Tips for New Moms


Itz no secret that I’m new to motherhood.  I mean, hello, ever since William’s arrival my entire life has revolved around him.  And I love every minute of it!

william linz

Itz also no secret that I’ve received an incredible amount of help, support, and love from my sister Stephanie, my mom, and my grandma Mama.  I’ve learned everything I know about being a mom from them. They’ve been by my side from the beginning when I was trying to get pregnant, during the IUIs, all throughout my pregnancy, during William’s birth, and these last three months. When they’re with William, they explain the reasoning behind what they’re doing, so I am able to learn. Itz because of them I’ve learned how to become a mom.  I feel blessed that we’ve got such strong women in our family and awfully big shoes to fill in the best way possible!

steph mama mom

Alright, let’s cut to the chase now.  Since I’m new to motherhood, I thought I’d share some tips for new moms that I’ve learned from Mama, my mom, and Stephanie.   These are in no particular order, just advice I’ve taken, learned, and used as a new mom from those three lovely ladies.

Tips for New Moms

  • If breastfeeding is your goal, don’t give up even when itz tough.
  • Pat the baby’s bottom when holding and rocking him to sleep.
  • White noise is magical. (There’s even an app for it!)  It can help calm him down, get him to sleep, and keep him asleep.
  • Babies don’t need to be bathed everyday. Their skin is new and sensitive and they don’t get dirty.
  • When you do bathe them, get in their folds very well. Particularly under their arms (armpits), under their necks, and in between their legs. All areas where there are folds in their skin and little baby fat.  When finished washing, make sure you get in these same folds to dry the areas, as well.
  • Itz ok to ask your mom to give your baby his first bath. And then your sister for his second. And repeat this for several weeks until you’re comfortable enough to give him his own sponge bath.
  • If a baby straightens and stiffens his legs, he’s probably gassy / cramping / has to poop.
  • Massage your breasts if breastfeeding. If they turn rock hard, that is not normal. Use heat, massage, and nurse and/or pump to relieve them. Clogged ducts are NO joke and should be prevented at all costs.
  • Cluster feed in the evening. This means feed your baby more often near nighttime which will help him sleep longer throughout the night.
  • You don’t need to hold your baby all day long. Itz ok to put him down.
  • Feed your newborn every two hours at the beginning. If he’s not getting enough calories throughout the day and fueling his tank, he will make up for it at night.
  • Capture ALL the moments. Including sad/mad faces.


  • Babies sleep A LOT. Itz ok to call your sister and ask if he’s sleeping too much. Then call your mom to confirm. And ask the pediatrician just to be absolutely positive. The verdict? Babies can’t sleep too much. Sleeping = growing.
  • When babies stretch, that means they’re growing, too.  They’re stretching their skin to grow, says my grandma Mama.
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. You’ve heard this from everyone, but itz so true.
  • Talk to your baby from different sides (left/right). You want him to turn to you when you talk, and you also don’t want him to only look to one side. This could cause a flat spot or weakened muscles on the side that’s not used.
  • You don’t need to stimulate your baby 24 hours a day. Just like adults, they need “down” time, too.
  • Once your baby starts focusing on something (you, a toy, book, etc.) move it slowly to teach your baby to begin tracking it. Eventually, he will be able to follow it/you as you move.
  • Babies cry for a reason. Stephanie thinks itz because he’s hungry (and sometimes she’s right). Mom thinks itz because he’s gassy (and sometimes she’s right).
  • You can’t overfeed a breastfed baby, so it definitely can’t hurt to try and feed him when he’s fussy. Even if he just ate an hour ago. You may have a very hungry baby like I do.
  • Don’t believe everything the internet says. In fact, don’t Google things. Just call your mom, sister, or grandma for advice.
  • If you think a baby is gassy, lay him on a hard surface (changing table, rug, etc.) and bring his knees to his chest. Apply a little pressure. You can also put him over your knee, or hold him tightly against your chest holding him tight so there is pressure against his belly. Toot toot!
  • Hire the world’s best newborn photographer.

william newborn

  • Babies love music. Babies love their mommas singing to them more. (They don’t even care if you’re tone deaf.)
  • Don’t clap your baby’s hands to the music. It limits his natural musical tendencies/abilities. Instead, make a beat or clap on various parts of his body (legs, belly, head, etc.)
  • Itz never too early to start reading to your baby.
  • Babies LOVE to be swaddled.
  • Sometimes if you can’t get your baby to calm down, lay him down somewhere safe (in his crib). Sometimes William gets overly tired and won’t fall asleep in my arms, but will fall asleep once I put him down.
  • You don’t have to read a million baby books. Use common sense. Mother’s instinct is usually right.
  • Find a support group and a playgroup to join. Don’t hesitate to join more than one.
  • When talking to your baby, pause momentarily giving them a chance to respond. At first, it may just be a slight movement of the tongue or mouth. Eventually, he will coo at you and communicate even more.
  • Always try to burp your baby, but they may not always burp. However, Mama always gets William to burp. She does the traditional over the shoulder burp, but also puts him over her knee while supporting his head.
  • Newborns like to see contrast (think: black and white). You can Google it and print out pictures for them to look at. Itz good for their eyes and helping them focus. I set up some images on his changing table and in his crib (places he’s at a lot).
  • Mirrors are so fun. It takes a couple months for babies to really get into them, but once they do, they think they’re the funniest things ever!
  • Capture every moment. Pictures. Videos. You can’t ever have too many. After all, you never know when you’re going to get that one perfect shot.

william 3months

See, how much I’ve learned from Mama, Mom, and Stephanie? I literally wouldn’t know what to do without them. In the last three months, I’ve become confident as a new mother. Sure, there are times when I still question myself or am not sure what to do, but those are the times I pick up the phone and call one of them to ask.  Their reassurance, guidance, encouragement, support, help, and love mean the world to me and William.

Mommas – what tips for new moms would you add or do you wish you knew sooner?


Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.

Tips For Flying With A Baby

A couple weeks ago was William’s first airplane ride as my family headed to Ohio for my little brother’s wedding.  To say I was a bit nervous to fly with a newborn is right on.  Luckily, we had a direct flight lasting only an hour and a half which was perfect for my little two and a half month old baby.  Here are some general tips for flying with a baby:

tips for flying with a baby

Travel with family (or friends… or anyone who is willing to help).  While I understand this may not always be possible, if itz a choice, definitely choose to travel with people who are willing to help.  Jonny and I traveled with my entire family, so there were more than enough helpers which was fantastic!  Changing William’s diaper became a four-man process: my mom changed him while my grandma held his binky in his mouth and made sure it didn’t fall to the gross airport floor, I handed my mom the materials (diaper, wipes, and new outfit because of course William had a blowout right before we boarded), and my dad threw away the diaper.  Now could any one of us have done it on our own? Yes, but itz much easier with teamwork!

Dress baby in a lightweight sleeper. This was my mom’s suggestion, and I’m glad I listened because there are so many germs in airports and airplanes that anything you can do to keep them off baby is important.

Pack extra clothes! I packed an extra onesie, romper, and sleeper all in the diaper bag.  We ended up needing the sleeper right away, so two would not have been a bad thing. Also, someone told me to throw in an extra shirt for me in case I were to get spit up or pooped on.  I ended up not needing it, but it was a good suggestion.

Get your baby to suck during take off and landing.  This could mean nursing, bottle feeding, or sucking on a pacifier.  I intended to nurse during takeoff, but William was sleeping, and you know what they say – never wake a sleeping baby!  I did make sure he had his binky in and was sucking, just in case.  I ended up nursing him mid-flight.  He stayed up to play for a bit after, and then fell asleep again for landing.  I believe the sucking helps with possible ear pressure/pain just like many adults chew gum.


Take your car seat and stroller. Not only does this make getting through the airport easier when you already have a large load, it also helps to keep the germs away as people are less likely to touch the baby when he’s strapped in.  You do have to disassemble everything and take the baby out while going through security though. That’s the only downside.  Also, if you have any hanging toys on the car seat, take them off prior to security. When they put the car seat on the belt, they turn it upside down which means that toy touches that nasty belt with who knows how many germs.  You can wheel your stroller all the way to the plane. You leave it right before you get on, they take it, and then they bring it out to your as your get off at your destination.  Easy peasy.

Allow more than enough time. New mommas know – nothing with a newborn is easy or fast.  We got to the airport about an hour and a half early and needed every bit of it.  Going through security takes longer since you do have to disassemble the stroller.  And if you’re lucky and your baby poops before the plane, you’ll need to change him too. You just never know with a baby and if you have plenty of time, you can always walk the airport.  After all, babies love movement and itz better to be moving before you’re sedentary throughout the flight.

Hopefully these tips will help making flying with a baby just a bit easier.  After all, a happy baby makes for a happy flight!

william smile3

Mommas – what would you add to the list?

The Loss Nobody Talks About – Miscarriage (guest post)

Greetings ITZ LINZ readers…. Itz Amy, a friend and of fellow teacher at Lindsay’s school.   I have the pleasure of being a guest blogger on Lindsay’s blog!

So, let’s cut to the chase!  Why did Lindsay ask me to contribute to the blog???

The basic reason is that I also struggled with infertility.  A lot of my struggle overlapped with Lindsay’s – although we didn’t know about each other’s battle until Lindsay blogged about infertility on her post, Infertility Sux.

I identified with SO much of what Lindsay was frustrated with.  Babies were everywhere, and it seemed like a new pregnancy was being broadcast to me every couple of days.  It was much easier to see and feel envious of others having children than to consider people who might be in my same situation – like Lindsay.  Everyone seems to advertise their blessings in life (MARRIAGE, PREGNANCY, BABIES BABIES BABIES!), but itz much harder for people to share their struggles.  There’s not too many loneliness, depression, miscarriage, broken relationships, and infertility posts on Facebook!  So that means that if you are going through one of these rarely-broadcasted problems, you feel more isolated than ever.

That’s one reason that I was so thankful to Lindsay for sharing about her struggle with infertility!  I had no idea that she was going through it.  It helped to know that a friend knew what I was going through.  And that’s also why Lindsay and I wanted to share my story, in case one of you readers are dealing with the same type of struggle.


My hope is that you:

  1. know that others have gone through the often heartbreaking journey of trying to have children.
  2. feel more brave about sharing what you are going through with others.
  3. maybe even get some ideas for what could help you conceive – obviously every woman is different!

The First Few Months

On my birthday, March 17, 2012, my much-more-practical husband, Tyler, *finally* agreed that it was time to get off birth control and start our family!  YES!!!!  The next morning, my excited, ignorant self printed off the next three calendar months to start family planning, thinking that, of course, we wouldn’t need anymore time than that!

Weeeeelllllllll….  After the first few months, I was bummed with the negative results, but still optimistic.  Then, the next few months, I was disappointed, but Tyler and I decided we just needed to try harder or more often.  We justified our lack of success with the statistics. “We don’t need to worry, half of couples statistically aren’t pregnant by this point.”  “No big deal, a full fifth of couples aren’t pregnant by this point!” etc.)  Throughout the whole process, my cycle started getting longer…  and longer (each time, exciting me because I was ‘late!’)….  and my period started getting lighter… and lighter.  After about nine months, my period stopped coming all together – but still no positive result.

Seeing My OBGYN

My OBGYN was at a loss as to why my period had disappeared.  I hadn’t taken up marathon running, or any other activity that would cause my period to wane, I hadn’t gained or lost a lot of weight, and I was a couple of decades short from menopausal age.  I had an internal ultrasound of my ovaries which showed everything looked normal.  Eventually, I was prescribed a low dosage of Clomid, which helps women ovulate.  Although my doctor didn’t know why, she knew that the disappearance of my period, combined with the months of unsuccessful trying, were signs that I might not be ovulating.

Well What Do You Know!

More than year after starting our baby-making journey, we got a positive pregnancy test!  The Clomid worked!  The excitement was like nothing I had ever experienced!  Within a couple of weeks, we were making shirts to tell our parents, and a few weeks later, beginning to tell close friends about BunBun, our baby.  Although I had been having some light spotting for weeks, summer came around and school let out, and I was getting more and more confident that the baby struggle was finally over!

Worst Day Ever

On Wednesday, May 29th, 2013, just before BunBun was 7 weeks along, we had a second weekly ultrasound to make sure everything was going okay due to this spotting issue. We also wanted to decide whether we could/should go to Mexico that Sunday, a trip we had booked before we knew we would get pregnant.  We got to hear BunBun’s heartbeat, which was awesome!  The doctor said the heartbeat was lower than they would like, but that they were ‘cautiously optimistic’, and even gave us the go-ahead to pack our bags and go to Mexico.  Ole!  That night we told a couple more friends the great news.

I had a hard time falling asleep that night, and even gave up trying to doze off after a couple of hours, heading into the office to play a computer game until I got tired and knew I could fall asleep.  That never happened.  Instead, I started feeling some light cramping, followed by stronger cramping, and then followed by even stronger cramping.  After about an hour of this increasing pain, I knew I had to wake up Tyler, sleeping in our room for work the next morning.

About 1:45 AM, Tyler called my mom, a former nurse, on my request, wondering if we should go to the hospital.  Before I could hear her answer, I knew that we should.  The cramping had only gotten worse, and I found myself pacing back and forth in our room, feeling very similar to how my friend had described early labor from her daughter’s birth a few months before.  Although I know it sounds crazy, I still mostly believed everything would be okay.  Maybe this was because I didn’t know many women that had had miscarriages (that I knew of).

I don’t want to go into much detail about what happened at the hospital, other than to say it was horrible – the worst hours of my life.  Over a year later, a specific memory of the doctor or one of the nurses talking still pops into my head at least once a week.  There was lots of waiting, emotions, and sobbing.  I know that there was physical pain, too, but honestly all I remember was the emotional heartbreak.   And although it was incredibly obvious that I was having a miscarriage, I was somehow still mostly in denial.  It just couldn’t be true.  I didn’t want to believe the doctor.  And I kept clinging onto any possible thread of hope that a horrible mistake had been made and everything would be okay.  Around 8 AM, about six hours after arriving at the hospital, Tyler and I went home, and then quickly back to my OBGYN’s office among all the pregnant women to confirm what I should have known – BunBun had died.

Itz the loss nobody talks about – miscarriage.

The next couple of days we stayed mostly in, except for a ‘D and C’ in-patient surgery to clear out left over tissue.  At home, we cried, slept, and ate.  The surgery also meant that the next few days would be less physically painful, which would allow us to still travel to Mexico on Sunday.  At first, we thought this was out of the question; how could we vacation right after our child had just died?!  But my doctor recommended it as a way for us to get away and spend time together.  We went, and I’m glad we did – it was good to remove ourselves from our normal environment.

amym1 (2)

Rough Months Ahead

After the miscarriage, I was a wreck.  I got a lot of support from friends and family that knew what happened, for which I am eternally grateful.  I also had a lot of people that didn’t know how to handle the situation at all, for which was hurtful, but also I can’t hold grudges against.  I know that I have either ignored, or poorly handled others’ grief in the past, and while I try to do a better job of this now, I’m sure that I will do a poor job again.  *As a note, if someone you know goes through a miscarriage, don’t bring it up to them in public, and don’t ignore it, especially if they are the one telling you about it.  The kindest response I got were people that took the time to show that they were thinking of me – making us a meal, buying me flowers or a gift, or sending a card.

For the first few weeks after, I thought I wanted to either take a break or give up on trying to conceive a baby again.  But sometime in July that longing to be a mom came back and I grew more optimistic that conception would happen quickly; after all, the Clomid worked the first round.  Surely we would get pregnant again right away, hopefully the baby would be healthy, and we would be holding a little one in our arms by springtime.  Again, I printed off calendars, this time only two months worth; again, thinking there was no way we would need more than that!

The long, sad, summer past and still no positive.  In fact, the dosage of Clomid that got me pregnant right away the first time was no longer seeming to work.  Again, my periods were disappearing.  My OBGYN would do blood work, and then double my dosage for the following month.  By fall, I was on triple my original dosage, with strong hot flashes side effects, and still no sign of ovulating.  My optimism on a quick pregnancy was once again waning.  I was starting to feel hopeless.  It had taken a year to get pregnant once, with heartbreaking results.  What if it took another year to get pregnant again, only to have the same outcome?  I didn’t think that I could handle that.  Although I knew logically that BunBun’s miscarriage wasn’t my fault, I was beginning to feel like I had had my one-and-only chance at conceiving a baby, and that I blew it somehow.

It was around this time that I read Lindsay’s post and learned that she, too, was dealing with infertility.  We were able to talk about it a couple of times, and our conversations, along with another friend who suffered through an ectopic pregnancy and was taking a long time to conceive, were helping me to feel not as alone.  Another friend who had gone through a miscarriage and received counseling for her grief encouraged me to start meeting with someone.  I put counseling off until the holidays came around (and wish I had started sooner), but her encouragement helped me feel like my feelings of grief and growing feelings of bitterness were validated.

…to be continued…

This is a story worth coming back for! You won’t want to miss the ending continuation!

Cleveland Wedding Photos

I figured I needed to post these Cleveland wedding photos before time got away from me like it usually does. Fourth of July weekend, my family traveled to Ohio to watch my little brother Justin and his beautiful bride Dana get married. Everything was absolutely gorgeous and it was amazing to watch them tie the knot.  Here are a few (several) snapshots from the wedding weekend:

candid & formal photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography

The most stunning bride:

dana bride

Jumpers are so in right now:

steph jumpers

Proud parents:

mom dad

After hair and makeup:

steph mom hair makeup

With older brother Jason:

jason steph

Jackson & Jacob:

jackson jacob

We love our Justin!


The Williams men:

williams boys

The Ladies:

steph mama mom

Yoga poses all the time:


The cutest little flower girl:

audrey wedding

Just married:

justin dana wedding1

Cutie patootie:

william wedding

Our little family:

jonny family

Best wedding picture ever:

justin dana wedding

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xoxo

3 month old baby William

July 10, 2014 = 3 month old baby William. Holy moly, that’s today.  My baby is growing SO fast!  Literally, everyday he gets bigger and bigger.  Everyday, he’s more alert.  Everyday, he’s the happiest baby I know.  Everyday, he’s the best baby ever.


3 month old baby William

Height & Weight: I’m going to a breastfeeding group today, so I will weigh him there and update later. Edit to add: 11 pounds 12 ounces!  His next doctor appointment is at four months, so we’ll find out height in a month!

Eating: (Drinking?)  William is still eating every two hours, for the most part. There are some times that he’ll go three hours and other times where he wants to eat every hour and a half or even every hour. He’s definitely a growing boy. During some feedings, he seems to be taking in more, and other times less. My pediatrician says just like adults don’t eat the same amount at every meal, neither do babies.

Sleeping (naps): Still no schedule. William takes a long nap in the morning shortly after getting up, eating, and playing. He takes several shorter naps throughout the day, just depending what we are doing and if we’re out and about. He almost always catches a catnap while driving in the car, but usually wakes up when we stop moving.

Sleeping (at night): William still sleeps in a bassinet right next to our bed. I try and put him down as close to 8 p.m. as possible though in reality it turns into 8:30 – 9 before he’s completely out.  He usually will sleep until sometime between 12 – 1 a.m., though a couple times he’s made it til 2!  Some nights he’ll make it until 5 a.m. after that, but occasionally he’ll wake up at 3 or 4, as well.

stuffed animals

Another Where’s William? photo. My mom used to do this with us all the time when we were babies!

Clothing: Mostly 3 month clothes. Though he did grow out of my favorite 3 month Carter’s sleeper. Rompers and onesies he can wear 3 or 6 months. Size 1 diapers.

New this month: William has found his hands! He loves putting them in his mouth. He also blows lots of spit bubbles now, particularly when he’s hungry. He bats at toys that are hanging in front of him (through not necessarily on purpose). When he’s on his back, he moves his arms and legs so fast! He just wants to MOVE! William went on his first plane ride and went to his first concert this month.


William likes: Attention! He loves being talked to, sung to, read to, and played with. He also loves his cousins and they love entertaining him. William LOVES looking in the mirror. He can be entertained for hours that way if I let him. I think he likes books, but I think he more just likes the attention Jonny and I give him when we read to him. He also loves music. William loves being outside. There’s just so much to look at!

William dislikes: Being tired. He’s like, “PUT ME TO BED!” He also dislikes being woken up which makes it very frustrating when people “accidentally” wake him up by talking loudly or touching him when he’s sleeping. Itz also frustrating if he’s just gone down for a nap and I need to get him up in order to get somewhere on time. That never ends well. Both instances make for a fussy baby later.

Comparison: From newborn to three months, he sure has filled out!


Good looking baby, if I do say so myself.


William is honestly the happiest baby ever. He’s always smiling and laughing. If he’s fussy, itz short-lived. He’s really become a big flirt and a big ham around other people, too!


And that’s baby William at three months!

all before noon

My thought for today’s post was going to be “A Day in the Life,” but as I started snapping photos to capture the moments, I knew “A Day in the Life” would be far too long for one post.  So now we’re doing “A Day in the Life… All Before Noon!”

Our morning started bright and early at 1:45 when William woke up for his middle of the night feeding.  I’m happy to report that he’s not eating every two hours during the night hours anymore.  I nursed him and he quickly fell right back asleep.


I did take the opportunity to get in a quick snuggle session before putting back in his bassinet. (Yes, he’s still in his bassinet right next to my bed. I have no interest in sleeping him in his crib yet. He does nap in his crib.)


Love my baby snuggles!

William woke up again at 5 a.m. to eat.  After putting him down once more, I pumped, bagged the milk, and cleaned the parts.  I tried to go back to sleep, but William was up and ready to tackle the day at 6 a.m.  All he wanted to do was move, move, move!  His arms and legs were going so fast!  Here’s a semi-still shot I captured.


He wiggled so much that he pooped himself! ;) After a diaper change, it was time for him to eat again at 7 a.m.  Then, I put him in his little bouncer chair and Jonny read him stories while I cooked us breakfast.

jonny reading

Coconut flour pancakes for the win! 2 eggs, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Topped with coconut oil, shredded coconut, and syrup.

coconut pancake

Yum yum in the tum tum. After William took a mini nap, I nursed him again around 9 a.m. after changing another dirty diaper and we were off to take a walk!


Upon my return, I ate a big fat juicy peach. I love summer fruit!  And I may or may not have had a couple squares of dark chocolate with sea salt, as well.  Itz never too early for chocolate!  I showered and got dressed and William and I headed out to run some errands.  We stopped by my parents’ house where I started grazing on turkey slices.  William thought it was funny.


But then my mom made me a real lunch of salmon, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and brussel sprouts.


Linking up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons for WIAW.

Lots of playing took place including some tummy time from my strong boy.

tummy time

And relaxation happened as well as I gave William a baby massage.

pretty baby

Isn’t he such a pretty baby?!

To think… all that before noon!

What do you do before noon?

William’s First Flight

William’s first flight was last Wednesday as my family traveled from St. Louis to Cleveland for my little brother’s wedding.  While I was a little nervous bringing my almost three month old on the plane, I’m happy to report he did great!  But I’m so not surprised; William is seriously the best baby ever. I’m working on a “tips for flying with a baby” post as I took several suggestions from my mom and sister to make the trip as seamless as possible.  For now, some pictures from William’s first flight experience.

We got to the airport around 7:15 in the morning with lots of stuff.  Two large bags to check, one carry on, a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, and baby.  Then we saw this pretty lady who had beat us to the airport with her husband and two kiddies.


Starting off the trip with a sister selfie.  Typical.

Followed by an Audrey selfie shortly after.


My mom was there, and like always, a HUGE help with baby William.

mom airport

Jonny and Jacob entertained themselves by being best buds, hanging out, and throwing up the U sign.

jonny jacob

I failed to get a picture of my dad, Poppy, Mama, Papa, or Phil.  But they were there, too.  It was a family flight, y’all.  The very best kind!  Quick funny story: the plane we were on was very small and all of my family members were in nearby rows.  Right when we landed, Jacob stood up on his seat and with the biggest smile announced, “We have arrived in Cleveland!  Hello, Yaya!  Hello, Mama!  Hello, Poppy!” (and to everyone else he could see)  Hilarious!

Eventually, we boarded the plane and I had William asleep in my ring sling.


My mom sat next to me, so naturally we had to do a plane selfie of the three of us.

mom plane

Jacob was a row in front and Audrey a row behind me and they kept peeking their heads through to talk to me and William.  It was adorable.

jacob audrey

William woke up mid-flight, and after I nursed him, Stephanie demanded I pass him back.


Another William selfie for the books!

Check out this awesome picture Stephanie took of Audrey peering out the window:


William’s first flying experience was a positive one! I’m grateful for all the help my family always gives us!  Here’s one last picture of him on the plane with his growing cheeks:


He’s a champ!

Do you know what your first flight was? I think mine was to visit my cousins in Houston.

what you ACTUALLY need in your hospital bag when having a baby

Oh my goodness what an absolutely marvelous weekend in Ohio with my family watching my little brother get married!  We got back home last night and have several suitcases to unpack, loads of laundry to do, and a baby to love on.  So today I’m sending you to my friend Sarah’s blog at Creating A Better Tomorrow as I’m guest posting for her.  By the way, this lovely lady is currently pregnant with not one, but TWO baby boys!

When I was 35 weeks pregnant, I wrote my packing the hospital bag post.  After having baby William, I wanted to revise that list and share my commentary on what you ACTUALLY need in your hospital bag when having a baby from my experience.

what you actually need in your hospital bag when having a baby

I get real with y’all about what actually happens and what you need/want, so be prepared.  Plus, I throw in some other random tips that I found helpful or wish I had known before.  Giving birth is no easy feat, and the last thing you want to worry about is packing correctly.  Follow my list and you’ll be good to go!

william first look 1

CLICK HERE to read the post on what you ACTUALLY need in your hospital bag when having a baby.

Mommas: what would you change about what you brought to the hospital?

Summer Pasta Recipes

Summer pasta recipes – I’ve got them for you in today’s post!  The other evening I threw together a pasta that ended up being way better than I expected.  Jonny and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I decided I just had to share it.  Itz light, delicious, and perfect for summer.



  • whole wheat pasta
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced in thirds
  • yellow onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • fresh spinach
  • shrimp, cut
  • corn
  • Parmesan cheese
  • NuNaturals stevia (or sugar or sweetener of choice)

Note: I didn’t list amounts because I just used whatever we had at home.  I did use a one-pound box of pasta and was very generous with the vegetables!


  1. Prepare pasta as directed.
  2. Saute yellow onion in olive oil.
  3. Add in cherry tomatoes and let simmer.
  4. Stir in stevia.
  5. Combine corn, garlic, and shrimp to the mixture.
  6. Toss spinach in and cook until wilted.
  7. Mix in Parmesan cheese.
  8. Pour over pasta.

The stevia may sound a bit strange, but it really does work.  Itz a little trick my grandma taught me when cooking with tomatoes.  Jonny and I were talking about how shrimp doesn’t typically “go” with red sauce, but this really isn’t a red sauce at all.  The whole thing is light yet very flavorful.

Here are some other summer pastas by FitFluential Ambassadors.

summer pastas

Mmm!  Let’s talk pasta for a second, more specifically carbs, because I feel like carbs have gotten a bad rep.  I know too many people who won’t eat carbs… even healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa!  My personal opinion is that eliminating any type of food is not a great idea.  I mean, there’s some people I know who won’t even eat starchy vegetables.  They’re vegetables for crying out loud!

Remember the whole fat free fad back in the day?  Yeah, that didn’t last.  FOR A REASON!  Fat is healthy for you… well, the healthy fats are just like healthy carbs are.  We need carbohydrates.  They give us energy. I’m not saying to eat a loaf of bread.  Everything in moderation, friends.  Stop fearing the carbs.  I eat pasta once in awhile and I choose to eat whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, or quinoa pasta, and I always load it up with plenty of vegetables.  And I think I’m doing alright.  In terms of other carbs, I always make sure to incorporate some type of carb with my meals and snacks.  Sometimes itz in the form of fruit, vegetables, or whole grains.  Itz all part of a balanced meal.

Check out this post for additional information if you’re someone who fears the carbs: The Smart Way to Eat Carbs by Pamela at Thrive Personal Fitness.

End soapbox.  William agrees with me, just for the record. ;)


What would you put in a summer pasta?  

photo dump

I’ve had several pictures on my really fancy camera iPhone that I’ve been meaning to share, so today we’re going to throw them all out there – photo dump style.  We’ll start with, what looks to be, a William selfie.


Two months old and taking selfies already.  Totally my baby.

Remember how I said William is like my niece Audrey’s real life doll?  Proof:


She’ll probably be babysitting next year.

My six year old nephew is becoming quite the reader.  He’s going into first grade and reads on a third grade level.  Very impressive.  And he lost his first tooth a couple days ago!


I obviously can’t show you a picture of Audrey and Jackson and not Jacob.  So here’s one that Stephanie took before Jacob’s preschool graduation.  He’s such a stud.


Five going on fifteen.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom is a baby whisperer.


Plus, she’s taught me everything I know about being a mom.

My grandma Mama has the magic touch, too.


Sooooo comfy.

William is an obvious Cardinals, Mizzou, and Miami fan.  However, my sister-in-law lives in Texas and bought him some onesies.  So he can pretend he’s a longhorn once in awhile…

come at me bro

Tell me that’s not the cutest little tough guy around.  Come at me, bro. Bahahaha.

Check out these beautiful eyes.


And we’ll end on a typical super smiley super adorable photo of my little man.

william smile2

What would be your photo dump today?