Is Easter the new Christmas? And other holiday social media competitions

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Going through my social media feeds this past Easter, I started to wonder to myself, when did Easter become Christmas? Since when do you get big Christmas like gifts or overflowing baskets with toys and games and clothes and so many things? I even saw pictures of elaborate “bunny prints” in the hallways at homes. Pinterest has made people crazy. KUH-RAY-ZY.
I feel like it’s a case of social media one upsmanship. We see something on Pinterest, or Facebook that another Mom or family has done and we gotta do one better. I don’t think it matters really to the kids. I believe when I was a kid I got maybe some books and a little bit of candy and maybe a tape or CD if I was lucky in my easter basket. See – I can’t even fully remember what I got in my basket. But you know what I do remember? The time I spent with my family.
You know what makes me smile and what I miss more than anything when I think about those holidays as a kid? That time spent with my family. We had so much fun! Whether it was just my siblings, or our extended family with the cousins, THAT is what I remember and think fondly of, not what was in my basket or under the Christmas tree.
My oldest son is 2 and I have yet to do any basket or anything on Easter. He’s gotten gifts the last couple of Christmases but we didn’t go all out. However, in contrast I saw the unofficial “under the tree” competition on Christmas morning on Facebook and Instagram – the photo of all of your gifts wrapped and stacked. No gifts under the tree photo from us. Hell we didn’t even have a tree. Ain’t nobody got time to keep toddlers and babies off of a Christmas tree. Our son really had no clue how many gifts he got or what they were for, and his birthday is right before Christmas.
Speaking of birthdays, those are getting just as bad! In my birth club for my youngest son, they are already planning 1 year parties. 6 months ahead of time, and I’m pretty sure some of them have started before now. Not just planning. Some have rented venues, and booked photographers, and already have boards they are pinning to regularly on Pinterest for this elaborate shin dig they are going to throw for this little munchkin who is going to have NO IDEA what is going on.
I don’t get that. We had a party for my oldest son, sure. I planned it maybe a month ahead of time? Bought a few decorations, invited some family, and voila we’re celebrating his 1st birthday. He’s not going to remember. Might he see pics of it one day? Sure. Is he going to pitch a fit because it wasn’t at the right venue, or the photographer didn’t capture his good side, or the decorations weren’t DIY? Nope, He’s not going to give a shit. If he even looks at the pics.
I just think that with much of our lives broadcast on and influenced by social media, Pinterest and other social media have become the fuel that lights the bigger better parties and gifts competitive flame. However, knowing what meant most to me as a kid, the time with my family, I plan to continue to blow up my followers feed with pics of family times spent together at these special occasions, and not the giant Easter basket, stacks of gifts, or elaborately decorated and planned parties.

Nursing Nook – For Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is hard stuff – mentally, physically draining. The rewards are huge, but it’s a big sacrifice on mom’s part to make it happen. I truly believe that in order to be successful in breastfeeding, support and comfort are two major keys. 

Support is really important. I always say one of the biggest credits I can give for my success in breastfeeding my older son for over a year goes to my husband. He went with me to the breastfeeding class and learned and understood how it all worked, how much baby needed to eat, and what I needed to do for it to be successful. 

Because of his understanding and knowledge, he was able to support me so much more. He was able to tell the hospital that when my sons temp wouldn’t come up after birth that he needed to come have skin to skin with me and nurse with me. When people made comments about me breastfeeding, or my supply, he would be there to defend. And when it got tough for me, he was there to support me and tell me how awesome I was doing. He is a big factor in my success. 

Another factor to me, is comfort. I needed to be comfortable nursing, and pumping (because I worked full time and traveled 50% of that time for work). On the road, I would generally pump in my car. It was a comfortable space for me, I could leave my stuff set up which gave me more actual pumping time, and I didn’t have to worry about anyone walking in on me. 

At home, I’ve always had what I call a nursing nook. I highly recommend creating a space like this for yourself at home if you’re a nursing mom. Here’s mine:

 

And here’s how I have it set up –

  • Rocker/recliner – because buying a chair that would only serve one function (rocker, glider) didn’t make sense to me. This also serves as a place for other people to sit in my living room. Plus the recliner function helped a lot during pregnancy and newborn phase, I would sleep here A LOT.  
  • Bolster pillow – for lower back support
  • Heating pad – for pregnancy and post partum back pain 
  • TV Stand – collapsible so if I need to put it up I can (but a normal side table would work fine we just have a small space so being able to put it up is nice)
  • Basket under TV Stand – holds magazines, blankets 
  • Plastic tray from hospital on TV Stand – holds pacis, nipple cream, burp cloth, hair clip, earbuds, nail clippers and other small items I might need while sitting there 
  • Boppy – tucked into the notch of the TV stand
  • Command Hooks on the side of nearby bookshelf – holds nursing necklace, robe 

I’d also stock snacks and water on the tray or in the basket in the early post partum days and I sometimes still do at night especially I get hungry. I also kept my meds there easily accessible those first couple post partum weeks. There’s also a plug behind my recliner where I have a charger for my iPad because my iPad gets heavily used while nursing!

I truly believe my success with my first, and probable success with this new little one, is largely in part to these two things so I hope this can help someone else out or give them ideas on how they can be successful breastfeeding.

Who else has a set up like this? What else do you have or suggest? 

8 Things I Learned Going From 1 Kid to 2

 Before I had my second son, I was terrified. I was mostly terrified at how it would affect him, and how I could possibly have the time and love for two when I felt like I already had so much to give to my first son. I was worried about how I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him because I’d be caring for or feeding the baby. I was definitely right, at least in the beginning, it was very hard for me to spend any time with him because a newborn baby needs so much from mom. That was hard for me because I was used to spending all my time with my oldest and now we hardly got any time.

But as baby got older, and started to nap and things regulated, and my body healed from my c section, I was able to spend more time with my older son again and it was great. I was actually surprised that as I adjusted, caring for two wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The hardest part was when they were both crying or both needed me. There were times that my baby had to cry and I hated it because I can’t stand listening to him cry. But those times were few and far between thankfully.

I did want to share some of the things that surprised me and that I learned as a new mom of 2. I hear in terms of transitions when adding kids to the family that 1 to 2 is the hardest. Here’s hoping!

  • When you need to go somewhere, with both, say to the store, give yourself HOURS to get ready. So if I wanted to leave by 11 or noon, I needed to start getting ready the second I got up. Between dressing me, dressing the oldest, feeding the oldest, dressing youngest, feeding youngest, getting the bag ready, changing both diapers, it is a several hour affair. As long as I planned on having several hours to get ready, I would get out the door without a hitch and (mostly) on time.
  • This one took me a while to find a routine that works – bed time – bathe older one first. That way he’s ready for bed, and if baby starts to melt down, I can send oldest to his room to read or play or whatever and then eventually fall asleep. Or let him watch Mickey, whatever, but at least he’s ready for bed if it takes me longer than expected to get the younger one ready and down for bed.
  • Playing alone is okay! For both of them! It helps them learn and explore on their own and it helps me give (almost) undivided attention to the other …. or get some shit done around the house.
  • Get out of the house. Whether it’s for a walk, go to the store, whatever. I feel more like a human and less like a hormonal zombie if I get out and breathe some fresh air. My kids feel it too. They’re less fussy when they get out of the house too.

  • Going to the store – not as bad as I thought! But the whole thing will take a while. Getting two small kids in and out of the store is a feat in and of itself. Car seats, strollers, carts, loading and unloading, crying, feeding, snacks, pitching a fit… it’ll take a while. But as long as you’re prepared and know that going in, it’s not so bad!
  • Speaking of the store and errands – be prepared to abandon ship! And know your limits! Generally speaking you won’t be able to fit in maybe more than 2 stores or 3 total stops with 2 small kids. At least mine. They get over it pretty quick. Sometimes they surprise me and I can get more out of them than that, but I always go in expecting it not to last more than 2-3 stops so I prioritize. Whatever is most important to get done is first and second, and anything else is less important and can be done another day and often if we’re melting down, it is scrapped for another day. As much as I’d like to knock everything out in one trip that I need to do to save time, money and gas – with 2 small kids in tow it’s not going to happen anymore.
  • Don’t forget to take pics of the bigger one. I noticed my phone is a lot of pics of the little one whereas it used to be all pics of my toddler. He’s still young too I try to make myself remember to take pics of him as well.

  • Let it go – the clean house. Sing it if you want to (thankfully I haven’t seen that movie yet) but seriously I had to learn to let the idea of a clean house go. I came to accept that my house won’t be clean for the next 18 years and that’s okay! I have kids! I’m sure no one, if they did come to our house, would expect it to look spotless with two small kids. I do basic cleaning and I clean up toys at the end of the day. That’s it. You’ll have more time for the kids, or just to lay around with your feet up, but clutter and toys doesn’t really matter right now.

What were some of the big things you learned as your family expanded?

Review: Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag

Some women like shoes or clothes, I like bags. Always have. Purses, tote bags and now… Diaper bags. I get bored and change bags fairly frequently. I sell old ones or I’ll keep them if I think I might use them again.

Since my son was born 2 years ago, I’ve had a few diaper bags. I first tried a Vera Bradley diaper bag but found I couldn’t ever zip the bag shut and it’s one of those bags that just looks sloppy open so I sold it. I tried the Kate Spade Stevie and just found it too shallow for my tastes. I tried a Coach leather diaper bag and I found it too stiff and heavy.

Then I found on clearance at the Disney Store a Storksak with slight Mickey ear embellishments that was super cute so I got that one. That one has been my LOVE for the longest time over the last 2 years. Fits so much, looks cute, lots of pockets and DISNEY! But I started to get that itch again before my new son was born because I didn’t think it would be big enough for 2 kids in diapers.

I was at TJ Maxx shortly before my second son was born and found a Coach bag that wasn’t leather and stiff and a matching crossbody purse. PERFECT! I snatched it up and it’s been great for holding everything that I need with 2 kids. Having the matching crossbody is nice also because with 2 kids now I frequently don’t have spare hands or a shoulder to put a big bag on so being able to sling it across is perfect.

But I have the itch … again. Dangit! I was on a thread with my StrollerQueen StrollerSwap ladies (on Facebook – if you haven’t seen me mention them in my prior post, check it out here they’re awesome) again last week and someone was asking about diaper bags and someone mentioned the Skip Hop Forma. I was intrigued by the color and the cubes that it comes with. So I decided to check it out!

It’s a tote style bag with a zippered top that comes open. The fabric seems very sleek and stain resistant as well as washable. The biggest advantage is the front zippered pocket opens up and has these 2 cubes – one for bottles and one for snacks, spare clothes, etc. I measured it at 14.5″ x 5.5″ x 12″.

It has two side pockets for bottles or sippys.

On the front of that pocket is another small zippered pocket for your keys or personal items. 

If you take the cubes out, the pocket they fit in is very roomy if you decided not to use the cubes and there’s also some mesh pockets behind the cubes. 

The cubes themselves are pretty big and pretty handy. They are 6″ x 10.5″ x 2″.

The back of the bag has a pocket that zips open and has a cushy changing pad inside.    On the inside of the main compartment on the sides are stroller straps built in.  The main compartment has several pockets inside as well.

While the cubes are an advantage, the disadvantage is that they minimize the space in the main compartment because of their depth. They push in to the main compartment.

So for me, with two kids in diapers and one needing snacks and a sippy cup and also needing to carry a woven wrap in case I need to wear the baby, the space in this bag is very quickly taken up.

And there really is no spare room for anything else, it would be hard to get the stuff out of the pockets, and it would be hard to zip. 

So for me, as a mom of 2 in diapers and carrying a woven wrap with me as well, it wasn’t a good fit. For someone who only has 1 kid, or only 1 in diapers, I think it would be a great choice and I would highly recommend it for it’s features, functional pockets and cubes. I would get it again once I didn’t need to carry so much around with me. The color itself is actually beautiful as well. It’s available in a few colors – black, berry and this one is peacock.  There’s also a backpack version but that one is much smaller. I purchased mine from Amazon.

Since it didn’t work out for me, I returned it, and per another recommendation on that SQSS thread, I got the JuJuBe BFF. So that will be my next review! And as a tease … I LOVE IT! So stay tuned!

Bun in the literal oven (and other pregnancy/post partum surprises)

So when you’re pregnant, a common phrase is that you have a bun in the oven. What no one tells you is that you literally become an oven. I have never been more hot in my life than the last 3 years as I’ve been pregnant or nursing/post partum for all but a month or so of the last 3 years.

My wardrobe (read more about my awesome sexy mom wardrobe here) these last 3 years is exclusively tank tops. I might as well pack the rest of my clothes away and I don’t know why I haven’t. I’m sure my husband would appreciate the closet space it would free up. I very rarely put on anything else, especially when nursing but mostly just because I’m so hot and the thought of putting any more cotton on my skin besides that makes me wanna do the polar plunge.

Almost 9 years ago I moved from Michigan to south Texas which I loved. The weather here was perfect to me. Hot but not humid. Now, even 80 degrees here makes me sweat like a whore in church. I cannot get cool enough most of the time. I nearly bought one of those personal misting fans this last pregnancy.

And being hot, especially post partum/nursing hot, makes me so irrationally frustrated and stabby. I get so pissed off that I feel like I become the hulk and I could hulk smash something. My poor husband I get so crazily angry when I’m hot I’ve lashed out and said some things to him that afterward I’m like wtf did I say that for? And I feel terrible. Thank god for him, he tolerates it and doesn’t get his feelings hurt easily.

I’m so hot even in my house with tank top and shorts on, air conditioning and fans on. My poor kids I got from my mom the inclination to dress my kids how I feel, so they’re probably cold all the time because I’m sweating so I put them in minimal clothing as well.

My insane hotness, and not the appearance kind, is part of the reason I chopped off my long hair last summer, couldn’t stand the pony tail down my back. Now that I’m starting to get a ponytail again you’ll frequently find it clipped up.

I was so surprised at just how hot I get and how it makes me feel. I definitely don’t remember anyone telling me about that.

I also didn’t know that I would lose so much hair, which is tricky because with a baby you have to keep an eye out for hair tourniquets. It’s so easy to see how they can get them now, when you lose a handful of hair a day! I’m so annoyed with having to clean up my hair everywhere. And it is EVERYWHERE.

I also had no idea that breastfeeding could make you NOT LOSE WEIGHT! Everyone says the pounds will fly off because you’re breastfeeding. I’m here to tell ya folks… Not necessarily true!! With both boys now, my weight does not fluctuate more than a pound in either direction. No matter what I eat and what exercise I do. So … Might as well enjoy myself and keep my maternity clothes out!

What are some of the things that no one told you about pregnancy/post partum?