A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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Grocery shopping is the errand that all parents dread (I do at least). It never seems to go smoothly, there are always crying children (sometimes mine), and it’s just overall stressful. It’s like there are set scenarios that always play out: the toddler falls asleep one red light from the store parking lot, a diaper explodes in aisle 9, or there is a choir performance from the older kids full of repetition of “I’m bored”, “can I get this?”, “can I go to the toy section?” or “are we almost done?” It can never be a simple, quick trip to the grocery store. Until now.

I saw a posting about Walmart and their new online grocery pickup on Facebook and had no feelings toward it either way. I didn’t see myself grocery shopping online and then have someone else load my groceries into my car for me. I don’t even let the baggers at Publix or the Commissary take my bags to my car, so why would I let someone else do my grocery shopping, bag all of my stuff and bring it out and load them in my car? It seemed like the lazy easy way out. But then it clicked. It’s not lazy, it’s convenient. I work 40 hours a week, get off at 5:30pm and have a 40 minute drive home every single day during the week. If I stop to grab groceries on my way home, I typically don’t get home until almost 7:45 – 8:00pm on a good day.

They don’t offer online pick up at the store in my town yet, but they do in the town where I work and where my mother-in-law lives. We just so happened to be heading to her house on a Sunday and I happened to need groceries, so why not give it a try?

Let me start by saving you $10 off your first order. Use promo code RCMUR0YA (that’s a zero not an “o”) at checkout on your purchase of $50 or more and you will automatically save $10! 1

It was a rather simple process. I went to Walmart Grocery online, put in my zip code, signed into my walmart.com account and viola! It allowed me to choose my store, secure a time slot to pick up and then add items to my cart. You can search through the “store” by department,

2 or search for the items you know you need by name. I quickly added items to my cart (it shows the total in the corner and there is a $30 minimum) and when you’re ready to check out, you simply put in a credit or debit card number, check out and then you receive a detailed list of your order and pick-up instructions via email.

The instructions were quite simple. In short, “Go to the grocery pickup location. We will call you 15 minutes prior. Call us back 10 minutes prior to your arrival and again when you get here.” It even showed me a cute little map of the store and where the parking locations were in the parking lot which were marked as well.15469435 It was that simple.

So I called 10 minutes before and again when I got there. Not even 5 minutes later, two sweet young ladies brought me my groceries and I never even had to get my kids out of the vehicle. I received a “Welcome” bag containing some grocery and health care full size samples such as After-Sun Aloe wipes, Sea Salt Covered Raisins, Cucumber Ranch and some other goodies. They loaded the items into my car, I signed the delivery receipt and I was quickly on my way. I hesitantly added produce and eggs to my list and surprisingly had no issues. They showed me my eggs before placing them in my car and my bananas were handled with care and not bruised.

I did figure out that if the store is out of stock with the item you want, they will offer you a substitution at no extra cost, if available. I wanted a 1lb bag of Gala Apples, but since they were out of stock, they gave me a 3lb bag of Gala Apples for no additional cost. Also, if they don’t have the item or a substitution, they immediately issue you a refund for that item.

Overall, if I had to give a star rating, it would be a 5 out of 5. Quick, easy, convenient and so worth it. I would definitely recommend it to busy moms if it’s available at your local Walmart!

– Kirstyn

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Baby Spring Float by SwimWays {Review}

BurritoBuzzBabySpringFloatI have been prepping like a mad woman for our end- of-summer vacation! Taking BK#1 &#2 on vacation is not going to be an easy task. I have been diligently researching and trying to make sure we have all the essentials to make this an enjoyable and fun vacation! I might be wound a little tight, but my anxiety kicks in and I kinda loose it thinking about a 10 hour car ride, miles of open play areas, sleeping arrangements, making sure we don’t forget anything,  oh and safety!

Obviously, I have been looking into beach safety, but I have really been worried about the pool! We don’t have one at home, so my babies aren’t around them often. Besides that, they are 1 and 2! Rules don’t mean a whole lot to them right now! When I came across the SwimWays Baby Spring Float (Whale), I was so relieved! Most baby floats have a weight limit that my oldest child exceeds and usual pool floaties are only safe when your child is at least 30 pounds, so my toddler can’t use ones like the Puddle Jumper! SwimWays covered that 20-30 lbs gap that most floats don’t.

About the Spring Float:

  • No weight limit.. within reason. Don’t try and put your 4 year old in it.
  • Ages 9-24 months
  • It comes in  different color patterns and they are all adorable!
  • Low seat provides secure center of gravity
  • It has their patented “inner spring” for better stability in the water.
  • Flat area around them to put toys on or to splash without flipping into the water.
  • Folds flat and compact for easy storage and portability – it’s perfect for travel! I was going to wait and post this review in my Beach Babies post, but it’s too awesome not to share now.BurritoBuzzSpringFloathowto
  • Very light and comes with a mesh storage bag.
  • Some styles comes with removable and adjustable sun canopy.Burritobuzzswimways.jpg

This float is priced fabulously! Only about $18. The construction of this float is superb and I’m sure it will hold up for a long time! Even though the price point is affordable, they didn’t skimp on quality.

While doing research on it, I found some people were upset because water got on top of the float. I didn’t have this problem, but I did see some photos where people didn’t blow up the little air pockets. It is designed like a pop up kid’s play tent, but you still have to inflate it! Be sure to follow the directions when you use it.

I am very happy with the Spring Float and it is definitely a must-have for summer! Keep a look out for an update on this post. I will probably add some more pictures when we use it at the beach!

– Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

{Jellycat} My Favorite Baby Shower Gift

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I adore all things baby. I mean, who doesn’t? Baby clothes and toys are just adorable 100% of the time. When we had a shower for BK#1, we received our first Jellycat and I fell in love! Above is our little Jellycat collection.

Woodland Fox      Woodland Owl    Bashful Hippo    Bashful Monkey

These are my favorite stuffed animals and the cutest ones I have ever come across. They are a cross between a beanie baby and a super plush stuffed animal. The hands and feet generally have the beanies and the rest is an amazingly plush body. I love that they are all an A-line design. Meaning that the neck is generally smaller than the rest of the body, making it really easy for a younger child to hold. They are the perfect size for a little one to carry around.

  • They are all suitable from birth!
  • Made of polyester, filled plastic pellets and all have plastic eyes
  • Spot clean only
  • They’re available in multiple sizes and styles. All of ours are 12 inches. Jelly-Cats.jpg

Besides being very lovable, Jellycat made them even better and matched them up with their own board books! Each character has its own book. They are all little sensory baby books, but BK#1 is two now and still asks me to read them on a daily basis!

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The toes are little pieces of velcro

I also have never had a stuffed animal that has held up this well! Technically, you aren’t supposed to wash them but we all know sometimes you have no other option. The monkey in the picture has been washed more times than I can count and it still looks and feels like its new! I honestly should buy a second monkey to have a backup because I don’t even want to think about what would happen if BK#1 didn’t have it to sleep with.

The price is based on the style and size but they are generally around $15-$25. The books are usually $12.50 but sometimes you can find a sale on Amazon or at your local boutique!

Visit Jellycat.com to see all of the styles and products that they carry.

If you have a baby sprinkle or shower coming up and can’t decide what to buy, a Jellycat stuffed animal and book set would be the perfect gift!

– Amanda

 

 

Gun Safety In The Home

GunSafetyInTheHomeSelf-defense is a very big part of my family’s life. My husband is in law enforcement and keeping our family safe is extremely important to us.rules-of-gun-safety.png

There is a lot of debate about gun control right now, but I am not going to get into that here. Owning a gun is your right and your choice. If your family makes that choice, it needs to be an safe and educated choice! BurritoBuzz is not taking a stance on your gun rights. This is merely an informational article.

I am personally not an expert. These safety tips are just from my family’s safety practices, years of education and experiences.

Twelve steps to safely have a gun in your home.

  1. Always use a safe. Your safe should be specifically made for guns and it should only hold guns, you should have a completely different safe for personal belongings. Even if the kids know there are guns in the home, they shouldn’t know where the safe is or have any type of access to it even if they are within age of teaching gun safety. There should always be parental supervision even when teaching.0075107712309_500X500.jpg
    Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault Standard Gun Safe This is a simple hand gun safe that we have. I really like it for two reasons. One, you can bolt it anywhere you want to conceal it and two, you don’t have to fumble around for keys. (There is a key provided, but not necessary to open)
  2. Learn how to properly handle a firearm. Whether you take a CCW class or a small class at your local range, you need to learn about your personal gun to ensure proper safety and use make sure you are knowledgeable in your specific firearm.
  3. Practice. You have a gun for emergencies. It is not going to do you any good if you don’t know how to handle it properly. I’m not saying you have to go to the range every weekend, but you should go at least once or twice so you feel comfortable having it in your home and now how to properly handle it.
  4. Ease of access. The gun needs to be secured in a hidden safe but somewhere where you can get to it easily.feature_ORS.png
  5. Teach everyone in your home about firearm safety. Read up on Project child safe and get here their free firearm safety kit!
  6. Always unload and clean your gun after every use. Any firearm should also be cleaned on a regular basis even, when not in use, to keep it clean from dust and to prevent any rust.Cleaning-pistol.jpg
  7. All guns should be treated as if they were loaded. When not actually in use, remember to point it in a safe direction and be sure it is unloaded.
  8. Keep your finger off the trigger.
  9. Always keep your safety in place.
  10. Your children and “Gun play”.  It is a very real activity. Even if you don’t have any play guns in your own home, be sure to teach your children the difference between toy guns and real guns, because they may encounter “gun play” when you’re not around.nerf-revolver.jpg
  11. Talk to your children at a young age about gun safety. Teach them to do the following if they see a gun: “Stop. Don’t Touch. Find an adult to tell.” My husband carries a gun on him at times and my two year old knows not to touch it when it’s attached to daddy (or ever for that matter). Even if you aren’t going to have your gun around your children, please teach them those three steps. It is a simple lesson and it may save a life.If you see a gun. burritobuzz .png
  12. Check state and local laws for storage, transport, and securing requirements. Here is a great overview.

As parents, we are always worrying about our children. We are always worrying if we are doing the right or wrong thing for them. No matter how you do it, I can assure you that if you are taking steps to protect them, you are doing the right thing no matter how you choose to do protect them. If you choose to have a gun in your home, please do it safely! Guns are not toys or collectables. I will be sure to post more about gun safety at the end of this post. The more you educate yourself about this topic, the safer you and your family will be!

– Amanda

Cake Maternity Nursing Bra {Review}

Maternity and nursing apparel can be fun and exciting to shop for, but I have always found it inevitably frustrating. Nothing I found ever fit the way I really wanted it to or it wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been. I started transitioning into nursing bras about halfway through my pregnancies for a few reasons. My milk came in super early, so I needed something that would clean up easily and with that, I grew very quickly. My bras now needed to be a little more comfortable.

After two babies I have found that nursing bras either are functional or they are cute, never both. I was always frustrated that I could never find a bra that was supportive enough for my surprise DD’s and not frumpy. Anything that was lacy and pretty ended up being too thin and not giving enough support, or had super stiff underwire making it extremely uncomfortable. Some companies have cute “demi” styles which I quickly found out that a leaking nip creeping out the top of your bra is not fun! The comfortable ones are basically rectangle cotton sports bras. But you can’t classify them as sports bras because they are not supportive at all. I found myself buying every nursing bra I saw, in hopes it would be a new favorite.

I have a ridiculously large stash of horrible bras. It’s sad, really.

Cake Maternity and I started working together about a month ago. I was honored when they wanted to collaborate to get some breastfeeding education out there, and even more excited when they wanted me to try out their nursing bra. But I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes.  The bras looked awesome, they have done a lot of research and cater to women so well, but I had been stuck with my comfy-frumpy bra for so long that I didn’t think I would find something.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

You know the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”?  Well you can if you are wearing “Cake”!  Happy boobs are making me corny.

I tried the Cake Lingerie Plunge Maternity Nursing Fig Mousse Non-wire Padded Bra,Slate,36D UK/36D US  IMG_20160612_081107.jpg and Cake Lingerie Maternity Nursing Croissant Smoothing Seamfree Flexi-wire Bra,Nude,36F UK/36G US k2-_3a563fc3-a693-445a-ae5c-1b126adc4156.v1

Pros:

So comfortable while also attractive. Even though they are simple bras, I didn’t feel like I was wearing a nursing bra. My husband even said “If I didn’t see the snaps you would never know if was a nursing bra!”

It’s supportive. You will notice that in the picture of the first bra (wire free), the bottom band is wide to support you, and even though the neckline plunges, the cup still gives you adequate coverage. The is no worry of a nip slip or a nursing pad slipping out because the cups are too small.

Full Coverage. I cannot stand a bra that gives me side boob. I just want them both in there snug, and nothing trying to come out the sides. Cake’s bras have a full coverage cup without looking like you are wearing your grandma’s bra. These are the first bras that I have worn that I am comfortable ALL DAY LONG. At bedtime, I’m not rushing to rip it off because I have a permanent indent.

They’re so soft. Both bras’s fabric are extremely soft and did not rub at all. cake-smoothing-seamfree-flexi-wire-nursring-bra-dark-croissant3

13453441_1177002645697360_423632523_o.jpgThe snaps are large and there is a double inside connection instead of just one strap. Believe me, this is worth noting. At 3 am it is extremely frustrating to turn on a light just so you can get your bra situated. I can get baby latched, fed, burped, and back in his bassinet in the pitch black, but I can’t even tell you how many times I have tip -toed to the bathroom to get my bra straps situated. Some bras have one continuous strap that you just unclasp the cup from, but inside it is a triangle shape making it impossible for them to tangle.

There are more adjustments than most bras. Standard hooks are usually 3 or 4 rows, but these have 6! This makes it well worth your money, as it can grow with you.

Flex underwire. Unlike other underwire bras, there was absolutely zero poking or rubbing.

In the underwire bra, the straps had little ridges. The straps helped keep the height adjustment from sliding down the silky strap.

Cons: Not all of the bras have the same design straps. I wish the ridges were on all of them. It would definitely help with comfort.IMG_20160612_080548081

They aren’t machine washable. You have to wash by hand and line dry.  This was a major disappointment. I am a busy mom, and I don’t have time to hand wash my bras. If you have ever had a leak in the middle of the night, you will understand. I do not want to be scrubbing milky bras. Most machines have a delicate setting, and a higher end bra should be durable enough to go through a cold delicate cycle. That brings me to my next point.

It is a little pricey. They all tend to be priced in the $50 range. But you get what you pay for. I really wish I would have found Cake Maternity 2 years ago! I would have much rather purchased a couple higher end nursing bras that actually worked than 20 different bras from maternity stores that didn’t work nearly as well.

Cake only makes maternity so it’s their specialty. The quality is amazing and it really goes above and beyond my Victoria’s Secret bras. I wish they had a sister company for non- maternity undergarments. This isn’t really a downside to the bras, just something I found while learning about the company.

Cake Maternity is a brand I will be definitely recommend to my pregnant and nursing friends and I will be gifting to close friends and family. They have a huge line of clothes and underwear for pregnancy and postpartum. Check out their entire line out here.

Cake also has a lot of helpful education on their website. I found this graphic extremely helpful! bras-for-stages-infographic

Have fun shopping mamas!

~Amanda

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Husband & Wife Tells All: Dollar Shave Club

I am sure you have seen the commercials and ads on Facebook. $1 a month for razors! I am frugal most of the time, and when my husband told me we could save $30 a month (we were spending on razor blades for him), I was all for it! We started a subscription, and then I realized I could cut out buying my ridiculously priced razor blades, too! My husband and I had an interesting experience with the product, and we want to make sure our readers know what they could possibly be getting into.

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Introducing my lovely husband. Drumroll Please.

Hello!

Dollar Shave Club offers three different blade subscriptions, and then subsequently 3 different bundles with creams and lotions you can choose from also.Screenshot (80).png

I chose “The Executive” option. I always used the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Men’s Razor Blade Refills 4 Count before and it had 4 blades, so I figured would have be better than what I was using, and it was still cheaper!

Where I work, I have to be clean shaven so I go through a lot of razors shaving dailyThe price was fantastic compared to the razors I was using, and I didn’t have to worry about running out since they came right to my door. It was a no brainer.

The first month you get a sample of their creams, your handle, and a little welcome packet. Every month following they send your 4 blades, and a “Bathroom Minutes”.photo 1

The packaging is definitely geared towards men, and always has little funny comments printed on packaging.

For the first few months I loved it! Amanda saw how well they worked and stole herself a few, so we started a double subscription.

After a few months I started breaking out REALLY BAD! My mild adult acne flared up so bad, and rash-like bumps anywhere that I shaved. I was sure to change my blade once a week, and was even changing more often. After about a month of trying to figure out what the cause was, I did a little research. I talked to friends who used DSC, and found that they had experienced the same rashes and ultimately stopped their subscription.

I went back to my Gillete and within in days I had clear skin again.

Great concept, and maybe better if you don’t have to shave daily, but the razors didn’t work for me. 3 out of 5 stars. A razor has to be able to used daily without causing issues!

~ Husband

Okay it’s Amanda again.

I was having zero issues when he was breaking out, and I have very sensitive skin. I can’t even use shaving cream/gel or I break out in hives. Allergic to all the things, I tell ya.

And then it happened. I broke out in hives. I thought someone gave me razor burn and then chicken pox at the same time. Burning, itchy bumps! WHAT? I normally wouldn’t take a picture of my legs,  and then share it with you all, but I knew I would want to tell you about it. So this is what I looked like after shaving. 13405369_1175779645819660_1750498258_o.jpg

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This lasted for hours. I had to use some of my prescription skin cream to get it to calm down, and I chalked it up to old razor blade/or razor burn. Two days later I shaved my legs and the exact same thing happened.

We didn’t share blades obviously (gross), we just popped our own blade on, and switched the handle  back and forth. We didn’t need two handles. Its not like we shared a blade and then shared whatever rash he had! The only thing that I can think caused the rash on both of us, is maybe the company changed something about the blades or the little strip on the blade.

I am really disappointed because I wasn’t having to buy my $22 Gillette Venus Embrace Refill Cartridges – 6 ct , and for 2 months, they worked great!

If you don’t have sensitive skin, or you really don’t have to shave that often it might be better for you! They really are great quality razor blades, and the subscription is great. There are no hidden fees, and delivery is always very prompt. This company is gaining a lot of attention, and becoming really popular. I just hope they find out what is causing the random rashes on their customers, because it wasn’t just my husband and I.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars if you want to know how I rank it. The name is Dollar Shave Club. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I was really confused when all of a sudden the blades were causing issues. Hopefully changes can be made.

~Amanda

 

 

 

 

Who was I before “Mom”?

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Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and think “when did this become me?” Who is this woman with bags under her eyes, split ends, yesterday’s yoga pants, who forgot to eat breakfast but always always remembers to prep her coffee the night before? WHO is this woman that can’t remember the last time she bought clothes for herself, had a haircut, or watched a movie without stopping it 6 times? Seriously, who am I?

Having a baby changes you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. Physically, my body has endured all kinds of chaos and will certainly never be the same. Emotionally, I’ve learned that my needs happily come second to those of my son. My relationship with my husband has matured, my relationship with my friends and family has sometimes been strained or non-existent due to the demands of my work and home life. I very much live moment to moment. 3

I used to sit and drink tea with a book from the library. I went hiking, took pictures for fun. I played tennis (not very well), knew all the latest buzz on movies and TV. I did Jell-O shots with friends, had craft nights, and traveled to new cities on a whim.

I’m not sure I know that girl now, or even remember her.

Life has turned in to this chaotic, beautiful mess of jumping from one thing to the next. Waking early, going to work, making dinner, cleaning, giving Lucas a bath, getting ready for bed, sitting down to do more work on this super amazing blog or my photography business…

Planning, planning, planning. And lots of lists. And reminders to make lists (thanks, Siri).

I love being a mom more than I’ve ever loved anything. Ever. My son is my world, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I think about him every day, all day and most of what I do, I do so he can have a good life, with parents who love him and care for him in the best possible way.2

But how do I get back to the person I was? I’ve realized that it’s not entirely possible. The truth is, that girl is gone forever most certainly. I can retain bits and pieces, but my life has been poured from a mold that no longer exists.

Life with a baby means slowly regaining parts of you that you lose for a while. And I can tell you, the first year of having a new child is a blur. I cared very little about things other than showering and getting a warm meal. But now that I’ve adapted to my new life, I’m transforming into yet another version of myself that can be a mom and still retain parts of my old identity.

So who am I now? 

My life may not be centered around nights out and vacations and time alone with a book laying in my hammock, but I’m certainly having plenty of amazing adventures with my new little family, even if they’re sometimes just in my backyard or at a local park. I find time for me, even if it’s fleeting and infrequent. I incorporate my son into things that I used to love. We read together, hike together, listen to music and watch fun shows. And while it took time, I definitely finally feel like a new, better and blended version of my old self + my new mom self. 

So the truth? You will never be yourself again. But, you’ll be a new, better version of you. You adapt and become something so much more amazing, even if that means fewer Jell-O shots.

-Katie

Update : Vita-Lize Fenugreek {Review}

 

I have to admit, I was scared to death to try this product. It was sitting on my shelf just
staring at me for quite a while.

8190E4rPb3L._SX522_I was so thankful that the company wanted me to try their product, but when I started researching fenugreek, I got spooked. I heard that it could make you gain weight, cause clogged ducts and over supply. I never had a problem with supply, but I loved knowing that there was a product to help if need be. Well, with BK#2 my chest was exploding from day one. I’m talking pumping 12 to 20 ounces every 3 hours and two times as much if I went longer. I don’t even want to know how much he was actually eating! (Usually, babies eat more than you can pump.) So the thought of increasing my supply was simply frightening.

Then there is that little disclaimer you can read about from other brands… “Some weight gain is normal”…What??? I am still trying to loose weight from BK#1 and you want me to take a pill that might make me gain weight?! Nope! It was a psychological thing and thankfully I got past it!

When BK#2 finally slowed down with his nursing schedule (I nursed on demand), I found that my supply dropped drastically! I’m pretty sure my body was really confused when he stared eating actual food. Before, I used to be able to pump when I got up in the morning to have a stash and I went from producing 15 oz every morning to 4 ounces. Only 4 ounces!  This happened for almost a week. I was frantic to be honest.

I got over my worry of weight gain (because I never really saw anything scientific stating this was a side affect, just moms and reviews of other brands) and popped those amazing pills for a day.

THESE PILLS ARE AWESOME!

The NEXT MORNING I was back to my usual 15 ounces. Not even 24 hours and I had amazing results already.20140412_164531.jpg

If you’ve never heard of fenugreek, you’re probably clueless. Fenugreek is an all-natural herb. If you do a little Googling, you will find that there are many healthy side affects to fenugreek, it’s not just for increasing breast milk. It has been known to help with digestion, prostate (for men), it can increase libido and many more benefits. It is just most commonly known for helping increase breast milk supply.

“Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors that increase milk supply. Scientists do not know for sure how this happens. Some believe it is possible because breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek stimulates sweat production. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother’s milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb. Once an adequate level of milk production is reached, most women can discontinue the fenugreek and maintain the milk supply with adequate breast stimulation”

Pros: Vitalize makes a very inexpensive fix to a very stressful problem. For $17.95, you get 120 pills. The bottle will last you at least a month, maybe two.

FENUGREEK Vita-lize: #1 Best GMO-FREE Fenugreek – 120 Vegetarian Capsules – 610mg Of Seed Powder Extract Supplement

You only have to take it until your supply regulates. My supply didn’t diminish after I stopped taking the pills! I really appreciated this aspect, because I already take many medications daily.

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Vegetarian capsules.

Curbs your appetite.  No joke, I found myself feeling fuller and not having cravings that come with the nursing hormones! 

If you don’t like taking pills, then you can just pop open the capsule and mix it into a smoothie.

Made in the USA

Cons: It is a large pill. So if you are one who taking hates pills,  I recommend just popping it in a smoothie or a spoon of peanut butter.

I did experience a little bit of a “maple” after-taste, but if I took it with juice I didn’t notice it as much.

Vita-Lize introduced me to an all-natural product and I am so thankful they did! Keep up with them on Instagram. They have new products planned for the future! You can follow them here, @vita_lize. I am pretty sure I am going to be adding Vita-Lize to gifts for baby showers!

As always… fed is best and no shaming breastfeeding mamas!

~Amanda

Vitalizepromo

 

FENUGREEK Vita-lize: 1 Best GMO-FREE Fenugreek – 120 Vegetarian Capsules – 610mg Of Seed Powder Extract Supplement
Use Code : 6D4YCTPY

 

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

 

 

…Not the mainstream mom.

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Oh the things I thought I would be as a mother BEFORE having my child… I was living in some crazy dream world.

I thought for sure I’d be the Pinterest moms in the photos. You know the ones: cute matching t-shirts, making all meals organic and from scratch, doing a different educational activity every day while also balancing a career.

Let me tell ya’ folks, I’m not that mom.

As I sit here in yoga pants and a shirt I wore in high school, with a pile of laundry next to me that has no less than 5 other pairs of yoga pants (ya know, enough to get me through an entire week,) I wonder if these supermoms really exist, or if it’s a big facade. (If you’re actually that supermom, just don’t tell me so that I can continue to think this is normal.)

We’re pretty active parents. We both work during the week, (I’m working part-time, and my husband full-time,) and run a business on the weekends. We grocery shop on a whim, clean the house infrequently and on turbo-speed during our son’s short naps, and our lawn looks like it’s battling some disease (it probably is.)

All those things I pinned on Pinterest while I was pregnant, planning to do when my son was finally here? I don’t think I’ve looked at a single one of them.

If I get through a day and have even 10 minutes to myself I feel pretty stinking accomplished.

 

Moderation. We hear it’s key all the time, but it’s so true. When I became a mother I completely lost myself in trying to keep up and have a picture-perfect life. It’s like I saw bits and pieces of how others parented, picked out all of the good, and tried to be that parent. I had zero time for myself.

And while I’ve learned to balance and make time for my own needs, I’m still often feeling inadequate thanks to the world we live in now where comparison is always glaring in your face (thanks, social media, you cruel bitch.)

My son is smart. Loving. Ornery. He’s exactly what a toddler should be, even if he isn’t doing Pinterest crafts every day and using baby sign-language or whatever the latest craze is.

So here’s the reality: my son is SO well-balanced, and so am I. Sometimes that means that he’s walking out the door with cheerios in his hair, or that the TV was on an episode longer that it should have been during the day, or that I haven’t had time to clothes shop for myself in an eon, and I live on coffee and dry shampoo.

Here I am world, imperfect. Imperfect, but somehow whole. I’m not leading a lesser life because I don’t add up to what other mothers add up to (whether they’re faking it or not. I’m speaking to you Hilaria Baldwin.)

-Katie

Infantino Fusion {Babywearing Review}

I am a huge proponent of baby-wearing, and love that the concept has gained so much momentum recently. Baby-wearing can be seen throughout history, but seems as though it was pushed to the back burner for a long period of time in favor of various other options. Not only does baby-wearing help a new mom/dad bond with their baby, but it frees up your hands, something we all know is crucial when you’re just trying to get a few things done in the day. Baby-wearing is shown to help with post-partum depression and baby blues, too!

So I’ve tried a few carriers. When my little guy was super little I liked to have him curled into a Ring Sling. When he was a little bigger, I tested out the Tula. I soon hope to test a few other great carriers, but one that I tested that I think could use some improvement is the Infantino Fusion, Flexible Position carrier. And I’ll be the first to tell you, when it comes to baby products you generally get what you pay for.

All of these carriers are “safe”, but some are better for both you and your little. There is a lot of controversy over whether or not certain carriers cause hip dysplasia or not, but I’m not a medical expert, so I’ll skip the subject and let you do your own research. What I can say, is that both myself and my LO were much more comfortable in more ergonomic carriers. 

  • The Infantino is structured to allow many different carrying positions (back, forward facing in, forward facing out,) and babies 8-32 lbs.
  • There are flaps that can be buttoned in or out to make for a wider or more narrow seat. The buttons were exceptionally difficult to use, and not worth the hassle.
  • The fabric is thick, and while maybe comfortable at first, my LO quickly became pretty toasty in this carrier.
  • There is a head flap that can button down, or stay up for additional head support. No qualms here… this was a feature I liked.
  • The straps for the carrying parent are thin, not particularly comfortable, and not very easy to put on along. They also don’t offer safety elastic like many other carriers do, a feature that is reassuring and I’d prefer to have.
  • I also love that many other carriers have sun shade hoods, drool pads, and a pocket. Non of which the Infantino has.
  • I also struggle to understand the narrow center of the carrier. The carriers that I’ve been a fan of have been wide, and wide from top to bottom. Not only does this provide comfort and a place to snuggle in, but good coverage from the sun when out hiking around.
  • The carrier is, however, much more affordable than a typical carrier. The Fusion can be purchased for about $40, which is well under the typical $150 you’ll spend with any other brand.

Overall, adjustments do need to be made to this carrier and it’s not currently one I would recommend to the baby-wearing parent or caretaker.

-Katie

Let’s get this out in the open…

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I’ve struggled with writing this post for more than half a year now. Wondering what words are right, fearing the emotions that would come with it, and being utterly ashamed of the way I felt, even if only briefly.

I struggled to get pregnant. TTC (trying to conceive, for anyone unfamiliar with the infertility world,) for 1.5 years. I had a hard pregnancy, where my OB thought my son might come early (too early.) My labor was straight from a dramatic scene you would see in Grey’s Anatomy, where my son’s heart rate was dropping low because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. And post partum? Sheesh. My son had bad reflux– the kind where they choke on their own spit up and you’re terrified that they could do it in the middle of the night and you can’t get to them quickly enough.

My first week home was fine. No major problems. Typical insomnia, but OH so much love for that tiny human of mine. I cried happy tears, because the outcome of my labor could have been vastly different. I came home with a happy, healthy little baby. I was beyond thankful.

After a week or so I noticed my hormones tanking. I was upset all the time. I was sleep deprived to the point of psychosis. I didn’t eat. I didn’t do anything. I was paralyzed with the crippling fear of keeping my son happy and healthy. He ate all the time, slept on a crazy schedule. He spit up more than he ate. I had lost interest in everything other than taking care of my guy.

I lost my identity completely.

I went from being this strong, independent woman… to being afraid to leave the house for fear of strangers with germs, car accidents, my child throwing a fit in the store, etc etc etc. There was so much unknown.

And while I can say that I never had thoughts of harming my child, I did sit rocking him with tears flowing (often on him,) wondering what I was doing wrong. Googling all hours of the night ways to help him sleep, and feel content and not be so refluxy. Untitled.png

I didn’t want company. I didn’t want to talk, hang, let other people hold him. I didn’t want their germs, their advice, their opinions. I didn’t want it.

My mom helped often, and I went to check-ups with my OB to make sure my hormones were getting balanced out. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

Dealing with the baby blues and postpartum depression absolutely does not correlate with whether or not you love your child. Anyone that knows me can tell you that my world revolves around my little boy. I love him more than I could ever put into words. I would do anything for him. I need him all the time, and I miss him when I’m away from him for even a few minutes.

But PPD takes over your mind completely. Thoughts become irrational and finite, and looking past the temporary situation is near impossible. There is an immense struggle to adapt, because it all happens so quickly.

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Post partum depression is still a taboo topic. If you have a happy, healthy baby… then you should just be happy. But the brain doesn’t understand that. It just doesn’t. And while PPD usually subsides within a few months when hormones level out, sometimes it requires medication and lasts a much longer span of time (a really amazing crusader that has spoken out about her long battle with PPD is Hayden Panettiere. Also, Brooke Shields wrote a great book on her PPD.) Not saying that it takes a celebrity to realize that this is a problem, but I’m glad that a few celebrities are using their fame to open up about their struggles.)

Realizing that there is a problem is important. Letting people know that you need a support system is the best way through it. Go to your doctor and get a check-up. Talk to other women that have had PPD and the baby blues. Get out. Seriously… don’t worry about strangers at Target when you’re waltzing through in your yoga pants, mom bun, and your child is screaming. And baby wear— baby wearing helped me SO much. I felt like I gained some independence back when I started wearing my son around everywhere. It’s great bonding, and allows you to move around freely.

If you have a spouse/significant other, make sure you explain to them how you are feeling so that they know when and where they can help. Take all the help you can get. Make parenting a bonding experience, and try to avoid frustration in times of chaos. This is a learning experience for him as much as it is for you. My husband was a wonderful support. And while he wasn’t always as quick to run to our crying baby, he helped and he really stepped up when I asked for extra support with taking care of our newborn. I am forever thankful to him for being such a wonderful dad.

And lastly… don’t be ashamed. As moms we are entirely too hard on ourselves. We created and gave life, and we’re putting another human’s needs above our own. Most of us have insane hormonal imbalances after having our little ones, so we need to give ourselves some credit. Take care of yourself! You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

I’d also like to reach out to adoptive parents here, because it’s totally possible to have PPD as an adoptive parent! There are a ton of articles out there on this, but here is one that I liked.

If you have a severe form of PPD that leads to unusual anger/rage, I encourage you to get help as soon as possible. There are all kinds of agencies that specialize in getting women with PPD the help that they need.

PPD/Baby Blues lasted roughly 3 months for me. After which point, I noticed my hormones leveling back out. I was able to resume normal life activities, and being a mother finally felt natural. I have a happy one year old son who is my everything. “This too shall pass” was my happy motto, and I’m so glad that I was right. Life has never been better.

-Katie

What you Didn’t Expect, when you were Expecting

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Here’s the truth: You can read every pregnancy/labor & delivery book out there, and there will STILL be something that surprises you or catches you off-guard. Guaranteed.

Bringing a child into the world is a mix of beautiful, unbelievable, and disgusting. So, here are just a few of the things that I wish someone would have prepared me for (not necessarily all that will happen to you, but that definitely could happen!):

  1. Nosebleeds. Most women know about the nausea, headaches, sore boobs, etc. (the more well-known side-effects of growing a human.) What people won’t tell you is that other things can also happen that are pretty out-of-the-ordinary: Nosebleeds. Floaters in your eyes. Spots and skin tags. Tailbone pain. Round-ligament pain. Tender gums (and restrictions at the dentist. Most require you to have written and signed consent from your OB before performing any procedures, including routine cleanings.)
  2. Old Wives Tales: Most aren’t true. One that is, however, is the concept of heartburn meaning your child will have hair. So, try not to take too much stock in most old-wives tales, but this one is a good one to pay attention to.
  3. You won’t have as many ultrasounds as you want. Most often, your insurance will pay for two. Unless you have an unusual circumstance around your pregnancy, you’ll likely only see your little one on the screen twice.
  4. Hunger, and Lack of Hunger: Pregnancy is often portrayed the same way, all the time. Women that have insane appetites, and binge on whatever craving they have that day. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Some women are sick for so long that the idea of food is the farthest thing from their minds. In fact, some women struggle to keep on the needed weight for pregnancy. For these women, medication is often required so that you can continue to have a healthy pregnancy.
  5. Not all testing is required. Some OBs will try to convince you that all testing is mandatory, but often this isn’t the case. Do your research and decide what is best for you. I did all the testing of my own volition, but some parents would prefer to avoid some of these tests.
  6. You may not have the same OB your entire pregnancy. I was shocked to find that most clinics have OBs on a rotation, so you may see a different doctor every time. It makes sense; doctors are busy people. But, it was important to me to have the same OB my entire pregnancy and at the birth of my child. I spent a significant amount of time trying to find a clinic that allowed this, and was thrilled when I finally did. If this is important to you, be prepared to do some digging to find the right obstetrician for you.
  7. Most doctors will not let you go past 41 weeks. Most of us want to wait for our babies to come on their own, but a great many doctors will absolutely put their foot down. Why? There are some risks, which you can read about here.
  8. When you’re ready to deliver: be prepared to be examined by 10 or more nurses, a handful of doctors, and possibly some medical students. If this isn’t what you want, make sure you talk to your hospital in advance.
  9. Labor and Delivery might not be what you expected, in a variety of ways. If you’re like me, I expected to have the cinema-style birthing experience where the actress has her water break, and baby arrives in a dramatic scene within a few hours. More often, your water will leak all day, and all through your labor, you’ll spend hours bored, in pain, eating popsicles and watching reruns of Friends.
  10. If you have an epidural, you’ll likely have a catheter at some point. Some hospitals keep them in, others just use them periodically. Most often, too much is going on for you to even care.uventet1.png
  11. Be prepared to be unprepared. You can plan for nine months how your labor is going to happen, but most often you’ll have to do what your doctor or midwife thinks is best. If this means a cesarean, episiotomy, etc., sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And sometimes, like with my labor and delivery, things can get complicated QUICKLY. Ask your nurses and doctors to explain fully what is happening instead of tip-toeing around you. My son was both face-up, and had the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck. This meant that I had a positioning specialist, internal monitors, and saline injected back into my uterus. I wish I had known more about things that can go wrong in L&D, though I think many people might want the opposite: to not know at all, and not worry about it (I’m just not that person.)
  12. enhanced-buzz-7951-1440537069-6Things like the “husband stitch” still exist. Sex after childbirth is usually fairly unpleasant the first few times for most people. This will make it worse, so ensure that you have a doctor that doesn’t practice this.
  13. Post-partum. OH post-partum. It can be a crazy ride, that’s for sure. If anything, know what to expect. Knowing now to care for yourself both physically and mentally are crucial to both your well-being and your child’s. Know the signs of post-partum depression and don’t be afraid to talk about it and ask for help. Accept help. Also, know that post-partum pain and bleeding can last a decently long time. Be prepared for it so that you aren’t trying to run to the store last-minute toting a newborn with you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. What shocked you about your own pregnancy and labor & delivery?

-Katie

Becoming Mother: Book Review

As I sit here with my 10 month old son, who is currently whining non-stop due to a sinus infection, I think back to my days before being a mother. Did they exist? I barely remember them now. Though, that wasn’t always the case. While pregnant I just went through the motions. Once my tiny human arrived into the world I was in a total state of shock by how suddenly and immensely my life had changed. I thought about my days before being a mother frequently, and sometimes lustfully. Longing for days of quiet, missing the boredom that I used to complain of.

The parenting books that I had skimmed merely told me the motions that I was already going through. What to plan for in pregnancy and labor and delivery, how to care for my new baby, various milestones and expectations. Some of these books I could barely relate to, and quite frankly seemed like they were written by men who have obviously never been pregnant or dealt with labor and delivery or post-partum hormones.

51+8Ctf3yjL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI was thrilled when Sharon sent me her book, Becoming Mother. The title alone gave me comfort– and reassured me that being a mother is actually a process for most. I identified closely with Sharon’s journey into motherhood, including the discomforts of pregnancy and trying to stay active, to the disappointments of care in labor and delivery, and, as she puts it “Just the plain, messy truth of what it’s like for one to become two.”

Becoming Mother isn’t candy-coated. It’s the simple truth of her story of bringing her child into the world. In its rawest form, motherhood is full of decisions that can be questioned by both yourself and others. Sharon talks about various choices that she made, including natural childbirth and the empowerment that comes from it, to the necessity of formula-feeding and the judgement that she initially put upon herself (I myself formula fed, and identified so well with feeling like you have to justify your decision to others. The truth is, you don’t, and it’s not anyone else’s business.) What’s best for one mother, or baby, may not be best for another.

I admire her reflections in this book because she portrays her experience with all of the blemishes, mishaps, and frustrations that come with becoming a mother. We live in a generation where a perfect life can be contrived on Facebook through simple statuses and photos; we can eliminate the bad and only portray the good. When, in fact, motherhood is full of ups and downs. While I personally was SO in love with my new tiny human, I was exhausted, frustrated at my labor experience, and definitely suffering from some post baby blues and hormone imbalances. I was in a foreign land, from a life previously filled with only my own needs. It was hard to adjust at first, but here, nearly a year later with my son, we have found our new normal. He brings so much love an joy into our lives. It’s important for new moms to know that it gets easier.

Thank you to Sharon for an accurate portrayal of what it’s really like to become a mother. Your candid writing gave me comfort in knowing that there are others with stories just like mine. I highly recommend this read to any new mother or soon to be mother.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

I FEEL ALIVE

37285-Take-Care-Of-YourselfI feel alive! Says no new mom ever after having a baby.

I was so used to a standard of living, that revolved around ME. Coffee was optional, eyeliner mandatory, and anything short of a 15 minute shower was a sin especially if it didn’t include some great smelling exfoliate and my Clarisonic.)

Once that tiny human entered into the world? Game. Over. I seriously looked like I’d lived on the streets of Chicago for the past 5 years. No sleep. No time. Endless worrying. And the visitors. Ohhhhh the visitors.

I found myself scrambling to get my house clean and look presentable before people came over (and honestly, this hasn’t changed. Sure, my 9 month old is more independent now, but not so much that I really have “me” time. Showers are still 5 minutes long, and getting ready includes some quick makeup and taking a curling iron to my usually still-wet hair (don’t yell at me hair stylist friends! I know, this is bad.)

So, I figured I’d compile a list of items that made me feel ready for the day as a new mom.

  1. Dry Shampoo: I’m the type of person that showers daily. I just have naturally oily skin and need to shower to feel clean all the time. But, I swear by dry shampoo (again, as a person with oily skin.) My favorite? Dove.
  2. 300Yoga Pants: Not just any yoga pants, the good kind that sucks in the post-baby pouch.
  3. Facial Wipes: I paired Burt’s Bee’s with some Garnier moisture rescue. k2-_c5c724b7-2a9d-4f21-b5d1-8993f714444f.v2
  4. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Just have it. A lot of it. Always. 
  5. A few cute, comfortable shirts that are larger than what you’d normally wear. I paired a ton of baggy shirts with yoga pants until I felt comfortable in my jeans again. And if you’ve had a c-section, you’ll really be thanking yourself for buying some comfy clothing.
  6. 14414958Elf Eyeliner, and Estee Lauder lipstick. Not everyone loves makeup, but I do. I worked for Dior for a while, and my family is basically composed of various makeup-artist types. So, I needed a few things that would last through the day. Elf cream eyeliner, and an Estee Lauder lipstick always survived the chaos.
  7. As always, take care of yourself. Vitamins, healthy eating, small workouts, and napping if you get the chance. All of this is easier said than done, but it makes a difference. (And to anyone dealing with some post-partum baby blues or depression, exercise and keeping yourself healthy will only aid you in getting back to your normal mentality.)

-Katie

If you see me out…

Congratulations. You’ve had a baby. The hospital has sent you home VERY quickly with your new, needy, adorable infant. You’re lucky if you’ve had a shower by this point, and your hair is probably already up in the “mom bun” that will become its new home for the next 6 months or more (you know what I’m talking about, ladies.) You take your car ride home, and once you get there… you think “what now?!”

article-2221909-1589FD09000005DC-659_634x728Parents are exhausted for a long time after having a baby. When I say a long time… I mean, I don’t even know when the end is in sight yet (my LO is just now 8 months, and I’m still pulling some pretty intense all-nighters.) Do I ever get to sleep in again? Will I ever have time to do cat-eye liner again? Take a shower longer than 5 minutes? Read a book for a WHOLE entire chapter?

So let me just tell you– those 8 weeks of maternity leave I looked liked I’d just survived a few weeks of zombie apocalypse. Yoga pants. Dry shampoo. No makeup. And yeah, I totally forgot to brush my teeth and eat a meal more than once. Infants require 24/7 attention, and if I looked crazy, it’s because my postpartum hormones and lack of sleep had totally taken over. Don’t get me wrong, I put everything I had into nurturing my tiny, amazing human, but WOW did I look rough.

So my first trip leaving the house: I went to Target (the mecca of all for meccas for moms.) While standing in the card aisle I witnessed another new mom with her toddler and also new-ish baby waltz by. But let me tell you– she was not me. This woman looked like a celebrity. Skinny. Hair done. Makeup done. Babies calm. I had a total meltdown, right there in the card aisle of Target. I justified her glamour by saying she must be their aunt, or have a night nanny, or have her mother living with her. Or maybe it was a total mirage and I was hallucinating from the lack of sleep.

Who knows.

Now I wonder sometimes if I’m that mom, because when I go out these days I feel like I really have it together. I can shower, do makeup, curl my hair, make some coffee easily in 20 minutes. I take my LO out of his drool-covered onesie and throw some cute clothes on him. He’s almost always content on trips, and spends most of his time flirting with the ladies. I’ve built up some serious arm muscle and can handle carrying both my LO, and an infinite amount of groceries (seriously, I’d rather dislocate both of my arms than take more than one trip out to the car to unload.)

So, I feel like I’ve got it together.

The point? I want new moms to know that the zombie-apocalypse phase doesn’t necessarily go away, but you get good at it. I’m talking Michonne from the Walking Dead good. Those first few weeks home with a newborn you are in total survival mode: feed the baby, change the baby, Google all the things you don’t know how to do with the baby, cry in the bathroom, maybe remember deodorant. But soon after, those parenting-instincts kick in and you acclimate to the situation. You develop routines, learn how to best take advantage of naps and play times, memorize the peak Target rush hours so you can avoid crowds, and continue to take pointers from other moms who have recently survived the battlefield. So if you see me out, I wasn’t always able to feel “put together” for the day. And if you need more time in your yoga pants, I won’t judge you.comparison-is-the-thief-of-

Here are some of the tips that helped me:

  1. Start establishing a routine as soon as possible. It may take weeks to work, but eventually it will.
  2. Take care of yourself. Sometimes this means taking help from others. Get a shower, and make a cup of tea for yourself. You can’t be healthy to take care of your baby if you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical needs for yourself.
  3. If you have a partner helping you with the baby, be straight-forward. Letting him/her know your needs will help both of you to avoid frustration when those 2AM crying wake-up calls come.
  4. Don’t stay up late. I know we all just want some time to ourselves after our LO falls asleep, but if your LO is a poor sleeper, try to go to bed around the time that they do. (I was never a person that could sleep when the baby did during the day, but when I put my LO down at 8:00 every night, I promptly hopped into bed.)
  5. Find ways to simplify your routines. Set clothes out the night before, set your coffee to brew, find simple hairstyles and makeup tips to make yourself feel human.
  6. Stick to the routine. I can’t say it enough– when we started sleep-training our LO, everyone invited us to come over to their houses for late parties. As much as you might want to keep your LO up so that you can go have fun, don’t. Routines are hard to establish, and easy to break. If you want to go out, hire a babysitter that is comfortable with putting your LO to bed.
  7. Take a shower without the baby monitor (or the baby,) in the room. When my LO was super tiny and wouldn’t sleep, he sat in his rock n’ play while I showered. But, nothing is as relaxing as a shower alone while someone else watches the baby for a few minutes.
  8. Have as many things shipped to you as possible. SAMS club ships baby items free, and my Amazon Prime membership has been thoroughly used. Quick trips to the store are no longer quick… and sometimes it’s just easier to order what you need online, and then push all of the boxes quickly in through your front door before your neighbor sees them when they’re delivered.
  9. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You won’t be able to do everything you could before. Want to watch an entire season of Parks and Recreation in one sitting? HA. Forget about it. Stick to a half an hour episode, and count yourself lucky if you only have to pause it twice.
  10. Don’t compare. Every mom handles having a baby differently. Every mom has struggles (whether they’re external or not.)

Just remember that each phase of infancy is just that, a phase. Soon your tiny baby will be a grown adult that doesn’t need your constant care;treasure the moments while they’re still little.

-Katie

The Stigmas of SAHMs: A Day of Nothing

We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a look of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.

Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.

“Well it’s not like you do anything all day..”

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I am not a Stepford wife. But some days, I find myself trying to live up to irrational standards that I put on myself. Maybe I constantly smell of pledge and downy because of the stellar example set by my mother. Or maybe even because I’ve seen a lot of examples of how I don’t want my home to be run. I’ve been known to be folding laundry and unloading the dishwater seconds before my head hits the pillow. But many days I take a step back, exhale, and tell myself that the crumbs in the rug and the frozen pizza in the oven will not kill anybody. I take a look at my beautiful crazy family and I thank God for every minute I get with them.

You’ve read all the cute little stories titled “this husband can’t afford his wife.” Laundry? $50 a load. Cooking? $100 a day. My DH is active duty military. I won’t go into detail, but his job is up and down, coming and going, and so much unpredictability I could scream (sometimes I do). He doesn’t expect me to do all the things that I do, but I do them anyway. I live by the motto that a home should be a place we want to go. I want to come home to peace, a decent level of cleanliness and less stress on the inside than out. I clean my home and prepare 3 meals a day and try to keep my toddler alive from 6 am til 7 pm (even those sleeping hours still stress me some nights). I’m starting grad school (again) and writing for this incredible blog. I am no super mom or wife. But I do work. All day long.

We’ve talked before in this blog about PPD. I myself went through a mild dose of the baby blues that took me a while to overcome. I was lucky. My symptoms were very typical, mainly fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation and little interest in things that I usually enjoyed. With prayer, incredible friends and a supportive family, I overcame my symptoms.

But during this time specifically, I felt others attempt to use my SAHM status for their own benefit. People asked me to babysit for two weeks straight or drive 45 minutes with a newborn to meet for coffee, or got offended when I didn’t answer their calls every. single. day to talk about their latest coworker drama. And maybe I’m being insensitive, but I honestly did not care. Most days I was praying nap time came faster and maybe for a shower that day. I did not want to watch their children or load up my car to survive an afternoon out with a nursing infant. I didn’t even want to listen to their coworker’s latest fashion crime. And that is ok. Because that time finally passed and I was able to enjoy the little things again and get some frickin sleep! But that still didn’t make me a doormat.

For these, and ten thousand other reasons, I can literally physically feel my blood pressure rising and my hair getting a little more red when someone dares to say to me “Well, it’s not like you’re doing anything so….(insert annoying favor)” Excuse me. Do you see a living human hanging off my leg? Well apparently I’m at least feeding and cleaning that little person. It’s funny how remarks like that come from individuals who have never cared for a child or spent longer than a child-induced chaotic weekend at home. It doesn’t matter. There is no excuse for diminishing the role of a mother. Any mother. But especially one that is home all day kissing boo boos, singing ABCs, wiping mashed peas off the ceiling and somehow manages to keep the home together enough to live in.

Do not ever let someone make you feel as though you are lazy or wasting your days away by spending them with your child. These developmental years, (and childhood and teenage years) matter. Being a constant positive presence for you child fulfills so many needs their little hearts and brains don’t even know they need. And those days when that toddler is a little hellion and you just want to scream and put them to bed at 2 in the afternoon, still know, you simply being there is everything that child needs.

Let your house be knee deep in toys, a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and still be wearing yesterday’s sweats from time to time. You are there for your child. You are working so hard every minute of the day to learn patience, teach, provide for, and deepen a bond that your child will not soon forget. Don’t let someone make you feel inferior because you do the most important job on earth (it’s corny I know, but oh so true). We’ve got this. We work HARD every day. We are no one’s doormat and it is ok to say no to those “favors” other people think we have all the time for. You’re doing an amazing job, stay at home mom.

-Chelsea

Read more of our SAHM Stigmas series here:

SAHM Stigmas: Finances “We can’t afford this”

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/14/the-stigmas-of-sahms/

SAHM Stigmas: Careers

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/18/the-stigmas-of-sahms-careers

Our Sleep Schedule

Sleep-Training

The first 2-3 months of being a parent are brutal. There is such a HUGE adjustment period, and acclimating on little to no sleep is nearly impossible (not to mention those post-partum hormones.)

Like many, I brought my LO home thinking he’d sleep soundly in his beautiful nursery in his giant, expensive crib. HA. Oh man. I gave up within an hour. My LO was quickly laying in the Rock n’ Play next to my bed. Soon after, we upgraded to a full-blown pack n’ play with a sleeper/changer built in. My LO stayed in our room solidly for the first 6 weeks. In all honesty, it was easier. I could quickly feed and change my LO, watch him breath and fall asleep, and go back to bed (in-between Googling a billion things at 2AM.) When the 6 week mark approached, I knew I needed more sleep since I was going back to work at the 8 week mark. So, I set up a plan. I’m not a proponent of the CIO method, so I needed another way to get my LO to sleep more than 2 hours at night (especially with reflux.)

Once we got our reflux issues worked out (more about that in our “reflux” category,) my daily scheduled looked something like this:

6AM: Wake Up. Whether he was up or not.

9AM: Nap

Around noon: Nap

Sometime in the afternoon: Small nap

Bedtime: Firmly 8:00PM. I would take him up to his nursery, lights off, no talking, no playtime. He would eat, and, as much as I wanted to hold him forever, I’d lay him down in his crib.

During the day I kept him active. Lights on, window shades open. TV or background noise, and lots of play and interaction.

After putting him down at bedtime, if he would stir/cry I would give it a minute before running in instantly to console. I never let him cry hard, or more than a whimper.

I also put him to bed without his binky. Though, I sometimes had to go back in and give it to him to console him.

After about a week and a half of the routine, he was set. We have had the same schedule for months now, and it’s worked out SO so well for us. I was firm with our routine, and I think it helped us to really feel confident and get through the day. Disclaimer: you will get grief about this from someone. Do what works for you.

And, of course, this won’t work for all babies. Every baby is absolutely different. To any parent trying to get a scheduled day? Keep on it. Eventually you’ll have some progress, no matter how small.

-Katie

The Salmon Made Me Do It!

burnt-salmon

Salmon was for dinner. Baby K#2 was sleeping and BabyK#1 was playing with daddy.  I should have been able to make dinner peacefully and calmly. Except for the fact that BabyK#1 wanted nothing to do with daddy; she wanted mommy, and all of mommy. So, I attempted to cook dinner and play on the kitchen floor with some shape blocks at the same time. Bad idea. I didn’t have time to cook fish and play. The fish started falling apart, and so started the rage fit for the hour. My blood was boiling and I felt like I could punch a wall. I felt like I could punch a wall over some stupid fish falling apart. Right about this time BabyK#1 stepped on a block and was completely losing it! So, I scooped her up and took her in the living room and convinced her to play with daddy. The salmon! The salmon was burnt to a crisp. At this point I literally threw the pan into the sink and screamed “forget it no one is eating today”.  There began the tears for the evening. I wept…. I’m not talking a little bit of crying. I’m talking soaked your shirt, cant breath, and you probably should crawl to the bathroom in case you puke kind of tears.  My DH  just held me and let me cry, but he shouldn’t have had to do that. THAT woman was NOT the person he married. THAT woman was far from the person that I am. I was unrecognizable even to myself.

I am not the mother who lays on the couch for hours at a time.

I am not the mother who is scared she might throw the book that her toddler threw back at the toddler.

I am not the mother who holds her newborn and weeps…and weeps…and weeps, because why? Who knows?

I am not the mother who hears both babies crying and rolls over in bed.

I am not the mother who is furious that her one month old wants held, and won’t sleep for more than two hours at night.

I am not the wife who questions every move her husband makes.

I am not the wife who doesn’t trust her husband. With anything.

I am not the wife who avoids physical contact.

I am not the friend who dodges phone calls and texts.

I am not the friend who doesn’t show up to hang out.

I am not her.

I feel physically ill when I think about how I acted and what could have happened. It was the most terrifying feeling I had ever experienced. I decided that evening to talk to my midwife and do something about how I was feeling. Deciding to push past the stigma, fear, and pride; suck it up, and do what the doctor said would help me two weeks ago when I went in, because I knew something was off and it was worrying me. The evening of the salmon (yeah that’s what it is being called) was not worrisome. It was terrifying.

I always thought that being depressed meant that you were sad all the time and didn’t wash your hair or leave your house. I’m sure that’s probably a good description of depression for some people, but it’s also a pretty good description of being a mom, minus the sad part. But I found in reading articles and talking to a few friends that irritability and anger are also symptoms of depression. Uh, two humungous check marks right there!

So, what is PPD, and what is the difference between PPD and your good ol’ baby blues???

***You should always consult with a physician about any symptoms. These are just my findings***

Baby Blues “begin in the first few days following delivery and are typically gone by about two weeks postpartum. Symptoms tend to be mild.” The usual weepiness/crying for no apparent reason, impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, sadness, mood changes, and poor concentration are all symptoms of baby blues.

All of this was pretty manageable for me with BabyK#1. I cried some, I got annoyed some but that was it, and it only lasted about a week.

PPD is a “serious mental health problem characterized by the prolonged period of emotional disturbance occurring at the time of major life change and increased responsibilities in the care of a newborn infant. PPD can have significant consequences for both the new mother and family.”

There are so many symptoms but the ones that I have read about are : Loss of appetite, insomnia, intense irritability and anger, overwhelming fatigue, loss of interest in sex, lack of joy in life, feelings of shame guilt or inadequacy, severe mood swings, withdrawal from family friends, difficulty bonding with your baby, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

About two weeks after BabyK#2 was born the symptoms just kept on coming and kept getting worse. I talked to my husband, and my mom trying to convince myself that I wasn’t completely losing it. I kept putting on a happy face and shoving all the feelings/lack of feelings down. I felt like a horrible mother and a horrible wife. I doubted if I was supposed to be a mother and a wife. Mostly, I doubted my decision to become a mother. Not just a good mother, but a mother in general. Me! The person who has wanted children since I was a little girl! Me! The person who only ever wanted to be a mother. My “dream job” growing up was to be mom. I was living it and I didn’t know if I still wanted it. I doubted whether I should have ever had kids. I knew that I COULD do it, but I wondered why on earth I had WANTED to do it. When I had a bad day I just wanted to run away. I knew I would come back, I just wanted to stand up grab my keys and walk out the door and have an hour to just relax and not feel needed. And that feeling was so strange. It was almost like my body was willing itself to do this. It was an internal power struggle. Half of me was trying to get up and walk out, while the other half, the more rational side was preventing this from happening. So very strange. None of that was me. In any shape or form.

After living like this for about 7 weeks a friend came over to visit. She has 4 children and they are all very close in age like mine. I asked her if she had gone through any of this, if she took the medication prescribed, and if she went to therapy, or how she made out on the other side. She began telling me her story of how she was completely numb, couldn’t connect to her kids, she wouldn’t eat and how it lasted for years without her saying a word. WOW! Years? I feel like I’m going crazy after a few weeks. I couldn’t imagine not having anyone to talk to, and not having a resolution for this for years! Needless to say hearing from her and the night of the salmon gave me the guts do what needed done. No matter how cruddy I felt.

Being a mom means doing hard things. And sometimes the hardest thing is asking for the help you need. And the rage is still there. It’s the most difficult part to manage and from my experience, the least-talked about symptom of depression. I’m typing this now in tears, because it’s all so fresh and real, and still so present. I have only felt “normal” for about a week now. And by “normal” I mean not about to fly off the handle. I am in no way completely healed. Yes, I’m still fighting the depression, sadness, and rage. But now, finally … finally I feel like I’m winning.

That’s why I’m writing this post. I want all you moms out there to know that if you deal with PPD, depression, and especially the rage that can accompany it, you are not alone. You are not a bad mom. It can and will get better—if you get help. But now I understand that depression happens to regular people. These scary feelings do not make me a bad mother. And with medication, therapy, lots of prayer, and healthier life choices, I feel more like me again.

~Amanda

Sources :

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/basics/definition/con-20029130