Picnic at Disney

Lunch this afternoon- there’s worse views!

We packed ourselves a picnic and saved a pretty penny!

In our picnic basket:

Two ham sandwiches with cheese and honey mustard, two tuna salad packets with crackers, one chicken with noodles meal for baby girl, one fruit pouch, two bananas, one bag of veggie straws and three gornola bars.

Purchased from park: 

Two soda’s, one chocolate milk and one frozen Lefou’s Brew.

Failing – Preemie Mom 

img_1108

We all experience the feeling of failure at some point in life. No one wakes up, looks in the mirror and say’s: I’m going to fail at life today. Like it or not each and every one of us is subjected to this awful feeling. The one good thing about the feeling of failure, besides its ability to teach us something, is it favors no one, it goes after no particular demographic, race or religion. You aren’t alone.

My life is rather simple. A stay-at-home mom, two kids and an amazing man that supports all four of us. I spend most of my days cleaning, cooking, folding laundry and keeping tiny hands out of the toilet bowl. Even as a stay-at-home parent, I experience moments in which I feel like a failure. Shortly after having my daughter I hopped on the emotional roller-coaster, any parent who’s child stayed in the hospital can relate, it took me some time to recover from the tragic birth of our daughter.

I would toss and turn at night feeling as if I was failing as a parent and blamed myself for months that our daughter was born nine-weeks early. Though family, friends and even my doctor attempted to reassure me there was nothing I could have done to cause this, I couldn’t help but feel at fault. My daughter; two-pounds, transparent skin, on life support, bleed in her brain, heart defects and early stages of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). If I carried her just a few weeks longer, she wouldn’t be suffering. 

I will never forget the day I went into labor. I will never forget the emptiness I felt seeing my child so sick and lifeless at one point. I will never forget the rocking chair our nurse kept tucked by her incubator for me with a pillow and soft blanket, my bed. I will never forget watching her monitor go blank and a group of nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists rushing to her incubator and by the grace of God, saved her life.

Those moments in a way haunted my thoughts, even after leaving the hospital with my daughter. As she grew and began to gain weight my days grew easier. But with every visit back to the hospital and not so great doctors visits I was reminded that our baby, who at times seemed perfectly normal, healthy and showed little signs of being premature, was still indeed a preemie. 

I look back and still cry at times thinking of how far she’s come- I also still have my moments where I blame myself, though I do believe in God’s plan and perfecting timing for things.

Mya, my daughter wasn’t born early by mistake. She came into this world to challenge me, change me, renew my heart. Through the grace of God himself she showed me what true faith was. There were times we nearly lost her but she never gave up.

So the days I feel like a failure, God reminds me I have a purpose and it’s not to be perfect but to love my children, to raise them and to be the very best mother he is training me up to be. Over the past year I have learned it’s okay to allow yourself to feel, whether you’re feeling happy, sad or just having an off day, it’s okay. Life always continues on.

I’d love to hear from all the preemie/ hospital moms out there, comment below so we can connect with each other! 

Quick and Easy Homemade Chili

Since it has been getting quite chilly in the evenings lately, I figured I would pull out my crockpot and whip up a batch of some homemade chili. Though we don’t have it often, chili is a family favorite in our home. I have attempted many recipes over the years and finally found my go-to recipe for days I seem to be crunched on time.

This recipe has few ingredients with BIG flavor. Feel free to tweak as you see necessary for your family. Please leave a recipe of your own or if you tweaked my version in the comments below, I would love to try them all out!

chilifoodblog

-This recipe feeds a family of four-

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Ground beef
  • 1 Large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes in tomato sauce
  • 1 Can Kidney beans (dark or light red)
  • 1 Package hot chili mix (in gravy isle)
  • 1 Cup water
  • Adobo seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

Prepare crockpot and set on high. Add all ingredients to crockpot, stir, cover and let cook for at least three hours. I suggest if you plan on leaving the crockpot for more than four hours, cook on low and add extra water. Since I am usually home to check on the chili I add water as necessary, if there isn’t enough liquid the bottom will burn.

Chili in my favorite sweater mug

E N J O Y!

@mommietidbits

 

 

 

Five things a stay-at-home parent would understand

Being a full time stay-at-home parent is hard work. I personally never saw myself in this position. During my pregnancy I worked more than full time hours, had plans of returning to work after my maternity leave was through. My daughter had other plans by arriving two and a half months early. I spent my entire maternity leave in the hospital with her, my leave actually ran out before she was even discharged and I had the option to leave my daughter to go back to work or stay with her. I stayed.

At the time I didn’t truly realize what being a stay-at-home parent entailed but I quickly found out. I traded in my wine-key for a stack of dirty diapers and a sink full of dirty dishes. I remember one morning when our daughter was about six-months old thinking to myself: this is my life now- while staring at what seemed to be a never ending stack of dishes.

1. You don’t get sick days.

But seriously, you don’t. A few months back I had Shingles, it was absolute hell but no matter how terrible I felt, I still had a family to take care of. Papa bear helped tremendously but he could only do so much while working crazy hours at work. As a breastfeeding mom you are limited on the medications you can take to rid yourself of the sickness. My doctor gave me a medication once and said I couldn’t breastfeed for a full seven days after taking it. We did a trial run with the baby that night to see how well she’d take to not nursing for one session, lets just say  I decided I would rather take my chances of death then deny my high-pitched screaming daughter her favorite thing in the entire world. I’ve come to find that since I had my daughter I rarely get sick, maybe it’s God’s way of saying He’s got my back.

2. Sleeping in is no longer a real thing.

You are expected to wake up at the crack of dawn bright-eyed and bushytailed. Every. Single. Morning. I have no idea how kids at times can go to bed late and cry the majority of the night yet still wake up right on time and ready for breakfast. What the heck?

3. You wear many hats

I am an accountant, chef, full time caregiver, shopper, driver and housekeeper. My job is never done. Sometimes I swear there is such as thing as ‘dirty laundry fairies’, I’m watching too much Tinker Bell. I will finish what I believed to be the last load, close the door to the laundry room feeling accomplished just to open it again and there be at least four loads waiting to be washed, folded and put away. How do these kids go through so many outfits in one day and why haven’t they invented a pull-up that wont result in pee filled sheets? Questions I’ll never have answers to.

4. You never get to eat your own food

My kids can hear a chip bag opening from a mile away. I wish they would utilize those ‘good listening’ skills for more than food related reasons. Our three year old can’t hear me asking him twelve different times to use the potty and our one year old can’t seem to hear me when I tell her ‘no’ at least fifty times a day but they both can magically ALWAYS hear when the snack cabinet opens.

Our three year old never wants to eat his own food but he’ll gladly take over my plate. Bubba, we’re eating the same thing. I end up eating off of a Cars plate while he’s chowing down on my meal. I mean I do enjoy how each bite reveals a new portion of Lighten McQueen’s face but that’s besides the point.

5. You’ll spend most of your day picking up toys 

In our living room we have a basket set aside for the kids toys. My hope was that it would help keep the home a little more organized. Somehow they have managed to fill a medium sized basket with the amount of toys you’d fit in an extra-large basket. There are so many and I find myself spending more time picking up these toys than the kids actually spend playing with them.

 

@mommietidbits

 

Blue Apron first impression

This is our first time trying out a food subscription box. Blue Apron sent us this box that arrived this morning! 

First impression: Looks like great quality food, packaged very nicely- meat was separated from other ingredients. We’ll be posting updates of our experience with Blue Apron on our upcoming VLOG series! 

Baby girl has style

Baby shoes are seriously the cutest, smallest most fabulous thing that exist right now, besides our children, they’re cute too. I do most of my shopping for the kids online, better deals and we don’t have to make any special trips to the store! So I have put together a small collection of my personal favorite shoes for our one year old daughter. She is currently in size three, so if a certain shoe isn’t in her size, I size up and wait for her to grow into them. 

1. Soft sole ballet slippers. For $3.19 how could you say no? You can’t. Do yourself a favor and if you aren’t already a member, sign up for Amazon Prime. Free shipping. Yes, please! 

*Keep in mind, these are soft sole shoes. Not meant for waking. These are considered church slippers for Mya. Soft, easy to put on an match with multiple outfits. Sizing runs big. Packaging can be a bit on the lower end, don’t expect a shoe box, usually mailed in a flat envelope. 

2. Shiny black “Dr. Martens” style boots. These boots are everything. Seriously, they come in a variety of colors including bright yellow. They do run rather small, so size up two to insure a good fit. You’d rather them be too big than too small. Kids feet grow, they don’t shrink. For $9.95 +0.70 shipping you can’t go wrong. 

3. These are soft sole shoes. Can be used for walking baby as long as child isn’t walking on hardwood floors or tile. These are considered church shoes for Mya, yet again. Super cute and the price is unbeatable. Mya grows out of clothes and shoes so quickly that I can’t justify  spending tons of money on something she’ll wear a handful of times. $3.44 +$1.55 shipping. 

As I mentioned above, I hate spending a lot of money on clothing and shoes for the kids because they grow so fast. I am always on he lookout for deals, I hope some of you mamas or papas like these cute little shoes and give them a try! 

If you would like to purchase any of these shoes, just click on the picture of the shoes you want to purchase – you will be directed to the corresponding website! 

Baby-wearing is badass! 

When my daughter was still rather young I had tried out a few different baby wraps. Moby wrap had wayyy too much fabric and during the summer it just trapped in a crap-ton of heat. Went a little crafty and made my own, turned out pretty good, but my post partum anxiety kept me from using more than twice. I ended up purchasing a wrap from Target that had an agility style back and a separate support tie. Even though the black fabric attracted some heat, the fabric was breathable and there wasn’t an abundance that I had to tie around my body a few times like the Moby. 

If you haven’t noticed by now, I do not suggest the Moby wrap if you live in a warmer state. If you live somewhere like Alaska then it would be ideal. As our daughter started getting bigger she began to out grow our favored Target wrap. I knew the time would come since the package stated: not for use over 30lbs. She was only around the 16lb mark when I noticed it was time to retire it. 

I was visiting family in New Jersey, Cape May to be exact. A cousin of mine who has two children of her own swore by her Tula. Since entering motherhood I’ve heard many- many things about Tula carriers. I was always fond of the unquie designs but not so fond of the price. It wasn’t until I strapped my daughter in a Tula and wore her during a trip to the zoo that I was convinced I NEEDED one. The entirety of our stay, my cousin was kind enough to let us use it. 

I did some research online and found a few places that sold Tula’s besides the actual website. Some mothers were selling their used ones for way more than the original cost- can I just say sometimes I hate buying used things online, people seem to want more for their USED product than a brand new version costs- and some discounted baby sites that had a few available. I wanted a particular style, the blossoming bouquet. You’ll come to realize I love all things floral and natural- even if I do eat McDonald’s on occasion.  

It was a cold day in January

Tula Ergonomic Carrier – Bliss Bouquet – Baby

I finally convinced myself the $140.00 Tula I found on Amazon was worth it. Christmas was a few months away and this could count as Christmas gift for myself and baby. Win, win! Last minute my parents reached out and offered to purchase it for us, to this day I am eternally grateful! 

Our Tula is the number one used baby product in our home besides diapers and wipes. Teething babies poop. A lot.

If you’re up in arms about what wrap or carrier to purchase, I highly suggest doing as much research as possible. Each situation is different; some parents live in colder areas, while others such as myself live in a warmer area. Fabrics wraps are great if you’re not looking to baby/ toddler wear very long. Personally I am pro baby/ toddler wearing. It works great for us, both our children love it at ages one and three. Some kids hate carriers so being able to try one on and take it for a test run would be beneficial before spending the big bucks! 

Ask around, see if one of you friends has a Tula or carrier you’re interested in, you could even join a mommy group, they offer great advice on tons of baby products! 

One of the best things about Tula carriers is how supportive the company and other Tula mamas are. If you spot someone rocking a Tula yell out “TULA IN THE WILD”. It’s a way of showing your support and pretty much saying baby-wearing  is badass! 

Be the good you want to see

 

Since I started mommietidbits I have been thinking if should I make this a blog one that will reflect my beliefs and encourage other like-minded parents. 

Recently while scrolling through my personal Instagram I came across an old friend- who you could consider more of an acquaintance. She had posted a video on her opinion of social media, as I was watching it I found myself agreeing to almost everything she had to say. The main point she made was that we have become a society that shares more bad stuff than good. The bad stuff: shootings, murders, fights, porn, abuse and even things that aren’t necessarily bad, just meaningless, seem to generate more of a response and ‘likes’ than good things.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

I am passionate about the Lord I serve and the amazing life he has blessed me with. He is the reason I am even here so to not include Him and His works would be shameful of me. I accept that not everyone shares the same beliefs as I do but I will not accept my life without Him nor will I allow my children to grow up not knowing Him.

I want my blog to be successful but I also want to be true to who I am. I don’t encourage what the majority of our society believes to be right. So many people say life is too short, I think otherwise. Your life is a long as it is meant to be. It’s up to you to live a full life whether you are giving twenty or eight-four years.

As a nation we have a lot happening: protests, murders, a new President that a majority of our country voted for but refuse to accept. Crime and sex trafficking rates are through the roof. We as a whole are teaching young girls “sexy” means to dress half naked and that a man is allowed to control you. We are feeding young boys porn addiction simply by the movies they watch that are “appropriately” rated and encouraging violent behavior.

Our lives seem so short because we aren’t living them. We are feeding into the idea that you need a bigger house, nicer car or more money in order to be happy. Tricking our minds to thinking there is no ‘good’ left in the world, but there is- become the good you want to see.

I am not here to preach because I am far from perfect and I have done things in my past I am not proud of but I want better. For my children. You. Your children. Myself. I believe in a God that is stronger than all the hate in this world, but I also remind myself that He gave us the gift of choice and so many of us abuse it.

We need to stop dwelling on such hateful and meaningless things and turn our hearts to things that truly matter.