Autumn at 2.5 <3

Earlier this month, my little girl turned 2 and a half!! Aka 30 months old haha. ¬†I’m not one to keep track of months specifically, but it would have been hard to add a little point to 2.5 years haha ūüėČ

Autumn has been growing so much over the last half a year.  She has a LOT to say.  She knows so many words, and says them so sweetly.  Some of them she has the cutest pronunciations.  She still loves reading so much, and always wants to hear stories.

This month she watched her new favourite movie, Moana! ¬†She’s also started potty training (which I will probably write about in more detail soon).

She’s learning so much and I love watching her grow <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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Rachel’s Remedy: A Review!

Parenting, amirite? ¬†It’s got some tough stuff. ¬†Luckily, there are some amazing products out there to help make tough things a little bit easier, or in the very least, more comfortable.

When I first started breastfeeding Autumn right after she was born, it was P A I N F U L.  She had a bad latch (which I now know was due to a lip tie), and she wanted to nurse ALL. THE. TIME.  So it hurt. A LOT.

When Aiden was first born, he took to breastfeeding right away. ¬†He ate like a champion. ¬†And, it was basically painless! ¬†I think because Autumn weaned so close to when he was born, my body was still used to it, so I didn’t have the initial pain that I had with Autumn. ¬†It was lovely! ¬†It’s been great breastfeeding him.

Fast forward to now. ¬†He’s growing teeth! Yay! He’s sleeping through the night! Also, yay! ¬†But….. he’s biting me. And, he’s not eating all night so I’m very often waking up engorged. ¬†Boo. ¬†Not to mention the fact that he’s got some lovely little nails that he likes to dig into me when he eats.

Enter Rachel’s Remedy Breastfeeding Relief Packs. ¬†OH-MY-GOODNESS! Can I please gush? I need to gush a little bit. ¬†Last night, Aiden decided that he wanted to bite me instead of sleep. ¬†Super great, right? ¬†I left his room a little upset, and in pain. ¬†I plopped these packs in the microwave& heated them, slipped them on into my bra, and it was like instant relief. ¬†It felt as though he had never bitten me at all!

And want to know the best part? ¬†As if the sheer relief wasn’t enough? ¬†These are reusable and washable! ¬†I love it. ¬†I can totally see myself just having them chill out in my freezer so I can quickly grab them when I need them. ¬†Also, they’re the perfect size for bumps on little heads as they grow, so just because you’re done breastfeeding doesn’t mean they’re not still useful ūüėČ

Overall, this was a lovely product to try, and I REALLY wish I had them back when Autumn was a newborn because these would have been SO much better than what I was doing at the time.

I receive free products from Guidance Guide for review purposes but my opinions are all my own.

xoxo,
Alysa

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You’re Invited: May Market

One of the best things about becoming a mama in this day and age, for me, is the fact that everyone is SO connected. ¬†I made friendships with women who were having babies at the same time as me through groups based on my due date for my little ones. ¬†I have been in a group for my November 2014 baby since.. well, since we all started finding out we were expecting. It’s the same for my May 2016 baby! ¬†And, in my May group, there are a few of us who are crafty and talented, and every month we have a little sale of the things that we’ve made!

Our next sale is March 1 & 2, and I would LOVE it if you would join our group to join in our sale!
You can find our May Market Group here!

This month the theme is St Paddy’s Day, and there will be baby bonnets, prints, bath bombs, jewellery, rompers & more <3

Hope to see you there!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Easy Advent Calendar for Toddlers

Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar

Over the last year (or so), I’ve been collecting Christmas books and putting them aside for the month of December. ¬†Every morning, my children will come downstairs and find a different Christmas book sitting under the tree! ¬†That will be the book we read all day, and then they’ll hear it before bed at night. ¬†And the next morning, it’ll start again. ¬†The final book will be Twas The Night Before Christmas, on December 24th. ¬†On Saturdays, it’ll be a Christmas movie under the tree for us to watch as a family that day!

I’m super excited to get started.

If you’re looking to do something like this with your kids, here are some tips:
– Start looking in thrift stores
– Check out the dollar store
– Ask your thrift store loving friends to look for you!
– And if you don’t have enough in time, the library is a great place to get any extra books!

Do you do anything for advent with your kids?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Supported In Breastfeeding: Book Review + Free PDF

It’s 3am, and I’m sitting in my son’s nursery. ¬†It’s quiet, with only the small amount of light coming from a little owl lamp on his bookshelf. ¬†My husband is asleep, my daughter is asleep. ¬†It feels like it’s just¬†us two. ¬†I’m tired (exhausted), but I love this. ¬†I love cuddling my little one and helping him fall back to sleep again. ¬†I love holding him in his sleep, and I love knowing that I can give him everything he needs in this moment. ¬†This is what breastfeeding looks like to us, right now.

But, breastfeeding didn’t always look like that for me. ¬†It can be hard. ¬†It can be painful. ¬†It can be stressful. ¬†Sometimes I accidentally flash an entire room of people without trying. ¬†Sometimes, I don’t care because I need my baby to eat. ¬†Sometimes it feels as though I am all alone in this.

And that is why Supported In Breastfeeding is such an important book for breastfeeding moms. ¬†If you’re breastfeeding, or planning on breastfeeding your baby, you should read this book. ¬†Because none of us are really alone in this. ¬†We’re all going through very similar things with breastfeeding. ¬†Whether your baby takes to it immediately, or you struggle with it.. we’re all in this together. ¬†Supported In Breastfeeding has 20+ stories from real life moms who have been right where you are, and that was so encouraging to read.

As I read through this book, I could relate to so many of the different stories. ¬†I found myself nodding along with all the struggles and triumphs that these breastfeeding mamas described. ¬†I felt so connected to the women in the book, even though I’ve never met any of them. ¬†Their stories are so similar to my story. ¬†I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to breastfeed their baby <3

Supported In Breastfeeding book review

Are you currently breastfeeding, or about to start breastfeeding when your baby comes?  Check out this PDF РEssential Breastfeeding Guide Рfree just for you! <3

Find more information about Supported In Breastfeeding & buy it here!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

I was able to read this book in advance of release in exchange for this review, the opinions stated here are my honest ones.

 

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To My Daughter on Her 2nd Birthday

to my daughter on her 2nd birthday

My dear Autumn,

You turned two today! Which feels almost impossible because I’m pretty sure you were just born. ¬†These last two years went by so fast, but especially this last year. ¬†You’re growing up, and it’s much too fast.

This past year, you started walking, you started talking more and more, and your little personality is shining through even more. ¬†It’s so much fun when you let us know exactly what you want, exactly the way you want it. ¬†This year, you got your big girl bed, you got to go to Touch-A-Truck, you made so many new friends!

This past year, you gained a little brother. ¬†He is one of your favourite people, and you love to bring him toys (and take them away), wipe his mouth, and kiss his cheek or hands. ¬†He is totally captivated by you as well. ¬†It’s amazing to see how much you two love each other.

You want to do and see everything, you just love to explore your world. ¬†Whether we’re at the park, the library, or in our own back yard.. all you want to do is check everything out and see how things work. ¬†You especially love walking around and around in our house.

You have so many favourite things right now. ¬†You’re obsessed with anything that has to do with bunnies, or boats. ¬†You love Disney, especially Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Beauty & The Beast, Zootopia and Frozen. ¬†You love to sing “Let It Go” and “Beauty and the Beast” in your sweet little voice. ¬†You love to take care of your baby doll, and you enjoy feeding her just like mama. ¬†You still love books, and you love colouring at your little table in my studio.

I love you so much, and I’m so excited to see how you change and grow over the next year <3

xoxo,
Mama

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Best Snapchat Stickers for Mamas

The Best Snapchat Stickers for Mamas

I love Snapchat. ¬†I’ve been using it a lot in the last little while. ¬†It’s fun to share little moments of our day in quick photos or videos. ¬†I also LOVE to use the stickers and filters. ¬†In my opinion, that’s the best part about this medium. It’s fun to kick up your snaps a little bit with stickers. ¬†And as a mom, sometimes I feel like I need to add a little sarcastic or hilarious sticker!

Here are my favourite stickers for mamas:

For when your kids are finally asleep in bed and you get to spend time with your spouse!

When you’re not sure what your child is doing something weird, or throwing a fit, or getting into mischief

When you’re finally allowed that precious me-time… like at the grocery store :p

When your child is being adorable and precious <3

When your child is doing something they shouldn’t.. like taking all of the plastic containers out of the cupboard and leaving them in the living room…

What are your favourite snapchat stickers?

xoxo,
Alysa

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World Breastfeeding Week – My Breastfeeding Story

my breastfeeding story

It’s World Breastfeeding Week this week! ¬†There has been a lot in the media lately about breastfeeding (or, has there always been a lot in the media about breastfeeding all the time, and I’m only noticing it now because it actually applies to my life?) Anyway, I had been thinking about writing about my breastfeeding story for a while now, and figured that this week was a great time for me to do it!

I want to tell you that breastfeeding came easy for me. ¬†When I was pregnant, I read the book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and I specifically remember getting to the section on troubleshooting and skipping it because the rest of the book made it seem like it was going to be this super natural thing that would come to both of us pretty quickly. ¬†Babies know what to do, they’re meant to. ¬†But it wasn’t easy. ¬†Breastfeeding was really hard for us, especially at first. ¬†When Autumn was first born, she was a very tired baby. ¬†She was also pretty lazy. ¬†She would immediately fall asleep as soon as I started feeding her. ¬†And when it wasn’t that she was always falling asleep on the job, it was that we had a poor latch. ¬†There were lots of times where breastfeeding really sucked, pun intended.

The falling asleep often meant that when she woke up, she was just hungry again. ¬†There was a lot of cluster feeding in the first few days (which I’m told is actually very normal). ¬†But, because we had a poor latch, it also meant that it REALLY HURT. ¬†She didn’t have any teeth when she was born, but when we were having problems with latching, it felt like she had razor sharp teeth. ¬†I can’t tell you how painful it was. ¬†Luckily, there was an easy solution there with nipple cream, the kind with lanolin in it, which was a lifesaver (or nipple-saver, as it were). ¬†Also, we had a few days of breastfeeding strikes. ¬†Those are SO frustrating. ¬†I was literally leaking milk, but Autumn wouldn’t take any. ¬†Luckily, it only lasted a day each time it happened… but I couldn’t believe how she refused it, and then cried more because she was so hungry. ¬†Babies, man. They’re super weird.

Then, came the weight issues. ¬†This is still really hard for me to talk about. ¬†When Autumn was born, she was in the 50th percentile for weight. ¬†At just over one month old, our doctor didn’t think that she had gained enough weight. ¬†Then, the next day, Autumn had actually gone down a little bit in weight, which is not anything you ever want to see, so we got referred to a pediatrician. ¬†This was the worst thing that we could have done. ¬†Despite the fact that every single time after that, Autumn was ALWAYS bigger and ALWAYS gaining weight, it was never enough for this doctor. ¬†This doctor talked to us like we were stupid, and like we were starving our daughter on purpose. ¬†She just kept saying that Autumn needed more to eat, but then told me that I should only breastfeed her every three hours, and give her formula in between. ¬†I didn’t agree with that at all. ¬†I had no problem with breastfeeding my daughter as often as she wanted to be fed. ¬†It was frustrating to not have that support from someone who was supposed to know what they were talking about.

And every time we saw this doctor, Autumn had gained weight. ¬†The numbers were always going in the right direction, little by little. ¬†At my two month follow up with my own doctor, she said that Autumn is probably just a small baby. ¬†And that’s exactly true! ¬†We ended up being referred to a different pediatrician. ¬†The new ped told us that Autumn’s weight was good for her height. ¬†I saw her one other time, and Autumn had gained enough that we could go back to our family doctor from then on out. ¬†Our family doctor agreed that Autumn is a small baby, but that she looks perfect. ¬†She was exclusively breastfed from when she¬†was 3 months old until when she was 6 months old, when we started solids. ¬†We are still going strong. Every time we get to another month, that is another major milestone for us. ¬†Additionally, we went from going to see a doctor every single week, to not seeing a doctor for two months, and now, we are not required to go see our doctor until Autumn is one, unless something comes up. ¬†It’s huge for us that we don’t have to go to doctors that often anymore!

There were so many times in there where I almost wanted to quit. ¬†I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore because it was so hard. ¬†Autumn will be 9 months old on Friday, and I can’t believe that we made it this far. ¬†I am very grateful that we did make it this far! ¬†Breastfeeding is something that I love doing. ¬†I love that I am able to care for my daughter in this way, and it is so important to me.

There’s a lot that this experience has taught me. ¬†I think one of the biggest ones is, if your doctor isn’t supporting you in your breastfeeding goals, you can find a new doctor! You don’t need to continue to see a doctor who treats you poorly. ¬†That best decision we made was no longer seeing the pediatrician who made us feel bad about the way we were parenting our daughter. ¬†It was so hard at first, and it was ¬†hard for a decent amount of time, but it did get better. ¬†When I look at my daughter, though, I know it was all worth it.

xoxo,
Alysa

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4 things I learned in the first 4 months of motherhood

lessons from motherhood

1. The internet is both a friend and a foe.
Want to do something with your child you’re not sure about? Whatever it is, you’ll find information and articles on the internet about why it’s great to do that thing, AND you’ll find information on why it’s a terrible thing to do. ¬†So you’ll either be justified in your actions, or be made to feel like a terrible mom for wanting to do it. ¬†So search the internet with caution!

2. My childless friends seemed the most judgmental
It wasn’t necessarily specific comments, sometimes it was just looks from people.. but I definitely have felt pretty judged by a lot of my friends who don’t have children yet. ¬†And I’m sure that I was exactly that way before I had kids, too. ¬†This article says it best but “everything I knew about raising babies, I knew before I had to raise any”. ¬†It’s so nice to be able to read my baby books and say “yes I’ll do that” and “no, I would never do that” and I feel like my friends without children have these ideas in their minds, too. ¬†Then your baby gets here and you start singing a different tune. ¬†IT’LL HAPPEN TO YOU!

3. It’s really hard, and really great
Breastfeeding is really hard. ¬†It’s not easy like the books say. ¬†But, I love doing it, and it’s so worth it. ¬†Any change in a routine is hard, but it’s worth it when it will improve your child’s life in the long run. ¬†Being a mom is HARD, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

4. It’s a lovely club to be in
Moms (generally) support each other. ¬†At least in my experience. ¬†I go to a breastfeeding support group, and I love being able to hang out with other moms who are in the same stage of life as me. ¬†One time, I was at the mall and realized that my husband hadn’t reset the diaper bag (I thought he had so I didn’t check) and I didn’t have any clean diapers. ¬†A mom in the family changing room said she would have given me a diaper if she had any that would have fit my daughter. ¬†It is a nice club to be in ūüôā

xoxo,
Alysa

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new mama problems

new mama problems

when your husband gets home and you’ve already changed the poopy diaper

when new sweatpants counts as a treat

when showering by yourself is a luxury and grocery shopping by yourself is a holiday

when your adorable little baby looks up at you and smiles… then spits up all over you

all the extra stuff you need to leave the house

when none of your shirts fit because your boobs are so big

buying all new clothes that work well with breastfeeding

when you think back on how you stayed up all night when you were younger, for no reason, and hating your past self for doing that

when you miss being able to have a hot cup of coffee

when you forget your coffee in the microwave, because you didn’t drink it fast enough, and then you find it the next day when you’re trying to put in today’s coffee that you didn’t drink fast enough

What other new mama problems have you experienced?

xoxo,
Alysa

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