Happy Summer!

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©TheMidwestMama 2015

Hello Parents!

I cannot believe it is JUNE already! Where does the time go???

Our little family is doing well – O is growing up so darn fast! He is already 19 months old! Ahhh! When did I become a mama of a toddler???

What do you have planned for summer? Any fun vacations or events? We will be traveling to Northern Michigan for The Fourth, but not too many plans – just staying cool & having fun!

Happy Summer, Friends!

-The Midwest Mama

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Giving Birth & Bouncing Back

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I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t feeling (or looking!) my best a mere 8 weeks after giving birth to my son. Heck, 8 months later and I’m STILL NOT back to normal. I saw this article about Kristin Cavallari and couldn’t believe how awesome she looks only 8 weeks after giving birth to son Jaxon in May.

Why is it that some moms, especially celebrities, can look so amazing so soon after having a baby? Is it because they feel “pressured” due to the media? Maybe. Regardless, there’s no way I could have felt so amazing and looked so beautiful in so little time after having O.

It’s been just over 8 months since I gave birth and, although, a lot of the weight has come off (I gained a lot!) and my emotions and hormones are back in check, I still don’t feel like I did before I was pregnant. It will probably take at least another year for me to get the baby weight completely off (but I’m striving to lose more!), and I’m totally okay with that. Sure, I have days where I just wish the pounds would melt away or days when there isn’t enough makeup in the world to make me feel beautiful. But, again, it’s ok.

If you’re a mama struggling to get the weight off quickly after having a baby, take your time! Of course Kristin and other celebrities look and seem to feel beautiful, I’m sure they have their days where they would rather not leave the house – we all do! Plus, don’t even get me started on airbrushing (in magazines)! We all know they do it. Regardless of probably airbrushing on Mrs. Jay Cutler, she looks amazing.

Tell me about your struggle (or success!) in losing those pregnancy pounds in the comments below. I’d love to hear your story. If you feel more comfortable emailing me, please feel free to do that instead.

Stay healthy and fabulous, Mamas! -themidwestmama

My 1st Mother’s Day

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Yesterday was Mother’s Day – my first as a mom! – and might I say IT WAS FANTASTIC! We actually had an entire weekend of fun, starting on Friday evening with a trip to the mall.

Hubs and O didn’t know what to get me for Mother’s Day (not that they needed to get me anything!) so they wanted ideas. Thus, we all headed to the mall on a Friday night (mistake?). We walked around a bit and stopped in to a few jewelry shops. I found a ‘Mom’ necklace and some earrings I liked, but couldn’t justify both. We decided to have dinner and talk it over before making a purchase. We ate at the food court, which was actually pretty good (we ate at a place called Schoop’s). After we ate, hubs picked up O because he was getting fussy. He was “standing” on Dad’s lap when he reached down, grabbed the 20 oz. fountain drink and brought the straw straight to his mouth. Obviously, he can’t suck through a straw at 6 months old, but he tried! We about died laughing. Did I mention the drink was over half full? Crazy! We ended up going back and getting the earrings I liked. I wear them 24/7 proudly!

On Saturday morning we were invited to our friends’ home for an evening BBQ. We didn’t have plans, so we went – and had a really great time! It happened to be their little girls’ 1/2 birthday (6 months already!) so we brought her a pink sock monkey & a balloon. We also brought our friend a nice tulip plant and ‘Mom’ balloon. At dinner, O had his avocado puree while we chowed down on burgers, corn, baked beans, and green beans – and apple pie for dessert! We stayed until after 10, which is unusual for us since we go to bed quite early. O went to sleep in their pack n’ play around 930 luckily. We had great food & conversation with wonderful friends.

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On Sunday morning, hubs let me sleep in a bit and then him & O brought me my Mom’s Day cards in bed (awww!). We all got ready & took a quick trip to the store to prepare for our afternoon BBQ with O’s “Auntie.” We got some Diet Vernors and vanilla ice cream to make my favorite childhood treat – Boston Coolers! When we got home, we made our treat and took O outside while hubs grilled. “Auntie” brought over a beautiful hydrangea plant for me (pretty!) and a pack of MLB Baseball Cards for O (his first!). We had a wonderful time hanging out, eating and talking.

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Mother’s Day weekend was a wonderful one – one I will never forget. It is so rewarding being a mother and I can’t wait for the years to come.

I hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day, too! I would love to hear about it. Feel free to tell me below, or in an email! Have a wonderful week! -themidwestmama

It’s Mom’s Day!

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Here’s to all the mamas out there! Wishing you a happy day full of love, laughter & smiles with your littles.

Friday’s Quote of the Day

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Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.

– Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Disheveled Mama

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After a wonderful Easter Weekend with family in Michigan, I unfortunately fell ill on our 8 hour car ride back home late Monday night. It started with a pesky sore throat and we thought perhaps it was the remnants of a busy weekend coupled with being couped up in the car for too long.

When I woke up Tuesday morning I could barely swallow & my glands were super sized! I immediately called the doctor to get an appointment – I couldn’t risk waiting around to see what would develop with a 5 month old I had to care for! Luckily, hubs could take a day off to care for O.

The NP diagnosed Viral Tonsillitis or tonsil ulcers. WTF was that??! She said there wasn’t anything they could do to remedy it, but could prescribe a “magic mouthwash” to lessen the symptoms. Great! I didn’t have a sinus infection! No bronchitis! Things were looking up.

Wednesday morning came…I had a full blown sinus infection. Ugh. I called my doc’s office immediately to request an antibiotic. I couldn’t be sick – I had a baby to care for & a household to run!! Again, hubs took the day off. Him & O picked up my prescription from CVS while I lie sick in bed.

Thursday came & went. Me still sick, hubs still home & another day I couldn’t kiss, hug or even be around my O. I’d been confined to our bedroom by myself for THREE long days. Oh, and did I mention that I also had an upper respiratory infection too? Fun.

I knew Thursday evening Nick would have to take another day off on Friday. I was still in bed and unable to care for myself let alone O. Friday was a rollercoaster. I felt decent, I had a fever. I had coughing attacks, I was telling jokes. I was hot then cold, then fine, then not fine. A whirlwind of ailments & what I thought were small victories (feeling better!).

Saturday morning arrived. I woke up late and actually felt decent. The cough was still there and I was still a bit stuffed up, but overall I was over the hump and on my way to wellness! I wore a face mask and cleaned the bathroom (germ city). I still hadn’t decided if I wanted to be around hubs or O yet, so I decided to stick upstairs.

Hopefully the coming week will bring complete wellness for me and we can get back to our normal routine as a family.

Stay well friends!! -themidwestmama

Soothing Techniques: What Worked For Us

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If you’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it again: “This worked for us, I’m sure it’ll work for you, too!” Other moms & dads DO know…what worked for THEM. Not to say they’re tactics won’t work for you, too.

I’ve outlined below the soothing techniques that worked for US when O was fussy, over-tired and/or generally upset about something. They MAY work for you. They MAY NOT. I’m simply writing from about what worked for me & my husband in those early months.

The Happiest Baby…
It was mentioned by mom friends, in our birthing class, on mommy blogs, and by our health department: Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On the Block and his 5 S’s. Before O arrived, I honestly thought it was the stupidest thing – a waste of time. I read the book & had seen the DVD in a baby care class, but still didn’t think it would work for O. I thought the idea of “shushing” my son was horrible and swinging him back & forth rapidly was dangerous. Had these people never heard of Shaken Baby Syndrome?!? Of course, O was quite the fussy baby during the first 6 weeks, so I caved and tried it. My husband was on board with the 5 S’s from the beginning, so he attempted it first. To my surprise, it worked! We used this method until O was around two months old and then we didn’t need it anymore due to finding other techniques that worked better for us.

What are Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s?

  1. Swaddling // Doing this will make baby feel like he’s in the womb.
  2. Side // Placing baby on their side in your arms assists in digestion, according to Dr. Karp.
  3. Shushing // These sounds imitate the “whooshing” sound baby hears while in utero.
  4. Swinging // Lying in your arms on his side, gently but quickly swing baby back and forth.
  5. Sucking // Many babies are partial to sucking on a pacifier or a parents finger.

Doing the 5 S’s together may help get your little one to calm down and fall asleep quickly, but it doesn’t necessarily work for all babies. Worth a try though, right?

Singing
In addition to “The 5 S’s,” we found singing to be a huge success. If you know me personally, you know I am not much of a singer. At all. After 2 weeks of O having meltdowns, I decided to start singing to him. This also helped to calm him prior to feeding when hubs was preparing his bottle. I started with the “ABC song,” but then I found the magic tune. “You Are My Sunshine,” which holds special meaning to me as it was sung to me as a baby by my Great Aunt who cared for me the first two years of life. Funny how things work out like that, eh? Anyway, this song has done the trick since week 2 and now we’re at week 20!

Musical Instruments
Hubs rediscovered his love for guitar when O was about 5 weeks old. Why didn’t we think of this sooner? He started to play songs every evening to calm baby down. O’s favorite song? “Grapevine Fires” by Death Cab for Cutie. I don’t know if it’s the soothing sound of the guitar or simply hubs’ singing, but it worked. Every. Single. Time.

Pacifier
From the beginning I wasn’t keen on getting O hooked on a pacifier. I thought it would cause him to have future orthodontia problems & obsessive behaviors and he’d depend on it for years to come. O didn’t take to the pacifier right away, but from day one he liked to suck on his hands constantly. I was secretly glad he didn’t want the pacifier. O isn’t nearly as fussy at 5 months old, but within the past month he decided he enjoys pacifiers. Now, sucking on a pacifier when he’s fussy helps to calm him down.

“Walkabouts”
Since O was born, we’d take him on “walkabouts” whenever he was fussy. We call it a “walkabout” but it’s really just a walk through the house or up & down a hallway. Although it didn’t work in those early weeks (we tried!), he’s really coming around to it now that he observes his surroundings and gets easily distracted by a cat walking by or a noise from outside.

All in all, as time goes on, it’s getting easier to calm O down. The only times he really gets fussy is when he’s hungry, overly stimulated or tired – and we’ve learned all those different cries so it’s easy to resolve.

I wish all you mamas & daddys out there much luck in calming your little! Hopefully some of the things that worked well for us will also work for you, but remember to do what works for YOU! -themidwestmama