Baby’s BIG Milestone! In Real Life #40

Baby’s big milestone, and escaping to Africa. It’s In Real Life episode 40!

Ever hear stories of people who are changing the world and think, “I should be doing this too!”?

This is something that comes up for me quite a bit. I get inspired and I want to get out there and help the children! Promote world peace! Save the polar bears!

But whenever I get all fired up I remember that, right now, my job is to love the two children that God has blessed me with.

Loving my children is really the greatest gift I can give to the world right now.

It’s like that Mother Teresa quote: What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

Stuff mentioned in this episode

vital-proteins-collagen-peptidesThis episode is sponsored by Vital Proteins

This episode is sponsored by Vital Proteins Collagen & Gelatin. Revitalize your skin, hair, nails and more with Vital Proteins.

What is the IRL show?

IRL stands for In Real Life, and this is our weekly video blog where we talk about the stuff of real life. You know, food, faith, family and fun. Tune in every week to see what the Mama Natural clan is up to. Click here to see past episodes.

How about you?

How did you celebrate your baby’s first birthday? Was it a celebration for the parents as well as the baby? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. Happy birthday to cute Paloma!

  2. we had a great big MASSIVE one year birthday party for my sweet Elijah this past summer (he’s almost 18 months now!) It was definitely for us and our friends, but it looked like he had a blast too. And yes, I SO agree to this being my ministry right now. I took a break from my fulltime career after a crazy stressful hospital job (I’m a speech language pathologist) and am just working very intermittently every now and then and it’s been great. My husband and I are the worship and youth leaders at our small church and it’s definitely difficult to balance “ministry” and family time, and my husband commutes almost an hour one way every day. I read this book when I was pregnant at the recommendation of a friend and it was SO helpful to just be reminded (though some of the content seems a bit dated) that being a mother is my main calling right now.

  3. Vital Proteins did not honor 20% off with MAMANATURAL, while message confirmed that the discount code was applied, the price did not change. Order was placed this morning.

  4. I’m sure this is a silly question but can children take collagen daily? I ordered this product and love it! I take it daily as recommended but I would assume the full amount isn’t safe for a 3 year old? Also, I think you mentioned a while back that Griffin went gluten-free…any tips for feeding a 3 year old who is gluten-free? Sadly my little guy has aversions to many foods and also has to stay away from dairy and eggs.

  5. Hey Mama Natural! Thank you for sharing all that you do! You are such a blessing to our family!

    I was wondering which you use more often… the Collagen Peptides or Protein? I am planning to make the tummies, but will be new to using this, so I am wanting to invest in the one that I will use more often, in all kinds of things.

    Thanks and many blessings to your sweet family! 🙂

  6. Hey Genevieve! For Jameson’s 1st Birthday (on 11/15), we had a very small get together with friends since our families are on the west coast and we are in So. IN, but I made as organic of cupcakes as I could with blue frosting of course. He wasn’t sure what to do with it at first and then mashed it up more than anything. It was adorable of course. And then he danced. (Probably the sugar. LOL)
    Happy Birthday to Paloma!!!!! 😀

  7. Are you planning to share your Paloma’s birthday foods as you did for Griffin? Loved the cake you made for him and made one for my oldest. My youngest is a few weeks after your Paloma, so it would be great to have the ideas ahead of time!

  8. My daughter just turned 1 on Sunday so we had a little family party at my in laws. I had a super cute Hungry Caterpillar theme with snacks from the book and we just had fun enjoying how cute she is walking and talking and being a sweet independent little toddler now. It really is a ce,elbration for the parents. We made it through the first year, through sore nipples, sleepless nights, postpartum depression, and so many other triumphs! Happy Birthday sweet Paloma!!

  9. Here’s a good question for you, Ms. Genevieve, how many Natural PAPAS do you have around here who voice their opinions and their comments?

    I’m definitely the more health-conscious and knowledgeable between myself and the love of my life, but I finally decided to jump in and comment because in about 5 months from now, I’m going to be a father for the first time (28 years old, she’s 25), and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

    I’m hoping it’s a boy, but I think it’s a girl, whereas she’s hoping it’s a girl, but she thinks (or rather, FEELS) it’s a boy. I’m thinking of betting money on it. If she wins, I buy her a great big dinner! If I win… I buy her a great big dinner!

    I’m trying to get her to browse your fantastic site, which is difficult right now, since she’s visiting family and is constantly busy, where should she start?

    Again, love what you’re doing, and I’m a huge fan, please keep it up.

    • Hey Alex, I can honestly say that the natural papas on this site are few and far between. BUT, there are plenty of them out there — I know because I married one 😉

      CONGRATULATIONS to you and your partner! You’re embarking on an awesome journey. And if that love of your life wants to get started with this site, here’s a good page to start with:

      Best wishes to you!

  10. Also I wanted to find out the difference between the two products from vital proteins. Could you make gummies and a “bone” broth out of one product?

  11. I love how honest and open you are. I’ve been a “fan of yours” for almost 3 years now

  12. Yes! I felt like celebrating my one year anniversary as a mom just as much (if not more) than my baby turning one! So glad I’m not alone : )

  13. Love your blog! I especially love your sections in your videos on God. I agree, sometimes I feel frustrated that I can’t save the world, but I know that I have great influence on my children at home. Have you seen this website: ? It’s so awesome, I love to show them to my kids!

  14. I sort of meant to add this to my original comment, but I got distracted. Four kids and all.

    But I like to look at my work as my ministry as well. I do get paid for it, but I’ve had the chance to write about products I feel good about. I’ve had the chance to offer the marketing knowledge I’ve gleaned as a copywriter to other work at home moms. And I attempt to use the money I earn to help others when I can.

    Mama Natural is also your ministry. You are inspiring people to care for the bodies God has given them. You’re imparting knowledge and wisdom to make that possible, and you’re making living this lifestyle seem a bit more tangible for busy mamas who, more often than not, put their own health on the back burner. One look at the comments makes it pretty apparent that you are having a huge impact, even if you aren’t doing it from Africa. And the way you tie your faith into everything you do, and are so excited and unashamed about discussing it in such an open forum is really courageous all on its own.


  15. Love your ideas! What book was papa natural reading with Paloma in the video at the end? It was too sweet!

  16. Super cute shirt!

  17. Oh my goodness, she is SUCH a cutie! Paloma is so sweet! I constantly need to be reminded that my ministry is with my children. I am trying to embrace this because I feel like it is kind of a hard concept to let really sink in especially after being in ministry for many years. Thank you so much for the great reminder.

  18. So Cute!!! Happy birthday Paloma! And best wishes to the wonderful parents! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Genevieve- I have a question for you. You are so prolific, you have so much content, you do your videos, etc. How do you do this with two children? I also blog, work, have clients, am trying really hard to have an online business, and like you I have two children (one is 14 months and the other is 36 months), and I don’t feel like I can ever get work done. I mean, what do you do? Do you have a nanny? Do you have the kids in childcare? How do you do it? How do you keep your home clean, do your shopping, cook for the kids, and play with them on top of keeping Mama Natural up? Can you PLEASE explain!

    • Laney,

      I HEAR YOU! It ain’t easy, sistah!

      We have a babysitter 2 days a week. That’s when Papa Natural and I film and do a lot of our work. The rest of the time we rotate working with caring for our kids (I usually hang with the kids as I miss them too much!). We are super blessed that Michael is now working on Mama Natural as his full-time profession. This helps a ton but we still struggle too! We don’t put up as many posts as we like. We don’t make all the videos that we’d love to make. Our house is NOT that clean (TRUST ME!). Every day it is destroyed and I have to pick up constantly 🙂 I make a massive list (thanks to Real Plans) and shop once a week at the grocery store and cook carrying Paloma most nights 🙂

      But, I remind myself that this is a season. That this is all the sweetness and hardness of life right here 🙂 Having young ones who require so much care is a HUGE responsibility and something has to give. If it’s not working as hard… or having a messy house… or not being super fit… it’s OK because we’re doing a lot by being parents to young ones, AMEN?!

      We’ve also been doing this for 5 years so we have a lot of content that has built up. Hang in there mama and do what you can and let go of the rest.

      XOXO… oh, and it’s no coincidence that I’m writing this at 9 p.m. 🙂

      • Thank you! I also have years of content (7 1/2) but still haven’t “hit it” the way you have, so sometimes I just feel so frustrated. But I appreciate your candor and your words. Blessings to you.

    • I so get you. Nap times are your friend. lol.

      I also work from home as a freelance copywriter for eCommerce websites and marketing agencies. I have four children and I homeschool. Most of my work gets done early mornings before the kids get up, nap times, and after they are in bed. The beauty of homeschooling is that I can let them sleep later. 🙂 On a good day, that adds up to a full day almost. On most days (hah) I am stealing five minutes here and ten minutes there all day long. But it adds up. When you have a deadline, you’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in short bursts of typing off and on all day.

      Some days you’ll want to pull your hair out. And some days you’ll finish all your work early and wonder why you can’t do that all the time. When things seem so hectic I can’t deal, I remind myself of how absolutely BLESSED I am to be able to earn a good living without missing this time with my children. Even on the worst days, I wouldn’t trade it.

  20. Yeah, I just tried the coupon code too and it said that it’s invalid.

  21. The promo code says it is not valid when you try to use it?

  22. Love the IRL videos! I tried to use the Vital Proteins coupon code and the website told me that it was not valid. Would appreciate your help, thanks!

  23. When they are in the costumes and hug? Ahh so cute! And Paloma is seriously trying to say those words as she reads the book! Adorable!
    I do a pretty big party for their first birthday, then super simple after that. For my twins, it truly felt like a celebration of surviving that first year! My little one turns one right before Christmas so I’m figuring out how to separate the two…Christmas birthdays are tough!

    • That is tough! You could do a 1/2 birthday celebration in the summer 🙂

    • I’m a december baby! The 30th. And I’ve always LOVED it. I’m from Spain, where Xmas is quite a big thing. We get together with our families for Xmas eve, Xmas day, New year’s eve, New year and the Epiphany too (when kids receive the gifts “from the three wise men”). Yes, my Bday is in between all that. So I don’t always have a big birthday party, I often get a “Xmas+Bday” present, there are people who just forget or are not there…

      But I don’t care because I’ve always felt as Xmas at my home was a little bit MY thing, and it’s a BIG thing. Don’t pass your fears and frustrations on to your child. Make him feel proud of having a Xmas birthday he will be willing to share a little bit of his birthday attentions with Xmas celebrations as Xmas holidays and celebrations will always be A PART of his birthday.

      Congratulations for you december baby!! 🙂

  24. I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t do huge birthday parties. Not even for the first. It does feel like an accomplishment, but adding a ton of work planning a party to celebrate all the work I’ve already done doesn’t sound like a good time when, as you said, it’s more for the adults. We usually have a small intimate something for our kids. Dinner at home, a trip to the park, a cake of some sort, pictures, and gifts. Just a day together. When they get older, I give them a choice between a party or going somewhere as a family (museum, zoo, jump house, etc…). They have chosen going somewhere every time but once.

  25. I think you’re the greatest, Mrs. Genevieve! And your littles are just darling. I’m a college student, so I can’t always apply the wise “mama advice” that you give, but I love learning all about it so that I can use this information in the future. Your wisdom, sincerity, and faith are so inspiring! I hope I’m like you when I grow up 😉


    • Oh Abby, you are too sweet! Mmmwwhhhaaa! Bless you!

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