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Things My Mother Taught Me - Dreams and Caffeine

Things My Mother Taught Me

Things my mother taught me… words that I have been hesitant to write about.  My mother was an amazing woman and mother.  She did a wonderful job (alongside my dad) until I went off to college, then our relationship started to change.  We slowly shifted from a mother-daughter relationship to a mother-daughter friendship.  Of course, she was always my mother first, but the addition of friendship was fantastic.

Unfortunately, right after I got engaged, she unexpectedly passed away… hence the hesitation to write an article about her.  Though I’m finally beginning to feel that there has been enough healing to write about my mother… my best friend, I still struggle with my loss.  At the same time, I want to celebrate her.  So here’s to you Mom… Things My Mother Taught Me!

Life is too short to stay angry, mad, sad, or unhappy
Of course, it’s okay to feel these emotions, it’s just not worth getting stuck on them.  She always said life is too short to waste it and not enjoy it!  So, make amends, cry and let it out, write it down, then let it all go!

Life is too much fun to waste it on alcohol or drugs
My mother was never a drinker nor did she ever do drugs.  She always enjoyed her life and said she didn’t want to miss it or not remember it because she was intoxicated.  So, skip the alcohol and drugs and go have some fun.  Of course, that is not to say she didn’t enjoy a nice cold margarita every now and then.

Take care of your obligations
Pay your debts on time and take care of your responsibilities.  She said that if you couldn’t be responsible for yourself, you would never be able to take care of yourself, let alone anyone else, and would always struggle in life.

You should always be modest, which doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.  It just means you’re advertising your style, not your body.

Saving yourself for marriage
Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?  A statement I heard literally from the time I learned about the birds and the bees well into adulthood.  Though not the most elegant statement, my mother felt very strongly about it.  She said that living together and having intimate relationships with your partner was meant for after the I do’s, not before.  She also said every time you are intimate with someone you give a small piece of yourself to them that you will never get back.  A lot of this didn’t make sense to me at the time, but now that I am a married woman with children, I FINALLY GET IT!  Thank you mom!

Marriage and children are life’s most precious gifts
My parents would have been married 55 years if she had made it to their anniversary the year she passed away.  She always said that marriage and children are the toughest jobs you can ever have in life, but the benefits far outweigh the hard work.  She said to always make sure your husband is your best friend.  Always love him… though you don’t always have to like him.  And teach your children to have loving relationships with family and friends.

Take care of your family… always say I love you!
Don’t forget to show your husband and children that you love them.  Take care of them, nurture them, and don’t forget to snuggle, cuddle, and kiss them.  Make sure to say I love you frequently and when parting… you never know when it will be your last time to say it.

Take pride in homemaking… it is a life skill
Have a clean and tidy home and keep it and your family organized.  It will allow you to enjoy life more and be less stressed.  I definitely have not perfected this one!

Don’t lie
This was very black and white in our house growing up.  Lying just causes more problems than the truth ever will cause.  So don’t do it.  That’s not to say telling the truth is always easy or there won’t be consequences for your actions… she just thought it was easier than trying to make up a lie, make it believable, and then keep the lie (or lies, because one lie is never enough) up.

Be kind… even to those that are not kind to you
It doesn’t matter how others act; it only matters how you act.  Life is rarely fair and you have no idea what storm God has asked someone else to walk through… so be kind.

Follow your dreams
Dreams are part of making life tons of fun.  The desire to accomplish something or do something you enjoy is a wonderful thing and it builds character.

Always say your prayers and give thanks to God for all of your blessings!
I don’t think an explanation is required here 😉

Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my challenging, but rewarding post today.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know things your mother taught you. Happy Tuesday!


A Challenge for Moms Dreams and Caffeine

A Challenge for Moms

Let me paint you a picture…

It was a hot sunny day and my toddler (under 2 and half years old), my infant (under 6 months old), and I were all tired from playing outside and had come inside for some nice cold water and relaxation on the couch while the fan and breeze from open windows cooled us down. I was holding Moose and Miss Sassy Pants was running around our living room playing and screaming and having a good old time. Eventually, she found one of Moose’s toys that had fallen off his rocker and was playing with it. It was a soft stuffed snail that had a rattle in it and ribbon that was sewn to it with Velcro on the end. Soon, Miss Sassy Pants started playing keep away with me and Moose. She would run over to us, dangle the snail in front of us and I would pretend to try to get it, and when I would miss, she would scream with delight and run away. We did this for quite some time and then I snagged the snail and started playing keep away from her. Eventually this game evolved and I started spinning the snail, letting it wind around my finger, then spinning it the opposite direction it all while Miss Sassy Pants would stick her finger it in causing both her and Moose to giggle. We played this game until daddy arrived home. It wasn’t until later that night, after everyone had gone to bed that I was relaxing on the couch and I thought of this moment we had created that afternoon. It was such a pure moment of mommyhood bliss! I started to tear up when I thought how much fun we had playing a silly little game and that’s when it hit me…. I am finally where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I get to be a mommy to two amazing kiddos and a wife to my adorable hubby!

We are so busy making sure our houses are clean, groceries are bought and put away, dinner is ready, paying bills, helping our little ones grow up, and sticking to a schedule that we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy these precious moments that make mommyhood so amazing. I am realizing, only too quickly, how fast time flies. I can’t believe I have a baby and a toddler…I swear, just yesterday I was begging God to grant me a child all while googling what to do about infertility (Infertility…My Journey to Mommyhood coming soon), and that day, I was privileged enough to have a moment with my kiddos. I am very humbled and thankful to my husband for figuring out a way for me to get to stay at home and raise our precious littles.

As life passes by, I am beginning to recognize the importance of these moments and how special they are to enjoy and I am thankful for each and every one of them. These kinds of moments make me realize I was made to be a mom. Every time I hear my name called, or a cry that only I can soothe, or a snuggle meant just for mommy, my heart melts with joy. I will be the first to admit that sometimes these moments get lost in the hustle and bustle of life and the pure exhaustion from being a mom. So today, mommies, I challenge you to throw away your list of to-dos and grab your littles and go make a moment!

Cheers to Mommyhood,

A Survivor's Guide to Packing for a Hospital Delivery

A Survivor’s Guide to Packing for a Hospital Delivery

Hello and thanks for stopping by to read my survivor’s guide to packing for a hospital delivery!  I want to remind everyone that I am in the throws of our family’s newest addition…”Moose” (he is absolutely adorable and VERY hungry all of the time)…so if you find glaring grammatical mistakes or lines that don’t make a whole lot of sense…please bear with me.  I promise, once I start getting more sleep, my posts will go back to normal.

While scrolling through Pinterest in the wee hours of the night, pre-baby (I was blessed with insomnia during the third trimester), I realized there were a ton of pins about what to pack for the hospital for your delivery.  I decided I was going to do a post about what I packed for the hospital and then edit the list to show what I actually used during my stay at the hospital.  I figured this might help other expecting moms get a sense of what they might want to include or not include to reduce how much stuff you have to lug to and from the hospital (or better yet, what your very exhausted husband has to pack to and from the hospital).

My hospital delivery packing list was divided up into sections and I have notes next to some of the items to clarify why they might be on there.  You need to consider the number of days you will be in the hospital as well as what type of delivery you are planning on having while packing.  The hospital I delivered in has minimum stays depending on the type of delivery you have…1-2 days for a vaginal (no issue) delivery and 3 days for a c-section.  Of course these vary per hospital and your delivery experience, so be sure to ask during your hospital tour.

Disclaimer:  I am definitely OCD, I love making lists and being prepared, I’m a slight germaphobe, and an over-packer by anyone’s standard. So, for some of you, this list may be too over the top and for some of you it will be the list you have dreamed about!  I had a scheduled C-section, so my minimum stay was 3 days in the hospital.  The hospital I delivered in is also over an hour away from our home, so if we forgot something we either had to go without it or get someone to run to a store to buy it for us.  Our daughter (who is not yet 2) stayed with my in-laws and visited us at the hospital each day so she didn’t feel left out and got time with her new little brother.

Mommy’s Hospital Bag

  • Flip Flops for the shower (these will be tossed at the hospital when we leave) By the time I was allowed to take a shower, germs were not even on my mind since I was uncomfortable after my C-section, so flip flops were forgotten!  However, now I have a pair of flip flops (think cheap – they’re not very cute) dedicated for the hot tub!
  • Slippers – For walking on the hospital floors (these will be tossed at the hospital when we leave)
  • Shoes – The pair I wear there will be the same ones I wear home to limit the number of shoes
  • Socks (3 pairs) – I was too overheated to even consider wearing socks and when I got up to walk, I just slipped on my slippers.
  • Nursing Pajama Set (robe, nursing tank, loose fitting bottoms)
  • Yoga Pants – LOOSE FITTING (2)
  • Matching pajama set (1) I utilized the hospital gown or bed sheet for coverage due to being very hot.
  • Button up Shirts (2) Again, I utilized the hospital gown or bed sheet for coverage due to being very hot.
  • Nursing Tank Tops (2)
  • Sweater (1)
  • Front zip sweatshirtDue to the way I ended up dressing, this didn’t end up being needed either.
  • Going Home Outfit – Consider weather and comfort. I decided on yoga pants, a nursing tank top, and a warm sweater, which I paired with my boots.
  • Underwear – I suggest wearing the dreamy mesh undies they provide at the hospital…they are AMAZING! However, when you get home you will want loose, comfortable ones to wear.  I suggest going to Walmart and buying a package of cheap undies…that way if they get ruined you can just toss them.

Mommy & Daddy’s Toiletry/Medicine Bag

  • Travel Size (all of these will be tossed at the hospital on departure day) – Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, razor, Q-tips, body lotion…I put these in a gallon Ziploc bag
  • Hair ties, clips, headbands…whatever you use for your hair
  • Hairbrush and Mousse
  • Makeup, Blow Dryer, StraightenerThis not something I brought, but thought I should include for those of you that are WAY more ambitious than I am.
  • Medicine including prenatals, tums, stool softener, Tylenol & ibuprofen – My hospital didn’t allow me to take medicine from outside the hospital, so I had no choice but to use theirs.
  • Hand Soap – I wash my hands constantly and the hospital soap dries my hands
  • Wet Wipes – I will use this to wipe down the tray that everyone uses including where they put my food.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Antibiotic Cream

Diaper Bag

My diaper bag acted both as my purse and diaper bag.  I tried to cut down on the amount of items we had to carry to the hospital.

  • Health insurance and driver’s license
  • Folder to hold all of the paperwork you receive from the hospital
  • Diapers & Wipes – we use the Honest Company brand
  • Bottles & Formula – I was unable to successfully breastfeed with our first child (I tried diligently for 2 months), but due to our daughter’s size, we had to start supplementing in the hospital. We did chose to supplement with donor breast milk, and did so for the first two months.  Once her weight was on target we were able to discontinue the donor breast milk and move to formula.  Due to the cost of the donor breast milk, we were hoping that this little guy arrived on time so I could attempt breastfeeding and if we had to supplement we would be able to use formula.  We ended up supplementing with donor breast milk during our three days at the hospital for him, but then switched to formula once we arrived home.  We are using the Honest Company formula and their DHA supplement along with Avent glass bottles.  We were lucky enough to have our little guy arrive full term and very healthy (LARGE), so I attempted to breastfeed and supplement with donor breast milk.  There was no need for bottles, dish soap, or bottle brush, though I’m glad we had them because we had no way of knowing how it would work out.
  • Binkies – a variety of styles and brands…you never know what kind (if any) your baby will like. We didn’t give our Moose a binky in hopes of having success with breastfeeding…though this is a personal choice.
  • Onesies – long sleeve with the hand cover folds (4)
  • Halo Sleep Sack (2)
  • Swaddle Blankets (3)
  • Hats (3) – If it drops on the hospital floor, its not going near my baby until we get home and I can wash it.
  • Hand mittens (3)
  • Pajamas (4)
  • Going Home Outfit…which coordinates with sister’s dress
  • Heavier Blanket – weather dependent
  • Dish soap & Bottle Brush – cleaning bottles if we have to supplement while in the hospital. We use the Honest Company dish soap and Playtex SmartSpace Baby Bottle Brush.  See highlighted note under Bottles & Formula.
  • Baby Book – don’t forget to have the nurse stamp baby’s feet and hands into the baby book.

Daddy’s Hospital Bag

  • Sleep Pants & shirt
  • Front zip sweatshirt – great for skin-to-skin time with the baby
  • Socks (3 pairs)
  • Slippers – walking around the hospital…these will be left at the hospital when we leave
  • Flip flops – shower…these will be left at the hospital when we leave
  • Underwear (3 pairs)
  • Undershirts (3)
  • Pants & Shirts (3 pairs) – make sure one outfit is nice for pictures
  • Camera, video camera & chargers and batteries for all electronics

Gift Bag

We have three small gifts for big sister (one for each day she visits us at the hospital) and one gift for baby brother from big sister.

Sister’s Bag (went with her to in-laws)

  • Sleep Sack (1)
  • Pajamas (4)
  • Her stuffed animal to sleep with at night
  • Outfits (6) – of course all of her outfits were themed for being a big sister! – To make life easier on Nana, I took a gallon sized Ziploc bag and put a complete outfit in it including socks for all four days.  I figured that would be easier…she would just need to grab a bag and everything would be ready to put on.  I took another Ziploc bag and put two complete extra outfits in it just in case she needed a change.  That way Nana wouldn’t have to do laundry while we were gone.
  • Blankets (2)
  • Diapers & wipes – I packed plenty to be sure she wouldn’t run out while we were gone.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Shoes (1 pair)
  • Jacket, hat, gloves (1 of each) – of course this is weather dependent

*Additional things to pack, but will be left in the car until we are ready to leave the hospital:  infant car seat, car seat mat, car seat mirror, and shade.  You will need to bring in the infant car seat to leave the hospital so the hospital verifies you have one and know how to properly use it.

The things that have a line through them are things we didn’t end up needing/using while at the hospital.  In hindsight, I could have left them out, but then again, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it…the curse of being an over-packer!!!  I also highlighted in yellow a note next to why we didn’t end up needing the item that has a line through it.

I hope you find this guide to packing for a hospital delivery helpful!  If you see anything missing from my list that you think others would find helpful, please feel free to post in the comment section, and as always, feel free to email me.

Happy Saturday!