Saturday Favorites: New Mom Edition

I figured what better “favorites” list to do this Saturday, but one of a new mom! I realize this won’t be all that interesting for some of you, but as a new Mom there are definitely some things I couldn’t function without along with a few “wish list” items as well. So without further adieu, here we go:

The Snuggle Me Organic

This wonderful little lounger is something I am so glad I invested in. When I lie Little Bear in it, it envelopes him in and he snuggles down and is comfortable and happy. Its’s sling design mimics being held and cuddled. This has been a life-saver for us! Plus it’s made in the USA!

Mud Pie Swaddles

I got a couple sets of these muslin swaddles for baby gifts and I absolutely love them! I received several nice, pretty swaddles but I think the Mud Pie ones are my favorite if for nothing more than the simple fact of, they’ve kept their softness. You seriously can not have enough swaddle blankets. You’d be surprised how often you use one.

Rock n’ Play

This is definitely one of those things I think all moms need. It’s so nice to be able to lay Little Bear down in it when I need to get some things done around the house. It rocks him back and forth and even has 3 different sound settings to soothe him as he sleeps. This is a must for us! It’s also light and easy to move around, which is a plus in my books.

Cloud Island Burp Cloths

Something I definitely underestimated before motherhood were burp cloths! I never gave much thought to them to tell you the truth and it wasn’t really something that was on my “radar” of things I needed. Boy am I glad I had mamas that knew otherwise! I got a set of these Cloud Island burp cloths that are perfectly soft and nice and long to drape over your shoulder or across baby’s back while burping. They’re the perfect material to soak up any spit-up or drool that baby might have. My sister also made me some really soft and cute ones that are my go-to for using on Little Bear’s face because of their plush softness. My point is-make sure you have good burp cloths.

Owlet Baby Care Monitor

We got this as a gift from my parents and let me tell you, its made the difference in how well we sleep. It’s a baby heart and oxygen monitor that goes on their foot when you put them down to sleep. It has a “Home” base that goes by the crib and it connects to your phone via wi-fi. Anytime I want to check Little Bear’s heart rate, I click on the app and it shows me his heart rate and oxygen levels. Any time one goes below what’s considered a normal level, it sends an alarm to my phone and the base station alarm goes off and it turns red. This has made sleeping so much better because I know if our guy is in danger that alarm will go off and we can take action. I can’t tell you how much better I sleep at night knowing this. Now, that doesn’t go to say I don’t still wake up several times a night to check on him, but it definitely gives me peace of mind. This is something I think is most certainly worth the investment!

Now for a couple of “wish list” items:

WildBird Sling

I’m in love with these slings. I received a Moby sling and it works good, but unfortunately Little Bear isn’t a big fan of it. He’ll tolerate it for about 5 minutes, then he’s done. I think it’s getting him situated in it that gets him so frustrated. I think with the Wildbird Sling, it would only take a second to plop him in and go. Something I really love about WildBird is there isn’t some big manufacturing company making these, they’ve hired 45+ seamstresses that are moms, that work from their own home to create these beautiful slings. I think that’s pretty spectacular, giving mom’s the chance to stay at him with their baby birds.

Mama Wolf

Every new mom needs a tee stating her new title, and this is my current fav! “Mama Wolf” I love this on so many levels!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

*ASpottedHeart

Mama Bear 🐻

I can’t believe my baby bear will be a month old this week! I always thought it was a little silly when I’d hear other moms say this but, Time, slow down already!! I totally get it now, he’s already changing so fast. While I love it, it’s also a little sad because he’s not my little newborn anymore. I never knew I could love being a mom this much. Most of you probably read my Pregnancy Truths post, and know my journey to this point; but even still I never dreamed I would love this stage so much. It can be hard and frustrating and oh-so tiresome, but when this little guy falls asleep on my chest, or his little blue eyes look into mine, I completely melt and it’s hard to imagine life any other way.

Moms, I know I’m not telling you anything new, this isn’t some new revelation on Mom’s loving their children, but it’s a bit of awakening in my own heart that I just want to share I guess.

I didn’t get to share my Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s “full” birthing story last week so I want to share a little more about it with you today.

At 9:30 the night I went into labor, One Cute Cowboy and I had just gotten home from going into town to get supper at Subway. He decided to go check the heifers before coming inside to eat so I went out to the pens with him. There was a heifer whom was clearly having trouble having her calf, so he got her into the chute to pull the calf.

OCC started to pull the calf and was having some difficulty, then the mama went down in the chute which makes it near impossible to continue pulling a calf when a heifer goes down like that. So I was trying with all I could to get her to stand back up while OCC continued to try to save this calf and get it pulled. He asked me to go get a sorting stick, to poke her with,out of the pickup, so here I am 9 months and 1 day over due and I’m at a trot to the pickup so we can get this mama up. (One Cute Cowboy still thinks this is the reason I went into labor.) I got back and OCC had successfully pulled the calf and it was alive and well, but the mama was going to need stitched up. So we got the pickup and trailer and hauled her into the vet to be stitched up and get her back to her calf. We got back to the house around 11:00 and went to bed.

A mere hour and half later I woke up, just like I had been the last 7-8 months, to go to the bathroom, but when I got up, my water broke and I had a really strong and long contraction. I knew the time had finally come! I woke up One Cute Cowboy and he looked at me in disbelief. Haha! Poor guy had been waiting for months to meet his son, and now that it was time he looked at me with a look of shock and said, “right now?!” We got our bags I’d packed a few weeks earlier and headed out the door. Although if you were to ask OCC, he’d say I dilly-dallied. 😏

We said a short prayer together as we left our home and we were on the road to Amarillo. I started having consistent contractions as we pulled out of the drive that were only 5 minutes a part. I must say, at that point OCC and I were pretty scared because they were so close together and we still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us!!! They stayed at a steady 5 minutes apart as One Cute Cowboy drove 90 with his hazards flashing. Praise God for He was watching over us and we made it to Amarillo at 3 a.m.

Once we got to the hospital, time seemed to slow down a bit. They got me in my room and started getting my IV hooked up and my contractions were now starting to get stronger, but still about 5 minutes a part. Something I’d gone back and forth about was whether or not I wanted an epidural. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate needles? Also, I guess I’m a little “crunchy” you could say, and I was torn between not wanting to feel unbearable pain, and wanting to have the full experience of bringing another human being into the world. Let me just tell you, after those contractions started getting stronger, the only thing I could think of is what a saint those women who don’t get epidurals are! I told One Cute Cowboy I had a whole new respect for my Mom who had 3 girls without any medication. So as you may have already guessed, I opted for the epidural and after that, it was a little smoother sailing. OCC and I actually both took naps believe it or not!

About 9 hours later it was time for Bratcher to finally make an appearance. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. The human body is absolutely mind-blowing what it can endure and do! It can be pushed to what feels like it’s limits only to prove to you it can do so much more. God truly did something magnificent when he created us.

When you see that little guy, that’s been inside of you growing and thriving the last 9 months, finally face to face it’s the truest purest form of love at first sight. To know that he is yours is incomprehensible in that moment and there’s an overwhelming feeling of pure joy.

One Cute Cowboy was a complete trooper through the entire process! He never left my side. He got to do his part as well, some pretty amazing Dad stuff! He immediately was handed towels to start drying him off, he cut the umbilical cord, then once he was ready OCC helped measure him, weigh him, and put on his first diaper. A little later he helped give him his first bath. It’s amazing how instantaneously my love also grew for him in those moments.

Now here we are a month later, being parents! My days are all mashed together. Spending most of our time nursing, sleeping, and a little play/reading time each day. OCC and I’s evenings consist of cooing over whatever cuteness Lil Cute Cowboy is serving up and just enjoying being Mom and Dad. One Cute Cowboy has been amazing about making breakfast and supper, cleaning, and making sure LilCC and I don’t want or need for anything! He’s pretty amazing. 😍

Even though it’s incredibly scary to be 100% responsible for another human being, it’s incredibly rewarding to be this little bear’s mama. I thank God everyday for these two Cowboy’s He’s put in my life.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

*ASpottedHeart

Love, Love, Love

Lately, I’ve thought a lot about Love. February seems to do that…and being pregnant. The word itself has become so commonly used, but do we ever stop to think about what love actually means to us?! According to Webster’s dictionary there are 9 different definitions of love, nine! Maybe thats’s why they say love is a universal language.

I won’t list what all nine say, but let me tell you the ones that resonate the most with me.

1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

2) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.

4) unselfish loyal and benevolent

9) God

These are my 4 favorite ways that love are described. Being pregnant has made me really focus on the love between One Cute Cowboy and I, and the love we already have, abundantly overflowing, for little bear. It also has made me fiercely protective of that love. I guess you could say like a Mama Bear, I want to protect and nurture and make the love I have for Little Bear prosper, but I also feel that strong intuition to protect the love between One Cute Cowboy and myself.

That “warm attachment” mentioned above, has been like red-hot attachment lately. We’ve been savoring these last couple months as just “us” and cherishing one another for what we’ve become as a couple, and what we’ll soon be–parents! We’re wanting to make sure we’re setting a strong foundation of love for our Little Bear to look to when everything else seems to falter. We want him to know how deeply his parents not only love him, but love each other. I think it’s important for kids to see that.

Which brings me to the number nine definition of Love–God. I can’t help but think it’s that red-hot attachment that He has for us as well. He wants us to know His deep love for us, and to share that love.

Now a minute to brag on my loving husband. I’m strong-headed (so is he) but he lovingly takes me in stride when my temper runs over. He is my supporter in anything I set my mind to. He is my rock, he is my shelter. He is quite simply the love of my life, and soul-mate. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else in this world. Our love isn’t perfect by any means, but we’ve learned to love through the imperfections.

” It’s not a walk in the park to love each other, but when our fingers interlock I can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worthit. ‘Cause after all this time, I’m still into you.”–Paramore

We’ve been on many adventures together, but we’re getting ready to embark on our greatest adventure yet, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’re my One. Happy Valentine’s Day, My One Cute Cowboy! ❤️

Friday Favorite: Beatlemania

Lately I’ve been obsessed with The Beatles channel on XMRadio. They’ve been a favorite of mine since I was about 9 years old and found out who they were. I thought what better post for a Friday Favorite than sharing some of my all-time favorite John, Paul, George & Ringo classics!

  1. Something
  2. She Came In Through the Bathroom Window
  3. In My Life
  4. She Loves You
  5. 8 Days a Week
  6. Get Back
  7. Girl
  8. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  9. Happiness is a Warm Gun
  10. I Saw Her Standing There
  11. You Really Got a Hold On Me
  12. I’ve Just Seen a Face
  13. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  14. Eleanor Rigby
  15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
  16. Lovely Rita
  17. All You Need Is Love
  18. Blackbird
  19. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
  20. Come Together

Hope y’all enjoy some of my favorites Beatles songs! Some you’ve probably heard time and time again, and some may be new to you. What’s your favorite Beatles song? Who’s your favorite Beatle? Mine is easily, Ringo!

Happy Friday!!

*ASpottedHeart

The 4-leggers

I haven’t shared much about the 4-leggers on the Ponderosa lately. They’ve been begging me to have their own series here on A Spotted Heart, so we’ll see. For now, here’s a little update on the crew.

All the way back in September Ponga-Girl had 5 little Auggie (half Mini Aussie- half Corgie) puppies! FIVE! We couldn’t believe it. She’s such a small dog, we were shocked she packed away that many. They were so fun to watch start to grow and one by one they’ve found their homes, with only my little red “Poppy” left, whom still needs a good home.

It’s incredibly hard to let these cute pups go, but I know they’ve all gone to good, loving homes.

Since the pups were born, Charlie is pretty sure she’s been in Heaven. She’s been getting to sleep inside so she wouldn’t disrupt Ponga and her puppies, so now, naturally, she thinks she’s an “inside” dog. She takes over any blanket you leave out, as if you left it just for her.

Bumper still thinks she’s the Queen B. She spends most of her days avoiding Poppy and sunning in her catbox by the window. She roams around and goes hunting a couple hours before sunset, then she’s ready to go to bed for the night.

These two alley cats spend as much time as One Cute Cowboy will let them, in the tac house. They definitely earn their room & board by keeping the tac house completely rodent free. They’re sweet little barn kitties that are always happy to see you.

Huck of course still thinks he’s the only one who deserves any of my attention. As far as he’s concerned, the others are all One Cute Cowboy’s, and he’s all mine (and me all his!) He’s the one I worry about most once Baby Pup comes, just because he’s such a mama’s dog, it’ll be a big change for him (and me!)

Ponga is always going. She likes to run through the trees and hunt up whatever she can find. It’s hard to get a picture of her because she’s constantly on the go, but will always stop to bask in your attention. She was such a good mama to her pups, but I think is happy to be puppy-free again.

Si & Olive are my elusive felines. These are older photos. Olive has become quite the traveler this winter and made a trip to the ranch two different times! Let’s just say One Cute Cowboy and my dad have gotten in the habit of checking vehicles before they leave. Si spends as much time as she can in the well-house where it stays nice and toasty warm. She’s not a cold weather cat.

And as for Hershey, she’s just happy to be a ranch dog! You can always count on her to greet you with a big grin.

They’re all staying warm and happy through the winter. I’ve been asked if I think any of them sense that I’m pregnant, and I’d have to say I think Charlie especially did in the beginning, but I think Huck and Hershey sense it more now, always wanting to stay close, and for other not to be close. Animals are interesting beings, I can’t imagine a life without my 4-leggers.

Hope you’re all having a good week! Do you enjoy hearing about the animals on the Ponderosa? Should I let them have their own series? Let me know what you think in the comments, or email me! aspottedheart@gmail.com

*ASpottedHeart

December on the Ponderosa

This month started out unusually warm for December. We kept hearing colder weather was coming, but it was hard to believe when you didn’t really need anything but a light jacket to go outside. But then, let me tell you, when the cold hit, it hit! The last few days haven’t gotten above 16-18 degrees, finally the sun is starting to poke out today. If you follow One Cute Cowboy’s instagram, I’ m sure you’ve seen how thrilled he’s been about the colder temperatures.

This month has been all about wheat pasture cattle. Every. Single. Day. OCC loads up a trusty horse, a fueled 4 wheeler, charged fence batteries, his medicine bag, and hot coffee, 7 Days a week to go check the cattle on wheat pasture and corn stalks. He makes his rounds through 6 pastures at one location, then 2 other separate fields, then checks the bull calves that are also on wheat. While he’s at these pastures he also has to break the inch thick ice in the tanks, and check the hot wire fences to make sure they’re keeping their charge. Cowboy roping a steer

This guy wasn’t sick, just in the wrong pasture and had to be moved.

He checks for anything that might be sick, or not looking healthy. Cowboys wear many hats, and one of those hats is unfortunately, Doctor. One has to know what medicine is good for what ailment, they have to keep track of which ones they’ve already doctored, and what medicine they gave them. Some medicines are so strong they can only be doctored once with that particular kind and it’s imperative for the Cowboy to remember what calf the medicine was distributed to.

During wheat pasture season, calves can get bloated on the wheat really easily and really fast. There are several things the cowboys do to help fight bloat. They put out a block called a “bloat” block and they also add soap to their water and keep hay out. The blocks and soap help the stomach continue to bubble and break down the foam which helps the gas escape. The hay offers dry matter which allows the rumen to operate correctly.

Besides checking wheat pasture cattle, the cowboys have also been feeding cake and hay to the ranch cattle. They definitely keep a full schedule in the winter months!

We also got to get away for an overnight trip to see some of OCC’s family for Christmas, and also had a nice Christmas with my whole family once we got back. Christmas was here and gone in the blink of an eye, which always makes me a little sad. But it’s exciting to think this time next year we’ll have a little pup around to unwrap gifts and start some new family traditions.

The cake my niece made all by herself, “Frosty.”

I hope you all have had a wonderful December, and are ready to jump into the New Year with lots of hope, love, and excitement!

Happy New Year! 🍾

*ASpottedHeart

Keeping Christmas

This was actually a post I had planned for the day after Christmas, but I had some technical difficulties and couldn’t get it posted. So as we look into the new year, here is a few thoughts I’ve had.

What exactly does it mean to “keep the Christmas spirit?”

I hate when Christmas is over. I get the Christmas blues every year. There’s all of this fun and exciting build-up—playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, getting and decorating the tree, pulling out all of your favorite decorations from storage, and making your house into a winter wonderland. Finding just the right gift for the ones you love, lighting the Advent wreath, preparing to celebrate the birth of our King! There’s all this build-up, and Christmas Eve comes and the magic is palpable, then Christmas morning is finally here and the festivities of the day begins! Then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. The lights come down, the wrapping paper gets picked up, the family goes home, and once again, your heart waits for the next Christmas to come.

So my question to you is, how do we keep that Christmas spirit all year long? How do we keep excited and passionate about giving to others, our appreciation for the small things, our waiting for the King?

This year it seems like it went even faster than usual, and I’ve found myself stuck with this question. I want to keep the fulfillment that Christmas gives me in my heart all-year round.

My mind keeps going to Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Surely part of the key of keeping Christmas, is keeping a merry heart. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. You get cut-off in traffic, your boss is on you about this or that, your day just doesn’t go “as planned”—it’s hard to keep that merry heart in difficult times.

So I’ve been thinking of how to keep a heart for Christmas all year-round, and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • Immerse yourself in scripture

I’m one of those people that always likes to know more. I want to know facts and details. I used to love Paul Harvey, “and now you know, the rest of the story.” One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed is the “subtext” in my Bible. For most verses there’s a footer at the bottom telling details about what the scripture might be pertaining to in that time, going into further explanation of the verse. I think one way to keep a fulfilled heart is to read scripture everyday, and for me, dig even a little deeper to find what the scriptures are actually saying.

  • Prayer

I guess you could say this goes hand-in-hand with reading scripture, but I find when I start and end my day with prayer, I keep a more mindful heart (and mouth for that matter) and reflect more upon the happenings of my day-to-day.

  • Continue to Give

Now, don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying buy gifts for everyone you know or love all year long, but have a giving heart. Maybe that means giving your time to someone to listen, maybe it’s giving someone a helping hand at the grocery store, and maybe it means to simply give–whether it be to your church, someone in need, the homeless, or something else entirely, but don’t let the Christmas season be the only time you “give” during the year.

  • A Christmas Reminder

I challenge you to keep one small Christmas decoration/ornament out in a place where you’ll see it everyday to remind you of the joy and peace that comes with Christmas. The picture above is a candle One Cute Cowboy got me our 2nd Christmas together, and I plan on keeping it out even after I put my other decorations up, to remind me to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year long.

I hope you had a beautiful, joyful Christmas and pray for many blessings to all of you through the new year!

Happy New Year!

*ASpottedHeart

Ornament Giveaway Winner

I had some technical difficulties last night and wasn’t able to post the ornament giveaway winner!

Jenna B. you are the winner! I’ll email you when your ornament is sent out!

Thank you for your entries, it was fun! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

*ASpottedHeart

A Christmas Playlist 🎄

“Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet…”🎶 One of my favorite lines in a Christmas song. I love Christmas music! I love the old-timey Christmas tunes mixed in with some of the newer versions and songs. I’ve put together some of my favorite renditions of Christmas songs and some of the artist original ones too. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Jingle Bells- Frank Sinatra
  2. Santa Baby-Michael Buble
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- She & Him
  4. Ribbons and Bows-Kacey Musgraves
  5. Very Merry Christmas-Dave Barnes
  6. Please Come Home for Christmas- Leslie Odom Jr.
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!-Bing Crosby
  8. White Christmas- Drifters
  9. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel-Dave Barnes
  10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside-Lee Ann Womack & Harry Connick, Jr.
  11. O Holy Night-Martina McBride
  12. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-Michael Buble
  13. Silver Bells- She & Him
  14. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
  15. Silent Night- Bing Crosby
  16. Winter a Wonderland- Ella Fitzgerald
  17. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing- Sufjan Stevens
  18. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- Kacey Musgraves
  19. Sleigh Ride-Ella Fitzgerald
  20. Joy to the World- Nat King Cole

If you have Spotify you can go and have a listen!

Hope this Christmas Playlist makes you as happy as it does me!

**Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my surprise ornament giveaway! All you have to do to enter is email me a photo of your favorite ornament that hangs on your tree! I’ll announce the winner* at 10:00 tonight! aspottedheart@gmail.com< strong>*ASpottedHeart<<
o enter you must live in the U.S.