Baby Acid Reflux


When we brought Magnolia home from the hospital we were in for a big shock. She cried [for what seemed like] all the time. And she did not sleep for more than an hour at a time. I shared my postpartum story here, about those first several weeks at home. When she was about five weeks old I started to see signs of silent acid reflux. I think her symptoms were present the whole time, I just didn't really know what I was looking for at first. She didn't spit up much, but she was gagging, choking, and hiccuping. She would make a painful face and then swallow, as if she was spitting up and then she'd just swallow it. Her cry was hoarse! It was very hard to watch our baby suffer.

I remember doing Google searches in the middle of the night. I was desperate to figure out what was wrong with my baby. Of course I made an appointment with her peditrician, as well. Being a new mom I wanted to understand what was going on before her appointment so I turned to the internet and mommy groups!


After taking her to her doctor he agreed it sounded like she had silent acid reflux. He told me to try over-the-counter probiotics before discussing pharmaceutical drugs like Zyrtec. He said studies show that they are just as effective as medication. She's exclusively breastfed and I asked about changing my diet. He said that I didn't need to make any changes to what I was eating and that she would most likely grow out of it soon. Kelly Mom is my go-to source for breastfeeding information. I found this article about reflux to be helpful.

The probiotics worked! Honestly I was a little hesitant at first, I really thought we would need a drug. Each morning I would simply put one drop on my nipple before nursing, that was all. After about a week we started to see an improvement. We started off using the Gerber Soothe Probiotics then ended up switching to the Mommy Bliss Probiotic + Vitamin D Drops after we finished the Gerber drops. The price was the same except we got more with the Mommy Bliss brand and the Vitamin D was an added bonus. One less drop for us each day!

In case you're a mommy or daddy awake in the middle of the night desperately reading about acid reflux, I thought I would share our positive experience with probiotics. Of course talk to your peditrician if you suspect acid reflux and hopefully it'll be an easy remedy like it was for us. I know how very hard it is to go on for weeks without sleep while wondering if you'll ever sleep again. To see your beautiful child uncomfortable is the hardest!

In addition to the probiotic drops I also held her in an upright position for about 20 minutes after nursing and we had her sleeping in a Rock-N-Play for several weeks. We found that the inclined position helped. As soon as we felt confident that we were past the reflux issues we moved her back to sleeping flat on her back. We also found that the Halo Sleepsacks were great for night time swaddling. We are still using this white noise machine and we cannot give it enough praise! Next month we are going on our first trip out of town and we plan to take her white noise machine.


Please let me know if you have any questions about our experience with silent acid reflux! It's tough, I know.

XO

Below are the products we found to be very helpful.

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Adjustable Baby Moccasins by Kinbe


Magnolia has narrow skinny feet just like me! She has a closet full of shoes that won't stay on. Baby Moccasins are the "it" shoe for babies and I just discovered a pair that will actually stay on her.


The Kinbe moccs have two hidden straps that adjust the length and ankle width of the shoe. They are supportive of natural foot growth, made in the U.S.A. and are 100% genuine leather.



Magnolia is wearing the Mystic Mermaid. They have the prettiest colors for girls and perfect earthy tones for little boys.



What I truly admire about this company is their love and passion for children. Right now they are running a campaign called Kinbe Village Drive.  Did you know that Guatemala does not allow inter-country adoptions? They have partnered with an organization in Guatemala (Hope of Life International) that provides medical care, schooling, counseling, and a nurturing home for orphaned children.


They are collecting the following baby items that will go directly to the Hope of Life Baby Rescue Mission and Toddler House.

  • Hygiene Products
  • Baby Safety Items
  • Baby/Toddler Sensory Toys (new or like new) & Books
  • Portable Cribs and Play Yards
  • Bottles and Other Feeding Items
  • Blankets, Sleep Sacks, and Swaddles
  • Formula & Baby Food
  • Training Potties, Diaper Cream, and Baby Wipes
  • Clothing, Socks, Shoes
  • Over-the-counter Medications
If you donate they will send you a 40% off coupon code with instructions for donating your items. You can find additional information about the campaign here


We have other baby moccs and I have to say these are the best quality and design! 


Shop the moccs here, and check out the adorable Rain & Rainbows. So cute!

Have a magical day! XO
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My Life Before My Everything


I've wanted to write about this for a long time now. Yet, I've always found other things to share and I've pushed this topic to the back burner. I want to talk about faith and my relationship with God, and when it all began for me. I know why I've put this topic off. I've put it off because I don't feel like I have the expertise or religious education to be worthy of such a topic. Who am I to write about religion and God? I cannot even recite a verse from the bible and I don't know biblical stories. I wasn't raised in church. And I haven't been baptized. If someone asked me to say a prayer out loud in front of a group of people I'd probably freeze up and not know what to say. I know deep down that is not the way to think about it, and because of my relationship with God, I realize that we are all worthy to share our story and relationship with God.


There was a block of time when I didn't have much of a relationship with God. I only prayed when things were really really bad. During this time I thought I was able to control my life and I felt like I had everything nicely under control. I was blind to the chaos in my life. Fear and worry were a constant for me, but if you asked me if I was happy I would've said "yes!" I thought I was, despite the constant pain I was living. Now looking back I can see it all clearly.

I've only wrote about this once before; my divorce. I was in a very unhealthy - toxic marriage - just three years ago. I hid a lot of pain from so many people for years. When the divorce began my entire life, as I knew it, was over. I didn't just get divorced from my ex, I also sold my house, and the company that we ran was closed. I was literally left with only half of my possessions and my sweet chihuahua. I can still remember the emptiness I felt inside when it all started to fall apart. I felt alone like I'd never felt before. All of my friends and family were continuing on with their lives and their families, and there I was that summer with nothing. Absolutely nothing. My work and the company was my passion and joy, and that was ending too. That summer I hit rock bottom, as you often hear people talk about. For the first time in my life I was living the idiom.

With all the pain and emptiness I literally fell to my knees. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. For months I was in my house all alone, with hot tears burning my face, and it felt as though bricks were piled high on my chest. That's when I started to talk to God. Every morning I would wake up with anxiety and worry, dreading the day. I would put on my tennis shoes and walking clothes, walk out the front door and enjoy nature and start praying with my eyes wide open. I cannot tell you exactly when my pain and worry turned to faith and hope, but it did. I started to believe that things were going to work out and I started to feel the warmth of God comforting me. All the emptiness in my soul started to fill up with dreams and excitement for a new beginning. I had no idea how it was all going to work out, and that was the hardest part for me. I had lived for many years thinking I had everything under control and then all of sudden I realized I had no control over anything that was happening. I didn't know how my life was going to look even a month ahead. I knew God had a plan for my pain, and I started to live each day with a new faith and love that I had never experienced before. I went out and bought a bible and I listened to this song on repeat. That song still brings me the deepest comfort.

I knew what I dreamed my life to be. I dreamed of a loving and kind husband. I wanted a Godly man that I could trust with my heart and soul. I wanted to be married to a man that I could call my best friend. I wanted a happy family. A simple dream, but one that seemed very distant to me at the time. To be a mom was my biggest dream, one that I had for as long as I could remember. How did my life get off course, this far off the path I'd dreamed about my entire life? I questioned all of this. And I knew, I knew it was because I didn't have God in my life. I thought I was the one in control.

That summer my life was turned upside down and the divorce began, the house was put on the market, and the company projects were ending. I turned to God. I prayed constantly. I asked God for a family. How dare I ask for all of that? How could I ask for so much during such a traumatic time? I was bold with my prayers. I was brave enough to ask God for a loving family, although I felt all alone at the time. I struggled with the thought that I needed to make all of my dreams come true. I quickly learned that faith is letting go and simply trusting. It wasn't my job to make it all happen. I had to lean into God and let him work out the details. The timing of it all was not in my hands.

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.                          2 Corinthians 5:7
Three years ago on a warm summer night I went out with my best friend and I met Ryan. I had no idea he'd be the answer to all my prayers. It didn't take long for me to see that he was a loving and kind man. I soon learned he was a Godly man that I could trust with my heart and soul. He became my best friend. He was all that I prayed for and so much more. When we met our love and connection for one another was natural, it was as if we were made for one another. It was like I had known him all my life, and I was longing for him since the day I was born.

He makes me a better person. His faith and kindness, his tender heart, he inspires me each day.


Those days three years ago, when I was on my knees praying to God, are still apart of me. I still remember who I was before. There are days when I wake up and feel like this is all a dream. I woke up this morning before Magnolia and the sun was rising with a thunderstorm on the horizon. It was breathtakingly beautiful in our home with the wild glow of the new sun. I prayed and I thanked God, as I do each morning and afternoon and night. This morning was different though, I felt a need to share about the days before now. I feel very blessed to be living my dream with a loving husband and a beautiful baby girl, and I know to never take this simple life for granted. I know to cherish every single moment of it because there was a time when this life seemed like a very distant longing. There was a time when I didn't think I'd get to have this life.

God heard my prayers. I had turned my back on his love for years, all the while thinking I had it all under control. Then when the life I had built without him fell apart, he was there to hear my prayers and to save me from the disaster I had created.

After Ryan and I were married we found out that becoming parents would come with challenges. IVF was our doctor's recommendation. I've shared most of that journey here. We felt God's grace throughout the process and we had our fair share of fears and worries, but faith and prayer got us through it.


I'm sharing all of this because I feel incredibly blessed. I feel blessed for my family and the joy that fills my days. Life comes with suffering and heartache, hard paths and regrets. I realize that there are seasons of joy and pain. I wake up each day and cherish every single moment, and I do believe it's because I know what it is like to live without God and without the comfort of his love and grace. I still have worries, anxieties, and fears, just like anyone else, but now I can turn to prayer and faith to bring me comfort. I trust in God to handle it.


XO
Wen
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Magnolia's Daddy


This Sunday is Ryan's first Father's Day! I've spent the last few weeks thinking about this day and the man I'm blessed to call my husband. I knew when we met that he'd be a wonderful dad and now that he is a dad he is so much more than I could have ever dreamed him to be. He is gentle and kind, tender and loving. I feel thankful to know that the first man Magnolia loves is him. I know one day she's going to walk down the street with her tiny hand in his and she's going to feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Her face already lights up when he walks in the room. I watch the way she stares at him with a big gummy grin on her face. 


He works hard for us and because of him I'm able to stay at home with her. There is no greater gift in the world than to be his wife and her mommy. The joy in watching my daughter fall in love with her daddy is like no other. 


Before she was ours, when she was only a dream to us, he prayed for her with the strongest faith. A faith that will inspire me all of my days. 


I can still remember the moment, one of our first days home from the hospital, when Ryan was walking down the stairs with tiny Magnolia in his arms. She was crying, as she often did those first weeks at home, and she stuck out her bottom lip. Ryan said "oh no, Magnolia, don't stick out that lip, you're breaking my heart!" She still sticks out that bottom lip before she starts to cry and it still breaks Ryan's heart every time. 


He shines with pride when he talks about her. He tells her she's beautiful every day. 


 
























I fall in love with him over and over again as I watch him love her. They are an answer to my fiercest prayers and I'll always be thanking the Lord above for them. 

Happy Father's Day Ryan! You truly are the very best daddy, and husband, and best friend. Thank you for all you do for us. We love you. 

xo Wen, Magnolia, & Mrs. 
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Sugar Scrub Recipe + Self Tanner


During my college days I went to the tanning bed. I don't have many regrets in life, but if I could go back in time I'd definitely tell myself to protect my skin from sun damage and I'd say "stay out of the tanning beds!" I can't go back in time, and all I can do now is take care of my skin and nourish my body. Magnolia will learn the importance of taking care of her skin at a young age.

Now that's its summer and I'm wearing dresses I need my legs to have color. I started using Lavera Self Tanning Lotion last summer when I was pregnant with Magnolia. I researched self tanners that were free of chemicals and toxins and this is the one I found and loved.


Self tanners always go on better when your legs are smooth and exfoliated. I wanted to share this easy and all natural Sugar Scrub Recipe with you.

Ingredients:
One cup of sugar (brown or white)
1/4 cup of oil (coconut, almond or jojoba)
10-15 drops of essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and then move to your glass jar. For mine I used white sugar, coconut oil and a few drops of almond oil, with 10 drops of YL Lavender and 5 drops of YL Gentle Baby. I added pink Himalayan salt on top for the finishing touch. Peppermint is one of my favorite essential oils, especially during the summer, but since I'm breastfeeding I cannot use it.



The sugar scrub really only takes a few minutes to whip up and it smells delightful. You can have fun with the essential oils and make it smell anyway you wish! We've been diffusing the Gentle Baby around the house lately and it's very calming. I added a few drops to my body oil before getting dressed yesterday and I loved smelling it on my skin throughout the day.


If you're looking for an organic self-tanner I'd recommend the Lavera. I apply it once or twice a week to my legs and it gives me a warm natural glow without looking fake.

Have a beautiful weekend friends!

xo Wen
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Baby Summer Dresses


I read a funny and appropriate meme that said something like "I either have my hair and makeup done looking all nice or I look homeless there is no in between!" When Magnolia and I are at home I'm usually in pajama shorts, with a tank top and cardigan on top, and she's usually in a onesie. At home I'm always rocking a top knot with hair that hasn't been washed for days. [Side note for future post - my favorite dry shampoos.] When we go out I like to get ready, hair, makeup, perfume, nails, head-to-toe ready. Of course I like to doll her up too. She is my real life baby doll, after all. I'm currently waiting on a shipment from Old Navy to arrive. I ordered some of the cutest rompers and dresses. I love Old Navy because their stuff isn't too baby-ish, if you know what I mean. I ordered several black outfits for Magnolia so we'll be able to match! 


The dress she wore for her three month photos is from The Gap, but it's no longer available. I have three favorite places to shop for her: Old Navy, Baby Gap, and H&M. They all have the most adorable options and great prices. We have a new H&M opening by our house tomorrow and we have plans to go shopping there for their big Grand Opening. Her cute little headband bows are from my favorite Etsy shop Love Amalie Maren.


With the start of summer upon us I wanted to share our favorite dresses & rompers from Old Navy, Gap, and H&M.



Magnolia and I still haven't made it to the pool! That is on our summer bucket list. I need to pickup a rimmed bonnet and a long-sleeved swim top.

Do you have any favorite places to shop for baby clothes?

XO 
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Confidence in Motherhood


Our sweet Magnolia turned four months old on the third. If you follow me on Instagram you've surely seen all the photos I've been snapping of our growing baby girl. I feel like I have to take a picture every single day because she's constantly changing. Wow! How did four months go by so fast!? While I was pregnant I would read blogs and articles about motherhood and babies and I watched YouTube videos to better prepare myself for my new role as her mommy. Then after we brought her home from the hospital, and real life as a family of three started, I became overwhelmed with advice coming from every single direction. One day before she was born Ryan and I ran to Walmart for something and the cashier gave us the best advice we've yet to receive "everyone is going to try and tell you what to do, just ignore it, and do things your way!" It was the simplest and most refreshing advice. Ryan and I still laugh about the fact that it has truly been the best advice.

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The Zen Sack by Nested Bean


Before I had Magnolia I intended to use our adorable muslin blankets to swaddle her at night. Little did I know she'd hate to be swaddled and just wrapping her up would become a huge challenge. We went through a stage, a sleepless stage, when I gave up on swaddling because she would fight so hard to be loose. After talking to her pediatrician I decided to give it another try. I'm so happy I did. I ended up ordering the Halo Sleep Sack and it really helped her sleep better at night. I knew once she started to roll over that we'd have to transition yet again.

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