I you follow me on Instagram and I hope you do, you would have experienced the epic fail, that was my first serious attempt at potty training that I documented for you my friends, to follow along with....
I mean it helped me keep my sanity for one, sharing it, and there was so much solidarity when I called it quits after 8 hours. I couldn’t clean up one more per puddle and my then two year old and I were both nearly in tears.
This time I was more prepared and she was showing the classic signs of being “ready.” She can pull her own pants up and down, she told us when she was wet or dirty (sometimes) I mean she just generally didn’t love being in a nasty diaper even taking it off sometimes on her own (facepalm). She was interested in other people going potty. So, for a week leading up to us starting I told her I was going to be throwing her diapers away and brought out all her character underwear and encouraged her to look and them and choose which ones she might want to wear. Then it began...
The Monday, admittedly, two weeks after I told her I was going to toss her diapers (I wasn’t mentally prepared the first week) I put underwear on her after I took off her nighttime diaper and was armed with “potty candy” and stickers. LET’S DO THIS THINGGGGG.
The mornkng started off very shaky, she asked for one of her friends to come over that day and so agreed only because this friend is potty trained, AND I knew her momma would keep me sane and encourage me to continue going through the trenches of my pee and pop cover house (Love you Kam!). When her little friend went on the potty for the first time at our house I rewarded her with a potty candy. Listen, pissed isn’t even a strong enough word for the emotion that came out of my toddler. Where was HER potty candy????
Me: “You did not go on the potty so you don’t get potty candy, when I see pee in the toilet you can pick any color you want.”
Who was I? Some hardcore potty candy wielding drill Sargent? I don’t know but something came over me and I was determined, I KNEW she could do it and there was no going back. We struggled through the morning but stuck too it and by lunch time I could see the light, the underwear were piling up in the tub but alas there was pee in the potty. Three potty candies were earned that day and her best friend said she was proud of her for going pee on the potty!!!
You have to up the ante a bit as you go, for every three stickers she gets a prize or varying sizes. Her Gigi got her a charm bracelet which is honestly genius, so every three that hit the pot and her characters on her underwear stay dry and “happy” as she says, which is too cute, she can pick a charm or something else. The rest of th prizes are random small things from the bins at Target! Once a whole sheet is filled she gets a big prize, like a new Barbie! My kid is most definely reward and attention motivated. EVERYONE in the house has to know every time she goes and they have to be proud, she even made me call my mom to tell her a few times. I’ll call the president if it lands a turd in the toilet ok kid?
So what else was different this time? She was older, by like fourish months I think. Up until we were ready to really give it a go this time we didn’t talk about, just leave it alone, we even put the potty seats away for a while. The praise is really really high, and the rewards are even better. Why would you want to just play all day and have someone change you? Never having to stop your fun for a trip to the bathroom right? Whatever gets her to do it has to be better than waiting and getting a diaper changed. So whatever that is for your kid figure that out. We only let her hang out with friends that were potty trained for the first week. Later that week another little girlfriend came over too and they got the potty candy and again that worked like a charm, no accidents during that visit.
Maybe most importantly my husband and I were on the same page, no diapers and NO PULL UPS! Stick it out until after dinner time when she gets into PJs diaper for sleeping only. Which honestly is such a relief when you aren’t on edge that you are going to walk through a pee pile. Best part of the night.
The thing is you have to let them lead though, no matter how you do it, read their cues. Are they proud? Do they want to do it? Are they ready? The most unexpected rewarding part is the changes in her. She is still a stinker, she’s three give me a break. But, she is definitely soak up something that’s just for her, Mom and Dad are more focused on her that we have been able to be since little sister came along. Of course she is still a three-nager, but there is a spark in her and more of a connection to me I think anyways. It was such an experience to kind of watch her grow through, and myself to be honest. It is so true whoever said you have not truly experienced parenting until you have potty trained. Godspeed!
Oh, and the letterboard is just a line from Big Daddy that won’t stop playing my head. I am still most definitely the wiper of asses.
I had the opportunity to try out Milwaukee's First and ONLY Custom IV Therapy Clinic. I was a part of a very special event they hosted called "Debutantes and Drips" and they rolled out the read carpet for a select group of local ladies to try a drip and share about our experience. H2O is located just outside of the city in the town of Brookfield, I didn't know what to expect to be honest because my previous experience with IV placement was less than stellar. I had IVs placed for both of my labor and deliveries and I got poked several times in multiple places before and IV was able to be ran so that I was THEN able to get my sweet, sweet epidural. Now let's take a look at my experience at H2O. Keeping in mind I did not come to get an IV because I was about to have a human exit my body but I had ailments. The two aforementioned children that I have pushed out of my body exhaust me to my core, momma needed a drip and keep it coming.
Granted, the hospital, while someone is in labor is definitely more of a stressful environment than the swanky hydration oasis that is H2O, but nevertheless I am very impressed by the team there who, by the way are all trained nurses and is owned by an anesthesiologist read: fierce lady boss. One poke after a cold spray and done. I chatted with my friends while I waited for my custom fluids to be blended up.
I chose a recliner, settled in and selected my infusion aroma for my oxygen. Yes, you read that right. Let me tell you, after about an hour of breathing sweet minty air breathing this regular old stale air like like toture. Ha!
So, you want to know how it felt right? Well first let me tell you how it tasted, yes tasted! I was on the side of the 50% that can actually taste the fluids. What's it taste like? The after taste of a multi-vitamin on the back of your tongue, not bad, just enough you notice. Thankfully there were yummy snacks and beverages to enjoy so I barely noticed. What I did notice, I felt super alert and "sharp" about half way through my bag. Like an extreme clarity that you would need to cram for an exam and ace it is the only way I could describe it. Subsequently, I stayed up way past my bedtime doing nothing in particular, but very focused. Dr. Fox joked, "Most people don't get a 9pm IV unless they plan on staying up to party all night," this momma is far past her partying prime so, noted!
Since we were all enjoying our IVs as a part of an event they ran them a bit slower so it took about an hour for me to completely drain my bag of fluid. Typically the process takes about 30 minutes give or take. How worth it would it be to spend 30 minutes of your day to rid a migrane? Push back morning sickness? Refuel after an intense physical workout? Or of course cure a hangover! I would say its a no brainer. The blends range in pricing but start at $79, they price CAN be covered by your insurance and/or paid for with a health saving or similar account, make sure you check with your insurance ahead of time though.
Like I said, I did not know what to expect. That said, the whole experience pretty much blew my socks off. The ease of getting the IV in, the warmth and expertise of the team, the space is a dream truly "the care of a physician with the comfort of home" on this particular night that included 90's and early 2000's tunes which had me feeling right at home! It would seem as though that blend they whipped up had just what an exhausted working momma needed, look how bright eyed and bushy tailed I look here even though its past my bedtime!
Thank you so much to H2O Health Hydration Oasis and to all these lovely ladies to joining me for my first IV Therapy experience! Head over to their pages to see what they thought of their experience.
All post photos by Christopher Hyler Photography
Think this sounds like something you want to try? Hit that button below!
I am just going to say it so we are all being honest here, I am the literal worst at self care. Worst. I don’t do it so I don’t preach it so that’s NOT what’s about to happen here. Showering and brushing my teeth before noon somedays are my biggest caring for thy self moments some days.
Now back when self care experiences were not only all around me but offered up often at discounted rate and on the fly, I did endulge quite often. The time I can remember being the most indulgent was when I was pregnant with my first baby, my (then) amazing coworkers would offer up pedis for my poor swollen feet and the salon I worked in was hiring on new massage therapists that needed “testing,” I got a massage nearly every 6 weeks of that pregnancy, ahhhhh. But not that baby is a toddler and another baby arrived and I haven’t even felt a hot towel on my body for over a year.
Mommas, we know shower time is precious, if we are lucky it’s the one time of day where there is no one asking us for anything of atttached to our bodies. Typically, but generally there is a tiny voice asking for something through the crack of the door, or occasionally pulling back the curtain wanting to join or just so desperately needing something at that very moment (eyeroll).
I have been elevating my Shower game to make that five minutes feel like a mini get away and I am loving products from Asili Naturals. Not only are they from a local, lady owned (CEO-Trenise Watson) biz, but they are all natural and amazing! Everything can be used right in the shower or right after no big spa day needed, unless you are doing a bath and can toss a bomb in before a he water gets cold in which case I say #treatyoself! My two favorites have to be the Spirulina Healing Clay Mask, because most days a baby wipe in the car whisk away yesterday’s flakes mascara is my “skin care rountine” and this mask helps forgive a multitude of sins, and the Lychee Fruit Body Scrub is what my thirsty summer skin didn’t know it needed. This scrub smells like a dessert and leaves a hydrating layer on the skin where I didn’t even feel the need to immediately moisturize I just pat my body dry and slipped into jammies.
The line also features super hydrating body butters, and natural bar soaps, everything is so thoughtfully and earth consciously made. I am really just getting to this point where buying high quality, small business made, earth friendly products is really important to me and Asili fits the bill.
If you are local to Milwaukee definitely check them out at many of the makers markets around the city, if not they can be found online here.
Check out my full review of the Side Zip Nursing Bra linked below! Then head to my Instagram for an exclusive code with big savings for my followers!
“My cup runneth over!” Or my breasts runneth over and filled my freezer. Something like that. So, I stand holding my 7 month and and stare into my packed freezer of perfectly frozen and “bricked” rows on rows of breast milk, and I count in my head as I place another precisely measured and sealed bag nice and flat to freeze, “everything the freezer light touch is your kingdom little one...” oh wait different kind of story. But, nevertheless there we stood, me feeling proud, her feeling robbed that the noisy machine she made every attempt to unplug stole her milk in the end.
First time around in this EBF rodeo I never made it passed 100 ounces in the fridge at once. 100 though? Good job right? Meh, it’s ok if I’m being honest but babies eat a lot of milk in a day, a lot. My girls in particular never went more than 3 hours without nursing, typical two hours, yes even still at 8 months. So three ounces every two hours for the twelve hours she is awake, 18 oz give or take because when she is taking it from the tapper we don’t really know how much she’s getting exactly. 18oz a day out of 100oz, ain’t gonna last very long. But the intent of the stash was never to deplete it, just to tide her over if I didn’t pump enough for the day during my morning session, or worked late, or a bottle got spilled or went back. But, the best laid plans right? I started rushing home with full breasts begging my husband not to thaw another bag, adding a night pump session that was just drips in hopes of restoring my gold mine, to no avail by the end of the year, I was down to my last bag and ready to take my pump to burning man. I told myself, never again.
New baby new plan. With my second I started pumping earlier and more often and very, very diligently. My body adjusted, my routine were established, my stash grew. Now, I have just over 4 months left and an abundance of breastmilk that risks not being consumed. I reached out to my tribe “how can I help another momma?” They offered up suggestions, and personal testimonials as donors and recipients and my momma heart smiled! I could do this I could bring this joy to another momma!
I sheepishly post my first offer of 100 ounces of the good stuff in a Human Milk 4 Human Babies Page on Facebook. Then I waited, then I panicked “what if no one wants my milk?” “How will I chose who gets my milk?” “Is this even a good offer, is it enough milk?” “Will it really help someone or am I just trying to make myself feel better?” The messages started rolling in and as I chatted with moms I realize I had a criteria that I didn’t know existed. But, oh boy did it exist. Ideal ages, stories, connection, location, just a feeling deep down I needed to feel. What’s the big deal Shauna you want to give it to someone how about the first taker she needs it right? I know right!? I have spent almost 8 months of my life, pumping, measuring, flattening, freezing, labeling, counting, cleaning, time, money, sweat, tears, and LOVE. This is a piece of me literally, I didn’t think I would feel this way I am so not a sap. But, there I was giving mommas the third degree and waiting for the spark like I’m speed dating.
Then there she slide into my DMs. She explained that her 9 month old was eating just more than she produced in a day while she was away. She also explained that she has plenty for a while so don’t feel bad if I don’t choose her, and thanked me for donating. I didn’t cry right then but, I did want to. A few mommas were pushy and some and just weren’t forth coming and I just didn’t feel a connection or relatable to some at all. But THIS momma, shared that with her first she produced enough and was fortunate enough to donate and knows how it feels the first time and that this donation would be enough for her to provide for him until he turned one. My heart swelled and I chose her.
I KNEW that stress of making just not quite enough and watching your stash
slowly deplete just as you think you are about to get ahead. I wanted to take that stress off of her shoulders and help her meet her goal. So I did, she came with her cooler and baby, and I exchanged my full bags of milk for fresh new empty ones from her. I told her baby boy to enjoy the milk and felt the weight lift off of her shoulders, or maybe the old me felt it.
I never really knew anything about donor milk or milk banks or any of it, until now. I honestly don’t know if I would take donor milk if the shoe was on the other foot but maybe, maybe the me who knotted her stomach and counted every last drip as a I pumped sitting on a floor pumping, hunched over my lunch, swiping through pictures and videos of my baby on my phone because that’s supposed to help right. Maybe? But, this time I don’t have to wonder and I am just so filled with joy knowing I could help someone else. ❤️
The other day I realized that I am in the middle of likely the absolute, sweetest summer that I will ever have with my girls. One sweet little nursling who is pretty much always attached to me by a carrier, and an almost three year old who is still more sweet than sour and thinks I am still cool and my jokes are hilarious.
We have been doing so many fun things and more and more of them end meltdown free which is incredible! I thought that I really wanted to have two summer babies, but hindsight is 20/20 on that vision because right about now I would be miserable if I had a very fresh baby and a wild toddler that needs to be out of the house for my sanity and hers. Here we all our now one summer, one winter and a sturdy 7 month old who is more that happy to tag along with me and big sister to whatever big sister wants to do that day. Carrier naps are sent from heaven by the way, as is nursing in the carrier, life is easy breezy.
I have really tried my best to give each girl one on one time. It is really easy to complete the task with the smaller one, I see her all alone in the middle of the night, sometimes several times. But, as for my oldest I have to be intentional, and that's just a momma lesson I had to learn. Even though all of the activities that we do are focused on her interest her sister still NEEDS to be tended too more daily at this point, she still needs me and my husband for everything, try explaining that to a two year old and let me know how it goes.
I find moments with her in playing games that her sister isn't big enough for yet, snuggling when baby naps, ice cream dates (nearly daily) we love to cheers our spoons. I totally blame all of the indulging I did in sweets during my pregnancy with her for her interest in constantly consuming desserts. OOPS! But, I love it at the same time because it is something that we can do together.
I teamed up with Turkey Hill to spread the word about their Good Mooed Sampling Tour. So, if you and your little ones have a sweet tooth like the Hyler girls you can get FREE ice cream! The awesome thing about Turkey Hill and particularly about their new ice cream line is Turkey Hill’s All Natural Ice Cream line-up is made with only the simplest of ingredients, like milk, cream, sugar, and natural flavors. (Turkey Hill’s All Natural Homemade Vanilla contains just FOUR ingredients!). Their All Natural ice cream is a line you can feel good about feeding to your minis!
What started as a modest dairy farm and milk delivery route has grown into one of the nation’s leading producers of ice cream and iced tea. Today, Turkey Hill products are available in 49 states and a dozen countries around the world! From humble beginnings they are touring the country with giant cows and loads of samples! We found their ice cream here is Wisconsin at Pick N' Save and our favorite flavor so far is the Dutch Chocolate, the creamiest chocolate I cream I have ever had, and as you can see my daughter likes to prop it up on the counter drop hints that its "ice cream time." To check if the tour is coming to a city near you just follow this link https://www.turkeyhill.com/events/good-mooed-tour
Wisconsinites, she's coming to Janesville!
Look for the COW to be sure you are in the right place to get your free and delicious ice cream! Come back and let me know if you go! Bonus: they have some sweet savings on their website if you can't make it out to see the cow.
I am sure all of our summers will be special in some way but this one just feel especially yummy, my first one with two girls, barely any rules and hitting all the fun we can find. I hope you get as many sticky kisses and gummy smiles as you can stand, and document them!
Trying to make it look like you are not drowning every second of the day as a mom is totally harder than it looks. It can be compared to trying to pull off a wash and go style, or a natural makeup look, like, way more work than you would ever think goes into making something look natural. A few people have complimented me (like on an especially good day) and my ability to keep two children alive for almost three years for one and a ripe 7 months for the two of them simultaneously so I feel that gives me authority to give advice. Kidding, sort of. Here's my half assed advice on surviving summer with two, maybe a little diddy will be helpful here.
I never pictured that I would even have it together enough to ever leave the house with them both and no we do it multiple times a week in a relatively effective fashion. Bonus: we are typically on time if not early places.
More specifically, high value toys or snacks that can be used to peel your oldest child away from whatever fun activity they would like to keep doing when it is way passed time to leave. Think "rice crispy treat with sprinkles" or "themed fruit snacks." Save the "big guns" for emergencies, offer ICE CREAM. WE ALL DO IT PEOPLE.
Play places with gates that lock, strollers, outdoor play yard, exersaucer, high chair, BABY CARRIER, it is best to have one child contained in a specific area at any given time, especially if both children are mobile! Just spend the money on ALL of the baby gear of all varieties to maintain your sanity (sell it later). I have a carrier and TWO strollers in my car at all times because, life comes at you fast, your containment play can change on route to your destination.
Sunscreen BEFORE you get to the fun place, you don't want to chase a toddler while the swimming pool is dangling like a carrot in front on them! TRUST! Pack all the snacks because toddlers who loved gold fish yesterday wouldn't be caught dead eating them today! Also, keep a well stocked diaper bag, go check out my packing list for our diaper bag, I always restock when we get home so we are good to go whenever at least with the bare minimum of supplies.
Take your time.
I know its normal to feel anxiety when your kid decided to have a blow out of barf on you right when you are ready to walk out the door but that's life honey buns, your friends and destination can and will wait. Take your time, handle everything appropriately and make sure you have everything y0u need before walking out the door, nothing like forgetting your kids water and paying $7 for a bottled one at the zoo. 🙃
Just say no.
Don't take your kids into a situation you are not ready to handle with both. Some things are two extreme for us still, I know they will just end in tears flowing from multiple family members. The best part of saying no is that your kids has literally no clue what they are missing? So, don't beat yourself up, kay?
Choose your tribe.
DO NOT HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO WILL JUDGE YOU! Chose a tribe at your level and stage of motherhood, the ones who will give you the nod a wink, who will say "oh just glad it isn't my kid this time" with just the amount of empathy and sarcasm you need because NEXT time Lord it will be there kid and you will feel their pain! Smile and nod to that momma peeling her kid of the ground or breastfeeding without a cover because her toddler is using it as a cape, I FEEL YOU! I SEE YOU! Life is too short to act like you are out here momming harder or better than someone else. Share your secrets!
Having a second kid is like going from 1 kid to 100 kids. You are so much more tired, so much more anxious, and its so much more amazing. We are all hot messes I'm just here to help you hide it as well I do...some days.
I received an awesome 2 week supply of baby food from Raised Real in exchange for my honest opinion. Honestly, you’re gonna wanna check this out!
Y'all, I love getting things delivered to my house. My kid already gets it, she thinks it magic when those brown paper bags show up on our doorsteps full of treats! "Momma it's FOOD!" Pair that with the fact that anything she wants to watch on t.v. is ready as soon as she demands it, and never having to listen to the draining tune of dial up internet, and I have basically stripped her of three major character building experiences and she isn't even three yet.
But, seriously, I am a convenience queen. A serious CONSUMER. Is it going to make my life easier? Is the amount of convenience that it provides worth the price? When it comes right down to it everyday we choose in all areas are we going to spend time or money? This baby food delivery service is the peak of new world parenting in my opinion and I'm not mad.
We got our first box or Raised Real last week and my oldest was so excited to check out baby sisters special goodies. Up until now she wasn't getting any goodies delivered because I was hauling my but to the grocery store to get organic fruits and veggies to bring home and peel, and chop, and steam, and puree because the produce that was getting delivered by our grocery delivery service of choice was not up to par for my bouncing, baby, bundle. We have been slowly introducing solids a few days apart for the last few weeks and we are so ready to level up. So, that brings us here.
Here's why I love it:
1. Super Convient
-It comes to you, like to your door packaged all pretty on ice! You can also have it auto ship so it’s one less thing you have to worry about ordering!
-All of the ingredients are sourced from organic, sustainable, non-gmo farms and then flash frozen to lock in the nutritions, this is a serious level up from jarred food!
-Even though I LOVE making her food from scratch so that I know EXACTLY what she is eating there are ingredients here that I just wouldn’t have added naturally, when I am introducing I am doing one food at a time and not adding the spices and butters, and you can see all those wholesome ingredients in the bag, so it’s so nice for her to get things now that she wouldn’t have.
4. More than one meal per bag
-The cost per meal is $4.75, the meal fills a standard baby food jar to the top when puréed. For us this gives two if not three feedings because she is still getting most of her nutrition from breast meal, so it’s super affordable at her age.
5. No prep
-I choose which meal for the day, use my baby food maker to prepare them. So, I open a bag, ad water, steam, and purée and it’s ready. Then I store the remainder in old glass baby jars in the fridge for another meal. Barely any dishes or fuss!
...and baby Girl’s review, she can’t keep a bib clean, and is a frequent visitor to the clean jars club, we love it.
We had the 6 month check up this week I think this marks the end of the set of immunizations that she gets that are four at a time and a drinkable (poor babe!). Aside from all of the shots, this age is my favorite of the baby variety. Sitting, crawling, eating settling into a routine, I love it.
The whole food introduction piece has been really fun for us. She is really interested in eating and very open to trying new flavors and textures so in the new few posts I will be telling you about some of our favorite snacks and meals.
Up until last everything that she has eaten has either been literally MADE by me (milk) or bought prepped, cooked, and pureed by me. But, now we are at a "snacking" crossroads, she isn't quite to the point of consuming enough solid food that it eliminates some of the feedings, but she sees everyone else eating and wants in, all the time.
Right now she eats two pureed meals per day and then the rest of her nutrition is still milk. Between her meals and when we at eating and snacking we started trying out some baby snack foods. Melts, puffs, crisps, whatever is age appropriate. A sand our favorite has emerged. Baby Mum-Mum. Here’s why we love them
Of course my toddler wants to have everything the baby is eating now so having Mums that are appropriate for her was huge, plus the allergy piece keeps me sane. These dissolve faster than any puff or melt I have tried and are big enough for baby girl to hold and maneuver into her mouth on her own which is huge because we are not at the stage of picking up finger foods yet. I am so glad to have found these and they will definitely be a staple in my household going forward. Have you tried Baby Mum-Mum yet? Head to my post on Instagram for your chance to win a free box!
I am not much of a planner, this is just a fact. Even with kids I have tried to plan more ahead of schedule but it just doesn't happen. That brings us here to almost Father's Day one of his gifts IS actually purchased because it required some advanced planning, but we will get to that. Here are five things that y0u can get for the da-da in your life from your phone, now...
I know I know how cheesey right? My husband typically has somewhat of a "signature" scent so this makes it really easy. It's a great time to go online and take advantage of all of the deals they offer this time of year to restock him, grooming bags and extra products, travel size aromas, sometimes they even offer a freakin' duffle bag!
I didn't claim that these were totally orignal ideas guys. However, I got my husband a JORD Wood Timepiece for Valentine's Day this year and he has never recieved more compliments on a piece of jewelry, wedding ring included! They are seriously timeless pieces, you can find a watch to match any style and they even off iPhone bands now, so you can guess what he is getting from JORD for Father's Day. They even offer custom engraving to kick it up a notch. Use the code SHAUNAFD18 for $30 off of you order.
Most spas will let you schedule online from your phone and some will even let you prepay! Handle that gift like a boss from your iPhone. I DID schedule the hubs a massage already because he got me one for Mother's Day so I just made the appointment before I left the spa. Easy Peasy!
OK, you can't exactly order this, but you can get the canvas, mug or other art materials from your phone. Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons that you can take advantage of listed right on their site. Paint, canvas, patience= beloved gift for life. If you were around last Father's Day you know that I don't recommend taking a toddler to paint pottery, just keep the crafts at home.
Flask, Cufflinks, Wallet
These all kind of go together, right? A custom trinket that is slightly elevated in class that he wouldn't typically buy for himself. My husband has engraved cufflinks and two custom flask and I think there is just a sort of classy swagger that comes with these.
I hope this helps all my last minute mommas out there! What are your Father's Day plans?
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.