You can only truly "learn" to parent once your child is in front of you. All that BS we say to one another about what type of parent we are going to be is JUST that. You have not a damn clue. You can talk about what type of parent you aspire to be but you don’t really know until it happens, boom, you have a kid out in the world!
Three things my FIRST born taught me.
1. I know nothing.
"I was the perfect parent until I had kids."
Yep that was me, misses know it all with a list 10 feet long of "things I would NEVER do as a mom. Isn't that just freaking hilarious.
2. I can only parent the child I was given, er, made.
I had a billion list and ideas and things I would and wouldn't do and plans, ha plans! I had 'em. The way the I can parent is 100% based on my reactions and interactions with this small human, who is very different from me, but a mirror image of me all at once. I can not take credit for all that she is, I can choose how to react and how to parent her only, not an imaginary being I thought would appear that always listened and potty trained herself and would never misbehave in public. Not that child, this child I have that is a living breathing human I can not control.
3. Patience, Patience, Patience.
Nothing was happening on my timeline or my way anymore, this was a tough one to swallow but a very necessary lesson to learn. I was no longer the boss, this tiny human is in charge of me, when I sleep, when I eat, when she eats, I am simply the vessel.
Three things my LAST born taught me.
1. You HAVE TO say no.
Life is a whirlwind with one, its a Tsunami with two. There is no more yes to everything. There is no more accommodating. No is my new favorite word. No because they need naps, no because it's too hot, it's too cold, no because I simply do not want to. What ever is best for my village is what I shall choose.
2. You can do this.
It is fucking hard being a parent. It is hard everyday. But, I can do it and so can you. We do it everyday. When people compliment me on surviving, hell somedays even thriving with two I take it in grace, because the next day there could be a turd in the middle of my floor and barf in my hair. We are all hot messes but we can do it, we DO do it, somehow, everyday. Sometimes it is like I am living the life of one of my beautiful Instagram squares and some days it pure chaos and tears. Either way, I get it done.
3. You made the right choice.
When I look at my girls together sometimes I just tear up. This is it. Even though I was miserable at the end of my pregnancy, even though I am tired and sore down to my bones sometimes.
Every pound gained.
Every contraction felt.
Every late night wake up.
Every nursing session.
Every pump session.
Every single thing is worth it. Every. ONE.
Three things my NIECE taught me.
1. It's not where you come from, it's where you belong.
I don't really have to explain this I don't think. ❤️
2. You don't get to decide when the time is right.
After watching the journey that led to her, I am amazed. It is just proof that we are not in control and what child comes to us when is not up to us. And now, here we are, basking in the joy of some of the most joyful children I have ever met.
3. Even though someone parents different than you, it's also perfect.
Just like I said I can only parent the kiddos I have the same goes for everyone else. My sister and her wife couldn't have a more different take on parenting than my husband and I. How happy are our girls? Like lil piglets in poop happy. Every single one. They are the perfect parents for her and are we for our girls. Let stop with the damn shaming already! I am 100% positive I would not be the right parent for my niece and my sisters aren't perfection for my girls. But, would we all lay down out lives and do whatever it takes for anyone of these ladies? You bet your ass.
Until I started blogging more frequently and dove way down deep into this Insta world I had no idea what really went into designing a beautiful, cohesive, esthetically pleasing feed. Now, I know the truth, and I am hear to share it because...
"Don't be a hey look at me girl, be a come with me girl"
-Cara Alwill Leyba
By now you have probably seen quite a few photos on my feed and a lot of other local blogger's feeds from this particular shoot. Allow me too explain. We did this shoot as a collaboration, in conjunction with sponsors to cross promote them and each other and as a form of blogger networking. It was my first experience doing a shoot like this and I will absolutely be doing it again. It gives you a ton of content for your blog and feed that is cohesive (if you are a blogger or influencer) and it was just a really good time connecting with local, likeminded, awesome women, and having it captured by a talented photographer Amanda Vick!
At least part of each of our outfits were sponsored by Wantable. I have to say mine was one of the more envied get ups because it ended up being a 44 degree day in May, which is a bit chilly for a rootop (The Astor Hotel) and beach (Bradford Beach) shoot. Plus how freaking cute? This is like the ultimate, effortless, cool mom outfit!
Champagne flavored cotton candy was spun up by Sugar Smith which is located in Madison and honestly one for the coolest sweetest setups I have ever seen and you may see it at my daughter's 3rd birthday party!
Cold beverages were provided by Cut Water Spirits. Now, this is a genius thing you guys, mixed dranks in a can, no fuss, boom!
Shout out to Lake Effect Co. for the adorable coozies that kept us sipping our drinks on the beach which protecting out fingers from frost bite. Yes, in May, thanks Wisconsin.
I am thrilled I had the pleasure to meet all of these amazing women and new friends!
There, the cat is out of the bag, sometimes you take pretty picture for the sake of Instagram and your Blog feed and amazing things happen. I always say to myself when posting, "pretty picture, better story." I am not trying to fool anyone into thinking that my like is "Insta-perfection" I want to share my story with you all, the raw the real. But, a picture itself is worth a thousand words and that photo, that moment of you scrolling, it's the first impression I have to give. Gotta make it good!
I hope you will take the time to check out some of my new friends, they are doing some incredible things on the interwebs y'all. Here's where to find them!
If you want more tips about beautifying you Instagram, let me know, I'll keep 'em coming. CHEERS!
The day that I sat in the specialists office and watched the peanut "scratch" on my daughter's back turn into a swollen mosquito bite looking bump in less than five minutes all I could think about it all the things that she wouldn't be able to have and how much of a nut job (pun intended) I would have to be for the next however many years until she KNEW what she could and could not have to eat.
The issue reached a new level when my niece was diagnosed with not only a peanut allergy but an egg allergy as well. Cue endless jokes about how dry and flavorless all of their birthday cakes would be for the rest of their lives. I searched tirelessly around the city to find a bakery that could make a cake in a facility that was not only peanut free but egg free as well. This is a BIG ask for bakeries, a lot of pressure for them to make sure that your baked goods could be guaranteed not to come in contact with allegen foods.
On a referrral I discovered The Pink Bakery.
All of their mixes as well as everything that is baked fresh on site if FREE OF THE BIG 8 ALLERGENS. The Big 8 foods are: Eggs, Fin-fish, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts and Wheat. You can rest easy knowing that none of the things your precious baby cant be exposed to have even crossed paths with any of the ingredients in these desserts. I know what you are going to ask? Do they taste like anything at all then? Yes! Decadent even! I didn't believe it myself until I baked 'em up and gave them a taste.
I used the "Not So Plain Jane Sugar Cookie Mix" with the added flavor or organic meyer lemons per the box suggestions and they were just the right amount of tangy. Be prepared to work this dough a bit more than a traditional sugar cookie before cutting it out. Once they were cut though, they held together and baked up nicely. I chose to top them with a organic meyer lemon icing and couldn't let them cool even before tasting. YUM!
This "Not So Frownie Brownie" and it is just that. Once the batter is mixed it looks like fudge y'all. FUDGE. It bakes up more of a cripsy outside and chewy inside, not cakey. Either way sweet tooth slayed with these.
Lastly, and most favorite was the "Mama's Favorite Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Mix." This you will be hard pressed to determine that this is an altered cake mix in any way. I topped them with an organic homemade vanilla bean whipped cream frosting and listen I could barely get photos before my husband and daughter jumped on these. My daughter typically doesn't get passed the frosting with desserts so when she walked up to me with just crumbs left in her cupcake liner I was shocked! The little surprise chips inside definitely take these over the top.
I am so excited to have found these baking mixes that I can have on hand that I KNOW will be safe for the kids in my life and also on playdates! So moms rejoice and get yourselves over to The Pink Bakery to soothe your allergy woes!
This post contains an affiliate link, there 's something in it for you too. All of the opinions are my own and 100% honest.
This pump is legit.
I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!
My world has changed y'all. Everything I thought I knew about pumping has been blow up! I have always associated my dedicated pumping time to be just that. Stuck in a chair somewhere in my house because I am not about to lug a block with me around let alone I would have to then plug it back in, in another room and make sure that it was at the same phase and when I unplugged, all while trying to time how long I have been stuck to this nipple yanker. Well fear not friends, this is no longer how I start my mornings and this beautiful little kit below is why. BEHOLD!
(Image from babybuddhaproducts.com)
Since the birth of my first daughter nearly 3 years ago the Medela Pump and Style has been my fave, my lover. I loved it, felt it got my breast empty, was powerful, and portable enough to take to work without breaking my back. I never really searched for anything else. Now that I have my Baby Buddha, I am just wondering where it has been all my life.
Here is everything that comes with the Kit. It leaves nothing to be desired! The two things that I really appreciated that I have not seen with other pumps are the covers for the pumps and the fact that the bag comes standard! It covers are so awesome if you are packing these in a bag that has things besides you pumping supplies, it keeps them from getting dirty!
Sure it's cute and all, but is it powerful?
The first day that I used this I got more output than I was getting consistently with my old pump in less time! I got 12 oz while dual pumping in 10 minutes! My old routine called for 15 minutes of pumping and only expressed about 8 oz on average! So, I was pretty much sold immediately.
WOW 12 oz, but is this before or after feeding?
For the first few days I wanted to have a controlled measurement of output, I pumped BEFORE the baby fed in the morning. These results were about 3.5 hours after the baby had most recently nursed. Here was my output for the days following.
6.5 oz (immediately after nursing)
7.5 oz (immediately after nursing)
As you can see my little bug got sick of waiting a few days in there, so sorry these are completely scientific results without variables guys, I'm just a mom. ;-)
What gives those results?
The rhythm that the pump has is different from any I have experienced it isn't just the two phase you typically see. I felt that it brought on my let down more quickly and giving a more effective pump session over all. I felt this was the most "empty" my breasts have ever felt after pumping.
Isn't it annoying that it hangs around your neck?
Nope. Not it the least. It is so light weight! Plus I love that it has the digital display that tells which phase it is in and how long you have been pumping, no guess work involved.
Aside from the portability of courseThat would be a toss up. I love the cushy covers that are on the nozzles, delicate on the lady goods. But that is not the BEST thing. You can single handedly choose if you want to dual or single pump with the flick of a switch! This is a BIG DEAL! If you typically produce more that one standard pumping bottle full, you know with other pumps you have to unplug the tube from that side on the unit, and then cover the air hole so that the other side will continue pumping in the mean time. Not here. You push the switch over and the other side continues business as usual as you empty the bottle, or maybe you are simply done pumping on that side. Easy Peasy.
Is it loud?
With the power it is putting out I am surprised at how quiet it truly is.
How long does the charge last?
I have found it to last about 5 pump sessions, so just under 1 hour of active pump time. You can not pump with it plugged in so you do have to remember to charge it once the battery symbol starts to flash at you on the screen.
I used to want to set my pump a flame once I weaned my kiddos, I feel a little less pyro about it now. I am not kidding, this has totally changed the way that my mornings run and changed the tone for the day. There's something about being about to just live and not making pumping suck so bad that you dread it, AND getting real, amazing results. I can't say enough good things about it. Plus, look how freakin gorgeous it is! Do your boobs a favor and get this around your nips mommas, you wont regret it! Just for being here are reading,
use code: Shauna10 for 10% off of you're purchase!
Lets start at the beginning. First things first. The worst thing about breastfeeding is pumping. It's not latch or chapped nipples or waking up at night to feed. It the damn pump. Attached to you, draining every drop of gold, just for you to spill it on the counter because the baby is crying and you are rushing to transfer it into a bag to store. I HATE pumping, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone that found their roll as Bessy enjoyable. But, alas, we are not here today to dream about the moment we can finally set fire to are milk expression machinery. We are here to talk about the holy shit moment when I thought I had been wasting my life pumping and storing over 500 oz for my impending return to work all for...my baby to refuse a bottle. ALL THAT FROZEN MILK Y'ALL. Ready for the thawing. Waiting to nourish my sweet babe while I returned to the world of the living from Mombie land. Don't let this happen to you, don't be like Shauna.
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.