Ch-Ch-Changes

Big changes have been happening at our house and I haven't been able to be completely open about it until recently. It's weird to change jobs and move. Especially when you've been a blogger that shares it all and has for a decade. Keeping something to yourself can be odd. 

So after many a back and forth trip to Alabama, Jeremy took a position as the youth pastor at a church right outside of Birmingham. 

Can I go ahead and say that just on the job front it is weird to me. We met in psychology, he's worked as a psychologist for 6 years. Basically the whole 11 years of us being together has been interlaced with psychology conversations that it'll be strange to see that go. 

Our last time over the "big water" as H calls it as Louisiana residents. (Lake Pontchartrain)
On the flip side when we were last involved in a youth group together I was much more wild and fancy free since we didn't have the boys yet. Now this mama will be on lockdown and not going and doing trips like she once did.


In other moving news, here are my curious boys at Lowes. Right before the check out clerk thought Elliot was so chubby it warranted other clerks to come see. Don't worry that doesn't offend me, I was cracking up. 


At this point I thought the mountain of boxes couldn't get bigger... they did in fact get much much bigger. 


I had to hit up Pop's Poboys before we left. Get the Burger Poboy Southern Style if you go. It's legit, and also topped with pimento cheese and fried pickles. Their pimento cheese is amazing.


An awful picture of Elliot but he was loving Brandon letting him eat all of the fries. 


We also had dinner with Sherri, David and Alice before we left. I snagged some sour dough starter that makes the absolute most amazing bread. We shall see how it faired in the move, I fed it today for the first time since the little starter's big car adventure.

Elliot couldn't hang. After being covered from head to toe in bread and banana pudding he passed slap out.


Kali realized we had never taken a single photo together in two years. Blame it on the fact that we are generally looking worn down (as seen above on moving day) or eating dessert late at night. When the 4 of us hang out it generally isn't photo worthy. It is just chatting and eating. This was our photoshopped attempt as a photo together.

Now when baby girl gets here you can bet I'll make sure we all have a photo together.


At this point the house is basically settled in. I'm still looking for a few items that I packed away when we sold our house, but other than that I can cook and that's all that matters. I consider something livable when the kitchen and bathrooms are done. Mainly the kitchen though. Cooking makes me feel a sense of normal.

Bt the way, how are these kids big enough to bathe together? We finally got the hot water fixed yesterday and they were beyond happy about a nice hot bath. We all were.

Don't get me wrong, we had offers from church friends to let us use their showers, but after all of the moving I couldn't stomach the idea of packing a bag to shower elsewhere. So I bathed the kids by boiled water on the stove and mixing it into the tepid water from the tub for a few nights.

But hey, we are tent campers. We can survive anything right?


Last but not least, this is fitting since we just exited World Breastfeeding Week... moving + letting myself dehydrate + aunt flo coming earlier with Elliot than it did with H is a recipe from low supply. Hopefully that evens out soon, because this mixed with a baby cutting two eye teeth at once means my sleep can't be compared to that of Rip Van Winkle.

So other nursing mamas... don't be discouraged. External factors effect this often. Just adjust your macros (I've found count macros has helped my supply this time around), drink all the Mother's Milk tea you can, and use your LaVie when you pump. It'll get back to normal soon.

And I think that rounds out what's been going on lately.

Once the house is totally fixed up I'll do a photo tour of where we are. We are currently renting a modular home way our in the woods. Like way out folks... I've never lived without near by neighbors so this is essentially camps for me lol!

Things I Bought & Liked | July

Another month. Anther round of things I bought and liked... and one I'll share later that I did not like at all.

Wet & Wild Photofocus Setting Spray | This is a repeat purchase that I will continue to repeat until a better dupe is pointed out to me. I use powder blush and contour so a setting spray is a must, and this particular one is a nice dupe for Urban Decay.

The Original Jade Roller | I've been tempted to get one of these for ages and finally sprung for it. Granted I can't tell if I'll look like Cindy Crawford when I'm 80 just yet, but it's relaxing, cooling, and de-puffs with all its facial massage like goodness.

Phone Tripod | I've got a big heavy duty tripod of my heavy duty camera. I wanted something lighter so family photos. This particular one comes with a bluetooth connection to snap the photo from a distance, I need to figure it out because I plan to get our photo in front of the mural on St. Peter St before we move. It also wraps around whatever and holds pretty well. I'm impressed.

Maledan Compatible with Fitbit Alta Band | I bought a blush color back in the winter and loved it, however my desire to wear a lot of black rubbed all over the band and made it lack luster. I got a plum color this time, and if you've worn a Fitbit for any length of time you know the importance to have a good band. A watch style band is what has saved me after wandering around the church trying to sync up to figure out when I was within 15 feet of it.

OtterBox Symmetry Clear Series | We got new phones... new cases were needed. I always go with Otterbox, I've managed to keep phones for years without damage and I drop mine a lot!

Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides | It my most ridiculous voice "YAASS QUEEN!" I adore Vital Proteins but I can't fork over that much money to it all the time. I used another brand that was this asme price but it made my tea taste more like beef ramen. This my friends is tasteless. TASTELESS! Finally the holy grail of Collagen Peptides.

Vega Protein & Greens | Another re-purchase. Vanilla is a first for me though, it had a big discount so I was willing to take the risk on a not-chocolate-flavor. It's worked out well. While I prefer a Paleo beef protein for my digestive system, this one is ideal for making my favorite macro bars. I need an easy on the go protein for when I can't make a shake and don't want to spend 2 bucks a pop on a macro bar.

Narwey Large Hanging Toiletry Bag | As someone who has lived hours from family for years and packed SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I finally said enough of not having it organized well (hello Enneagram 1 self) and bought some travel bags. I also grabbed a better laundry bag from the Target dollar section that stand up and is sturdy in the event you see it. I wasn't disappointed in this bag though, it was used this weekend with love from me. I'm making myself carry travel size of a few items, I can't very well wander around with a ginormous hairspray everywhere we go.

MKPCW Portable Travel Cosmetic Bag | This bag is the exact same print as the one above, just sold by a different Amazon company. Also, in love. I typically carry my makeup packed tight in one bag, brushes in another, and a wet sponge to boot. Seriously, get yourself one of these and its magical compartments if you travel often. No need to splurge on a travel bag.

Welada Skin Food | Another item that has been sitting in my "save for later" cart. It's super thick and perfect for nighttime. Especially while traveling. Just don't do like me and say you'll use it for day as well. This is too heavy for a day cream. I repeat.  TOO. HEAVY. FOR. DAY. USE. Otherwise, heaven. I like to slather things on at night in hopes of again... looking like Cindy Crawford when I'm 80.

Now I do have one product I was heavily disappointed in, but I'm going to make a whole post out of it.

How to Get Rid of the Hand Foot and Mouth After Effects Quick

It’s that ultra not glorious time of year when Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is floating around with vigor. 
There couldn’t be a more “hide yo kids” sickness out there in my opinion. Here’s the kicker though, whatever you thought was bad about when your child had it … it’s worse when adults have it. Way worse. 
So much worse, that what I initially thought were a few ant bites on my own child, turned into my doctor threatening to send me to the hospital.


I recently shared how I got rid of the awful peeling that was left after having HFM, over on the Lafayette Mom’s Blog. I’d so love for you to head over there and read all about my tips and tricks to help your skin recover in half the time (and I'd love it if you left a comment) .

A Guide to Helping Your Struggling Teen

Today's guest post is all about helping your teenager, which we all know is though. Whether you have one or won't for a few more years. Even as a mom to younger kids I know to pay attention to what my veteran mama friends are doing to help my kids in the future. 

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Learning your teenager is struggling with addiction can be one of the worst things to hear as a parent. With the rise of opioid use and addiction, stories like this are unfortunately becoming more common. It’s critical to understand what lies ahead for your teen, for you, and for your family, in terms of recovery and rebuilding their life. Here’s a guide on how to help your teen overcome this major hurdle. 



Stay calm and in control

When you learn of your son or daughter’s addiction, you will most likely feel a lot of different emotions, but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you could take them out on your teenager, worsening the situation, or lose your ability to think clearly and focus on their needs and road to recovery. A calm mind is key so you can take control of the situation, make decisions, seek help, and be their rock. 

Love them unconditionally

As a parent who only wants what’s best for their child, it can be difficult to see them make poor decisions and struggle with the consequences, and it can be tough to show them love in times of distrust, anger, or disappointment. However, it’s important that you do anyway, regardless of how upset you may be with them. 

Listen to them and ask questions

The most important thing you can do for your child (aside from supporting and loving them unconditionally) is to listen to what they’re telling you. Make them feel as though they’re being heard, and their concerns or feelings are valid and important. Ask open-ended questions to gauge how they feel, what they want, and what they’re thinking.

Get them proper treatment

In order to help your teen get on the right path to recovery, they will most likely require professional help and treatment. It’s not a fault of yours to ask for professional help, it’s a strength. The resources are available, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to use them as much as you can. 

Ignite Teen Treatment is an example of a treatment center for teenagers battling addiction. Your child will be monitored and their needs will be met by a team of dedicated specialists. The road to recovery will be mapped out, with the help and supervision they need every step of the way. 

Reaching out and speaking to a therapist, psychiatrist, or addiction specialist after treatment can also be beneficial to help your teenager unpack and process the hardship they just overcame, and to help them stay focused on the recovery journey.

Help them realize their self-worth

Everyone is worth more than their mistakes. Suffering through addiction can easily be the lowest point of their lives, so helping them build up their self-worth again is vital to showing them it’s okay to fall as long as you pick yourself back up again and always work to be better than yesterday. 

Teach your teen about positive self-talk and help them
practice self-care regularly. Tell them it’s perfectly fine to put their needs before others, especially when it comes to their mental and physical health and well-being. Praise their hard work and commitment to getting healthy, and motivate them to keep going. Positive reminders and reinforcement will no doubt resonate with them and help them stay on their path.

Elliot at 9 Months

Happiest Baby on the Block is really testing that title this month. Wonder Weeks Leap (what feels like 100) came in strong!

Elliot's Current Stats:


❊ Age – 9 months old
❊ Weight & Height – 22.6 lbs and 27 inches


❊ Eat – He's gotten much better at Baby Led Weaning but is no Harrison about food. He likes raw veggies to gnaw on but isn't always wanting to get super messy. He'd rather I just feed him off of my fork in that instance. The child has a sweet tooth, he got a bite of my banana pudding at our beloved Sherri's last night and he was in love. And demanding, he needed more. Funny because H never had sugar touch his lips until his first birthday. 
❊ Sleep – Travel this month has messed with him but I've finally knocked him back to only eating once at night and that has really helped. Otherwise he was wanting to eat every time he has a sleep transition. 



❊ Recent Milestones – It's been a big summer. We camped in Broken Bow, OK. He went to the beach at Perdido Key, but hated it so he stayed inside after the first day. Elliot says "babababa" nonstop and blows raspberries. He waves some. He is starting to get on his knees some but knows he can move fast army crawling so he isn't that dedicated. 


❊ Special Moments – I had a good laugh watching them on the monitor one night, and was simultaneously told by my previous room sharing husband to let them be. Harrison wasn't just getting in bed and going to sleep but getting his flashlight out and they were giggling and playing in there for 10 minutes. Unless they are exhausted everyone plays and giggles before passing out. Hopefully this love continues for years to come. 



❊ 
Mama’s Experience – Month 8 was hard. He hit that Wonder Week and developmental stage where he knows I've left and will cry to make me return. Since the first half of that month involved his Daddy being out of the country in Brazil it was rather exhausting. Two weeks of just Mama and that nonsense meant I would hide just out of sight so everyone would play well without needing to be held. 



❊ Comparison – Now that I've looked up the post about Harrison I'm a tab wide eyed, he was only 19.6 lbs while Elliot is 22. H was also trying to pull up and was pushing up to sitting more. Elliot is almost to that pushing up to sitting stage, he's on the verge but not trying to pull up at all. Just like big brother he has two teeth. Overall Elliot is a much more curious baby. He doesn't want things to be difficult for him (quitting eating if he gags) and gets frustrated easily. And let me assure you that this month he learned to pitch a fit real good. 



It's funny how different they are. Harrison takes after me and Elliot is all Jeremy. Minus the heads. H is Jeremy's head shape and Elliot has mine. 

Career Advice For Newlyweds


Today's guest post is all about navigating a career and married life. For us it's so important to not spend time at work that could be spent at home, work hard at work and play hard at home. What advice would you add? 

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It is a strange feeling once the dust has settled after your wedding and you start to settle into married life. There has been so much focus and attention placed on the wedding for so long that it can feel surreal merely going about your normal life and returning to work after the honeymoon. This is the start of a new chapter in both of your lives, and you need to come together to discuss your goals and aspirations. For many newlyweds, it is a time for furthering their career, but it can be hard to know how to go about doing this.



Why Advance Your Career

Many couples find that their career was put on the back burner during the wedding planning so you might feel like it is an area that needs some attention once you settle into married life. Not only this but if you and your partner have dreams of upgrading to a bigger home, starting a family and generally leading an enjoyable lifestyle, then you may want to increase your salary which is likely to require advancing your career.

Consider Your Current Position

The first step to take is to consider your current position and how happy you are. If you like the company that you work for and the people that you work with, then you might want to see how you can advance your career internally. If not, you could look elsewhere, and this can be an exciting yet daunting time.

Think About Your Personal Life

Before you make any major career decisions, you should always consider your personal life particularly now that you are married. Think about if you have plans to move away any time soon, if you plan on having a baby or anything else that could make advancing your career a challenge.

Speak To Your Superior

Speaking to your superior will alert them that you want to advance your career and they will be able to advise you on how to go about doing this. This might include providing training opportunities, introducing you to certain people, and putting your name forward for vacancies.

Look Elsewhere

It is also worth exploring your options and seeing if there is the opportunity to progress with a new job opportunity. These moves can be daunting, but sometimes you need to change company to progress. Do not shy away from meeting with different companies just to see what is out there and to show that you are looking to progress.

Network

Networking can open doors, get your name out there, and help you to develop key relationships in your industry. The internet is a great place for networking for your career, but you should also look to attend industry events and meet people face-to-face, which is much more memorable. Do not shy away from asking people in your network for a favor or an opportunity - if you do not ask, you do not get.

Improve Your Soft Skills

It is hard to get ahead in your career without good soft skills. Identify areas which are your weakness and find ways to strengthen these skills so that you are well-rounded. You can improve soft skills by reading online, courses, and through practice.

Earn Qualifications

You might find that in order to advance your career, you need to earn additional qualifications. A masters in operation management online will teach you everything that you need to catapult your career by providing you with excellent leadership skills and the ability to link people, performance, and workflow processes. You won’t want to have to spend time away from your partner studying which is why it is a smart idea to take this course online which will allow you great flexibility and the ability to juggle your career, study, and relationship.

Make Time For Your Partner

When you are trying to advance your career, this can take up a lot of time and energy. It is vital that you still make the time for your partner, so you need to communicate and use your free time effectively. This should include regular date nights where you can give each other your undivided attention and forget about your career for the evening.

Help Each Other

Leading on from this, you might find that you are able to help each other with your careers. It might involve organizing work shifts so that you can always manage family, chores, and other responsibilities as a team - this is what being married is all about. In addition to physical support, you should also provide emotional support for each other as everyone has times where their work can take its toll.

Look After Your Health

When you are trying to advance your career, maintain your marriage, and manage typical chores and responsibilities, it can be very easy to neglect your health and wellbeing. This needs to be a priority, so make sure that you have ways to relax, that you are eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep each night.

Set Boundaries

Juggling a career and your relationship can be tricky as you need to give enough time and attention to both areas. The best way to do this is to set clear boundaries - this will involve setting rules about your work availability after hours, not checking your emails while at home and by making your working hours strictly professional. It is, of course, impotent to talk about work with your partner but just make sure that it does not dominate conversations and that there is a clear line between your professional and personal life.

Many newlyweds find that they want to spend tie working on their career once they settle into married life. This can be an excellent idea if you want to upgrade your lifestyle, but it can also be hard to know how to advance your career without it negatively impacting married life. Hopefully, these tips will help you to advance your career while still being able to provide your partner love and attention so that you can enjoy this exciting new chapter.