Sunday, April 21, 2013

Things I have learned since having Julianna...

Funny how every mom I've talked to says almost the same thing -
You have ideas in your head on how you are going to raise your child or do things once the baby is here, but then once the baby is ACTUALLY here, you tend to change course and go off track as needed along the way. You do things you never thought you would do, and you don't do things you were certain you would do! Right?

Here are some things I have learned along the way since having Julianna (she is almost 3 years old now). These are just MY opinions only, so please do not take any offense. All parents do what works best for them and their families.

Baby #2 
I never really wanted kids. But then I did, and we had Julianna. I then said I would never have another. I was too old and was very content having just one, and very content with how our happy little family was coming along. Wrong again. Something took over my brain and heart, and I decided "Sure let's go for #2" - and here I am, 4 weeks out from baby #2 meeting the world. But I can surely say after this, we are done for real. No I really do mean it. It will be made medically impossible after this to have #3. And come on, let's face it - I am 42, my house is too small and I know I couldn't handle more than 2 kids anyway. Done after 2.

Organic Foods
Our family is fairly new to the world of Organic food as are most people in this day & age. I think it has really become "popular" in the last 3-4 years for many reasons. Everyone has their own reasons for buying or not buying organic.
One of the biggest reasons I started buying Organic is because of Julianna. I try not to let her eat anything "bad" (what I consider to be bad) since her little healthy body is growing and counting so much on every bite she puts in her mouth. I feel healthier now that we buy organic too. And heck, I gotta tell you, organic meat is so much tastier than the normal stuff you but in the supermarket.
I do have my limits though.
My personal guidelines for buying organic: 
I will buy everything "organic" that is grown from the earth or comes from an animal directly.
Such as; Chicken, beef, other meats & brown organic eggs. I will buy organic fruits & vegetables,  and canned tomatoes, but admittedly much harder to do so in the winter months.
I am not a believer in buying organic "processed" foods such as crackers or cereal. I feel (my opinion) that once it's processed in a factory, it kind of loses that "organic" thing anyway, and it then becomes overpriced processed food. I will however buy healthy stuff that is non-organic and try to stay away from anything with excessive sugars, high fructose corn syrup or deep fried things. I have found that many brands are now taking high fructose corn syrup out of their foods because we don't need it, and consumers are educating themselves about it.
Organic clothing - no thanks. Once you wash it in detergent, doesn't it then become non-organic anyway?? I don't buy into this theory.

Farmers Market 
I have jumped completely on the Farmers market bandwagon and local farm bandwagon in the past year or so! I prefer to buy from the Farmers market all summer long! Ours run from about June 1st through October here & we go every weekend. Even if some of it is not 'certified' organic, it's still fresh and way tastier than the stuff in the supermarkets. I am a huge advocate of the Farmers Market. Support your local farmers when you can - yes, it is pricier no doubt, but I feel it is totally 100% worth it! We also have our own garden and grow organic items like tomatoes, peppers, celery, beans, etc.

Fruit Juice & Sugary snacks
Brian and I have always been united on this. Julianna has never had fruit juice or sugary snacks. I am against it completely. I know I'm in the minority here, but something like ONE in every TEN children in America are obese and will get diabetes - I'm not willing to encourage Julianna to have bad habits if I don't have to. Yes, she will have soda and fruit juice one day- but by then, I can only hope she is educated enough to make smart enough decisions on her own.
Julianna has also never had candy - and I am proud of this. I know it sounds cruel but we feel very strongly about teaching her good eating habits. She LOVES fruit as a snack - and sometimes when she is offered a cookie, she asks for fruit instead. I love it.
I will tell you, we are not total monsters - {I know you're thinking it haha!} We do let her have ice cream, french fries as a treat once in a while - or a cookie. Funny because she is just not that crazy about anything sweet - job well done! We also let her have a few animal crackers after dinner at night.
I also do not buy anything that is made with artificial colors or flavors. Obviously once she leaves our house and goes to school or friend's homes, she will have access to this stuff- but I can only hope by then she will make good choices and have it in moderation.

DVD player in the car
I said I would never have a DVD player in the car. WRONG. We ended up buying one last spring when we went on a 12 hour drive to South Carolina. Let me tell you, it's a beautiful thing. No, it might actually be one of the top 5 inventions on the planet everrrrrr! Julianna loves watching her movies (Toy Story - 500 times) and it keeps her occupied. I think anyone with a toddler can relate. And yes, we have turned into THOSE parents that put the dvd player on for short rides to the food store LOL! YUP thats us! Oh well. Chalk one up against mom & dad.

I always said I would never ever buy a Minivan - and we have stuck to it. I had a moment of weakness last spring where I actually thought we needed one. We test drove the Honda Odyssey - and I did like it a lot - I totally GET the reason everyone has one. It's completely made for families - It had so many amazing conveniences. We came very close to buying one. Luckily I got over it and that idea will never be re-visited again. haha! When it comes time, I 'll just get a bigger SUV. Sorry minivan moms - I won't be joining your cause. It's just not for us.

We followed the Babywise method with Julianna (A Method of getting your child to sleep through the night by putting them on a schedule - gasp!!). You can get the "On becoming babywise" book here. Some parents are against it, and some are for it. We are totally all for putting our child on a schedule so he/she will sleep through the night and so we can plan our lives accordingly. We were out of the house after 8 days with Julianna and I plan on doing the same thing with the boy this time. Julianna slept through the night at 7 weeks and again, we plan on doing the same thing this time. I know it's not for everyone, but it worked very well for us. We are mobile people, and need to be out of the house - this helps us to continue living our life the way we want. Check it out HERE if you think it's for you. I will tell you, it works.

Bottle feeding, alternating night time feedings & diapers
Yes, we will be 100% bottle feeding again and using disposable diapers. Yeah, we are monsters again, I know. I just not inspired enough to be a cloth diapering mama . I know several people that use them and love them - but it's just not for us. Bottle feeding is a very personal decision to me and it worked well for us with Julianna, and we plan on doing the same thing again this time. One benefit of bottle feeding is the ability for my husband and I to alternate feedings at night. What we did last time is - Julianna was on a 3 hours schedule in the beginning. So, she would take a bottle  at 12,3,6,9, etc...
For instance, my husband would feed Julianna at 9pm. Then I would feed her at 12am... then Brian would feed her at 3am, then I would feed her at 6am. (She would go back to bed until 9am).  This enables us to sleep 6 straight hours with only getting up once each night, and then back to sleep for another couple hours. The next night we just swapped times so the other person got the full 6 hour sleep from 12-6. It works and we never had a night of lost sleep. We will absolutely do this again with the boy. I wish everyone's husband would be this involved and see how good it can be. We did this schedule until we were able to stretch Julianna out and she slept through the night, long after he went back to work. My husband is a believer in it's his child too, so he should get up at night as much as me, and we are 50% each on everything! I honestly do not think I would have gone for a second child if I had to do this all alone.

Kids clothes
Here are some baby clothes I like and dislike - Julianna is tall and skinny, so I often have to be careful buying pants/shorts/skirts/leggings because they are usually too wide for her. I think it depends on your child's body, but these are my opinions on certain clothing lines-
Carters - I love their newborn/baby onsies and PJs. I stopped liking their stuff once Julianna was done with onsies, and fitting into regular outfits (pants, tops, etc.) I don't care for the toddler clothes or how they fit. Their leggings often droop and stretch out, and their regular pants are always too wide for Julianna.
Children's Place - Used to love them and now it seems they changed their entire line of clothes, and cheaped out big time, but raised their prices. Their stuff shrinks big time, runs small and falls apart at the stitching. I only buy basics from them like leggings, and some jeans, shorts, etc. I do still buy their socks too.
Old Navy - I like some of their clothes but some stuff runs wide & long (even for Julianna!), so I need to go to the store itself to see & buy the clothes. If you catch their stuff on sale, you can score big time. I do like their fold-over socks a lot & love their jeans the best of any store for the price especially.
Gymboree - LOVE THEIR CLOTHES. They run slightly large, but their selection of colors and styles are very nice. Their clothes are made well, so I don't mind paying more. If you are smart, you can utilize their gym bucks or coupons and not pay a lot. I like how many of their selections all go together, so you can often buy 5 or 6 items to wear in several different outfits. This is by far my favorite store.
Baby Gap - Love this store and their clothes, but I really only buy if I can get a good sale price, as I feel $50 for toddler jeans is just to much to pay. We have some nice upscale kids consignment shops by us that I've bought some great gap clothes from for almost nothing. I do however buy their hoodie sweatshirts brand new every spring/fall season - they are the best fitting hoodie jackets I've found anywhere and well worth the money.
Kohls - I really like the Jumping Beans clothes line for everyday 'play' clothes - it's often very inexpensive, cute styles and on always on sale. I feel the sizes run just right for my daughter, but they do shrink up easily, so be careful.
Osh-Kosh-B'gosh - Dislike. I think they carry decent boy stuff, but I do not care for their girl clothes at all.
Walmart - Can't comment too much as I haven't bought much but the occasional onsie or Hello Kitty t-shirt. Quality was OK, but don't expect it to last.
Target- Way overpriced for very cheaply made clothes. I have never found anything I really like in Target and feel the styles are kind of weird looking. Anything I've bought from there has never fit Julianna right.

I know there are many more stores, but these are the main kids stores I've shopped at. I'm a believer if you can spend a little more on quality, the clothes will fit better and last longer. ALso, make sure you sign up for all the store's coupons & emails online. It pays off big time! I am the kids-clothing-sale whore!

I had to add a little something about this. I am a huge germ-phobe. I teach my daughter to use her foot to open the bathroom door when we are out somewhere... and also not to touch ANYTHING and stand in the corner when I bring her in the bathroom stall with me! Ha! Always have been a germ-phobe (but got worse once I had Julianna) and always will be. I'm well stocked in antibacterial wipes, soap, etc. I'm constantly wiping Julianna's hands and face... and trained her to wash her hands whenever we come home from being out at the store or wherever. Up until age 2, she had ONE cold... not sure if it's just good luck or just good hygiene habits .. but either way I think we are lucky!

Birth plans
Birth Plans hardly ever go as planned. Expect the unexpected when giving birth. I never in a million years expected to have a c-section my first time or for my daughter to end up in the NICU (with a Pneumothorax for 6 days). You just don't know what can happen, so please don't be disappointed if aromatherapy candles, playing spa music and sitting on a bouncy red ball doesn't happen. In the end, having a healthy baby makes the best birth experience (and mama being ok too!) It will still be the best day of your life.

And that's it for now - it's late and I need to go to stop writing. This was kind of long wasn't it?
Enjoy your weekend. Just a couple pictures from the past week or so ....

Lambertville, NJ 

 I was walking by this shoppe in Lambertville, and noticed this cute little doggy looking out at me.

 Julianna running in the park. 


  1. I was a monster too...I bottle fed EXCLUSIVELY all three of my kids. FYI, they all turned out pretty darn great :). And I'm with ya on the same guidelines for organic. And I have been known to drive waaaaaaay out of my way to hit a new Farmer's Market. Not only do I love the fresh food and the fact that I'm supporting local farmers can get the BEST photos there too! :)

  2. My favourite thing to hear soon to be parent say is "we wont let it alter our lives!" - so why bother having kids I ask?? Also, they have no idea how much change it will bring!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  3. Again, we have a lot of things in common! Totally agree with you on the sweets! Since I am so strict, Livi doesn't really have a sweet tooth (I'll give myself a little pat on the back here) :o) I do, however, give her the occasional cookie. She has never had any liquid other than water though (oh, and milk) of course. Too funny about the dvd player, I had the same feelings about them but would totally buy Livi one also. Instead, we bought her the Google nexus for playing games and watching her Disney Junior favorites! I'm a BIG germ-a-phobe too! I'm trying to be better with this. I know that I have to let go sometimes and let her get a little dirty. I hear it helps them build a tolerance to germs. I absolutely hate her touching anything at the doctor's office and then cringe when she sucks her thumb (sure way to pick up something). I almost had a heart attack at the doctor's office when she did this before I could stop her! I agree with all your clothing picks too! I've been disappointed with The Children's Place for quite some time now (have actually never bought anything for Livi in there). Love The Gap, but will not pay full price for anything in there! Gymboree has the best stuff. Their clothes are always so bright and colorful! They wash well and fit Livi good too (bonus)! I do most of my shopping in Hanna Andersson and Nordstrom (lately anyway). They can be a little pricey but I always use coupons in Hanna's :o) Okay, did I talk your ear off?!

  4. It is wonderful you limit sweet s for your kids. That is something I could really stand to improve with. Also choosing organic is awesome, wish we could afford to buy everything organic (GMOs, gah!) As for Babywise, I think every copy in existence should be burned.. but I'm sure you probably already knew I feel that way ;) I know you are bottle feeding, but consider giving your baby your colostrum (pumped or however). It is just sooo good for newborns and impacts the gut (immune system) in such an important way, especially after a csection. Ok, stepping down now :)


Thank You for taking the time to stop by.
Follow First Time Mama First Time Blogger on Facebook
Follow me on Bloglovin


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...