My Baby Bear is 6 Months Old!

My Baby Bear is 6 months old! I can’t believe it. So much has happened and yet time just feels like it flew right by. Feels like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, and now he is a sweet, charismatic, energetic, vocal little boy.

The past 6 months have been the best and hardest of my life. When people say “you won’t remember what life was like before you had kids.” Believe them. It’s true. I don’t remember. Part of that is sleep deprivation and part of that is just realizing how truly blessed I am to have a baby.

Anyway, enough of me being all sentimental. Here is an update on Matthew!

Born: 1/2/22

Weighed: 7lbs 11oz

Now!

6 months old

Weighs 21lbs

Wears 9 month clothes

Size 3 Diapers

0 Teeth

Doesn’t sleep through the night yet. We’re lucky if he gets a 4 hour stretch.

Still nursing, as well as eating solids including apples, peaches, bananas, pears, prunes, carrots, chicken, cereal and peas.

Favorite toys include anything that lights up or plays music, penguin paci, piano, kiddy pool, snuggle bug and links.

A few of his favorite things include: Bath time, swimming in his pool, trying new foods, blowing raspberries, having giggle fits, listening to music, exploring his blocks, cuddling with mommy and playing with daddy.

His milestones:

– He can officially sit unassisted,

– Roll belly to back and back to belly

– Put his toes in his mouth.

– Reaching for toys.

– Starting to throw

– Trying to stand and walk,

– Sip water

– Sing

– Say mama 💕

Happy Half Birthday Baby Boy! You’re officially half way to 1! Can’t wait to see you grow these next 6 months and beyond!

The Last 7 Years…

Since my son was born, I have found myself going through a lot of old photos. My intention of this was really just to see how much my son ended up looking like me. But as I’ve perused different photos, I found myself going down memory lane, and really thinking back to the last 7 years and the experiences that have helped mold me as the person I am today.

In September of 2014, I met an 18 year old boy in Spanish class. He was kind, polite and a little nosey. I didn’t know it then that he would one day be my husband. ❤️

I didn’t intend to meet my future husband in Spanish class. I actually signed up for the class so I could prepare for a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in February of 2015. This trip changed my life. I learned how to be grateful for the things I have, like an indoor shower, a floor and air conditioning. I also grew more in love with helping others and teaching children. 🖍

In the fall of 2016, I became a lead preschool teacher for 3 year olds. I graduated from community college in the Spring of 2016 and instead of heading straight to a university, I decided to take a gap year and gain some experience in my field. It was wonderfully challenging to say the least. Everyday was an adventure. From potty training, to positive child guidance, to sickness, to coloring on the wall, to giggle fits, to Disney dance parties; it was enjoyable and one of the best years of my life.

While planning my classroom that fall I also planned my wedding. Talk about a lot on your plate all at once. Charles proposed in August and we got married in mid November. A beautiful fall wedding that wonderfully captured our love for God and love for each other. 💒

In Spring of 2018, I decided to go back to school to further my education. I had already received an Associates in Early Childhood Education and an Associates in General Studies at community college. My next step was to a university for a Bachelors in Child and Family Development.

While studying for my Bachelors, I hit a little bump in the road and got pregnant. Though it wasn’t planned, we were excited and ready to venture into parenting. Sadly our first pregnancy came to an end at 11 weeks.

After my first miscarriage, I started writing my blog, and sharing my story to cope with my grief and help others. I had the opportunity to get published in a magazine, and start a blogging platform on WordPress and Instagram.

After my second miscarriage, I got involved in advocacy work on my college campus. Even though I didn’t agree with everything that was taught, I did learn the fundamentals of what it means to be an advocate, overcoming trauma and standing up for what you believe in

After many twists and turns, I finally graduated with my Bachelors in Child and Family Development. I may have graduated in a pandemic, which certainly wasn’t planned, but I was able to finish my education and start my new career.

Shortly after graduating and getting back into my field of teaching and child care, I decided to work on a new project. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book about miscarriage and grief.

In August of 2020, my mothering heart was longing for a baby. And though we had decided to hold off trying for a baby, we decided to try adopting and caring for a kitten. We went to a local cat cafe where we met Breadstick. This little 4 month old kitten worked his way into our laps and our hearts. We adopted him on a Friday afternoon, renamed him Rocky, and the rest is history.

On Mother’s Day of 2020, my husband and I decided to try again one more time. We prayed and hoped and waited for a baby. Our trying to conceive journey lasted a year and was full of ups and downs, negative test after test until finally we got out positive.

Pregnancy after suffering two losses was not easy. I worried constantly about the unknown, the past and things I couldn’t control. Thankfully with faith, prayer and encouragement I learned to be thankful for pregnancy and appreciate each moment as it came.

During my pregnancy, I mentally and emotionally prepared for my upcoming roll of motherhood. I leaned on other mom friends as well as my mom as I prepared for the journey ahead.

Giving birth was one of the most life changing experiences of my life. No things did not go as planned as I did not plan on being induced or being in labor for 3 days. But with the support of Jesus, family, friends and my medical team… I realized what my body was capable of and I had the strength to give birth to my beautiful miracle baby.

On January 2nd I became a mom, a mom earth-side that is. I’m not just a mom, but I’m a mom to two angel babies as well as one pretty incredible rainbow baby.


These last 7 years have been amazing, stressful, exhausting, entertaining, relaxing, memorable, wonderful, hilarious, beautiful and challenging. I love my life. It is exactly like and nothing like I had pictured. As a 19 year old girl, taking classes at a community college, to a new mom, with an education in children… I have to say, so far my life has turned out pretty great.

Reblog: Mackenzie’s Garden and Stepping Stone

This post was written back in 2019 after my first loss.

Closure…. something we all needed. On a gorgeous sunny day in June, my husband, my mom, my dad and I all created a flower garden in honor of our baby girl. We cried, had a moment of silence and planted beautiful purple flowers. My mom also bought some solar lanterns that glow at night and have a beautiful butterfly each on the inside. It all turned out beautifully tranquil.

Two weekends later we created the stepping stone. My dad, husband and I placed letters in the cement while my mom took pictures. There was some form of healing in this activity. One of my biggest fears is others not believing or cherishing my baby’s life and the fact that she was and is real. By placing letters in the cement and creating a garden and stepping stone for her, this again reaffirmed that she is real and she will always be loved.

Though the letters aren’t straight, the symbols aren’t center and it doesn’t look perfect, to me it’s beautiful. A few days later my mom said she looked out the window at the garden and saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering near the lanterns. This warmed my heart. ❤️ I’m so thankful to my parents to allow us to create a garden in their backyard, since we currently live in an apartment and don’t have the means at this time. I’m also thankful to not only my family but everyone who has shown love and respect for my baby’s memory.

Reblog: To the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day… This One is for You.

I wrote this post two years ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. I will be thinking of all Mommies this Mother’s Day, no matter what motherhood may look like to you. ❤️


It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday. 

Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age? 


ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE. 


And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way. 

This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year. 

Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss. 


THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. 


So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared. 

Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven. 

I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.

1 Year Ago Today, I Found out I was Pregnant

On Friday April 30th at 4 something in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. With my eyes heavy, and body exhausted from the work week, I contemplated on whether or not I should take my very last pregnancy test. I was only a day or two late for my period, which wasn’t unusual for me. And to be honest I was feeling pretty defeated. I was tired of wasting my money on pregnancy tests, and getting my hopes up month after month only to receive negative after negative.

I had one final digital pregnancy test under my bathroom counter. It would expire by the next month anyway. I thought why not? It was my morning pee, and they say that’s the most accurate anyway. I peed in a cup, took the test and waited. I prepared myself for disappointment yet again. While I waited something told me to take pictures and document the moment. I figured whether the test was positive or negative, it was apart of my story that I could one day share to help others, so I did.

I watched as the test counted down, and a word flashed on the screen. I instantly thought, it’s broken it says pregnant, where’s the not? I had grown so accustomed to reading the words Not Pregnant that it took a moment for me to realize this was a positive test. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby… and the rest is history.

I spent the next few weeks harboring this little secret until around 6 weeks when I told close friends and family. I told my job around 7 weeks and publicly announced between 11-12 weeks.

Pregnancy was one of the best and most anxious times in my life. I constantly feared we would suffer another loss, but as each week passed I started to calm down and enjoy pregnancy little by little. During pregnancy I dealt with morning sickness, sciatica, grieving for a friend who suffered a loss, gestational diabetes, Covid and a long and painful induction. Pregnancy was not easy, but overall baby and I both remained relatively healthy.

On January 2nd, 2022 God blessed us with our beautiful Rainbow Baby. Matthew is our world. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. He’s a perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy.

I share this all with you because in many ways my story has come full circle. Mother’s Day is approaching and I know first hand the feeling of dread, and grief that comes with this holiday to women who struggle with infertility and women of pregnancy loss. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I also want you to know that I am living proof that God answers prayers. He hears you. When the doctors say something is impossible, He is able to make things possible. He can turn ashes into beauty. He can do anything if we just have a little faith. I thank God for my beautiful rainbow baby every single day, and even though it was hard and sometimes excruciating, I thank God for the journey he took me on because it molded me into who I am today as a person, as a writer, and now as a mom.

If you are reading this and you long for a baby… I see you, I hear you, I was you and I’m praying for you. Remember the bigger the storm, the brighter the rainbow. 🌈 I pray you are blessed with a baby and a family of your own. It may not be the way you pictured or when you wanted but I pray it happens for you. God is bigger than anything else and He can make a way, if we just have a little faith. ❤️

Easter

Easter this year did not go as planned. I had all these high expectations that everything would go smoothly and my son would have the very best first Easter. My expectations were we’d get up, listen to worship music, have breakfast, dress up for church, read the Easter story from the Bible and children’s bible as a family. We’d find some church service virtually to view online, and/or go visit some church for a sunrise service. We would then head to my parent’s house for lunch, spend time with family, take some gorgeous family photos outside and create precious memories until the sunset and we headed home.

Those were my expectations…..

This was my reality:

Matty woke me up around 6:30-7am. I changed him, nursed him and we played. He was in the best mood! Everything was going great. I turned on some worship music and got some breakfast. After that it was like a switch flipped. Matty got fussy and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I changed him, burped him, tried feeding him, putting him in the swing, letting him play on the floor… nothing was working. I woke up my husband and he was exhausted and struggling to get out of bed.

I then decided to get Matty dressed. Now as a new mom, I knew better than to put him in his outfit I wanted his pictures done in until right before hand in case he had a blow out or spit up. I however didn’t factor this in when I was putting on my Easter dress. Matty started screaming as I got him dressed. I became frustrated and impatient as I quickly tried getting him ready. I picked him up so he would stop crying… and… he burped. It was quiet and I figured that’s why he was screaming. He had a bubble. And within seconds a waterfall of baby spit up went down my dress. Of course.

Charles got up and got breakfast. I walked around the house bouncing our 3 month old trying to get him to calm down. I tried different positions, singing, rocking… nothing. When Charles was free I handed him off. Low and behold Matty stopped crying immediately.

By this time it was already 9:30, and I was at least an hour behind on where I wanted to be with our morning. Charles pulled out the children’s bible and handed it to me. I read the scripture about the empty tomb, and Jesus coming back. Matty sat on his Daddy’s lap smiling and listening. The minute we were done he started screaming again. I nursed him and put him down. We started loading up so we could decide where we wanted to go for church.

By the time we got the car loaded, and Matty in his car seat it was already almost 11. No matter where we went to church at the this point the service would be almost over. And of course Matty woke up in his car seat and started crying. The morning was not off to a good start.


We got to my parents close to 11:30am. Matty fell asleep in his car seat just minutes before we pulled in. When we got in the house Matty was all smiles at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Me on the other hand, I was officially in a funk. I was taking it rather personally that Matty was in a bad mood at home, but all smiles at Grandma and Grandpas. I was disappointed things weren’t going as I had planned and I felt the weight of grief on my chest that I just couldn’t seem to shake.

My mom made ham, green beans, corn bread casserole, jello salad, deviled eggs, hors d’oeuvres, and baked potato which tasted great. Everybody was exhausted after dinner and we all took little cat naps throughout the afternoon, even Matty… thank goodness cause that baby needed sleep.

In the afternoon, Matty seemed off. He had a bellyache, acted like he needed to poop but couldn’t and was gnawing and drooling like crazy as if his mouth hurt. Poor baby, it felt like one thing after another. I tried handing him off when I could so I could get rest while I had help but when your baby doesn’t feel good, sometimes the only thing they want is mom.

In the evening before getting ready to leave we tried taking family photos. There were more outtakes than good photos. Matty seemed uncomfortable and didn’t want to smile in any of them… and if you know my baby boy you know he is very photogenic and loves to smile. We were also stuck taking pictures inside since it was a chilling 45° and I didn’t want to take Matty out in the cold if he already didn’t feel good. This all made for awkward, poor lighting family photos.

By 6:30, we said bye to my parents and headed home.


On the way home, I found myself sitting in the backseat with my baby, sobbing on the way home. Some big emotions I had been trying to keep buried all day were welling up to the surface. It dawned on me how old my other babies would be on this holiday. Mackenzie would be two and a half and Chase would be one. Grief never really goes away. I then found myself feeling guilty looking at my son with a tear stained face. Was I being selfish for wanting things to be perfect? Did I seem ungrateful because he was now here, but i still missed my other babies? Was I being a bad Christian for focusing on my grief and motherhood rather than remembering the true meaning of Easter?

By the end of the day, I felt defeated. I tried. I tried making my son’s first Easter the best I could. But you know what, he’s not going to remember it anyway. All he is going to remember is that he was loved. And as he gets older he will continue to feel loved and learn the importance of Easter as his Daddy and I teach it to him. And that’s what matters, not some picture perfect holiday.

Creating a Baby Routine

Now that my baby is 3 months old, I have decided to try to implement more structure to our day-to-day life and set a routine for myself and my baby. Since he is still very little, I am not expecting our routine to be very strict, but rather would like to have repetitive tasks throughout the day that can help my baby feel more secure and allow myself to better plan out each day as it comes.

Our current routine is pretty basic.

  • After each nap baby wakes up, gets changed, has a feeding, burps and snuggles mommy or whoever is caring for him.
  • He has 8 feedings in a 24 period and eats every 2-4 hours.
  • He has anywhere from 1 to 4 naps in a day.
  • Baths are at night before bed 2-3 times a week.
  • Tummy time, swing, music and sensory play happen periodically throughout the day, but at least 3 times.
  • With the weather getting nice we sometimes go on a walk or spend a few minutes on our balcony.

Below is an example of what I would like our routine to look like between now and when he turns 6 months old.

I’m hoping by 6 months we will be very close to our baby sleeping through the night, but we shall see.

This is only the general framework of our routine, I’ll keep you posted on how things are going! 💕

Sprucing Up Baby Boy’s Nursery

In the past few weeks as our baby boy has gotten older, we have been sprucing up Baby Bear’s nursery!

This crib was a gift from family friends who buy storage units. It’s considered a mini crib which is perfect for apartment living. We also put up the animal pictures which were a gift from a coworker off of my registry,

A majority of our son’s books are in the living room, however I like to keep a couple in his bedroom for easy access and late night story time.

We have continued to keep his shelf with bins full of clothes and it is perfect and a very efficient system.

Matthew started rolling around 7 weeks of age. He is now 10 weeks as I write this. Between 7 and 8 weeks we transitioned Matthew from the bassinet to the crib. However, we have kept the bassinet and are using it as a diaper changing station until he fully grows out of it.

This diaper caddy has been a lifesaver. We love having everything accessible and organized for diaper changes.

I decided to also create a bath time basket where all his wash cloths, soaps, shampoos, extra diapers and brushes can be found. I also am hanging his towels on a hook nearby where it can be easily found. I am currently storing this in his room while we continue to give him baths in the kitchen sink. Once we switch to doing baths in the bathroom, I would imagine we will move everything there.

Finally, I’ve continued to store blankets, sheets, bibs, socks and shoes on this shelf.

Thanks for taking this fun little tour of our Baby Boy’s updated nursery! 💕

People Who Inspire Me: Meet My Mom

Mom… a simple 3 letter word that means the world to me. When I was little, I had one constant in my life. I had one person in my life that cared for and loved me every single day. I had one person that fed me, changed me, hugged me, kissed me good night, sang You Are My Sunshine, and showed me what it looks like to love someone else, and that person is my mom.

As a preteen and teenager life was pretty rough and confusing. I can recall countless times of feeling hurt and rejected by friends. I can remember many embarrassing and awkward moments, that I don’t care to share or relive. But through all the heartache, changes and confusion my mom was always there.

When I first met my husband, and I didn’t know if I should allow myself to let my guard down and actually open my heart up to someone else, my mom was there. She listened and talked me through it. She taught me what I should look for in a husband and how I deserved to be treated.

When I went through my biggest events of my life, my two miscarriages; my mom was there. My mom never left me alone. She too had suffered loss and knew full well the pain and grief I was living through. She felt my pain, she understood it, and she wore my heartbreak too.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without my mom. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. She’s amazing. She inspires me to be a good person. She has conquered so much in her young life and been dealt a pretty crappy hand at times, and yet she keeps pushing forward. She still finds joy in the little things like her playful cats, or watching America’s Funniest Home Videos on a Sunday night.

My mom taught me practically everything I know. She taught me how to love others, show compassion and empathy, how to clean, create a budget, do everyday household chores, how to read and study, she taught me how to use coupons and get a good deal, and how to turn a few simple ingredients into an amazing meal. My mom has taught me a lot. But more than anything, my mom taught me how to be a good mom. From growing up and watching her raise me, I have been able to learn how to selflessly be a good mom myself. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as good of a mom as she is, but I’m learning, I’m growing and she is still there when I need help.

Mom, I know you’re reading this and I hope you know that I don’t think I can truly ever thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. For now, I think the best thanks I can give you is watching you be an amazing grandma to my son. So thank you Mom. Thanks for raising me, teaching me and loving me. I can’t wait for my baby to grow up and get to know the amazing person that I call Mom. ❤️

My 2022 Goals Check In

1. GIVE BIRTH TO OUR BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW BABY! ✅
2. START A SMALL BUSINESS ON THE SIDE (In the planning process)
3. FINISH READING THE ENTIRE BIBLE (In process)
4. MOVE TO A BIGGER PLACE TO FIT OUR FAMILY OF 4! (On hold for now)
5. PUBLISH 1 OF MY BOOKS (In the editing process)
6. PAY OFF HALF OF MY CAR (In process)
7. KNIT CHARLES A SWEATER (In process)
8. CREATE A WILL (Haven’t started)
9. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING AND TURN MY BLOG INTO A JOB FROM HOME (Haven’t started)
10. WRITE 500 BLOG POSTS (In process, 344 written so far!)

1 goal met, several in process and 9 months or so left in 2022. Let’s keep on a keeping on!

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.