Browsing Category: motherhood

Evelyn | Two Months

Evelyn is two months old: she is a master at rolling over, loves cooing and talking to everyone, drinks bottles like a champ, and much more!

Dear Evelyn,

It seems like you have been part of our family for much longer than two months. We have started to fall into a pretty good routine, although I am still struggling a bit to balance freelancing, blogging, and spending time with you and Rhys. We have started to figure out your cries and your needs. You have definitely started to show your personality quite a bit. We are so excited to see you growing and learning.

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Evelyn is One Month

Dear Evelyn Morgan,

It seems just a few days ago that Christmas was here and you were newborn. But, you are already a month old! This month has been a trying one for me. Not only have I been suffering from PPD and anxiety and learning to transition to two kids, but you have had issues of your own. The biggest one is your sensitive tummy and poor digestive system. You have been constipated so many times this month and you strain and strain to pass a bowel movement. Most of the time, it’s not as loose as it should be and it has given you a few tears. It also messes with your sleep. This has given me so much stress because I hate seeing you suffer.

Other than that, you are an amazing girl. You are bright eyed and alert and so very strong. And, I am in love with how much hair you have–and the fact that it’s auburn like mine! We love you so much!

Weight: 8 lbs 3.5 ounces (birth: 7lbs 5oz)

Height: 22.5 inches (birth: 20.25 inches)

Nicknames: Baby Girl, Little One, Little Miss

Eating| I nursed you for four days, then switched to formula. You take Gerber Soothe with Probiotics with a teaspoon of Gripe Water mixed in it. You drink about 2 ounces at a time. Sometimes, you’ll only drink 1 ounce, and sometimes, you want 3. As much as I would love to put you on a 3 hour eat-wake-sleep schedule like Rhys was at this age, that hasn’t happened. You eat anywhere between every hour and a half to three and a half hours. Typically, it’s around 2.5 hours between feedings. You stare up at me almost the whole time you drink. It’s very obvious when you are done–you basically shove the bottle out of your mouth. We have give you some prune juice a few times to help with your constipation issues.

Sleep| Nighttime: You typically have a bottle around 8pm (the same time we put Rhys down to bed) and you typically sleep until 10-11:30ish. Sometimes, we’ll stay up until then to feed you, sometimes, we’ll just go to sleep until you wake us up. Then, you’ll go right back to sleep and wake up between 1-3AM. Right back asleep and back up between 4-6AM. So you are a lot more sporadic then your brother was at this age, but I’m trying to go with the flow and be more flexible with you because your stomach kind of requires that. You sleep in your swing since you never stay asleep on your back. Most times, after your early morning feeding, I’ll bring you into bed with me.

Daytime: You typically wake up between 7:30 and 8. If Rhys wakes up before then, which typically happens, he’ll come into bed with us and watch Nick Jr while we keep our eyes closed a little longer. You don’t sleep very well in the morning…a sporadic short nap here or there. Then, after you noon-ish feeding, you’ll sleep for a few hours, which allows Rhys to have a nap at his regular time and I can close my eyes too! Thank you! In the late afternoon and evening, you do much better at sleeping for naps. You smile so large in your sleep that it takes up half your face. You also giggle a lot in your sleep too. We wonder what you are dreaming about. A lot of times, during the day and the night, you will struggle and strain and push in your sleep for 30-60 minutes before you wake, trying to get a poo out. I hate seeing your sleep disrupted like that. You also love to sleep in the Moby wrap. Sometimes, we’ll let you nap on your tummy as you can already lift and turn your head very easily and it seems to comfort you more.

Milestones and Learning| Tummy Time: We do tummy time every day, typically in the morning. You can lift your head up 90* already and consistently! And, we cannot even believe it: you are rolling over already! You’ve been rolling over since 2.5 weeks!

Focusing and Tracking: You can track very easily. You love following our faces around and different toys. When I’m on my phone and you are in front of me, you stare transfixed at the LDS Temple cover I have on it. When we FaceTime Grandma, you love looking at her, and have actually given her a smile!

Communication: Once or twice you have given us an intentional smile. You have also started to coo–it’s adorable and Rhys loves it.

Arms and Legs: You can very easily bring your hand together. You love holding my hand or the bottle as I feed you. Your hands have also found their way to your mouth quite a few times.

Personality| When your tummy isn’t bugging you, and you’ve had enough sleep, you are the calmest, most inquisitive little girl. But, when you have trapped gas or haven’t had a bowel movement or are tired because you haven’t slept due to those issues, you are fussy.

Likes: 

  • showers with me and baths in the sink
  • getting your hair brushed
  • being held
  • being in the Molly wrap
  • eating

Dislikes:

  • getting changed
  • being hungry–you scream and growl until we get you a bottle
  • having gas or being constipated
  • your carseat–seriously, I can’t really go anywhere with you!
  • being put down if you aren’t asleep

You have already met your grandparents and aunts on my side of the family. They flew in from Utah for the New Year. You had so much attention the first week of your life. We are going to fly to Utah this Friday, and I’m a little nervous about flying with your fussiness and digestion issues!

Your bowel movements have gotten better. You typically pass at least one big and one small stool a day. They are getting looser and more towards the correct, average color and texture. I am a huge believer in probiotics and Essential Oils, which we have been using on your tummy to help digestion and your feet to help soothe you. Baby acne plagues your cheeks, chin, and neck, so we’ve been using special lotion to help it. Hopefully it’ll go away soon and hopefully it doesn’t mean you’ll be a pizza face like your Mama was as a teenager.

I love you so much. I am so happy to have a daughter. I look into your eyes and I can’t wait to find out more about your personality.

Love,

Mama and Daddy

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dealing with a Speech Delay

Even if your child is advanced in everything else, they could still have a delay

It’s really hard when you have a brilliant son in every way possible, but everyone else his age speaks circles around him. Rhys has a speech delay. It’s frustrating for Justin and I and it’s also frustrating for Rhys.

Even if your child is advanced in everything else, they could still have a delay

The absolute worst is at night, he constantly asks for “A da da.” For months, we have wracked our brains with what that could possibly mean, even recruiting my mother for her ideas. “Door open,” “I don’t want to,” “Daddy,” “door open,” “attention,” we have no idea. We’ve asked him to show us, and he just stands still and says it more.

Rhys has plenty of words; his vocabulary expands every day. But, he really suffers with pronunciation. The most prevalent example is when he asks us to go to his room: “ee oom” (Rhys room). Sometimes, he doesn’t even get the “m” on room.

He is two and half and has started to get frustrated when we can’t understand him. Especially because he will be starting preschool in the fall and now has a baby sister who can only coo and cry, we definitely wanted to work on his speech. So, we called Early Childhood Intervention to see if we could qualify for speech therapy through the state.

A speech therapist came to evaluate Rhys, not only in speech, but also in other aspects of his growth and development to see if it was a compounded problem. This happened in early December, when he was barely 29 months old. Most thing: gross and fine motor skills, social development, comprehension and communication, and other knowledge based things, Rhys was scoring between 30 and 36 months–he was advanced.

I knew that already. I mean, if you look back at all his monthly updates, he was always ahead of the curve when it came to milestones. But, we wanted to figure out the issue with the speech delay. Tongue tied and lip tied was ruled out (that was taken care of the day he was born), he didn’t have a chewing/swallowing issue (which sometimes affects speech), his hearing and his vision was fine.

I described to the therapists that I called him “speech dyslexic.” He was mixing up some sounds. For example, instead of saying “bye bye”, he’d say “dye dye.” He uses a lot of “g”s for other sounds too. He can get his guttural sounds very easy but his nasal and his aspirate sounds are lacking, the therapists explained. That made complete sense to me because of how the Welsh language is set up with mutations of certain sounds (I’m not going to explain it since it’s a large grammar lesson, but you can read about it here).

Sadly, he scored barely above the bar for qualifying for speech. The therapists looked back over their test results and tried to see what they could skew in Rhys’s favor to qualify him. They said they really felt that he would truly benefit from speech therapy. But, ethically, they didn’t feel that they could risk their licenses to skew it in his favor. So, they gave me their information, a packet on how to help Rhys with phonics, and told us to look at private therapists through our insurance. They left repeating that Rhys’s case is the one they will feel most bad about the entire year.

So, for now, we are trying to really help Rhys with pronunciation. Really, that is where he is failing. Daily, he gains new words (he just can’t properly say them). He knows songs and tunes and will “sing” along with them. He “reads along” when we read books. We make him use his words. We try not to use “yes or no” questions. When he watches TV, I ask him questions as to what is going on, who is who, what color they are wearing, etc. He plays along with Nick Jr shows, answering how many balls there are, or which road is longer, or that’s the triangle, etc. He truly is brilliant. Rhys knows all the numbers 0-10 and can count forward and backwards (just not pronouncing them correctly). He knows all the basic shapes and every color. He can identify the different letters of the alphabet (and can correctly pronounce most of them).

And, he is willing to try to practice his speech. We’ll work on specific sounds in each syllable, then try to get them to connect….but it doesn’t always work…..

Me: Baby

Rhys: geegee

Me: ba ba ba ba

Rhys: babababa

Me: be be be be

Rhys: dee dee dee

Me: ba bee

Rhys: ba dee

Me: ba bee

Rhys: ba gee

Me: baby

Rhys: geegee

For some reason, he can do the separate, individual sounds, but he can’t put them together. But, I have confidence that he will continue to learn and grow. I am a little worried about him being able to properly speak when he starts preschool in the fall–he’ll be little over 3. But, if his speech is still suffering, we’ll test him again at age 3 and see if we can get support through the school system.

As for now, I’m trying my hardest not to compare him to other kids his age. But, the hardest is I have two good friends who had daughters within a week of Rhys. Both girls can pronounce words correctly and speak full, long sentences. It does kill me a little inside to see that….and then when I watch Instastories or SnapChat and see my kids’ friends who are younger than Rhys speak better than him, it hits hard at home again.

But, I know it’s not my fault and it’s not Rhys’s fault. Rhys is just as smart (if not possibly smarter…I’m not bragging or biased at all!) than they are. He just has a weakness in speech. And, I am so glad that my friend, Susannah’s little boy, who is a few months younger than Rhys is having the exact same issue. It does make me feel better.

So, we’ll see what happens in the next few months.

Did your child have a speech delay? Did they qualify for speech therapy? What did you do to help your child to speak correctly?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Breastmilk Isn’t Always Best

Breast milk may be best, but it may not be the best for you or your baby.

You know the old saying, “Breastmilk is best?” I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that nutritionally it really is the best–the immunities that breast milk provides is far superior to formula. Plus, it’s completely free. However, sometimes it’s not necessarily best for the baby or the mother or the family.

Yes, breast milk is the best nutrition for a baby. But, it may not be the best circumstantially.

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I was able to nurse Rhys for four months. Many say that is a huge success. Sometimes, to me, it still feels like a failure. I try not to let the mom guilt get to me. Yes, I wasn’t producing enough due to stress and other factors. Yes, Rhys wasn’t growing as much as he could. Yes, it was causing such horrendous anxiety between both Rhys and I. And yes, he immediately had a big growth spurt as soon as I switched him over to formula. But, the fact still remained that I wasn’t able to provide him with enough breast milk. The fact that my body failed to work properly the way I wanted it bugged me.

Plus, it was very painful. Even before I gave birth to Rhys, my OB had prescribed a specific behind-the-counter cream for me to use to help soothe the pain. The lactation specialists at the hospital all felt terrible seeing the bruising I had because of Rhys’s poor latching. All four months, I had to use a shield to help ease the pain, but it never went away fully.

This time round, I was excited to nurse again. I was sure it would be much better–I wasn’t teaching, I was on anxiety medication, I knew what I was doing. My goal was 4 months.

I lasted four days.

Evelyn was not tongue tied. The lactation specialists all commented how well she latched. Yet, I still bruised, I still broke, I still bled. The pain of the initial latch was excruciating. My whole body would tense up and tighten. I would need something in my mouth to chew on to distract me from the pain. It didn’t help that Evelyn had a very powerful suck and was nursing every 1.5-2.5 hours, never giving me any time to heal. I started to dread feedings, especially at night. I’d start crying and panting during the initial latch.

I wanted to wait it out. Everyone says to try 2 weeks and typically it gets better.

Typically.

I knew from experience that wasn’t 100% the case. But, I tried. My goal then wasn’t four months; it was two weeks. Surely, I could last that long.

Nope.

Dealing with a 2.5 year old trying to get used to a new family member, the pain, the demands of a newborn, and my postpartum hormones was just too much for me. I wanted to give up. I wanted to be done with the pain. I wanted to not dread feeding.

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But, I didn’t want to stop. I wanted that intimacy that comes from nursing. I wanted that joy of knowing I could do what other mothers could do. I wanted to have the privilege of being able to boast that I nursed my baby until her 1st birthday. And, I didn’t want to pay for all that formula–it’s expensive!

And, then came the mom guilt. Not only was I dealing with postpartum hormones, but I was also experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety (which I knew I was prone to). I wasn’t enjoying motherhood.

After having some heart-to-hearts with my mom (who had nursed us all for different lengths of time and fed us all formula and is super sensitive like me), discussing it with Justin, and getting advice from my pediatrician, I finally decided to stop nursing Evelyn.

I felt peace about that decision. It would alleviate a ton of pain and stress for me, which would help the overall atmosphere of my home and family. And, it would allow others to bond with Evelyn by feeding her.

Almost immediately, both my mom and Justin commented on how my entire countenance changed. I was more relieved, more calm, more relaxed. True, I had to endure the engorgement pain as I let my milk dry up. But, I was happier.

Formula helped Rhys catch up on the growth chart after four months of nursing. Formula is bringing peace to our home with Evelyn and relieving me of daily pain.

There are times I miss nursing, especially because formula is a bit rough on Evelyn’s digestive system, but I know this is the right decision for our family.

As my OB and mom have both told me: “Breast can be best. But happy baby and mother is best.”

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Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Best Toys for Toddlers | Guest Post

Hello, hello! I’m so grateful to be here, posting for Tayler today, while she’s snuggling baby Evie. Tayler is such a wonderful person, and I’m so excited for her to experience life with two kids. A little introduction, I’m Britt! I blog over at My Little Sunshines, which is a lifestyle blog where I write about all the things that bring sunshine into my life! Motherhood, my kids, my marriage, my favorite beauty products, books, and more! I’ve been married almost 7 years to Kyle, and we have two little ones, Abe (2.5) and Eliza (14 months). We live in Idaho, where I’m blessed to stay at home while my husband (a professional counselor) runs a parenting program for the state. Life is good, even if it is cold these days! 😉

Best Toys For Toddlers

Play Kitchen | Shopping Cart | Train Set | Car Mat | Baby Doll | Books

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about when I first signed up to post for Tayler during her maternity leave. I just knew I wanted to help her out. But now that Christmas has come and gone, I still have toys on the brain, so I thought I’d share with you the best toys for toddlers, as tested and approved at my house 🙂 My husband and I are definitely minimalists and far as toys go. We don’t like to bring many into our home, but do like to buy quality toys that will last a long time and stimulate my kids’ imagination. (This is not to say we’re “perfect” parents at all! My kids watch just as much (or more!) TV as yours do! Ha.)

Play Kitchen and Accessories.

We just got Abe and Eliza a play kitchen for Christmas, along with some food, pots and pans, and tableware/cutlery. It has a been a huge hit for both of them, but especially Abe (my two year old). He has always loved to pretend to cook, and loves to help in the kitchen, so we knew he’d love it. Play kitchens can be kind of expensive, so my advice is to either watch for sales, or better yet, grab one at garage sale! Ours we were actually given by my sister-in-law since her kids have outgrown it. Win-win for everyone involved!

Play Shopping Cart and/or Stroller.

Abe got a shopping cart Christmas 2015 and it’s still played with daily. He just loads it full of stuff and pushes it around! And now Eliza is starting to push it around too. She also just got a stroller for Christmas and they both love pushing that around, too. Basically, a push toy an awesome gift, no matter what type it is.

Train Set.

Abe just got the basic train set from Melissa and Doug from his grandparents for Christmas, and that thing has already provided hours of entertainment. I love that it’s a quality toy, and Abe? Well, Abe just loves that it’s a train.

Car Mat and Cars/Trucks.

We were recently gifted the Ikea Car Mat, and with the cars and trucks Abe got for Christmas, it’s been well loved already. It came at just the right time, when our TV died, and this made the transition to no TV time a little easier. 😉

Baby Dolls.

Both Abe and Eliza love playing with our baby doll. They can push her in the cart or stroller, they can dress her, they can give her a binky, they can pretend she’s sleeping or eating. They can snuggle her and love her, and it’s just the cutest thing.

Books.

I am a huge lover of reading, and a huge proponent of reading with your kids, too! We have books upon books at our house, and we especially enjoy interactive type books, or ones that have fun rhymes. There are so many great kids books out there, so you’re sure to find at least one your child will like!


So there you have it! Some of the best toys for toddlers. It is so fun to watch toddlers learn and grow, and stretch their imagination, and I could really watch Abe and Eliza play and discover all day long. Thanks for reading along today, friends! Have fun playing! 🙂

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Britt is a stay-at-home momma by day, and a blogger by naptime. She’s been married to Kyle since 2010 and has two children – Abe (3 in March) and Eliza (14 months). As an introverted extrovert, she loves to read, write, and spend time with her family and friends. She has a degree in Human Development, her favorite colors are green, blue and gray, and she loves carbs. She’s a loyal friend, a follower of Christ, and a lover of learning.
Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.