SOREN'S NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

One of my very favorite parts of my day is my nighttime routine with Soren. We started doing a night routine with him when he was only a few months old and it's become such an incredibly special time for me to share with Soren and Jon. It's also hugely helped in preparing Soren's little mind for bedtime. :) 

To give you a little background, for the first several months Soren slept with me nearly every night. Most nights he wouldn't fall asleep until after 11:00PM...YIKES! As a new mama I just couldn't part with him and he was getting up several times throughout the night to nurse and I just wanted to easily be able to feed him and go back to sleep. I knew it would be better for both of us if I could get him to sleep through the night in his own room. After a lot of planning and talking, Jon and I scheduled a week in July to finally sleep train Soren. It took about 10 days of working with him until he finally got the hang of sleeping on his own and putting himself to sleep. By the way, I used "The Baby Sleep Coach Book" as a reference for sleep training and really loved it! There were nights when he cried AND when I cried! Why is it so hard for us mama's to part with our little ones at night?? 

After the transition, things really changed. I slept better, Soren slept better, he took better naps, I felt more like myself. It was a miracle! In bed at 7:00PM and sleeping until 7:00AM...can I get an AMEN!?! One of the big elements of helping him sleep through the night, in his room, was creating a routine at night for him to look forward to and for him to begin to understand that bedtime was approaching. 

Our routine really hasn't changed too much since we first started. Here is a breakdown of what we do each night. :)

6:00PM - This is dinnertime! Soren eats his baby food and sometimes Jon and I join him and eat dinner too and sometimes we wait until after he goes to bed to enjoy dinner together. :) I LOVE feeding Soren Ella's Kitchen or Plum Organics pouches. They have such great ingredients, nothing sketchy and a great variety of flavors. Soren is NOT picky and will gladly chow down on anything, thank goodness!

6:30PM - BATHTIME! Time to clean this messy baby off! Jon is typically in charge of bath-time. They splash and play together while I get everything else ready for bedtime. We love using Honest Company products during his bath, especially the shampoo/body wash!  

6:45PM - This is my favorite part. I grab my wet, slippery baby out of the bath and lay him on our bed. I pat him dry, put on his nighttime diaper, use eczema care lotion on his sensitive skin, brush his hair, put on his chest rub and put on his cozy PJs! He usually plays with the lotion bottles during this time. ;) After we go through his post-bath routine, we cuddle up and I nurse him. Soren isn't a super cuddly baby so this is my special time to get some good cuddles in. 

7:00PM - Time to put Soren in bed! I like to put him in his crib when he's sleepy but not asleep. I've noticed that this helps him fall back to sleep on his own if he wakes up in the night. He recognizes where he is and remembers that he fell asleep here on his own already. Make sense?? :) Before I put him in bed I rock him in my arms and sing two songs. I usually sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Skidamarink", sometimes I throw in "Our Song" by Elton John. After a few songs we say our goodnights. I walk around the room and quietly whisper, "goodnight Boba Fett, goodnight stars, goodnight raccoon, goodnight backyard, goodnight Millennium Falcon, goodnight books, goodnight crib and goodnight room. Goodnight daddy, goodnight mommy, goodnight Jesus and goodnight Soren." He has a Star War's themed room thus the references. ;) With a kiss on the head, I lay him in his crib, give him his lovies, say a little prayer and walk out. 

After Soren goes to bed it's mommy time! I love taking the evening to spend time with Jon, work on Maiedae, rest, read, catch up on a show. It's a great time for me each day to refresh and restart my mind for the next day. Having little ones makes life a constant go-go-go so taking advantage of those quiet and still moments is so healthy and SO SO needed. 

One piece of advice I heard when I first started doing sleep training and a nighttime routine was "if you put your little one to bed early, they wake up early...if you put your little one to bed late... they wake up early." ;) And it's SO true. If they're already planning a 7:00AM wake-up call (or earlier, yikes!) might as well get them in bed at an early time! I usually try to go to sleep myself between 10:30-11:30 so this gives me a good 3-4 hours. YES!! 

Having this time each night with Soren has created such precious memories for me and for Jon. It's our time to slow down, connect and come together as a family. As well, having the rest of my evening while Soren sleeps was such a turning point for me. Before I felt like I was running on empty constantly...if zombies existed, it was me! These evenings, after Soren goes to bed gave me back my boost and give me the quiet time I so need. Mama's...let's take back the night!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our nighttime. :) Do you have a nighttime routine with your little one? Let us know what your favorite thing about your nighttime routine is and if you have any tips to add! Love you friends!! xox


POST CREDITS

Author: Savannah Wallace // Photography: Maiedae
You Can Also Find Savannah Here: Instagram // Pinterest //  Beauty Channel // Disney Baby


MOTHERHOOD + FEELING ALONE

As you might know, I'm an extrovert at heart. My idea of having fun is going out, finding something or somewhere new, or hanging out with people I like. I like meeting new people and getting to know them and it brings me so much energy to be around others. So, when I transitioned from working 9-5 out of the house to staying at home everyday and working Maiedae full-time about 2 years ago, I knew it was going to be a difficult transition for me. I knew that I wouldn't see as many people during the day and I'd probably feel lonely sometimes. And I did struggle with feeling alone sometimes. But, whenever I did, I'd just go work at a coffee shop, invite friends over, or call up a family member. It was a transition, but it wasn't too bad a pill to swallow for my extroverted heart.

Now, before I go any further, I want to reiterate how much joy I find in motherhood and how thankful I am for my little man. I wouldn't trade anything for what I have with him. He is my precious gift and I am so blessed to be called his mother. For some reason, motherhood makes you feel guilty for feeling anything but pure joy about having your baby. When, in reality, you will probably experience many, MANY other emotions and difficulties along with joy. I think we are doing ourselves a disservice by trying to "grin and bear it" or somehow pretend like those emotions don't exist because we don't want anyone to think we aren't thankful or joyful or happy about having a baby. 

For me, motherhood brought on a whole new kind of alone. This one was an isolating, trapped feeling that I couldn't shake. From the moment Rowan was born, I felt overwhelmed and burdened about being responsible for his precious little fragile life. I felt trapped in the house. And I felt incredibly alone. Not only that, but I was struggling to find confidence in myself. I was exhausted from giving everything I had to this new baby I loved more than my life. And part of who I was felt like it was lost. I wondered if I would ever do things I loved or feel like "me" again. It was difficult to have any phone conversations because of his crying or shouting ... or sleeping. I couldn't really go anywhere because he screamed in the car and most everything in Atlanta is at least 30 minutes away. I felt anxious because ....oh ... did I mention I also couldn't walk due to nerve damage for the first several weeks? (read more about that here) At my very core, I felt alone. No one was experiencing what I was experiencing - or at least that's how I felt! And, if they were, they weren't talking to me about it. I deeply desired for someone to tell me that it was going to be okay. For someone to come sit with me - even in silence - and enjoy a few hours of company. 

Even now, Rowan is about 5 1/2 months old and I still end a lot of days combating this feeling of loneliness. And I've had many mothers come to me recently saying they feel the same way! What I am coming to realize is that motherhood can feel a lot like a lonely journey. But that doesn't mean that you're alone. Part of the reason Savannah and I wanted to focus our blog a little more was because we want to provide a community for mothers. A place to share our hearts. A place to know that you aren't alone. Because sometimes God speaks loudest through a comforting word, a much needed hug, a thoughtful gift when you are in need of it most. And, although we are stubborn to admit it, motherhood brings out a need for community more than ever. Savannah and I try to meet more regularly to hang out and share our hearts and I think it's so good to try and find someone who you can go on an occasional coffee date with or have come over to your house to chat. But, at the very least, we are here to offer support, encouragement, and lots of love to anyone and everyone who feels alone. 

I want to leave you with some things I read when I'm feeling especially burdened and lonely. I'd love to hear from you and if you can relate. Even if you're not a mom but you're working from home or just feeling generally lonely - I'd love to hear about it! Tell us a little bit about your story and maybe some things that have helped you overcome loneliness.

No matter what your circumstances may be, you can find Joy in My Presence. On some days Joy is generously strewn along your life-path, glistening in the sunlight. On days like that, being content is as simple as breathing the next breath or taking the next step. Other days are overcast and gloomy; you feel the strain of the journey, which seems endless. Dull gray rocks greet your gaze and cause your feet to ache. Yet Joy is still attainable. Search for it as for hidden treasure. Begin by remembering that I have created this day; it is not a chance occurrence. Recall that I am present with you whether you sense My Presence or not. Then, start talking with Me about whatever is on your mind. Rejoice in the fact that I understand you perfectly, and I know exactly what you are experiencing. As you continue communicating with Me, your mood will gradually lighten Awareness of My marvelous Companionship can infuse Joy into the grayest days.
— Jesus Calling
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
— 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Rest in the deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you, so that you can focus your full attention on Me. Be awed by the vast dimensions of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is yours forever! The best response to this glorious gift is a life steeped in thankfulness. Every time you thank Me, you acknowledge that I am your Lord and Provider. This is the proper stance for a child of God; receiving with thanksgiving. Bring Me the sacrifice of gratitude, and watch to see how much I bless you.
— Jesus Calling

POST CREDITS

Authors: Jenny Highsmith // Photography: Maiedae
Find Jenny Here: Instagram // Pinterest // MooreaSeal // Society6


COFFEE TALK + FAVORITE FALL BEVERAGE

Hello friends! I hope your weekend was wonderful! Mondays can always be a little bit of a drag but both Jenny and I hope that no matter where you are, that you are having a beautiful day, enjoying life and experiencing 0% Monday blues! ;) Because it's Fall-time here in Georgia, Jenny and I are sharing our favorite Fall beverage picks with you this week!!

JENNY'S FALL BEVERAGE PICK

Who doesn't love fall? Especially the early fall where it's still warm out, but has a nice cool breeze in the air and the smell of leaves. I love it here when our neighbor's burn a pile of leaves - the smell is so wonderful. In the fall, I actually don't really love a pumpkin spice latte (I know - gasp!) What I love more is a hot chocolate with salted caramel and a tiny bit of cinnamon. YUMMM!!!

A LITTLE UPDATE ON JENNY'S LIFE...

I've been trying to spend more time painting for fun lately. I think it's so much fun getting to do stuff I love every day for work, but it's also really nice every once in a while to do something I love just for fun for me. :) Ya know? We spent a good amount of time cleaning and working Saturday. Our house has a TON of trees around it, so we have to rake year round. I'm thinking Drew needs a backpack leaf-blower for Christmas :)

I'm very excited because this week I not only get to go see my parents who live 3 hours away, but Savannah and Jon are having all our friends over Saturday for a Halloween party! I don't get to see my family very often, so I'm thrilled to be spending several days together. And, of course being an extrovert who stays inside alone most days, I love parties! :) Are you guys doing anything for Halloween?

CHECK THIS OUT

1. // THESE look amazing!!! 
2. // I love these easy DIY dried flower coasters.
3. // This will be our first halloween in a house and I'm so excited to see how the turn out is in our neighborhood for trick-or-treaters! I found these Halloween treat bag ideas! I can't wait :) CANDY for everyone!!!


SAVANNAH'S FALL BEVERAGE PICK

Fall is one of my FAVORITE seasons. Not only for the weather, layers and holidays but also for the hot drinks! It's really difficult for me to choose a favorite but something I gravitate towards and keep stocked at home constantly is apple cider! I can't get enough. The smell alone sends me memories of Fall and makes me feel cozy. If I'm feeling extra fancy I like to top my cider off with a little whipped cream and caramel. Yummm!! 

A LITTLE UPDATE ON SAVANNAH'S LIFE...

I hope you've been enjoying our posts lately! Jenny and I have loved focusing our blog more and have found ourselves SO excited about the content we're writing for you. :D We've got a lot of great stuff planned for the rest of the month! Being able to share things we are passionate about and is part of our everyday lives is such a gift and something we are thankful for. Thank you, thank you for all of your kind words and support! We love our readers SO much! 

Jon and I took Soren to see his great-grandparents for the first time (Jon's grandparents) up in Fort Mill, SC. It was such a nice trip! Soren has really been a trooper over these past few weekends with all of the traveling we've been doing. ;) It was so nice being able to introduce him to his great-grandparents and see them enjoy him. :) I'm looking forward to visiting again around Christmastime! 

Since Jenny and I started our #sundayisoursabbath besides driving home, Jon and I spent the rest of our Sunday resting and having family time. One of my favorite things to do is get in my PJs, cuddle up with Jon and watch a show in our room...WITH yummy snacks! Soren went to bed early last night so we were able to sit back and watch 4 whole episodes of Bones (we are in the early seasons so no spoilers please!) ;) before going to sleep. It was so wonderful!! -- I did however, wake up with a nasty cold this morning so I'm hoping and praying it doesn't get worse and that Soren and Jon don't get it! 

CHECK THIS OUT

1. // Love this adorable video on how to make cute and easy treats for Halloween! 
2. // Also, Tati is one of my new favs on YouTube. I can't get enough of her channel! xoxo
3. // HGTV has TONs of adorable Halloween costume ideas for the little ones! 

Want to leave suggestions for future Coffee Talk posts?! Leave your thoughts below! Also, don't forget to share with us your favorite beverage for the season! :D


POST CREDITS

Author: Savannah Wallace // Photography: Maiedae
You Can Also Find Savannah Here: Instagram // Pinterest //  Beauty Channel // Disney Baby