Friday, September 19, 2014

Why Number Two is Easier

If you are planning on having a second but worry you might not survive another, read this...

With your first, everything  is new!  Phases come and throw us for a loop and we think, "OMG, will it EVER end?!"  And, eventually, it does....

Now with two, when we go through the spill-the-dog-food phase, I think, "oh, right...I remember this with my first.  Just a few weeks of putting the bowls up high so we don't spill the water...again!!"  

It's kind of like running a second marathon- it's still hard, but you're able to pace yourself much better this time around.

Another reason why number two is easier...

I always felt like I needed to be engaging with my first- stimulating him and entertaining him with learning activities.  Even when he wasn't necessarily "asking" for my attention I felt like I should be next to him and actively playing.  And when he would "ask" me to play with him, I had a hard time saying, "no".  

Now with two, if I am feeding Finn and Liam needs me, I feel like I have an "excuse" to say "no" and to sit and nurse Finn.

And finally, now, at 14 months and almost three years, there are actually times when they want nothing to do with me and simply enjoy "playing" with each other.  So I can actually finish my coffee (sometimes), without sharing or hiding/losing it around the house!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Get Your Car Ready for Baby

You've spent months designing the nursery and arranging the furniture.  The house is baby proofed.  Activity mats and toys are assembled.  Everyone is just waiting for the baby's arrival.  Any day now!

But have you thought about how you might "set up" your baby-toting vehicle?

After the car seat has been safely installed, check out these tips below on how to stock the station wagon (or mini-van).

  1. Baby Wipes- keep a container in the glove compartment and another in the trunk.  You can never have too many and they are great for messy road trips and en-route* diaper changes! 
  2. Diapers- Even if you have a stocked diaper bag, it's always a good idea to keep a few spares in the trunk of your car.  
  3. Head Rest Mirror- I didn't think this was important until I took my first road trip alone with my infant.  I'm always one to welcome a car nap, but when you are at the wheel and you can't just turn around to check on him, it can make you a bit crazy.  Having the rearview/headrest reciprocating mirrors helped me stay calm while at the helm.  
  4. Change of Clothes- Always.  ALWAYS. Always.  And it might not be a bad idea to have a change of clothes for yourself, too.  Just this week I have heard of TWO mom's being in a messy situation that required a wardrobe change.  Both commented about how they had extra clothing for their kids, but nothing for themselves.  I keep our spare clothes in a plastic bag (that I can use to hold the messy clothes until they can be washed or, as is often the case, thrown out).
  5. Non-Parishable Snacks- I really don't like to bribe my kids with snacks, but sometimes there is just no way around it.  I try to keep some sweet squeezie packs that I know they like and even some fruit snacks.  If we are going on a road trip, I bring out the big guns and stock pile candy (go ahead, judge me, but remember this conversation when Karmama comes around your way ;).

By "en-route" diaper changes, I mean "the rest stop is too germ-infested for a newborn, I'll just change him on my lap in the parking lot...even if it is a blow out"- been there, done that

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Prevention is the Key

Skin Hydration
Most skin damage is due to our exposure to daily stressers.  In other words, one or two bad sunburns won't translate into the deep wrinkles and age spots we start to notice as we age (but those sunburns certainly don't help!). It's the constant damage we endure everyday- sun, wind, cold, dehydration, poor diet, etc.

This daily exposure is the culprit and it is up to you to implement a routine to help decrease your skin's exposure to the sun and environmental damage.

When I talk about these intense paramedical topicals and innovative serums, often the first comment I am met with is, "but you don't have wrinkles!".  I always think of that old Head & Shoulders commercial...."but you don't have dandruff!" "Exactly...."

While science and technology have evolved enough to help us repair damage, we're always better off by preventing it to begin with.

So while you might think you're too young to start an intensive beauty regiment, think again!  At the very least, sunscreen should be a staple in your morning beauty routine.  As you approach your thirties and beyond, you can start thinking about integrating in some more intensive topicals....just recently I added a SkinMedica Retinol Cream into my line up (more on that later).  It's not an everyday thing, but twice a week to proactively maintain a youthful appearance.

Think about this as we approach the cold and dry wintery months.  Are there new ways you plan to take care of your skin?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It Really Does Get Easier, Moms.

So I am three years into this mommihood business and while I am no expert (side note: no one is), I'm here to tell all of my new mama's out there that it really does get easier.

Now some of us veteran moms might say things like, "Well, it does get easier, but it also gets harder" and, ok, so maybe there is a point- schedules, playdates, activities, tantrums, attitudes, opinions....

But the truth is, nothing compares to those first weeks of new parenthood.

While trying to find some post inspiration, I stumbled across an old post from when my first son was just three months old and it reminded me of just how blisteringly challenging the first few months of new mommihood were for me.

In keeping with my blog's namesake, I'll acknowledge that I really didn't think it was going to be that hard.  

Sure, I understood that I would be sleep deprived, but I figured I would catch up with it while the baby slept, right?  

And I knew that staying home full time would be a lifestyle change, but I would have laughed in the face of anyone who so much as suggested that I would be desperately seeking something, ANYTHING to strike a parent/professional balance.  

I assumed we'd get a sitter for date night.  Pack up the car and the kid for long weekends.  Meet (and socialize with) new parenting friends who had identical parenting philosophies.  Ha. Ha. Ha.  

Karmama really is a bitch.

Yes!  All of these things did eventually happen- sleep, date nights, like-minded parent friends.  But it took awhile.  And it was the hardest "while" of my life!

Here's what I had to say about it in 2011....


I need to stop pretending that this is easy or telling myself that it shouldn't be this hard. I need to be honest that on most days, I don’t even put on a bra, let alone shower. On the days I do shower, it is less about my personal hygiene and more about an opportunity for privacy, alone time, and a breather.
I need to be ok with “coming undone” and to learn to love the frazzled, frizzy-haired, totally strung out woman who looks back at me in the mirror. I need to be less needy of the peer compliments and more willing to be my own cheerleader; my own best friend.
I need to remind myself that every really great mom has/will come across her challenges. It might not be now but at some point whether it’s with teething, sleep regression, SATs or college visits, any mom who is trying her best will stumble over a parenting obstacle.I need to remember my parenting goals- raising a happy and healthy baby who is compassionate and confident. And the easiest way to teach these traits is to be/do/embrace these traits. And most of all, I need to strive for a standard of grace and not perfection.

A version of this post originally appeared on "Kate Says This About That" 2011