News Page 7 - The Vintage Honey Shop
September 13, 2016

How to Create a Nursing Friendly Wardrobe

When I became pregnant a mama friend told me "Now you'll only look at buying new clothes if they're nursing friendly." I smiled, took the advice in mind, but didn't really do much with it. I didn't have to buy too many maternity clothes, so the advice never really resurfaced until I had the baby. Then, I totally understood what she meant.

As a first-time mom I had to build my nursing wardrobe from scratch. Here's what I have found that works and I love how it looks!

1. Basics. Invest in a few nursing tank tops (& of course bras) in different colors. I love tanks because I can wear them around the house or under many other pieces. Many different companies offer different styles of nursing tank tops. I have one stretchy neck tank from Motherhood that I like, but in my opinion is overpriced. I ended up buying several Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Camis (the kind with the handy clips on the front straps) at Target. I was lucky enough to snag them on a buy 2, get 1 free promotion. I like that they are a nice length so they can be worn long or tucked in to cover the lovely post-partum belly. The versatility gives you more looks!

2. Cardis & Kimonos. If you're going out to dinner, to church, or to an outdoor wedding, it is so easy to pair your nursing tank with a cardigan or kimono. Any pant that currently fits you will likely compliment this effortless style. The cardigan provides light coverage, but baby still has easy, quick access to the milk supply. This is a lifesaver when you're still establishing your nursing relationship and learning your baby's rhythm.

3. The Flowy Shirt. I didn't really wear button-up shirts before pregnancy so I didn't really love them as an option for nursing, either. I love wearing a flowy shirt because it is complimentary to nearly every body type and is very trendy right now. Simply wear a nursing bra or tank under a flowy shirt and then you can tuck baby right under your shirt and not even need a nursing cover. Wearing a tank under the shirt is nice because you won't worry about exposing your belly or back every time baby wants to nurse.

4. The Sundress. Living in Florida, dresses are a staple in the hot weather. They're not always the best for nursing, however. To make sure I can nurse while I'm out, I choose dresses that have stretchy necklines or are loose fitting and I can easily slip the strap off my shoulder. 

5. The Accents. No outfit is complete without a few accessories! As my little one has grown I've found it best to wear simple (aka non-grabbable) earrings and a sturdy necklace for him to hold onto while nursing and play with while I'm holding or wearing him. Since he's putting everything in his mouth these days, I look for necklaces with natural, safe ingredients for him to chew on.
 

I hope these tips help all you new mamas and mamas-to-be!

written by VHS contributor// Amanda Mcneil
www.hausofmcneil.com

August 15, 2016

The Unknown Madness of Motherhood

Motherhood, and fatherhood for that matter, can present us all with many surprises.  Before the birth of a first baby, we all have ideas & expectations on how we will birth, parent, feed, diaper, and sleep with our babies.  The raw truth that all current parents know; none of that matters when baby is born. I personally had SO many plans on exactly how I would do things; perfect pregnancy, all natural birth, co-sleep, nurse until baby weans on their own, still go out with friends, hire babysitters frequently, feed only organic, all natural, grass fed, no hormone everything, etc.  I think back to that and laugh as I hand my 15-month old a potato chip from the full size bag I am currently shoving down my own throat between reading the same single-word book for the 92nd time today and secretly wishing wine was OK to drink at 11:02 am.  Parenthood changes things for everyone no matter how many times they say it won’t.

I’ve come up with my top ten list of ways I didn’t think my baby would change my life, but did anyway.

    1. I said I would keep up with childless friends after my baby came. Here’s the deal…at 5 weeks old we took our daughter to a friend’s house for a BBQ/Pool party.  At around 7pm I looked around and realized I was the only adult left in the condo.  I was sitting on my friend’s bed nursing my tiny baby while everyone else (including my husband) was downstairs swimming at the pool.  Eventually, about an hour later, he came looking for me.  At this point, I was almost crying too.  The baby was inconsolable from gas, sleepiness and who knows what else.  We both tried for over an hour to get her stop crying, but we couldn’t. (something I didn’t know was possible before I had a kid) We got our stuff together, said goodbye and started the 30-minute drive home.  Our baby has always hated the car, so she cried even harder on the drive and by the time we made it home both her and I were crying.  The entire night was not a pleasant experience and it was also the first time I realized that my baby WOULD change how I interacted with friends whether I wanted her to or not. 
    2. I said I would get my “pre-baby” body back quickly through working out, dieting and of course, nursing. I gained about 50lbs by the time I gave birth. At 2 weeks post-partum I was naturally down 35 pounds and I started back at the gym. I was in the gym or out running 4-6 times a week & I was nursing around the clock.  Everything I read about nursing making my baby weight “fall off” was a complete waste of time.  It actually does not work that way for every woman and I am proof. That last 15 pounds of baby weight was hanging on for dear life.  At around 6 months post-partum, I went through my closet and got rid of many of my pre-pregnancy clothes and my husband took me to Anne Taylor Loft where I was able to buy some clothes that made me feel beautiful and actually fit my new curves.  At 10 months post-partum, I was still up 5lbs and my body shape was still much different.  Around that time I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant.  Even though I was still nursing and continued to nurse until my daughter was about 12.5 months, I started gaining again. I’m 25 weeks pregnant and up 20lbs now, but feeling much more comfortable in my new, squishier body.  Plus, we live at the beach and I love not having suck-in my stomach in bathing suit photos.
    3. I said my days of traveling the world were over. Raise your hand if you have ever been told “__________ now because when you have kids you can’t do that anymore.” **RAISES BOTH HANDS**  Let me be the first to tell you that I have learned that other people’s opinions on everything are pretty much garbage unless they stood in the exact same situation you are in.  I started traveling with my daughter at 5 weeks old and we have never stopped.  She has traveled more than most adults.  At 13 months old she had been to 13 different states and 3 countries outside the United States.  I love traveling with her so much I started a travel site for parents:  bigbravenomad.com  I never thought I would spend my evenings writing blog posts about the joy of taking my kids everywhere.  Never.  But here I am and I love it.
    4. I said I would co-sleep with my baby. Turns out neither her nor myself loved co-sleeping.  We both would just roll around uncomfortable, but never actually sleep.  My kid slept in her cosleeper until 3.5 months and then we transitioned to her crib.  We all slept SO much better this way.  I couldn’t have known this is how it would be and maybe my next kids will want to sleep in my bed, but this one likes her own space and I can respect that.  Plus, I could sleep in whatever comfy position I wanted, so that was great too.
    5. I said I would nurse my baby until she weaned herself. I read an article once written about a woman who remembers having an “end of nursing” party when she was 5 and it stuck with me. It didn’t feel weird to me to think of my own child nursing that long.  When the time came, nursing came very easy for me and we made PLENTY of milk.  There was no real solid reason we stopped, but my daughter was scheduled to have her kidney removed at just over a year old and I was about 14 weeks pregnant (again) and VERY VERY sick 24/7, so I let my body and my baby move toward weaning.  By the time she was discharged from the hospital we were done physically nursing and about 2 weeks later we had gone through my entire freezer supply with nightly bottles.  So, just like that our journey ended quietly and sweetly.  It wasn’t how I imagined it going, but I am very happy with the time we had.
    6. I said my cat and my human baby would be my “babies” and clearly they would be best friends. Turns out, that was NEVER true.  My cat hated my baby from day 1.  Before my daughter was born, I was a cat lady.  My Instagram feed consisted of many cat photos and on my deployments my husband would show me my Jodi cat via FaceTime or Skype.  I was in love with that cat.  Once we brought the baby home, she would sulk around and occasionally sniff at the baby and keep her distance, but stay in the same room with all of us.  Then when our daughter started crawling, she would hide all day.  By the time she walking our cat hated our daughter so much that she stayed in a constant state of being upset and caused her intestines and bladder to become inflamed.  This also caused her to become an indoor nightmare; she started pooping, peeing and puking anywhere but her litter box.  After weeks & months of cleaning up after her, lots of cuss words, and a $200 vet visit later, she’s on meds now.  She also stays contained in our bedroom if we aren’t home.  She still hates our baby even though our baby follows her around saying “cat” and meowing while trying to pet her.  Oh well.
    7. I said I wouldn’t let my kids have technology all day or for extended periods. Here’s the deal, my child hates the car.  I believe I have mentioned this previously, but she does.  As a newborn and small infant she would cry until she choked or stopped breathing. As an older baby she would scream and cry and throw toys and snacks would only pacify her for 5ish minutes before we were back to hysteria.  For her first birthday we decided to forgo having a birthday party and take her to New Orleans instead.  It’s 4 hours away.  Easy right?  Well, no.  She cried and screamed the entire drive there, every single car ride we took around the city, and then cried the entire drive home.  (She was very pleasant outside the car.)  Just for some background here, we have tried different car seats, we have tried music, we have tried toys, food, a little fan, mirrors, opening the window, ignoring her, sitting in the back with her, everything.  She still cried.  So, when we got home, I put an iPad mount on the head rest of the center back seat.  Now, she watches movies in the car and she’s calm.  We’re all calm.  We’re all safer because we’re all calm and not distracted.  Never say never with kids because I never thought my kids would sit pacified by a TV in the car, but she is and it actually makes us all so much happier.  Oh and can I add that Mickey Mouse Club House is baby crack and if you ever need an hour to shower or eat a warm lunch or drink your coffee warm or sit in a closet eating a cookie you don’t want to share, turn that show on and let it do its magic.  Thank you Disney Junior for this magical show.
    8. I said I would continue working in the work force and that my baby would go to daycare. Oh man, this one is a doozy.  I was an active duty Air Force Civil Engineer.  I planned to stay in as long as possible. I have an undergrad in Civil Engineering and a graduate degree in business.  Why would I ever give that up? Parenthood has a funny way of changing you. During my pregnancy we found out one of my daughter’s kidneys was bad.  At 6 days old we found out the good one was actually not 100%.  Her doctor suggested she be in one-on-one care (nanny or me) and that daycare wasn’t the best choice for her. I knew right there in the doctor’s office what I would do. Before my very short maternity leave was over I had already submitted my application to leave the military.  When she was 3.5 months old, I officially became a stay at home mom.  I spent some time grieving the change, but now I love it.  I have started a website in a market I truly love, I’ve started connecting with other companies in the mother/child industry, I’ve started a Mother’s Morning Out program for other mothers in my area, and I jumped into Young Living and am a distributor for them now as well.  I love my freedom to come and go as a I please, I love being here for every milestone of my baby’s life, I love being able to say no when I don’t want to take part in something.  I never ever thought I would love being home so much, but I really do.  I believe everything happens for a reason and the timing could not have been more perfect for me to be able to separate from Active Duty after 5 wonderful years to start my family. 
    9. I said I would always have patience and be gentle in my parenting. It is actually incredible the amount of patience you gain when having a child. I am truly amazed that as she gets older and more mischievous, I find myself being even more patient.  Things I would have never been able to tolerate before I had my own child isn’t even a blip on my radar.  However, I have failed miserably at having patience and being gentle many times.  I can remember one night when my daughter was only 3-4 months old, my husband was deployed and she was waking up every 30 minutes to an hour when she had been sleeping 7-9 hours straight.  It was probably our third night of this and something in me couldn’t take another wake-up.  As I walked into her room for the seventh or eighth time that night, I hit the door with my open hand as hard as I could. I still don’t know why I did that.  It stung pretty bad.  I was embarrassed at my loss of control and outburst, but in the moment I was overcome with emotion.  I have had many moments where it has been hard to remember that she is a little baby, that she may not always sleep great, that she may not want to do whatever it is I want her to do.  While I admittedly have not been 100% patient or gentle, I try not let the mom guilt overwhelm me.  She is a baby and I am her mother, we are both humans and both allowed some grace in this giant learning process.
    10. I said I wouldn’t become “that mom” who always talks about her kid 24/7. I love this so much.  I am PROUDLY “that mom.”  My daughter is the center of my universe.  I get genuine pleasure out of looking up baby products, traveling with my baby, talking about her, talking about being a mom/birth/nursing.  I am writing an article RIGHT NOW about her.  It’s insane and no one can understand it until they hold that tiny baby for the first time, but as far as I am concerned, I will be “that mom” until the day I die.  I will show you the 5,567 photos I took of her today if you let me.  I will talk about her teeth breaking through, her diaper rash, her chubby fat hands/cheeks/belly, how she slept in or didn’t sleep at all.  I will talk about her all day.  I can’t help it.  She really is the best thing ever and parenthood is better than I ever imagined it could be. 

      As I prepare to welcome our second child in October of this year, I am going into it with an open mind and heart.  I realize that this new baby will likely not be the same as my first, so it will be a completely different experience and I cannot wait for the adventure.

      If you ever have any questions about traveling while pregnant or with your children, let me know. (Or if you just want to chat about kids in general) I am only a click away.

       

      Left to right:

      The last real photo of me pregnant.  That was three days before my daughter was born at 39W, 1D.  Clearly before I knew what was about to happen to my life.

      My daughter and I on the day of my "going away" lunch at work

      Taken 1.5 months post partum -- I still had my Linea Nigra + stretchmarks + an extra pooch

      My Cat asking me when the baby would be leaving.

      My daughter watching an Ipad in the car

       

      My precious chubby baby girl in her first hours Earthside

      Me and my whole little world; my daughter

      Fly Brave. Travel Often. See everything.


      written by VHS contributor// Tavia Carlson
      www.bigbravenomad.com

      August 09, 2016

      Starting Solids

      Kinlee is now 7 months and showing a lot of interest in eating. It's exciting and a little bit sad. I am in the "please stop growing" and drink some milk mind set. I'm a little slower on starting her on food because of this. 
      Some people say "food before one is just for fun." But I strongly believe that when a child is ready they will let you know. She is constantly grabbing at my plate and opening her mouth. Getting mad and crying when I refuse to give her anything from my plate. So I gave into her demands and introduced her to some fun foods. Eggs and green beans! She loved both!

       

      Eggs are an amazing solid to start with. They're quick and easy for your little one to mush. Another favorite I have would be cooked sliced carrots. Once again you need something easy for baby to mush in their mouth. A lot of people ask about pasta. It's a food that adults tend to eat a lot of and very quick to make. When introducing pasta be careful! It needs to be fully cooked and cut into little pieces. It is one of those foods that babies tend to choke or gag easily on. Most doctors recommend holding off between 8-10 months for this one. Just remember to have and enjoy the mess!

      written by VHS contributor// Tori Rougeux
      coffeemomweb.wordpress.com
      August 03, 2016

      Life as a Working Mom

      Let me start this post by saying that I am so thankful to be a working mom, to have a job at all. I am thankful to have my health, my strength, my college education (although limited), and a paycheck that allows me to pay my bills. This article is not meant to discourage the working mom, because, well, I am her. I know what it's like to be her. And I wouldn't change this "working mom" experience for anything.

      With that in mind, I do have to admit that life as a working mom is not everything I thought it would be. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes the feeling of guilt sits on my shoulders like the weight of an elephant. I don't know why I let myself get that way, but it inevitably happens from time to time.

      Let me explain. I am a working mom with an 8-month old baby. I realize that is nothing unusual or exceptional, lots of mommies out there work and take care of their littles.

      My feelings of guilt do not stem from having a job while also trying to be a decent parent, but they probably do stem from the amount of time that I spend sitting in front of a screen instead of sitting in front of my baby. I try to do the majority of my work and writing during baby's early morning sleep, day-time naps, and independent play, but it isn't always that easy.

      I am employed by a small finance firm and I manage the administrative department from my home, so my work day consists of managing money, handling complaints, writing and editing, completing reports, managing an email database and marketing system, and pretty much any other task that comes my way. I work every day of the week, and my husband and I juggle housework, homework, and the baby whenever he is home from work.

      But let's get back to my appreciation for having a job for a moment...I didn't always understand the importance of working hard, paying my taxes, and pulling my weight. I was kind of a slacker when I was a teenage girl, but I'm so thankful that some wonderful family and friends of mine pushed me into a position where I had to grow up and learn to work hard and make my own money. Now, with the job that I have, I am able to accomplish my goals of managing an enterprise, caring for my family, and buying the necessities of life (along with some fun stuff). I'm so thankful for that.

      But being thankful to have a job doesn't mean that we can't acknowledge the struggle, right? Because the struggle is REAL! It seems like I am always working and it seems like I am always in front of this computer screen. I try not to feel too much guilt for working for a living, but occasionally it creeps up any way. Life as a working mom is definitely different than anything I have ever experienced.

      My typical day consists of generous amounts of coffee, baby poop explosions, customer complaints (and compliments), breastfeeding, diaper changes, deadlines, crying (hers and mine), meal prep, singing with Elmo, cleaning up spills, and poop, and crumbs, and other messes...now back to the computer for more work, writing reports, conference calls, marketing, and doing so while bouncing a fussy baby on my leg...now onto the evening routine of dinner, cleanup, bath time, story time, and nursing this baby until she's ready for sleep. My weekly adventures are usually laundry, grocery shopping, play dates, story time at the library, and work meetings.

      It sounds chaotic, and it is...but it's my life, a beautifully chaotic life.

      The life of a working mom is not always glamorous, regardless of what you might see from some of them on social media. When you see a tired, makeup-free face and a baby attached to the breast, please consider that this mom is probably dealing with a lot in her daily life, and she deserves a little consideration.

      The life of a working mom is not always easy. We are sometimes trying to be all things to all people, trying to care for our families and our careers, give our best to everyone, and do it with a smile.

      Regardless of the struggle, I am thankful to have experienced life as a working mom, because it gave me a level of understanding and sympathy that I might not have had otherwise. I am always working to find the balance between my secular job and caring for my family, and because of that, I believe that I can set a better example for my daughter, showing her what a strong, dedicated woman looks like. Of course, I let the guilt of a busy life get to me sometimes, but it is so important to remember that we're doing this FOR our kids, not to them...I'm reminded of that every time I pay my bills, or fill the refrigerator with healthy food, or rock my baby to sleep in clean, warm clothes. So remind the working moms in your life that her choices are nothing to be ashamed of, her life is probably one of the highest honors a woman could have.

      written by VHS contributor// Cate Rosales
      sweetandsimplelife.com

      August 01, 2016

      World Breastfeeding Week// FREE GUIDE

      Happy World Breastfeeding Week! HUGE NEWS! In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week we have created a FREE magazine style guide for you to download, a gorgeous free printable, a huge giveaway, AND a week long 20% off SALE!!! Use coupon  code:WBW20 at checkout.

      July 31, 2016

      World Breastfeeding Week// Big Giveaway!

      World Breastfeeding Week is kinda a big deal around here and to celebrate we have a REALLY BIG giveaway planned for one lucky mama! The Vintage Honey Shop along with Breastfeeding Mama Talk has put together a free and fun guide full of free printables, breastfeeding stories, and must have shopping items! So {bee} sure to check that out! But we know why you're here... you want to know more about the giveaway! Each shop in our guide has contributed a sweet prize and YOU could WIN it ALL!!

      HERE'S HOW TO ENTER: Each shop has a link to either their Instagram of Facebook page you need to follow EACH shop (19 total) after you do that come on back and enter to win here! The winner will be announced 48 hours after the end of the giveaway.

       

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      CLICK EACH SHOP TO BE DIRECTED TO THEIR FAV SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE// SUBSCRIBE TO THEM ALL// COME ON BACK AND YOU'RE QUALIFIED TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!! GOOD LUCK MAMAS :)

      The Vintage Honey Shop// $35 gift card

      Bessie's Best Lactation Cookies// 1 doz. cookies and 1 lb. of granola!

      Fairhaven Health// Milkies-Milk-Saver

      Rags & Royal// Breastfeed Repeat Set

      Fresh Apparel// $20 Shop Credit

      BizyBelle// Arrow Security Blanket

      Bellifly// Maternity + Nursing Pillow (choice of blue or pink ribbon)

      Caroline Randall Made// Monogrammed Mason Jar Tumbler

      Vroom Clothing// $25 Shop Credit

      Bee Bear Children's Designs// The Baby Sleeve 

      Loved by Sophia Claire// $50 Shop Credit

      Sassy Bow Co// $20 Shop Credit

      RubyClaire Boutique// One Mommy/Me Set

      Solchan// One cover, winners choice!

      Crunchy Love Co.// Nursing bra/ Maternity Bra

      Sweet Love Boutique// $20 shop credit

      Zoe Organics// Nipple Balm

      Free Soul Designs // The Fearless Breastfeeder™ Tee

      Precious Reminders// Mint Chevron Nursing Clip

       

      July 29, 2016

      Keep Calm And Latch On// Free Pritable

       

       DOWNLOAD NOW// AVAILABLE IN GRAY- BLUE- PINK- WHITE

      At the Vintage Honey Shop we celebrate all mamas!! Weather you breastfeed or bottle feed we think you are a rock star mama!  And for all of you breastfeeding mamas out there we have a sweet little freebie for you. Our "keep calm and latch on" printable is available in this free download. It's easy to print from home and hang in your little one's nursery. Keep calm babies and just latch on! And if your little milk monster is pinching or scratching you during your nursing sessions you will want to check out for yourself the craze over buying a necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop!! Our necklaces are great for the nursing baby because instead of pinching you, they play with the necklace making feeding time more soothing for both mama and baby!  Our designer handmade necklaces are available in gorgeous solids and fun prints and make a special keepsake to remind you of those precious moments together!

      July 18, 2016

      Traveling Europe Changed my Nursing Experience

      When we decided to take a 15-day trip to Europe with our 6-month old daughter, I never thought twice about how I would feed her. Breastfeeding had become second nature. I was happy she was being fed, she was happy to be eating, but I was never super emotionally connected to the experience of having a baby attached to me. However, once we started our adventure, I knew this very natural task would become something precious that I would carry with me for the rest of my life.

      Ever since her birth in April 2015, my daughter latched right on and nursed her way through our skin to skin time. We never struggled with bleeding nipples or lack of milk. Actually, it was mostly the opposite. I made a ton of milk and had a very fast/heavy let down, so I nursed and then pumped after almost every feeding. I would wake up when she didn’t so I could pump to relieve my engorged boobs. Our nursing sessions were always 5-7 minutes; short & easy. I would pump for less than 10 minutes every time and still end up with full bottles. Eventually, I had a freezer full of milk and very hefty baby. I donated hundreds of ounces and kept about 400 stored ounces for myself. Breastfeeding was not a struggle for us, but it also wasn’t a super special time for us either. I had always felt that I could take it or leave it. If she had been a bottle baby, I wouldn’t have been sad. It was just something we did out of convenience and it also saved us money, so that was a great perk.



      Fast forward to November 2015 when we landed in Munich, Germany. As I sat in the airport waiting for my husband to grab our bags, I nursed. I kept looking around while my mind wandered from thought to thought, “Are we really here? Did we really just bring our baby to Germany for vacation? No one seems to cares that my boobs are out. Do you think she knows we aren’t in the states anymore? I am so tired. Will she ever sleep while we are here? Is my husband ever coming back with those bags?” It was my first time ever considering that me nursing uncovered would be normal and accepted. We couldn’t use covers and I never wanted to, so I had gotten used to people feeling awkward around me, but it felt different here. It felt natural to be feeding a baby from the breast in the open. That feeling stayed with me the entire 15 days. Our first days were spent in Germany. We toured Munich, the concentration camp Dachau, and Füssen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle and some of the best views of Bavaria from Mount Tegelberg. We ate incredible German food at delicious local shops, drank different German beers at Biergartens, walked and walked and nursed and nursed. Since everyone walks everywhere in Europe, it was always easy to find a bench or a curb to plop down on and nurse. My husband typically sat with us, but sometimes he would use the time to venture off and find cigar or souvenir shops or more amazing food. I couldn’t help but let my mind wander in the welcomed silence. It would often occur to me that I was physically sitting in some of the most beautiful and historical places in Europe, nursing my baby – I was giving her life as I absorbed the magnitude of where I was.

      Over the next two weeks we traveled by train from Munich to Innsbruck to Venice to Florence, then Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento and finally the Amalfi Coast. We spent our days, from wake to sleep, touring the streets, eating the pasta/pizza/gelato, drinking the best cappuccinos and wine on Earth, touring some of the World’s oldest and greatest historical relics, and nursing. We stood where many people suffered, we stood where men became Kings, where entire cities disappeared off the face of the Earth, where ocean cliffs became cities and where boats are used as cars. We walked through building and barracks used to host the most horrible atrocities the World has ever seen. We walked through cities that fairytales are based off of. Every single second was incredible.

      In all of these unbelievable places, I nursed. At the time, I was nursing every 2-3 hours...sometimes more. We stopped for lunch, I nursed at the table. We walked the streets of Pompeii, I stopped to nurse. We waited for trains to take us from city to city, I nursed on the benches or floor. Wherever we went, wherever we were, I pulled up my layers of sweatshirts and unclipped my nursing bra and fed my baby. How was it different than any other day? (Other than the location…) For me, it was much more emotion filled. I was already clinging to the fleeting moments of this trip and these little quiet moments with my baby allowed me to spend more time appreciating the situation. I was able to think about her and myself and where we were; let it sink in. I knew she would never remember these moments, but I would. I made it a point to have my husband take a few photos of us along the way so I could be sure to remember.

      Since returning from our trip my husband and I always say how it was the best trip we’ve ever taken together. We always agree that it was so amazing because we had our daughter with us. We travel a lot and we always have, but something about sharing these places with a new little malleable person was incredible. We often lay in bed after she is asleep and scroll through all of our pictures. I find myself spending a few seconds longer on the photos of us nursing. All of those moments I couldn’t appreciate as much before now stand out. I feel like this trip is what made me love nursing; it helped me to understand the bond created between mother and baby and helped me to slow down to take in our time together.

      Now, I am expecting my second child in October and while my nursing journey ended earlier than I had hoped at around 13 months with my daughter, I am excited to start another one. We are already planning a trip to Europe as a family of 4 and I cannot wait to nurse my way through history a second time.

      If you ever have any questions about traveling while pregnant or with your children, let me know. I am only a click away.

      Fly Brave. Travel Often. See everything.


      written by VHS contributor// Tavia Carlson
      www.bigbravenomad.com

      July 11, 2016

      Getting Ready For a Weekend Away

      In three weeks I will be going away for the weekend with my husband for the first time since my son was born . . . a year ago! There were definitely a few times in the last year my husband has tried to get me to go away for a night, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave our baby.

      As a first time mom, the thought of leaving my baby seems daunting. Word on the mommy street is that it gets easier after the first kid. Is it that is gets easier, or you feel more confident because now your kids have a familiar constant with them, their sibling?  However I look at it, tickets have been booked and hotel rooms are confirmed. WE ARE DOING THIS.

      I know I am not the first mom to feel this way, and I will not be the last, but here are a few tips that are getting me through this anxiety ridden time:

      1)      Have a routine in place with your baby prior: My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to raising our son. We believe in schedules, they work for our son and for us. We keep the routine no matter where we are or what we are doing. Preparing for our trip, we have been making sure that everything is in place to continue with his routine. This includes writing it out and pre-confirming with the chosen sitters that they can maintain this consistency over the weekend. Being able to execute and follow our routine was the tipping point for choosing a caregiver. It gives me a sense of calm knowing that even though Mommy and Daddy aren’t there, the schedule is still the same.

      2)      Being confident in your caregivers: In some ways this should be number one, but for us, without a routine we aren’t as confident with our caregivers. We are lucky to have tons of family nearby that happily volunteer to take our son for the day or weekend. In fact, it made it extremely hard to narrow down who would watch him. But beside the ability to follow the routine, we had to feel confident that whoever was watching our son would know how to handle an emergency and show him the same care and love that they would their own family member.

      3)      FaceTime: Where was parenting before the wonder that is FaceTime?  The thing keeping me going is knowing that should my son, or me, feel a little bit of anxiety we are just a simple call away. We can call him in the morning or evening before bed. The time we are apart won’t seem as long.

      I know this seems like a short list, but I have found the less complicated we make things; the better it is for our kids.  The other thing is, taking time for our marriages is just as important as spending time with our little ones.

      So here I am, prepping myself for my first big weekend away. I hope this little list helps another mamma take a deep breath and book that weekend away. We all have to do it sometime, it might as well be now. 

       

      written by VHS contributor// Monica Saenz
      pocketowlpress.wordpress.com

       

      July 09, 2016

      Teething Trouble!

      I hate teething! I said it! Cold cloths, teething rings and Tylenol are the go to for most parents. However if you have an extra fuss pot like me, they don't even come close to doing the trick. Kinlee is now 6 months and her first tooth is coming through. I've tried everything under the sun to help her get through it as smoothly as possible but only one thing has helped. Teething necklaces! 

      I spent many hours online trying to find the perfect necklace for us. Many were not flattering, too expensive or just not what I was looking for. Hallelujah! I found The Vintage Honey Shop! They offer so many designs to fit anyone's taste. The neck line is adjustable so I can wear it at any length I like. Kinlee can hold them with ease and most importantly they have saved me from the teething madness! If you haven't already I suggest going online and see for yourself.

      P.S. I have to admit the extra snuggles are pretty wonderful!
      written by VHS contributor// Tori Rougeux
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