When the little things aren't so little after all-Staying home with your littles

When the little things aren't so little after all-Staying home with your littles
I had a revelation the other day... ok maybe it was today as well as many days in the last two years.

Hi I'm Kara and I'm the mom nurse. I help new mom's with postpartum, newborns, breastfeeding and beyond, Welcome to my home on the internet, I'm so glad you're here!

Pour yourself coffee while you read this, I want you to sit and stay awhile.

Anyways, back to my revelation. I realized that I am so grateful right now. It feels like yesterday when I was trying to juggle 4 kids, home life, work life, and all the other duties that come with being a wife, mom, and nurse. 

I am so grateful now that I get to put my babies to sleep every night. I am so grateful I get to be home with them right now. ESPECIALLY during this time of uncertainty in healthcare. ESPECIALLY NOW. 

If you are ever doubting your path, I want you to know that RIGHT NOW you are where you are meant to be right now. 

The little things in life aren't so little after all. The little things like getting to soothe my toddler's cries, rock my toddler to sleep, re-assure my kindergartner that those funny noises are just his brother snoring and it's OK! These little things I am so grateful for, because just a few short years ago I was praying for these moments. I was praying to be able to stay home with my kids.

I didn't feel like there was ever an end in sight to me working. There was always another bill, always another expense. But the weird thing is... we still live just as comfortably on one income as we did on both of ours previously. God works in mysterious ways...

The little things ARE the big things! Getting to help my third grader with her homework, and my first grader with learning to read. I now get to SEE my oldest daughter practice violin, piano and be there for it. If you are doubting any decision to stay home with your kids, this is your sign that it's MORE than okay to stay home with them.

Your kids need YOU, and only you. When it doesn't make financial sense.... sometimes those leaps of faith and trust in God are things that happen spontaneously due to life circumstances, but sometimes it's just a decision you have to come to terms with and make. 

I know it's not easy being a stay at home mom. That loss of income can immediately feel a bit like a bite. But I have done so many things to increase income and work from home, and I know these things can be done. I am so grateful I get to be here for the little things now, which aren't actually so little after all! I am grateful for each and every moment that I see my kids light up, I get to be here when they are home from school. 

My kids even can help me with my online work and we make things a family effort. We work together now, not apart. Amidst these troubling times in our world, now more than ever is a great time to be home with your kids, teaching them and encouraging them they can be anything in a world that is so afraid. We hope that we can portray the light to your families, that you too can be there for the little things.

The little things matter, and are in fact- the big things. I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy that coffee!!!

XOXO,


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~The New Mama Blueprint- Four tips and must have's for Postpartum, Newborns, Breastfeeding and Beyond!

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for you new mama's for support with postpartum, newborns, breastfeeding and beyond!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)



Postpartum Recovery and the Things NO-ONE tells you about as a New Mom

Postpartum Recovery and the Things NO-ONE tells you about as a New Mom
Hey there!

Thanks for coming to my blog! Postpartum recovery is no joke... and there are also things that no-one tells you about!!! Like WHAT?!? Ok, maybe you were warned but maybe you just didn't remember!!!

I will tell you about a few things-postpartum bleeding, tears (both kinds of tears!!!) and losing the baby weight that nobody told me about, and walk you through what I did to get through it. As a new mom, any support you can get the better!!! 

Postpartum Bleeding

Oh... didn't anyone tell you the bleeding can stop and then start up again?! Your body does tell you when you're probably doing too much- as in... vacuuming too many floors or running too many errands! 

I also didn't realize your period could come and go very irregularly postpartum, and that it can be non-existent while breastfeeding too!

The bleeding postpartum should start out more bright red, and be heavy for up to a week or so as your uterus is shrinking back to normal size. Then it will start to turn darker red in color, and slowly taper to more light bleeding and lochia. (light pink colored discharge)

Now this is in most of the normal postpartum era. Some people have more troubles, some people have less. 

Watch out for big clots (like uhh bigger than a golf ball which then is usually associated with lots of bleeding)- seek help for those. You should typically only get bigger clots in the first few days to a week after delivery. 

Blood clots often look like jelly... they can look like mucousy or have tissues inside of them. Know that small clots are normal. However- fragment pieces of the placenta can be left attached to the uterus, and as it shrinks back to pre-pregnancy size can cause clots and bleeding after they break off. Watch again for increased bleeding- soaking through a pad an hour for several hours would indicate a problem if your bleeding had already slowed down.


The biggest thing I learned is that bleeding will and can last up to 6 weeks postpartum, and can even come back when you start doing too much. Listen to your body and ease up when you start to notice an increase in bleeding.

Don't wear tampons... I'm sure you know this but you shouldn't insert anything into the vaginal area until after your doctor gives you the OK that everything is healed up around the six week mark. Make sure you are changing your pads frequently as not to get any infections. 

Recovery from Tears (both the watery kind and the stitched up kind)

There is a very real thing called vaginal tearing!!! (or an episiotomy if your doctor performed that) This is when your perineum tears up to the FOURTH degree which means... you can tear up to the anus. Its a very real thing and I had no clue this was a thing before having a baby! Let alone knowing how to care for a tear after getting home! (Thankfully I only tore up to the second degree)

What can you do? Oh... make sure you take those anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (advil). Take that with tylenol alternating around the clock to keep pain and inflammation to a BARE minimum. :-) 

You can pick up a doughnut pillow like this one: (tap the picture to bring you to the listing)
This is WONDERFUL as it's a cold pack too and a cushion. This will take the pressure off your bottom and also provide cooling relief.. because you ALSO need to be ICING your bottom, and NO not with cake icing. :-) 

ICE ICE BABY!!! Make sure you are using an ice pack FREQUENTLY.  For sure for the first 24-48 hours around the clock. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off and repeat!!! This will help tremendously.

Witch Hazel pads infused with Lavender. I make my own!!! I add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to alcohol free witch hazel. Swirl in a glass mason jar, then add a stack of cotton pads that you use for your face. Place in the fridge and use these with each pad change. AMAAAZZZING recovery results!!!

As for the stitches- they may be dissolvable most likely, but ask your doctor at your 6 week postpartum visit for sure. Watch for bright red blood that could indicate that it isn't healing.

As for the other REAL Tears... Think the watery ones that escape from your eyes, that's called "the baby blues" and that's also a real thing. Your hormones are changing so quickly and drastically after delivery and this should even out by 2-3 weeks postpartum. I go into a deeper dive into this in my e-course (Postpartum, Newborns, Breastfeeding & Beyond) if you want to learn more about hormones!!!

I also dive deeper into all of these topics, if you want to know more about it, sign up for The New Mama Blueprint and i'll be sure to let you know all about it!

Postpartum Baby Blues are no joke. You'll be making yourself breakfast and burst into tears over nothing. Or you'll be looking out the window, and the baby blues will hit you like a ton of bricks, overwhelming you so quickly you had no idea that things could be so difficult! You might be feeling great, and then in the middle of the night you aren't feeling so great when you've been up a majority of it crying because you can't figure out why you're craving pizza. Yeah... those kinda things will happen!

To get through that, It's best to approach it in a way that you KNOW its going to happen, so ride the wave. It's okay to fall off the surfboard, but get back up. I have used a few high quality supplements to get me through this challenging time, Check out that blog post for more details HERE
If the baby blues lasts longer than 2-3 weeks, make sure you talk to your doctor at your postpartum visit. They should screen you for postpartum depression, so make sure they do.

SEEK HELP if you are feeling so overwhelmed you can't function. Postpartum anxiety and depression are REAL, and pretty common.

But know that this too shall pass, and soon your baby will be growing so fast. You'll wonder how you got through the postpartum era and be on the other side soon enough. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about your sweet baby you are holding, I LOVE BABIES!!!

Losing the Baby Weight

Baby weight... what is that??? Oh it's that weight you can't seem to just drop like a sack of rocks. But guess what? I'm going to tell you right now that... you are BEAUTIFUL just the way you are. It took 9 months to grow that sweet baby, give it 9 months before you really start to worry about your weight. 

A few key tips is: don't think you have to get rid of the weight quickly after baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, this will help some in the long term. Going right into a rigorous workout routine can quickly overwhelm your body, so start out slow. Keep up walks daily, then gradually work up to your pre-pregnancy workouts. 

I had someone poke my belly two weeks postpartum and tell me I should start working out. (insert baby blues) So just know it can take up to ONE YEAR or more to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, if at all! I'm in the postpartum stage from our sixth baby, and I'm no-where near my pre-pregnancy weight, and it's ok.

Embrace your body, accept the change and let go of what was. I give you permisison. I can help you with a mama reset in my e-course for new mom's, it can be used for anything that might be overwhelming, frustrating or stressful. Member's Area Here

So anyway, I just want to let you know that you ARE superwoman, you ARE capable, and you ARE beautiful just the way you are. 

Wrapping it Up

I hope you learned a few things that NO-ONE told you when you were expecting a baby about the postpartum "era". I would love to teach you all that I know about becoming a new mom, and hope to see you again!!! 


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Three Day Cleaning Blitz- an intense texting series designed to keep you motivated and moving!

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for you mama's who are looking for support in parenting, motherhood and hacks/tips.

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)





Nursing Job and Pregnancy... What You Should Expect When Working as a Nurse and Expecting a Baby

Nursing Job and Pregnancy... What You Should Expect When Working as a Nurse and Expecting a Baby
Hello there!!!

Kara the Mom Nurse here!

So you're coming across this post because you're pregnant and you are a nurse. What do you do now?

I'll give you a quick backstory here when you are dealing with a nursing job and pregnancy.

I have six kids. I currently stay home with my littles because let's face it... they grow way too fast and I would push my emotions aside when leaving them to go to work. I got accepted into the nursing program when I was pregnant with our second child. I actually delayed the program until fall of that year so that I could have our child and a bit of time off before starting the program. 

Once I started the program, I became pregnant with our third child! She was born in September (her birthday is actually coming up and she will be 7 years old!!!) I birthed her on a monday one week, and went to CLINICALS that friday. Call me crazy... but I made it through. Not without a few tears when I left the hospital that day... wondering what I was doing to myself!!! 

I am not a quitter, and continued on through the program and although it was tough, I graduated that following May. Here is my graduation day!!!

I then graduated that May and took a contract as a nurse working in a very short-staffed nursing home. (Note to self-don't ever take a contract job ever again, details for another day!) I gained a ton of experience working on a rehab wing at that nursing home, so I don't regret where that brought me. I love working with the elderly population as well, but I wanted a hospital job. I wanted to work with mom's and babies, and you can't do that in a nursing home!!! While working that contract job I became pregnant with our fourth baby.

Due to the nature of the contract I would have to pay back a lump sum of money if I quit. So I was kind of stuck in between a rock and a hard place, pretty much being forced to work throughout the whole pregnancy on a super short staffed, busy rehab wing. I also many times had to work down the long-term care wings and deliver treatments and medications to residents that a TMA could not do. 

This is not what you should expect right??? Being forced to work while pregnant??? I don't know, I powered through and was able to take maternity leave about a week before his due-date. Then I had to have my doctor write a note that I was to take leave early so that the short-term disability would kick in. 

When you are working full time and you have not been at a facility for over a year, typically they don't give you full family leave benefits. Do check your facility as these can vary between facilities. It wasn't easy working up until I was due for the baby, on my feet for 9+ hours a day 4 days a week. But I powered through. My mindset was made up, that it was either pay back the money and quit the job or make it through the pregnancy and then quit. 

When working while pregnant, know your capabilities. You are capable of MANY things, but know what your limits are. Put your feet up while charting, sit in a patient room with your feet up and chart if you must, and make sure you drink plenty of water. (but not so much that you have to pee every two minutes right???)

I felt like working on my feet while pregnant actually made the pregnancy go quickly, and then I made sure I took my vitamins daily. I also took a healthy NUTRIENT PACKED super juice that gave me natural energy, kept up my B vitamins for having to power through, and later I also found out that this juice is known to also benefit a VERY healthy cord and placenta!!! When this baby was born my doctor stated she had never seen such a thick cord and healthy looking placenta. I now drink this juice during every pregnancy for sure. 

I kept snacks in my pockets so I could eat a quick snack while charting or during my bathroom break, to keep up my energy. You should expect to be on your feet many hours, so invest in a wonderful pair of inserts or shoes with support. 

I also would expect towards the end of the pregnancy to have a lot of pressure on your pelvic area, due to the nature of being on your feet A LOT. You will probably want to invest in a good belly support band to help take the pressure off. I would also invest in a pair of ted socks... you know there are cuter ones now than those white patient ted hose :-). Those will be wonderful for those varicose veins that will probably pop up during pregnancy!!!

I would also expect to buy either bigger sized scrubs, or maternity ones. I preferred buying a bigger size of the kind scrubs that has the stretchy sides vs. maternity kind. My favorite was the cherokee iflex, linked at the top or off to the side! Here is also what it looks like here: (click the picture for the direct link)

I was able to quit after I had baby number four, and was offered a job at a hospital! I was so excited to start in a hospital, this was my dream job! I started working there and it was a small town hospital. I loved that hospital job, and then I worked there about 2 years. I gained experience and then got a job at a hospital I wanted to work at closer to home. I accepted that position while in early pregnancy with our fifth. I worked for about 6 months part time until the baby came, and then I went casual after I had baby #5. And guess what??? With baby number 5, I worked up until my due date as well, ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY. He was born Dec. 27th. 

So you CAN expect to work up until your due date, but do know your limits. If you're starting to have complications, or just feeling plain tired, don't wear your self out. I did that to myself and then I got irritable with my job and with my patients. This is not healthy for you or your employer, so do take the time YOU need for yourself and baby!!! There will always be another nurse, another job, and I never beat myself up about taking as much time for after baby as we needed. 

Your employer will only give you the certain amount of time off before they can technically fill your position, but what I did was email my boss and had a good conversation with her about leaving or staying. And if they truly value your work and ethics, they will want you to stay whether casual or a new position there. That's another topic for another day too... 

So just expect what I stated here, and also expect the unexpected!!! You never know when you might be led to a new place in your nursing career or in your home life career. (Heck, we moved to Alaska after kid #5, and I haven't gone back to work yet!!!) So follow your heart, know that God has a plan for you in your career and accept what is. But also know that you will get through your nursing job and a pregnancy, because I've done it three times. I can honestly say that nurses are strong, YOU are strong!!! Here is a picture of our family on one of our first hikes in AK!



Hugs to you on the pregnancy, Congratulations and BEST WISHES with your nursing career!!! 

(I write this as my 2 month old baby sleeps next to me, he's our sixth baby!!!)

Much Love,


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Three Day Cleaning Blitz- an intense texting series designed to keep you motivated and moving!

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for you mama's who are looking for support in parenting, motherhood and hacks/tips.

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)



Easy Pizza for Kids!

Easy Pizza for Kids!
Hey hey!!!

Kara the mom nurse here with an easy go-to recipe for pizza. Keep these ingredients on hand and when you are wondering what to make QUICK, (besides frozen pizza...) this comes in pretty close and the kids love it!!!

You know those days when you're 38 weeks pregnant, you have one sick kid, one who pooed his pants, the toddler who needs you right NNNNOOOOWWW... and then you realized everybody is getting hungry because the chaos ensues and gets louder and louder... yeah. those days. This is for those days!

5 Ingredient Easy Peasy Pizza for Kids

Ingredients
  • Pita or Naan Circle Bread
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Italian Seasoning or Oregano
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Pepperonis

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread out the pita or naan breads on sheet or cookie pan. Dallop a spoonful of tomato sauce on each circle. Sprinkle the seasoning over the sauce, then spread it around. Add the cheese and pepperoni's, and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes!

Feel Free to Change up what you put on it, but this is definitely kid and parent approved, my husband even loves it! (Prep time is like... 5 minutes) I have even had the kids make them and they are easy for the kids to make.

Click to see the short videoHERE on the ingredients I used!


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)




Cooking Seasoned Potato Wedges in Your Kalorik Maxx Air Fryer 26qt

Cooking Seasoned Potato Wedges in Your Kalorik Maxx Air Fryer 26qt
Hey There!

Kara the Mom Nurse here. I am now a stay at home mom and enjoy cooking healthy options from scratch for our family of 7 (soon to be 8!!!)

I had found a recipe online for seasoned baked potato wedges and refined it for the Kalorik MAXX Air Fryer (26 qt) size. Known as Jojo's or whatever other name you have for these potatoes, they turned out delish!

Ingredients/Supplies:

6 Russet Potatoes
4 T. Flour
2 T. Seasoned Salt ( I used lawry's)
2 T. Oil ( I used avacado oil, I would use a light oil as olive oil would take away from the seasoned taste)
Gallon Ziploc Bag

First I baked the potatoes in the Kalorik:





I baked the potatoes for 52 minutes at the 375 temp on bake setting. This was a tad too long for the smaller sized potatoes and then they were pretty crumbly and I wasn't able to use some of them for this recipe. Alternatively you can bring a pot of water to boil, then boil for 10 minutes. I did NOT peel them, although you can if you prefer. Jojo potato wedges are made with the skin on. 

Once the potatoes were done I took them out and cut in half to cool a bit, then cut in the wedges.


Allow to cool slightly before putting in the gallon ziploc baggie. While they are cooling, add the flour and seasoning salt to the ziploc bag and mix together. Once the potatoes are cooled a bit, add to the ziploc bag and then shake gently to get the flour mixture covering the potatoes.


Next I put the seasoned potato wedges into the air fryer basket over the sink and shook the excess flour mixture off.


After I shook off the excess flour, I poured the oil over the potatoes and shook to incorporate. I personally just poured the oil over and didn't measure exactly, you could also add the oil to the flour mixture in the ziploc bag if you prefer less mess. 

Then I popped the air fryer basket into the Kalorik, and selected the Air Fry option, and used the "frys" option. It baked them for 15 minutes at 450 and that seemed to be perfect! I stopped halfway through cooking to shake them up so they would evenly brown and crisp up.

You may want to set a separate timer to check or just adjust the time for 7 minutes so it will stop and you can shake, then put for another 7-8 minutes.


Let cool slightly and then enjoy!!! There wasn't any potato wedges left!!! 


Here is the final product. They sure were tasty! Feel free to change up the seasonings if you wish. If you don't have seasoned salt like lawrys, you could make a mixture with 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp paprika. (or make up your own, and comment below what you did!)

Join the Beginners Facebook group here:  Kalorik Maxx Air Fryer for Beginners




You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Three Day Cleaning Blitz- an intense texting series designed to keep you motivated and moving!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)



Why does cleaning overwhelm me? Three tips to getting your overwhelm back under control.

Why does cleaning overwhelm me? Three tips to getting your overwhelm back under control.
Hey there! 

Cleaning is such a cliche term. When you have kids you could be cleaning all day every day... for all of eternity. Is what it feels like am I right? So when you ask yourself why cleaning overwhelms you... well you have your answer right there. Kids. or pets.... or both... 


Let's get to the nitty gritty of overwhelm. Its a feeling of... where do you start? what should you focus on first? when you have no clear direction and feel like things are just swirling around you, you don't get anything done. 

I have felt this feeling many times. I remember feeling like I had my life together, right. I was in nursing school, just had our third child who was a couple months old at the time, and I decided to bring all three kids in for well-child visits. Well that doesn't sound too bad does it? It isn't until the doctor asks "how is everything really going for you at home?" and then the waterworks came from NOWHERE. I sat bawling in that doctor's office for like ten minutes telling her I just felt so overwhelmed with all of my to-do's. I was taking care of a new baby, two toddlers, and in an intense nursing program. What did I think I was doing??? That wasn't all, its taking care of the bills, the house, social life, and my life was so un-balanced it wasn't funny.

That's when overwhelm sinks in, and you end up doing nothing. You're in survival mode. So literally all that gets done is the bare minimum. You don't have energy or time to keep up with everything so the priorities are different! Here are three tips to help you lift that load, and get those feelings of overwhelm under control.

Tip Number One


Ask for help. Seriously. Sometimes that's the hardest question to ask someone, and to admit your failure. But often times, people are just waiting for you to ask!!! Ask for help from your significant other, often times they don't even realize the load on your back. They only see you in the moment, bustling about to finish the dishes, that they really don't see the laundry pile, the dirty toilets, the mess in the kids' rooms, the unseen and unheard duties of a mother. Ask for a babysitter so you can get stuff done. 


Tip Number Two


Just start doing. Time block if you wish. Set the timer for 15 minute intervals and start cleaning one area. Once the timer goes off, move to the next area. Spend 15 minutes de-cluttering, and getting rid of excess junk! Here is a three day cleaning blitz when you need an accountability partner, click here! By doing nothing, then all the feelings of overwhelm continue to take us down a dark path. I started to resent everything and everyone around me, because they couldn't see how much stress I had on my plate. I started to become bitter towards the house and the chores I had to do. Action over perfection. Just start doing and you will feel so much better about yourself!

Tip Number Three


Have you filled your own cup of love up lately? Like have you went shopping for the day with no kids, or had a spa day, or gone on a vacation? What about a lovely soak in the tub? Start with 15 minutes a day of filling up your own cup and see how much of a difference that makes. Journal, pray, do what you need to do to help you feel more fulfilled in your life.

Overall, if you're feeling overwhelmed about cleaning, its time to start delegating too. Those children who are as young as two can start learning how to clean. I know it takes consistency and hard work in the beginning to teach those little children, but you will reap the rewards well after you have taught them how to clean. Often times I have to get after my children multiple times, but with patience, love and consistency my children are now doing some of the tasks that I used to do.

Being a mom is hard enough, remember the JOY in raising these little children! You're doing a wonderful job, just remember to take care of yourself sometimes, keep your chin up and keep pushing through. You'll get there!!!

Want to hear more?   SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG HERE

You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Three Day Cleaning Blitz- an intense texting series designed to keep you motivated and moving!

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for those mom's who are ready for a push to get neat and tidy homes! Start with the Cleaning blitz and find support in this group.

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)


Home-Made Yogurt in InstantPot Ultra



Making Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot Ultra

Hey There!!!

Kara here and today we are going to talk about making homemade yogurt. It is SUPER simple, it just takes quite a bit of time for the yogurt to thicken.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.***

I used my Instant Pot Ultra- and I'll walk you right through the steps you need to do to make the yogurt!!!



Homemade yogurt

Ingredients
  • 8 C. Milk
  • 2 T. Room Temp Plain Yogurt





Pour Milk into the InstantPot Pot. Cover and push knob to vent. (sealed is fine too, but we arent actually using pressure so it won't seal).

Get to the Yogurt Setting and change the setting to HIGH, Push Start. This will bring the milk to a boil. It will beep when done.

Careful NOT to scrape the bottom of the pot at all. Remove the pot so it can cool down to 110 Degrees and remove the film on the top.

In a small bowl add the 2T of plain yogurt and take 1/2 of the COOLED milk and Mix.

Add the mixture back into the instant pot and stir it in, making sure not to scrape the bottom.

Place the Instant Pot back into the pot and cover. Push the knob to vent.

Change YOGURT setting to the medium setting (107 degrees) and cook for 8-10 hours.

I check around 4 hours to see if it's set yet. The pot will count the hours UP so you can see on the pot how long its been brewing. (the longer it cooks, it will become more tart)

Once it's done you can use a cheesecloth to strain into the bowl for 3+ hours to get a thicker yogurt, or just stir in the whey and eat as is. 

Put into sealed containers in the fridge and consume within 1-2 weeks. Discard whey (if you strained it off) or save in the fridge for other recipes.

Now you have your own healthier yogurt, and it's much cheaper too!!! You can freeze portions for up to a month or so to use in the next batch, but it probably won't work for more than one generation.

I also keep it plain in the fridge, without adding honey or maple syrup until I eat it. Then you can use it in smoothies and other recipes, if it's really thick, eat it like sour cream. :-)


I hope you enjoyed this recipe!!!


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Finding Yourself-(A FREE guide to re-defining your inner strengths)

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for kind and tender-hearted nurse mama's like yourself, that are needing a little support in your life!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)


Why I Needed a Nursing Career Break

Why I Needed a Nursing Career Break
Hey there!!!

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.***

Welcome to my blog! I share my feelings, tips and tricks with you here and want to help you on your mom journey.

Questioning my career

What I found when I was cleaning the other day threw me back into a spin of my working days. I never thought I'd be at the point I am now. I thought I was never going to be able to stay home with my kids. I felt that I was always going to have to work and my student loan debts were never going away. 

I also would be left exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked and underpaid. I questioned why I even became a nurse, I would ask myself these questions, "Why did I want to become a nurse? Why do I have to go to work? Why am I continuing to burn myself out?" I knew I needed a nursing career break but I wasn't sure how to get there. We had four kids and a mortgage payment!!!

Mom Guilt

I would leave home guilty that my kids wanted me and needed me, and then I would leave work guilty that I might have forgotten something. The guilt was real every day I went to work. Don't mention the fact that all the work at home was piling up (the behind the scenes stuff too like bills and organizing and all the tasks beyond just everyday tasks like dishes and laundry). It's enough for a mom to go insane.

I would ask my husband if I could quit work and he would dangle the "student loan" problem over my head. But yet we continued to spend frivolously and never paid off any student loans. 

And so the cycle continued. I would work and have burnout only to spend excess money because it was there to spend. A never ending cycle of buy, broke, buy, broke, until I realized ENOUGH. We were expecting baby number five and you know what I had to do? 

Transition time

Work Christmas Eve and Christmas day DUE to have a baby. I had to miss Christmas with our small family. I had to work Christmas while I could go into labor at any time. At least I was in the right place at the hospital if I went into labor.... But that was the straw that broke the camels back and I had to put my foot down.

It was then that I made the decision that I could no longer keep up with everything and my kids needed me. I transitioned to a casual position for about a year after baby Z was born and we transitioned to one income. 

The student loan debt is still there. But there are things you can do to work with the loan company. We were able to qualify for a $0 income based pay program. I know it still has to get paid eventually... but at least now I am able to focus on my family and my life without the student loan debt hanging there like mistletoe waiting for you to kiss it goodbye. 

freedom

I don't regret the decision to transition to one income, because now I currently am not working at all. I am able to fully focus on working from home, and my family at the same time. I have freedom now to do what I want to do, I don't have work calling me to "pick up one more shift" or a co-worker asking to switch shifts or holidays or whatever. I am FREE to do what I want, when I want, IF I WANT now!!! (besides mothering, that's still a mandatory task :-) but you get my drift)

We still are tight on finances, but you know what??? I don't regret that at all. I have had to tighten our budget and spending but guess what? We still have a roof over our heads, food on the table. and much happier kids that their mom is home all the time with them. The bills still get paid. Don't ask me how, ask the man upstairs who provides for our needs. 

faith in god first

I have had to put my faith and trust in God that he knows what is best for our family, and lean into the message God has given our family and myself. It was hard to put my career on hold, but I knew that this was the best decision I could make for our family. 

Now I can watch all the milestones without feeling guilt that I may not see the next milestone. I don't have the guilt of not picking up a shift at work. I don't have the guilt that was pressing me about leaving my kids. Now I can choose when or IF I want to leave the kids to do something. 

So making your decision to stay home with your kids will always be something you won't regret. I do miss the work life sometimes, which OH by the way, that thing I found while cleaning was my old badge reel. That's what "threw me back" right into reminiscing about my old work days. (that YES I do miss. I miss putting my scrubs on, my stethescope around my neck, my tennies and socks, my pen and chapstick in my 
pocket and usually my pump in tow.

the things i miss

I miss walking into work and getting report from the outgoing nurses, and getting right to work on medications, tasks and taking care of others. I miss leaving work feeling like I made a difference in people's lives. I miss those thank you's and cute old people who were so happy to have you to talk to. I miss those little babies who would look so sick but you knew you were helping them, I miss all of those days.

But now I have the honor of fully and completely raising my own children, the children that God has given us. The children that are the future and need these building blocks of life taught to them. It is an honor and a blessing to be a mother, one that I don't take lightly. Some days are hard yes, it's not easy being a mother, but becoming a full time mother has given me so much freedom now. 

seasons of life

I can always go back to nursing if I wish. But right now is a different season of life, and one that I never thought I'd get to. Keep praying for your answers, sometimes an unanswered prayer is what we get, and sometimes we get our prayers answered. Faith and trust in the Lord has kept me going when I am weakest, and it is in God whom I trust. I trust that this season is for a reason. I trust that he has given me these moments so that I can really appreciate what he has given us. 

Put your trust in God and know that he has a plan, that he will guide you in your decisions! May God bless you and your family as you make your tough decisions as well. 

I am here for you if you need a helping hand, have a wonderful day!!!


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Finding Yourself-(A FREE guide to re-defining your inner strengths)

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for kind and tender-hearted nurse mama's like yourself, that are needing a little support in your life!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)


Immune Support Diffuser Recipe Young Living Essential Oils

Immune Support Diffuser Recipe Young Living Essential Oils
Hey there!

Kara the Mom Nurse with an Immune Support Diffuser Recipe!

First things First

I am ALWAYS diffusing Thieves in my Aroma-Lux diffuser, which doesn't use water. It is always on the counter and I only have to hit the power button in the morning. I check periodically if its empty but then once it's set I forget it and it has so many settings on it, and it can go for a LONG time. 


Second

The recipe I then put going for immune support in the Aria Diffuser is below:


The Immune Support Diffuser Recipe:

~10 Drops Thieves 
~5 Drops Eucalyptus 
~3 Drops Frankinscence

Diffuse for the three hours on high.

I have been using essential oils for almost 10 years on my family and myself, and I love to share with others the power that essential oils can have in your family if you chose to use them.



When you are looking for a whole starter kit and want to get started with Young Living you can start with this kit here:



You can also start for just $35 to start getting the membership discount of 24% if you want to chose that route.

Anyway, enjoy the recipe and happy diffusing!!!


You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Finding Yourself-(A FREE guide to re-defining your inner strengths)

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for kind and tender-hearted nurse mama's like yourself, that are needing a little support in your life!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)



Five Reasons Why Staying Home with your Kids is Cheaper Than Working as A Nurse

Five Reasons Why Staying Home with your Kids is Cheaper Than Working as A Nurse
Hey there!

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.***

Kara the Mom Nurse here- I help other nurse mom's become stay at home mom's. Today I am going to give you five reasons why staying home with your kids is ACTUALLY cheaper! One of the the biggest factors that nurses face when deciding to stay at home with their kids is losing their second income.

Today I wanted to share with you why staying home with your kids is actually much more affordable than you think, and how to add it all up!

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and let's GOOOO!!!

1. Commute

Calculate the distance you drive to work and back. For me it was about 20 miles to work and 20 miles home. Each shift I was driving 40 miles. Calculate how much gas that costs you to drive to work and back for one shift and then multiply that by how many times you drive to work in a month. This will give you an approximate idea of how much you spend just in gas for the month.

2. Childcare

How much do you spend in child care for the last month? When you are home with your kids you won't need to pay those child care costs anymore. For me I was paying our nanny (a family member) $13 an hour and when I worked full time, we were paying her anywhere from 600-800 a month. Factor in how often you need your nanny or childcare, and what your cost is of staying home. 

3. Food/Drink Costs

How much were you spending on JUST your food or drinks? Were you stopping to get coffee drinks every day on your way to work? or on your way home? Were you bringing a lunch or were you feeling overwhelmed like I was and would end up buying lunch/supper at work? Add all of the fast food and drink cost up from last month and see where you are at. 

4. Insurance

This is a big one for many. It really depends on your family and your needs, but you can look into healthcare options like christian healthcare ministries and save a TON. (If you're interested in this just be aware of all of their stipulations and rules.) 

You may be paying for your own malpractice insurance, and you can now cut back on that or eliminate it if you are quitting work to stay home with your kids. Calculate how much this will save you by cutting that out! 

There's also all the other insurances out there, short term disability, long term disability and whatever other insurance you're paying for that you may not need due to no longer being in the work force. Add this all up to see where you were at for last month.

5. Groceries

When you are home more often, you'll be making more meals from scratch, right? Look at your last month's grocery bills and eating out bills, and add them all up. Now when you stay home, you may be forced to meal plan so you can cut spending, which for us was a good thing! Meal planning is not my zone of genius but it sure keeps me on track when I get groceries!!! (This does tie into your food/drink costs from above but this is totaled separate from that category. 

OHHHHKKKKKK, Add everything up and what is your grand total??? Are you suprised??? 

If you are truly wondering how you can cut out debt, I recommend reading this book from Dave Ramsey

Also going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University would be a great start!!!

Now remember you must take everything into effect, including your own mental health. If you need to get out of the house, then by all means do that. But if you're truly looking for ways to stay at home with your kids so you don't miss out on any more of those precious milestones, you'll find the way. I just know you will. Much love to you on your journey!!!

Want to hear more?  Subscribe to the Blog Here

You got this mama!!! 

Much Love,

Kara- The Mom Nurse

P.S. When you are ready, here are a few things that I can help you with:

~Finding Yourself-(A FREE guide to re-defining your inner strengths)

~Join the Facebook Group Here. This is for kind and tender-hearted nurse mama's like yourself, that are needing a little support in your life!

~The Idea Cloud. It's what I created to keep your kids off the screen and busy doing things that I did as a kid! :-)



 
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