THE TRANSITION TO THREE KIDS

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This post is long overdue. I can’t believe so much time has passed since I last posted on the blog. With my pregnancy wrapping up and baby being born this month, I was a little tired and overwhelmed. After baby was born I struggled with a cold the first week she was home and the second week I have nearly been on bed rest because of the back pain I have had. I’ve finally felt some relief today after visiting a chiropractor and this is the first time I have felt up to sitting down and writing. Thanks for being patient while I took a little hiatus, I’m excited to start writing and sharing more regularly and am looking forward to getting to know you all in this little community you’ve helped create.

Before I get started, I want to share with you a little about our transition from one to two. Going from one child to two, surprisingly, was easier than my husband and I would have ever imagined. I mean, I did personally struggle with doubts about how I would be able to give baby number two the same time and attention I had given my daughter. Of course, this all got better over time, it’s funny some of the irrational fears we have before we bring life into this world. Once my son was born, I never even thought about this and I naturally settled into the groove of being a Mommy of two.

Alrighty, now to get into our transition to three. We’re still pretty new at this, baby Ofa is only starting her third week of life, haha. That being said, let’s be really transparent here, three kids is a freakin’ CIRCUS. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change this circus for anything. Even though our house is a hot mess all the time. We’ve even had loving family come help us clean and take the kids off our hands every now and then and the house is still a hot mess.

I’m thinking part of the chaos is due to the kids age gap, they’re 4 and 2 years apart. I’ve got a 6 year old who wants to help with everything to do with the baby, but doesn’t have the same attitude when it comes to homework or chores. She’s very emotional when things don’t go her way, and she’s pretty sassy when she doesn’t want to do something… she’s going to be FUN as a teenager, I can already tell, haha! And the 2 year old, is my momma’s boy, he doesn’t quite acknowledge his new baby sister yet, or accept that he’s no longer the baby in the family. He also loves to push his older sister’s every button when she’s home, punishment for leaving him all day while she’s in school, haha. And then baby Ofa, even though she’s the easiest, most calm and least demanding, she does depend on me for her every need.

To say my sick and then crippled self has been pulled in a million different directions at any given time is an understatement. I often end up calling my husband at work, like a chicken with my head cut off, thinking to myself, “WTH is going on?” because we are officially outnumbered and the noise level in our house is equivalent to being at a professional football game with an ear infection. The older kids are either always fighting or always crying, I feel like the only moment they’re all happy is when they’re sleeping. Obviously there are a lot of reasons for this, new baby, Dad’s promotion and change of schedule and the sibling rivalry that’s going on. It’s pretty much chaos all the time over here.

All this being said. I love my chaotic family. Yes, it is loud and I’ll be the first to admit that the days can be beyond frustrating. Especially the days when Dad works nights, and has school the next day. I get tired of breaking up fights over toys and food, and what TV show to watch, whose fault it is and more! But this is the dream, I have the family I always wanted and more, this is what I dreamed for when I was little. Raising kids is not easy. But the time you get with them when they’re this little is so short. I have an overwhelming feeling of happiness at the end of each day, that I have been blessed with these three beautiful souls. Yes, even when they’ve driven me crazy all day.

I’m still learning the balancing act that is three children. I get very stressed very easily, which is partly hormones, but mostly personality. I’m still figuring out how to handle this stuff better. There are often days when I have nothing left to give, there’s toys and baby gear all over the living room, laundry all over the bedroom and still in the washer, these are the days I want silence for 20 minutes. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who gets it, and he lets me slip away to the room with baby to feed her and watch my 20 minutes of Grey’s Anatomy, uninterrupted! I feel so blessed to have a husband like him, he never makes me feel guilty about needing those 20 minutes, even when I know he’s had an equally long and hard day himself. I know not everyone has this, so it’s not something I take for granted, and I tip my hat off to you single moms, military wives, etc. You mommies are superheroes.

I also don’t take for granted the fact that I have three beautiful children running around and noisying up our little home. As hard as it may be sometimes, I look at them and think about the sacrifices my husband and I made and the hard work my body went through to bring them into this world. I feel so blessed to be their Mommy. I know I say it all the time, but this is everything I ever dreamed and hoped for in my life. Even though Eli won’t acknowledge baby sister now, I have no doubt in my mind that these three will be the best of friends, and that makes my heart so happy. I try to remember all the blessings at the end of each day, especially the hard ones, when everyone is driving me crazy, and it really helps put things into perspective. I would rather have all this then none of it at all.

If you were wondering what three kids is really like… it’s a chaotic and hot mess! But really amazing, beautiful and overwhelmingly fulfilling life. And one that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

Photography by Kassie Feinga.

How to Help Your Children Transition to a New Baby

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With my due date just around the corner, we are busy preparing our home and family for baby O’s arrival. Kara had a fairly easy transition when we brought Elijah into the world 2 years ago (she was so excited and wanted to help so much with her new baby brother). Elijah on the other hand, I’m a little more worried about. He can have a tendency to be protective and slightly possessive over me and his dad. He shares us much better with his sister now that he’s two, but he has never been keen on letting us hold other people’s babies or playing one on one with his cousins. With total opposites in my children, I thought I would share some tips on How to Help Your Child Transition to a New Baby in case that’s something you’re prepping for as well! Some of these tips were mentioned by my Facebook blogging groups/friends (you guys are so thoughtful and appreciated), so I’ve included those down below too!

  1. Set up baby items ahead of time.

I’ve already started pulling out old baby things like the bouncer, crib, etc. and vocalizing to our kids that baby sister is coming soon! Kara being six and a second timer at this, is already fully prepared, and anxious for baby O’s arrival. Eli has started to express interest in the fact that there’s a baby in Mommy’s tummy and he’s not allowed to climb in her crib or all over mom, although he thinks he still fits in his old bouncer and car seat. What I’ve read is that if you’re able to do these things ahead of time, it’s not as huge of a shock when the baby finally arrives! (fingers crossed this has been helping Eli!)

  1. Big Brother / Big Sister Gifts

I wanted my kids to have something special when they came to visit the hospital, kind of like a gift from their new baby sister. With Baby O’s arrival, of course we have been purchasing quite a few items for her, from clothes, blankets, bows, etc. it can be kind of disappointing as an older sibling to not get anything for yourself. We’re keeping it small, there’s really no reason to go over board here. Here’s what baby sister is getting for her siblings, Elijah & Kara

  1. Throwing a big brother / big sister “party”

When I say “party” I don’t mean a party with decorations and lots of effort, and I know if my husband is reading this, he’s already shaking his head thinking how “extra” Im wanting to be for the kids this time around haha. This will be a SUPER simple dinner, maybe some delivery pizza from our favorite pizza place or Doordash and some cupcakes or cookies. (yay for my last cheat meal before I get my life back on track! Stay tuned for my journey through Keto). We’ll make this a celebration of Kara and Eli’s new roles. This way the focus is on them and they feel extra special.

  1. Giving them big brother/sister roles

This was a great recommendation from some friends on Facebook. Get them to help out with little tasks, of course it depends how old they are. Many momma’s have mentioned creating a “big brother” basket or something similar with things the baby might need, like a few diapers, wipes, binky, etc. and allowing the older sibling to get those things for the baby when you need them.

  1. Patience and making time

I’ll be making sure to make time for my first two kiddos, like keeping special dates with them, attending Kara’s soccer games and practices, even though this will be hard toting around three kids when dad is working nights. In addition to sister’s new gift to them, give them leniency on ipad time, and let them watch tv or play next to you while you nurse. Get a family member to take the baby on a walk or watch the baby so you can have an hour of one on one, uninterrupted time with your other children, whether that’s going to the park or staying in and playing with one another.

Bringing a new baby into the family is a huge change! We have to be gentle with older siblings, even though Karagirl did super well with her brother two years ago, she still had moments of acting out, when she felt like she wasn’t getting as much love and attention. Ultimately my recommendation to you Mommas is don’t forget that while your worrying that your first kid(s) won’t get as much attention (which they will) don’t forget that they are gaining a beautiful sibling and a whole new relationship. It won’t be long before they love the baby as much as you!

If you have other tips or started following some of these tips, please comment and share below!

Kara’s Back to School Haul Featuring Arizona Jean Co.

Are your kids getting excited about going back to school? School starts in less than 2 weeks for Utah kids! I know not everyone’s kids are as excited as our Kara girl… She’s been saying since the day after school got out, how excited she was to be in first grade next year. This year she get’s to play on the big kid playground in the back of the school!

Summertime is fun for her but she seriously loves school, not just getting to socialize with her friends but the academics too. She’s the type to easily bore if she’s not being challenged, and she would be the first to admit that summer can be boring if her whole day isn’t planned out for her. She’s the total opposite of me and her dad, haha! But these are all good characteristics to have, and we always make sure to remind her that it’s okay to love school!

Some things I always remember about heading back to school when I was younger was back to school shopping. Picking out what seemed like a whole new wardrobe and picking some new shoes. Daniel (my husband) also has fun memories of doing this when he was younger, and so we try to make it a point to make sure back to school shopping is a big and fun event for our kids. This year was kind of different compared to last, our little girl is becoming quite independent and has her OWN opinions about her style and what is appropriate to wear to school… She’s only 6! haha. Here’s a list straight from Kara of her top fashion tips for back to school:

  1. Jeans are TOO hot for summer, buy jeans now while they’re on sale but wait till it gets cool to wear them!
  2. Loose jeans are way more comfy than skin tight jeans, how will she be expected to sit crisscross if her pants are too tight!?
  3. You have to wear shorts or spanks under your dresses and skirts because nobody wants to see your mahi (underwear) when you’re doing the monkey bars!
  4. Sandals are cute but not to wear at school, she’ll try mom and dad’s choice of Vans next year, but this year its all about the Converse for her!
  5. Two buns are better than one!

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Items not shown in pictures: Arizona Jean Co Jeggings, Arizona Denim Bermuda Shorts, Arizona Embellished Denim Bermuda Shorts

Items in Pictures: Arizona Denim Jeggings, Arizona Short Sleeve Striped Ruffle Tee, Arizona Cold Shoulder Button-Front Ruffle Shirt, Arizona Short Sleeve Graphic Tee

To shop Kara’s back to school wardrobe check out the links above. Kara and I both, love Arizona Jean Co. Their jeans are such high quality I know they will handle all her tough play through out the whole school year, which is important when you have 3 kids and are trying to live on a budget! I also love that they make Bermuda shorts… Kara is so long and tall and I have a hard time letting my mommy heart let her wear short shorts. It’s great that they have such a wide selection of modest shorts to choose from. Something Kara loves, is that she can choose from traditional jeans to jeggings, she can be picky especially when her pants are too tight, so having the option of a stretch waistband is a must. I seriously don’t think there is anything that Arizona doesn’t make, they have a wide variety of shirts to choose from, anything from graphic tees to semi dress shirts to button downs and ruffles. Their wide variety and quality of clothing is why I will always love and trust their brand.

You can find exclusives and amazing deals at JCPenney right now! Head to JCPenney.com for up to 50% select styles like Arizona Jean Co. and take an extra 25% off $100 or more OR Extra 20% with your JCPenney credit card!

Hospital Bag Checklist: What You’ll Really Need

I’m now 36ish weeks pregnant, and with baby number 3 quickly making her debut, I have started to get our hospital bag prepared! We are so excited and nervous, but one thing we want to make sure we can be prepared for is the hospital. I’m sure you have seen many a posts done on this, but I have yet to see one similar to ours, we want to pack light and practical. We’ll be reviewing the items that really matter! So today I’m sharing a Hospital Bag Checklist with everything I’ve packed and hopefully it will help you when you get ready to pack your own. There’s a fun giveaway at the bottom of the post, so keep reading!

Hospital Bag Checklist

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1. Steve Madden Babybag

I have really amazing sister in laws who love to spoil my kids and they gifted me with this beautiful Steve Madden back pack. You can find a similar one here Steve Madden Backpack.  I intend to pack this with some diapers, her going home outfit, a few sleeper gowns, and some muslin blankets. After trying many a diaper bags from messenger style bags, walmart brand to Eddie Bauer, I think the most important feature of a diaper bag is that it be a backpack. This will free up your arms whenever you are out and about and provide good support for your back.

2. Motherhood Maternity Nursing Bra

With my last 2 pregnancies, you could say I easily overpacked for the hospitals. I was entranced by all the glamorous looking mommy blogs that pack the high end going home outfits and lush hospital supplies. But with this baby the goal is to pack light and practical! So in the spirit of keeping things simple, I will be packing this comfortable nursing bra by Motherhood Maternity. This bra was recently awarded the Mom Must-Have award in 2017 by What to Expect, it has eay clip downs, it’s lightly lined, full busted coverage, ideal for someone like myself who is above a D+ cup size and its got a good support while still comfortable to sleep in. Once your milk comes in if you’re like me, you need a good sleeping bra that gives you a little support and breathing room while you sleep.

3. Bathrobe

I have always thought bringing a bathrobe to the hospital wasn’t necessary, but the more I read on from other Moms out there, I’ve been convinced to purchase one this time. I’m thinking it will be much easier to deal with when nursing. I have worn pants, a soft nursing bra and instead of a shirt that clings to my still swollen belly and makes me feel self conscious I’m going to be wearing my new bathrobe. I’m not going to be bringing a super nice bathrobe for fear of bleeding or getting other yucky stuff all over it, so I’m going to use this inexpensive cozy one from Amazon! If you’re looking to treat yourself, this is a beautiful option too!

4. Dark & Comfortable Pants

I will ONLY bring black or dark gray pants to the hospital. As with most moms I have experienced leaking through them in the past. Having a few pairs of dark and comfortable pants to lounge and sleep in is key. Good rule of thumb is to make sure they are loose fitting in the waistband, trust me when I say you will not want yoga or leggings when you’re wearing those cute hospital diapers or depends. For baby number 3 I’m using these Ambrielle jogger pajama pants. I’ll also be wearing a pair of these home from the hospital, because who wants to put on a pair of jeans or jeggings to walk out of the hospital??

5. Slippers/Flip Flops

Slippers and flip flops are a must. Hospital floors are to say the very least, disgusting. If I’m not in my hospital socks I will be in my slippers. I’m bringing these cozy indoor outdoor slippers by HomeIdeas and these Pali Hawaiian sandals. I swear by these sandals, I wear them whenever and wherever I can.

6. Depends

I’ll be honest, I have never tried these before. But when I wrap my head around it, I don’t know why I never thought about it! If you’ve had a baby, you know exactly how uncomfortable and disgusting those hospital diaper pads can make you feel, and if you are a first time Mommy please trust me when I say you don’t want to wear them. I will be packing some of these Always Discreet Depends to see how well they work, but after reading so many suggestions from you moms out there, I’m expecting them to be great!

7. Dermoplast, Nipple Creams, Breast pads

All these items have been provided to me in the past, and in the spirit of keeping my bag light and practical I will not be packing my own. Many moms swear by these products and if your hospital doesn’t provide them I would recommend these brands:

Dermoplast

Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray

Mother Love Nipple Cream 

Bamboobies Washable Breast pads 

8. Electronics & Chargers

I remember my husband forgetting our charger to our phones and not being able to take pics of our newborn unless our visitors would let use their chargers, SMH. Plus the TV channels suck in the hospital, so we will need our Mac and charger so we can watch Netflix! Haha

9. Going Home Outfit for Baby

Maybe because this is my 3rd baby I don’t quite understand the hype with picking the cutest going home outfit. Baby will literally wear this outfit from the hospital room to your car and to your house. You probably won’t see very many people along the way, and when you get home baby is going to sleep. I swear by the sleeper gowns, and have purchased these ones to bring baby home in. I’ll also be bringing little mittens to keep her from scratching and hats because the hospital ones aren’t very cute. 

10. Going Home Outfit for Mom

I don’t understand why some moms want nice going home outfits, if that’s your cup of tea then no judgement. I myself, will be wearing another pair of these Ambrielle jogger pajama pants and a loose-fitting shirt with a nursing bra underneath and slippers. In the spirit of keeping it light and practical.

11. Toiletries/Hair Items

These tend to be different per preference for all moms, so I’m not going to list them all out, in my bag you’ll find my body and skincare items, my makeup basics and batiste dry shampoo. This way at least I’ll look somewhat decent when family and visitors want to take pictures.

 

G I V E A W A Y  D E T A I L S

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LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN…

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For a long time now I’ve been wanting to start a blog, I have actually attempted to start one before but after a very brief amount of time it ended. And every time I’ve started thinking about pursuing another one, I get distracted with the business side of things such as, what should my name be, what is my brand going to be, is my brand marketable, will people actually want to read my blog, what’s my niche… the list goes on and on! And once I get a few baby steps done, I get overwhelmed and discouraged with what comes next. By the time I get around to the real purpose of having a blog, you know the content… I have no idea what to write about. And then I end up shelving this dream I’ve had for a “few” more months.

Good news is, I’m feeling motivated lately and for now I’m going to focus on my writing. Hopefully everything else will fall into place as I go. The purpose of this blog isn’t to gain a mass following or to monetize my free time… What I hope to create is a lasting record or history of my family’s experiences and feelings so that when our three children grow up, they have something to take with them and share with their children and to pass on. I guess that’s the reason behind the urge I’ve had lately to start jotting down my ideas and thoughts.

My family and I currently live in the sunny, dry and hot city of Salt Lake City, Utah. This may be an over exaggeration given the fact that I’m 8 months pregnant. Utah as I’m sure you’re aware of, is a hub for what seems like plenty of lifestyle, fashion and mommy bloggers. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I myself have followed plenty of these women, admired them, envied them and enjoyed following along with their lives and families. They have both inspired me and discouraged me. I’m inspired by their ability to earn a living for their families while still having the time to be at home with their children and do what they love. But if I’m being honest they’re also a large part of the reason why I never truly felt ready to pursue a blog of my own. Most of the “popular” bloggers in Utah have huge beautiful homes, perfect bodies, picture perfect children, mad photography and writing skills, and beautiful IG accounts. I’m sure that they too have had struggles of their own and life isn’t as perfect as we would assume. And I also shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or compare/envy others to myself… trust me thats not what the focus of this post is.

I wouldn’t say that I’m embarrassed but I’ve been hesitant to share my families life with others because if we’re being real here… we just don’t have it all together yet and you know what…? That’s alright! Right now we have baby number 3 on the way, we live with family (which we are so blessed and grateful for) as we have been paying down debt, fixing credit and saving to buy our first home this next year. My husband and I both work full time jobs, he’s in full time college and we’re barely keeping our minds from unraveling half the time. Maybe that’s what will make us more relatable…? Who knows, all I know is that I’m grateful for where we are at in life. We have grown so much in these past couple of years, accomplished so many goals and milestones, and I want to start documenting the ones to come. I hope if you decide to follow along, you will enjoy learning more about us and be a part of our journey to success. Thanks for your support!

If you like these pictures, check out our photographer on IG @kfeingaphotos