Leaving On A Jet Plane

Is it weird that I keep forgetting I’m going on vacation tomorrow?

I keep making plans only to cancel them shortly after with an, “Oh wait! I’m not going to be here.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually incredibly excited for this week.

I get to leave 104 degrees of sweaty armpit hell and go to mid 70’s and night time sweater weather.

Camping, pontoon boating, family time, lots of bbq, and a live NFL Sunday night football game await me.

The only thing that stands between me and a week of North Carolina bliss is a plane ride.

A plane ride with a kid that hates sitting still, throws tantrums, and never sleeps.

*Cue scary music*

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I remember being so worried about our flight when he was six months old.

If you can recall, I made a bunch of “care packs” for our fellow passengers with chocolates, ear plugs, and a little note.

Surprisingly, he was awesome on both flights so we really didn’t even need them.

Well this time I am almost certain we WILL need them but the only chocolate I am bringing along is for me.

Because let’s be honest, nobody is having a worse flight than the parent’s of the crying screaming child.

I shouldn’t have to apologize to you for taking my son to see his grandparents.

If anything, YOU should buy ME a vodka cranberry for having to sit in the same seat as the monster.

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Those screams are going directly into my eardrums.

I’m sorry, what did you say?

I think I’m partially deaf now.

So wish me luck!

We leave bright and early in the morning and since drugging your child with Benadryl is frowned upon we will be relying heavily on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad and snacks.

So many snacks.

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Scraping Our Knees And Jumping On Trampolines

We recently enrolled Declan in MY GYM which is essentially a real life Barney and Friends play place, minus the depressed person dressed in a giant dinosaur suit making the rest of the room uncomfortable with his too long hugs.

They have organized classes that you attend once a week and free play time slots during the week where the children can recklessly abandon their inhibitions through climbing, running, and sliding.

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(Declan with Miss Elise)

It’s a far cry from my pre-baby life of scanning Pinterest all day working at a desk.

Still, somewhere in between the opening and closing circle time songs it hit me:

This is my life.

And it’s funny, because I love it.

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I ever fully thought out being a mom.
I knew I wanted to be one.
That part was a no brainier for me.
But would I work? Stay home?
Would I do homemade crafts and bake all day or would we watch a lot of tv and order take out?
It just never crossed my mind until it became a reality.
Once pregnant I was flooded with all of the information and possibilities.
Truth is, being a mom in today’s world is overwhelming.
We are expected to attend mommy and me yoga, feed our picky eaters organic flaxseed kale smoothies, and have daily Pinterest worthy activities to flaunt on our Instagram pages.

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Your kid can climb the stairs and stack cones but can he find the xylophone in your homemade flash cards?

Wait, you don’t have homemade flash cards?!

….

I’ve fallen in love with My Gym because it gives my son a chance to have a childhood reminiscent of my own.
It allows him to interact with other kids without all the overachieving bs.

There’s nothing wrong with teaching your kids, please don’t misunderstand me.

But at a stage where I can barely get him to sit still long enough to put a clean diaper on I just don’t see the production in strapping him in his high chair and forcing him to look at a C-A-T over and over again.
The childhood I long for my son to have involves learning through living and interacting as well as through books and games.
Childhood is such a precious gift and I refuse to take that away from him in order to enroll him in kindergarten a year sooner.

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Can we not even talk about kindergarten please?

He’s got at least 13 years of schooling in his future.
For now I would rather focus on teaching him kindness, the importance of being active, and how to interact with others.
If flash cards and pre-req kindergarten materials are your forte then that’s awesome and rock on!

Tell your kid to give Declan a ring when they’re done.

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Because this kiddo is just not ready for that kind of life.

So in the meantime we will be over here scraping our knees and jumping on trampolines.

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…………………….

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8 Things You Should Know About Being A New Mom

Being a new mom is awesome…ly hard. With all of the classes, books, and tips they give you before the baby comes you would think hospitals would have a newborn crash course where they spend another 9 months teaching both you and your new baby how to coexist. But once that bundle of joy pops out of your body you are expected to already be a pro at things you have never actually experienced like breastfeeding, changing diapers on your protesting subject, and somehow stopping the blood curdling screams of a person you just met. While I won’t be able to physically help you through these hurdles I can hopefully offer up some comfort (or maybe just a good laugh) as I share with you what I learned about being a new mom from my own personal experience.

1. TEARS WILL BE SHED:

Believe it or not, you will find that you’re crying almost as much (if not more) than your newborn. You’re going to feel like this means that you’re a bad mother or that you don’t love your baby the way you’re “supposed” to. That’s not true. It’s just that breastfeeding is hard, sleep is scarce, and I SAID I NEEDED A COTTON SWADDLE, NOT THE POLYESTER!

 

Don’t worry.

Everyone has spent the last 9 months with your hormonal ass so they’ll be able to handle a few more weeks of it.

And it will pass.

2. YOU’RE GOING TO HURT ALL OVER:

I mentioned this after I had Declan, but I feel like it is not talked about enough. 5-10 lbs. of human just came out of your who-haw. Or even harder, if you had a c-section then you just went through major surgery. You will quite literally be crab walking around your home for a few weeks wearing nothing but sweat pants and maxi skirts. Did I mention the disposable shorts they call underwear and dinosaur sized pads they give you?

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And while I wish I could tell you that you’ll look as good as she does in these bad boys 24 hours postpartum, the truth of the matter is you’ll probably be looking more like this:

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But the good news is that as your uterus shrinks back down to normal size you will start to see that go down.

3. YOU’RE GOING TO BE EXHAUSTED:

No, not “I partied on a Sunday until 3 am and I have to be at work by 6 am for a day full of meetings” tired. I’m talking about a whole new bonus level of exhaustion that you didn’t even know existed. One where you legitimately wonder how you have not died yet because it does not seem physically possible to survive off of such little energy.

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It will be overwhelming and at times you won’t know how you’re going to make it through the day, but on the plus side you will have made a new best friend: Coffee. Coffee will become your very best friend.

4. YOU WILL BECOME “THAT PARENT”:

I don’t care who you are or what you claim now. Once you have that adorable babe in your arms you will find yourself physically unable to keep your thumb off of the camera button on your phone. The real struggle will then be to stop yourself from Instagraming each and every shot you take. Because your child is the cutest baby you have ever seen in your life and you want to make the world a better place by plastering that adorable smile all over it.

 

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5. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION:

“When I had my kid…” is going to become the most popular starter sentence you will ever hear. Most of the time people mean well but it does get exhausting having everyone try to tell you how to raise your child. They will tell you that you are spoiling your baby, not holding them right, or that you need to let them cry. Take it all with a grain of salt and remember that nobody knows your baby like you do and no two kids are the same so what worked for them might not work for you and that’s okay.

6. YOU WILL GOOGLE ABSURD THINGS:

What color is a newborn’s poop supposed to be?

Why does my baby cry so much?

If my baby is exposed to rock music will they grow up to rebel against authority?

Can you die from hearing a newborn cry too much?

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You get my drift.

7. YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF UNABLE TO TALK ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN YOUR NEWBORN:

It’s not your fault you made a super baby, am I right?

But after spending twenty minutes babbling about the cute way your little one blinks and eats and shits you will notice that your company may look a little less excited than you.

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But hey, you’re totally allowed to be annoying right now.

Just make sure to remember to ask them about their lives too.

8. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME:

Before your newborn baby it was like,

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But now that you have that bundle of joy in your arms, your life will be more like this:

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Nobody said you had to give up everything, right?!

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The Vegas Bikini

You could blame it on the new morning routine of 5:00 am wake up calls that has left me sleep deprived.
Or the mastitis that had been overwhelming my body.
Maybe it was because I had been dealing with a fevering, teething baby for three days.

I honestly don’t know if it was the exhaustion or the Super moon but doesn’t change the fact that I found myself at a one year old’s birthday party this past weekend in my Vegas bikini.

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It wasn’t.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how the same girl who lives in jeans and a tank top managed to misrepresent herself so well.

While packing our bag in the morning I was in a hurry.
I grabbed the bikini off of the dryer along with Derek and Declan’s trunks, without really thinking about which one it was.
Once we got to the party, Declan was desperate to get in the pool.
And because the fates hate me, for the first time ever Derek did not want to get into the water.
So I grabbed my suit along with a cover up and went to change.
It wasn’t until I had even come back from changing that I had realized the gravity of the situation.
Derek said, “You brought your Vegas bikini?”

Shit.

I used Declan as a human shield to cover my body as I scurried quickly into the water.

I can only imagine how pretentious I looked in my bright green Victoria’s Secret suit and giant sun hat.

You know it’s bad when you’re thinking, “this bitch” about yourself.

Unfortunately for me but lucky in the situation, I don’t exactly fill out said bikini like the Victoria’s Secret model advertising it.

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I’m still asking my mom when my boobs are going to come in.

But boobs or no boobs I still felt like a giant one.

And while I may be banned from 1 year old pool parties for the rest of my life I at least learned a valuable lesson:

Victoria’s Secret bikinis should be stored in the naughty drawer to avoid uncomfortable situations like these.

Because Lord knows that thing is collecting dust.

(Just kidding).

But seriously.

I need to store my shit better.

Peace, love, and tanning grease!

Parents Confess

I’ve got to tell you, yesterday I was not a good mother.
I didn’t turn my back as Declan walked towards an open flame or lock him in a play pin while I double fisted cocktails, but I was grumpy and impatient and just downright bitter.
Declan has been much more demanding in general recently but yesterday after four failed attempts at nap time I hit a new level of low.
I was exhausted and blaming him for my feelings rather than taking responsibility for them.
I started scanning le’ internet for quotes on patience (because that’s what you do when you have none) and I found this:

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I realized that I was choosing to wallow in self pity because he refused to nap rather than making a conscious choice to revel in my son’s personality and enjoy my time with him.

Once I turned my frown upside down a calm came over both of us and he took a nap.

And today?
Today my cup is overflowing with love, happiness, and excitement hanging out with my little firecracker.

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I know how blessed I am to spend my days raising this guy rather than in an office.
It is the hardest job I have ever done but it is also hands down the most rewarding.
Money is just money.
But these moments I get to witness are priceless.

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Enough gushing.
On Monday I asked you all to share your Sexfessions.
Thank you to everyone brave enough to put their stories out there!
We have all been there, so let’s all share a good laugh and recap the entries I received.

*All posts are anonymous*

“I’m sick of hubby waking me up at 2 am so I have been trying to catch him before bedtime! My son was in our bed watching Mickey and Dh had just walked out of the bathroom so I grabbed him and pulled him into the closet. Well we weren’t very coordinated standing up so we had to move to the bathroom. Made it just as Mickey got done!”

“My daughter found my drawer of lingerie. She commented on how pretty they were and asked if she could borrow them when she was older like me. All I could do was laugh nervously and change the subject.”

“Before our son slept through the night, we had a lot of “Don Draper sex” (taking off as little clothing as humanly possible), so that if the baby woke up one of us could spring into action!”

“Had sex in the living room while I was 6 months pregnant despite the fact that my daughter, my mom, or my sister could have walked in on us. Talk about spicing things up! (no one caught us, thankfully lol)”

“Having a one year old boy unthinkable it would put a halt to our sex lives no not us we. Our son cosleeps with is he hate the crib but when he’s in a deep sleep we put him in crib and we have 20 mins or les to go at it and if he’s taking a nap we run in our tiny shower and get our sexy on and try and get it in as fast as we can cuz our son seems to hate sleep. But the romantic dinner and late nights out have come to stop so we make our romance simple and to the point . I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Got interrupted during foreplay because my kid woke up. I threw a robe on over my sexy nightgown, but it didn’t cover the whole thing. Even though it was dark in the room she of course still noticed that it was different than my normal pajama pants and baggy shirt and asked why I was wearing a dress. Why are my children so damn inquisitive??”

“Honestly I’m just lucky for the crib we throw him in there all the time so anytime were in the mood we say “you do the kid, I’ll do dogs” and one of us throws him in the crib the other closes the dogs in their kennel… Then we are free to roam about the house ;) but we have had quite a few times late at night with the dogs sleeping (on the floor they aren’t allowed on the bed) and I have gotten sniffed and licked in the ass.”

“My partner and I once put our daughter in the umbrella stroller and awkwardly faced an iPhone on a makeshift shelf so she could watch Winnie the Pooh in order for us to escape to the bathroom for 5 minutes to have sex.

It had to be done.”

“Definitely have had to rush it towards the end because the baby woke up (the baby who was sleeping in a bassinet in our room). Then had to go from sex to breastfeeding instantly, which is just an awful mojo killer. Way too many hormones going on.”

“One time my golden retriever started howling because we made weird noises. Also we totally have done it on the floor of the nursery and the bed in his room (when he was an infant and was in our room in the basinette) and I hope he never finds out when he gets older lol.”

While our son played in our room my husband and I decided to have a quickie. But right when we started he looked at me as if I was in danger and came running over to me in a crying panic. I then coaxed him into his walker and pressed the buttons to engage him, while bent over so my husband could do the deed.

Well that was both awkward and awesome.
Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your dark dirty secrets!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Chateau De Franklin

We’re all adults here.
We know there isn’t a stork in a USPS hat that drops off little pre-diapered babies at our doorsteps, right?
(Dad, this is your cue to stop reading).
So it should come as no surprise that my husband and I created Declan the old fashion way.
Meaning sex.

We had sex.

But just like those frisky dolphin cousins of ours we like to have said relations recreationally as well.

I know that people say sex goes out the window once you have kids but in our case that just isn’t true.
Sex didn’t leave; it adapted.

Sex Before Declan:

Sexy attire, music playing, and a neat bookshelf.

Sex After Declan:

Pizza with ranch and baseball tees.

But with all kidding aside I will say that we have had to get a lot more creative.

I mean, what are you supposed to do when your baby not only co-sleeps but sprawls out over the entire bed?

I’ll tell you what.

We call it Chateau De Franklin.

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As you can see, we decided to go full-blown luxury with this baby.

There’s the leopard print side for a flirty night or you can turn it around for a cozy cabin feel.

I’m thinking of opening my own shop on Etsy.

Are you tired of having to restrict sex to the shower while your kid is in the bathroom with you, awkwardly watching?

Do they hog the bed and make it impossible to even scoot to one side and be intimate?

Do you wish you could have your very own space for you and your partner to get down and dirty?

Well now you can with My Sexy Chateau!

Since I’m sure Derek and I are the only parents on the planet that have ever made a sex spot on their floor with a blanket, I don’t think getting it patented will be a problem.

But seriously, you do what you’ve got to do right?

How do you keep intimacy alive after having kids?

What is your sexfession?
Whether you had sex with your kid in the bed or had your dog come up and lick your butt mid sesh, I want you to confess!
(Confession: Both have happened in my home).

Post in the comments or email them to me (amfranklin1016@gmail.com) and I will feature them on my next post.

I changed the settings on here too so if you would prefer to leave your story anonymously you may do so in the comments.

I can’t wait to hear your stories!

Hand, Foot, And Mouth

Sometimes a hazard of being a parent is days on end where you feel like you almost literally cannot breathe.
Bags decide to book an extended vacation underneath your eyelids, patience thins out quicker than an anemic’s blood, and total exhaustion swirls in like a class 5 twister.
I’ve found myself all too familiar with these things for the past few days.
On top of throwing tantrums and being super needy Declan also developed hand, foot, and mouth disease which has only heightened these outbursts.

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He has been stuck to me like Morello on Christopher.

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And when he doesn’t get his way he becomes Walter White scary.

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I’ve found myself whimpering in the middle of the night because he has decided to nurse like a newborn all over again, wearing my nipples down raw and preventing me from getting any sleep.

I know this is a small moment in a large life but it feels never ending when you’re smack dab in the middle of it with no sleep, sore boobs, and a throbbing headache.

My dear friend Amanda recently had a day like this too and what she posted on her blog (here) really helped me change my mindset today.

I still need a nap, some nipple cream, and a glass of wine but remembering that I am not in control and that it’s a good thing is rather comforting.

So Declan, when you’re older and you read this I want you to know that you have put mommy through the ringer this week.
You’ve been dramatic, clingy, overly emotional, and straight up mean at times.
But I love you more than life.
I cherish you more than all the riches in this world.
And we are going to come out of this stronger and happier than ever.

Here’s to getting through the awfulness that is hand, foot, and mouth disease!

I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Well, maybe my worst.

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Surviving Your Friend’s Pregnancy

Let’s face it:
When you get pregnant it affects everyone.
And while it would be awesome if all your friends and family were on the same level of excitement (and misery) as you, it would also be kind of creepy.
It’s like I’m growing a baby right along with you.

Um, no.

But while this post is about you mama, it isn’t for you.
This one goes out to everyone who has been personally victimized by their friend’s pregnancy.
Aka, all of my friends during mine.

SURVIVING YOUR FRIEND’S PREGNANCY

It will start as all days do.
You’ll probably be milking a hangover as you eat a bagel and casually scroll Facebook from the comfort of your bed when you see a post that will stop you in your tracks.

Our family is expanding by two feet!

And then there were three!

We’re pregnant!

You immediately begin the five stages of grief.

Denial: OMG I knew it! I’m so happy for her!

Anger: Wait a minute. Why didn’t she tell me before she announced it on Facebook? What a bitch, she had better not expect me to come to the baby shower.

Bargaining: I should get her a bottle of wine so that she has to drink it with me when she pops that thing out!

Depression: I’m going to end up owning 25 cats and knitting them all sweaters for the harsh California winters.

Acceptance: It’s just a baby. Not like she’s going to change into a completely different person or something.

But of course you’re wrong.
Very, very wrong.

You will start to notice that it physically pains her to talk about anything other than her growing spawn.

And you’re like…

She will begin several sentences by saying,
“I know this is really gross and you probably don’t want to hear it, but…”

Every time you blink there will be a new photo shoot.

She will invite you to her baby gender reveal party and you will secretly wonder why on earth anyone would have an entire event surrounded around finding out what the sex of their baby is.

And you will never look at her the same way again if she makes it a dry party.

Speaking of, “parties” with her will never last past 7:00 pm.

Your days of splitting a cheat dessert after dinner will be long gone.
You turn your head for a moment to grab your fork and she’s already devoured the entire cheesecake slice and now she’s crying uncontrollably because it’s all gone.

Did I mention she will tell you that she misses caffeine every single time she sees you?

When the infamous baby shower comes, you will be at a loss on what to get her.

Does this present say, “Nope. Not bitter at all that I lost my Taco Tuesday PIC.”

And when she finally pops that monster out she will expect you to come to the hospital to visit this weird creature that you have no real attachment to.

You’ll look that little baby in the eyes and uncomfortably say the first thing that comes to mind.

Everyone will laugh, completely unaware that you were 100% serious and your new mom friend will put that tiny little being in your arms.

You’ll be terrified that any move you make will snap it’s neck and put you on death row.

He/She will lock eyes with you and look directly into your soul.

You’ll want to look away because there is way too much shit in there that is not child friendly, but you will find yourself mesmerized by those tiny little eyes attached to that tiny little body.
And for a moment, you will completely get why people decide to have kids.

When the baby is done uncovering your deepest darkest secrets they will then cleanse you of your sins by vomiting all over you.

This will snap you out of your trance and you will be free to leave.

Congratulations, you survived!

Now go enjoy your baby-free life with a trip to the movies.
Or a theme park.
Or a smokey bar with a regular named Patty.
The childless world is your oyster my friend.

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Month Eleven

First and foremost I would like to say Happy Memorial Day to everyone.
I just talked to my little brother yesterday who is in the final stage of Army bootcamp and it just reminded me how fortunate we are as a country that our men and women VOLUNTEER to dedicate their lives to protecting us.
It’s because of these volunteers that we get to enjoy a bbq at home today, go on family vacations, and work where we want to.
Were they not to step up and sacrifice so much, we would go back to drafting and I may not be lying next to my husband right now like I am.
So thank you soldiers.
The fallen, the retired, the current, and the training.
Your heroic efforts do not go unnoticed and I am forever grateful.

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Today Declan is 11 months old.
It makes my eyes all watery when I think about the fact that almost a year has passed and I can never get that time or those moments back.
But on the flip side, I am so amazed by my son and everything he has accomplished in such a short time.

….

SPREADING HIS WINGS:

I’ve been very candid about how attached Declan is to me.

It has been both incredible and difficult to navigate at times.
But he beginning to establish his independence from me and let other people hold him, play with him, etc.
I can even walk out of the room to pee now!

SO THAT’S HOW IT WORKS:

Declan is starting to understand that things are meant to be more than simply chew toys.
He’s started to put toys in buckets, understand different shapes, and even mimic the actions we do.
Example: He has seen Derek and I grab the doggie door cover and put it on several times.
Out of nowhere one day he walked over there, grabbed it, and tried to put it on himself.

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(Don’t mind me all weird in the background, lol)

It’s now one of his favorite things to do.

FAMILY PHOTOS:

We’ve been using the same photographer (Theresia Villanueva Photography) since our first pregnancy because we just love her so much.
Unfortunately for us, (but amazing for her!) her fiancé just got a pilot gig in Dubai so this was our last round of pictures with her before they leave.

Here are a few of my favorites.

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MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM:

If he knows he is not supposed to play with something he wants it that much more.
If he knows he’s not supposed to do something he will smile at me first, then do it anyway.
Yesterday he kept pulling my hair and when I finally batted his hand away he began to hit me.
Our solution is to basically put him in an infant time out (aka we just put him down and don’t hold him).
He hates it but I think it’s working.

BED HOG:

The bigger he gets the harder it is to share a bed with him.

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See what I mean?
We plan to start slowly transitioning him to his own space.
We will see how that goes.

Next month is sure to be an exciting one with his first Disney trip and first birthday!
I’d better start getting serious about party planning.

But let’s be honest, I’ve been planning this thing for months!

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I Spoke Too Soon

It turns out I was a little too quick to brag yesterday about surviving the diarrhea diaries on Wednesday.
Declan literally seemed fine all day so I assumed whatever hit him had passed.
Derek and I both found ourselves a little queasy after a family hike so we cuddled up and had an early bedtime.
Around 12:00 am I was abruptly awoken by the “I’m about to puke all over the place” sound that I’ve come to know so well over the span of my life.
Only it wasn’t coming from me, it was the tiny creature sleeping on my chest.
I was only able to turn his body and lift his head before it came hurling out and all over me.

Derek helped clean off Declan while I cleaned myself and we were all off to dreamland again.

Two hours later, I hear it again.

A smart parent would have prepped themselves for another round with towels, and paper bags, and what not but naturally I did nothing of the sort.

Insert me getting puked on for the second time.

So between being used as a human toilet and deep cleaning the carpet after another traumatizing diaper blowout it’s been a long day.
Derek came home early because he’s been throwing up all morning too, so it looks like I will be making some homemade chicken noodle soup tonight and taking care of my boys.

On a happy note, I got my Mother’s Day present today!
Derek had a band custom made for to represent Declan.

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To say I love it is an understatement.
Not only is it absolutely stunning but it also holds so much sentimental value to me as it is a representation of the life we created together.

Vomit covered and all I am one lucky lady to live the life I do.

Yeah, I should probably get on that.

Hope everyone has a sick-free Memorial Day weekend!