Sweet Tiny Blessings

Month: December 2014

A Look Back at 2014

This whole year has been incredibly crazy and challenging, yet filled with so many blessings.  It started out in January when my water broke 8 weeks early.  I was put on bed rest at the hospital for almost a month and felt so stuck and out of control.

Little M was born in February, 5 weeks early.  What a sweet tiny blessing, but he definitely challenged me in ways I didn’t think I had the strength for.  He stayed in the NICU for 10 days.  My dreams and last chance at breastfeeding slipped away.  And learning to be a mommy of 2 was very different then I expected.

I’ve loved watching the similarities and differences of Little M and Big C.  Their personalities are very different.  But they are so precious in their own ways.

At 6 months postpartum, things began to look up.  Though my body is still sore after my c-section, I’ve learned to deal with it and find other clothes that feel more comfortable over my incision.

Our family made the big decision to move back to Florida.  Though it didn’t happen the way we expected it, we knew that God’s plan was perfect.

We are now here in Florida, but our belongings are lagging behind.  We are waiting patiently (or maybe not so patient) for everything to arrive so we can finally move into our new home.

Things I’m looking forward to in 2015

I’m looking forward to getting settled in our home, getting involved in our new church and meeting new people.  I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, being able to celebrate big and small events with family and friends, and seeing what blessings and plans God has in store for us this year.

What was your greatest memory this past year?
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

The Big Move Update

Our family made it back to Florida safely.  It was very hard to say good-bye to good friends who became our family in Colorado.  But we are happy, excited and extremely blessed to be surrounded by our family in Florida.

We are currently living with Grandma and Pop Pop until our belongings arrive.  But I am thrilled to say we signed the papers and received the keys to our new home.  Here is a little sneak peek!

Our things should be arriving on Saturday, so we are looking forward to moving in, getting settled and sharing our new adventures in Florida with you!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

What are you looking forward to this new year?

10 Months and Growing

With our 3 week vacation and our big move to Florida, Little M’s 9 month well visit got pushed back to almost 10 months.  I don’t even remember the exact stats the doctor gave me because my mind has been everywhere.  I just know that he had a great visit.  I guess that’s all that matters.

Here’s what I do remember.  He is 20 something pounds, on the short side and his head percentile has gone down.  He didn’t even flinch when the doctor checked his iron levels.  And that was perfect as well.

Little M’s sleeping has been all over the place due to the different time zones we’ve been traveling. Hopefully, now that we are staying in one place, he’ll start to be more consistent.  But usually he sleeps through the night until about 5am.

He still loves almost all foods except avocado.  In fact, I tried to give it to him again and he spit at me.  Now, whenever I give him something green, he questions it by spitting or turning his head.  But once he tastes that it’s not avocado, he loves it.  He also enjoys finger foods.

Little M is doing great sitting unsupported but may fall down sometimes.  He can go from sitting to belly, has rocked back and forth on his knees a few times, and likes to hold onto furniture with support.

His favorite word right now is Mama.  He has been extremely cranky lately.  I’m not sure if it’s teething or all the traveling.  But I hope it gets better soon.  He now has 5 teeth!

Become a Confident Parent with Children’s Hospital Babies 101

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Children’s hospital and received compensation to thank me for my time. The opinions and text are mine.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is the leader in providing pediatric expert advice for parents who want to keep their children healthy and safe. This month, “Just Ask Children’s” focus is on babies. Babies 101 chat, on December 16, will answer your questions about infant sleep safety, calming a crying baby, sleep issues, breastfeeding and vaccines.

When it comes to Infant Sleep Safety, keep your child flat on their back in a bassinet next to your bed. Use a sleep sack instead of a blanket to prevent head covering and overheating. Consider using a pacifier and always provide your baby with a smoke free environment.

When our babies cry, this can be so frustrating for parents. But did you know their crying is normal and healthy? So if you feel overwhelmed, Children’s reminds us of strategies to help calm our crying babies. Some of these tips include patting, rocking and letting your baby know you are there. Other helpful advice includes using a lovey or special item to soothe them. Remember to never shake a baby. For more tips on soothing a crying baby, visit calmacryingbaby.org.

My first child never had any sleep issues as a baby. But my second is a bit more challenging. Children’s provides good tips for helping babies with sleep issues. These include:

  • creating a consistent and quiet bedtime routine.
  • put your baby to bed drowsy, but still awake, so they learn to fall asleep on their own.
  • try waiting a few minutes before responding to babies fussiness and crying to allow them to learn to settle themselves.
  • children should turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
  • elementary kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep and children 10 to 17 need 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep.

Both of my babies had health issues early on, so we didn’t get to breastfeed long term. But whenever possible, Children’s gives great advice on lactation and breastfeeding. When possible, breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first 6 months of life, then introduce complimentary foods until 12 months. Continue breastfeeding for as long as mom/child desired. Breastfeeding provides protection against illness, as well as, reduction in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Check out these tips for safe storage of breast milk:

  • always wash your hands before expressing and handling your milk.
  • only use a clean storage containers provided for storing human breast milk.
  • freshly expressed milk can remain at room temperature for 4 hours and use refrigerated milk within 48 hours. Frozen milk is good for at least 3 months.

When vaccinating your children, stay up to date with the recommended vaccine schedule for safety, effectiveness and prevention of infectious diseases. The vaccination schedule is evaluated each year based on the most recent scientific data available and is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, and The American Academy of Family Physicians. The flu vaccine is approved for anyone 6 months and older. Anyone with children under 6 months can protect their babies by getting the flu shot. Vaccines can prevent the spread of diseases and save lives.

For more great tips and advice for babies, visit Just Ask Children’s on December 16th for a live chat! Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Reader Comment Disclaimer: comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Children’s Hospital Colorado. The opinions and text are all mine.

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My life feels like it’s spinning so fast that I can’t stop to take a breath.  This past month has been a whirlwind.  And I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I shared with you in October that my family has decided to move back to Florida, but we had some hiccups we needed to take care of.  Well, I never thought in a million years that our house would go under contract within 3 days.  About a week or so later, we put an offer in on a home in Florida during our 3 week vacation.

We just arrived back home and less then a week, we need to be packed up and gone.  And I’m having trouble embracing this.  Our original intent was to be closer to family.  But we have second guessed our decision several times for different reasons.  However, this is happening.

My heart is aching because I feel like there is no ending to this chapter in my life.  It’s all happening so fast.  And there are a billion things I’m going to miss here.  To top it off, it’s happening in the busiest time of year and we have to completely skip out on all our Christmas family traditions.

Despite whether this is the right decision for our family or not.  I know that God is going to guide us each step of the way.  And all the blessings we are leaving behind in Colorado, I pray that God triples them in Florida!

Hallmark Christmas Gifts {Review and Giveaway}

Disclosure:  I wrote this post on behalf of Hallmark and received promotional items to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding Hallmark and their Christmas gifts are my own and were not influenced by other sources.  

Christmas always seems to sneak up on us so quickly each year.  Sometimes I feel the stress of it weighing down on my shoulders.  But why is Christmas stressful?  It shouldn’t be.  In our home, we like to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with a mix of fun.

We received two great gifts from Hallmark to help us celebrate with laughter and joy.  My daughter enjoys dancing and being silly, so I knew right away she would enjoy the Dance Like an Elf. And I’m just as guilty of breaking out the dance moves to the elf dance machine.  We just press the big, blue button and the elf calls out moves, such as, “Stir the Hot Chocolate.”  Check out Big C’s moves!

The Dance Like an Elf Musical Christmas Activity is super easy to use.  Your children could entertain themselves for hours while you hang the lights or wrap gifts, but you probably don’t want to miss out on the crazy, fun moves.  As your kids press the big blue Let’s Dance button, watch the joy unfold.
Our family is looking forward to our move closer to family, but we don’t know when this will take place.  So, the Find Me, Santa! Snowflake is the perfect gift for Big C.  She simply writes her name on the snowflake, hangs it up, presses the button and watches the glow.  Santa will know just where to find her.  
Big C loves the flashing colors and has been carrying her magical snowflake almost everywhere she goes.  

You can purchase the same Hallmark Christmas gifts Big C received or choose from a variety of Christmas products at Shop.NorthPole1820.com.  

Hallmark wants to share the laughter and joy with you, too!  Check out the NorthPole for games and activities.  And enter a giveaway for your chance to win a Peppermint Ring Fling and Find Me, Santa! Snowflake.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Open to US residents only.  

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