Confessions of a First Time Mom

Not too long ago I wrote a post on my breastfeeding confessions. After that post, I got to thinking that it might be fun to share some of my first time mom confessions. I’d love to hear some of yours, too. Make sure you leave them in the comments!

Confessions of a First Time Mom - Click to find out the only pregnancy book I read and my strange first pregnancy symptom. What's your confession?

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The only pregnancy book I read cover to cover was Baby Bumps by Nicole Polizzi (a.ka. Snooki from The Jersey Shore). I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I’m not. It was a really good book. Especially, since I faced an unplanned pregnancy. Though Nicole’s circumstances were very different, I could relate to and felt comforted by her initial feelings toward finding out she was pregnant.

I once got out of the car at a stop sign, while very pregnant, because I was angry (over something really stupid, of course). I ended up in Starbucks sitting at a table crying to some strange man about my problems. Hormones anyone?!?!

One of my first pregnancy symptoms was gas. I looked it up and it’s totally normal. I then called a friend and asked her why I’ve never heard anyone talk about this. Seriously. Why? Am I the only one?

I got a lot of nose bleeds when I was pregnant. Another symptom I had no idea about!

I was so sleep deprived the first month of my son’s life, I hardly remember it. So glad I recorded a lot!

I was really freaked out to use that Nose Freida thingMy son was 4 months old the first time I used it. And, yes, it is as amazing as everyone says. If you don’t have one, you should get one… if you can get over the fact that you’re sucking up snot!

I have second guessed my son’s name. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love his name. In fact, I wrote it down a couple of years before he was born. But he actually goes by his middle name (the name I love) and I’ve often thought maybe I should have just gone with that as his first name. Also, he has a hyphenated last name. I’ve wondered about that decision many times. Ugh. 

I once referred to my son as “my nephew”The really bad part is, it wasn’t that long ago! But, in my defense, I was an aunt for 19 years before becoming a mom. It takes some getting used to!

Motherhood is way more fun than I ever expectedI knew that I would love being a mom but I also knew that it would be tiring and hard because that’s what I constantly hear moms say. All. the. time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how fun it is!

These are just a few. I could probably write a book with all my confessions. Who knows?!?! Maybe I will!

Ok, you’re turn! What’s one of your confessions? 

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

It’s Perfectly OK to Cry Over Spilled Milk and Other Things I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding

Whoever told us that we shouldn’t cry over spilled milk was obviously a man. Or maybe a woman that never breastfed or maybe she just never pumped. In any case, this person was wrong. Dead wrong. When you are a breastfeeding/pumping mama, it is perfectly ok to cry over spilled milk. I now know this. Here are a few other things I’ve learned along the way over the past year of nursing my son:

Things I've Learned About Breastfeeding

  1. It’s not actually free. While the costs of breastfeeding don’t even come close to the cost of formula feeding, it is not free. There are still things you need to buy and I’m not even talking about a breast pump (which can get pretty pricey, depending on your needs). Until I was pregnant, I had no idea that you had to continue to take prenatal vitamins after giving birth when you’re a nursing mom. I also didn’t know, until my son’s 3 day check up, that nursing moms need to give their babies Vitamin D drops. (My doctor told me I could take Vitamin D myself but I’ve read in some places it’s not the same.) Then there’s the nursing pads, pump, storage bags, etc. Still way cheaper than formula, believe me, but definitely not free.
  2. You could quite possibly eat yourself out of house and home. I had no idea how hungry nursing would make me. No. Idea. This doesn’t exactly help with the whole “you lose weight faster” idea, either. You really need to pay attention to what you’re eating.
  3. The thirst is unquenchable. I also had no idea how thirsty I would be while nursing. It’s insane.
  4. A baby’s saliva can help mom produce milk to fight infection. This is both gross and totally incredible. When nursing a little bit of “backwash” will enter the mom’s body. Her body can then detect infection and adjust her milk to give the baby what she needs to fight it off. I read this in a mom’s facebook group but here is a link to an article I found about it. In that conversation, someone else mentioned the same is true about smelling the baby’s breath. I wasn’t able to find anything online to support that theory but I will say, I was completely obsessed with my son’s breath! So, it totally made sense to me. I still like to get a good sniff in here and there.
  5. A breastfed baby can identify his mother by the smell of her breast milk. I shared in my post on newborns that I’ve heard a baby can smell his mother up to 3 feet away! I find it so amazing, I thought it was worth repeating. A newborn can also tell the difference between her own mother’s milk and someone else’s.
  6. Breast milk changes composition during a feeding. In the beginning of a feeding, the milk is watery but toward the end it is thick and fatty (good reason to finish one side before switching).
  7. You can store breast milk at room temperature for up to 8 hours. I’m not sure I ever really thought about this before having a baby but I probably would have just put breast milk straight in the refrigerator. But you don’t have to! I didn’t pump very often at all but occasionally if little man slept through a feeding (I wouldn’t wake him) I would pump and leave the bottle on my night stand. Here is more information on breast milk storage and handling.
  8. You might feel as if the life is being sucked out of you. When you are nursing a newborn, it can seem as if you are feeding around the clock. You’re sleep deprived and exhausted. I remember in the first few days of my son being born, crying to my mom (and I do mean actually crying), “It’s like he’s sucking the life out of me. Literally.” I can laugh about it now and see how quickly that season passed but at the time it felt extremely overwhelming and never ending.
  9. It hurts. I guess I technically knew this but, really, there is no way to actually know how much it hurts until you do it. Of course, this is just in the beginning. Experts will tell you that it shouldn’t hurt unless something is wrong. I still can’t figure out why they say this. Maybe so more women will do it, I don’t know. Even with a good latch, there’s soreness and possibly engorgement. It can be pretty painful. But it’s only for the first few weeks, which is nothing in comparison to the amount of time and you will be nursing. And the amount of goodness you will be passing down to your baby for a lifetime!
  10. It’s the most amazing thing. Ever. All of the benefits of breastfeeding aside, I would do it again simply because it’s an amazing experience. During pregnancy I was in complete awe of my body and breastfeeding only magnified that. It is absolutely amazing how our bodies are created to sustain this little life, even after birth. Not only that, but it’s amazing how the baby instinctively knows what to do. I will never ever forget how my son worked his way down my chest to nurse for the first time. It completely blew me away. Once I got past the learning curve, the pain and the engorgement – I (slowly) started to appreciate the beauty of breastfeeding. It really is a beautiful thing.

What are some things you’ve learned about breastfeeding?

 

Music Time With Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

 

Music time is not only a great activity for little ones but it has a life-long positive impact on brain development. My son has enjoyed playing a lot of different games and activities but music time is definitely his favorite. It only gets more fun as he grows! We do a daily “structured” (as structured as we can be) music time but he often initiates his own music time several times a day.

When it’s music time, I start off by clapping my hands on my knees to let my son know we’re about to sing. I also do this in the church nursery and I have one little guy that will walk up to me and hit my knees, asking to sing. It’s too cute!

Music Time for Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.)

Here are some of the songs we sing during our music time and some of the fun things we do to go along with them. 

Zip A Dee Doo Dah – We are in a play group that opens circle time with this song every week. The group is called SKIP, so we actually sing “Skip a dee doo dah” but I sing it at home with my son the regular way. It’s a good opening song. I usually use an instrument like a tambourine or the maracas.

ABC Song – We usually play instruments during this song (these are our favorite) but I sometimes use his ABC book to point out the different letters as we sing.

If You’re Happy & You Know It – This is a favorite of my son’s. He mostly claps the whole time but it’s still fun.

Old MacDonald – What kid doesn’t love Old MacDonald? I use our Animal Noises book with this song. When we get to the “had a” I open the book to see what animal we will be doing. If you do this, make sure to shut the book after each animal for the dramatic affect of opening it for the next one. If you have a toy with barnyard animals, you could also use these. Keep the animals hidden and then pull one out when it’s time.

The Chicken Dance – I’m not sure how we even got started with this one but it’s the first tune my son has been able to “sing”. He will randomly bust this one out and start flailing his arms all over the place. It’s quite adorable. I usually will include this one in music time. It’s great for older ones because it gets them moving and kids love to shake their booties!

Shapes Song – I was trying to find a shapes song and came across this one on youtube. It’s an easy tune to catch on to. If you have a shape sorter you can use the shapes during the song or you could use a book and point to the shapes.

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes – We have a Scholastic book to go with this song, so sometimes we sing along with the book (there are also other books for the song on Amazon). Other times we just do without.

The Wheels on the Bus – My son really loves this one, too. I like to do this one sitting down with him on my legs. When we sing “the people on the bus” I bounce him “up and down” on my legs. He really enjoys this part and “the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish”.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – This is one of my favorites. Oh, and my son likes it too! We turn off the lights and use a flashlight as the “star”. I like to turn it off and on during the “twinkle, twinkle” and I start off point at the floor until “up above”, then I point it at the ceiling. My son loves looking up at the “star”. Another fun thing to do, if you want to be more active (especially for older kids), is lay on your back on the ground and move your arms and legs in and out so you look like a twinkling star. 

Numbers Song – One little, two little, three little… numbers.  I use my fingers to hold up the different numbers as we sing. When my son was a baby I used to sing, “one little, two little, three little babies”.

The More We Get Together – In our play group they end with this song and say each child’s name (example, “with Jack and Emma and Noah and (so on)… the happier we’ll be”. I do the same thing at home but since it’s just baby and mommy, I usually name our other family members as well.

What’s your little one(s) favorite song?

 

9 Quotes for Mother’s Day

9 Quotes for Mother's Day

I am constantly looking for great mom quotes to put on my Instagram account. Since it is Mother’s Day weekend, I thought I would put a list together of some of my favorites to share with you. 

I have also included some of the quotes on Instagram ready images that you can use for your own feed. Happy Mother’s Day! 

Here are 9 Quotes for Mother’s Day

  • “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “Having kids – the responsibility of rearing good, ethical, responsible human beings – is the biggest job anyone can embark on.” – Maria Shriver
  • “Sleep is out… tired is the new black.” – Amy Poehler
  • “A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” – Emily Dickinson
  • “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “Of all the rights of woman, the greatest is to be a mother.” – Lin Yutang
  • “Motherhood has the greatest potential influence in a human life.” – Unknown
  • “There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.” – Anne Diehl 
  • “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren

Do you have a favorite quote on motherhood?

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. Abraham Lincoln Quote. 9 Quotes for Mother's Day - Diary of a Mew Mommy

 Motherhood Quote by Maria Shriver - Diary of a New Mommy
 Mother's Day Quotes. Amy Poeimage
Motherhood Quotes. Of all the rights of woman, the greatest is to be a mother.
Emily Dickinson Quote on Motherhood. 9 Mother's Day Quotes.

My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix

Before having my son, I was quite the Netflix and (Hulu) junkie. While I don’t have nearly the same amount of time these days, I still enjoy a good Netflix binge here and there… or half a show before my son wakes up. Here are my 10 favorite TV shows on Netflix. (If you love Netflix as much as I do, you may also want to check out 5 Chick Flicks to Binge Watch on Netflix.)

In no particular order…

  1. Parenthood – I fell in love with the Braverman’s on Netflix. At the time, the series was still on. I started from season 1, episode 1 until I caught up with the season that was on at the time and I stayed a devoted fan until the end.My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy
  2. Drop Dead Diva – I literally gasped when I saw that this show is on Netflix. It’s a strange premise (model dies and assumes the body of a lawyer who is her polar opposite and also happens to work with the deceased model’s fiancé) but it’s totally addicting. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix
  3. Cristela – I was really sad when this show ended at two seasons. At least I can relive the hilarity on Netflix. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix
  4. Fuller House – I confess, I stayed up until midnight the night this show was released. I watched the first episode immediately and finished out the season by dinner time. Then I made my family watch it with me again. (Not all in one day, unfortunately.) I’ll probably watch the entire season at least one more time before the second season comes out. I know, I have a problem!My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy
  5. The Office – Do I really need to say more? I mean, who doesn’t love Michael Scott and the rest of those office crazies?My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy
  6. Parks & Recreation – This is a favorite binge watch of mine (or it was pre-baby). I just can’t get enough of Leslie Knope’s awkward quirkiness and passion for  the city of Pawnee. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy
  7. Young & Hungry – Ok, by now it’s no secret that I’m a fan of cheesy. I’m also a sucker for “will they or won’t they” story lines. Oh and I love food. So yeah, this is the perfect show for me. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix
  8. Melissa & Joey – Truth be told, the only reason I watched this show in the first place was because of Joey Lawrence but who knew it too would have that “will they or won’t they” factor. And when they did, the show was still just as good! My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy
  9. Baby Daddy – This is the only show on my top 10 that I’ve never actually followed during a current season but I occasionally watch a few episodes on Netflix. Ok, maybe more than a few. I think it’s pretty funny. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix
  10. Scandal – I guess you could say this is my “guilty pleasure” show. And quite different from all the others but oh so good. Also, I love Olivia Pope’s wardrobe. My 10 Favorite TV Shows on Netflix - Diary of a New Mommy

8 Ways to Play with Your Baby (0-3 Months)

It is never too early to play with your baby (in fact you can even play in utero)! Play is crucial for your little bundle’s physical, emotional and mental development. Babies are born to learn from our sensitive, loving care – this means, you are the best teacher! Also, playing with your baby is a great way for you and baby to bond.

8 Ways to Play With Your Baby - Diary of a New Mommy

Here are 8 ways to play with your baby:

  • Face to Face – Babies love face time (I mean, the original face time). And they respond more favorably to happy faces. So, engage your baby by looking in his/her eyes, smiling or even making some funny faces. Remember that newborns only see inches away, so you’ll have to get nice and close if you have a new little love.
  • Peeka-Boo – This game will be your friend for a long time, so you might as well get to practicing now. Hide behind a wash cloth, receiving blanket or your hands and call your baby’s name. Then… “peek-a-boo”! As your baby grows you will notice that he will become more responsive with smiles and eventually laughs.
  • Reach Out and Touch Something – Many baby items come with mobiles or hanging toys of some sort and for good reason! Reaching out will help baby develop hand eye coordination (also many of these items help baby learn things like colors, shapes, etc.). Use one of these toys to play a game of reaching out. Talk to your baby as you touch the items. What color are they? What shape is it?
  • Music Time – Babies love music! It’s soothing to them and it may even enhance their mental development. You can play all types of music for your little one. Sing and you can dance, too – baby will love the closeness!
  • Reading – It’s never too soon to start reading with your baby (in fact, many moms do so during pregnancy). Reading is great for language development.
  • Balloon Kick (1 month or older) – I found this on Pinterest when my son was a newborn and decided to give it a try after somehow acquiring a helium balloon (I think he was around 2 or 3 months). Tie balloons to your baby’s ankles, allowing her to kick and watch the balloons move. This is not recommended for baby’s that can roll.
  • Sensory Play – Your little one learns through all of the senses. Use sensory play to help your baby learn. The type of play will evolve as baby gets older but even from birth you can engage your baby in touching and feeling the world around him.
  • Rattle Socks – Put socks on your baby with rattles and let her kick away!

Now, I didn’t want to insult you by putting tummy time but, of course, this is a great (and doctor recommended) way to play with your little one from birth.

How have you played with your baby?

8 Ways to Play With Your Baby (Newborn to 3 Months) - Click for ideas on how to play with your little one.

Spring Shopping for Baby

Spring Shopping for Baby - NoviceMommy Blog

I love Spring – the weather, the flowers, the new clothes! Since becoming a mom, shopping for myself isn’t quite as exciting anymore but I absolutely love shopping for my little man. I’ve often joked that I should add “Baby Stylist” to my resume. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I mean, teeny tiny jeans are just adorable; it’s fun to shop for babies! I suppose it’s a good thing shopping for little ones is so much fun since they grow like weeds and constantly need a wardrobe update.

It’s also kind of convenient that when the seasons change it’s inevitable that they will need clothes, so you can stock up on the latest season’s fashion guilt-free. (At least, that’s what I tell myself.) I’ve mentioned before that I have three go-to stores. In preparation for Spring, I’ve visited these three stores’ websites and picked a few of my favorite clothes for babies (both boy and girl, which at first was weird but then I kind of got into the girl clothes thing.)

Here are some of my favorite picks for Spring Baby Clothes Old Navy, H & M and Carter’s:

Wide Leg Guaze Pants Old Navy - Spring Fashion for Babies

Smocked One-Piece Old Navy - Spring Fashion for Babies

Striped Sleevless One-Piece Old Navy - Spring Fashion for Babies

Ruffle Trim Twill Shorts Old Navy - Spring Fashion for Babies

Mid-Tone Chambray - Spring Clothes for BabyV-Neck Pocket Shirt Old Navy - Spring Fashion for Babies

Cotton Bib Overall Shorts HM - Spring Fashion for Babies

White Dotted Patterned Pants HM - Spring Fashion for BabiesShirt and Shorts HM - Spring Fashion for BabiesCotton Twill Shorts HM - Spring Fashion for Babies3 Piece Cardigan Set Carter's - Spring Fashion for BabiesTwo Piece Shirt and Shorts Carter's - Spring Fashion for Babies

This post is part of a blog hop from Blogs & Business: Moms Who Do It All. Check out some of the other awesome blogs participating:

| The Art of Better Blogging | The Jessie K | Fighting for Fitness | Building Butterflies | Forty by Forty Fitness | A Kreative Whim | Women Winning Online | Hometown Betty | Champagne and Cheerios | B is for Bookworm | Aileen Cooks | A Cotton Kandi Life | Beyond Mommying | Home Maid Simple | Tot Tot Goose | Thrifty Guardian | Diary of a New Mommy | Mrs and Momma | Blue Eyed Babies | The Little Tourist | From Designer to Diapers | Mommy, Memories and Mouse Ears | Redmond Kids | Cheer and Cherry