Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll
baby, Family, Favorite Things, pregnant

Wee Baby Stella Doll

Wee Baby Stella Doll For Big Brother

Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll

We are so excited for Tripp to become a big brother.  I have been researching ways to help kiddos with the transition of a new baby.  One thing that resonated with me was having a “baby” for the big sibling to “help” do things with when you need to tend to the baby.   Tripp is ALL about helping and having responsibilities these days so I thought a baby of his own would be perfect.

The perfect gift

Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll

He has been playing with the baby and practicing with him.  He has loved his baby and when baby came home he definitely had a better understanding of being gentle and how to help mom with baby.

Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll

What I love about the Manhattan Toy Company is that they recognize that we are profoundly influenced by the toys we play with.

That in every little pair of hands lies not a marketing opportunity, but a chance to positively affect the future.

That having a sense of humor means the difference between enduring life, and enjoying it. If it doesn’t contain a wink and smile, it isn’t worth making.

We remember every day that every invention on this earth was dreamed into existence.

We remember that the most powerful thing any of us play with in this life is our imagination.

Now you create your custom wee baby Stella doll.

I think as adults we forget how important it is to use our imaginations.  I have loved watch Tripp playing “pretend” with his baby.  It amazes me how much he knows to do without me teaching him.  Kids really do watch us more closely than we realize.

Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll
Wee Baby Stella Boy Doll

These dolls are adorable, durable and a great size.  They make great gifts and the fact they can be customized just takes it to the next level. It is seriously a great first baby doll – that can look just like your child! Check out how you can customize one for a special kiddo in your life today!

XOXO Gabbing Ginger

 

Family, Favorite Things

Good Enough

Good enough.  This is something that I have struggled with since I was a little girl.  I wanted to make sure I was a good daughter, sister, friend.  I always wanted that reassurance that I was doing a good job.

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I think when you are a perfectionist it is really hard to feel like you are doing a good job in roles that don’t have black and white grades/achievements.  I think that is why it is so hard for us to not sit and compare ourselves.  You see how “great” others are doing but have to remind your self that is just a snippet of the whole picture. This perfectionism has carried into my marriage, motherhood and I even still struggle wondering if I am a good daughter, sister and friend.

I always want to make sure I am a good listener, providing the right affirmations to what my friends and family crave. I struggle balancing being a good listener but also giving out advice and not taking over conversation.

All of these struggles seem to be on steroids now that I am blogger/influencer and have the “perfect lifestyle” pictures going around on my feeds day after day. Honestly,  it can really eat at my spirit and passion.  I question myself daily if I am a “good enough” blogger. I have to take a step back and remember that I am doing this influencer thing to bring myself and others joy and if that isn’t happening I need to reevaluate.  I want to make sure I am painting a true picture of my life in both it’s perfections and imperfections.  I don’t want to be the sugar coated blogger.  I want to be real and raw but still show how proud I am of the life I get to live.

With that being said; March is a new month, spring is upon us and I want to take this time to stop and realize my perfect imperfections. Realize that I won’t do it the right way every time but know that I am trying my best and that is what is good enough for my family, friends and myself.

We have to remember those snapshots we see into other peoples lives are just that, snapshots.  The bigger picture is that you define your perfect.  I was reading something the other day that said something along the lines of “Stop wishing for the future (like having more kids, potty trained kids, or the perfect house). Start living in the present.”  You can’t live your life dreaming constantly about the future because you will miss out on those sweet moments in everyday life.

I am reminding myself of the challenge of #yayineveryday and I hope you can join me in remembering the perfections and achievements in your day are what we should charish and don’t harp on the areas you didn’t feel were “perfect”.

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XOXO Gabbing Ginger

 

Gabbing Girls

Tangled Up With Endometriosis

*Please note this post may contain affiliate links.

Tangled Endo Featured Image

I am so excited to bring you another feature on Gabbing Girls.  Tifanee is a fellow mom blogger over at Coins & Babble. She is bringing light to women who have Endometriosis and what is means to live with a chronic disease.  She also has great tips for Autism and parenting in general! With out further ado…

Endometriosis. When I first came across this word I had to google it for a definition. The dictionary in Google reads “a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain.”  

Worst definition ever. It’s so much more than that.

Symptoms:

Besides pelvic pain, there is a huge list of symptoms that go along with Endometriosis. Here are some of the most common symptoms, and what they feel like to me!

Painful Periods: Not like the cramping that makes you want to eat a banana (that never worked for me anyway) and put a heat pack on with a movie. The kind of cramping that totally occupies your brain. The kind that makes you want to heat that heat pack up so damn hot that it burns your skin because maybe that will take away from the twisting, pressured, inflamed feeling. This pain starts a week before your period, and ramps up to its worst during your period, then lasts for the week after too. Oops, only one week left in the month.

Pain with/after sex: This is one of the most annoying symptoms for me. I am not one of those women who can just shop away my desire for sex, do those women actually exist?! My body and mind crave that release and closeness with my husband. If we are in just the right position, the pain during is fairly minimal, but as soon as that stupid muscle contracts for my wonderful euphoria, pain comes with it. The kind of pain that makes me curl up in a ball in our bed after with tears streaming down my face. The kind of pain my husband feels the need to apologize for and ends up feeling bad over. Not healthy for any relationship.

Pain when you go to the bathroom: I sat down 5 minutes ago to pee, yet despite me trying to relax my body, pee won’t come out. When I try to relax a little more, it feels like something inside is clenching me. Like there’s some rope tied around something and it’s just getting tighter rather than looser. If that’s what urination is like, lets not even get into the other.

Excessive bleeding: “Oh no, I went through 121 tampons in three months.” No joke, one of my friends with Endo actually kept track once.

Other symptoms: Chronic fatigue, nausea, infertility, excessive bloating…I think you’re getting the idea.

Actual Feelings

“What does it feel like?” It’s the most common question women ask. If you suspect you have Endo, you’re probably wondering this. I know it feels different for every woman because it depends on WHERE the endometriosis is growing. But, the feeling I think is the most common, is the feeling of blisters. It feels like hundreds of blisters inside your pelvis. Some of them feel like they’ve burst, and others are just rubbing against your pelvic wall and internal organs. Your pelvic wall being the ill-fitting shoe you have to wear ALL THE TIME. The best description is in the book “Stop Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain” by Dr. Andrew S Cook, he describes the full effect here “For endometriosis sufferers, it’s as if the entire pelvis is covered with hundreds of incredibly painful blisters. At best, this leads to intense short-term discomfort and frustration, at worst to years of agony and despair. Endometriosis can ruin quality of life—harming family relationships, impacting friendships, damaging careers, and straining marriages.”. You can read the forward by Dr. Robert Franklin here. If you have just been diagnosed with Endo, or think you might have it, I highly suggest this book!

Managing through life

Thankfully, I am not one of the 1/3 of women who endometriosis caused infertility too early in life. I have three beautiful children, it was a struggle to have our third and following her, I can’t have anymore. I feel extremely grateful that I could have children, but that also means that I have to care for them while I am in extreme amounts of pain and mentally and physically drained. I honestly feel dead most days. I have mom guilt to the max because sometimes, my little just lays in bed with me for the day. My husband comes home and helps around the house, otherwise, it would be insanely messy. I consider myself one of the lucky few out of the 1 in 10 (176 Million) girls and women worldwide diagnosed with Endo because I was able to have kids and my husband understands. Getting through day to day life with an invisible illness is not easy and people really don’t understand. I should be a cheery 20 something….ok, 30 something woman, who has energy and loves to go to neighbourhood potlucks and kids parties. Let’s be real, I would still hate kids parties. But, instead, I spend way too many of my days in bed and way to much time carefully planning out my errands and responsibilities. The fatigue a woman experiences with Endo is similar to that of a cancer patient going through treatment. I think that really puts things in perspective for people who don’t understand.

The worst part, there is no cure. A hysterectomy doesn’t cut it because your body still needs hormones and hormones are what cause the lesions to bleed and increase. In cases like mine, where pain cannot be controlled, a hysterectomy is what you end up with as the last hope for some relief. I feel like this is a sad end to this story, but also, a fitting one. With so many women and girls suffering from this life sucking disease, an actual solution is what we need!

T, xx

About Tifanee:

tifanee

I am a mom of two special needs kids and one diva of a daughter who happens to be the perfect sister for her siblings. I also have been diagnosed with Endometriosis/Chronic Pelvic Pain. I started Coins & Babble as a place of escape for me. I love writing about our life, chaos and all. You’ll find raw honesty with bits of humour in my writing, because that’s who I am. How could I not have humour with THREE kids around me?!

Find her on: FacebookInstagram,& Twitter

Everyone go check out Tifanee and give her some love!
XOXO Gabbing Ginger

 

baby, Gabbing Girls, Maternity/ Pregnancy

BABY GIRL’S PERFECT NURSERY

Please note this post may contain affiliate links.

Hi everyone! I would like to introduce you to a new series I am starting called Gabbing Girls.  These are some of my favorite bloggers that will be writing special pieces just for this blog space! I love participating in guest blogs and I am so excited to be featuring these women on here!

I want to welcome Shawna from MishMash Mommy.  Shawna is a true Southern girl with a love for writing, photography, and Sweet Tea.  She is married to the love of her life, Stepmom to the sweetest 9 year old boy, Mom to an adorable 2 year girl, and Fur Mommy to 2 little Shih-tzu pups.  In addition to blogging at MISHMASH MOMMY, she is a part-time photographer and photo editor, and loves traveling and camping in what very little spare time she gets.

Her post will bring something new to the table because she is introducing her baby girls nursery! Which reminded me that I never posted about Baby Tripp’s nursery….

NURSERY

When I found out I was pregnant, I began scouring Pinterest and dreaming of what my sweet baby’s nursery would look like.  I couldn’t wait to find out the gender, so I could really go crazy!  I was so anxious that I scheduled an appointment with Peek A Boo Baby for the day I hit 16 weeks.  You can’t imagine my excitement when they told me it was a GIRL!  I would have been thrilled either way, but I’d secretly always wanted a little girl.

I’d never been much of a pink girl, so I wanted to do the nursery in purple…and loved the combination of purple and teal.  If you’ve ever tried looking for that in nursery bedding, you know it’s practically impossible without spending a million bucks on custom made.  Heck, I had a hard enough time just finding purple.  Lavender was a little easier, but I wanted a true, vibrant purple.  I swear I searched for months, until I finally found one I liked.  Ironically, it had quite a bit of pink in it too.  The great part is I could get it at my favorite store, Target, online (Thank you, Red Card)!  The Target option came in a bundle, which included a few things I wouldn’t use, but it was still cheaper than buying certain pieces separately.  Now that I had decided on bedding, the rest was much easier (and so much fun) to shop for!

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I wanted to keep things bright and fun, so I opted for a white crib from Graco. I also chose a white dresser and white cube storage unit (both from Target).  I loved the idea of using the dresser top as my changing table, so I got a changing pad and wrapped it in a super soft light purple cover.  I will say it did slide around a bit., so we eventually used the buckle and just looped it through the drawer and out the back.  I wanted to bring out a little bit of the green from the bedding so I got storage bins and drawer knobs to match.

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After searching forever and reading a million reviews, I settled on this glider, and I love it!  It is so comfy, and I think the gray works great with everything else.  I picked up the table and lamp on clearance at Target. Double score!  I had a really hard time finding curtains.  There wasn’t anything that would work in the stores, so I went online.  Shockingly, I got these blackout curtains at Walmart online!  I knew it was meant to be, when I noticed that the style name was Kendall.  🙂

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Speaking of my daughter’s name, I got big white letters at Michaels and painted polka dots to match the crib skirt.

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One of my favorite accents was the paper lanterns!  I was going to order separately, but I found this pack on Amazon that had the exact colors I needed!  I initially wanted (and ordered) some giant tissue paper pom poms, but when I got them, it was just too confusing for my prego brain to figure out how to assemble them!  Thankfully, I absolutely love how the lanterns turned out!

I had been stockpiling books pretty much since I found out I was pregnant, and definitely needed a place to put them.  I saw this super cute book shelf idea on Pinterest, and it turned out great.  The bookshelves are actually IKEA spice racks that I painted white.  The only problem is that they don’t hold very many books, so I quickly ran out of room.

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I had a hard time narrowing down which decor I was going to put on the walls…there is so much cute stuff out there!  I got some adorable decorative signs and shelves, and this amazing shag rug (again, from Target).

Once the nursery was complete, I’d just go and sit in there imagining what it would be like when she arrived.  It’s like it didn’t really hit home until this room was finished.  I felt like NOW I was ready for her to be here.  NOW I was ready to be a Mom.

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What was your favorite part of decorating your nursery?  How did you feel when it was finally complete?

Don’t forget to follow MishMash Mommy on social media:

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XOXO Gabbing Ginger

baby, Dates, Entertainment, Family, Favorite Things, Friends, love, Shameless Plugs

Fort Worth Favorites

It is been awhile since I touched on some of my Fort Worth Favorites [here are some of my previous posts HERE, HERE & HERE]! Hopefully you all can try these places out or already have and love them like I do.

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Food/Beverage

Yogi’s Deli: A Fort Worth favorite great food and great prices.  Our favorite is breakfast there because their bagels, French toast and coffee are stellar!

Fixture: Drinks are amazing and the food is top notch! Perfect date night! LOVE their patio!

Piatello Italian Kitchen: Their dinner is OUTSTANDING and a great atmosphere especially on the patio when there is live music!

Kent & Co: Great Wine at GREAT prices.

Melt Ice Cream: Their ice cream is OUTTA this world and the shop is ADORABLE!

Activities

The Happy Lark: A fun indoor play space for kids with a SUPER cute boutique up front!

Benbrook Library: They have so many great activities for children and adults! For completing the summer challenge with Tripp they gave him a free book! The staff is amazing too and I have met some great mom friends at book babies!

Shop

Adorable Boutique and Monogramming: Great selection of products and you can bring your own thing in and their monogramming is affordable with a fast turn around!

XOXO Gabbing Ginger

Empties, Favorite Things, Shameless Plugs, Things I Love

Empties 4.0

Here I am again to give my yay’s and nay’s on this months empty products. Let’s get started!

St. Ives Scrub + Mask

Probably one of my favorite products.  You can use it as a mask or a scrub.  It isn’t as harsh as an exfoliator as some of the other scrubs I have used.

Baby Magic Calming Baby Bath

This smells SO good.  It really is calming and helps calm Tripp down at bedtime.

L’Oreal Shampoo [and conditioner]

I used up the conditioner awhile ago [seriously who finishes their shampoo and conditioner at the same time?!] I wish I could because it drives my type-A self insane…. anyway, I love this line because it makes my hair so smooth and shiny. I have very long hair and it help keeps my hair looking healthy in between hair cuts.

Garnier Fructis Conditioner 

This isn’t my favorite conditioner but I do like it.  It doesn’t smooth out my hair as much as I would hope.  It smells great though and doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy.

Happy Baby Puffs

Tripp LOVES these snack puffs when we are on the go.  There isn’t a flavor that he hasn’t love either.  I love keeping these in the car just incase he gets hungry and we don’t have anywhere to stop.

XOXO Gabbing Ginger

baby, Family, Fashion, Favorite Things, love, Maternity/ Pregnancy, OOTD, Things I Love

Year ONE

 

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As I sit back and reflect on the last year I just cannot believe how fast it has come and gone.  The saying is true that minutes can seem slow but the months go by so fast. Tripp has taught me so much in such a short 12 months.  These months have taught me patience, empathy and to be more care free. My type A personality has definitely been challenged but in a good way!

So, I thought to wrap up twelve months of motherhood, I would give you twelve tips I’ve learned.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take the baby out.  It is a big production but it is worth your sanity to get out and about.
  2. You do you.  Go with your gut.  If you need to sleep train do it, if you want to give the baby a Paci do it.  Don’t worry about the judgmental moms out there you need to do what is right for you and your family.
  3. Do something for yourself every once in awhile.  Coffee with a girlfriend, a pedicure… anything to help relax and rejuvenate.
  4. THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  The crying is HARD but I PROMISE it is temporary.  Positive self talk is very important in those days with lots of crying and little sleep.
  5. Get a yeti cup.  If not you will reheat your coffee 5 million times a day.
  6. Find a good support group.  You will have a million questions and that group will save your sanity.  DR GOOGLE IS THE WORST SUPPORT GROUP.
  7. Take a shower.  Put the baby in a bouncer or a safe space and take 5 minutes for yourself.  You will feel like a new person.
  8. Breastfeeding is HARD.  I will say after 6 weeks for me it got significantly easier.  We have made it to one year and I am so proud that we did! But do what you and your baby need. FED IS BEST.
  9. Buy yourself something cute. Those first days are hard but having a nice fresh (stretchy and comfy) outfit does a world of good.
  10. Continue taking your pre-natals and have lab work done to make sure all your levels are good…. turns out I was vitamin D deficient and once I started taking supplements I started feeling SO much better!
  11. Ask for help.  Even if it is just for 30 minutes when you need a break you need a break.
  12. The kitchen doesn’t have to be spotless.  This is the hardest lesson for me… they say to sleep or rest when the baby is resting but I tend to try to tackle the never ending to do list.  I have tried my best to learn that it is ok if the house isn’t perfectly clean for one day or if the laundry waits an extra day. The stress is NOT worth it.  Spend this time with the family and worry about the chores another time.  Honestly, sticking to a schedule has really helped me to not feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to get done in a day!

What are your tips for first year moms?

XOXO Gabbing Ginger

PS Aren’t are pictures the cutest?! Shoutout to photo guru Chandi!

PPS Here are the outfit details: floral dress [under $25!], Cold Shoulder Top, Jeans, Sandals.

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Family

Being a mom when your mom has passed

“Death ends a life but it doesn’t end a relationship that lives on in the mind of the survivor.”

I don’t like to write “sad” posts because it really isn’t my personality to dwell on things that are not positive.  However, being a mom when your mom has passed is something that has really challenged me over the last 10+ months.  Let’s be honest, living life without your mom is hard and as new life chapters start not having your mom there to help guide you through the challenges and the triumphs is something you are constantly re-learning how to deal with. I often times have found this article helpful. It reaffirms that it is ok to mourn and that with new life events that sorrow may hit you like a brick wall.

For those of you who do not know me personally my mom passed away not even a month after my wedding, it was somewhat sudden and unexpected… she had had health issues but had been seemly doing very well. It was quite a heartache to deal with.  My husband was and is wonderfully supportive, as well as, my friends and family. Honestly, without them I am not sure I would be where I am today.

It is hard to not be able to pick up the phone and call my mom whenever I have a question or wonder “was I like this as a baby?!” I couldn’t ask my mom how her pregnancy was or what I was like as a newborn.  Those are things I NEVER processed five years ago when she passed away… and when these new situations creep up, the emotions can come on full force.  Sometimes honestly a simple comment someone makes one Facebook about their mom will bring up though feelings, because honestly life can be very bitter sweet without when you hit those life milestones and wish your mom was there to share it with you.

So what have I done?  I reach out to friends and family.  I have a loving mother in law and mom friends that are there to give me advice and support.  I talk about my mom to others with less fear these days…. you know you don’t want people to “feel sorry for you”.  I allow myself to feel sad and know that it is okay to still grieve and be upset.  I read a blog post of an acquaintance from college who lost her mom and it has resonated with me [PS you should follow her journey about being BRCA1 +].  In the post it talks about how you are allowed to have a poor baby day. Everyone has days to feel sorry for themselves but her mom’s rule was that that you only got one day, after that, you had to pick yourself up and keep on keeping on.

I absolutely love that advice and have kept with it.  It is OKAY to have a bad day but know that tomorrow you will be better! Another affirmation that I like to live by is “not every day is joyful but there are bits of joy in everyday.”

If you every need to talk please don’t hesitate to send me a message.  Grief and sorrow are always changing and new challenges present themselves [especially with motherhood and other defining life moments].

MOM

XOXO Gabbing Ginger

 

Family

Parenting a High Needs Baby

Being a new parent is HARD.  It is such a change from regular life to this new normal… especially being a work at home mom, I felt like my life was turned upside down and it was really hard to communicate that with my husband.  We had several **talks** about this when my hormones were raging.  But as days have pasts and schedules have gotten better so has this new normal.

However, very early on I realized something about my little guy was so different.  First time I knew something was up: He didn’t sleep through his new born shoot AT ALL.  Ten days old and stayed up for 5 plus hours.  As the days went on he wasn’t asleep all the time like most newborns….he was constantly looking around trying to learn and absorb EVERYTHING. He was grumpy and I had no clue what was going on. I felt really isolated and like I was doing something wrong as a mom.

I felt so frustrated that many things weren’t helping like others claimed.  Colic drops, probiotics, sleep suits…. They all helped a bit but there was no magic answer.  Everyone said it was colic and a flip would switch and it would go away and he would be a new baby.  However, the “switch” never just flipped after 6 weeks or 3 months or 4 months.

So after some research [thanks Dr. Google] I stumbled upon Dr. Sears 12 Features of a High Needs baby.  I realized my little guy fit almost every category.  I finally felt like someone understood.  The hours of purple crying, shushing and swaying…. other people had to do that too!

Trying lots of different things I will say Tripp has GRADUALLY improved. Once he hit 5 months and can sit up unassisted it has helped TREMENDOUSLY.  He can play independently and get toys within his reach and he LOVES that. Those first few months were very hard and I can tell you when someone tells me I will miss those days I cringe.  Crying for hours is not something I will EVER wish on someone.  I weigh less now then when I got pregnant from all the rocking and bouncing.  Many parents develop PTSD PPA or PPD from having a baby with colic… it is THAT serious and that traumatizing.

So here I am writing to hopefully help the next first time parent [or new parent to a high needs baby]. Here are some tips to help keep your sanity.

  1. Remember it WILL get better. Self talk is so important in those early days.  Those moments while they seem to last forever WILL end.
  2. Find a support group.  I LOVE The Fussy Baby Site Support.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new things [doctor approved of course].  Our little guy liked one thing one day and something new the next. You want an arsenal or tricks with a HN baby. (We had a swing, rock and play, shushing, colic calm, probiotics, car rides, bath time, walking outside [in the crazy Texas heat], baby wear, noise machines…. just to name a few)
  4. Ignore those who are not there to support you. Unless they have had a HN baby it is VERY hard for people to relate.
  5. You are doing the best you can and THAT is good parenting.
  6. Coffee and wine are your friends.
  7. Buy meals/snacks that are easy and quick. It helps eliminate that frustration. [granola bars were my best friend]
  8. Seek professional help if you feel lost, depressed or that you may harm yourself or the baby.  Those days can be very dark so don’t feel like you can’t speak out about it.

Tripp has challenged me to be such a strong and patient mom and I wouldn’t change his strong personality for the world.  I feel so much better knowing he is just a strong personality and coming to terms that there is no “cure” and thats ok! I LOVE that he wants to constantly learn and be stimulated! That doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days or frustrating days but those days are spreading further apart because this is the first time for EVERYTHING for our little family and we are all learning!

What worked for your fussy baby?

Bonus: Here is my Reality Vs. What is on Social Media pictures:

XOXO Gabbing Ginger