Six Months Of Phoenix And Baby Must Haves That We Can’t Live Without

I can’t believe six months have already come and gone. Many nights as I give Phoenix his last bottle, I hold him close, and I look through his newborn pictures.

Especially the ones we have from the hospital. It’s almost surreal that we’re here. Despite all the opposition, we made it! (Thank you, Jesus).

It amazes me how much he’s grown since he was born. We love seeing him discover the world little bit by little each day. It’s beautiful to rediscover it with him.

When people say, “Enjoy every moment. It goes by so fast”, they are not lying. It truly does happen so quickly. One day seems like an eternity but as a whole, time flies by!

This baby will have a very well documented life because we have taken at least one picture of him every single day since he was born. Pictures are special. I treasure them. And my phone’s camera roll is FILLED with pictures of Phoenix. Actually, I think all my pictures are of him.

In the last six months, I’ve been learning to be a mom. I’ve been learning to love my new body. I’ve been learning to be selfless. To give more than I possibly think I can. And I’ve learned that less important things, like working all the time, can wait.

Becoming a parent changes you forever. It all changes. But it’s such a beautiful change. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even during a pandemic.

While this new season can be really difficult to adjust to, the right support system and encouragement, makes all the difference. And so does having the right baby must haves. And all the mamas, said, “Amen”!

Here’s a list of “must haves’ that helped us thrive in the newborn stage and “must haves” that we now cannot live without:

Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
LIFE. SAVERS. It is worth the time and effort that it takes to assemble these if your baby struggles with colic.

Taking Cara Babies Newborn Class
Lord, what would I have done without this?! It helped me learn about baby sleep, how to lay a solid sleep foundation, without feeling guilty if I wanted to hold my baby to sleep.

SwaddleMe Swaddles
Unless you’re a labor and delivery nurse, swaddling with regular blankets is super difficult and a waste of time. Just get swaddles with velcro. These were my favorite.

Uppa Baby Vista Stroller & Bassinet
Worth every penny. I love this stroller. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, easy to open and close, and easy to use with one hand. And the one hand thing is important because I’m always holding either a bottle, a toy, or Phoenix.

Moby & Friends Showerhead
Makes removing bubbles and soap easy and now that Phoenix is older, he loves playing with the splashing water.

Hatch Baby Sound Machine
Now we can’t fall asleep without it. We may have to buy one for our room once Phoenix starts sleeping in his nursery (lol).

BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker & Blender
If you’re planning on making your own baby food, this is worth the investment. You don’t have to worry about a long food prep process. This makes it so easy and quick. I also love that I don’t have to worry about using our blender and cross contaminating his food with ours.

Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic
As you can see, most of the products here are sleep related. Because sleep is IMPORTANT. We love using sleep sacks for Phoenix because it keeps him at a good body temperature and it’s safer than using a loose blanket.

Little Tikes My First Seat
I use this on my countertop to have Phoenix close by while I clean my kitchen. And I’ve been using it during feeding time before transitioning him to a highchair.

Skip Hop Campling Cubs Activity Gym
We’ve used this activity gym since Phoenix was about one month old for tummy time. And now it’s a true life saver when I need to check emails or finish up some work. It keeps him entertained while learning through all the sensory activities.

Fisher-Price Pizza Teether
I left the best for last. This is Phoenix’s favorite teether. We usually have pizza once a week and since Phoenix can’t eat real pizza yet, we got him a baby version 😉 He loves it! Fun and functional.

Hope this was helpful! Why don’t you share it with all your new and expectant mama friends? 🙂

Five Months Of Baby Phoenix And Coping With Anxiety During A Pandemic

It’s been 5 months with this cutie and 5 months of sheltering at home. I wish I could fully express through these words how utterly exhausted AND incredibly grateful I feel

Phoenix is becoming so much more aware of the world around him. He loves his play gym, crinkly toys, and has recently started watching Sesame Street, which he loves. He’s sitting up with support from mommy and daddy. He giggles and laughs, loves silly play and dance parties. 

Although I love making special memories with him in our home, I really wish I could take him to all the places I dreamt of taking him when I had him in my belly. 

Put plainly: this sucks. Becoming a mom at the same time as a global pandemic is not what I ever expected. Especially after waiting so long for our miracle baby. In all honesty, I just feel like it’s so unfair. And I feel selfish admitting that because I know there are people in far worse situations during this time. 

I’ve dealt with the worst anxiety I’ve ever felt in my life. My thoughts have been like an endless roller coaster. And there is so much sadness in my heart. The consensus, from speaking to friends and connecting with others on social media, is that I’m not the only person dealing with this.

While I feel so blessed to have Phoenix, I also feel like he’s missing out on the best version of me (mom guilt, anyone?) I try my very best every single day. But sometimes it’s inevitable to feel worry, anxiety, sadness, and fatigue. 

Being in isolation and dealing with anxiety has taken a toll on me. As I’m sure it has for you with whatever you’re dealing with. We were not created to do life on our own.

So today it’s my true heart’s desire to offer you a space where you don’t feel so alone. Can I share somethings I’ve learned in this pandemic to cope and overcome?

CONNECT
I’ve found it so helpful during this crazy time to connect with other new moms. Listening to what they’re going through has opened my heart and perspective. I’ve been surprised by how their emotions and experiences are much like mine. The result? Not feeling as isolated and alone. While also being reassured that I am not crazy or a bad mom (and neither are you, friend).

TAKE BABY STEPS
If you’re suffering with anxiety, what has helped me is to just take baby steps. Don’t allow people’s expectations or criticism to influence your decisions. It doesn’t matter if no one understands. Trust me, I know this is extremely hard. As a 4 in the enneagram, I really hate feeling misunderstood. Just take care of yourself and do what you need to do, little by little, to move forward. 

BE CONSUMED
Finally, being consumed by God’s presence has given me a place to rest and be made new. For me, being consumed by His presence means to absorb it and give it my full attention. And I’ve practiced that by trading all the crazy things I read or hear for His truth. In order to do that, it’s meant reading his word more, staying away from social media, and having conversation that edify my faith in Him.

I wish life was different right now. I wish I could take my son to my favorite places and share his beautiful smile with the people who love him. My heart is broken that this is life right now. 

But despite all that, in my heart of hearts I know that God is a God who uses all things for our good. I know He is a God who redeems lost time. I know He is a God who mends and heals our broken hearts. And I know He is a God of restoration and nothing is wasted when we put our hope and trust in Him.

Truly, I hope you feel seen and heard through this blog today. I don’t know exactly what you’re facing. We may all be going through the same pandemic, but all our experiences are different. Styld by Grace will be here to offer you support, understanding, and the hope of Jesus.

PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father,
I surrender all the stress, heartbreak, confusion, and anxious thoughts. I ask for you to fill me anew. Lord, I humble myself and bow before you. I come under your Lordship and sovereignty. There is no better place to be. You see the bigger picture. And I trust you. I trust that you’re good and faithful even when I can’t see it. Jesus, I speak your name and declare it over my home and family. There is power in your name. There is nothing that can match it. For you defeated death. And through you we are saved. Lord, give us an extra measure of faith and grace in this season. We lift our eyes up to you. We love you and we’re thankful that in just one moment we can come before your throne and be transformed and renewed. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Two Months of Baby Phoenix During A Global Pandemic

No one could’ve expected these crazy times, right? I’m sure you’re reading this while being home for quite some time. We’ve been staying home since baby Phoenix was born. He was born right before the nation closed due to COVID-19.

Being quarantined while having a newborn has been sweet. We’ve been able to savor every single moment and milestone. But I also have to be honest and admit that it has also been very difficult, as we’ve had to be away from our tribe.

The birth of Phoenix was supposed to be the culmination of a really long and difficult season. We were looking forward to being with family, friends, and enjoying life with our new baby. There’s a bit (actually a lot) of sadness in my heart. What we are living is far from what I had hoped for and envisioned for this season.

I know I’m not the only person who’s experiencing loss during this crisis. And I want to say that our loss is legit. And it’s totally ok to process it. There’s many dreams, plans, and expectations that have been put on hold. And all we hear about is death, stressful statistics, and the pressure to “flatten the curve”.

Despite the loss and pain that we are feeling during this time, we must lean into the voice of truth: God’s word and His promises. On Palm Sunday, as we had church from home, while holding onto our miracle baby, God reminded me of something.

A year ago during this time we were starting IVF. We had NO IDEA if it would work. It was a complete leap of faith. But we beat the odds and have a healthy baby boy in our arms. Even though this season doesn’t look and feel anything like what I hoped it would, I am literally HOLDING living proof of God’s faithfulness.

When I see Phoenix, I see God’s faithfulness. Every day I struggle with fear of what could happen to him. We waited so long, went through such physical and mental hardship, and endured lots of heartache to have him. Anxiety sometimes is inevitable for me. But I remember that he was an impossibility at one point. And somehow, God made a way. His faithfulness saw us through.

As we continue to move forward during these trying times, let’s remember to focus on God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.

What are you HOLDING in your life as living proof of God’s faithfulness today? During really hard moments, return to those and be encouraged that God’s faithfulness is always with you.

And on that note, I’d love to share some baby milestones we are celebrating as Phoenix turns two months.

Month Two of Baby Phoenix:
• He loves music and singing with mommy
• He is smiling more and has the cutest dimple by his chin
• He is outgrowing some of his newborn clothes (bittersweet feeling)
• He is starting to hold his bottle
• He can get his arms out of his swaddle
• He has a fiery personality and the name Phoenix fits him very well 😉