Savory Onion Turkey Burgers

Another weekend has come and gone & I have whipped up another delicious, savory, & healthy meal for y’all! I have to tell you, I love sharing recipes with y’all. I feel like it’s a great way to start the week. I think y’all will really love this one! Who doesn’t love burgers? There are SO many different condiments, veggies & meats you can add onto them. And it’s so easy to make them a healthy meal!

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I like to get all of my ingredients totally ready and measured out before I start mixing and making the patties. I feel it’s better that way because you’re working with raw meat & it saves you a little time ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what you’re gonna need

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Ground turkey

Worcestershire sauce

Shredded pepperjack cheese

Onion soup mix

Pepper

Garlic powder

Your favorite veggies

*Not pictured- an egg & breadcrumbs if needed*

First you’ll want to get out your handy dandy mixing bowl, & throw in your turkey, seasonings, cheese & worcestershire sauce. The onion soup mix really adds such a savory bite to these patties. I got the idea from my momma, & I can’t make burgers without it now!

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Then it’s time to get those hands dirty! Put some muscle into. Actually you won’t really need muscle, but make sure you really get in there & mix it together until it’s combined well.

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This next part may not be necessary for you. If you are using regular ground beef, you won’t have to add these ingredients. Ground turkey can sometimes be a little more fragile in that your patties can easily fall apart without some binding ingredients. I went ahead and added an egg & some breadcrumbs I had on hand.

They helped so much! My patties definitely would have been “dead meat” if I didn’t add them in ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once you get your meat mixed up well, you can start forming your patties. I got out a sheet pan & laid down a sheet of parchment paper [which helps with the sticking]. I would say about 3/4-1 cup of meat to form a patty. Make sure to pack them together tight when forming your patty, it will help them stay together as well.

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Once again, I’m not the griller in the fam. This is when I hand them over to my awesome hubby. He loves to grill so we are the perfect pair ๐Ÿ™‚

Love watching my hubby grill….also, Go ‘Boys!

While the burgers are grilling away, get your veggies cut up. I chose to do onions, lettuce & tomatoes. But literally anything would be good on these! Avocados, jalepenos, spinach, anything! The onions really compliment the meat as well with the onion soup mix.

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The color of these patties is really beautiful when they are done.

One of the patties did fall apart a little bit. Turkey is just a little harder to grill. If anyone has a secret to making sure these puppies stay together I’m all ears! But luckily, it wasn’t so bad…just a little disfigured.

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t go the completely healthy route, but you can! Instead of bread you can do lettuce-wrapped burgers. And of course you don’t have to make onion rings, but I just couldn’t resist. It’s okay to splurge every now & then! A girls gotta eat.

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They were so delicious, y’all. I topped mine off with some sriracha mustard. You can also add cheese if you’d like. Whatever your sweet heart desires! ๐Ÿ™‚

Savory Onion Turkey Burgers

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack chese
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp onion soup mix
  • 1 egg*
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs*

*Only use if needed to help bind ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix ground turkey, seasonings, worcestershire sauce & cheese together with hands
  2. Add in egg & breadcrumbs, if needed- mix well
  3. Form patties & place on grill until fully cooked
  4. Enjoy!

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As always, God blessย โ€ 

Brittany

Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

How to Encourage & Promote Independence in Your Child

Does anybody else have an extremely stubborn & headstrong toddler?! This pretty much is the definition of our little girl. Our sassy little wild-child.

I guess my husband and I can take partial blame for that. Seriously. I have never known anyone as independent as she is. But let me let you in on a little secret….THAT’S OKAY! It is so important to allow your children to “fend for themselves”, if you will. It is okay for your children not to need you every second of every day.

One of the HUGE issues with younger generations nowadays is helicopter parenting. This is basically parents who are constantly hovering over their children to help them complete, or totally complete, a task-…like a helicopter. Some parents won’t even let their kiddos talk for themselves. I’m sorry, but if there is one thing I advocate for the most as a parent, it’s to let your kiddos practice independence. One day, they are going to grow up and be on their own. Let’s prepare them now so they can be successful later!

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I have learned so much having such an independent girl. My experience working with children with autism has really helped me too! Independence is one of the most important lessons incorporated into all of my therapy sessions. Children need to feel like they can do things on their own so they can feel confident in their own skin.

Let them try new things

Always present opportunities for them to try new things. In my line of work, I have to contrive numerous types of situations and opportunities for children to simply ask for things or complete a certain task. the types of situations depend on their age of course, but you can do it with literally anything.

For example, my daughter is obsessed with taking her dolls clothes off and then subsequently putting them back on. It’s pretty much a constant thing we do all day. When I see her struggling with putting her dolls clothes back on I don’t run over and do it for her. I usually just sit there and watch her. If I see her really starting to get frustrated, I remind her that I’m here if she needs help. Of course, she’s so stubborn & always answers with, “I wanna do it.” Always redirecting that frustrated behavior can save you tons of tantrums. It’s also a good reminder for them that they are completely capable of doing it themselves, but you are always there if they need you.

Dressing themselves

This is such a huge one, especially for toddlers. My daughter is always wanting to dress herself, usually in princess dresses.

Other times, she can really pick out a quirky outfit.

I mean, that lipstick right?

And you know what…we let her. So what if your kiddo is wearing a dress-up princess gown to the grocery store [literally did this the other day]? Or clothes that don’t match whatsoever. Who cares? They’re happy. You know why? Because they feel pride. They may not know what pride is, but you can just see it on their innocent little faces.

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And just the basic task of putting their clothes on is such a big accomplishment for them. This is another one of those contrived opportunities you can create. Maybe they put on their socks & shoes, and you help tie them. Or just let them try and figure it out on their own. Trust me, it won’t hurt them one bit. Never forget to always be there for support if they ask for it, but let them at least try. It’s so worth it when you hear them shout, “I did it!” True pride.

Let them explore

When you take them to the park, the beach, or even in your backyard, let them explore it. Let them dig their fingers into the sand. It may even end up in their mouth. That won’t hurt them either. Nine times out of ten they just learn to never do that again!

It’s important to let them “fail” in a sense. By letting them be independent, they will learn how to do things & how NOT to do things. Both are helpful in the upbringing of life.

Let them touch everything [that sounds a little weird, but you know what I mean]. Give them that sensory input. Let them test out the slide on their own if they are coordinated enough for it, and it’s completely safe of course. Instead of just putting them at the top of the stairs on the playground, let them climb. Be there for support, but give them a chance. They may just surprise you.

Don’t overload them with questions

When your child is trying something new, try not to ask them a bunch of questions about it. This is really important if you have an older child. Completing a new & novel task can be stressful enough without you asking them a ton of questions. Simple encouragement would suffice, if needed.

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Just like with my daughter trying to put her doll’s clothes on. I tell her, “Try not to get frustrated baby, you’re doing a great job. If you need help, I will always be here to help you.” That reassurance is comforting to them. I’m sure you can relate to that in some way, too. If you’re working on a math problem & someone is breathing down your neck asking, “Why did you do that?” “Are you sure that’s right?” “How did you get that answer?”

Asking questions can give off the vibe that you don’t have faith in them. If you want to ask them something, try to rephrase it into something that sounds more encouraging. Instead of asking, “Are you sure that’s right?” You could say, “Oh nice you completed the problem! Let’s check it!” Adding in some enthusiasm & praise [which we will get to in a moment] will really lift their spirits more than questioning them and making them doubt themselves.

Always provide choices

There is ALWAYS an opportunity to provide a choice. Even if there is a specific thing you are wanting your child to do. When you provide choices, you’re allowing your child to feel like they have some control over what is about to happen. Starting this while they are young is a great way to prepare them for making more complex choices when they are older.

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If you are wanting…no, needing your child to put their shoes on so you can go to the grocery store, but you are having so much trouble getting them to comply with you- give them a FUN choice. “Do you want to put your shoes on while we sing the ABCs or Itsy Bitsy Spider?” It’s simple, gives them a choice, some independence, & completes the task you need done. EVERYBODY WINS.

Praise

Big one here. The biggest, as you can tell from my larger font size and positioning :). You can let children be independent all day long, but unless you affirm it, their self-confidence will not increase. Some kiddos are independent because they have to be. Because their parents do not pay attention to them or encourage them. But what you can do is contrive opportunities or take advantage of naturally occurring situations where your child shows their independence and praise them for it! Even if it sounds silly to you, it probably means the world to them. I am constantly working on this as a momma. My daily goal is to make sure my kiddos feel heard by me. Appreciated by me. And loved by me.

The little victories are the sweetest! I know this post is pretty much all about our daughter, because she is the independent one. But, the other day our son pointed to something for the first time. He’s was a preemie & has been consistently behind developmentally on a few things. He’s about 19 months old now & just started pointing to things he wants. May sound little to some, but it’s a huge deal in this house. I can’t even remember now what he was pointing at…I think it was his cup. But he looked at me, then looked at the cup, pointed & said, “Ca”.

OMG.

Big moment here y’all! I smiled so big & told him, “Good job pointing bubba! You’re such a big boy!” And he giggled and hugged me, and it was just a sweet moment. All of the practicing and modeling you do. Then to finally see your kiddo independently do it on their own…it’s an amazing feeling. Now he does it all the time. Because he knows that he will usually get whatever he points to [haha], but he learned from my positive reaction, that what he did was the right thing to do. Positive reinforcement doesn’t always have positive outcomes [confusing, I know], but in these cases it produces the best outcomes! Praising your child will encourage them to be more independent with everything that they do.

I know as parents it can be hard to “let go” of our little babies who constantly need us to feed them, change them, bathe them, & entertain them. As they get older, they need to learn to do all of these things on their own. Otherwise, how will they ever be on their own? It’s difficult, sometimes, having such an independently independent child. Most of the time we don’t have to contrive situations for our daughter to do things on her own, because she just does them. It’s hard not to feel “needed” sometimes by your babies. But, trust me, they always come back. For support, for encouragement, or just some lovins…something to think about ๐Ÿ™‚

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As always, God blessย โ€ 

Brittany

Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Skewers

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It’s been awhile since I shared one of my favorite recipes with y’all! THIS is one of our go-to meals. It may not look like it, but it is so filling in and of itself. You will love my simple & healthy grilled chicken & pineapple skewers.

They are a perfect tailgating, meal-prepping, & pretty much anything else type of meal! Anytime we want to grill out, these are at the top of our list. My motto is always simple and healthy. And these yummy skewers are nothing short of both! Oh…& I have a little secret that you will love!

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Here is what you will need-

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First you will want to cut up your chicken breasts. I only used two for this recipe, because my kids don’t really eat a whole lot. Plus when you add in the veggies and pineapple to it, it will fill you up quicker than you think!

I used kitchen shears. Makes life a whole lot easier.

Okay, now here is my little secret touch….drain your pineapples most of the way. Leave about 2 tablespoons or so in the can. Dump the pineapples and remaining juice into your baggie. That extra pineapple juice makes the chicken so tender & juicy. It’s amazing.

Then you’ll want to cut up your bell peppers & onions. Not too small. About the same width as your chicken cubes, and throw them in the baggie.

Once you have everything cut up & bagged, follow the instructions on the back of you marinade mix. I have used almost every kind of McCormick marinade. We LOVE them. And great thing about them is they only add 5 extra calories to your meal! The zesty herb mix adds such a freshness to the ingredients and brings them to life a bit. Great touch.

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Make sure there are no clumpy powder bits in there. Mix it really well, then add it to your baggie. Slosh [I feel like this isn’t a word, but you totally know what I mean, right?] the ingredients around & make sure every little bit is coated in that delicious marinade.

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Next part is the most time-consuming of this recipe. Get ready to get your hands messy! When I first started making these I used to buy the bamboo skewers, which for some reason were always so hard for me to find. I finally caved & bought these amazing reusable metal ones. I love them. Easy to clean, your food slides off of them easily, & the best part, no splinters! I used about 10 for this recipe. Just depends on how much you want to pack on each skewer.

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Excuse my nasty pan. It’s been through the ringer….I usually pack mine on like so. But this is totally up to your discretion. Let your creative juices flow.

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So colorful. Love it!

If you want, you can let these bad boys sit in the fridge and soak up all of that flavor. Meanwhile, you’ll want to fire up that grill. My husband is the griller in our family. I don’t know how to work that thing at all! We have a charcoal grill. Makes for a better smokey flavor in my not-so-professional opinion.

Once your grill is hot & ready, you’ll want to put the skewers on until the chicken is fully cooked- about 15 to 20 minutes. Use your best judgement on this one depending on what kid of a grill you have.

Take them off the grill & enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Skewers

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken breasts
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1pkg Zesty Herb McCormick marinade mix
  • 1 15oz pineapple chunks
  • 10-12 skewers

Directions

  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes
  2. Add pineapple & 2 tbsp of pineapple juice to chicken
  3. Cut up bell peppers & onion- add to baggie with chicken & pineapple
  4. Prepare marinade & add to the ingredients
  5. Place ingredients on the skewers
  6. Add skewers to the grill until chicken is fully cooked
  7. Enjoy!

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Items I used:

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As always, God bless

& happy eating ๐Ÿ™‚

-Brittany

Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Flying with Two Toddlers: From a Momma Who Learned the Hard Way

Confined spaces & toddlers DO. NOT. MIX. Period. End of story. If you have flown with toddlers before, you know this all too well. My family and I recently took a spontaneous trip to Texas & I’ll be honest, the trip there was not well-planned on my part. There were some necessity items that would have made my life a lot easier had I packed them.

We were THOSE people on the plane with the insanely fussy toddler. The whole flight. Two and half hours of a screaming toddler. I mean the whole nine, y’all. Kicking, crying, screaming, throwing his head back, pushing me away kind of tantrum. Needless to say, I was so exhausted by the time we finally arrived I probably looked like a zombie.

It actually didn’t even start on the flight. It started when we were going through security. It didn’t help that both kiddos were trying to get sick & were already not feeling well. Of course, the airport security guards had me pull EVERYTHING out of the diaper bag & fold up the stroller. All the while I’m lookin’ like a hot mess mom who doesn’t have her you know what together. I had one kid in my arms flailing around and crying because….well I don’t even know why…just because. And another kid throwing a fit to the point of me having to drag her over to my sister [who was with me and I’m so thankful] so she could take her through security. All because she wanted to sit in the stroller I had to fold up and put on the track.

I was literally on the tipping point of a breakdown when this sweet old woman came up to me and said, “Sweetie, do you need some help?” I know, so gracious and sweet. I told her kindly, “Thank you, but my sister is just right there and is helping me.” It was apparent that the struggle was real with this momma.

I hope my terrible experience will be a lesson learned for all of you parents of toddlers out there ๐Ÿ™‚

Flying with Two Toddlers

My first piece of advice is be prepared for crying

There will be crying. Unless your children are perfect angels and never cry or get upset about anything, there will be crying. The sooner you accept that, the better. If people around you don’t understand and sympathize with you, well you probably won’t ever see them again so don’t sweat it ๐Ÿ™‚

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This was the 30 minutes of peace I got on the flight. He fell asleep immediately after take-off. He’s my little Tasmanian devil, but he’s still the cutest ๐Ÿ™‚

Medication

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Bring medication. Be prepared for any kind of pain they may experience. Tummy aches from motion sickness, pain in their ears from the pressure changes, and just assume your toddler will be teething during the flight. Better to assume and be prepared than be like me and have to buy a $12 bottle of infant Advil at the airport. Just bring it. You never know. And go ahead and give it to them BEFORE you get on your flight. That way it will begin to work its magic before you even take off. Being proactive is key!

Snacks galore

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You can’t go wrong with food! Just like that insane $12 tiny Advil bottle, everything at the airport is so expensive. Just save yourself some sanity and money & pack your own snacks. Then pack some more. My kids almost went through an entire gallon Ziploc baggie packed full of snacks. Gummies, raisins, goldfish, cinnamon sticks, granola bar. You name it, I probably packed it. I may have forgot the medicine, but I never leave the house without snacks. Something I didn’t pack though was some suckers. I think suckers are a great thing to give your kiddos to help their ears pop when the pressure is changing. And what kid doesn’t love candy right?!

Headphones & iPad

Judge me all you want, but some kind of a screen will probably save your life. Luckily, on our flight back to California the plane had those fancy TVs on the backs of all the chairs. Disney movies were all free, too. Score! But on the way to Texas we were not so lucky. Before everyone gets all “too much screen time is bad” momma on me, I don’t normally let my children stare at a screen all day. But if Toy Story 3 will keep my kiddos calm for a 2 hour flight and save me some sanity, you bet your sweet tush I’ll let them sit and watch the whole thing. I was a bit proactive with this one and brought our iPad from home for our 2 year old along with some headphones as to not bother other passengers on the plane [literally laughed as I typed that]. But my little guy didn’t have anything like that to keep him busy or distracted on the flight there.

Also, just do yourself a favor and buy the wifi. It was like $12 for our whole flight home and totally worth every penny.

Comfort item

Proud of myself for this one because I was on top of it. My children are so attached to their blankies. Especially my son. He literally cannot do anything or go anywhere without his blanket. He can’t even sleep without it. It’ pretty much just apart of his anatomy at this point. Throughout the entire flight there, pretty much the only thing that comforted him was his blanket. Whatever comfort item soothes your child, bring it. A stuffed animal, blanket, pillow, a toy, sippie, paci, anything. Bring it and thank me later. Clearly daddy is a comfort item too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Non-screen items

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All my non-screen parents out there…if you really wanna stick to your guns and have no-screen time, or you don’t mind the screen time and want to give your kiddos some extra options, here ya go. Bring coloring books, crayons, stickers, stamps, dolls, cars or anything else you know your kiddos are interested in. I made the mistake of not bringing any of this stuff on the way there. Some toy cars or colors may have distracted my little guy for a little while. On the way home, my daughter had two barbie dolls she got from her awesome aunt and uncle while we were home. Those kept her busy and happy for a good bit.

Window seats

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I’m pretty sure every little kiddo loves the window seat! If you are able to pick out your seats when you book your flight, make sure you get a window seat for your toddler. My kiddos loved to look out of the window when we took off and once we were in the air. We flew stand-by on our flight to Texas and luckily all got window seats. But if you are in the same situation and get assigned to a middle or aisle seat, I find that most people are nice enough to switch you if you ask nice enough ๐Ÿ™‚

I think the nature of your child’s temperament has a lot to do with situations like these. If you notice, a lot of my issues on the flights had to do with our son. He has more of a difficult and fiesty temperament. When my daughter was his age, she did much better on the plane. But their temperaments are very different, she’s much more calm and cautious. So just be aware of your little one and be patient with them. Our flight was rough. Not gonna lie. But I can’t blame a one and a half year old for being squirmy and fussy on a flight. He needs to run around and have a bit of freedom with his movements. A plane does not give you that luxury. It can be an exhausting trip, I know. But don’t forget that. I hope this helps you and maybe gives you a good laugh. Or maybe some of you an relate to my horror story! Either way, I love sharing my experiences with y’all.

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As always, God blessย โ€ 

Brittany

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Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Five Reasons Why Healthy Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships are Important

One of my absolute favorite memories I have is with my grandpa. We were in his living room with my grandma, and I believe my parents were there too. We were listening to music [I wish I could remember the song that was playing] & my grandpa told me to hop up on his feet. He began to move back & forth dancing with me. It was such a sweet moment that was there & gone so quickly, but I will always cherish it and hold it close to my heart.

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My handsome Grandpa. I adored him & miss him dearly.

My family & I just got back from a week-long visit to our hometown in Texas. The one thing I am most thankful for is how close our families live to one another. For starters, it’s super easy on us when we travel there because we don’t have to drive far to go back and forth! But mostly, it gives us that much more time to give them to spend with our two babies. It’s the coolest thing watching our parents play with our children. Some people may not realize how important these relationships are to your child’s emotional & social development. I’m here to share with you five big reasons why they are!

It takes a village

This is such an old saying that hits the nail right on the head! In most cases, parents of the child deserve 95% of the credit in the raising of their child. That other 5% is dedicated to all of the other influencers in that child’s life. Teachers, aunts, uncles, nannies, and you guessed it, grandparents! When the nanny isn’t available & you need to run to the grocery store or run some last minute errands before you have to rush back home and make dinner, who watches your kiddos? I bet at least half of you said “Oh my parents do!” Unless of course you are a military family & don’t live close to family [insert ugly cries]. Other than their parents, grandparents are a very apparent and constant role in a child’s life [in most cases].

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I spent so much time at my Nana’s house growing up. She definitely helped make me who I am today.

Older traditions

I bet most of us poke fun at older relatives in our lives when we see them struggling with technology or when they say, “I remember when we had to write letters & mail them to a person if we wanted to talk to them.” But views & old traditions can be such a great way to instill some humility into our littles. Older views like how to properly pursue & date a young lady, how to treat elders, holding the door open for others, don’t cuss in front of a lady, and many other things that most young children don’t seem to know these days. Traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation & learning about how those traditions started is also super important & gives the child a look into their family’s past. Which brings me to my next point…

Family history

Grandparents always have the best stories to tell! My husband’s grandpa will sit down for hours & tell you all about things he has done & hilarious jokes he has learned through the years. Grandparents can tell you things that your parents can’t simply because they have been around longer. They can tell you things about your parents when they were growing up & stories about your great-grandparents. Sitting & talking about memories & history creates a strong bonding environment for the grandparent and grandchild. You may learn something about them that you can relate to. Maybe they loved to play hockey when they were growing up just like you. You never know unless you just sit and talk with them and build that strong foundation of a relationship.

The child’s development

This is a big one & has been shown and proven in multiple studies around the world. Having strong & healthy relationships with your grandparents can have a significant impact on your emotional state as you get older. A certain study conducted by researchers at Boston College found that having an emotionally stable & healthy grandparent-grandchild relationship resulted in decreased depressive symptoms in all groups. Children with supportive and present grandparents are more likely to grow up presenting pro-social behaviors & be happier adults. Grandparents can set the foundation for a strong support system in the family overall.

Their legacy

Whether it be a name passed down, a business inherited or simply carrying on something that was important to them- it’s always important for children to respect who their grandparents were once they’ve died. My husband is the most loyal person I know. He has a respect and love for his family that I adore and admire. He was given the option to change his name when he was younger and he took that opportunity to honor two influential men in his life. His grandfathers, Craig & Thomas. He will carry on those names for the rest of his life. It may sound simple to most, but it’s a wonderful way to keep their legacy alive.

I cannot stress enough how influential these relationships are. Watching our children playing with & conversing with their grandparents this past week was such a blessing. Seize those moments while you can! It all happens so fast. So capture the moments, soak up the stories, & never forget the memories made! Don’t wait until it’s too late to spend quality time with them. Trust me, you won’t regret a second!

This post is dedicated in loving memory to Grandad. My husband’s grandfather. He was so generous & had the most kind heart. He are extremely grateful for everything he did for our little family. We miss you more than words can express.

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As always, God blessโ€ 

Brittany

The Truth Behind the Scar: A Story of Two C-sections

Aside from marrying the person of her dreams, almost every woman fantasizes and looks forward to the day they get to carry & give birth to their very own baby. It’s a scary thing, but it’s something all of us women think about. And most of us dream and pray about. Ever since I became a big sister when I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to be a momma.

When you picture “the scene” of yourself giving birth what do you see? I know for me I pictured me laying in a hospital bed, legs up, doctor down below telling me it’s time to push. My husband is up by my head coaching me and encouraging me every step of the way. Our few closest family members in the room [our moms and my sisters-my SIL included :)]. I would’ve tried going all natural but don’t know if I would’ve lasted. And then it happens. I help pull my baby out. My hubby cuts the cord and our baby was born and here on this earth. Everyone watching and crying with happiness as they witness this miracle of life. So perfect, right? It was my “perfect” scenario. I had watched two of my cousins give birth and that’s how they went. It was so amazing to watch and be apart of. I couldn’t wait to be on the other side of it.

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But that’s not how it all happened. My first pregnancy was fairly un-complicated. I was considered “high-risk” about halfway through because my amniotic fluid was measuring low.

I went in about 1-2 times a week after that to get it checked. Hoping it didn’t get too low to the point of the doctors having to deliver her. One morning I began to have small contractions. My fluid was still okay and I was about 38 weeks on the dot. I was considered full-term at this point and was safe to deliver at any time. Due to the fact that she was breech, they decided to admit me and scheduled my c-section. She had been breech for weeks now and never flipped. For those of you who may not know, the term “breech” basically means that the baby’s feet are pointed down instead of the head. Head down is the ideal position for a smooth vaginal delivery. Considering the fact that I’m just a petite person, my doctor did not recommend a vaginal delivery.

Not gonna lie- I was crushed.

I had always pictured things going a certain way and all of the sudden everything changed. And I was terrified. Surgery scared me. Especially being awake during a surgery. I wasn’t going to be able to help pull my baby out. I was so upset that wouldn’t get to hold my girl right after she was born [which I was only half wrong about]. I just felt cheated out of the whole experience.

I just want to quickly note that I might be smiling in all of these pictures but I was so hangry and extremely thirsty. I wasn’t able to eat for almost 24 hours because homegirl decided it was time to come out! Not even ice chips y’all! It was rough.

The surgery overall went very smoothly. The only part that really blew was getting the epidural. They had to poke me with that 50 foot long needle like 3 times because I kept tensing up when they tried to numb me. If you will soon go through this surgery the best advice I can give you is to TRY and relax. It’s extremely hard [I know], but it will go by so much faster if you just take a few deep, long breaths when they do this. Focus on your breathing, not the pain. So much easier said than done, but once I was able to relax, it was over and I couldn’t feel the bottom half of my body [which is a good thing]. The rest of the surgery went by super fast & without any complications. I got to see my girl for a few short seconds. Enough to take a picture with her, before they took her away. She wasn’t breathing when she came out and was turning a purple color. The doctors and nurses were able to get her breathing and everything was smooth sailing after that.

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I’m gonna jump ahead a bit to my second pregnancy…now this c-section was expected. I had already had the surgery before and the risks of having a vaginal delivery after c-section were a little TOO risky for me, so I was more accepting to the surgery the second go-round. But this pregnancy was extremely complicated and scary. You can read about it more in detail on my little man’s inspiring NICU story. Long story short, I got pregnant while I had an IUD in place. My water broke when I was 27 weeks and I carried my son to 29 weeks when an infection in my body forced me to deliver him immediately.

That was super shortened, but you can see it was very stressful and much different than my first surgery. I was having serious and painful contractions this time. Whereas the first time, I never even went into active labor. I’m not kidding about the painful contractions. They were intense. The numbing part of the surgery went by much faster this time and only took the doctors once to get it injected. To top it off, ya know as if the surgery isn’t enough, they had to search for my IUD after they delivered my son. So I stayed in surgery for another hour while they looked for this darn thing! Which sucked because all I could think about was my son. Who was being rushed into the NICU. I only got to see him for a couple seconds, if that. I couldn’t hold him or touch him because your arms have to be strapped down so you’re not tempted to touch what the doctors are cutting open. That’s the best way I can describe it- it just sucked.

What makes me sad is that because my second was an emergency c-section, we didn’t get to capture any “happy” moments before he was born. And there wasn’t any time to take a family picture immediately after he was born. He had to be rushed to the NICU as soon as possible. But here’s the first picture I got with my little warrior…

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So now kind of going back and tying my experiences together, I have a huge take-away from it all….

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The scar.

My little tummy smile ๐Ÿ™‚

I look at it everyday and remember what I went through. The weeks of recovery. The pain. The stress and anxiety. To this day I still am not able to do things I once could. Upward facing dog? Forget about it. That part of me just don’t stretch like it used to. But you know what? I look at that scar and think…I would do it ALL. OVER. AGAIN. and AGAIN. and AGAIN. Just to see these beautiful faces every day.

Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage” ? Well it’s not about the delivery. It’s about the life that comes after it. The life or lives you created.

Momma, remember that you are strong. Just because you weren’t able to push your baby out of you like those other awesome mommas do, doesn’t mean you’re not just as much a champion. And you know what’s cool? We have a scar to look at and remind us of just how awesome we are! I’m blessed to be apart of this community of mommas & I pray for ALL of you!

As always, God Blessย โ€ 

Brittany

P.S. Do any of you c-section mommas have a scar tattoo? I’m seriously thinking about getting one in the future & I would love to see yours or hear what you have in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Why Getting Older is Awesome

It’s my birthday! Twenty-six years on this earth I have spent. Twenty-six birthdays and celebrations have now come & gone. It can be a somber moment for some. “Getting older” has a sort of negative connotation & stigma to it. Not for me though. This year I am choosing to enjoy & embrace my age to the fullest!

Twenty-six.

Although I feel much, much older [kids will do that to ya] I am still “in my prime” as they say. Your twenties are made for “figuring out your life” as people also say a lot. Which is funny for me because I’ve already had two children, graduated from college, moved too many times to count, gotten married, bought two cars, gone through multiple jobs & found my passion and now I’ve started this blog [all of which is not in chronological order ๐Ÿ˜‚].

Isn’t life funny that way? How you sit and plan out how you think everything will pan out, then a bomb hits you. In my case, a bomb was a positive pregnancy test three days after my college graduation ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“. Then you accept things how they are & you adapt. Oh but wait here’s another bomb! It’s a constant cycle. But it’s one that allows us to overcome & builds our resiliency as an adult. Helps us grow up.

Twenty-six.

Not only do you experience more and go through struggles and tribulations that make you a strong and wiser person [let’s hope ;)], but the best thing about getting older are the memories your heart gains through the years. I am constantly taking pictures. CONSTANTLY y’all. I have such a bad memory sometimes when it comes to everyday things that happen around me. So taking pictures is the best way for me to hold onto those moments forever. Anyone else have Timehop? If you don’t, you need to download it pronto! It is a great way to look back each day and see memories that you made. I love looking back 1, 2, 7 years ago and cherishing every picture that swipes across my screen.

Isn’t that what life is all about? Making memories. So love those smile lines. Appreciate those frown lines. For they make us who we are. Birthdays are a time to celebrate the wonderful miracle that is you! Embrace your age & praise God for one more year of awesomeness ๐Ÿ™‚

Twenty-six. The downhill slide to 30…eh it ain’t so bad.

P.S. Shoutout to all the April 4th babies out there. Y’all the homies.

As always, God blessย โ€ 

Brittany

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