My babies first birthday is for me too!

With my daughters first birthday approaching it has me reflecting! I have been planning and preparing and it has me thinking from time to time – Am I doing too much? At first I kept telling myself no, it’s her birthday, it’s meant to be celebrated.

Recently I’ve realized my babies first birthday is for me too. That goes for all mamma’s! Your babies first birthday is for you too!

A year ago those 12-18 month clothes seemed huge, I felt we needed all things baby, my pre-pregnancy clothes seemed like they would never fit again! I never really thought postpartum depression would effect me but it did. And almost 12 months later I’m still dealing with the affects those early months had on me. I’m still a work in progress! The past year has been the hardest year I’ve yet to experience! It also was a year filled with my most important work – raising a human being!

Sure, my babes first birthday is all about her! I get that! she has learned so much in the past 365 days! From all the little milestones, all the bumps and bruises, learning to eat, roll over, walk, babble, smile, she has put in some major work this past year!

But so have I and I feel mamma’s should celebrate everything they have been through the first year with their first baby! Get yourself a smash cake! Celebrate right along side your baby! Reminisce on the year of accomplishments – for you BOTH! After all you both are on this journey together and have so much further to go!

Enjoy and plan that party Mamma!




My Truth About Breastfeeding – Its not all Sunshine and Rainbows!

My entire pregnancy and at many prenatal appointments I was asked if I would be breastfeeding my new baby. I always answer “Yes, if I can” I would get a nod of approval from whomever asked and we would move on. My perception of breastfeeding was simple; its part of nature, the mother and baby will figure out how to go about the processes and if not we would just have to find another means of feeding. No big deal!

Within the first hour of delivering, still in the delivery room, the nurse told me it was time to breastfeed and we pushed my baby onto my nipple. “OH MY GOSH!” I yelled, “DOES SHE HAVE TEETH?!” This was so painful and so tender but I distracted myself by making small talk with my nurse and husband. I got through it and was told I did great. I felt like I received and A on my first parenting test. I got the stamp of approval from my nurse.

We moved to our mother/baby suite and I was so ready for bed! After all I normally go to bed around 9pm and it was now almost 1am. Once we settled in it was time to feed the baby again. AGAIN?! I thought?! I don’t just want to sleep I literally NEED sleep at this point. I had a rough labor and delivery story (for another time). I needed to sleep and I’d come back better than ever ready to do this mom thing! But nope, my boobs are needed. Not my husbands, not a nurse, not anybody but me. My baby and I were up and down all night feeding. I never got more than 1 consecutive hour of sleep that night.

Throughout my hospital stay I pushed through all the feedings and pain and got the stamp of approval from everyone, even the lactation consultant who stopped in. I was too ashamed to admit I was struggling, after all, everyone said it hurts at first but it gets easier! I didn’t really see a problem that anyone could help me out with, I just had to ride it out. At one point, just my husband and I in the room with our baby, who again was ready to feed, I asked my husband to stick his pinky finger in her mouth to give me a few minutes of a break.

Once home this journey only got worse. Way worse! I’ve never experienced pain like his my entire life. The bleeding, the engorgement, the raw nipples, blocked ducts, the fever and body aches set it. I spent so much money on different breastfeeding items: coconut oil, nipple cream, soothing gel pads, bra pads, I walked around topless most of the time to get some fresh air to my breasts.

I switched to pumping every other feeding in order to give my nipples a bit of a break but still get the breastfeeding experience with my baby. The pain was still getting worse from breastfeeding. I’ve never seen my boobs look the way they did. Every time my daughter cried for food I was now associating it with pain, fear, anger, overwhelming anxiety! I never once felt that amazing bond or experience looking at my baby feeding from me.

I then decided to exclusively pump. This helped in some ways but caused more stress in other ways. I now felt like a milk bank. I had to go pump for 20 minutes or so which means I am not able to use my hands for those 20 minutes. This followed with storing the milk, cleaning all the pump parts, washing bottles, and allowing everything to dry. Then bottle feeding my baby for 20 minutes or so. Anxiety would set in if she was nearing the end of the bottle and not satisfied. Will she need more? How will I supply that? When this process was all said and done I would have about 20 minutes, if that, before this process started all over again.

Everyone else got to hold a happy sleepy baby and I was the one doing all the work to keep her that way. I didn’t feel like I could enjoy my new baby at all! I remember one night at my parents house and Ellie drank all of the milk I had prepared. As she finished the last of her bottle my mom looked at me and asked if I had more. I had to go into the next room to pump for 20 minutes in order for her to eat. I cried the entire time I was pumping. This was too much and too stressful for me. I am putting in all the work, suffering all the pain, and I don’t even feel bonded with my own baby.

I knew in my head I wanted to stop, I wanted to switch to formula, but for some reason I couldn’t. I felt like I was failing my daughter. She deserves the breast milk. She’s healthy, she’s latching, she’s getting milk, I’m producing enough supply. I would be selfish to just stop and deprive her of all that just because I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I reached out to other moms who have been through this process fairly recently and they all seemed like it wasn’t that bad. Some exclusively breastfed, some were exclusively pumping, some were supplementing. All of them made it seem like it wasn’t so hard and even though it may suck at times its part of the job. But all said it’s not for everyone and switching to formula is completely fine. But all I could think about was if they can do it so can I.

The pain, exhaustion, sickness, struggle, bleeding, creams, pump supplies, all lead to depression. A deep deep depression. It took a professional to final get through to me. She said very directly “Stop breastfeeding. Take the pressure off. Your baby got 4 weeks worth of breast milk, she’s good.”

I instantly felt like the weight of the world was picked up off my shoulders.

Breastfeeding was so completely different than I was expecting. Now that I am pregnant again I am terrified and unsure of how I plan to feed my second baby. I feel as though I have PTSD from my breastfeeding journey.

This was my experience and may be different for every mother and every baby. But just know its not so easy and no big deal for everyone! If you are struggling with breastfeeding please know you are not alone as I struggled too!




We’re Having A………BABY!

Check out my Instagram page for more photos/videos from the reveal day!

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Once we found out we were pregnant with our second baby when Ellie had just reached 7 months old; I knew I would feel differently about many things than I did with our first.

One of the things I knew would be different is that I wouldn’t want a baby shower. I always feel guilty having other people buy things for us and there really is not much more we need. Ellie is still so young and we can reuse or share a lot of the items we already have with our second baby. Sure there will be a few items will need but not enough to host an entire baby shower. We also are due a month before Christmas so whatever we don’t have I’m sure we will get at Christmas.

With Ellie we did not do a gender reveal party because I was too excited I wanted to know as soon as I possibly could. With the second baby I feel like I could wait until we give birth before finding out the gender. To compromise, we decided to have a gender reveal instead of doing a baby shower.

At our anatomy ultrasound we told the technician we didn’t want to know the gender but would like for her to write it down and put it in an envelope. She made us close our eyes during that part of the exam. Once we had the envelop in our possession I wanted to drop it off with a friend so we wouldn’t be tempted to look at it.

Since many of us ride Harley Davidson motorcycles we decided to purchase burnout powder from Poof There It Is Gender Reveals. We purchased the bags as “secret” and our friend emailed the company with our order number, name, and results of the gender.

The day came to host the gender reveal for baby number 2 and nobody knew the gender except for our one friend; not our parents, not Josh or I, nobody. My dad, my brother, and my husband all got their bikes and went to the road. We all followed on foot and waited for the burnout show.

What Did I Expect?

This entire pregnancy is significantly different than my first pregnancy but for some reason I had the suspicion it was another girl. I can’t explain to you why I thought this but I just had the feeling. When people asked me what I wanted I wasn’t really sure. A healthy baby is all I can really hope for. But I then started thinking it would be nice to have a boy, this way we would have one of each. I felt if we had another girl I would feel tempted at some point to try again for a boy. And given my PPD history and not knowing how bad it will be with the second baby I am not sure a third child is going to be the best idea. If we had one of each now, I may not have that temptation to have a third child.

My husband swore up and down he saw a “set” on the ultrasound and he felt he knew we were having a boy.


The burnout smoke blew pink! We’re having a second girl! This may mean we may feel tempted (in the future!) to try for a third. But there are many positives about having another girl! I definitely do not feel guilt for not wanting a baby shower now! We really don’t need much!

Check out my Instagram page for more photos/videos from the reveal day!




Raising babies with Pets – Not an easy task! 10 positive lessons animals can teach kids!

Being the animal lover that I am, having pets is no question! Before having Ellie we had two dogs and a tank of fish! There were many times I wasn’t sure how bringing a baby into the picture would work and how the dogs would adjust.

Brutus is our big boy weighing in at 145 lbs. He is special in his own way! He likes his space, he is a resource guarder, he does not like other dogs (Chloe is the only exception), he is very much a protector of his family. He is they type of dog that is perfectly happy to roam our 14 acres without leaving the yard. He likes to leave and go on adventures with us but it does stress him out at the same time. He likes to feel safe and to him safe is at home without any “changes”.

Chloe is our 5 lbs Yorkie who is our easy one! She loves people, loves dogs, loves to do whatever I want to do! Want to take a nap? Sure! Want to go for a walk? She’s ready! Road trip? She’ll ride for hours and love every minute of it! She is getting older and is not so much a fan of younger kids. They move to fast for her and she just isn’t sure of their intentions.

We knew bringing a baby into the picture would be an adjustment for both our dogs but we never hesitated. We would make it work somehow. We had the dogs first, we are not getting rid of them!

How would Chloe like having a baby around? How about as she got older? Would Chloe spend more time alone because she would avoid being around the baby?

What about Brutus? Can he learn to share his space with another human? Will he be gentle with her? Will he share his toys or will we have more of an issue?

Once I had Ellie I was less concerned about teaching the dogs to adapt and more concerned with teaching Ellie how to respect the dogs. She needs to learn they are living animals with feelings too. Showing her when its ok to be in their space and when to give them space, how to be gentle and nice when interacting with the dogs, how to read some of their body language and what to do in response to it. Teaching Ellie how to respect the animals like she should has made the transition so much easier for the dogs. In fact it was pretty dang easy and not much of a transition for them at all!

We then got 16 baby chicks! Ellie loved them! she already knew she had to be gentle, she knew they were a bit timid of her and to let them be and give some space and that she can watch them from a distance! Then we got a bunny! Again, she loves the bunny! More than loves she adores that little girl!

Watching her grow up with animals is so fun and I know is teaching her so much! however, it’s not all fun, unfortunately!

Our first little bunny didn’t make it more than a couple days with us, He was very young and may not have been in the best health. The heat got to the little guy and he ended up dying of heat stroke. Ellie was about 8 months old when this happened and I kept her away from the bunny that day, I am more than confident she doesn’t even know what happened.

This morning while loading up the car to bring Ellie to daycare, Brutus was barking hysterically in front of the chicken coop. I looked over at him and said “What boy? Let the babies be!” When he still didn’t come back to me or change his stance it made me curious. I watched for a minute. Ears up, tail up, body stiff and ready. I knew he wanted to show me something. I walked over to the coop to see what his issue was and to let the chickens out for the day. Once I got there I saw one dead chicken on the ground in the coop and a bunch of feathers. Body all in tact, just laying there, limp, and lifeless. My heart sank, its too quiet for there to be 15 other chickens. I knew we lost all of them. Brutus just kept running the length of the coop run, barking. I ran back to get my husband and told him, we have a problem!

Ellie is now 10 months old, she doesn’t know any better right now. We obviously are not going to show her the murder scene that took place over night with the scattered lifeless chickens. But it made me think, if she were older how would we ever explain this to her?!

Owning animals is so amazing in so many ways! But it can be so so heartbreaking as well. Even Brutus was so distraught from the incident. I don’t want to leave you off on a sad note so to end this post I want to share some reasons it may be good to raise children with pets!

  1. Kids with pets may spend more time outside!
  2. Life lessons provided by pets: Life, reproduction, birth, accidents, illness, death, grieving, etc.
  3. Responsibility!
  4. Patience and Self-control
  5. Friendship and reduced loneliness
  6. Siblings being able to bond over the shared love for pets
  7. Sharing and personal space
  8. Improved Self-esteem
  9. Empathy and compassion
  10. Joy and happiness!




2 Things I said I would never do prior to having kids. Now I am doing both! Can other moms relate?

I can think of 2 topics which I said I would never do or never be before I became a mom and now that I am a mom I realized I am and have done both these things! Before becoming a mom I used to look around at what other mothers do or don’t when it comes to their children. For the most part I would say do what you have to do. No Judgement. On occasion I would look at whoever I was with and say “Not Me!”

  1. I will never let my children do that!

I specifically remember being in a restaurant with my husband and a few friends and while we were waiting for our food there were multiple kids running around, screaming, standing on chairs, etc. They were just being kids and honestly were not bothering us in anyway. But I remember saying if I were to ever have kids I would be intervening and telling them to behave. I wouldn’t allow my kids to act that way in a restaurant. No judgement on that family whatsoever but my personal preference would be to have a bit stricter parenting style with my kids.

Since becoming a mom, and my daughter is still young, I’ve realized its all about survival! I no longer will ever say anything like that anymore! Rather I look at families in situations were their kids may be too hyper or not behaving as they should and I just look at the mother with the “you do you momma” look. Its all about survival as a mother and picking your battles accordingly!

2. I will not be the mother posting photos of my baby on social media all the time.

I used to see other families posting photos on social media everyday of their kid and giving us all an update on their latest accomplishments. I always said that just isn’t me and if I had kids my social media accounts would not be over taken by my children. Here I am after my first baby, 10 months old and every day I post photos of her sometimes multiple photos. I’m not really sure what changed in me but its a way of always having those photos to go back to. It keeps other family members updated on her life. And it’s just fun to see all the other baby photos!

All in all, my take away from this post is to never judge another mother and to never say you won’t do that or be that mom when you have kids! Motherhood is a journey and I am learning every single day on how to take it or how to handle situations.




Santa’s Village + Covid + 10 Month Old Baby – The Good, The Bad, and Everything in Between

I’m back from my stay-cation!! I took a little over a week off to spend some time camping with my family! But I’m back and refreshed and ready to work! I wanted my first blog post back to be about our experience from one day of our vacation: Santa’s Village!!

My husband, daughter, and two nieces made the 2 hour drive to Jefferson, NH to spend the day at Santa’s Village. Being the Christmas enthusiasts that we are it was only natural we spend a day in Santa’s world!

I had a few concerns about going since the Covid pandemic is still in full effect. Would the trip even be worth it? My short answer: ABSOLUTELY!

The park is restricting how many people are allowed in during the day, therefore you have to purchases your tickets ahead of time. This did not end up being an issue for us at all! We bought 4 regular tickets and 1 baby ticket the night before around 9pm. I had no issues at all reserving the day. This also helped keep the lines short and social distancing was extremely easy since the crowds were non existent!

Another concern were how often we had to wear our masks. I didn’t want all our photos to be in masks or for us to be super hot with a mask over our mouth and nose. This also wasn’t bad at all! We only really needed them on inside any of the buildings (which were air conditioned) and on some of the rides. Other than that you could take the mask off. Even with the weather super hot that day and being pregnant the mask did not bother me!

The park is extremely kid friendly! And by kid friendly it definitely caters to younger aged children!! So my 10 month old daughter had an absolute blast!! She was even able to go on a few of the rides; the train, the sleigh ride, antique cars, etc. She was able to meet Santa himself (even though she was half asleep by the time we made it to him). Her favorite part of the day was the water park! This was definitely geared to younger kids! They even had infant swings in one section for the real small babies! She could not stop walking her dad and I all around in the ankle deep water! We spent hours in the water park!

Our nieces are a bit older but they still had a blast as well! They were both tall enough to ride every ride and because the lines were not long they were able to ride them more than once! They also had a blast looking for the Elves throughout the park to stamp their cards they picked up from the Elf University. At the end they traded their stamped cards for a reward! We were also able to go into the Elf work shop where all the kids were able to enjoy some craft time. The oldest made some sand art, the middle made her own stuffed animal, and my daughter used her feet to make a reindeer shirt (her feet were the antlers).

The only down side I thought of the day was the food. I was not a fan of the lunch we got. Some of the other locations may have had better food but mind you we did not go for the food!

Overall this was definitely worth the trip and one of my favorite days with my family! We will be going back!




10 Postpartum items I didn’t know I needed (#6 and #8 Are an absolute MUST!)

I never gave much thought about what happens after giving birth. I knew Giving birth would be painful and I would have bleeding, but I had no idea how gross I would actually feel. I had what they call 3rd degree tearing. I didn’t even know what this meant until I googled it once I got home (I’ll leave that to you if you’d like). There were items the hospital provided me but there were also items I needed to gather on my own.

Here are the 10 essential items I needed for my postpartum recovery.

  1. Peri Bottle
3 Best Peri Bottles For Hygienic Post-Partum Washing

I honestly have no idea what it would be like to go to the bathroom without this because I was way too scared to even try! I used these bottles for weeks on weeks!

2. Depends

These were great at night! I had to be careful though because just like a baby, I ended up with a diaper rash.

3. Prenatal Vitamins

One A Day Women's Prenatal 1 Multivitamin, Supplement for Before ...

I had no idea I had to continue taking my prenatal vitamins after giving birth!

4. Pain Killers

Tylenol Extra Strength Pain/Fever Relief 500mg - 100 caplets ...

These were essential to elevate some of the pain I had “down there”

5. Cold Packs Frida Mom 2-in-1 Postpartum Absorbent Postpartum ...

These were 100% a lifesaver for me! They felt AMAZING and helped so so much!! Which leads me to the next item:

6. Tucks Pads TUCKS Medicated Cooling Pads 100 Each (Pack of 3 ...

These were another item I used for weeks on weeks on weeks!! These helped my healing process SO much!!

7. Nipple Cream : Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Soothing Cream 40 Grams ...

My nipples were so so raw this cream was an essential for so many weeks and went everywhere with me!!

8. Coconut Oil Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ...

Oh my goodness did this help SOOOO much!! Again, I needed to heal “down there” as well as up top! I went through so many tubs of coconut oil! As soon as it would dry up and absorb into my skin I would add more! This was so needed!

9. Sitz Bath Salts : Sitz Bath Salt – Postpartum Care and Hemorrhoid ...

I never used the sitz bath (pink bucket) the hospital provided me, but I did sit in the bath with the water constantly running and draining. I did this each day I had the chance to help the healing process “down there”

10. Donut Cushion

Comfort Foam Hemorrhoid Donut Seat Cushion – Grey - Chesna

This was not provided by the hospital but definitely needed for the first 2 weeks or so as sitting definitely hurt where I had stitches.

The decision between being a stay at home mom or a working mom and how it effected my PPD

Initially this seemed like an easy decision. Most women are faced with the decision and life changes of being a stay at home mom or a working mom. Now first let me say both roles require WORK…no doubt about it! My entire life I always just assumed I would be a working mom if I were to ever have kids. I considered myself a workaholic! I began working at the age of 12 and from then on I always had a job, sometimes, multiple jobs.

Years later I found myself pregnant with my first child. This came when I found myself in a great career which I absolutely loved! My day to day grind was enjoyable and yet challenging to me! I remember my boss asking me what my plans were after I had this baby.

“Will you be returning to work?”

Is this even a question I thought to myself. Did I give my coworkers/boss the impression that I would not be coming back?

“Absolutely!” I replied.

I felt like it would be good for my baby to have a routine, to be around other kids, to have to listen to someone other than mom and dad. I also felt it was important for me to have my own life too. Becoming a mom is wonderful and a job in itself but for me personally I didn’t know how to not get up and go to a job each and everyday.

Then maternity leave hit me! I literally felt so overwhelmed and exhausted and being a mom was significantly harder than I ever thought it would be. I had no idea how I would return to work just to come home and make dinner while watching my baby and get her to bed on time. How can I add all this extra stress when I felt I was already stressed to the max. How am I supposed to add one more thing to my plate?

Not just the added stress and things to do, how was I going to let someone else care for my baby each day? I want to be there to see all her firsts, I don’t want to to share those moments with someone else and have to hear about it later.

At my initial PPD appointment, my doctor first told me not to worry about work yet. I still had 8 weeks left of my maternity leave. She also told me she thought I should try to go back and take it day by day. She also reminded me not to quit my job on a bad day. If it didn’t work out then fine, stay at home with your baby. There is nothing wrong with that. But at least give it a try.

I felt like that was awesome advise! I wanted to stay home with my baby but when it came time to return to work I did just that. I took it day by day and honestly to my surprise each and everyday I felt a little better. Yes, I had more on my mind, I had extra task I now needed to complete but I also enjoyed my evenings with my baby that much more.

Going to work during the day and doing something for me and spending the evenings with my daughter was just the “break” I needed! Before I became a mom I thought I definitely would be a working mom, during my maternity leave I fully wanted to be a stay at home mom, I returned to work and loved it! This is a personal choice for each and every mom! Working is what worked for me and my family!




I Need Alone Time But I Miss My Baby

Alone time?! I’ve learned since becoming a mom that alone time is necessary! That break is needed for both mental and physical health! the frustrations, anger, stress, overwhelmed mind all fade after a nice break.

I get it, you’re elbows deep in diapers, feedings, tears, naps, cleaning, laundry. A mom break is not as easy as it sounds. However, the biggest struggle I find with a mom break is missing your child the entire time your away from them! Can you relate?

Every time I’m not with Ellie I feel like I should be. I’m her mom, I should be caring for her. I know I need this break and that it’s good for both of us. I still can’t help but constantly think of her and even end my mom break early to go back to be with her.

What is she doing right now?

Did she eat enough?

Did she get her naps in?

Is she having fun or is she having a rough day?

Did she experience any new “firsts”

I bet she misses her dogs!

I wonder if she had any wipe outs?

Did I pack enough diapers?

These are just some of the thoughts I have when Ellie and I are not together. I’ve learned motherhood is being so excited for a break and then missing your kids the entire time you are gone!




Baby #2 So Soon

Imagine, my first baby is 7 months old, I am still tackling this whole new mom life, and the daily struggles of postpartum depression. My period is late but it still is not ‘regular’ yet since delivering. No big deal, I have other things to worry about, I will start in the next few days.

While visiting my mom she asked me when we will have another baby. It hit me, I haven’t started my period. I pulled out my phone and looked at my period tracking app and realized I should have started about 4 days ago, at the latest! No, no, I’m just late, this is all part of the postpartum process.

For the rest of the day I couldn’t get the thought of my period being late out of the back of my mind. I KNEW it was nothing but still. We had to make a trip to the store that night so why not just put this to rest and get a test.

Low and behold, it was positive. I am pregnant. Again.

My husband was absolutely thrilled and so excited! and he said to me when he found out we were pregnant with our first he was scared and this time he’s excited. I looked at him and said I feel the opposite.

I was so excited and could not wait to meet our first baby girl. I was literally so happy! Now I want to share the thoughts and feelings I had finding out I was pregnant again because it was drastically different, and I’m sure I am not alone!

  1. “OH MAN! Here we go!”
  2. How can I handle 2 children….2 Babies?!?
  3. How can this second baby even compare to how perfect our first baby is?!
  4. Will I even be able to have enough love for BOTH babies?!
  5. I had so much bonding time with just Ellie and I and now this second baby will not get that.
  6. Will Ellie feel abandoned by me when the next baby arrives?
  7. How can I survive pregnancy with a mobile baby?!
  8. I literally hated every single second of breastfeeding but Ellie got my breast milk exclusively for about 3-4 weeks, I don’t even want to try with the second baby but now I feel guilty for depriving the second baby the chance to have the nutrients from my breast milk. I don’t want to feel the pain, the engorgement, the bleeding/raw nipples, cluster feeding, the pressure, the feeling of a food source and nothing more. But I feel like I gave Ellie the chance and offer and what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t allow the same for baby number 2?!
  9. I do NOT want to stop taking my postpartum medication. Is it safe to take throughout pregnancy?! What if my doctor tells me I need to stop?! What will happen to me???
  10. How bad is PPD going to hit after this second baby? I know I will have it and it was pretty dang bad with the first pregnancy, will it be worse during the second?!?!
  11. How will I ever get sleep?! My luck the babies will be on opposite sleep schedules which means mom doesn’t sleep at all at night. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t going to be an option when you have a second baby in the picture.
  12. Do I put Ellie in daycare while I am on maternity leave or should I keep her home with me so she can bond with us as well?

These are just some of my early initial thoughts when I found out I was pregnant again so soon. I was absolutely terrified. I know what it takes now to care for a baby and its a lot and now I’m adding another baby?! I’m sure I am not alone in this!