Friday, February 26, 2016

Mamas Going on Vacation!

Part of me can't believe this is really happening but the tickets have been purchased and it's official!


And not only that but I am going with one of my favorite people.. My paternal Grandma! 

I've been to San Francisco before but back when I was eight/nine so I'm really looking forward to taking it all in as an adult. We have some family and close friends of my Grandma that live there so we'll have great company to stay with and hang out with while we're there. 

A whole week in San Fran in May without my kids or husband. I'm not nervous at all about leaving them (my husband is a rockstar dad) but I know I will miss them a ton! 

Let the countdown begin! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Go on my children, eat those stale french fries!

When I came across this on Facebook a couple weeks back it brought up all of the old feelings of trying to do things "right" with my kids when they were younger. I realize now that it really hasn't mattered all that much on THEM how I did things when they younger but more so how my choices on them have affected ME. Let me take you on a little journey through the past.

Most of you know that I had Levi as a teenager. I had all of the best intentions but to be honest, I now think of myself as a selfish idiot when it came to being pregnant and having an infant.

[For the record, I DO NOT care what other people do during their pregnancies, labor, delivery and with their children.. this is all about ME and how I feel about MY choices.]

I trusted everything my Dr's and nurses told me and suggested for me during my pregnancy, labor and delivery with Levi. I didn't once think about all of my options or do much research on ANYTHING. In the end, I had a labor and a delivery that, to be completely honest, pisses me off whenever I think too much about it. Now, don't get me wrong, the day Levi was born is [tied for 1st for] the most amazing day of my life! There's no way to describe the instant love you have when meeting your child! Though everything about the labor and delivery was just wrong, wrong, wrong.. not letting me progress long enough before recommending Pitocin (nurses suggested it, so why not!?), then getting an epidural because Pitocin makes your contractions so insanely intense, followed by more Pitocin because epidurals stall labor, followed by suggesting a vacuum to assist Levi in coming out because he was "sunny side up" instead of oh, I don't know.. having me change positions? But wait.. I couldn't do that because I got an epidural making me immobile and in no control what-so-ever. Long story short.. I regret getting that Pitocin. And let's not forget me allowing them to do an episiotomy.. my oh my.

The biggest mom guilt I have of all is choosing to stop breastfeeding Levi at 3 months old because I just wanted to be a smoker again. Seriously, Emma?! What a freaking selfish idiot. The thought of this really actually makes me cry.

So, I KNEW that the next time I had a child I would "DO IT RIGHT". I quit smoking the day I found out I was pregnant with Rex and never looked back. I researched everything I possibly could, watched documentaries around pregnancy and birth, read a countless number of books and became as educated as possible. I found an amazing birth center with a group of midwives, hired a doula and was determined to have an unmedicated, natural water birth with Rex. Long story short, everything went as planned and I could not be happier about my birth experience with him. Rex was exclusively breastfed for 6 months only taking a bottle a few times a week while I was at work. When he started on solids after 6 months old I made his baby food with only organic food. I even went as [freakishly] far as to boil. tap. water. and cool it before letting him drink it. HA! I seriously had gone a little too far with this "making-up-for-the-past-and-doing-it-right-this-time" stuff by boiling tap water (I was seriously off my rocker).. I let Rex self-wean from breastfeeding and he was done with it at 17 months old. Was I ready for him to be done!? Hell no I wasn't! I felt like it was after the breastfeeding ended that I started to get symptoms of postpartum depression. Then slowly but surely the hormonal fog of pregnancy and breastfeeding lifted and so did my grip on "doing things right".

Now, my kids hardly eat any organic food (that s*** is expensive!) and I can barely keep their [unhealthy] snacking under control.

Parenting has been a constant journey of learning, growth, guilt, pressure and doubt. I've learned that I'm happiest when I don't put so much pressure on myself for "doing things right" and just let my kids be kids without putting so many limits on things.

In the end of it all, I have two amazing and healthy children that have turned out just fine no matter how they were brought into this world and the choices I've made for them. So go on my children, eat those stale french fries! I really do appreciate the few minutes you've saved me from cleaning them up myself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Day in the Life

I've gotten the question a couple times since becoming a SAHM again about what it is that I do all day. Just like anyone else, some days are way more productive than others! Here's a little idea of a "normal" weekday:

8:00am - My dreaded alarm goes off (if Rex hasn't woken me up yet) and I wake Levi up for school.

8:10am - Kids eat breakfast (Levi: oatmeal and Rex: cereal) and I drink coffee while getting Levi's backpack ready.

8:15am - Andy rolls out of bed.

8:20am - I tell Levi a thousand times to, "Get dressed, brush your hair and brush your teeth"

8:30am - Levi starts getting his stuff on for the bus stop.

8:35am - Andy brings Levi to the bus stop.

8:45am - Andy gets ready for work. I do 30 minutes of [heavily interrupted] Yoga.

9:15am - Andy leaves for work and Rex is already begging for a snack.

9:30am - I might decide it's time to brush my teeth [just being honest].

9:35am - Sit down at my computer to "work" [blog, line up Dove tasting parties, update Facebook business pages, check email, etc. etc.].

10:45am - Start household chores [but it usually turns into me doing the same 5 puzzles with Rex for over an hour].

12:00pm - Eat lunch with Rex.

12:30pm - Attempt some quiet time [plop Rex in front of a movie so I can maybe catch up on a show or read] and finish up chores.

3:00pm - Shower.

3:30pm - Try to make sure the house doesn't look like a disaster for when Andy gets home.

4:00pm - Andy is usually home from work by now.

4:15pm - Levi gets home from school.

4:30pm - The boys start tearing up the house and acting wild. I might raise my voice once or twice..  ["We sit on the couch!" "Would you please not scatter Nerf gun bullets all over the living room?!" "Rex, stop touching your brothers butt!"]

5:00pm - Andy makes dinner [I am an awful cook.. unless it's hotdish. I can do hotdish.]

5:30pm - Andy, Levi and I eat dinner while Rex takes one look at it and refuses to eat.

5:45pm - Homework time with Levi.

6:15pm - If we don't have to go anywhere we'd usually play a game together or watch a show [depending on our stress/energy level].

7:45pm - The boys get ready for bed [pj's, teeth, potty].

8:00pm - Levi goes to bed perfect while Rex gets up at least 5 times.

8:15pm - Beer time. Andy goes downstairs to watch TV or play video games while I watch TV upstairs. Gotta try to get in some "me time".

10:00pm - We watch the news together or catch up on a show we both like to watch.

11:00pm - I've either already fallen asleep on the couch or I stumble up to bed.

Well, there ya have it! A day in the life..

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Total Money Makeover

This book had been collecting dust in our house ever since it was loaned to us years ago..

I finally gave it a read recently and I wish I had done so the day I got it!

Here's what I've walked away from it with:

-If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
-A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
-Leasing a car is the biggest waste of money and you might as well just throw a $100 bill out of the window every week instead.
-Save $1,000 fast.
-Implement a budget at the beginning of every month and give every dollar you make a place to go (paying a bill, saving, etc). Do not spend $1 out of place.
-Pay off your debts starting with the smallest and ending with the largest.

My list could go on and on after reading this book but these were my biggest "AHA!" moments.

Since reading The Total Money Makeover Andy and I have sat down and figured out our first months budget, we'll be cutting the cord with cable this week, I've lowered my cell phone bill by $40/month and I've sold useless things in our house making hundreds of dollars to put towards our saving $1,000 fast!

I've never been more excited about saving money before and having a goal and budget in place for ourselves. I highly recommend giving this book a read and giving yourself a Total Money Makeover!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Our dream will have to wait..

Over the last 9 months we've really gotten the itch to move. And not just move.. but MOVE! It happened to us last spring after we had started spending so much more time at our cabin. We always dreaded coming home. We hated leaving the country (and still do whenever we are there). The country is where we are happiest! In the middle of [almost] nowhere with spotty cell reception, fresh air, tons of wildlife and a slower pace of living. We went so far as to picking the brain of our wedding reception caterer (we got married in the same town as our cabin) about the area and what it's truly like to live there. It made us want to move there MORE! Everywhere we drove we scoped out different back roads and other towns nearby for the perfect place to live and when we came back down to the city a lot of our free time was spent looking online at houses for sale up there.

Though, with all of this dreaming we've ultimately decided that our dreams will have to wait.


Because of the amazing opportunity our boys have by going to a Spanish immersion school.

The odds to get into this school are quite low. It's all thanks to our neighborhood elementary school being at max capacity that Levi was able to get into it. The kids who had applied to the Spanish immersion from our neighborhood were put on a separate lottery list because they needed to put as many kids as possible from around here into other schools so that our local elementary didn't overflow. Levi didn't get into it after the first lottery draw but a few weeks later I got the email saying he was accepted (and Rex is an automatic in because they're brothers)! I cried so many tears of joy! I was going to have kids fluent in Spanish by 3rd grade! The opportunities they will have in their future are HUGE!

We just can't bring ourselves to take this away from our children.

Which brings me to my next point.. we DO have to move. Just into the other side of our school district. But this will come into play a few years from now.

For now, our dreams of living in the country will have to remain in our dreams. But I'm certain it will be worth the wait!