Baby Must-Haves: Binxy + Ollie

Hello January! Another month passing and baby Evalyn is another month older. I’m going to keep calling her baby cause I know I won’t be able too sooner than later.

Evalyn turns 8 months and it’s oh so bitter-sweet. I often find myself looking through pictures of previous months, that are filled with sweet memories and a lot of growth…for the both of us. This whole first time-mom thing is not easy. You can read endless blogs, reviews, and buy a bunch of products, only to find that your baby is very different and from others. Thankfully I have used a lot of recommendations that have worked for me (like the DockATot) but I know this is something I am constantly learning.

So in light of that, I am sharing a couple baby products that we have been using that seemed to work well for us- in the past few months, which I hope will work for you too!

These products were received complementary for testing purposes. This is my honest review, and I always work with brands that personal suit and enhance my niche.

Baby Must Have #1: Binxy Baby

Have you ever heard of this handy cart hammock? Well, this has been a BIG help for me when I have to run out to get a bunch of groceries, without worrying about making two trips or overloading my stroller (cause I’ve been there, done that!). The Binxy works so well for us, and from the moment I put Evalyn in it, she definitely seemed impressed. She was very interested being placed in a new setting, being oo-ed and aww-ed by literally every passing stranger and was easily entertained by the surrounding colours and me (of course!). Oh, and did I mention how much my easier my target trips just got? I love making my rounds at every department at Target which means that items easily add up, so this just made my life 10x easier with when it comes to any shopping trip! A mama-outing must-have!

Just a few points about this awesome Binxy product:

  • It fits most standard grocery store carts, Target being one of them (and a favorite if you haven’t noticed).
  • Holds car seat and supports up to 50 pounds in weight. It has all the buckles and straps to secure your car seat so down fret, mama! I personally like putting baby Ev in the hammock, she gets really excited about the change.
  • Used for babies approximately 6-8 months until they sit up on their own. The last time I used this was last week when we got back from our 3 week family vacation. Our fridge and pantry were completely empty! I made a one-stop shop at a nearby grocery store and loaded up on everything. Ev was much more curious and active at this age so I made sure to keep my eye on her at all times. For safety reasons, that was probably the last use, because Ev has outgrown it. But, I definitely plan on saving it for next baby. 🙂
  • Safety tested: make sure to always buckle up your baby with the provided straps! You know as easily as I do that accident can happen in a blink of an eye or just looking over for a second! It’s always better safe than sorry.

So if you’re looking for convenience and functionality for your shopping trips, make sure to try this Binxy hammock out. You can thank me later. 😉


Baby Must Have #2: The Ollie

Evalyn was born mid-May, in So Cal- meaning already hot-beach weather, so I never knew the importance of swaddling a baby at an early stage. But after reading different sleep training aids, and advice from other moms, I came to realize how important swaddling is for babies- especially in the early months. Well you know what they say, it’s never too early to start! So I started using this swaddle for Ev’s day naps in conjunction with the DockATot and I found that it helped with longer naps, and it kept Ev warm without having to worry about giving her a blanket. There was a period of time where she liked to pull the blanket over her face so ever since then I was very uneasy about letting her sleep with a blanket for naps/bed. And that’s where this Ollie comes in handy!

Here are a few great things about the Ollie product:

  • It’s made from custom moisture-wicking material to reduce the risk of overheating. We definitely needed this feature for our hot climate!
  • Custom fit to allows for fit to be individualized to meet the needs and size of each little one. Because of its design, it’s easily assembled and adjustable (comes with velcro pads) as baby grows, and is a “one-fits-all” size.
  • It’s easy to access diaper changes accessible through the opening at the bottom.
  • Therapeutic benefits ease the transition from the womb, self-soothing, and improves quality of sleep. I also like that it’s an extra layer over the baby while they sleep.

For more tips and FAQ about this product, check it out here. Oh, and how cute is the box that it comes with it? I’m definitely keeping it as a keep sake.

So go on, and try out whatever works for your baby. It’s a very personal thing for you and your baby. It may take a few trails, but once you find what works, be consistent. 🙂

Have a great week!

XO. I.P.

5 New Year Goals of a Busy Christian Mom

January is all about setting goals, right? At least it is for me … year after year I always say this year I’ll start working out … or read more … or do this more, or that more (you get the picture).

But this year I’m all about being realistic. Sure, I want to set goals, but I want to be honest with myself and what I think I’m capable of doing – with the Lord’s strength of course :).

Honestly, I’ve always been a procrastinator. I’m the type to stay up all hours of the night studying or finishing that school paper that is due the next day. The type to start reading ten books that I never finish. That’s me. Well, that WAS me until I had a baby. Yeah, you read right, I’m not so much a procrastinator anymore … although I do have my moments of weakness, I can happily say that I have become more disciplined in many aspects of my life since I had Evalyn.

Now you’re probably thinking that my baby is an angel … well that’s not necessarily true. I have to say I am blessed with her because she is really chill and content for the most part, but for the longest time she would only nap for 30 minute intervals 1-2 times a day … until I got the Dock-a-Tot (read more about it here). Plus, we don’t live close to any family so I’m on full duty all day (until dada gets home), so the only alone time I have is when baby is sleeping. I know it’s a lot of info, but I want you to understand where I’m coming from, since I know many of you are in the same (or very similar situations). Yet somehow (by the grace of God), I am more disciplined now then when I didn’t have a baby. I guess it has something to do with my days being more structured and knowing I have less time for myself (which I don’t mind). Because I have so much less time, it forces me to focus on what is most important, and to make time for those things first. It is true that you are as busy as you make yourself.

With that in mind, I decided to make a few new year’s resolutions that I hope to maintain for this new year – even in the business of motherhood. We one-time mommas know how busy our days can get, I can’t imagine how much more so with two, three, four, or more kids in the picture! But I know little changes in my routine will go a long way in increasing my spiritual growth. Spending time reading/studying God’s Word leads to a renewing of mind, and an improving of behavior. This is true for all of God’s people – including you too, momma!

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

5 New Year Goals of a Busy Christian Mom

1. Buy a daily planner and use it:

I’m so bad at doing this; I always love buying a cute planner each year but have such a hard time using it on a daily basis. So this is my goal for the year. I am going to try to structure my days and write down all my goals, prayer requests, and verse of the day to keep my days as organized (and God-focused and Christ-centered as possible).

Here are some cute planners for some inspiration:


2. Read through the whole Bible in one year:

I know this one is a little cliche, isn’t it? But seriously, no more excuses, for me at least. In the past few months, I started a good and practical reading schedule each morning – its either when I wake up and baby is busy playing with toys, or when baby takes her late morning nap. There is always that short quiet time in my day that I have to myself (in my case I only have one baby so it’s doable). And if I don’t manage to fit in a time during my day, I try to get my reading in the evening when baby is down for bed. I don’t want to make it seem like this is something I am doing out of habit, rather it’s something that I desire and aspire to! Reading Gods word is SO refreshing. It feeds my restless soul, and the truths gives me hope and peace for each day. Even a 10-15 minute read does wonders for me. I highly recommend you mommas try it out. To help me out with this, I started reading “The John MacArthur Daily Bible” which has been an extremely beneficial resource to get me reading the bible in one year! This is not a devotional, rather the Bible broken up with an Old Testament passage, Psalm, Proverbs, and New Testament passage too. It even comes with notes in the margin that help unfold difficult parts of scripture. AND a section of weekly devotionals for the year with selective scripture. As useful and convenient daily devotionals are, nothing compares to reading Gods word on a daily basis – try making that a priority in your life! Ps. I’m not here trying to advertise this Bible, it’s simply something that worked for me, and I hope will be a blessing to you too.

Click here for the Daily Bible I use.

Other great resources (some of which I have):


3. Be a little selfless each day:

Motherhood is selfless enough … right? Well, how about a little more? What about struggling friends and family, or someone you bumped into at the grocery store who is in need of prayer? Personally, when I focus more on other peoples problems, I forget how “big” mine may seem. I like to make a list of prayer requests and date them to help me remember. And this is where my planner comes in handy too! I like to make a weekly/daily note on who I’m praying for. This also helps me stay in prayerful thought throughout the day. I’ll be honest, I’m not too good at sitting down and praying for too long, I get very distracted. So in conjunction with that, I like to pray in my car rides (when baby is asleep, yay!), while washing dishes, and whenever I have moments of silence. It soothes my soul.


4. Make healthy choices one sip at a time:

Honestly, I NEVER liked working out or going to the gym for that matter … such a chore! Instead, I like making healthy food choices and finding ways to cleanse my body naturally. I have been doing this for a while on and off. Lately, I like to drink warm lemon water every morning. Lemon does wonders for your body- like boosting your immune system, and helping with weight loss (read more here). It leaves me feeling refreshed and I know it’s doing good to my body. You know what they say, you are what you eat!


5. Join a women’s Bible study:

I mentioned this before in a previous post, How To Be Joyful in Motherhood, but I want to say it again! Ever since I joined, my life has never been the same. I have a weekly study that helps motivate me to be in God’s Word. I’m also encouraged by other women going through the same life trials as I am – the fellowship is so sweet. As great as my husband is at encouraging me, it’s also nice to be connected with women who understand the daily difficulties/hardships of motherhood experiences. It’s also a great excuse to doll yourself up and get out the house … and it breaks up the week nicely since mine happens to be on a Wednesday :)!


Ps. If you’re reading this and feel a little disheartened ’cause you can’t seem to manage anything on this list because of how hectic your life is now, don’t let that bring you down. Let your heart be at peace, God knows the seasons in your life and the struggles that come with it, because He is sovereign, and has ordained both! Do what you can do enjoy the good days, and take advantage of those days where you do have a little more time by spending them in study. Don’t worry about the difficult days, or the days where you don’t have time for yourself (and your study). God understands, because He has ordained both. What’s important is for you to remain joyful and worshipful always!

 In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider— God has made the one as well as the other. Ecclesiastes 7:14

I hope this inspires you mommas, to rejoice in the year ahead! Every day is a blessing, choose your battles, enjoy the small things, and live your life abundantly.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Your fellow Momma for God’s glory,

XO I.P.

STYLED: Open Shoulder Sweater

So what’s trending? I’ll tell you…open shoulder sweaters and balloon sleeves this season! I wish I could say it’s sweater weather here in SoCal but it’s more like summer. And I never thought I’d say this…but I’m really dreaming of a white Christmas….just like the ones I used to know- cliche I know, but this hot weather makes me want to go to the beach instead of getting in the Christmas spirit! Cause it’s ever so hot here with the unusual heat waves we are experiencing and all I want to do is wear cozy socks, throw on my sweater and feel like it’s Christmas. 🙂

I’m sure you noticed that open shoulder styles were BIG for the past year, but they’re still hot now…only this season it’s all about sweaters. I love this open shoulder sweater from Pink Blush. The material is so cozy, it’s a pretty nude colour (that goes with everything), and I love the balloon sleeves that work so well with this style. I styled it with my favorite (faux) leather pants and some lace-up heels. What do you guys think?

  

This is our dress down look. As fun as it is to wear dresses and look super girly, while always matching, of course, it’s also fun to dress down, casual and cozy. Also, another BIG trend this season is pom-poms (anything), we’ve got our pom-pom obsession going on too. Now, can the cool weather paaaaalease show up in So Cal? Cause let’s be honest, this outfit didn’t stay on for too long, hehe. 😉

Stay tuned! I’ll be chatting about my favorite pom-pom trends soon, too.

Shop my look:

Shop baby’s look:


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XO I.P.

Essentail Oils and Babies

Evalyn Mae is 7 months today! Give me a second while I tear up. Seriously, while living in baby-land the last 7 months, the time has been going by at hyper speed. Can any other mama’s relate?

Well by now you probably know that I love sharing monthly updates on what I’ve been using on baby Ev that have been effective. I’m always searching to treat my precious babe with home remedies, safe homeopathic alternatives, and essential oils. At least I try. I personally try to avoid taking any sort of medication unless it’s my last resort. The truth is that any prescription, and OTC medication that goes into your body, will always have a side effect either now or down the road, so I try to avoid them as much as possible… and now, so much more when it comes to baby.

There is so much to be said when it comes to essential oils. So I have partnered up with an expert, Kayla who will share a lot about the effectiveness, safety, and uses of essential oils, mainly in babies. As moms, we all want what’s best for our babies, and I strongly believe essential oils are a great way to treat, maintain, and benefit your baby’s overall health.

I have asked 10 concerning questions when it comes to essential oils that Kayla so descriptively answered. I have learned that although there are SO many great things about essential oils, you have to be wise on how you use them, cause like anything, moderation is key, especially when it comes to a baby. Also, Kayla is hosting a Facebook class tomorrow where she shares a “Baby Class” on everything you need to know about essential oils and babies in further depth, a chance to ask questions and receive answers on the spot (since the class will be live), and where to purchase any, if interested. But if you have any more questions, feel free to reach out.

10 Q & A on Babies and Essential Oils

1. Which Essential Oils are safe for baby?

Most of all essential oils can be beneficial for baby.  Here are a few that I would say use with caution (not using repeatedly or on a regular basis).These include:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Basil
  • Juniper
  • Peppermint
  • Hyssop
  • Wintergreen

Also, something to keep in  mind:
“Children are in general more delicate and some oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint have very strong smells which can, in rare cases, lead to respiratory distress.  Be careful when wearing strong smelling oils, diffusing or using around a newborn or young child.  Babies also have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults, and tend to be very sensitive to the potency of essential oils.  Diluting with a natural lotion is always a good choice.” – Debra Rayburn, Gentle Babies


2. Is it safe to keep an Essential Oil diffuser in the same room where baby sleeps?

YES! We love diffusing in the nursery for nap time and bed time! Diffusing helps create a calming, peaceful atmosphere that can help induce sleep. Breathing in essential oils directly influences the control center of the brain, the hypothalamus.  This area sends instructions through our body concerning sleep patterns, mood, behavior, appetite, and the release of certain hormones.


3. Where are the best areas on baby’s body to apply Essential Oils?
I started off applying eo’s on the bottom of my son’s feet. Place drops of oils into a bowl, in a roller, or in your hand and add your carrier oil, my favorite is either fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil.  Always dilute when applying oils on infants and children.  When beginning topical use, it is wise to start slowly on the bottoms of the feet and gradually test on other areas for sensitivity. Now my son is 7 months old and I roll his Lullaby roller on his feet, behind his ears, down his spine, and on his chest. His Lullaby roller is 5 drops Lavender and 5 drops Frankincense topped off with FCO in a 10 ml roller, it’s perfect for calming and immune boosting!


4. Which EO’s are helpful for sleep training?
Lots! Here are a few of our favorite oils and blends:
SLEEPYIZE:
Y’all need this oil, especially for kiddos! It is so relaxing and peaceful, and it already comes with a carrier oil in the bottle as part of the Kidscents line—perfectly formulated for use on littles (although adults like it too!). Roll on the bottoms of their little feet before bed, and/or down their spine.

LAVENDER:
It is so lovely and calming, and is such a great oil to use for sleep training!
Diffuse it at night, and add it to rollers for topical application.

GENTLE BABY:
This is an oil that invites a sense of calming for both baby and adults alike! It is a blend of some of the dreamiest oils, including rose, lavender, lemon, roman chamomile, geranium, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and palmarosa. That is pretty much pure magic in a bottle! Diffuse it and make a roller of just Gentle Baby for a dreamy nap and bed time experience.

SLEEPY TIME ROLLER:
I do 4 drops cedarwood, 4 drops orange, 4 drops lavender, and 3 drops vetiver, and fill the rest with a carrier oil in a 10 ml roller. It is seriously the best!!! Good for baby and mama!
 
DIFFUSER BLENDS:
It’s great to start with a calming blend in the evening as you begin your bed time routine and are getting ready to settle down. We also love to diffuse overnight as we sleep. It is such a wonderful support for everyone’s sleep.

Here are some of our favorite diffuser blends:

  • Cedarwood and orange
  • Peace & Calming (I or II) and orange
  • Gentle Baby and lavender
  • Dream Catcher
  • Roman Chamomile and frankincense

5. How early on can you start using EO’s on baby?
Staring at day one you can start, however, some prefer to wait a week or two until both baby and mama have figured out a few things like nursing. Mama’s own scent is very important for baby in those early days! I started at around two weeks old for my son. Here is a good guideline for ages and dilutions:

Babies: One day – 2 years old
Young LIving suggest ⅛ the labeled concentration of all oils on babies from ages 0-1.  Be sure to reference the safe list below to avoid oils not suggested for use under two before using a blend or single.
Toddler and Kiddos: Two – Six years old
Young LIving suggests ¼ the labeled concentration for children ages 2-6. Using carrier oils and lotions is also a great way to extend the use of your bottles! It’s great when you’re on a “mama” budget!

“Using oils neat or undiluted will create a tendency for the oil to evaporate more quickly.  Using  a carrier oil or lotion may also create a more sustained effect and reduce possible over-sensitivities especially in this age group.”

Kids ages 7-11
Young Living suggests ½ the labeled concentration for this age range.

Mama Tip:
When starting with oils, use one at a time always diluted to avoid overloading their system.  Slowly start to add in oils as they adjust. This is a great age for kids to start using their own blends.  Mix up their favorite oil for school or the oils that you use on them daily in a roller bottle and send them on their way.  Be sure to teach them oil safety and to apply oils to the feet first and always diluted.

Kids ages 12+
Young Living suggests full labeled concentration for kids ages 12+. At this age, kiddos will be used to applying oils and what oils are needed and when.  Be sure to teach them oil safety first and to start applying to the feet first.

Mama Tip:
Be aware of “Hot” oils such as Peppermint, Panaway, Thieves, and Oregano.  Hot oils feel icy/hot to the touch.  This can cause irritation of the skin and these oils should always be avoided around the eyes.  Be sure to not rub the eyes or around the eyes after applying hot oils.  We always suggest diluting hot oils no matter the age.


6. Why is it important to dilute EO’s
Diluting is “watering down” the potency of essential oils which is key for babies. Their skin is much more delicate so diluting is just what we do. It also helps stretch your bottle of oils. My favorite carrier oils to dilute with are fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil for rollers and regular (solid at room temp.) coconut oil for massaging onto my son’s skin.


7. Which EO’s are helping during teething?
COPAIBA! This oil is a MUST for teething! It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps the body’s natural response to injury and irritation. It helps numb the area it’s applied to and is known as the “Firefighter” putting out fires so to speak. Use it by itself or with clove. I made my son a roller with Copaiba and Clove topped off with FCO in a 2 ml roller and we use it when needed for teething relief.


8. Can EO’s help with common colds or fever?
The Kidscents line has a blend called Snifflease that we have come to love for whenever he is congested.  Use this in place of Vick’s vapor rub. It’s pre-diluted and ready to apply, I rub it on his chest and diffuse it for respiratory support. You can always rub it on their chest with coconut oil to stretch the bottle longer or if you are applying to a younger infant. Some other things we do to boost immune support during times of dealing with any crud is using Thieves household cleaner to clean allllllll the things in the house, everything! I love having the Thieves hand purifier in the diaper bag, in my car, and on the diaper changing table in his room.

Here are some of our favorite diffuser blends for immunity: (Using 2 drops of each)

  • Thieves, lemon, and frankincense
  • Tea tree, lemon, and lavender
  • Snifflease and lavender
  • German or Roman chamomile and R.C. (stands for respiratory care)
  • Sleepize and frankincense

9. Can EO’s be harmful if not used properly?
Yes, of course. As with anything if used improperly eo’s can be harmful.

However, “Sensitivities to YL’s essential oils are seen very rarely.  Typically, if sensitivities occur, the cause is either that a different brand of chemically adulterated oils used or because they were used in excess which simply overloaded the system.”-Quotes from Debra Rayburn, Gentle Babies


10. Which EO’s brand do you recommend? Why?
I have done a ton of research on this topic because I wanted to know that without a doubt the oils I use on my baby were the best!  I only suggest using Young Living essential oils since YL is the only company out there with the purest oils on earth! Do your research and I think you’ll be impressed to find how different Young Living is from the rest. Check out their Seed to Seal process at www.seedtoseal.com


Thank you, Kayla! And there you have it… an in depth overview of Essential Oil’s and babies. And if you’re interested in following what Kayla has to say on a daily basis regarding essential oils in everyday life, you can follow her on instagram! Here’s a little more on Kayla:

Kayla @floating.feather.essentials

My name is Kayla Williams. I am a wife and a new mama to the sweetest little boy ever! I was born and raised in Boise Idaho and I will probably never leave I love it here so much! I am apart of the best oily community of mamas bettering their families health on oil at a time! I originally bought my kit for sleep support and making my house smell good without the use of highly scented candles which gave my husband headaches because hello chemicals! Two weeks after ordering my starter kit I found out I was pregnant! I was now even more excited and determined to use my oils for everything in life- specially during my pregnancy, birth and on my baby. Fast forward to today my son is now 7 months old and I cannot imagine not having these amazing supportive oils in our life!

My favorite starter kit oil is a tie between Thieves, Frankincense and Stress Away, I mean come on I can’t just pick one!

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XO. I.P.

Dock-A-Tot Review

Today I’m sharing my honest review of the DockATot as a sleep aid for my baby! Honestly, this multi-function lounger is one of most essential baby products I have. I think as moms our biggest desire is to find anyway to get our babies to sleep through the night and take long naps during the day, can I get an Amen, mamas? It’s critical to our sanity, and how we function on a daily basis. You remember, don’t you? When mom is unhappy, everyone is unhappy.

What exactly is a DockATot?

The Dock A Tot is a multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper, and a playtime lounger. It’s made in Europe and designed in Sweden and is 100% cotton, all natural and breathable. It’s so effective (at any stage) because it reinvents the womb; it has been designed to offer a snug and soothing environment for babies. Babies can rest, play and lounge and it’s easy to move it around the house or travel with! It’s ideal micro-climate for babies and toddlers and helps transition toddlers to their bigger beds. Need I say more? It comes in two sizes; Deluxe for 0-8 Months, Grand 9-36 months. So if your toddler is not sleeping through the night still…there is hope for you too!

I love that this is a great lounger with an optional toy arch. It’s nice to keep baby entertained a little once in a while. Also, check out all the different designs available! I currently have the white and floral print, which I can easily interchange depending on my style/mood.

My Story

It has been a tough first 6 months for us since baby Evalyn was waking up 4-6 times a night! Yes, you read right. I honestly thought she would naturally and gradually learn to sleep on her own without any sleep aids, or sleep training. But that wasn’t the case for us. And it almost seemed like each month got worse to the point where I was waking up 5 TIMES consistently most nights. I was able to tolerate that for the first 5-ish months, but then the extreme fatigue started kicking in. I was getting restless, and my husband said it was time to try something. So what did I do? I got on Pinterest and starting reading a bunch of mama blogs on how to sleep train in a way that wasn’t heartbreaking. I tried different things, but nothing seemed to work, and I wasn’t ready to let my baby cry-it-out. I just couldn’t. So that’s when I came across the DockATot. After reading endless positive reviews, I knew it was worth a try. And it has been a huge improvement so far. Honestly, we are not exactly sleeping through the night yet… but there have been some big changes that have been so so helpful. Let me give you a quick background of Ev’s daytime/sleeping schedule before the DockATot became part of the family…

I was a little reluctant of the effectiveness because 1) Ev was already 6 months, 2) she was going through phases of teething- some days/weeks are worse than others, and 3) before the DockATot she only took 30 minute (max) naps throughout the day (usually 1-3 times) and it was difficult to get things done. So with those things in mind, I can say that there have been major improvements since we starting using the DockATot even from the first night.

That being said, I wanted to share a little insight…a 10-day diary of Ev’s first 10 days/nights using the DockATot. As you will notice, we saw changes in Ev’s sleeping/wake patterns, longer day naps (yay), and more consistency throughout.

10-day Dock-A-Tot Diary

Just a few notes: Ev’s bedtime is 7-7: 30 pm each night, we follow a bedtime routine (bath time, essential oil massage, and nursing before bed), I breastfeed her on demand and Ev always wake up to feed. When Ev does wake up for a feeding, it’s for 2-5 minutes.
For this review, I am using the Deluxe (0-8 months- which has been tested for breathability and OEKO-TEX certified). This is NOT an ad, I have received this product for complimentary testing from DockATot and this is my personal and honest review.

Day 1: (first night of use) woke up @ 11:30 PM and 4:14 AM for a feeding, wake up time was 6 AM

WOW! Ev woke up only twice and only once during the night which was a HUGE change for us already since I was used to getting up to 5-6 times. This worked for us instantly, we were amazed how well she did the first night, and technically I only had to be interrupted during the night once because I don’t usually go to bed until 12 am.


Day 2: Day: 1.5 and 1.25-hour nap! | Night: woke up at12 AM, 4:30 AM, wake up time was 7 AM.

This was another BIG surprised for us; after only being used to 30-minute (cat) naps, these long stretches were amazing. I couldn’t believe it, I think I checked the clock over a dozen times because this was a first-ever she slept so long during the day!


Day 3: Day: n/a; I was out all day | Night: woke up at 12 AM, and 5:15 AM, wake up time was 6:30 AM

Now we are starting to see some consistency… in only 3 days!


Day 4: Day: two 1.5 hour naps | Night: Woke up @ 11 PM, 12 AM, and 5 AM.

I finally got a 5 hour stretch! This was huge for me, especially after being used to waking up every other hour at times. I started feeling like a different person on day 4, haha.


Day 5:  Day: 2 naps; 1.5, 1 hour | Night: 1:30 AM, 5:45 AM


Day 6: Day: 3 naps; 1.45hr, 45 min, 30 min | Night: 1 AM, 5:15 AM

Now my days are looking more structured- I am able to plan around Ev’s naps and predict when she will wake up.


Day 7: Day: 1 nap; 1.45 hour | Night: 11 PM, 1 AM, 5 AM

This was a tough day/night, Evalyn was unusually fussy and restless. It took longer to get her to nap and when she woke up at night she had a more “painful” cry, most of these symptoms showed signs of teething.


Day 8: Day: 2 naps; 45 min, 40 min | Night: 11 PM, 1:30 AM, 5AM

This was another difficult day/night. Ev didn’t take long naps during the day and seems to be irritable during the night too.


Day 9: Day: 2 naps; 1.15, 1 hour | Night: 10:30 PM, 12:30 AM, 1:45 AM, 4:30AM, and 6AM

Ok, I think we hit our teething peek! Ev was constantly up and this was the worst night since sleeping with the Dock-a-Tot. Again, it seems teething was to blame for this.


Day 10: Day: 2 naps; 40 minutes, 1 hour | Night: 11:45 PM, 1:15 AM, 5:30 AM

This night was a little more usual for us, it seemed like Ev was back into her sleeping schedule and was not as fussy as the past few nights.

In summary

The DockATot has been extremely beneficial in helping Ev sleep longer stretches during her day naps, and making the nights more consistent (besides the harsh teething nights). The other non-documented days/nights have been consistent with this schedule up to date, and today she took a 3-hour nap! I almost didn’t know what to do with myself, aha! I am truly looking forward to longer stretches of sleep through the night as Evalyn maintains her sleep schedule, and passes through this teething phase.

I would highly recommend this product to any mom, more so from day one to get baby used to this sleep aid, without having to sleep train. My only regret is that I didn’t get this sooner, I have heard countless testimonies from other moms I know personally who swear by it. So I am definitely saving this gem for future babies. 😉

I’m going to continue using the DockATot and hopefully write another review in a few months down the road. I know how desperate we (moms…and dads too) can be when it comes to our precious sleep, and if I can help out in any way to share what worked for me, I know it will be a big blessing for you!

So don’t lose hope, try everything you can and stick to what works for your baby. You’ll start getting those nights back…eventually. 🙂

XO I.P.

 

How to Be Joyful In Motherhood: A Believing Mother’s Perspective

So here I am. Sitting on my couch, exhausted, and anticipating another sleepless night. I really have two options: 1) dread the thought of waking up 2-3+ times, or 2) pray, and hope for the best. The latter is kinda hard, isn’t it? Well, you’re not alone.

Let me just start off by saying that I think motherhood is wonderful. It’s everchanging, beautiful, and exciting moments are priceless. I am nowhere near the Proverbs 31 wife or mother I would love to be, but I try to aim for it every day, humbly by God’s grace alone. Next, all my efforts and advice is based on the strength I have in the Lord, none of which I achieved on my own.  None of which I can brag about or say I’m some kind of superwoman because Lord knows, I’m not. I simply want to give a ray of hope in your moments of weakness or despair, because let’s face it, as mothers, we all have those moments. Lastly, this is a journal from my heart, this is what I feel, and am compelled by God’s work in my life—giving me passion—to share some good news with you! So here it goes.

Today my little Evalyn Mae turns 6 months. The thought of that just brings tears to my eyes. I can’t express the joy she has brought into our lives, I truly thank God for her each day. I knew motherhood would never be easy, but there have been moments so far that have been very very challenging. I feel fortunate enough to say we have never experienced any major life-threatening situations, but there have been other challenges that have made some days/moments very hard.

First off, we are 6 months in with minimal sleep at the night, waking up at least 2-3+ times a night. Teething, a boatload of soiled diapers…and stained clothes on the regular (ha)! The joys of motherhood, right? Well, most mornings I am awakened by my sweet baby’s cry and I don’t want to get out of bed. Physically I’m a wreck, mentally I’m a blur. But naturally, I take my little Ev into my bed and I try to entertain her with singing, oo-ing, and rattles. It works for a little, but then it’s time for this tired mama to get up! If it’s not those sleepless nights, it’s those moments of sudden crying, or screaming while driving home…etc…you name it! But, in those anxious moments, what do you do?

Well, personally I try to remind myself to pray and rely on the Lords strength – I say that humbly…I try but often fail. I definitely don’t pray as much I ought too. I don’t remind myself enough of the Lord’s sufficiency but I’m striving to. I’m striving to have joy in moments of exhaustion, I’m striving to have peace in moments of anxiety, and I’m striving to be more selfless in moments of selfishness. It takes time. But I do think it really comes down to these two things: choosing to be joyful and depending on God’s strength. Personally, the best way for me to maintain those two things is reading and meditating on God’s Word, and praying daily. Motherhood is such a sanctifying process. When you realize the faithfulness of God and the rich promises of power and strength we have in Christ, we can remain joyful and at peace even through tough times! Not that we rejoice in the emotional, spiritual, and physical struggle itself…we are human, and of course, pain does not feel good…but we rejoice knowing that God is working something great in us, maturing and perfecting our faith, and ultimately is being glorified through our remaining faithful in the midst of hardships! Not only that, but it’s our duty as obedient Christians to be joyful and thank God always, listen to Paul has to say about our duty to be joyful:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

-1 Thess 5:16–18

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”

  • Gal 5:22–23

You no longer have reason to lack joyfulness. When you realize our strength in Christ by His Spirit (2 Tim 1:7; 2:1; 2 Cor 12:10; Eph 6:10), your perspective starts to change, and your focus turns from your trial (the difficulties of being a mother itself to the God who supplies all our needs richly in Christ (Phil 4:19).

In those moments I’m so thankful for His promises. They’re so fulfilling! I also then realize that this little child is fully dependent on me! And I ought to delight in providing her needs, just as our heavenly Father delights in providing ours. I sure don’t want to look back one day and regret not choosing joyfulness in this precious time. Time goes by so quickly, and we don’t have time to lack joy!

Below I have listed a few ways you can remain joyful throughout your day. They’re basic, but they go a long way. These are a few things that I have applied to my life recently that have really been life-changing.

How to Maintain Joyfulness:

  • Devotion: Wake up, get your coffee, find a cozy spot, read Gods word, meditate, and pray. Just try to do this every day, or every other. Even if it’s a matter of 10-15 minutes, it helps so so much. If you’re a working or on-the-go mom, try listening to sermons in your car!

  • Join a women’s Bible study group: this really helps you connect with other moms or fellow believers who may be going through the same struggles. You are always united with other believers! Honestly, I never really joined a “formal” Bible study before until recently (mainly because I was a student/working crazy hours before that never seemed to work). But now, after joining, it motivated me to study God’s word, to come prepared, and to engage in discussion. It’s extremely helpful!

  • Pray for your child: you prayed for your child in the womb, now continue to do so! Before bed, I like to walk over to Ev’s crib look down on her sweet angel face and pray for a restful night, and in the morning, I pray for protection. When you pray for your child you realize you have every reason to rejoice, all this effort, pain, dedication is all for this precious gift the Lord gave us! What a privilege!

  • Remind yourself of the privilege of motherhood! When you realize the privilege and high calling of motherhood, your perspective really changes–at least it did for me. God specifically chose us to mother your child(ren). And as every privilege, it is a gift.

  • Listening/sing songs of praise (aka worship music): create a playlist (I like modern hymns), or turn on some background worship music to keep your thoughts centered on Christ and his promises all day!

  • Try to memorize a bible verse each day/week: Try to pick one that’s personal to what you’re struggling with that week/season. I started doing this recently and I love it. After my morning devotion, I write down a verse that I felt was personal to my current circumstances, and I try to memorize it throughout the day, and by doing that it’s a great way to meditate and pray based on that verse! It also helps with mommy’s brain haha.

I by no means fulfill all the above, but like I said, I try. And that’s the best I or you can do. We are all a work-in-progress until the Lord returns!

Here is my closing prayer. Pray it too if you are unable to find the right words.

Heavenly Father,

I humbly come before you.

I look to you for all my needs. You are sovereign, perfect, majestic, holy, righteous, all-powerful, love, faithful, and full of mercy and loving-kindness! I ask that you would create in me a joyful heart because I know that is what pleases you.

I confess that I am nothing without you…nothing without the grace of forgiveness you’ve given me…in Christ…and the grace of power and strength to live the kind of life that pleases you. I thank you for it, knowing how short I fall of your glory each day.

Please your perfect work in my life. Help me to see motherhood as a privilege and an honor that you have granted me! Help me to rejoice when it’s hard to…when I’m exhausted, irritable, angry, bitter…not rejoicing in the trial itself, but in knowing you’re working something wonderful in me that will ultimately bring you glory!

I thank you that you are the Sovereign God who created me and sustains me. You are my strength, refuge, and wisdom…the one I look to for all things. Help me to keep my eyes on you, and on Christ, and on what I can do each moment today to respond to my circumstances with joy and humility because I know that is your will for your children, and that is what pleases you.

I ask these things in the name of your Son, my Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ,

AMEN

FYI- I  have a journaling Bible, you can find it here.

 

XO I.P.

Baby Essentials + Where I Shop for Baby

Our sweet little Evalyn Mae turned 5 months last week. Life is sweet, ever-changing, and a handful (clearly because of my delayed 5-month update). Being a first-time mom, I remember thinking I had no idea what to expect the first time around. I mean how could anyone? There are no books, no advice, or experience that can fully prepare you for having a baby. You just need to take it one day at a time, with a coffee in one hand, baby in the other, and the Lords grace daily. Seriously.

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Anniversary Bliss + How We Found Out I Was Pregnant

Today marks a very special day for us. Today is our second wedding anniversary and our little Evalyn Mae turns 4 months! Whoever said 13 wasn’t a lucky number?

As I reflected on the Lords’ goodness for carrying us through to another wonderful year of marriage I can’t thank Him enough for all he has done for me and my family. Although life hasn’t been perfect, it’s been filled with so many beautiful moments.

 

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24 Things You May Have Not Known About Me

Last week I turned 24! I still get super excited about birthdays because I’m under the 30 mark! YAY! I really don’t mean to offend anyone who is over 30, but really, being in your 20’s is so fun. Although I am looking forward to my 30’s and 40s… and that’s pretty much it, ha!

Growing up birthdays was always a big deal for us. My mom made sure to make each of our birthdays special and memorable. I’m sure glad I can pass down that birthday enthusiasm for my little family. Although my husband doesn’t think birthdays are much of a big deal (and let’s face it…not many men do) he always makes sure to make it special for me in a very sweet and personal way.

This year was especially special for me. After living in So Cal for already a year, we’ve had the opportunity to visit and discover so many neat places, my husband finished his first year of his Master’s Seminary program (more info below), my blog turned 1, and most importantly I delivered the sweetest little girl into this world. It’s safe to say this was my best year yet. So many changes, and precious memories all bottled up for one year. God has been good- like always and his faithful is seen through all the stages of my life.

So in honor of my (belated) 24th birthday, I decided to do something a little different. I wanted to share 24 things about me! Some of you may be reading my blog for the first time, or have known me forever, but I thought I’d love to engage you with some things you may not have known about me.

You’ll come to realize I’m a little more exciting than you thought…I hope. 😉

24 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME

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