Learning to Relax

Isn’t it funny when you realize that you just had an ‘ah – ha’ moment?

I had one of those yesterday afternoon.

Craig is always telling me that I let Gabriella affect my mood too much. Sometimes I agree, but then other times I want to tell him to hush it…in the nicest possible way, of course. Winking smile 

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I honestly can tell you that I’m pretty sure I don’t give her enough credit. I am constantly thinking that ‘she’s not ok,’ or ‘she can’t do that, it’s too out of her routine.’ WRONG. Gabriella is SMART. And she is a PERSON, she can adapt. She is no longer an itty bitty baby (and yes, I know, itty bitty babies can definitely adapt too), she can get thrown out of her usual ways and she will BE OK.

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(She’s like I’m totally fine, Momma, DUH!)

It’s just hard for ME to remember that. I don’t know if it’s a first time Mom thing, or if it’s just a ME thing but I am constantly worried about making sure her environment is just right for her. Does that even make sense?

Let me explain.

Gabriella and I came up to visit my parents for a few days in Jacksonville, just to spend some time with them and to catch up. Yesterday, while she was napping in the afternoon, the power went out. The second it happened I went into panic mode.

I immediately went straight to her room to make sure that she was still sleeping since her sound machine went off. We keep it on white noise while she sleeps- both for naps and bedtime. Honestly if I could go back, I don’t think I would use a sound machine…BUT, like her pediatrician told me ‘If that’s her only crutch, then you are doing just fine.’ Anyways, she was still sleeping but because I went into the room to try to turn it back on (the power was out just for a bit), I woke her up.

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I was frustrated. I was frustrated with my self, but didn’t realize that in the moment. I was actually mad at the city of Jacksonville for making this power situation happen. I mean, really Holly, really?!!? LIFE HAPPENS, get over it! But at the time I didn’t see it that way.

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Since I ended up waking her up, she started crying, but I decided to wait it out a bit to see if she would fall back asleep. I went in the other room to see my parents and asked how long the power usually stays out when this happens. They said it could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours- no one knows. Of course they could tell something was wrong, and asked if everything was ok. I got all ‘huffy puffy’ and said, ‘well, no, Gabriella is now awake because her sound machine went off.’

First of all, that was only half of it, the real reason that she was up was because I just HAD to rush right into her room to make sure I had the sound machine ready to go in case it came back on. STUPID. She was FINE. I could have just let her be.

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(^how hilarious is that?! She is in the sink at my parent’s house Smile )

My parents then said, ‘well we don’t even hear her crying, are you sure she is still up or did she fall back asleep?’ I responded with ‘yes, she’s STILL up, I JUST walked past her room and she was crying.’ (I sound like a real FUN daughter, right!?!?!?! Winking smile God bless them.) So my Dad went to listen near her door & she didn’t make a peep. Little stink, she knew she was going to prove me wrong. Smile I really had just walked past her room & she WAS crying, but she had stopped at this point.

Guess what? She fell back asleep. She was ABSOLUTELY FINE. And she didn’t NEED the sound to sleep, I just MAKE it seem like she does. SILLY SILLY ME. Sometimes I just want to slap myself across the head and say WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?!

There was NO NEED to freak out because of a power outage, or a silenced sound machine. LIFE GOES ON. GABRIELLA SLEEPS ON. CHILL OUT HOLLY, CHILL OUT. I’m capitalizing these things for myself- I swear it’s like a mantra I need to tattoo on my forehead.

The main thing is that I think it’s just a ‘live and you learn kind of thing.’ Babies don’t come with instruction manuals…although I swear that would be MUCH easier. You have to learn each other- you baby has to learn YOU, and YOU have to learn your baby. Nothing about being a parent is easy, but I PROMISE it’s all 100% worth it & I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, other than the fact that I need to learn to relax a bit. But, then again, I am just a work in progress. Smile

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(I just LOVE her in her bathing suits! Smile )

Every day is a new day, and every day I feel like I learn something new. It’s actually pretty neat to realize, even if it is a hard pill to swallow.

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Big Step In Parenting

Last night I was so exhausted that the thought of writing a post was out of the question. We are all allowed those nights, right?? Smile I really have no idea why I was so tired, (well ok maybe it was the 13 miles I did…I’m insane- I know!) but it just hit me like a ton of bricks.

Anyways, back to regular posting today!

So I wanted to talk about HOW MUCH friends mean to me. I know it may sound silly, but I really can’t tell you enough how much my friends have been there for me. It’s been an interesting month- lots of both ups and downs. But what helped get through the not so good moments was the support from friends.

I know when I first had Gabriella my Mother in Law very much encouraged me to try to find some other Moms in the area. Not just so that we could have play dates & talk about our crazy kids but also for the support they offer. Also for the advice and relatable stories that they have- makes you feel like your child really isn’t all that crazy. Winking smile

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I have been loving that Gabriella is getting more socialized. Honestly the past two months she has changed SO MUCH! We have play dates every week, and she is friends with one of the neighbor’s kids as well- who she sees every day. (His Mom & I go walking in the afternoon with the kids) She used to really only let Craig or I hold her, and at one point (sometimes even now) she only lets me hold or play with her.

But since being around other children & babies, she is little miss social butterfly! Even my Mom made a comment while we were in Jacksonville as to how much she has changed. That she was completely fine with playing and I didn’t have to be right next to her all the time. My Mom & Dad were able to play with her and they enjoyed their time together. It was really sweet!

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This past weekend was a new step in our world as parents. Craig and I were invited to a cookout at a friend’s house. It started around 4pm, and we were planning to leave around 7/ 7:30pm in order to get Gabriella to bed. Well, while I was getting all of her stuff together (isn’t it AMAZING how such a little person requires SO.MUCH.STUFF?!) I threw in her PJ’s, so that we could get her all ready for bed before getting her in the car.

Well we decided to try something new. Our friends also have kids. So they had everything we needed. A pack n’ play, a sound machine, and a quiet room. Can you say perfect?!! Another reason you have to love friends with kids- they understand what you are going through and tell you NOT to apologize.

Craig & I wanted to stay for a bit to hang out with everyone, since we really don’t get to do that often and we were having a GREAT time.

ANYWAYS, to make a long story short, Gabriella did WONDERFUL!!! She was able to sleep in the pack n play until we were ready to leave. We actually stayed longer than expected (after midnight…OMG…who are we!?! Winking smile ), and I ended up just nursing her back to sleep when we got home.

It was SO nice to know that we can actually DO THINGS! We can go to other people’s houses, and enjoy ourselves. I know that sounds SO silly, but it really was a HUGE step. I was nervous to take her out of her element, but she did better than expected. That’s why half of the time I feel like I’m the one that has issues instead of Gabriella Winking smile I just need to trust in her, girlfriend knows how to impress her Momma!

And one way to win over all of your friends’ hearts, just in case your child is a crazy person is to make them Better than Crack Brownies! You gotta be prepared, people! Open-mouthed smile

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I have made these before for my family in Maryland, and they were a hit there. With the ingredients, you CANNOT go wrong!

Better-Than-Crack Brownies

(Copied DIRECTLY from How Sweet Eats)

1 batch brownies (boxed mix or oooey gooey brownies)

1/2 cup salted peanuts (if don’t have salted, add sea salt)

1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups

1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.

While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

DELICIOUS!!

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I know it sounds sad but I feel like it was a big step in our ‘parenting life.’ Smile The fact that we know she can sleep OTHER places, not just her crib, is HUGE.

Happy Hump Day Open-mouthed smile 

Have you tried these brownies??? PLEASE DO!!

Parents: Did you have this same issue? Was it a big deal when you realized you could actually ENJOY yourselves rather than adjusting to your child’s routine?

Book Recommendation for New Moms & Moms to Be

Happy Friday!!!

I hope you are all staying warm with this crazy cold front that swept the east coast.

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G definitely is 😉

So today’s post is going to be for all of you Moms out there- new Moms, Moms to be, and those thinking about having children soon.

I have an AWESOME book to recommend.

I know a LOT of the ‘baby books’ out there are very controversial. Everyone has their own opinion, as to what works & what doesn’t. I totally understand that. EVERY baby is different! I can’t emphasize that enough. They all have their own little personalities, right from the get go.

It’s actually pretty funny HOW different they can be. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Gabriella does NOT like to be put down. She isn’t entertained for very long in the little bouncers, pack n plays, etc. I definitely do NOT mind holding her…just gives me more snuggle time. 🙂 BUT, I do need a few minutes here & there to be able to work, get house stuff done, and you know…take a shower. 😀

One thing I have learned that ALL babies have in common is that THEY NEED SLEEP.

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Honestly, this may sound dumb, but I had no idea HOW.MUCH.SLEEP they need. Of course I knew that babies slept a lot, but it’s even more than I thought. And it’s NOT just newborns.

I am always looking for new books to read, even though I don’t have a lot of free time to read anymore. But I do love reading books about babies. I have read Babywise, which I do know is very controversial. I read it before we had Gabriella, just to see what the whole ‘Babywise controversy’ is all about.

I liked the whole idea of it, but once I had Gabriella it was totally different. Babywise just didn’t work for our family, and that’s ok! It works for other people, but it just didn’t work for us. It was a bit too strict for me.

Now I have to admit, I’m not ok with her crying. I’m a sucker….and I’m TOTALLY fine with that! 😀 G cries when she doesn’t want to sleep, and it’s Mommy to the rescue. Yes, I do realize this can’t ALWAYS be the case, but for now I don’t mind.

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I mean, look at that face, could you resist?! 😉

Babywise somewhat advocates the idea of letting them cry. And yes, I do believe that there is a time & place for them to cry. I now KNOW her cries- the ‘I’m hungry,’ ‘I’m tired,’ ‘I just want to be held,’ and the ‘I’m going to fuss to fuss cry.’ It’s funny HOW QUICK you learn their cries. 😀

So when she does the ‘I’m going to fuss to fuss’ cry…I’m ok with letting her cry for a bit. I mean there is nothing I can do. She usually has this time every afternoon, right before bedtime. And I know it’s coming, so I just deal.

But one of the things I learned is that babies should go to bed early. After reading the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, it opened my eyes to a whole new light.

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The author recommends an early bedtime for your baby- like around 6pm or 6:30pm. Now, you would think that keeping them up would mean that you would get more sleep…NOPE! It’s actually the opposite. Babies NEED SLEEP. The longer you keep them up, the more overtired they become. And putting an overtired baby to bed is NO FUN! Trust me. Been there, done that. Yuck.

But the reason that I loved this book, and why I recommend it, is because it’s full of tips & suggestions. It’s not as strict as Babywise. It gives you advice on looking for baby’s ‘tired signals’- when they are sleepy & may need a nap. Another thing they suggest is that you do NOT keep a baby awake for more than 2 hours at a time. And it’s funny, because if you watch for the ‘sleepy signals,’ you will see them before two hours.

I’ve been using the early bedtime with G for about two weeks now- she usually goes to bed around 6pm or 6:30pm- and I notice SUCH a difference. She only gets up usually twice a night- around 1 or 2am & then again around 4 or 5am- to eat, and then she goes back to bed & is up for the day around 7am.

She just seems to like her new schedule SO MUCH BETTER! She usually takes a long morning nap (after our run, typically)- for about two hours- and then an afternoon nap for about an hour & a half. She gets  a few ‘cat naps’ here & there, especially when we are out for our morning run & then for our afternoon walk.

I just wanted to share this book with you, since it has really been helpful for me, thought it may be helpful for someone else too!

If you have any other parenting books you would like to recommend, please feel free to let me know!! 🙂 I love reading ALL types!

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Sleeping baby= happy baby!

I hope you enjoy your weekend! & as ALWAYS, go RAVENS 😀