My Priceless Camp Experiences + Camp for Boys

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, EVERYTHING ELSE, Florida, FOR MOMS, Parenting, TRAVEL

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When I was a little 10 year old growing up in Russia, the highlight of my summer was the summer camp my parents sent me to that year. Most kids would be gone for the summer at their grandparents’ summer homes or out to the country, and those kids who stayed in the city were left to either be bored indoors, or spending the hot days in the front yards playing with whoever was left in the city at that point. I remember spending weeks studying in the summer. Because I liked it, I loved reading books and I loved learning.
I also remember visiting my nephew’s kindergarten class and asking the teachers to allow me to be their TA and to play with the kids.

Bedtime struggles, the adult with kids version

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FOR MOMS, Parenting

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How many of you here are a work from home mom?
What about major hobby at home mom (yes, I just came up with that term)?

Or those who work outside of home and have to catch up on home stuff after bedtime?

What I am trying to ask is, how many of you, when it’s past bedtime and the kids are asleep, actually get up to go do something meaningful?

And I don’t mean to say that binge watching 16 episodes of Game of Thrones isn’t meaningful… Ok I do mean to say that. We all need some down time, so I get it. I used to be a binge show watcher. Before Lexi, before I had 3685208605 things to fit into 24 hours.

So if you have a hobby that you go to after kids are asleep, or a job/project/business that you work on, how do you manage the mental argument going on in your head?

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This is how my evenings usually go, let me know if you can relate or what different struggles you go through:

Step 1:

Put kid to bed. Luckily, bedtime is a breeze now. That is if you don’t count Lexi trying to play just ONE MORE GAME OF LEGOS (she loves making up stories with the sets she builds from scratch, that often involve witches and potions and, of course, her favorite, KITTENS). After I manage to peel her off her sets, she instantly announces she is hungry (oh the hungry/thirsty game).

Because I vowed not to be a parent who just assumes that they know better what their child’s body wants or needs at any given time (which started with child led breastfeeding, weaning to solid foods, weaning off milk, potty training and sleeping through the night without training), I take her to the kitchen and give her a healthy option for a snack. Unless she had just eaten. I know she often does get hungry before bed, and often it’s a ploy to get more time. Since I cannot be the judge of which is which, I give her the benefit of a doubt and offer a snack. Sometimes, she readily eats it because she was hungry. Other times, she pretends to want it and continues playing without touching her food, which of course earns her a walk upstairs to brush her teeth.

Step 2:

So I thought step one would include the whole putting to bed process now but I feel like teeth brushing is a completely separate step. Teeth brushing is non negotiable. You can cry, scream, complain, sign songs, run away from me. Your teeth are getting brushed before you go to bed. Period.

When I am feeling lazy, I insist she brushes her own teeth. But most of the time, I allow my “little for only a few more years” girl to lay in the bed spread eagle, clearly exhausted from the day and have the “buggies brushed from her teeth” by her mommy. She still whines, but who cares. (post on products for bedtime is here, insert link when published)

Then we do one of two things. If I’m mean like a mean mommy that night and can see that Lexi can handle the mile long walk from the bed where we brush her teeth to the sink, I will tell her to go do “rinse and spit”.  Otherwise I do it the “daddy” way (who is a softy and would literally rinse for her if he could. Not saying it’s a bad thing, just not always necessary, but I’m glad my little girl gets the special treatment from her dad, because mom is way too efficiency oriented to handle that). The daddy way is where he brings two cups to bedside with him, brushes her teeth, then has her drink from one and spit into another. Sigh. I guess we can let daddies spoil their little girls as long as there is also someone to set it all straight afterwards. haha

So then, we lay down. She lays on my shoulder wrapped completely around me and I turn on her favorite song of the moment. Right now it’s “Me Muero De Amor” by Natalia Oreiro (a song I adored as a child). It takes her about 1-3 minutes to fall asleep on a school night. Before she fully falls asleep, she rolls off of me and drifts off to snoozeland.

And yes for those curious, she has weaned, herself, completely naturally. With maybe a tiny push from me. More like a talk or a few about the time when it is going to be over. (Anyone want a post about the whole process?)

So here we go, bedtime in 2 steps. I wasn’t being sarcastic when I said it is a breeze now. I really mean it. To me, some bedtime toothbrushing struggle and “hungry” calls is a far cry away from the hours it would take me to wind her down from all the excitement and get her drowsy enough with breastfeeding that she would actually fall asleep. And now breastfeeding is no longer needed either. It’s amazing!

(wow this post is getting long)

So here is the step I sat down to write about that I want your experience on.

Step 3: The Mind over Body struggle.

So when you have finally heard the slow deep breathing of your child and realize it’s FREEEEEEEEEDOM, what do you do?

Because I go through an internal argument that goes something like this:
-Ok, she is asleep, I need to get up and get stuff done

-Oh but the bed…It’s so comfy, these cool sheets, and it’s so dark that it’s impossible to keep your eyes open. And I am half asleep now.

-yeah, but you are always complaining about not having enough time to do everything. Take these precious minutes and go get shit done.

-but if I get up and start working, it’s going to be another late night. I am not going to get up for just an hour. (Lexi goes to sleep at 10 pm). It has to be 3-4 hours to make it worth it and then I will be exhausted in the morning (I need to touch on this point later, because it is possible to wake up completely refreshed after even 4 hrs of sleep with a few simple steps). I’ll just get up early and get some things done in the morning.

-bwahahahaha who are you kidding?

Fine, I will just check my email on the phone right now and then get up.

10 minutes later, still in bed, email and messages checked, everyone texted good night, Elena’s body has won “Fuck it! I’m too tired. I am going to sleep!”

Then once in a while during an early bedtime or if she falls asleep in the car, I am able to stay up and work without the whole “in bed in the dark” struggle and it’s awesome and I stay up till 3 am and get a ton crossed off my to list and even a little bit for my own pleasure (Like editing). But I just hate the struggle. I want to be lazy, I want to just sleep, I want to sleep 9 hours a night. Or 12 preferably.

This happens every night. Even as I am sitting here typing this at only 12:13 am, I am literally imagining how good it would feel to lay down in bed. I swear it is partially to the mattress and bed that I have now (read about it here), or maybe it has more to do with my increased work out routine… But omg I just can’t wait to put my head down and snuggle up to Lexi, my warm ball of cuddles.

So that’s my dilemma every night and every night a different side wins. I am out of control, they just do what they want. Stupid brain and body. One needs productivity and satisfaction, another wants rest and recovery.

On that note, I have talked myself into going to bed now. And while I am sleeping, those who are up right now, let me know your bedtime mental, physical and kid struggles!

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A closer look at Sprout baby food

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Health and Fitness, Parenting, PRODUCTS

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This post brought to you by Sprout Organic Foods . The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

My friend, Kristen, wrote a guest post here a couple weeks ago about how she uses Sprout baby food to simplify her morning.  I love discovering new products that make it easier to raise healthy kids so I decided to check out Sprout Organic Foods myself. Lexi still eats fruit pouches especially when we travel, so I wondered if Sprout really is as healthy and as different as it says it is and I am super excited to share what I found out so those of you expecting or with babies (or older) can try Sprout out with your little ones.

Re-branding and new life questions

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, LIFE, Parenting

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If you missed this post on my life changes, Andrew and I are no longer together.

I am contemplating writing more about it, simply because it’s a part of my life and because many people have emailed me with their own issues they are going through, so I think it’s helpful. I am just worried about doing that in a way that would still keep it somewhat private and won’t hurt the feelings of the other person.

But in the meantime, I am trying to wrap my head around this blog in terms of single co-parenting. Is that the right term? I still don’t know how to define this. Single mother? No. I am not single. And we have a co-parenting schedule. Single co-parent? Again, not single. Am I just single in terms of parenting? But I am not single even then, because we co-parent. Confusing, huh?

Big Announcement!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, BABY, Best for Baby, Birthdays, BUMP UPDATES, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, Daily, Disney, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, Florida, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Green Products, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Letters to Lexi, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, Parenting, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Photography for Mommies Tutorials, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, Real Life Photos, TODDLER, TRAVEL, Tried and True, VIDEO

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Some of you, who follow me on social media, might have noticed that for the last 6 months I have been working on a few projects. I am ready to officially announce the first one.

Together with a friend of mine, I started a new business, Melody Lane, a clothing store that is focused on making sure that women in all stages of their lives have access to comfortable, affordable and most importantly versatile clothing. (see below on details of a $500 giveaway!)

Pregnancy, motherhood, nursing, party, fitness, vacation, career, school – it’s amazing how many stages we go through as women that require a completely different wardrobe. So our goal is to offer clothing with versatility and affordability in mind. Items you could wear for several occasions and during several stages of your life. Clothing that is comfortable, yet still looks good, because I have to admit that since becoming a mother, comfort trumps looks, however I still want to look good.

Breastfeeding a 4 year old at the airport

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TRAVEL

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Our flight is delayed and Lexi is crashed out. She asked for boobie before she went down.
I haven’t spoken about breastfeeding for a long time because it has almost ceased. Almost.

She is four years old. And yes she technically still breastfeeds. Mostly only at home before bed and in the mornings or when very upset or tired. 

On traveling solo, sleep and being away from Lexi

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Daily, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER

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As I am sitting here at 11:40 pm on a Wednesday night, two days late on my promised (to myself) weekly post, trying to decide what I can write about that I have the inspiration for and doesn’t take literally 4-5 hours to complete (writing to formatting to photos). I have a few drafts started but it’s all informative posts that really need some time put into them.

So the easiest, I thought, would be what I personally consider (harshly put) “useless babble”, but people seem to like. I have trouble writing posts that I don’t feel in some way benefit the reader, aside from photo posts or travel posts-I am sucker for those.

So that being said, how about we talk about a huge change that has happened in my and Lexi’s life: having to and being able to leave her with her dad and travel (for work or pleasure) solo.

Flying with a toddler

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Parenting, TODDLER, TRAVEL

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It’s funny because I remember preparing for our first flight last year. I was (almost) terrified. 5 hours in one seat! Lexi had NEVER been able to sit still. Long car trips could be a nightmare, but at least you can stop. I had no idea what to expect.  I was hoping she’d sleep, but that usually lasts an hour. We could read books for an hour. Then maybe iPad/iPhone for an hour. But then what on earth could you do in an airplane cabin for another 2 hours?

In reality, it’s really not that big of a deal.