To the Momma Struggling with Self-Care I see you. I am you. I’ll admit this to ya’ll, I wasn’t very good at self-care even before I had kids (Gasp!) After the boys came, the self-care… More
Being a mom is a challenging task that often lacks rewards or praise. We are often trying to balance our time between taking care of the family, the household, balancing the cheque book and paying bills that it has become so easy to neglect our own needs.
This last year has been particularly difficult for my family and until now I didn’t have the time or the energy to stop and breath and am now so overwhelmed with a rush of emotions that I can barely keep my head above water. For the longest time, I thought that the only way to push through and survive these feelings was to focus all of my time and energy on my family.
I was very wrong. I am ashamed to admit this but recently I have found that I have an incredibly short fuse with most people, including my own children. Now more than ever, I needed to focus on me and my own needs. I’m not a selfish person and taking time to care for yourself is such a necessary action. After all, who will be there to take care of everything when you are depleted, depressed or buried too deep in a hole that you can’t see the light anymore.
It all started when I realized that I was useless to my family if I couldn’t stand on my own. How could I be expected to take care of anyone else when I couldn’t be bothered to care myself? It’s not rocket-science, I mean seriously, they even announce on airplanes that in case of disaster out your own air mask on before assisting anyone else.
If you are anything like me, you might not even realize that you are neglecting your own needs. Make the conscience decision to evaluate yourself, this may include your physical health, emotional state and even your mental health. You are important and you are valuable. It’s time to find the desire and to invest in some hard work in caring for yourself first.
I know there are not enough hours in a day to get even the basic of things done, and now I’m asking you to find some time for yourself. To help you on your way, I wanted to share my tips and trick for finding time for you.
- Take A Bath
In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself enjoying a nice hot bath with bubbles. Find your favorite scent for bubble bath, light up some candles, play some soft music and relax. Let your mind escape for a few moments.
- Say No
Do not take on more than you can handle. You are not selfish for knowing your limits and it’s perfectly acceptable to say no every once in a while.
- Listen To Music
I often use music as an escape from this world. I love putting on my favorite music and having a little dance session in the privacy of my own bedroom. Load up an iPod or any electronic device with all your favorite songs and just get lost in the music. I’m often interrupted after a couple of songs by children wanting to join in on the party and I don’t mind it has often been great family fun.
- Get Some Sleep
I know this is easier said than done, especially if you are like me and suffer from insomnia most nights. My advice is to get sleep anyway and anytime that you can. It doesn’t have to be at night time. You can sleep in for an extra 15 minutes on the weekend or grab an afternoon nap. Even just a few minutes of extra sleep will have you more energized and feeling much more rested.
- Have Alone Time
I’m not suggesting that you go crazy and wild for an entire weekend or even a day. Try to find 30 minutes each day for time to be alone. This can be first thing in the morning, on your lunch break at work or even right before bedtime. Take 30 minutes and go over your daily schedule, or review what you accomplished today and think about what tomorrow will hold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CRYSTAL FROM BUSY MOM DIARY
I am a full-time working, potty-mouthed and tempered, home-cooking, thrift-finding thirty-something mom on a budget. I am married and have two children, a tween and a teenager. Life is great. I blog to share our personal life experiences and adventures in parenting.
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I realized I haven’t really done a DIY post in a while and I’ve been seeing so many relating to Christmas and other winter holidays already, that I decided to share with you how to make your own “Give Thanks” jar for Thanksgiving! This is a really lovely tradition to start with your family. The idea is to write down one thing you are thankful for each day leading up to thanksgiving. I am sure you could adjust accordingly and even do this throughout the year if you wish! We plan on reading all of our “thankful sticks” on Thanksgiving as a fun family activity.
To make this I used:
- Popsicle sticks (from the craft section at Dollar Tree)
- Fall related stickers (I actually used some wall decals that I had on hand!)
- Twine (Also from the Dollar Tree)
- Chalkboard labels (From the Dollar Tree)
- Mason Jar
- Label Maker
- Permanent Marker (I used Orange for “Fall”)
How I made it:
The First thing I did was stick my chalkboard label onto the mason jar. I used my label maker to write out exactly what I wanted to be said on the jar. I could have used chalk but I am not a fan of my handwriting and don’t have a chalk pen. The next thing I did was place the mason jar ring on the jar without the middle ring. I took some twine and began wrapping it tightly around the top of the jar until I was satisfied with how it looked. I just tied and tucked the rest of the string in, no glue needed! I decorated my jar with some green vine decals all the way around to give it more of a Fall vibe. The last step is to place your “thankful sticks” or Popsicle sticks into the jar along with the marker!
I hope you guys enjoyed this easy peasy DIY and start an awesome new tradition with your family! I know some people do a thankful tree, there are so many ways you could go with this! Thanks for reading and have a happy Thanksgiving!
As a young mom one of my biggest struggles has been adjusting to being independent in the kitchen and learning how to cook actual tasty food for my family. At this point I still have a lot to learn and a lot more to create, but I feel so much more confident in the kitchen now. I take a great amount of pride in being able to cook for my family and it is a skill I want to help other young moms to feel more secure in learning.
I am going to share with you my top 5 kitchen tips and tricks as well as present you with some tips and tricks other moms have suggested in my Facebook group! I hope this will be super helpful and allow you to branch out and be creative in the kitchen. If you have any awesome kitchen tips/tricks feel free to share them in the comments!
MY TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Read your seasonings! If you are unsure on how to season something or you are looking to step out of your comfort zone with seasoning, take a look at the labels on your spices and seasonings. Most of the time they will have suggestions on what types of meats and dishes to use it on as well as what seasonings it pairs well with!
- Invest in a crock pot or slow cooker! This will help you save time, as well as make your food super tender, juicy and flavorful. Almost all crock pot recipes are just dumping all ingredients together and then setting it to cook on high or low for a certain amount of time.
- Set timers! If I am cooking in the crock pot this is usually already done, but I have made it a habit of setting timers for myself to check my food as well as take it out. As a mom you can become easily detracted and this is a simple way to remind yourself of steps that might come in the middle of cooking, as well as making sure you don’t burn your food!
- Taste as you go! Of course you only want to taste if its safe, don’t go tasting raw meat. You can however taste your marinades and seasoning mixtures before you put them on raw meat to make sure that it will be to yours and your families liking. Don’t always trust a recipe, if you don’t like the taste of something then don’t add it!
- Measurements are relative! To some extent of course. I remember how hung up I would get on making sure everything was exact, when I first began cooking. Since then I have learned to add what is called for, do the tasting trick listed above and then adjust accordingly. Not everyone likes salt or pepper, and some people prefer more. If you use tips 4 and 5 together your meal will taste how you and your family want it to which in tern will give you more pride in your cooking skills!
MOMS FROM FACEBOOK GROUPS TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:
“My best tip would be when meal planning always plan a few quick/easy meals because it’ll help keep you from eating out…some days you don’t want to take a long time to cook so it’s nice having those options” – Submitted by Abby Stebbins
“When you take the time to make lasagna or something labor intensive, make a double batch and freeze one tray. I do the same for apple crisp too. When I buy meat for a pot roast, I buy 2 and freeze one for later in the month. It’s easy to throw in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and takes less than 15 min of prep.” – Submitted by Sarah Mahan
“Before you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a list for that week or month and don’t go shopping when you’re hungry to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.” – Submitted by Chelsea B.
“Use cute resealable containers to store staple items such as flour, sugar, coffee, etc. because it keeps everything fresh, makes your kitchen look nice, and is less messy compared to scooping out of bags.” – Submitted by Clarissa Henderson
“Create a recipe board on Pinterest, a recipe book or binder to organize all your favorite recipes. Pinterest is also great for finding simple recipes for beginners.” – Submitted by Keira Addams
I was recently contacted to try out an all natural skin care product developed by a company called Theralight, Inc. (Please see disclaimer at the bottom of this post!) The product is called Thaumaturgic Bio Mist and is basically an electrolyzed salt and water solution. This is a multipurpose spray that is good for everything from sun burns, scrapes and cuts, redness, inflammation, scar reduction, skin hydration, itchiness, plus so much more! The thing that really turned me on to trying this product is the fact that it is all natural and hypo-allergenic, so I can use it on my pregnant body as well as my little dude without concern of it containing harsh chemicals. The active ingredient in this product is an oxidized molecule called HOCL 0.02%. You can find more great information on how this product is made as well as what it works well for on Theralight’s website by clicking here.
Now lets get into the review! First I would like to say that I mainly tested this product on myself as I felt I had more of a need for it then my son. Since it is winter time here in Oregon he hasn’t been burnt by the sun or received any nasty bug bites luckily! After my impression of this product though, I look forward to keeping it stocked in the diaper bag as I am very happy with my results.
The packaging of this product is very light and simple, I love that you can just toss it in your purse or diaper bag. The spray pump gives off a light mist and you don’t feel coated in product when applying it. I decided to mainly use this as a toner for my face. I have really dry and red skin by the way so I figured this would be a more moisturizing and soothing alternative to all the alcohol based toners out there that dry my face out even more. I have also been using this every morning and night on my stomach to relieve the itch from my stretching tummy. As most of you know I am in my third trimester of pregnancy now and this is one of the main symptoms I have been struggling with. I hate putting lotion on my belly because it feels sticky and heavy to me. This product has no smell to it and feels just like water being misted onto the skin when applied.
RESULTS THAT I HAVE NOTICED:
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After testing this product for only two weeks for itch relief on my stomach, I have noticed a great improvement with it! I use it every morning and night, when I feel the most uncomfortable and it works pretty much instantly for taking away the itch. Since I have only been using this product for a couple weeks I haven’t seen too many changes with the stretch marks on my stomach, but have noticed a decrease in redness. I also want to add that I did talk to my doctor before using this on my stomach, because I am pregnant. Theralight recommends on the bottle that you contact your physician to get the okay before using if you are nursing or pregnant. My doctor said it was perfectly safe for me to use, but if you are nursing or pregnant make sure to consult with your physician before using.
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As I said before I used my Thaumaturgic Bio Mist as a toner and for skin hydration on my face. I have been spraying this on my face every night before bed and occasionally in the morning. I feel a soothing sensation after spraying this topical mist on my face after a good exfoliation with my cleanser. I have noticed a decrease in redness as well, but the soothing feeling I get instantly is great. I don’t feel sticky or icky after applying it. I don’t feel like my skin is burning or super stiff (which is how it normally feels with toners).
I think this product is really great because it is good for so many things! I have been unable to test this out on my son but I can’t wait to have it on hand during the summer because I know the soothing relief I have felt with it will help with any bug bites or sunburns that we may get. I am excited to continue to use this throughout the rest of my pregnancy for itch relief and soothing my dry skin problems. With it being such a versatile product, it really is a moms best friend. I don’t have to carry a ton of products around with me when this works for so many things! As I mentioned before its all natural and hypo-allergenic which is an A+ in my book as well! If you have tried this product out let me know what you use it for in the comments below!
“Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity by Theralight, Inc. to review this product. However, the brand or company has not influenced me in any way to provide any type of review other than my true and honest opinions. I am disclosing all information provided in this review according to the information provided in Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
My kids are the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever seen. Never in life have I adored someone as much, thought of as much, or felt incompetent around as much (you all know that feeling, right?). I feel like they’ve opened up a whole new world to me, a world of possibilities, love and devotion – so much stronger than any other love there is. I am blessed.
Like most mothers out there, I too am in a constant spin to give them as much moral, intellectual and physical education I can, be their teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. I wish to teach them to believe in themselves, love themselves and appreciate everything they’re given. It’s a step by step process, and we’ve got a whole life ahead of us… I couldn’t be more excited!
However, a Catch 22 of motherhood is that, after giving birth, most mothers forget about themselves and focus on children, only; they often neglect their social lives and their husbands too, leading the relationship into a rut and often a divorce.
After giving birth to my third child, I’ve noticed a similar thing happening to me and my hubby Mike. I barely spoke to him, neglected him, I was all about Lilly. It was… unhealthy, to put it nicely. And I probably wouldn’t have done a single thing to change this if Mike hadn’t talked to me, worryingly.
I remember it like it was yesterday; we were having lunch and he got very serious for a moment, his face frowning and eyes sparkling… he looked at me and asked “Do you not love me anymore?” His question stroke me like lightning; I felt so bad I could cry right now while I am writing this… “Of course I love you, I love you more than you can imagine!”, I said. “But you barely look at me, let alone touch me.” My heart stopped for a second. “I am awful and you are right. I’m sorry that I’ve been so distant lately. I’ll do my best to work things out.” And I did. It felt so weird going back to normal (normal being the state of things where I am actually focusing on something else other than Lilly), but I did it!
For all of you gorgeous moms who have been in the same or similar situation as mine, I am giving you a few insights on what I’ve done to bring the spark back into my marriage and rebuild myself from an obsessively dedicated mother to a healthy mom and a great wife.
I hired a nanny
To manage three kids, my business and still be hot with my husband, I needed help. I simply couldn’t do it all on my own, and once I admitted that fact to myself – things became much easier. Once we got a nanny, there was more me time, and more time for Mike. Things started going back to normal slowly but surely.
I was still crazily attached to Lilly (she was 13 months at the time) but I was slowly getting to a healthier spot; what can I say, I adore her (and my other two kids, of course!)! Guilty as charged!
I went pampering
I’ve always linked new beginnings with new looks; my determination to go back to being my sassy self was a sign I needed a change. So – I went to Pier (my beloved hairdresser); he laughed me out from the door for not having come in for a hair appointment for over eight months! He gave me a bottle of amazing hair vitamins, a brand new haircut and threatened to smack me if I don’t show up next week again! Ha-ha! Well, with such a serious threat, I had to go back, right?
P.S. Mike loved the new hair!
I initiated dates
Instead of waiting for Mike to take initiative, I made that step. I would organize movie and dinner dates, galleries and museums, little gatherings with our best friends and it was amazing. We had the opportunity to reconnect, whether it was just us two or in a group. It was like we were dating again except we had these three gorgeous little children to come home to. The spark was back, and I swore I would never let it dim again.
I touched him more
Closeness isn’t just about talking and promises; it’s about physical affection, too (and I don’t mean the bedroom, only). I started hugging Mike more, kissing him more, paying him a naughty look from time to time, holding his hand… If he’s at the kitchen isle, I come behind him, wrap my hands around his torso and kiss his back; or, if we’re watching TV, I curl up to his shoulder and just, sit there. Things like those, you know? They’re seemingly insignificant but mean the world!
My dear mommies, whatever’s happening – don’t despair. Just remember: you are loved, you’ve given birth to little phenomenal humans and you’ve got a life ahead of you. Don’t be stubborn, accept critique and change, and you’ll have your life back in a second. Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TRACEY CLAYTON FROM HIGH STYLE LIFE
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles. She’s also passionate about traveling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Visit Tracey on her blog and read more awesome articles by her at: High Life Style
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This week has been super crazy! We officially put in our notice to move, Halloween of course came and went, I am testing out a new product, we launched the mommy care and wellness page, and there is just so much to do before baby comes! We are super excited about all these new things taking place, but also a bit overwhelmed. I will be posting a new schedule on the welcome page of this site soon so that you are able to know when new posts and guest posts will be happening.
Anyways! Lets get to the fun stuff! Week 30 is here and that means only 10 more weeks to go give or take, until we meet little Declan!! According to my pregnancy app little man is the size of a cabbage and weighs approximately 2.75 lbs He has been getting the hiccups more often now and his kicks are stronger and stronger. So far I have gained about 18 lbs and haven’t experienced any other symptoms that I haven’t mentioned before. I got the results back for my Glucose screening and my doctor will be explaining them to me at our next appointment. From what I could tell it was in the normal range though.
We have begun to track baby’s kicks once a day usually at night before bed. So far it hasn’t taken more then 5-6 minutes to get 10 kicks/movements out of him! In the tracker we got from the doctor it says to be concerned if you don’t feel 10 kicks or movements withing 2 hours so I think we are good there! Our next appointment is scheduled for the 11th of this month, we are now seeing doctor every two weeks!
Thanks for staying up to date and reading along! I really appreciate my readers and please go ahead and leave me a comment if you’re pregnant and let me know how its going for you, or just reminisce on your pregnancy! I would love reading about it!
Our Facebook group Mommy Meals, Snacks, Crafts, and Activities! is hosting a thanksgiving recipe contest this November! This contest will run for 1 week and it starts on November 7th. If you are interested in participating please join our Facebook group and post your recipe and a photo of that meal together on the timeline of the event that is pinned to the top of the group.
Voting starts on November 7th. You have until then to add your entry! This contest is thanksgiving themed so please stick to thanksgiving recipes! Side dishes, desserts, etc. are fine as long as it is thanksgiving themed and only one entry per person! First place will receive a prize that is determined by the poll posted in our group. I will announce the results of the poll on November 7th. There may be a second prize winner as well. I will add the winning recipe to the top of the group for the rest of the month and all recipes will go in an album in our group! The winning recipe will also be featured on the welcome page of this website!
*Other Terms and Rules*
You must vote on one other entry if you are entering. You CANNOT vote on more then 1 entry. Last time everyone voted for everyone’s photos a lot during our cover photo contest, and while that is really nice and we have a great group of supportive women in our group – it is not fair for the sake of the contest. We encourage anyone voting to test out recipes, I know that since this is an online contest that won’t be realistic for most so try to stick to 1 vote per person please!! Good luck ladies! Let’s share our thanksgiving secrets with each other, learn some new recipes, and have fun!
THE WINNER OF NOVEMBERS THANKSGIVING RECIPE CONTEST: Shandra Alexis
“This is my favorite thanksgiving dessert I wait all year for it.”
our winner will be receiving a $25 Amazon Gift Card on December 1st!
During the week of Halloween we did quite a few festive activities, but the two main events for Braydon were trunk-or-treating, and a candy fest at a local church! A couple days before Halloween Daniel and I took Braydon to a Church here in town called Morning Star Community Church. It was super cute and all the volunteers had their trunks decorated in different themes. If you don’t know what a “trunk-or-treat” is, it is basically trick-or-treating set up in a parking lot out of peoples trunks. It is meant to provide easy and safe trick-or-treating for neighborhoods that are dangerous, secluded, or have a harder time trick-or-treating.
Braydon’s favorites were the trunks he got to “fish” candy out of, and my personal favorite was the Snow White trunk! They had a cute little photo booth set up and they were all dressed in costume. They had a Ducks and Beavers trunk, Buzz Lightyear trunk, etc. We liked it so much Daniel and I were talking about volunteering next year, it seems like so much fun!
We also Stopped in at Target and checked out their trick-or-treat event, they had four booths set up throughout the store so we got to take Braydon to trick-or-treat while we shopped!
On Halloween we took Braydon to another church event at the West Salem Foursquare Church, called “Candy Fest”. It was definitely and awesome event! It is a very large church and it was super crowded for good reason. They had numbered booths set up everywhere for you to collect stamps and participate in games and activities. Braydon only did a few of the games including a basket ball toss, fishing for candy, and a cup shooting activity. His favorite thing seemed to be the bounce house they had set up as well as the very large slide he went down with Daniel!
As we were getting ready to leave I started feeling sick and tired and Braydon seemed tired and overstimulated as well. (He hadn’t had a nap of course and had been loading up on candy all day!) We decided to call it a night and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters instead of taking Braydon trick-or-treating like we had planned. Braydon enjoyed getting trick-or-treaters and would repeat “trick-or-treat!” everytime we got a knock at the door.
How did your Halloween go? Events with little one’s can be sort of stressful at times but at the end of the day, if your child had fun that’s all that matters right?
When I think of self care, there are quite a few things that come to mind, from my weekly shower where I’m actually alone, to yoga, exercise or even something as small as making a fun scrub or body lotion. I absolutely love being a stay at home mama, but sometimes it’s difficult when you have a little connected to you at all times. My daily self care comes down to my cup of coffee in the morning, that truly helps me unwind and allows me to still feel like a person. I make my cup of coffee with peppermint flavor, heavy cream and whipped cream, and I use a french press. To me this is relaxing in its own, I boil water add it to the coffee let it sit then slowly push it down, just the aroma alone is comforting. I take this time each and everyday, I sit with my warm cup of coffee and I slowly drink it normally while my son is watching his favorite show, minions. I get a little bit of peace before the crazy day begins.
Other things that help keep me feeling grounded would be yoga, and I am a very early beginner, but I do have to say that it helps you feel so centered, it is a really great workout, which honestly makes me feel proud but it also is somewhere you can focus on your breathing and just let go, I don’t even think while I’m doing it, I focus on my breath, focus on my body and I get so completely relaxed. I find it so important to take a moment to do something for yourself each day, because all day and night you’re doing everything for everyone else.
One thing I do biweekly, is paint my toe nails, ok lets be honest sometimes it’s monthly, but having painted toe nails makes me feel a little more put together. Something that helps you feel confident about yourself is very important, whether that’s doing your make up daily to feel put together, or it’s putting your shoes on strapping your baby on and going on a walk. I am definitely the latter, I am one who loves to be active, and I don’t feel that confident with make up on, so for me doing something active helps me feel very confident. There are things like scrubs, or face masks that can be easily made at home and can help make you feel calm and relaxed, I have made banana honey cinnamon face masks, or a coffee sugar scrub which uses used coffee grounds sugar coconut oil and man just the aroma is amazing. You pull some of that out at during a steamy shower and all the sudden your surrounded by warmth and coffee and I also add vanilla.
Really my most relaxing moment is when my husband is chilling with our son and I am able to take a long hot shower to myself, no worry of getting my soap in my son’s eyes, or the water being too hot or him hitting his head or slipping and falling, those showers are more stressful then anything. During my relaxing showers, I place epson salt and some lavender essential oils in the bottom of the tub and I turn the shower on hot and get in, standing on the salt helps my aching feet and also helps soften them while the aromatherapy helps calm and relax me. I get maybe one of these showers a month haha I wish it was more often but I am still breastfeeding and my sweet 18 month old just doesn’t like to be apart from me.
One of my favorite times of the day is, story time, there is just something so calming and sweet to me reading stories to my little as he sits thumbing through books of his own listening contently to whatever book we are reading at that time. Life is stressful sometimes, but finding ways to treat yourself can make life easier, find things that make you smile, make you happy and don’t let dishes or laundry push those aside, they need to be a priority to your day just like everything else. One thing I make a priority each week is going to the farmers market with my son, we have a mama and me date weekly on Saturday, we go to the farmers market we buy fresh produce and then we go home and have such an incredible snack. I look forward to our Saturday date weekly, and am actually so sad to say that this coming Saturday will be our last market of the season until June.
About The Author: Abby From Mamastebs Blog
“I’m Abby, a 23 year old nurse, wife and mama. I just recently started blogging and so far I absolutely love it! My blog has a lot about my life as a mama and a wife, DIY projects, low carb nutrition, and our adventure with a natural pregnancy and childbirth.”
Visit Abby on her blog and ready more of her awesome posts at: mamastebs
This pregnancy is flying by so fast! I only have a couple months until we get to meet this little man! I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for his arrival, and I am super excited!
For symptoms this week I have noticed an increase in Braxton hicks contractions and a lot more pain after laying down for a long period of time. I’ve started wearing my belly band for added support because it hurts my back to even walk around or bend over.
At my doctors visit this week, the baby measured at “28 weeks” which the doctor said was normal. She surprised me with a tdap vaccine and the dreaded hour long glucose test! I am super excited because she gave me the hospital paper work as well as some info on recording, picture taking, and what to bring to the hospital! I will be seeing the doctor every 2 weeks from now on. She also wanted me to start doing a kick counter to make sure baby Declan is moving okay in there.
I feel like this pregnancy is going by so quickly! I only have a couple short months left! I hope to have my baby shower soon, get moved, pack our bags and tour the hospital very soon! We decided that we wouldn’t be doing birthing classes this time around but I do want to see a lactation consultant beforehand.
Thanks for reading my update! Hopefully we will have visited the hospital by next weeks update and get the paperwork going on baby’s birth certificate!