Tag: health and wellness

Mommy Monday: Casey Wolfe

Mommy Monday: Casey Wolfe

“Mom guilt, it’s like my arch nemesis. It’s constantly present, and never ceasing to exist! I had mom guilt before Fitz was even born, and still, to this day, it is present. I have just now learned how to ignore unnecessary guilt and let it…

Mommy Monday: Chelsie Jordan

Mommy Monday: Chelsie Jordan

My dad has always told me “be where you’re feet are.” And I’ve always rolled my eyes and moved along. My dad is the one always trying to teach life lessons. Trying to teach me to be patient, to not panic in stressful situations, to…

Mommy Monday: Hospital Bag Essentials

Mommy Monday: Hospital Bag Essentials

Everything You Need for Your Hospital Stay When You Deliver

Not sure what all you need for the hospital when you go into labor? Ive got a list that will tell you everything you need! Before I went into labor with Braden in August I spent SO much time scouring Pinterest and Mom groups for lists of what to take with me because I wanted to be over prepared. I ended up having to stay a few extra days as well so my husband had to make a few trips back home! So through my experience I created this awesome list of everything I couldn’t have lived without!

1.) Loose & Comfy PJs — After birth you can get out of that hospital gown and into your own clothes! I took a night gown (super cute and comfy one from Target as well as some oversized pajama pants I found on Amazon. You want to be comfortable so whichever of these you prefer or both like I did!

2.) Oversized underwear — If you are giving birth vaginally this is key! Get some cheap undies that are way too big! You’ll have to wear pads and ice packs so you will want something that allows this comfortably.

3.)  Nursing bra &/or Tank Top — I got both of these but really didn’t use the tank top until I was home. (It was more tight fitting and I wasn’t as comfortable in it, so be conscious of size! However the bras were so helpful! (Also getting a gown that makes it easy for you to nurse is something to think about as well! Mine had a low neck and then buttoned up the chest so I could just unbutton to breastfeed.

4.) Phone Charger and Extension cord — Of course you can’t forget your phone charger and having an extension cord was so helpful because all of the outlets were too far away to reach the bed without! It just makes your life a little easier!!

5.) Pillow/Blanket — I took my own pillow because I’m picky and also a queen size blanket that I didn’t end up using but my mother did when she slept on the couch in the room with me and so did my husband so its nice to have for the people that are staying with you because that room gets COLD!

6.) DVD’s — I didn’t take any but really wish I would have and my husband forgot them when he made his trip back home! But if you have to be there for a while like I did (over 24 hours of labor) + 3 nights after delivery I was so tired of watching TV and it would have been nice to be able to just pop in a favorite movie.

7.) Toothbrush & toothpaste — Do I really need to explain?

8.) Hair ties — Obvious reasons right?

9.) Bedroom shoes — My feet were SO Swollen most of my pregnancy and for several days after delivery, so I got some bedroom shoes a size too big for the hospital. They want you to walk around pretty soon afterwards and you need something comfy to hobble around the hospital in!

10.) Yeti Cup (Or something like it) — That hospital ice is the BOMB and its the only the besides jello and popsicles that you can eat until you deliver! Plus the cups they give you are pretty small and require a lot more refills than a larger cup.

11.) Robe — This one was so important for me! I got a long robe from Amazon that I lived in! I wasn’t comfortable just being in my nightgown in front of visitors so throwing on my robe was super easy and comfortable! Plus I got a really pretty silk floral robe and it just made me feel good!

12.) Snacks — For your guests up until delivery and then for you afterwards! I was starving by the time Braden finally arrived and hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours!

13.) Headphones — for music during delivery or to listen to to help you go to sleep. Hospital rooms are hard to sleep in with nurses coming in and out but if you have your headphones you can drown it all out!

14.) Body wash — when you take a shower!! Duh!

15.) Shampoo & Conditioner or Dry shampoo

16.) A comfy loose outfit to go home in!

17.) Stool softener — If you are giving birth vaginally, you’ll thank me for this!

18.) Chapstick — Delivering a baby is intense and chapstick was key for me! All that breathing and pushing and everything! Your lips get really dry!

19.) Socks — One thing I left off the list above are socks! If you are anything like me, your feet will get cold! Fuzzy socks were a life savor!

20.) Positive attitude — Labor is scary but your perspective matters too! Stay positive and believe in yourself! You’re stronger than you realize!

Click here to download a printable version of the Hospital Bag Essentials Update

Mommy Monday: Tiffany McLaughin

Mommy Monday: Tiffany McLaughin

Mommas/ Soon-to-be Mommas, My name is Tiffany McLaughlin, I am 27 years old and have been married 2 years to my wonderful husband. I’m here to let you know have no fear your NICU baby will grow, and will be strong enough to hold their…

Mommy Monday: Halley Foulds

Mommy Monday: Halley Foulds

Nearly four years ago I traded in my 8-5 job to be a Stay at Home Mom to my then one-year-old. Even though I loved my job and I loved working, the thought of staying home with my son was much more appealing. While I…

Mommy Monday: Bree Downs

Mommy Monday: Bree Downs

Mommy Lesson #8 (Laughter)

 

 

Laughter is one of the many keys in Mommyhood that holds me and my kiddos together. Everyone pretty much knows I’m a pretty silly person, and I’m so glad my baby girl and baby boy inherited my sense of humor. No matter how bad of a day I’ve had I know my lil minions will say something or do something that will bring my whole day back to life! And the same goes with me for them I always want my kids to not only think of me as someone they can talk to but also someone that they have all these awesome, awkward funny memories and moments with.

From the store runs where my son announced in the frozen food section that I, quote “I JUST POOTED BOOOM!”

To my daughter telling me at the mall while shopping that “That shirt was not approved by Madison ?” Lol

And so many more stories I could share about them and their always punctual comedic timing. I live to make them laugh!

You will find that there is nothing more funny or sweeter then the sound of your child’s/children’s laughter! It’s the greatest thing ever! I am a believer that laughter is one of the many keys to parenting that will keep you and your kids with a healthy and joyful heart.

Bree❤

Hello Mama!!

Hello Mama!!

Well friends, it has been a while since I have posted! I apologize for being MIA for so long! It has been a crazy couple of months recently! Christmas day, my husband and I found out that I am pregnant! It was a total surprise!…

Look On the Bright Side

Look On the Bright Side

3 Simple Steps to Help You Look for & Appreciate the Positives According to Rick Hansen’s Method – Taking in the Good, if we store more negative memories than positive memories, we start to see the world as depressing and/or threatening. We as humans are…

Mommy Monday – Shannon Lusk

Mommy Monday – Shannon Lusk

The Smart Lioness’ – 1st MOMMY MONDAY!!!
Introducing Shannon Allen Lusk
Shannon, Lucy, & her Husband James

Hi!  I’m Shannon.  I am a wife, Social Worker (with a degree from Auburn University), daughter, sister, and of course, proud mommy of a sweet and squishy little 6 month old, Lucy.

 

Lucy, 6 months

Hillary asked me to write an entry for her Mommy Mondays blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve finally mustered up the courage to share some of my new mommy “insight” with y’all.  With a little encouragement (and pushing) from Hillary, I finally decided to write on one of the most essential parts of every relationship we have: communication.

*DISCLAIMER: I’m new to this whole Mommy thing, so please take what I say lightly. This is in no way meant to mommy-shame or imply that I have it altogether, because I certainly do not. These are just some of the thoughts I have as I navigate through this new and unfamiliar phase of my life.

Lucy, Flower Child 🙂

After my husband and I got married on August 29, 2015 we knew we didn’t want to wait long before starting a family.  And to our surprise we found out I was expecting about a month before our first anniversary.  I went through all of the emotions you would typically expect after seeing that positive pregnancy test, but I can very vividly remember thinking, “Gosh, I hope it’s a boy.”  I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the worst teenager but I also know that I wasn’t the easiest to live with, and I was (and still am) scared to raise a teenage girl because let’s face it, karma really is a b**$h.  But low and behold, here I sit with a beautiful, healthy, and happy six month old baby girl that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As soon as I found out we would be bringing home the daughter that I was already terrified of, I decided that I would work my hardest to let her know how much I would love, accept, and support her.  I have had enough education and experiences (as a Social Worker) to know that communication between children and their parents will significantly impact the child’s life; your past relationships will always influence your current and future relationships.  But how do you communicate with a child who can’t speak yet and (probably) doesn’t understand a word you’re saying?

 

Before we get into that, I think it’s important to emphasize that every child is different and every mother is different, so as a result, every communication style between a mother and her child will be different.  The methods that work for Lucy and I may not have the same results for you and your child(ren).  Therefore, I believe it is important to develop your own style of communication that will help mold these important relationships. 

I’m sure you have heard of The Five Love Languages written by Gary Chapman (which I am a huge fan of and highly recommend you reading), but you may not know that he has also written The Five Love Languages of Children.  In the book overview he writes, “Everything depends on the love relationship between you and your child. When children feel loved, they do their best… Discover your child’s primary language and learn what you can do to effectively convey unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will resonate in your child’s emotions and behavior.”

 

This is just one of the many resources floating around that can help you decipher how to better communicate with and love your child(ren), but again we’re back to the question I had earlier: How do you communicate with a child who can’t speak yet and (probably) doesn’t understand a word you’re saying?

To answer that question that haunted me for most of the 10 months of my pregnancy (that’s not a typo, 40 weeks = 10 months so don’t believe any of that 9 month garbage they tell you) I reflected back on my teenage years.  You know, back when I knew everything and thought my parents were clueless.  And I realized that, if I had known that my parents actually experienced, and understood many of the same emotions (and hormones) that I was trying to navigate through as teenager, maybe, I would have heeded their advice more often than I did. 

So I came up with the idea to write a journal to Lucy, one entry each month for the first year of her life and then at least one entry per year (I plan to have some “bonus entries” thrown in every now and then).  My strategy is to give the journal to her on her 16th birthday (when her teenage rage will most likely be at its peak) so she will hopefully understand that like her, I too have real emotions and can possibly relate to many of the hardships that she will no doubt experience in her teenage years, and even beyond. 

As of now, most of the entries are just chronicling the milestones she’s reaching each month, but I always make sure to include some of my hopes for her future.  I try to encourage her independence and reassure her strengths as a woman – I pray that she will fall in love with herself before she falls in love with anyone else.  I also write often about my marriage so she will be able to recognize and engage in healthy relationships of her own once she is ready.  And although I write about my life choices, I encourage her to choose her own path – one that will make her the happiest, and I assure her that I will always support the decisions that she makes.  The main goal I hope to achieve from this journal is for Lucy to one day be able to read all of the important things I may not get the chance or take the time to tell her.

 

Lucy with her journal

 

Another creative communication technique that may work for you (and something I intend to do as Lucy gets older) is writing letters to each other on a regular basis.  I think this is such a fun and non-threatening way to encourage honesty between you and your child(ren).  It opens up a line of communication that is constant and confidential, and also protects you from making the “Oh my gosh!” face in front of your kid if/when they drop some really shocking information on you. 

The Center for Effective Parenting states that, “Effective, open communication takes a lot of hard work and practice. Parents should remember that they will not be perfect. Parents make mistakes. What is important is that parents make the effort to effectively communicate with their children starting when their children are very young. The result will be a much closer, positive relationship between parents and their children.” 

Like I mentioned earlier in the post, these ideas may or may not work for you and your child(ren).  You might already be dealing with teenagers, or don’t have the time to sit down and write on a regular basis, or writing just may not be your forte.  But I challenge you to find a way to increase the communications you’re currently having with your child(ren), because it can only improve your relationship.  There is a plethora of resources online, or you could reach out to Hillary Ivey Montijo @thesmartlioness – she is an EXPERT in communication! 

If you have a creative and effective form of communication that you want to share, please comment below.  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading,

      Shannon Allen Lusk

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday

20 Things To Give Yourself Permission for: 1.) Rest 2.) To laugh 3.) To play 4.) Make mistakes 5.) To say “no”  to demands on my time that are simply draining 6.) To say “yes” to what I want 7.) To fulfill my childhood/lifelong dreams…