Wednesday, July 31, 2013

{Guest Post} Melissa @ Home on Deranged

So excited to have a guest post from Melissa at  Home on Deranged today! Check out her post and then follow her blog and social networks!


5 Things You Probably Know About Parenthood

Some days, it doesn't pay to be a mother. Okay, it never pays to be a mother unless you've figured out the magical way to get paid for changing diapers, soothing crying babies, living through sleep deprivation for years, and so much more. If you have figured this out, please let me know ASAP.
There are plenty of books, videos, websites and friends and relatives to share their opinions and thoughts, but in the end, it all comes down to this: none of us have any idea what we are doing. Not even the experts, who want you to buy their stuff so they can make money off being a mother.
So having said that, I decided to create a list of 5 things you probably already know but hadn't really said out loud because you figure, hey! everybody already knows that. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
1. Some days, you won't enjoy being a mom. It's not that you won't love your kids or the fact that have taken over your life and home. But the days when it's so tiring, when no one will listen to your wise instructions, when they decide that after months of liking corn, they cannot stand the sight of it, when they fight over two Lego blocks, and you can't get your husband to stay with them for 10 minutes in order for you to have a shower, you'll have a fleeting thought of, "Why on earth did I do this?"
2. Some days, you'll wish you were so rich that you could have a full-time nanny. No mother likes to hear, "I love the babysitter more than you." It's the cuddles and hugs and smiles you get when you've been gone for a while and they rush into your arms because they are so gleeful to get to see you again that make the best memories. But, sometimes, you'll wish for a fantastically rich life where the nanny handles every single thing. A world where the diapers and feedings and baths and bedtime and cartoon wrestling is handled by someone else, and you can just come in, get some ridiculously awesome cuddles and then sleep in peaceful bliss for eight straight hours.
3. Some days, you'll realize that being an older mom doesn't necessarily make you a better mom. I thought for sure that I would be a calmer, more patient and relaxed mom at the age of 41. I thought for sure that I would have a better handle on my emotions and therefore be able to handle meltdowns in a more reasonable fashion than screaming. Turns out, those hormones will rage no matter what age you are, and the incessant questioning of your skills will continue to rocket around your brain until you are sitting on your bathroom floor, reduced to a crying heap.
4. Some days, the urge to have just one more baby will nag at you so hard, you will want to have sex with your husband for hours on end, just to get to the jackpot. You will be jealous of your friends and family and even strangers you see at the mall who have that big, round belly and glow of pregnancy. You will ask yourself why you didn't start sooner so you could have had three or four or more and live out your life on some farm. You will try to rationalize the extra expense, the toll on your body, the way a new baby will throw what little structure you have in your life completely out of whack. Then one day you will either stop using birth control or ask you husband to have a vasectomy. It just takes time to figure out which one it will be.
5. Some days, you will be terrified. Once in a while, you will allow yourself the freedom to agonize over all the things that could go wrong. If your child had landed just a little differently on that jump, she could have broken her neck. If baby boy had landed a little to the left, he would have gouged out his eye. If I had been one second later, she would have consumed the entire bottle of bleach. If I hadn't yelled at the top of my lungs, that weirdo in Walmart might have actually just walked off with my baby. If I don't go see a doctor soon, I may not make it to my daughter's graduation or my son's wedding. If our baby gets a terminal disease - or worse - I will not survive it.
Luckily, all these moments pass. Luckily, there is so much more room in your heart for love that you won't believe it. Luckily, you do get paid for being a mother, because you can't put a price on hearing, "I love you, Mommy."

About the Author
After a career as a newspaper reporter, Melissa Swedoski thought she was well informed on the chaos of everyday life. Now, “mumbling through the mayhem of marriage and motherhood,” she is a SAHM to two toddler girls, and is turning her investigative eye on the mishaps and misadventures of parenting and the marathon that is marriage, always with the emphasis on humor and love. You can find her at Home on Deranged or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stephanie @ Mom's Gone Crazy {Guest Post}

Stephanie was the winner of our Ad Space Giveaway and today is *Her* day on the blog! Send her some love and go check out her blog!
Hi! My name is Stephanie, and I blog over at Mom's Gone Crazy - and she's loving (almost) every moment! 
I blog about parenting: the good, the bad, and everything in between! When I started blogging regularly,  there was a lot more crazy going on, but recently it's just been a whole lot of fun! It's so important to me that I have a space to share the true highs and lows that is life - and in doing so, I hope to connect with others who share similar (or even different) experiences. I also love to post recipes, discuss health and fitness, and share anything exciting that happens our family. Besides personal stories and adventures, you'll find me reviewing everything from beauty products to toys, and promoting family friendly giveaways! I hope you'll stop in to my little piece of the world wide web at Mom's Gone Crazy, and maybe even stay awhile!
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

*Husband Love*

Nothing like pregnancy to make you feel extra grateful for your husband. Seriously, he has been *amazing*.
I don't cook much anyway, but lately it's like not at all. My back hurts too much to even get up to get a drink some days and here is my lovely husband bringing it to me without a complaint. Not only does he cook, but a lot of times, he even fixes my plate so I don't have to get up. Yes, yes I am spoiled.
This pregnancy has not been easy on me emotionally or physically. Carrying a baby after loss is emotionally hard and physically I just don't have the same body I had five years ago when I was pregnant with Audrey.
The other day I caught myself complaining about one of my pregnancy pains and I remember telling him "I'm sorry if I whine all the time. I just hurt all over." and his words to me were "You are growing a human. That's not supposed to be easy." I could have squeezed him with the biggest hug ever (if my belly would have allowed it).
I couldn't ask for a more caring and understanding husband. He seriously goes above and beyond every single day to make it easier on me. I am so blessed that God sent me this man and not only do I love being his wife, but I love watching him as the father of my children.
*Love you*
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When Baby Comes: The Hospital Bag

As I am nearing the end of my pregnancy, one of my tasks next month will be to pack my hospital bag. Movies and television shows put so much emphasis on "The Bag" as frantic husband runs around looking for it all while his hurting, pregnant, and hormonal wife is screaming "The bag! Get the bag!". So, what is SO important about that bag.

Well, when you think about it, not only will you be living out of this bag for a few days in the hospital, but this bag will also contain items that will shape your memories of this time, such as the clothes you pack for yourself and baby that will always be in those scrapbook photos.
I have seen SO many hospital bag lists online. Some are bare necessities and some are very extravagant. I thought I would share what I find important to pack in THE BAG as a been there, done that mom.
First pack the important stuff: Insurance forms, any hospital forms, etc.
So if you plan on looking halfway decent during your stay at the hospital, I would suggest you definitely pack your basic toiletry necessities such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush & toothpaste, and a hairbrush. Even before I was allowed out of the bed after Audrey was born, I had my mom washing my hair in a bucket of water by the bed. No one wants nasty looking hair in their pictures and for guests that stop by. Makeup is totally up to you. With Audrey I didn't, but I probably will this times. That is something that will vary from person to person. I see where some people bring their own toilet paper because they don't like the hospital toilet paper. Eh. To each their own. I'm simply not that picky and I promise you, that at that point, it definitely will not be a priority for me. I consider taking your own toilet paper to be a little on the extravagant side and I will be crossing that off of my official list as a "do not need".

Ponytail holders. I know some women get their hair all dolled up before heading to the hospital-straighten it or curl it, whatever. That's fine, but most likely all of that care will go out the window once you get to the point of no return; you know, pushing. You are going to want that pesky hair out of your face and to make things easy on your husband, just have them handy so he doesn't have to listen to your yelling while he scrambles to find them in the bag. That is what those handy pockets or little toiletry bags are made for--easy access for husbands in a critical moment.
Chapstick. I don't know what it is about labor that dries your lips out, but you are going to want that Chapstick. Please, for your husband's sake, do not just throw it in the bag. Again, think easy access.
One thing I did not have during my labor with Audrey that I will be bringing this time is music. I will either use my iPad or borrow Audrey's iPod, but I will have that this time. When I was in labor the LAST thing I wanted to do was listen to ANYONE say ANYTHING unless they were telling me to push or bringing me that blessed epidural. This time I will be fully equipped with music and headphones to tune out the world and focus on the task at hand.
Some women bring their own hospital gown. I am bringing a gown, but for after. I don't see the point in wearing one during labor. FYI, it will most likely be ruined and you will never be able to wear it again. I'll let those gorgeous hospital gowns have that honor. However, I am bringing my own gown for after baby is born. Nursing with those hospital gowns was annoying. Buttons, ties, whatever they happen to have--drove me up the wall. I want an easy access gown. Plus, the buttons on my hospital gown had apparently been through quite a few patients and didn't like to stay closed very well--your guests might now want to see quite that much of you, although at that point, you probably won't even notice it anymore.
Some people consider this an "extravagance", but to me it is 100% necessary: Quarters & Snacks. Quarters for the vending machines. Snacks in case baby decides to come at a random time. I was not allowed to eat the entire time I was in labor and I was SO hungry. (FYI to husbands, lay off the snacks while your beautiful wife is in labor. If she can't eat, you can't eat. You do NOT want to go there) So, if baby decides to come at 11 p.m. and you are starving, you may be out of luck if the hospital doesn't serve breakfast until 7:30 a.m. You can send your lovely husband to get you something or already have snacks on hand. I am not very patient, so I prefer the instant gratitude of snacks on hand.
Bring some socks. Not just to keep your feet warm, but surely I'm not alone in hating the thought of walking on those hospital floors with my bare feet.
Alright moms, you are going to want to pack nursing bras if you are breastfeeding (even if you go without during your stay, you will need one to wear home) and regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, you will need nursing pads unless you consider big wet stains on the front of your shirt to be a fashion statement. This is definitely a necessity. Don't forget those. If you are not breastfeeding, I suggest bringing a sports bra.
You can bring your own panties, but be warned that they may never be the same again. Or you can sport the super stylish mesh ones from the hospital. Me? Eh. Nothing wrong with mesh. YOLO, right?
(Note to moms--those awesome ice packs they will give you in the hospital, ask for some to take home and take as many as they will give you. You will thank me for this later)
Some people pack books to read; I say No. You won't be reading while you are in labor, and afterwards when you are not staring at your newborn, the most gorgeous baby you have ever seen, you will be too tired to even think about a book.
For baby, I say go ahead and pack your diaper bag. The hospital will provide you with some diapers, formula (if you formula feed), etc, but pack it anyway. Baby diapers are unpredictable and you should be over prepared because when it comes to diapers on the side of the road, you do not want to be sorry.
Go ahead and pick out two or three outfits for baby to wear at the hospital for those adorable first pictures. And, of course, pick out the infamous going home outfit. Think about what the temperature will be when choosing these outfits. Also, make sure it is something you can easily fasten the carseat around. If you precious daughter is wearing a gown, you might want to pack some pants or leggings to put on under it to keep her legs warm on the ride home when you have to hike that gorgeous gown up to buckle her in. Bring a blanket for baby to have on the ride home. Oh, and that carseat? Very important. They will NOT let you leave the hospital with your baby unless it is properly installed.
Electronics. Bring your camera. Right now. Go ahead and put in your bag before you even finish reading. If you forget that, your husband will be immediately heading back to the house after you reach the hospital. Save him the trouble. Phones. You have to pack those so you can brag! And speaking of electronics, for every electronic you bring, pack the charger right beside it. They won't do you any good if they are dead.
Comfy clothes. Whatever you ride home in, needs to be comfortable. Oh and maternity clothes. Sorry, but those pre-pregnancy jeans won't fit just yet. My plan is yoga pants and a nursing top. Comfort is key.

Ladies, here is the number one rule: Do NOT let your husband pack the bag. Don't do it. There is no telling what you will be wearing home. (Oh, and make sure your darling husband packs his clothes and toiletries in a bag!)
There may be some other things you want to throw in, these are just my necessities. What is something you MUST have in your bag?
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Bridal Tea

My best friend is getting married in August (yay!!!) and I was thrilled to host her Bridal Tea this weekend. Here are some pictures (and all of the food pictures should let everyone know how pregnant I am!)

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