It has been EIGHT months since Anakin was born… WHAT?! This child is large and in charge (of our house.) Things are baby-proofed on the daily, messes made in the kitchen as he learns about food, and all plans revolve around our beloved bedtime routine. Since about two months, we average 10 hours of sleep a night. Half thanks to Anakin loving both sleep and playing HARD – half a lot of work, patience, and repetition on our part. Every growth spurt/ leap/ change he has slightly effects a random night here and there, but this has been our routine to wind down our little jedi.
5:00 Dinner solids (snacks and steamed vegetables)
5:30 Clean up house, play, and books.
6:15 Lotion, brush hair, and pajamas.
6:30 8 Oz. bottle
6:45 Books and night time Disney JR. nurseries.
7:00 / 7:15 Laid down in his Dock A Tot for bed.
Wakes between 5 AM and 7 AM
He recently just transitioned to his Grand sized DockATot, and it is a dream! The Deluxe+ sized dock is best for babies 0-8 months old or 5-22Ibs, so we got our new size at just the perfect time! The new, larger Grand size is for 9 – 36 months and 22-40lbs. The Grand is perfect for cuddling, playing, lounging, resting and everything in between. It’s ideal for our upcoming week long travel dates (pray for us)! We highly recommend the Docks for bed transitioning, thanks to built-in, air permeable sides that act as bed rails, allowing young children to settle more easily in a bigger bed. We rest easy and guilt free knowing Anakin feels a snug sense of security in his newer, bigger dock.
This time we also got a travel bag for our trip next month, which is durable (100% polyester), water-resistant (not waterproof), easy to clean, and comes in a drawstring dust bag. We went to Texas a few months ago, and he transitioned smoothly in his dock, so praying we have that luck with a bigger time difference soon!
The three of us are so thankful for DockATot for collaborating with us again, and being so generous in offering our community $10 off all Docks! Which Docks do you have in your cart?
My first real mother’s day is coming up… It won’t be the first celebrated – my dogs (AKA my husband) have gotten me cards for years and last year I was pregnant… but this is my first real mother’s day of having my heart live outside of my body. What do I actually want? I know the answer is supposed to be “nothing” or “I have everything I’ve ever wanted” but those would be lies. What I really want for mother’s day is time.
We want time to soak in every milky smile, every uncontrollable laugh, every open mouthed beso, and every time we see the light bulbs go off in in their eyes when they grasps the meaning of something for the first time. We want time to save them from every fall, to calm down when they are frustrated, to figure out if they need Motrin or gripe water or something in the cabinet to ease their pain. Sometimes we want time to wash the spit up out of our hair. Sometimes we want time to just laugh at ourselves for going the whole day without noticing it was there.
We want time to sob over how much our babies change daily. We want time to pray over them as they grow from babies to kids, kids to teens, teens to world changing adults. We want time to figure out how to explain the birds and the bees – then some years later explain to them how to change our first grandchild’s diaper. We don’t want time to stop or rewind – but to be able to see these moments happening and be aware that this is what life is about.
Joy is found in the seconds and minutes and hours. Joy is not limited to just our vacations and weekends. All we want is more time to soak in this joy called motherhood. Every mother, like every child, is unique in her own heavenly way. If it is being a mother through pregnancy, fostering, adopting, or simply loving others as if they were her own – she deserves a timeless gift that is just as unique. This year I am honored to wear my first wooden watch from JORD.
If you’ve been subscribed to this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that I am passionate about my vegan lifestyle. I love animals, I love our planet, I love my body that God has given me. Not only does being vegan mean I don’t want to eat animals, it also means I don’t want wear them. Most luxury watches are made with leather, so for someone to gift me something vegan shows me that they are beyond thoughtful. These wooden watches are a true piece of art, and a reminder of the unique mothering role God has given me. Every day I can rest in knowing that joy is welcomed in these messy seconds.
I am blessed and excited to pass on a $100 gift code for a cruelty-free, sustainable, durable and timeless watch from JORD. One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a small gift once the contest is over. To enter, fill the form at this link*.
I wish I could say, “I’m never too proud of myself.” But you guys, I am not the one to learn “how to be humble” from. One of the things I am most proud of was managing a couple weeks solo with a newborn under a month old. Ya girl was all by her lonely self. No family – thanks military. No husband – thanks military. No friends that were around to help (I’ll let that one slide, BUT THANKS MILITARY.) In fact, I spent a lot of time solo. My husband returned to work to help with hurricane damage on base when Anakin was just three days old and also left for training when he was two weeks old. I’m not even going to play it cool, ya girl was frightened.
Having to bath a rubbery, limp noodle of a baby solo – not fun. It happened, and it ended up being fine, but FRIGHTENED.
Having to go to check ups solo? What is the doctor said he was dying – FRIGHTENED.
Having to do any sort of shopping? NO PROBLEM.
You know, it’s funny. For someone who LOVES being at home, I sure do LOVE shopping. We’ve cut back on unnecessary, but shopping for the sake of survival is actually exciting to me. If my husband doesn’t ask “where can I go sit down?” then it wasn’t a good trip, DO YOU FEEL MY LOVE FOR SHOPPING YET? I’m the annoying person in front of your pasta reading every ingredient of every brand. I’m the one that has coupons AND cartwheel. I’m the one looks like I’m doing “the father, son and holy spirit” hand signs before squatting to see the bottom shelf of the clearance section. I know someone out there feels me on a spiritual level…
Anyways, I got asked often by new moms, “how are you doing it?” How are you managing a stroller, car seat, AND cart or basket? Well, easy… I didn’t. I am the mom that knew life went on when there wasn’t a husband in town to help. My son needed a healthy mom to make milk, and in order to do that, I gotta eat! I am so thankful for brands like Binxy Baby that keep solo parenting in mind.
This shopping hammock took the dread away from running the simple, everyday errands. It has grown with us from newborn to seven months old! Although we’re about to retire it since Anakin can sit up by himself, it is a nifty tool that would make a genius gift for any upcoming baby showers.
Thankful for Binxy for giving my followers 10% off all products! What are you parenting hacks for shopping?
“If you breastfeed, the weight just sheds off.” Raise your hand if you heard this myth. Here I am, seven months later, and still a chubby-cheeked, chunky vegan. If the weight came off for you with no diet change or exercise, WOW. You are so blessed, but I’m not impressed by genetics. I am however impressed by those who choose to take care of their temple while also chasing around demon possessed tiny terrorist calling out “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM.” I like to think your reward will be in heaven for your patience and discipline!
Motherhood is fun for me; I get to learn how to navigate life a whole new way while also raise a tiny man (the first of hopefully many.) I must admit, going to the gym is not fun OR cheap for your average new mom. The price of gym memberships = price of formula or diapers or toys or you get where I’m going… Something for baby. While our gym membership is free on base and super close, I just can’t bring myself to leave Anakin yet. I want to include him in everything we do! Some may need the mental and physical disconnect from their babies just for an hour, and that’s okay. For me, the opposite happens – I get anxious and just can’t enjoy my workout being away from him or I feel like I should be spending that time with my husband since I CAN NEVER SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL MAN ENOUGH (I’m obsessed with him.)
At the same time, I can’t be a bum. Anakin needs a quick mom to get the dog food before he does. He needs a mom strong enough to do a thousand squats a day when he army crawls to my feet and cries. He needs a mom with endurance because nap times are just long enough for coffee (and, on a good day, blogging.) So let’s snap on our high-waisted leggings, squeeze into a nursing sports bra, and rock these mindless three beginner postpartum workouts with our terrorist- I mean tremendous babies!
When I baby-wear: the commissary, going for a walk, busy markets, cleaning the house on a fussy/ clingy day, in airports.
Wearing Anakin has been a great way to strengthen my back and core! Early postpartum I struggled with back pain and numbness (I’m assuming from the epidural.) Now I can feel a huge difference in my energy and back strength! Just make sure you’re following the company’s recommendations to safely carry and not just going off a rando on YouTube; not all carriers are made the same.
This was MUCH easier before Anakin started power crawling and standing up, but my tip is to do this while baby is awake! Use a DockATot, jumperoo, or a chair to entertain them and do what you’re comfortable with. Yoga, planks, push-ups, sit-ups, and any body weight movements. I personally don’t want him near weights (he’s an adventurous spirit) just because it’s one less safety hazard. When he’s older, ya girl is going to weights!
Walk The Dog(s)
Maybe you don’t have dogs, but spend time outside! You can use a stroller or a carrier, just go outside around the neighborhood, a trail, a track, or a plaza. I need to go outside to just disconnect from the endless to-do list at home. Anakin loves to watch his dogs, checking out the lighting in stores, or see colorful produce. Going for a walk can boost your energy, relieve stress, and be a great form of exercise!
These are my tips to sneaking in some muscle and tone during the postpartum season of life. Thanks to The Mint team for partnering in today’s post! They make these workouts easier with comfortable and practical leggings. Plus their tees are SO SOFT and COMFY! This is my second top from their site, and I’m obsessed with it (even for those bum days). Here’s a last tip: if you sign up for their e-mails, you’ll receive $10 on your first order! As always, you are so loved and are doing great mama!
What are some ways that you keep your strength up? Comment below!
Like this post? Here are some others you may enjoy today!
This was not a post ever on my list of “blog ideas” but I just can’t shake the feeling that someone may need it today.
If you’re new here, hiya, welcome, hola, aloha. I’m Angel – a young military wife and new mom, and I like sharing the gospel and where God’s taken my expectations to make something better.
Pre-mom me had two very drastic expectations of motherhood: 1) I will be a working boss. I will make a fortune, provide all the gadgets for my kids, and still find time to cook authentic food OR 2) I will stay at home, grow a farm, have all the animals, homeschool my children, and never lose my patience.
I work (if you can even call it that) from home building my businesses (if I have the time) making very little money.
I look at toys in Target and think “but is it worth it?”
I cook microwaveable vegan dinner meals so I have the time to make organic baby purees – actually I take that back – my husband who works a thousand hours a week in stealtoe combat boots ends up making most meals.
Some days I look at my under exercised dog and wonder why they’re all up in my business – wait did I feed them today?
I have yet to keep a plant alive for more then a month.
And I have decided I will most likely (for sure) move out of the country before ever home schooling, because my patience is thinner then my postpartum hairloss.
The reason I haven’t made a blog post in a few weeks was because I was hosting visitors. I dont know why, but I feel weird excusing myself to make a blog post. Anyways, one of our touristy stops was to a local coffee shop that I used to work at. My husband has asked me almost weekly “are you losing your mind yet? Do you miss the cafe yet?” and I have yet to have said “Yes.” Now having stepped back into a building I used to poor hard work into, I can comfirm it was never as hard or rewarding as what I am doing now.
The last month I was working there, I was puking my entire shifts, always crying on the bathroom floor, and praying that the stress of my husband’s deployment and finishing my two weeks notice wouldn’t make me have a miscarriage.
You might think “wow, drama queen, you literally had an easy job making coffee…” but that job was my form of ministry. People came in tired, overworked, in need of a pickmeup, and I got to pray over them and try to be a light in someone’s day. I still miss that connection sometimes, but then the Lord makes a way elsewhere. For example, Anakin caught the attention of a shopper in Whole Foods. Actually my back pack did, but then she realized it was for the baby, then we just started talking and I left sharing an agency so she and her wife can start their foster care journey.
So anyways, what I’m trying to share is that raising babies isn’t easy. Working from home isn’t as comfortable as people who work from home make it sound – you actually have to sacrifice a lot more sleep! But it is so WORTH it, even if you’re not the sugar momma or daddy that you imagine you’d be. God will meet you where you are, but you still have to go out a seek opportunity to give Him the glory. And if you’re a working parent, AWESOME! I know my husband’s dream is to be a SAHD, and one day he will be. We are so blessed to live off his steady income, and are well aware that most young parents don’t have the luxury of considering working (or not working) from home. God uses all, in His timing, for Him kingdom, and His glory – but we must be willing to chose Him no matter how, where, or what our work is.
Ahhhh, going back to Anchors & Planes basics today… a new step in the military life. One of my most popular blog series is about Basic Training. After BMT, we headed for Tech, first duty station, multiple deployments, training’s, and most recently ALS (Airman Leadership School.)
My husband tested out of cycle post-recent deployment, and found out he made Staff Sergeant (SSgt / E-5) just a few days after our son was born. It was such a surprise to him, but not to me; he is a natural born servant -hearted leader. So the next steps included several testings, CDC’s and ALS. Your loved one, no matter the branch, may have to take the school at another base. Luckily, we got to stay together this time! His class was on base, so it was only a five minute commune. His time in the class was different then his normal work schedule, so Anakin didn’t get to spend much time with him during the week, but the weekend were our jam (when he wasn’t doing homework.)
Your loved one may mention a few events that are taking place during the class: Class potluck/ BBQ, flag ceremony, and graduation. My husband was very casual in mentioning them, and putting no pressure on me to go to them, but was clear in saying “you’re invited” and “kids welcomed” or “I think kids can’t go.” The BBQ was super casual, and I brought Anakin hoping to meet other new moms… but there were only small handful of spouses. Which was great because everyone wanted to meet our baby, but a little intimidating when the ALS teachers decided to sit with us *tries to act civilized.*
When Anakin and I came back a couple weeks later for the flag ceremony, I was shocked to see only one other spouse there. The ALS teacher and base commander came over to chat and play with Anakin. One looked at Anakin saying, “You won’t remember today, but your daddy will never forget you being here for him.” Y’all, I wanted to cry. No matter how busy I am, how tired I am, how piss-y Anakin is – we will always do whatever it takes to be there for Davis. Sometimes showing support is just showing up.
So unlike my previous posts about supporting your loved one in the military, I am going to ask my husband, Davis, about how he felt the past month…
How did you feel supported by me?
Davis: I felt supported by you watching Anakin all day. Even when I came home, you watched him everyday, all day.
How did you not feel supported?
Davis: I didn’t feel not supported.
Looking back, what would make you not feel supported? Like if I did these things, it would make your time in ALS harder?
Davis: Hmm, complain about schedule. Complain about how much homework I had to do in the beginning. If you didn’t going to graduation without a good reason.
What would be “a good reason” to miss graduation?
Davis: Not having a baby sitter that you trusted, working – stuff like that.
If you could give anyone advice going into ALS, what would it be?
Davis: Take good notes and manage your time wisely.
I hope you enjoyed this post! ALS is short time that plays a big part in our loved one’s military career. Here is a vlog from the day of the flag ceremony and graduation; overall it just shows you it doesn’t matter how your day is going or how you’re dressed – sometimes you gotta just show up!
Davis, I am so thankful for you. For your hard work, for your fatherly heart, for your servant-hearted leadership. I love our beautiful life together, our family – and giving all the glory to God!
But we are debt-free, saving growing, single-steady income-aires… with an infant.
This is culturally the year we are supposed to be overwhelmed financially; it is the year of having our first child. Yet, we are working less and saving more… What sets us apart from the newlywed couple we USED to be? Self discipline, greater goals, and smarter work. Open communication and judgement-free conversations that lead to feeling good about our choices and not hiding receipts. Here are my tips on how you can save more for your family for FREE.
We all want a savings but think, “I’ll save next paycheck.” The time to save is NOW. Let this spring – no TODAY- will be the start of your joyful finances! Grab a warm mug, and lets get uncomfortable.
Businesses know when payday is around the corner. You’ll notice more going on, and e-mails flooding in for “YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS…” and boom, you’re suckered into buying toxic candles to last you the rest of the year. Start your spring cleaning by unsubscribing from everything. Including notifications from Amazon Prime! Money for out of season candles or money for vacation? That’s a lot of margaritas on the beach in Mexico that you’re missing out on, just because “well, it was on sale.”
Look at everything with DIY googles. Making your own coffee at home cost less money and time then going to a Starbucks. Doing your own nails cost less money and time then going to the nail salon. Doing your own wall art cost less then the Pottery Barn must-haves. Upcycling furniture cost less money and takes less time then going out for new items. This is a great way to learn new skills! This year I learned to cut my husband’s hair, tone my own hair, and sew baby items for Anakin. The little things add up, which is how we were able to afford a recent trip to Texas for a friend’s wedding!
If you have friends that are only available to meet for brunch, lunch, coffee, dinner, drinks, movies, etc – invite them over. Make a pot of coffee, have a BBQ and jump on Vudu. This can save on food, drinks, entertainment tickets, parking fees, toll fees, baby sitters, and unfortunately more. I am the biggest fan of brunch occasionally, but a bigger fan of authentic and real friendships. Friends want you to succeed, and will be understanding to a change of scenery!
Never Pay Full Price
Shopping consignment and thrift stores saved us big time with baby items and furniture. If you are in a store and want something, try seeing if there is a coupon online. My favorite brand Free People can be found in Marshall’s for nearly 40% – 60% cheaper! Today, I got $80 worth of Too Faced make-up for under $35 at Macy’s (two full sized products, and three freebies!) Shop smart and save. I try to make sure that if I am coupon-less, I am at least supporting locals. Buying bulk and using the calculator app on your phone is also a great tip for groceries! Keep your eyes out on unit pricing and adding up your items so check out isn’t uncomfortable if you’re out of budget.
Overall, we have to have strict black and white goals. What are our wants? What are our needs? And what are we spending our money on that is neither a want or a need? For us, it was easy to cut out cable TV, the bulls-eye section at Target, and presliced fruit. It turns out I also don’t need to have a high maintenance hair color and my husband doesn’t need more video games… that is until Anakin can be his Player #2.
And like always, you get what you pay for. I may have a cheaper hair appointment, but I still get it trimmed by someone I trust. Forever 21 may have the cheaper price tags, but I want to invest in pieces that don’t shred in the dryer and can handle baby fluids. We want to make sure our bodies are well fed with healthy food, and that we have a mindset of investing in our future. There is no authentic, genuine, and joyful future in impressing anyone with things we can’t truly afford.
I hope these tips are both encouraging and helpful towards being mindful and confident in your spending this year! If you have any other changes others can make for free, feel free to leave them in the comments!
Dress from PinkBlush
Dress from PinkBlush
Dress from PinkBlush
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I am so excited to be partnering with Warner Bros. Pictures this week for an EPIC giveaway in celebration of 12 Strong opening this weekend! One winner will be selected to win a $50 Fandango gift card to see the film in theaters and a military style 12 Strong Sweatshirt *insert heavy breathing over Hemsworth.* THIS IS SO EXCITING! Anchors and Planes was born on my first day of supporting my husband through basic training and has featured care packages, life changes, and growth woven through the years of training, moves, and deployments over the past four years. I am so thankful to share this movie and giveaway that tells a part of our service member’s truth and reality.
Heart of a hero. Courage of a warrior. 12 Strong is in theaters Friday.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers” films) and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals”) star in “12 Strong,” a powerful new war drama from Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Based on Doug Stanton’s best-selling book, “Horse Soldiers,” it is story of heroism based on true events that unfolded a world away in the aftermath of 9/11.
“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.
I’ve partnered with Pink Blush to bring you guys my super simple lazy day outfits for the winter time here in Florida. Today was one of those days where I just needed a mental break from e-mails, cleaning the house, and wrapping up the holiday chaos. All I wanted was to drink my coffee while driving on my own time, cuddle Anakin, and watch him learn today. Even if I caved to do laundry, it was a successful lazy day!
I wanted to give myself a full week to share my feeling about the Last Jedi (who am I kidding, I really just wanted to watch it three times.) While most would say “review,” I’m going to say “feelings” since that’s all that they are. Reviews are for experts, and I am simply a consumer. A big fan, but still just a consumer. And out of respect of anyone who HASN’T seen The Last Jedi yet: LEAVE. BE GONE. Come back when you have, because we are diving into spoilers.
Watching at surface level:
I “feel” like this is a great movie to watch as a stand alone. This could have been an adult or child’s first Star Wars film, and it would still be extremely enjoyable. The colors, posing, choreography, and landscapes are visually stunning. The humor is both subtle and blunt for all ages to laugh at LEAST once (if not throughout the entire film). There’s a clear mission: get the hell away from the first order. At surface level, it’s a movie I’d recommend anyone to see.
Watching as a fan:
I feel like it’s the best Star Wars I’ve seen.
*Hides under a BB-8 blankie before being stoned to death by BBQ’d Porgs*
If that feeling makes you already want to punch me in the face, I’d be happy to refer a therapist to you, because remember: we are just consumers. If you’re thinking “ah, she’s a girl, what does she know about Star Wars,” that is probably also why you hated the film; it is full of bold female characters.
Women + Star Wars
This past year, I decided to keep my son’s name private during my pregnancy. When we introduce him, people high-five my husband… WHAT THE F-, not only did I grow him and push him out of my body, BUT I PICKED HIS NAME. I realized now, it’s because I am a woman. Even other women have said, “her husband is a big fan” while I have to politely say, “WE are big fans.” I share this to show that older people still associate Star Wars to be a man’s favorite, but if you cruise the little girl’s clothing at Target, the Rey merchandise will tell you otherwise. Star Wars is changing in a direction to include many roles for women in leading the first order, the resistance, and the new jedis to come.
Rey + Kylo
Their scenes together are hands down my favorite. I feel like Johnson perfectly executed them communicating via force. Their performances and chemistry were believable, and captured the theater’s attention. You hang on to every word they say, searching for clues for what is to come. Obviously their scene in Snoke’s throne room was my favorite. It was fluid, stunning, and the most romantic action scene I’ve seen in Star Wars.
I personally don’t care about Luke’s character anymore. I think they could have given Mark more action, wisdom, and bravery, and less of a burnt out character. However I understand that they just had too many characters to develop and they didn’t want to continue building a character that’s a part of the past. He found peace, and I’m that was beautiful and all, but bleh.
DISNEY. WHAT THE HECK ARE YA GON’ DO NOW?! The first scene when you expect her to die… I was shook. Dang Disney, you just gon’ blow her out of the sky like that? Okay, you hood now DIsney, because that was brutal… but then she flew back to the ship, and while most cringed, I kind of felt a relief. I still want her character to come face to face with Kylo. Her using the force would have been cool had it of been on land, but whatever. I spent the entire movie waiting for her to die! I wish they would have just said she doesn’t die, so I could have focused better on other things.
I appreciate the direction Star Wars is going in as far as Jedi’s aren’t that special, BUT I REALLY WANTED HER TO BE A SOLO OR SKYWALKER. They didn’t do a great job of giving fans any sort of closure in this character’s background to move on from it… Still secretly hoping in the next film, there will be a huge reveal that Kylo was just emotionally abusing her or that her an Kylo are not related and can be together (kind of like an anti-Anakin storyline: Anakin joins the dark side and loses the girl / Ben leaves the dark side and gets the girl).
And I am like the only person on earth who appreciates the love animals are shown in this film, so I won’t bore you with that.
For The Last Jedi haters:
This star wars trilogy is not ruined. You are not entitled to anything. No matter how many collectibles you have, we are all just consumers, m’kay?