Momtourage Monday- Untraditional Momma

1. How would you define Momtourage?

Momtourage is the group of women who are my sounding boards, who lift me and my family up in prayer, who hold me accountable. These are the women who are rooting for me, but will still tell it like it is and then give me the space and encouragement to make my own decision. These are women who have raised or are raising children and whose experiences inspire, educate, and motivate me to be the best mom I can be … even when I feel like I don’t have the capacity to do so.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

I don’t know that you can balance motherhood. To me, balance means everything in equal parts and I haven’t figured out how to do that just yet lol. More than balance, I think it’s important to have boundaries to protect your peace and time. For example: Like a lot of working moms, my work email comes to my cell phone so it’s easy for me to always be “plugged in” without even realizing. So one of my boundaries is to not have my phone out at dinner or during family time in the evening, which protects my time with my husband and kids and, conversely, protects the time when I really need to be focused on work.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My phone, no question. My kids are 14 and 10 so they have obligations and activities that I need to keep up with in addition to my own. Specifically, the calendar where I not only capture all the dates but also text the calendar entries to my husband so they’re on his calendar; group texts so we can all communicate when we’re not together; the camera so I can capture our moments/memories; email so I can send messages on the go….I can go on and on.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

I was a relatively young mother. Some disagree but, for me, 20 years old was young to be responsible for a tiny human. And because we were so young, my husband (then boyfriend) and I were still trying to learn ourselves as young adults while also learning how to parent and dealing with this new dynamic in our relationship of having a baby. It made for some trying times to say the least. But we persevered.

After we had our daughter, people continued to ask, “when are you two getting married?” and our answer was always “when we’re ready.” See, our family was in a good place and we felt confident in our ability to co-parent, but we knew marriage would tap into a different set of emotions; require a different level of commitment and responsibility … and a different mindset, quite frankly. So, when WE were ready, we got married. And I tell people to this day, almost eight years later, that there was something very special about being able to share our wedding day as a family. Beyond our wedding day, I love that we’ve built our life as a family. Meaning, our children have been there every step of the way – college graduations, new jobs, buying our first home, new cars, traveling, etc.

My point in sharing this story is to hopefully inspire moms to build your family, your way. There’s no shame in doing things in a manner that works best for your family, even if it’s considered “untraditional” by someone else’s standards.

Thank you so much Angela for sharing your story! Check out more from Angela here. As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Baby Share items ages 6 months & Up

I get asked this question all the time so I figured why not share all of the baby gear that’s making Mommying super easy for me! Well here ya go:

1. Dock A Tot Grand

Most of you have already seen my review of the deluxe and I absolutely LOVED it and since Axel has grown so much it was time for him to move on up to the Grand. As always I think this is such a wonderful sleeping option for Axel. Especially for co-sleeping and now at this age traveling. This is the best item for us to take when we are headed out of town so that Axel is able to sleep comfortably. We also let he take his naps in it throughout the day by simply placing it on the floor or at home in his crib. And to make travel Uber convenient you can grab the travel bag as well! I love that Axel will have plenty if space and time to grow into this because it goes up to age 36 months.

2. Tula Carriers and Blankets

As seen in the picture above, Axel lovessss snuggling with his super soft Tula blankets. Each Tula blanket is made from 100% viscose from bamboo which makes them breathable as well as comfy.

Next up of course the amazing carriers! Many of you see me baby wearing Axel, he loves it! We traveled to San Diego with it, I use it while I’m cleaning the house and Axel wants love. I pretty much keep this carrier in my car!

Baby wearing is the perfect alternative to lugging a bulky stroller around! I’ve been so blessed to work with the Tula team as a brand ambassador and it’s been nothing short of amazing! Check out more carrier options here. Axel has the free to grown and I love that it goes from 7lbs to 45lbs.

3. Nuby Products

As you’ve seen on my Instastory we LOVE Nuby products. I love making baby food for Axel and. I normally store all the food in these awesome containers, snag yours here

Also one of my faves for when I don’t really have time to pull out the Ninja blender is the mash and feed set !

4. Binxy Baby Hammocks

These shopping hammocks are not only cute but so easy to store. I keep my right inside the car and it really helps to give Axel a break from sitting in his car seat.

It easily clips into most shopping carts and can be used from birth to 50lbs

5. Squeasy Gear

Omg these silicone reusable pouches have literally saved my mommy life this past weekend when I decided to stop and get the kids smoothies and while driving I noticed that JAGGER took the top off his smoothie and was using his hand. Yes his hand…. ughhhh so I pulled over and poured his entire smoothie into a squeasy gear and mannnn it was a game changer! No mess no fussing.

Axel also uses them and they are perfect for feeding baby food on the go!

Well I hope these items can help your mommy lifestyle as much as they have helped me! Until next time…..

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday- Dealing with a Tongue Tie

1. How would you define Momtourage?

Momtourage to me is my support group. My Mom is my very best helper and my whole Momtourage would fall apart without her. She helps with Bryson whenever I’m in a bind. She offers to pick him up early from daycare. She cooks for him and makes fun toys for him. The rest of my Momtourage is made up of my other Mommy friends near and far. My best friends that I’ve made through work who share crazy stories daily and my distant best friends in California with toddlers. We keep each other sane. I think that’s the most important part of your support group; relating and encouraging each other.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

Some days I feel like I’m teetering on a thin wire between being a Mommy and working full time and pleasing others. It’s not always easy. I’ve made a promise to myself to make sure I take a small amount of time for me when it allows (sometimes having to remind my boyfriend it’s time for a much needed Mommy break). Whether that’s an extended hot shower, a trip to the salon for a pedi or going to bed early. I absolutely cherish sleep so an extra hour means the world to me. I also take advantage of ordering take out instead of spending hours in the kitchen. I’d rather sit on the floor with my kid playing cars.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My camera. I’m photo obsessed and don’t wanna miss a thing. I love photography and trying to capture all of the insanely cute moments. Since it’s on my iPhone it doubles as last minute entertainment when we are on the go and I need to make Bryson sit still for more than 2.5 seconds.

4. What is your Momtourage Story?

Bryson’s father and I met the day we both started at US Airways. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me! More like the other way around. We started dating, moved in together the next year, traveled the world and 5 years later brought our amazing little boy into this world. My Mom, Dad and sister are nearby. Brian’s family is mostly in Delaware and Maryland. We travel when we can to visit and see everyone.

As much as we are alike we are also very different. I’m hyper and stubborn while Brian is very level headed and calm. We balance each other very well most days. Bryson’s little personality is starting to shine through and he has traits from both of us that are very unique. It’s so amazing to see him grow and watch him change. We both love to travel and hope Bryson does too someday. So far so good! His first trip was to Cancun, Mexico. He’s also been to Charleston and Philly and Los Angeles to meet his cousins.

When Bryson was born I promised myself to breastfeed him for at least six months. My goal was really his first year. Brian and I both felt very strongly about not using formula if at all possible. Most women probably say the birth was the hardest part. Breastfeeding for me was a total nightmare for the first 12 weeks. Bryson didn’t latch well and fell asleep while feeding every single time. We tried every position except upside down. I went back and forth to the hospital lactation team and no one knew what was wrong. They kept telling me to increase my supply, rest and just be patient. He’s a “lazy eater” was the common term used. I felt so awful and so alone.

No one understood the physical pain I was in trying to feed my son the only food he could eat. He was losing weight. The final straw came when the pain was so severe I screamed when he latched on. I went back to the hospital the next day and asked to speak with the lactation nurse that had the most experience. This nurse watched him latch on and immediately saw the problem. She instantly knew he was tongue tied and needed surgery immediately. She checked his mouth to confirm. 2 days later we were in a doctors office in Charlotte having the procedure. Within days it was like I had a different baby. I healed up, he gained weight and all was right in the world. I breastfed him for just over a year and we never had to use formula. That year was by far the most rewarding experience of my life. Our bond is so strong and I feel certain it’s related to the time and patience we had with each other.

I also learned doctors aren’t always right. Sometimes a second and third opinion are well worth it. Don’t give up on your goals. Many people tried to talk me out of breastfeeding. We stuck with our beliefs and accomplished our goal together. I’ve also learned the importance of talking to relieve anxiety and stress. Don’t bottle those feelings up. You’ll eventually explode. Stay strong Mamas!

Thank you Meredith for sharing your story, as always we hope that these stories can encourage another mother. Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday

Happy New Year!!! I can’t believe it’s already 2018! This season, I want to introduce some new elements to the blog. Starting off with Momtourage Monday. I wanted to take time to feature Motherhood from all walks of life. So without further ado here we go:

1. How would you define Momtourage? 

To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, divorce, working or staying at home the phrase Momtourage brings us together like a sisterhood. It’s your inner Mom Circle that doesn’t judge you and always has your back.

2. How do you balance Motherhood? 

I balance Motherhood by incorporating self love. Sometimes it’s so hard to get caught up in the daily hustle of Mom Life that you forget about yourself. My goal this year is to incorporate Mandatory Mommy Moments when I either go to the spa for a massage, get my nails done, stop by my favorite smoothie shop and read a book for a hour or sleep an extra 2 hours so that I am able to recharge.

3. What is your Mommy must have?

My mommy must have would be a portable phone charger! Because the way my phone is set up, I have to capture videos and tons of pictures throughout the day and I will not let a 10% notification ruin that.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

Although many people will tell me how much they love my family, or we are family #goals, my family is far from perfect. Personally I’ve been battling Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 17. This form of arthritis basically attacks my joints and causes them to swell or worst become deformed. I’ve already lost some moment in my wrist and currently I am unable to close one of my fingers. On a positive note I have started back getting infusions so I’m praying for a full recovery with my hands. This pregnancy with Axel was so hard having RA that I had to go on short term disability. Normally when I’m pregnant all of the RA functions are reversed but this time was hard and emotionally draining. Imagine having swollen wrists, knees, ankles etc and a toddler that still wants hugs from their mom but you can barely lift them up, not because of the pregnancy but because of the excruciating pain in your hands and shoulders. I rarely talk about my RA because I just want to feel like a normal mom and not so much a great grandma. Each day I’m able to get out of bed without pain and run or walk up and down the steps is a serious blessing for me because there have been times when I could barely walk to use the rest room and my husband would have to take me to the urgent care. I wanted to share my story to let others know that I am not perfect. I just choose to be happy. Never let a disease, or illness define you. Stay positive and SMILE.

Until next week…….

XO,

Meka.

Fall Family Fashion

Even though I was born in the summer, FALL is one of my favorite season’s!  Thanks to our friends at Tea Collection the kids are ready for cooler days.  I really love dressing the kids in coordinating styles.

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As we all know Elle is the fashionista of our crew, she has been dressing herself since age 3!  She has always loved clothes and especially shoes, my husband and I have are constantly encouraging Elle to express her style and be confident with herself.  How CUTEEEE is this cape Elle is wearing! I wish I could get one in my size.

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Maveric is so care free and energetic, I love nice slim fitted pants for him and layers are key to success when dressing boys!

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Since Jagger is in his independent TERRIFIC 2’s stage I love comfy athletic gear for him, because he’s either in mud, throwing rocks, tinkering or constantly running.

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At this stage Axel’s role is to just be the hunky chunk of cuteness that he does so well, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my kid! Comfy sweats, a cute little sweatshirt paired with our favorite moccs are our go to this fall.  I just love being a mom to these 4, they are a ball of fun!

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As for me, nothing beats a nice white tee, ripped denim, a cute duster and comfy block heel boots!  I absolutely love the florals in this cute duster from Pink Blush it’s the perfect mommy look that’s also functional when you have to chase after a VERY active two year old.

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These are just a few of our staple looks for fall, besides boots what are your go to pieces?

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Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Mommy Uniform

Mommy Uniform…. we all have them, weather it’s your favorite leggings paired with the perfect tee, your favorite workout gear that you wear when you’re not working out or it’s your favorite dress with your most comfy pair of flats.  Today I’m sharing my uniform for this weekend.

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A simple black dress paired with some cool kicks !  This bodycon is super comfy and what I love about it most, is that it’s easy access for nursing Axel! Snag one hereFullSizeRender (21)

I always love to wear a nice denim jacket or in this case a chambry because I am ALWAYS cold!  I found a similar version here  Some how I managed to pair an entire outfit from Forever 21… yes I still love finding pieces there regardless of my age.  Even the baseball cap and choker came from there.  Oh well I absolutely love cool caps, especially when you’re having a bad hair day!  In my case I just did a good conditioning last night and I didn’t want to put a lot of stress on my hair so I threw on a hat and pulled my hair through the strap.  Take your pick of cool satin baseball caps here 

FullSizeRender (25) Lastly a good mommy uniform has to have some cool kicks!  I was able to snag these for only $19.99 during a recent Reebok sale! Currently they are $39.97, still a good price in my eyes!  Check them out here

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My style is more about COMFORT! Weather I’m chasing after my boys, driving Elle to practice or hitting the road, this look will never let me down! Stay tuned for the next Mommy Uniform share.  What’s in your closet? Be sure to share you Uniform must haves below!  Until next time……

XO,

Meka

 

Phil and Teds Voyager Review

* This stroller was a sponsored gift from Phil and Teds, all opinions are my own. All images provided by our friend White Coat Wifey

Over the weekend, the #HWTH crew and I decided to test our our brand new stroller from our friends at Phil and Teds.  The stroller arrived at the perfect time, allowing me to get a test run since Axel is due any day now.  The Voyager Double stroller arrived and because I am a visual learner the youtube assembly instructions made the set up a breeze!  IMG_4299

Jagger was excited to test out the new wheels! FullSizeRender (10)

As well as Maveric, my 3 year old!  He insisted that his legs “hurt” and he couldn’t walk.  I love that the seats are roomy enough for him, after all how could I tell him no with this face?!

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We took a stroll to our favorite local park, and trekked through grass, dirt, rocks and cement.  Seriously, the wheels on this stroller are amazing as well as puncture- free!

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I love that this stroller is a 4 in one system, I am so excited to push Axel in the lie flat feature.  A bassinet stroller has always been one of my wish list items and now I not only own one, but mine has the options of becoming a single or double stroller.  This stroller is just what our growing family needed.

Here are a few of my other favorite features of the stroller:

  • It’s self standing once you’re finished you don’t have to worry about laying your stroller on the ground and scratching it up on the cement.
  • The brake is not at the bottom, you can literally flick the brake on and off which is located near the bar as you push the stroller.
  • The seats are easily interchangeable so no matter if you’re pushing 1 or 2 kids with just the press of a button you’re all set.
  • This stroller is ideal for twins or siblings, you’re life just got easier! Trust me.
  • It has a 5 point safety harness so no more pinching those sweet baby rolls when you’re trying to buckle them in…. Hey I know I’m not alone on this one!
  • It has large sun hoods with storage compartments that is roomy enough to hold keys and/ or your cell phone perfectly as well as a headphone jack.

 

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This stroller is #HWTH approved! Be sure to check out more features and snag your own here and don’t forget to check out all the amazing accessories . I’m eyeballing the Free rider stroller board, I know my boys would love that! Until next time….

XO,

Meka