Friday, August 29, 2014

{over sharer}

I Haven't been on here in a while, & honestly, it feels so foreign to be writing up a blog post right now. But it's a short one, so i think i can manage ;) 
A friend shared an article on Facebook & i just had to reshare it 
It's perfect & simple. 

These past 9 months have been trying to say the least & i promise to do an update post very soon, i just can't find the time or the right words to talk about the last few months. {I know i know i sound like a broken record.. but really it will come} 
If you're my family, friend or Facebook/instagram friend you know what has gone on, & you also know that i am an over sharer of pictures of my kids & everything mama related.

Recently, someone made a comment about how i post too much about my kids or about being a mom. It's happened before & i just ignored it, but this time it really bothered me. It bothered me because, as i state below, what else am i supposed to post about?  So when i reposted this article on my Facebook, i took the opportunity to explain why i "Over share" about the joys & trials of motherhood & a lot of my mama friends chimed in saying their lives are so so similar! So i thought i would share it with you all & hopefully encourage another mama or two out there :)
By the way, i'm not angry! So please don't think that or read this post in an angry tone. That's not my point AT ALL. It's playful & honest, that's all

Here's the link to the article by the way
& here's a link to her most recent post that just made me laugh
I wish i was that funny

This is what i wrote: 
"ok before you roll your eyes & say "there goes ashley posting about motherhood again.." I know I post a lot of mama stuff but hear me out, ....this is my life. I read everyone's posts about family, friends, parties, vacations, school, work etc & I smile & enjoy reading about your life. Really I do! If you don't enjoy reading about mine, frankly, i don't care. I have nothing else to talk about but my kids & my daily laughs & struggles. (Or my struggles that I pretend to laugh at) I post lots of pictures of my kids. I know. But this is my life, in all it's glory. My life is interesting, fun & beautiful, but in a different way. Instead of everything everyone else does, I breastfeed a 20 pound squirmy monster that has 2 new teeth (ya, ouch!) 6+ times a day while somehow trying to keep a toddler content. I am then up 4 or more times a night feeding & rocking said monster boy back to sleep.. I clean up poop & pee & vomit & I sweep random food/items off the floor atleast 10 times every day because kids are messy, in case you didn't know. I talk to a 2 year old and an infant all day about a wide range of topics.. Nothing I find particularly interesting, but I'm teaching them about life. I potty train, do homeschool activities, play games, make cookies, fight to get them both down for atleast one nap at the same time, snuggle them, make breakfast lunch & dinner. I clean up the same messes multiple times a day because somehow they manage to completely demolish the living room while I'm cleaning the dining room & vice versa. I clean ALL DAY & it's as if it never happened. I try to make them happy so I can hear their sweet laughs, I make silly faces & dance around & throw them in the air, & crawl around on the floor pretending to be a dinosaur or a horse, all while trying to do the dishes & laundry & vacuum. I do all of this every day, while i stay locked inside my house for fear of everyone seeing my unlost baby weight, uncombed hair, 2 day old makeup, & giant bags under my eyes from 3 years of 2-3 hours of sleep a night, at most. (2 bad sleepers will do that to you) I struggle daily to just keep myself together, And that's ok. Being a mama is hard!! & i only have 2 of these monsters! And also being a wife, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, grand daughter fried etc is hard. Life is crazy, it's hard to find that balance. But I love every minute & every person in my life. My point in posting all this mama stuff I post is not to bug anyone, it's to remind the mamas or soon to be mamas that are in the same situation as I am that it's ok if you haven't showered in 5 days, & your laundry is piled up. We're all here for each other, we know the truth, & we will get through this lol if anything, I hope my posts give the seasoned mamas a good laugh as they reminisce"

We are moms. 
This our life
We post about our kids because 
1) We're proud of them
2) They are all that we think about day & night
3) Everything we do is FOR THEM, wether we stay home or work out of the home,
 it's all for them
4) We love them so much it hurts! 
5) they are our new (&only) hobby

by the way, if you were to ask me a few years ago what my hobbies were, it would be an impressive list of fun, creative, & active things.
Now? 
My hobbies include
* Singing every word to every song on the frozen soundtrack multiple times a day
*Watching peppa pig while the kids nap because i am too tired to realize the kids are in bed & i can now watch whatever i want
* Talking in crazy voices and pretending to be a monster while chasing my kids around the house
* Trying on my pre pregnancy clothes & crying because i can't get them past my thighs 
* Putting carrots under my top lip & pretending to be a walrus because it makes G laugh hysterically  EVERY. TIME. 
*Sitting in the dark downstairs by myself speed watching Greys anatomy while everyone is sleeping so i can have some alone time & not have to think
* Pretending to have clean hair when really i haven't washed it in a week & have just dry shampood the crap out of it 
*Re washing the same load of laundry 4 times because i keep forgetting it's in the washer 
*and many other super embarrassing things that i'll save for another post








See? My kids are alive & well & so are we :) 
They grow so fast
Like i said, an update post is to come soon
Just wanted everyone to know we didn't disappear into the abyss 

Motherhood, we just take it one day at a time & hope to God we aren't screwing them up
I am an over sharer 
I will always be honest about the struggles & joys of motherhood
& that's ok
I share because I want other moms to know that they are not alone
The struggle is real! 
The joy is real too 
& so are the smiles & kisses & hugs

Saturday, March 15, 2014

{diy disposable baby wipes}

Today I am going to give you my recipe for homemade wipes
But before i begin, i wanted to say thank you to everyone who wrote me emails & left comments regarding my last post. I was blown away by the response i got! I am so happy that i was able to encourage some mamas out there with my story. Thank you all so much for your encouragement as well!! 
Things are slowly getting better here, long story short, our boy has some tummy issues. We started taking him to my naturopathic doctor, & we are beginning to understand whats been going on. Hoping to get our little guy fixed up soon! & hoping he starts sleeping longer than 30min- 1 hour at a time.. Will share more as i know more

But anyways, on to the post
We are FINALLY breaking out our cloth diapers for Liam,  ready to start saving money again! & we're finally caught up on regular laundry...after 4 months haha
We saved so much money cloth diapering our daughter, & now, our son is using her diapers. Just goes to show they are worth the initial investment!
Both of our kids have super sensitive skin. Especially on their little bottoms ;) 
So with our daughter. i used cloth wipes and a hypoallergenic bottom spray.
for our son, i wanted to try something else
so i made these! & i love them! 
after ONE day of using them, his little bum rash cleared up & we've been using them ever since
I am most definitely a believer
We all know the health & moisturizing benefits of coconut oil
& if you use a good baby wash or Dr. Bronners, you can't lose!
Try them out for yourself! 
What you need:
A roll of paper towels 
Your favorite ph balanced baby wash or Dr. Bronners soap 
virgin unrefined coconut oil
water
a container with a lid for the wipes
a big knife
Begin by cutting your paper towel roll in half
Use a cutting board!  I didn't cut on my table, this pic was a fake ;)
Choose the half you want to use & remove the cardboard center
Put the other half somewhere until you're ready to make your next batch
stuff your half roll into chosen container 
Mix 1 Tablespoon coconut oil & 1 Tablespoon baby wash with 1 1/2 cups hot water 
The hot water will help the coconut oil melt
We love Honest co baby wash! It smells so yummy! Plus i trust all the ingredients 
Pour your mixture over the paper towel roll in the container
To use:
Pull from the center of the roll , tear at perforation, replace lid
easy peasy!
You will get a good sized wipe, made with ingredients you trust!
{Here's a summarization in one picture to pin to pinterest or to save you your computer :) }

Happy saturday :)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{secret struggles}

I promised i would give an update on what's been going on in our home the past 3 months
This post is going to be a bit different from my usual post
Why? Because I'm going to be very honest
Not that I'm not honest in my other posts, but as a blogger (& as a person in general) you only broadcast the happy, because that's what seems appropriate. 
So no one knows what is REALLY going on in your life, whats behind the smiles, what happened before & after the picture. 

I've been working on this post for about a week... i wanted to make sure i wrote the right words, i don't want to come off the wrong way, but i feel like sharing my experience these last few weeks might be helpful to some one out there. I feel like it is still an imperfect post.. i had a hard time finding the right words... so bear with me
A friend posted a link to another mamas blog the other day, where she described her experience as a first time mama. I read it & immediately thought, Oh my gosh! This is me! This is my family! That is my baby! This is EXACTLY what happened to us. It was encouraging to me to read her post, & to know i wasn't the only one out there. Reading her story gave me the push i needed to finally post this.
But before i do, here are some photos of my sweet kids that i love so so so SO much
So here goes

As new moms, (especially young mamas like myself) everyday we are faced with so many challenges. First of all, raising & meeting every need for this little human (or humans!) that has the ability to go from sweet to devil child in a matter of seconds {Having a 2 year old is totally new territory...} Then we have to get used to the changes in our bodies, our lives (staying home, going back to work) our marriage, our friendships. And to top it all off, we are then subjected to the ongoing judgement of our friends, family, & other moms. Especially other moms. It seems that anymore, every question is laced with Judgement of some kind. "Are you breastfeeding? Bottle feeding? Pumping? Will you be going back to work? Staying home? Baby wearing? Co sleeping? Cloth diapering? Is your baby sleeping through the night? Will you be doing the Cry it out Method?"  
Every mom has an opinion on the way things are "supposed" to be because of her personal experience with her child. I am soooo so guilty of this. I've caught myself giving advice when it wasn't requested so many times. You know you've done it too! After having a baby, we all think we're experts.
It wasn't until we had our second child, Liam, it hit me how truly different every baby, family & situation is. There really is no perfect answer.
for example,
In a world of Cry it out & don't cry it out, I found myself somewhere in between both times, but especially this time. Liam is a lot more needy than our daughter was... adjusting to life with two kids is so much harder than i ever thought it would be... the first 10 weeks, I spent every day not knowing what to do, feeling so exhausted, depressed, alone, & SOOO over hearing crying (!!!!) Liam only slept 10-20 minutes at a time day & night for 10 weeks... It didn't matter if he was sleeping in the pac n play by our bed or if he was in our bed right next to me, or if i was sitting in the rocking chair with him strapped to my body.... he woke up seriously every 20 minutes, Tops, & he would cry non stop for hours... Then during the day, he wanted to be held constantly & ONLY by me, so I had him in a baby wrap strapped to my body at all times... it was exhausting & i didn't have any personal space at all... I was seriously losing my mind. We also found out Liam had a bad tongue & upper lip tie, which lead to 2 bouts of masitis for me...On top of all of the stuff going on with Liam, our daughter turned 2 & suddenly became a monster! His constant crying & neediness had caused her to feel a little left out.. after being potty trained for 8 months, she suddenly reverted back to peeing in her pants at least once a day... She fought going to bed, & started waking up at night again screaming. So we had two kids up all night...
Cry it out sounded so appealing at times, but i just couldn't do it, I couldn't leave my boy to cry...even though i resented my extreme exhaustion..
I also refused to accept help from family members who offered.. i am the WORST at accepting help. I don't like feeling like i can't handle it. In this situation, my pride had taken over..
 But the truth was.. i couldn't handle it  by muself... I was losing it.
I was angry, mean & depressed.
Nothing was making it better...
I felt like i was the worst mom EVER
I had become resentful towards everything & everyone, including my husband., which is not a good thing at all.
I was angry that he was able to leave the house & get away from the children & their constant crying..
I was angry that he was able to have a conversation with other people, a real conversation...& not about peppa pig, or the pee puddle on the floor, or time out, or the many reasons the meal i just made is "yucky"...
I wanted him to feel like i did...exhausted, battling mastitis, over stimulated, & depressed.
I remember one night, he came home from work so exhausted. He smiled, wrapped his arms around me, & told me he missed me & I just looked at him & said "I hate our children.. & I hate you too" And i went upstairs & went to bed....
Mean right?
I still can't believe i said that. It haunts me to this day..The look on his face... oh my heart.
My sweet husband.. who works 50-60 hours a week providing for our family... putting up with angry strangers & other stresses at work.. & I had just told him i hate him.
& our kids.. I didn't hate them.. i was just angry & i hated how i felt
Stress & exhaustion had turned me into a monster, I was a completely different person.
One day, giuliana told me she didn't like me anymore... it made my heart hurt... i walked into another room & cried & cried..
I wanted to tell her "I know baby... I don't like me either.." 
But i knew that wouldn't fix anything, & she wouldn't understand..
I had become a person i didn't like
A person that didn't care
I avoided leaving the house because, as much as i wanted to be around people, i just couldn't do it
It was too much
Friends and family would call & i wouldn't answer the phone.. I didn't want to talk to anyone
I had nothing happy or nice to say..
I had entered into a place i never thought i would.
I was completely & utterly overwhelmed & depressed
That same night, i texted my husbands aunt, I asked her to pray for me because i was completely lost and vulnerable.. I didn't know what else to do... I couldn't stop crying...

The next day, my husband encouraged me to reach out to my doctor and tell him how i had been feeling, & i am so glad i did
With my doctors help, along with the continual love and encouragement from my amazing husband & family, & their prayers,  I am finally myself again.
And it seemed that as I started to get better, everything around me started getting better too

I was able to handle Giuliana's tantrums calmly, & after about a week, they stopped!
When Liam woke up 100 times at night, i was able to get up & be ok
He now sleeps 1-2 hours at a time at night {Hallelujah!}

I'm finally able to be the mom & wife I feel I'm supposed to be
& it's because i finally reached out asking for help

My point in writing this post is not to complain or to scare anyone
My point is to let some one out there know that they are not alone
& that you are NOT a bad mom because you are struggling to adjust to the changes
& it's ok to reach out for help!

Being a mom is so hard!
& If anyone tells you it's easy, they're lying
Even if they look perfect, & they're kids look perfect, you don't know what goes on behind closed doors
Every parent has their struggles
yet, like i said, we all want to appear to be the expert, the best parent

Being a mom is one of the hardest things i have ever done
But it is also the most wonderfully rewarding thing i have ever done
I love my children, more than anything in the world!
& I love my husband, he is my rock,
I thank God for them every single day
Everything we have gone through as a family has made us stronger, the positive AND the negative

I know this post is all over the place, but, it was a hard one to write..
I hope this helps some one out there
Just remember, we're all human
& it's hard
But as long as you love your babies, your husband.. your family
you are doing a great job

We all have our secret struggles
but God doesn't put you in situations he thinks you can't handle
everything happens for a reason

You are a great mom
& you will get through this


xoxo

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shop johnston home

I've been MIA,... again. 
I will do an update on what's been going on in our home soon
But today i wanted to tell you all about something i am doing
I am starting up an instagram shop! 
In this shop, i will be reselling some of our gently used items 
mostly our kiddos good clothing items, some of our clothing, & ocassionally a home product
The shop name is @shopjohnstonhome

follow us on instagram!
if you are unfamiliar with how an instagram shop works,  {There are tons out there!} i'll break it down for you;
1. I will post individual items with the price under the picture
2. If you want the pictured item (serious buyers only!!!) simply put your best email address as a comment
3. The first email address left on each item wins
4. If you won the item, I will  send an invoice to your email through paypal
5. Pay the invoice
6. I will mail your item to you 
easy peasy

If you do not pay your invoice within 48 hours, item goes to the next email address left.

Here's a peek at a few items i will be posting on FRIDAY the 31st 
Most items are sizes 6-12 months for this first post

As G and Liam grow out of their clothes, I will continue to post their lightly used items, so this shop will be ongoing, & will go up in size as they grow out of their clothes. 

Find us on instagram { @shopjohnstonhome } & get some cute, cheap, lightly used clothes for your little sweetie :) Spread the word! 
Opening shop on Friday february 31st! 

Happy wednesday ;) 

Friday, December 20, 2013

{lately}


This month has been crazy
Adjusting to life as a family of four is a lot harder than i thought it would be! 
Don't get me wrong, it is absolutely amazing & we love our sweet little guy, but.. it's hard having 2 kids!
We have one going through the beginnings of the terrible twos {I now know why they call it that}, & another who nurses every hour, day & night, & likes to be held & cuddled 24/7..
Most days, Giuliana & I don't even change out of our jammies & our meals consist of oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, or frozen chicken nuggets.. She doesn't seem to mind  :) 
Every day is getting a tiny bit easier though, so i definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Our sweet girl has grown up over night! Its crazy, since we brought Liam home, she seems so big! She's not a baby anymore... it makes me kind of sad. But it is so fun watching her show off the new things she's learned {Counting, singing, dancing} She is so outgoing and fun! & she is so sweet with her little brother. We have had no issues with jealousy.. yet. haha

Liam is growing up fast too! 
When he was born he was 9lbs. He is now almost 11 lbs!! He such a little chunkster ;)
He has begun to coo & give a hint of a smile.  
He's only 4 1/2 weeks old, but it feels like he's always been here.
This month has flown by
He's a sweet boy

I've been MIA with the blog because, well, its hard to keep up with a blog when you can hardly keep up with the laundry 
Soon enough, it will get easier I'm sure. I'm enjoying every hectic minute, because i know that time flies by way too fast. 
I love my sweet babies

Happy friday ;)