Third Time Moms’ Hospital Bag

This isn’t my first time packing a hospital bag for a hospital stay after giving birth. The first time I didn’t pack nearly enough of the things I actually needed.  The second time I think I way over packed. This time, hopefully, I’ve got it down.

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This list doesn’t include the things I’ll be bringing for baby. This list is just what I’m bringing for me.

  1. Boppy Pillow. This thing helped so much with nursing in the hospital. I was able to position baby comfortably on me which is so important when you’re not feeling the greatest.
  2. Nursing Cover. I had quite a few visitors with my first two and I just like to have the option of a little bit of privacy.
  3. Breast Pads. My milk came in with a fury the second time so not having my shirts soaking wet is a godsend. My last hospital didn’t have any available so I literally had toilet paper shoved into my bra.
  4. Women’s Depends Diapers. The first 24-36 hours I just wear the mesh undies given to me by the hospital but towards the end of my stay when I’m feeling better these things are awesome.
  5. Non Slip – Slipper Socks and regular Slippers. So comfy! My feet were freezing the entire time I was in the hospital even with my summer baby.
  6. Eye Mask. Hospitals are bright even at night sometimes. It was nice to have a mask to take naps especially during the day.
  7. Big ole’ Granny Panties. I like to have the option to wear “normal” underwear as well.
  8. Toiletry Bag. I pack travel sizes of my essentials. Shampoo, Conditioner, Hairspray, Hair Ties, My Favorite Scrunchie, Chapstick, Toothbrush, and Toothpaste!
  9. Clothes. I plan to bring 2 pairs of PJ pants, 2 nursing tanks, clothes to go home in, and a robe. I realized last hospital stay that I don’t change clothes nearly as much as I thought I would!

Then when labor actually starts I’ll toss in a few more things! 

  1. Chargers.
  2. iPad to watch Netflix. Last hospital stay the ONLY channel that came in clearly was HGTV and there was a property brothers marathon on for 3 days. I still can’t watch it.
  3. Light makeup and blowdryer. Theres something about that first shower and doing my hair and a little bit of makeup that just makes me feel human again.
  4. Kindle. Reading helps me pass the time and relax.
  5. My own pillow and blanket. I couldn’t stand the hospital pillows and scratchy blankets.
  6. Snacks. I just bring a few little things like granola bars and some trail mix. You never know if the kitchen will be open and how hungry you’ll be right after delivery or in the middle of the night! I’d rather have a few things with me than make my husband run around.

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I feel like I have it down pat this time but we’ll see!
My bags are officially packed and I’m ready whenever this little lady tells me it’s time! 

Parents: Learn to RSVP.

We’ve all seen the viral posts where a child has a birthday party and no one shows up. We see the sad child sitting alone at the table set up for 20 with no friends there to share their special day. These photos and stories literally hurt my heart. It’s because of these and just general curtesy that whenever my kids are invited to a party I always RSVP. We can’t always make every party that we’re invited too and that’s okay! I can always at least know the parent if we’ll be attending or not.

This past weekend we celebrated Aria’s 5th birthday! The school year is over so I made sure to have the invites out about a month before school ended. I heard from ONE parent. ONE. I sent out 22 invitations and got a response from one single parent.

We have a lot of friends who have children so I knew that my daughter would still have other kids there to share her day but this lack of consideration really bothered me. I wouldn’t have cared if I got 22 people that said “I’m sorry, we can’t make it” but only one person bothered to tell me if they’d be attending or not.

This made the planning process a little tough. Did these parents think it was regrets only? Would people show up that didn’t let me know they’d be attending? So we purchased extra “goodie bags” and food just in case.

Lets just say kids left with 2 goodie bags and some people got to take a full pizza home!

So moral of my rant, just don’t be a dick and RSVP; even if you can’t make it. 

 

Anyways, Aria still had an amazing party.

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Oh, and Costco cake is DELICIOUS.

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Time To Pay Attention

Like most 6 1/2 year old boys, my son, loves the hell out of some tablet time. He likes watching videos and playing all kinds of apps. I try my best to watch what he’s doing but you know, stuff happens. We can’t monitor every single second spent on the tablets. Hell, that’s why we let them play on them. To get them out of our hair and get some shit done. Well, lesson learned.

He’s been super into Minecraft but it’s still just a little advanced for him. He gets super frustrated when he “dies” or is defeated. He asked me a few days ago for a game called “Builder Buddies.” Since I have to enter a password for everything that is downloaded… I looked at it and thought “innocent enough!” Building a world. Cool.

Wrong. 

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It was probably early in the morning or I was distracted when I agreed to download the game. I didn’t realize it was a “social” game meaning he could interact with strangers all over the world. I didn’t notice you can literally see the chat bar in the screenshot above. Well, in my opinion social games are not appropriate for a 6 year old.

This afternoon he comes and sits next to me with his tablet and this game open. He starts showing me different things that he was building and says “oh no, someone came in and destroyed the door.” I assumed it was part of the game and then I saw the chat bar at the top of the screen. I asked him to see it and I could tell he wanted to hide it. I asked him if he ever saw anything bad in the chat and he said “yeah, someone said fuck.”

Nope. 

I asked if he talks to people on there and he said “yeah! I type to them sometimes.”

Again. Nope. 

I stayed on the chat for just a few minutes and saw people asking if “anyone wanted to role play” or if anyone “wanted to make out.”

Enough. Deleted. 

My husband and I then looked up reviews for the game on a website called Safer Kid. Sure enough, it’s pretty scary! He was even using his real full name in the chat. URGH.

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We explained to him all the different reasons why he can’t play that game anymore and why we deleted it. He cried and didn’t quite understand until we told him that there could be people on there who want to hurt him. He then seemed to grasp our concern and was happy when we found a similar app without the social aspect.

So, I know this is my fault for not paying more attention when he asked to download it but I’m happy he didn’t have it long before we realized. Lesson learned.

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It just blows my mind that this little man is finishing up Kindergarten and is capable of READING and WRITING. It’s amazing but a whole new dangerous that I wasn’t prepared for until today.

Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

I wanted to tell my personal story on bleeding in early pregnancy. I’ve had bleeding in almost all of my pregnancies and each time I went against my better judgement and googled things. I spent way more time than I’d like to admit just reading comments, blog posts, and searching for outcomes. 99% of of those things we’re all negative.

I’m telling my story.

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Seven (wow!) years ago I was pregnant with my first child. I was around 8-9 weeks pregnant and started some heavy bleeding. I’m talking red, period like, clots. I was instructed by my OBGYN to go to the emergency room to get checked out. I did. They did an ultrasound and said there was no reason that they could find that I was bleeding. My son had a normal heartbeat and everything looked fine. I was sent home with a diagnosis of a “threatened miscarriage” and placed on a wait and see type of plan. I was told to take it easy and see what happens. Well, I had basically a short normal period. The bleeding lasted 3-4 days. I went back to my regular doctor for another ultrasound and everything looked great. I now have a healthy, crazy, 6.5 year old son.

With my second pregnancy, Aria, I had no bleeding. I was almost waiting for it but nothing ever happened. Thank goodness.

Here comes the more dramatic parts: 

Over a year ago we decided to expand our family once again. I was tracking ovulation and all that good stuff for months. I was doing what I said I would never do: take pregnancy tests before my missed periods. Twice over several months I had faint positive tests before my missed periods. Twice I ended up bleeding within a week of when period was due. I had two chemical pregnancies and was diagnosed with secondary infertility.

So, This past October – early November, once again another positive test. I was planning a fun pregnancy surprise for my husband. These tests were taken after my period was supposed to start so I thought THIS IS IT! I was on progrestone supplements.

I started bleeding… AGAIN. I told him “Well, I was planning a fun pregnancy surprise for you but I’m having another chemical pregnancy.” I went to the doctor for my usual HCG levels and they were in the high 200’s. That wasn’t typical of my past chemicals. I went back 48 hours later and they were close to 1000. So again, not typical of a chemical but typical for a healthy pregnancy. I stopped bleeding. I went in for an ultrasound a little later and BAM! Heartbeat.

Fast forward to 7-8 weeks pregnant, I start red bleeding again like I did with my son. I called my office and they urged me to go to the emergency room. I stayed calm and went in. It was an exact repeat of what happened 7 years ago. There was no explanation for the bleeding but I left with another diagnosis of “threatened miscarriage.”

Now, here I am at 20 weeks pregnant. Everything is looking flawless.

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So while bleeding in pregnancy is terrifying, don’t fall into all of the horror stories you’ll see on the internet. Sometimes there are positive outcomes even if you never get a reason why it happened to you.

Protect Your Childs Future

Protecting your personal identity and making sure you’re safe from fraud is something that all of us are practicing; at the very least you’ve heard of it.

Well, what about your children?

Can you imagine your kids turning 18…

They are ready to get their first credit card on their own. They decide that they want to get a loan to go to school. Then they realize their identity was stolen and they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. This might sound far fetched but child identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. You may be monitoring your credit but honestly, who thinks about their kids social security numbers? You should. 

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Identity Protection Planning is a company that focuses on entire family protection. Not only will they look out for you but they’re also going to be keeping an eye on any minors in the home. They offer a RISK FREE service with a $1 million dollar protection plan. If anything happens, they’ve got your back.

Identity Protection Planning offerers a service called Identron which is the most comprehensive coverage available to families.

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Their rates are extremely reasonable for the levels of coverage you and your family are receiving. To view the different plans available check out this webpage!

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With these two little ones at home and one on the way it’s absolutely horrifying to think that someone out there could be ruining their future without my knowledge. The effects of identity theft can take years and is a huge expense to try to sort out. I don’t know about you, but the peace of mind of having a company like Identity Protection Planning is worth the small monthly fee.

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It’s a …

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GIRL!

 

Before I was actually pregnant, I kept saying that I wasn’t going to find out the gender. I really didn’t care what the gender was so I figured that we would keep it a surprise for when he/she was born.

Well, come 14 weeks…
I started to think about preparing and planning things for the new baby. I couldn’t wait. I’m such a type A and planning orientated person that I needed to know.

So on my birthday we found out. She wasn’t shy.

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We told the kids, family, and co-workers with little scratch off tickets revealing the gender on amazon. So once everyone knew, I decided to go public with the news.

YAY to another baby girl!

Secondary Infertility: The Struggle is Real

Sometime last year my husband and I decided that three kids would be good for us. Our two are getting slightly older and we were ready to tackle being outnumbered. Our first two came so easily. I never thought that we’d have trouble with a third…

Yet, here we are…

Secondary Infertility.

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This past March I was feeling a little funky one morning. Decided to take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, positive. It was a pretty faint positive but I figured it was just because I was so early on. I went to the doctors the next day for bloodwork and started bleeding shortly after. My HCG count was only 15 and my progesterone level was dangerously low at 0.7— AKA, a chemical pregnancy.

I was a little discouraged because as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test the excitement kicks in. I was happy at least because I was able to get pregnant.

I tracked ovulation the best that I could. My doctor put me on progesterone supplements to take. I was doing everything right. Nothing was happening. I was discouraged and just kind of threw my hands in the air and stopped caring after several cycles.

Fast forward a few months, here we are in July.
Same thing. I was feeling sluggish and just slightly off so I decided to take another test. Positive. More positive looking than the first one. This was a Saturday morning so I took another one Sunday. Another one Monday. They were all getting slightly darker and I thought, “yup, this is it.”

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I called the doctors office Monday and they told me that my doctor wasn’t in but they would call me the following day to see what she wanted me to do. I scheduled an ultrasound appointment for when I would be 8 weeks. The next day she called me in to do the same blood tests as before… HCG & Progesterone.

Driving home from my blood draw, I started bleeding.

Seriously? 

It was also one of the most traumatic blood draws of my life. Proof.

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So I called the office the following day with my period in full effect. I told the nurse what was happening and got my results. My HCG was 19 and my progesterone a whopping 9.8 —- wayyyyy too low. Again, another chemical pregnancy.

So my next step is waiting until that “8 week pregnancy” appointment and just having a chat with my doctor. They plan on doing a full workup and seeing if they can find any reason this keeps happening other than the fact that I know I ovulate late and my progesterone sucks.

I’m quite stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. We want a third and I think later in life I’ll be mad at myself if I don’t give it an honest try. I’m not talking IVF honest try because that’s not for our family but at least a good workup and possibly some medications.

We’ll see. For all of you struggling with secondary infertility, you’re not alone.

The Scariest Place on the Internet

If you’re a mother, trying to conceive a child, or have ever been pregnant than chances are you’ve joined a group online geared towards other women going through the same thing. In 2018, our online social life seems like it’s just as full, if not fuller than our daily “in real life” interactions. This is especially true for some mothers who are with their children all day but seek out adult interaction. I get it, I totally do.  So it makes sense that  easy solution would be to join a “mom group” on Facebook to talk with other adults in the same life space.

WellI’m here to tell you why mom groups are the scariest place on the internet.

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Lets face it, mothers are in a pretty vulnerable state regardless of what they will tell you. We’re constantly wondering if we’re screwing everything up, working towards finding that perfect balance in life, and worried about XYZ that’s going on with ourselves, our spouses, or our kids. Every single person is fighting their own battle and dealing with whatever they have going on in their personal life. Women (specifically mothers) tend to seek reassurance and advice and don’t always have the desire / resources to talk to friends or family. Sometimes they want unbiased advice or strangers to vent too.

This leads them to mom groups.

There are hundreds of thousands of these groups on Facebook alone. Ranging from local ones in your area with just a small number of members to large groups with thousands of members. There are even mom groups centered around certain Podcasts I listen too. If a lot of women enjoy it, there is probably a mom group online associated with it.

 

Point Proven. I searched "Moms" and "Target" and BAM! A Group.

Point Proven. I searched “Moms” and “Target” and BAM! A Group.

So now you have a wild number of groups that multiple women are posting too asking for advice, venting, or sharing stories. Tons of posts with tons of comments in response.

It all sounds great and supportive but is it?
Sometimes, maybe. Most of the time, not really. 

I’ve seen some of the scariest things happen in these groups. I’ve seen women post venting about a job and then someone screenshots that post and sends it to the employer. This ended in a job loss.  I’ve seen the same thing happen when women post about their husbands. This ended in physical abuse. I think we’ve all seen ungodly amounts of bad medical advice including dosages of medications that are unsafe and diagnoses that are wrong. We are not doctors and the internet should never be used in place of a doctor, duh! I’ve even seen a murder. Yes, you’ve read that right. I can’t get into details but I assure you it’s horrific.

Mothers are passionate. Women are passionate. When we get behind a computer screen sometimes that passion flies off the hinges into heated keyboard warrior arguments and adds unnecessary stress and drama in our lives. It seems that most of the times in these mom groups, it’s literally impossible to agree to disagree.

We also have a horrible habit of comparing ourselves and our kids to other people online. We have to remember that what people share is often their highlight reel and every kid is going to do things at their own pace. So if you’re getting down on yourself after seeing what other parents / kids are doing or not doing, try to not to compare. You’ll drive yourself crazy.

In that past few months, I’ve removed myself from most mom groups. The ones that have the most members, the ones where I’ve witnessed the most judging, and the ones that cause me stress are off of my news feed. It’s been quite liberating and has made for a way better online experience. No more getting sucked into the rabbit hole of horrible mom groups and way less people trying to sell me things, yay!
If you follow these steps when it comes to your mom groups, I promise you’ll be happier. 

  1. Call your pediatrician / doctor when it comes to anything medical. You don’t need the advice of strangers to worry you or give you incorrect information. We know you’re going to google the symptoms anyways and think you have cancer so let your doctor be the one to tell you the good news that you just have a bug bite.
  2. When you see a post that is totally out there roll your eyes, giggle a little to yourself, and just keep scrolling.
  3. Remove yourself from any group that is causing stress. Limit yourself to just one or two of the “good groups” but still be careful.
  4. Don’t post anything online that you’re not okay with the world seeing. Just because it’s in a group doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there. Post with the assumption that everyone is going to see it.
  5. Be yourself and don’t compare yourself and your kids to others.

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2018 Easter Baskets

I don’t know why easter and easter baskets stress me out. I guess it’s because I’m trying to put things in it that 1) my kids will like 2) aren’t complete trash that will just get thrown away and 3) will fit in the basket!  I  also don’t like to go overboard and treat Easter like a second Christmas. I still, just like any parent, want to make it fun and see them get excited.

I should point out that we aren’t a religious family so we literally just celebrate the easter bunny and the coming of spring! The bunny comes in and brings surprises for them to enjoy during spring time.

I browsed the pre-made baskets at the store and just felt like my kids would eat the candy and then break any of the toys that were in there in a sugar fueled rage.

So instead… 

This is what I came up with this year.

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These are the same baskets they’ve had since their very first easter! I got them at Pottery Barn kids on mega sale years ago and they’ve held up fantastic.

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So what exactly did I put in them this year?

Aria [3.5 years old] & Everett [5.5 years old]

  • 2 swim suits
  • spring / summer sandals
  • 3 jars of playdoh
  • sidewalk chalk
  • hatchimal eggs
  • slinky
  • cotton candy
  • chocolate bunny
  • educational book [preschool or kindergarten workbook]
  • scented markers [mostly for me, I’m obsessed]
  • silly putty
  • blank drawing pad

I put pretty much identical things in each basket to avoid the inevitable fight between them if they’d had gotten different things. There’s, of course, sugar in there but with all the egg hunts they’re going too, I really didn’t want to fill the basket with more. I was going to be buying swim suits and sandals anyways so why not toss them into the basket! I feel like everything in there will be used this spring and don’t feel guilty since I didn’t fill them with a bunch of junk that will get thrown away in a day!