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Using a wrap for the first several weeks in almost a perpetual way seemed at first amazing, because Cailyn seemed so much calmer. Of course, I found out very quickly that it wasn’t a cure-all, and she didn’t always want to be in there. Some days the swing worked, other days it was the fan…

I wanted to try baby wearing out of desperation to help calm my fussy/colicky baby, while having my hands free. I also have a toddler boy to look after at home. I had already learned that a wrap or sling was better for a growing infant’s body, so it sounded like a nice idea.

And it was.

Mostly.

It probably took me a mere few days to realize how much fun it wasn’t.  I was pregnant for 9 months; it’s kind of nice to have a break from that, and using the wrap kind of made me feel pregnant again (albeit much less painfully so). Car seats, swings, strollers, I don’t care if the “natural” crowd knock them as “containers”; they are nice to use too!

I want some freedom to hug Asher when he falls, hug friends and family when they want one; I’d like the freedom to work out. Plus, the wrap isn’t terribly supportive when I have to bend over, and deal with my active toddler. So, yes, it may provide some hands free aspects, but it’s not entirely true.

Anyways, I raved about it in the early days, recommending it to many other moms. I will say, I’d still like to use it with other babies (Lord willing), and I would still recommend it, but not as a perpetual thing. And really, “baby wearing” in its purest forms was meant in this context:

  • Your gestation period doesn’t last 9 months, but 18 months. Hope your back enjoys carrying a baby for an extra 9 months post-pregnancy!
  • If you need to tend to personal things, have someone else hold your colicky baby.
  • Let her  take her naps in there.

…All so you can be “in tuned” to the needs and rhythms of your baby. For that reason, and plenty of other helpful benefits, I really did feel sold to it, but in practice it really was not practical for my life style at all. I don’t have live in help, other than my husband who works full time. Our families both live very far away from us.

Actually trying to live up to the standards of baby wearing, I have learned is also very tiring. I also missed being able to have my arms free to hold Asher or to hug my husband and friends.

I still think parts of it are awesome. I love that when I’m at the grocery store, out running errands, or at a friend’s house, etc. she falls asleep in it nicely (usually). Plus, a lot of people treat you like you’re pregnant, which has its pluses; I found a lot of strangers were nice to me, and it really started conversations.

So, sure it didn’t cure her of her colic, nor did it seem practical at all to wear her ALL THE TIME- in fact I darn right didn’t stickin like it, and ironically I felt less attached to her- but, for me, a balance is what will work best. I want to keep using it, but as tool, and when I want to.

In the end, what really has helped calm her down, and make for a happier baby has been employing some detachment techniques, which I’ll get to in a later post. Ironically, it’s been the very thing that’s made me much more attached to her.

What has been your experience with baby wearing?

Be blessed,

Amanda.

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I ended up going with shutterfly.com for easy Christmas cards. I had them write out the addresses, stamp it and mail them out (for an extra charge). Great for a busy new mom of two! I didn’t even have to leave house.

The cute little outfit assemble I planned for our  big Christmas photo card didn’t happen. Instead I went ahead and used photos I already had on my computer of the kids. The back of the card is a little birth announcement (a two in one!).

I’d still like to do a family photo shoot but on our own time, and for our own Christmas memories. Too often family photos our kind of cheesy and phony. We might have looked all picture perfect in our last photos but really it wasn’t fun at all. I was getting eaten alive by mosquitos, Asher was fussing because he didn’t nap like he was supposed to, our dog Bradley was being a handful and was distracted by background noises. But despite the unpleasant experience we managed to have a beautiful little photo of a “happy little family.”

I’m not saying all family photos are phony, or that we aren’t a happy little family..that would be a little cynical. I’m just saying they sure can be!

If you’ve procrastinated on Christmas cards like me, shutterfly is offering a 50 percent off discount on all cards (HOLIDAY). No, I am not making a profit from them, this is a not for profit blog.

Unfortunately, these cards are being sent out only to friends and family (mostly family) that are far away and would probably like one (sorry friends that don’t get one! Love you all!).

Merry Christmas to y’all,

Amanda.

 

 

Christmas family photo shoot

Last year I posted a blueprint for our families fall family photo shoot using polyvore.com as a resource to create a template. Well, I thought I’d try to make another template borrowing images of clothing that are similar to my families current wardrobe.

The only difference this year is that we plan on doing our own photos instead of hiring someone. Not sure how they will turn out, but I think it will be fun.

I decided to go for a blue and white palette contrasted with dark blues, browns and tans. I’m thinking I’ll make it more Christmasy (I made that word up) with some editing effects and font if possible, because the clothing itself isn’t super Christmasy. Not sure if I’ll wear a wrap for the photo or just hold Cailyn, but I’m going to leave that decision pending. My wrap is blue, not pink though ( I couldn’t find another image).

We ended up wearing a much different look for out photos last year because the photographer we hired wasn’t digging my blueprint. Her photos turned out very nice, but this year I’d like to follow my vision and wardrobe plan because they didn’t feel entirely like us. I want the photos to be “us” if you know what I’m saying, and doing things ourselves gives us that uninhibited freedom.

Once I figure out how we will doctor them up  I’d love to share what we did (failure or not). There are a lot of awesome print companies that seem to sell beautiful photo prints for a bargain, so I might tap into that. Any suggestions are welcome!

 

Oh, and we plan on using them as cards for our families and friends.

Merry Christmas in advance!

Amanda.

 

inspirational

I was recently asked  by Brilliant Earth (a jewelry company),  if I would be interested in coming up with an inspiration board featuring my favorite cocktail ring of choice as part of a Signature Piece Challenge they’re hosting. After looking into the company and learning how they ethically source their jewelry (no blood diamonds people!) and have a fabulous sense for style (check out their vintage jewelry), I thought, why not?

Above is my inspiration board for the coming holiday season and along side it is my favorite cocktail ring from Brilliant Earth.

I’ve taken to baby wearing this past week out of desperation to calm my fussy newborn. I originally bought the boba wrap to use when I needed my hands free, which I thought would be most of the time when I still have a toddler boy to take care of.

At first she wasn’t crazy about it, so it sat around for a bit while I passed her off to others (aka my mom when she was down for the first couple weeks), or held her in my arms. But after learning how to put it on right, and putting her in it before her fussy spells (a very important point), it’s been working out much better, making for a happier baby and momma!

After reading about baby wearing, I’ve learned it means much more than wearing your baby when you’re out and about or when you want your hands free (although that’s part of it); it’s a perpetual thing. Instead of using a car seat to lug your baby around when out, baby wearing means using the car seat only for car trips and wearing him or her when you get to your destination.

Other winning points for me:

  • In cultures where baby wearing is the norm, crying can be measured in minutes, rather than hours like in the West.
  • Baby wearing helps soothe colicky/fussy babies and has even been known to cure it (my main reason for using it).
  • Wraps and slings are better for babies physical development whereas car seats can put undue pressure on the spine.
  • Babies carried in wraps can learn more because they spend more time in a quiet alert stage (the stage where they can learn the most) and they also have more of an opportunity to hear, see and experience all that you do in a day.
  • Babies that are carried are less clingy when they get older (let’s hope this is true!).
  • Studies have shown that wearing your baby for just 3 hours a day makes for a less fussy baby.

So far I only have one wrap, but I’m strongly considering getting another one as they do get dirty, and although they are washable, it’s nice to have a second one on hand. My current one is striped, so a basic one, like the brown one in my inspiration board, would be a good pick for me.

Anyways, now that baby wearing has become a part of my wardrobe, I’ve been looking for pieces that compliment this lifestyle. Here’s how my board compliments baby wearing without compromising my style this holiday season:

The open front tops allow for easy breastfeeding and baby wearing. The darker jeans and heeled wedges are still comfortable but can pass as “dressier” for holiday parties. The large tote can store all my essentials, and the little bling-bling, sparkly-sparkly from the cocktail ring adds some glamour to an otherwise dressy-casual outfit.

If there’s any one thing I’ve learned from my last pregnancy is how a little *sparkle-sparkle* can make you feel beautiful right when you are feeling a little drab in the last trimester. Now I know that my true beauty comes from who I am in Christ, but as a mom with a toddler and a fresh new baby that demands much of my time, a little sparkle-sparkle can help to fight against the mom-frump if you know what I’m saying.

Many blessings,

Amanda.

cailyn 072

Cailyn Kahleen Fouts/ Born Oct.25, 2013 / 6 lbs, 13.5 ounces, 20 inches long

proverbs31

I apologize for being quiet lately. I had my baby! She was healthy, and beautiful, and born Oct.25, 2013. Labor was awesome and SO MUCH better than my first birth, so praise God for that!

I also apologize if using my own photo for this verse is self-praising. I just couldn’t think of any other photo to use, and prefer to use my own whenever possible. BUT, the more I think about it, the more I realize it can work because it’s a prayer and desire for my own life: I want to be honored by my kids at the end of my life, and gaining a reward for all that I do would also be sweet.

In the end she received praise from her children, and received public praise…or “at the gates.” I know doing what I do as a stay at home mom doesn’t reward me a ton of public praise; it’s very much a private affair. It took me my first year of marriage to adjust to this.

I feel I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m secure enough with who I am that I don’t need public praise and approval from others to feel validated and important. I know that being a stay at home mom isn’t always praised in elite circles, and among the “educated” but I’m okay with that.

That being said, it’s encouraging to know that what I do, and don’t do, means something, and will receive the reward it’s due. I’m doing this career as stay at home mom and wife for Jesus. It’s Him I will stand before, and I look forward to meeting Him face to face.

Of course its only by His blood that I can stand there spotless.  It’s by His grace I can be honored and receive a reward from Him because what He has done for me and for you! His blood was shed for us to cover our sin. What awesome news!

You too can have this great reward and eternal life, by believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and died for your sins.

It might sound too simple but having this hope makes life worth living, and gives me a purpose bigger than myself. It’s all I want for my kids and everyone I know and love including you.

Much love,

Amanda.

 

 

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