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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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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Spending Time With Your Children: Guest Blog

Today I would like to introduce everyone to a friend of mine!

Meet Ricky.

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Daddy to Aven, boyfriend to Lindsey, and entrepreneur.
Derek and Ricky have known each other since they were kids so it was pretty cool when we found out we were going to be having our sons only two months apart.

Ricky recently approached me about doing a guest post and I was happy to oblige.
I love connecting with other people and that goes for the rest of my readers too.
If you’re a fellow blogger or even if you’re not and just have something you’d like to share, please feel free to message me and I would be happy to have you do a guest blog!

I enjoy Ricky’s blog as it is filled with lots of uplifting, motivational posts.
He really has a knack for inspiring people and I encourage you to check it out.
(If you would like to read more, you can hop on over to his blog here!)

Enjoy!

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SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN

As kids, spending time with mom or dad was a magical time.
Every child looks at their parents like they are true super heros.
They hang on every word of advice their dad offers them.
While being overwhelmed by the amount of love and joy their mother gives them.

Having a strong and powerful relationship with your children is essential for them to grow and become the best they can be. Parents play such a vital role in the development of their kids, whether thats a good role or a negative one. In today’s society A lot of families have lost that special touch. We are living a a fast pace environment, Where sit down dinners turned into fast food drive throughs. Where sharing stories of our day turned into staying silent and watching made up stories on television. Where spending time with our children was only the drive from home to the daycare.

A huge reason I believe this is happening is the demand of providing a life in today’s world. We need money for everything. Even for basic living sources such has water, food and shelter. What makes it worse is most are only taught how to work for money instead of having money work for them. With most jobs barely offering enough money to get by, most families are forced to have the father and mother both work long hours, almost every day, every month, year and year again.

To me this is unacceptable. That is why I have looked for opportunities that will allow me not just financial freedom but time freedom. I don’t just want to stop there either. I want to help as many other people and families achieve the same type of freedom. To bring back the comfort and joy of being a connected and unified family.

Wouldn’t you rather be the coach then the parent in the stands or the one that is at work?
Wouldn’t you rather be the one cooking your kids meals then a fast food restaurant who has signs warning of chemicals that have been known to cause cancer?
Wouldn’t you rather spend your time with your kids and your family then at some job?

There are more efficient and effected ways to earn an income while not sacrificing precious time in your children’s lives!

If your interested in hearing about these opportunities please contact me at: https://www.sfacebook.com/onethought11

Declan’s Mom

I had a distant memory of a girl.
She was whimsical and spontaneous and free.
She would write songs by the beach and start driving before she had a destination in mind.
Her style was eclectic, her eyes were filled with wonder, her heart was trusting and good.

Sometimes I long for a sense of significance.

At the grocery store I frequent almost every cashier knows Declan.
When we check out they are always talking to him and gushing.
On the rare times I am at the store alone they ask me where he is and remind one another, “this is Declan’s mom”.

I am nameless.
Sometimes it even takes them a moment to recognize me without an adorable baby attached to my hip.

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I am Declan’s mom and I am beyond proud to be such.
But I am so much more than that.

I am a writer.
A singer.
An adventurer.
I love to cook and act and try new things.
My heart is in people and I love to help those in need.
I’m a glass half full kind of lady.
I love being goofy & weird.
Random dance parties are a part of my daily life and I believe in the healing powers of chocolate.

Declan and I have a unique bond.
He has never taken a bottle which made us pretty much inseparable for the first 6 months of his life.
He likes to bring me a book and sit in my lap while I read it to him over and over again.
He quite literally will crawl up me until his body is covering my face while he sleeps, as if to say that he cannot get close enough to me.
He loves with an intensity that I have never seen before from another child.
And it is so special.

But in the midst of being his everything I feel as if I became nothing.
I was “Declan’s mom and Derek’s wife”.
The only time I sang was to get him to sleep, I would cook merely to put food on the table, and the only time I could squeeze in writing was if I chose it instead of sleep which I desperately needed.

I looked in the mirror one morning and cried.
Mulan style, I rinsed my tired eyes and asked myself who it was staring back at me.
I did not recognize this woman.
She was dull and lifeless.
Anxiety was seeping from her pores and she looked lost.
Where had I gone?
And how long had I been away?

I knew I needed to make a change in my body, my mind, and my soul.
So I did.

I started getting Declan to sleep in his stroller rather than on me, so that I could do my workouts in the morning and have the rest of the day to look forward to.
I went shopping and bought clothes regardless of whether or not it would be easy to breastfeed in them for the first time in over a year.
I did my nails and curled my hair and put on eyeshadow.
I bought bright flowers for the house.
And I started to play music during the day again so I could sing along.

It’s funny really.
I think I subconsciously thought that I had to choose between the two.
Like, I couldn’t be myself and Declan’s mom.
I couldn’t be a devoted mother/wife and still do the things I enjoyed, still be the woman I am.
But now I see that all of the things I love and that make me who I am actually make me a better family member too.

When I sing, the whole house listens in.
When I’m spontaneous, we always end up doing something fun and memorable.
Family dance parties have become something I look forward to every single day.
And I am the happiest version of myself that I have ever been.

My significance is found.
And if I am only remembered as Declan’s mom then I am okay with that.
Because being that woman is pretty awesome.

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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Father’s Day

When I fell in love with Derek it was that last night in Vegas, I’m all in kind of love.
We were high on the excitement of each other and drunk on our passionate love.
Only unlike Vegas, we didn’t come home ashamed and broke.
Instead, we were rich with love and found ourselves in a forever honeymoon.
I didn’t think it was possible for love to be any stronger than ours already was.
And then we became parents to our son.

This past (almost) year watching Derek transform from my husband to my husband AND the father of our child has been breathtaking.
I never doubted he would be a wonderful father but I still find myself in awe of him.

I have literally never seen a child in my life get more excited to see their father than Declan does every day when Derek gets home from work.
It’s easy and often expected for a dad to sort of sit on the sidelines and let the mom be the parent.
So I know how fortunate I am to have a partner who is so hands on not because he has to be but because he wants to be.

I have always loved Derek.
But the love I have for him now as I have watched him father our son has surpassed what I ever imagined was possible.

There’s so much more I want to say but I’m finding myself unable to put it into words.
It is very rare for me to be speechless but when it comes to this I just am.
So I will leave you with some photos that speak louder than my words ever could.

Happy Father’s Day my love.

I am honored to parent our child by your side.

Catching Up

I’ve got two blog posts sitting in my draft folder.
They are quirky and fun and almost done.
(That was an accidental rhyme I promise).
But I'm leaving them there because today I just want to catch up.

Life has been so hectic recently.
Not bad hectic, but the kind that has you unable to keep your eyes open past 9 pm.

I've had to make a decision during nap time on whether I want to blog or workout and frankly, working out has been winning because I'm hitting the Las Vegas strip in a month and I want my baby-made stretch marks to look slightly less stretchy if you know what I mean.

Currently I'm in full blown birthday planning mode for Declan which is both fun and stressful.
Damn Vistaprint ruined my invites but I don't have time to get new ones so I had to send out these weird, oversized, and cut off ones.
Our guest list is HUGE and I'm trying to think of ways to ensure that Declan isn't horribly overstimulated at this massive event that is supposed to be for him, not against him.
And our awesome photographer is moving to Dubai so now I'm on the hunt for a new one.
(If anyone knows a reasonably priced photographer in the SoCal area please let me know!)

Derek went on a fishing trip Thursday-Sunday and Declan did not enjoy his daddy being gone for so long.
He became super clingy as if he felt I was going to leave too every single time he was out of my arms.

Example:
On Sunday he took a nap and I worked out.
He woke up as I was finishing the last 2 minutes of my program and watched me calmly as I finished.
I picked him up out of the stroller, got him some snacks, and made our way to the bathroom so I could shower.
I turned the shower on and put him down so I could get undressed.
The minute his tiny feet hit the cold tile he began to scream and stomp.
He grasped my leg with both arms, cried "Mama!" and refused to let go.
So I sat there, naked and sweaty on my bathroom floor and did the only thing I could think of to calm him down.
I breastfed.
After about 5 minutes of wasting water during a horrible drought later he seemed like a new baby.
I began to put him down but before his feet even hit he was screaming again.
So I took him in the shower with me.
Mind you, I tried to bring toys in and have him hang out on the floor while I washed off quickly but he was irate and I was afraid he would slip and hit his head if I just forced him to stay down there.
You don't know skills until you have held a slippery wet baby in one arm and washed your body with the other.

Needless to say I was so happy when Derek came home.

I also hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law Jamie on Saturday which was great.
Her sisters, mom, and my mom helped me out A LOT which I was super grateful for.
It was beautiful and everyone had a great time.

Park days, lunch dates, and hour drives to see my mom have left us with hardly any down time.

I'm looking forward to relaxing this Father's Day weekend and just connecting with my little family.

I'll leave you today a hint for Declan's birthday party theme.

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Can you guess what it is? :)

P.s.
Here’s a little photo dump of everything we have been up to lately!

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Jaxon’s first birthday:

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Heaven and Hell party (we went as Miley and the Biebs):

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My dad’s birthday:

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Talk soon friends!

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.

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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!