A Mindful Literacy Approach for the Whole Family

Today, I am sharing ways to incorporate mindfulness into our reading practice. I’m excited to be featuring Dr. Seuss’ book Oh, The Places You'll Go! as it’s about exploring and dreaming with our purest intentions and goals—a journey into mindfulness.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was given to both Winter and Lennon as baby shower gifts. My hope is to bring the book along on our journey with the children, as they grow, learn and evolve. I was given the sweetest advice by another mama, to have each of my children’s teachers sign the book at the end of each school year, and to continue this tradition all the way to their high school graduation, where Perry and I give it to them as a graduation gift. This allows them to see the places they have been, each person who has had an impact in their lives along the way and to bring a renewed excitement for the places they will go.

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Sleep Training with Lennon

So a few weeks ago I posted a story series announcing our decision to sleep train. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who wanted to know how it went, so I decided to write up a quick summary on our experiences. While most people were curious, I did get a few hateful messages about our decision and so I kindly ask that you read this without judgement.

It is pretty difficult to be so transparent about my life on such a social platform, but I do it because the positives outweigh the negative. I think the coolest part about parenting is that there isn’t a one size fits all philosophy. YOU get to decide what’s best for your children! So without further rambling, here is our story.

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Winter's Transition to Preschool

Back in November, just after Winter’s 3rd birthday, our nanny gave us two-day notice that she was quitting because she got another job. TWO DAYS! Perry and I looked at each other in a panic because here we were with a newborn, both trying to work from home and Winter’s world had completely been flipped upside down.

After getting over the shock that we lost our childcare, we had to regroup and do so rather quickly. We got so lucky that our neighborhood Montessori preschool had an opening and we started Winter that following week.

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Marriage After Baby: Division of Labor

A little bit ago, I polled you on stories asking what you wanted to see from us in terms of marriage posts. One of the topics that was mentioned the most was how we divide, conquer and balance household responsibilities, childcare, work and social life.

I recognize that everyone has their own way of doing things…ours isn’t perfect, but I think what has helped is that we really honor each others’ strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses. I know what I thrive at and what I don’t. Perry knows what he is a capable of and what he prefers not to do and somehow we overlap each other to make it work. When we moved in together when we were engaged, it took us a longggg time to figure this stuff out. But after eight years of living together, I think we are on the right track!

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Lennon’s Baby Book + 5 Month Update

It has been five months with Lennon. Five whole months! I am so happy I have a mindfulness practice because if I didn’t stop to savor these moments, I would feel so sad with how incredibly fast it has gone.

Lennon is blowing raspberries, rolling over from tummy to back and from back to tummy, wanting to spend all day in his jumper and has the most joyful belly laugh in the world. He continues to be our easy-going child. He goes with the flow and hardly ever makes a fuss. Winter is by far his favorite person on the planet and he giggles and smiles all the time when she is around.

One labor of love that I want to do for my kids is make them a baby book. I say labor of love, because creating baby books is a bit time consuming but I know well worth it!!

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Terra LaRock
Choose Your Own Adventure Day!

In January, I realized that I was working too much. Every spare moment I had was spent on the computer. I really like being a working mother. My work is my passion and I don’t for a second take it for granted. However, when it began to interfere with time spent with my family, I knew I needed to do some soul searching about my priorities and adjust some things.

I wrote a reminder on my mirror that says, “Today you will work and you work hard. And then you will shut it all down and be with family. Today you will love and you love hard too! You have time to do both things.”

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Live & LaRock Vol 1: Officially Quigley Recap

LIVE & LAROCK has officially launched and our first guest was Casey Goode, the content creator and founder of Officially Quigley.

Every month, I will be going live on my Instagram stories to interview and feature someone doing really incredible work. I will interview those who are selfless, resilient, giving and uplifting. People like Casey, who are just all around so infectious and amazing to be around.

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The Guide to a Minimal, Organized Diaper Bag in 6 Easy Steps

As a first time Mom, I used to pack everything in my diaper bag! I found myself being anxious about not having this or that, so I would pack it ALL!

My overpacking turned into the very thing that gave me anxiety because when I was out and about, I would have to sift through so much stuff to try to find the item I was looking for. I learned quickly that packing and bringing too much with me negatively affected my mindset.

So for my own well-being, I had to say bye to my Mary Poppins mentality and hello to a simpler version.

Surrounding Lennon’s birth, Perry and I made a conscious effort to minimize our belongings in our house, and get better about packing smarter, not more.

I found that when I pack with purpose, intention and a plan, my outings with Lennon and Winter run smoother and seamlessly. The more time I spend on the front end getting organized, the less time I spend in the long run when I am needing to access to our belongings.

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Healthy Social Media Habits… Because Our Kids Are Watching

I have been thinking LONG and hard about this. I will be the first to admit…because my work is in social media, this is a topic that I continue to come back to time and time again. I am constantly “checking” myself and asking Perry to help keep me accountable when it comes to my social media intake and habits.

Let’s be real here for a moment: I am a 34-year-old adult and there are moments when social media affects my self-esteem and self-worth. I fall victim to comparing my creative work to others, wondering why I don’t have as many likes or followers as so and so and really begin to question what my purpose is on this space.

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Why I Don't Feel The Need To "Get My Body Back" After Babies

Let’s talk about self-love and bravery for a second. Bravery is NOT telling myself that I need to get my pre-baby body back. Because when I even mutter the words “get my body back” I am telling myself that something is wrong with the way I look right now.

The braver version of myself is softer, squisher, wiser, and full of smile lines etched upon my sleep deprived face. Bravery is acceptance. Bravery is me.

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The Ins and Outs of My First Self-Employed Year

Never in a million years did I think a platform that I began creating content for would end up replacing my job as a psychologist and allow me to work from home with my babies. I am so grateful! This is my FIRST full year going at this content creator/entrepreneurial gig and I know the learning curve is going to continue to be steep!

I want to take you all behind the scenes as intimately as I can. There are no hard and fast rules on owning your business and everything I have learned up until this point has been completely self-taught.  

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Marriage After Babies: How Our Marriage is Doing After Baby #2

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post about marriage. I have been pretty quiet postpartum after having Lennon for a few reasons, but I am ready to open back up and begin sharing candidly on this space.

This time around, I felt like I have been very protective about not sharing too much too soon. I have needed time to process events such as my birth story (which I promise, I will share in the near future), adjusting to a family of four and how my son’s birth has played into my ever evolving identity as both Terra and a Mom.

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5 Tips on Being Productive

We are a few months into life with two kids. The visitors have slowed down, the meal preparation from friends and family have dwindled and we are settling in as a family a four. Lennon spends most of his time in his bear suit (it calms him down and he loves to be outside so it keeps him extra warm) and I am starting to feel like crawling out of the newborn hibernation phase and plan little parties here and there at the house.

To be honest, I am working a lot. I have so many professional goals that if I don’t take time to pause and make plans with our friends, I feel super off-kilter and crave socialization. I am definitely one who gets energy being around others. What you see pictured is a set up from Green Box Art Culture, a company that specializes in making contemporary art and wall decor. We are so in love with the new serve wear and other accessories that we got from them. At the end of the post, I will tag exactly what you see pictured here in this post.

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6 Week Postpartum Check Up

I recently had my six-week postpartum appointment and while I am feeling really good emotionally, I have some work to do before I will feel like myself physically. I’ve noticed that I have a really hard time getting up out of bed or off the couch and have been protecting my abs. I still roll to the side and don’t feel like my core is super stable. Also, (full-disclosure here) I have peed myself a few times walking down or up the stairs, which is rather uncomfortable and quite embarrassing. After consulting with my midwife, it turns out I have about a three-finger separation between my abs (aka. Diastasis Recti) and my pelvic floor, which doesn’t seem to be healing as well as it should either. What does this mean? Well, it means I get to start physical therapy for both issues next week! Oh boy!

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5 Ways to Prepare your Firstborn for a Sibling

Overall, Winter has taken this whole new brother thing with grace and understanding. However, it hasn’t been without some challenges. I wrote a bit about it in my One Week with Lennon update, but Winter experienced some really strong emotions the the first few days and is still showing some signs of regression. For example, she is wanting to wear her nighttime pull up during the day, asks me to rock her like a baby and at times, does the whole “baby talk” thing. All of these behaviors are to be expected and we are doing our best to meet her where she is at with love and understanding.

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One Week with Baby Lennon

I look at my son and cannot believe that it has already been one week since I first laid eyes on him. It feels like he has been here my whole life. I am just so grateful that we decided to try for him, that we never stopped hoping for him and that we didn’t let my past experience with mental health stand in our way of creating him. I am just so thankful right now.

He is in my arms most of the day, so responding to comments is difficult, but I just wanted to thank every single one of you for your well wishes, congratulations and kind comments.

Life with Lennon is so much sweeter. Below is a little recap of how the first week with Lennon has gone.

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Before Baby Came: A Magical Record Store Adventure

My sweet grandmother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer about a month ago. She has played such an integral role in my upbringing and I couldn’t stand not seeing her right away. So at 35 weeks and some change, Perry, Winter and I jumped on a plane to Oklahoma to see her.

We spent much of our days talking at the kitchen table, enjoying the garden outside and listening to my grandmother’s favorite records. Our time together was magic. I am so thankful I was able to get out there when I could.

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Letter To Winter: You Were My First

Winter Gates,

These last few weeks with your brother or sister in my belly have been some of the most magical times of my entire life. It’s not that we’ve done anything extraordinary…no big outings, no huge plans, no big surprises. Yet, the every day routine from bath time to bed time to playing in the yard has been some of the most memorable moments of my life.

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