How to survive a particularly crappy day

Some days just aren’t as good as others. There are different levels of bad days. Sometimes you know a bad day is coming, other times they just seem to fall out of the sky. But I do feel like bad days don’t have to be so bad. I find myself to be a positive person a majority of the time, but I have bad days just like everyone else (I think that’s a requirement in being a human). Of course I am no expert, but these are just my tips on how I get through a bad day.

1. Try to find the positives in the bad day. Maybe something about the day might be bad, but as they say “this too shall pass”. There could be good reason that something isn’t going your way. Try to think of what good things happened to you today. A friendly smile, an invite to lunch, etc.

2. If step 1 doesn’t work, just remember that every day has an end. Maybe you are having a particularly bad day at work, but eventually the work day will be over and you will get to go home.

3. Try not to anticipate bad days. There are times when you might know a bad day is coming (a deadline, an exam, a jam-packed scheduled day at work). But try not to let it get to you before the day even arrives. It’s hard when you know it’s coming but you don’t want to ruin the days before it even happens. And just remember like in step 2, that day will eventually come and go before you know it.

4. Radiate good vibes, or talk with someone you know that radiates good vibes. It is true that you feed off the emotions around you. So if you know one of your friends or co-workers is always happy and positive, try to talk with them. And stay away from the Debbie Downers.

5. Take a break. Even if you have an extremely busy day scheduled, stop for 10 seconds, take a deep breath and analyze your situation. Sometimes all you have to do is stop moving for a short while to clear your head again.

6. Go for a walk, get some exercise, hit the gym, get your blood pumping. All those extra endorphins always do the body good.

7. Play some tunes. Whether it’s pop, rock, hip-hop, anything with a good beat. Music always seems to help. Just try to stay away from the slow, sappy songs.

8. Dance. This goes along with steps 6 and 7. For any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there, just dance it out. But really, get up, get moving. It will make you feel better.

9. Manage your day. Maybe you just have too much to do, try to prioritize it all. It’s possible that not everything needs to be done right away. If you make a list of what is the most important and what needs to be done first, it will help put your mind at ease.

10. If all else fails, have a glass of wine at the end of the day.

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Preparing for travel with a baby

Next week we are heading to Florida to visit John’s parents for a week. We’ve been piling items up on our dining room table for about a month now, trying to organize what we need to bring. We’ve been making lists, checking them twice, and heading to the store to pick up extra supplies.

It’s crazy how everything you do changes so much when you have a baby. When going on trips before I would just throw everything in a suitcase the night before and be on my way. But now with Lincoln, I want to make sure I have enough supplies to survive our day of travel.

Our flight leaves our home airport at 5:30 AM and we arrive in Florida around 1:30 PM. We have two flights, from home to Chicago (about 1 hour) and Chicago to Tampa (about 2 hours 45 min) and about a 3 hour layover.

I’ve been searching all over Pinterest on what to bring on the plane and what to pack when you have a baby. We don’t leave until early Wednesday but we plan on doing more of our packing on Sunday. This is my first time flying with a little one, but here are some tips I’m following to make the trip go smoothly (fingers crossed).

1. Bring as much formula/food, diapers, wipes, etc (and maybe a few extra) to get you through your travel and buy the rest when you get to your destination. (This tip works as long as you’re going somewhere with a store nearby.)

2. Look online at what you can and can’t bring or check on your airline. We are flying with United and we are allowed to bring on unopened, pre-made formula, which is so much nicer than having to pack the powder. We are also allowed to check one stroller AND one carseat for FREE. Checked baggage can add up quick when you need to pay so it’s nice that they let you do this.

3. Bring an umbrella stroller or baby carrier. The stroller could be plane side checked and you could fit a baby carrier in your carry-on bag. It will be so much nicer to have something to put the baby in rather than trying to carry them and your luggage at the same time.

4. Feed the baby or give them their pacifier on take-off and landing. The sucking motion keeps their ears from popping and makes for a much happier flight for everyone.

4.5. But make sure you don’t start feeding the baby until the plane is actually beginning take-off. If you start when you’re just leaving the gate the bottle will be gone and you won’t be so happy.

5. Bring their favorite blanket or non-noise making toy with you on the flight. Baby is more likely to remain in a good mood with familiar items.

I’m sure there are plenty that I’m forgetting to list, and I won’t find out until the day arrives but that’s okay. I feel we’re prepared but not over prepared to the point that we won’t fit everything in our suitcases.

Do you have any tips on packing for travel or flying with a baby? If so feel free to share below!

  

My first Father’s Day as a mother

Dads don’t often get the recognition that they deserve. Usually its mom that they come to when they have a problem, get hurt, or want something to eat. It is a tough job being a mom, but it is no easier of a job being a dad. Dads can be our best friends and the ones we run to when mom says no. Or sometimes they can be the enforcer of the rules and we spend our teenage years mad at them because we did something silly and got in trouble.

But like the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child” and I guess I never realized just how true that was until Lincoln came along. There are days when I probably wouldn’t have made it through if it wasn’t for John. Sometimes we might clash on our new vs old styles of parenting, but at the end of the day if we didn’t take each other’s advice we would definitely struggle.ย Father’s Day is a day that comes around only once a year, just like Mother’s Day but I think as parents (and especially dads) they don’t get all the appreciation they deserve. But that’s the thing, once you become a parent you stop celebrating yourself and start celebrating your children, and your partner for helping you raise them.

Being a parent gives you a whole new light on what our own parents had to deal with. I am so lucky to have the father that I do. Together we get to share his love of hockey, his overall outgoing-ness, laid back attitude, and definitely his stubbornness. Our fathers are the first guys to steal our hearts, and to spoil us. I know my dad has spent many hours doing a lot of girly things, and maybe what we’re doing wasn’t always his favorite, but as long as he was with his kids it was his favorite at the time. And now that Lincoln and my niece are around, I can see his joy and love as a grandfather and it gives me the light to see how joyful he was his whole life because of his kids.

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10 things being a mom has taught me

You learn a lot in the first year of motherhood. Whether it’s baby things or personal things, there is a lot of knowledge gained.

1. Time management is key. Whether it’s the baby’s schedule or mom’s schedule, sticking to it is important. 

2. You don’t always need the fanciest or most expensive thing. Babies love to play with just the box the toy comes in, that should tell you how important price is to them.

3. You are doing it right. No matter what it is. As long as mom and baby are both alive at the end of the day, you’re doing it right.

4. Sometimes everything can be solved with a nap. They always say “sleep when the baby sleeps” and some days that can be impossible with the list of 100 chores to do. But some days it’s unavoidable to take that 30 minute nap, and when you do, you’ll realize it was your best decision of the day.

5. There isn’t an answer to everything. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut instinct and do what you think you need to do.

6. As long as you are dressed, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. Some days can be busier than others and there’s no time to look fancy, but you know what? Baby doesn’t care what you’re wearing!

7. It’s okay to let things wait. Heck, I even wrote a whole blog post about this. Worried about the clean laundry that’s been sitting in the basket for over a week? As long as the baby is happy, it’s okay that the chores aren’t done immediately.

8. It’s okay to be frustrated. Being a mom is frustrating, work is frustrating, life is frustrating. Just find somewhere to release the frustration and you’ll be okay.

9. Time goes by in the blink of an eye. I know I’ve heard this over and over, and there are days when you think to yourself “yeah right, this is the longest year of my life.” But then you look back on it and everything is a blur. 

10. You are the best mom ever. Each and everyone of you. Whether you feel like it or not, you truly are.

  

Summer goals

Now that summer weather is finally reaching our area, I figured it was time to write out some goals for the summer. Hopefully when I look back on this post and the leaves are changing and the fall winds are blowing, I will have completed most or all of these things this summer.

1. Spend lots of time OUTSIDE. Our summers are too short, theres no reason to spend time inside when the weather is nice.

2. Keep working out, and hopefully shed some extra pounds.

3. Explore the many waterfalls in the area.

4. Plant some flowers (and hopefully keep them alive).

5. Find an SUV before the end of August.

6. Blog at least twice a week.

7. Teach Lincoln new things.

8. Hopefully finish our patio in our backyard.

9. Attempt to paint our old wood paneled walls.

10. Plan a great 1st birthday party for Lincoln.

11. Spend lots of time with family.

12. Learn new recipes.

13. Complete some DIY projects from my Pinterest board.

14.Read a new book (or two).

15. Find happiness in each and every day.

What are some of your goals for the summer? Do we share any of the same ones?

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A typical day with a pre- toddler

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might recall a post of mine called “The truth about a typical day with a newborn”. If you haven’t read it or don’t remember it, you can find the post here.

Anyways, to make a quick summary of that old post, it basically talked about the fact that Lincoln wasn’t on much of schedule at the time and one day was different from the next. It kind of mocked the normal posts you see about newborn schedules and how stay at home mother’s go kind of insane during the day.

Well, now that Lincoln is a bit older and has been able to actually adjust to a daily schedule, I would have to say that things around the house run a lot smoother now. And I like to call Lincoln a “pre-toddler” now because we like to call 11 and 12 year old “pre-teens” since they kind of adjust from being a little kid into a teenager during those years. Well, I feel that the same goes for 6 month olds to about 1 year olds. Some times it amazes me that Lincoln is only 9 months old by the things that he does and how fast he has learned, other times when he has a temper tantrum because I didn’t get him down for a nap on time it reminds me of some of his newborn days.

Well, back on topic now, here is what a typical day with my pre-toddler looks like (Also, I will leave out most of the diaper changes and that because I would hope you would know that those aren’t always scheduled and happen many times during our day)

7:45 AM – John heads off to work for the day and I spend a little extra time in bed (lucky me!)

8:20 AM – Lincoln’s internal alarm clock goes off and I grab him from his crib in his room.

8:21 AM – I bring Lincoln into bed with me so he can play around until my brain and body are ready to start the day.

8:30 AM – After Lincoln tries to dive bomb off the bed, or after he gets sick of trying to pull down our reading lamps attached to the headboard, we go downstairs.

8:31 AM – I put Lincoln down on the floor and toss his toys down with him and let him explore for a bit. We usually turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background, he doesn’t pay much attention to the TV itself but he loves all the songs and voices.

9:00 AM – After Lincoln gets bored with his toys and climbing all over everything, I put him in his highchair and we have some breakfast. He loves to have baby oatmeal and fruit in the morning.

9:15 AM – Once there’s breakfast all over his face, I clean him up and put him back on the floor to play. I usually end up chasing him around the house for a while until I see him rubbing his eyes and yawning.

10:00 AM – We head back upstairs, he has a bottle, and we relax a bit before nap time.

10:30 – 10:45 AM – He usually likes to climb on his crib for a bit (new thing for him) before he tires himself out and falls asleep.

10:46 AM – Most days I head back downstairs, drink my coffee, take my shower, clean up the house, and catch up on my blogging and emailing and any other computer things. Usually I’ll catch a show on Netflix for a bit or something. Basically it’s “mommy time” during Lincoln’s nap. Oh, and usually I eat some lunch too. Also, some days I just take a nap.

12:30 PM – Depending on the day and how much sleep Lincoln got the night before his naps tend to vary, but usually pan out to around 2 hours.

12:31 PM – I bring Lincoln back downstairs and we play on the floor for a while together.

1:00 PM – Back into the highchair for lunch time.

1:15 PM – Sometimes we like to go for walks or go to the park if it’s nice outside. Otherwise we explore around the house and play with the toys until John gets home from work.

3:00 PM – Depending on the day, John usually gets home from work at this time.

3-4 days a week this is when I would start getting ready for work which starts at 3:30 PM for me. So I’ll just continue the schedule as if it was a night that I didn’t have to work (because who knows what goes on when it’s just John and Lincoln!)

3:05 PM – We usually go run any errands that we need to and get groceries before Alexander comes home from school.

4:00 PM – Lincoln goes back upstairs for his second nap while I start to get dinner ready.

5:00 PM – Lincoln wakes up and we all have dinner together.

5:30 PM – Clean up time and play time.

6:00 PM – Depending on the weather we usually go for an evening stroll around town.

7:00 PM – More play time and chasing Lincoln around the house until bed time.

9:00 PM – Bed time for Lincoln (and actually usually for us too, because we’re exhausted by the end of the day)

Obviously, each day has a little bit of difference to it, and everything isn’t perfectly timed out like that. Such as today, Lincoln has had a high fever the past two days because of teething and it’s finally coming down today but his nap ended up starting at 12:00 rather than 10:00, but thats okay.

I have found the schedule is pretty key for the day to run smoothly and this is just what has worked out for us and it keeps us all happy.

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Dear Lincoln {9 months}

Dear Lincoln,

It’s crazy to think that you’ve been around post belly as long as you were in my belly! Time is flying by so fast, before I know it we’ll be celebrating your first birthday!

You’ve grown so much this month. You got two new teeth coming in on top, which would make a total of 4 teeth now. And with those teeth you love to eat! We’ve tried all different kinds of foods this month, and you’re a fan of almost all of them, except maybe mango! You’ve even had some macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, pieces of spaghetti, and other foods from your mom and dad’s plates.

You’ve learned a new trick at the end of this month, which is to pull yourself up on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Nothing is safe from you now. I know you’ll be walking before we even realize it.

You still army crawl (the fastest I have ever seen) but your dad and I decided that you are probably just going to skip normal crawling because you can get everywhere you need and fast by doing what you’re doing.

This month I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day because of you. It was a wonderful day and I am so very grateful to be your mother.

We spent lots of time hanging out with family and watching some hockey. Your favorite team (Chicago Blackhawks) are in the Stanley Cup final coming up!

We also went on your first hike this month and you had so much fun! I can’t wait to go on more this summer.

I can’t wait to see what this new month has in store for you. You are growing up so fast! By this time next month we will be in Florida visiting your grandma and grandpa! First airplane trip!

Love,
Mom

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Getting organized (and hopefully staying that way)

Ah, the first day of a new month. It always feels nice to sort of hit a “refresh” button from the month before and set some new goals for the month ahead.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go with it. I didn’t know how many times I wanted to post a week, or even what I necessarily wanted my posts to be about. All I knew was that I really loved to write and share my thoughts with other people. Maybe why I got a degree in Communications, right?

I feel that I’ve been doing a “decent” job keeping up with posts considering I have a crazy 9 month old at home and I work in the evenings. But, I’ve recently joined an online group with other women bloggers called “Fab Female Bloggers”. I am really impressed with the blogs that I’ve seen through our group and I know that I really want to make my blog something great.

From having a newborn, I’ve come to learn that schedule means everything. If he doesn’t get his nap at the time that he is used to, he turns from a lovely baby to a crazed overtired “toddler”. (Seriously, sometimes when he has his temper tantrums I swear he has aged 2 years already.) I’ve started to get on my own schedule as well, learning the best time to do my own things. Basically, whenever he takes a nap.

I’ve decided that with this new month, I will become more organized with my blog. I found my old planner from school (that only goes until July 2015, so I’ll need to purchase a new one soon!) Also, can you believe it’s already half way through 2015?? Anyways, back on topic, I plan to organize my blog at least two weeks in advance. I hope to post at least 2-3 times a week and may have some guest bloggers write for me as well (specially when I will be out of town for the first week of July).

I will continue with my monthly Lincoln posts (one coming tomorrow), things about motherhood and my life, and life from my iPhone posts. But to widen my range of viewers or just to have more topics to post about I plan to start adding in some recipes (considering I love to cook and am always trying out new recipes that I find online), DIY, and maybe some product reviews. I am also open for suggestions of blog posts. If there is anything you think you would like to read about, feel free to comment below and let me know.

I really appreciate all the views I get on my blog, and all the nice comments I receive about my posts. I hope to give you even more to be excited about in the future.

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