Mamahood Styled



6/15/2018

//Ikea Dresser Makeover with My O'verlays! //



I've been getting a lot of inquiries regarding our new bedroom dresser that I posted in my Instagram stories! It's the ever-so-popular Hemmes dresser from Ikea!
 They were having a $50 off sale and we bought it in this red-brown color finish that didn't meet our style needs but was definitely the style dresser we wanted. 

We bought a new bed that is a beautiful velvet blue color and painted the dresser to match. But the real transformation came from discovering O'verlays. They make incredibly high quality panels in different shapes and sizes to literally transform your Ikea furniture pieces, taking them to a whole 'nother level! We chose their brand new Blaire Kit and painted it gold, then adhered it to the drawer fronts.




& voila:






It seriously upgraded our room and dresser and looks so chic and timeless in our bedroom! I want to do these kits for all of our Ikea furniture! It truly is such a fun and easy way to dress up all your pieces. The website is super easy to use and the customer service is top-notch which is always a win! 
Image result for ikea hemnes dresser red wood

AFTER

5/10/2018

// a letter to my baby girl...//



Dear Luna,

I realize I haven’t written to you since before you were born. I’ve been thinking back so much on our journey to get you earthside and how my life has changed through the process. I wish you could already understand how special you are, how every time I look into your eyes, I feel saved & truly believe you are the missing piece to our family puzzle. 

The last three months have been a very trying time for me. I have not been present for you and your brother the way I should be, the way I imagined i would be and daydreamed our lives would be like. I couldn’t wait to be over the PTSD caused by IVF, I couldn’t wait to finally have our home together, but even then, I have fallen apart...hard. I’ve been consumed by the anxiety and depression that have entered my heart and mind. I’ve tried so hard to be present, to erase what my mind and heart feel, compartmentalize and separate, and just let my admiration for your presence receive the amount of my energy it rightfully deserves. But I’ve failed so often lately. And I’m so, so, so sorry. & while I’m well aware that you won’t ever remember this- that all you’ll know is that your Mami held you tight and loved you immensely, i am still so very sorry.  I am grateful for your littleness to guard your own feelings from this time in my own life, but I am fighting to be the me you deserve. You’re so new and I can’t wait until you consistently have me; the better me. I promise you, baby girl, I am working so hard to do so. And I have faith in myself that I am taking the steps daily to do so. 

This period of my life has me thinking so much about you, my sweet girl. I wonder what obstacles you will face and how you will handle them. While I know you will experience sadness and disappointments throughout your beautiful life, I pray you are better at handling them than I have been lately. I’ve been through sooo much heartache my whole life, baby girl, but i have always been able to have a positive mental attitude and stay focused on blessings; & this period of my life feels equally hard or at times even harder than other hardships, especially with so much... one after another. & i want so much more for you...

Here are some hopes and wishes for you, Luna Baby: 

I pray you always hold your head up high, stay true to yourself, and believe your heart and soul in all that you do. You will make mistakes, you will fall, and sometimes you won’t know how to get back up. I pray you always lean on your family and have an extended support system who will love you unconditionally; we will listen to you, cheer you on when you’re right, and help you rectify when you’re wrong, but you will have our support when you need it most. I pray your voice is always heard & never thought of as unworthy of being listened to, your feelings validated, and you learn to communicate soundly. I pray you learn to listen, truly, with both your mind and your heart, and always give grace, for yourself and others. Don’t be quick to judge (I know it's human nature but you will find yourself eating your words at some point because no one is perfect, including you, baby girl), and watch what you say- a heart can forgive but may have trouble forgetting hurtful words (and never repeat what you hear about yourself, making it negative self-talk, because you may start to doubt yourself and believe them), and never, ever wish ill upon anyone. Unfortunately, you may be on the receiving end at times, but I hope you know your own worth and continue to give grace. Base your relationships on personal experiences, don't follow the crowd and don't pull anyone into yours.  I pray you open your heart to kindness, forgiveness, love, and healthy relationships. Surround yourself by kindred souls who will also lift you when you need it most and when I’m not present. Communicate how you feel, even if you feel like a broken record that doesn’t make sense, and when they offer their shoulder to lean on, do so. Let them cry with you. Cherish them always and be there for them indefinitely; I realize you will have times you are alone, by choice and by default, but i hope you don’t ever feel lonely or ostracized or get consumed by negativity, whether from others or from yourself; no one is deserving of that and I hope you know better than to serve that. Don't be passive-aggressive, it can really hurt someone. I know you will make mistakes along the way and as much as I wish I could protect you from the real world, I know I can’t. But know that even when you make mistakes, it’s okay to cry, reflect, be honest, and be heard. Don't punish yourself repeatedly. Take ownership and be aware of lessons taught. Be patient with yourself and others. Don't be afraid to disagree, but do so respectfully; there are very few instances in life that are black and white- so be aware that the grey area brings forth different opinions and that's okay.  Be courteous to others, don’t ignore people or your feelings, communicate them. Give everyone the opportunity to be heard; there will be a time you will want your voice valued, too. If you see someone in pain, reach out to them. Just be a nice human. Say sorry and mean it and let your actions show that. Clarify your words when they become misconstrued; Mean what you say, say what you mean, but don't say it mean. You never know what other people are going through, so be nice, smile and greet them- a simple ‘hi’ can mean the world to someone, and it takes so much more energy not to (at least for me). Tell them they can sit with you. Your likelihood of your heart being broken, by a boyfriend, by a friend, by me...is very, very likely. Your heart will (eventually) heal, but I pray you get the opportunity to gain closure and not hold grudges- they lead you to dark places. When you break hearts, I hope it's not intentional. There will be relationships that are amazing in your life, and will have ebbs and flows but last a lifetime. There will be others who serve their purpose for a page in your book. There will be those you wish loved you as much as you love them, and vice versa. There will be those you say you can't imagine life without them, and when they are no longer in your life, it will hurt daily. For those, I hope they are worth working at. There are just some people in life you don't give up on. Unconditionally. Don't ever rob someone of their presence- they are not invisible, so don't treat them as such. You are worth it- and there may be times when someone doesn't think so and it will hurt your soul but know that you are absolutely worthwhile. Through all of this, know your character, integrity and morals- you define these by your consistent and continuous actions- not anyone else. You will find so much power in being female, use it to empower yourself, empower others, especially other girls- find your tribe and love them hard, but neve join forces to be mean girls.  Follow the Golden Rule that is our family rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated, respect yourself and others, and work to be selfless and compassionate. There will be times when you have to be selfish but never do it to bring someone down. Always work towards being a better version of yourself but appreciate yourself, too. 

While I do hope you are in touch with your feelings, I hope you are not as sensitive and over-analytical as me, but i do hope you inherit the carefree (from your brother and daddy) yet empathetic qualities we also have. I hope you don’t give up on who you are, what your heart and soul are made of, to your truth. You are enough, baby girl. I absolutely hope you’re a much, much better, patient, stronger version of me. Know that I am working hard at being the happy mess I’ve always been and finding peace in my mind and heart again to be the fun Mami you deserve. You are worth it...& I realize you there will be a time in our lives when I won’t be your most favorite person, but I think that’s the role I signed up for when Diosito made me your Mami. I hope i raise you to not need this advice because it will just be absolutely innate for you, but know i will remind you of it often, and use it myself, as I’m using it now. I don't always follow these but I really, really want and am practicing them daily, while others are truly innate for me. I want to be an overall better mother, wife, daughter, friend, & role model. My beautiful soul, you are everything to me, to us. & I promise you, you are beyond loved & worthwhile & I am bettering myself to be your example, baby girl. 

Love you to the Luna y más,

Mami 

"In my daughter's eyes,I am a hero,I am strong and wise,And I know no fear,But the truth is plain to see,She was sent to rescue me,I see who I want to be,In my daughter's eyesIn my daughter's eyes,Everyone is equal,Darkness turns to light,And the world is at peace,This miracle God gave to me,Gives me strength when I am weak,I find reason to believe,In my daughter's eyesAnd when she wraps her hand around my finger,How it puts a smile in my heart,Everything becomes a little clearer,I realize what life is all about,It's hanging on when your heart is had enough,It's giving more when you feel like giving up,I've seen the light,It's in my daughter's eyesIn my daughter's eyes,I can see the future,A reflection of who I am and what will be,And though she'll grow and someday leave,Maybe raise a family,When I'm gone I hope you'll see,How happy she made me,For I'll be there,In my daughter's eyes"


4/19/2018

// little spoon organic: baby blends delivery service //


I am so excited to share all about Little Spoon Organic!! They are a homemade baby food delivery service delivered to your doorstep. Every ingredient is organic, non-GMO, and specifically selected by a team of experts- this includes a pediatrician, dietitian, & nutrionist! They've tailored each meal to meet the needs of our individual baby's developmental needs. Each Babyblend comes with its own little spoon, and packed with the micro and macro nutrients our babies need at their specific age!

I'll be updating this post with more info and pictures as we go through our first delivery but I just had to share because I received sooo many messages inquiring about it since I posted. With Oliver, I made every single food he consumed, with Luna, second child syndrome hit me hard and I haven't carved out the time to consistently do it! We practiced a combination of baby led weaning and purees with both, so to be completely honest, this is a lifesaver! My biggest push towards this was that they point out the shelf life of store bought baby foods- yuck! Also, these blends sound so vibrant, delicious and adventurous for a baby's palette!

Here is a link: Little Spoon Organic that does give me credit if you purchase, so feel free to use it, and for a limited time get 15% off using code TRYBABYBLENDS15 !!!

xoxo



2/14/2018

Playing with Oliver & the Osmo Pizza Co. Game!


Last night, Oliver opened up his Valentine's Day Eve gift: the Osmo Pizza Co. Game! As soon as he saw the packaging he exclaimed "OSMO!!!!" I asked him how he knew what it was and he said because of the letters "O-S-M-O means Osmo! I've seen it before!" I'm not sure what ad he saw but he knew exactly what it was and was so excited to play with it!
The debate on whether technology is good for our littles, how much screen time to give them, and what they should learn from is a hot topic. For me, as a mother and educator, I take an all-in-moderation approach. Just like the foods that we consume, I want my child to be exposed to a little bit of everything in healthy doses. Technology is an integral part of our daily lives and quite honestly, it saves me from time to time as a busy mom who sometimes needs a time out or the entertainment to get things done! But I try to stay well aware of what my child is watching and continuously educate him on what is appropriate (so much so that he will come and tell me that he shouldn't be watching certain things because "they are not being kind" or "they used mean words." With that being said, I want my child to be a learner of the present and future (just like my students). I'm all for technology that allows my child to be creative, explore coding, learn, and think outside the box. 

If you haven't heard about Osmo, it is an educational system to use on your iPad or iPhone- it has different programs you can collect that help kids learn educational concepts like coding, math, reading, art, music, etc. The particular system Oliver has is the Pizza Co. Game which centralizes its educational approach on fostering kids' social-emotional learning, money, math and owning a business. I first let Oliver explore the game as is, and it quickly introduced the premise- he is left to run a pizza shop and has to make his customers happy by getting their orders correct and giving them the correct change. While, Oliver is really good at math already, he required assistance with it. You see, the characters don't speak, captions show up on the screen and you can decipher what they are saying by their gestures and the graphics on screen. I ended up changing it to Junior Mode to see if he could do it on his own!

It was so neat to see his face light up when he realized his actions could be seen. He was able to successfully fill his customers' orders by paying attention to the graphics and visual cues! I'm a total visual and kinesthetic learner, and I think my kid is, too- we learn by seeing and doing. He was able to manipulate the pieces and pay attention to the characters' cues and expressions; this non-verbal communication is so key to relationships- I'm so glad Osmo thought of that, too! Every year on Valentines, we make or order a heart-shaped pizza and I'm already thinking his new Osmo Pizza Co. game will make an appearance!  I'm excited to continue exploring this game and growing our Osmo collection! 







#OsmoPizzaLove

Image result for osmo pizza co

1/18/2018

// breastfeeding + pumping 101 //

I have been receiving a lot of messages lately inquiring about breastfeeding/pumping tips. I feel pretty well versed in this, as I struggled immensely with both babies but was able to maintain a positive breastfeeding journey with both! I ended up nursing Oliver until past a year and a half and my goal with Luna is to make it 1 year (we are at the 5 month mark now). Please keep in mind that these tips worked for me and each baby is different (case and point: my Oliver and my Luna are night and day with their nursing). Also, #fedisbest, so do you, boo!

Both Oliver and Luna were born with lip ties AND tongue ties which made is incredibly painful (I'm talking legit excruciating, toe-curling-razor blades every time they latched on- pain- and then it continued throughout gulp of milk attempt)! With Oliver, it took a bit for anyone to believe that his tongue/lip ties were issues (including his pediatrician at the time, the hospital ENT, and two nurses)- but eventually, I found a lactation consultant that I skyped with from New York, as well as my own LC, and we found a specialist in San Diego who solved it all for us! Because it had been a couple of months, we had to take Oliver to the chiropractor and massage therapist for sacral cranial therapy to help re-teach him to use his mouth properly! With Luna, I knew exactly what to look for and to advocate for us! The hospital pediatrician told me her tie was nothing but I was already in so much pain that I knew I needed it fixed. A second pediatrician came in and told me not to worry about it. But I knew this had a solution (and can totally see why many mamas are told not to worry about it and end up struggling so much)! At 5 days old, she had the procedure done and unfortunately, it didn't fix anything. I had to take her back 3 days later because her tongue tie was actually deeper but immediately after she latched on, I felt a difference! Yay to their amazing Pediatric Dentist who did it locally!

Tip #1: breastfeeding should NOT be excruciatingly painful! Look for lip and tongue ties and know that not all doctors will agree with you. 

With Oliver, I started pumping immediately (while at the hospital) because I was so nervous my milk wouldn't come in and I'd starve my baby. I ended up creating an oversupply and foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that I swear is worse than an undersupply. The positive of this was that even after I stopped nursing him, I had SO much milk and was able to feed him for so much longer and share with whomever needed some. With Luna, I didn't start pumping until she was about a month old and I only pumped once a day early in the morning when I was most full, in order to start a back-to-work stash. I was careful not to create an oversupply and really stick to supply and demand!

Tip #2: decide when you will start pumping and don't go overboard with too much, too fast. Let your body regulate your baby's needs, especially in the beginning. Once your milk supply is established, pump as you need. (Think: are you pumping so someone else can feed the baby and you can get a break? or are you saving for a rainy day or back to work?) You just want to be mindful that the more you pump, the more your body will produce- supply and demand!

With Oliver, I had a huge supply, I would pump and get enough for at least 2 bottles, maybe even 3! With Luna, I'm lucky if I get enough for 1 bottle, sometimes 1.5. Once in a great while, I get enough for 2 bottles. They each took 4 ounces starting at 3 months and that amount did not increase over time. Breastmilk changes to meet the baby's demands- from fattier to lighter for their needs. It's freaking amazing!! Oliver clusterfed ALL THE TIME, while Luna clusterfed for the first 6-8 weeks and then went to every 2-3 hours and is still the same; she currently takes 3-4 oz in a feeding. Oliver also comfort nursed 24/7; Luna gets mad if she's tired and I try to nurse her, haha! Again, each baby is so different. Oliver still has trouble going and staying asleep, never slept through the night; Luna slept 6 straight hours the night we brought her home and always has given us a long stretch through the night (with an off night every now and then). The one thing that has been true for both, and I think applies for the majority of babies, is supply and demand- the more you put your baby to the breast, the more your body will produce. Don't worry if your baby is feeding every hour on the hour (or if your baby feeds for only 10 min- ahem, Luna; or for 45 minutes- ahem, Oliver), your body is producing what they need- even if they are hungry right after! I find that we freak out and think they are starving and we are not making enough, but 9/10 times we are! But we get so worried that we think otherwise. Also, remember that your baby's stomach is marble sized when it is born and your milk is super filling so a little goes a long way! Lots of skin-to-skin, take a stay-at-home-nursing-vacay where all you do nurse that baby around the clock!

Tip #3: if you want your body to produce more milk, put your baby to your breast as often as possible- preferably skin-to-skin. & try hard not to overthink anything! If your baby wants on all the time, it's what your baby may need at the time. Always look at wet diapers and that your baby is gaining a bit at each weigh in.

Having great products also helps, but there's so much on the market, it's hard to decide what to buy AND what will your body respond to. The two things that are tried and true are toooons of water (I'm talking if you think you drink enough, you need more; I shoot for a gallon a day and sometimes I need more than that); you also need a well-balanced way of eating. There are so many foods that are said to boost your supply and a quick Google search will lead you there. Aside from those two things, you need a good pump (I swear by my Spectra S1- it's a closed-system, rechargeable, and so much more gentle than the Medela Pump-in-Style I used with Oliver, which mostly everyone uses but I really don't care for). It's important to make sure your flanges fit properly (when I was using flanges, I had to buy different ones to fit me) and you will need a hands-free pumping bra! I don't currently use flanges; instead I use Freemie cups which fit into my regular nursing bra or sports bra and I don't have to change in and out of my bra and top every pump! I love them except for them not being super clear so sometimes I have to readjust multiple times to make sure the right part is being pumped, haha! I've also learned to start my pump before I put them on so I can instantly see what part is being sucked in (otherwise, if it pump the wrong part, you'll end up with zero milk). I also don't trust it's measuring so after I pump, I put them in a bottle, then a  storage bag. I pump on the way to work, and twice during my work day. I pump for 15-20 minutes max each time. Medela makes awesome wipes for your pump parts and a sanitizer ziplock bag that is amazing because you can sanitize it in the microwave! Lanisoh storage bags are my favorite but I don't like pumping into them- I I also use separate washing brushes for all my breast pump and bottles! An extra set of pump parts is always nice if you are pumping while at work, too- not necessary for just the occasional pumping though! When storing my milk, I only store in 4 oz or less amounts. My favorite bottles are Comotomo! I used them for both O and Lulu! If I am consistently not pumping enough, I power pump- google it so you can learn all about it!! Also, a silicone manual pump works amazing at catching the other side, especially in the beginning when your supply is all over the place and your milk isn't regulated.

Tip #4: Be ready to pump with the right pump, flanges, and parts! 

A support system while breastfeeding and pumping is key to your relationship with this, too! Of course, having the support of your partner and/or family is great! But stay true to what you want to do. This includes your admin if you are working! Know your state laws and don't be afraid to use them. When I was nursing Oliver, I had my own office and could come and go as I pleased so I didn't inconvenience anyone. Now that I'm teaching, I felt SO bad inconveniencing anyone to cover my class in order to pump but everyone has been SO supportive and willing to help!
In the first few weeks post-birth, I went to multiple Lactation Consultants even though I was super familiar with nursing- I don't know all that there is to know and I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything (although I'm sure I still am)! So before you leave the hospital, meet with one and then make appointments with ones in your community! They are angels!
I had stocked up on foods that boost supply and a few supplements as well! I did get my placenta made into pills and I am unsure if they helped or not, but I would do it again! I also used Oat Mama bars and absolutely loved them! Tasty and with milk boosting ingredients, plus gave me the extra calories needed for breastfeeding! Also, Mother's Milk tea! I have also become super familiar with www.kellymom.com which is so beneficial for so many questions I have had. I also follow a Lactation Consultant on IG that gives great tips!

Tip #5: Create a great support system for yourself!
Build a good support system at home, work (if applicable), with a Lactation Consultant, & friends online! Become familiar with supplements and real foods to boost your supply, and know that you are not alone! Breastfeeding and pumping are a lot of work (at least for me) and pumping is super inconvenient for my lifestyle but I make it work because it's what I want to do for my baby. But again, do you, boo! I've spoken numerous times about why I pump/nurse and they are exclusive to me. Don't feel that this is the only way, some great formulas exist out there- heck, I'm a formula baby and came out really healthy! Haha! Seriously, decide what it is you want and go for it!

I hope these tips help! I can talk about breastfeeding for hours, but I think this is a good overview! Let me know if you have any questions!

xoxo,
J
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