Our Bedtime Routine

I love my children and they are my entire life, but they drive me nuts, because they will not stay asleep for longer than a few hours at night, so we do our best to make bedtime as relaxing as possible in an attempt to get these two little rascals, I mean… angels, to sleep for as long as possible!

Since this is a question I get very frequently, I have teamed up with The Company Store  , who is sponsoring this post, because they sure are a part of our daily routine! You can also read other mothers bedtime routines by clicking here!

I will show you my step by step, let’s get started!

1st: We have quit TV recently. For a bunch of reasons, but mostly to try and see if it had been one of the reasons why the kids don’t sleep well, and let me tell you… it has helped tremendously! This is not a permanent decision, it is just what works for us at this time. Our bedtime starts at 7:30 pm, so we have dinner around 6:00 p.m. and try to wind down in preparation to bedtime, but you know how it is with 2 under 2: kind of a task for Ethan Hunt on Mission Impossible, but we do our best.

2nd: Tim takes Zoey into the living room and plays with her so I can bathe Hazel and put her to bed. I use one of those hammock baby bathtubs, and she absolutely loves it, it is very relaxing. 3 times a week we alter the tub with a neck float and she swims her way into bedtime, it’s so cute! I massage her feet, and use a low voice. I sing to her, talk to her and give her toys. This is what the whole thing looks like:

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We use these comfy towels from The Company Store, and I am not kidding I caught my husband trying to steal them from the girls and I and he said: oh but they are so good, and I was like hmmm sorry… go back to your old grey ones, these are ours haha! Maybe I should get him some! You probably saw me using these towels on my recent video “What Moms Think In The Shower”, I simply love them!

I take Hazel into my bedroom, and nurse/ rock her to sleep. We have never done any sleep training, so I spend a little longer making her fall asleep. I honestly do not mind, because I really love spending one on one time with each one of the girls. This is so special and I feel like it is going but too quickly!! (insert broken heart emoji here) After she falls asleep, I carefully transfer her into the crib that is next to my bed. She lasts the first couple of hours in the crib, after that we co-sleep, ‘cuz ain’t nobody wants to be getting’ up 10 times every night!!! You can have a glimpse by watching the video below ❤

3rd: Zoey’s turn! Some days she runs when she sees me after putting her little sister down, but some days she clings onto her daddy and wants to keep playing! But she is mostly pretty good, so I bring her into the bathroom and get it started! She won’t let me massage her feet, but she will for sure let me play with her hair and play peekaboo. We use the same baby tub, but I remove the hammock. A couple of times a week, we will fill up the big tub, and she LOVES it! She loves splashing water on me and I honestly don’t care much, since I could probably use a little bath myself! She then has her nighttime milk, and falls asleep in my arms, while twirling my hair. It’s my favorite part of the day… so sweet and most of all… QUIET!! 😉

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Meanwhile… Tim is cleaning up the living room disaster, he makes Zoey’s bottle, refills all humidifiers, prepares a snack for him and I and waits for me so we can spend a little time together every night!

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Now… Zoey has a bedroom. We replaced her crib with a queen size mattress on the floor because she needs A LOT OF ROOM to do her 180 degree turns at night, and it is on the floor because she is not ready for a bed yet, she would fall off of it. In the middle of the night or in the morning she walks to our bedroom, climbs on the bed and sleeps with us for the rest of the night. It is what works for our family and we love it! Although some days we wish we could have some more room 🙂 !!

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That was out bedtime routine! Although I feel like the girls get a full spa night every single night and I basically get a shower every couple of days, my heart is happy knowing that my babies are well taken care of and relaxed!

What makes your bedtime special? What do you do differently? I would love to hear it from you!!

Make sure to click here to check out our beloved towels from The Company Store. The quality of their products is outstanding, and here to check out our bedtime routine feature

I cannot wait to show you guys out spring bed makeover with The Company Store! Coming Soon!

Keeping It Together: Transitioning Into Parenthood

I am here today to tell you about my experience transitioning into motherhood, but not the pretty and fulfilling part of it. I am here to tell you about the raw and ground-shaking transition, that turned my life upside down and made me feel things I had never experienced before and did not know how to deal with.

Before I had my first daughter, I had this idea in my head that parenthood would be a piece of cake, a white wall/perfectly-sleeping-baby/bounced-back-from-postpartum-in-a-week experience due mostly to the social media accounts I was following back then, which do not get me wrong… are beautiful and inspiring, and the women behind them are just like us, but I did not know that that would be so far from my reality.

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The second factor that contributed to my idea of perfect parenthood was my own parents always handling parenthood like champions, it just seemed so effortless and natural for them, so of course I thought to myself: I’ve got this!

I finally had my first baby in August 2016. Everything was ready for her at home, clothes were washed, nursery set up, my mother was waiting for us at home with a delicious homemade meal prepared… it all looked so beautiful.

 

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The first week was manageable: breastfeeding hurt but was established, sleep deprivation was not a big issue yet because my husband and I were so excited, and that little baby was just great. It was when my mother left back to her country, my husband went back to work, and I found myself alone. My 2 week old baby had severe colic, I was recovering from quite a traumatic delivery, and had zero confidence that I could take care of my own child.

The first 2 months were rocky to say the least. From waking up almost 10 times a night, to resenting  my husband for not being on the same page with me (he just couldn’t connect with the baby, and was always too tired to help) I almost fell apart.

Truthfully, I was so in love with my daughter, she was absolutely perfect and my own to love, but for months I completely annulled myself in every possible way, and I still struggle with that. The mom guilt is so real and present every minute of everyday, and transitioning from an individual who used  to be free to do whatever she wanted to be basically be in house arrest is so abrupt.

I didn’t shower for days straight because she did not want to be with my husband, and when she was fine and I could have a moment for myself, I felt guilty and stressed, not able to enjoy a simple shower or a sit down meal.

Then… My husband and I found ourselves expecting another baby, just like that. In the middle of this whole uncharted territory we would become parents to children 11 months apart. It’s so easy to be judged when something like that happens, but it does happen. It did happen.

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We kept working on our marriage and on how to find balance between being parents and being a couple. We were either hugging and smiling at each other, or arguing and ignoring each other, there was no balance at all. I worried everyday that having another child would be the final straw and our marriage would fall apart, but we love each other very much and kept trying to make it work.

My second pregnancy was wonderful, and thankfully uneventful! The only thing that was very difficult was to chase down a crawling baby with a huge baby bump, but somehow I did it!

I feared that my first daughter would be jealous and hurt for suddenly having to share her parents, and I feared that my heart would not be able to love another baby the same way I loved her. As for husband… he was mentally preparing himself for the hardest time of his life.

On August 2017, my second daughter was born and she immediately took residence in my heart, so that fear flew out the window right away. My first daughter just ignored the newborn and kept behaving the same way she did before, win win! So we were left still working on our marriage.

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Managing two was a challenge, but I can’t explain to you how we made it work. Our second baby  was even more colicky than the first one and that lasted for 3 whole months. My first daughter wanted attention, so during the day I tried splitting my time evenly, sometimes succeeding, often failing, but somehow this time around my husband and I knew what to do. We knew how to handle the witching hour, the household chores, the crawling baby, and slowly things started looking up.

Some days were great, and happy. Some days were exhausting, and filled with arguments. While we were keeping up with what we needed to do with the babies, to me, he was never doing enough and   I was overwhelmed. To him, He wanted moments with his wife, so we kept fighting.

3 months in, her colic was completely gone, and as parents we were working hard and gaining confidence to take care of our Irish Twins.

We finally had a breakthrough and talked for hours after letting resentment create a wedge between   us for so long. We found within ourselves and in the girls the strength to fight for our family. We forgave each other, and promised to not forget that we are a couple, to devote time to our relationship and to communicate an issue before it fasters into resentment.

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Where we are at? We’re at a good place. We  are learning each day together how to parent and manage a house. We’re  learning that bad days really do make you stronger,  because they teach you and  change you. Good days make you almost forget the hardships, and are so rewarding… I simply love them.

I, as an individual am trying to understand that I matter too. Sometimes I feel so lonely and isolated for having quit my job and given up my independence, but then I remember that it was the best choice for our family.

We are all in this together. All parents. There is no shame in the way you choose to educate or care for your children, and if your journey doesn’t seem perfect, it’s because it isn’t, but it is YOUR journey.

We are keeping it together because we are strong. We may fail at times, but we also succeed many many times. Our children don’t need us to be perfect, they need us to be present, to love them, and to do the best we can. #keepingittogether

 

This post is sponsored by @PlumOrganics, and their incredible #KeepingItTogether campaign, which encourages new parents, and lets us all know that we are all in this together!

 

Make sure to visit plumorganics.com/keepingittogether

“You Can Make It Through This In One Piece”

This is THE year!

Hi my lovely mother friends 💛,

I am writing this post because I believe this is the year that I will finally live up to my resolutions, and I hope I somehow inspire you to do the same! January brings so much hope with it, it’s a clean slate and it is so refreshing and motivating to have a “new start”!

Today, at almost 29 years old and after having 2 children, I finally understood that New Years resolutions should be about changing behaviors for good, in order to be a better person and make our lives and the lives of the people we love better, and not an unrealistic long list of tiny things we want to happen or that we want to get.

So after realizing that, I sat down and wrote a list of 5 realistic goals and changes of behavior that I expect to reach this year. I translated them into pictures for extra motivation! Here we go!

1: Somehow abandon the guilt that consumes me when I try to do something for myself. Whether it is taking a longer shower, or getting my nails done, or most importantly doing what I love the most: music. It hurts me to have my husband take the kids into another room so I can take a decent shower, why the heck is that? If I am with them 24 hours a day everyday, taking 20 minutes to shower and 15 minutes to blow dry my hair should be enjoyable, but it is not. I’m working on it by trying to be rational and logic. Have I gotten better? Not yet, but it’s only January 19th!

2: Remember that I am a wife. Daily. As a hard working couple we own ourselves to spend quality time with each other. As soon as the kids go to bed, we will meet in the living room, eat grown up snacks, watch a non Disney movie and make out, because we are a woman and a man and I don’t want my marriage to fall apart because of estrangement ever again!

3: GET. OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE. It snows and it’s cold (oh so cold) most days, but I WILL at least twice a week put on my brace face, bundle up and go to tjmaxx, and to dunking donuts. It’s so stinking hard with 2 kids, but I promise you I have been losing my mind and going borderline INSANE. I’m done feeling like this. So… to my dear Husband: sorry, I reactivated my TJrewards card. #SOnotsponsored #IWish

4: Live in the present. Things have been very hard at home with the girls going through a sleep regression and teething at the same time. Guys. I’ve been getting 3 hours of sleep every night and it is so detrimental to my health. BUT I am trying very hard to understand that this is a season and it will pass. Hazel is not a tiny baby anymore and Zoey… she’s a child. I’m not sure how we got here so fast, but I don’t want to wake up 5 years from now and realize I spent their baby years only complaining and not enjoying what was in front of me, chaos or non chaos. I guess that one should be complain less? 🤦🏻‍♀️

5th and most important: This will be the year that I get rid of my anxiety.

I am not ready to open up about this yet, but I am taking steps toward eliminating it from my life. They have been: trusting Jesus and handing over my worries via prayer. When I am ready I will talk about it, but for now, I’m working hard on getting better.

That’s it! They really are changes of behavior and I am ready to change my life. I hope you’re able to do this as well, because motivation feels so good. A fresh start feels so good. Let’s be happy together.

All my love,

Maya 💛

Babylist Universal Registry

Attention all pregnant ladies (oh my goodness I really miss my bump!)

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Getting ready for your new baby can be stressful and overwhelming whether it is your first or not. There is so much to worry about! So today I will tell you about something that will make this season a little easier so that you can enjoy your loving nesting phase!

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Babylist is the easiest way I have found to get all of your baby gear, necessities, and anything else you might need for the arrival of  your new happiness package (aka BABY, yay!). It is free, and allows you to register for A-N-Y STORE or website! Yes. You basically choose whatever you need for your baby or for yourself from anywhere you want: big brands, small unique businesses, furniture, electronics, clothing… all of it all in one place!

You can also register for things you can’t buy like home-cooked meals or baby-sitting help using help & favor coupons AND a cash fund. I mean… it is so convenient and lets your family and friends know what you actually need. Oh! and if you already have a registry set up, you can simply combine it with your Babylist registry!

Now, they have something new and very exciting starting this January! A limited time offer of their Hello Baby Box! I received mine and my jaw dropped, I have seen what other services provide, but this one really stands out because of their content! It is a free goodie box with samples and offers from trusted brands worth up to $160. You are eligible for one for yourself once you start your Babylist registry. I will let you have a peek at mine!

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My favorite item was the Twist Bottle/Pouch, it attaches to any pump and collects your breastmilk, so cool! There are countless coupons, offers, and samples of newborn diaper, cleaning products and breast pads. The content changes each month and is available to US residents only.

Other great features that Babylist offers: free shipping over $25 on orders shipped by Babylist, 10% remaining registry discount, free registry consulting and price change alerts 🙂 Best of all… you’re no longer limited to just one brand, one store, or one option anymore!

Now excuse me while I talk to my husband about some serious life changing decisions, because this is giving me some serious BABY FEVER!

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Babywearing Tutorial

Hi guys!!

I got so many messages asking me about baby wearing Hazel after the story I posted where I was dancing with her to shoo my anxiety away! I just want to point out that I am not a professional, this is what works for me, and I learned by watching YouTube videos. She is extremely comfortable in it and I’m pretty sure I’m doing it right. I hope you enjoy it and figure out how to wrap your little one so you get to do stuff around the house!

Love, Maya 💛

 

How We Saved Our Marriage

I have to confess, opening up about something so personal like my marriage was not an easy thing to do, but since I gave my life to Jesus and asked him to use me as he wishes… here I am.

I did an Instagram live with my husband after opening up on a post that our marriage almost fell apart and I was not expecting SO many women relating and desperately messaging me for advice.

I am not at all equipped with good advices because I am still trying to figure out my life myself, but I can definitely tell you what my experience has been like and hope that the practical steps I took help you too.

After 2 years of marriage, I got pregnant with our first daughter Zoey, and when she was finally born, we were so happy blessed and excited. But when a baby is born, a mother and a father are also born wether you are ready or not… and let me tell you… we were not.

I was so completely infatuated with that little baby that nothing else mattered in my life. My husband wasn’t quite there yet… he wasn’t able to connect with that newborn the same way I did, and to top it all off, all the attention he’s ever gotten from me shifted.

He felt lonely and not equipped to care for his own baby, and his reaction was to completely shut down. He felt that he wasn’t a part of anything. He couldn’t make her fall asleep, he wouldn’t give her a bath, he wouldn’t give her a bottle, and the worst part: he dreaded coming home because I was for sure going to attack him and criticize everything he tried to do.

He was so distant and I was so angry. He resented me and I resented him .

All we did was fight and weekends were a nightmare! We are very fortunate that we do not consider divorce as an option… but we acknowledge that in a lot of cases it can come to that… and that Tim and I will always be faithful to each other, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t unhappy. And oh boy, were we unhappy.

Much to our surprise, I got pregnant with our second baby when Zoey was only 2 months and that was the most decisive moment for our marriage. Halfway through my pregnancy I developed this crazy amount of patience and grace that only comes from God through prayer, and I decided right there that I did not want to live fighting anymore. I had no time or energy for that and I wanted the love and sparkle and romance to be present in our lives again.

Hazel was born, and we were still distant because no matter how calm I was being and behaving, the wall of resentment still stood between us.

One night I was hurting so much, that I put both kids to sleep, sat my butt on the couch next to him and said crying: we need to talk.

That was it. That moment would decide if we were going to live unhappily forever or if he was also willing to save our marriage, pick up the pieces and put us back together.

We talked for 3 hours. I cried and begged him to tell me what the heck we were doing that was being so destructive and if we could fix it.

These were the things that he finally opened up about:

. He resented me for completely ignoring him as a man.

. He felt like all he did was wrong because I criticized him so much.

. He missed me.

. He had no time to do anything for himself, especially his music.

Simple things, right? He had been bottling this all up for a whole year because he thought that I was too overwhelmed and didn’t want to add to my stress or “bother me with his feelings”.

That was so hard to hear and process. I wish I could go back in time and change things, but I’m glad I can’t because that made us so much stronger and mature and our love simply grew against the odds.

Then it was my time to open up and I told him that these things were driving me insane:

. His seemingly lack of commitment as a father.

. Him being absent minded.

. Him not helping around the house.

See a vicious cycle there? Me too. We were acting and reacting to each other and it was easier and faster to fight and argue than to talk through these things that seem so small now.

We asked for forgiveness. We cried. We prayed and prayed and prayed and thanked the Lord for finally having brought us together again and for making everything new.

It wasn’t overnight that we found our way back to each other. We decided to spend time as a couple after the kids went to sleep and work on our relationship. Every single night for weeks we talked through our issues, tried to come up with solutions, made out, watched shows, argued, made out some more. After a couple months we found ourselves calling each other out if the other did something that the other didn’t like, and solving it right then and there. We found ourselves hugging and kissing. I got excited when he was on his way home. He started to be a team player. He got extremely involved with the kids. I started to be appreciative of him and complimented him often. We started to smile again and this is where we are now: happy.

Are we going to go through valleys and tribulations and have different issues again? Yes. For the rest of our lives. I still get mad at him for being a slob? Yes. Does he get frustrated with me when I pester him over and over about something? Yes. But I know in my heart that we truly love each other and are together in our beautiful mess and are going to make this work.

So I will wrap this up with telling you that when you are crying in the bathroom by yourself because your husband won’t look at you, or when your heart hurts so much or when you are overthinking and are scared that you will separate from him… THERE. IS. HOPE.

It is at the cost of falling on your knees and asking God for Grace. For patience. For compassion. It takes swallowing your pride and being vulnerable enough to take the first step and asking to talk to him. You are not the weak one to cry. You are not the weak one for trying to fix it first. This will save your marriage.

Be honest, sincere and learn to forgive. I believe that you and your husband can make it, because we made it too.

With all the love in the world,

Maya

Adding A Child To The Family

Hi Guys!

This post is about adding a new member to the family. Such a joyous, exciting but also nerve-wracking season. I will tell you how we transitioned and how we are still adjusting to a family of 4.

In my case, I was extremely surprised when I realized I was pregnant for the second time. Zoey was only 2 months old! It was only after taking a handful of tests to confirm my pregnancy that I sat down, exhaled and said: well, crap!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters and cannot imagine my life without Hazel, but my ”well crap” was the initial reaction to a huge surprise, and it took a few weeks for me to understand what was happening. I allowed myself to feel everything: joy, fear, surprise, panic, love… all of it! I firmly believe that bottling up feelings can have a negative impact postpartum, so I took my pregnancy time to process all of it, and it was great!

My second pregnancy was a blessing. God knew that handling a baby was already a lot, so I am so happy to say that it was an easy pregnancy apart from my flaring sciatica (ouch!). Of course the mental and physical exhaustion were there everyday, but overall it was a smooth pregnancy, until I started feeling the following:

. Guilt – I felt so guilty thinking that I was taking Zoey’s baby time away from her. That I wasn’t allowing her to be ”the baby” for as long as she could, and that reason was enough to make me cry very often.

. Fear 1.0 – of not being capable to love another child the way I loved Zoey. The thought of adding another child made me panic and I was so afraid of not being able to open up my heart and love so intensely like I loved my first baby.

.Fear 1.2 – Being away from Zoey at the hospital.

.Fear 1.3 – “How the heck am I going to handle 2 babies at the same time?”

Then I went into labor exactly on my due date. I pushed a life out of my body. I saw her face. Right then and there, the size of my heart doubled, and it almost exploded. It was so much love overflowing that I could not do anything but cry and praise Jesus for giving me the honor of mothering another child.

I am not going to lie to you and say that all the fears disappeared that instant, but it was a heck of a good start.

The guilt

The guilt lingered for a few weeks. I did not know how to divide my attention, and for some reason I thought I had to divide it 100% equally, otherwise I was neglecting one of them. A few weeks in, I understood that at that point in my life, I had to prioritize, be strong and fair, but not be so hard on myself. I was fragile. I was outnumbered. I was scared. So the way I dealt with it was like this: If both of them were crying at the same time, I analyzed it. If the newborn was crying, she probably needed something vital, food, to be cleaned, or to sleep, so I took care of her first while praying to God that Zoey would be patient until I got to her. Then I’d go to Zoey, take care of her, and while the newborn was sleeping, she had my undivided attention. I mean no cellphone in hand, no television on, just me and her. Talking. Playing. Loving on one another.

The Fears

Of not being able to love? That one was easy to get rid of, right off the bat.

Of being away from Zoey at the hospital? Yes. That sucked.

Of not being able to handle 2 babies by myself? Lasted probably 2 weeks, and then we figured it out. Those 2 weeks were hard. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I ran around 2 babies in my living room around the clock. I heard crying, screaming and whining all day. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Diaper changes after diaper changes. Baby on breast while cooking lunch for the oldest. It was chaos.

But then it got easier. We found a routine that worked for us. We started to understand each other’s needs. We understood the new dynamic, and oh boy it all started working out!

So I want to wrap up this post by telling you this: it won’t be easy at first. Not only your body is recovering from a huge change, but your emotions are all over the place and you are afraid. You are human, and it’s ok to fear the unknown, but you can do this. Some days will be so hard that you will go into another room to cry, but some days will be so wonderful that you will cry tears of joy because your children will start interacting, they will start loving one another, and there is no other feeling that compares to that.

Always remember that the way you behave in front of your children, will make an impression on them. They will emulate everything you do starting when they are babies until they are adults. You will shape them. They will feel your emotions, and it is up to you to be the example, especially during this challenging season. Be their cornerstone.

So take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you are capable of all this, because you are! You are smart, strong, brave and able to raise incredible human beings. Enjoy every second of it. Every laugh, every silly thing they do. Gaze into their eyes and get lost in them because that is your heritage, and the work you are doing now will bless them and their generations to come.

Now go snuggle those angels, you rockstar. You just formed a family. Great job.

Love,

Maya.

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