12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

This post may contain affiliate links.

1. It was 13 weeks long.

I’m a teacher so after 12 weeks I returned to work for two days, and then we had a week off for Spring Break. It really helped me ease back into working mom life.

2. We got Netflix.

We subscribed to Netflix a few days before our son was born. Best decision ever! I didn’t realize how much sitting around we’d do those first couple of weeks. During my maternity leave I watched so many shows! Orange is the New Black, Glee, Bob’s Burgers, Breaking Bad, Making a Murderer, and Parks and Recreation.

3. I Lost 30 pounds

With the help of breastfeeding and Myfitnesspal.com I was able to lose the majority of the weight I gained (40 pounds) over my pregnancy.

4. I Missed work

I didn’t necessarily want to return to work, but I missed feeling normal and put together. My days and nights ran together and sometimes I felt like I was playing house.

5. I got insomnia.

Somewhere along the way I picked up the baby’s sleep schedule. Together we held very wonky hours.

6. I started a blog.

I’ve always wanted to start a blog, and being a mother made me feel like I had so much to say.

7. I used all my sick days.

I took off 60 days from work, but I only had about 25 sick days. We took a major financial blow, but it was more than worth it.

8. Amazon primed my a$$ off.

I signed up for Amazon Prime over my maternity leave and almost everyday I was ordering something else for baby.

9. I didn’t get baby on any type of schedule or crib trained.

I had a goal to have baby on a schedule by the time I returned to work. In no way, shape, or form, did I succeed. (*Update, he actually didn’t start sleeping in his crib until he was 14 months old, whoops.)

10. I tried to figure out how to be a SAHM

I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to figure out if I could bring in a decent income from home with a Education Degree. I was unsuccessful in my search.

11. It went by really fast and really slow.

The days were really long, but my maternity leave was short.

12. I became a mother

Somewhere along the way I became a mother and never looked back.

Thank you so much for reading my post. How long was your maternity leave?

12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. 1. It was 13 weeks long. I’m a teacher so after 12 weeks I returned to work for two days, and then we had a week off for Spring Break. It really helped me ease back into working mom life. 2....

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Baby Boy Nursery

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. Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to...

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Top 6 Gender Neutral Toys for My 1 Year Old

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. It can be so frustrating when you buy toys for your...

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Baby Boy Nursery

Baby Boy Nursery

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.

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.  His bedroom decor includes hunting, fishing, cars, and trucks. I enjoyed putting my son’s nursery together more than planning my wedding! Hobby Lobby and Etsy were my go to places for decor.

My son is named after his maternal and paternal grandfather and great grandfathers.  Above his crib I have a picture of me with my late grandfather, and a picture of my husband with his late grandfather, along with items that represent them.  My husbands grandfather loved Ford Mustangs, and I found the Mustang hook at Hobby Lobby.  The hat hanging from the hook belonged to my grandfather. My dad put the pallet together for me with wood I found at Hobby Lobby, and I purchased the wooden monogram from an Etsy shop. I also got the key pieces of his bedding from babybedding.com.

Instead of buying the exact curtain that came with his crib bedding, I found some matching light blocking curtains at Bed Bath and Beyond.  These curtains truly make his room dark when needed.  I highly recommend light blocking curtains.  They have been a life saver, especially for nap time, and after day lights saving kicks 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.  I filled them with all the books I received from my baby showers.  Whenever someone gives my child a book I always ask that they write a little note on the inside.  It so fun to look back over time and see the little notes left for my son. And my son loves his little recliner, I suppose he thinks he's grown when he sits in it.

The ClosetMaid shelf and cubes are perfect for blankets, extra crib sheets, toys, and board books.  Babies have a lot of stuff and this piece has been perfect for organizing all of it without the clutter. 

*Update*

Now my baby boy is a toddler and I've made a few changes to his bedroom.  He loves to sit at this table and play with cars or his play pots and pans, sometimes he even just points out the pictures on the table.

*Update*

This busy board is my new favorite part of my son's room, I think he'd agree.  I used some left over peg board and different types of things he'd be able to manipulate.  He really enjoys the steering wheel and light switch.

Thank you so much for reading my post.  How did you decorate your child's nursery?

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12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. 1. It was 13 weeks long. I’m a teacher so after 12 weeks I returned to work for two days, and then we had a week off for Spring Break. It really helped me ease back into working mom life. 2....

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

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Top 6 Gender Neutral Toys for My 1 Year Old

Top 6 Gender Neutral Toys for My 1 Year Old

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.

It can be so frustrating when you buy toys for your child that they are not interested in.  I wanted to make a list of the toys that hold my toddlers attention, that he plays with most often day after day. I don’t always want to rely on screen time to hold my little ones attention when I’m getting things done. We have a little girl on the way too!

1. Fisher-Price Shooting Stars Glow Soother

My baby absolutely loves his crib toy. It plays lullabies, nature sounds, or white noise.  Beads tumble from the top, and it glows without being too bright.  It has a button that he can press himself.  On most nights, if he wakes up he’ll turn on his crib toy, I can hear it through the baby monitor.  It helps him go back to sleep! I received this as a baby shower gift, but knowing what I know now, I’d pay triple for this soother.

2. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

Baby R absolutely love this walker.  He sits and plays with it more than he walks with it.  I has a removable front panel, and so many different sounds and songs.  He never gets tired of it.  The wheels work on all floor types, and can even be locked if needed.

 

3. Feels Real Books

These board books have photographs of animals and have “feels real” textures for baby to touch.  There are several different books, we have them all!  These books really hold his attention, which I love because, duh, they are books, and I want him to love books!

 

4. VTech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train

This toy is made to grow with baby.  It can be used as a floor toy, riding toy, baby walker, and pull toy.  It comes with alphabet blocks that when dropped down the chute land in the wagon, my baby loves that part! It even recognizes what letters are being used on the key pad. Even if we turn off the music and lights, he still loves to play with his train!

5. Bright Starts Baby Light and Giggle Drum

Baby R can see himself in the reflective drum, which he loves!  It has 3 different playing modes and responds to baby’s taps on the drum with sound and lights.

 

6. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table

Baby R really enjoys playing with this activity table.  I like it because it has continuously helped him become a more confident walker. This activity table has over 60 songs, tunes, and phrases and the table top can be laid flat on the floor.

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Must Have Baby Stuff: 6 Items I Wish I Had From the Start

Must Have Baby Stuff: 6 Items I Wish I Had From the Start

6 Baby Items I Wish I Had From the Start

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.

Parents learn very quickly that things constantly change and the only way to make it out alive is to monitor and adjust accordingly.

6 Must Have Items for You and Your Baby

I spent countless nights searching on Amazon for things that might help taking care of a new baby just a tad easier. I joined mommy groups on Facebook, searched Pinterest, and had many many trail and error experiences, not to mention many many wasted dollars.

I created a list of 6 awesome products that got me through the baby stage without absolutely going bonkers.

Snuza Hero

The Snuza Hero is a movement monitor that alerts baby and parents when no movement have been detected over certain periods of time. First the baby is alerted with vibrations, then the parent and baby are alerted with an alarm.  I purchased the Snuza Hero prior to my son’s arrival, but once we brought him home, I was too scared to use it. I was worried that the rubber sensor would irritate his tummy, or just plain bother him. I was worried that the device would have “false alarms” and do more harm than good. One night, when baby was probably 5 weeks old, and I just couldn’t stand the sleepless nights and constant worrying anymore, I finally decided to try the Snuza Hero. I could tell right away that my baby didn’t even notice it. False alarms were not an issue and I finally was able to have some relaxing sleep. I used this little do-dad until baby was about 6 months old. I highly recommend this to new parents.

Rock n Play

I was initially against using the Rock and Play. It has a lot of bad online reviews regarding SIDS and causing flat heads. Eventually I gave it a try with the Snuza Hero and a 4Moms newborn insert and it worked wonders for my baby. I think the incline and the way it cradles baby really helped him stay asleep, and the insert gave me piece of mind for his head. The one I bought had an automatic rocking feature, and played music. I used this until baby started sitting up on his own.

Medela Pump

I started out with a Lansinoh Signature Pump, I did like it, but once I tried a Medela Pump in Style I never looked back.  The Medela is more powerful and is easier to get set up and put away. The Medela has an adjustable speed, which helps you find the right speed and comfort level for yourself. All of the parts that come in contact with breastmilk are BPA and DEHP Free, and it even has a car adapter for pumping in the car.  I highly recommend the Medela if you are planning on pumping at work.

 

 




Lansinoh Bottles

I heard so many great things about Dr. Brown bottles that I registered for them, pre-washed them and all, but baby never really seemed to like them and there’s so many pieces to one bottle. I tried a Lansinoh bottle that came with my pumping kit, and absolutely loved it. I strongly recommend these bottles, especially for breastfed babies. I do wish that they were available in glass bottles, and additional colors though.

Halo Sleep Sack

I was so cautious about putting baby down swaddled in a blanket, and I was always so worried about keeping baby the right temperature. Halo Sleep Sacks are so great at keeping baby covered without posing the dangers that blankets can cause. There are several different varieties. We loved this kind the best. They all zip from the bottom, which makes diaper changing a breeze. I do not recommend the fleece versions though, they are very hot.

Milk Snob

I didn’t even know Milk Snob nursing covers existed until my baby was 4 months old. I was a little concerned that the price was high for a hunk of fabric, but knowing what I know now, I would pay double. These covers, cover everything. Baby cannot kick it off of you, its not too hot or too sheer and its so soft. My Milk Snob was used as a nursing cover, and security blanket. You’ll love using it as a car seat cover too.

6 Must Have Baby Items I Wish I Had From the Start

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Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

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