's freezing and snowing. BUT it also makes us that much more grateful for gorgeous days where we can actually enjoy the weather outside!

In any case, if you're wondering what we've been up to lately... a whole lot of sunshine and catching some fresh vitamin D outdoors!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3 Translations of Football to Business

I just LOVE when sports and business are intertwined (especially football!). When I worked for USC, we spent time on professional development as a team once a quarter. We would utilize these days as a condensed version of a retreat, where the day would be structured around spending time away from the computer and connecting with one another. There was always some type of theme we would base our day on, and when it came to the day where I had a part in planning, you KNOW I was about to do my all to insert sports in the day! We ended up heading to the football practice field, and spent the afternoon with my fave coach (the Hubs) talking about how football translated into our business world... same discipline... same teamwork... same leadership.

I came across an article on Football Scoop written about how Pete Carroll breaks down his practices for the Seattle Seahawks. I couldn't help by get a sparkle in my eye when I heard ALL TYPES of my lingo in the video interview. I've actually read about Pete Carroll's leadership philosophy in a few different books, and I've got to say... he's got this leadership thing working on his side. Just look at the successes he has carried throughout his coaching career!

I thought I would share the three main areas of importance Pete Carroll mentioned in his interview, which I thought were key in his leadership approach:

1. ENERGY
Pete (yes, on a first name basis now) talks about how his coaches meet 30 minutes before practice every day to get on the same page. They are expected to exert the energy they want to see in their players. Just as managers and leaders in an organization should demonstrate... leading by example in a transparent manner helps employees gain a clear perspective of what is expected of them. A key quote from Pete... "It starts with ME." ** Leadership stars all the way around! **

2. TIME MANAGEMENT
The Seahawks spend 2 hours practicing, and no more. They key is shaving down time during and in between drills by saving the chats with teammates for before or after practice. They also run to their next drill alongside the coaches to bank even more time. Although it's important to network and socialize at work to work on personal relationships, the more employees are mindful of how much time is spent socializing vs. getting work done, the less they have to jam pack in a day's work.

3. COMPETITION
I love this point Pete makes about his players! He says competition is about striving for what you want, and not beating the other person down. Many employees get caught up in showing up another person so they can prove they're more qualified for a promotion or bonus. The only person we should be competing against in life is ourselves, striving to get better than what we were yesterday. "The guy across from you is the guy that makes you."- Pete Carroll

One other key thing Pete mentioned was effort. If players don't execute the way expected, coaches will first and foremost critique their effort. The effort players demonstrate is much more important to provide feedback on than the mistake they made in the run, play, or whatever went wrong.

These types of tips will not only help the leader (coach) out, but it also benefits the employees (players) as well as the organization (NFL or NCAA) in entirety. I'm excited to finish/start reading a few books that also translates sports into business... The Inner Game of Tennis and Legacy.

What speaks to you when you think of leadership?

Monday, March 13, 2017

3 Things That Can Help With Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and the time change has made it real deal for me! What I thought would be a nice wake up call for my LO at 7am instead of 6am didn't happen for us... instead he decided to keep to his schedule and wake up same time, which actually would have been 5am. Needless to say, time has changed but our routine hasn't (and that's fine with me!).

There's something about the sun being out longer that makes the days feel longer, which means more time to get errrr done! Spring cleaning is something on my mind as of late, and I've already started to make a list of things I aspire to get done this month. I've successfully been able to check off a few things on my list, thanks to some key items that are helping me check off my to do's:

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda
This is ONE amazing combo right here, folks! And if you add some freshly squeezed lemon in there, it can help tolerate that strong vinegar scent. I used this amazingly simple solution to wipe down my dusty cupboards throughout the house, and clean the bathroom floors!

2. Magic Erasers
I've been sleeping on these bad boys. It's the most simplest thing in the universe to use... soak with water, squeeze out the excess and wipe anything and everything down! I wiped down my windowsills and baseboards and it did the job I've been forever procrastinating to do.

3.Vacuum Storage Bags
Since my LO was born, I knew I wanted to keep all of his clothes just in case God blessed our family to expand with other boys. I've always kept his clothes, accessories and shoes in freezer bags, neatly marked with a sharpie and stored in nice big bins. Now that Mata is growing like a weed, so are his clothes, and I can probably get one pair of pants per freezer bag. I found these bad boys on Amazon (of course!) and I'm excited to store a ton of his clothing items in one bag alone... vacuum sealed and all!

The sooner I complete my list, the sooner I can enjoy some nice Spring weather (once this cold spell is GONE)... and the more we can enjoy Spring Break with the Hubs which will be a nice break from Spring Football!

What are some of your spring cleaning faves?

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Positive Week

Reflecting back to just this past week alone, it has been amazingly productive and positive for me! Last week I chatted here about finding my legacy in life and leaving something behind that will live on through others. I really wanted to put some action behind my thoughts, and that's just what I started to do.

First off, I had great hands of help with the LO so I can actually take time to focus and work. I had a sitter come over twice this week which enabled me to actually work while the sun was up opposed to waiting late at night for the hubs to get off work! She is a doll, and Mata loves her!

If that wasn't enough, we had a surprise visitor pop up on our doorstep (literally!) late one night. First reaction to the doorbell ringing at 1:30am was for the Hubs to grab a weapon before answering anyone! But after a follow-up knock and a peep out the window, he decided to open the door cautiously, and to our complete and utter surprise was one of our fave Aunts who flew all the way from Cali to spend some QT with baby (and us). BLESSED!

In the beginning of the week, I made a to-do list for work, for blogging, and for my legacy research! What I can say about my research is that I have a better understanding of myself and my strengths results. I really thought long hard about how my strengths play into my daily life and how they help create my call to action. I'm an advisor and a provider... basically meaning that I love to create intimate unique relationships with others, while bringing the best judgment I can into someone's life. All that said, I know that I'm meant to coach others... to listen... to bring forth the best solution possible, knowing that each person is individually different. I've had this epiphany before, but I'm seeing opportunities differently through a new set of lenses. THAT is exactly what I needed to move forward with this mission of mine!

All to say that my week was extremely productive and motivating for me. I am ecstatic to continue this path of discovery and reflection!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Playing Indoors


Mata is in a really fun stage right now! Language is blooming as he's learning to repeat actual words that we say (filter times ten!), he's understanding more dialect, and he's using his imagination quite a bit! Anything with buttons on it has to be a phone that he puts up to his ear as he says, "HOOOOH" which translates to Hello. Now that I can see him responding to words differently and in a more advanced way, we also try to explain things that may or may not be acceptable. I'm not sure if he quite gets it, but he certainly does talk back in his jibberish!

It's fun for me to snap away and capture his adventures on camera, but it's also nice to document things down in writing to reflect back on in his baby book! Here are a few of his favorite things (**in my Julie Andrews voice**):

// FOOD
- Goldfish
- Chicken
- Quinoa
- Blueberries
- Oranges
- Strawberries

// PLAY
- Any shape, size, weight of a ball, although he's been favoring his football lately!
- Reading books
- Puzzles (more-so banging them together like they're cymbals)
- Coloring
- Cars

// WATCH
- Bubble Guppies
- Peppa Pig
- Color Crew
- Curious George

I try and advocate more play than watch, and he's a pretty good sport about exploring. He LOVES being outside so much, but the weather hasn't been consistently cooperating lately. In fact, it's supposed to snow again on Saturday (folks... we just had high 70-degree weather last week!). With that said, we'll have to make the indoors playing our thang for just a bit longer until those spring flowers start to bloom! I wanted to update his tent a bit and make it more comfy for him to lounge in as we read books, play his piano, or just sit and chat! So we did just that and stocked up on some staple pieces at Home Goods.

I'm excited to spruce up the play area a bit with a few new things to promote fun interactive play, especially when baby #2 makes her debut this summer!
What are your tips for making inside more inviting for the LOs?

Friday, March 3, 2017

What's Your Legacy?

I've been pondering about something as of late... which is what type of legacy I will leave behind on this earth when I am gone. I get so caught up in the daily routine I establish for myself (cleaning, caring and entertaining my LO, teaching, cooking, etc. etc. etc.), that I tend to lose focus of the bigger picture. The bigger picture being about what type of service I can provide for others. That's what life's all about, right? Serving others to gain a better understanding of yourself and your purpose in life. Well, that's my interpretation at least!


I think a starting point to answering this question for myself is to reflect, as I've been trying to make habit of lately. Here are some of my fave posts that can help address my thoughts...

// Strength. And not necessarily the kind you will find in the weight room!
I love reading my thoughts at any given point in my life (hence why I love the act of blogging!). It centers me around what my values are and also validates what I'm capable of. Completing a few assessments to learn even more about myself shed some light to those possibilities I've been pondering lately.

// Spring Ball. March brings Spring all the way around!
I remember going through Spring Ball when we were at Oregon State. Working in the football office meant that this was a nice reunion for the coaches and players on and off the field! Husker Spring Ball starts this weekend, which means the whistles will be blowing and the drills will begin yet again since we ended the season with the Bowl Game, and I AM EXCITED!

// Athleticism. I value this more than ever.
Asking questions to athletes is so intriguing to me because it's a time to get up close and personal beyond what we see on the field. Understanding Kyndra behind the softball and bat gives me such a deeper appreciation for what she does and who she is! There's a story to be told behind all of these jerseys, and I think they all deserve a moment to tell their stories!

Highlighting some of my favorite reflections is already helping me develop a mind map of the legacy I would like to leave behind... I think it's time for me to create a vision board and create some goals. That's just what I'll be up to this weekend (oh and going to watch the first Husker practice, of course!).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sleep Work

It's been quite a week and a half in our household! All three of us have been working long and hard at sleep training, getting our LO to transition out of 1. co-sleeping, 2. weaning off of nursing to sleep (I know... it was a horrible habit all the way around!), and 3. sleeping IN his room IN the crib!

When I was preggo with Mata, I was adamant on him sleeping in his own space because I knew how much I wanted him, the hubs and I to sleep well without disturbing one another. We started him off in his bassinet and a nap here and there in his crib. BUT it eventually morphed into him sleeping in bed with hubs and I when we travelled. It was just easier on everyone!

Fast forward to 17 months later of restless nights and early mornings, extremely early morning wake-up calls, soar back and bones and watching the monitor like a hawk so baby wouldn't roll off of the mountains of pillows we surrounded him with to contain him on our bed. The time had come to get this baby in his own space to sleep, not just at bedtime but for his naps too.

We began our journey with the lovely Lauren at Sleep and the City who I discovered through another blogger who sought out help from her as well! Lauren was a breath of fresh air to work with. She definitely knows a thing or two about babies and sleep, and totally helps customize an approach based on baby. Yes, I read books on the Sleep Lady Shuffle, the CIO method, and others in between. What was missing for me was all the tips for babies who didn't follow the instructions as directed. There were way too many things that happened outside of the text, I didn't know where to go or what to read for those what if's. When we started working with Lauren, she helped the hubs and I understand our LO in ways we hadn't, particularly because he isn't able to verbalize his thoughts and feelings as we did. So we didn't know if his breathless cries meant that we were hurting him and causing emotional damage... and so on!

Here we are... almost two weeks into the process after implementing multiple transition phases and a sleep plan consisting of: a consistent structured schedule of eating and sleeping, tweaking his sleeping environment, having the answers to our what happens if moments, and a TON of patience. We have made SO much progression in this half-way mark to the 3-4 week period of seeing a consistent change in sleep habits!
1.  Mata is solely sleeping in his CRIB
2.  He learned how to self-soothe himself to sleep (from a whine, to chatter, or just silence)
3.  Mata is sleeping a whopping 11-12 hours at night with one to NO wakings at night
4.  We are nursing LESS and definitely not to sleep
5.  Hubs and I have a decent chunk of time in the evening to enjoy each other as husband and wife
The picture above was taken the first morning he woke up from sleeping in his crib... and it's proof that he made it out alive and HAPPY!

I totally recommend reaching out to Lauren with SATC to see how she may be of help!

Have you been through similar issues with your LO? What worked for you?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Growing

When the Hubs and I first thought about expanding our family with a child, we were excited... anxious... nervous... JOYFUL. We didn't anticipate it would take so long to conceive, but it surely did. God's plans included us waiting for over a year from when we decided to start trying. It was a heck of a journey in that time, as we had to deal with some health concerns that we had no idea existed. When we did find out we were preggo on New Years Day in 2015, we were over the moon!! Reflecting back to that time, we were actually beyond grateful that God had selected Hubs and I to be the parents of some precious little child... He entrusted us to be responsible for shaping someone's life... He loved us both enough for us to teach our baby what life lessons we had learned. We knew it wasn't something that was a fluke or was handed to us, but rather it was God's plan the entire time on His own terms and in His time.

My little boy is a gift to our family every waking day. I try to never to take things for granted with him, from having the luxury of staying at home with him, to temper tantrums, to hugs and kisses, to screaming at the top of his lungs because he thinks he's coaching like Daddy. I wouldn't trade the good, the bad and the ugly with anything else because he's God's special gift for us.

Hubs and I knew we just couldn't stop there... we wanted so bad to give Mata a little brother or sister. Under the circumstances of trying to conceive the first time, we just didn't know how it would go or what would happen. What we did know was that God had our back (as He always does) so long as we kept talking to him and praying for what our hearts desired. And that's just what happened...

I'm happy to announce that we are expecting our second baby, and as we were the first time... we are over the MOON!

 

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