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.
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2018

6 Ways to Help a Family in Need

6 Ways to Help a Family in Need


As y'all know Anthony and I have been on this yo-yo unemployed/underemployed life for 10 months now and we have had so many people in our life help us along the way to make this time a tad easier although the only thing that would make this easier would be a stable income (just being honest). Often times people do ask how can they help and maybe it's pride or maybe it's not wanting to be a burden or maybe a mix of both but it is hard just saying what you need so I decided to put a list together of the ways you can come alongside a family you may know that is struggling with unemployment or underemployment and help them during this difficult time.

1. Monetary donation 

We were blessed at the beginning of this journey by a family that gave us a monetary donation and we held on to it until we absolutely needed to use it on bills. This is honestly the biggest way you can help someone although you know the family best and know if they would be wise with this donation or not. If you feel they would spend this unwisely, maybe pay a bill for them yourself as in you call the company and give the account number and payment.

2. Food

There are so many subscription boxes out for everything including meals so gifting a one time (or reoccurring) meal box to a family in need would be an amazing blessing. You could even consider preparing a meal yourself and dropping it off to the family to avoid high cost on yourself (this is also a great idea for families welcoming new children either by birth or adoption, I also plan to share ways to help a family with a new baby/child in the future so stay tuned for that as well). 

3. Gift cards

Provide gift cards from a local grocery store (possibly one that also has a gas station). This will allow the family to get food as needed, household items like toilet paper, laundry soap, etc., or even gas for their vehicle.

4. Diapers/Wipes

If there are young children in the family consider donating diapers and wipes to them (if they cloth diaper ask what type of detergent they use and donate that to them). Also consider donating menstrual items for the young girls and women in the family or teaching them about menstrual cups and cloth pads that can be reused each cycle (I also plan to discuss this in the future further).

5. Clothing

Again if they have young children, they grow out of things extremely fast so consider offering them your children's hand me downs or even buying clothes from a second hand store (see my tips for thrift shopping children's clothes here). Helping a family in need doesn't have to be expensive.

6. Pray

And I mean really pray for them. In our society, we easily say "I'll pray for you" or "We are praying" and never do or my favorite and unrealistic phrase "claim it in the name of Jesus and it is yours" as if Jesus is a genie and we rubbed his lamp for three wishes. But really truly pray for them as you pray for your own family and your own needs, pray that God will build their trust and faith in Him, that God will be glorified in their struggles and that they will cast their worries onto Jesus and God will lead and guide them on their real life scary decisions that need to be made.


Often times, it is better to just do these things without asking the family in need because sometimes it is hard to swallow the pride and admit you need help so just ask the type of laundry soap they use or for their account number to a billing company (I wonder if you could just provide the name and address to the billing company and surprise the family with an anonymous bill payment). There are so many other ways that you could do to help a family in need, these were just the ones that have been incredibly helpful for us personally thus far so if you have any other ideas, please leave them in the comments below and as always I created a pinnable image to share with friends and family as you see fit.

Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

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

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 (UPDATE: see 6 Ways to Help a Family in Need here). 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, December 7, 2017

Adjusting as a Family of Four + One Month Update

Adjusting as a Family of Four + One Month Update



Has life been different since adding our sweet baby boy to our family. This past month has been so hard mentally and emotionally but oh so good. The first two weeks I really struggled in balancing my attention between Sophia and baby Anthony and it really tore me up inside that I could not give my all to either one. When I was taking care of this sweet new baby, I couldn't help but remember Sophia being a newborn and missing her. Man oh man how time goes by fast and this made me feel sad about missing Sophia's growth here and now as well. 


Wondering if I soaked in enough time with her. 

Was I truly intentional those first 19 months of being just her mommy? 

And in turn, it made me realize I wasn't enjoying this newborn stage with baby Anthony and soaking up all the newborn cuddles. I found myself wanting him to sleep so I could go spend one on one time with Sophia and this cycle of thinking just kept circling my mind. 


Was this postpartum depression? 

Do all moms have this way of thinking when having two under two? 

Or was my life circumstances (parents dying) playing a role in my guilt of not spending enough time with either?



Those few weeks were so long as I really considered what I was feeling and my mood got worse the longer I kept these feelings to myself. I finally opened up to Anthony and told him how I was feeling and the guilt I was having and wondering if I was suffering from postpartum depression and he was such an encouragement to me in reassuring me and comforting me.

Side note: Anthony has always been the one afraid he couldn't love or wouldn't be able to divide his attention for each child the same whereas I'm all let's have 20 kids and we will love them equally and now I am the one who was struggling with wondering if my time was enough with just two. It's funny how that worked out and he ended up having to lift me up.

Since that talk, I have been even more intentional with my time with Sophia and baby Anthony and trying to give myself grace because I can't do it all even if I want to. My mood has also greatly improved and I don't have that guilty feeling hanging over my head anymore. I'm able to enjoy baby Anthony and all his sweet little baby coos.





One Month Update

My big guy is the chunkest thing. He started off wearing size 1 diapers right away and after about 2 boxes is now in size 2 and we are thinking we may have to move him up to size 3 already! He also skipped newborn clothes altogether and went straight to 3 months and even now some 3 months are getting too small so moving up to 6 months has started happening at 6 weeks old!

This guy also started trying to hold his head up right away which we think is because he has such a huge neck. Well this guy is just huge all over who am I kidding, haha. He has even started trying to scoot when doing tummy time, like what the what? He is really trying to speed ahead in milestones all at once and mommy just needs him to slow down.



His sleep has been somewhat of a struggle this first month which honestly is to be expected since we are all adjusting to this new way of life. The first few weeks, he took really good naps during the day and decided to have parties at night and we quickly knew we needed to help him change that because when you have more than 1 kid, there is no sleeping when the baby sleeps. Once we finally got him sleeping pretty well at night (it only took about a day or two for him to catch on), this guy decided we wouldn't take naps during the day. He would only take one nap during the day and luckily he would do that at Sophia's nap time so we got some type of break from both kids. Although his nap times during the day were hit or miss, his bedtime was amazing. He was sleeping from around 8-11 pm, nurse back to sleep until 2 am, nurse, sleep until 4 or 5 am, nurse, sleep until around 7 or 8 am and up for the day so about every 2-3 hours. He quickly dropped the 11 pm feeding when I started to dream feed him at that time. I only did it twice so now at 6 weeks old, he is in bed around 8 or 8:30 pm, he wakes up to nurse around 2 am, again around 5 or 6 am, again around 8 or 9 am and wakes for the day around 10 or 11 am. This is on average, there are still nights were he may wake up one extra time or his day may start at 9 am instead but overall he is a much better sleeper at night then Sophia was as an infant. The last week daytime naps have been very consistent and going good so hoping that will continue.



So my biggest lesson with being a mom with two under two is to work on my time management. There is so much going on and so much to do but my kiddos come first. Dishes will always be there, the floor will always need to be cleaned but they are only this little for so long. Therefore, I want to make the most of my time with them and when they are napping at the same time or playing independently, I want to be productive with that time instead of mindless scrolling on social media.




One Month Stats
Weight: 14 pounds 0.5 ounes 
Height: 24 inches
Head Circumference: 15.75 inches

Firsts
smile
cooing

Loves
mommy
being held
"Rock-a-bye Baby"

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat

What I Want to Remember
his baby snores
his over-dramatic stretching and the grunts he makes even while sleeping
his dramatics when nursing
the way he looks into my eyes and smiles with his eyes and then gives me an actual smile
the way he quickly calms down when I start singing (even with my horrible vocals, ahaha)

How did your family adjust from going to one kid to two? Did you have your kids closer together in age or further?





 Photos by LaPalomento Photography



Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall Activities for Families with Young Children

Fall Activities for Families with Young Children


Since sharing Sophia's capsule wardrobe last week for the fall, it gave me time to think about all the fall things I would love to do with her this year. Some of these we did last year and we want to keep doing them each year as a family tradition and other's we want to try to see how she will enjoy them and possibly adding those as a tradition as well.

Visit a pumpkin patch

I took Sophia to a few pumpkins patches last year around here at local churches but we also took her to a local farm that had a legit pumpkin patch and you get to choose your pumpkin from the field. It was the perfect opportunity to do a mini fall photo shoot with the hay and tractor and pumpkins but also this particular farm had a corn maze, petting zoo and a ton of games, slides and activities for kids to enjoy. This is definitely one that will be on our fall bucket list every year.



Take family photos

We decided to take our first family photos when Sophia was old enough to allow her personality to shine through on the camera which just happened to be in the fall last year but it worked out perfectly as we were able to use those photos for our Christmas cards. I loved how they came out and since baby boy will be arriving sometime in October, it'll be the perfect time for us to do an updated family photo and to use for Christmas cards again.


Carve/decorate pumpkins

We have done this in previous years with our nephews but Sophia was too young last year to carve or decorate pumpkins. Lately she has been loving stickers so our plan for this year is to get her a mini pumpkin and allow her to decorate it with stickers and maybe markers.


Go to a county or state fair

Anthony and I both grew up going to our county fair from our hometown and it is small enough to where it isn't overwhelming for a toddler although the county we live in now still has a pretty amazing county fair as well but for sentimental reasons we will probably only be taking our kids to our hometown county fair that way they can also enjoy it with their grandparents.


Read books about fall

I love books and I love that Sophia shows such a great interest in books therefore I always try to get her a book or two about the current season or any upcoming holidays or even as souvenirs from places we visit. This fall, I plan to read her Thank You, Dear God which is the perfect board book for infants to 4 year olds on teaching them how to be thankful. Another good book I debated on was One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims as this book is helpful in teaching counting and giving a little history lesson of Thanksgiving in a fun way but it is aimed more towards 3-8 year olds so this book will be on our list for next fall.





What are some of your family fall traditions?



Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

First Family Vacation | New York

First Family Vacation | New York


Hey guys! So today's post has been a long time coming. Like 9 months coming. About the time it takes to gestate a baby coming. Although I have a baby gestating as we speak, that's not what today's post is about. It's about our trip to New York... last Fall. 



In my defense, a lot has happened since we got back from our family vacation to New York. First there was the holidays then I started babysitting on top of planning my cousin's daughter's first birthday party, then I planned Sophia's first birthday party and that's about the time pregnancy took over my body and I haven't had much energy since, haha. I debated waiting to do our trip recap as one year anniversary reminisce type thing but I will be almost in labor at that point and will probably still never get around to it which is why it brings us to today.

Read the rest of the story »
Stormie Ramirez
0 Comments

Follow @stormieariel