Posted in Tips & Tricks

Sissa Had Her Baby!!!! Here’s Her Advice…

That’s right!!!! After waiting 40 weeks and 3 days, on July 1 my baby…GIRL arrived healthy with 10 fingers and 10 toes and that is all we wanted. For those who don’t know, we did not find out the gender of the baby so it was fun watching everyone trying to predict what we were having. I would say it was a good 80/20 split of boy over girl. We were shocked when the doctors said girl, so much so both my husband and I said, “Are you sure??”. So here comes the down and dirty truth…how was my labor, delivery and coming home you ask…not how I planned. So for those who are expecting soon or trying here are the things no one really tells you about (with some graphic details).

1) Labor is like a really bad period cramp that gets worse, at least for me it was. My water never broke, they did it at the hospital for me. I started having these weird pains in my stomach around 5pm the night before and they started about a half hour apart and lasted 30 seconds or so. Then as the night went on, they got closer together and lasted more like 45 seconds to a minute. This can be different for everyone but this is what I felt.

2) The Epidural. After getting to the hospital at 3am, I lasted until about 6am to which I called the nurse and said I needed the epidural. Ladies, let me tell you, ITS NOT THAT BAD. People kept telling me its painful and hurts when they do it but I didn’t find it to be as horrible as people told me. I have a lower threshold for pain so for me to say its not that bad I’m not lying to you. However, once it kicked in, life was amazing. They also don’t tell you when you have an epidural you need a catheter because you can’t walk anymore since the epidural numbs your whole lower body.

3) Not eating. Yep its true they don’t want you really eating while you are in labor but I brought trail mix which I was eating in between being checked. I also was able to eat Italian Ice and Jell-o which the nurse offered me and I took it. I made the mistake of not eating dinner through the pain of contractions while I was still at home. And by the time I had my C-section (I will get to that next) I was starving and dry heaving through the surgery.

4) C-Section. I was not dilating (didn’t make it past 5cm), she started to turn into my pelvis, I was getting a fever and her heartrate was rising. The doctor gave us our options but we decided to have the C-section before it got worse. They give you a stronger medicine to numb your lower half more and you really don’t feel a thing until they pull the baby out. The best way I can describe that feeling is if you have a super tight bathing suit on and you are trying to peel it off of you, like a reverse suction type feeling. After they close you up, you are brought to a recovery room with your baby where they continue to monitor you. Now here’s the fun part, once you are brought to your room after recovery, the nurses will check on your every two hours. As much as you want to be with your baby ladies, I sent her to the nursery so we, yes we, could get sleep.

5) Post-Surgery. You never truly understand what your core does in movement until you’ve been cut right through it. Again, my husband was a saint the whole first day because I could barely move. It is hard to sit up and walk and really do anything, page the nurses to help you or have your partner help you. I had also asked for a waist trainer because it helps with getting your guts back in order. Do yourself a favor and ask for it and USE IT! You also get the catheter out at some point and they nag you about going to the bathroom on your own. It took about a week post-surgery for me to be able to move not at a snails pace.

6) The BLOOD. Lets think about this one, vaginal birth or C-section, you just had a living person in your uterus with a placenta and blood. How does your body remove blood…a period, but worse. In the hospital they give you these mesh underwear and a giant pad (it was like an ultra super plus pad). Now with vaginal, you need to take care of swelling and possibly stitches and other issues but with a C-section, your lady parts aren’t damaged (for a lack of better terms). However, you will still bleed. As we speak 21 days later, I am still bleeding. Its not as heavy as day 1 post baby, but its still a period bleed. For the first week home I continued to wear the hospital underwear and giant pads but by the second week, I switched to my boyshort underwear with my normal pads I would wear at night for my period. Some people gave me advice to get Depends (they make a nicer kind called Silhouette) as it would be easier then the pads. I did not get them but I probably should have.

7) The worst part…hormones. Yep, the joy of the female body. Your body produces extra hormones for the baby and once the baby is out, those levels drop. The whole first week home, I cried, often. My poor husband kept comforting me as I dealt with what felt like a million different feelings. I cried looking at her, every time my husband said something sweet about “his girls”, when she spit up her bottle one time, you name it I was crying. They also have you fill out a post-partum depression questionnaire before you leave the hospital and then I had to fill one out a few days later at the pediatricians office. After about a week, it was like a switched changed in my body and I stopped crying.

8) Get a baby app. I’m using Sprout. I had both my cousins tell me to get Sprout. The app is free but there is a subscription. I paid the lifetime subscription for $40 but now I can have it for life and my husband has access to it also. It tracks, sleep, feeding, pumping, diapers, activity, and medical. I have used this non stop since we came home and it is so helpful with how much she eats and how long her naps are. The diapers are the most useful too as they let you pick the color and type of dirtiness they are. Plus it is also useful when you go to the doctors and they ask you those question, you can quickly answer it.

I truly hope some of this is helpful for anyone who is looking for the truth. I hated when people told me, oh its a wonderful miracle, you forget about the pain. Ummm no, I remember the pain and everything else that came with it but at the end of all of that, I have a beautiful girl who is amazing and made all of that worth it.

~Sissa

Posted in Disney Insider Tips, Tips & Tricks

Disney in a Day

So for those of you who have read the title and thought to yourself that doing Disney in a day isn’t possible, guess what it is and here’s how it’s done. Between the 3 NYC airports (JFK, LaGuardia and Newark) Newark has the earliest flight leaving at 6am with JetBlue and has you landing around 8:30am. I was able to book my ticket about a week before for the best price of $110 round trip! 

From there you can take an Uber or Lift for a 30 minute ride to Magic Kingdom (or the park you want for the day). If you go to Magic Kingdom they will drop you off at the transportation center which means you will need to take the monorail or ferry over to the park.  And now you have reached Magic Kingdom just as the park has opened. 

If you plan your day right you can get on a ton of rides and eat all your favorite treats. Mobile orders are the best way to go unless you really want to do a sit down meal. I left all my shopping for the end of the day and bought a reusable bag to be my “carry-on” for the plane with all my goodies. 

My flight to leave Orlando was at 7:35 so I had to leave the park by 6 to give all that extra time for driving and security. I was lucky and security went quick and I was at my gate by 7ish and back in NJ by 10:30ish. I think I fell asleep at one point on the plane but again…well worth being there for the day! 

I packed a backpack with all I needed for the day. I wore sneakers down and about 3pm when my feet started to hurt, I switched to my Croc flip flops. I also packed 2 masks, a wallet with ID, my Disney Rewards card, credit cards plus some cash. I also packed KT Blister tape, a Welly first aid kit, sunglasses, a hat, water bottle, hydration powders, a mini fan, hat, earplugs, gum (MCO does not sell gum), Advil and Tylenol, lip balm, sunblock, Purell wipes, portable battery charger, and a metal straw (Disney uses paper). 

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While this all looks a lot, I did have a lot of room left over but once the sneakers went in my backpack there was less room. I still fit some disney souvenirs in my bag plus I had gotten the big tote bag too which was fine in the overhead bin. 

Overall, it was a SUPER draining day and I was exhausted the next day too but it was 100% worth every moment. So I guess your asking can this be done with kids…that’s not up to me to say. If you think your kids can handle it, go for it. But if you and your friends or husband are looking for a spontaneous trip…BOOK IT. 

Posted in Tips & Tricks

Back To School In A Post-Covid World

Let’s help make this the best school year ever!

Last year’s school year was something we had never seen before, with many schools offering a fully remote option, children like mine haven’t stepped foot in a school since March of 2020. However, many school districts have done away with that full remote option. The goal is to get every child back to school for in person learning in September. So needless to say besides the normal first day gitteries we have some additional worries and concerns this year.  So Sissa, Sue and myself sat down and discussed how to help ease that transition from a teacher’s perspective to help prepare “the busy bees” for a return to in person learning and came up with these 5 easy tips we want to share with you: 

  • If there is anything we have learned & seen this past year is mental health is important. If you thought quartiened was hard for you, imagine a child who didn’t fully understand what was going on. So address their feelings and help them work out their emotions and of course seek the help of professionals if you feel it is out of your comfort zone. But most of the time, we all just need someone safe to vent to.
  • Being positive in front of kids. We are all adults and have so many different opinions on everything. That’s what makes us special and unique BUT even if you disagree with a school wide regulation, please encourage the kids to be respectful  and cooperative. The goal is to keep everyone, everyday, as safe as possible.                      
  • Stick to routines (bedtime/lunches/homework time) – kids thrive off routines and can find success when they know there are clear expectations and what is in store for them. At our home when the kids were little, we used a visual scheduler like Easy Daisy visual scheduler and now that they are older we use apps like Tiimo, where they can check off items in each activity as they complete it. Using tools like this takes a load off your plate, believe it or not. Yes, it requires you to plan out your day a little but once it’s done, you won’t be repeating yours 1,000 times anymore! 
  • Little ones need practice who didn’t get to experience school last year.   All summer long I have been packing Baby B’s lunch/dinner in her @Omni lunchbox she will be using in fall. So she gets used to opening and closing everything on her own. We also have been working on getting our shoes, jacket and clothing on and off independently. Teachers you’re welcome 😂         
  • Make the weekends about free time/free play (de stress) – that’s where we come in!! Check the blog and event calendar for ideas of inexpensive things to do with your hive without breaking your bank!! 

Wishing everyone an amazing 2021-2022 school year! Let’s be patient. Be positive. And always have fun!