Let’s be Honest Mamas: Simplified Holidays

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Happy Holidays everyone!  Christmas is just around the corner and it makes me a little sad to be honest.  I want the holidays to feel a little longer, but they never do! I am so happy to be back this month with the Honest Mamas group of beautiful ladies.  This month the lovely Kacie from www.elementsofellis.com asked me and a few other mamas to be part of this month’s Q&A about Simplified Holidays.  I love that title because its something I want for my holiday traditions and overall life, to be simple.  I love the minimal Christmas decor and style and we are pretty laid-back with how much we do the day off.  So, I hope you enjoy reading my answers and make sure to read the other collaborating mama’s posts!  Links are attached at the bottom 🙂

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1. How do you make the holidays less hectic around your home?

Since Atticus was born, we decided we wanted to make the holidays less hectic and more chill.  We agreed not to go to several family houses in one day and that is will be easier (with a baby) to just decide in one meeting place, even if that meant not seeing the whole family.  So far, we have planned all our holidays to be at our house and family to come over.  As of food, we try to keep it simple and not stress with making a feast.  We keep it traditional with a turkey for Thanksgiving and pork for Christmas.  A few sides and one easy to make dessert.  We have kept it minimal with decorations, as you have gathered we are super laid-back on everything haha.  We want to make a tradition of always put up and decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend.  A few Christmas decorations around the house, including fresh garland and greenery.  The one thing we are horrible about are gifts, we don’t know how to buy gifts!  With Atticus so far it has been easy and we know exactly what we want for him.  However, for each other or the rest of the family… not so much!  We are very much the worst procrastinators.  I know even know what I want for myself! LOL.  We feel it is really important to make this a very special holiday for Atticus and we really don’t care if we get something for each other or not.

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2. In a season inundated with receiving, how do you teach your kids about giving?

Atticus is just a one-year old toddler and still doesn’t quite comprehend the act of sharing let alone giving.  Still, this is something we want to teach him.  I would love for him to make his own gifts to give to grandparents and ourselves.  I think is just the cutest, most especial gift to give and cherish forever.

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3. In order to enjoy the holidays, it’s important to be thoughtful with your celebrations and only do the things that make you happy. Are there traditions you’ve said “no” to? How did you make that change/tell your friends and family “no” is a way that didn’t upset them?

We haven’t set any big traditions in stone with family and friends.  The one big one was not going around several houses in one day.  Saying “no” is hard, but the comfort and sanity of my child, and ourselves, is first.  Having one big gathering is more especial to me than being so stressed getting in and out of the car with a bored hungry baby.  Am I right!?

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4. It’s easy to overspend this season. Share your tips for limiting the amount you spend on gifts. (example; making gifts, the 4 gift rule, etc.)

I have noticed I tend to spend more during the black Friday weekend and I want to control that for the years to come.  Again, I need to get better at planning way before the holidays come around.  I know for Atticus so far, we want to get him one “big gift” and a few smaller gifts to go with the bigger gift and books, always books.  I want to get better at the tradition of stuffing the stockings, every year we try to do this!

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5. Preparing meals for the family can be stressful. Do you have a simple meal you prepare ahead of time to help lessen the stress?

We are pretty laid-back with food.  I seasoned the meat one or two days before and keep it in the fridge.  That is the most preparing I do to be honest.  The rest is done since we wake up the day of, like potato salad, bread in the over, rice, mac and cheese.  Food is one thing I want to bring a little bit of my culture so rice and pork shoulder, and probably plantains,  is an always definitely on Christmas day!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love,

Natalia

Collaborating Mamas:

Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Stephanie Pollock stephpollock.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com // Camille Burley theburleytribe.com

my outfit:

jeans- Madewell / top- Everlane / shoes- Lotta from Stockholm  / hat- Target / watch- Daniel Wellington

his outfit:

top- Zara / pants- Zara (similar) / shoes- Vans

 

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Curious Natalia

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Let’s be Honest Mamas: Postpartum

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Wow, it has been a while since an Honest Mamas post!  We took the summer off to spend time with our family and friends and go on any planned vacations.  This month the lovely Kacie from www.elementsofellis.com asked me and a few mamas to be part of this month’s Q&A.  This one is an important one for me since we are talking about postpartum  depression and postpartum life.  Hope you enjoy reading my answers and make sure to read the other collaborating mama’s posts!  Links are attached at the bottom 🙂

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1. Did you deal with the baby blues or postpartum depression? If yes, how long did it last and how did you cope? 

Yes, I have dealt with postpartum depression.  When Atticus was 2 months old I broke down and was diagnosed with Postpartum OCD and Anxiety.  I am still coping with it, but much better! Still go on monthly doctor visits and still on medication.  I relapsed once around July, but I can say that this week I am back to my old self.  Things I have done to make myself better are getting out of the house during the week, have lunch with friends, some therapy, sometimes exercise, travel and talk about it my PPD journey.

2. What are your must-have products for postpartum life? A belly band? Pads? Certain types of clothing?

For a few weeks after birth I rely on pads with witch hazel rounds.  I had a really bad tear, so that helped with pain and healing.  Flowy clothes, I couldn’t stand tight form-fitting clothes because they felt uncomfortable and I didn’t like myself in them.

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3. What is one thing you wish you would have been more prepared for postpartum?

I should have gone back on medication, since I was on them during my second and part of third trimester.  I should’ve read more about what postpartum depression looked like.  I know what depression feels like, but didn’t know about other types under postpartum like OCD and Psychosis.  As for my body, I really didn’t expect to have a third degree tear. I wasn’t prepared for that, but I guess is not something you can prepare for other than follow instructions about healing.

4. Share your favorite postpartum recipe…an easy meal, lactation cookies, etc.  

I would say tacos and fajitas were the easiest recipes to make.  Brown some ground beef and throw a taco seasoning packet.  Or cook some chicken with onions a peppers with fajita seasoning. White rice and chicken was on the menu too.  And of course take out and PB&Js!

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5. What do you love about your postpartum body?

I feel I like my body more postpartum than before I was pregnant.  I feel I am healthier than before and care more about taking care of myself so I am able to take care of my baby boy.

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Collaborating mamas:

Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com // Camille Burley theburleytribe.com // Victoria Schneider thesoutherntrunk.com

Dress by: Dwell and Slumber 

Pictures by: Merè and Me Photography

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Curious Natalia

Let’s Be Honest Mamas: All Things Sleep

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Happy Monday! So excited about this month’s Let’s Be Honest Mamas!  This post is in collaborations with aden + anais and we are talking all about how are babies sleep during naps and bedtime.  Like always I am so grateful for Hannah from Hannah Renee for putting this together.  I have had the privilege of getting to know these mamas in the last couple of months and I truly love this little group of ours! It is always so fun reading all the different posts and seeing how different or likely we all are!  So make sure to check the other collaborating ladies on the links at the end of this post 🙂

ALSO! Stay tuned for a great giveaway on our Instagram later today!  Clue: the softest sleeping bags and dream blankets in the whole wide world!

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1. How well does your babe(s) sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above? 😉

So far, Atticus has been a good sleeper (knock on wood!).  He started sleeping most of the night around 3-4 months.  Right now he sleeps from around 8pm until 6-7am. He might get up once in the middle of the night looking for his missing paci, haha.  He is also a good napper!  He has to nap, he demands to nap lol.  He takes at least 3 naps a day.  The morning nap is the longest one, around 1-1.5 hours after he gets up in the morning.  His afternoon nap, around 2pm, is a little longer too.  And little naps in between.  Prayer: Dear God, please let him be a good napper for like… the rest of his life.  Amen.

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2. Have you or are you planning to “sleep train”? How did you go about it?

I never really “sleep trained” Atticus.  I just used a couple of schedules or routines I found online to help me better understand and plan days.  Things I did to help him sleep through the nights was dream feeding which I did until he was like 4-5 months.  Reducing his night feeding by letting him fall back asleep instead of going making a bottle right away.  I feel they get up sometimes just to play or talk, so by not giving them the bottle they would not associate getting up at 3am every night to get that bottle.  Swaddles were my best friend, but I knew one day I had to stop swaddling.  I started early on this by leaving one arm out and then one night I just left both out and knew it was going to be a long night.  It took like a week to get used to.  He still sleeps in sleeping sacks most nights.

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3. Describe your baby’s bedtime routine. Are there any products or methods you do to promote sleep?

I start bedtime around 6:30pm when I feed him some baby food.  Then at 7pm I give him a bath and let him play for like 10-15mins.  I start at 7pm because daddy gets off work at 7pm, so I tried for him to be awake by the time daddy gets home.  Then lotion, brush hair,PJs and Snuza. We then put him in our midnight silky soft sleeping bag by aden + anais.  Guys, this sleeping bag is sooooo soft! By 7:30pm (when daddy gets home), he reads him a couple of books and gives him the last bottle of the day.  He is not wanting to drink his bottle when we carry him lately, so we put him in the crib and let him hold the bottle and when he is done we take it away.  Right now we are putting one of our pillows inside of the crib so he can fall asleep faster (we take it away when we go to sleep *do not worry mom* lol).  We do this because he was used to sleeping in our bed and the smell helps him and he loves putting his face against it too, which we then move the pillow a little bit.

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4. Did you try to create a “sleep schedule” or is it more flexible around your day?

He used to be in a better schedule and one day he didn’t want to drink his whole bottles or eat at the same times.  So now is all by waiting for his signals.  I base it on the time he gets up and go from there.  He eats every 3-4 hours and if he has been awake for like 2 hours he starts getting cranky and I know it’s because of that. My goal right now is to make sure he gets a morning nap around 8-10am and an afternoon nap around 2-4pm. Still, it’s not perfect because some days he wants to take a longer nap right before 12pm again and then a shorter nap at 2pm. I never know anymore haha.  I depend on his signals, that helps me so much!

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5. How do you feel about co-sleeping? If you do co-sleep, how and when do you plan to transition to a crib/bed?

I love co sleeping, I really don’t see a problem with it if you take some safety steps when they are tiny.  We had a little co sleeper from Swaddle Me that we put in between us.  I really does help for the first few months when they get up so much.  He outgrew that around 5-6 months.  Still, I didn’t want to let go!  He slept in between us for a little bit.  We have a king bed and he is a BIG baby, we put him on top of the comforter so we can definitely feel his weight.  Never put him underneath the sheets with us or on lay on top of the pillows or around our arms.  Then at 6 months is when the transitioning started.  We opened the pack and play and put it at the end of our bed and let him sleep there for over a week.  We started putting him in the crib after.  He would get up more often in the night and I don’t blame him!  I was too!  So if he got up at 2pm I would bring him back to our room.   I am guilty for this and my husband too!  We are more than ok sleeping with him.  We love him next to us and we feel more at peace when he is with us.  But we know we have to break this, so he is in the crib all night unless necessary.

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Check the rest of the beautiful mamas:

Hannah Renee hannahreneeblog.com // Amanda Krovic amandakrovic.com // Sophia Johnson cultivatemotherhood.wordpress.com // Mary Salas honeywild.co // Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Victoria Schneider thesoutherntrunk.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Tanya Taylor hislittlelady.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com // Britt Havens britthavens.com // Stephanie Pollock koleimpressions.com //

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Love,

Natalia

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Curious Natalia