Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper

Nine years ago I had my first child, he started sleeping in his crib his first day home. Recently I gave birth to my third child and for some reason the thought of him sleeping in his room alone terrified me! Plus I'm breastfeeding and I knew every time he woke up I'd have to go get him and feed him. I also knew I didn't want him sleeping next to my husband and I in our bed. I tried the pack and play (also known as port a crib), but constantly getting in and out of bed to feed him and lay him back in the crib once I was done was exhausting!

After a few nights of me falling asleep with him in my arms while feeding him I decided I needed to look for something else! That's when I stumbled upon a bunch of co sleepers. They had a few different options but I went with The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper
I cannot even try to lie to you, the reason I picked this one was because it was the cheapest one. I kept going back and forth between this one and another one.. The other one was just a tiny bit more expensive, but both had good and bad reviews so ultimately it came down to price. I seriously went back and forth for a couple hours on multiple websites before I finally purchased the item. I am pretty sure I even paid for faster shipping because I knew I wanted it ASAP! 

My husband was away the first week I started using the co sleeper so Beau slept in it on his side of the bed and I pulled all the covers to my side of the bed. Once my husband got back we had to figure something out because my husband likes to sleep with the covers over his head sometimes and I didn't want to risk the covers going to high and covering Beau. At first I read online where some people used 2 different blankets but I thought to myself HEY!! I'm short why not just scoot down? So my husband sleeps up in his normal spot by Beau's head and I sleep down by Beau's feet at an angle kind of, that away the blanket never comes above his co sleeper. 
Here is why I love this co sleeper and would strongly recommended it to anyone! Not only is it a great price it's also a great size! My son is 3 months old and he still sleeps in it, he has never rolled or scooted out of it. I like that I don't HAVE to put him in his crib just yet because him sleeping in this makes breastfeeding so much easier in the middle of the night! THANKFULLY he only wakes up once a night! But I feel like this helps both of us with that middle of the night feed. Another way it helps with breastfeeding is it has a small nightlight on the head barrier, instead of reaching for my phone to check on the baby I can just turn the nightlight on real quick. It also travels well! It folds in half and fits perfectly in my suitcase. Plus it's waterproof!!!!!!!!! That's a big deal for us because Beau spits up a LOT! It has a sheet and we'd wash the sheet and just wipe down the mattress part of it.
Now here are a few of my concerns with this item.. The foot barrier for some reason doesn't stay in the upright position and bends down into the bed area but sometimes my son seems to like it and just props his feet up on it. 
Another concern is space if you don't have a big enough bed. We have a king size bed so I have no issue with how much space it takes up but I have read a few reviews where people in queen size beds or smaller don't like it because they don't have enough room in the bed once the co sleeper is in there. So that is something you'd need to consider. 

Even with those two concerns I would still give this item 5 stars!! I seriously LOVE it. This is one of my top 5 favorite baby items. I haven't been as sleep deprived as I expected to be and I fully believe it is because of this co sleeper. We are still able to practice safe sleeping but in the comfort of our own bed. 

*Disclaimer I was not paid to try this item.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Back to Blogging..

WOW! It has been awhile since I've blogged.. I took a blogging break and didn't really know how or when to come back and honestly still didn't know how so here goes nothing!! 

So much has happened... 

Adam got home from deployment. It was seriously amazing! 
He also recently got promoted! 

We got a new dog, her name is Betsy, she's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She's bigger now, it's just hard to get a photo of her when she's CONSTANTLY moving :)

Brynna joined a competitive cheer team

We moved! We still live at Fort Drum we just moved into another house..

Brett & Brynna have grown!! They both went to a summer camp for military kids and had a great time. I on the other hand was lost without them and wanted to pick them up the first night. Last year they went to a summer camp but they weren't gone as long.

Oh yea most importantly... WE HAD A BABY! Meet the newest member of the Moreno clan.. BTW that's why we moved houses, we needed more space for the new baby.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Past the Halfway Mark..

Well it has been awhile since I last updated and I'm sorry for that. But we have been SUPER busy. Well I should have updated over the summer because I had PLENTY of downtime but the kids were in the pool almost daily and I hate being on the computer while they are swimming so I just didn't. Now for an update...

We are past the halfway mark of this deployment which means THIS DEPLOYMENT IS MORE THAN HALFWAY FINISHED!!!! Even though I still feel like we have forever and a day until he is home :( but its still nice knowing that we're so much closer than the day he left :) So here's what has happened since last time I updated..

Over the summer the kids and I headed to Texas. That was a LONG two months. YES we went home for the WHOLE summer. I have never been so bored in my life! I enjoyed seeing family and friends but it was hard because almost EVERY weekend we were driving somewhere to spend time with someone. My parents live in a tiny podunk town (its also where my husband and I grew up) and their is not much to do there so anytime we wanted to go and do something we had to make the 30-60 minute drive. But a lot of exciting things happened while we were home. My best friend got engaged(and she asked me to be in her wedding!!). My brother got engaged. I WENT BLONDE! We went to Florida for a family vacation and I got to see my amazing friend Kelly who I met while we were stationed at Bragg together. And I'm sure other exciting things happened but I seriously cannot even remember back that far.

Adam had some scary things happen during the summer. Well they were scary to me, I'm not sure how he felt about them. But I'm not going to go into detail about that.. Thankfully he is still safe and is just as ready to be back home as we are to have him back home. He picked up ping pong and started playing volleyball to keep him busy while he's not at the gym or doing school work. Which honestly I'm glad because he was watching WAY too many movies :). I kept thinking that has to be boring. Right? I mean you can only watch so many movies.. But I like knowing that they have some things for them to do during down time.

The kids and I got back to NY a few days before school started. The drive was LONG! But thankfully my mom drove it with me and then she stayed in NY for a few days because my brother was flying up to visit his fiancé and we spent a little bit of time with them before my mom flew back to Texas. The kids started school and life went back to normal.

Brett is now in 2nd grade and Brynna is in kindergarten. I have no idea what to do with myself now that my side kick is gone. Brynna and I use to do everything together and now she has left me for school and he friends. But they both really enjoy school. Brett also started soccer and Brynna started gymnastics. Next week they will also be starting piano. I had planned on getting a job but due to us going home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and then Adam getting home sometime the beginning of 2016 and THEN him wanting to go home a month after he gets back and THEN us going on our trip without the kids we decided it still would not be best if I got a job. So I got my business license and am doing photography. Photography is something I really love doing. I've done it for awhile for my friends and family and taken photos of my kiddos many times. Finally I just made the move and am now able to do it and get paid. I also signed up to volunteer some while the kids are at school and meet up with a few spouses during the week just to keep me busy. I try not to sit at home during the day because then it becomes extremely boring and I turn in to the lazy bum who doesn't want to get out of her pajamas.

Truthfully this deployment hasn't been all that bad. Yes their are bad days and my next blog post will probably discuss some of the bad days we have had, but I am extremely thankful for facebook video chat and calling, Skype, facetime, the internet, and just the fact that I am able to hear his voice or see his face almost every day. We miss him daily and life sucks without him home but I know it wont be much longer.

Today we made some goody bags with the FRG and it was nice being involved again. I missed helping out with the FRG, our last two FRG's I was very involved in but this base has been a LOT different for me. I don't know anyone that he works with, I haven't been too involved with the FRG, and I honestly don't even know where he works. I've been there a few times but if I needed to go pick him up tomorrow I'd need him to give me turn by turn directions lol. Funny thing is this base is the smallest base out of the 3 we've been to.

But that's it for now. I promise I will do another blog post soon. And it'll be a little more out of my comfort zone. But I'm blogging for 2 reasons, 1 is so later on I can look back and reread everything and 2 is because if someone is searching and finds my blog I want them to realize they are not alone and sometimes life isn't always perfect, BUT it has it's not so great days..

Thursday, April 30, 2015

D-Day.... Unknown Territory

I have been missing in action for awhile due to my husbands deployment it has been so hectic so I took a little break from blogging. BUT I'm back now and a LOT has happened.

Deployment day has come and gone and it was exactly what I expected. Full of tears. LOTS of tears....... From ME.

Most people knew Adam was deploying but only certain people knew exactly when and it was nice having family visit before things got REALLY busy. Then after all our family visited Adam went on block leave and we made a trip down to NYC, I will have a blog post about that later on so be on the look out. We had a BLAST, it was our last family trip before the deployment and it was amazing! Then it was time to come back home and buckle down for the deployment. He had a week left of work and then it was time for him to go.

They were off work the Friday and Monday before the deployment, going back to work Tuesday and were supposed to deploy sometimes Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. So Friday evening as soon as our son got home from school Adam and I had our final date night. We had dinner and watched Furious 7. That was not the best movie choice whenever you have been holding back a week worth of tears, but it was a movie we both really wanted to see and it was a really good movie either way. At the end of the movie I shed a few tears. THEN it was the dreaded ride home..... The drive is probably 20 minutes at most and about halfway home we were talking about random things and then it got quiet. And all I could tell myself was DON'T let a tear fall, I knew once one tear fell they would just come pouring out. And my eyes let me down.... One tear trickled down my cheek and BOOM! It was like someone blew up the Hoover Dam and they ALL came flowing. And I tried so hard to just look out the window and not let him know but he noticed.... That turd thought I was still crying about Paul Walker in Furious 7! REALLY?? Paul Walker!!! Yea the ending was sad but come on now... NO I'M NOT CRYING ABOUT PAUL WALKER! Thankfully he made me laugh so by the time we got to the gate to get on base my face didn't look like a swollen red mess.

We had a great weekend and then Monday night came around. Monday I did great but Monday night... Yea that's a different story haha. Monday night we let the kids fall asleep in our bed and got some final family cuddles but then ended up moving them to their bed. I rubbed Adams back like I always do and I THOUGHT he was almost asleep. And then he asked "Are you crying?" And I just laid their and started to BAWL! He rolled over and just held me for what felt like hours. I just wanted time to freeze. We talked some, I cried some, we talked some more, laughed, and fell asleep. The next morning he went into work and when he got home he told me they delayed the departure 24 hours... Even though I was SO happy that we had another 24 hours with him all I could say was "WHAT! I did all that crying last night for nothing!?" we both just cracked up about it. But it was nice knowing we had just a little bit longer.

I surprisingly did NOT cry Tuesday night. We went right to sleep. I think I was exhausted from all the crying I did the previous night haha. Even though I was not ready for him to leave, I was ready for the leaving part to be over with. Anyone that has ever been through a deployment knows that the anticipation and working up to the leaving part is probably the hardest part. Then they leave you shed some tears and the hardest part is over with. Now you can look forward to the homecoming.

Wednesday was a little harder than Tuesday. I knew those were our last few hours before we dropped him off. I knew we would not go to sleep together in the same bed for the rest of 2015. I knew they were not postponing it any longer and as much as I was ready for the leaving part to be over I just wanted a little bit longer. Wednesday night we put the kids to bed and we watched a few of our tv shows I had recorded. Thankfully Criminal Minds came on that night. That'll be the last time I watch criminal minds at night. From now on I will have to record it and watch it the next morning. And then 1:30am rolled around.

Yes that's correct I said 1:30AM! He had to be dropped off by 2 AM! I don't know why the military has to make EVERY THING so complicated. So at 1:30 AM we woke the kids up put them in the car and made the long dreaded trip to drop him off. The kids were exhausted but it was in the middle of the night so they slept until it was time for goodbyes. We decided this time it was best to just say our goodbyes at the car. Originally we were supposed to drop them off by 2 AM and all family had to be gone by 2:30 AM then it changed to drop off 2 AM but all family could wait in a gym until 4 AM. As much as I wanted to stay at the gym and wait and hope that we'd get to see him again I don't think the kids or myself could deal with that. So we didn't... We pulled up to the parking lot and I just broke down. Seeing him give the kids a hug broke my heart into a million pieces. Then it was my turn. And he just held me. We all got our final hugs and kisses, he shut the door, and like that it was all over. I was sobbing as he was walking into the building. The goodbyes/see ya laters were done and he was gone.

I cried the whole way home.. Once we got to the house both kids were asleep and I just sat there. I didn't want to walk into the house. I have read many blog post about how different it felt walking into the house after you drop them off and I did not want to feel that way because I knew it'd make me cry even more. But I had 2 kiddos that were ready to go back inside and get back in bed. I can agree with every one else, walking into our home it just feels different, it feels empty, alone.

We walked inside, everyone curled up in mommy & daddy's bed and it was time for bed. I honestly don't know if it took me long to fall asleep but I do remember crying myself to sleep.. I was terrified of this "new normal"... The unknown.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Is it time for you to unplug??

Do you ever put your phone down?? Are you ALWAYS on the computer?? Glued to the TV?

Maybe it is time for you to unplug from electronics...

Not only you but your husband and kids too.

My kids have their own tablets, a tv in their bedroom, along with a ps3 in my sons room and a wii in my daughters room. My husband and I have laptops, smart phones, TV's. Don't get me wrong we are constantly "plugged in" to some type of electronics but sometimes we try to do it as a family and other times we try to unplug completely.

I'm not saying you need to unplug for DAYS! Or even hours. Maybe a 30 minute board game with your child or a 15 minute card game with your spouse, finger painting with the kids, cooking or baking as a family, or get out of the house and go somewhere for a bit.

Last summer we went on our last family beach trip before we moved from North Carolina. We went to Nags Head, NC (the outer banks). Oh my goodness it was gorgeous and just so peaceful. It is more of a family beach, where Wilmington and Myrtle Beach were more touristy and party beaches. The thing with the outer banks though was it was almost an island. So service there was little to none. My mom started to get worried because she couldn't get in touch with myself or my husband... She watches a little to much lifetime on Sundays. But for the most part we were unplugged laying on the beach the whole 4 days we were there. It was so nice not constantly texting, answering phone calls, checking emails, or being on social media. The hardest part was not being able to use the GPS on our phone. We had to use a REAL MAP! Thankfully though when I was younger we traveled a lot and used a world map so I could handle the small map of just the outer banks.

Ways we like to unplug are Family Game Night.. We pick out some games from our game stock piles sometimes we will play 4 player games where we can all play and sometimes we will pick 2 player games and Brett and I will play one game, while Brynna and Adam play another game, then we'll switch. When the kids go to bed Adam and I will play speed, California speed, blackjacks, or battleships.

We live in upstate New York now and another way we unplug is getting out and going tubing or ice skate. It's not easy being on your phone when your sledding down a hill. The thought of hitting a bump and my phone flying out of my hand and being lost forever just makes me want to leave my phone at home, in the car, or zipped up in my pocket until we leave. And while ice skating I'm too busy focusing on staying balanced to even worry about my phone. If you live near a beach you could head to the beach. No use in having your phone out and chancing a wave coming in and taking your phone out to sea.

Even though this isn't FULLY unplugged but just relaxing and watching a TV show as a family or the kids watching a kid show while mommy and daddy watch an adult show is also nice. I LOVE Christmas movies. Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are 2 of my favorite Christmas Movies, but I also like all the Santa Claus movies. So normally around the holidays I record a bunch of Christmas movies and we just lay around sometimes and watch those.

So here is something I want you to try.. Unplug for 30 minutes a day. Don't even look at your phone. Then maybe on the weekends try for 1-2 hours. BTW when you unplug for 30 minutes or an hour do it all at once. Not 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, etc. Go for a run, sit and do homework without your phone, play a board game. Their are so many options. When you were a child and didn't have electronics what did you do to have fun? Give that a try again..

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The way to a mans heart is through his stomach..

Adam was a very picky eater when we first started dating and it stayed that way through the beginning of our marriage.. He didn't become more open to foods until he moved to Korea and there he started to try things. Adam was so picky but the reason he was picky was because he THOUGHT he didn't like things. How can you dislike something you have never tried??

Thankfully he has changed a lot and isn't as picky but his love for Chicken Alfredo has stayed the same. So a very regular meal in our house is, Chicken Alfredo.

I found this recipe at Plain Chicken one afternoon a few years ago while I was searching Pinterest for new dinner meals. I knew I had to make it and it became Adams favorite meal I cook. As time went on I made a few tweaks to it. This feeds our family of 4 and we ALWAYS have leftovers.
Cheese Bread, Banana Pudding, and the amazing Chicken Alfredo!!
Chicken Alfredo Recipe
- 1 box of Penne Pasta
- 2 containers of Alfredo Sauce(you can either make your own or I just buy the alfredo sauce by the spaghetti sauce, so whichever you prefer)
- 1 small container of Sour Cream
- 1 small container of Ricotta Cheese
- cooked Chicken(you can use as much or as little as you'd like)
- 1 Egg (sometimes I put this in and sometimes I don't it really doesn't make a difference)
- 3 cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

- Minced garlic or garlic powder
- Parsley
- Pepper

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the directions on the penne box on how to cook it, while the penne is cooking shred the chicken. Drain the penne once its done cooking and mix together the penne, cooked chicken, Alfredo sauce, sour cream, ricotta cheese, egg, and 1/2 a cup of mozzarella cheese. You can also mix in some garlic, parsley, and pepper but that is all up to you. I only put a small amount of garlic, most of the time I forget to put Parsley in, and I just sprinkle some pepper on top before it goes in the oven. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray and pour the mixture in the pan the top with the rest of the Mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes depending on your oven. I normally cook it for 25 minutes and if its not done cooking I will continue cooking it for 5 minutes until it looks finished. It will be bubbling and browning a little on the top. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hi my name is Kayla and I am....

A Teen Mom....

I can't say I was a teen mom because I had a child as a teenager and even though I am not a teenager anymore I will always be a teen mom. It's not something that just goes away.

Being a teen mom was a very difficult moment in my life.

I still remember thinking about how I was going to tell my parents. I wanted to just hide it for as long as possible but I knew it was best to tell them sooner rather than later. Not only my parents but what about my Grandparents. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.... My FRIENDS! You see all these movies about girls getting pregnant while still in high school and her friends end up turning against her.. I was terrified.

I walked into my moms room one night with Adam(my husband now but boyfriend at the time) and told her I was pregnant. I don't think I said a word, I couldn't get a word out. We just showed her all 10 test I took. Then she left. I knew she was extremely disappointed in me because being a teen mom was not what my parents wanted for me. My mom knew first hand how hard it'd be for me. THEN I had to tell my dad. I would have rather cut off my right arm instead of tell my dad I was pregnant.

Being pregnant in high school was difficult. Adam had already graduated and he had a full time job. I went to school during the day and worked after school. My best friends stuck by my side through out the pregnancy and were there for me through it all. Even though Adam and I had our ups and downs he was also by my side for the pregnancy and birth. I got the looks, the questions, the statistics, and all the advice. BUT I had all the support I needed.

My biggest thing with becoming pregnant as a teen was I did NOT want to get married. I knew having a child as a teen would be hard, I did not want to throw marriage in their too. Thankfully our parents didn't force us to get married either. People still ask me to this day why we didn't get married right away? My only answer is because we didn't want to and I am very happy with our decision. I told Adam to not propose to me while I was pregnant because I'd say no. And thankfully he waited :) Adam and I ended up splitting up a few months after our son was born and that was EXTREMELY hard on me. But I was so glad we weren't married and didn't have to deal with a divorce. Over time we ended up working things out and getting back together but I think we needed time apart to realize that we really wanted to be together.

Being a teen mom does not make someone a bad person, it isn't a mistake, or something to regret. No I didn't want to be a teen mom that is not something I planned for my life but my son is the best blessing I could have ever asked for. He did come a little earlier than planned but life doesn't always go your way.. I didn't do drugs, get arrested, drink and drive, or something like that. I got pregnant.
I was so thankful for my best friends for being there for me through everything. My parents for EVERYTHING they did for me and my family. And Adam for being an amazing father to our children.

When I became pregnant I told myself I was going to be the best mother I could be. I was not perfect. I'm still not perfect but my kids are my world. I raise my children. I still remember being a teenager with a baby and friends would invite me to parties but I just couldn't. It's not that my parents wouldn't let me, I just didn't want to ask. Every once in awhile I'd go out but it wasn't an every weekend thing. I was not letting my parents raise my child on the weekends while I went out and got drunk every weekend.

Looking back now here are some things I have learned:

Don't be too hard on yourself.. You are not perfect and neither are moms in their 20's, 30's, or 40's.

Your life is not over. You are now just on a different course.

You will lose friends and you will make friends. My biggest tip when it comes to friends is make the right friends. Don't try to make friends with people who are going to ask you to party every weekend, sleeping around, or making bad decisions. Become friends with people who are going to respect that you're a parent.

Don't be afraid to ask for help... Do NOT be afraid to ask for help.

Be the parent you NEED to be. You are the one who got pregnant, not your mom, dad, grandma, or baby daddy's (btw I hate that word) parents. You need to step up and take care of your responsibility. Being a mom is not Monday-Friday 8am-6pm job. You can't just dump your child on someone for the weekends and expect to pick back up with parenting on Monday. I'm not saying NEVER go out. I had nights where I went out with friends. Sometimes I'd go for a weekend trip. But it wasn't an every weekend thing or even once a month. The thing is I didn't miss anything whenever I was at home spending time with my son. BUT whenever I went out... I missed being with my son. So go out... Have a good time but make sure when you look back on things you don't regret the decisions you made with your child. Just because your child is a baby doesn't mean he/she doesn't understand. Babies understand a lot more than you realize...

In a couple months we will have a 7 year old and a 5 year old. We now live 1600 miles away from family. My husband is in the military, Brett is in 1st grade, and Brynna will be in kindergarten soon. We have lived in another country and 3 different states. We paid off a car and bought a new one. I am currently enrolled in school online and my husband is a Sergeant in the Army.. We have come a LONG way from the "teen parents" we use to be.