Theme Layout

[Rightsidebar]

Boxed or Wide or Framed

[Boxed]

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

No

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

No

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

No

Display Author Bio

No

Display Instagram Footer

Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update


This will probably be one of the most vulnerable posts I write. I have debated sharing this part of our life in my public social media life because I do not want pity at all (pride much?) however the longer we are in this season, the harder it is and if I can help just one other person or family who may be on this same journey then it would be worth sharing. I briefly mentioned Anthony was back working but the contract ended much sooner then anticipated so we are back at square one except this time we don't have the security of unemployment since it ended a few days before he was offered the contract position. When we asked for an extension for unemployment, he was declined because Texas Workforce Commission is out of budget from extending unemployment to the numerous Hurricane Harvey victims who are also out of work. So it has been 9 months of the unemployed life and the longer we do not have a steady substantial income, the more assistance we need (obviously).

Over these last few months, I have been doing research as well as friends and family sharing different assistance programs that are out there and offered not only by our government but also local and/or national organizations so I wanted to compile a list of all the programs I know about and a little bit about what they offer. Some will be local to me (Houston area) while others are national and you will just need to find the location in your area.

Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Eat On Feets - a network where families can share their breastmilk in a safe and ethical manner.

Human Milk 4 Human Babies - global milk-sharing network

Diaper Assistance

The Rebecca Foundation - cloth diaper loan program AND reusable feminine hygiene item assistance.
Share the Love Program - low-income families who receive assistance from programs like WIC and TANF may be able to receive a set of cloth diapers — for free.

The Diaper Foundation - Houston area assistance for disposable diapers

Cash Assistance

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - from what I can gather on the application process is you are given cash assistance either on a monthly basis or a one time lump sum payment. I will keep you all updated if I learn more based on approval otherwise feel free to comment if you know more about the TANF program.

I am sure there are numerous other programs so if you know of any that I did not mention, please feel free to share in the comments below so if anyone else needs more assistance it can easily be found all in one place. Even though this is a really tough season, it has been amazing seeing the ways the Lord has provided for our NEEDS and the people he has used in our lives. We have seen how far he has carried us thus far and know he will continue to provide for us.

Five Month Update

It's so crazy how fast time goes when you are the parent but when we were kids time couldn't go fast enough. My big guy is definitely our happy baby, always full of smiles and giggles to anyone around. He loves talking non-stop and sometimes I wonder if he will start talking before Sophia (although her vocabulary has increased tremendously the last few weeks). He is finally an amazing napper but that's because he decided he wanted more one on one time with mommy at nights so you win some and you lose some (sleep).

Five Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts
big boy convertible carseat (still rear-facing)
Easter

Loves
mommy
daddy
smiling

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat
anything being taken away from him

What I Want to Remember
his laughter
the long pieces of hair on his right side of his head while on the left side rubbed short
his screeching voice when he baby talks

Again please comment below of any other assistance programs you may know of that I did not mention so this can be a place to help others who are in a similar situation as this. I do also plan to share more posts in the future for those of you who have never been in the situation and want to know how you can help families in need so stay tuned. Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family and as always I created a pinnable image below.

Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Shopping with Two under Two + Four Month Update

Shopping with Two under Two + Four Month Update


This post was created in partnership with Binxy Baby but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

For about four months, I had two babies under two and now that my oldest turned two not much has really changed, haha. It's still the same craziness over here but I did figure out some tips and tricks to make shopping with two kiddos under the age of two easier.

Go shopping after naptime

The most important tip is to go after naptime. Seriously. If you attempt to run an errand before naptime, one of two things will happen or possibly both. They will get extremely fussy during your errand making it the most frustrating experience ever or they will fall asleep in the car and think that 5 minute catnap was enough for them and refuse to nap once you get home making the rest of the day even more frustrating and everyone on the verge of tears so just trust me. Errands after a nap. I mean unless you like waking up early and can quickly get everyone fed and out the door but that's not me. I like my mornings slow and not rushed when I can help it.

Park near the cart corral

Once you arrive to your store of choice, find a parking spot near the cart corral that way you can grab a cart immediately and don't have to worry about carrying/dragging two (or more) kids and a diaper bag across the parking lot to get inside of the store. This not only makes it easier for you to unload everyone straight into a cart but also safer as I'm sure most toddlers think they are big boys and girls and don't always want to hold mommy's hand and will pull away while mom is carrying baby hulk at the wrong time. No? Just me? Also this makes it easier to unload all the things inside the car as well as the kids and return the cart to it's proper place because I don't know about you but it annoys the heck out of me when people leave the carts in the middle of parking lots especially when a parking lot is uneven and there is a runaway cart that hits your car. Just be courteous of other people guys.

Use a Binxy Baby

Ah. The Binxy Baby. I always get so many compliments and questions every time we are out and about with baby Anthony just chilling in his shopping cart hammock. The Binxy Baby fits most standard grocery store carts and it can also hold a car seat so if your babe fell asleep in their car seat you don't have to worry about disturbing them, just strap the car seat onto the Binxy Baby. The Binxy Baby is able to support up to 50 pounds in weight and has been safety tested so depending on the size of your baby, the Binxy can be used for babies approximately up to 6-8 months depending on when your little one starts to sit up on their own.

Pack a snack for the toddler

Lastly, no matter how much you perfectly timed your shopping trip, the toddler will get restless and want to run all over the store but you came with reinforcements: snacks. I personally always keep an extra snack or two inside my diaper bag but before errands I make sure I have more then one on hand and I will hand them to Sophia when I see that antsiness happening. I also give it to her BEFORE she goes haywire because I don't want her thinking she is getting the snack because she threw a fit or else she is going to think it's okay to have a tantrum every time she wants a snack so make sure you are strategic on when you give it to your toddler and what behavior you may be enforcing. You also don't want to give them the snack as soon as you are in the store because you will be cut on time and no longer have the distraction they needed for the last leg of your shopping trip so be sure you are reading your toddlers cues so you can step in with the snack reinforcement at the right time.

Four Month Update


After much experimenting, it finally dawned on us to use the Ollie swaddle and DockATot for naps just as we do for bedtime and man has naptime been a night and day difference. Baby Anthony is finally starting to come around and take daily naps and that makes this momma happy and feeling functional again haha. Bedtime was going so well for the first two months and around three months it has been a yo-yo. We would have amazing nights for a few nights and then not so good ones but then back to amazing so I assumed it was a growth spurt but now it's seeming to be more of a norm of having multiple wake up calls at night so I'm trying to figure out the trigger and I'm thinking it's daddy going back to work. I do have some tricks up my sleeve to get baby Anthony back on track for night time sleep thanks to the Baby Whisperer book.

Although baby Anthony first rolled from his back to his tummy around two months, he really perfected it this month and now won't stay off his tummy! He even loves rolling back to his back as well and he also can rotate in a full circle while doing tummy time. It seems like he is ready to just start crawling but I'm not sure I am ready for that.

Four Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts
Roll from tummy to back

Loves
mommy
daddy
being held
smiling

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat

What I Want to Remember
His happy smiles & huge grins
his contagious laughter

Do you go shopping with your children or do you wait until daddy is home? Or have you given into curbside assistance and/or home delivery? 



If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!


Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

Monday, March 12, 2018

Why I Love Baby-wearing + Three Month Update

Why I Love Baby-wearing + Three Month Update


This post was created in partnership with LILLEbaby but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Have we been spoiled with daddy's presence these last seven months (for those of you unaware, Anthony was laid off back in July and while it definitely was stressful financially, it has been a blessing as well). Daddy started working again a few weeks ago though so that leaves this momma outnumbered two to one so A LOT of baby-wearing has been happening even more around here because simply put baby-wearing makes mom life easier especially on the days I have two extra kids (I babysit a two year old and my 4 month old niece as a side hustle).

When I first had Sophia, she wanted to be held constantly and also had colic so you can imagine how difficult those first few months were. I did try baby-wearing so I could do simple house chores but honestly the carrier I had was cheaply made and did not support her hips properly so I stopped baby-wearing and tried again when she was about 8 months old and fell in love with it at that point and knew from then on I needed a high quality carrier.

Side Note: I know baby Anthony looks miserable in the photos below but he really does enjoy being worn, haha. These photos were all taken during the difficult time-frame of refusing naps.


I currently own two LILLEbaby carriers - the Complete Organic and the Ring Sling -  and we are in love. The Ring Sling we tend to use around our house or at family and friends' house for shorter carry (just a personal preference). For us, it's more of a quick way to get baby Anthony in a carrier that isn't bulky. The material is linen making it extremely lightweight and perfect for warmer weather but it takes a lot of usage to break it in. We struggled with it the first few weeks due to how stiff it was but throwing it in the washer and dryer has helped make it a little easier to work with it.

Side Note: I also used the Ring Sling as a maternity support belt to help with some back pain I was experiencing towards the end of my pregnancy.
The Complete is hands down my favorite and gets the most use. I wear this one if we are out running errands or if we are taking the kids out for an extended period of time like a day at the zoo or children's museum. The best part is, I can go back and forth between wearing Sophia and baby Anthony when I use the Complete.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we don't really allow our children to CIO and this is mostly when baby-wearing comes in handy for us because there are days, lots of days, where baby Anthony refuses to nap and refuses to be put down all together. Nine times out of ten, he will gladly stay snug to my chest in the carrier. If he is over exhausted we preference the Complete as I can clip up the head support and even button the shade to block out light to help him get a good nap in or even nurse in public. Baby-wearing makes discreetly breastfeeding hands free in public a breeze. As I mentioned in our New York post, baby wearing made it so easy to travel and sight-see since I was able to nurse Sophia while she was still in her carrier.

So really this just goes back to my main point that baby-wearing just makes mom life easier especially if you have multiple children.

Three Month Update

This guy turned three months old January 24th but I have been so behind on his updates as it has been quite the adjustment of having two extra kids in our house and Anthony going back to work however we are finally getting into a good routine so I hope to have baby Anthony's updates as close to his monthly "birth" dates as possible because man is our big guy constantly growing and I am having a hard time keeping track of his milestones! Around three months he was wearing 6-12 months clothes (now as a four month old, size 6 months no longer fits) and he likes sitting in our lap like a big boy. He is so huge that it's hard to cuddle him like a newborn but he prefers looking out at everything anyways so it works.

Three Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts


Loves
mommy
daddy
being held

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat
naps

What I Want to Remember
how his clothes are constantly shrinking or he is just growing way too fast, ahaha
when he hears our voice he quickly jerks his head to find us

Do you baby-wear your infant and/or toddler? What is your favorite type of carrier to baby-wear? Did you have a hard time finding the time to document your second (or third, etc) child's milestones?

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!



Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
1 Comments

Follow @stormieariel