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.

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.

14 of My Favorite Beauty Products

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.14 Somewhat Surprising Beauty Products

14 of My Favorite Beauty Products

By no stretch of the imagination to I consider myself a beauty queen, mostly I struggle.  But along the way, I found some fabulous, somewhat surprising beauty products that help me put my best face forward.

1. Venus Embrace

These razors are the bomb dot com. Three come in a pack for around $10. They make your legs (and anything else you shave) silky smooth and they don’t cut you up or leave a burn. I like that they are disposable unlike many of the Venus razors because after a while razor just get gross.

2. theBalm Blush

This blush comes in several colors, I like “Frat Boy.” I came across it in a Birch Box sample, from Birchbox.com. (PS If you don’t have a Birchbox account, get one because they have an awesome rewards program, whether or not you sign up for their monthly samples.) The color looks great and a little bit goes a long way.

3. Acure Day Cream

This animal friendly moisturizer smells great and works wonders. The day cream is light and refreshing, I use it under my make-up everyday. It restores skin cell and protects against free radical damage. It is also sulfate, paraben, and cruelty free!

 

4. Urban Decay Naked Palette
I currently have the original Naked Eye Palette and the Smoky Eye Palette. There are so many things you can do with these colors. They go on so nicely and stay all day. I’ve had my original palette for almost 3 years, and I use it almost everyday. I was a little overwhelmed when I first purchased the palettes, but there are a lot of helpful YouTube videos out there, like this one.

5. Sephora Color IQ

I was tempted to add the foundation I use to this list, but instead I added the Sephora Color IQ. If you visit your local Sephora they hold a device to your face and it pulls a variety of make-ups perfect for your skin tone. Plus, the service is absolutely free! When I did it I was wearing Bare-Minerals, which didn’t even register as a recommendation. I switched to Lancome and was absolutely amazed at the difference.

6. Head & Shoulder Classic Clean Shampoo

Original Head and Shoulders Shampoo (not the 2 in 1) will work wonders for not only your hair, but also your face. It makes your hair so shiny and it will clear up breakouts in a snap. Trust me!

7. Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening Tooth Paste

I’m pretty sure this toothpaste would take the rust off a car bumper. It will noticeably whiten your teeth quickly. It is not for the faint of heart, but it works wonders for your smile.



8. Sun Laboratories Self Tanning Lotion

I dread putting on self tanner. This self tanner last a good while, which means I have to put it on a lot less often. It has instant color so you can actually see where you are putting it. It smells great, and I can put it on my face. Make sure you wear gloves when you put on self tanner.

9. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo

The cheapest and best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. That’s win win!

10. Dawn

Dawn is amazing! I use it in my hair about once a week. After shampoo and conditioner I put a dime size amount in my hair, and lather and rinse quickly. It really gets your hair clean.  I’ve used it a lot more often during both of my pregnancies because my hair gets so greasy, it is the only thing that works for me.

11. Revlon Hair Color

Lets see…pay someone to color my hair for $60-$100, plus tip, plus scheduling it, small talk, and at least a 1 hour appointment…or do it myself for $5 in 25 minutes. I have brown hair (and lots of gray), I always use the “Dark Mahogany Brown,” but there are many to chose from.  Also it is ammonia free so you won’t stink up your bathroom.

12. Burt’s Bees Cleansing Towelettes

I know that part of being a “grown-up” in that you are not supposed to go to bed with make-up on your face because it causes big pores, wrinkles, and acne…yuck. But Home Girl is way too tired at the end of the day and stand over the sink to wash my face.  Does anyone stand over the sink and wash their face, or does that only happen in commercials?  I always have a pack of make up removing wipes on my night stand to clean my face, literally right before I go to bed.  Its always good to go with a sensitive type formula because they are typically scent free and easy on the face.  Remember you are trying to fall asleep, not wake up.

13. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette

If I can contour, anyone can contour. This is like paint by numbers! There is only one pallet which offers all the colors you’ll ever need. This is great for the transition from summer to winter.  The brush is sold separately, bummer, I purchased it, but I’m sure other brushes would get the job done, just fine.

14. Pure Instinct Sex Attractant Cologne

Chill.  The “hack” is not that I used this to attract my husband.  This stuff is a must have in the summer!  If you ever feel like your deodorant just isn’t enough in the sleeveless months you have to try this stuff!  Just put on your deodorant as normal, and then put a dab of this serum on your underarms (over your deodorant).  Spread it around, a little goes a long way.  Trust me on this one!  I don’t wear anything sleeveless without this.

Labor, Induction, and Delivery: 10 Things You Need to Know About Cervidil

The following information was retrieved from cervidil.com and is only intended for U.S. patients.

I’m not sure if my baby would have been born vaginally, had it not been for Cervidil, but I’m certain he would not have gone to the NICU. I have no intentions of ever using Cervidil again.

I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I am convinced that Cervidil is the reason my baby went straight to the NICU after birth. In my birth story I talked about how my doctor recommended Cervidil prior to the induction of my labor because I had not dilated at all.

I was induced at 39 weeks, not for medical reasons, but to insure that my doctor delivered the baby, to have the baby prior to the new year, and because I (not my doctor) was worried my baby was too big.

I spent my entire pregnancy researching inductions, but I never researched Cervidil, even after my doctor made it part of my birth plan.

I’m not sure if my baby would have been born vaginally, had it not been for Cervidil, but I’m certain he would not have gone to the NICU. I have no intentions of ever using Cervidil again.

10 Things You Need to Know About Cervidil

 

  1. Cervidil is a removable vaginal insert (much like a tampon) that helps your cervix ripen, soften and thin, similar to the way your hormones normally would have. (cervidil.com)
  1. It is approved to start and/or continue the ripening of the cervix in pregnant women who are at or near the time of delivery and who have a medical reason for inducing labor. (cervidil.com)
  1. Cervidil is inserted by your doctor or midwife at the hospital, and it is easy to remove when they decides it’s time. (cervidil.com)
  1. The part of the insert that is near the cervix gradually delivers a hormone similar to your body’s own hormone, dinoprostone.(cervidil.com)
  1. Cervidil has been around for over 20 years. (cervidil.com)




  1. Cervidil is the only FDA approved vaginal insert to help get the cervix ready for labor. (cervidil.com)
  1. More than 5 million Cervidil vaginal inserts have been dispensed in the United States. (cervidil.com)
  1. While Cervidil is inserted, your doctor will carefully monitor your progress and your baby’s well-being and will determine when the insert should be removed. (cervidil.com)
  1. In rare cases, the use of Cervidil has been associated with an increased risk of a life-threatening event to the mother called “amniotic fluid embolism.” (cervidil.com)
  1. The most common side effects of Cervidil are contractions occurring at a rate faster than normal and signs that the baby is exhausted or in distress. (cervidil.com)

For more information on how Cervidil effected me and my baby, read my birth story.


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.