Monday, August 19, 2013

True Life :: Pregnancy Changed My Skin

"This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Clearasil, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SuperFruits”

I have never had issues with my skin. For most of my life, I was able to get by using any and every skin product my heart desired, and I only washed my face while taking a shower. Yes, I still sleep with leftover makeup on, another thing I'm sure to regret one day soon as the big 3-0 draws nearer. That is, until I was about eight months pregnant and my skin decided to do a 180 on me. You can file this under the 'things I never knew pregnancy would do to me.'  

For the last six weeks of my pregnancy, and even now, almost three weeks post-delivery, I have had to treat my skin differently. Before, my husband and I used the same facewash, and neither of us thought twice about it. But lately, my bathroom vanity is covered with products that are 'sensitive, hypo-allergenic,' and the like. 

And then the heavens opened up (OK, not really, but you get my drift), and I learned about Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleansers. I quickly ran to the nearest WalMart and scooped up my own bottle, and haven't looked back since. Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleansers is an acne medication that is gentle enough to use every day, twice a day. They are formulated with sensorial Superfruit Extracts AND are gently medicated with 1% salicylic acid acne medication to help prevent blemishes. Even better, the product comes in a wash, scrub and medicated pads! Perfect for daily use at home, or throw the pads in your purse for on-the-go use. 

Now, my morning routine is a whole lot different than it was just a few short months ago. Not only do I have a baby in tow, but I start each morning off with a quick wash and rinse with my Superfruit Cleanser, and I am feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Within days, I started to see a difference. My skin felt softer, and those patchy blemishes started to go away!

Sure, I may not be showering every day, or doing my hair for that matter, but even a new Mom has a minute or two to splash her face with this refreshing wash before she heads straight for the pot of coffee. And did I mention it smells great, too?!

What's even more exciting is that you can grab your own product now (your choice of wash, scrub or pads!) and get $1.00 your product when you use this WalMart Coupon

Trust me when I say, you can't get a better face wash for under $4 anywhere! I have tried lots of products, including other Clearasil washes, and this one is definitely my favorite for this time in my life, with all of the recent changes I have seen in my skin.

So, whether your skin has been changing, you've always struggled with acne or blemishes, or maybe the summer sun and heat has just thrown you for a loop, I would recommend you give Clearasil’s NEW! Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Cleansers a try. You won't be sorry that you did. Just pick up a bottle the next time you're out running errands! And don't forget that coupon!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our New Normal.

Whew, it is amazing how fast 3+ weeks can fly by when you're off doing things like having a baby!

I want to extend a HUGE 'thank you!' to each and every one of my fabulous guest bloggers. Not only did you all hold down the fort, but you did it with style, humor and classiness! I loved reading all of the posts (again) and seeing what my readers had to say about each of your stories.

While I don't have tons of time to go into detail about how Gavin entered our world, I did want to drop in and make sure that I made the official announcement that he is here, he is beautiful and healthy, and he has already changed our lives for the better. I promise to come back with the full birth story some time very soon, but for now, all you really want to see are the pictures, right?!

photo courtesy of little

Gavin Thomas - born July 31, 2013 at 7:11PM
Weighing 7lbs. 8oz. and 20 inches long!

If you're dying for more baby squishiness, or just want to keep up with our daily happenings, make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It Goes By So Fast :: A Guest Post from Megan

I hope you are all enjoying each and every one of the guest bloggers that offered to pitch in while I'm taking 'maternity leave.' I have loved having each one of them, and feel like this should be at least an annual thing! I have soaked up all of the advice, the pictures and the stories about each of these women and their families. And today, I am happy to have Megan here, as one of our final guests to share some of the advice that helped her as she transitioned into motherhood not long ago. 

You probably recognize Megan from her blog, Table for 3 and her very popular linkup, Trendy Tot Tuesdays!

Hi, I am Megan and I blog at Table for 3!
I am SO excited to be guest posting for Pam! I am the mama to Olivia Adele who I am head over heels OBSESSED with! Olivia turned two years old in May and is the main topic of my blog! 

Pam asked that I share some advice for new mama's!

Sleep when baby sleeps!! I know it seems silly, but even if it is for 30 minutes, when you are sleep deprived it makes ALL of the difference in the world!! No one is going to care if you have laundry to do, dishes do NEED your rest!

There is NO such thing as taking TOO many pictures!! Babies change SO much. I swear, there have been times I have put Olivia down for a nap and then when she wakes up it is like I have a totally different baby! (well, not REALLY, but you know what I mean!)

Enjoy the little moments! Middle of the night feedings, when baby ONLY wants you, these little moments are time to bond and it DOESN'T last forever!

If you need help, ask!! We may TRY to be super mom but we all need time to ourselves and help! My parents and in-laws don't live close, but when they come to visit they are MORE then happy to take over baby duty for a little bit so I can run errands alone of get away for an hour. 

Take care of yourself. This was the HARDEST for me!! Once Olivia came home, all I cared about was her! Once we got into a routine I started getting back into my old routine which made me feel better about myself. I made time to do my hair, do my make up and EVEN my nails!!  Have fun! Now that I work in town and with young professionals my age it is fun to hang out outside of work! I used to feel guilty about having nights out so I would wait until Olivia was in bed. It is all about finding a balance that works for you!

Make time for your spouse! Remember, before baby it was just you two. If you can, try to plan a date, even if it is to go get morning coffee just you two or go catch a movie! It is important to have time alone just you and your significant other!

I hope all of you new mama's out there are enjoying your time with your little ones! It goes by SO fast!!

I hope you will all stop by and say hi!!  Thanks for having me Pam! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Things That Matter :: A Guest Post from Caitlynne

Thank you Caitlynne for sharing part of your story of raising two small boys with us today. I just adore the picture you chose, and I think your post is spot on and a good thing to remember for all young Mom's who are in the trenches of motherhood. It doesn't last forever. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today!

My name is Caitlynne. I married my high school sweetheart, Jared, four years ago and we have a precious two-year-old named Paxton and a brand new baby boy named Porter. I blog over at Love At First Sight. I'm excited to share with you while Pam is busy enjoying precious Gavin!

It's 3 a.m. and I'm in the middle of an amazing dream involving a Hawaiian resort and being best friends with Katherine Heigl when I hear the squirming and fussing of a newborn waking up hungry in his bassinet next to our bed. I groan a little out of exhaustion but roll over and scoop him up. As I sleepily feed him, I could think about the huge pile of laundry that needs to be washed, or the large number of diapers I will have to change in the next 24 hours, or even the fact that I haven't had a full night of sleep in 4 months. Instead, I bury my head in my baby's hair and take a huge breath filled with that newborn smell and I think of how lucky we are. We have two healthy little boys that have plenty of clothes and diapers. We don't always have extra, but we always have enough. My husband and I are still in love and committed to each other and our boys. 

Having two little boys this young isn't always easy. There is almost always someone unhappy and they both want my full attention all the time. There are toys and clothes and dishes everywhere. Paxton knows that I can't discipline him while I'm holding Porter so he takes full advantage of that time to push buttons he isn't supposed to push and throw things he isn't supposed to throw. So even though things are hard right now, I'm not wishing this phase away. I know I will miss these days when my boys are little. I'll miss Porter's chubby hands latching onto my shirt as he falls asleep, I'll miss Paxton bringing me board books and learning all the words as we read them together, I'll miss Paxton saying "hold him" sixteen times a day and trying to scoop up his little brother to give him kisses. I probably won't remember the stress or the messes or even the time they both peed on the floor at the same time while I was trying to get them in the bath. But I will try to remember how it felt to have little Porter curled up in my arms asleep and Paxton cuddled up next to me while we read together. And I will definitely remember watching the brother bond form between them, as they both realize they will always have a best friend. 

Those are the things that matter. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What You Don't Expect (when you're expecting, delivering and parenting)

Molly is no stranger around here. Another one of my favorite blogging boy Moms, and one of my very first blog friends turned IRL friend. Molly and I met last fall for lunch at a local mall, and we have been meaning to get together again ever since! Sadly, she and her family are getting ready to move to Charlotte - bummer! 
Today, Molly is sharing some of her tips about what you 'don't' expect to happen during pregnancy, delivery and once you bring your fresh, new baby home. Enjoy! 

I didn't expect a lot of what I've gotten so far from Motherhood, but it doesn't seem to care. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I'm surprised again. Here are some of the biggest shockers to date. 

Gaining nearly 50lbs during my pregnancy. 7-8lb baby, some fluid and stuff, we're looking at 15 tops, right? Um, no. Not sure why it doesn't work like that really. I mean, does the baby really need the weight you gain in your butt? I think not. 

Leaving the hospital looking like I was still 6 months pregnant. I couldn't believe how big I was when I left. Neither could the teenage volunteer that pushed me out to the car. Her small talk while we waited consisted of confused looks and her finally asking why I still was pregnant and holding a newborn. Someone missed volunteer orientation day. 

Just how little sleep I would get. It's not much people. There aren't even any good, long stretches. If someone doesn't first wake you up, you're waking up to make sure everyone is breathing and comfortable. I'm 5 years in and still rarely sleeping through the night. 

How difficult it is to change a diaper. Between the belly button and circumcision, the first couple weeks of diaper changes were life changing events. By the time we got everything cleaned, slathered and replaced, it was time to start it all over again. Add the boy pee stream in your face and it just gets better. Oh, but wait. Wait till you have a 30lb, 19 month old who's favorite pastime is to kick and shimmy his way through his diaper changes. My carpet has seen more poo than it ever wanted to. So I just got some pull-ups. I think I'd rather potty train. 

How long it takes to do…everything. I used to work 4 days a week before becoming a Mom. On my day off, I could run all my errands, do all the laundry, clean the whole house and have dinner on the table at the end of the day. I can't really tell you exactly what I do all day now. I just know it involves lots of preparing meals, cleaning meals up off the floor, booty wiping, breaking up fights, building lego towers, 10 times more laundry than before and picking up toys that are pulled out at twice the rate I'm cleaning them. And don't even think you can "run in" anywhere. A 5 minute store run will literally take 30 minutes with kids. 

That my children would ever be those children. You know those kids. The ones pounding the floor because they couldn't have the checkout line candy bar. The ones running wild like the only meal they had that day was a 5lb bag of sugar. The ones you hear yell "I am NEVER doing that!" while 6 inches from their Mother's face. Those are my kids. And one day it will be yours. Why? Because it's payback for what we did to our parents. 

How freaking awesome being a parent is. We took our boys to a pro baseball game not too long ago. On the way out of the stadium, my 5 year old looked up and said "I'm beginning to love you more than I ever have". The way these boys of mine make my heart feel is beyond words. To have those little hands around your neck and to know they love you unconditionally is just the greatest. 

Being a parent has been, by far, the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Some days? I'm so over it. I'll be the first to be honest and say those pre-kid days? They were way easier. I never thought I was loosing my sanity from lack of adult interaction. I never found myself crying and asking my husband to call SuperNanny.  But life has never been as full of joy as it is today. It may be loud, crazy and grey hair producing, but it's completely wonderful and I wouldn't change it for the world. 

I knew I would love being a Mom. I just never expected that it would be this good.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mommy Mandy's Tips To Survive the Newborn Days

Happy Monday, friends! Today, one of my favorite blogging Momma's, and a lady who is no stranger to this blog stops by to share some of her practical and real world advice for those first few weeks with baby. Being a first time Mom myself, this information was golden!

You can find Mandy blogging over at Mommy Musings, and also on Facebook here

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be taking over Pam's blog today while she's busy snuggling that sweet little boy of hers!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Mandy and I blog over at Mommy Musings. 

I'm a Jersey girl teacher turned SAHM.  I'm lucky to be married to my best friend, Skip, and we are blessed with two sweet little girls.  My husband is a former Marine and for the past almost ten years, a cop.  I am a former-teacher turned SAHM, and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

As a mom to two kids, I'm obviously an expert on babies.  Hahahahahaha. Yeah right.  I don't even think Mrs. Duggar would call herself an expert. 

But I do think I have some great tips to pass on to all you soon-to-be and new moms out there.  These are some more real life tips...not something you'll find in What to Expect.

{one} Invest in some larger than your normal size clothes to wear once you bring that sweet baby home.  You don't be able to fit into your old clothes yet, and I tried to avoid still wearing maternity clothes post-delivery.  But some jeans in one {or two or three if you're me} sizes up from your normal size, will actually make you feel a bit better about yourself.

{two} Fill up your DVR, or pick out a new series to watch on Netflix.  There will be lots and lots of feedings during the night.  Watching TV helped me stay awake.

{three}  Just because your hubs doesn't have the milk makers, doesn't mean he can't help out during those middle of the night wake-ups.  Have him get up, change the baby's diaper, then bring that little bundle of joy to you to feed.  Those few extra moments always helped me run to the bathroom, put on my glasses, get the TV ready, etc.

{four} Even if you're comfortable breast feeding around friends and family {or are bottle feeding} feign the excuse "the baby needs quiet" and go escape to your room to feed the little one for a bit.  There will be lots of people stopping by and it can get pretty overwhelming at times.  So make sure to give yourself a few moments of peace with the baby before faces the masses again.

{five} Remember when people would wait on you while you were pregnant?  Well there is no harm in rocking that post-partum as well.  You are going to be in pain and discomfort, trust me.  Allowing your husband, mom, best friend, etc. to make you lunch, or run out and get you that cupcake you're craving. 

{six} Practice the ever important "Smile and Nod".  People {a lot of whom don't even have kids} are going to be throwing tons of parenting advice at you.  Don't engage them or try to defend your decisions to them.  Just smile and nod, and then continue parenting the way  you feel is best for your child.

{seven} Mylicon drops.  Buy them in bulk.  Give them at every feeding.  Trust me on this one.

{eight} Snuggle that sweet baby as much as you want.  You will not spoil it, and they grow up way faster than you want.

{nine} This one may seem like TMI, but it has to be said.  If you have a natural delivery, make sure you lean forward when you have to use the ladies room.  You'll save yourself a lot of pain. 

Now go snuggle those sweet babies!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Unsolicited Advice :: A Guest Post from Laura

Today, Laura from My Thoughts - Uninterrupted joins us to share her experience with the oodles of unsolicited advice that Mom's get from everyone and their mother.She is also sharing the stuff new Momma's really need to know during those first few, whirlwind weeks. Thanks, Laura!

Hi! I'm Laura from My Thoughts - Uninterrupted

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I'm a mom to two lovable little boys. Jackson (7 months old) is my sugar and Ethan (2.5 years old) is definitely my spice in life. I spend my days getting cuddles and sloppy kisses from Jack and chasing my always entertaining, mischievous, and loving Ethan. 

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I am thrilled to step in today for Pamela during her bloggy maternity leave. I certainly hope she is soaking up every moment. Those first few weeks with a fresh, squishy baby are the most wonderfully, uncertain, beautiful days a person can experience. While I currently find myself in the throes of trying threes and teething, I thought I'd take myself back to the days of being a new mommy to one and offer my somewhat more seasoned advice to Pamela and you on what one really needs to know as a new mom.

Unsolicited Advice:
You will get it (lots of it) and you'll give it (probably a lot more than you think). Mom's naturally become completely absorbed in their new mission in life...raising a baby in the best way possible. Sometimes you will be so completely sure of yourself that you might spout off some advice of your own without even being asked. This unsolicited advice will often times strike a cord and mostly what you or your fellow mommy will hear is "YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!". Do your best to push that feeling aside. There is more than one way to correctly (whatever that may mean) raise a baby. So now...without further is my own somewhat unsolicited advice (Pamela did ask after all!).

Put the baby books down.
Ok, this is advice you actually paid for. Return it. Honestly, the only advice you really need is this: go with your instincts. Forget the rest. Baby books will make you try to fit your baby into a little box and we all know that is nowhere good for a baby to be. If you do read the baby books remember to just take the bits and pieces that apply and take the rest with a grain of salt. Always, always trust your gut.

Don't be a judgey mommy. 
Just don't. It will blow up in your face. And for goodness sake never say never. Never. Your squishy newborn might be the sweetest, cuddliest little thing in the universe right now, but they will turn two. I'll just stop there. I don't want to spoil the moment. But, that thing you said you would never do or never allow your child to'll happen. Just prepare yourself now. Maybe if you make it through babydom without being judgey the universe will look kindly upon you and bless you with the most well behaved toddler child that will never end up face down, limp and howling in the middle of Target. Maybe.

Everything is a phase.
I remember when we had Ethan I was constantly striving for "normalcy". It took me a long several, several months to figure out that "normalcy" was a thing of the past. Sure you will have routines, but each new month will bring about a new set of challenges and resolutions. Motherhood is a go with the punches way of life. Whatever thing is driving you bonkers right now will most likely be resolved next month. Sleepless nights are not permanent. Cranky baby is not permanent. Teething doesn't last forever. Along these same lines...

Don't wish time away.
Children change with a blink of the eye. Take lots of pictures of that funny little scrunched up nose, video those sweet baby babbles and write down all of those little stats and phases as they go by. You will want to remember this. You will want to look back. You will forget some of these precious, little moments if you don't document them. 

And finally, relax.

It's so easy to stress out about everything as a mom. Outings will unexpectedly be cut short, outfits will be destroyed and naps will be missed. Relax. Go with the flow. And, most importantly try to find laughter in the chaos. 

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You can find me laughing through the chaos over at my blog, Facebook or Bloglovin'

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Becoming A First Time Mom :: A Guest Post From The Coaches Wife

Have you met Channa before? She writes over at Life As A Coaches Wife and has stopped by today to share her advice and insight on becoming a first time Mom. I am so excited for her and her husband and their baby due this December! Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, my journey into motherhood has 'officially' begun and Gavin is in my arms. 

Hi my name is Channa and I am the creator of the blog Life as a Coaches Wife. I have been married to my husband, the coach, for almost 8 years. We are expecting our first child this December. After 5 years of infertility and 1 round of IVF we got pregnant but never did I expect the internal emotions that would come along with that.
Becoming a mom is something that I have dreamt of since I was little. But I never thought it would take me 5 years and one round of IVF to get there. I feel like having to go through IVF I had to mourn the process of getting pregnant naturally. I had to mourn not being surprised because with IVF you know what is going on at every step. Because of IVF it took me several months to feel comfortable with being pregnant. I was always waiting for something bad to happen, with every appointment I expected to be told that I was no longer pregnant. Becoming a mother is something that has taken me almost five months of my pregnancy to become ok with. Don’t get me wrong, I have always wanted to be a mom but I never thought I wouldn’t be comfortable being pregnant. Being ok talking about it with people, feeling comfortable buying items and allowing others to be excited for me. Even though I have a very public blog I am actually a very private person, so pregnancy has really taken me out of my comfort zone. Every one you meet wants to know about the pregnancy and I do not always feel comfortable talking about it and I think that is really hard for people to understand. As hard as it is for me that people are excited for me, I think it is just as hard for them to understand where I am coming from and how I feel. Being pregnant is different for everyone and I have struggled with not wanting to show off my pregnancy. Struggling with being pregnant is something that with every month becomes a little easier but I still feel as though my feelings are not normal.
I am super excited to have this baby!! I am very excited about growing our family and raising our child. I am just not as excited about the pregnancy!! 
 Life as a Coaches Wife