Motherhood

Emilia’s First Birthday!

My Baby Girl is One

Okay now I know I am six, almost seven months late posting this, BUT better late than never! I honestly had every intention of posting these back in December when they were taken but life is life and it goes on whether the pictures get put on the blog or not. So without further ado, here are a few of my favorites from Emilia’s one year old photo-shoot. I will link the photographer down below.

View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-one

IMG_0479View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-one

View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-one

IMG_0534IMG_0490View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneView More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-oneIMG_0536View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-one

View More: http://alexzanderaphotography.pass.us/emilia-is-one

These are just a few of my favorites from the shoot. Side note: Emilia was not enthused about getting her picture taken therefore we did not get many of her smiling. All she wanted to do was eat the cake and play with the dogs in the field over from us. Since it was the beginning of winter, and even though Virginia weather is so sporadic, it was a bit chilly and poor girl’s nose would not stop running. Nonetheless I am so grateful I have these moments captured because I can look back on that day as remember it as if it were yesterday.

If you live in the Hampton Roads area, and are looking for a wedding photographer, want to do a maternity shoot, family shoot, boudoir, or have moments with your little ones you want captured,  for a reasonably great price I highly recommend http://www.alexzandera.com/. She’s very friendly and passionate about what she does.

Sincerely,

Tiffany

 

 

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authenticity · Motherhood

We’re Back!

You read right, after an entire year of blogging hiatus, we are back!

I had no intention on abandoning my page this long, or ever for that matter. But as cliché as it may sound, life gets ahead of us sometimes and the only thing you know to do that will keep the sanity is to focus on the important things you know you can control and set the rest aside. That’s exactly what I did and now is as good of time as ever to get back to the true reasons of why I started this blog to begin with.

When I first created my blog, I wanted to create genuine content that others felt they could relate to as well as provide a positive realization to all mothers that no matter our social construct, we are all warriors on the same journey going down our own individual paths. I began to overthink my blog and what content I was putting on it. So many post never made it to my page because I started to think “no one wants to read this” and “why am I telling people these sort of things, its already been done before. Nothing I’m saying is original.” That’s when I stepped back and put down the idea of daily blogging.

I realized I had to find my middle ground with this whole idea and determine what my true intentions were as far as putting myself out there for the world to read. After setting aside my fears of disapproval and the obligation to put up content others wanted to see verses what I wanted to put up, I now understand this is my page. This is my story and no one else, it can’t be rewritten or fabricated to gain approval from the world. All I can do is state my truth and hope that one person may read it and feel a sense of connection to the story being told.

This is the new and improved AmourMia. Still the same mother, the same daughter, and the same love for all things Emilia. Please bear with me as I make some modifications to the page. I can’t promise it will be the picture perfect blog so many see now a days but I can promise it will be authentic, candor, and perfectly pithy in everyway.

Sincerely,

Tiffany

 

Motherhood

Six Things Ive Learned From Being a Mother

The month of June marks the sixth month of my little Mia’s life as well as my sixth month being a mother. I am still in complete awe that I have been given the gift of motherhood so the fact that half of an entire year has passed by me in the blink of an eye is just astonishing. 

It has been the biggest change I have yet to experience in my life, filled with so much joy, love, and learning. I know I still have a very long journey of motherhood ahead of my but I do have to admit, I have learned so much in such a short six months. So in honor of Emilia’s half birthday, here are six things I have discovered and learned from being a mother.  

1. Sleep Habits Will Change 

In the past six months my sleeping habits have been so sporadic and fluctuated that I don’t even keep track of how many hours of sleep I get anymore. I just close my eyes when my head hits the pillow at night and hope it’s for at least three solid hours. Which I might add doesn’t always happen with a breastfeeding, teething, growth spurt infant. Before I got pregnant I slept like a rock. I could sleep the day away and be up partying all night like the night owl I was. My life is completely opposite as a parent considering now I go to bed around the time I would be going out and I wake up around the time I would be going to sleep. As a new mother, I definitely can’t stay up past three in the morning anymore. And if I’m up watching the sunrise, it’s not because I’m sobering up from that night but because I’ve been woken up by a sweet giggling baby on the bed next to me. However in my six short months of motherhood, I have learned I can run on two to four hours of sleep at night and still feel completely blissful toward my daughter. 

2. No Such Thing As Silence 

While there are hours of the day that my baby girl is absolutely silent and sleeping soundly. In my head I hear her crying! I don’t mean like voices in my head crying but constantly feeling like the baby is awake. Seriously, I will put her down for a nap, go outside in the yard about 20 feet from the room she is sleeping in and swear on my life I can hear her stirring or crying. Only to go inside and see her peacefully asleep. Sometimes my momma bird instincts are right on and I actually do hear her cry. Though it does get frustrating when I try to take a relaxing and much needed shower with a crying baby right out side the door. It’s even worse when I think I hear her crying, get out of the shower to check on her, only to see her siting there fast asleep. It’s like my brain tricks me into believing I hear crying. And if I do actually hear it, I can hear it over anything else around me almost as if it’s this weird super power or something. Either way, silence has been non existent for the past six months. 

3. Patience Is Key

When I have a cranky baby who is fighting her nap or constantly wanting to be held because her gums are sore from teething but I also have five loads of laundry to fold or a well needed shower after three days, I can sometimes get a bit frustrated. Being a new mom, I can tell you I have definitely already learned some patience. Before my daughter I was this huge neat freak that had to everything just so. Now I realize what needs to be done will get done eventually and as long as my teeth are brushed, I’m alright. Being patient with my baby and not expressing negative emotions toward her is so much more important than having the clothes folded perfectly or keeping the house model clean. As long as I keep my cool with her, she can feel that I’m calm therefore it keeps her calm enough to get what really needs to be done done. 

4. Say Goodbye to a Spotless House

Before I got pregnant, and even when I was pregnant, I was constantly wiping surfaces and cleaning floors, wiping baseboard and vacuuming five sometimes six days a week. My house was no where near filthy but I guess the nesting bug hit me head because no matter how much I cleaned I felt like the house was never clean enough. There was never a dish in the sink, never a bed unmade and barely any dog hair on the carpets. Since becoming a mom, I’m lucky enough to get the dishes done before I go to bed. I can forget about perfectly made hospital corner beds like my grandma taught me. And I’m lucky enough if I get the house vacuumed three times a week. 

5. Cuddling Is A Must

I have to admit, I’ve never really been much of a cuddlier. I don’t mind snuggling up on the couch with my love and watching a movie but when it comes time for bed, I do not want to be in close contact at all. I want to be able to lay on my stomach, stretch out my arms and legs and drift into dreamland. That all changed when I became a mom. Personal space is a thing of the past. Especially since Mia is breastfed, she is in close proximity to me all night long. Even though she has her own bed, she somehow ends up in bed beside me cuddled up with her hands all over my face, pulling my hair and kicking mu stomach for more room. She loves to cuddle and be held to sleep. And you know what, I truly prefer it. I want her to want to cuddle with me and hold her any chance I get. She’s only this little for such a short time, and one day she won’t fit so easily in my arms. So for now cuddling is an absolute must. 

6. I Am Loved

I know my family and friends love me and I know my fiancé loves me as well. I have so much love in my life that you would think I knew what it felt like to really be loved. But I truly didn’t. I had no idea what it meant to look into the eyes of a new life and see yourself and so much more. I had no idea of the true concept of unconditional love for such a tiny beautiful soul until I gave birth. I never knew that I could feel so down then be given the cutest little smile and literally feel your heart swell up with such extreme happiness. Everyday I have someone who looks at me as if I am their entire world. She smiles at me with true and unconditional love that I can feel running through my entire body. I am never alone when I look into her eyes. I am never ugly, wrong or not good enough. To her, I am everything. Just as she is to me. I now know what it feels like to take such a huge piece of my soul and put it into someone else. It’s as if I am watching my own heart beating outside of my body. My first born, my Mia. She really is my one true love. 

Sincerely, 

Tiffany

 

Motherhood

Easy Breakfast Omelette Cups 

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal. However with an infant constantly attached to your hip, it’s not always easy to prepare a healthy and delicious meal for your family. That’s why when I discovered these omelette cups, I was so excited to try them myself.

They’re quick to make and not to mention, great for little baby hands discovery new foods. Plus you can add or take out any ingredients you want. These are what I decided to use. 



You will need:

18 eggs (scrambled and uncooked) 

2 cups of shredded cheese (of your choice) I used sharp

1 cup of chopped turkey (or your choice of meat)

1 chopped bell pepper (your choice of color) I used green 

1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes 

1/4 cup of olive oil

Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder. (Seasonings of your choice

Cupcake Pan
First you must preheat your oven to 350. Be sure to lightly grease your pan with olive oil to prevent the omelettes from sticking. I am sure you can use cooking spray, however I did not have any at the time so I went with olive oil. 


Scramble all your eggs into one bowl, or a measuring cup, as I did. Add the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, or what seasonings you prefer, to the uncooked eggs. 


Pour eggs as evenly as possible into cupcake tin just below the top of the cup. Next add all your chopped ingredients of your choice to the cups followed by sprinkling the cheese over the top of each cup.


 

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes checking every so often to see if eggs are fully cooked. You will know because you will see they have risen above the pan a bit like a cupcake would do.

You may need to use a knife or some sort of utensil to get the omlettes out of the pan. I found that even saturating the pan with oil, butter or cooking spray, pieces manage to stick. 


There you have it. A simple yet delicious breakfast for the family of all ages. You can play with the recipe as you wish. I’ve done these with cooked sausage, deli ham, spinach, mushrooms, ect. Anything you enjoy in an omelette goes wonderful in these mini bites. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Sincerely, Tiffany 

Motherhood

How to Get a Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle

As a new mother, I had no experience what so ever when it came to breastfeeding a baby. Between previously working in day cares, babysitting infants and being around younger cousins, I had bottle fed a fair share of breastfed babies. Once I became a mother of my own I was given a whole new task. I had accomplished exclusively breastfeeding right from the beginning and was extremely proud of that. Mia was an excellent eater and gaining weight quickly. However I did not realize that at some point I would have an issue with introducing my child to a bottle.

I then received a lot of opinions from other mothers that had introduced their breastfed children to a bottle. Many of them had similar experiences with their baby having regression of the bottle in the very beginning of introducing it. I was told the best way to get my baby to take a bottle of breast milk would be to leave her for a long enough time and she would get hungry enough to eat what ever was given to her. “She’ll eventually get so hungry she’ll have no choice but to take the bottle.” I really didn’t like the idea of letting my baby get so hungry that she’s forced to eat something she doesn’t feel comfortable eating. I didn’t want to take that comfort of security away from her just so I could have someone else feed her for me.

The option of letting my daughter cry until her lungs were sore because her tummy felt so empty was out of the question. Fortunately I didn’t have a deadline of when I needed to have her take a bottle so I decided I was going to gently introduce it to her slowly. That way she would be more interested and willing to take it once she understood that just because she wasn’t getting her milk from the breast didn’t mean it wasn’t milk from the breast. Below are the three main things I found to work best when it came to gently introducing my breastfed baby to a bottle.

1. Explore Your Options
When the time comes to select what type of bottle your baby will use for expressed milk, explore your options and keep an open mind when it comes to your options. I didn’t realize how many different brands and types of bottles there were until I needed to purchase one. At first I thought “I have these bottles included with my breast pump, I can just put a nipple on it and bam there’s my bottle.” No. It’s not always that simple. Now I’m sure there are some instances where the first bottle you give your baby they take it right away but that was not the case for me. And I know I’m not the only mother who has experienced this. So I decided to explore the range of bottles available and introduce a new one to her every time she would reject one. Yes this option can get pricey so I started with the least expensive bottle and worked my way up. After six different brands, and countless ounces of milk wasted, she finally seemed to show interest in what was coming out.

2. Stay Consistent
The first time you go to give your baby their first bottle and they spit it out with a disgusted look on their face, don’t give up assuming that she will never take milk from anything other than your breast. Consistency is key when it comes to bottle introduction. And from my experience, a little milk at a time can go a long way. One ounce, two ounces tops, because you’ll end up dumping whatever she doesn’t eat after it’s sat out for too long. The first time I gave my daughter a bottle of breast milk, I put a full four ounces in it assuming she would down the entire thing like the little piggy she was. After an hour of her suckling and spitting out milk, she had only drank about half an ounce. What I found worked best for us was to give her a small amount of breast milk in a bottle every day. That way she could get the feel of drinking her milk from something else other than a breast and I wasn’t wasting so much expressed milk at a time. Since I was giving her a bottle every day, it wasn’t forced on her and she was more willing to drink what was inside. Now when she sees me preparing her bottle, she gets excited and is more willing to take it.

3. Be Patient
As simple as it may see to introduce a bottle of the exact same liquid that comes out of your breast, it can be a complex and abrupt change for your baby. She may cry, she may pull away and she may even spit it all back out. And as frustrating as you may feel, remember to always be patient with your little one. It might not seem like a big deal but to them, it is huge difference eating from a breast to a bottle. As a mother, the best thing you can do for your baby is to take this new milestone as ever it may come. Whether she takes to the bottle right away or takes months to even reach out for the bottle, keep your cool and have patience. And always remember to have confidence in knowing that you as a mother are doing the right thing no matter what decision you make or path you may take.

Sincerely,
Tiffany

 

babylove

Motherhood

Putting My Baby to Bed Alone Broke My Heart 

When my daughter hit the five month mark, I decided it was time to begin sleep training her to sleep in her own room for naps and eventually sleeping on her own at night. Up until then she had been sleeping in her swing for nap time and in a side sleeper beside my bed at night. Often ending up in bed with me as she woke up in the middle of the night to eat. I found it easier to just feed her laying side by side with my arm behind her, usually falling back asleep before she finished only to wake up to her sound asleep in my arms. I preferred it that way and truth be told I still do.

As she quickly approaches the half year mark, I want her to explore her independence as well as understanding that there are other forms of comfort besides in my arms. Her crib and her bedroom being an important one. I mean, her dad and I did spend months preparing this beautiful bedroom for her; painting her walls a periwinkle blue and piggy pink, painting my Jenny Lind crib the brightest white to match her dressers and rocking chair, finding the best art and frames to put them in to hang on her walls. We even build a book shelf to fill up with special books to read to her at night. So when the night came that she fell asleep in my arms after her bath and I decided to lay her down to sleep in her crib, part of me inside broke down.

 
“I felt like something was missing.”

Honestly, part of me was so proud that she had stayed asleep and looked so peaceful alone in her bed yet the other part of me was dying inside at the thought of her being alone. In her bed. At five months of age that meant for over a year now she has either been beside me or inside of me asleep and just thinking of her being in the next room over felt like she was miles away. What if she woke up and got scared when she realized I was not there beside her? She had never been alone at night in a room like that. Would it be too dark or too cold without the warmth of being beside me?

Was I overreaching? Probably so. Even more so when I went and checked on her about ten times within the hour. And when it came time for me to go to bed, about two hours after laying her down in her crib, I couldn’t get comfortable at all. I felt like something was missing. I went and checked on her in hopes that she might be awake or maybe stirring ready to eat soon. Yet there she lay ever so soundly all by herself. She never looked so grown before and in that dim light I could see her future. I could see what would all be a little girl in the face of an infant.

“As badly as I wanted to go in there and bring her to bed with me, I didn’t.”

I know it’s going to happen eventually, where one day she will always go to sleep alone in her room and I know it’s important to have that independence yet part of me is looking back on those first five months wondering why I ever got upset that she would wake up when I would try to set her in her side sleeper. And wondering how five months had gone away from me so quickly and how much I took them for granted.

As badly as I wanted to go in there and bring her to bed with me, I didn’t. Instead I just sat in bed wide awake, checking in on her every so often until four and a half hours later when she finally woke up to eat. I picked her up, gave her a soft kiss and told her how proud of her I was. Then carried her to my bedroom where she slept for the rest of the night. She may have not slept the entire night but after five months and barely staying asleep five minutes in there before, five hours alone in her crib was long enough for me.

Sincerely,
Tiffany

Motherhood

Confessions of a New Mother

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. It’s an indescribably experience of a special bond between mother and child that takes patience, understanding and commitment. I knew choosing to solely breastfeed meant hearing lots of “advise” and opinions from pretty much every woman who has already been through the joys of first time motherhood. However, I did not know that so much of their given advice would be things that ultimately did not suit the lifestyle I was trying to give my baby.

“Breastfeeding can be a scary, frustrating, and painful time for new moms.”

Do not get my wrong, I greatly appreciated all the loving support I got from those who praised me for sticking to breastfeeding and not giving up at the peak, of what seems to be an exhilarating time after birth. You are learning to care for a new born child, and she is learning what the world out side of your womb is really like. Now imagine having to produce their only source of nourishment while keeping yourself healthy and happy. Breastfeeding can be a scary, frustrating, and painful time for new moms. But once you get past that first month hurdle, you begin to recognize your baby’s cues and soon it becomes second nature to your momma bear persona. At least that is how it has been in my experience of the first four months of my little girls life.

With that being said, it has been five long months of long interrupted nights with her waking, what seems to be, every two hours sometimes every hour to eat. Now this is where that advise from everyone comes in. “Why isn’t she sleeping through the night yet? She’s at the age where she should be sleeping longer without eating. Try putting a little bit of rice cereal in a bottle before bed that will make her sleep longer.”

Just typing that makes me grind my teeth at the thought of how many times I’ve been told it. I am by no means bashing anyone that has decided to supplement their baby with formula or cereal but it’s just not for me, no matter how long it makes my daughter sleep. I would rather wake up and give her my body’s natural nutrients than to add weight on her tummy and later on cause digestion issues for her.

“all I can hope for is that I am doing my very best.”

The more I heard stories of parents putting cereal in the bottle, the more I wanted to do some research on it before trying it out. Something within my new mommy instinct just didn’t feel right. And boy was I glad I went with my gut because come to find out the whole “baby will sleep longer with cereal” is nothing more than a myth and opinion based on experiences of others. It just did not seem right to me to be putting a beginner solid food into a liquefied bottle of milk. If she was to be getting cereal, it should be introduced on a spoon, not a bottle.

Now that my daughter has hit the five month mark, it seems as if she can go longer stretches during the day without wanting to nurse, roughly four hours.. five if she’s too busy being so involved in what everyone else is doing and what’s going on around her. But once we make our way to bed at night, she wants nothing more than to stay attached to my breast. Eating a little then dozing off, only to wake up within two hours and eat again. And you know what, I’m okay with that. She won’t always be by my side recieving her only source of food.

My sweet girl has been introduced to solids since she hit the five month mark but we have not given her a bottle with cereal in it. And that is exactly how it will stay. It may not seem like a big deal to others, but to me, her mother, its huge. My little baby is growing everyday and exploring new tastes and textures besides from me and I could not be more excited. I am doing what I feel is right for her when it comes to her nutrition and well being. As a first time mother, all I can hope for is that I am doing my very best.

So I guess where I’m going with this is, if you have ever felt pressured by anyone, whether it be a family member, friend, or even your spouse about supplementing your baby just to get them to sleep longer, please go with your gut. No matter what anyone says or how much they may say they have the best interest in you and the baby, remember they are not you, the mother of the baby and they certainly are not the baby. Mommy knows best and don’t ever let anyone try to tell you any different.

Sincerely,

Tiffany

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