Location: Pensacola, FL
Kids: Nixon, 19 months
After a 3.5-year struggle with infertility, Juliana and her husband were blessed with their “Greatest Adventure”–their son Nixon. Their family lives on the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. Inspired by Nixon, she and her husband took a leap of faith by opening a lifestyle fashion brand for kids and adults, Rad Vibes Co. Their company features unique tees hand-painted by Juliana. Along with being co-owner of Rad Vibes Co., Juliana is also a social media manager, a nationwide event manager, plate spinner–and most importantly– a mama and wife. Juliana is a firm believer in “sometimes, your only mode of transportation is a leap of faith.”
- After having kids, what product can you not live without?
Coffee. Can I choose that? Definitely caffeine. Let’s be honest…It’s usually cold coffee because I have a toddler, but then we can just call it a fancy “iced latte.” I was never much of a coffee drinker before Nixon except for the occasional Starbucks treat. But now, even Nixon walks to his play kitchen in the morning and “pours” himself a cup of coffee.
- What was the best kid-friendly vacation or day trip you’ve been on recently?
But when it came time to plan a family vacation with Nixon, the thought of multiple plane rides with very busy, independent toddler sounded like a horror movie. We ended up taking a week vacation to my grandparents’ beach house north of Charleston. So many memories have been made at that beach house since 1965, including my first steps on the back porch.
It wasn’t fancy. There were no frosty mai tais. There was no expensive shopping. There were no ritzy cabanas. And yet, it was one of my top vacations and it was amazing to make new memories – this time with our son.
- What is a parent hack that you’ve discovered?
This may not be a hack, but routine. Routine. Seriously, routine. Finding a routine that is strict, but flexible (does that make sense?) and works for your family. And stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to attend everything or change your child’s routine for someone else. Children thrive off of routine and expectations.
- What are your kid’s favorite books right now?
Horn went “Beep!”
Friendliest sounds you ever heard.
All day every day – “Little Blue Truck“.
As a former teacher, it warms my heart that Nixon is a total book lover. You’ll likely see him reading a book even when the TV is on and it warms my heart.
- What is your child’s favorite activity right now?
Anything outdoors. We spend many days exploring, picking flowers, collecting leaves, playing in the sand, getting dirty. God sure does have a sense a humor making me a Boy Mama.
- What’s a really useful product that you don’t see on a lot of registries?
Aquaphor. It’s miracle goo. We buy it by the tub. Smear it on anything from diaper rashes to cuts and dry skin. But definitely buy the Baby Bum Brush – trust me.
- Do you love your stroller and/or baby carrier, and would you recommend it?
I don’t know if I love our stroller because Nixon refuses to sit in it. Toddler Life. I can’t recommend enough spending the money on quality baby carriers. Baby wearing not only helped me get things done, but it helps with anxiety and depression. There’s something about holding your baby close to you that just calms the nerves. Join some local Baby Wearing groups and try some different ones out. I’m a fan of Tula soft-structured carriers, Wild Bird and Vienna Springs ring slings, and Solly wraps.
I know my days are numbered wearing Nixon, but he still allows “ups” at 19 months old in the Tula when we are out and about. With the way the world is these days, I feel so much better about shopping alone with him when he’s in a carrier close to my heart.
- What is your kid’s favorite toy right now?
Anything that goes “vrrrrooom.” You’ll always find some type of car, truck, plane or train in my diaper bag.
- What is something about having kids that you didn’t expect you would love?
Working from home/staying at home with my son. I have always considered myself a hustler and prided myself on career/work. Growing up, I saw myself becoming a mother, but couldn’t envision what it would look like. As soon as Nixon arrived, my priorities rearranged. While I still consider myself a go-getter, I am so very thankful to have the opportunity to spend my days with Nixon – and hustle during naptime and after bedtime.
- What advice would you give to first-time moms?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People want to help, you just have to allow them to. Being a Mama is the hardest, most rewarding thing you will ever experience. It’s ok to feel tired. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed. It’s ok to feel upset. It’s ok to mourn your former life. But remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup. You’re doing an amazing job, Mama!