A Hot Mess Housewife Gets on a Cleaning Schedule

Week 1

It’s 1:44pm-naptime. My feet are up as I watch “Great News” on Netflix and type this post. Dishes are in the dishwasher, pre-school is done for the day, counters are wiped down, fresh blueberry muffins are cooling, bathrooms are sparkling clean, and for the first time in months, I don’t feel guilty taking a break at naptime! Did I mention I also spent time outside trying to teach my toddler to ride a bike AND my duvet is washed and back on my bed?

No, I wasn’t successful at duplicating myself. No, I haven’t had 12 cups of coffee today. I’m on a cleaning schedule!Cleaning Schedule.jpg

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A little background: I legit struggle with self-discipline. Eating healthy, drinking enough water, getting up early, and keeping my house clean have been a constant struggle since becoming an adult. When finishing up my last year of teaching before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I dreamed that keeping a clean house would be so simple. All that free time would make it impossible to have a dirty home! Hahaha!

After now 3 years of constantly struggling with housework, it was time for a new approach. It all came down to the fact that even if I didn’t have a toddler to entertain all day, all the free time in the world wouldn’t get my house clean until I CLEANED IT! One week ago, I began Clean Mama’s weekly cleaning routine. I can’t remember exactly how I came across the website, but one week in, I’m so glad I did. Here is a link to her website!

Here’s how the routine works: each day, you have a cleaning task to do throughout the whole house. On Mondays, you clean all the bathrooms. Tuesdays, dust the whole house. Wednesdays, vacuum the whole house. Thursdays, mop all hard floors. Fridays (best idea ever), “Catch-all day,” meaning you catch up on any tasks that didn’t get done the past few days. Saturdays,wash sheets and towels. On top of those tasks, you do one load of laundry, pick up clutter, vacuum/sweep only areas that really need it, and wipe down counters every day.

It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s so dang efficient. In the past, I tried focusing on one room per day. That meant I had to get out the vacuum, mop, and duster every day. That didn’t last long! With this schedule, I got out my big vacuum and did the entire house in about 25 minutes. I vacuumed areas I embarrassingly admit I’ve only vacuumed once or twice in the 2 years we have lived in this house. Why? Because my task was to vacuum the whole house. The next day, I mopped all the hard floors in the house, even my bedroom and upstairs bathrooms. I’m typically to lazy to bring the Swiffer Wetjet upstairs, but I did it because that was my task for the day.

Aside from having a clean house, an amazing side effect of this cleaning routine is the momentum it gave me to get other tasks done. My junk drawer is clean. The hall closet is tidy. I got a workout in 5 days last week. I’ve spent lots of quality time with my daughter.  MY DUVET IS WASHED AND BACK ON MY BED. I’m not overwhelmed by thinking I need to vacuum and wash the floors today. Why? Because that happens on Wednesday and Thursday, silly! I also love the monthly tasks Clean Mama assigns. Today, I washed all our bedding (which I probably should be doing at least once a month thanks to our two cats!).

I chose to print out this routine sheet from Clean Mama, laminate it, and post it on my fridge. It’s right where I can see it, and I can use a dry-erase marker to check off what I’ve done. (If you don’t have a personal laminator yet GET ONE! This is the laminator I have, these are the cheap laminating pouches I use!)

I laminated the schedule and hung it on the fridge with the perfect magnet!


I only did this cleaning routine for a week and feel like a ginormous weight has been taken off my shoulders. The weight of a messy house that never feels clean. I will write another post after a month to update you all on how I’m doing, but I’d love to hear from you! Has a cleaning routine helped you out?! Share below in the comments!


Summer of 2018

Summer is my craziest time of year. I was a teacher before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Through teaching I met my husband and many of my close friends. So when summer comes around, they are all off on vacation, keeping my calendar full! It’s so hard to keep my two year-old on a schedule during the summer, but she sure does have a lot of fun! Here are a few of the things we did this summer!

Play Ball! I can’t say I’m much of a sports fan without lying, but my hubby loves baseball! I enjoy going to Oakland A’s games with him and now our daughter. We attended a few games this summer, decked out in green and yellow. A 3+ hour baseball game is a lot for a 2-year-old to sit through, so I am thankful for the Kid’s Zone! They have games, face-painting, and opportunities to meet the A’s mascot Stomper!

Marina Beach! We live about 2 hours away from the beach, making quick day trips to the beach totally doable. We went on an overnight trip to Marina Beach in June. The beach was small and quiet, perfect for a relaxing time. There was a man parasailing over our heads. It was perfect. The weather was actually too cold to go to the beach on day two, so we found a nice bike trail and let D ride her scooter! I think this was her favorite part of the trip.

Pinecrest! Pinecrest is a small lake in California. A friend and I ditched our babies and had a Mommies Day Out! We hiked around the lake (WAY longer than I expected), relaxed on the little beach, rented a kayak, then stayed late to watch Jurassic World at their outdoor theater!

Monterey Bay Aquarium! For my husband’s birthday, we went to Monterey for the day to visit the Aquarium. We had gone in the spring, but man was it busy! Unfortunately it wasn’t much better on the Tuesday we went. Still, we had a great time checking out the sea life and then eating sushi for dinner!

Well, that was my summer and the reason I was MIA on the blog. Looking forward to getting back to it and sharing my newest adventure with you-doing homeschool preschool with my almost 3 year old! 😉

How I Structure My Quiet Time Notebook

For years I struggled with my morning devotions. I felt that, while just reading my Bible was great, I wasn’t really reflecting on or remembering anything. Sure, I would think about it throughout the day, but once a week or two went by, the scriptures and my thoughts on them had come and gone, never to be remembered again.

On top of that, my prayers seemed very all-over-the-place and random. I felt I was always forgetting to pray for certain family members or friends going through tough times. I also wasn’t thinking about any prayer requests that had been answered and thanking God.

So many people love writing in a prayer journal each day. I envy those of you that are able to beautifully put your prayers and thoughts into writing. That is just not a gift that God gave me! I struggled with this for a long time, wanting to have a prayer journal, starting a prayer journal, not making it past three days in my prayer journal. I finally came to the realization that it’s just not my style. I didn’t enjoy doing it, so of course I wasn’t going to stick with it. I’m more of a list maker!

Determined to find a system that worked for me, I took a look at what I needed:

  1. A place to write down my prayer requests
  2. A place to write down updates for those prayer requests
  3. A place to write down what passages I read each day
  4. A place to write down what I learn from my Bible reading each day

Here is what I came up with! On each page of my notebook, I fold the paper so the side of the page touches the red margin line. This divides the page into two columns. It differs depending on which side of the paper I am writing on, but the larger column is for my Bible reading, while the smaller column is for prayers.

The larger column is a daily record of what I read and learn. I write the date and what passages I will be reading that day. I like to write it italicized so it stands out a little from my own thoughts. You could also highlight the verses. Beneath that, I write any thoughts I have about the passages. Is it something I’m struggling with? Is it something that I can change about myself? Is it a call to action? Whatever it is, I write it down!

The smaller column is for my prayer requests. I try to have the things I’m praying for across from what I read each day. However, if I have a lot of prayer requests one day, I don’t worry about it. I don’t write the same prayer request down twice on one page. Instead I just quick look at my prayer requests from the day before and pray! If I have an ongoing prayer request, I write it down again when I start a fresh page so I don’t forget. It is very important to leave a space in between each prayer request. This is great for the future. I like to go back after prayer requests are answered and note when and how they were answered!QUIET TIME NOTEBOOK.png

Here is a look at one of my notebook pages. Jk, it’s a sample I made taking out private prayer requests and taking time to make my handwriting look a lot better than it usually does! 😉


It helps to have a large notebook with college ruled lines. More room for writing! It doesn’t technically help, but it is also nice to have super cute notebook! I love this one I got from Target a few years ago! (I love floral prints!)


If there was a sermon I really learned a lot from, I sometimes take an entire page and copy my notes down.


If there is a topic I am interested in or struggling with, that gets a page to itself too!


Bottom line: there isn’t one way to spend time in prayer and in the Bible. However, there are certain ways that work better for some people than others! I am not a journaler, but I do love lists. This way of structuring my quiet time notebook has helped me be more consistent in doing my quiet time, made my prayers more intentional, and helped me remember to be thankful when my prayers are answered! I have kept up with this for more than two years now! I think it’s safe to say it’s working for me!

What about you? Are you a prayer journal writer or are you more of a list maker? Share your thoughts and comments below or on my Facebook page!


A Simple List of Nursery Basics

My daughter had a beautiful nursery to come home to when we were released from the hospital. I thought I had everything-nice crib, cute changing table, organized dresser, reupholstered rocking chair…I was READY! Just kidding. I soon found out that I did not have everything I needed. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and a Target around the corner!Nursery Basics PNG

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No mom can get everything right the first time, but you sure can get close. Here is simple a list of must-have items that you should include when setting up your baby’s nursery!


The Crib

*Crib-My daughter’s crib was a gift from my parents. We love it because we can take the front off once Baby D is old enough to stay in bed on her own.Then, it can become a headboard for a full size bed. Shop around, but don’t overspend. Our daughter apparently gnaws on it when waiting for us to come to get her in the morning and after nap. Either that or there is a beaver sneaking into her room when we aren’t home. 😉

*FIRM Crib Mattress-To avoid SIDS risks, purchase a firm crib mattress. There are many different firmness levels and prices, so get the firmest one at largest price you can afford. This is important!

*Fitted Sheets-And by sheets I mean sheets! 2 or more! There are going to be leaks and explosions, so you always want to have a clean sheet ready to go as a back-up. These are so cute!

*Waterproof Mattress Pad-As I said, there are going to be accidents. That doesn’t mean you have to destroy the crib mattress! I have 2 of these so I always have a back-up ready in case of an accident. Nothing is worse than your baby flooding your only mattress pad in the middle of the night and not having a replacement! This is an affordable option. 

*Fleece Sheets-I mentioned this in my post 10 Items to Help Mamas Survive the First Year. A sleeping baby in your arms is more likely to stay asleep when you put them down if they are laid on warm, fleece sheets during the cold months. I have some on my bed so I totally can vouch for them! We have these fleece sheets on our baby’s bed!

*Mesh Bumpers-My little one would always get her limbs stuck in the crib slats. These bumpers prevent that from happening while not increasing the risk of SIDS. This is the brand we have.


The Changing Station

*Changing Pad with Cover-Nothing fancy, just make sure the cover is easy to wipe down with disinfectant spray or wipes. These covers are adorable! Changing Pad Cover - 100% ORGANIC JERSEY COTTON - 2 pack Unisex design Gray and White - Best baby shower gift Perfect for bassinet sheets for Boy or Girl 16X32 - by My Little North Star

*Dresser/Changing Table-For my baby’s nursery, we were given a tall dresser and found the cutest changing table at a garage sale. The storage was nice, but took up a lot of space in her small room. Lots of people just purchase a large, short dresser, then attach a changing pad to the top! Just make sure the changing pad is secure and there is a way to secure your little one onto it. Babies love rolling off changing tables!

*Wipe Warmer-These keep wipes nice and warm for your baby’s little bottom. A life-saver for those middle of the night diaper changes when you want to disturb your baby as little as possible. Cold wipes are a bit startling! This is the one we have. Works great and has a little night light on it for late night changings. hiccapop Wipe Warmer and Baby Wet Wipes Dispenser | Holder | Case with Changing Light

*Diapers & Wipes-You will literally go through HUNDREDS of diapers and wipes during the first month of your baby’s life. Seriously! Stock up, register for them, do whatever you can to get as many as possible. Midnight diaper runs are not fun! I have found that I can usually get the lowest price per diaper by using sales and coupons at Target and getting their Up & Up brand. My baby wasn’t super sensitive, so they were fine!

*Garbage Can-We got a Diaper Genie. Let’s just say it’s not a real genie. Baby poop is still poop, and it’s scent has the ability to penetrate through the strongest garbage can and bags. Poopy diapers just need to be thrown away outside ASAP! We still had a small garbage can for potty diapers that we changed frequently. Keep it small, as you will need to take the garbage out before it is full to keep the smell from getting too bad. This one would be perfect! 

Dresser/Clothes Storage


*Dresser-Or some way to store your baby’s clothes. As I said above, if I could do my daughter’s nursery again, I would have gotten a short, long dresser and used that as a changing table too.

*Little Hangers-I didn’t hang many clothes up-just her fancy dresses and tops. Infant clothes are SMALL, so get small hangers

*Drawer Sorters-Baby clothes are so tiny, and you will have so many of them. Not to mention burp cloths, blankets, bows, hats, socks, shoes…Find a system to keep them sorted and organized. I like IKEA’s drawer sorters. (They are only worth the price if you buy in the store, not Amazon. 😦 )


*Baby Monitor-Everyone has different opinions about baby monitors. There are ones with cameras, ones with just audio, ones that detect your baby’s breathing…lots to choose from! We had an Angel Care monitor with just audio and breathing detector. Worked great for us! Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor, Aqua/White

*Humidifier-These put moisture into the air, which is great for when your little one gets their first cold. Have it out of the box and ready to go before your baby comes home from the hospital. You never know when their first cold will strike! We have this one and love it! 

Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Humidifier, Blue

*Noise Machine-We have a Sleep Sheep for Baby D. It’s great because it’s portable, so we can take it anywhere! You don’t want your baby to only be able to sleep in complete silence, so a noise maker will help get them used to sleeping with background noise.Cloud b On The Go Travel Sound Machine Soother, Sleep Sheep

*Night Light-There will be times once your baby is sleeping in their nursery that they will wake up in the middle of the night. (Unless you sleep train!) Don’t turn on the light and disturb everyone. Just have a small night light that gives you enough light to feed and change your little one. This little cloud one is too cute!

*Rocking Chair-This one’s a no-brainer. I highly recommend getting one that is COMFORTABLE. Between feeding and just rocking, you are going to be spending a lot of time in this chair. I lucked out and found ours at a garage sale for $1, then reupholstered it!


 There you have it! The basic items you need to set up a nursery. It can be very overwhelming to set up a nursery-especially if it’s for your first child. Just get the necessities first and go from there! All your baby really needs are diapers and you! 



A Hot Mess Housewife’s Guide to Getting to Church on Time

Growing up in a family of all daughters, Sunday mornings were rough. All three of us would be running in and out of each other’s rooms trying to figure out what to wear, arguing about borrowing clothes, and getting frustrated when nothing looked good. We fought over blow dryers, straighteners, dresses, shoes, jackets, and, of course, the front seat of the car. To say Sunday mornings were chaotic would be a serious understatement.

Fast forward 10 years. I am now married with a 2-year-old daughter. When Baby D was little, my husband played trumpet in our church orchestra. This required him to be at church much earlier than us, so we arrived later. There were many Sundays I was scrambling to get the two of us out the door. Breakfasts were skipped, Bibles were left at home, and teeth were sometimes left unbrushed.

We always made it to church (often after the first song was long done), but by the time I put D in the nursery and sat down, I was completely frazzled and not at all prepared to worship. I just wanted to go get a pedicure down the street while my baby was in the nursery! (Don’t worry, I never did.) My mind was jumbled and by the time I was prepared to worship, the music was over.

Finally, I came to the point where enough was enough! Church is important. It is a time to worship, learn about the Lord, and fellowship with our believer friends. I need to be there on time and ready to do church! Here are a few changes I made to my weekend to ensure I was ready to roll come Sunday morning!

  1. Set your alarm clock for earlier than you need for Sunday morning. Satan WILL try to find ways to keep you from getting to church, so be one step ahead of him! Give yourself some wiggle room just in case things don’t go as planned as you get ready and head to church. You also don’t want to feel rushed and frazzle-dazzled as you hop in the car.Clock and Flowers
  2. Plan what you are all wearing the night before. I’m not one to do this during the week, but it’s a must for Sunday morning. Satan knows that this is the most effective way to keep me from getting to church on time. I’m a stay-at-home mom. Church is my big weekly social event! It’s pretty much my only activity during the week that it’s not appropriate to wear yoga pants to, and I want to look nice! 😉 Make sure you know what you are wearing tomorrow, and, if needed, make sure everyone in your family does so too.
  3. Get an easy breakfast ready the night before. We go to a 9:00 church service, so we usually just have granola bars, cereal, or freezer breakfast sandwiches. Sunday mornings are not good for making pancakes or french toast. We do that on Saturdays!
  4. pexels-photo-543730.jpegBath your kids (and yourself if possible!) the night before. One less thing to worry about in the morning! Just brush their teeth and throw some clothes (that you already had laid out!) on them. I am not a night shower person, but I do try to schedule my hair-washing days to not be on Sundays.
  5. Prepare your tithe the week before. I can’t tell you how many tithe checks I’ve written as the offering baskets were being passed. Stressful! Put a reminder in your calendar to write your tithe check on payday. Then keep it in your purse or somewhere safe until Sunday.
  6. Set items you need to bring by the door or in the car the night before. Bring your Bible to church? Put it by the door. Have library books to return to the church library? Put them by the door. Have a little one that requires a diaper bag? Pack it up and set it by the door. Is it a tithing day? Put it by the door! Don’t rely on your memory. Do yourself a favor and get everything together and ready to go the night before!
  7. Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before the service starts. You are always going to find friends to talk to on your way into church. I often get caught up in the line to drop kids off at Sunday School talking to mom friends! (Sound familiar?!) Give yourself some time to enjoy these little conversations without being rushed. If you are nursing, give yourself even more time. I would arrive about a half-hour early when my daughter was young so I could feed her in the nursing lounge and then drop her off full and happy at the nursery.
  8. Pray! As I said, Satan knows your weaknesses. He knows exactly how to make you late for (or even skip!) church. The last thing he wants is for believers to make it to church happy and ready to worship. On Saturday, pray that God will help prepare you to come worship him on Sunday.

Get to Church On Time

Since making these changes, church has become a much more peaceful, worshipful experience for me! I have time to visit with friends after dropping my daughter off at Sunday school, and sometimes have time to just sit and relax before the service starts! Hooray for down-time! (Even if it is just for 15 minutes!)

10 Helpful Things You Need to Potty Train Your Kiddo!

Potty training is one long ride on the struggle bus. We tried the stay-at-home-for-three-days-and-let-your-child-pee-all-over-the-house strategy over the summer. Didn’t quite work for us the first time! Baby D just wasn’t getting it after over a week, so we decided to try again at another time. (She was 18 months at the time and just not ready.)

We tried again recently and have had much better success! We are taking it easy and while there are still accidents, they are much less often!

Here are a few things that helped me potty train my daughter!

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  1. Potty Training Chart-I’m all for a cute potty training chart, but it also needs to show progress. I made the charts below. They are simple, but are great for showing progress over the course of a week. My daughter was waaaay more excited about cute stickers than anything else, so I always have them on hand. We used small stickers for going potty, larger ones for going #2, and special kitty stickers for when she told me she had to go. Click on each pic for the PDF of these FREE cute charts!
    Potty Time Rainbow
    Potty Time Pink
    Potty Time Green
    Potty Time Blue
  2. Cleaning Products-There will be accidents, so be prepared! Before even starting, gather your cleaning products. We have hard floors downstairs, so I had a little bucket with paper towels and floor cleaner in a spray bottle. I also keep my Swiffer WetJet nearby! For upstairs, where we have carpet, I had paper towels and baking soda. (Baking soda is GREAT for  cleaning up messes. Sop up the potty as much as you can, then sprinkle baking soda all over it. Let it dry completely, then vacuum up.)
  3. Books-A few weeks before you start, read potty training books with your little one. You can get them from the library (I mean, it’s not like you’re going to be reading them forever!) Click on the books below for their links if you just want to shop on Amazon!

  4. Small Potty-We used Summer Infant’s Lil’ Loo Potty and loved it. We had one for upstairs and one for downstairs. It isn’t huge, so we can even throw it in the car if spending a day at a family member’s house. If you need a Prime option, this one is similar.
  5. Seat for Toilet-I got this IKEA Tossig Toilet Seat on a trip to IKEA and love it. It’s super basic, fits on the toilet well, and isn’t terribly expensive (especially if you purchase it AT IKEA). I didn’t want Baby D to only be able to use little potties, so we used this throughout the training as well.

  6. Undies-Go shopping with your little one before you begin and let them help pick out some fun undies! I’ve also heard it’s smart to get ones with characters on them. You can tell your child they need to keep their friends dry and clean!
  7. Training Undies-We use Easy Ups during nap/bedtime and when we aren’t’ at home right now. Accidents are still happening every once in a while, and I don’t want those to make a mess at the store or a friend’s house! I like Easy Ups because they kind of feel like undies-at least way more than Target brand!

  8. Step Stool-Just as you are training your kiddo to use the potty, you are training them to wash their hands! Make it easy by getting a good step stool. I made the one we use out of wood, but if you aren’t feeling super handy, here is a great one off Amazon. 🙂

  9. Juuuust in Case Box in Car-It’s good to have a “Just in Case” box in your car. It can be filled with extra undies/pull-ups, wipes, spare clothes, hand wipes, baggies to put dirty diapers in, stickers…anything you could need while away from home.
  10. PATIENCE-This is more important than anything else. Potty training will require you as a parent to clean up a lot of messes, do a lot of laundry, and do a lot of sitting and waiting as your little one tries to go potty. Your whole life becomes about potty training during those first 3 days, so give yourself grace in regards to housework and pretty much everything else! 

There you have it! A few of the items that have been helpful while potty training our little one. On those hard days when you are cleaning up accidents every 15 minutes, just remember, your child will not be potty training forever. They WILL get it eventually! For now, enjoy singing silly potty songs with them, pinch their cute little bottoms in their cute little undies, and remember how much you love your little potty trainee! 🙂

10 Things to Help Potty Train

Five Toddler-Approved TV Shows That Won’t Drive You Nuts

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.Toddler TV ShowsBefore having my first child, I was one of those moms who said I would never let my kid watch TV until they were two years old. Bahahah! Well a neck injury right before my baby turned one made me desperate for something to entertain my child with while my neck healed. Thankfully, my child loves TV and can sit and watch an entire episode of something. It comes in handy, but we are careful to not over-use this “babysitter!”

Anyway, there are some shows that I just won’t turn on. They drive me nuts and/or aren’t the best things for my child to watch. The following shows, however, are great! They are fun for Baby D to watch, and even I enjoy watching them with her!

  1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood** (Amazon Instant Video)-I grew up watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, so I especially thing this show is adorable. Daniel Tiger and his friends learn life lessons through little jingles that you WILL use on your kids. Or in my case, your kid will use on you when you’re feeling frustrated.DT
  2. Llama Llama (Netflix)-We LOVE the Llama Llama books and lost our mindswhen we saw this was made into a TV show by Netflix. There’s only one season, so we’ve been through it a few times already! There are two stories per episode, some written around Llama Llama books. Good lessons, cute characters, catchy theme song!
  3. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie** (Amazon Instant Video) My personal favorite-this show is based on the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book series. It focus on the IF…THEN… concept through adorable stories and funny characters. We love the yoga-doing Pig and the cookie-loving mouse!MC
  4. Clifford’s Puppy Days (Netflix)-We all love Clifford the Big Red Dog, but what was he like as a puppy? Very small, apparently. This ironic show follows the early life of Clifford as he struggles because he is so darn tiny!
  5. Puffin Rock (Netflix)-What’s cuter than a show about a little puffin and her friends? A show about a puffin and her friends with Irish accents! Oona and her little brother Baba life on Puffin Rock, a paradise full of shrews, seals, seagulls, and more! This is seriously the cutest show on the planet, minus the farting shrew. 😉

**Amazon Prime comes with many perks, including Instant Video! We love Prime and use it all the time. (Free 2-day shipping?! YES!!!) Click here to try Prime for free for 30 days and get access to Instant Video!

Have you found any shows you and your toddler enjoy watching? Share in comments!

How to Survive Morning Sickness (without medication)


Morning Sickness
About a week or two after finding out I was pregnant, the morning sickness began. It was a slight nauseous feeling that never quite went away. Soon, it turned into actually being sick and feeling nauseated almost 24/7. I was a 5th grade teacher at the time, and boy was it hard to hide how sick I was feeling most days before announcing the good news to my students!

Spoiler Alert: This article is about throwing up. Do not read if you have a weak stomach!

My lowest point happened on a field trip to Alcatraz. I threw up 3 times on the bus ride. Thankfully my coworker was prepared with baggies. We made it through the hour and a half drive with not a single student knowing what happened. That could have been disastrous! You know how contagious vomiting can be!

Summer came and I quit working at 20 weeks pregnant. The morning sickness should have been long gone by then, but it wasn’t. It NEVER went away. I had it my entire pregnancy. And by entire pregnancy, I mean throwing up in between pushing at the hospital. Once my baby was born, it magically disappeared. Praise the Lord!

I’m thankful it never got so bad that I became dehydrated or had to be hospitalized. I did not want to go on medication for it if I didn’t have to, so I pushed through. (That being said, I know many women have it MUCH worse than I did and that medication may be necesssary I now consider myself an expert on dealing with morning sickness. I know many women have had it much worse than I did and many didn’t have it at all! Everyone is different, but here are some strategies I used to survive those rough 7 months.

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Prevent it!

Sometimes, it’s just going to happen, but often times, it can be prevented! Aside from the hospital disaster, here are ways I would fight of morning sickness before it even happened.

1. Avoid the vomit equation. Through my experience, I discovered a formula that almost always guaranteed I would be sick.

Exhaustion + Hunger = Barf

This is why I was so sick in the hospital during labor. I had been having contractions and been awake for over 24 hours. Plus, they didn’t let me eat anything once I was admitted-I was going on 12 hours with no food. It was a disaster and something I will definitely need to talk with my doctor about before we have another baby!

2. Have snacks on your nightstand and eat as soon as you wake up. Seriously, like while you are still laying in bed. Give yourself a minute or two to digest. Best case scenario: You eat before it’s too late and are successful in preventing vomiting! Worst case-at least you have something other than stomach bile to throw up.

3. Rest. I don’t know what the reasoning is, but if I stayed up late (you know, giving birth) or had to get up early for something (say…a field trip to Alcatraz), I would be sick. Once summer came and I was able to sleep in, my morning sickness decreased significantly. Boy do I miss sleeping in until noon. 🙂pexels-photo-269141.jpeg

4. Don’t drink water first thing in the morning. This was a tip my general doctor told me when she confirmed I was pregnant. You need something solid in your belly that is more likely to stay in it! As soon as you feel you have your bearings, drink water with a snack.

Three Lollies Preggie Pop Drops Assorted for Morning Sickness Relief, 21 Count5. Keep snacks and hard candies in your purse. You never want to be hungry while fighting morning sickness, so try to always have a snack available. I also loved sucking on hard candies. If I wasn’t hungry at all, but still wanted to feel like I was eating something, I would suck on a Werther’s Original or Preggie Pop.

6. Wear motion sickness bracelets. I wore these little guys 24/7 at the beginning of my pregnancy. It was still cold out and I could hide them under my sweater before announcing I was prego. Not 100% sure if they helped at all; I was too afraid to take them off and find out!

Handle it!

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t change the inevitable. You’re going to be sick. Here are some tips to make it a little less miserable.

1. Keep plastic ziplock baggies and paper bags nearby. It’s gonna happen. You’re going to get sick at a very inconvenient time. Mine was on the bus ride to Alcatraz. I’ve heard of friends who literally threw up while driving! Keep both types of bags handy. Throw up in the plastic bag, zip it up, then throw it into a paper bag. Toss in a garbage ASAP! So much better than getting sick over a nasty public toilet.

2. Protect your neck! Try to keep it as still as possible. Don’t throw your head back and forward. I literally got whiplash from throwing up once. It could have been much worse, but I did get multiple headaches and neck strains just from the action of throwing up while pregnant. Be careful!

3. Keep water near where you often get sick. You want to get the nasty taste out of your mouth as quickly as possible. Rinse, rinse, rinse.pexels-photo-113734.jpeg

4. Be strong and get it done! If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. After a few months, my attitude went from, “Oh no, oh no, oh no! I don’t want to get sick!” to “Let’s get this over with.” The feeling of panic had gone away and turned into sucking it up and getting it done as quickly and easily as possible! So be strong, girl. Morning sickness is the pits, but you can totally handle it. It will not last forever! (Plus you get a cute baby in the end!) 😉 


I strongly believe that God gave me morning sickness to help me deal with the nastiness that sometimes comes along with being a mom. It helped toughen up my weak stomach (potty training is still gross, though!). Although it was absolutely miserable at many times, it was totally worth it in the end! It was part of my journey to become a mommy!

How to Train Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

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Sleep training. A topic that is just about as divisive as the 2016 election! Is it smart? Is it mean? Is it loving? Is it selfish? Is it called “sleep training?” Is it called “cry it out?” There are tons of statistics and studies that show the pros of sleep training and the cons. I am no expert, but I do know that I believe sleep training is the best thing since sliced bread. Here is my experience.

I became a mom in 2015. I had read many books and done a lot of research on every baby topic known to man prior to the arrival of our baby. My husband and I had decided that we would give sleep training a try. We had friends who, months and months after the birth of their own children, were still waking up multiple times a night with their babies. We saw their frustration and exhaustion, and new we didn’t want that for us.

Our little girl was born in October, and I soon realized how vital sleep was to my own sanity. The first 2 weeks were HARD, so much crying, so little sleep-and that was just me! I’m an 8-hours-a-night-or-I-can’t-function kind of girl, so 3 hours max was not cutting it. I definitely had a small case of the Baby Blues, but the lack of sleep in particular was so, so hard.

Thankfully, I was prepared and ready to start sleep training at 3 weeks! The first 2 weeks had just been about survival, but the time had come for all of us to start getting a good night’s sleep! I had read Baby Wise and researched Sleep Training online, so I felt pretty prepared. I was happy to learn that all that prep paid off! Here is how we sleep trained our baby.

Our schedule was based on the book Baby Wise, which you can get here. Baby Wise is all about parent-led feedings and sleep times (parents run the show, not the babies). Here is what a typical day looked like with our 3 week+ old:

  • 7:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 8:30 Naptime
  • 10:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 11:30 Naptime
  • 1:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 2:30 Naptime
  • 4:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 5:30 Naptime
  • 7:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • Now keep the baby awake for as long as possible, feed one more time as much as you can, then put to bed when you go to bed.  

Around week 12 or 13, your baby might be ready to lengthen each cycle.

  • 6:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 8:00 Nap
  • 10:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 12:00 Nap
  • 2:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • 4:00 Nap
  • 6:00 Wake, Feed, Play
  • Again, now you keep the baby awake for as long as possible, feed one more time as much as you can, then put to bed.


A few tips to sticking to the schedule:

*Adjust as needed. Obviously your baby isn’t going to magically wake up at 7:00 everyday. You will have to adjust, but make sure you try to stick to the 3 hour cycle. The main point is that you are not letting them sleep for more than 1.5 hours at a time. You want the long sleeps to be at night so you can sleep too!

*Keep baby awake! In the beginning, it may be hard to get your little one to stay awake until naptime. Keep them awake by singing songs with them and tickling their feet. Interact with them and poop them out for naptime!

*Chill out. There are some days where this schedule just ain’t gonna happen. Try not to feel frustrated or like a failure. This is not the Bible, nor is it the only way to have a happy child. Relax, give yourself grace, do what you gotta do, try again tomorrow. You’re doing great!


Now, the controversial part-getting them to actually fall asleep. The controversy over this method is letting your child “cry it out.” I think people who are super against sleep training imagine a baby alone and sobbing for hours and hours. Umm…NO WAY! We were cautious when it came to letting our baby “cry it out.” We never let her light cry for more than 10 minutes. Also, there is a difference between “crying” and “CRYING!” If she was just kind of crying (more like whining), we let her get through it and teach herself to fall asleep. If her cry communicated emotional stress (like if she was teething or sick), we were there in a second to comfort her.

The funny thing is, once she was consistently only getting 1.5 hour naps during the day, she was usually soooo ready for her next nap. We would snuggle/rock for a few minutes, then I would put her down AWAKE, sing her a song, say goodnight, and walk away. 95% of the time, she could fall asleep herself right away-no tears at all! (From mommy or baby!)

The toughest part for me was waking her from her naps. I was exhausted and probably napping myself, or I was pumping or catching up on housework. She probably would have slept for another half hour if I let her, but it was not worth it for me. I wanted my night sleep!

At 6 weeks old, our baby was sleeping through the night. To this day, she, now 2 years old, has zero problem going to sleep. I don’t need to rock her for an hour; she doesn’t need me to climb in her bed with her to fall asleep. Bedtime is a routine for us, one that doesn’t include any drama! It’s just brush her teeth, read her a story, chat about her day, say a prayer, and go to sleep! She lays down right away and waits for me to lay her blankie over her bottom. 🙂

My husband and I have truly given ourselves and our baby the gift of sleep. It was a savior to our sanity. This method of sleep training may not be for everyone. Every baby is different and has different needs. All I know is that this worked so well for our family and I am so glad we did it!

Sleep Training

10 Baby Items to Help Mamas Survive the First Year

Two years ago, I became a mom to a sweet little baby girl. I had done all the research on Pinterest and thought I had made the perfect baby registry. What I found was that, in the end, the most valuable things I received were gifts from other moms who knew the best baby items! So, here is my list of favorite baby products to share with you. They helped me survive that rough first year and can help you too!1-5 baby

#1 Muslin Swaddle Blankets-So light, so large, so perfect for swaddling. Most baby blankets are waaaaay to small to use to swaddle. These are perfect for practicing those swaddling skills you learned in those crazy baby prep classes! 

#2 Digital Forehead Thermometer-It’s awful when your baby gets sick, especially for the first time. This thermometer is awesome. No sticking anything anywhere things shouldn’t be stuck. Just hold it up to your baby’s forehead and presto!

#3 Sleep Sheep-This little guy was a life saver. It was gifted to us and soon became the item we feared to leave behind if we went anywhere. It has 4 settings of soothing sounds to help your baby fall asleep. Eventually, our little one didn’t need it, but we still use it when she has to sleep anywhere other than her crib at home.

#4 Bottle Warmer-I had to pump and bottle feed for the first few months of my daughter’s life. This thing was a life-saver. You are not supposed to microwave breastmilk. This is a easy, quick way to heat up a cold bottle!

#5 Bottle Sanitizer-Once a week I would wash all the bottles, then quick sanitize them. Loved knowing those bottles (that could get quite nasty!) were super clean!

6-10 baby

#6 Baby Carrier-I was not a huge baby-wearer, mainly because I didn’t have a very strong back at the time. However, I would use this when I took my little one shopping (before she could sit up in a shopping cart). My hubby was cool wearing this too-not so much the wrap. 🙂

#7 Fleece Sheets-Nothing is worse than having a sleeping baby in your arms, slowly and carefully placing her in her crib, then having her scream as soon as she lays on the cold sheet! We switched to fleece sheets after realizing how cold her sheets were getting in the winter. Life saver!

#8 Angelcare Baby Monitor-SIDS is a thing, a thing of which I was TERRIFIED. A friend recommended the Angel Care monitor. It has a pad you place under the baby’s crib mattress that senses their breathing movements. There were a few times she rolled waaaaay off it and gave me a heart attack, but there was one time I don’t think it was a false alarm. I rushed to her room and she was laying right in the middle of the crib. Not sure what happened, but I’m sure glad I was alerted to it! Once you are ready to ditch the breathing monitor, it works as a regular monitor. The link above is the video monitor, we had this one. 

#9 Mesh Crib Bumper-My daughter loved to get her little limbs stuck in the crib slats. This mesh bumper prevented that while not causing a SIDS threat.

#10 North States Superyard Colorplay-Once your baby is mobile, it’s hard to relax at all if they are awake! They are crawling all over the place-getting into pet food, cupboards, drawers-basically anything they shouldn’t be getting into! I was gifted this Play Yard and it was possibly the best baby gift I ever got. It creates a little play area for your crawler. We used an 8 piece one, but if you need it to be larger, you can purchase more! They will all link together perfectly. We would just climb into it, but it also has gates you can buy. We still use this occasionally with our two year old. I put her in it with a movie on and can go get the lawn mowed!

What are some of your must-have baby products? Share in comments below!

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