Raising children your own way

Parenting. It’s exhausting and hard, but also rewarding and magical. Without getting into the nitty-gritty my husband and I both wanted our family dynamic to be very different than that which we were brought up. Not completely but for the most part, our parenting styles were not the same as our parents. So we both had to start from scratch. I worked as a babysitter/nanny and then at a daycare before having my son so I had some idea of the style of parenting I preferred. My husband is a very go with the flow personality and I feel like his parenting styles shifted as he gained knowledge of different parenting styles.

Parenting style

Everyone is going to parent differently because every child and every circumstance is different. We prefer and believe in respectful parenting, mixed with some child lead and gentle parenting tactics. Obviously, we do not crack open a book every time our 21-month-old throws a tantrum but we try and abide by the guidelines these parenting books layout. There are so many resources today. The internet being the biggest and broadest, but something about touching, smelling, and reading an actual book that is so satisfying. It’s like this is in a book! There was a lot of money and time invested in this. So in my opinion this book is more reliable than maybe some internet article (ironic). I always do research on both ends of course. That is the only way to collect real research,but I would recommend checking out your local library and browsing the parenting sections. You may be surprised what goodies you find! πŸ•Š #blogmom #respectfulparenting #marriagegoals #family #outdoor

Resources

I am currently not finished with these books yet. I will finish them though! I use the table of contents a lot and read all around in each book to applicable chapters or pages. Another great resource is podcasts! I use the double pod app. Just type your parenting styles in the search engine and you can browse and listen to them for free!

Newbies guide to positive parenting by Rebecca Eanes

How Children Learn by John Holt

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Instagram: @throughthelookingglassphotography

Toby and Alonna 2012-

Toby and I met in drama class at our high school. It was my freshman year and his junior year. On the first day, I was accidentally put into the Drama2 class and later in the week switched to Drama1 with my future husband. On the first day, I walked in the double doors and I remember having to walk along the auditorium in front of the whole class. I saw Toby and his friend next to him and immediately thought oh he’s cute and kept walking to my teacher. Now it’s funny to think about but we had never talked to each other not seen each other. The weeks went on and we flirted a little in class. Then it came time for our winter break.

We had exchanged phone numbers earlier on as friends and I remember the whole last week before the break there was just tension. Good tension like I want to be with this guy and I’m sure he had his own thoughts. But he walked me out after class and another classmate walked with us the whole time lol. I could tell Toby wanted to talk to me alone. After I got picked up because I did not even have a driver’s license yet. We texted all day long. When I got home he asked if I had plans over the break, and if not he wanted to hang out! I flipped out and called my best friend, true 15-year-old girl freak out. We ended up at our local Applebees and a movie and let’s just say the first date was “memorable” but such a blast! If you know me you know I have a loud and bubbly personality and Toby is the complete opposite, calm and cools almost all the time. So it makes sense after our movie I look over and I kissed him! 15?! Calm down girl! A girl knows what she wants.

Anyways Toby had quickly become one of my good friends at school and dating him was even better! He was constantly holding doors, calling me babydoll, and spending a lot of his time and money on me! So I knew he felt like what we have is important and worth the time and effort. He was pursuing me in all the right ways. He still does. But in the beginning, everything is so new and sweet. I remember one day in my room we were “talking” and 15 years old me said, “I’m going to marry you, you know that?” He sweetly smiled and looked at me with those dang gorgeous brown eyes! And said “okay!” just as solemn and sure as he always is. Gosh, I love him. We talked about marriage from the third month or so of dating, I’m sure all of my friends thought we moved quickly but I felt like we just seemed right. Not only lustful teenage angst but passionate love and a stronger friendship than we knew we had.

Like I said Toby is two years older so he finished school in 2013 and I graduated In 2015. On the day of my graduation, we were taking photos and my friends and family are there and so are his! Right there at our high school football stadium, he proposed! He literally waited 15 minutes after I graduated! Haha, I love this man ya’ll! So I planned our wedding in 5 months and we got married on October 11, 2015, with all the love we could wish for.

We were married about 10 months before I found out I was pregnant with our son. He was born on February 10th, 2017. Our love story continues and I can not wait to see what is written! πŸ•Š

#blogmom #blog #wifey #couplegoals

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Instagram: @kileylaurenphotography

How I changed my mindset to start a blog

I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself. I have thought about starting a blog in 2015 and I am just now doing it in 2018. There are a lot of topics I would like to discuss in this space. A lot of topics that I do not feel comfortable chatting about with just anyone. It is hard to find community sometimes, especially when your views on parenting, marriage, and just life may be different from the vast majority of people in your life. Hopefully, simplyalonna is a space where positive minds can come together.”The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” I found this quote on Pinterest a while back and I immediately loved it.

I want to do what I want to do.

Like I said before I have been thinking about blogging for years and I just now got up the guts to go for it. Starting this journey and writing a post every day has made me more passionate about all the things and people I love and that is reason enough. People are ALWAYS going to tell you their opinion. Especially those closest to you, they may be the ones whose judgment hurts the most. But if we just stopped letting other peoples fears and anxieties rule and dictate our life then I bet we would all be a lot more satisfied. I do not want any regrets that scare me more than failing at something. Writing this blog lets me visually see the best in myself. I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner.

I could not stop thinking about it!

Have you ever really wanted to do something or have something and it’s all you can think about? Well, there is a reason. Life is not a chance. Things do not just happen. There is a reason for everything and I truly believe that. If you want something, take action. Think of a plan to achieve it. Even if it seems far fetched or a little ridiculous. Who cares, at least you’re doing something to achieve your goals! It may take longer to achieve something or maybe a goal changes but every time I do this something good happens! My rule is if I can not stop thinking about something get it, do it or figure out a way. That is how I felt before I wrote my first blog post. Thank you for reading! πŸ•Š

#blogmom #blog #justdoit #manifestation #joyfilled

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instagram: @alybrookephotography

Tips to start Living for yourself

It seems as people get older they get less satisfied. Why? I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I know that circumstances change but the way we as individuals respond can stay constant. Imagine being constantly joyful! I’m sharing what has helped me change my perspective on pretty much everything.

Be as authentic as possible.

I struggle at comparing myself to others. This is such a downfall because your individuality is what separates us and makes us unique! When someone is just being themselves it’s attractive. Not in a weird way! Like oh, that person looks happy I want to be happy too! Instead of comparing and trying to be like someone else. We should all embrace our qualities and quirks that make us a little different!

Not caring what people think.

I know easier said than done. This is definitely a lot easier not going to a job or school or hearing a large amount of my peers opinions. I have lost all social norms. Thank the Lord! I’m a naturally happy bubbly person. It is how I thrive and do my best. When Bowen and I go out we are always the loudest! And you know what we have fun, we are not concerned about what anyone else is doing. It really does give you a sense of freedom. Like okay, people are going to love you and hate you and none of it has to do with you. I love that. This is your ONLY life. So if you are questioning something based on others opinions. Don’t.

Do what you want.

This kind of ties into not caring what other people think. When you have freed yourself of others opinions you really feel empowered. Or that’s just my personality. Either way, if you are thinking of something over and over. There is a reason, dig deep and then act. The action is the only way to get anything done. Small progression is still moving forward so remember to have grace if what you want to achieve is big! This life is so precious and we all get the choice to live it how we want. Do not waste it!

Thank you for reading! πŸ•Š

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Instagram: @alybrookephotography

Survive the holidays as a new Mom this year

Christmas can seem a little overwhelming for anyone, but especially moms. Scheduling and preparing dinner, spending lots of time with family, and creating holiday memories! I have a tendency to put this unnecessary pressure on holidays and big events because I want everyone to enjoy themselves. There is a sweet spot though, where everyone can have a nice time but also relax and just be present. Below are a few ways that could make the holiday season a bit less stressful and a lot more joyful! As it should be.

1. Do not overwear your welcome

I used to think when we visited the (mothers in law) MIL we needed to stay for an extended time. My husband reminded me that after about 1 hour and 30 minutes sometimes 2 hours at each house. Everyone’s ready to move on. This is enough time to eat, socialize, to do any holiday traditions, and have some time to talk before you leave. This time is so precious with those who may not be here with us for holidays to come I understand. We try not to put a time frame on everything and stay present. If we are all having a great time we will stay as long as we think is right. Honestly,y the host at the home you’re visiting is probably ready for a break by the2-hour mark.

2. Buy (or make) everyone a small gift

Christmas gets expensive. I get it. There is nothing worse than being at a family event and everyone giving you and your family about 10 gifts and all you brought was 1 gift for your parents. Buy or make something small for everyone you know will give you a gift. Something they can use and not junk. It does not have to be a super extravagant gift just a hand soap or a pair of fuzzy socks with a handwritten card says ” I thought of you.” Christmas doesn’t have to be huge and expensive it can be simple and just as sweet! I urge if you have a family get together just to ask who all is coming and have a few “ready gifts” that could go to anyone on your nice list!

3. Do not overdo it

It’s Christmas tomorrow it will all be over just like last year. So do not kill yourself trying to make 2 turkeys, 1 ham, 3 casseroles, and a pie in two hours. You do not have to do it all! Simplicity is the key to making the holidays “peaceful, merry and bright.” So just go pick up a cheese ball and some yummy crackers and put it on a tray. I promise it will get eaten and you will save your sanity. If you have time to prepare a dish, do it! Just do not over commit. I think especially woman can put so much extra stress on big events when there does not need to be. Let things be. Soak in all the conversations and memories shared. You only get one family and one Christmas a year!

Hopefully, some of you can relate to the dreaded “holiday hustle” but remember the reason for the season and why we are doing all of this celebrating! Happy holidays to you and yours! β€πŸ•Š

Natural Birth story of Bowen. Natural birth without fear!

Backstory

Bowen was brought into this world on February 10th, 2017 in a birthing tub inside of a birthing center in my hometown. I saw only midwives through my whole pregnancy and carried 39 weeks and some odd days. I had the easiest most amazing pregnancy. Seriously I loved being pregnant. That all has to do with my wonderful team of midwives and the support of my sweet husband Toby. I’m writing this to let anyone know who us considering natural birth to just do it. Seriously if you are a healthy pregnant woman you should have no problem birthing your baby. It is what we were created for. It is as natural as breathing hence the name “natural birth.” This is not a post to shame anyone but to spread light to the fact that having a child without medications or even going to the hospital is really more “normal” than we think. I know some people may say that is “crazy talk” but think about it. You’re not sick. You’re not in any harm. Every woman before you have done this and been okay. Just do your research before you say ” oh I’m going to a hospital and definitely getting the drugs.” My labor hurt yes. Not in an excruciating way through in like the way you hurt when your body is going through its monthly. Does it hurt but you don’t run to the hospital and numb yourself from the waist down? Just do your research Mamas. Below is exactly how my birth went! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

The lead up:

On Thursday, February 9th, 2017 I woke up around 12 am with mild contractions. I had experienced Braxton hicks contractions the whole last week of my pregnancy before giving birth. These did not feel the same. I already had all of our bags ready so tried to lay down and get rest for what lye ahead… Around 3 have I woke again and this time I could not lay back down without squirming in discomfort. At this point, I thought I’ll just call the midwife on call and let her know it would be time soon. I called explained they were about five minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds each. I could breathe through them and my water had not broken nor had I lost my mucus plug. She nonchalantly told me to call back when they were two minutes apart lasting for 1 minute. A few hours went by and my husband stayed home from work obviously. I took a bath and Toby made us eggs and toast. I called around 2 pm in A LOT of pain she told me to come in so we hopped into the car and took the 25-minute ride to the birthing center. Now the car ride was the WORST part of this whole experience. It made my contractions so much more unpleasant when I couldn’t self soothe freely. Anyway we get there and she checks my cervix and I’m only displayed to a 2!!! We have to drive back home until I dilate more. Back in the car, we go until 4:30 pm when I tell Toby look I don’t care to take me back. The new midwife on call checks me and I am a 4 so she says we can go down to our room. We walk in and there are candles and a warm jacuzzi bath with a beautiful tile walk-in shower! A pregnant woman dream really so I put one leg up to get on the bed and BOOM! My water breaks! It was so crazy and awesome. So I look at the midwife and she says “good thing you came in when you did, things are about to get real.” At this moment I knew it was game time. No more joking around and trying to distract me from the pain. Now it was going to get so intense I would have to EMBRACE the pain. I would have to know that my body was capable of birthing this 6lbs baby. I walked a good bit and got on all fours and rocked. My two main positions before pushing were in the shower or on a ball. Or during a contraction my amazing husband pressing against my lower back while I stood in front of him. This went on until around 8:30 pm Friday and then I remember like a ton of bricks I felt the exhaustion. My body tightening and releasing on its own. Meanwhile, I’m trying to just breathe in between these damn contractions that are now 30 seconds apart and lasting about 1 minute. This sounds terrible but I was prepared and knew that TRANSITION is a natural part of labor that lasts usually under an hour and is right before you get to meet your baby! I remember looking at the two midwives and saying “I need to push.” She checks me only one more time when I let her know I was ready. The only other time was when I arrived and was at a 4. So she checks me and says I am almost fully dilated and we should move to the tub.

The birth:

Quickly we get into the bath my husband now squatted in front of me. There is one midwife behind me and one beside me. Couching me, softly. I told the one dead headed midwife ” I do not want to tear, please don’t let me tear.” She says “alright I may need to get a little up close and personal but I will try my best to not let you tear.” Next thing I know were at second base (with my bottom) now I had read about a perineal massage to reduce the risk of vaginal tearing during birth but I just didn’t think I would do it. GIRLLLLL do what you got to do! So it’s about 9:15 at this point I have had many contractions and been in labor what feels like forever. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast because you really do not want to. I remember saying “I’m going to puke” they handed me a bag I got sick in it and handed it back and they disposed of it. I didn’t get pumped full of medicine for nausea. It is so common to get sick during childbirth. After that, they cleaned me up a bit and I started pushing with my contractions. With each one a roaring moan. Then waiting until the next. I did this about 4 times or about fifteen minutes of pushing. My midwife told me his head was out and I could pull him onto me If I wanted. One more small push and he slid right up between my legs only my chest. This moment this connected but finally together. That was the best. After about ten minutes we cut the cord. I headed over to the bed to push the placenta. That was gross but after that, she examined me and proudly reported NO TEARING! Actually, the facility I went to had like over 90% of mothers have no tearing. We filled out a ton of paperwork and then I got to shower and put on some lovely comfy clothes. Bowen was born a tad jaundice so we stayed about 5 hours for him to stay under a little lamp. Then we left with our newborn baby in tow! Over the next month, I had a midwife come out to our home and she evaluated us both to make sure we were both healthy. Everything about my birthing experience was magical. *Even if I did ask for a wet cool rag and then threw it against the wall!

If you are considering an all natural birth I encourage you to do your research and know your body is capable! All the love! πŸ•Š #naturalbirth #unmedicated #love #joy #family #breastfeeding #Iwasmadeforthis

#naturalbirth #birthingcenter #mama #son #family