Planning for Our Little Guy’s First Birthday

planning for your little one's first birthday

I’ve started the process of planning for our little guy’s first birthday. Every time I think about him turning ONE I get choked up. This past year has flown by. To think this time last year I was blissfully unaware just how dramatic our little guy would be making his entrance. I couldn’t imagine how my life would be flipped around – all for the better.

This party will be epic.  Mainly because if I’m throwing a party I want it to be amazing.  I threw my sister’s wedding shower in my backyard a few years ago and it was so pretty.  I created a photo table runner filled with images of the couple, I had created a teal drink since they were getting married on the beach, and had the delicious beach themed cookies made.  I know if I want this party to be great then I needed to start planning early. I’m a planner, to-do list maker and a little OCD. I figured with it being tax season and the fact I work in an accounting office, I should get started sooner rather than later. I knocked out a to-do list followed by a time frame map. That way not only would I remember the big stuff (like order invitations and then mail them), but I would also remember the small ones (charge the camera batteries, buy ice, etc.).

planning baby's first birthday

Choosing a first birthday theme is super hard. There are so many to pick from. Do you go with cars, baseball, football, puppies, firetrucks, fishing, character-themed? It’s so hard! And Pinterest is absolutely no help. You look up images from one theme and you fall head over heels for it. Then you step back and ask yourself if it’s realistic for you to get to that image. Usually the answer is no, at least it was for me.

After a few weeks of mulling around different ideas, I decided. Gone Fishing!

That’s the theme. J loves to fish so I figured it would be cute. Plus we’re planning on having the party at our house so we have our whole backyard to utilize and can create a cute fishing game. I’m pumped!

Now it’s time to get my checklist pulled out and knock a few items off. Once I get the party planned, I want to share my checklist with you. I just don’t want to do it too early because I’ve already had to make a few changes as I’ve gone so I would like it to be final. I’m hoping that my trial can really help you in the long run.

What are some party themes you’ve thrown? I’ve figured it’s never too early to start planning his 2nd. HAHA!

Amazon is Mom’s Best Friend

amazon is mom's best friend

Moms, let’s talk about how Amazon is Mom’s best friend.

There’s a saying about how a dog is man’s best friend. Which I totally get and would have agreed with before having a baby.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs.  I would do just about anything for them, which is evident in the $1500 we’ve shelled out for Bud recently.  They still think they’re my best friend, which usually ends up in me asking “why do you love me so much?” when they are follow me through the entire house. Tiny with always having to be under my feet. Bud with finding ways to stick his entire head in the shower each morning. And Maggie only wanting to play when I’m sitting in the floor with the baby.

But let’s talk about my real, real best friend – Amazon. Let’s get serious, shall we? Only a true friend is there for you around the clock. Only a true friend will bring you whatever you heart desires. And Only a true friend will have a little dot that sits on our TV console that allows me to add laundry detergent (or chocolate) to my car without judgment.

This true friend is Amazon, folks.

The other night while sleep training our little guy I realized we desperately needed a white noise machine.  Our neighbors park their trucks close to his bedroom window and their son works odd hours through the night.  So around 4am each night he is either returning home or leaving for work.  The start of a F150 is enough to wake our little guy out of a deep sleep.   Of course the idea hit me at 4am, when I had to stumble through the dark to comfort our son.  What did I do? Grabbed my phone and added a white noise machine to my shopping cart. It arrived two days later.  Easy!

Let’s talk about all the other wonderful stuff you can buy on Amazon.  Like… protein powders I get to buy without ever having to step foot into a store. I can do my research, read reviews from people and then make my selection. No small town options for me!  Or how I have the dogs’ food delivered once a month automatically.  They go through close to 100 pounds of food a month now I don’t have to haul it around the store or make a special stop since we feed them a higher quality food then the local Wal-Mart sells.  

amazon is mom's best friend, love of amazon

amazon is mom's best friend, love of amazon

We’ve ordered step-ups for J’s truck, a TV console, clothes, nursing gear (that I ended up not being able to use), jewelry, dog food, diapers, wipes, protein powders, ready-to-drink shakes, toilet paper, detergent, veggie spiralizer, chew toys (for dogs and baby), and so, so much more. My order history looks like a cornucopia of wild thoughts!

A best friend remembers even when you forget.

Can we talk about diapers for a second? Moms our little ones go through so many diapers. Who knew a child so small could produce so much?! Am I right? Nothing is worse than having to run to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night leaving one parent home with a diaperless child because you ran out. What do you do with them? Put a bunch of blankets around them? Sit them in the bathtub?

I mean, seriously what do you do with them?

Amazon will remember your diapers for you. Once a month I receive a case. Did I remember to hit the “buy now” button? No. But Amazon remembered.  It remembers two bags of dog food a month, a case of wipes and a case of toilet paper every three months.

It’s magical. Every month two bags of dog food and one case of diapers just appear. Then every three months I also get a case of toilet paper and wipes. Pure happiness.  I have to admit, I just added the TP to my subscribe & save feature.  I needed one more item to boost my savings and I thought it would be a good fit.  The case came but we didn’t need it right away so I stuck it in the garage.  The other morning J yells down the hall that we’re out of TP.  So I go out into the garage, grab my case and set it down in front of him.  I said “here ya go, think this is enough?”  He just looked at me.  I knew what he was thinking – why did you order a CASE of toilet paper?  Then I showed him the math from buying that same amount at the store compared to what I spent… it was enough to pay for half of the case.  

Not only does Amazon remember what I need, but it gives me a discount for forgetting! Seriously?!

Thank you Amazon for being the best friend I didn’t know I needed during the hardest transition of my life – parenthood.

A Daily Schedule for Baby

daily routine for baby, daily schedule for baby, daily schedule for 10 month old

Having a daily schedule for baby can be great. But it can also be very difficult to follow. Days are not always mapped out perfectly, no matter how hard I try. Things come up, stuff goes wrong and nap times go out the window when dealing with a 10 month old. However, I’ve been trying since January to get our little guy on a better sleep schedule so that has rolled over to the rest of our day.

The reason I’m sharing our weekend schedule is because he goes to a sitter Monday – Friday. Plus, his schedule is pretty similar to the weekdays, but the weekends are where we try to set-in-stone his nap and sleep times.  I’ve also shared what my daily life looks like too.  It’s so hard for this OCD planner to not have a set schedule.  

7:00am – wake up (some days he’s up by 6:15 and other days he wants to sleep in until 7:30, but on average he’s awake by 7:00), change diaper and get dressed for the day
7:15am – first bottle of the day. He’s not super hungry first thing in the morning (I blame me for him not being a morning person). So we stick with a smaller bottle until he’s fully awake.
7:45-10:30 – playtime. We try to burn off some energy by playing around the house. It’s been too cold to do much outside. We play games, paint, or just play with some of his toys.
10:30 – another bottle, this time is a full 6 oz. one.
11:00-12:30 – we run any errands that we need to for the day.
12:30-1:00 – We try to be back home for lunch and to get Baby Boy settled to take a nap
1:00 – bottle time again
1:30-3:00 – naptime. He will usually fall asleep somewhere between 1 and 3. Usually his naps last an hour or longer.
3:00 – 4:00 wake up for a diaper change and then we play some more. It’s also time for another bottle
4:30-5:30 – play time, we usually play with the toys in the living room while waiting for dinner to finish cooking.
5:30 – 6:00 – dinner as a family. I eat while also feeding Baby Boy his solids.
6:00 – 7:00 – play time, again we’re back in the family room playing with all the toys.
7:00 – 8:00 – start bedtime routine, which consists of a bath, change into pajamas, start the nighttime bottle and read stories to. Typically he’s asleep within 30 minutes, but some nights it takes longer than others.

What’s your daily schedule for baby?  Have you found it a lot easier if your little one is in a routine?  We have for sure!

Wrapping up February’s Focus on Finances

focus on finances month, finances, money help

February’s Focus on Finances is done!

How did you do last month? Did you hit your goal of increasing your emergency fund or making a dent in your debt? I set a pretty lofty goal for our money and I knew it would be hard to hit it. But I made a serious dent in reaching it. It won’t be long before we have $3,000 in our emergency fund.
Why did I want $3,000?

Well each of our health insurance deductibles is $1,000. Since there is three of us in the family I wanted $3,000 in the bank. You never know what will happen and having that amount would be a weight off of our shoulders.

What did you focus on to increase your money?

We planned our meals for the entire month. It was hard to not give into temptation, but if we didn’t have eating out in the plan that week then we stuck with it. I was able to create some new recipes that we really loved.

We also sold quite a few things on our area’s Facebook Swap Shops. That money went straight into the savings account at the bank. Whatever I didn’t sell I ended up donating at the end of the month to our local Rescue Mission.

Now that you have spent the past 28 days really focusing on your money and what areas you need to improve, it’s time to stick with it. I understand it may be hard to stay so strict, but don’t relax all of the way. Keep working with the cash envelope method. It can help you stop overspending. We use an easier cash method that I’ve talked about before.

Leave me a comment letting me know one thing that really helped you through February’s Focus on Finances.  I’d love to know!

Dr. Facebook is Not Your Health Professional

facebook is not your doctor

Alright this post might offend some of my Facebook friends. But that’s okay. I’m all about speaking my mind. I think I get my bluntness from my Dad.

When our Baby Boy was really sick before Christmas I knew deep in my heart it was RSV. But I wasn’t about to go searching his symptoms on Google or asking by FB friends. Because here’s the problem with that… you will get every story, disease, illness under the moon – even the ones that haven’t been discovered yet!

Have you seen the movie “He Just Not That Into You”? Justin Long’s character is explaining to Ginnifer Goodwin’s character the rules of men. How if a guy doesn’t call you back then he’s just not that into you. Or if a guy acts like he doesn’t care then he genuinely doesn’t care about you. Gennifer’s character is good because she then goes on to say well she knew a friend whose cousin met a guy that didn’t call back for one month and now they are happily married with kids. Justin Long just simply says “that’s the exception, not the rule.” You are not the exception to the rule.

You may be thinking how does this movie relate to Dr. Facebook? … well it does. Because your child’s sickness is probably not the exception. Meaning it might be a simple cold, but you don’t know for sure. You need to talk to an actual doctor. And if for some reason your FB friends with a real doctor then I hope you are good enough friends to have their number so you could just call and ask. Most doctors aren’t going to do a diagnosis over status update.

That’s the rule.

So before you go typing away how your kids poop is yellow and they haven’t eaten in two days, maybe you should save your time and take them to the emergency room or urgent care. Just a thought.

J gets a little overwhelmed when he tries to look symptoms up online. He usually ends up thinking he has a tumor or some sort of incurable disease. So I have to play the cool cucumber when Baby Boy gets sick and just call the doctor myself. I can’t get sucked in to googling every little thing. Especially when it’s your child involved. Because if I was coughing with a low grade fever then I assume it’s a cold and I would take a swig of Dayquil and go about my day. But if it’s Baby Boy that has a cough and low-grade fever then I feel like my world is crumbling down.

facebook is not your health professional

Before I go asking online what could be wrong, I ask myself if I really want to read other people’s responses. Because they could have been the exception to the rule and my kid will be the rule. Their kid could have ended up in the hospital when mine just needs Tylenol. Their kid could have also had their symptoms longer or have more symptoms then they remember. Who knows.

But please, people for all that is sane stop posting medical questions on Facebook. Just call the doctor or take your kid to see one.

Nothing Worse

nothing worse

You know what stinks? When you’re having a rough day and you need to put your foot down, but don’t have a voice. Like a literal voice, not a figurative voice.

I had an issue with a big insurance company not too long ago and I had this “guy” on the other end of the phone say something that was completely false. It made me mad. Normally I would have raised my voice a little – not yelling, just stern to correct him. Except I’ve been sick. I have no voice. It’s a little rough sounding and I feel like I’m screaming just to get a small sound out.

I wanted to so bad to call this man out on his assumptions. To correct him. But instead I was left holding back tears because I was so mad that nothing would come out. If only I would have talked to him the day before then I would have been able to lay into him like I wanted. If only he would have done his job and returned my call like he said he would then I would have spoken to him before my voice decided to give out on me.

There is absolutely nothing worse than feeling helpless. Feeling like you don’t matter and even if you try hard to get your point across they just don’t want to hear it. He kept cutting me off as if I wasn’t even talking. I know it’s probably a tactic, but it was awful.

Now I sound like a pipsqueak with no authority. Just wait until I get my voice back, buddy. You’ll be sorry.

Your Typical Day {A Day In The Life Post}

typical day for a mom who does it all, day in the life post

Not even a year ago I shared what my day was like. Man! Things have sure changed in such a quick time frame. I knew having our Baby Boy would ramp up our lives, but there is so much more going on these days. I’m working hard to study for the Certified Financial Planner exam this spring, which means night class two days a week, plus studying every day. Not to mention tax season calls for 6-day work weeks.

I wanted to do an update to our typical day. I’m a planner (I know, I’ve said it like a thousand times) so I like to have my days mapped out in my Google Calendar so I know where I need to be at all times. I also input J’s schedule. He can access the calendar from his phone so he always knows what’s going on.

I used to put our meal plan in the calendar, but that got to be too much. I tend to change my mind a lot, so it just became too much of a hassle.

Here’s a typical day for me.

6:30am – Wake up and shower.
6:45am – Prep bottles for the day and make protein smoothie for breakfast.
6:50am – Start doing makeup and do my hair.
7:05am – Finish getting Baby Boy’s diaper bag ready. Prep my lunch and snacks for the day.
7:15am – Baby Boy usually wakes up about this time (sometimes it’s a little earlier and some days he sleeps in). Get him dressed and ready to go.
7:20am – bottle time! I also get dressed last thing so that way if I spill or get dog hair on me it’s not on my work clothes.
7:40am – out the door and headed to the sitter.
7:55am – head to work
8:00-12:00 – work at the office, handling client calls, applications, etc.
12:00-1:00 – lunch, I either go home for lunch (if I didn’t have time to pack food or I go to the gym for a quick workout and then eat lunch at my desk later).
1:00-3:00 – finish up at work, plan any new marketing pieces, etc.
3:00-5:00 – study for the CFP
5:00-7:30 – J and I both have night class on Monday and Wednesday, so those nights he drops Baby Boy off at my parents around 5:30 and I usually have dinner in the slow cooker so we both can eat when we have time. If I don’t have class then I head home, cook dinner, do laundry and play with the baby.
7:30pm – put the baby to bed (usually it’s 7:00 on nights I don’t have class)
8:00pm – clean the family room, pick up toys, watch TV, clean the kitchen
9:00pm – bed

I am useless if I don’t go to bed early. Some nights I might make it to 10:00 before bed, but that’s rare. I also may go to bed at 8:30 some nights like I did last night. I know that I toss and turn a lot, I also check the baby monitor 1,000 times a night. So if I can get to bed at a decent time then I know somewhere in the night I will get a combined 7-8 hours of sleep.

This is my schedule about 6 days a week. On Sundays we take it easy. We sleep in, or try to if the baby will let us. We lounge around and try not to take on too many projects. We may work on laundry, but that’s about as productive as we get. I need Sundays to take it easy and reset myself to get ready for the week ahead.  I know that during the summer my typical day changes quite a bit.  Maybe I’ll do a post to share what those days look like….

Surviving Motherhood

Let’s get real here. Motherhood is hard. No matter how many kids you have, or if you work full time, part-time, work from home or stay at home. It’s hard. Being a Mom kicks you in the butt every single day. I mean it.  Surviving motherhood may be a misleading title, because I’m pretty no matter my son’s age I’m still going to be a crazed-filled Mom ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.

When my little guy was sick I was fortunate to stay home with him for 3 days straight. There I was 24 hours a day on call. No one to hand me anything, no one to help me when I went pee. It was just me and a sick little 9 month old… and three dogs that followed me wherever I went. Well…. Until my husband came home from work.

You never know how loved you are until you hear a baby start to cry because you set him down to run to the bathroom. Friday night rolled around and J asked me how my day went. I looked at him and with all seriousness said I’m in the same clothes since yesterday at 5. I don’t even know if I’ve brushed my teeth today. I can’t get a comb through my hair because it hasn’t been combed since Sunday night and because every time I get the comb out our little guy thinks it’s his to play with. Today has been great.

I meant that though… it really was a great day. Our kid was finally feeling better. It was worth it!

motherhood surviving motherhood

That’s motherhood. All is fine if the kids are doing good. You can get through anything.

There are so many sleepless nights and days where all you want is your kid to take an amazing 2 hour nap just so you can start a load of laundry and change the channel to something that isn’t animated. At least that’s how felt last week and that was only 3 days!

Most days I struggle with Mom Guilt because I have to drop him off a sitter while I go to work. I think about him and miss him the entire day. But I get a break. I get to have grown-up conversations and sit at a desk by myself. But as soon as evening comes I rush to pick him up just to hold him again. In the evenings I’m juggling dinner while getting ran over by a walker. If you’ve never carried a plate of food, a glass of liquids while having your bare toes ran over by mini plastic wheels then you haven’t lived!

You know what we need in this motherhood thing? Moms being nice and telling you that you’re doing a great job. Momhood is messy, it’s filled with too much caffeine, sleepless nights and too much judgement. We’re too busy judging ourselves and wondering what other people are thinking of us. Well let me tell you… I don’t even notice the other Moms because I’m the mom scrambling around.

I showed up for an after-work event for me and J, but since he had to work late I took my 9 month old son as my plus one. But don’t worry, it wasn’t cute. He spilled his bottle all over him in the car so it looked like he wet himself. I had to dig for my fleece jacket off the floorboard because I forgot his jacket. And I also couldn’t stay long because I didn’t have one single diaper with me… nope not even an old one that was too small. I was afraid I would have ended up wrapping him in swaddle blanket if he peed through his diaper just to get him home. And I wasn’t about to have to clean his car seat cover that night.

Mom. Of. The. Year. Right here, people. That’s me! To have another Mom say “I’ve been there.” or “Hey! He’s alive and doesn’t have poop all over his body. You’re doing great!” would be amazing. That’s what we should be doing. Encouraging each other because we are in this together.

If you see a Mom who looks frazzled and like she hasn’t slept in days, then let her know how great she’s doing.

How Hard Is It To Tell The Truth?

telling the truth, to tell the truth

I mean seriously, how hard is it to tell the truth. Really? Because in my opinion, it’s not. Sure, you may be scared and worried about the consequences. But wouldn’t you rather have a clear conscious? I know I would.

I remember when I was in the second grade I cheated on a spelling test. I hadn’t studied like I should have and I just didn’t know any of the words. Well I might have known a few, but not enough to get a passing grade. Anyways, I was searching around trying to remember and I saw my neighbor’s paper. She was writing so fast and I knew she always did well so I copied.

I felt awful.

I felt so much guilt the rest of the day that I made myself sick. I came home that night and barely touched my dinner then went to bed early. I tossed and turned until finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I got up to confess. My mom was away on a work trip so I had to tell my Dad. I was shaking I was so nervous to tell him what I had done. I walked straight to him with tears and my eyes and said I cheated.

I could tell he was disappointed, but also proud that I told the truth. For the rest of the school year my Dad made me practice my spelling words every single night with him. Looking back it was the best punishment I had because it taught me discipline and telling the truth is never as bad as I imagine.

I was scared to tell the truth, but I couldn’t live with the guilt any longer. That’s pretty much how my life has been ever since. Sure I may tell a white lie to J when he asks why I’m so late. “Oh I’m passing Wal-Mart right now” when in reality I’m two stop lights away.

But never about the big stuff. I own up to my mistakes and I wish other people did to. It would make life so much easier if everyone was honest.

You accidentally misplace something, then just tell me. You accidentally hit my car, then just be honest with the insurance company. Whatever it is. Honesty is the best policy. Period.

No need to ask for forgiveness about lying if you would just stop doing it. Clear conscious is the best way to be. Plus, I don’t want to teach my child that lying is okay. Yes, mommy did something wrong that you saw, but she’s not going to admit it to avoid trouble. No. Because then the next thing I know he’ll be 16 lying about why he’s 2 hours late for curfew. I do not want that.  Just tell the truth people.

Baby’s First Valentine’s Day and 10 Months Old

Can you believe it’s baby’s first Valentine’s Day?  I can’t believe he’s getting so old!

Our little boy celebrated his first Valentine’s Day yesterday. We didn’t do much. But I wanted to do something special to remember the holiday. Last week I talked about creating this printable Valentine’s for him to hand out at school, which was great.  But now it’s time to focus on just him.  My sweetheart.

baby's first valentine's day

boy's first valentine's day

first valentine's day 

Today is also a very special day because our baby is turning 10 months old. It’s insane to think that he is already 10 months and that I get to start planning his first birthday party. He is growing too fast.

Sometimes I wish for time to slow down. Let me hold my baby just a bit longer. I really didn’t mind the late night feedings or the times I couldn’t get anything done because he wanted to be held. I knew they were going slip away, but I still wasn’t ready for it. I remember the moment we took him home. The moment we were told he needed to be admitted to the NICU and the tears I cried. The day he rolled over for the first time and the crawled.

I don’t want to forget a single moment. I want to remember it all.