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Featured on MovingBabies

Mommy Style Monday: Bonding with My Kids

A while back I wrote a post on my transition from one to two kids.  I have to say that as Lizzie is getting older, daily survival is getting easier, but each stage brings new challenges.  Learning to share, taking turns, and all those fun social skills are a big part of Brecken's learning right now.
From the beginning I have been a huge advocate of making sure that both my kids are loved, protected, and taught by me as much as possible.  Most of our days consist of the three of us playing together.  The balancing act during those times can get tricky, but I do my best to ensure that I am giving them both what they need.

This week's Mommy Style Monday post is answering the question "How do you bond with your kids?"  Being 2.5 and almost 8 months old, it all comes down to one word: TIME.

Brecken has been a trooper going from getting all my attention to sharing it with his sister.  When she has her morning nap and late afternoon nap it is his time with me.  I basically give him free reign to decide what we do, but we do it together.  I don't get on my phone, turn on the TV, or anything that would distract from him.  Normally we play with toys, read books, and he likes to run around the room and then jump on pillows to play "night night".  This past week his favorite things were: playing with Easter eggs and building towers with his legos.  This time with him is precious to me and I know he craves that one-on-one attention as well.  When Brandon is home, he often will take Brecken outside, just the two of them to play, ride tractors, etc.  I can see a huge difference when he has these times with us.

Elizabeth gets a bit more one-on-one with me than her brother.  I love my bedtime feeding with her.  She is usually very snuggly and smiley.  Same goes for her though, if she wakes up early from her lunchtime nap (when Brecken naps) then I give her my time.  We play with learning toys, I read her books, and we also just walk around the house and look out the windows (her new favorite activity).  Again, just giving her my time she knows she is the center of my world in those moments.                                

As the kids get older we plan to do two-on-one and one-on-one "dates" with the kids.  It just consists of having them with both parents and individual parents to go out and do something fun together.  Brecken will probably be ready to start doing this soon.  He and I did go to the dentist this week with out his sister.  He loved it!

There isn't much complexity to what I believe makes kids (or people for that matter) feel special.  Give them your time.

Want to join in on the Mommy Style Monday posts? Follow THIS link to sign up!

Check out the other Blogs: 
Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand

Connecting to What Matters Most

I’ve been wanting to share this for a while now, but I am also a little terrified. 

So we all know that life on social media is often not a true representation of our daily lives. Those Instagram pictures are missing the poop on your shirt from the baby’s blowout that morning or the food stuck to the counter that your toddler left behind (true stories from my week). For the longest time I knew I was spending too much time with technology. Like so many things, it can be used for good or bad.  I was spending way too much time on my phone. 

How I got to this conclusion and a plan to change it all came because of a lesson I taught in Relief Society one Sunday. I was sharing about a talk that really pinpointed the need to focus on eternal, important things. During our discussion, so many wonderful ladies shared their viewpoints and experiences. As a somewhat young mom, I felt like it was much needed and wanted advice that I never really knew I needed. As hard as it was to admit, I had this idea that my time wasn’t being spent where it needed to be. 

Now I am going to be completely honest about this process because it is ongoing. I came home from church that day ready to do better at giving my time to eternal things. 

First: reconnect with myself. How can I take care of others if I am always running on empty myself?  This doesn't mean selfishness, but a conscious effort to improve my own self care. I decided to recommit to starting my day talking to my Heavenly Father and reading scripture. It is the best and often the only time I have to do these things. Mostly it happens when I hear the kids start to wake and I hit my knees for a few quiet moments. Other days I am able to get up a bit before them and have more time for study, prayer and reflection. Another hope is to add in regular workouts.  I crave exercise simply for my mental health, but seriously struggle with working out at home.  Baby steps. 

Second: disconnect from my phone. I started leaving it in my room or in a place away from where we would be. It’s sad to say that it has become so commonplace for it to be right beside me that I pick it up anytime I’m “bored”.  This goes better on some days than others.  I also decided it was time to deactivate my Facebook account. It’s been a few weeks and I have not missed it for one minute. 

Third: keep connecting to my family. I have never felt that I was completely disconnected from my family, just that I needed to give them more genuine time.  The kids and I started reading a little scripture story and eating breakfast (mostly) technology free. I mean, I’m being real when I say sometimes I let my toddler watch a show so he will actually eat.  My kids are so much happier and the day goes much smoother when we are playing together. The rest of our day is full of play, naps that are often too short, and yes, a movie or tv show. Weather makes a big difference to me. If we have to be in the house all day, it gets harder for me to keep them occupied. I long for warm days with time at the park or splash pad — hopefully they aren’t too far off at this point. We also live pretty isolated from anyone and everything so that can make it hard to really feel connected. Regardless, I am making a big effort to keep my phone out of my hands and my focus on interacting with my kids. If Brandon is home, we usually do a lot better with this because we tend to go out and do more as a family. 

I feel super lame that I even have to do this. How did I get here? I don’t know the full answer to that, but I am grateful that I’m trying to right the ship. Don’t worry, I still have moments and days where I fail, but thankfully I get a fresh start daily. Why am I sharing it? Probably for accountability, so I don’t just give up and fall back into old habits. But also because it’s time to get real and share life as it as.  

Mommy Style Monday: Spring Transition

This month for Mommy Style Monday we are sharing a spring outfit. Since winter has decided that it wants to reign down on Cache Valley, I’m sharing an outfit that is great to transition you from winter to spring. 

Ignore the awkwardness of this picture
and focus on the cute clothes instead. 

My outfit is an everyday, run errands, go to the park ensemble.  I am a big fan of both of the boutiques mentioned below.  This is not a sponsored post, just my honest opinion of amazing products from small businesses.  They both offer FREE shipping on all U.S. orders! 

TOP: DoubleHood Sweatshirt from Mindy Mae’s Market.   I’ve been obsessing over these beauties for a while and I got the Floral Dot for Christmas. I love that it is longer and more lightweight than other hoodies. The polka dot and floral pattern mixing is cute and fun for spring. The zipper on the shoulder is just another added detail that I really like. These babies sell out fast, but you can join an email list to be notified when the one you want is back in stock. 

BOTTOMS: The Jolene Distressed Crop from Shop By Beck are my newest addition to my spring/summer wardrobe. They are a great wash and the distressed look makes them even better. I love that they can go from spring to summer easily. Versatility is key when I purchase any new piece of clothing.

SHOES: My White Converse are shoes that I keep in my closet all year long. They match anything and are super comfy! 

If you want to join in our monthly blog posts, just click here and sign up!  Check out the other spring outfits being shared below:

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand