I love Snapchat

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mylifewithalittle.com

I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love Snapchat. Seriously.

There’s just something so…normal about Snapchat.
It lets you into peoples lives without perfectly curated images. Without perfectly edited photos.

It lets you see people as old women, dogs, pirates, and fat nerds (one of my favs).
Snapchat lets go of what we see as the norm for social media, and lets us be, dare I say it, ourselves.

I love being able to see the mess in your kitchen. Because it lets me know that the dishes piled in mine are ok. I love being able to see your kids with funny filters, because I know I’m not the only one who does it.

I love getting to see my friends in the elements.

Snapchat does away with the pressure of being perfect, and y’all. That is a huge relief to this mama.

I wrote some more thoughts over on Motherhood Inspired! Go check it out!

And come find me on Snapchat: megwestmoreland

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Ten Tips to a Sleeping Babe

I feel like every time I get on Instagram a mama friend, or blogger I follow is sharing a picture of their too cute babe with a caption about how they aren’t sleeping. Whether it’s teeth, or being a newborn, or just…dare I say, being a baby.

Here’s the thing though.
I’ve got a sleeping babe.
And have had a sleeping babe since she was a month old.

GOSH THAT FEELS GOOD TO SAY. 

In all honesty, I’ve almost been afraid to say that online. Thinking I had some miracle sleeping child. Maybe I do. Maybe it’s just being really blessed. Or lucky. Or good juju. Whatever it is. I’m thankful.

I 100% do not claim to be a sleep expert. By any means. But. I’ve come up with a couple tips to get that babe sleeping. They might work, they may very well not work.

#1. Feed that baby.
Ok, I know this sounds stupid. But. At around a month old we started to give Em formula at night (I think it was like 4 oz). It was usually around midnight and she slept through the night for six hours. And continued to do so.
Here’s what needs to be said. Sometimes your breast milk isn’t enough.
GOSH. THAT feels good to say too.
Mine wasn’t and I knew that. Giving her formula filled her up for night time and ensured a good nights sleep. Now. If you’re milk is enough. Way to go mama! I’m jealous.

#2. Give the swaddling  a rest. 
News flash: some babies hate to be swaddled. Case in point, Emily. We got away with it for a couple weeks when she was a newborn, but unless we put her in a suit thing, she busted right out. My mom told me one time, “They’ve been cramped up for nine months, who wants to be squished all the time when they can finally move those limbs”. Point taken, mother. I do think that the first couple weeks works, but once Em became more aware of things it was a no go. So don’t think you have to swaddle your babe just because the book tells you too.

#3. Put baby on their belly. 
I know. I know. I KNOW. This isn’t what they tell you to do. But this was our lifesaver. Once Em could move her head back and forth and up and down, which was about a month, we put her on her belly to sleep. The problem was that our little wiggle worm didn’t like to be swaddled, but then would wake herself up from moving her arms and legs.
I’ll be 100% honest with you and tell you it scared the crap out of me. And I lost a lot of sleep those first couple of days checking on her every ten minutes. But the first night we did it she slept for almost nine hours, and was a little over a month old.
Side note. You were probably put on your belly to sleep too. GASP.

#4. Get a noise machine. 
I always remembered my sister had one for my niece and after reading (very little) about it, decided it was a good call. Babies are used to noise from being in the womb, so why stop that when they get out?

#5. Created a schedule as early as possible. 
Some people seriously disagree with this one. Thinking that babies don’t know whats going on until 5-6 months old, so creating a schedule is useless.
Nay.
Babies are fully aware of night and day time. Yes, when Em was a new born she got her “night time bottle” at midnight, but eventually we worked that earlier and earlier and now we’re on a serious schedule. Which is sanity to me. If you get a solid 4 hours from your babe, make that four hours make sense. 2-6. 1-5. 3-7. Start early with a schedule, and stick to it!

#6. Create a nighttime routine.
This grew as Emily did. When she was a newborn, there wasn’t really the process of getting into jammies or a bath. But now that she’s older it’s just about the same thing every night. A bath, into jammies, and sometimes Sesame Street depending how long we have. We’ve created a really tight schedule with her so bed time is a hard 7 these days. And I don’t under any circumstances let that change. We plan our days around this 7:00 bedtime. If we go out to dinner, we go out earlier now. The littlest things can throw a baby off from a schedule. So I don’t even want to try and see what happens if we did.

#7. Make day time light and night time dark. 
I feel like this might be a no brainer but I guess it’s not. During the day, when baby is awake, open the blinds. Use natural light. When it’s night time, turn some lights off. Create a setting that allows for sleep.

#8. Let them cry.
Again, I know. I KNOW. This isn’t popular. And quite honestly it sucks. Em does this for naps a lot. But. It’s worked for us. We’ve let her cry for a good 20 minutes before and out she goes. You’re the mama, you know a tired baby when you see one. Sometimes during the day for her naps, I just have to put her in her crib and walk out. Most of the time she talks to herself for a couple minutes, sometimes she cries. But she always falls asleep.

#9. Do what works for YOU. 
Which may not be a single thing I’ve said. Or your mom says. Or that stupid baby book. I know women who have EIGHT MONTH OLDS that still don’t sleep more than 4 hours at a time. To that woman I say, I’m praying for you. Because I would loose my mind. If having that babe sleep with you works, go for it. If they keep waking up, maybe you should move them into their own bed…and room. If making sure the fan, noise machine, and clock ticking is what makes them sleep, go for it.

#10. NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY. NO MATTER WHAT
Again. I start this off by saying that I feel like this is a no brainer. But evidently it’s not. I was given advice more than once to wake Em up to feed her or change her because she slept so long at such a young age. NO FREAKING WAY, MAN. If your baby is hungry…they’ll wake up. Even at the hospital the first night the nurse didn’t wake her up to feed her. I promise your baby won’t starve. Cross my heart. When I hear women say they wake their babies up to feed them I want to shake them. STOP DOING THAT. Seriously. And if your baby sleeps so long through the night like Em does, start them in night time diapers earlier on. 

I put that one in all bold because it’s so important.

Sleep is just as important for you as it is for them.

If you’re reading this and think I’m full of crap. I have absolutely no problem with that. If you think some of these might help, then yay!

But this worked for me. And this is the face I get every time this kid wakes up:

www.mylifewithalittle.com

And if you have any other suggestions, let me know!
Here’s to sleeping children!

 

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Letting go of expectations

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We were having a really good “family outfit day”. I got a shower AND had some mascara on. Clothes were ironed. Em was in a dress. It needed to be documented.

We got a selfie stick for Christmas that we’ve never used and I whole heartedly believed this could become a thing. This Saturday Selfie with the Westmorelands.

This is what we got.

Clearly Em, wasn’t interested. Obviously Sonny didn’t realize how cute my (FIVE DOLLAR) dress from Target was. And he’s also blocking the really cute elephant on her dress.

I huffed and puffed and “I’m done”d. And then looked at the pictures and laughed.

Real life mom moment: this was so much better.

I think as humans we expect a lot out of life. And I believe we should…to a point.
I had envisioned the cutest little family photo in my head. Perfectly lit outside, everyone looking and smiling. We had just had the best day, I’d say something about it in the caption on Instagram. And this is what I get. I know now, that this was perfect.

If we hold ourselves to these expectations of what we think life should be like, we’re going to miss out on what’s right in front of us.

If we think we need to have a perfect family photo every Saturday, we’ll never get it. I almost think that’s Gods way of being like, “Yo, chill out”.
And I’m thankful for that.

Sure, are perfect family pictures wonderful. You bet. But the one’s with closed eyes and babies heads turned, are so much more fun to look at.

I find myself doing that in life a lot too. Whatever the expectation I had, most of the time isn’t at all what actually happens. If you had asked Megan 10 years ago what she expected her life to look like, I can promise you this wasn’t it at all.
But holy crap am I glad those expectations weren’t met.

I believe that we find true happiness in realizing that expectations are meant to be broken, or not set at all. When you’re dead set on an expectation, you’re setting yourself up for failure if it doesn’t go exactly as such. And that’s a lot of weight. Going through life expecting it to look a certain way, trying to make sure everything is always lined up and perfect.

At least I’m tired thinking about that.

So here’s to letting go of expectations. To doing life with less weight attached to it. And to way more “Saturday Selfies”.

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Indoor Smores

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I have had the biggest craving for smores for quite some time now.
No, not pregnant.

I forgot every time I went to the store to get supplies, maybe it’s because I wasn’t super sure on how to get this done. Because part of the smores experience is roasting the marshmallow.

Right?

Wrong.

If you’re over the age of 10, you can happily make these babies in your oven.
Would a fire still have been wonderful, you bet.

But less mess (yes), and half the time. Plus I was inside. Mosquito free.

Indoor Smores
Set oven to Broil (High)
Place a marshmallow on a piece of graham cracker and place into the oven for 5-7 minutes, depending on how you like your mallow. 
Place chocolate and another piece of graham cracker on top. 

Boom. 
Smores inside. 

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Emily Mae // 9 Months

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By far the hardest picture to get. Mommy tried it alone, and obviously had some trouble. Notice the finger prints at the top. But ya’ll. I just can’t with this kid.

A PINK TUTU BATHING SUIT?!

+Em is a pro Army crawler. I think she’d totally win one of those Iron man contest. Just the part where they crawl through the mud though. I’ve tried so hard to get those knees and arms up buuuuut, she’s kinda lazy. It’s so much fun to watch though. And she’s really quick these days too.

+We started swim lessons! This was something I was super adamant about. The girl who comes is so sweet, even though Em screams through about half of it. Which I’m told is better than most. And it’s not a scared yell, it’s a “Hi, I’m annoyed” yell. She’s learning how to float on her back and be comfortable in the water. Which she totally is.

+We’re slowly moving away from baby food and onto actual food. Frozen veggies are amazing and so easy. They already come cut up, so boom. Lunch. We usually have oatmeal or her favorite, a waffle in the morning. She loves watermelon, and every couple of days will eat some blueberries. But the girl loves her veggies. No complaints here. Corn, green beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, you name it she loves it.

+Em has four teeth. Two on the top and two on the bottom. The top ones are my favorite because they have a little gap in the middle. It’s the cutest thing ever.

+This girl can talk. Every time she gets going Sonny and I can’t stop laughing. I really think someone needs to invent something that translates baby talk so we can understand what they’re saying. Someone at NASA, I’m looking at you. We still haven’t said mama yet…and I’m still totally fine with it. I’m fine. Really, I’m fine.

+Eats her toes. Which is yes, both totally weird and hysterical all at the same time.

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Surely we can change

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It’s been a heavy couple of months.
A heavy, heavy couple of months.

As a mom, I’ve found myself more often then not saying, “Why and how is this the world I have to raise babies in? And how am I supposed to do that?”
I’ve watched the news cover shooting after shooting (and before we go on, I want to make it clear that I do not think this is about guns) and wondered, “But why do they hate us/them/him/her, so much?”

And then I’ve logged on, and so many time off, of social media. We’ve got a lot to say these days, and as we should.
I know I do.

I have a brother in the police force. So no, I don’t support a movement that’s calling for his head on a silver plater. That’s not peacefully protesting, instead throwing bricks at the police.
I live in the town that underwent the largest terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. I cried and did what I could to show support to the humans affected. No, I don’t think it was just about one “type” of people. I saw humans, that’s it.

As a country we’ve been divided. By the media and the President. Being told that an event that took place was because of xyz, when in reality it was just because of hate. Because someone decided that acting on that hate was a good idea. You can hop on Facebook at any time of the day now and get everyones opinion on anything.

And I want to make it clear, that I think that’s ok. We’re allowed to share our opinion.

But it’s how we do that. I’ll be 100% honest and say that I am struggling with anger right now at recent events. I’m mad. I’m mad that the people who protect us day in and day out are being portrayed like the enemy. I’m mad that I had to listen to my little sister cry to me for 45 minutes the night of the Dallas shootings as her husband was still out on duty. I’m mad that people are making this just about guns. I’m mad that recent events aren’t being told in total honesty, that there is so much of these stories we don’t know. I’m mad that we can’t all just come together and say ENOUGH.

That it doesn’t have to be about skin color. Or religion. Or sexual preference.

We can disagree with each other. You can totally think it’s all about guns. You can think I’m full of it. That’s fine. But we have to start being ok with the fact that we aren’t all right all the time, and that there are people with different opinions than us.

Surely we can change.

Surely we can figure out how to get out of this mess we’ve put ourselves in. Because if we want to point fingers, we can. But we have to all stand in front of the mirror and point to ourselves first.

The only answer, and when I say the only, I mean the only answer. 
Is Jesus.

You want a “movement” that means nothing but love, and peace. That’s Jesus.

The One Who came to change it all. To make us all one. To show the world that love will always conquer hate.

I’ve got some work to do. I’ve got to let some of this anger go because I know it’s not helping. It’s not doing anything.

Jesus came so that this crazy, messed up world we live in, can make a little sense.

And that’s what I clinging to these days.

We’ll make it through, you guys. We will.
But.

We have to start with Jesus.

Where there is hope, love, peace, courage, strength, and forgiveness.

I’ve figured out that we have to start just looking to Him. Reading in the Word about His life and how He handled things. How God placed Him on this earth, to live a life worthy of mimicking. How God created Him to come, and to die for our sins. All of them. To come and remove hate. To let love reign. Jesus is the remedy.

I’ve started taking Em and Duke for a walk in the morning and this morning I put on The Remedy album by David Crowder.
And listened to the song Surely We Can Change.
Here are the lyrics:

“And the problem is this
We were bought with a kiss
But the cheek still turned
Even when it wasn’t hit

And I don’t know
What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know
How to be a love like that

When all the love in the world
Is right here among us
And hatred too
And so we must choose
What our hands will do

Where there is pain
Let there be grace
Where there is suffering
Bring serenity
For those afraid
Help them be brave
Where there is misery
Bring expectancy
And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Something

And the problem it seems
Is with you and me
Not the Love who came
To repair everything

Where there is pain
Let us bring grace
Where there is suffering
Bring serenity
For those afraid
Let us be brave
Where there is misery
Let us bring them relief
And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Oh surely we can change
Something

Oh, the world’s about to change
The whole world’s about to change”

Y’all. That’s some good stuff.

We need grace and serenity and braveness and change. So much change.

And we do that through Jesus. Even as I type this I wonder where to start. And I think it’s an easy answer. Love. We have to get back to loving on each other. Truly loving on each other. Race, religion, sexual preference, occupation aside. Love.

The world’s about to change.

And it’s up to us to make sure that the change that comes is more Jesus. Less hate.

 

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