Tag Archives: family

7 Ways to Love Your Spouse Again

After having children, the love between spouses can change.

It can even, at times, feel strained. You now have someone other than the two of you to focus on, and finding time for your child AND your spouse can be difficult, but it is VERY important. In order for your relationship to continue to grow and thrive, you need to foster the love between you and your significant other. It NEEDS to be a priority!

To have and want a strong relationship, you need to work on it. Even the most connected of couples has to put some work in, behind the scenes. Trust me, I understand, after baby, all you can think about is that baby, nothing else seems to matter. But, then years have passed and you realize that your spouse is now a stranger. Why not head that off, and make a few small tweaks to your relationship, now – so that you can go back to being best-friends.

You have to think…. I’m with this person for a reason, I made the choice to create life with this person. Remind yourself of those ideas, when things get tough and you’ll both come through with just a few scratches.

[Tweet “Love comes easy. The relationship takes work.”]

I want to provide you some easy tips, to help grow the love between you.

7 Ways to Love Your Spouse Again - Baby Doodah

Simple Ways to Grow Closer to Your Spouse

Creating a loving environment for you and your significant other doesn’t have to be all about grand gestures, sometimes even the smallest things mean the most.

  • Write love notes to one another. If you’re both too busy to stop and say I love you, why not leave a cute little note, or send a text, telling your significant other how much you love them. Taking time, each day, to remind each other of the love you have for one another is one of the BEST ways to grow and foster love between the two of you.
  • Create routines, and do them together. What I mean is, if you are able to wake up at the same time, you’ll be able to spend a few minutes in bed just talking to one another, maybe sharing your dreams, talking about your plans for the day, or simply just quietly holding one another. That time in the morning, before the kids are awake or other obligations take over, is a precious time. Use it wisely!
  • Communicate. I think this one is the most forgotten methods to build a stronger relationship. We get so busy with everything else going on, that we just forget to sit down and talk to our spouse. Telling them about your day, listening to them tell you about their’s will cause great growth. You’ll grow to feel safer and more comfortable, talking about everything going on in your life, without judgment.
  • Have a Date Night EVERY Week. I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way you could afford to go out weekly. I agree and I’m in the same boat. But, a date night doesn’t have to cost a thing! You can sit on the couch and watch a new movie, curled up next to each other with popcorn (and no kids), or what about leaving the kids with a trusted neighbor and heading to the park for a walk? The possibilities are endless, and don’t need to be overly time consuming, either – I know we all have other responsibilities.
  • Let Go and Forgive. I understand, we all have situations or things that occur in anger, that may be difficult to forgive or forget. But, the best thing you can do for your relationship is to forgive and forget the negativity of your past. Now, I am not saying that you should forgive and forget any form of abuse, or other extremely hurtful behavior. For those other smaller instances, try to understand where the other person was coming from, before holding onto that anger.
  • Appreciate them for who they are. Yes, I know times in a marriage can get tough, you disagree, argue and fight – but, at the end of the day, you need to take a second to realize who you’re fighting with. This is the man or woman you chose to be with because you LOVE them. Talk things out. Appreciate who they are, not what they do for you.
  • Remember that you’re both human. Finally, remember that you’re both human, you make mistakes… Yes, even YOU! Let the small things go, and don’t waste time bickering about each one. Your relationship will grow to be something you had only previously imagined.

There are times in a relationship, that can span months, sometimes even years, where the love between the two of you feels missing. It takes work, to build the love you want. The love is almost always there, you just need to put in effort to feel it again.

We are so often willing to work hard for everything else in our lives, why don’t we put the same level of effort into our relationships.

If you find yourself stuck, take some time and journal out ALL of the reasons why you fell in love with your significant other, and then really think – Did any of that change? Can we work together to bring that *SPARK* back?

Your turn!

What things do you do with your significant other to foster and grow the love between the two of you? What’s worked, and what hasn’t?

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The Family’s Guide to the Affordable Care Act

This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for helping to support my family.

As a mom, one of the most important things is keeping your children safe and healthy, right? Maybe you don’t have health care yet, or maybe you’re not sure where to get started. I mean, we hear all about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the news and media everywhere, but do you really know what it means for YOU, or where you can get more information, or to start the enrollment process?

If not, you’ve come to the right place!

Understanding the Affordable Care Act - Baby Doodah

The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. I want to help you realize what is available, so that when you go to the enroll you know what you’re looking for.

Since, our concern is our children first, let’s look at what is available to them with the ACA.

When it comes to the ACA, where you fall when it comes to coverage is based primarily on your income. So depending on what you (& your spouse) make, your child(ren) could be eligible for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, or you may also hear it referred to as Child Health Plus) or Children’s Medicaid. The bottom line here, your child should NOT go without health insurance.

Children’s Health Insurance Program and Children’s Medicaid

The rules for qualification for CHIP are pretty straight forward, your child must be under the age of 19 and fit into the income brackets that are set forth by the government.

Children’s Medicaid does not have a monthly premium associated with it, so the income guidelines are lower, however, even if you make more than the Medicaid guidelines, your child will be eligible for CHIP.

See the income bracket below to determine where your child would fall.

CHIP and Medicaid Income Guidelines

Click on the picture to view larger.

When you apply for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid you’ll be doing it directly through the New York State of Health Exchange, and if you don’t live in New York State you can actually start the whole application process through websites like UnitedHealthcare’s. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward process –  You begin by entering your age and zip code, and then it has you fill in some additional identifying information, as well as allow you to add on additional people (so, your spouse, and/or your children).

One note, this is not the formal enrollment process. It does ask you for an estimate on your household income. This is because it will provide you with the information where you should fall, based on that income you’ve provided. However, once you get into the formal application, you will need to provide concrete information, which could lead to a change in what you’re eligible for. It shouldn’t fluctuate much, I just wanted to give you a head’s up (unless your estimate is hugely off).

Medal Level Plans and Adult’s Medicaid

Now that we have your child(ren) covered, we need to you get insured as well. Thankfully, if you’ve already been following the application process so far, you don’t need to do much else in order to determine what you’re eligible for.

The medal levels are, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – The cost and benefits associated with each go up from bronze.

When you enter your income, the system will take that into account, as it does for you child. If you are eligible for Adult’s Medicaid, it will advise you of that. However, if you are above in the income brackets for Medicaid, the choice is yours!

Obviously if you visit the doctor frequently, or believe that you will need to, the higher the medal level you will want to go. You may pay more each month for your premium, but you won’t have high copays / co-insurances / deductibles.

Below are the income guidelines for Adult Medicaid

Affordable Care Act - Adult Medicaid Income Guidlines - Baby Doodah

Click on the picture to view larger.

 You can read more about each medal level by clicking here.

The goal here is to get everyone affordable health insurance. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are still credits available to you via the government. My recommendation is to start the enrollment process now, to learn what you’re eligible for.

Health Insurance can be a highly confusing thing. If you don’t understand the terms or just aren’t really sure where to start, I want to help! I’ve been working in health insurance for the past 8 years, and have a pretty wide knowledge – so please feel free to ask away in the comments.

Understanding the Affordable Care Act - Baby Doodah (1)

Additional Resources:
Health Insurance Exchange 101
Shopping for Health Insurance
Health Insurance Definitions and Terms

Your turn!

Have you personally enrolled in health insurance via the Exchange? If so, what was your experience?

When in comes to health insurance, what other questions do you have? I’d love to help you understand all there is to know!

signatureLooking for a quick, easy and FREE way to get your news? Check-out theSkimm and sign-up for your daily email box delivery of the world’s news, plus if you share your birthday, you get it listed at the bottom of the newsletter on your day. It’s like celebrating with thousands of people!!!!

Under Construction: Body, Mind & Blog

Hey there, Happy New Year! How were your holidays?

Mine were fantastic! Lots of time with family and plenty of relaxing. I am not ready to get back into the routine of work, but I am ready to start the new year. There is always SO much anticipation of goals and successes with the new year, and this one is looking like it could shape up to be one of my best yet!

Why is that, you might ask?

In my post on December 19, I let you all know I was going to be taking the remainder of the year off from writing. I also mentioned, that there was A LOT of fun, new things coming your(and my) way.

I thought I’d take this post to share just a little overview of what you’re likely to see over the next year.

Under Construction Body, Mind, Blog - Baby Doodah

Under Construction: Body

  • No Sugar, No Grain(NSNG) – For at least the first 31 days of the year, I will be following the NSNG diet, along with Seamus. He’s been eating this way for about 4 months now and has great success in weightloss, as well as his mental health. He says he is able to think more clearly and even has more energy (who couldn’t use more energy). I’m planning to do it for a month for now, I want it to jump start me in the right direction, but I will reassess at the end of the month. More to come on this in future posts!
  • Movement – I frequently talk about exercise and I get into a great routine and then one thing or another derails me and I stop. I’m not going to let the past dissuade me, though – I have my work calendar blocked off from 3 to 4, so that I can head to the work gym and move. I no longer have a “no time” excuse!

Under Construction: Mind

  • Personal Development – I’ve learned, in 2014, that developing and growing your mind, even after finishing school, is so important. I have no idea why I never thought of this before, but 2014 has been a year of growth. I’ve read books, listened to countless podcasts and webinars, and I don’t see a single thing changing in 2015. I am such a sucker for new information, or really just information in general – I am positive that won’t stop in 2015.
  • Life Coach – At the tail end of the year, I decided to get a life / business coach. I’d thought about it for a long time, but either couldn’t afford it, didn’t like the options that were in front of me, or I just wasn’t ready – whatever the reason, at the beginning of December, Tara from Tara Newman Coaching and Family, Sport, Life and I began working together. We’ve had a couple meetings and in just those meetings, I feel more put together and like my life is slowly beginning to take shape. (I highly recommend you check her out, if you’re interested in getting a life coach.)

Under Construction: Blog

  • Behind the Scenes – I’m going to be doing a TON of improvement with this here blog-a-roo. I’m taking a blogging course (Elite Blogging Academy), and going to be putting into practice what I learn there. Some of it won’t be noticeable to you, but other things will be, either way – I promise to start bringing you the best content that you can fathom! I am going to be treating this blog more and more like a business, but don’t be alarmed, I will still be sharing family and Emmett updates.
  • Content – Practice makes perfect, right!? I need to get better at writing, researching and putting together really AMAZING posts, you’ll be the lucky recipients of those posts. I’ll also be creating (and sticking) to a regular content schedule, I’m thinking that Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday – with Turn It Up Tuesday going live on Monday evenings, will work perfectly, but this may change. Stay tuned!
  • Some slight site changes – As I mentioned above, you’re going to notice some sloooow changes. I say slow, because all of the changes will be occurring while I am still working full-time and being a mom, so I have to work within my free-time. I’m also considering redesigning my blog, but that won’t come right away. I need to weigh the pros and cons of switching, before even considering something new.

So, yeah – there are some really exciting things in the works for us, here at Baby Doodah. I couldn’t be more excited to be sharing them with you, my lovely readers!

Your turn!

What new and exciting things do you have planned for your life in 2015? Please share in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.



Looking for a quick, easy and FREE way to get your news? Check-out theSkimm and sign-up for your daily email box delivery of the world’s news, plus if you share your birthday, you get it listed at the bottom of the newsletter on your day. It’s like celebrating with thousands of people!!!!

Happy Holidays!

Hey everyone! Just a really quick post to let you know that I’m going to be taking the remainder of the year off. I have a ton going on to prepare for Christmas and then we have family flying in mid-week. I want to be able to truly enjoy our time together, during the holidays!

Happy Holidays Image for Baby Doodah

With that said – in the New Year, you can expect some changes (good ones) to be happening.

Things like…

  • A more reliable post schedule
  • Better Content
  • Themes
  • A more cohesive site
  • Better ease of navigation
  • A better flow

All of these won’t happen at once, but you’ll definitely notice the changes as the year goes on. I cannot wait for the new year and everything that it will hold.

Please have a wonderful holiday season and be sure to enjoy every possible moment with your family and friends. For me, that’s what it is all about – forget the presents, bring the love and comfort!

Take care!



Happy Thanksgiving & an Update on Emmett?

Since there is no greater time to be grateful than Thanksgiving, I decided that I wanted to share an update on Emmett, since he is one of the top people I am MOST thankful for, day after day.


When I originally started my Dear Emmett series, my goal was to capture everything that I could, while Emmett was an infant, and early toddler. It eventually became a big hit and quite a few people looked forward to those updates. Since he’s turned two, his major milestones have slowed a bit, which doesn’t really give me enough to write about every month – however, I don’t want to forget the developments that he IS hitting. So, I decided to started a semi-regular series to track what Emmett is into every few months or so & to update you on his progress. Plus, I love sharing stories about my little!

Every morning when he wakes up I feel like he is doing something new and different that he hasn’t done before, or something that he has done before but is now better at. He amazes me!

He’s been talking for awhile now, but it continues to develop. Back in Sepetember, Emmett and Seamus were on the phone with his grandparents, he was getting bored, so Seamus told him to look out the window. He did, and a few seconds later he turns around to us, and very seriously says, “Oh my gosh!! This moon!” We laughed so hard!! It was just one of those moments that you couldn’t recreate, even if you wanted to.


On that note, he does say oh my gosh and oh my goodness A LOT! That’s the phrase they must use at day care, or maybe I use it a lot (but I feel like I’m a bit more direct with, oh my god), because everything is an oh my goodness. The other day we were sitting on the couch watching TV And his little car fell between the cushions, he looked up at me with wide eyes and said, “Oh my goodness, Momma. My car felld.” I couldn’t help but grab him and cuddle, because he is just TOO cute!

So, yes, he is speaking mostly in full sentences. We don’t always understand everything he’s trying to say, but eventually we can figure it out. We’ll either ask him to point to what he wants, or he’ll repeat the phrase until we get it. It really doesn’t take that many tries. I am MUCH better at translating Emmett, than Seamus is. I have no idea why that is, though.

Halloween was a lot of fun this year! I talked more about it in my post a few weeks back, but Emmett was Flint Lockwood. It was the perfect costume for him, because he hates putting things on his head, and this didn’t require a head piece, just messy hair. And then Seamus found him a tuxedo t-shirt at Kohl’s, so he wore that with jeans and the white lab coat we got him.

Flint Lockwood and a Meal Plan - Baby Doodah6

We got out to trick or treat, but our first house pretty much brought an end to the fun. When they brought the candy out for Emmett, their dog snuck out, too. Very nice dog, he was just interested in sniffing us and Emmett, but since Emmett isn’t often around dogs, he got startled and very upset. We calmed him down, but that was pretty much it, every house after that he would get scared and say no doggie, no doggie. After about 6 houses or so, I asked if he wanted to go home, he said yes, so we called it a night. No big deal! It was his first Halloween out, there will be plenty more!

Oh man! He is SO into cars and trucks right now and has been for quite some time. It started with trains, and has now progressed into cars and trucks. He has SO many matchbox cars for a 2 year old (don’t worry he’s never left alone with them, because of the small parts). He loves holding them, looking at them and racing them around his track (that’s meant for trains, but works for cars).

I don’t mind him being into matchbox cars, because they’re a pretty cheap prize for him. Lately Wegmans has been having them for 99 cents, so we’ll grab a couple to keep on hand. I’m thinking, if he sticks with the cars, it will be a great reward when it comes to potty training. Which will have to come eventually, but I’m in no rush! We’ll do it when E’s ready.

Emmett’s been going in phases with his night time routine. We always do bath, lotion, PJs, book, bed. But every so often, Emmett will switch and not want a book, and just want his bed. I was really surprised when this started happening because he has always been a cuddler. But, his likes and desires so going to change frequently. An example of this, is that 2 weeks later, he was done going right to bed, but was ready to read again.


Oh yeah! And with his bed time routine, we used to do a cup of milk while we cuddled and read books. I was beginning to worry that he’d never give that crutch up, and I was going to start researching ways to wean from a night time bottle (he wasn’t sleeping with it, just having it before bed). When, low and behold, he didn’t want it any more and hasn’t since.

This kid amazes me with his ability to just wean himself from things. He knows what he does and does not want. It started with breastfeeding, he had no desire to nurse after 14 months. I offered him my boob on a couple different occasions and he whined and pushed away, so we just stopped. Now with his milk at bed time, it was the same thing. It is because of these two situations, that I don’t worry whether he’ll ever give up his binky, or whether he’ll ever be potty trained. He’ll tell me when he’s ready. I trust him.

We have begun letting him watch a bit more TV in the evenings, but ONLY educational. His current favorite is Team UmiZoomi, if you don’t know what it is, it’s a Nickelodian cartoon, with these 2 kids and 1 robot that go around “behind the scenes” and fix things that aren’t working or are causing problems. It’s super cute!! I thought it would be a little advanced for him, but he gets it, based on his answering of their questions that they ask. Previous favorites have been Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Handy Manny, Bob the Builder and Chuck. I would say that Chuck is probably the least educational out of all of them, but he just loves trucks SO much, so we let him watch it on occasion.

So, I’ve obviously never had another child, so I have nothing to compare it to, but Emmett is really smart! He knows all of his colors and can recognized them, he knows most of his shapes and is pretty good at naming them, and is slowly learning his numbers. He’s great at counting when you do it along with him, when he does it alone, he tends to start around 3 and count up. Either way, I was very impressed when I realized he could do this. He also can recognize the letter “E,” and knows it is the first letter of his name, and can also recognized M, for momma, G for grandma and D for daddy, about 80% of the time

Oh! And his memory is exploding! He is beginning to remember things you tell him in the beginning of the day, or even days before. For instance, we went to Trader Joe’s and they gave him stickers, now, every time we go he knows to ask for stickers, and we don’t go there that frequently, maybe once every two weeks. I love it! I just need to be MUCH more careful of what he is promised. haha

WOW! This is long!! I’m going to go ahead and publish anyway, this post is partially to provide my readers with an update on the person that was the inspiration for this blog, but also as a way to remember everything that is going on with him. He’ll love having this later in life and I look forward to reminiscing with him. 🙂

If you’re interested in reading all of the Dear Emmett posts, just click on HERE! 

I also want to wish all of my readers a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope that you ALL have an amazing day and enjoy being surrounding by those that love you most.


Your turn!

What are some of your favorite memories of your two year old child??

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? 

Share in the comments below!

signatureLooking for a quick, easy and FREE way to get your news? Check-out theSkimm and sign-up for your daily email box delivery of the world’s news, plus if you share your birthday, you get it listed at the bottom of the newsletter on your day. It’s like celebrating with thousands of people!!!!

Sunday Meal Plan – Week of 10/27/14

Sunday Meal Plan

Happy Sunday! I’m so happy to have you here!

Before I get into the meal plan, I wanted to just talk about what a sweet little boy Emmett has been. Why? Because I love him and because I’m a proud momma. He’s been so full of pleases and thank yous and it just warms my heart each and everyday.

This morning, Seamus said he woke up and was telling him thank you for everything, getting him out of the crib, changing his diaper, giving hugs, etc. The best part for me is that he is using please and thank you appropriately. He doesn’t seem to have any confusion on when to use please, thank you and you’re welcome. I love it! I realize it might seem pretty silly to some, but when you have a child, you are just so proud of everything they do. 🙂

Love him!

So how was your weekend?

Ours was pretty awesome! Saturday I got up early and headed to Starbucks to get some of my work done. I have a desk at home, but as soon as Emmett starts waking up, I lose my concentration. I had a lot to do and wanted to be productive, so I showered and headed out. I’m glad I did, too! I got so much accomplished!

When I got home, Emmett and I spent some time playing with Play-Doh (Emmett is partial to the Play-Doh fun factory – affliate link). With the this set, there is a mother, father, and boy cut out. He had me help him make one for each of us. Then he took the mother and father and had each of them say I love you to the other and then give each other kisses. It was the sweetest thing! I’m so glad that we’re showing him what a loving and happy relationship is all about.

We also headed down to visit my parents which was really nice. It’s always so laid back there! Emmett plays and we chat, he loves playing with all the different toys that grandma has!

Today will be filled with laundry, grocery shopping, food prep and tidying up. Nothing exciting, but all things that need to be done.

And now, onto our meal plan

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, feta & 2 slices of bacon

Lunch for the week: Chicken Soup, Rice Crackers & mini sweet peppers


Sunday: Chili & Corn Bread

Monday: Spaghetti Squash – Fettuccine Alfredo

Tuesday: Rotisserie Chicken & Asparagus

Wednesday: Pork Tacos

Thursday: Steak, Chick Pea and Tomato Salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Scrounge Night

Lunch for the week: Chicken Soup, Rice Crackers & mini sweet peppers

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, feta & 2 slices of bacon

I’m linking up with Laura from Mommy, Run Fast! and Jill from jillconyers.com, be sure to stop over and link-up your meal planning posts.

Your turn!

Anything fun, new or interesting on your meal plan this week? I’d love if you shared in the comments below!


Looking for a quick, easy and FREE way to get your news? Check-out theSkimm and sign-up for your daily email box delivery of the world’s news, plus if you share your birthday, you get it listed at the bottom of the newsletter on your day. It’s like celebrating with thousands of people!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, readers! I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

Merry Christmas 4

In the picture on the right he is whining because he was getting impatient and wanted to start opening presents. 🙂

christmas-emmett-3 - Copyefc-8 - Copy

Pictures from Christmas 2012.

Your turn!

I’d love to hear how your holiday was, share in the comments below!

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