A Teacher’s Plea to Parents

I’m not sure if it’s the mom in me or the teacher in me, but I absolutely cringe at the sound of baby talk.

When I say “baby talk” I’m not referring to high-pitched sweet tones we use when talking to a baby or toddler. I’m talking about purposely using wrong sounds and pronouns because we think it is cute…because there is absolutely nothing cute about teaching a child how to speak incorrectly.

As an early childhood teacher, I’ve seen time and time again, students that are so confused because what they learned at home, and what they are learning in school contradict each other.

One may think it’s cute to count “one, two, free, four” when talking to a child, but I promise, it is not cute in a first grade classroom. Children learn to speak by listening to the people that interact with them. So why in the world would we speak incorrectly, on purpose, it absolutely blows my mind.

I’ve even noticed on some shows my toddler has watched that characters may use the “ur” sound for the “ir” sound, such as saying furst instead of first; or Heaven help me, using “w’s” instead of “r’s” such as “The wed wacecar was fast.” Maybe people think that babies and toddlers grow out of this type of speech long before they start school, but I promise they don’t, and then they are starting school behind and confused.

I don’t believe any parent has purposely tried to sabotage their child’s language development, but I do believe that many parents are doing just that. I even catch myself sometimes; just today I asked my little boy if he was excited to go “simmin.” I’m not really sure what “simmin” is, so I repeated myself and asked him if he was excited to go swimming instead.

The proper form of baby talk is highly encouraged, especially in birth to 12 months. By adding emotion, tone, and exaggerated vowel sounds to our speech around babies, they are better able to learn the language.

But in no way, shape, or form should we be speaking incorrectly to the little ones that are soaking up everything we say.




 

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Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mother: 11 Not So Warm and Fuzzy Truths

This is not a pro or con breastfeeding post.  It is a reflection of nursing my first child for 15 months.

1. I thought about quitting all the time.

For the first four months of breastfeeding I had to talk myself into not quitting almost everyday. I felt like my baby nursed all day long, he wasn’t on any type of schedule, I never knew when he was actually hungry or full, and it drove me bananas.

2. The older my baby got the more uncomfortable I was nursing in front of others.

It felt awkward to me if my baby would bury his face in my chest or pull on my top because he wanted to nurse. After my baby turned about 7 months old I stop nursing him in front of others which wasn’t that complicated because he was also eating foods at that age.

3. It made me lazy.

I nursed my baby to feed him, comfort him, and put him to sleep. Its just so easy.

4. Formula, cereal, and baby food were my biggest enemies.

From my family to the doctors I really didn’t want to hear about feeding my baby anything but breastmilk especially since I was really relying on breastfeeding to help me lose the weight I had gained during my pregnancy.  I always felt pushed to give him other foods even though I didn’t think it was time.

5. I felt unsupported by everyone.

When I was pregnant I assumed I’d be glorified for breastfeeding my baby, but I always felt like my family was trying to talk me into quitting or questioning whether or not baby was getting enough to eat. Even the doctor told me to quit after baby developed a milk protein allergy, like there were no other options at hand. I didn’t quit, I ate an extremely dairy free diet and kept right on nursing.

6. I found support on the internet.

There are a lot of Facebook groups and websites with tons of support out their for breastfeeding mothers. I visited sites like these often especially when I wanted to stop nursing.

7. I had mixed feelings throughout my entire breastfeeding journey.

I could never figure out if I loved breastfeeding more than I hated it or hated it more than I loved it but I know I loved and hated it. If that makes any sense at all, to summarize I had an intense love hate relationship with breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is tough, but formula feeding comes with its own bag of issues, and its an expensive bag.




8. I dreaded weaning.

Nursing is just so easy, once you get the hang of it. My goal was to nurse for a year, but once a year came and went the thought of weaning daunted me to no end. I didn’t know where to start. I really just didn’t want to deal with the “drama” of cutting my baby off, and I was still using nursing to put him to sleep. Eventually though, around 15 months, he lost interest and over about two weeks he completely stop nursing.

9. Breastfeeding can make you feel chained to your baby.

Any time I was away from my baby I turned into a mathematician trying to figure out how long I’d been gone compared to the last time baby had nursed. I never really could let go or feel free.

10. Breastfeeding can be so awkward.

When I would nurse my baby he was make these sounds, like sounds you make when your eating really good dessert. It was so cute and funny, but in front of people it was enough to make me want to crawl under a rock.

11. It made me snobby.

I really grew to dislike mothers that turned their noses up to breastfeeding, never at least giving it a chance, but I liked them more than the mothers that harped on their “exclusively breastfed baby.” My baby was never exclusively breastfed because the NICU fed him formula without running it by me. We had to use formula quite a bit in our breastfeeding journey.

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Baby Boy Nursery

I’m in love with my son’s nursery. It is actually his third nursery, smh, we’ve moved twice since he was born. Each time his room was a little different due to the size and layout of his bedroom. This one is by far my favorite!

When I was pregnant with my son, I was asked several times what theme his nursery was going to be. I would always answer shrugging my shoulders that the theme would be “boy.” I didn’t really like the idea of tying myself down to a theme.




I enjoyed putting my son’s nursery together more than planning my wedding! Hobby Lobby and Etsy were my go to places for decor. I also got the key pieces of his bedding from babybedding.com.

I highly recommend light blocking curtains! They have been a life saver, especially after day lights saving kicked in!

Another must have piece is my son’s glider and ottoman. You cannot beat the price and its great quality. Our glider is part of our nighttime routine. I love rocking my son at the end of the day.

I love my son’s hand made book shelves.  I convinced my dad to build them and they are perfect for his reading corner.


The ClosetMaid shelf and cubes are perfect for blankets, extra crib sheets, toys, and board books.

I Used to Love a Police Officer

If you’re a police officer, you have to accept the fact that any day could be your last, if you love a police officer you have to accept it too.

Its easy to be proud that your husband is a cop. He looks d@mn good in his uniform. He saves lives, kicks a$$, has a special kind of respect from many, and he’s all yours.

But what you hate is how absolutely sick you are with worry sometimes. Maybe you’ve just had a bad feeling all day or you’re listening to the police scanner and know he’s out on a dangerous call. You see local wanted criminals on the news and you worry your husband will be the one to find them.

You pray your socks off everyday for him and his safety, and you pray even harder on the days he actually works. You spend half the month home alone at night and countless holidays without him. I used to love a police officer.

One evening around 7 pm my police officer was working nights. It would be the last night he ever wore the uniform. I was sitting around goofing off on my phone when a text flashed across the screen “I’ve shot someone, I’m ok”.

Little did we know that our entire worlds would be turned upside down in the days and years to come and that we’d be engaged, married, and parents, before it was ever resolved.

Little did we know that the world would have to power to push us closer together than we’ve ever been and pull us further apart than we could ever imagine.

There were days of uncertainty, tears, anger, hope, and set backs that had no end in sight.

We found hope in unfamiliar places and lost it in places that felt comfortable. We learned a lot of lessons along the way and like to think we made it to the other side stronger.

I used to love a police officer, but now I love a man.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.




To the Mom with the Loud Kids in the Waiting Room

Recently I found myself in a crowded waiting room with only one empty seat. I was waiting for a routine prenatal check. Several women had babies with them, but one mom in particular had a 4 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. Her children had not yet mastered the art of whispering and were quite vocal in the dialogue with their mom. The older sibling was drawing with some crayons and paper her mother had brought for her, while the little boy ate a snack.

Later she blew bubbles for them to keep their boredem at bay. Her only request was that they stay close to her proximity. She never once shushed them. While the children were behaved, it was clear that the noise brought on by them had gained the attention of everyone else in the waiting room, the majority of us silently glued to our cell phone screens sporting epic double chins as always.

I noticed a few women locking eyes with each other and smirking in annoyance over the children’s noise level; a few sighing in aggravation.

So, to the mom with the loud kids in the waiting room… Thank you.

Thank you for giving your attention to your children. Thank you for interacting with them and allowing them to interact with each other. Thank you for meeting their age appropriate needs and not giving two flocks of seagulls what others think. Thank you for not shoving devices in their faces while having your own shoved in yours. You rock!

Being a mom is tough, it kicks my a$$ daily, but this mom set a clear example of the type of mom I’d like to be. So often I stress myself out trying to make the people around me happy instead of trying to make my child happy.



If you take kids in public, things will get interesting. I’m personally thinking back to when my son put the death grip on a buggy he didn’t want to get out of in a grocery store parking lot, and once I literally pried him from his seat, he yanked the neck of my dress down exposing God knows how much of my boobs. Well God and the guy sitting in his truck next to my car. I was certain bystanders were dialing 911 to report a kidnapping and/or indecent exposure case. All the poor child wanted was to ride in the buggy a little while longer.

Sometimes motherhood in public can be so stressful that it starts to effect the way you do things. But this mother put her childrens needs above everyone else’s and that is just plain awesome.

14 Things That Happen When You Join Amazon Prime

Once upon a time I signed up for a free 30 day trail of Amazon Prime, and I’ve never looked back.




1. Family members hit your up to use it.

2. You can’t go into stores without hating life.

3. You declare if Amazon doesn’t sell it, you don’t need it

4. If you order something from a different website. You go into the 5 stages of grief waiting for the package to arrive

5. You buy so much random sh!t.

6. You come home to boxes at your door almost daily.

7. You literally have no idea whats in the boxes because you can’t remember what u ordered, due to #5.

8. Your significant other questions your income and your spending habits.

9. Your constantly trying to convince others to join Amazon Prime.

10. When your subscription expires you try to convince yourself that you can live without it.

11. You’re a sucker for the suggested items.

12. Even though they have the easiest return system ever. You still keep what you don’t want and just give it as a gift later.

13. The one day shipping has gotten you out of a bind more times than you can count.

14. You have at least one of Amazon’s credit cards.

18 Reasons I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid

Most women have to opportunity to be a bridesmaid in their lifetime.  It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be HELL. Recently one of my BFF’s had a friend get engaged, and she laid low for days trying to dodge the epic question “Will you be my bridesmaid?”  Unfortunately her attempts were unsuccessful, and she didn’t have the heart to say no.  Instead we created a list of 18 Reasons I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid for women everywhere stuck in horrible dresses.

1. I’m already married, I’m over “this part” of life.

2. I don’t know any of your other bridesmaids. So every function I’m forced to attend, for the next 10 months, I’m gona be texting my bff’s telling them how miserable I am.

3. Your fiancé sucks at life. I seriously want to shake you and tell you to run in the other direction. I’ll even help you find someone more suitably. What do you see in this guy?

4. I think your making a mistake. You’re so young. You’re getting married in those primal years that your supposed to be finding yourself.

5. I’ve let myself go. You and all your friends still have flat stomachs and metabolisms in overdrive. Meanwhile I’ve perfected dinner #1 and dinner #2, and it shows, on my hips.

6. I’m jealous. How the hell are you paying for all this sh!t?


7. I don’t care for some of your friends, and I don’t want to be forced to chummy with them up until we send you off on your honey moon.

8. I barely know you. Are you desperate for a certain number of bridesmaids because I’m literally shocked you asked me. I don’t even know your favorite Netflix show.

9. I have a life, and the 800 functions leading up to your wedding are cramping my calendar style something serious.

10. I love my dog too much to leave her alone all day. Can my dog be a bridesmaid?

11. I have a kids, my hands are already full. I barely have time to take a solid poop, much less be in your wedding.

12. I’m broke. I don’t have unlimited funds for all your showers, excursions, lunches, brunches, and lets not forget the dress. Any chump change I manage to scrape up is usually blown on Amazon Prime or a dollar menu.

13. Where you high when you picked the dresses? I can’t believe I have to pay for that dress, in that color, and then wear it.

14. You’re kind of a biatch, and I can see that bridezilla look in your eye already.

15. Your going to regret having me around.  I already have an attitude, and I’ve already unfollowed your annoying a$$ on Facebook. So no, I didn’t see the “just because” flowers you recently received.

16. I’m bitter. Marriage is hard, so I’m not in the mood for your fairy tale adventure.

17. I’m bitter.  I’m still looking for Mr. Right. My life is like one long episode of Seinfeld.

18.  Did you not read my 30th Birthday Post?  I’m too old for this sh!t.


30 Awkward Things for My 30th Birthday

30 has always seemed like the age where society expects you to have your sh!t together by now. In honor of my 30th birthday I wanted to compile a list of 30 ways I’m not sure I’m succeeding in adulthood and life in general.

1.  I have a blog called 20somethingSHE.  Changing your blog name is really complicated, and I’m over it.

2. The elastic in my waist is shot beyond repair.   #babiesareworthit

3. Gray hair don’t care…except I do care.

4. I’m still drowning in student loans, its like I’m hoping I’ll get lost in the paper work or something, and they’ll just magically go away.

5. I still don’t feel grownup. The other day I was literally like “Oh my word! I’m somebody’s mother!” Idk maybe by 40 I’ll be grown-up.

6. I still don’t feel settled into my career.  I’ve been a teacher since 2010. It has it’s rewarding moments, and I love the schedule. I’ve recently really gotten into blogging, and I’m working on my second masters degree.

7. I really like cartoons. Bob’s Burgers is my favorite show!

8. I don’t watch the news. I’m so oblivious to what is happening in the world. I guess ignorance is bliss, but more than once I’ve had no idea what people are talking about when it comes to current events.

9. I absolutely hate Facebook. I hate Facebook so much that 90% of the time my account is deactivated. I will get on sometimes if I have something really exciting to post. Talk about feeling out of the loop though, the world has forgotten how to function thanks to Facebook. Recently my husband and I didn’t get invited to a party because “we weren’t on Facebook”… come on people!

10. My boobs…they’ve been to hell and back. They did feed my little one for over a year though.

11. I still can’t figure out how to keep my car clean. My car is either spotless or an absolute mess. Sometimes it’s so dirty, I think it effects my mpg.

12. College kids seem so young, and kind of annoying, which is super depressing.

13. I don’t even want to think about how long it’s been since I graduated high school.

14. Why do I still have acne?!

15. My eyebrows are now not the only facial hairs I’m managing.

16. If I can’t wear yoga pants, I don’t want to go.

17. Yoga Sucks! Exercise in general is not all it’s cracked up to be.

18.  I officially hate my bra, and can only tolerate it so many hours in a day.

19. Peeing a little when you sneeze, yes this is a thing.

20. My purse is essentially full of medicine, and snacks.




21. I can no longer eat whatever I want. Some foods fight me to the bitter end.  Sweets will give me major blood sugar issues, anything high in sodium leaves me feeling like I’ve been stranded on a desert island, and carbs make me hungrier than I was to begin with.

22. I still haven’t found my clothing niche.  I wore American Eagle from 9th grade until the end of college.  Being 30, means I can’t wear the same clothes as middle schoolers, but I can’t find “my store.”  Currently the majority of my clothes come from Target.

23. I have clown feet. I’ve worn a size 10 shoe since the 4th grade.  Having a baby made my feet even bigger.  I have like 3 good fitting shoes.

24. I don’t want to be out all night.  Ideally I’d like to be in bed by 8:30.

25. My husband and I are still church shopping, I really thought we’d have this figured out by now.

26. I still bite my fingernails.

27. Suddenly I have road rage. I’ve never had roadrage before but now other drivers infuriate me. I don’t ever act on it, I just call them idiots or exclaim the ever so popular “rrrrrreally?”

28. I’m too tired to care. Generally speaking, unless it involves the health and wellbeing of my family, I’m too tired to care.

29. I still add and subtract with my fingers. Math is hard.

30. I avoid words I still don’t know how to spell. Necessary.  Definitely.  Scissors.

9 Must Have Products for Pumping

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

1. Formula

My NICU baby started off on formula.  We used the Ready to Feed Similac because they are so much easier to travel with, especially when formula is not your go to feeding style.  We got off to such a rocky start breastfeeding that during each feeding time I would attempt to nurse, then my husband would feed my baby formula (or pumped milk) while I pumped.  We had to do this for about a week until baby finally latched.  Sometimes I would be in so much pain from nursing that I’d use formula too.  When I started leaving my baby, I didn’t have a lot of pumped milk stashed so we also used formula for those times as well.

2. Medela Pump

This Medela Pump is awesome.  I started out with a Lansinoh Pump, but the Medela is so much easier to use, and travel with, plus it is so much more efficient.

3. Car Adapter+

I purchased the  car adapter to go along with my Medela Pump. When I returned to work I would pump in the car during my 30 minute commute.  Pumping in the car really boosted my supply.   I used this pumping bra to remain hands free.  This nursing cover helped me cover up everything without interfering with my seatbelt.

4. Small Cooler

I purchased this small cooler because it would be easy to lug around when I returned to work.  It held everything I needed to pump at work everyday.

5. Medela Ice Pack

I used this Medela Ice Pack in my cooler bag when I returned to work.  I recommend having two of these in case you forget to refreeze it one day. It fits perfectly between the bottles, not taking up extra space.  It is also dishwasher safe!




6. Extra Pump Parts

Keeping everything ready and clean can get very overwhelming.  I recommend have extra pump parts so you don’t have to constantly wash something after you use it.

7. Lansinoh Bottles

Lansinoh Bottles are essential for breastfed babies.  They are clinically proven to reduce nipple confusion.  The design of the bottle and nipple enable baby to use the same feeding actions they use while breastfeeding. I love how few parts these bottles have, while also reducing air intake.  They are also BPA and BPS free.

8. Breastmilk Bottle Warmer
The Kiinde Kozii is a bottle warmer specifically made for warming breastmilk. The Kiinde Kozii creates a flowing warm water bath to quickly and gently thaw and warm breast milk according to CDC and USDA guidance. You don’t have to add water each time you use it. It has a timer that lets you know how much time is left before the milk is ready.  When the time is up, the warmer shuts off and completely removes the heat source from the milk, which means you don’t have to worry about overheated milk. Kozii can be used for breast milk, formula, storage bags (frozen or thawed), liner bottles, plastic, glass, and food jars.

9. Hand Pump

The Lansinoh Hand Pump  has two modes to stimulate and express, for for milk in less time. It is great to use when you don’t have enough time for a true pumping session. It is BPA and BPS free.

 

6 Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself During My First Pregnancy (and what I’m doing the second time around)

I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

1. Research C-Sections and Vaginal Births.

I was so convinced that my first born was going to be a c section that I never read anything on vaginal births. From exercises to help labor, to pushing, to recovery, I didn’t think any of that information would pertain to me. And wouldn’t you know it, I endured a 34 hour labor and a vaginal birth, absolutely clueless.

With my second pregnancy I’ve been reading about vaginal births and c sections because you just never know.



2. Your not made of glass.

From riding in a boat, to exercise, and exerting myself I was so scared that anything that did may hurt the baby. I spent my pregnancy acting like I was made of glass, and after our baby was born I felt like my bones and muscles were made of spaghetti noodles.  I absolutely hated feeling so weak, especially with a new baby to take care of.

This time I try to be as active as I can so that I don’t feel so weak after the baby is born. I trust the my body will keep baby and I safe.  I try to do cardio strength/training workout videos, walking around the neighborhood, and just keeping up with my toddler.

3. Calories still count.

I ate whatever I wanted with my first pregnancy. I couldn’t help but have that “whatever I’m pregnant” attitude about food. Turns out all that extra poundage does not come out with the baby. I was mortified with my postpartum body. I was able to lose the 40 pounds I had gained within 5 months (with the help of breastfeeding and calorie counting), but my body was still so changed. One person even said to me, when I was 6 months postpartum, carrying my son on my hip “oh my gosh your already pregnant again?!” Epic Fail!

This time I still eat what I want but I try to always put fruit and veggies first. I also know that many cravings go away if you just ride them out for a bit. I’m not depriving myself of anything (besides alcohol) and I’m certainly meeting my daily caloric needs, but I’m more aware that regardless of pregnancy calories are calories. And cheetos dipped in icing, although delicious, do not need to be eaten every day.

4. Don’t swear off ANYTHING!

I said that my exclusively breastfed baby was going to sleep in his crib, in his bedroom from day one. The first meal he ever had was formula and he slept in the bed with my husband and and I until he was 15 months old. Don’t swear off anything.

I haven’t said a word this pregnancy about my goals or intentions.

5. Don’t underestimate yourself.

Although I was so convinced that my baby would be a c section. I also knew that I had no intentions of feeling the true physical pains of child birth. I got an epidural pretty early in my labor. Looking back I wish I would have taken advantage of being able to walk around to help the baby move down more on his own. I bet my labor would’ve been shorter. And I bet I would’ve been able to handle the pain.

With my second pregnancy, I have been reading a lot of information about exercises that help you prepare for labor. I really want to help myself naturally as much as I can, before deciding whether or not to get an epidural.

6. Don’t rush your pregnancy.

At the end of my pregnancy I was so tired of being pregnant and I absolutely couldn’t wait to meet our baby. But I had no idea how much I would miss being pregnant. When your pregnant your baby is always with you. It eats when you eat and sleeps when you sleep (ideally). After that first baby comes you literally go into a culture shock of how drastically your life has changed.

My babies will be 21 months apart. Although being pregnant with a toddler is not the same as being pregnant with your first. I’m still making more of an effort to enjoy this pregnancy while it last and looking forward to meeting our little one when the time is right.