Gearing up for Kinder: The love hate relationship I have with my children growing up. 

It feels like Millie was just born yesterday. All 19.25 inches, and a whopping 6.11lbs of her. Tiny, stubborn, and keeping us on our toes from day one! 

I keep asking myself “How is this day already here?” And the only answer I’ve found is: In the blink of an eye. That’s how. 

Besides a half year of pre-k, which Mil Passionately disliked, she has been home with me – day in and day out. So you can (maybe) understand why I’m a bit emotional about seeing our first born off into the world for the first time.

I will say that despite being incredibly sad that I won’t have her home with me all day, every day, part of me is sooooo ready for this. A very small part of me, but I promise it’s there. 

I keep telling myself that this is what we’ve been working towards – besides learning ABC’s and 123’s, How to read, and do basic math, we have been preparing her to spread her wings and soar. To be kind and demonstrate love. To have empathy towards others, and stand up for what’s right. To be respectful, and demand respect from those around her. To never settle for the easy path, but carve out a path of her own. 

It might only be kindergarten, but this is the beginning of a more independent life for her. And from what I hear, the independence just keeps on keeping on from this point on out. 

I know it’s a far jump, but I have a feeling I’ll be blinking and she’ll be a teenager. Blink again, and she’s graduating. Big reason I’m making it a point every day to cherish all these little moments in between. Read that extra book. Sing that 100th song. Have a dance party in your living room. And spin in circles until you both can’t stand. These moments are fleeting. So make them memorable. 

So yes, tomorrow we embark on this new journey of annual back to school shopping. Mil is incredibly excited, which makes me incredibly excited. It’s bittersweet hitting these milestones with your children. Part of you wants them to stay little forever, and the other part is just amazed and excited to witness the people they are turning into. Hoping everyday that what you are teaching them as a parent will help mold them into amazing human beings. 

I have no doubts that she will shine her brightest while navigating this new world of hers. Now if I can just keep my shit together and not cry my eyes out in front of her teacher and other parents… yeaaaaah.. that’d be great.. 

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Happy Mothers Day

 

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Mothers day is a day we all sit and dream about silence. Where the kids magically run to dad for all their needs, and our meals and homes are magically cooked and cleaned without us lifting a finger.. and while this may be reality for some, I’d argue that this is so far from what this day really looks like for most. This day is really no different than the other 365 days of the year. With the exception of homemade gifts, maybe a bouquet of flowers, and a last minutes card your hubby scrambled to the store for at some point in the last 48 hours. The kids are still screaming. They are running past dad – straight to mom for all their requests and needs. The house is still messy, and there is a sink full of dishes after breakfast in bed is served.

And you know what. It is magical. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I wanted to do was hug and kiss my kids (don’t tell them this, I don’t want to inflate their ego’s anymore than they already are). I wanted to snuggle them so hard, and thank them for making me the mama I am today. Deep down, I don’t want a quiet home. Not even one day out of the year. I want a home filled their voices, and laughter. I want dirty plates in the sink knowing their tummies are full, and messes around the house knowing they are exploring, and playing, and happy.

This is what being a mom is all about for me, and I love it. Today, tomorrow, and all days that follow.

I have been incredibly blessed to witness many mothers in action in my life. Mothers of one, and mothers of many. Mothers of loss, and mothers who are waiting. Mothers who stay home, and mothers who work. Single moms, and moms who have significant others at their beck and call. Moms are magnificent creatures who deserve the world on a platter.

I know for a fact I wouldn’t be half the mom I am today without all the love, and support these other moms have shown me throughout the years, and continue to demonstrate as we journey through life together.

I know we spend most of our days convinced that we are screwing this mom thing up royally. We aren’t perfect by a long stretch, but we are moms, and we are freaking warriors.

So, today is our day. To relish in all the amazing (and chaotic) moments that make us moms. My hat is off to you all – and I hope that at some point today, we can all take a MOMent and appreciate ourselves. Appreciate the sacrifices we make every day. Physically and emotionally. Appreciate the noise, and the messes. Appreciate each other for our differences and similarities.

So cheers to you. Happy Mothers Day, you Mother Fluffing amazing women.

 

 

Bald and Loving it!

Seriously, why do women not shave their heads more? Whyyyyyy! I am 10000% convinced that most, if not ALL women can pull off a shaved head. CONVINCED! It’s just hair. It doesn’t define you. It isn’t the reason you are beautiful. It’s hair – and it’s amazing not having to worry about it. 

This entire experience has been amazing. A few people (complete strangers) have reached out to me to tell me how I’ve inspired them to do something. Whether it be donate to finding cures, or signing up to go take part in their local shave event. 

Other shavees have reached out to share their stories, and ask questions – and it’s truly inspiring to see complete strangers come together for such an amazing cause. Because, fuck cancer. 

The most inspiring is those who have supported me through this process. Everyone who stepped up to donate, share kind words when I was nervous, and be there to cheer me on during our local event has just opened my heart to beam with gratitude. I am blessed beyond words to have such loving, selfless people in my life. Y’all are my heroes.

Since the beginning of the year, St. Baldricks has raised over $17,000,000 to date. And it’s only March! That’s $17 million more opportunities to find cures for childhood cancer. $17 million reasons for families to feel hopeful.  I feel incredibly blessed to be part of something so life changing for so many who need it. 

I urge everyone to get up and be part of something that is bigger than you. Whether it is donating to a cause close to your heart. Volunteering within your community. Something. Anything! Get up and do it ❤

I’m Going to #BravetheShave for childhood cancer research: Go Donate – Before time runs out!

I’m shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research! Did you know that kids’ cancers are different from adult cancers? It’s true. And childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded (such crap, right?!). So I decided to do something about it by raising money for cures (Yay for CURES!!!).

Now I NEED your help! Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Just click the link above, and donate $5, $10, $15, $100! Your pocket change adds up, and makes a great difference in the lives of those impacted by childhood cancers.

 

 

This is just the beginning: My 9 month postpartum transformation.

As I was sitting discussing pregnancy weight gain/loss with a close friend – it dawned on me…

I’ve lost 50+lbs since having Sullivan 9 months ago. That is one and half Amelia’s, 5 medium sized bowling balls, and 10ish chihuahuas! And yes, I totally googled things that weigh 50 lbs for comparisons. Don’t judge my life.

The most important thing though is how I feel physically, and mentally with these lifestyle changes. Im stronger than I’ve ever been, and feel like I can accomplish anything. 

{Please excuse me while I go and toot my own horn :: toot toot::}


I will be the first to admit that I made thousands of excuses as to why I couldn’t lose the weight. From my asthma, to my recurring mastitis, to just admitting defeat that pregnancy changes your body and this is the “new me”. 

I’ve paid for gym memberships that I never used, tried fat burners, meal replacements, and refused to get out of the house when it was too hot or too cold. 

If I didn’t see changes right away, I immediately became discouraged and would give up. Don’t do that! You’re stronger than you think, and more capable than you give yourself credit for.

So get up, and get it! Go for a walk, or jog, or join your local gym. Once you do it. Do it again. And again. And again. Eat healthier meals, and drink lots of water. Try to steer clear of fad diets and miracle weight loss supplements. Even if they work, they don’t equip you with necessary lifestyle changes to maintain a healthier you. 

As a parent my health doesn’t just impact me, it impacts my entire family. Being strong, and having the extra energy I desperately need to be the best version of myself for my family is one of my biggest motivators. Regaining confidence, and a bit of my own identity is just the cherry on top.

So cheers to a healthier me, and a healthier you. 

Hello darkness, my old friend: My struggles with PPD and anxiety

You know – I’ve tried convince myself that my ppd/anxiety aren’t “that bad”. And that I am doing a great job learning to cope with it on my own. Talking about it… helps. Hearing other people open up about their experience.. helps. But it is only momentarily healing. 

The reality of the situation is that my anxiety is constantly there. It might not be in full fledged panic mode at all times, but it exists in very small, very real moments throughout every day. 

Our first family trip since Sullivan being born happened this past weekend. We visited family in San Diego, and my biggest fear at the beginning of the trip was how Sullivan’s behavior would be on the ride to and from home. 

I have spent weeks mentally preparing for his crying and screeching in the car. He still doesn’t do well in the car, so I was convinced it would be a miserable 5-6 hour drive. Thank goodness I knew Calvin would be driving most of the way so I could have a bit of control in the backseat doing damage control if he got too upset. 

The thing is, the drive was a breeze. Sure, he fussed here and there, but we only had to make 3 stops on the way there – which really, with two littles, one who is still nursing frequently, I consider that as a win in my book. 

Little did I know, the real struggle would come the first night of our stay. We all got settled in to sleep. Sullivan fell asleep first and seemed to be quite content. Mil and I soon followed suit, and before you know it – we were all peacefully sleeping after a seemingly successful travel day. 

12:00am: Sullivan stirs awake. I grab him to nurse, as he still nurses quite frequently at night. He’s hot to the touch. Hot enough for me to go from sleepy mama to abruptly awake. 

Calvin slept on the couch so the kids could sleep with me in the spare bedroom – so I went out to him to wake him so he could help me assess the situation. 

At first we chalked up his heated physical state to the spare bedroom being warmer than most rooms in the house. We stripped him down to his diaper to let him cool down. 

It didn’t work. 

Insert phase one of my panic attack. I frantically feel my body to see if I’m warm, and go in and few my daughters body to see if she too shares this elevated temp. Both of us are cool to the touch. 

Insert phase two of my panic. I begin barking demands at Calvin. “We need a thermometer” – “go wake someone up!” At this point my mind is racing, and as is does regularly, I am forming a worst case scenario conclusion in my mind. 

My baby is sick, I don’t know why, and something terrible is going to happen to him if we don’t act NOW. Dutifully, Calvin doesn’t ask questions and finds a thermometer for me. 

First we take his temperature by his armpit. 102.1 degrees. My heart sinks, I begin to feel sick to my stomach. My body begins feeling hot. I can literally feel the anxiety radiating out of me. Sullivan pukes, and I end up in the bathroom puking. 

Thank goodness I had packed our infant Tylenol, but of course there is no dosage for an infant his age. I call our pharmacy and they are no help. They can’t give dosing for someone his age. She is kind and understanding, but I’m angry! My baby is sick and she should be helping me. Now I feel even more helpless. 

She suggests I call his pediatrician and ask them. I’ve never had to do this before, and I’m convinced no one will answer. It’s one AM at this point, so I’m confident I’ll get an answering service with the promise of a call back from a nurse. 

Thank goodness that didn’t happen. His pediatrician office was amazing and gave me the dosage over the phone for his weight. We administer his medicine to the best of our abilities, and I pray he choked down enough to make a difference. 

Insert panic phase three (i.e. I should know better than to jump on google for anything when I’m in the middle of a panic attack). I google “safe temperature zone for 8 month old” and of course stumble across article after article stating 103 warrants a trip to the ER. Not only that, but how inaccurate armpit temperature readings are. AHHHHH!

Stupid me! I should have known! At this point I can feel my breath becoming rapid, my nausea has returned, and I puke again. I tell Calvin we need to take a rectal temperature reading. He isn’t convinced. He takes his own temperature by armpit, and it’s coming in at 96 degrees. This just confirms to me that Sullivan’s reading is lower than what it is actually is. He is probably sitting at a raging 104, and needs to be hospitalized! 

At this point I am convinced Sullivan will start having seizures. A baby his age can’t handle that high of a fever. Now I am fully convinced there will be CATASTROPHIC consequences if we don’t accurately track his temperature and get him the medical attention he needs. 

Calvin caves to my request, and we take Sullivan’s temperature again. Rectal this time. 101.5.  I can breathe a sigh of relief. At least until I have to check it again in 45 minutes to make sure it isn’t rising.

And the process is repeated. I can’t rest until I know his fever is down. At least below 100* But all this is doing is wearing me out – mentally and physically, on top of already being worn down, mentally and physically from road tripping all morning. 

I get it. My thought processes aren’t exactly logical when I’m suffering from panic. I can’t help it. I consider myself a very logical minded person – but when the anxiety hits, there is nothing I can tell myself (or anyone else can tell me for that matter) that will calm me down until I have tangible proof that things aren’t as bad as my mind has made them out to be. 

I don’t enjoy thinking that my children will suffer brain damage, or possibly die from an illness. I don’t enjoy constantly worrying that my child is buckled into their car seat perfectly to avoid internal decapitation in the event of a collision. I don’t enjoy getting sick to my stomach if a well trusted family member takes my child out for the day, and then doesn’t answer their phone immediately when I call. 

I don’t enjoy suffering from ppd/anxiety – which is why I will no longer live in denial that I do in fact need professional help. 

Therapy is something I am actively seeking, and am confident I will find a great psychologist to help me identify underlying causes, and learn to cope/heal from this. #aintnoshameinmygame

Do Something to Make Yourself Proud 

This couldn’t be more true. 

Tonight I was able to do my first full minute plank, 30 push-ups (two sets of 15) and 60 bicep curls (four sets of 15) without missing a beat. 

Feeling myself getting stronger – especially my upper body, and especially after recurring mastitis that depleted my chest muscles, is honestly one of the greatest feelings ❤ 

I am proud of myself. For sticking with it. For making healthy lifestyle changes. For holding myself accountable when some days I just want to throw in the towel and lounge on the couch with a bag of chips. This is no longer about my “goal” of 28 days – it is about who I am becoming – and who I will continue to be.


I am also proud that I was able to cycle 2 more miles than my previous record – and have to say that I’m becoming a bit addicted to cycling. 

Considering finding some locals, and maybe trying my hand (well legs) at cycling through Red Rock Canyon. 

Did I just add another goal to my 2017 resolution list? Stay tuned 😜