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*

image

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.

image

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.

20140526-155648-57408884.jpg

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.

IMG_2401.JPG

(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.

IMG_2622-0.JPG

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.

IMG_2370.JPG

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.

IMG_2591.JPG

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.

IMG_2625.JPG

 

…………………….

20140526-155648-57408884.jpg

About The Whole Breastfeeding Thing…

My body decided to round out World Breastfeeding Week (yes, it’s a real thing) with a nice case of mastitis which is a breast infection caused by a blocked duct.

I had it back when Declan was about two months old and both times it has sucked.
But I’ve got some antibiotics and should be better in a few days.

Anyway…

I always teeter totter back and forth on discussing my views of breastfeeding on here because the whole topic is so controversial.

But in honor of the week I decided to woman up and do it.

I’m going to calmly tread into the storm that is nursing and hope that everybody walks away with the right message.

image

As a mother who has been breastfeeding for over a year now I am obviously a huge advocate for doing so.

You just can’t deny the science, the health, and the bond attached to it.

But I don’t post links about how mom’s who formula feed are lazy, selfish, and poisoning their children.

I don’t ever say things like, “breast is best”.

And I never take or post nursing selfies.

I’m not trying to be glamorous or admirable or to stick-it-to-the-man when I nurse.

image

I do it to nourish and bond with my child.

The end.

There is no other reason.

It’s not about feminism to me, it’s about me and my son.

Primitively speaking, this is what I was designed to do.

Culturally speaking, I was raised to know that nursing your child is a good thing but so is being respectful to your environment.

More than that, nursing is a very special and personal experience for me.

In the home I grew up in, my father would have been absolutely mortified if he had walked in on me changing or seen any private part of my body exposed.

I was taught to treat my body as a temple and to guard it from the sick world we live in.

I treat my son’s body with the same respect in that I never post nude photos of him on the internet, no matter how adorable his little toosh may be.

My breasts are more than just boobs to me.

They are a part of my temple and they do more than just entertain my husband.

They nourish my child and provide him comfort.

It is such a beautiful thing and I can see why mothers want to share it with the world.

But for me personally, that beauty is something that should be protected.

I guard that beauty with my life because I want to preserve it and keep it safe.

I have nothing against a mother who proudly displays her breastfeeding in public.

Feeding your child is nothing to be ashamed of.

But I want to make it known that just because I choose to cover up does not mean that I am ashamed.

I will feed Declan whenever, wherever.

But I will do so proudly covered up.

And I shouldn’t be looked down on by moms doing the exact same thing as me just because I choose to do so.

I mean, really?

Being a mom is like being in high school all over again.

Only this is an all girl’s high school that has over 85 million women in attendance and all of their periods seemed to be synced.

It’s time to stop mommy bashing.

Why do we care so much either way?

Does it really ruin your entire day if you see someone nursing?

Is it the end of the world if you cover up your baby for five minutes while they eat?

It’s not okay to make other women feel like less of a mother for doing one or the other.

Talking down to people doesn’t make you an activist but it does makes you an asshole.

Nursing is not easy and I commend the women who have kept with it but I do not blame the ones that didn’t either.

Formula or breast, covered or uncovered; are these the type of things we want to teach our children are the most important?
I want my son to be kind, patient, and courageous.
I fear that in an effort to stand up for what we believe in sometimes we end up teaching our children hate and intolerance rather than love, respect, and kindness.

We deserve to feed our children however we see fit as long as our child is not in any harm from said methods.

I believe that my mother did her very best to raise me and loves me just as I love Declan.
I do not think she is less of a mother or lazy or careless because she chose not to continue breastfeeding past 6 weeks.

Don’t let your legacy be the way you shamed other women

Breastfeed or not, covered or uncovered, homemade food or pre-packed.

Being a mom has no instructional manual and we are all just trying to do the very best we can.

I hope you teach your children to speak, act, and live from a place of kindness.

Because not a single one of us is doing it all right.

And every single one of us deserves some slack, especially from one another.

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.

20140721-220227-79347370.jpg

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.

20140708-190929-68969929.jpg

He has been stuck to me like Morello on Christopher.

20140708-103645-38205862.jpg

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

20140708-104015-38415461.jpg

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.

20140708-191611-69371433.jpg

Party With D. Franklin

To say my one year old got spoiled for his birth week would be an understatement.

He had a beach trip, Aquarium visit, Farrell’s ice cream dinner, Disneyland day, and a party to top it all off.

10450979_10152535706549414_8627612258377943895_n

10513415_10204077623602987_197691697892052935_n10375082_10204077618802867_5422631965421828137_n

1610776_10152549707559414_2227285332591417246_n

10412034_10152549707164414_217098648211463165_n10527905_10152549706684414_3104422122718900523_n

10530884_10152549706089414_8207267197125319005_n

10462580_10152549706379414_8531289495919123859_n

You would think after all of this fun he would have been pooped by party day but Saturday came and he was ready to go!

The theme I went with was The Great Gatbsy.

Believe it or not, I did not come up with the idea by hours of Pinterest scanning.

Instead it came to me in a daydream while driving one day.

Since it was something I made up I also had to come up with a lot of the crafting ideas by myself.

For the centerpieces I decided to spray paint mason jars gold and hot glue ribbon around them.

Then I added some homemade bows to resemble bow ties.

securedownload

I also (with the help of my cousin) took napkins, plastic silverware, and the same gold bow ribbon from the jars and used them to make bow tie silverware holders.

10463870_10152541783579414_7486844628842960038_n

Of course the only picture I snagged managed to be of an oddly shaped one but you get the idea.

I had the tables pre-set with these beautiful plastic plates from Party City and the bow tie silverware to add the elegant Gatsby feel to the party.

I also got tuxedo party favor boxes from the dollar store and filled them with ring pops and airheads.

I love the way everything came out.

10462990_10152541783639414_5223712132584150493_n

10509497_10152541783289414_3141659912405086725_n

10477376_10152541783179414_2179684740664206173_n

1782072_10152541782964414_5893019245570618674_n

10492061_10152541782904414_7583001310550040064_n

10426885_10152541783059414_486294177121601431_n

attachment-2105918732

I also (with the help of my Apple Genius friend Brian) found this awesome app called Insta Booth that lets you take photo booth style pictures with the Ipad and I set up a little backdrop complete with homemade props for everyone to play with.

10409601_10152541828989414_8236072457595257010_n

10421165_10152541825659414_5191157615256116403_n

My dear friend Amanda custom made Declan’s cakes as a present to us which was incredible.

10418208_10152541785629414_4667272764406806357_n

Did I mention she was on vacation visiting us while she did this AND she’s pregnant?

Uh-mazing.

1979554_10152541786314414_1742905555127608334_n

Declan loved the personal smash cake she made him too!

10439333_10152541787159414_234060666923783501_n

10500539_10152541786514414_4312562378805332305_n

10511344_10152541786839414_4381366468137732424_n

It was such a great bash!

10511163_10152541783359414_1963520546968151661_n

10494792_10152541784139414_5253883953505558156_n

Lots of friends and family showed up, we drank mint juleps and champagne sangria, and by the end of it all little man was exhausted.

Thank you again to everyone who came and celebrated with us!

And sorry (not sorry) for this picture heavy post.

One Year

It was a long day.
We had spent half of it in the car driving home from Pismo beach and the other half doing birthday party crafts.
But last night I found myself unable to peel my sunken, sleep-lusting eyes away from the tiny little being curled up next to me.
It was his last night in the first year of his life.
I knew once I fell asleep the year would be gone forever, and I was having a hard time parting with it.
I wish I could lock away the last 365 days in a steel vault so that I would forever have every moment, every breath.
But memories have already begun to fade, stories already meshing together.
If I can’t remember what we were doing on November 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm now then I’m surely not going to remember in the years to come.
While I cannot tuck away every waking moment I have made it a point to preserve this year the only way I know how.
Through photos, videos, and writing.
Thank you for following my monthly Declan updates, my “I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing” parenting moments, and for loving my son.

IMG_62931

Sweet boy:
You are the light of my life and my greatest gift.
Your father and I are abundantly blessed by your presence.
You bring so much joy to everyone who meets you and it has been such a treat to watch you grow.
I am honored to be your mother and I promise to never stop telling you that.
Sometimes life will knock you down and you will feel defeated, but I will always be right there to help pick you up.
Be kind, love fully, and always save room for dessert.
Happy First Birthday Declan Lael!

Love,
Mama

20140626-132921-48561077.jpg

20140626-160513-57913189.jpg

20140626-160514-57914200.jpg

20140626-160512-57912182.jpg

Tonight we are taking Declan to Farrell’s for ice cream, tomorrow is his very first Disneyland trip, and Saturday is his birthday party!
This kid is in for a weekend of partying and I will be sure to report back with lots of photos and stories.
My weekend starts now so I hope everyone has a good one!

20140626-161915-58755179.jpg