Relieving the Stress of Your Must Do Before Baby List

The secret to relieving the Stress Of Your Must Do Before Baby list!

Is your To-Do Before Baby List a mile long?Relieving Stress Of Your Baby To Do list

Lately, my Pinterest feed is full of baby list posts like, “15 Things To Do Before Baby” and “10 Must-Haves For A Natural Birth” or, “Your Hospital Bag Checklist”.  While often quite insightful, these posts were causing me more anxiety than anything elseI have my own long list of things to do, and reading even MORE ideas that should be on my list is somewhat overwhelming.

However, I realized something a few weeks ago after a disagreement with my midwife. Suddenly, at 32 weeks pregnant, I was threatened with immediate dismissal from the practice if I didn’t comply with protocol. No matter that we’d discussed this issue at two previous appointments; I was never told that not complying was a dismissible offense until I had only two days in which to do so.

By the time I’d made my next appointment and left the office, I was so angry and upset! I hurried out to my car and sat there, huffing and puffing. I texted my hubby and crunchy friends about the injustice of the unfortunate situation. And then it came to me…I had been so preoccupied about which cloth diapers to buy, making freezer meals, worried about finishing the nursery and cleaning everything in sight…I didn’t ever think to worry about who would deliver my baby.

Isn’t it so silly the things that concern us sometimes? Who cares about which cloth diapers you buy as long as you have a healthy baby? Who cares if your house is clean when your baby arrives?

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of my concerning issues have resolved themselves with absolutely no effort on my part. Situations in which I was helpless simply dissipated into thin air. All they needed was a bit of time.

I’ve felt so much peace since that clash with my midwife. I realized you never know what’s around the corner, but God is still in control. He can work your little problems out all by Himself, with no help from you. It was like a little (big) reminder that He’s there, He cares, and He always has a better plan than you.

In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t have to catch my own baby. I’ll post more details about that crunchy conflict (and resolution) someday. Just not today.

I’m no longer obsessing over my baby list, but most items have been crossed off with still 4 weeks to go! Awaiting your baby’s arrival shouldn’t be fraught with stress over an insignificant to do list. Go ahead, make the baby list, take care of the basics, and take it easy over the rest. 🙂

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

God has it all under control and He cares for you!

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

Nursery themes are always so much fun to put together! Preparing a special nursery space is my favorite way to contain all the anticipation I feel for welcoming the newest member of our family.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

I am due in just 5.5 short weeks with our 3rd child, and his nursery is still a work in progress. Reusing the same furniture and wall color was a must (we hate painting!), but we’re changing out all the decor. I’ll share photos off his nautical themed nursery when it is done!

Meanwhile, here’s some pics of my last nursery theme, which proved to be quite difficult in executing. At the time I chose this theme, there was almost NO Hungry Caterpillar themed decor to be found anywhere. When I did find it, it was quite expensive. That resulted in several DIYWMH (do-it-yourself-with-Mom’s-help) projects. 😉 Zulily, Amazon, and an online fabric site were my bff’s!

Enjoy!

Hungry Caterpillar Nursery decor
Hungry caterpillar switchplate (DIY, just modge podge and a fabric scrap!), framed puzzle, bookends, etc that we found on Zulily.
Eric Carle shelf decor
On the shelf: I bought a cardboard “C” at Hobby Lobby and used Modge Podge to cover it with a strip of leftover fabric from the valance my Mom and I made. The blocks were special ordered from Etsy, and the wooden toy from Amazon. On the crib: My friend found a hungry caterpillar plush at a yard sale for $1. 🙂
Eric Carle fabric made the cutest switch plate!
Close up of the switch plate I covered in a fabric scrap – it was a sticky project, and involved a learning curve, but still holding up after 2.5 years!
Hungry Caterpillar puzzle
We found some Hungry Caterpillar puzzles at a bargain store for $3 each. I picked up the frame on clearance at Michael’s and was delighted to find it fit the puzzle perfectly! So much cheaper than the licensed prints I found online, and I love the playful look of a puzzle in a child’s room!
Hungry Caterpillar bookshelf
We found an apple shaped bank on Zulily as well as a musical jewelry box. Score!
Hungry Caterpillar changing area
On the shelf to the right: Some wooden buckets from the Target Dollar spot (from a friend), a small wooden toy from Amazon and a music globe from Zulily. Diaper basket half off at Michael’s I believe…
Hungry Caterpillar nursery theme
The Very Hungry Caterpillar rug is actually a tummy time mat, but it made a perfect, plush rug.

So that was our second child’s nursery decor! It’s a little sad to dismantle the decor after all the love I put into it, but I feel like the new little guy should get his own nursery theme. Plus, how else am I supposed to keep the ants in my pants away in anticipation of his arrival? I need something to keep me busy besides an entire house to clean, meals to cook, a hubby and two kids…. 😉

What was your child’s nursery theme? Did you DIY, or buy most of it?

 

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery Theme!

How Your Friend with the Colicky Baby Really Feels (And How You Can Support Her)

colicky baby

Hi, my name is Rachel and I had a colicky baby.

I’ve thought several times of writing a post with tips how to survive, tips for soothing a colicky baby, etc. But there are many good resources already, I’m sure. However, I didn’t have time to research them during our colicky baby “adventure”. I had my hands full – literally – with a crying baby nearly every waking minute of the day. Even the non-waking moments.

colicky baby

So I thought today, I would write about how having a colicky baby made me feel. If you know a mom with a colicky baby, read my tips in the bullet points. Maybe they will help you understand and support your friend a little better. 🙂

Looking back, that time for me is a blur. I don’t remember much except feeling miserable and alone. Now, I look at photos of my baby girl and I see how adorable she was. In that moment, my heart swells, and I remember the love and adoration I felt when I snapped that photo of her sweet face. But then I also see that tear, still fresh on her cheek, and I remember what a brief respite from the crying that moment was. That mostly I felt in that moment sweet relief, and an anxious fear that any moment she would resume crying. I felt a desperation to capture as many non-crying moments as I could, but there were so few!

Colic is supposed to last about 3 months, but in reality, I feel like ours lasted much longer. I didn’t relax or feel like I could take a deep, easy breath until she was one year old.

I didn’t have any family in the area to help me, so I never got a break. I was alone all day with a two year old and a crying baby.

If I went out into public, baby would taunt me by being on her best behavior. I felt ridiculous, like if I told people what our days were really like, they would never believe me. Probably the reason baby was so good in public is because I typically carried her in a ring sling or wrap. She loved to be held. While you were standing. And moving. But try doing that all day long on only four hours of sleep and see how you feel!

  • If your friend tells you she’s having a rough day, that her baby cries all the time, that she can’t take it anymore, pay attention. Don’t brush her off as being overly dramatic.

I don’t know how many times I tried to tell people I was struggling, and no one ever seemed to really understand the depths of my misery.

I received help just once. A friend saw a post of mine on Facebook and came over to show me some tips that worked for her colicky little guy. I was never so grateful when my baby slept for the next four hours – the longest stretch ever!! Except then the baby was up all night. I was damned if she slept, damned if she didn’t. Nothing I did mattered, nothing helped, nothing would make it better. I was at my wit’s end.

  • If your friend vents on Facebook once in a blue moon, don’t EVER tell her how blessed she is to have a baby in the first place. That it isn’t as easy for some people to get pregnant. That some people can’t have babies at all.  Chances are, she knows this full well, and feels like crap for not being capable enough, patient enough, or good enough to handle her own life and child.

When I had a colicky baby, I felt trapped. I wasn’t accomplishing anything, just barely surviving. My house was a mess, prepping healthy meals and snacks to get myself back to a normal pre-baby weight was nearly impossible, and I wasn’t able to do anything I enjoyed.

  • If your friend smiles and tells you she’s doing ok, don’t believe her. Never give her the benefit of the doubt. Offer to take hold baby. Get the woman a cup of coffee. Of course she can do it with one hand, but she would like to feel a surge of freedom now and then. 🙂

By evening, when hubby got home, I was exhausted. But my day wasn’t over because colic gets worse in the evening. And forget sleeping soundly…my baby was fussy even in her sleep. I could hear her rustling, crying out, whimpering during the night. And then she would wake to eat more often than necessary, sometimes only 45 minutes after her last meal. She didn’t like to take a bottle, even if I actually found the time to pump her milk.

Being on call 24/7, with never a restful night’s sleep takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically!

My daughter also liked to comfort nurse – I was her pacifier! More often than not, me and my boob were the only path to happiness and harmony. This is incredibly draining (no pun intended, ha!), and puts such a great weight on one’s shoulders.

What would have helped me back then was a listening, non-judgmental ear.

I also could have used a friend who let me dash out to the grocery alone while baby napped. Someone who would hold and walk with the baby while I took a shower. I was desperate for peace and quiet, with time to do something I loved – cooking or baking. I daydreamed about cooking giant meals and decadent desserts for anyone who would come and hold my baby for awhile.

  • Moms of colicky babies don’t need your judgment. They need your help to keep their sanity.

I loved my baby, but I couldn’t take her constant crying and need for attention. People would tell me, “They grow up so fast; enjoy the cuddles while you can!”. But how do you enjoy non-stop kisses and snuggles while your house falls down around your ears? When you never get to talk to your husband because you can’t hear each other over the noise? When you look in the mirror and all you see is a fat, tired, slob?

When people made those “enjoy this time!” remarks, it only made me feel guilty and even more downtrodden than I already was.

At age 2.5, my daughter is still a more difficult, dramatic child than my first born ever was. But she is also the sweetest, cuddliest little cupcake you ever did see. She is funny and spunky and full of life. And I can totally see how she was a colicky baby. She was a needy, high maintenance baby just as she is a needy, high maintenance toddler.

I wish I could have seen then what I see now, and comprehended her personality a little better. Because it all makes sense, now!

But what matters is that one way or another, we somehow made it through the colic. We all survived. And hopefully now, both you and I can help someone with a colicky baby someday. 🙂

Unique Gift Ideas For The Toddler Who Has Everything!

Unigue gift ideas for toddler

If you have multiple kids, are you struggling with gift ideas this year? We have two little girls, and feel like our older daughter has everything a girl could possibly need already…Little Sis can share and/or get all the hand me down toys. Why buy anything else?

On the other hand…she can’t live on hand-me-downs her whole life!

Unique gifts for toddler

We’re not planning to go overboard on the number of gifts, or money spent, but we have been searching for some unique gift ideas our 2.5 year old would enjoy. That’s why I was so excited when Uncommon Goods contacted me about doing a post for them. I had heard about the company before, but never realized what a wide variety of awesome gift ideas they had, even for kids!

I also like that Uncommon Goods features many organic, recycled items from small manufactures and artists – but no leather, fur, or feathers. You ‘ll always know no animals were harmed in the making of any of their products. They pay employees a fair wage, and also give back when you shop.

abhor buying the character-of-the-year themed toys no one will care about in a year – or less. My husband and I prefer to buy our kids classic, good quality toys that will stand the test of time. I definitely found that at Uncommon Goods, as well as useful items that are still fun and exciting for a kid to open.

Click here to see all kid items on the site, or keep reading to see some of my favorite finds for toddlers! Scroll all the way to the bottom for links to gifts for the grown ups in your life!

Toddler gift idea plate
I love this Ms. Food Face Plate! What a fun idea! (They also have a Mr. Food plate!)

Search by age, refine your search to toys/apparel/crafts, etc, OR search for only handmade items, items made in the USA, recycled or exclusives.

Check out this personalized rolling pin, handmade in Erie, Pennsylvania!

unique gift ideas toddler rolling pin
My little one loves play-doh, and I’m sure she’d be thrilled to roll out her name! 🙂

My 2.5 year old seems obsessed with anything magnetic. For a year now, she has been playing with wooden magnetic blocks, similar to this robot toy made from sustainably harvested wood. I think he would be a good addition to her stash!

toddler gift idea
The Magbot Magnetic Block Set, good for boys AND girls!

We actually have crayons similar to this already, and my kids play with them as much as they use them for coloring. They stack them, put them on their fingers like claws…and the product description even says you can string these on twine to make a colorful necklace!

Unique gift ideas for toddler
Highly recommend these fun, inexpensive finger crayons! They have been a hit with my two and four year old!

There’s also a Holiday gift guide on the Uncommon Goods blog with “Creative Gifts for Clever Kids”. The collection of sports themed bowls you’ll find there were actually designed by a kid!

kid gift ideas sports fan
What little sports fan wouldn’t love one of these on Christmas morning! So fun!

So if you’re looking to find unique gift ideas for your baby, toddler, mom, sister, friend, dad, or hubby – really, anyone on your gift list! – head to Uncommon Goods and check out the selection of items you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere!

Click here to find unique gifts for women : http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-women

Click here to find unique gifts for the guys in your life : http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-men

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are totally my own. I am honest to a fault. 😉