Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Making every little bite count

It's crazy how fast time flies when you have a little one. I feel like it was not all that long ago that I was sharing the announcement of baby number four with everyone, and now here I am talking about his favorite snacks. They sure don't stay little for long. Josiah is going on 19 months and shows no signs of slowing down. At his age he's growing and maturing so quickly that it's important to make every bite count to ensure he's getting all of the nutrition he needs to grow and thrive. 

Josiah's been my picky baby right from the start. He was impatient with nursing, fussed with every formula we offered, and I swear we went an entire month recently where all he ate were strawberries and string cheese. Babies do this sometimes, and you just have to roll with it.

Did you know most little ones who are 8-24 months old get about 25-30% of their daily calories from snacks? And 1/3 of of them are not getting whole grains on a given day. Thankfully, Gerber offers nutritious snacks with good for you ingredients like whole grains with none of the added bad stuff (like artificial flavors and synthetic colors). 

Big sis Harper remembers how much she used to love these Puffs! I may have had to give her some of her own because she couldn't stop sneaking Josiah's when he wasn't looking. 

These Gerber Puffs, Lil Crunchies, and Yogurt Melts were favorites with all of my previous kids. I found them in their new blue packaging at Target and I grabbed a couple of new flavors for Josiah. 

He loves all of the different tastes and textures!

While I can't control everything he likes and dislikes, I can certainly make sure he's getting some healthier snacking in with these Gerber favorites. Even the yogurt melts are made with real fruit! And they're the perfect size for self feeding and snacking on the go. Easy peasy, mess-free snacking that also sneaks in whole grains and fruit? Sounds like a mom win to me.

If you're a mom of little ones and you haven't already tried these Gerber snacks for your baby and toddler I highly encourage you to grab some. Lucky you- I even have a coupon for them :) I'm going back to Target to get more for Josiah's Easter basket, and Harper's as well (she loves those Mild Cheddar Lil' Crunchies!) Click here to get the coupon so you can stock up and make every bite count when it comes to snacking. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Life Lately

Hey!! It's been a little bit since I've done a life update post (besides the last one I did that centered around Josiah & his little world). In the last 6 weeks or so since I posted that, life does what it always does...and it went on. I kind of took a step back from some of my responsibilities and have been trying to let everything else fall to the wayside a little while I readjust and we try to navigate through all of this. So here's what we've been up to.

Josiah has had a few doctor visits since our last update and he also started speech and physical therapy just this week. It took a few weeks to see his doctor, have him evaluated, get the referral for therapy, and have insurance approve it, but I can already see progress being made. I actually noticed almost an immediate difference in him as soon as we started talking about some of his problems, and a lot of it has to do with how we're all interacting with him now. It's almost like as soon as we became "aware" that there was a problem, it started to turn around a little. NOT in any huge ways...but just little things. My patience level has significantly increased with him because I know that's what he needs. I'm not saying I didn't know I needed to have patience with an 18 month old, but it's just different now. I make sure to slow things down with him, give him more verbal & nonverbal cues, show him things in a different way, and above all, he has to be approached differently because he does have some sensory and sensitivity issues. We had an evaluation with about 5 different therapists at once and it was quite overwhelming for him and me, but it was also so helpful in figuring out how his little mind and body reacts to different things...things I never even really thought of. We're honestly not sure if he is on the spectrum somewhere (like we originally thought) or if maybe he is just a bit delayed in some areas, has a few sensory issues that can be worked through, and needs a little extra work to catch up to other kids his age. Right now we are just going ahead with the speech and physical therapy and we're kind of just taking it week by week, assessing what he needs, pushing him where he needs to be pushed, working through little stumbling blocks for him (he has quite a few) and we're trying to figure out how to help him work through his emotions during the day. It's going to take a lot of work but like I said, he's already showing improvement. He's been babbling just a little bit the last few days, his eye contact is much better, he actually tries to get my attention and comes up to me for things, and he tries to interact with people and kids more- all things he wasn't doing just a few short weeks ago. So I'm very optimistic and am excited to see how he does these next few weeks as we really tweak his therapy to meet his needs and figure out exactly what my little guy needs to thrive in this world. I post a lot of little updates on my Instastories, so follow along on Instagram! (Stories disappear within 24 hours...view them by clicking on the little circle with my face on it). 

When it comes to myself, I'm still struggling hardcore. Most days I'm all over the place...my anxiety is still through the roof and I'm not doing a great job of managing it. I'm really trying to watch what I eat and get some form of regular exercise, but those are two things I really am not great at. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you've probably seen some of my posts about struggling to eat enough. My appetite has completely disappeared and it's been like this for months. I have a really hard time eating anything really...nothing ever sounds good. My husband will offer to go fetch me whatever food I want from my favorite restaurants just to get me to eat sometimes, but I usually curl my lip and say "that just doesn't sound good right now." I really wish I could snap out of it because it's not something I'm purposefully doing. I just can't eat. I know I need the calories and that's part of why my energy is always zapped. I think it's my nerves and anxiety because those things have always messed with my stomach when I'm really stressed out or anxious. I've resorted to drinking an 800 calorie smoothie every morning to help fill me up & get some calories & protein in. It helps, but then I still need to eat regularly the rest of the day, which is still an uphill battle for me. What are some of your favorite snack foods? I feel like I'm just burned out on all of the few things I do like to eat, so that doesn't help my appetite much. I used to love food, and now I dread eating. I wish I could be full without having to actually go through the motions of preparing food & ingesting it. Is that weird? Probably...but I can't control it. It's just one more thing I stress about. 

On top of all of that, I'm just finding myself in a very angry place lately. I don' know how else to describe it, but I'm kind of just ticked off all the time and I'm in a constant state of agitation. Honestly, it's been a pretty overall shitty last year or so for me, and I guess I'm just really bitter about all of it. I have no relationship with either of my parents anymore, most of my family doesn't talk to me anymore because of that, I have zero help with my kids, my husband works a lot, a few of my local friends have fallen to the wayside (now that I'm kind of a mess & have nothing helpful to offer them anymore), we left our church 6 months ago after being treated poorly by some clergy and members, and I'm pretty jaded about ALL of it now. Throw having a baby into the mix with all of that and it's a recipe for disaster. I've put the wall back up around myself and I've kind of pulled back from other relationships because I'm just so tired of being let down by people I've let in. It's really disheartening when people close to you turn their backs on you at the drop of a hat. I'm not trying to make this a total pity-party type of thing, but a lot of this has been weighing heavily on my heart and I've lost quite a few important relationships this last year or so. I try not to sit and think about everything or dwell on the past but it's been really, really hard to let things go and try to move on. It's hard not to just sit and be mad or let it affect me every day. I started to get better at it a few months ago and I was going days without breaking down, but then something new comes up or someone does something to rip the bandaid off again and the healing process starts all over. It's exhausting and mentally draining. Trying to be a functioning mother when you've got all of this emotional baggage paired with postpartum depression is rough, then add: four needy children, a husband who needs love and attention, friendships to maintain, appointments, two school schedules and pickup times, work drop off and pickup, groceries, errands, bills, phone calls, texts, social media posts for my business, dinner, emails, homework, taxes, student loan payments, showering regularly, bathing the children, remembering to eat & get enough sleep...yeah...and about a million other things. It's easy for me to just feel completely overwhelmed at this point. I'm trying to take it day by day, and some days are definitely better than others. 

Thankfully though, this stupid winter is just about over and we've got spring to look forward to. I always forget how much the drab, cold, dreary winter always affects me too. Here in Washington we've finally seen a couple of nice teases of spring and on the rare days that we've ventured outside it's been really great for my mood (and the kids' too). Being cooped up inside sucks. I've been loving the sunshine, even though it's still only been in the 40's & 50's. We call that tank top weather around here! We also love walking around our neighborhood with the toddlers in the double jogging stroller. Walking is for sure my favorite form of exercise, and the vitamin D is definitely needed.

When the weather can't decide if it wants to be winter or spring.

Ummm so I've been loving Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. I used to read a ton but I hadn't picked up a book in probably over a year...maybe two. I just haven't had the time and I just haven't been in the mood (obviously, haha) to get engrossed in a book. My attention span has seriously been lacking when it comes to pretty much everything, so books have been a no go. I decided that forcing myself to just sit, chill, and read something might be good for me, and I'm so glad I did. I dusted off my Kindle (which honestly, has only been used for Netflix since I bought it). I signed up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited because I'd heard great things from some of my fellow book lovers who are like me and can read an entire book in one sitting. Buying books is always a struggle for me because I read them so fast and then I'm like "OK now what do I do with this?" Kindle Unlimited gives me access to tons of books without having to buy them. After the 30-day free trial is up it's just $10 a month for all the books I can read. I read four books just in my first week of the free trial, which would have cost me about $25 if I'd bought the e-reader version for each book (way more if I'd bought them all in paperback). I can "borrow" up to 10 books at a time (after you finish one you "give it back") and my kids can read books on their kindles too with our shared account! It's really been great. It's not available for every single book obviously, but they've got the entire Harry Potter collection for free, so that's worth it right there ;) I really liked this one

So I read a few books...yay me. I also just purchased some gorgeous fabric from one of my favorite quilters and I'm going to start a project. I can't even remember the last time I touched my sewing machine. I was supposed to make Josiah a baby quilt before he was born but that never actually came to fruition and he's now 18 months and I still hadn't even bought the fabric for his alleged quilt. 

Well, now I've got the fabric, so I guess I need to get to sewing! I think a project is exactly what I need right now to feed my soul...now if only I could find the time and motivation to actually start it. Stay tuned!

Oh yeah, and I tried purple lipstick. That was kind of fun. I don't know about you, but sometimes a good makeup day can make all the difference in the world. Also, if you're not already in my beauty group you should probably join it! 

That's about it for now! I'm out of time.

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking some of these links I get a very small commission & your shopping experience is not affected in any way. Thank you so much to the readers who support my little blog and family :) 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Kleenex Wet Wipes for Momlife made easy

Mom life can be stressful, I think we can all agree. But there are some genius products out there that are designed to make our lives as moms a little easier, and I swear these little Kleenex Wet Wipes were sent straight from heaven to my diaper bag and purse. Why am I obsessed with them? Let me count the ways...

A trusted brand. Kleenex Wet Wipes are a new product from a brand my family already uses and trusts with our noses. Kleenex facial tissues are a staple in this house, and now the wet wipes have been added to our "must have" list too.

They can be used anywhere. Whether you're cleaning up sticky faces at home, or you need to wash some grubby hands on the go, Kleenex Wet Wipes can be used virtually anywhere, and for anyone. No sink or water around? No problem. These little wipes give you the cleansing power of water anytime, anywhere...even when you don't have a sink or bathroom handy. They're thick and strong for hands, but soft enough to use anywhere on your face or body too. 

Variety. Kleenex Wet Wipes come in three different varieties- Gentle Clean, Sensitive, and Germ Removal, so they work for all kinds of messes. I love the Germ Removal ones when we're going to be eating and don't have time to wash our hands (great for in the car!) I can simply hand one to each child and they can wash their hands quickly, wiping out germs at the same time. 

No harsh chemicals. Kleenex Wet Wipes aren't made with any harsh chemicals. They're free from dyes, parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and phthalates, so I can feel OK about using them on myself and my kids with no mom guilt. 

Embrace independent cleanup. I admit to being a tad controlling sometimes (a tad!) Saying "no" to things because I want to avoid messes is a big one for me. I'm learning to let go a little more and say "yes" to messy things and encourage my toddler to clean herself up on her own. Even when that means saying yes to fudgesicles on my light grey couch. 

They're cheap! OK guys, you know this one is huge for me. These little packages of wet wipes are sooooo not expensive at only $1.49 each! I can easily toss a few in the cart without having to do any math or shopping around. 

They're convenient. Another big one for me, because I've already got enough stuff to lug around with four kids as it is. These little packages are the perfect size to fit in the diaper bag, center console of my car, stroller, glove box, or even in my purse (on rare days where the diaper bag isn't needed). I never leave home without them anymore! 

You can get them at Target. You know I'm there every week anyway, and now this is one more thing I can add to my Target shopping list (they're next to the facial tissues). We were already ripping open our first package before we even left the store when her drink spilled everywhere. Mom life, I'm telling you! You can also buy them online or with the Target app. 

Kleenex Wet Wipes are making my mom life just a tad easier, which makes them a must-have for me! Find them at your local Target and tackle any mess that comes your way. 


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