Parenting A Spirited Child

Monday, May 21, 2018

If you have a “spirited child” you know exactly everything I’m about to say. The preschool age is hard no matter what, but a spirited child takes it to the next level. When Baylee first became a threenager I wrote this post talking about how rough things had suddenly become with her. A few months later, it dawned on me that she was no ordinary 3-year-old. She's as defiant as a 14-year-old and is completely fearless of consequences for misbehavior. I discussed her behavior with my mom who proceeded to tell me that my middle sister was the exact same way and that her preschool teacher referred to her as a “spirited child”. Yes! That was the exact way to describe Baylee! 
A spirited child is not bad, in fact quite the opposite. They are good-hearted kids who just have major opinions and an eye for things being fair and in the order that they perceive to be correct. When things are going Baylee’s way and according to her norm (the biggest creature of habit it have ever met) she is the sweetest most compassionate kid around. She’s loving, playful and an absolute motor mouth who tells funny stories that go on forever. When something breaks her norm or doesn’t go according to the way she anticipated though, forget about it. She’s about to take the poor victim (usually me or Brian) on a roller coaster ride. She’s sassy, and knows just what to say to hurt feelings. She’s relentless and stubborn and won’t take “no” for an answer. (We have had a temper tantrum that lasted 90 minutes before...not exaggerating...)

It has honestly been so hard to learn how to keep my cool when punishing her. She makes me want to fly off the handle when she stamps her little foot and screams at me the way she wants things to go. And when she tells me that I’m the meanest mommy ever, I want to take every toy she owns and chuck it in the trash. She knows just how to make me feel terrible and unappreciated. I have to remind myself on the daily that she’s only been on this earth for 3.5 years, and she’s just very well spoken. And I have to learn her, I still have a lot to figure out, but it’s getting better.

So, here is what I have learned so far about parenting a spirited child:

1. Spirited children need consistency. It’s okay to break their norm when out and about, but at home or at school they need a schedule and to stick to it as much as possible. Baylee has a night time routine and if I do anything out of order or skip a step she is sure to remind me.

2. Spirited children like to know what’s coming next. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had the “...and then what are we doing?” conversation with your child. When Baylee asks me exactly what we are doing all day long I have learned to just tell her. It makes her happier if she has an understanding of how her day is going to go.

3. Spirited children NEED to play. I am sooo very guilty of giving Baylee too much screen time since Natalie was born, but I am learning how to keep her entertained through play. She does so much better when we go to the park, play in the backyard, or when she just has time to play with her toys. Creative outlets make her a way happier kiddo.

4. Spirited children need one-on-one attention. When Natalie first came home from the hospital, Baylee was acting up like crazy. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was just trying to get my attention even if it was in a negative way. I have been learning to remember to give her some time every day for just us while her sister naps.

5. Spirited children need to be listened to. Baylee gets so frustrated if someone interrupts her or doesn't respond to her. I have learned to be patient and let her take her time to say what she needs to say, and if I can't respond to her right away, we are working on her having patience and waiting for her turn to speak.

In the end, having a spirited child can be very fun and entertaining. Baylee is so funny and can keep me laughing all day long with the things she comes up with. I love her to pieces and wouldn’t ever want her any other way! I know this kid's strong-will is going to take her far in life, I just have to survive her in the meantime. ;)

Until next time! XoXoXo

0-3 Month Must Haves

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I did posts on all my "must haves" when Baylee was a baby, and it's amazing how many things are different just 4 years later! Here are the main things I couldn't live with out the last 3 months with Natalie: 

1. Dock-A-Tot: I love this thing with a passion. Every time I need to do something around the house (or, you know, pee...) I can plop her in the DAT in any room of the house! She also just loves to hang out in it next to me while I blog or drink my coffee in the morning.

2. Rock'N'Play: When I registered for the RNP for my baby shower, I had no idea just how much it would come in handy! Natalie had terrible reflux issues her first 3 months (they're finally getting better) so I had to have her inclined after every feed and during sleep. She recently started napping in her crib with a reflux wedge, but she still sleeps in the RNP every night like a little rock. Most nights she sleeps a 6-8 hour stretch and it is SO amazing. I also love that I can take it in any room of the house! I have taken many showers with her chilling in the RNP in the bathroom. ;)

3. Ollie Swaddle: The Ollie is, by far, the best swaddle I've ever owned! It keeps Natalie so cozy without overheating her, and it's so easy and fast to put her in it! I will definitely use these with any future babies!

4. Boppy: I used the Boppy 80% of our nursing sessions when I was breastfeeding Natalie. It made it so much easier to hold her and get our positioning correct. We also use it for tummy time and to prop her up while on her back.

5. Play Mat: We had a different play mat for Baylee, but this time around I wanted something super small that wouldn't take up a lot of space in our house that is already covered in toys! This play mat is adorable, and Natalie loves looking at all her toys and swatting them.

These two things aren't in the picture but they are definitely on the list:

6. Solly Wrap: This is the best wrap I have ever used! Its so comfortable and lightweight, and Natalie loves being snuggled up next to me in it!

7. Owlet Baby Monitor: I shared my love for the Owlet in this post, so you all know that I think it's pretty much the best baby product ever! I don't know how we ever lived without one!

My little buggie is already getting so big! 
I'll have a new round up of 3-6 month items in a few months!


Until next time! XoXoXo

Three Months With Natalie

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Natalie is 3 months old today, and time is just flying! I can't believe a quarter of her first year is already over. My heart already misses my tiny newborn who only fit in preemie clothes at the hospital, but I am so excited for how much fun she is about to get! We haven't had another doctor's appointment recently, but according to our scale shes around 12 pounds and is wearing 3 month size clothes and size 1 diapers (but we will probably be moving up to size 2 in a couple weeks if not sooner!). She is getting super chunky especially in her cheeks and thighs and I could just eat her up! :)

This month, Natalie rolled tummy to back for the first time! She's the mostly smiley baby ever and has even giggled a couple times. She's completely chill, goes with the flow, and rarely cries. As of right now she sleeps for 8-9 hours at night before she wakes up to eat and then goes back down for another 2-3 hours. It. Is. Amazing. :) I can only hope she stays such a good sleeper as she gets older! We are starting the process of moving her from her sleeper to her crib, so that might be a bit of a game changer. Fingers crossed!

We took Natalie for her first visit to Disneyland this month and it was so much fun! She, of course, slept through most of it, but she loved all the colors and being pushed around in her stroller. She's definitely going to be raised a Disney girl just like her sis!

If you follow me on Instagram (@coffeeandgraceblog) you know that Natalie's reflux has been giving us a world of problems. Her doctor wanted her tested for pyloric stenosis, so I took her for an upper GI and some X-rays, but so far everything has been inconclusive. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and realized that she was taking in an awful lot of air while she was breastfeeding. I thought maybe we just had a funky latch and I was unaware. I bought her some anti-reflux bottles and started pumping. She took to the bottle almost instantly, and her vomiting practically stopped overnight. If you have ever pumped, though, you know how much work and how painful it is. I truly wanted to breastfeed until 6 months, but trying to pump, take care of Natalie, and chase Baylee around all at the same time was wearing me paper thin. I made the very tough decision to start her on formula, and as of a couple days ago she's is 100% formula fed. I know a happy mommy is a good mommy, so my sanity had to come first; as did her health. I loved breastfeeding her, but now I know she will be healthy and won't puke half her feeds. 

Natalie's favorite person in the world is her big sister Baylee. They completely adore each other and Natalie saves her biggest smiles for Sis! So far they have had their first movie camp out together and recently shared Natalie's first bubble bath. :) 

Happy 3 months my little peanut! 
You are so loved and we can't imagine this life without you in it! 

Until next time! XoXoXo


My Postpartum Weight-loss Journey With Blanqi

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

After I had Baylee, it took me a long time (seriously until her first birthday) to finally lose all the baby weight. I knew I would probably have the same struggle this time around, especially since I started out this pregnancy 10 pounds heavier thanks to fertility drugs. Sure enough, I’m 2.5 months postpartum and having a lot of trouble losing those last 8-10 pounds. I’m not one of the lucky ones who melts far off through breastfeeding; my body clings to those extra fat stores for milk production and yet I’m still starving All. The. Time! I know once I’m done breastfeeding (my goal is 6 months) I will be able to focus on losing the weight, but for now I’m very appreciative of clothes that help flatter and flatten my postpartum belly. This is where Blanqi Supportwear comes in handy! I got one of their postpartum + nursing support tanks and it is my favorite thing to wear these days! It’s made from a super soft, stretchy, and very comfortable fabric that hugs me in all the right places. It’s also made so that the front can be easily yanked down for breastfeeding access which is super important to me when choosing clothes these days.

Right now, Blanqi is offering 50% off their nursing/postpartum tanks as well as their maternity shapewear tanks using the code MOTHER, which is an absolutely amazing deal! Make sure you check out their super comfortable leggings and bellybands also! :)

For now, I'm cutting myself some slack. After all, it took me 9 months to gain the weight, so it could easily take that long or longer for me to lose it. Until I feel ready to really diet (thinking of doing keto after breastfeeding!) I'm just going to try to make as many healthy choices as I can and move my body every day! In the end, my little peanut was worth every extra pound. ;)

Until next time! XoXoXo

Tiny Tags For Mama

Thursday, April 12, 2018

In searching for Mother's Day gift ideas for the blog, I recently found the company Tiny Tags, and immediately fell in love with their jewelry. I knew I needed one of their personalized mother's necklaces to proudly wear the names of my two sweet girls around my neck! :)

When my necklace came in, I couldn't have been more excited! It is absolutely dreamy! The quality is amazing, and I love the unique style. It is a necklace I can wear every day no matter my outfit choice, which is perfect for someone like me who frequents yoga pants and tees. ;)

With Mother's Day a little over 4 weeks away, right now is the perfect time to start dropping hints about which piece of jewelry you want from Tiny Tags. They also make great gifts for Grandmas...I know a few who would proudly wear the names of their grandbabies around their necks! :) Along with the name bar necklace that I chose, there are also nameplate necklaces, circle pendants, charm necklaces, bracelets, and more! And, if you order your Mother's Day jewelry by April 29th you will get free shipping on a guaranteed delivery before May 13th!

This company is so wonderful, that they teamed up with me to giveaway a bar necklace just like mine to one of my amazing readers! Just go to my instagram to enter to win! The contest ends Sunday, April 15th at 9:00 PM PST and I will announce the winner Monday the 16th! :)

Until next time! XoXoXo

Two Months With Natalie

Monday, April 9, 2018

I'm not sure where time has gone, but my tiny little miracle is already 2 months old! She's starting to be so much fun with her little gummy grin and coos. Her last appointment was two weeks ago and she was 9 lbs 12 oz and 20.75 inches, so she's probably grown a little more since then! I packed away all her preemie and newborn clothes (tears!) and she is officially rocking the 3 month wardrobe. I can't remember life without this little munchie...there's no way it was as sweet! :)

We started off Natalie's second month of life with her bellybutton finally healing, so she got to have her first real bath!

She also had her 1 month pictures taken with sissy at her first photo shoot which she, of course, cried through most of. ;)

A week later, Natalie got to go on her first road trip to San Diego to attend her Auntie Nicole's wedding which she, of course, slept through most of! (Gotta love 5 week olds!) 

A couple weeks after that, she got all dressed up for Daddy's graduation from the Firefighter Academy! We are all so excited for this new crazy change to our's going to be quite the amazing adventure! 

Then, a couple days later, Natalie got to celebrate her second first holiday...Easter! Baylee had the best time opening her basket for her, and they wore matching Easter dresses to dinner that evening.

I love this little babe more than I could ever explain! It's been so much fun to watch her personality start to shine through. I can already tell she's more quiet and reserved than big sis, and that she's going to take her time with milestones. By this age, Baylee was already rolling from belly to back and could prop herself on her forearms during tummy time. Natalie has shown no desire to roll and is perfectly content during tummy time just lifting her head slightly and kicking her legs while she coos quietly. I don't mind one bit though, and I kind of hope she takes her time growing up. :)  

Until next time! XoXoXo


Friday Favorites: Bathing Beauties

Friday, April 6, 2018

My girls got new bathing suits in their Easter baskets this year, and we are so excited for warmer weather so we can finally go for a swim! I thought I would round up a few of my favorites for toddler and baby girls this season! :) 
Clockwise from top left:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Now if only I could find a suit I love on my still very post partum bod! 😉

Where are your favorite places to shop for girls' and mamas' swim suits? 

Until next time! XoXoXo