Archive for the ‘Karyn Meyerhoff’ Category

New Mom Gift Guide

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-12-19-13-pmI recently became a new mom for the third time. I welcomed my sweet little baby girl, Audrey Faith, just two weeks ago. I shop regularly from Mom’s Milk Boutique and have discovered a few products that are must-haves, in my opinion, for the new mom this holiday season. Prepare to be amazed.

Milk Makers Cookies: Every nursing mom can use a boost to help with her supply and every woman can use a cookie now and then. I recently purchased these cookies in the oatmeal chocolate chip flavor. They cost $21.99 and 10 cookies come in the over 1 pound bag. The cookies are already made, which is great for a new mom who has her hands full. The key ingredients, including brewer’s yeast and flax seed, in the cookies can help with milk production. There are 220 calories per cookie, so you can eat them without feeling guilty. I usually eat a cookie after my kids go to bed, and they do not disappoint. I have noticed they help with my milk supply, too.

Eco Sprouts Coconut Stick: I purchased two of these sticks after a friend recommended them for my hospital bag must-have list. I was a little skeptical, but I am so glad I bought them. I bought one for baby and one for me. This stick is huge and costs $11.99 on Amazon.com. It can easily be thrown into a hospital or diaper bag. I have used it for those first days of sore nipples in the hospital and for a diaper rash healer for Audrey already. It is cloth diaper safe, so no worries there. It can be used for many other things and smells like yummy coconut. I have also heard it works great for those first meconium diapers, as well.

Earth Mama Angel Baby New Momma Bottom Spray: I bought this spray on a whim, but it has been my favorite postpartum item so far. It comes in a bottle and costs $14.95. The spray is a cooling perineal mist that helps after baby arrives. It pairs great with any products your hospital or midwife encourage you to use down there after delivery. It is said to help with vaginal soreness and even hemorrhoids. It contains witch hazel, lavender, and peppermint essential oils. It smells like a cucumber. It is amazing, my friend. I use it regularly for any discomforts.

Boba Wrap: Every new mom needs a baby carrier for those moments when baby just needs to be close but mom needs to do something, too. I have used my boba baby carrier wrap with all 3 of my littles from birth and on. This carrier is perfect for babies from birth until 18 months and retails for $49.95. I have it in a pretty floral print, but it also comes in solid colors. It isn’t hard to figure out how to use and is perfect for keeping a little baby close and safe, while you need your hands. It stores easily in a bag and is machine washable, which is great with a baby who regularly spits up on you. I use this carrier at home daily to clean, get ready in the mornings, or just put my little one in when she doesn’t want to be put down.

So with the holidays approaching, here are some fun and useful new gifts for the new mom in your life. It amazes me of all of the new products available to moms. Find some that work for you and try these out!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she highly endorses all of these amazing products at the holidays and year round. 

It’s OK to Feel Burned Out at the Holidays

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

it's ok to feel burned out at the holidaysIt’s that time again. The time when Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, and candy canes are at every department store. The time when bell ringers and carol singers fill the streets. The time when children’s eyes light up with magic that it’s Christmas. But, here you sit. You feel burned out, exhausted, and just not into everything. It’s okay, mom. I am right there with you.

It’s November, and I recently had my third baby. While my children dance around excited for the holidays, all I can do is dream of sleep and a day when someone else is around to hold my screaming newborn. Sometimes, we all feel a little burned out in our motherhood.

While I don’t have the magical answer to how to survive the holidays with a smile, I do know it’s okay to admit that we can all go through seasons where we are just not that into this gift of motherhood. We still love our littles and are thankful, but we just need a recharge.

Of course, we need to be careful and address postpartum depression. For me, this is something I am keeping a close eye on this go around.

Get Support
Burned-out moms can happen for many reasons. Do you have a supportive spouse and help around your home? For me, I have a fantastic husband who works crazy hours, sometimes seven days a week. We recently moved to a new state where we know, well, no one. Moms need support. Get some. I need it. You need it. I joined a local MOPS group here in Arkansas where other moms meet a few times a month for a craft, breakfast, speakers, and just encouragement. Did I mention the free childcare? Find a group at local church to help you stay focused and positive. Reach out to other moms you see at the park, grocery store, or even schools. For me, a lot of my support is from my family back home so I have to have my cell phone handy each day for daily talks with my Grammy.

Acknowledge Your Feelings
Don’t try to hide how you feel. If you feel burned out, tell someone. Tell your spouse and take a couple hours to yourself. Take a bubble bath or even drink some relaxing hot tea when the kids go to bed. If you’re still burned out, go to the spa or take a shopping trip while kids are napping and you have a trusted babysitter. You will feel refreshed and be a better mom for it. Remember being burned out is a temporary feeling. You won’t always feel this way. If you still feel down and out, talk to a professional therapist or someone who can help.

Focus on the Positive
The holidays are full of joy, but sometimes it is hard to see it all when you feel overworked or overtired. Make a list of all of the positive things in your life and see how blessed you are. I have been doing this weekly. This week, I am thankful for the baby snuggles of my sweet newborn. I know they won’t last forever and someday she will be running from me when I try to hug her. Consider volunteering to help out the less fortunate with groups like the Salvation Army or just spend some time in nature reflecting on what good there is in the holidays and in your own little bubble.

So remember, momma, when the Christmas commercials start and the songs change to jolly tunes, it’s okay to feel burned out. It’s amazing what a nap and a good cup of coffee alone can do for your attitude. Hang in there and try to survive the holidays with a smile and hug for your little ones.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she feels super burned out today, but gummy bears and a movie are helping. 

First Foods at the Holidays

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

First Foods at the HolidaysWhen I think of the holidays, I think of all of the yummy food I get to eat. This year will be a little different since I will have newborn and need to calm down on my eating and start focusing on taking care of my postpartum body. If you have a baby who has recently started solids, the holidays can be a fun time of discovery.

According to USA Today, 40 percent of moms start solids before 4 months old. For me, I waited until at least 6 months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests waiting until 6 months.

If your baby has hit this age mark and you feel that he or she is ready, Thanksgiving can be a fun time for baby. Here are some baby-friendly foods for Thanksgiving:

-sweet potatoes (These are loaded in Vitamin A! Skip the sugar and marshmallows and if you have an older baby go for finger food.)

-green beans (If you have the casserole prepared, wash off some of the salty toppings first. This one could get messy!)

-pumpkin (Try adding this to cereal or yogurt. Yum!)

-squash (Like all veggies, this should be mashed, thinned, or blended with breast milk or formula.)

-stuffing (Keep this moist. Finely chop the veggies and even add some breast milk or formula.)

-apples

-cranberries

-potatoes

-turkey (With all meats, make sure this is blended or mashed to a consistency baby can handle easily. If your baby is older, you can do small pieces.)

With all solid foods, make sure to introduce new foods to baby slowly. Don’t just give them a whole plate of new foods and expect it to go well. Remember how sensitive a little baby’s tummy can be. Remember to keep the consistency mushy and easy for baby to digest. My babies loved sweet potatoes at the holidays, just like their momma.

Remember you are the mom. Don’t let family just feed your baby anything. I can remember a family member feeding my daughter chocoalate pie at a holiday gathering before we had started solids. I was mortified. Of course, babies don’t need eat sugary desserts and family should respect your position as mom and ask your permission before offering foods to baby.

Different solid foods are recommended for different ages. There are products now like Baby Brezza and Baby Bullet that make creating your own baby food easy and affordable. I am a fan of the Baby Brezza.

Remember that there will be a lot of food around during the holidays and babies like to grab food. Use safety and precautions with your little one to avoid choking or unnecessary tears.

What are some fun holiday foods you have fed your baby? Did they like them? Have fun during the holidays with food and your little one, just remember to be smart and that you are supermom!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Arkansas where she is now ready to eat turkey and sweet potatoes.

Starting Your Own Holiday Traditions

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

starting your own holiday traditionsWith the holidays approaching, it’s time to think about all of the things I want to go do as a family. This year will be different, as we will have a newborn with us. Traditions are an important part of growing up. I want my children to remember happy traditions that our small family shared each year, as well as other traditions that our extended family celebrates and discovers together.

My husband grew up in a larger family, where he was the youngest of 4 children. He grew up out in the country on a farm where the holidays were full of homemade pumpkin pie and large family gatherings. My family was smaller and I grew up without siblings around, so my holidays were full of activities at church or whatever my grandparents thought was fun that year. I think it’s important to share the stories of your childhood with your children. My daughter is 4 and loves to hear about what we did when I was little.

Now that I have my own family, we have started some of our own holiday traditions.

Christmas Eve Reading
My husband likes to read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” to our children on Christmas Eve. He has an older copy of the book that is special to him and he loves to share it with our two toddlers. I also like to find new Christmas books to share with them. Last year, I enjoyed reading from the Bible with Johanna and sharing the Christmas story with her. Find a book or something that is meaningful to your family or faith tradition and share the gift of reading. Babies love to be read to, as well!

Lights and Pajamas
My husband is a big fan of decorating the outside of our house with as many lights as possible. Last year, we put the kids in their pajamas and went on a long ride looking for Christmas lights. It was fun to discover new houses we hadn’t seen yet in our area and also tour the ones we like the best. I am excited for this tradition this year, since we live in a new state and new area. Of course, our house is on the list of houses to stop by and check out.

Baking Cookies
My daughter loves to bake and eat cookies, no doubt about that. I am not a good baker or cook, so sometimes these are slice-and-bake cookies. I am hoping we can make more cookies this year and take some to our new neighbors to share the holiday spirit.

Visiting Santa
Over the past few years, we have gone to see Santa at a couple different places. Johanna loves to go see Santa and tell him what she is yearning for. This year, it is Shopkins. (Help me! These are a choking hazard to a baby.)

Christmas Movies
We recently purchased new character-themed popcorn bowls for our kids, and I can’t wait to curl up and watch a good Christmas movie and eat some popcorn in them. My kids love the traditional Christmas movies, and my husband and I love to watch some of the classics and of course, the Hallmark Channel movies.

Giving Back
This is a tradition I want to do more of as my children grow. Last year, we bought for two sisters who weren’t going to have much of a Christmas without help. I am hoping to teach Johanna and Levi about how fortunate we are and how we need to give and be a light to others at Christmas. The Salvation Army bell ringer was something that intrigued Johanna last year. I am hoping to adopt a family off of the Angel Tree this year.

So no matter what you do with your own little family, start some new traditions. Your kids will have fun and remember the time you spent together for years to come.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost 3, in Arkansas where she hopes she sees some snow this year!

Teaching Kids to Be Thankful

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Teaching Kids to Be ThankfulYou just can’t convince me that a good fall breeze, beautiful leaves, or a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks can’t make everything better. I love hoodies and all things outdoors. This is my family’s first fall in Arkansas, so I am learning to love the heat (still) and the joys of Saturday morning soccer in the fall. With this season comes a time of reflection and thankfulness.

But how do we teach small children to be thankful? In a world where kids seek satisfaction first and think toys and material goods are the key to happiness, I am perplexed. I am only 32, but I feel like the world I grew up in was different from this one. Here are some ideas on how to teach your little ones to be thankful this fall season.

Serve Others
Thanksgiving is a time when many go without food and fancy meals. You can volunteer with your local church or other civic organization. Food pantries are a great way to show kids that not everyone has a pantry stocked week-to-week. If you have toddlers, seek an organization that will allow you to bring your little ones. If you’re still a mom to a baby, consider baby wearing. (Like we need another excuse to wear our Tula!) Many communities have Thanksgiving dinners that need volunteers. Have your kids help you make small bags to donate to local organizations. October 15 was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. My local MOPS group made small bags to donate to hospitals for moms who have experienced loss. Kids can help stuff bags, make cards, or even help deliver.

Get Crafty
Pinterest is full of fun ideas for fall crafts. Break out the finger paints, markers, and crayons and have your toddlers make small crafts for those they are thankful for this year. We recently purchased a pack of cardstock and made pumpkins for each door in our house. Everyone has a pumpkin bedroom door now. My daughter loves to make crafts for her Mimi and Grammy. If you have a baby, you can still do a fun fingerprint craft.

Get into the Conversation
One fun way to teach our kids to be thankful is to get talking. My daughter just turned 4, and it has been fun talking about who we are thankful for this fall. We were given a small wooden board from Target with clothespins, and each Sunday, we change it up. I sit with her and ask her what she is thankful for this week. I then take small post-it notes and write down her responses. This board hangs by the garage door where we see it daily and we talk about those things for the week. Her first response was Jesus, and this week it was Levi’s naps. (Her 2-year-old brother has recently given up napping.) I added a healthy baby and she even wanted me to write down Paw Patrol and Daddy’s job. It will amaze you what your kids are thankful for and how much they really do notice.

While I don’t have the answer on how to teach our little ones to be thankful toddlers, I do know it’s important that they are aware of the gifts they have. I know I could learn from Johanna and take some tips on how to be thankful for today and what I have. I want my children to grow up to be thankful, appreciative adults. I don’t want to fail them as a mom who is always wishing for more or dissatisfied with the present.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two, almost three, in Arkansas where she is thankful for Shopkins and naptime so she can blog.