Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My biggest challenge in parenting.

Hi friends!

I've always wanted to blog about my biggest challenge in parenting.  Not because I want to complain about it, but because it happens to be the one thing I expected to be really good at as a mom... & I think it's pretty ironic that it's been my biggest battle yet:

Discipline.

Before I had kids, I literally remember telling people how firm I would be on my kids.  "I will not let my kids get away with acting out in public", "I will follow through with discipline", "I will always give tough love so that they turn out to be decent human beings!"

I still agree with those words, aspire to be like that mom, but now that I actually HAVE kids I can see that I had no idea what was coming my way.  It's easy to be an expert on parenting before you have kids of your own, isn't it?  Oh how humbling this great journey called parenthood can be.



Having 3 boys is a wild ride.  They are rambunctious, physical, loud little creatures.  Wrestling matches break out in the middle of nowhere, for no reason at all. Baby Jace is only 11 months & he's already trying to play fight with the boys.  Yeah, yeah... I hear you girl moms. "You're so lucky. Girls are drama. Boys are so much easier."  Maybe girls are harder to figure out mentally, but boys are physically exhausting. 


It takes a lot of work to make sure my kids don't hurt each other.  They're not mean, they're just wild boys, & if you're a mom with more than one boy in your household I'm sure you're nodding in agreement with me.  You just get it.  We have to step it up a notch as boy moms.

Unfortunately for me, this has been my weakness as a parent so far.  Following through & being tough on them when it's needed.  I never in a million years thought I would have an issue with this!  I've had to train myself to get better at it since it has not come as easily to me as I always thought it would.

A couple weeks ago I had a wake up call. My husband told me "Whatever you're doing to discipline them when I'm not around, it's not working."  I took offense to that because I felt like I was being told I'm not doing a good enough job as a parent.  But that's not what he meant, & I did take it the wrong way.  He was right.  My boys were getting a little too out of control & when he would come home he could tell that I wasn't always following through with my discipline.  I was letting things slide when I got too tired. I needed to step up my game.  If I don't follow through as a parent & earn their respect now, it'll only get worse as they get older.  Then I'll have 3 teenagers walking all over me!



Here are some ways I have buckled down to try & improve with following through on discipline:

1.  I give ONE warning.  ONE.  I make it clear to them.... "You are NOT allowed to bite your brother.  Do it ONE more time & you get a punishment.  This is your ONE warning.  Do you understand?"  I make sure they nod & say "yes" so we are in agreement that if they do whatever it is one more time, they know they have decided to be disciplined.  Now, I don't ALWAYS give warnings... if it's something REALLY bad that they have done in the past  & clearly KNOW they aren't supposed to... immediate discipline is necessary & they know it.  I make a decision based on the crime.

2.  Star rewards.  I created our own type of star chart that works for our family.  Chore charts don't work for them at this age.  (We tried that & it was too hard).  What works for us is rewarding them when they do something good.  One of those things can be chores, but it's easier for me to give them little jobs to help me with as I go, & think of things that are needed at that particular moment.  Also, when they help without being asked, or behave and say "yes ma'am" without complaining, I give them a star.  We have 7 days of the week on a mini dry erase board with a column for each boy.  At the end of the week they cash out their stars.  Every 5 stars earns them a dollar.  Usually they only end up with $2 or $3 but this gives them allowance to go buy a small toy, or save up to see a movie.  Also, when they're naughty, they lose stars.  They've made it into quite the competition between the two of them which really helps as well, they don't want to be the loser at the end of the week with the least amount of stars.  I know that some parents do not agree with rewarding our kids with stars, but this is working great for us so I'm sticking with it.  Hence why I'm sharing it with you now. ;)

3.  Smaller punishments for the smaller crimes, bigger punishments for the big crimes. (For us this is time out VS. spanking on the bottom.  Each parent/child is different so you choose which methods work for your family). Sometimes they get in trouble for something little, like me having to ask more than once to put away their mess, or when my oldest throws a fit under his breath because I tell him it's time for homework & he didn't listen the first time.  These types of things I feel like a bigger punishment is too harsh.  A time out (in Jace's room where they have no toys) for as many minutes as they are old, seems to help.  If they are violent with each other, lie to us, etc... that's when a spanking seems reasonable.  And like I said earlier, they usually always get a warning before that spanking has to happen.  (Unless it's a full blown bite to the arm or something, then a warning isn't really helpful.  They need immediate discipline in the more extreme situations, especially when they KNOW they aren't supposed to & have been told many times not to in the past).

4.  Reading our children's bible & having discussions about Jesus & his character.  We often choose to read out of the children's bible before bed & talk about what we read in each chapter.  I also like to talk about Jesus at the dinner table.  I try my hardest to instill in them what it means to have integrity, to treat others the way we want to be treated, & to have a good heart.  I can only pray that my children learn to love Jesus & who He is the way that we do.



So these are the things that have been working better for me, & I'm hoping they continue to!  What has worked for you with your kids?  Moms of older kids (especially boys), what have you had to change as they got older?  Any tips for me & other moms of young boys that will help shape our little guys into the decent & respectful little men we hope they will turn out to be?

Also, before I forget!  The $100 off code expires next month for a Tomorrow Sleep Mattress like the one we have (below) & that I've raved about in my previous blog posts!  It would make a GREAT Christmas gift!  To get the discount just use STEVIE100 at checkout (expires 12/31/17)!  Tomorrowsleep.com.  As you can see below, my children love wrestling on our new mattress as well...shocker! ;)



Thanks again for reading! Good night!





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Baby Wearing with Lille Baby!

Happy Friday eve!

With each of my boys, I've used many different types of baby carriers.  I've tried wraps, slings, & front/back carriers.  They are all great honestly, but I think there's a place & time for each type of baby carrier.

For me & Jace in THIS phase of life, I only use the sling if we're at home.  To be honest, he's pretty much outgrown the sling now.  He's just so big & when we're at home he's all about walking now.  (Yes, Jace started WALKING!)

I guess you can say my hands (and my heart) are EXTREMELY full these days. 



We're always on the go.... school drop offs, errands, appointments, school pick ups, soccer games, Mops, church, birthday parties, etc etc, you know how mom life is.  When we're in & out of the Suburban so many times a day, I don't always have the time (or patience) to pull out the stroller.  It's not always necessary either.

Thankfully I have the perfect baby carrier by Lille Baby to help with keeping my little tag along (Jace) safe & happy next to mommy during all of our outings. :)  I have the Complete Embossed Luxe Baby Carrier in Brilliance.  It's as fabulous as it sounds.



First off, let me start by saying this carrier STANDS OUT above the rest.  Here are 4 reasons I LOVE this one so much:

1.  It can be SIX different ways. SIX!  (Front fetal, front infant, front outward, front toddler, hip & back carry).  I like wearing Jace front outward or back carry. Jace loves it too.  The first time I put him in the carrier he cracked us up, he had a silly little smile on his face like "wow mom this is cool!" ;)



2.  It's the most GORGEOUS baby carrier you've ever seen.  It's beyond glamorous.  I feel like it was made for princesses. Lol! (They have other colors in this same carrier, & a TON of other carrier options as well.  I just really liked the white with gold because it's stunning & matches everything).

3.  It has lumbar support.  When I wear Jace on the front, he's so heavy that I like to have the padding on my lower back.  I don't feel any back pain when using this feature!



4.  It has a sleeping hood.  I use this every time I drop Brody off at school because Jace is always sound asleep by the time we arrive. 

So if you're looking for the right carrier, I highly recommend trying this one.  It's nice to have a lot of support, & multiple carrying options in my opinion.  It's also nice to have a carrier that can be used from birth until they're bigger (this one you can use until the your child is 45 lbs)!



I hope you enjoyed this post, & for every day updates on our life, please follow me on Instagram!



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The snuggle is real.

Good morning!

I can honestly say that I'm at a point in motherhood where I'm getting ENOUGH sleep!  This isn't because the kids are sleeping well either, it has a lot to do with our new Tomorrow Sleep mattress that I blogged about last month.  (The kids ARE sleeping pretty well, but I wouldn't be sleeping this great if it weren't for the best mattress on Earth).


We spend a lot of time in bed.  We're a family that likes to be lazy, cuddle, watch movies, cuddle some more, & SLEEP.  (I think Michael & I like the sleeping part more than the kids do).


If you haven't been sleeping well, have back pain, & don't LOVE your bed, you should consider a mattress upgrade already.  Seriously.  This is a hybrid mattress that uses coils & memory foam, & you get FREE mattress delivery! Nothing beats that.


I mentioned in my last post that there are sleep trackers you can get with your mattress as well, & the most CUDDLE worthy comforter EVER too, that I'm in love with.  (My husband knows because I steal it from him every night).


Also, I have good news.  If you're ready to upgrade your sleep life, you can get $100 off a $500 order using STEVIE100 (expires 12/31/17).  Go visit: Tomorrow Sleep's website to order.  (You can choose medium firm or medium soft, we chose soft!)


If you have any questions about this mattress, the trackers, etc... I'd be happy to answer!  Don't forget to follow my instagram page for daily updates on our life. :)

Have a great Wednesday!







Thursday, October 19, 2017

A little living room makeover for fall + our new Lorena Canals rug!

Hi friends :)

I love decorating for fall, it gives me a warm & happy feeling inside when the weather starts cooling down & the leaves start changing.  This year I felt like doing a mini makeover in the living room at the same time as I was putting up the fun fall stuff.  If you've been following my blog all of these years, you'll know that one thing I've always done is re-decorate A LOT!  I like to keep things fresh & new, it makes me happy!


My favorite part of this mini makeover is our new rug by Lorena Canals!  I. AM. IN. LOVE.  Not only is it PERFECT for our living room but it's MACHINE WASHABLE!!!  I didn't know machine washable area rugs even EXISTED.  What a perfect addition to our messy home with 3 crazy rug rats & 2 chihuahuas, seriously.  Where has this rug been all my life?


I'm SO in love, that from now on when a new mom asks me what tips I have for her, I'm going to say "You need machine washable area rugs!" ;)  Kids are the messiest creatures on Earth.  I don't care if you're an extreme neat freak like I am, & follow them around all day cleaning up, your rugs will get destroyed.  We've made the mistake for years buying rugs that cannot be washed.  Not only have our kids spilled multiple drinks & many kinds of food on them, but our 2 chihuahuas have done a number on them as well.  We once had 4 area rugs rolled up in our garage to be thrown away at bulk pickup garbage day because we had no way to clean them. 

You may have seen Lorena Canals in MANY Instagram photos these days because they're majorly trending, but they're also loved by celebs & Vogue magazine too. There's a reason they're so popular.  They have the CUTEST designs, colors, & prints to choose from in addition to being machine washable.  Their rugs fit into a standard washer & dryer, & you can find styles for adult spaces & kids rooms too!  They're HANDMADE with natural dyes & contain no VOC's like most other rugs.  I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted the most because I love them all.  I don't have to worry that it's a light color because when it gets dirty I know now that I can just pop it in the washer & dryer and can keep it clean forever.



 I'm in love with it and it makes the most perfect addition to our living room.  I adore the tassles on the edges as well.  It's also SUPER easy to vacuum!  Our last area rug was thick & I couldn't vacuum it so it collected goldfish crumbs, cheerios, dirt, legos, you name it, haha!  Their prices are very reasonable especially for how well made they are & knowing you will be able to keep it forever with being able to maintain it with machine washing & drying.  Oh... and if you are as in love with the rugs as I am, you should also check out the washable cushions they have as well, blankets, baskets, and wall decor too!  :)

Here's some more pics of the rug + little fall makeover:









For questions on where I got any of the other decor in this post, don't hesitate to ask!

Also, if you haven't followed me yet on Instagram, I update there almost daily on what's going on in the life of the Jackson five:  Follow me here

Thanks for reading!




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Making the switch to Grab Green Cleaning Products!

Happy Wednesday friends!

For years now I have been using oils, buying organic food where I can, spray tanning my clients with organic solution, using natural skin care products, but I have never made the switch to natural CLEANING products in my home.  It's been hanging over my head!  I've known that I needed to get serious about the types of products I use for cleaning & laundry, but it wasn't a priority for me.

I confess, I'm guilty of buying Clorox disinfectant wipes for years, because they're convenient & always staring me in the face at the grocery store.  I'm guilty of buying whatever laundry or dish detergents were the quickest to find, or cheapest.  The truth is, these toxins are not safe or healthy to have in our homes.  I recently learned how poisonous the dishwasher pods are.  Not long after that I found Jace holding one in his hand after I turned my back for 30 seconds.  I had a mommy heart attack!  I also didn't like the fact that every time I wiped my counters down, the chemicals from those disinfectant wipes were seeping into my skin. 

One of the reasons I put it off was I felt like I had to spend an arm & a leg to get toxic free products for our home.  Boy was I wrong!  I'm so happy to say after putting it off all these years I found the PERFECT brand of cleaning products to use & I LOVE them!  We are now using Grab Green Natural Cleaning Products. 



Here's what I'm using & love so far:

All Purpose Cleaner (tangerine & lemongrass scent)!  I can't live without an all purpose spray to clean the counter tops, the GREASY stove from my top chef of a husband making ridiculous messes (love you honey), & the food caked to the table from the 3 messy lil' munchkins!  Guess how much this is you guys?? $5.00!!!! Yeah. My jaw dropped too.


I'm also using the dish washing detergent pods, which I'm so excited about because I hate regular dish soap & love pods... & knowing these are made with no dyes, chlorine or phosphates, I feel MUCH better about these.  They also out performed Cascade! Only $8.00 y'all!!!


Last but not least, I'm loving the laundry soap pods & dryer sheets in ROSE petal scent! Mmm! They work BETTER than my old detergent & dryer sheets & smell better too.  I don't like super strong fragrances & we all have sensitive skin around here, so these are perfect for our family. $12.99 for the pods & $6.25 for the dryer sheets.  Need I say more?!


So if you've been looking for a non toxic but AFFORDABLE option for cleaning products in your home, look no further.  There are a ton of other products on their website as well.  To see more, just go to: http://www.grabgreenhome.com/.  I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Thanks for reading everyone & have a happy rest of your week!





Monday, September 25, 2017

My experience + advice on sleep training!

Good morning everyone :)

It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally getting around to writing about my experience sleep training Jace!

Let me start by saying this:  My experiences with sleep training each of my boys have been completely different.  Also, I'm a huge cheater.  I don't follow any specific plan to a T because it just hasn't worked for us.  That being said, I have used certain sleep training books as general guides in the past & then altered the instructions given to fit what worked best for us.

With Cole & Brody, I referred to Baby Wise quite frequently.  While the sleep training approaches in that book tended to be slightly on the "harsh" side for me, I did go back quite a bit to find out where they should be as far as how many feedings per night, how many naps per day, length of naps, etc.

One big part of Baby Wise that is something I've stuck with for all 3 kids, is the eat/wake/sleep routine.  If you nurse them before they go to sleep, they will get used to needing that.  You want to nurse/feed them when they first wake up, then it's wake/play time, then at nap time they do not nurse first.  You do feed them right before bed time but not to put the to sleep.  I start this routine very early on, even before sleep training & stick with this all the way until they are done nursing completely.  I highly recommend this before anything else. :)

With baby Jace, I was blessed enough to have my good friend & sleep coach Lauren with Sleep and the City helping us along the way.  This was a game changer.  Having an actual person just a text or phone call away to answer my hundreds of questions in my most sleep deprived moments was PRICELESS.  She was so patient with me when I was completely sleep deprived & confused on what to do.  Yes, I was confused even though he is my third child.  Every baby has been different, & there was no way I could remember how many naps per day for each age & how many hours he needed to be sleeping etc.  It had been 3 years since I did this before so a refresher course has been needed!

Jace is almost 10 months now & sleeping through the night, so I feel like I'm finally ready to share our experience & my tips now that I'm through the thick of it.

For the first few months I had him sleep in between us in the Dockatot on our bed.  I loved not having to get up in the middle of the night repeatedly.  This made it so I could easily get him out, nurse him, & put him back in a safe place between us.  These first few months were a complete BLUR.  I nursed him all he wanted throughout the night just to keep him happy, which with all 3 of my boys meant more sleep for Michael & I as well.  I also had him nap in the Dockatot on my bed. MY advice, do not bother sleep training until your baby is about 3-4 months old at the very least.  In my opinion, this makes life a lot harder & those first few months post partum very difficult.  Just enjoy your baby & make your life as easy as possible.  Having your baby close to you will not only take some stress off but will help you & your baby bond even closer.



Jace was around 5 months old when it was clear he was sleeping longer stretches throughout the night & I could put him in his crib.  This is also the point where I really started to feel confident that both of us were ready to sleep without each other.  ;)  I was prepared & willing to get up twice a night or so, just for the first few weeks & then slowly cut him down to once a night, then none at all.  The problem with this though, was I would get up SO tired & just bring him back to bed with me.  I'd nurse him & then we'd fall asleep together.  I was so tired that it was hard to stick to my guns when Jace was crying for me.  Also, we are such a busy family, that trying to be home for every single one of Jace's naps so he could sleep in his crib was absolutely impossible.  So then we went on vacation when he was 5 months old & he ended up having to sleep with me the entire time, which completely set us back & was obviously completely contradicting what I was trying to accomplish.



When we returned home from vacation he turned 6 months old & I started to really buckle down on getting him sleeping independently.  At this point I feel like babies NEED to sleep on their own to get a good night's sleep, not to mention for the sanity of the parents!  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby sleep in your room for the first year of their lives.  I personally think that's a little extreme & many sleep experts don't follow that either.  If your baby is in their crib with no bumper, blankets, or stuffed animals, sleeping on their back with proper sleep attire on, & a well ventilated room, they are safe.  Also, investing in a GOOD digital video monitor is key!  That way you can keep an eye on your little one's every move if you want to.  After owning multiple baby monitors in the past 6.5 years since Cole was born (& many of them breaking), I have found my favorite one!  I recommend this Motorola monitor!  Here's why I love this one:

-  It has a big 5" screen that you can see your baby in color in, & infrared vision for night time.
-  It has smart phone compatibility so you can spy on your baby in his crib even on date nights. ;)
-  It has a microphone so you can speak to your baby through it if needed.
I will use this monitor even through the toddler bed days, & when they're older this can be used as a nanny cam when we're gone, or to keep an eye on the kids when they're older & staying home alone!




Okay back to the sleep training.  Start with nights.  When you & your baby are READY (no vacations, no sickness, & baby is old enough, here's how I start):

1.  Your baby is going to need to learn to self soothe.  If you have to rock/nurse him to sleep every single night, they will never know how to do it on their own AND they won't sleep as well.  If they know how to self soothe, they do better at falling back asleep on their own in the middle of the night too. :)  At some point you need to "rip off the band-aid" as I like to call it.  Develop your nightly routine with baby.  This is VERY important.  Babies love repetition & knowing what to expect.  Also, this routine will help them to realize it's sleepy time, & they will automatically start to calm down.  Give baby a warm bath & then take them in their nursery for dim lights, diaper change, & pajamas.  (We don't do bath every single night.  On the nights we don't, we start routine with the diaper change).  After he's in his pajamas I nurse him in the rocker & sing lullabies to him.  This is where it can get tricky because you don't want him to fall asleep in your arms.  If he starts to fall asleep you need to make it quick.  If he's all wound up from play time with siblings (like Jace often is), it takes a good 15 min to really calm him.  Once your baby is DROWSY but awake, lay him down softly in the crib.  I always say a quick little prayer & then "night night time" a few times, turn off the light & shut the door.  Also, don't forget white noise!  I linked the most amazing white noise machine by Hatch Baby in this post.  Most likely your baby is going to cry for the first 2-3 nights & then will eventually just fall asleep on their own like Cole did.  OR if your baby is anything like Brody or Jace, they will fuss/cry a little bit almost every single time they are put down for bed time, because this is how they release exhaustion.  They're also mad because they don't want you to leave.  Trust me, your baby will get used to it, & comfortable with this routine because it's what they know.  Their crib will become their safe & familiar place, & you will also get used to maybe some fussing from time to time as they fall asleep.  (Fussing before bed time is a lot more common at naps for us, there are many nights where Jace doesn't make a peep when I put him down).

2.  Night time feedings.  This can sometimes just depend on the baby & their needs.  In our case, Jace is & always has been a BIG boy, & takes down big feedings.  I knew at 6 months he was more than okay to make it long stretches.  At this point he was going about 7 hours, so from about 8 to 3 am or so.  I would get up & nurse him, & then he'd usually wake up about 6:30-7 am or so.  Definitely do some research on your baby's age & what is suggested.  Your pediatrician will also let you know if your baby is okay to go through the night without eating.  This is also where sleep expert help like from Lauren at Sleep and the City is really a life saver!  She helped me to realize that if he woke up any time before about 3 am that he didn't NEED to eat.  She also said that when I did go in to feed him at the wee hours of the morning, that I should only feed him for about 5 minutes & then taper it down each night until that feeding was eventually eliminated.  Also, making sure your baby is getting FULL feedings each time & not snacking throughout the day is crucial to getting them to sleep well.  Make sure you know how many feedings your baby should be taking in a 24 hour period.

3.  Naps.  Once your night times are going well, you can move on to naps.  Now let me tell you, if you're a busy mom of 3 like I am, don't take naps TOO seriously or you'll drive yourself nuts.  Here's what you need to do:  Find out how many HOURS a day your baby is supposed to nap for.  Don't worry so much about a nap schedule, because this will change depending on when your baby wakes up, your schedule for the day, how long each nap is, etc.  Then you need to figure out how long the wake windows between naps are.  And last but not least, when is your cut off time for naps before bed time.  You don't want them napping too late in the day.  So it's not so much about a nap schedule as it is length of nap time/wake windows.  If this sounds confusing, definitely contact my friend Lauren, or check out her free sleep tips/advice on her blog at www.sleepandthecity.com or her Instagram page www.instagram.com/sleepandthecity.

4.  Be consistent, but also flexible.  What I mean by this is, be consistent with bed time routines, & nights.  (If you're not going in to nurse before 5 am, then don't break that rule.  Your baby will be confused.  You want their body clocks to eventually wake up at the same time every day & this will only happen if you stay consistent).  When I say flexible, I'm mostly referring to naps.  Sometimes, Jace has no choice but to fall asleep in the car.  If this happens, I either transfer him to his crib the minute we're home, or if that doesn't work, we make up for that time missed at his next nap.  Just keep an eye on how long each nap is so you can make sure they're getting the total amount needed per day.

This is a topic I could go on all day on.  There's a lot to think about when sleep training & a lot of things change during the process.  For example, right now at 9 months Jace is napping twice a day for a total of 2-2.5 hours or so, & sleeps about 8 pm to 6:30 am.  This could change at any moment. As a matter of fact I think today he will be having 3 shorter naps because he woke up too early from his first one.  Also, some nights he wakes up at 3:30 am, or 5:30 am, & normally I let him cry for 5 minutes & he just falls back asleep again.  Sometimes he doesn't at all.  No day or night ever looks identical.  Just take each day at a time & don't be hard on yourself or get frustrated when things don't work out the way you planned.  You can't really PLAN anything in motherhood & that's something I realize more & more every day.  All we can do is try our hardest to do what's best for our kids & keep calm when things get tough.

If there is one thing I tell ALL new moms, its: do what works best for YOU & your family.  I can talk about sleep training all day long & how much I believe in it, but if your style is attachment parenting because that is what makes you & your family happiest, then do that!  Your happiness & sanity are the most important.  Happy mommy = happy kids!  For our family, we all do best when we sleep well, & sleeping independently is the only way a good night's rest happens for any of us. :)

I am open to all questions you may have because I know I didn't cover every single thing in this blog post. ;)  Please feel free to either comment below today's post on my Instagram or send me an email to sincerelystevieblog@gmail.com, I'd be happy to help in any way I can!

You got this mamas! :)





Monday, September 18, 2017

My top 5 tips for beating insomnia + a Tomorrow Sleep mattress review.

Good morning & HAPPY Monday loves!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned on my blog or my Instagram page about my struggles with insomnia in the past.  It all started when Cole was around 5 months old, when my mind started playing the trick on me "you can't fall asleep".  I knew that if I didn't fall asleep, there would be no sleeping in or napping because I had Cole to take care of.  I would lay awake all night long & drift off around 3 or 4 am, just to have Cole wake up a couple hours later. This came & went in waves for years, & I've seen a couple doctors for it as well. It was a brutal battle that I had to fight & I learned a lot from it.  It also brought me closer in my relationship with God.  From time to time I still have trouble with being able to fall asleep if I'm traveling or dealing with a stressful situation.  Thankfully I now have some tools under my belt to combat it.

Knowing that there are SO many others who have or are struggling with this exact same thing, I wanted to offer some words of advice & encouragement for you.  First of all, you are NOT alone.  SO many people (especially moms) deal with this issue.  It WILL pass.  There are many things you can do to help yourself sleep.  Here are my top 5 tips to beating insomnia:

1.  The RIGHT mattress.

I am not kidding when I say this... Our new mattress by Tomorrow Sleep has changed our lives.  It's a memory foam + supportive coil system making it a hybrid mattress.  My husband & I joke that we're sleeping on a cloud in heaven every night.  It's that comfortable!  Also the comforter it came with is the softest, most amazing thing I've ever slept with. Last night I fell asleep with the comforter balled up in my arms like I was hugging the softest teddy bear ever.  Lol!  Something about a NICE comforter & mattress that make me feel like I'm a kid again sleeping SO soundly!

Another incredible feature that you can get in addition to the mattress is a sleeptracker.  You put this under your mattress & it monitors your sleep cycles, movement, etc. & then offers personalized suggestions for a better night sleep.  Can you believe that?  I'm impressed.

If you have an old or uncomfortable mattress & need to upgrade, I highly recommend this company.  The best part is they deliver your mattress in a BOX to your DOOR!  With free delivery.  How convenient is that?  I have a code you can use to get $100 off any $500 order.  Just use STEVIE100 at checkout before 12/31/17. :)  (We chose the medium soft mattress.  You can choose medium firm if you prefer a more firm mattress!) www.tomorrowsleep.com

2.  White noise: This is not just for babies & children.  White noise whether coming from a fan, a machine, or an app on your cell phone will help lull you off to sleep quicker AND  help to keep you asleep.

3.  A cool room:  Our body temp rises at night.  If you're too hot, you won't sleep as well.  Make sure you turn your A/C down to a comfortable temp before you go to bed.  Michael & I do pretty well at 71 degrees.

4.  Earplugs & an eye mask:  We make our room as dark as possible but even the light shining from the baby monitor can bother me.  An eye mask helps me to block out ALL light & sleep better.  Earplugs are great because A. my husband snores & B. if I hear even the tiniest peep from the kids or dogs I wake up.  Might as well eliminate anything that can disrupt your sleep right?!

5.  Sleep aids:  Go for natural first.  I learned that taking Magnesium before bed at night helps (if you're deficient in magnesium you will have a harder time sleeping), melatonin, & lavender and/or cedar wood oil are some of my favorites!  If you are REALLY struggling to sleep after trying all of the above, I encourage you to see your doctor.  Sleep is the most important thing our bodies need & if you're not getting it, you need to do what you need to do!  I am all for my natural remedies but there was a time when I needed a prescription for the occasional nights I couldn't sleep, & I am not ashamed to admit it.  Without sleep I am not a happy mommy!

If you have any questions, please feel free to message me.  Or comment below today's post on this topic on my Instagram page & I can reply to you there too.

Here are some silly pictures we took when the new mattress arrived.  The boys loved playing on it, & I am loving the amazing night's rest I'm getting because of it. ;)










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