How to Style a Bookshelf

I think bookshelves can be so pretty. It’s practically art when you take the time to decorate and organize pieces of your home. Here are a few tips I use to style a bookshelf

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1. Don’t clutter your bookshelf with just books.

2. Add some decor such as a sign, a picture frame or even a faux plant.

3. Make your book placement intentional. Whether you organize your books alphabetically, by genre, or simply tallest to smallest, make it intentional. Don’t make it look like you just tossed them up there.

4. Add some sort of space for treasures or basic household items, such as a small box or 3 tier drawer.

5. Adding notebooks, paper and pens looks great too!

6. Finally, add something above your bookshelf that catches the eye, such as an inspiring quote, a clock or a piece of artwork.

And ta-da! You now have a stylish bookshelf!!!

My 6 Week Postpartum Appointment

At 6 weeks postpartum, I left my baby for the second time. The first time I left him to go grocery shopping for about an hour and a half. The second time I left for my 6 week postpartum appointment and my 2 hour glucose test.

On a chilly Tuesday morning, I went to the hospital and did my two hour glucose test. The drink was disgusting and I didn’t enjoy sitting in the waiting room for two hours. The entire time I texted friends, checked in on my baby as he was getting babysat by Grandma and Grandpa and thought about what I was going to have for breakfast the moment the test was completed.

Thankfully, my glucose test came back normal and I no longer had any form of diabetes. I then had an hour to kill before my OB appointment. I enjoyed a salad and sandwich at the nearby cafe and continued calling my mom to check on my baby. To my surprise he was doing great. He played, took a nap, and ate just fine. For a moment or two I was able to sigh with relief knowing he was being taken care of and I could take a moment to enjoy some time by myself.

At my 6 week postpartum appointment everything looked great. To my surprise, I had lost weight since giving birth. The scale showed that I now weighed 9lbs lighter than I did when I first got pregnant. I was put on birth control and made a plan to continue my anxiety meds. I was also told my abdominal muscles weren’t completely fused back to where they were pre-pregnancy and I needed to take it easy when it came to strenuous activity and working out.

After a long 4 hours I was finally able to see my baby. I missed him so much. It was a huge milestone for me to leave for a little while and trust others to take care of my baby, but I did it. ❤️

Kid’s Corner: Paper Plate Ice Skating

Do you have some busy bees in your home who seem to constantly be on the move? Do you feel like the walls are closing in when it’s raining or too cold to send the kids outside? Do you ever run out of ideas of indoor activities to try with your kids?

Well, here is a simple idea that your kids will love! This activity is perfect for kids ages 2-5! All you need is these two around the house items: Paper Plates and Markers.

First, give your child two paper plates. Explain to them that you are going to create ice skates! Provide your child with markers to decorate the plates. You can even include other art supplies such as stickers, paint, glitter glue, etc.

Once your child has finished decorating their skates (paper plates), then place the plates on the floor. Demonstrate for your child how to step and slide on the carpet while remaining on the paper plates.

Once your child has mastered sliding across the room while using their ice skates, throw on some music and let them go to town!

Organizing Our Laundry Room

Recently, in between feedings, naps, snuggles and baths; I decided to take some time in my laundry room and do a little organization.

In a one bedroom apartment we really don’t have a ton of space. However, I absolutely love having a washer and dryer in our apartment and not having to drag our laundry to a community laundry room.

Our laundry room is a mix of a storage room, pantry, baby boy’s closet, laundry room and furnace room.

Regardless we are thankful for what we have and I am so grateful I was able to take the time to organize it.

Reverse Bucket List: Things I Have Already Accomplished

As many of you know, I love bucket lists. I love setting goals and striving to accomplish them. I create at least two bucket lists a year, one around New Year’s and one at the beginning of summer. I thought this bucket list would be fun to write as it is reverse and a list of things that I have already accomplished.


Reverse Bucket List: Things I’ve already Accomplished

  1. Written, Illustrated and Published a Children’s book.
  2. Started a Blog.
  3. Moved 4 times.
  4. Graduated from College
  5. Have two Associates degrees
  6. Have a Bachelor’s degree
  7. Been published in a Magazine
  8. Started a Small Business
  9. Adopted a Cat.
  10. Given birth and had a Baby.
  11. Been a Lead Teacher to School Agers, Toddlers and 3 year olds.
  12. Made the Dean’s List at my college.
  13. Been in the Newspaper.
  14. Been on TV.
  15. Traveled outside the country to the Dominican Republic.
  16. Learned Spanish.
  17. Been to Disney World.
  18. Flown in a Plane.
  19. Eaten Sushi.
  20. Gone Scuba Driving.
  21. Gone Skinny Dipping.
  22. Shot a Gun.
  23. Had Surgery.
  24. Hiked 10 miles.
  25. Started a Garden.
  26. Cooked my own Thanksgiving dinner.
  27. Been in both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron at the same time.
  28. Been to and crossed the Mackinac Bridge.
  29. Pet a black bear cub.
  30. Been Downhill Skiing.
  31. Seen a Butterfly emerge from a cocoon.
  32. Eaten Frog Legs.
  33. Traveled across multiple states on a road trip.
  34. Been to Fort Bragg.
  35. Went on a Ferry and saw Dolphins.
  36. Bought a Car.
  37. Gotten my ears pierced.
  38. Dislocated a toe.
  39. Gotten Pregnant.
  40. Written a Memoir.
  41. Swam in the Ocean.
  42. Climbed Michigan Lake Shore Dunes.
  43. Seen a Bunny give Birth.
  44. Saved a Liter of Kittens.
  45. Had my Art in the Newspaper.
  46. Had my Art displayed in an Art Gallery.
  47. Fed Giraffes.
  48. Watched and earen Hibachi.
  49. Walked the downtown Christmas lights.
  50. Visit the Bean in Chicago.

Anxiety and Motherhood

I never realized I could love someone so much… I thought to myself as I held my brand new baby not even 6 hours old. I looked into his deep brown eyes and thought I love you so much. I love you more than I ever thought I could. As each moment passes I grow more and more in love with you. With these intense emotions and genuine endorphin high, also came fear and anxiousness.

I felt a piece of my heart leave my body when I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. It was beautiful but also incredibly terrifying. For 9 long months, 39 weeks and 3 days I carried my baby. I loved him, nourished him, prayed over him, worried about him and protected him. As a mama who knows loss, I knew throughout my pregnancy that at absolutely any moment this miracle baby I was carrying could very well be taken away. Throughout my pregnancy I continuously told myself things for me to make it through. I just have to get to 5 weeks… I just have to get through 6 weeks…. I just have to make it past the first ultrasound and if baby is okay, I’ll be able to breathe. I just have to get through the first trimester. And ultimately I would say I just have to get through this pregnancy. Once I get though this pregnancy I will be able to relax and all will be okay. Little did I know that my love, as well as my anxiety for my baby was only beginning.

While in the hospital the first two nights of my baby’s life I didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep not because he was crying but because I was so scared of losing him. I was afraid he would stop breathing if I wasn’t watching him. I was afraid he would aspirate. I was afraid he would some how suffocate from his swaddle or his organs would suddenly stop working. It was a never ending cycle that I’m sure a lot of moms encounter. It was exhausting and sometimes hard to live in the moment and enjoy my sweet newborn.

As the weeks went by I continued the roller coaster of postpartum anxiety. Was Matthew eating enough? Was he pooping enough? He sounds congested, did he aspirate? He’s crying, is it a hungry cry or is he in pain? He isn’t comforted when I hold him, is he mad at me? He failed his hearing test, does he have an impairment. Throughout this cycle I had a hard time taking care of myself. I would forget to eat, forget to drink which would ultimately mess with my milk supply and make me irritable and impatient. I would refuse to sleep because I hated hearing my baby crying even though I completely trusted my husband when he would get up to care for him. I kept putting my baby first but forgetting that I can’t be the best mommy for my baby, if I didn’t try to take care of myself too.

Postpartum anxiety is a real thing. I had no idea. I had only ever heard of postpartum depression. But these moments of mind racing, panicked anxiousness was real and hard to control. I wasn’t crazy, but going through what a lot of mamas do.

Since becoming an earth side mama, I love deeper, cry harder and laugh longer. I also fear the worse and struggle with just letting go and letting God do what he’s going to do. Part of that is just being a mom and part of that is postpartum anxiety. Motherhood is a beautiful blessing and I thank God everyday for my beautiful rainbow baby. And with time, meds and rest my anxiety and emotions will eventually settle down some. I’m getting the help I need as well as taking it one day at a time.

Motherhood is a journey. Just like how trying to conceive, pregnancy and labor are all journeys in themselves; motherhood too is a journey… and accompanied by love and anxiety.

My Postpartum Journey

I’m 6 weeks postpartum.
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My skin is stretched, my joints are loose, my hips are wider and I have stretch marks that serve as battle scars from my pregnancy, labor and birth.
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But postpartum isn’t just about the body, it’s about the mind and heart too. I am forever changed by the journey I endured of growing, and birthing a little life. Just like how I was forever changed after I lost two babies.
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In the last 3 years I have been pregnant 3 times. I’ve had surgery, became anemic, was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Endometriosis. I’ve suffered with grief, anxiety and depression. I’ve lost 2 babies, went through an anxious pregnancy after loss, fought covid during pregnancy and birthed a beautiful, healthy baby.
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In the last 3 years I’ve cried more, I’ve loved more deeply, I’ve grown stronger and I have transformed.


I’m 6 weeks postpartum and I am changed yet again.
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I never knew I could love someone so much… but now I do.


I never knew I could be so afraid of losing someone and stay up late thinking the worse case scenario… but now I do.


I never knew my anxiety could get 10x worse and I could have postpartum anxiety… but now I do.


I never knew another human life and I could have a strong unbreakable bond… but now I do.


I never knew I would look in the mirror weeks after giving birth and not recognize the woman staring back at me… but now I do.


I never knew that looking into my son’s eyes and seeing the way he looks at me would give me the strength to keep going… but now I do.


I never knew how emotionally and physically tiring life with a baby could be… but now I do.


I never knew how lonely postpartum could be… but now I do.
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Postpartum isn’t just about losing weight or fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans. It’s about remembering the person you once were and finding the person you have become, between being a new mom and being a woman. This is my story and the journey I am taking. 6 weeks postpartum is only the beginning and I’m going to continue to embrace the changes and learn as I go. I’m still finding the person I’m meant to be and I’ll continue to transform. ❤️

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta is something I just thought of and wasn’t sure if it was a real thing. So, I went to Google to see if anyone else has combined chickpeas and pasta, and sure enough it’s a real thing! I scanned through a variety of different recipes then decided to make my own!

Check out my Chickpea Pasta recipe below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta
  • Chickpeas (1 can)
  • Olive Oil
  • Tomatoes (1)
  • Black olives (small can)
  • Pepperonis (10-20)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese

First, boil a pot of water. Depending on how many noodles you want to make will depend on how much water you choose to boil.

Next, pour penne pasta into boiling water. Stir occasionally until noodles are soft and tender.

Chop tomatoes, black olives, and pepperonis.

Next, drain noodles and place in a bowl.

Drain canned chickpeas, and combine in bowl of noodles.

Then add olive oil, chopped pepperonis, olives, and tomatoes.

Season to taste with minced garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Why We Named Our Son Matthew

When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I started discussing baby names. I wanted to find a name for a girl and a boy. I wanted to do this so that when we found out at our 20 week anatomy scan what we were having, we could give the baby a name right away. There was something about giving baby a name for the second half of the pregnancy that made things seem even more real.

On my birthday, when I was exactly 19 weeks pregnant, Charles woke up and told me he had a dream. He dreamt that he was at some sort of musical event and his old choir director from college saw him. They started talking and his old choir director said “How’s baby Matt doing?” Then he woke up. Charles had another dream that same night where he was playing with a baby girl named Grace.

Later in the morning as we were getting ready for breakfast Charles told me about the dream. He then suggested that if we were having a boy we should name him Matthew and if we were having a girl we should name her Grace.

I was shocked at his suggestion for the boy name, because Charles had momentarily forgotten that I had had a brother named Matthew. My brother Matthew died before I was born. He was 9 months old and died of a rare genetic condition, At first I wasn’t totally sure how I would feel about having a brother and a son named Matthew.

Throughout the week, I continued contemplating both the names Matthew and Grace. I focused mostly on Matthew because I still had this strong feeling we were having a boy. I decided to look up the meaning of the name Matthew just to see what it said. A gift from God. I thought How perfect is that!? Our rainbow baby’s name means A gift from God. Charles and I loved the meaning of the name and we also loved that it was classic, biblical and could be shortened to Matt or Matty.

About a week later we had our anatomy scan. We found out we were having a precious baby boy. We didn’t tell anyone about the boy name we had picked out until 23 weeks. At that time, I asked my mom if she would mind if we named our son Matthew. She was absolutely honored that we had even considered that name. She loved that her first grandson would be named after her son and she loved the meaning of the name.


So there you have it. We named our son Matthew. He is named after my brother and is our gift from God. ❤️

My Baby Bear is 1 Month Old!

Our Baby Bear is already 1 month old! When did that happen!?!? Friends and family told me it would go fast, and I did not believe them. The days are long but the weeks are flying by. We are so in love with our little man and proud at how much he’s grown already.

In Matthew’s first month of life he has…

  • Started focusing on faces and bright colors
  • Discovered his feet and learned how to kick, and even push off of things.
  • Embraced tummy time which he doesn’t seem to mind at all.
  • Started gripping things including shirts, and his pacifier.

We adore you Matthew! You are our gift from God that just keeps on giving! ❤️

What Should You Pack in Your Diaper Bag? – Infant

As I write this, it’s been about a month since I had my baby… since I officially became a mama earth side. I truly can’t believe my baby is about a month old. Where has the time gone? Anyway, I think I am slowly but surely starting to get the hang of this mom thing.

One thing I really didn’t think about much before giving birth was my baby’s diaper bag. I was naive before in thinking babies don’t need a lot of stuff. I’m here to tell you that if you are someone who likes to be prepared, then let me just say… babies need a lot of stuff. When taking the baby out, whether it’s to the doctor, the park or to visit relatives… it’s important to be prepared and bring the essentials.

Now I’m new at this, so if any of you pro mamas have any tips on what to include in the diaper bag, please let me know! Below is my list on what you should include in your daily diaper bag for an infant.

Diaper Bag Check List

  • Diapers (8-10)
  • Wipes
  • Diaper Cream
  • Diaper Changing Disposal Mats
  • Trash Bags
  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • Bib
  • Onesies (2)
  • Sleepers (2)
  • Rattle
  • Teether
  • Nursing Cover
  • Board Book
  • Pacifier
  • Pacifier Clip
  • Brush
  • Receiving Blanket

Do you have any suggestions on what to include in the diaper bag? Comment your thoughts below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️