#MomLife: Family Fun For Everyone

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Hello, moms and dads!

It’s only a matter of time before we are free of the Winter weather. As anxious as you and your little ones are about running outside to play we’re bound to wind up with at least a few more frigid days. As of mother of a toddler with a surplus of energy, I know how difficult it can be to keep your kids entertained all day long in the house. As easy as it can be to just turn the TV on for them, sometimes it’s not enough to keep them occupied.  If you are struggling to keep up with a supply of fun activities for the family then look no further.

I’m here to tell you that there’s still room for a few more indoor activities to do with the kids before the season is over. That’s why Wayfair created The WayZoo Coloring Book, a free 10-page printable coloring book featuring cute animals in the home for kids to color and make their own. And to celebrate the launch, Wayfair is pairing it with an art supply prize pack giveaway including an easel, chalk, markers and paint. All you have to do to enter is send in a scan or a picture of your artist’s creation to wayzoosweepstakes@wayfair.com!

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for your child to win cool prizes and have their art featured in The WayZoo Gallery. Take a moment, find some crayons and let the creativity begin.

 

Have Fun and Good Luck!!

Life Lesson: Trust Your Instincts

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When I was younger I always believed when I became a mother I would do all the right things for my baby. I would love him/her, cuddle, play, and make sure he/she is a healthy, strong baby. Like most little girls I had tons of practice with adorable, almost life-like baby dolls. I prided myself on how none of my baby dolls had a missing arm or leg. My  beliefs about motherhood were very black and white. If you didn’t dress your baby well then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t give your baby medicine when they got sick then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t feed your baby right then you were a bad mother. If your baby wasn’t happy or smiled a lot then you was a bad mother.

Since then, my views on motherhood have drastically changed. Now that I’m grown and a mother myself, I realize that there are many ways to provide for your child. For one, I didn’t always buy my baby designer clothes like I thought. After the first couple weeks of onesies soaked with throw up, milk stains, and messy diapers I decided to shop frugally. I set out budgets where my baby could have affordable outfits that lasted longer than a month without breaking the bank. I learned that giving baby medicine can actually harm the baby rather than help. As painful as it is, it’s sometimes better to have your child endure that cold or fever so their body can get stronger and fight off more infections. My child-like beliefs were filled with hope but no sense of reality. I remember when our daughter caught her first high-temperature fever all I wanted to do was make her pain go away. But, with regular feeding times, an outfit change and patience, I saw how quickly her body was fighting off the virus all on its own.

One thing I learned from being a wife and mother is to trust my instincts. When I was pregnant those nine months I tried my best to plan, prepare, and equip myself for motherhood. I gained knowledge, facts, and techniques so when my child arrives I will be prepared. I downloaded apps, watched videos, and podcasts to familiarize myself with being a good parent. I wanted to be the type of mother that nurtured every aspect of my child’s life so they can pretty much be perfect. I quickly learned that all the parenting books, pamphlets, and articles can only do so much.

With motherhood comes many struggles. You have to decide what cleaning products to use, what baby formula, and the type of doctor you want your child to have. Being a mom requires a lot of big decision-making. I remember after those hours in labor when they finally handed her to me I was overwhelmed with so much peace. It didn’t really occur to me what being her mother would require. It wasn’t until she got hungry that I realized I had to make a decision.

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With all my preparation, I still hesitated. All that prepping went out the hospital window. I was suddenly a blank canvas holding a blank canvas. I felt like an artist with colors of all shades and hues with no clue to do. I honestly thought about feeding my daughter formula from birth to better suit my needs. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced with pumps and engorged breasts but holding her in her fragile state made me realize how I so badly wanted to give her the best.

The nurse smiled and proceeded to help our daughter latch. It was awkward at first, but a couple of tries later she was eating like she was starving. I was amazed that my breast even had milk. It’s a miracle what the body can do. I felt like a mother bird feeding her little birds. I felt so accomplishment and complete. It wasn’t until it was time for me to come home that the feeling of pride slowly washed away.

My biggest struggle with breastfeeding was as she continued to grow so did her appetite and my breast didn’t always accommodate her feeding needs. The first couple of weeks were nice and breezy. She would eat almost 6 to 8 times a day. Her feeding times started off short and sweet. I would usually pump milk in the morning and at night just in case if I had to go somewhere or I was really tired. I would always pump after I feed her too so my milk production could increase. For nearly six months all I did was pump and let her suck.

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It didn’t take long before she would drink from both breasts at a time. Her appetite increased and I had to make the hard decision that breastfeeding until she was 10 months wasn’t the life for me. I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I started to stop feeding her from the breast, just pump and put baby cereal in the bottle. It gave her satisfaction until she hit the another growth curve. I eventually decided to start her on baby formula indefinitely. I slowly started to wean her off of breast milk. I would breastfeed at night, pump out the  extra milk and give her formula with cereal during the day. I would cry sometimes with frustration when my breasts didn’t give her enough milk. But, I saw how satisfied she was with baby formula and got over my personal feelings.

Breastfeeding can sometimes be tricky. There are thousands of different reasons why your child doesn’t respond positively to your breasts. But be reassured that there are a thousand different solutions. Whether you breastfeed your child or provide them with formula alternatives don’t ever second-guess your instincts. There were so days where I struggled with her latching and other days I couldn’t get her off. But have peace of mind whenever you see your baby happy and laughing that you are doing a great job.

So hesitate to deviate from the plan especially if it could help you and your baby better. Always be willing to ask your doctor for help in any area for your child and take the time to reach out to other mothers for support.

Learn about the breastfeeding and formula options from The Honest Company.

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The Adventures of Elizabeth: I’m So Happy

Hi!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my adventures.

The biggest one I’m happy about is….

My daddy is home!

I have both my mommy and daddy again!

I missed him so much!

Since he’s been home I’ve been busy doing everything with him.

I love my daddy so much!

I take walks with my mom and daddy.

I follow him everywhere.

I gotta make sure that if he leaves he takes me too!

I don’t want none of my parents to leave me!

Anywhere they go, I will go.

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We go to the park now!

He plays games with me!

He makes me laugh so hard!

I’m a happy toddler.

I’m so happy he is home!

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I even let him do my hair!

He did a pretty good job.

But not as good as my mommy!

He lets me play with his phone.

He even lets me jump on his back!

Well, I gotta go…

I rarely sit still for long.

Bye.

 

 

Life Lesson: Motherhood Will Change You

 

29309_422351732151_3645403_nBefore Elizabeth…

My life revolved around what I wanted, how I planned on getting ahead and how good I was going to look doing it. I wasn’t self-absorbed, just every decision I made mainly benefited me. When I went to work for long hours it was so I could get money. Whenever I got my paycheck I divided my funds to take care of needs and desires for me. When I spent time with friends it was so I could have fun. My alone time consisted of studying, reading, writing, listening to music, shopping, and just relaxing. I wasn’t bound by heavy obligations or responsibilities. My money, time, and energy were dedicated to me.

 

Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

IMG_1009After Elizabeth…

My days revolve around her. Now my priority is what she needs, what she wants, and how we are going to provide, care and love her. Being a mother (and wife) changed me to be self-less. My mornings involved feeding her, changing her, entertaining her. My afternoons involved feeding her, changing her, playing with her, and keeping her safe and clean. My nights involved feeding her, changing her, fighting to get her PJs on, and rocking her to sleep.

Not to sound like a broken record but my life from now on is filled with Elizabeth. When she is fast asleep I stay awake trying to cram everything I need or want all while still thinking of her. Motherhood is the only thing in life that can make or break you.

Here’s the good part…

I love being her mother! Though I miss having more free time for myself (and husband), I know I cashed in and won the jackpot. Sometimes I cry a little when I carry a baby bag more than a designer but knowing that my daughter is taken care is comforting. I’d sacrifice my style for her any day. Being a mother shows me how much God loves me.

Whenever Elizabeth is hurt or sad, I instantly want to run to her rescue and comfort her. Just like God, he is never standing on the sidelines watching us in pain but is squirming in heaven on his throne to run down and comfort us. When he died on the cross and rose again He demonstrated his “motherly” eagerness to keep us safe, loved, and free. Sometimes Elizabeth tries to do a “no-no” willingly. Whether trying to touch something dangerous or picking strange objects off the floor; I run to her with that same god-like eagerness because I love her. I love God more now that I’m a mother because I understand and appreciate his love for me. I don’t take for granted his affection, his warnings and teachings because I understand now that I’m in a similar position with my child. I get giddy because although I love my daughter very much, I can never love her the way God loves us!

Moment of Truth: A Letter To Myself 2016

 

Dear Victoria,

It’s the New Year so quit playing around. There are some things we need to address before you become successful. I love you too much to make the same mistakes from last year. I especially will not tolerate another second of you second-guessing us. Don’t worry, I’ve brought a hefty insurance policy on you in case you bail on me.

One thing you need to keep in this year is your love and passion for God. Don’t EVER let your responsibilities and privileges push Jesus Christ aside. No more, “In a minute God” or “I’ll do it later, Lord.” God loves us too much for you to keep pushing him away. Without him, you have nothing! Remember that!

Swallow your pride and love your husband. Yes, I know he can be a bit “team too much” but you decided to marry him anyway, so deal with it. Laugh at his corny jokes, never stop forgiving him when he messes up and ALWAYS pray for him. I mean when he is good and bad! Pray when you have nothing else better to do. The man needs it! You both do! Keep your love for your husband high and your respect for him higher. I better not hear you being mean!

I don’t have to tell you, but love your daughter! She is spectacular. She is everything a mother could ask for. Trust me. Play with her and be an example that you want her to follow. Model Christ in front of her always. Teach her how to be the woman and wife you are still striving to be. Make sure she is a lady. Try not to spank her too much!

Lastly, smile. Don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring. Actually, enjoy the moment for a change. I’m serious, enjoy your 20s because you rarely do. Be strong, confident, and sweet. Make sure you always have enough pens in your purse. And never give up! I’ll be checking in on you so you better stay sober (1 Peter 5:8). Make sure you never, ever stop writing. There isn’t enough room in your head for another story, plot twist, or play.

Love Always,

The Tougher Side of Me

Life Lesson: Follow God’s Word

 

Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”.

This year I don’t want to doubt, worry, or stress. I want to have complete confidence in God’s plan for my life. I want to wake up, pray and hustle. I want to busy myself with getting deeper in my relationship with God, my husband, and friends. I have spent far too long of my time living unsatisfied. I’ve pushed back passions and dreams long enough. I have ideas and plans that I want to glorify God with. I don’t even want to hear the word “limit” unless it refers to unlimited. My goals for this year is to live, eat, sleep the Word of God in all aspect of my life. I have so much I want to go and a God who can do it for me. Before I share my goals, here is a list of scriptures that will determine my success. I am laying the Word of God before me — before I make any concrete decisions, moves, or actions.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

James 4:13-15 says, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

As many goals and dreams, I have locked  up inside me, submitting them to God is the most important. Humbly set goals and recognize that God controls our destiny.

Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

And realize that as amazing as you think your or my dreams are, they are nothing compared to how grand God’s plan for our lives are (Isaiah 55:8-11).

I don’t know about you, but I am excited. With these scriptures and words of wisdom, my dreams have no choice to submit and soar. I would love for you to share your goals, quotes, motivational phrases you have for this year. Even better, leave a link to your 2016 goals and I will feature them! Make them count!