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.

Four Months of Baby Phoenix And Finding A Fresh Perspective

What can I say? Being a mom is the most beautiful and most challenging thing in the world. One minute your heart feels like it can explode with love and the next you’re filled with worry because you’re not sure if you’re doing anything right. But regardless of all the emotional ups and downs, it’s been such a special season.

The past couple weeks I’ve been holding down the fort all on my own during the day since my hubby went back to work from leave. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it all. But I managed to cook a few meals, have all bottles ready on time, make my bed everyday, and take a shower in between naps. WOOHOO! I have to admit I love all the 1:1 time I spend with Phoenix. I get to witness all the daily little changes.

He is smart, strong, and fun! He is so observant. Has a strong grip. And wakes up with smiles and giggles.

I can’t believe God made me HIS mommy. His bright eyed stare and happy expressions make my day. He’s my little joy bomb!

In a couple weeks, I go back to work from parental leave. And I am hoping and praying that I can balance being a mom, having a full-time job, and running Styld by Grace. I know I’m not the first or last mom to do this. It’s doable. And I lean on knowing that God will give me the grace for this new season.

My main goal for 2020 was to focus on loving my growing family. And I felt strongly in my heart to give that my full attention during my parental leave. Which meant putting other things on hold. It meant taking a step back from writing and creating for Styld by Grace. And I was so worried this would backfire and cause my progress to take a hit. I was very tempted to ignore that little voice. But I chose to obey the direction God was taking me on.

To my surprise, I have had record views on the blog these past few months. All the time, effort, and content I’ve created throughout the years have not been in vain. I’m so glad that the stuff I’ve been creating throughout the years is standing the test of time. I’m thankful that in following my gut (the Holy Spirit’s guidance), God’s favor and blessing followed.

I’ve also learned a very important lesson about creating and building. It’s not about the quantity. It’s about the quality. Striving to keep up appearances will never pay off. But investing time and effort for the things that really resonate with people and are authentic to who you are, will always pay off.

This little miracle God gave us has put so many things into perspective. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a little family of my own. It has sparked a desire to dig deeper both personally and creatively. And I’m excited to create from a refreshed frame of mind. THANK YOU for being part of all the seasons Styld by Grace has been through. This next chapter will be the best one yet!

One Month Of Baby Phoenix

Let me introduce you to my beautiful baby boy Phoenix Palma! He is one month old today and I’m excited to finally share pictures of my sweet boy with you on the blog.

Being a new mom takes a lot of grace and love. For baby AND for yourself. My plan was to set up my blog posts before he arrived but he surprised us by coming a couple weeks before his due date. I never got a chance to document his nursery and still working on sharing his birth story. So stay tuned for those blog posts.

For now, let me share some really cute first month pics and share what it’s really like being a new mom…

1. Sleep deprivation is freakin’ HARD. I have never fallen asleep sitting up until the first week as a mom. Parents are not exaggerating when they say to get ready to be tired all the time. There’s really nothing that compares to this. I was very naive to think that because I’m a night owl I’d be perfectly able to CRUSH night feedings. Nope.

Night time comes and I suddenly feel anxious about how the night will go. And I pray for longer periods of sleep. After a month of this, I’m still really sleepy but somehow getting a slight hang of things.

2. All the feels, alll the time. I never understood why moms spoke of the postpartum period as a time they cried all the time. Weren’t they supposed to be happy to have their baby finally? Especially if you dealt with infertility like we did… how could you feel sad? Well, the first couple of weeks were emotionally really hard for me. I cried over being thankful. I cried over being sad. I cried when baby cried. I just felt every single emotions.

I realized my hormones were getting back to their pre-pregnancy and pre-fertility treatment levels. The best thing I did was to share how I was feeling with trusted loved ones. And not allow shame or guilt to get the best of me. I’m happy to say that I’m starting to feel like myself little by little.

3. I’m not only changing my sons diapers, I’m changing my own too. No one really prepares you for what your body will go through AFTER birth. Postpartum isn’t only about caring for a sweet new baby. It’s also about trying to take care of yourself. Depends and witch hazel wipes have been life savers. But taking time to care for your nether regions can be extra draining and time consuming. And I can’t imagine how tedious it can be for moms who have c-sections.

4. A love like you’ve never felt before. It’s crazy how your mama bear instincts turn on right away. Somehow you know how to carry, feed, and change diapers of your new baby. And you’re constantly worried and making sure they are doing well. I asked my friends that are parents if being a parent meant being worried all the time and they said, “Yup. Welcome to parenthood”. Life as we know it has changed. And we will always think of and worry for and want to help our baby. It’s the best / hardest thing in the world. And it feels like your heart could burst!

5. God is closer than I thought. I’ve prayed more than ever in these past four weeks. And God’s Spirit has enveloped us with his peace, grace, love, and strength. I’ve felt God so close to me. He’s used people to meet our physical needs by cooking for us or sending us food. He’s used people to bring words of encouragement and much needed hugs and love. He’s given me a strength that I didn’t think I had. He keeps teaching me to never underestimate myself because He’s already equipped me for this! I’m so thankful to have Jesus and his people surrounding me for this crazy/awesome journey of motherhood.

And now… some cute and funny facts about baby Phoenix:

He looks just like daddy. But has mommy’s personality. He is a great napper. And loves to lay on mommy and daddy’s chest to sleep. His poop looks like guac and sometimes like honey dijon mustard. He loves to listen to music and calms down when mommy sings. He is growing so fast! His cheeks are getting chubbier by the minute. His parents are in love with him, can’t stop staring and taking pics, and will endure sleepless nights to make sure he is well fed, loved, and nurtured.

Phoenix Palma, we love you bubs! This month has been nothing short of incredible. We are SO looking forward to seeing you grow up. Here’s to many more milestones together!