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How to Survive Your Kids Summer Vacation {+ Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Recipe}

#CraftYourCool , #CollectiveBias , #ad, Coconut Cold Brew Coffee, How to Survive Your Kids Summer Vacation, motherhood

How to Survive Your Kids Summer Vacation

{+ Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Recipe}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftYourCool #CollectiveBias

My kids are officially on summer vacation and after 2 weeks spent in Orlando, we are back in the real world. Two kids against one stressed out and tired mommy. Moms, I don’t want you curled up on your closet floor in the dark to escape the chaos. The countdown to the first day of school has begun but I have tips for you today on how to survive your kids summer vacation!

Needless to say, my #1 tip is coffee! I found a fantastic new product available at Walmart from Starbucks® called Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew pitcher packs and I have a great recipe for a Coconut Cold Brew Coffee that you can easily make at home.

Visit Walmart online for summer cold brew recipe ideas and more! Click HERE.

How to Survive Your Kids Summer Vacation

  1. Create a sippable moment daily. What does this mean? Take a moment for to pour yourself a Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew and sip your coffee in peace. Even if you can only make 5 minutes a day for yourself. Get up a few minutes early if you have to so you can just sit on porch and drink your coffee before the hectic day offically begins. Maybe your kids still take naps and you can get your sippable moment during naptime. P.S. I am sincerely jealous if your children take naps!
  2. Keep your kids busy with activities. Activities don’t have to be expensive or grand. Here are a few ideas to fill in those Summer days:
    • Parks, lakes, creeks, nature trails or anything outdoors. Find an outdoor space where the kids can run around and explore the outdoors. We like to go to the creek to catch frogs and get messy.
    • Zoo or Aquarium. Get a membership to at least one and make sure to get a schedule of events. Many Zoos host member events like outdoor concerts.
    • The movies. Cool off in air conditioning and let the kids pick a movie at the theater. My local theater has a free movie played every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Check your local theaters to see what events are taking place.
    • Amusement Parks. I understand not everyone lives near an Amusement Park but if you do, it is worth the annual fees to spend a few hours during the week riding roller coasters and running around.
    • Museums. History, Aviation, Art, Science… the possibilities are endless. Museums are great because most are air conditioned and it is educational. If you are on a tight budget, many museums offer free days so check your local museums to see what they offer.
    • Let the kids create a piece of artwork on your driveway with chalk.
    • The pool. What kid does not love the pool? Sunscreen everyone up and head out to the neighborhood pool. Bonus is that swimming is tiring! Pool day equals daytime naptime. Fingers crossed.
    • Arts and craft projects. Go to your local hobby store. Let the kids pick out some crafts to do over the summer.
    • Let the kids build a fort inside the house with blankets.
    • Walk or ride bikes around the neighborhood.
  3. Take time for yourself weekly. Get a babysitter so you can relax at the spa with a pedicure, grab dinner with a friend, browse the mall, or whatever you enjoy doing to take at least an hour every week without the kids to recharge. Sometimes even just having the husband take care of the kids while I go grocery shopping with a coffee in hand seems like a mini vacation. You deserve at least an hour every single week to clear your head with a little bit of quiet time.
  4. Schedule your life. During the school year, we are on a tight schedule. Kids actually respond very well to a set schedule. Continue to wake everyone up by a certain time, eat breakfast together, have bath time at a set time, read every night before bed and so on. Create a schedule that works for your family and stick to it. I have found it helps to also schedule  the daily activities so Monday is craft day, Tuesday is spent at the pool, Wednesday is movies, Thursday is outdoor fun and Friday the kids spend half a day at the babysitter so I can unwind. You can only hear, “what are we doing today?” so many times before you want to rip your hair out. Just being honest. Write the schedule down weekly on a big board where everyone can see it. You will still hear “what are we doing today?” at least 5 times a day still but it is better than 40 times.

Coconut Cold Brew

Let’s get back to what’s really important : COFFEE.

I am making a delicious Coconut Cold Brew with Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew. Keep an eye out for these pitcher packs at your local Walmart so you can make some fantastic cold brew at home.

You will find Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew on the coffee aisle in a simple brown box. Inside will be a foil packet with 2 pitcher packets. Drop both the packets into 4 cups of water, let steep for 24 hours, add in another 3 cups of water and pour over ice with our homemade coconut creamer. Easy peasy. Now, time to find your sippable moment and seize the summer!

The coconut creamer is really simple to make. Make a batch when you make your cold brew pitcher and you will have Coconut Cold Brew ready for the week. In a sealable container, add one can of coconut milk, 4 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Give a good mix and set into fridge to use as needed. Shake well before each use. You may also add a pinch of sugar if you like your coffee extra sweet. Yum

5 from 1 reviews
Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew pitcher pack
  • toasted coconut to garnish
  • 13 ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Brew your Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew pitcher packs : In a pitcher, add 4 cups water, open one foil pouch, drop in both pitcher packs, cover, set in fridge for 24 hours. Add 3 cups cold water after 24 hour steep time.
  2. Mix the coconut creamer. In a container, add one can coconut milk, 4 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Garnish a glass with toasted coconut. Add ice, Fill ¾ full of Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew, top with desired amount of coconut creamer.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Find your sippable moment!

 

Collect 75 Bonus Stars with purchase of any (3) Starbucks® packaged coffees or K-Cup® pods through 7/10/17

Click HERE for details.

How to Host an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night

#EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night

How to Host an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EnterTheWonderVault #CollectiveBias

Summertime has arrived and family fun time is on the agenda! Friday nights have been designated as our family movie night for many years. It is my way to bring the family together to bond and well…. have everyone in the same room for a moment of time. Moms, I know you understand that one.  During the summer, it is so easy to take the movie outside and lounge with snacks and watch a fun movie on a big screen. We are hosting an awesome outdoor movie night and I am sharing with you 11 tips of movie night success beginning with the snacks. We aren’t just grabbing any snack though. OREO Sandwich Cookies is what I love to buy for my family to take movie night to the next level.

#EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night I found some amazing OREO Sandwich Cookie flavors at my local Kroger store. OREO Wonder Vault flavors include Red Velvet, Birthday Cake, Cinnamon Bun and Salted Caramel. Visit the Wonder Vault page to find out more!

Don’t forget about the MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bars that I found while in the check out line! Find your local Kroger/Kroger Family of Stores to get your OREO sandwich cookies.

Click HERE to locate your favorite wonder vault flavors from Kroger and make sure to use the following BOGO offer:

Buy one Wonder Vault flavor OREO and get a free MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar at Kroger grocers (offer valid 6/14 – 6/20).

Find out more about OREO Sandwich Cookies and MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bars on their social media.

Facebook | Instagram

#EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night

Hey moms! Don’t miss out on the OREO Wonder Vault and MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar store demonstration live at participating Kroger grocers 6/15-6/18. The in-store Kroger demos will provide Kroger-exclusive recipes, fun facts about the history of OREO, information on Wonder Vault OREO flavors and the new MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar, plus more!

#EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night How to Host an Awesome Outdoor Movie Night

Whether you are having a family night or a neighborhood get together, I have 11 tips on how to host an awesome outdoor movie night! Outdoor projectors and screens can get expensive. Keep in mind that your family does not care if you spent $50 or $2,000 on your outdoor movie night. You can make this night affordable and memorable no matter your budget. It is all about he little things in life, is it not? Family outdoor movie nights is an activity that your children will remember forever. That what this motherhood stuff is all about! Here are a few tips to help your family create those great memories:

  1. Pick up OREO Sandwich Cookies in your favorite wonder vault flavor. Last year I found the OREO Red Velvet and they are heavenly! I have been keeping an eye out for them every since. The crème filling in the center reminds me of the cream cheese frosting on my favorite red velvet cupcakes. OREO Salted Caramel may be on the way to beating out my favorite Red Velvet though!
  2. Grab some MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bars because let’s be honest, what is movie night without a candy bar involved? Since MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bars are new, you may be wondering what they taste like. You get crunchy bits of OREO, a delicious crème filling and rich MILKA Chocolate Candy. MILKA is one of Europe’s leading chocolate brands, made with milk from the European Alps. You love OREO Sandwich Cookies and love good chocolate (who doesn’t)? I just found your new favorite candy bar. I was really impressed with how crunchy the OREO bits were inside the filling. Amazing!
  3. Get the popcorn popping. I realize my top 3 tips of movie night success involve food. I’m a foodie… clearly. #EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night
  4. Find a projector. If you don’t already own a projector, I recommend looking for a projector with a LED lamp for a longer life. Longer life equals more outdoor movie nights and the kids will want more! Also, consider what you will be connecting the projector to. Your phone, laptop, or something else? Make sure the projector will connect to the device you will be using before making the purchase. I went with a projector that was super affordable, 1080p resolution, LED, capability to connect with multiple devices and recommended for outdoor use.
  5. You need a white screen. There are many types of screens in all different dimensions you can purchase to fit your needs. You will want to look at what your projector recommends as a screen size to avoid a blurry picture. Don’t feel like you have to spend tons of money either! You can make one for free. We used a white sheet that we already owned for our screen today. The trick is to make sure your sheet is clean and pulled as tight as possible. Place the screen anywhere that is convenient. On the back of your house, in the middle of the yard, draped from the deck or whatever you can think of.
  6. Set up a cart or table with snacks and drinks. Yes, I’m talking about food again. It is a very important subject. I have a 3 tier cart that held water bottles at the bottom with ice, fun bags of popcorn in the middle and more snacks at top. Grab some small snack cups to help keep serving sizes in check. Two OREO Sandwich Cookies fit perfectly into one of these snack cups. #EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night
  7. Find comfy seating for everyone.  We brought down the patio furniture to the fire pit area so we had cushions, pillows and a level surface for the furniture. You can use lounge chairs, sleeping bags, blankets or whatever you have on hand. Invite the neighbors over too and tell them to bring their own chairs for a fun night with friends.
  8. Find speakers that connect with your projector or device being used. You need good sound but be cautious of any neighbors that may not be happy with the noise outside. You want good speakers but not THAT good. Be courteous and neighborly.
  9. Make sure to keep the bugs away! Use bug spray or citronella candles because mosquitos aren’t invited to this movie night. #EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night
  10. Pick the perfect movie. More vivid and colorful movies will appear on the projector screen better than others. Find a movie that has bright colors and fun for the family. Also, consider that the movie is outside where neighbors may hear pieces of the movie so keep it family friendly and appropriate for all ages.
  11. The projector will work better the darker it is. Turn off any outdoor lights and wait until dark to hit play. Although, you can get the party started earlier like we did with setting up the seating, snacks and a double feature. #EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night You have my tips now for hosting an awesome outdoor movie night! So make your outdoor movie plans for this weekend and have a blast. Don’t forget the OREO Sandwich Cookies to make your life “wonderfilled”!

 Which OREO Sandwich Cookies Wonder Vault flavor will you start with?

#EnterTheWonderVault ,#CollectiveBias , AD , outdoor movie night, family night

 

Quiet Time, Poop, and Collage Layouts

motherhood, funny

Quiet Time, Poop, and Collage Layouts

The push from lunch to quiet time often feels like the last leg of a tough race or long training run. I just keeping talking myself through the next minute or next task…”ok, just need to keep them from killing each other for the next five minutes…” and “just a few more stairs to climb with this fighting, wiggling toddler under my arm…” and then the big sigh of relief as I cross the finish line…or close the bedroom door.  Click. Sigh.

Then it is my time.  My time to paint or do collage work. The minute I move into my studio space, I can feel the tension flow away and the trials of motherhood vanish.

One day, after a particularly difficult battle to quiet time, I prepared to start laying out collage backgrounds for two big commission pieces. These large pieces take quite a bit of time and concentration and I was excited to have two hours to myself to really get to work.  Oh, silly woman…you’re such a dreamer…..

Twenty minutes after putting Lucas in his room, he erupts in hysterical screams….I quickly and carefully put down the papers I was holding, hoping they wouldn’t shift in my haste, and go to my son’s room to discover he had poop all over his fingers.  Oh boy.  We really haven’t had many issues with poop in our household.  No wall paintings, only one failed attempt at self-changing, very few accidents.  We’ve been fortunate.  Ok, time to go back to mommy mode and get this hysterical child cleaned up and calmed down.  I did what needed done, plopped him on the potty to finish what he started and gave him a car to help him regain composure.  Poop on your fingers is pretty traumatizing.  I would be screaming hysterically too.

Twenty minutes later (he takes a ridiculous amount of time on the toilet), Lucas informs me he is done, so I start thinking to myself that I just might be able to salvage this quiet time and finish some of the work I started.  Huh.  I got Lucas cleaned up and as I was lifting him off the toilet, he drops his hot wheels car into the toilet.  Yep.  The poopy water toilet.  I’m not talking just a log.  It was diarrhea style poop.  At first, I contemplated just trying to flush the stupid thing, but quickly realized that would lead to further disaster.  Lucas is whimpering and whining about his car and I’m just about to lose my lunch as I go in after the car.   I’m actually getting a little queasy retelling this story.  Rescuing Lucas’s car was by far the most disgusting task I’ve ever had to do thus far.  I didn’t puke, but I certainly wasn’t feeling very creative anymore.  Forget collage layouts, forget quiet time…. Momma needs to breathe into a paper bag for a while and then use the rest of quiet time for a scathing hot shower.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow’s quiet time includes a little more collage time and a little less poop.  Please, Lord.  Please.

-Amelia, Leggings ‘N’ Lattes guest contributor

funny motherhhood stories

More about our Guest Contributor, Amelia:

I grew up in rural, central Pennsylvania amidst pastoral scenes of farms, fields, and forests.  Nature has captured my attention for as long as I can remember.  Visual arts were also a dominant force in my life from an early age.  After graduating with a degree in visual art from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2003, I began to explore how I could use paint to express my love of the natural world.  

My background in printmaking and illustration has heavily influenced the direction of my work.  I work in a combination of paper collage, text and thin layers of acrylic paint. Using a selection of documents, vintage images, handwritten text, and symbols associated with the painted image, I remind the viewer that places and objects have many layers of meaning, memory, and beauty.

My work is displayed throughout the United States in traditional and non-traditional venues and my work can be found in private collections nationwide.  I call Loveland, Colorado home and live with my (amazing) husband and two sons (they are pretty great too).  

To learn more about me and my work, visit www.ameliafurman.com and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

{+ Cupcake Recipe}

My daughter is turning 2 years old and we are throwing a party and sharing 10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party !

#1 ) Have your child pick a theme and colors! We are focusing on Minnie Mouse today because my daughter is literally obsessed with all things Minnie. Where do these obsessions come from? She saw a Minnie Mouse one day in the store and for the past 4 months, everything from shoes, shirts to stuffed animals and toys have to be Minnie Mouse. Minnie Mouse was an obvious theme for this year and so we had to pick colors. Pinks, black, and white were some nice complimentary colors to go with. Pick at least 3 colors. One dark, one light and one bright for contrast and fun. Some great places to go for party supplies are Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby and Target. Amazon is also a great place to search for ideas and grab fun items.

#2 ) Meal plan. I think a lot of people go over board in this department. Kids are pretty simple. Pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers work perfectly. We did some hot dogs on the grill for our guests with ketchup and mustard on the side. Cheap, simple, and all the kids are happy. Don’t feel like you have to feed everyone a big meal either. Maybe just have some snacks spread out and put your money and focus on other areas.

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}#3 ) Snacks are a must. If you do a meal or not, you need some snacks. Kids get hungry and the adults get bored but everyone can agree on eating. We did some popcorn in cute bags and a plate of watermelon. Popcorn is filling and healthier than other options and it is always nice to offer something fresh so shoot for a fruit or vegetable. Remember to buy some plates, napkins and utensils.

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}#4 ) Add special touches. I enjoy crafts so I made everything myself but even if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, there are a lot of great party packs that are ready to go. Once you have a color and theme picked out, just search for what you need. You may end up spending more money doing this, especially if you want Minnie Mouse on everything. The little things go a long way though! I made this Minnie Mouse head below from Styrofoam balls. I spray painted the round Styrofoam and a stick, used toothpicks to assemble and poured some confetti in a vas. Really simple to do but so much fun to make and for our guests to look at.

Also, I had Minnie Mouse cut outs for everything. I used the felt with a sticky back and a cookie cutter in the shape of Mickey to use as my template. A hand drew a little bow as my template for all those.  I made the banner, cups, and popcorn bags with the Minnie Mouse felt cut outs to add a pop of Minnie and  to make the party table cohesive. I also used this cookie cutter for the watermelon cut outs.

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}#5 ) Let the kids dress up. Invite the kids to dress up as Mickey or Minnie or make your own mouse ears like I did. Having a theme and purpose to the party is important and going beyond that to play dress up adds a memorable experience and prompts bonding between children. You can buy mouse ears but this gets expensive! I found ones for under $2 a piece… these were about 50 cents to make. Big difference when you have 20 kids running around. All you need is cheap head bands, scissors, felt, glue, bobby pins to hold the ears in place until dry, and bows. I got lucky with these bows because they were on clearance so search around for a good priced bow or even make your own.

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}#6 ) Drinks! Refreshments are always on the party list.  A pink lemonade was a great choice with the theme and colors. We also had a cooler filled with caffeine free sodas and waters. If alcohol is acceptable for the adults, you can let them know to BYOB in the invite. Don’t forget the cups.

#7 ) Never underestimate the power of a balloon. Seriously. Throw a bunch of blown up balloons on the floor and it looks neat, plus the kids have a blast with them. Bonus! They are cheap.

10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}#8 ) Have a craft and activities planned out.  I bought some wooden beads and ribbon so we could all sit in a  circle and do an activity together as a group. Pick at least one group activity. Pin the bow on Minnie would be fun. Cut out and paint a Minnie Mouse and a bunch of bows to see who can come the closest to pinning the bow in the right place, make a necklace or bracelet, paint, color, use stencils, or whatever you can think of. Try and pick an activity that is fun for all ages that will get a lot of participation.

#9 ) Cake! Save money by making your own cupcakes or cupcakes. Cupcakes are a lot easier to bake and decorate so I made these cute Minnie Mouse Cupcakes for the party. All you need is a box of chocolate or vanilla cake mix, mini Oreos, butter, vanilla extract, milk, confectioners sugar, eggs, cupcake liners, instant pudding, pink chocolate melts and a chocolate bow mold.
Yum

5 from 1 reviews
Minnie Mouse Cupcakes
 
Super simple Minnie Mouse Cupcakes for birthday celebrations!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate or vanilla cake mix
  • 1 box chocolate or vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, + 2 tablespoons for frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • .5 pound pink chocolate melts
  • bag of mini Oreos
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. You need a hand or stand mixer, muffin pan, cupcake liners, chocolate bow mold, measuring cups, mixing bowls and a glass bowl for chocolate, frosting tip and bag.
  3. Place cupcake liners into muffin pan.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add box of cake mix, 1 cup milk, .5 cup room temperature butter, and 4 eggs.
  5. Use your hand or stand mix to blend well.
  6. Pour mix into the cupcake liners filling ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Make the chocolate bows. In a small glass bowl, microwave chocolate according to package directions. This should take about 1 minute. Stir well and use a spoon to fill each mold. Let the chocolate set before removing and repeat until you have enough bows.
  10. Begin your frosting. In a large bowl, add .5 cup of room temperature butter and mix until smooth. Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract and half the confectioners sugar. Mix well and add the remaining confectioners sugar until blended completely.
  11. Place the frosting into the pastry bag with a large tip. Frost each cupcake.
  12. Set 2 mini Oreos on each cupcake with a chocolate bow in the center.

 

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party#10 ) Lay out all your plans in the invitation. Let your guests know what to wear, what foods you will be serving, that there will be crafts, and of course put the time and date. Also, have a phone number and email for RSVP. If you know who is coming, you can save money across the board by not buying too much!

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10 Tips for an Affordable Minnie Mouse Birthday Party {+ Cupcake Recipe}

When Your Birth Plan Falls Apart

When your Birth Plan falls Apart

The birth of my second child should have been smooth, right? I had already given birth to my son years prior with a natural delivery and was fully prepared for the second. Well, here is what happens when your birth plan falls apart.

I started having contractions in late March 2015 that were regular. Working all day while having contractions is fun by the way on top of the half mile walk from my parking spot to work. < insert sarcastic tone for a bit but the half mile walk into work, that’s real> My fellow coworkers would joke that I would have to call the office and someone would have to grab the car to get me to the hospital so I didn’t deliver in the middle of a Cincinnati street. Although, that would be a great story to tell. Not something I wish to experience. I’m pretty sure my coworkers were only half joking about it all… the plan was in place. Although I worked in a hospital, the VA is not a place to deliver a baby. I even asked my work for a temporary parking spot that was closer at the police station inside the hospital where parking situations are resolved and they laughed and laughed and said no.

 

When your Birth Plan falls Apart

 

Finally, I go to the doctor and they put on my weekly check up schedule. We are almost there. I can see the finish line. I can eat spicy food without killer heartburn and will be walking without waddling in no time!

Let us fast forward one month later and 2 weeks past my due date. I have had it! That is enough. I cannot be pregnant one more day. I demanded Petocin to help speed along delivery. Get this baby out of me now! So we set up a date to be induced. Clear skies ahead my friends, everything is going to be alright. Clear skies ahead.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

23 hours of Petocin, 3 doctors attempting to break my water (like seriously, just get in there and get it done), 1,000 laps around the hospital, no food consumption order on me, and this baby ain’t moving!

I had a plan. A plan of natural birth. Give me 12 hours of labor hell, a couple stitches in the unmentionable area and let me go home. My first child was this way so why wouldn’t my second? Well baby #2 (A.K.A. “bean”, “mini”,”Caitlin”)  had other plans.

The doctor came in to talk to me April 23, 2015 … doctor # 3 since we had been there for so long already and my doctor was obviously not on rotation anymore. To sum up that discussion. We were doing a C-section…  immediately. The baby isn’t dropping, something is not right, the OR is being prepped.

SON of a _______!

I didn’t plan for a C-section. I do not have what I need for them to split me open and staple me shut. I need to mentally prepare for this sort of thing. Plus, this fear of having a ginormous scar over my belly and never wearing a two piece bikini ever again. I love my bikinis. I love them. I need a moment to comprehend this. And then, contraction pain again.

I will take the C-section. Thank you.

 

When your Birth Plan falls Apart

 

I worked in an operating room. Being a patient in the operating room is a completely different ordeal. The staff is trying to push everything along and get things done and I’m wondering about that pile of towels in the corner and if they are sanitized and want confirmation everyone scrubbed in properly. I’m a mess.

I get myself and the massive belly up on the surgical bed and get ready for the anesthesiologist to stick the needle in my spine. New questions arise with this, of course. Is this person qualified to stick a needle in my spine? It is my spine. Sort of an important part of my body. I need documentation and references. If it’s a resident, I may have an anxiety attack right here, right now. I shut my inner voice the heck up and did as told.

Speaking of anxiety attack. Start full on panic attack now! I cannot feel my legs. At all. I cannot move my legs. I’m pretty certain they are still there but not 100 percent. I am a control freak and I cannot feel my dang legs. One of the nurses told me to calm down and just breath into the mask with oxygen. Just kidding, it wasn’t oxygen. They were knocking my anxiety induced pain in the butt out. Next 20 minutes I do not recall. Caitlin is out of the belly however and everything is alright-ish. I can see my legs… can’t feel them.

 

When your Birth Plan falls Apart

 

I did not prep for a C-section. It was not even in my head as a possibility. Caitlin had managed to get her neck wrapped around the umbilical cord twice so she was not coming out on her own and we are fortunate there were no serious complications. She was not even stressed by the situation. Not even a spike in heart rate. My body wanted that baby out but she was just hanging out with this thing wrapped around her waiting for someone to help. Oh boy, she has not changed a bit.

You may have a birth plan that is precise and prepared but plan for all the possible situations. Pack the hospital bag ahead of time to accommodate natural birth, C-section, extra inpatient days, emergencies and other outcomes for when your birth plan falls apart.

Check out How To Recover From a Cesarean Section Faster and make sure your bases are covered no matter what your birth plan may be.

Did you birth plan go as you wanted it to or were you in for a surprise too?

Pin to share with your friends and expecting mamas:

When your Birth Plan falls Apart

 

 

A Letter to My Son

A Letter to My Son

Son,

I know you’re still so young but I have never met a little boy so full of life. I see your compassion, empathy and wit every day. It makes me proud to be your mom. Life hasn’t always been the easiest, but I know that because of you I will always have a best friend, supporter and fan. You, my son, are brilliant.  And you can make this life anything you want it to be. I have so many hopes and dreams for you. Here is some advice to always take with you. And If there is ever a time that I cannot be there, remember that I am always in your heart, as you are in mine. 

Son,

Not everything will always go your way. Life is going to have  its ups and downs. But life will only be sad and miserable if you let it be. It’s all about your attitude. No matter what happens, remember that all days, even the bad ones, are a blessing. Keep smiling and keep pushing forward. Concentrate on the good. If you master this, you will always find peace no matter what life decides to throw at you.

You are going to meet lots and lots of friends over the years. Make sure you hold onto your childhood friends the best you can. The kids you grow up with will always be the ones who know you the best. The ones who will always accept you for who you are and for who you will become. I’ve only held onto a handful myself, but they have become my family (yours too) and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. 

Kids can be mean and some day you may get bullied or picked on. Always remember this- kindness is the only way to combat hate. Never let someone bring you down to their level. Let go and rise above it. Always stay kind. I promise you that bullying happens to everyone. There is nothing wrong with you. Some day those people will regret the mean things they say and do. Forgive them once they realize this. It’s never good to hold a grudge.

Not all love is meant to last. Someday you will have your heart broken. You may feel like your world is ending. But I promise you it’s not. Sometimes no matter how much you love someone, it simply is just not meant to be. And that’s okay. Soak in it only temporarily and then pick yourself up and keep going. There is a love out there for you that will help make your life everything you’ve always dreamed it would be. And they won’t break your heart.

If I have more children, please be nice to your siblings. I say this partly as a favor to keep me sane but trust me when I say that it’s also important. Your siblings will be the best friends you will ever have. Hold them close and cherish them. They will help you navigate life through the good and bad.

Stay active and take care of your body. You only get one. 

Remember to trust us as your parents. I know we won’t always see eye to eye. But I promise you that when we tell you something it’s because we love you. We worry about you a whole lot and only want the best for you. If you ever need us, we will be there. Even if you think we won’t understand, please trust me when I say that we will. We will always be on your side and will always fight for you.

Travel any time you have the opportunity to. This will help you build connections with all different types of people. Nothing you could ever buy will teach you more than seeing the world.

Listen to a lot of music. This will help you throughout your life, especially as a teenager. 

Spend a lot of time with your Grandparents. They love you and have a lot to teach you.

 I hate to tell you this son, but chivalry is not dead. You are becoming a man and as a man you have certain duties to uphold. I don’t care if a lady is 5 years old or if she’s 75, she’s a lady and I expect that you treat her as such. Believe me when I tell you that this alone will get you far. A woman will respect you and build you up when you treat her the right way. That can be a powerful thing.

Always stand up for yourself and for your beliefs. This is very important. Nobody is going to do this for you. If you believe strongly about something, say it. The only people who ever change the world are the people who are willing to stand up. This may mean standing up for someone else too. 

The world can be a dark place. But don’t let that consume you. Life is an amazing gift. Put as much good out into the world as you can and watch how it comes back to you. I promise it will.

No matter where this life takes you, always remember where you come from. 

College is important but it’s not everything. I would love to see you graduate from college, but i also know that your success doesn’t depend on it. I promise that as your mom, I will always support your decisions about this. My only wish is that you are happy and passionate about the work you do. 

Always work hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting paid $10 an hour or 30. Being a hard worker will open new doors for you. 

Someday when you have a family of your own remember that time is the most precious gift you can give them. Cherish each and every moment.

One last thing…

Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a hug or a smile. Above all things you do, this may very well be the most important. Every single day you have the opportunity to change someones life. Don’t forget that ability. 

You have already taught me so much. I am kinder, more patient and stronger because of you. I know that you are meant for big things and I am so proud to call you my son. I wish you all of the happiness and success in the world.

Love Always,

 Mom

 

A Letter to My Son

 

 

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Goodbye Letter

rainbow baby, miscarriage, loss

*Thank you Jasmine from Jasmine & Littles for writing this guest post for Leggings ‘N’ Lattes. I know many women who have miscarried, some early in the pregnancy and some much later and overtime get pregnant again to have a rainbow baby.

 

goodbye letter

 

In two weeks exactly it is the due date of my baby, the baby that I lost this past June. With each passing day this month I have been thinking more and more about the baby that I lost. I am fortunate enough that I got pregnant again and am now carrying what is known as a rainbow baby. This does not mean that I have forgotten about the child that I carried for 8 weeks.

The night before I miscarried I picked up my journal, something I hadn’t done in months. I wrote the baby a letter. This letter reminds me of the spirit that was and will never be brought to life.  It is the only tangible item I have to remember this baby. I’d like to share it with you all.

 

Hello little baby!

I hope you are ok. You have been scaring me almost all week. Well not you, but the tiny tear in your placenta called a subchorionic hematoma. I wish we didn’t have to worry about this. I just want you to be healthy. Today you are 8 weeks old and he size of a kidney bean. I hope you are big enough to see on the ultrasound this week. You were too small on Tuesday.

Your big sister Audrey waved to you last week. She doesn’t understand yet that you are growing in my belly. She thinks my belly is full of food, which is true but you are in there too! You are going to be lucky to have a big sister. I know she will love playing peek-a-boo with you,

I can’t wait for you to get bigger and I can feel your kicks. Maybe you will get the hiccups like your big sister Audrey. I am hoping and praying you continue to grow. If you are anything like me then you are a fighter and strong and can overcome this battle and hold on. I will do my best to hold on too.

I love you soo much.  Stay strong!

Love,

 Mama

 

Visit Jasmine to hear more about her pregnancy journey, miscarriage, mental health issues and stories of motherhood HERE. *

Follow Jasmine on Instagram @jasmineandlittles