Simple Self-Care Tips for Mamas

 Life is full, mamas. It is hectic, and crazy sometimes … definitely a little chaotic, but gloriously full. In the midst of all the sleepless nights, the diapers, the homework or teaching (if you homeschool like us), the laundry and the errands, we must make time for ourselves. That time should be rejuvenating; it should give life to our bodies, our spirit and our minds. Please, please don’t limit your self care to sugary coffees at high priced coffee shops and manicures. There is a time and place for those things- but on a weekly, and dare I say *daily* basis, we need to take care of ourselves!

Get Moving

Find an activity that motivates you to move! Maybe you’re in a season where you need to step up your movement game- add walking outside at a brisk pace to your routine. Or if you need to take it down a notch from heavier workouts, do the same! A brisk walk is good for the body and mind, allows us to decompress, breath fresh air, and get out of the house or office. If walking seems boring, add music, find a favorite podcast, or just start listening to nature on your walk. Stretching and pilates are other great ways to restore your body, give it time off from stress, and  decompress. Fancy getting the kids involved? Then consider taking them roller skating, walking at the park or zoo, or swimming!

Feed Your Body

Good food really does fuel your body. If you want to get the best result out of the food you eat,  then you should know that this starts with using quality ingredients. Use fresh ingredients as often as you can, and make sure you nourish yourself with the right foods-healthy fats, whole carbs (ie:not white bread), and colorful fruits and veggies. Anchor fruits and carbs with a filling protein to help stabilize blood sugar levels, and eat to full, but not stuffed. This will work wonders for energy levels!

Avoid sugar, simply because it is bad for our energy, our blood sugar, and it is addictive. I wouldn’t give my kids cookies or cokes to stay awake in a mid day slump, so I shouldn’t do that to my own body! Self care is important mamas-we can’t take care of them if we don’t  take care of ourselves.

Drink water! Yes, lots and lots of clean, purified water. Water that comes from a filter like the Berkey is great; we love ours! The water really does taste different, and we are protected from all the run off pesticides and chemicals in our water. Do a little digging on hormone disruptors in the environment and how you can avoid them- interesting stuff. =)

Stay Connected

Connecting with family and friends is important-we have to make time to snuggle, give hugs, talk, look deeply into other human’s eyes, and actually connect. Connect over morning   coffee on the weekends (our favorite!), make breakfast together, laugh about the past, or read a good book together. Strengthening relationships helps us improve our self care as well as just being part of our self care.

Mama Self Care Tips

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Visit Your Physician

Keeping up with our routine appointments can be important- especially when we have medical needs that require annual or frequent visits. Find a doctor, dentist, and ENT that align with your beliefs and need. Having routine blood work done for vitamin D, hormone, and thryoid levels can be huge part of self care. Even hearing specialist can be important depending on your family- Click here to find out more about that. Our family sees an ND, and a wonderful family practitioner for most of our needs; we are also seeing an ENT for a preauricular pit that needs to be looked at for one of our children soon.


Make Sleep a Priority … a BIG Priority!

Not getting enough sleep can impact our  health greatly- from depression to weight gain, when we don’t get enough quality sleep, our health suffers.  Avoid caffeine late in the day, get in some outdoor time as often as possible throughout your day, get barefooted in the grass, and drink all your water each day. These are the top things that help me get to sleep well, and stay that way.

If you struggle with anxiety, or waking in the middle of the night, grab an essential oil diffuser, and diffuse a (high quality brand) essential oil blend; we love lavender and cedarwood together for deep, lasting sleep!

What are your favorite self care tips?

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

The One With a Puppy {Simple Woman’s Daybook 29}

Outside my Window …
It is warm and cloudy; why is it in the 70’s in February?!  I won’t complain about the fog and early morning drizzle, we need the rain. And I won’t complain about the warmth, but I mean really?!  If this means we will have snow in May, I’d rather it be cold now!
I am thinking…
I have so much to get done this week!

I am thankful…
that we had a friend from AR come visit this weekend, that we had rain this morning, that we have a little farm, and that we added a new buddy to the farm this past week!

In the kitchen…
There is bone broth in the crock pot, eggs on the counter, and leftovers for dinner.

I am wearing…
leggings and a shirt

I am creating…
a few things in my sewing room

I am going…
to Costco and the library this week

I am wondering…
if we are going to have anymore winter between now and spring?!

I am reading…
Teaching From Rest, as recommended by so many homeschoolers … it is a good book.  Except I have already implemented most of what I am reading so far, and my train of thought is already there, so I am wishing I had picked it up at the library and not purchased it.

I am hoping…
I find more info in the book that is helpful, and not just a bunch of ideas and thoughts I already have, agree with, implement in my home. =/

I am looking forward to…
The warm week-warmth means mama and Baby can go out more (she does NOT like the cold, even bundled up, so I’ve been inside more than I’d like this winter).

I am learning…
how to work with a puppy, specifically and LGD puppy that is going to hopefully bond with and protect my chickens and family- he is NOT for playing with.  He has play time, in the evenings, but the rest of the time he is watching chickens, sleeping with chickens, and sitting with me as we learn about chickens.  The cows are too big for him to be with right now, but I wouldn’t be against adding a few calves for him to bond with soon.  =)

Around the house…
It just is.  Things are pretty clean, tidy.  I just have a ton of laundry to get through.

A favorite quote for today…
Dog best friend
One of my favorite things…

Meet Huck!  As in Huckleberry Finn.  He sure is a sweet, sensitive boy that likes adventure.  We are sure the 40 acres will be a good place for him to learn, grow, and protect.
I won’t write about how we are training him, because honestly there is a LOT that is going into it, and I don’t know if it will all be successful.  I have spoken with a consultant that has assured me Thora’s escalating resource aggression wasn’t a result of anything we did.  So I am hoping that what we do for Huck can prevent any issues and create a great guardian.  Because these kinds of dogs don’t necessarily “bond” with chickens like they will mammals, we have to do a little extra work to ensure he is okay around them.

However, so far he gets very upset when he is not in the run with the chickens.  He was raised with his parents and chickens for 14 weeks, until we got him, so he is used to them.  It is just avoiding playing with them at this point, that is important.

Huck is part Great Pyrenees, and part Anatolian Shepherd.  Anatolian Shepherds are more aggressive with predators than a Great Pyr, and are better able to take on a coyote than a GP might.  They are also more likely to stay closer to home than a GP, or so I read. So we will see how he does. =)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Run errands, do school, get some sewing done, work with Huck, menu plan, and work around the farm in the WARMTH!  woo hoo

A peek into my day…
See Huck’s photo collage above.

Peek Into My Day {SD 29}

We did school, then went for a walk in the woods after lunch.  Aaah, fresh air, and fun!

Simple Woman {Daybook}

38 week baby summary

Max is now 39 weeks (9.5 months), so this is the update for last week, his 38th week of life.

Let’s just say Max is now moving, fast!  He is crawling everywhere, and is pulling up on everything!  If he can get his hands on it, he pulls up on it.  He likes to chase Lexie all around the house.

His new favorite thing?  Dancing!  He loves to dance and bounce.

He is still eating tons of finger foods.  I have been steaming him fresh veggies, freezing them on a cookie sheet, and then storing them in bags for quick meals.  I can’t get him to eat much off of a spoon anymore, he wants to chew!

Speaking of chewing, we have two top teeth!  That was not fun, but they are here.

His days look like this:

7am  wake and bottle
730  breakfast and play
8:55 down for nap
10:30 up from nap
11:30 bottle
12:00 lunch with mommy, daddy, and lexie
12:40/1:00/1:30 nap, depending on how long his first nap was
2:30/3:00 up from nap (nap is usually 1.5 hrs from whatever time he fell asleep)
3:30 bottle and snack, offer juice in sippy
5:30 dinner with family
6:30 bedtime- we shoot for 7pm, but he is usually begging for milk and bed at this point.

His naps have been SO great.  He has been feeling better since the teeth finally got here, not as whiny and clingy as the last week or two.  Literally, overnight he became my happy boy again.

We went to the pool Friday, and Daddy surprised us by leaving work early to join.  We had a great time, and max loved the pool!  We tried again, without daddy, to see if I could manage everyone by myself, and it was a success.  So it looks like we will be getting a membership for the summer.  They also have a toddler time from 12-1 certain days of the week.  It is time just for the littles to play and enjoy the water.  We may try once or twice a week, since that is lunch and wind down time for nap.  It’s not usually hot enough for the water that early here, or at least it hasn’t been yet.

I have reduced his reflux meds from 4ml, to 3ml.  So far so good.  He has some spitting up while playing and crawling, but nothing that seems to bother him.  Getting the medicine in him is still a challenge; we will both be so happy when he doesn’t have to take it anymore.

He did great at the chiropractor last week.  His lower back was out of alignment and Dr C asked if he had been constipated … as a matter of fact he had been!  Kinda crazy.  He got adjusted, took a nap, and woke up poopy.  True story.

Lexie has been her usual sweet self.  She loves playing with Max, and looks forward to our snuggles in the morning and after nap; daddy has been traveling and she gets extra affectionate when he is gone.  I think she needs that extra security.  

She randomly sleeps for naps throughout the week, but always lays down for 1.5-2 hours for rest.  Her bedtime is still 6:30 with no nap, she falls asleep right away and sleeps until 6:45-7am the next morning (usually).  We have tried a later bedtime, and get an earlier wake time, which tells me she isn’t getting enough sleep when she goes down later.  So we are sticking with early bedtime to keep from waking up at 5-6am!  On days she naps, bedtime is closer to 7:30pm.

She found mama’s favorite heels before church one morning

First time at the pool

Our roses from Arkansas

Big girl on her bike

Lima beans- yum!

Mama left me alone with avocado for 2 minutes….

Baby Summary Week 38: reflux and chiropractors

Max is almost 9 months old. This is the post for his 38th week of life.

He is EVERYWHERE. He is eating well, and is still loving finger foods. Like as in, LOVES. He will eat a few jars of baby food, and then sit in his high chair and eat finger foods for 30 more minutes. haha And most of the food is making it to his mouth now.

He is crawling all over the house, chasing Lexie Raye, pulling up on everything, and really trying to stand …. on his head! He loves to stand on his head and look through his legs. It’s hilarious.
But he is also trying to stand on his own. He finally picked those feet up and walked while holding my hands. It’s like he has realized, “hey, I can move!”

Sleep is good; two naps a day. One is at 9:00 and the other is either at 12:40, or 1:00 depending on how long his first nap was. I think he is trying to tell me it’s time to push his nap back, to 9:15 or 9:30, because lately the morning nap has been short. I may try it this weekend and see what happens.
Yesterday we went to the chiropractor (it was one similar to these Activa Clinics). Yes, we. I am so excited, we are praying this helps improve his reflux, so we can get off this awful medicine. If you haven’t read about chiropractic care in babies, you should Google it!

Illness such as SIDS, reflux, allergies, chronic ear infections, and poor health in general have been linked to poor spinal alignment. Spinal alignment affects our nervous system and our overall health. When adjusted correctly, these illnesses can be prevented and healed. Ear infections and reflux are two of the biggest reasons parents seek chiropractic care for their babies and children. If after reading this post you think you need to make an appointment with a chiropractor for your child then visit and you can organise an appointment with a reputable chiropractor in no time with no hassle. On Natural Parents Network, Gretchen has a great story about her baby’s ear infections and how the chiropractor she booked an appointment with helped get rid of them.

If you’re thinking, “Well Meghan, babies didn’t go to the chiropractor 1,000 years ago, or 100 years ago,” This is what I would say:
If you think about our evolution, (and I haven’t read proof of this anywhere, it’s my own thought) babies were carried in cloths, wrapped around on their mothers, with their hips appropriately below their knees (fellow baby-wearers know what I am talking about here) for centuries.
They weren’t strapped into car seats on a daily basis, strollers on the weekends, or sitting in highchairs, exersaucers, etc during their day. I’m not saying these things are bad, albeit, these things are necessary.

For the last 8 months I have hesitated taking him to the chiropractor, although JTom and I have both used a chiropractor with success and there are many different chiropractors that we could have used such as the round rock chiropractor. If you are looking for a chiropractor then just ask around and I’m sure you’ll find yourself a good reliable one. I think it was fear. I wasn’t sure about someone adjusting my baby, and I honestly didn’t take much time to read more about it.

But I’ve had enough.

This medicine is awful, it’s not good for him long term, I have to torture hold him down while he screams, gags, and coughs to get him to swallow it, and most days he spits it back up.
(We have tried all ideas for giving him the medicine, but if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments for me!) If the chiropractor doesn’t work, we will need to get back on the meds until we find something that does. I’m pretty hopeful though as there have been high reviews of the local chiropractor, we’ve got our fingers crossed though! We were either going to go to our local chiropractor or go a bit further and go to one of chiropractor clinics.

Our doctor was amazing; he was gentle and used an activator to adjust both max and Lexie. He used me as their “tester” or “surrogate,” to muscle test both of them.
I’m not a medical professional, so I won’t go into the long details of what a tester is. But, if he can push my arm down, while touching a certain spot on their bodies, it means it is a weak area for them. On an older child or adult he would use their arm, not a tester’s.

While doing Max (who was calm, relaxed, and happy, btw which I was surprised by since he screamed bloody murder at the family dr office the other day), my arm went down super far between his shoulder blades and his middle back.

I looked at the doctor like, “what is that?!” and he said,

“there’s your reflux. These areas are digestion, chest and esophagus.”

I cried.

Although we may not have success with chiropractic care for Max’s reflux, I couldn’t believe I waited THIS LONG to do it. I felt ashamed, in a way; this is so much better for him than those dangerous chemicals in his medicine he has been ingesting, against his will.

But I am glad we are doing it now.

I stopped the meds this morning; so far no reflux today. *edit: this is a weaning process, not something that happens immediately. I will be reducing his dosage, every other day, until we get down to nothing, or almost nothing.* We will make weekly visits for a month or so for adjustments. Then I will probably do once a month or so, if we have success.

Lexie was also adjusted; my arm dropped for her in a few different places. One was her middle back, and the other (which was worse) was her lower back. So he used the activator and adjusted her. He couldn’t test on her eczema, because it wasn’t flared. But he said if it does flare, bring her in and he will try muscle testing for it.

That was it. It was gentle, and easy. Nothing painful, forceful, and torturous about it.
I held Max, and of course Lexie was miss independent, but I could have held her if I’d needed to. The dr. was wonderful! Wonderful! I highly suggest him if you are in the York area. Contact me for more info, if you’d like.

I am not suggesting this for everyone, I am not a doctor or medical professional (I have to say this stuff to cover myself). However, if your baby suffers from reflux, ear infections, colic, internal body infections (like yeast build up, etc), you should research chiropractic care for you child.

Read personal testimonials, because it isn’t something the mainstream medical community is going to say, “Yes! Go try it and see if it helps. I won’t worry about the kick back I won’t receive from these medicines that only mask the baby’s symptoms!” No. That’s not the general response you will get. =)

My main reasons for finally trying it were:
A) it cannot harm them. It isn’t painful, or scary. It isn’t like filling their tiny bodies full of medicines that are not natural or meant for them.

B) I believe in nature. I believe in God, and His science in the body. I believe our bodies were made to protect and heals themselves.

C) I’ve always considered taking both of the kids to a chiropractor. It wasn’t until one of my dear friends told me her family’s story that I decided we would do it. A baby in her family was scheduled for surgery due to chronic ear infections; he had reflux, and in general had been sick a lot. He was taken to a chiropractor and adjusted. Later, the family took him back to the pediatrician to see about the surgery and the doctor said the baby no longer needed surgery. *true story, friends!*

That was proof enough for me. (This baby also happens to be the same age as Max)

Some of you are skeptical, and judging me right now. =) And that’s okay.

I may be an “extreme, counter culture crazy,” but we are trying everything we can to get Max well, and off medications. Like many of our decisions, this was done prayerfully, and I do pray next month I have a success story to share with you!

Or maybe you are interested, and curious to learn more.

Either way, I suggest reading and researching about chiropractic care, its risks, and benefits. Also, while reading, read comments written by others on the articles and blog posts; you will always find a wealth of information and links to blogs, websites, research, and studies in comments!

There are many videos like these on Youtube (the first one is our doctor):

Here are a few blog posts with personal experiences, websites on the subject, and my resources:


I hope if you have been considering this type of treatment for your baby, that this post will help you make your decision. I also hope if you are a skeptic, you will be encouraged to read, and educate yourself more. You may come out a skeptic, still. But maybe not. =)

Have you tried “alternative” medicines for your family? I would love for you to share your stories and experiences with me!

Comparing schedules

Ive been going back and looking over my blogs from when L was Mister’s age.  Turns out they are so much alike it’s unreal.  On my Nov 12th post, when Lady was 2.5 months old, she was sleeping exactly as long as Mister is, about the same size, and eating about the same amount.  The biggest difference is with her, I didn’t start meds for her reflux, and I didn’t have her napping quite as well as M does.  I think that just has to do with A) him being no meds and B) me knowing what to look for as far as him being sleepy.

However, I’m worried his Zantac isn’t working anymore … The last two days have been horrible.  He’s been in a lot of pain and only naps well in his swing. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on but I’m going to give it the weekend before I call the dr about upping dosage (for weight increase) or changing meds; he has started pulling off while nursing again, and after eating he will cry out and then gulp/choke/gasp for breath.  So I know the reflux is hurting him; and I don’t think the rice is helping.  I can’t make it any thicker and it go through the nipple, so I’d have to spoon feed it to him, and I think he’s just too young for all that.  Anyway, after the weekend we will see.  The Coliccalm doesn’t seem to be doing anything for the reflux, not sure about his gas?

My days now are a bit more structured, mainly because I understand what baby whisperer and baby wise are saying and also because I have a 2 year old smack dab in the middle of her terrible-ness.  At that time, I had L on a great routine, but looking back she was definitely way over tired by the time I was putting her down for naps, and therefore wasn’t napping well.  But she always had good night time sleep (thank goodness!). So that was an okay trade off!

But, at almost 8 weeks old, here is what Mister’s routine looks like:

  • 5:00-6:00- Wakes, Zantac, small feed, goe back to sleep (either in crib or with Mama in chair)
  • 7:00- wake for the day, regular feeding, nurse then 3-4oz bottle
  • 8:05- Down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 10:00- Eat, nurse 3-4 oz
  • 11:05- down for nap- rests on and off depending on gas/reflux until
  • 1:00pm- Eat
  • 2:05- down for nap (however he usually has not slept well at this mid morning nap, and therefore goes to sleep closer to 1:30pm, sleeping until about 3:30 in the swing if necessary)
  • 4:00 Eat
  • 5:30pm Cluster feed
  • 7:00pm last feeding of day
  • 7:35 asleep in crib
SO, that is typically what our routine looks like, but with him being so young and having the reflux and gas, it tends to be more flexible in the naps department.  Eating, however is always the same.  After his 10:00 feeding, we usually go for a walk and/or play outside.  If it is a day we plan to go grocery shopping or run errands, we do this about 8:30, home by 10:00 for him to eat and L to have a snack.  At 25 months, her routine looks like this:
  • 6:40-7:00- wake, daddy gets her from crib, she demands milk
  • then snuggle time with Mommy and “my Max” while mommy nurses and daddy gets ready for work
  • 7:30-  breakfast (yogurt, toast, oatmeal, fruit, etc)
  • play time
  • 11:30-12:00- lunch depending on am wake time
  • 12:00-12:30- down for nap depending on am wake time  (here is when she usually poopies in her pullup (this whole potty training thing has us all out of whack), I have to go change her, then put her back down for nap… but because this interrupts her getting ready for sleep, I’ve been going back in at the hour mark and rocking her to sleep.)
  • 2:30- if she didn’t nap I get her out of bed at the 2 hour mark
  • 3:00- if he napped, she is awake by 3:00
  • play outside, crafts, etc if napped… relax and keep it low key if she didn’t
  • 5:45pm- dinner
  • 6:30-7:00- bedtime depending on morning wake time
Right now, L needs a total of about 12 hours of sleep.  Her naps are usually 1.5 hours, which leaves 11.5 hours of night sleep on days she naps.  If she does’t nap, she has a very early bed time to prevent over tiredness the next day.  It’s all a numbers game..
So, big plans for the next few weeks.  This weekend we are going to a family reunion in LA.  Then next weekend my dad comes to visit, the next weekend my mom comes, then a few weeks later we have Thanksgiving!  ALREADY!  That’s insane.  I think we are going to Memphis for Thanksgiving… that should be a fun challenge.  Our first overnight trip wrangling two!  Fun Fun!  Of course halloween is this coming week.  Ew.  I’m not a fan of halloween, and until my kids are old enough to stay up late enough, we aren’t celebrating.  And yes, I will be one of the moms that takes the candy and exchanges it for something cool, a toy or new clothes, etc… like the tooth fairy only for crappy, overpriced junk food.  =)
OK, well I am going to bed now.  It;s 9:17pm, that’s about 20 minutes past my bed time!


Thanksgiving and Such

…. is less than a week away!  I am excited that we are heading to Memphis this year for my Granny’s famous Thanksgiving Dinner.  We were going to leave Tuesday, but …. I have now signed up for a 4 mile race at Shelby Farms.  The race is Wednesday morning, but packet pick up is Tuesday morning.  You can always pick up the morning of race day, but that lessens your chances for a t shirt.  😉  The t-shirt looks like a super cool long sleeve technical-t, and let’s face it,m we only run races for the cool t shirts!  Okay, okay, I am just kidding.  But it totally stinks when you register early and get gypped out of your t shirt.

So, back to the point of my post.  We will probably leave for Memphis Tuesday morning.  My car is at the dealership getting a million dollar tune up the oil changed, tires rotated, transmission checked up, all that 4wheel drive stuff … it’s so dang expensive but necessary if I don’t want a car note anytime soon.
My 10K Saturday went well, really well actually!  I had no cramps, felt good the whole time, sweated LOTS, which was a good thing.  I really wasn’t sure I was hydrated enough, but turned out I was.  My final time was 77 minutes 9 seconds.  Not the best, well actually it was one of the worst overall times.  But since my personal preliminary goal was 74 minutes, and I knew a month before the race I wouldn’t hit that time, 77 is okay.  My time was better than my original time on this race of 80 minutes. =/  I guess I have something to work towards for next year.  =)  74 will be my goal for sure!

The worst part, which was the beginning, turned out to not be so bad.  I really lost the pack when it came to the first incline on the mountain.  Those that were better prepared or more fit made it right over that first incline much faster than I did.  Had I been able to run that part better, I think I would have been in the main mix of the group.  Oh well, lessons learned.  The most important thing is to NOT STOP now that I have that mileage under my belt.  My next goal is a half marathon, and luckily I have some running friends with the same goal!  As soon as we pick out a race, we will begin our training. In the mean time, we are continuing to run with the Pacers a few times a week, and because I have a wonderful husband, I am able to do it without pushing a toddler in a stroller.  =)

Speaking of that toddler …

ready to go in my hat and boots!

silly girl

first bath in big tub!

baby greenish/blues!



on a mission for the camera!

sweet baby

coloring left handed

nope, I think I will try right handed …

“tip me over, and poor me out”

Mama’s girl!!!

playing with her farm

getting ready for church

thinking …

the curls ..

Not only is she smart…

but she is a GENIUS.  haha  JK, she is a baby.  But here is the thing, she really doesn’t like for things to be stacked.  I can stack blogs, cubes, cups, anything and she HAS to stop what she is doing, knock it down, and then resume her precious activities.  Very funny.  She also (as mentioned before) can find Mr. Bear and if she cannot find him, she searches for him.

In the video she is looking around like I have Mr. Bear, but he is in fact on the floor in the same spot the whole time.  Watch her eyes as she looks for him, so cute!  When she gets excited, she spins in circles, we don’t really know why.  And as for her walking, we have taken a temporary hiatus.  She is a little afraid of it now and will start to kinda cry and fuss.  I know it takes time.. blah blah blah.  She will do it when she is ready; I guess she realized what she did Thursday and it scared her because now it upsets her to try.  Oh well, in due time.  I’m not ready for a ten month old toddler anyway!  (Can you believe she is almost 10 months old?)  Aaah!

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