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Posts in “Motherhood”

Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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My sister and I are now both moms and we like talking with our own mom and sharing our everyday lives with our kids. We’ve been saying this to her lately, “Ma, ang hirap mag-alaga ng bata…” (Translation: Ma, it’s hard to take care of the kids.) She teases us and says “Now you know.” 😉 Yes, now I really appreciate how my mom worked so hard for us, her three kids. I still remember that she had a full-time job and woke up before sunrise just to prepare our lunch, prepare us for school, and a lot of other things! Brent and I have been experiencing a lot of craziness in the house lately. This led me to browse for mom-related memes, just for laughs. I thought to share some that made me L-O-L. 😉 It’s true that good laughter is the best (and a free) medicine, especially for parents.

 

Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (1) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (2) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (3) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (4) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (5)

(I hope Brent reads this 😉 ) Memes for Moms Who Need to LOL (6)

Which one of these memes do you relate with?

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These shirts are the cutest! They were made by a good friend of mine Ashli, who owns a shop called Christian Grace Embroidery. She’s a stay-at-home mom, like me, with 2 little children of her own. I love supporting mom entrepreneurs like her! I hope you will too. :)

P.S In case you missed my post, I joined Beautycounter as a consultant, to promote safe, high-performing makeup and skincare products. Read more here.

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Nursing in Public

Sunday, October 1, 2017

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When I gave birth to my first son, I wasn’t comfortable nursing in public, even more so if there were a lot of people around me (especially men). I felt self-conscious and nervous, but I learned to overcome these feelings with some help from my friends, who are fellow moms. I saw how they did it and followed some of their tips about nursing in public. Today, I want to share some of these tips that I’ve learned.

Prepare ahead of time.

If I go out and I know that I will need to nurse my baby, I prepare everything inside my diaper bag beforehand. This includes my nursing cover and burping cloth. That way, when I nurse him I can just grab my bag beside me and get the things I need during feeding time.

Wear something easy to breastfeed in.

This is very helpful and makes breastfeeding sessions easy. There are a few styles you can wear which include: v-necklines, loose shirts, or shirts with built-in bras. I mostly love wearing a wrap front v-neckline with stretchy fabric, like this black wrap dress from Pink Blush. It can be worn as a maternity dress too. It makes it easy for me and my baby because I can just drag down the front cover when I need to breastfeed.

Wear an easy-access bra.

I like to use either a bra with removable cups with a hook, or sports bras. It depends on what kind of outfit I’m wearing for the day.

Use a nursing cover.

I’ve been using a multi-purpose nursing cover for my newborn this time around. I mentioned it here in a previous blog post. I like to use this cover often, but if I’m outdoors in the Texan weather, I try not to cover my baby’s whole body.

Pick a spot.

All babies are different. My eldest son didn’t want to feed when there was noise around him. On the other hand, my other two sons were fine with it. Finding a place to sit and support your back is also important while nursing a baby. If I’m at church, I use my nursing cover, but if my little one starts to fuss, I bring him to the nursing room. It’s more comfortable and easy to feed there for me.

 

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Do you have any tips that make nursing in public easier, especially for first time moms?

Dress sponsored by Pink Blush, but all opinions are honest and my own.

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DIY Baby Mobile Tutorial

Monday, September 25, 2017

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MATERIALS

Pom Pom

Embroidery hoop

Twine

Thread and Needle

Scissor

Today, I’m sharing a tutorial for a do-it-yourself mobile. You might have seen this baby mobile from my previous post: “6 things you can do while waiting for baby’s new arrival.” This DIY baby mobile is simple, easy, and it is affordable for savvy moms! I was inspired to create this a few months before I gave birth to my third son.  I was browsing through Pinterest, looking for ideas on decorating a changing table area. The materials I used were mostly from Hobby Lobby, where you can find a wide range of art supplies and materials for different DIY projects. Here are the steps I used to make theses baby mobile pom poms

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First, cut two strands of twine between 18” to 20” long, which can be longer based on preference. Start tying the first strand of twine to the top and bottom of the embroidery hoop. Do the same for the second strand of twine, but tying it to the left and right parts of the hoop. diy baby mobile tutorial 5

Cut another strand of twine, which will be used to tie everything together. This strand will also serve as the top of the mobile, from which you can hang it on the ceiling. You may add a couple of round beads to give the baby mobile a look with some natural charm. Trim excess twine so it looks neat.

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Now, take another two strands of twine and tie them so that they cross in the center of the hoop. Tie them tightly because some of the threaded pom poms will hang from them. The ends of each strand should be tied to the same places where your previous knots are.  

Once you are done, grab your pom poms and thread them with a needle. You may then start inserting the needles in the pom poms, one by one, and put some space between them. You can measure the thread length you’re going to use based on how long you want it. You can modify any part of this project to suit your style and needs. :)

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I created two sets of sizes for thread. The inside part I made longer, while the outer part was made shorter. I tied the longer threads to the cross of twine, and I tied the shorter threads to the actual hoop.

I hope you enjoy this easy and fun tutorial for making a baby mobile! What kind of DIY projects do you love to make for your baby?

 

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Carter’s Big Baby Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. #lovecarters

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I’ve been a fan of Carter’s ever since I had my first baby boy, up until now, with my newborn third son! Their baby clothes always have cute designs, so I often end up taking photos of my baby wearing them! Today, I wanted to share an exciting, big giveaway that Carter’s is having this week in celebration of “The Original Bodysuit Day.

The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes

If you are on Instagram and/or Twitter and love to take photos of your little ones, join the Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes on September 14th 10AM-6PM EST. All you have to do is post a photo of your baby wearing a bodysuit, using the hashtag: #bodysuitsweepstakes, on Instagram or Twitter from 10AM – 6PM EST. There will be five (5) winners to be selected to receive a $100 gift card from Carter’s, each hour from 10AM to 6PM EST. AND… (drum roll please…) one lucky winner will be selected to win the grand prize of Carter’s bodysuits for one year, in the form of a $625 gift card!

Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., DC, U.S. territories and PR, 18 yrs. and older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins 9/14/17 on or about 10:00 AM ET and ends on 9/14/17 at 6:00 PM ET. For a copy of Official Rules visit the www.carters.com/originalbodysuitsweepstakes. Sweepstakes is sponsored by The William Carter Company, 3438 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. 1800, Atlanta, GA 30326.

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Double Points on Bodysuits

If you are a Rewarding Moments member, you can earn double points when you purchase Carter’s  baby boy bodysuit and/or baby girl bodysuit  on Sept. 14, open all day, in store and online. * Some exclusions apply. To learn more about Rewarding Moments, please visit here.

Bodysuit Day Twitter Chat Sweepstakes

Love Twitter chat? Follow Carters on Twitter and join Bodysuit Day Twitter chat on Sept. 14th from 1-2PM EST using #cartersbodysuitsweepstakes for more chances to win big! RSVP today!

Which bodysuit/s is your favorite for your little one?

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Mom life with 3 boys under 3

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

mom life 3 boys under 3 mom life with 3 boys under 3

Soothe Shirt from Lalabu

It’s been a month now since my youngest was born and today I wanted to share few things that have helped me survive my days with 3 boys under 3.  Everyday is different: sometimes my kids are easy and they play so well together that I think “Ahh, they are so cute, I want another one!” (kidding Brent!)… but sometimes they are NOT.  I’ve made many mistakes being a mom, but these mistakes allow me to make things right afterward and to learn to forgive and even ask for forgiveness. Being a wife of a child psychologist, I often wish my husband would be around to guide me on what to do/ how to handle the situation, or even just to remind me “Em, take some deep breaths” (kind of like being in labor, right? lol). So here are a few things so far that have helped me to survive so far:

Sit and relax

My boys love for me to read books to them and I find it not only makes them calm,but I feel relaxed as well because we get to sit down and have time together. Since I have a newborn, I simply ask them to turn to pages for me so I can read while I’m feeding the baby.

Clean up

Now I understand why my mom always asked us to clean up and get organized,: it feels relaxing and I love to see everything in place. Although I have lowered my expectations now since I have kids, Brent and I still try to teach our oldest kids to pick up toys before naptime and before they go to bath/bedtime. I also ask them to pick up toys before they get another toy out to play.  This not only helps to lessen the chaotic surroundings around here at home, but also teaches them to learn how to clean up.

Separation

My boys are close in age and that makes them play good together most of the time. Of course, they also argue about simple things sometimes, which can lead to fussiness or fighting. One of the ways to survive getting through this is to give them time to go to separate rooms to calm down.

Snack it out

Food saves a lot of fussiness and even grumpiness. Even just a few crackers will help a lot to give my toddler boys time to sit down and have few minutes of quiet.

Circulate the toys

Right now the kids have their own area to play and I find it helps to keep them occupied when I put out toys that they haven’t seen for few weeks. They get excited and have something to do while I’m busy with the newborn.

Diaper box

I just made a diaper box that I put in the living room so I don’t need to change my baby’s diaper in our room. It’s a big help and saves a lot of time!

Do you have other ways to survive taking care of multiple kids? I would love to hear them in comment box below!

 

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Welcome to Galveston Island

Friday, September 8, 2017

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Last month a lot of things happened, from the birth of my third son, to Hurricane Harvey. The latter urged us to drive down to Dallas and move to our new place in Galveston sooner. If only my eyebags could talk, I think they would ask to take a break! But who am I to complain… My family and I are safe, and I have a handsome newborn. I am also thankful that my husband can spend more time with the boys, since we moved here to be closer to his work. Did I mention we are close by the beach?! It already feels like home. :-)

I’ve been to Galveston a lot, but when we went in the past, we would mostly go to the beach or The Strand. There is also a Filipino store and restaurant here called “El Pinoy.” I will be going back there to grab some Filipino ketchup and Mang Tomas sauce. 😉

Have you ever visited Galveston? What kind of fun things do you and your family love to do here?

Galveton island home

Baby wrap from Solly Baby Wrap. (It’s sold out but you can try these other pretty colors.) #partner

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Road trip with toddlers and newborn

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Here he comes… (Birth Story)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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We finally came home with our new blessing! All of us have fallen in love with him, especially his older brothers. I’m excited to share today’s post about our newborn son’s birth, and a few helpful ways on how to get through the pain of labor and delivery. So let me begin before my baby wakes up. 😉

An appointment

Earlier this month, my doctor told me that she wanted to schedule an induction for me because I was expecting to have a big baby (much bigger than my two older sons). I had a bad experience with induction from my first pregnancy. I was given Pitocin, an induction medication, which caused me a lot of pain and discomfort. I also felt the staff were in a hurry when I was given it. That is why I asked about stripping membranes or membrane sweeping. This is what I had done with my second son. I’m thankful that my doctor was cool and respected my decision. On the morning of my child’s birth, around 9am, I had the membrane sweeping done. It caused me to have more Braxton Hicks contractions and spotting afterwards. I heard that sometimes this method doesn’t work too. That’s why I kept praying that the membrane stripping would lead to a strong contraction and I’d start going into labor.

The plan

I had been telling my husband for the past few months that I wanted to stay at home for most of my labor. In the afternoon, I felt such strong Braxton Hicks contractions that I needed to do some breathing to ease the discomfort. I was still hesitant if they were real or not, since I had experienced false labor over the weekend. I began timing the contractions, but felt I’d rather do something to distract myself, like laundry or chasing my kids. 😉 Around 4:30 pm, I texted my husband who was at work, about my strong Braxton Hicks contractions. He told me to tell him whenever I wanted him home, so I decided to time how many minutes apart my contractions were. At 5pm, I counted 7-8 minutes apart. Thirty minutes later, it became 3-4 minutes apart… This was when I felt I was getting sick, so Brent decided to leave work. I tried distracting myself between contractions by making dinner for my two toddlers. At 6pm, the contractions were 3 minutes apart. In my head, I was like, “Where are you Brent!?” lol I felt a little worried, but having the kids around distracted me from the pain. When Brent finally got home, I headed straight to a warm shower, which helped a lot during contractions. Around 7pm, we started prepping to head to the hospital. We contacted our good friend who picked up our kids to take care of them. She and her husband are amazing!

My contractions became stronger, so my breathing made me sound like a cow! Haha! Brent said, “We need to go. That’s how you sounded like before.” However, I said to Brent that I could still handle it, and that I bet the contractions were only 4 cm. I started to lay down on my side on the bed, and grabbed Wilson, my tennis ball. I also grabbed one of the Bible verses I wrote on a piece of paper. When our friend arrived, it was time to say goodbye to my boys. I wanted to be emotional, but with so much pain, I didn’t have time to cry. lol

The drive-thru

Brent had been supportive of my decision to stay a little longer at home during labor, but I decided to go to the hospital since I felt he was getting worried seeing me in pain. It was dinner time and I knew it would be a long night for both of us, so I told  Brent we needed to get food as we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. It’s a good thing there was a Whataburger close to the hospital. We went into the drive thru, and ordered burgers and chocolate malts (malts are like shakes). When Brent was picking up the food at the window, I remember him telling the girl working there, “My wife is having a baby. She’s in labor.” I heard the girl was like, “And why are you picking up food?!” My husband answered, “Well, she wants to!” Yes, I totally did want to! Oh, boy! Drinking a cold, sweet chocolate malt powered up my body between contractions! That was the best decision we made that day! Sweets sometimes do good for the body, right? 😉

At last, we made it to the hospital and parked far from the entrance, so I needed to stop while walking a few times during my contractions. I was like, “Where’s the wheelchair??” Brent wanted to make sure the door was open so he left me for a few seconds to check. The strong contractions cams again… I wanted to lay down on the sidewalk, but there were a few people around and I didn’t want them to call 9-1-1 thinking I needed emergency care. Haha! Thankfully, Brent came back quickly.

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You got this far

It was around 8:30 pm when we reached the labor/delivery room. I was already on the bed having contractions continuously saying to Brent that I thought I was only at 5 cm, and that we were too early. Then, one of the nurses checked my cervix and saw how far along I was; 8 cm! The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural, but before I answered, one of the other nurses (her name is Dyana and she took care of me all through night) suddenly said “You already got this far!” That made me feel confident and so I said “No, thank you” to the epidural. During the strong contraction, I knew that at anytime I could be pushing so I asked my husband to get a few things for me inside my hospital bag. I asked him to pick a Bible verse that says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and a couple pictures of my family. They really helped me mentally.

Here he comes

After just a few minutes, I could feel that I was ready to push… It was so painful and so I screamed, “Aray ko po!!!” I realized no one could understand the words I said because it was in Tagalog. I screamed again, “Ouch! It hurts!! I’m ready to push!” The doctor came in and the nurses became busier, preparing for me to deliver the baby. Brent was so helpful, staying beside me and guiding by breathing pattern. In the 5th contraction, I did the last push and finally, out came our precious son. All the pain was worth it when I held him!

birth story third baby 3 It is the best and most unforgettable feeling to experience giving birth to a baby. Even though this was my third time giving birth, it felt like it was my first. This was the first time that I didn’t ask for an epidural when I reached 8-9 cm. I often asked them in the end from my previous deliveries, but with the help of God, my supportive husband, and people who inspired me to do a natural birth (sister-in-laws and my Houston friends), I finally made it. I’m actually surprised how it was less painful than I thought it’d be. Maybe it’s because this was my third time, but I’m pretty sure it was less painful than taking Pitocin. I was also surprised how the recovery after delivery was not as hard as I thought. If you are an expecting mom or planning to give birth one day, here are the things that helped me get through the pain:

  1. Breathing – Brent was really good at teaching me how to breath the right way when I was in labor. He told me to take a deep breath, hold it for 4 seconds, and breathe out for a few seconds.
  2. Wilson – He wasn’t another man! Haha! Wilson is a tennis ball! I’ve been using it since I had my first son. I liked squeezing it as much as I could when my contractions came.
  3. Bible verses (find them here) – I have a good friend from church who lent me this book that talks about Bible verses for labor and delivery. She gave me the idea to write them down and bring them me to the hospital. I stuck the paper beside my bed and would read a Bible verse when a contraction came. I closed my eyes and kept saying the verses inside my mind. It really amazed me how God’s words are so powerful. Praying and reading Bible verses for this kind of situation really works! You can totally feel His power through these scriptures.
  4. Visualization – On the way to the hospital when I was having contractions, Brent told me to picture that I was by the ocean and seeing big waves. There were many times in the delivery room as well that I visualized that Christ was standing beside me wearing white clothing… I know it might sound weird to others,but it is truly effective to think about Jesus during painful times. There was a point when I thought about how Christ sacrificed himself and the pain to he went through for us. I also thought of someone I know who is in need and imagined that all the pain I experienced during labor was an offering to God, so that he would help that person repent, and change his heart.
  5. Labor at home – It’s good thing that we live only a few minutes away from the hospital so I could do most of my labor at home. There are a lot of things I could still do there, rather than staying in a hospital room. If I had been in Manila during labor, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stay at home longer or I’d end up giving birth in the middle of a traffic jam. 😉

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(Delivery/Nursing Robe from Pink Blush)

Thank you again to those who helped us out from the beginning of my pregnancy; family members, church friends, Brent’s co-workers, our Houston friends, Filipino friends, and mom bloggers I have met on social media. You all are blessings to us! Have a great weekend ahead! I’m now off to take a nap…

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of two boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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