SIGNS YOUR TODDLER IS READY TO TRANSITION TO ONE NAP!

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Hi Ladies,

I recently shared a video detailing how I knew it was time to transition my toddler from two naps down to one. I also talk about how I am transitioning her! 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

 

SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME...

1. Your Toddler's Age: The suggested age for attempting to transition your toddler is anywhere between 1- 2 years of age.

2. Your Toddler Simply Plays During the Nap Time. My baby girl would play for an entire 20-30 minutes. I eventually had to go and get her after realizing she was not falling asleep anytime soon.

3. Your Toddler Takes Forever to Sleep! Some days, she would eventually fall asleep, but it took quite some time for that to happen. 

What I've realized is that the transition is an inconsistent, yet gradual one. Some days she naps twice, and then other days she plays through her first nap. What I like to do when that happens is push her nap back 15-3o minutes. Today, I did this and was able to put her down right around noon. That is the ideal time for a nap.

You may also notice that when your toddler only has one nap, he or she will sleep for a longer stretch. :) 

Hope this Helped,

Ker-Leen

 

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE IT WAS TIME TO DROP A NAP? WHAT DID YOU DO? SHARE IT DOWN BELOW! 

Our Potty Training Update + Some Tips for Success!

Hi Everyone,

It's been quite some time since I have posted, but I am so happy to be back today to share some potty training tips with you mommies! 

My son (who turns 3 in a few weeks) is nearly completely potty trained!! Watch my update on our progress HERE!

Along the way, I've done some reflection  that has led me to this list of tips that you mommies might find useful.

1. Every child is ready at a different time. If your child is not ready mentally, then no matter how hard you try they will not go. Trying to force the matter will only make everyone frustrated and may even traumatize your child. We kept the pressure off in regards to potty training and I feel that this worked best for our family.

2. Consider trying a child-size potty like this one. I didn't want to try this at first, because the thought of cleaning poop out of it really freaked me out! Ultimately, getting one was the best decision for us. Eilan was always so excited to go and sit on it. Furthermore, the kind that we purchased was the one that looks exactly like the adult potty (complete with a battery-operated flusher)lol. He was only allowed to flush when he actually used the potty!

3. Which leads me to my next point...INCENTIVES! Flushing the potty was one incentive that was very effective for us. It's also all we needed to use. Feel free to incorporate whatever incentive works best for your child. In addition, we used lots of positive language and encouragement!

4. The potty was never too far! In the event of an accident there would not be that much to clean up! Which leads me to my next point...

5. Go diaper-less! Removing the diaper during scheduled potty times removes the comfort and dependence on it and pushes them to have to make a decision. "Do I go peepee on myself or do I try that thing called the potty over there?"lol

6. Lastly, talk about it! We would always encourage Eilan to watch us use the bathroom and we talked about it all the time. These conversations helped to prep his mind for the moment!

When all of these things were put into place and coupled with his mental readiness, it was like a light bulb moment! We followed up his first time with lots of encouragement, which for my son, led him to want to do it again! 

WATCH THE UPDATE VIDEO HERE! 

I hope these tips were helpful! Do you have a funny potty training experience? Share your potty training stories down below! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™

Top 3 NATURAL Diaper Rash Hacks!

Hey Moms,

Today, I want to share some natural ways to relieve diaper rash without all the chemicals. My babies rarely get diaper rash, but when they do it is always important to me to cure it as naturally as possible. These are the 3 techniques I use to get rid of those nasty rashes. 

*Be sure to clean the baby's diaper area with a gentle wipe or some lukewarm water on a washcloth. Harsh baby wipes or soaps can aggravate the skin further. Pat down dry, and let baby air dry for a few more minutes before moving forward. 

*Remember to patch test these products on a  small piece of skin first. If irritation seems to worsen, discontinue use and try another remedy. 

I've linked the organic versions of these products for you in my Amazon shop.

 

1. Cornstarch

 

Yup, you read that correctly! I've always known about cornstarch's benefits, but I decided to use it the other day for my daughter and it worked so quickly!  It's a very old remedy for skin irritation. It absorbs moisture, and dries out the skin so that the rash will heal. Because it absorbs moisture it works faster than most diaper rash creams.

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The only cream that works in a similar fashion (that I know of) is Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Cornstarch costs between $1 -$2 per box, so it is a far less expensive with the added bonus of being a natural remedy. 

 

2. Coconut Oil

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In the past I've had great success with coconut oil on my son. Typically it healed a diaper rash within two days. The fatty acids in the coconut oil help to nourish and soothe baby's skin. It stimulates the skin to create more sebum and heal from within. It also works as a barrier to prevent any further moisture from accumulating. 

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Coconut oil also has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial, properties (source), which is great for healing the skin, too. Furthermore, these properties help prevent a yeast infection from forming in the diaper area.

 

3. Changing Promptly and Frequently

Did you know that an ammonia-like substance is formed when the baby's stool is mixed with urine? (Source) Yikes! No wonder that baby's tender skin forms a rash! One of the things I do to help keep my babies rash free is change their diapers as soon as they poop, and/or every two hours. I am also vigilant, and will change them whenever I feel that the pee diaper is too full, regardless if its been two hours or not. 

 

I hope these tips help you moms naturally battle those awful diaper rashes! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

My List of 4-9 Month Must Haves

Hey everyone! 

I am sharing a list of some baby essentials from my perspective, for months 4 to 9! This is just a list of things I have used or think could be useful to any mommies out there. Feel free to share anything you are using that may not be in this list! 

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WATCH MY TOP 7 PICKS FROM THIS LIST, HERE!

1. SIPPY CUPS: Doctors usually recommend letting your child experiment with a sippy cup around this time, as it encourages independent drinking sooner. I would just give it to my daughter to let her play with it. She now goes for her brother's sip cup and drinks all of his water! lol

2. BOWLS/SPOONS: This is the perfect time to start encouraging your child to eat independently. You can start with feeding them purees and other meals, and around 9 months start letting them play with the spoon. 

3. TEETHING TOYS: I like the ones that can be refrigerated for instant teething pain relief

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4. AMBER TEETHING NECKLACE: I know there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness, BUT, anecdotally speaking it as worked great for my two babies! They work as an anti-inflammatory when the babies body heat releases the succinic acid found in the stone. 

5. TYLENOL: We use it for fevers or teething pain. 

6. HIGH CHAIR: We absolutely LOVE our Ingenuity Base 2-in-1 Booster Seat! It is so portable, and does not take up too much space. We can also travel with it easily!

7. PLAY PEN/PLAY YARD: If your baby doesn't mind being in a smaller space these are a great option for smaller babies (between 4-7 months).

8. BABY GATES: These are more versatile than a play yard because you can create a barrier pretty much anywhere in the house where baby shouldn't be, but baby can still roam freely.

9. OUTLET COVERS/POWER STRIP COVERS: These are a must for all babies, but especially those that our drawn to the power cords like our daughter. 

10. DRAWER LOCKS: We will be getting some ASAP! lol

11. BABY MONITOR: Any baby monitor will do, butt I especially love that the Summer Infant Pixel monitor has a 360 camera lens that feel like a second set of eyes in the room!

12. BATH SEAT: We have been loving our Summer Infant My Bath Seat! 

13. TOUCH N' FEEL BOOKS: I started using these with my son Eilan and he was always excited about story time! He would always bring me the books when he wanted me to read to him.

14. DEVELOPMENTAL TOYS: We have been loving our IKEA tunnel, but you can also purchase them on Amazon.

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15. SLEEP SACK: We love the Halo sleep sack, but have found some at Carter's that work just as well.

16. ESSENTIAL OILS: Be mindful of the types of oils used. Many are not considered safe for babies. ALWAYS DILUTE your oils properly! 

 

WATCH MY TOP 7 PICKS FROM THIS LIST, HERE!

What are some of your essentials? Comment down below! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

Parenting/Teaching with Children’s Books!

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Happy New Year!

I hope that your year is off to a great start! Wishing all of my mommies great health, lots of energy, and more zen moments this year!  

Today, I wanted to share how we use children’s books to help with parenting. Although we started reading to our son when he was a newborn, we have been doing this with him since he was about 8 or 9 months old. We have continued this practice until this day. Our daughter is now 8 months old and she loves books. Needless to say, we will do this with her as well.  

Basically, we carefully select children’s books/stories to support the lessons or topics we are teaching our child at the moment. For example, we are currently working on manners, hygiene and bedtime with our toddler right now, so the books we select at the library or purchase are all centered around those themes.  

Sometimes the lessons come to life when they are in a fun and colorful book as opposed to coming from Mom or Dad. Now that my son is 2 years old, credibility plays a huge role in teaching him as well. He can read us now lol. He isn’t as willingly receptive as he was before turning two. Now we have to convince him why washing his hands is fun. Sometimes he pays more attention when another person is delivering the message, or when the medium by which it’s delivered is lively, energetic, colorful, etc. 

These are some of the books we’ve checked out at the library recently. I plan on buying the series by Elizabeth Verdick; my son loves those two books. 

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The illustrations make it easy for my son to see what he should do; the colorful characters are extra motivation.  

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We will also pair these books with songs that speak to the same topics. It turns that parenting moment into a little lesson when kids can sing along and listen to a story.  

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What are some of the tools you use to teach your children? Share them below!  

 

Until Next Time, 

Ker-Leen  

What is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)? Our Reasons for BLW.

WATCH MY VIDEO HERE TO SEE CLIPS OF MY BABY GIRL DOING BLW.

Hi Mommies,

I've been hearing about baby-led weaning since before my son was born, two years ago. It wasn't necessary for my family because my son Eilan was very much satisfied with breast milk. When he got to the 6-month mark, I introduced purees and yogurt and he did really well. I never had or saw the need to try other things. Well, this baby is a little different. :) My baby girl has been showing strong interest in what we eat, so we have officially started Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)! In this post, I will define what the term means and share our top 3 reasons for practicing BLW. 

What is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)? 

BLW is the process of skipping or decreasing the use of purees and allowing your baby to finger-feed themselves after they are at least 6 months of age. It's ideal to start with soft foods like cooked pastas and veggies, ripe fruit, puffed cereals, etc. You also want to make sure you cut the food into pieces that are easily handled by your baby. Consider doing long strips, or coin sized pieces of food during meal times (Parents.com, 2017).

You also want to make sure your baby is being supervised whenever you place food in front of him or her. Pay attention to your baby's cues and don't panic if baby gags. The gagging reflex is in place to keep them from swallowing something they shouldn't. When the gagging happens, simply pat their back and help them to calm down. You may remove a piece of food from their mouth if they are having trouble with the size. Also keep water nearby to offer up after the gagging stops. 

Signs of Choking

  • Baby cannot cough up the food, or cry
  • Baby is making no sound at all, or making foreign sounds
  • Baby is turning blue
  • High-pitched sound occurs when baby breathes

Click here for what to do if your baby is choking. 

 

 

 

Our Family's Reasons for BLW

1. Our Baby Started Showing Strong Interest and was Able to Sit Up

After learning to sit up, our baby girl would start to reach for our food whenever we ate in front of her. At first I attributed her interest to teething, until I decided to let her try a tiny morsel of what I was eating one day. She not only chewed and swallowed that piece of food, but she cried for more! I proceeded to give her more and the same thing happened...and it continued to happen! 

2. The Tongue-Thrust Reflex Was Gone

Every newborn will have this reflex until right around 6 months of age. When anything is placed in the baby's mouth, specifically the tongue, the tongue will move forward out of the mouth, instead of back into the mouth (AskDr.Sears, 2017). This reflex is actually in place to help prevent your baby from choking, so to start before it is gone is unnecessary and will actually increase the risk of choking. 

3. Her Fine Motor Skills were Present

Our baby girl was exhibiting a 'raking' grasp and  a crude 'pincer' grasp. These fine motor skills allow your baby to hold and chew the food. If your baby cannot even momentarily hold the food, this is another indication that they may not be ready, 

I hope this Information helps you make the best decision for your family. Always follow the recommendations made by your pediatrician, and use common sense where your baby is concerned. Every baby is different, so what worked for one child may not work for the other child, and vice versa. 

WATCH MY VIDEO ON BLW TO SEE CLIPS OF MY BABY GIRL EATING!

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

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You are Not Alone

Hey Mommies!

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I needed some encouragement today after having a really bad day yesterday. It seemed that no matter what I did both babies were not happy yesterday. I made sure that all their physical needs were met, I gave tons of kisses and hugs, but I could not put baby girl down for one second and my toddler kept testing the waters of disobedience.  Baby girl is teething and I think going through a growth spurt, and my handsome boy is going through the 'terrific two' stage. This Bible verse gave me the biggest hug.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
    He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Isaiah 40:11

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God understands my role as a mother because He created the role. He is guiding me as He guides my children. He is guiding my family. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have it all together, or be "superwoman". He is my shepherd and it is vital that I look to Him each and every moment as I navigate my role as a new mommy.  He leads gently, He is loving, and He has compassion for me, you, and our children alike. I pray this encourages you today. You are Not Alone! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

WHEN IT’S TIME TO SWITCH TO A TODDLER BED + A NON TRADITIONAL NAP TIME

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Hey mommas, 

So, our 2 year old said goodbye to his crib last week! Yup, that’s right! He is now in a toddler bed!! Well, that’s is, we converted his crib so that one of the sides is off. The first night he fell off twice. He cried the very first time,  and his father rocked him back to sleep. We found him in a prayer position with his head resting on his arms, on the bed the second time. After observing him on his video monitor we have noticed that he now knows to climb back in after falling off. The transition was so seamless and I will share why next. 

 

Eilan has always been fairly simple when it comes to nap or bed time. Last month he started protesting being placed in the crib. He would whine and cry, and even scream when we would put him down for nap time or bedtime. We couldn’t figure out why he was fighting the inevitable. A couple weekends ago my mom was over and watched the kids for hubby and me. Needless to say, I was concerned that Eilan would give her a hard time. She eventually got Eilan to sleep.

In a later conversation with her, she mentioned that Eilan may no longer want to go in the crib because it makes him feel confined. She went on to say that when he wakes up the thought that he can’t get out may be making the crib a less than desirable resting place. I took heed to that advice and decided we should try converting his crib. I figured we had nothing to lose. We could easily put the crib back together If it turned out to be a disaster. Well, it has been quite the opposite!! Eilan has not protested in the same way for the last several nights. As a matter of fact, it has been relatively painless putting him down for the night. 

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This success got me thinking about the way I approach nap times. I started to wonder “what if nap times were less restricting?” What if they felt more natural? It's often harder to get our little ones to sleep during the day, so I decided I would try a non traditional nap time. That’s been working perfectly, too! Here's what I've been doing. When it’s time for a nap, I begin to give Eilan subtle cues. I shut the blinds and put on some white noise in the background. I lay a comforter on the floor, along with some pillows and sometimes I’ll even lay down. After a while he will lay down, too. Before I know it his eyes start to droop, and well, you know how the rest of the story goes. I am then free to do what I need to, whether that is stay right there next to him and catch some Z's or complete some chores. I forgot to mention that my baby girl Gisele also takes her nap around this time. I will usually put her down first, and then work on Eilan.

I thought I’d share my experience because it might help another mommy. This non traditional approach may be the difference between getting some much needed alone time and not having a spare moment to breathe. Not to mention that your toddler needs that nap time for developmental purposes. An added benefit is that you have a much nicer toddler on your hands after they are rested! 

So tell me, have you mommies tried this before? What are some other nap time tips you can share with us? COMMENT DOWN BELOW! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™ 

HOW TO STIMULATE YOUR BABY'S BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

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Hi Mommies,

Today, I wanted to share 3 simple ways to stimulate your baby's brain in the early months of life! Research shows that babies whose parents are constantly stimulating them reach developmental milestones earlier and become independent sooner. (Source) Today I share with you 3 ways I stimulate my infant's brain daily. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Take heed to your infant's unique and individual needs. These activities should be done for brief periods of time, at points in the day that are appropriate. Try not to stimulate a baby too much near their nap/bed time.

1. Baby Stimulation Videos

I love to play these videos for my six month old. She loves to watch the high-contrast images dart, sway, and pop in and out of frame. The high-contrast colors make it easy for her to focus. Also, the music  exposes her to the concept of pattern and rhythm early. I played these videos for my son Eilan at a few months of age. It's my opinion that these videos are fun and effective ways to stimulate your infant's brain. 

WATCH OUR FAVORITE ONE HERE.

 

2. High Contrast Books

Reading to your infant is proven to help give your child a literacy boost. Aside from that, it teaches them how to interact. They get a chance to study your voice's pitch and intonation, your facial expressions, and your mannerisms. Bonding with baby is another benefit derived from reading a book.

When choosing books, go for the ones that have contrasting colors. High contrast books have been proven to stimulate a baby's brain development positively.  My son absolutely loves story time because we started when he was a newborn. Over the course of time he has come to associate reading with cuddles, warmth, hugs, kisses and smiles. It's my hope that this association will keep him passionate about reading in the future. I am currently taking the same approach with my 6-month old baby girl. 

 

3. Interaction/Playtime

Nothing beats quality, one-on-one time between mom/dad and baby. Your baby needs you more than anything else right now. What better way is there for them to be stimulated than interacting with you face-to-face? I love talking to my baby. I describe the things that are happening to her as I do them. For example, if I am changing her diaper I will tell her just that. I'll explain to her that I am changing her diaper, that I am grabbing a wipe and cleaning her up. I'll tell her it's time for a new diaper, etc.

Wearing your baby for some parts of the day also helps with stimulating their brain. It keeps them close and calm so they can take in their surroundings more confidently.

Wearing your baby for some parts of the day also helps with stimulating their brain. It keeps them close and calm so they can take in their surroundings more confidently.

Find any opportunity to talk to your baby. I also like to give her baby massages after bath time, and lots of kisses and snuggles. Something she loves to do is look in the mirror. Try holding a mirror up in front of your baby and pointing out the different parts of their face while saying each part out loud. 

 

So tell me, how are you mommies stimulating your baby's brain development??? Share in the comments section down below! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

MY TODDLER MUST HAVES!!

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Hi Mommies,

I put together a list of things that we have been loving for our toddler, Eilan. I also filmed a video talking about these products in detail!! 

WATCH MY TODDLER MUST HAVES VIDEO

 This is just a list of ideas...not a recipe for anything. Hoping to share some things that work for us, with the hopes of helping another mommy! 

Products I Mentioned

(These links are my Amazon affiliate links!):

1. UPF HAT
2. NO AD KIDS SUNSCREEN
3. ZARBY'S MULTIVITAMIN
4. ORGANIC RAW MEAL
5. CURLS WHIPPED CURL CREAM
6. CURLS CURL CONTROL PASTE
7. EDDIE BAUER CART COVER
8. KOLCRAFT UMBRELLA STROLLER
9. BLACKOUT CURTAINS


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TODDLER PRODUCTS??? LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS DOWN BELOW!! 

xx,
Ker-Leen™

THE BEST WEEKEND EVER!!

Hey Mommies,

The last Sunday of October was an eventful one! The hubby and I spotted a Fall festival the day before, and decided that we would return the next day. We had good expectations for the festival, but I wasn't quite anticipating the amount of fun we actually had! I broke my healthy eating regimen and had a funnel cake, we walked around, took in the sights, took lots of pictures, and most importantly, spent quality time together. No amount of money can pay for time well spent with your loved ones. Days like this are what I look forward to the most! Photos from the fun that ensued to follow in 3...2...1! 

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My little handsome model...all smiles!

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This photo is everything! 

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Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™

EXCITING NEWS + LIVE CHAT COMING 11.16.17 8PM EST!!

ATTENTION MOMMIES!

I'M HAVING A LIVE CHAT ON YOUTUBE ON NOVEMBER 16, 2017 at 8:00PM EST!! Watch the video to learn more!

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CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO!! 

Join my mailing list! Drop me a line at: LEMOMLIFE@GMAIL.COM



xx,
Ker-Leen™
 

5 Tips for Managing a Newborn & a Toddler

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Ms. Fleur

Ms. Fleur

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The prince, Eilan

1. Be Realistic

Juggling a newborn baby and a toddler is quite the responsibility. Each day is different from the next. If you don't have the luxury of a nanny, or a family member's aide, you will be "up to your elbows” in your responsibilities each day. It is important to acknowledge that you are not perfect and kids will be kids. Guess what? No one else's family is perfect, either! Don't compare your family to anyone else's. Those perfect Instagram moments are just that...moments. They are small glimpses of someone's life, and are usually highlights.  What's important is that you set a standard for your family and work toward that standard each and every day.

At home with my 'littles'

At home with my 'littles'

Hubby and our babies :) 

Hubby and our babies :) 

2. Be Patient

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It takes time to build and maintain a schedule. It takes time for routines to stick. Consistency is key in establishing a routine that works and is manageable for everyone in the household. Take time to evaluate the effectiveness of the routine from time to time. Something that worked when you first brought your newborn home may not work out after your baby is 3 months old. Practically speaking, my baby girl slept a lot more when she first got home, so I was able to spend much more time with my son (the toddler). Our schedule was also a lot more loose. I am finding that I need a stricter schedule, now that baby girl is 5 months old.

3. Be Creative

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Find fun ways to incorporate both children into what you are doing around the house. I like to narrate the things that I am doing to give both  kids a learning experience. For example, if I am cooking breakfast I will talk about the things I am doing out loud, to teach my son something new, and to stimulate my infant's brain. Early on, I would place my baby girl in a cloth carrier and take both babies around the house with me, as I completed certain tasks. I also find that small outings or "field trips" help to add interest to and break up the day. Lastly,  enlisting the help of my toddler with various tasks (to include taking care of the baby) helps him feel included.

4. Be Selfish

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It is so important to make time for yourself in your quest to be the best mother possible. Paying attention to what you eat and scheduling in workouts is imperative. I like to think about health this way: It's going to contribute to me being alive longer and care for these little beings, for which I am responsible. In addition to doing these basic things, you should also enlist the help of your village (however small it may be) and schedule time out with your spouse regularly (we are working diligently at this). Don't forget about spending time with your friends once in a while. It's good for moms to hang with some friends and have brunch every now and again! Talking is therapeutic and spending time with friends allows you to talk to other women who share similar situations.

5. Be in the Moment

At the zoo with the gang...this was such an awesome day!

At the zoo with the gang...this was such an awesome day!

I wanted to end this post with one reminder: You Will Never Get This Time Back. When it comes to managing a new baby and a toddler it's important to soak in as many moments as possible. Both babies are changing so quickly. First you're bringing home baby for the first time. The next thing you know, you look up and it's been 5 months! Personally speaking, if it weren't for my smart phone's video function I would be hard-pressed to remember some very important moments. I have filmed any and everything I think I will want to look back and remember. I spend most of my days buried knee deep in diapers, spit-up, and dirty laundry. It's a balancing act trying to keep a newborn content and keep a toddler from burning down the house....(I kid, I kid) no, but seriously, I could juggle at a circus with the best of the best jugglers!

I say all that to say don't forget to enjoy the journey. On days when I find myself getting utterly frustrated I look down and see my toddler smiling up at me, and (besides my heart melting) I am immediately reminded "For this child I have prayed". My journey started with child loss, and I am constantly reminded of a time when my hands were not so full, my home was quiet and clean, but my heart was longing. Being a mom is the greatest gift ever. My babies make me feel like a kid on Christmas who received every single thing on their wishlist. I have never felt more fulfilled. This mix of emotions is what motherhood is all about. So, sit back and enjoy feeling slightly crazy everyday. :) 

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DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TIPS THAT HELPED YOU MANAGE YOUR NEWBORN & ANOTHER CHILD? SHARE THEM BELOW IN THE COMMENTS! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen