Oh Rainy Day

Rainy days can be tough for mama’s.  It means their little ones are stuck inside and mom’s trying to figure out how to use up all that endless energy.  Rainy days can also be a good way to slow down from all the chaos of going from here to there.  We live in a society where the busier you are translates to your own success and importance. We fill every free space in our calendar with some kind of activity or event to attend.  It can be overwhelming and exhausting both mentally and physically. That is why when I see the little rain icon on the ten day weather forecast, I breathe a sigh of relief. Now I get it, not every mom is able to stay home when it rains.  Sometimes we have appointments that we must go to or plans that we can not change. But I know when I see that it is going to rain, it makes me pause and think if I have to really do what I have on my schedule.  You see running unnecessary errands while it rains with a toddler and a four-month old is pretty much like slowing waxing your eyebrows.  It is painful.  So if I do not have to do it I won’t.  Instead I use a rainy day to catch up on a few things around the house, do some personal reflection, and most importantly, figure out something fun and special to do with the kids. 

I want to share a few ideas that you can do inside while it rains that requires little to no extra special effort around the house.

 

1.    Do some kind of art work

There are so many different options that you can do here.  You can use a coloring book and both color together using crayons or markers.  This is a great time to practice colors with your little toddler and keep them engaged. If you do not have a coloring book available, you can just use plain paper.  They can use their imagination to scribble and practice their drawing.  You can draw items yourself and they can color in the spaces.  You can write letters and numbers and again this helps keep them engaged in the activity. Painting is also a fun activity but can get messy. Something that is less messy is you can stick them in the bathtub and give them a paint brush and they can paint with water.  You can make it really exciting and use shaving cream and food coloring for some added fun!

 

2.     Read Read Read

                  Sometimes when we are so busy we forget to read to our children as much as we could.  Rainy days are a good way to cuddle up together and read your little toddler’s favorite books.  You can never read too much together.

 

3.    Watch a favorite movie

I do not encourage sitting all day and watching TV but a rainy day is a nice treat to watch your kiddos favorite movie together.  Right now Marmaduke is Ava’s favorite movie.  When we watch it together, I try to engage her in what is going on.  This makes watching TV more educational and makes me feel like she is getting a little something out of it.  

 

4.     Build a fort

I feel like this is a classic inside activity.  Use what you have in your living room and get creative.  Your kids will love the interaction and play time that they get with you.  It requires them to use their imagination and motor skills building the fort together

 

5.    Make food

This is so good to do with your toddler especially because at the end they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  It could be something as simple as making boxed brownies or homemade cookies.  If you are not a baker, you could make a chex mix or your own trail mix.  You can have your toddler pour the ingredients in and stir everything together. It can get messy but it is so worth it at the end.  

 

These are just a few inexpensive ideas for what to do on those rainy days with your little ones!  If you have any great ideas or stories on what you do on rainy days with your little ones, please share below!  I would love hear them! I hope you ENJOY!!

Postpartum Hair Loss

 I already have one child so I did know about how your hair falls out during the postpartum period.  Well, somehow I forgot how much your hair really falls out. It is amazing how much amnesia you have when raising a child and then doing it a second (or more) time around. During my pregnancy with Adelynn, my hair was thick and healthy.  I would get compliments on my hair looking good. This was huge to me considering years earlier, I thought I was already getting a receding hairline. During the first three months, my hair remained full and healthy.  I thought I was going to avoid the postpartum hair loss that most moms hate.  Well, I was wrong. My hair loss started right after the three-month mark and has been falling out ever since.  I frequently hear about my husband’s toes getting snarled with my hair.  I feel like cousin Itt from Adam’s Family when I take a shower.  My hair is literally everywhere.  It is all over my clothes, on the floor like a tumbleweed, my kids are wearing my hair. It is crazy but it is also NORMAL.  During pregnancy, due to all of the wonderful hormones, we do not shed our hair like we would normally do during those nine months.  That is why your hair feels fuller during your pregnancy.  After you have your baby, you begin to shed all that hair that you did not loose during your pregnancy.  That is why it seems like you are loosing so much hair.  Just take a deep breath and know that your hair loss will not last forever.  You will get new hair growth back. While there is not anything that you can really do to stop the post partum hair loss there are a few things you can do to help with the process. 

 ·     Take your prenatal vitamin even after the baby’s arrival

It is important to continue taking your prenatal vitamins even in the postnatal period.  Having a vitamin deficiency can lead to hair loss and breakage.  If you are breastfeeding this is especially important. 

·     Keep up on getting your hair trimmed

Getting your hair regularly cut might sound counterintuitive but it is important to do. Trimming your hair helps with split ends and breakage. Plus, you get some mama time and who does not love getting their hair shampooed.  Also, try not to wear super tight pony tails that pull the hair.  I know, what mom does not wear the mom bun? Just try to keep it a little loose. 

·     Keep your scalp healthy

There are many scalp and hair detox products aimed at reducing build up on your scalp and help to unclog the pores.  Having a health scalp helps with the hair regrowth.  Maintaining an adequate water intake is important to help with nourishing your scalp and reducing dandruff.  If you are breastfeeding it is especially important in keeping up with your water intake.

It is normal to have increased hair loss during the postpartum period.  Know that your hair should start growing back and stop falling out so much anywhere from six months to a year.  If you feel like you are loosing a significant amount of hair it is important to speak with your doctor about it.  Your doctor can perform blood test to make sure you are not deficient with any nutrients and also screen for illnesses.  You know your body best!  Remember that you are doing a great job mama and those little pesky wisp of hair will start growing back before you know it. So hang in there! It is amazing what our bodies can do and the different stages that it goes through.  For any significant others out there, try to be as supportive and patient as possible.  No, we are not trying to clog the vacuum, sink, or bathtub on purpose.  :0)

 
 
 
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This is after just one shower. This does not include the hair I lost during the day or while combing my hair. This picture is not to be gross just help to give an idea with how much hair I am losing. My hope is for other postpartum moms not to feel so alone during this period and know that while the postpartum hair loss can be frustrating, it is normal.

This is after just one shower. This does not include the hair I lost during the day or while combing my hair. This picture is not to be gross just help to give an idea with how much hair I am losing. My hope is for other postpartum moms not to feel so alone during this period and know that while the postpartum hair loss can be frustrating, it is normal.

 
 
 
 

Dear Camera

I was changing my daughter into her pj's and she looks up at me so lovingly and starts to giggle and coo.  Her eyes were just so intensely staring right at my face with so much love that it could melt all of Antartica.  I began to tickle her under her chin and on her foot and she starts to giggle even more and her toothless smile was so big my heart was hurting with all the love.  I took a picture of my sweet little girl wanting to remember this moment forever. When I looked at the picture I snapped, it was adorable no less, but could not capture the rawness of the moment.  With all the filters and editing that we have at our disposal,  I could not capture the image and the picture that I was seeing in real time with my eyes .  I wish my camera could capture the real color and softness of her skin.  I wish my camera could capture the intensity of her stare at me.  I wish my camera could capture how when I hold her and I am kissing her neck, that I am also inhaling that baby but distinct to my child smell, that I never want to forget smelling.  I wish my camera could capture how full our hearts are in that in the moment I can physically feel my heart bursting at the seams with all that love overload.  I wish my camera could capture the moments leading up to why I wanted to take the picture in the first place.  The purity of it being unexpected and not planned, just wanting to remember my sweet little girl thinking that I am her whole world.  I wish my camera could capture when she is sleeping in my arms, the pattern of her breathing and the sound that she makes when she is breathing.  I wish my camera could capture how relaxed she feels knowing that she is safe in my arms.  I wish my camera could capture all these beautiful moments with my little girl.  Moments in time that I know that someday I will forget.  Thank you camera for giving me the chance to look back at my pictures that I have taken, some edited and some not, and remember some of the moments and some of the feelings around the pictures but unfortunately not all.  I will not always remember my little girl's distinct baby smell or how my heart felt that day.  Me picking her up after the picture and holding her tight.  But what I can do is use these moments to make sure I appreciate the time I have with my girls.  Whether it is taking a minute to look a little longer in those big blue eyes or hold them a little tighter.  Thank you camera for giving me the pictures.  When my little girl grows up and becomes a young woman, I can look back at those pictures and try to remember.  

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Helping your child get ready for Baby #2

 

I always knew that I wanted more than one child.  Ava would eventually become an older sister to a little boy or girl.  Before children, I never really gave it much thought with how much of an emotional journey it would be bringing in another addition to the family.  (More on that at another time.)  There were definitely things that we did to help prepare Ava on welcoming her new little sister.  We wanted the transition of a family of three to family of four be as smooth and painless as possible. (Yep, there were definitely adjustments!) It actually wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it could be and I do think that preparing your child for their new sibling is a must.  

1.  Talk about the pending arrival of the little sister or brother

Throughout the pregnancy we talked about the baby in “mommy’s tummy.”  I knew that she was too young to really understand the concept about what was going on so I would try to keep it simple.  If we saw another child with a sibling, I would say things like “Look Ava you are going to have a little sister too.”  I would try to emphasize how exciting it was and really keep it positive.  With her age, she was too little to go into detail with how much everything was going to change.  

2.  Baby Dolls Baby Dolls Baby Dolls

 Now, Ava did play with baby dolls a little before but I guess you could say we encouraged it even more now.  I would get down on her level and show her how to burp the baby or how to feed the baby. I would use simple terms and do simple things to show her how we would interact with her new sister.  I would do these activities when she was interested in playing with her baby doll and never forced or pressured her to play with her baby doll.

We decided to give her a baby doll when the baby was born.  This would allow her to care for her baby like mommy cares for her little sister and it was a new doll, therefore hopefully creating some more excitement.  There were so many dolls to choose from it can be almost overwhelming. I had narrowed it down to the Baby Alive Baby Go Bye Bye and the Waterbabies Giggly Wiggly Babies.  We ended up choosing the Waterbabies Giggly Wiggly. What I looked for in the baby was DURABILITY and I wanted the baby to have a bottle.   The baby is all plastic so Ava can take the baby outside and in the bathtub.  It cleans very easily and is small enough for Ava to carry around.  She loves her little baby!

3.  Limit Major Changes

I knew that we were heading into the terrible twos when her little sister was coming.  Entering the big 2 already presents its own challenges and having another baby can add to it.  It is common for children to regress with the addition of a sibling so I knew that I was not going to do two things. 1. Potty train and 2. Transition to a toddler bed.  I do not know why but those were two milestones that people frequently asked about.  Ava was going to be only twenty months old when her little sister would come a long.  I felt like she was too young to rush things and I did not want her to regress once her little sister came.  Ava was not showing any interest in potty training and she loves to sleep in her crib.  Plus, the one thing I had to do was move her to another room.  I thought that was going to be enough change and I was actually pretty anxious about how she would do in her new room. 

Sometimes we have no control with the amount of change that can occur when a new baby arrivals.  You might have to move or get a new job, etc and what I have found is that kids are more adaptable then you may think. Just know that you are doing your best and remind yourself to take a deep Breathe. Everything is going to be ok. :) 

4. Have something in the new baby's room for them

So I wanted Ava to have something to do in her little sister’s room for when I was in there with the baby.  It just happened to work out that I was able to get my hands on a doll changing table and I had a little rocking chair downstairs.  These items were absolutely PERFECT for Ava and it really works out great!  The changing table matches the room and is right near the changing table for the baby. It has plenty of space for baby dolls clothes, etc.  I placed a few blankets and newborn diapers in her changing table and the little rocking chair right next to it.  I can’t even express how happy it makes my heart when I am feeding Addy in her room and I see Ava with her baby.  She is a mini mama and uses that changing table and rocks in her chair all the time! 

All these little things, I truly believe helped make things easier for Ava.  If you are expecting another baby, I hope this helps in making the transition easier.  Good luck and know that you are doing great! You got this, mama!!!

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