Friday, January 31, 2014

Januarys Giving Thanks Post

January is one of those months where everything seems possible and you feel like you can reach the sky if you try. Well, I am going to try to stick to this resolution and hopefully when the year is over I'll have a better look on the world!

January 1:
     Today, technology is the main thing I am thankful for. Without it my husband wouldn't have seen our youngest start to crawl (backwards) and I wouldn't have seen how excited our oldest was to "help" his daddy with his measuring tape (while in the garage).

Heres the videos:

January 2:
     Today I am thankful for the small moments with my youngest. His smiles keep me going. I love the cuddles he gives, the laughter he does when he sees me and that one moment everyday when he wakes up and looks around to try and find me! Makes my heart melt, and it makes tomorrow worth waking up for!

January 3:
     Do you have that one person you always call or text when you have a bad day or that person you just have to tell that awesome story to? My best friend is my person, the one I go to for a lot of stuff, my best friend Kim. Today, I am thankful for her. I was able to skype with her (again thanks technology), as she lives in Okinawa, Japan; and I was able to see her, chat with her, and get the information about a few things I knew she could help me out with! I just love how, even though we haven't talk in a few weeks, we can just pick up right where we left off. I love that about our friendship. Its the best kind of relationship.

When she came back to Cali for a visit!
January 4:
     Today I am thankful for the kids bed time. Its calm and quiet and I can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate without worrying its going to get spilled on someone or myself! Peace, calm and silence... yes please!

January 5:
     Today I am thankful for our small moments of family time. An example, today we went for a walk down to the lake on base. Both our kids loved it and I was able to get some "physical therapy" time in too!
The Beale Lake.

Mommy and J man!

Daddy and B man, their that small looking figure.

Family photo!
January 6:
     Today, well... its hard to find something positive to be thankful for after a very long stressful day, but I do have to say I am thankful for so many great options for eating healthier foods! I tried a great new smoothie recipe, and even my oldest son loved it! I love knowing that what I am doing for myself, to help get into my summer figure, can also start a healthier lifestyle for my entire family!

January 7:
     Today I am thankful for the small stuff. Just when I thought I couldn't stay on track (with my weight loss plan, and healthy eating) I catch the Biggest Losers new show on tonight. It reminds me its the small things in life. Just thankful for that reminder that its okay to have that ONE cookie. Especially if you have been working hard! I know I have been doing my best to eat right, and stay on track. I am thankful for that small reminder! 

January 8:
     Today I am so thankful to hold, and be able to watch, cuddle, and love on this gorgeous little baby I have. I can not stay in these moments long enough. I wish I could just hold onto these moments for a lifetime.
This is a very special moment that I enjoyed with my oldest, and now my youngest.

January 9:
     Today I am thankful for my little son Jareds first real long stride of crawling!!! Yes he has done it! He is a crawling champ now! Its moments like these that just melts my heart, and makes me feel like the luckiest mom around.

January 10:
     I am so thankful for this new house we have been so lucky to receive (thanks to military, on base, housing). The last house we had was built in the 50's and this new house makes life just that much easier. One less thing to stress about.

January 11:
     Today I am thankful for all the hard work I put in, because I am down another pant size, and another 2 lbs!!! Yay for progress!

January 12:
     I am so thankful for skype and facetime! Without them, I don't think I would "see" much of my family. I am so lucky to be able to skype with my sister and see her pregnant belly, skype with my mother to talk about the shower, and then facetime with friends to just say hello! Love it, so lucky!

January 13:
     I am so thankful today more then any other day for the amazing husband who let me NAP!!! I had to be up early for physical therapy and he let me nap for almost 3 hours. Best thing ever! I guess I am thankful for my husband and the nap, why not two things in one day!

January 14:
     I am so thankful for my amazing slow cooker!!! I can not tell you how much I love dumping a bunch of random stuff into a pot, walking away, and 6-10 hours later I get to enjoy the most AMAZING food! Everyone should own a slow cooker!!!

January 15:
     I am so thankful today is pay day! It always feels good to have money in the account. I hate seeing it slowly disappear as we pay bills, and get groceries. I wish the money could just double or triple. I wish I could win the lottery. Oh I know, I wish I just had the money to buy what I needed for my family! In the end, I am just glad to see the paycheck this week!

January 16:
     I am so thankful for the many new recipes I have been able to try lately. Most of them only cost a few bucks, for several days of food! Feels great knowing I can eat healthy but not break the bank.

Chicken Taco Chili Over Rice.

Cucumber and Tuna Sandwich.

January 17:
     Today I am thankful for the one last month of having a 1 year old. My son will turn two in exactly a month, so I am enjoying today with extra laughs, cuddles, and jumping (his new thing).

January 18:
     Well today is our 6 year wedding anniversary, so today I think its pretty obvious what I am thankful for! I can only hope for another amazing year, or ten, maybe thirty! 

January 19:
     Today I am thankful for a credit card. When you least want to make dinner, or deal with the sun in your eyes, you can purchase a curtain rod, and some dinner. I am much happier and tomorrow when the sun rises, I am sure I will be even happier!

January 20:
     Time alone, or with other adults, why yes please! I am so thankful that I get to go to physical therapy twice a week, talk to other adults (not kids), and have time alone; all while trying to improve my knee for my family, health, and happiness! Love it!

January 21:
     Today I am so thankful for the TV show The Biggest Loser. I know, lame. However, just when I am having a rough day or feeling in a rut with my weight loss; I get to see these amazing transformations, and realize how lucky I am. So glad that I have this show to motivate me, and help me realize that everything is possible with hard work and determination! I can do this! Only 54 more pounds to go!

January 22:
     I can not believe what happened today! My little J man pulled himself up AND said his first word! So, today I am thankful for those special moments!! Enjoy:

January 23:
     Today I am thankful for this day 11 years ago, when my husband (then guy friend), asked me to be his girlfriend. It was an amazing day, and I just knew he was the one! I am so lucky to spend my life with him!

January 24:
     Its the small things in life. Simply the small things. I am so thankful for the helping hand, the friendly smile at the grocery store, and that other mom who has those perfect kids- as she looks over to you (as my two upset crazy children are crying) and says, "I totally understand, today I got lucky!" Today is the day I am so thankful for those small gestures of kindness, care, compassion, or whatever it may have been to them; for me it was everything!

Yes, he did take a bite out of the tortillas and the bag; WHILE we were at the grocery store!

January 25:
     I am so blessed and thankful for the wonderful 7 month old! He, Jared man, is 7 months old today! Where has the time gone?? He is crawling, climbing over (small) things, pulling himself up (on objects lover then his chest), and saying "dada" like he means it! My heart melts, and I am getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it. 

January 26:
     I am so thankful for the "spring cleaning" bug that my husband and I both got today! We accomplished a lot, and it felt AMAZING!!! Yay!

January 27:
     Today was one of those days where I have to sit back and really think about what I am thankful for. It was not an easy day, I am extremely exhausted, but at the end of the day I am thankful for just that; the end of each day. Knowing that another day has passed by and we have all safely survived it! In other words its an awesome GOODnight to you all!

Doesn't he just look so comfy! Awwww

January 28:
     If theres one thing I am grateful for learning, its the ability to sew! I am so thankful to a friend and her mother who taught me the beginner basics. With the internet and a lot of videos, tutorials, and support groups later; I can sew a ton of hand made gifts, items for my children, or for myself even! I am so thankful for this ability as it has saved us tons of money!!

Working on a baby blanket for my sisters soon to be born son!

January 29:
     So thankful for those moments when my husband and I work together (sometimes at the same time, other times at different times), and we both benefit from it. Stuff like; ill put a load of laundry in and go to bed, and he will come home from work and make sure its in the dryer before he goes to sleep! Love it!

January 30:
     Most families have those recipes that they pass down from one generations to the next. Tonight I made one of those recipes, and I am so thankful for that recipe. Its one of my favorite meals, its simple, fast, and taste great. Not only that but my oldest son will eat tons of it, and thats a plus in my book! 

January 31:
     I can't believe it but my son pulled himself up on the coffee table today. Before he was doing it on the stairs, or a toy, today he went for the coffee table, which is level to his head! I am so thankful I got to see it and be there to cheer him on. These are the moments that just make life so special.

Give Thanks 365 Days a Year,

Monday, January 27, 2014

NEW Boys Bedroom!!

Well, the boys had an amazingly cute and adorable bedroom back in New Mexico, but we are here in California now and so its time I finish their room, right? I mean we have only been here 4 months or so! This past weekend the husband and I, with crazy kids under our feet, were finally able to get the boys names up on the wall, and I was able to get the wall decals up. I finished the room... for now.

These are the BEFORE photos:

This is where Brians bed is now.

Dresser/closet area.

This is where Jareds bed is now.
Work in progress.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.
 Here are the updated photos:

Thats sort of from floor to ceiling.

Ok thats a horrible floor to ceiling on the other side of the room. Sorry its not the best photos.

Heres some up close shots.

Best part about this entire room, the wall decals GLOW IN THE DARK!!!! Isn't that awesome! My son for the past two nights, "Mama, lights, lights, look all de lights". Lights, as in glowing stars, spaceships, monsters and planets. This room is so cool, even I want to sleep in it!

Now remember I made the crib sheets from twin bed sets, and the curtain from the flat sheet. The teether rails are still intact and in use, and everything is just perfect!

Here is where you can see the old room, and some of the details on how I made the items. This house is brand new and we were told we couldn't paint for the first year, but honestly I just don't think either myself or my husband want to waste the money or time right now. With both boys, we just have so much other stuff going on! Anyways, I will be working on a few other tutorials coming up soon, so keep an eye for those.

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to leave a comment below.

Monsters, grrr

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Giving Birth, The Real Deal

I have always wanted to write a letter to those soon to be moms, or woman who eventually want to have kids. I felt like when I was pregnant (or even while we were trying), no one wanted to tell you what being pregnant or giving birth REALLY was like. As if telling me the truth was going to change my mind, or something. I eventually got pregnant, after almost a year of trying. When I did, I did what every mom does; that is, reach for all the known pregnancy books.

I read the What To Expect When You Are Expecting book, until about twenty weeks, then got completely bored with it. It was the same boring information week after week. I wanted a book that was going to prepare me for what was going to happen, talk about what I was going through. Anything besides what we should have already saved, purchased, or discussed certain issues. I want someone who was going to tell me things like, your hips might pop, and it will hurt. You might blow up like a puffer fish, but unlike that fish, you wont deflate!

I read somewhere about Jenny McCarthys book. I read it in one day, ok maybe it was a day and a half. It was soooo worth every second I spent on it. I laughed, hard; I cried, smiled, and enjoyed the real answers to some of my more intimate questions. If I would recommend a book to moms, it so would be that one, not what to expect.

Heres the link to purchase it: Belly Laughs

Well, after I read the book I then thought, gosh; what about this, or that, or even that???? My mind started going crazy for answers. I asked a few friends who I knew had babies, and honestly wanted to know what it was like for them. I have seen my best friend give birth, but seeing it, and going through it, is just so different.

My main question was, how will I know when I go into labor? Simple, those horrible side pains you get when you run too much, or when you get your period and you thought hurt like hell. Yeah those, well just know they feel something like that, but for some it can be worse, or not as bad. I had front contractions with my second delivery and the front contractions were so mild. I felt like I could labor like that for days, no problem. Now, BACK contractions are an entirely new ball game. No one really told me what they felt like, just that some woman get them, and they hurt. Geesh, I thought they would feel so lovely! Ok, in all seriousness, they hurt, yes! However, no one told me they felt like my back injury over and over and over and over again. I hurt my lower back a very long time ago, and had horrible back spasms, which is what these contractions felt like, but longer and more painful. I honestly had them for 5 days with my first! Yes, 5 days!! So, recommendations: ice or heat, whatever works for you. Hot showers, hot baths, heating pads, and a birthing/exercise ball were my best friends during my laboring time. I felt about 20% less pain during those times with those methods. Now, with front contractions, walking was the only thing that made me feel better. I just walked and they seemed less painful for sure!

If you want to read about my birth story with my second son, that is over here.

Myself and my son Jared.

Another questions was, whats it like during the pushing and giving actual birth? No one wanted to answers this question. For some woman, this is just an amazing experience, and its OH SO BEAUTIFUL... gag! Its not. It never was, never will be, and I just don't get it if someone says that. Ok so heres my answer, pushing feels like a lot of pressure. So much pressure on your tailbone, like a thousands bricks are sitting on it. You legs feel weak, your stomach still contracting, and everyones yelling at you like your about to win a game if you score this goal. Oh yeah, I went there! Wait, it gets better. After you push a few, what feel like a hundred times, you start to realize this is just too much. You simply can't handle it anymore, and so you say stuff like "I can't do this anymore, I just can't"; yeah, sorry but you kind of can't get up and just walk away. Other stuff you might say is "It really hurts", no shit, duh! "Just pull him/her out, just pull him/her out, NOW! Please!!" Sorry no can do, you have to do this. Oh and sometimes they ask you not to push, when its the most inconvenience to you and your vagina... yeah they say "Wait, don't push". More then likely they are doing something with the shoulders of the baby or even the umbilical cord. It hurts, its awkward, but its important; so don't push. After you get some of that tailbone relief, comes the part no one tells you about. The pulling of your skin, down there. The pain your skin feels as it stretches beyond belief. Yes, you might rip, mine was a cool lightening bold style tear! Only three or so stitches, some woman rip from one hole to the other, ouch! Don't worry you are so focused on most of the other pain, you really don't feel the rip, it sounds worse then it feels. Well, at least for me it did. Once the majority of the baby is out, then comes the final few pushes, which by now you feel like you have run a thousand miles, you can barely breath, and everyones telling you just one more push (as they have been probably saying since about 10 pushes back). So, eventually you get that last push in and the baby is out! Its the most amazing relief you will ever feel. Your entire body feels like it can relax. However, you still have to deliver the placenta, which feels a lot like a tampon, if you ask me. Just a very large one at that! Then, you wait for that beautiful baby to return (or come to you for the first time), depending on the type of delivery you have, and its the most peaceful moments ever. Minus the part where you get stitches, um ouch, put some numbing medicines in that will you! Then your legs feel like jello, your back hurts, your hips more then likely feel out of place, and the one thing you want to do is look at your baby all day and night! All of a sudden, you are not as tired as you thought, and you feel so completely happy (tears are usually involved at this point).

Myself and my son Brian, first born.

Whats it like after? Well, not so pretty either. Yes, you have this amazing bundle of joy, diapers, feeding (breast or bottle), and yet you still have to pee, poop (oh yes, you will do this), and you have the period of a lifetime! Once you are in your recovery room, you try to sleep; after all the phone calls, text messages, and visitors. Trust me, its not as easy as everyone says it is. Nurses, and aids are coming in all the time. They almost come every hour, and yes sometimes even at night! My first was born in the middle of the night, so thats when they had to do all his "daily" checks. Right when we all wanted to or were asleep! Grrrrrr You also have lots of blood. With my first, my platelet count was under 100, which means my body doesn't have enough iron. I changed my clothing, almost 10 times. It was rough. All I wanted to do was lay in a shower, and never get out. Pads are your friend, but I think a diaper would have been better! LOL I also had my hip pop out and back in while I was in the hospital, ouch. Yes, it hurts, and you might feel such things, but its just your body re-adjusting to your body being back to "normal". Also, you will be hungry. With my first son, I had contractions from Sunday night until I delivered him on Friday morning. I was having perfectly consistent contractions starting Monday afternoon. So, I rarely ate. If I ate it was almost nothing. Once I delivered, I ate all 3 meals they gave me in the hospital and I even made my husband get me two other meals (that was the first day). The next day, I had the 3 meals and a smaller meal. By the third day I was just having the three meals they were giving me. Be ready to be extremely hungry, and more then likely when you eat, baby will want to eat. He or she will cry for food almost every hour or every two. You will be exhausted, annoyed, angry, happy, whatever it is, you will feel them all at one point or another. Oh and your first poop... lets just say, it will feel like needles. So, take those stool softener pills they give you, they help! You can stop taking them after you poop the first time, it doesn't feel as horrible the second or third time. Also, expect to bleed anywhere from 2 weeks to possible 6 or even 8 weeks. With my first it was only 4 weeks, but my second I bleed for 6 weeks (remember that platelet thing, yeah doesn't help). The one thing I hated and didn't like, that no one mentions; the belly massage they give you. Some hospitals do it more then others. Its basically the nurse or whoever, coming in and rubbing your belly area. It helps shrink or make sure your uterus is shrinking. I had a guy nurse for one of the massages and it was so weird, I felt fat, ugly, and here this guy is rubbing all this fat, extra skin, and stretch marks... eewww! Your welcome!

My son Jared, on my chest, asleep!

Whats the worst part about being pregnant? Well, for me it was trying to sleep. Some nights I could never get comfortable, other nights I tossed every hour or so. My sleep was something I enjoyed, during pregnancy it was rough, really rough. Also, being kicked or punched during your sleep is just not how you want to be woken up. You also pee like 20 times a night! Another thing I hated during pregnancy, blowing up like a puffer fish (yep, I mentioned this)! I swelled up everywhere. Some woman are very lucky or blessed as I say, and never swell. With my first, I was swollen from head to toe. My feet were swollen, my arms, neck, cheeks, even my nose felt swollen. Don't worry it does go away; might take a few days, but it slowly goes away (after delivery). Some woman just get it during a certain time of the day (like woman who work). With my second, I never ever swelled. If I did, it was right after I went for a walk, and only lasted like an hour at most. It also was only in my feet. Oh another thing that was horrible during pregnancy, the pain you get in your arms or hands. Its typically called carpel tunnel, but during pregnancy its literally just during pregnancy. It will just go away, like that, right after birth. I had it really bad with my first pregnancy. I would run my hands under ice cold water, or put ice on them. It just hurt, all the time! With my second pregnancy, it would come and go. I would get it while doing the dishes, or if I was hand sewing or other small like tasks. Ice or anything cold was my only relief!

My son Brian, asleep... finally!

Thats about the only things I can think of, but if you have a question and you want me to be brutally honest, leave a comment and Ill give you the answer!

Remember that you didn't make this baby alone, so give the diaper duty to your husband until he has to go back to work, or until you are up and walking. Also, rest when you can! Yes, everyone will tell you this, but its true. The babies don't always understand night vs day, so nap when your tired and the baby is asleep. If you feel great, then do a load of dishes or laundry, but watch out, you might get tired, really fast. Its okay, your body just created, and gave birth to a living human being; its amazing, so its okay to be exhausted after you walk 5 feet. Tell your husband that! Don't feel this huge weight on your shoulders if breast feeding isn't for you! I talk a lot about that and formula feeding over here and here! Check it out!

Well, I hope this has helped a few of you ladies out there. Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to send them my way!

Happy Baby Making or Baking,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Being a Mom of Two

Yes we all know, I am a mom of two boys. Brian is my oldest at 23 months in a few days, and Jared is 6 months old and will be 7 months in a week or so. I love them to death, but lets be honest I am a human being too. I stay at home with the boys, even though I often think about what job I would love to have right now. I often think about the extra money, the things we could have, or just buy because we have the extra money. Then I think about the daycare, the amount it will cost us, and who will be raising my kids while I'm working.

I honestly am a stay at home mom because I am scared to death of who or what someone would do to my child. My baby Jared is still so young, and tiny. He can't fight back or say stop, even my almost 2 year old wouldn't know to say stop. They are at the mercy of the adult. I always worry about those watching my children. Are they going to hurt them if I don't pay them enough? Are they going to neglect them if I don't provide all their food and some? As a mom, these kinds of questions pop into our heads all the time.

However, I am human too and I also need adult time. I think too many people say, "Oh well, you are a stay at home mom and so you do nothing all day anyways, best job ever." WRONG!!! How about I quit my "job" for a week, and see how well you do with finding a full time daycare or babysitter (don't forget to pay them, and tip them too); then find a maid to clean your house, and make your meals (don't forget to pay her too, and you might want to tip her, so she grabs the groceries you need as well). At the end of the week, add that up and see how much money you spent. Then ask the baby sitter and maid all they did... Thats what I do, but I do it for FREE!!!!

The tortellini soup I made the other night!

Sure most people say we do nothing as a stay at home mom, but I am here to say we actually do EVERYTHING, and sometimes, more! I don't sleep well at night because I am waking up with every cry, and every thump made on the monitor. I get up to soothe or calm the kids, getting divided hours or minutes of sleep. (Hows your 8 hours of solid sleep?) I then wake up, feed, change, and play with the kids. All while either preparing the dinner menu, washing dishes, doing laundry, or folding laundry. Once lunch is served, naps are always fun to attempt; alone, while another child cries at you. Then while they nap I get alone time. What do I do with it you ask? I SIT! I have my lunch in peace, without a child's hand digging in to it, or asking for a "bite, please". I then make my mental list of all the crafts or fun projects I want to do before one of the kids wakes up, and just when I am done siting, having my lunch; a child cries, or wakes up from their nap. The rest of the day is spent, changing diapers, cleaning kids up, going for a walk just to get some fresh air, feeding EVERYONE dinner, giving baths, cleaning up toys, and doing even more dishes. After all that, I might have enough energy to pull out the mop and mop the floor (which probably hasn't been done in weeks), or I pull out the vacuum cleaner and vacuum (which also probably hasn't been done in a good minute). By the time all that is done, you have wondered to the bedroom, showered, brushed your teeth and gone to bed. I can't recall the last time I cleaned my hair, or took a HOT shower (for more then 5 minutes0, brushed my teeth, or done something for myself!

I honestly want to remind all those HUSBANDS out there, with a wife that stays at home with their kid(s), that you need to say "thank you", "love you", and "you look amazing right now". Trust me when I say this, we don't hear it enough. I love my husband, I love my kids, and I would do everything and some for them, but I am human too. I need love, laughter, and kind words. Remember to say hello, goodbye, and thank you, every once in awhile. Help, even after your long day at work, because my day is never ending; even if the kids are in bed. On the weekends, take a minute to do something for your wife, let her sleep in an hour or two (she will really REALLY love you for that), make her lunch, or take the kids for an hour to the park. Its always the small things you do for her that will make her smile, and wake up on Monday morning saying, "I can do this!"

 I feel like at the end of the day, I didn't choose to be a stay at home mom, it chose me! I am blessed that I can stay home with my kids, and I blessed that my husband has a wonderful job that keeps a house over our heads and dinner on the table. Do not think, for a minute, that I would give it all up to live a "normal" life. Never. I enjoy this crazy mommy life, and I enjoy being with my kids. Just remember that, we too are human and we too need some love, time alone, and some pampering! So, next time you want to say "oh your a stay at home mom" in your sarcastic voice, you might want to re-think your response! 

Happy Parenting,