Jaileigh Speaks

Marriage and Family Matters

20 Things I am Thankful for This Year

20 Things I am Thankful for This Year

  1. A loving God who provides for my every day needs
  2. A loving husband who is my best friend
  3. My 2 boys who love and amaze me every single say
  4. The baby boy growing inside me (see you very soon, Buddy!)
  5. My mom who is my best friend.
  6. My friends who fill my life with love laughter
  7. Church family who continues to bless our family
  8. My extended family
  9. My in-laws
  10. My network of blogging friends
  11. Law enforcement, our military, and other public figures that fight to protect our rights every single day
  12. My college experiences that I truly believe helped prepare me to be a mom
  13. My experience in working at a day care that also helped prepare me for motherhood
  14. Our dogs
  15. Our cat
  16. Nature and the great outdoors that God created
  17. Technology, but only because it helps me keep in contact with family
  18. Electricity, because face it, we are spoiled today and I like to cook
  19. USANA, my favorite health and wellness company that protect my family from serious illnesses every year
  20. Grocery stores, because, again, modern conveniences make life somewhat more simple.

Top Items for Your Baby’s Feeding Basket

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***This post is targeted to those who choose to breastfeed. I am pro formula or breastfeeding. You do what you think is best for your baby :)***

What’s a feeding basket?

A basket, box, or container that holds all the essentials for feeding you baby whether it be for breastfeeding or formula feeding.

Now, before you judge, let me explain my experience and struggles.

I never setup a feeding basket… in fact, I had not even heard of one until I stumbled across it on Pinterest looking for storage ideas for this baby.

My oldest, who is now six, was formula fed. We were living with my mother-in-law and had one bedroom that was our only private space. My husband, me, and our newborn were expected to share that room because we couldn’t afford to pay rent anywhere else.

So, I used a set of drawers made out of plastic to store his clothes and left bottles and the formula can sitting out on our desk. I would fill up a pitcher with water to use during the night for night feedings and mix and serve the bottles at room temperature.

Not ideal, but it worked for our situation.

We had an organizer that hung on the side of the pack-n-play. This is where the diapers, cream, and powder were stored and easily accessible.

We finally moved a couple of years later after bouncing between my mother-in-law’s house and my husband’s grandmother’s house.

My current youngest (soon to be middle child) was breastfed. I still didn’t have a feeding basket. I had things “centrally located”, but no basket designated for feedings.

I also didn’t spend a lot of time at home. I retreated to my mom’s house those first few weeks so that my oldest would have someone to entertain him while I was nursing his brother.

I had a hard time adjusting to being a mom of one to a mom of two. I can only imagine what adding one more into the mix will be like.

Regardless, we adjusted and both of my kids are best friends and play so well together. They understand when it’s time to do school and when it’s time to play or rest. I am blessed and can only pray that those blessings carry through our adjustment to adding another child to our family.

When I stumbled across the idea of a feeding basket, it really seemed like a no-brainer. I already have a box on our end table by my spot on the couch that I use to store the following:

  • current book I am reading
  • my laptop
  • pens, pencils, and other writing utensils
  • my journal that I use for my Bible daily devotions
  • a spiral notebook
  • my blog planner

I love it! It’s been the best decision to organize my end table so I can actually find things and pull them out when I need it.

So, why not make feeding time just as easy and accessible?

I plan to have these items accessible in a box or basket on my end table:

  • nursing cover or blanket
  • baby blanket or swaddler
  • extra outfit
  • burp cloths
  • a few diapers
  • pack of wipes
  • extra pacifier (if this baby takes one)
  • nipple cream
  • breast pump
  • nursing pads
  • snacks for mamma
  • Water for mamma to stay hydrated

Seems like a lot to fit in one basket or box, right?

Right. It is, but here’s my thoughts…

My box I have set aside for baby’s feeding box looks like this:

Keeping the lack in space in mind, I would simplify my list to the essentials:

  • nursing cover or blanket (just in case guests drop by)
  • burp cloths
  • extra pacifier
  • nursing pads
  • snacks
  • water

We have the pack-n-play set up here in our living room anyway. Diapers, wipes, and anything for diaper changing will be accessible right across the room.

My older kids could always help me out by grabbing anything extra that I needed, but I don’t want them to become my crutch and have to depend on them for every little thing that I forget.

If you had a big enough end table to have a bigger box or basket, you could probably fit everything I listed, but you may wanna stick with the essentials and tweak it to make it work for you.


Hospital Packing List for Birth #3

It’s getting closer to time for baby to be born, and I have officially packed my hospital bag.

I was thinking about things that I packed for my previous deliveries and realized that I over packed EVERY TIME.

I would pack a couple of books to read, coloring books and pencils, silly stuff that I would use to occupy my time, because I would have time to kill, right?

Well…

If you recall from my birth story with my first son, (Induction, 15 hours of labor, and 3-day hospital stay) yes, I would have had plenty of time to read, color, or play on my phone, no problem.

And with my second son, I learned from my first time that sleep was my best friend and if I was going to have any energy to push this kid out, I needed to rest after having my water broken at 2:30 in the morning.

So, this third one could go either way. I could be induced or I could go naturally. It is a toss-up, but I am planning on sleeping, not matter! LOL

OK, enough stalling, here’s what I’ve packed and I plan to stick to it:

COMFY CLOTHES

Now this should be a given. You are still going to have your belly stretched out. Unfortunately, it does not go right back to your original size before getting pregnant.

So, I packed:

  • sweat pants with a drawstring
  • a bigger t-shirt
  • a comfy hoodie
  • a pair of socks (hospitals usually give you some with the tread on the bottom, but to go home, I packed my own
  • slippers because it’s going to be cold when I go in to deliver (I took flip flops with my other two since they were born in August)
  • nursing bra (or tank top) I haven’t finalized this one yet

***This is all pending that I grab my winter coat and boots. Believe it or not, I’m freaking out about if my water breaks, what boots do I wear? I usually wear western boots in the winter, but lucked into a cheap pair of UGG knock-offs that can be thrown in the washer.***

TOILETRIES

Don’t forget to pack these because your first shower after birth helps you feel like a human being again!

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Deodorant!
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins OR Headband
  • Shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Loofah for both hubby and I (remember birth story#2? “Do I have time to take a shower?” LOL)
  • Nursing pads (Whether you opt to breastfeed or not, you will probably still leak).

BABY STUFF

  • An Outfit or 2 and socks

Our hospital has a professional photographer come into your room and take newborn pictures of your baby. So, having an outfit or two on hand would be ideal along with a nice blanket and/or stuffed animal.

  • Extra baby blankets to send home for pet introductions

We have two dogs and cat. Our older dog has been around for both previous baby introductions and he hasn’t been a problem.

Our younger dog was just a puppy when we brought our second son home from the hospital, so I foresee a possibly jealous dog here. He may surprise us and take it well… or not.

Our cat won’t care much. She will probably just come sniff the new baby and call it a day.

QUARTERS/LOOSE COINS

Vending machines are not cheap in hospitals. If you want something after the kitchen closes, you better bring all your quarters (or sweet talk your husband or mom to run and get you something).

EXTRA PILLOW

Mostly for your comfort. But also, it’s a known fact… hospital pillows are not fluffy at all. You need like 4 to even consider getting comfortable.

An extra pillow case may be worth the investment too. You never know when accidents or spills will happen.

CAR SEAT AND BASE

A given. You cannot take baby home until you have him in a car seat.

THINGS I HOPE I REMEMBER TO GRAB IF MY WATER BREAKS

Purse- this will have my wallet, which has my insurance info and photo ID. Cell phone, my extra charger is already packed.

What did you pack or plan to pack for your hospital stay when you give birth? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


7 Things I’ve Learned During My Third Pregnancy

This third pregnancy has been the most difficult of the three.

7 Things I’ve Learned During My 3rd Pregnancy

***No judging on my parenting style at the current stage in my life. My kids are safe at all times and our bedroom is just off of our living room***

  1. I don’t sleep anymore; when I do, it’s weird hours.

I know that my body is preparing me for sleepless nights, but I don’t have the luxury of having a special space to retreat to with a light on.

My husband leaves for work very early in the mornings, so he tries to get to bed by 10 pm every night. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I am nowhere near ready to go to bed. I’m not even tired. When I do get to sleep, it’s usually after 1 am if not later. Then my body doesn’t want to wake up in the morning.

Thankfully, I invoked “rest time” after we finish our school work for the day. This is usually done by 2 pm. My boys are allowed to have their tablets, play with a toy quietly, or look at books while they lay down on their bunk beds. During this time, I set an alarm for 2 solid hours and I am able to get a nap in.

  1. It’s hard to get motivated in the mornings.

I know, why don’t I set an alarm in the mornings?

Hello?!

Mom of two boys already… who needs an alarm?

I do set an alarm. It usually goes off before my boys wake up for the day. When they do wake up, I wake up, but I don’t get out of bed until I have to.

They play so well together. They are allowed Wii or movie privileges in the mornings because that’s what works best for us.

When you feel like you’re going to puke in the mornings, sometimes, it’s best to stay in bed and “sleep it off”.

I get up if there’s a disagreement, or I hear crying, but we have a routine that works for now and they are safe during this routine.

  1. I lack energy even when I do sleep and wake up.

I’m growing a human being. I have also been told by my doctor that I have to take it easy because of my history or miscarrying three different times. Being a high risk pregnancy, I am monitored more closely and I’m OK with that.

I posted before about my amazing prenatal vitamins that I take to help with my energy. You can read that post here.

  1. I’m in more pain.

I thought that my body would transition in to pregnancy like a champ since it’s my third successful one.

Ha!

It didn’t.

I have felt more sick and been in more pain this time around. I am also getting older. I know twenty-eight years old is not that old, but I thought that I would cruise through this pregnancy and it would be prefect.

My sciatic nerve bothers me a whole lot more too. I try to walk daily so I don’t get out of shape too badly. I invested in a belly band that helps take some pressure off, but not all the time.

I cannot go shopping for a long period of time and I miss it. I cannot attend street festivals or craft shows because my sciatic bothers me and then I get grumpy. So, I usually send my husband with my kids so they can at least enjoy it.

It’s OK. I don’t regret getting pregnant a third time. I have been blessed with a third healthy child that I am excited to meet at the end of this December.

  1. My kids are more considerate when I tell them I don’t feel well.

I love all the extra loves that I get from my boys now. I tell them straight away when I am not feeling well or if my anxiety is starting to act up.

They are very good about making the changes they need to make sure that mommy doesn’t get grumpy.

I openly communicate with my kids and tell them about my feelings and guess what?

… they caught on too. They openly communicate and tell me about their feelings too.

  1. My 2 kids want to help and pamper me.

Along with openly communicating with my kids, they in turn want to help me more. They know that bending down has gotten difficult for me and will gladly pick things up and hand them to me.

They also do chores without complaining (most of the time). We’ve been working on this with our home school time, but lately my boys just want to help in some way. They constantly offer to help and I love it.

They will bring me blankets if I’m cold. They get me a drink if I ask for one. These boys take care of their mamma and I am so thankful for them.

  1. I felt movement earlier than before.

This may seem small, but it was so neat to feel little flutters inside my tummy at thirteen weeks. That was the earliest I had felt movement out of the three pregnancies so far. I thought I even felt this baby have the hiccups that early too.

The miracle of feeling movement inside you just make pregnancy even more real.

I mean, sure, positive pregnancy test, woohoo, you’re pregnant.

But it doesn’t really sink in until you feel actual movement inside you. It is a feeling I love and cherish.


What’s Working for Our Homeschool

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from any purchases made through my affiliate links at no additional cost to you. This commission goes toward supporting our homeschool. I only promote products that I find value in. Thank you for your support!

To see my full disclosure policy, click here.

Reading, Writing, God.

These were things that I focused on when I was in school. I loved to read. I loved to write. I loved going to church.

My mom wasn’t a big reader, but my dad spent time reading aloud with me when I first learned how to read. He enjoyed reading for himself when he could find time (he worked a lot).

My dad wrote some, but not as much as I did. I was always writing short stories, plays, and poetry. My gift to family members for birthdays or special holidays were poems. My friends and I would act out the plays that I wrote. Fine arts had always been in my blood.

My love for the Lord had a great impact on our decision to homeschool. It is my job to educate my children, not someone else’s. Thankfully, I am in a position to be able to teach my children in the comfort and flexibility of our home.

I understand not everyone has this luxury, and please do not think that I think poorly of you, because I don’t. You are doing a great job by working hard to make sure you can provide for your children. Also, not everyone had the patience to teach their children. That’s OK too. You are doing great by loving them and reinforcing what they learn.

Foundation of Learning

The above is what I use as my foundation for learning. Reading, writing, and God, in my opinion, sets up a strong foundation for learning.

If you can read, you can navigate just about anywhere in the English speaking world.

If you can write (properly), you can communicate effectively.

If you have God in your life, your life can be joy-filled with the promise of eternity.

*** I realize that there are more “subjects” to be taught, and I do teach them to my children, again, remember I said that these are our foundations.

Changes to Our Curriculum

This year, my 6-year-old is doing Cycle 2 of Classical Conversations. We decided to stick with this because he enjoyed it so much last year. He does a great job at memorizing and I fully believe that he is learning from it.

We also worked in readings from Ambleside, which is a Charlotte Mason approach to learning. So far, we have read two and a half books in the six weeks we have been in session and watched the movies to go along with each book.

Both of my kids, ages 6 and 3, have learned to sit and listen while I read aloud and my 6-year-old can usually retell each chapter to me, or at least answer questions when I ask him about different things that happened in the chapter.

Now, with most homeschooling programs, you usually have to supply your own reading and math curriculum, so…

I dropped the “Hooked on Phonics” program we were doing, because it just was not working for us. In its’ place, I have picked up “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”.

I borrowed this book from our library to try out and see if it would work for us. In the 4 short lessons that we did in one week, my 6-year-old has finally grasped the concept of phonics and that letters make sounds. (YAY!) Of course, now I have our own copy on the way from Amazon!

What I love about this book, is that it is literally a script to recite to your child. It tells you what to say and what to have the child say back to you, or the exercise to do with your child. (Thanks, Gina, for the recommendation!) There is also a writing exercise with each lesson.

Our math was consisting of simple workbook exercises, but I decided to switch it up since both of my kids know their numbers. I purchased “Interactive Notebooks: Math Grade 1” from Carson Dellosa Education. This has pages you can copy and paste into a spiral notebook to encourage note taking and also serve as reference later on.

Along with the Math, I found a great resource that included Math, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Language Arts, and Test Taking practice. This bundle from the Harcourt Family has been a great investment for our family.

I also invested in some counting cubes and base 10 visual aids:

These came in handy when we learned how to tell time and count money!

What about my 3-year-old?

As I said earlier, my 3-year-old enjoys my read alouds. He also enjoys some flashcards that their great aunt gave him for his birthday. These flashcards have numbers, colors, shapes, and animals on them. I am starting to have him trace simple lines for prewriting exercises.

He also enjoys just playing and making discoveries for himself. If he asks a question, I answer it. He’s learning and I see that he’s learning.

He and his older brother also get to enjoy harvest time now. My husband’s family has farm ground and they enjoy riding in the combine and spending time with daddy. Hands-on science at its’ finest.

We’ve been working on chores and helping out around the house. It’s easier for me to assign chores now that I don’t feel well all the time (yes, 28 weeks pregnant and still having morning sickness sucks). They help with laundry, pick up their toys wherever they find them, pick up their room, make their beds, fold towels and wash cloths, and hang up their shirts. Easy stuff, honestly with more to come!

I am very happy that I have found what works for us. We do 4-day school weeks to allow for flexibility for field trips or play dates with our local home school group. It also allows for mommy to have a day off if morning sickness sets in.

What’s working for you this year? I’d love to hear in the comments!

God Bless!


My Second Son’s Birth Story

My second pregnancy seemed more difficult than the first. I was nauseated more often than not until the third trimester, I was in more pain and achy ALL the time, and I was way more emotional this time around.

My Second Son’s Birth Story

*** CAUTION, SEX IS MENTIONED IN THIS POST***

I had had a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day. We had scheduled an induction date for a week later with nearly two weeks to go before this little guy would make his grand entrance into the world.

It was an exciting time because the induction date turned out to be what would have been my parent’s anniversary (we had lost my dad to cancer three years before this).

My husband and I had scheduled for our oldest and only child to spend the night with my mom tonight, so we enjoyed a relaxed date night. I couldn’t tell you what we did, but I know that we enjoyed the night together.

The night ended of course with some love making and all was well.

I had been timing some contractions earlier that night just to see if I was progressing any. My doctor had said that I was already dilated to around 2 centimeters earlier.

I was cramping a bit and contracting slightly, but nothing that I was really worried about. I laid down in bed and drifted off to sleep.

Turn of Events

            I was awoken by my phone ringing around one-thirty in the wee hours of the morning. Our first born was having a bloody nose at grandma’s house and wouldn’t let her help him get it cleaned up and controlled. I tried to talk to him, but he was so tired and just wanted to go back to sleep. I talked my mom through what we normally do at our house to help him and she said she would try.

Now I was wide awake. I was worrying about my first baby and if he was going to calm down enough for grandma so they could both get some sleep. I had gotten up and was preparing to pack an overnight bag to just go over and stay with them (thankfully, she lived in town).

I received a text around two o’clock saying that he had settled down and that they were laying down. Everything was well again and I could go back to sleep. I laid back down after putting my clothes back in my dresser and got comfy. I could not get back to sleep.

What Was That Noise?

“Pop, pop”, came two small pops down in my lower abdomen where there are no bones to pop. I waited a minute thinking that it was a spoof and I was just anxious for baby number two. Just to be sure, I got up and went to the bathroom. Nothing was happening, so I went back to my bedroom. I put a towel down on the floor so I could stand on it, just in case.

Nothing happened.

What seemed like several minutes passed by (it was only three to five) and then I felt it.

WHOOSH.

Waters had officially broken on their own.

I tapped my husband on his side he turned over and gave me a dirty look.

“My water just broke,” I announced.

“Do I have time to take a shower?” was his response.

(Insert laughter here)

“Seriously?” came my reply.

I didn’t argue, and he hightailed it to the shower and back out again. My hospital bag had already been packed for a couple of weeks, so I waited patiently while he packed his.

Hey, Baby’s on the Way

I called my mom. She answered her phone.

“My water just broke,” came my nervous voice.

“OK, what do you want me to do with my grandson?”

“I guess, call great grandma. She may still be awake anyway. Drop him off there and get to the hospital as soon as you can. Love you”, came my instructions.

We loaded up into my truck and I tried calling my boss.

No answer. I was supposed to open that morning and that wasn’t going to happen now.

So, I called my sister-in-law and told her she would have to open for me because I couldn’t get ahold of our boss. I also told her to call her mom when she woke up and let her know that we are having baby number two today. (I did finally get ahold of my boss, and started my infinite maternity leave from work).

On the Road Again…

We don’t live far from the hospital, but when contractions started, they HURT. Not as bad as being induced with Pitocin, but they were still unpleasant. I had called the hospital and let them know that I was coming in because my water had broken.

We pulled up to the door and got unloaded. I leaked the whole way there and started to get grumpy from the pain. Oh, yeah, it was a full moon that night too.

*Note to self for expectant moms: PREREGISTER TO MAKE THIS PROCESS PASS QUICKLY FOR YOU.

Arrival and Admittance

I was taken the triage in the maternity wing and had to go through all my information and junk like that while contracting and just plain uncomfortable. The nurse that was registering me was trying to be quick, but it wasn’t fast enough.

“Are you sure your water broke?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth, “this is my second child and I know what having my water broken feels”.

I didn’t mention that it was leaking down my legs and probably making puddles on the floor, but at the point, I was ready to get into a room and get my epidural!

I finally got into a room and Joel and I got settled in by about four o’clock in the morning. My mom made it and joined us.

Preparing for the Show

I got my epidural pretty quick and I forced myself to sleep. I knew what I was in for this time around, so I needed the strength. I woke up a few times here and there, but overall slept pretty good until around eight o’clock that morning.

The monitor that they had on the baby kept slipping off. His heartrate decided to drop too, so they quickly called my doctor and she got there around eight-thirty.

Showtime!

Time passed quickly, and the actual pushing only took less than ten minutes.

At nine-fifteen, Joel and I welcomed our second son into the world.

He was happy and healthy and, thankfully, his heartrate straightened out.

AND, no tearing for mommy this time!

Differences from Our First Son

We enjoyed a private room where I gave birth and then baby got stay the whole time with us! No more nursery visits (except for the circumcision). We enjoyed newborn pictures from a local photographer AND we only had to spend one night at the hospital instead of three like before.

Final Thoughts

As many of you know, I am expecting baby boy number three. I have three months to go and am so anxious to meet him! Thank you for taking the time to read my experience and feel free to share your story in the comments, or leave me a link to your story and I will check it out!

 

God Bless!


My First Born’s Birth Story

Giving birth is a miracle. I never understood this until I actually did it.

This post contains affiliate links, to see my full disclosure policy, click here.

My due date was August 5. I went in the week before for my weekly check-up and my doctor decided to induce me. The first available time was August 2 at 2:00 AM… that’s right. 2 o’clock in the morning… when I should be sleeping. Her reason was that I had tested positive for the Group B Strep Infection. Before you gasp and think I’m horrible for wanting to have a natural delivery anyway, I was put on an antibiotic drip as soon as I checked in to the hospital. All precautions were properly taken and we had no problems.

My parents decided to rent a room at a local bed and breakfast and we all stayed there that very short night. I enjoyed some relaxation (as well as I could knowing the night would be short and I had no idea what to expect once we got the hospital.

Preparation and Waiting

We arrived early at the hospital. We were anxious and ready to meet our new little guy. We did paperwork, I was not having any contractions at all. We got settled into a room and I was put on a Pitocin drip as well as the antibiotic I mentioned earlier.

Joel and I tried to get some sleep. It’s very hard to sleep when you are hooked up to monitors and nurses are in and out every half hour, but I did my best.

Breaking News

My doctor came in around 9:00 or 10:00 AM and told me that she was going to break my waters. That was a relief because that meant I was definitely having a baby soon! After my waters were broken, I started to feel contractions. They were very painful period cramps compared to the contractions I had when my water broke naturally with my second child.

I asked for an epidural, but I had to dilate to a certain number before they could give it to me. I was also told I was not allowed to eat or drink in case I had to be taken to the Operating Room for an emergency c-section. That part wasn’t fun at all. You get thirsty when you are laboring and sometimes your tummy grumbles at you. Water would have been helpful because laboring is exhausting.

The good news is that my doctor showed up a little before 6:00 PM and had me start pushing. A few pushes and Joel and I were the proud parents of a brand new baby boy. Baby got laid on my chest and I was able to talk to him for a few minutes as the nurses cleaned him up and checked his vitals.

Scary Turn of Events

Unfortunately, I had to go to the Operating Room after all. I ended up tearing very badly while pushing and was losing a lot of blood. Joel stayed with our new baby and introduced him to our family (a part I missed out on and it was really hard). He was worried about me and kept looking at me and looking at our baby boy, unsure of what to do. I had instructed him to stay with our new son no matter what happened. My mom stayed with me and that made Joel feel a little bit better.

I remember waking up in the recovery room very scared. I had to replay what had happened in my mind. It was fuzzy. It was also cold in that recovery room… and loud. I asked the attending nurse if I could have some water and was denied because she wanted to make sure my stomach was going to stay settled after the anesthesia wore off.

I was finally able to be returned to my hospital room and told I would be moved to another room since we had to stay for a couple of nights for observation. I was pale and weak, but I was determined to get up and move after that O.R. trip.

Keep in mind, I still haven’t seen my baby and it’s been close to an hour total.

I called the nurse and requested that he be brought back to my room so I can be with him. Finally, he was brought to our room and I was able to hold him for the first time since giving birth.

*** I am not upset with hospital, nurses, or my doctor. Joel knew where our baby was at all times. I needed to rest after my ordeal and I wasn’t sure what to expect anyway. We were all very well taken care of and I am so thankful for the nursing staff that took care of us while we were there.

We got moved to our new room and had some privacy as a family of three. My parents stayed majority of the time, but took off after getting Joel some food. I was finally able to eat and it was fantastic. I was hooked up to an IV with some fluids to keep me hydrated. I was able to get up and walk when I wanted to. I hurt to move and sit for obvious reasons.

We had a few friends and family visit us over the three days that we stayed in the hospital. I was overjoyed when the nurse told me that I could take a shower. Best. Relief. Ever. I felt like a normal person again. I was clean and ready to go home.

Our son was cleared and had no sign of the Group B infection (praise God!). We were able to get home and start settling in as a family of three. We had to make adjustments, but we survived.

I would love to hear your birth stories! Share a link in the comments, or email me at jaime@jaileighspeaks.com. I will share my second son’s story later in the week.

Thanks for reading and God Bless!


Top 7 Items that Should Be on Your Baby Registery

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from any purchases made through my affiliate links at no additional cost to you. This commission goes toward supporting our homeschool. I only promote products that I find value in. Thank you for your support!

To see my full disclosure policy, click here.

Top 7 Items that Should be on Your Baby Registry

Besides baby wash, shampoo, lotion, here is a list of my top 7 items I recommend to put on your Baby Registry.

7. Burp Cloths

Your new baby will have accidents. From spit up to poop, there will be accidents. When they get a little older, they will start drooling. Burp cloths come in handy for quick clean up at home and in public. I usually just ask for a pack of cloth diapers. They are absorbent and easy to clean in the washer.

6. Gift Cards

I know, gift cards aren’t a personal gift. I get it. BUT, it enables you to save them for later or to shop for what you actually want or need for your baby. Go ahead and put a note on your registry that gift cards are acceptable gifts and will help with expenses.

5. Baby Swing

This is a great investment. I worked in an infant room at a day care for some time and found that swings that used the side-to-side motion were more soothing than the back-and-forth motion. When your baby is newborn age to a few months old, they will want to be close to you, if not held continuously. The swings that use the side-to-side motion seemed to support the smaller babies and give them the feel of being back in the womb. There are some swings that use both motions at different times with just a flip of a switch. They are a little more expensive, but worth the investment.

4. Nighttime Soothing Machine

I found that when I had to set my baby down in the safety of a pack-n-play or crib, having a small toy or machine that made music or soothing noises, helped entertain or keep my baby calm.

3. Pack-n-Play with Changing table

Best. Investment. Ever. Dual purpose, and highly functional if you don’t have room for a nursery. I love our pack-n-play that has a folding changing pad. My husband and I used it almost every time we had to change a diaper. These are becoming affordable because people are catching on that they are functional. Your baby will thank you!

2. Vibrating Baby Seat

Another functional piece is a vibrating baby seat. This is light weight and easy to transport from room to room. Have dishes to do? Take the seat into the kitchen so baby can watch you and know you are right there. Need to use the bathroom or take a bath? Take the seat in and sit baby in there with you.

1. Mobi Wrap/Baby Carrier

If a vibrating seat doesn’t sound appealing, or you just want to be prepared, baby wearing is where it’s at! Keep your baby close and happy with a wrap or carrier to put them in.


Why You Still Need Supplements

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Congratulations!

You’ve found out you’re expecting a new little bundle of joy. You’ve taken a home pregnancy test and hopefully have seen your OBGYN to confirm with a blood test.

Now, you should adjust your diet to cut out or limit caffeine or energy drinks, high sugar foods, and start eating more fruits and veggies.

What about prenatal supplements?

Ever wonder why we are supposed to take supplements (vitamins) in the first place?

I remember that I always wanted to take the Flintstone vitamins. They tasted chalky and quite nasty, but I choked them down because I wanted to be healthy.

Now that I am on my sixth, but third successful pregnancy (more on that subject later), I realize how important taking quality supplements are.

I tried eating healthy, but I am a carbs junkie and, at the time, loved my sweets. Did you know that an orange you eat today is not the same as it was 10 years ago? With all the chemicals and junk that growers use to biologically engineer more fruit, our food loses so much nutritional value. There is not way that you can exclusively eat healthy and expect to get the daily nutrients you need WITHOUT taking supplements.

I have the privilege of working with a company that is the leader in cellular health technology. I absolutely love their prenatal supplements and enjoy taking them.

I have partnered with USANA Health Sciences and haven’t regretted it. What they put on the label of their supplements is actually in their supplements. How many companies can admit that?

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

I did what’s called the “apple test”. All you need is a slice of an apple for every multivitamin you want to test. Add water to a plastic container, drop one apple slice in the container and one multivitamin. Wait 24 hours before making your judgment.

Here were my results:

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As you can see, I tested the ever so popular One-a-Day Women’s Prenatal supplement, USANA’s Baby Care Prenatals, and Spring Valley’s Prenatal supplement. See the difference? One-a-Day and Spring Valley both turned black and gross. They did not protect their apple slice at all. I took then out of the water and they were soggy and smelly. I took the apple slice out from the USANA container, and was able to break the slice in half. It was still crisp and smelled freshly peeled.

This was enough to convince me that I can trust what’s on USANA’s supplements labels and haven’t looked back.

 

Try it for yourself, make your own judgment call.

If you’re interested in trying out the Baby Care Prenatal supplements, click here.

 

***Testimony Time***

Me Personally:

I have been taking USANA’s Baby Care Prenatal supplements for almost 2 years now. They have helped curb my appetite, dropped a little bit of weight, given my energy a boost, and helped my relieve my allergy symptoms.

Now, I also used to drink the Nutrimeal shakes and those were amazing! Drinking one shake a day for two weeks straight has kicked my sugar cravings and I can proudly say that I can only eat a half of a homemade cookie or a half of a piece of cake when offered. My body just doesn’t crave the sugar like it used to. I also dropped a few more pounds while drinking these shakes too. USANA recently changed their shakes to a brand new “My SMART” line. This includes shakes and snack bars that are some of the cleanest to consume! Coconut oil is a key ingredient and the only fat that these babies contain. USANA offers plant based, gluten free, and regular shake options along with some flavor optimizers for maximum yumminess. I personally have not tried these shakes, but have heard awesome things about them!

 

For my allergy relief, I take an additional supplement called Proflavonal C. This consists of grape seed extract and vitamin C. For those of you that don’t know, grape seed extract is a natural antibiotic. This had helped me ward off sinus infections due to my allergies flaring. It’s been one of my all-time favorite optimizers to pair with my prenatal supplements.

My husband:

Joel takes the CellSentials which is similar to the prenatals I take, just without the iron. He also takes an optimizer called Procosa. This little gem contains glucosamine and supports joint health. His wrists used to bother him a lot because he’s worked with his hands all of his life. Procosa has helped aid in slowly replenishing the cartilage in his joints. He no longer complains of joint pain and has also seen a boost in his energy.

My kids:

Take the USANimals supplements. They are chewable tabs and taste fruity. My 3-year-old demands them daily and I love that I have seen an improvement in their health! Both used to suffer from ear infections and we have not had one of those in over a year! My 6-year-old suffers from seasonal allergies. He enjoys taking his supplements because they make him feel better.

***IMPORTANT***

USANA has a 30 day money-back guarantee. Not happy with the supplements? No worries! Contact USANA directly and they will reimburse your money.

You won’t know unless you try! Let me know if you try them out! I’d love to hear your feedback!


5 Secrets to a Happy Wife

Following up on my post a few weeks ago, 5 Secrets to a Happy Husband, I have put together one for the ladies and wives out there!

5 Secrets to a Happy Wife

Disclaimer: not all of these secrets fit everyone’s situation. This is based on experience and what helps keep me and some fellow wife-friends happy.

Secret #5: Help Her Around the House Sometimes

Guys, there is nothing sexier in a woman’s eye than when you take it upon yourself to help out around the house.

Washing dishes, laundry, or children is always a great place to start.

Also, is your wife a stay-at-home-mom? If so, helping out with the kids when you come home from work or being away for the day(s) can put a sparkle in your wife’s eye.

Cook for your wife sometimes (even if it’s cold cut sandwiches!) Take the initiative to make food for your lady! She will be thrilled that she doesn’t have to worry about cooking at that moment.

***CAUTION: DATE NIGHT IN IDEA***

Get creative and spoil your wife with dinner and cleaning while she watches! (There are endless possibilities… clothes are optional!)

Secret #4: Communication

LISTEN. SPEAK. REPEAT.

Listen to your wife vent about her day with the kids. Listen to the milestones each child reached. Listen to what they learned in home school that day. Listen to requests your wife makes of you. Listen to her “Honey Do” List that she may have come up with throughout the day.

Speak gently. Use kind words. Respond with grace and love. If you don’t have anything nice to say right off, excuse yourself politely, and take time to find the words to say. Better, yet, write what you are feeling down on paper. When you feel you’ve expressed what you need to on paper, read it to your wife, or give it to her to read.

Repeat.

This is how communication can work well. This is what communication is all about as husband and wife.

You know what? After you let your wife tell you about her day, and you respond gently to her, you will get the chance to talk or vent about your day. Try this method and see how it works for you.

Secret #3: Respect Her

You promised to honor each other when you said your wedding vows. Guess what? Honor is a synonym (another word for..) respect.

What Does Respect Look Like?

  • Be content with what you have
    • Don’t spend money that isn’t necessary. Live within your means. You both have things you would like to have. Setting up a budget will help see what is coming in and what is going out monthly. Stick to the budget once it is set up.
  • Encourage your wife
    • Words are powerful. Use them positively to build your woman up, not tear her down in public, but also in the privacy of your home.
  • TRUST HER
    • Above all else, trust your wife. Without trust, you cannot have a solid foundation for your marriage.

Secret #2: Be Intimate with Her

Intimacy. There’s that word again.

Intimacy for a wife looks a bit different than it does for a husband.

As a wife, holding hands, linking arms, kisses on the cheek or forehead are all small gestures to show intimacy, but also to show affection in.

Communicating, or just talking to her is a way of being intimate.

Sex is not always the answer to fix her request for intimacy.

Cuddling on the couch, taking a genuine interest in an activity she is participating in is showing intimacy.

I made a previous post with some great suggestions for being intimate with your wife when I was talking about 10 Things That You Should Be Practicing in Your Marriage. To read my post on intimacy, click here.

Secret #1: Pray for Her

If you haven’t noticed, I am big on prayer and praying for each other. You can see a previous post about this topic here.

Prayer works. You may not see the results for days or even months, but an outcome will come to pass. Patience is a must. I struggle with patience when I’m waiting on something. Maybe you do too. Know that you aren’t alone. Pray with your wife daily. Pray for her daily.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that you found this post enlightening. My prayer for you is that you take this post and the other for husbands seriously and that they enrich your marriage even more.

God Bless!