Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Before I had Kids

Before I had kids, I was the perfect parent. I knew that when my own kids entered the world they would sleep through the night from early on, never talk back or act up in public and never would I ever be a stay at home mom. Since everyone knows stay at home moms are lazy and do nothing all day

Oh if I could go back in time and slap myself in the face. I am now, proudly a stay at home mom. My kids still barely sleep through the night and Gianna loves to act out in public. Especially when at the grocery store. Slinging blueberries across Walmart while we stand in the checkout line has become her new favorite thing to do.

 But while I have become less judgetmental and more understanding since having kids society has not. On a daily basis I encounter parenting experts. Those who feel the need to comment on or about my parenting skills. What I find funny is half of these people don't have kids of their own. I thought I would write about some things I have dealt with since becoming a parent

Behavior in Public- It's easy to take a newborn somewhere. You strap them in their car seat and you have about a 3 hour window to take them and get something done. Forget about it when you have a newborn and a toddler. My toddler has now entered the age of No, tantrums and the terrible 2's. For the most part she is well behaved in public but she has her moments. The other day while at a friends house Gianna was exhibiting her skill of using the word No. M was playing with her in the yard and she didn't want to come inside. Of course my friend commented on how I was teaching her to listen like her middle school student's listen. I ignored it and changed the subject.

Then this friend brought up church and how kids in church are so annoying. Now I used to go to the catholic church here in town but family friendly it was not. I would take G who would spit up on me the minute we entered the building and of course start screaming. So I'd spend the entire church service in the back of the church avoiding death glares. OF course this church had no nursery or a Mommy room so I had no other option. I stopped going after two of those visits and now attend a church which is family friendly and also provides childcare. This friend went on and on about how parent's need to slap their children or spank them to stop them from acting up. I politely said that that doesn't always work. That could make the kids act out even more, or start throwing a tantrum or what not. But my friend insisted spanking would work and that that if you don't spank you have horribly behaved children. I ended the conversation right there

What do you do all day? I get this question a lot since becoming a stay at home mom. And it's one I always wandered before I had kids. But the truth is I don't know how people who work and have kids do it. Major props to y'all. Sure some days I am super mom. I get up, make the kids a fabulous breakfast, head off to the park for a playdate, go grocery shopping, run errands, clean, do laundry and make dinner. Other days I have a fussy teething baby and a tantruming toddler and I declare it pajama day and we do nothing but laze around all day. And I'm fine with that. All that matters is that my kids are getting the love and attention they deserve. If that means cuddles on the couch all day I'm ok with that. I've learned to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do it all

One upping Isn't it funny how when you get a group of moms together everything becomes a competition. Like whose kids walked first, or talks in complete sentences or reads before the age of 3. Every kid develops differently and I've had to learn to not compare my kids to other kiddos. And trust me thats really hard!

At the end of the day you have to do what works for you regarding you and your family. Now when I see fussy, screaming kids at the store I think that they must have missed nap time or are over stimulated.  Irritable kids at restaurants just make me laugh because at the end of the day, aren't we the parents at fault for expecting them to sit still for over an hour, Crabby kids at church don't bother me because their family is taking the time to teach them about God and to incorporate them into a church family, stay at home and working mom's are all amazing and have it hard no matter the way you look at it and tantruming toddler's are just a part of my every day life. I pick my battles and provide structure and support the best way I know how.

Have any of you encountered any of these experiences?

Friday, April 26, 2013


Just a quick post on this beautiful friday! Here is what I am up to currently

And for fun I am reading this book

Writing- Bills and my budget for the upcoming pay period. Ugh
Listening to..
 It's nice background nioise during the day. There are some really sweet songs on here
THINKING about our vacation to this beautiful place

This super cute and comfortable dress from old navy

having my husband home. My family is finally complete

Mad Men
 The Borgias

Army Wives
And my favorite, The Real Housewives of OC
That's about it. The hubs is off today and I'm looking forward to enjoying a three day weekend with the family! Happy friday everyone

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Best Day

There are some days that happen along the way in this journey called motherhood that are just magical. Don't get me wrong. Every day with my kiddo's is very special and amazing but some days just stick out as one that you know you will always remember. 

Yesterday was one of those days. I met my mops group at the strawberry patch to do some strawberry picking followed by indulging in some amazing strawberry shortcake

 I thought she would be all over the place but she loved picking the strawberries
 Although she ate more than she put in her basket
 Ethan enjoyed a nap in the afternoon sun
 After strawberry picking we headed home. Gianna has been begging to play outside a lot lately and now that the weather is warmer I pulled out the kiddie pool, dragged Ethan's bouncer outside and made a day out of it
Gianna loved playing in the water, especially filling up the pool and dog bowls with the hose

 Ethan enjoying the fresh air in his boucner
 Pouring water on her head

 Mom, stop taking pictures
 Someone stole her brother's hat
 Silly faces
 I hope she always stays this sweet and happy

 Who can resist this face
 The hubs came home with this playhouse for Gianna.I can't wait to see what she thinks of it!
All in all this day couldn't have gotten any better. Fun in the sun with my kiddo's, a surprise for my little girl and the hubs home to enjoy it with us. Life is sweet
I'm looking forward to a summer full of memorable days like this

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's your love language

I'm sure many of you have heard of the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

The husband and I read this before we were married five years ago. Of course then when we were in the infatuation stage of dating we didn't really think too much of this book. Sure we thought it made some great points but we vowed we would never become that couple that took the other for granted. Or the couple that didn't make time for each other, and who stopped  doing things for the other person. And in some ways we have become that couple. It is easy to put your relationship on hold after kids arrive. Especially when the kids are babies. Life automatically becomes about them. It was easy to fall into the roles of mom and dad but  it's hard sometimes  to remember that we are still a husband and a wife. Our spouse needs us to fill those roles.And these past few months with the husband being gone it was easy to put the kids first before our relationship. Now that he is home we want to make our relationship a priority

 Marriage takes work. You both need to put forth the effort in order to sustain a lasting relationship. Especially a romantic one. Having kiddo's and going through numerous deployments and training spent apart has both strengthened our marriage and hurt it in some ways.
5 years, 2 kids and 4 deployments later I know clearly that there is no one I would rather spend my life with. My husband and kids have made all my dreams come true and more and I wouldn't change anything about my life or the person I share it with. Still I think it's time for a marriage tune up!

So when my small group decided to do the five love langauges as our next study I bought two copies of the book, sent one to the hubs and started reading. 

Basically the book states that everyone feels and receives love differently. The author narrowed it down into 5 categories. Or the 5 love languages. They are receiving gifts, words or affirmation, touch, quality time and acts of service. And everyone falls within a different language. Including your spouse. And in order to sustain and grow your relationship you need to learn how your spouse views and receive love in order to truly understand your spouse. Here is a little bit about the different love languages

Receiving Gifts- Pretty self explanatory. The person feels loved when his/her spouse brings her a gift for no special reason. And the gift doesn't have to be expensive. Just something thoughtful to show the other person you care and are thinking of them

Touch- This isn't necessarily sexual. It could be hugging, kissing, holding hands, back rubs, etc. In our small group it was decided that most men's love language is touch

Quality Time-The person feels love when spending time with his/her partner

Words of affirmation-The person feels loved when they are told they are love, appreciated or praised for all that they do

Acts of service-The person feels loved when their partner helps them out with chores, or runs errands without being asked. Things like that

My love languages are gifts and acts of service. The husband's is touch and acts of service

A few month's ago our pastor did a message series about love and relationships. He stated that when it comes to showing our partner love, we do things that we would like them to do for us. And that doesn't necessarily show them love since everyone is different.

This made so much sense to me and is something the author of this book states as well. Throughout the whole deployment I sent my husband sweet little packages and gifts hoping to show him how much I loved and missed him. Don't get me wrong, he appreciated the gifts but it's not like he got all excited about them which would really hurt my feelings. And by the middle of the deployment I was getting seriously irritated that I wasn't receiving any packages from him. This made me feel like he didn't love or miss me

So sitting down, taking the love language quiz and reading this book together has been eye opening. He does not need gifts to feel loved, but I do. Now he knows how to fill my love tank up so to speak and I know that sweet little packages are not the key to his heart.

Click here to take the quiz to figure out you and your spouses love languages. There is also a children's addition of this book so you can figure out the best way to connect with your children as well 

Just figuring out what mine and my husbands love language is has been so helpful. We know now what the other person needs from the other in order to feel loved and appreciated. I'm excited to put these principles into action.

There is no better father and husband than the man I am married to and I always want to make sure that he knows that. I don't want us to wake up 20 years from now, with the kids outta the house to find that we have become strangers. 

Has anyone else read this book. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby Mine

 Baby mine don't you cry
 Baby Mine dry your eyes
 Rest your head, close to my heart
 Never to part, baby of mine
 From your head to your toes

 Your so sweet, goodness knows
 You're so precious to me, cute as can be
Baby of mine

Monday, April 22, 2013


Anxiety.. I think anxiety is something I have struggled with my whole life. From little on, I was a worrier. I worried about everything and anything. A self-diagnosed hypochondriac as well made it very easy to always imagine the worst case scenario. If my mom was late picking me up from dance class, she was in an accident. If I didn't feel good, there was something really wrong with me. You get the drift.

I've tried to figure out why I'm this way. The only thing I can pinpoint is watching my grandma have a heart attack when I was little. I can still vividely remember her walking out of my mom's bedroom rubbing her chest, telling my mom she was having a heart attack. To this day I can't shake that image from my head

As I've gotten older my bouts with anxiety have come and gone. Usually I keep myself busy at all time so as not to think about what is worrying me. I work best under pressure and am always on the go. Leaving myself little time to dwell on things that may be stressing me out. Until night time. Oh how I hate night time where my mind is running a mile a minute, forcing me to think about everything at once. It's not wander I don't sleep

After I had kids though my bouts with anxiety changed and not for the better. I can remember leaving Gianna for the first time with the husband while I ran to Sam's club. I was walking along, pushing my cart when all of a sudden I fetl a rush of heat on my back and shoulder's, my heart started racing, my vision blurred and my ears started ringing. Then the tightening of the chest came and I instantly thought I was going to pass out and have a heart attack. A few seconds later it passed and I stood there blinking, not sure of what had happened. I called my mom( whose a nurse) and she confirmed she thought I had an panic attack. I became afraid to leave my house, to take Gianna anywhere far from home. I panicked when I had to go somewhere and my stomach was constantly in knots. Simple things like going out to dinner or running errands became a struggle. I forced through it but always at the back of my mind was the fear that a panic attack would strike.

Then I became pregnant with Ethan and those thoughts and feelings went away. I became me again. And then Ethan was born and it all changed. Days after he was born I would lock myself into my closet and cry. I was overwhelmed, stressed and sad that my husband wasn't home to help with the baby, afraid that Gianna would hate me for bringing another baby home, and upset that I couldn't spend all my time with one child. My recovery for my c-section the second time around was much more difficult and every little twinge or pain sent me into a panic that something was wrong

The first outing I had with both kids was where things got worse. I went to dinner at a friend's house and while talking to a friend a panic attack struck. The heat flushed through my body, the ringing started in my ears and my chest tightened and got heavy.In that moment I thought I was dying. Until I saw Gianna run around a corner calling for me. I snapped out of it, picked her up and went into the bathroom and called my mom. Again she confirmed it was a panic attack.

At my 6 week post partum checkup I talked with the dr who confirmed my anxiety and panic attacks as well. I refused medication and said I would try to work it out on my own. For awhile things got worse. The feelings of fear were always there. I always had knots in my stomach and while out and about I constantly felt uneasy. Afraid that a panic attack would set in, that something would happen to me and that I'd leave two kids alone.

Finally I went to see a counselor who has helped tremendously. Just talking to someone was what I needed. Someone who confirmed that I wasn't crazy, that what I was experiencing was real and that I could get better.She gave me some coping tips and was there to listen when I needed to vent.

Anxiety is something I still struggle with. I always have to be in control and when I'm not that's when anxiety kicks in. I knew my anxiety reached an all time high when my body physically started reacting to it. I'm learning to let go of my control, to live in the moment and to try and only worry about things I consider are my priorities. It's a daily struggle but one I am working on. And for those of you going through post partum depression or anxiety know that you are not alone. It is a real thing and don't be ashamed to ask for help

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A letter to my children

This post was written last week as we awaited the arrival of my hubby.

Dear Gianna and Ethan

In a few short hours your dad will be home. You both have no idea what is going on. I bathed you early and dressed you up in matching onesies with the logo of your daddy's unit on. You may sense I am anxious and nervous and of course you are right. It's been 9 months since he has been gone. A lot has happened since then

Gianna-you weren't even 1 when your daddy left. When he left you were walking, although still in that unsteady baby gait. Your thigh rolls were prominent in every baby outfit and your talking consisted of a few words. Now you are a tall, skinny thing. With a vocabulary like crazy running all over the place. Your dad is going to be so shocked to see you

Ethan-At 6 months of age you are totally unaware that your daddy has been gone, let alone existed. Sure he ws there for your birth for a few days, and then spent 2 weeks with you  when you were a month but other than that he has missed it all. Your colicky period, your screaming fits and then watching you develop and emerge into a totally happy baby with a personality starting to shine through.( Lets just say though that if your first word is daddy, I'm going to be so mad!)

As excited as I am for your daddy to come home, I'm sad in some ways. These past few months have been one big slumber party. Just us 3 navigating the world together. Our days have consisted of playdates, trips to the park, playing on the beach, cuddles on the couch, lazy days watching disney movies, playing with toys and many nights camping out in mommys bed.

Some days were hard. very hard. With both of you sick and clingy my attention was divided and I couldn't give you both the 100 percent you deserved. But we got through it. Some days I woke up not wanting to get  out of bed, to wallow in sadness. but waking up next to Ethan's smiling face or walking into Gianna's room, where you always greeted me with a smile I knew that I couldn't be selfish. That you two were depending on me. And I on you as well.

You both have made this deployment fly by.You have shown me that I can do it all when your daddy is gone. That I shouldn't doubt myself as a mother or a wife. That my insecurities are just that. Insecurities. You've also shown me the beauty of the little things. I don't have to do it all. The laundry can wait, if we eat hot dogs for dinner it's ok and the  house doesn't have to be spotless all the time. But watching you play Gianna or snuggling on the couch with you Ethan are what really matter

So thank you for teaching me how to let go, enjoy living in the moment and showing me that I am stronger than I ever thought possible

The three of us will go through deployments many more times together. And as you get older I know they will get harder. For you will both know what is going on. The questions will come, along with the hurt and the confusion. I will always be here for you to help ease the pain of daddy being gone. I love you both so much
Now let's go pick up your dad. For I know he is beyond excited to see you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Celebrating 5 years

A dear friend of mine offered to watch the kiddos for me last night so the husband and I could enjoy a night out.

Since our five year wedding anniversary was the week before I wanted this night out to be special. I asked around for restaurant recommendations and decided on the Louisiana Lagniappe down in Destin

Of course it ended up being a cold and dreary day ruining my plans to wear a cute dress and us enjoying drinks out on the deck but we made do

The restaurant was amazing! Great southern food, steaks and fish. The atmosphere was relaxing and romantic at the same time.

When we entered the restaurant however everyone was glued to the tv listening to the news that the Boston marathon bomber was found hiding under a boat. Halfway through dinner the busboy told us they had him in custody. Everyone cheered! God bless Boston

After dinner we headed to target to get baby formula and that good stuff. I may not have put on this mask

While my husband played with light sabers down the aisle

5 years in and we are still total dorks around each other. Life doesn't get any better

Love you babe. Thanks for a great night

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life with 2 under 2-6 months in

My little man in six months old today. I can't believe at how fast time is going. When E was first born all I felt was guilt. Guilt that I wasn't spending enough time with Gianna, guilt over not enjoying more of Ethan's babyhood. Two under two was a definite struggle. I never thought I would make it. And today here we are. And it's easier and more fun than I ever thought imaginable.

Sure my kids don't nap at the same time, grocery shopping with a toddler and a baby in a carseat is a nightmare and running  simple errands is impossible since you have to unload the double stroller, take out both kids, get them situated in said stroller and then do that all in reverse after your errand is complete.

But looking back at that first month of adjusting to two under two I wish I could have told myself to calm down, take it all in and enjoy every moment. Here is some things I've learned with having 2 kiddos under 2

1. Take advantage of any mom's day out programs that are available in your area. Gianna is in one on Monday's. I use that day to run all my errands with only Ethan in tow. It is so easy shopping with one kiddo rather than 2. And Gianna loves the break away playing with kids her own age

2. If you have to take both kids shopping, park near the cart rack. Grab a cart and bring it over to your car before unloading the kids. If your baby likes to be worn take advantage of putting them in a moby or ergo therefore clearing  up room in your cart. If that's not possible try and grab a double cart if your store has them. Mine has double carts with a steering wheel in the seat area just for kids. Gianna loves pretending to drive the cart and it keeps her occupied while I am shopping

3. Let it go. A huge struggle for me was the pressure I put on myself to keep the house clean at all times. When the kids napped I would run around like a moron doing laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. I had no time to myself and that would stress me out even more. Now I don't bother cleaning until the kids are asleep at night. Laundry I will wash throughout the day but even the folding waits until after bedtime. I use nap time to read, blog or watch tv and get some much needed mommy time.

4. Child number 2 syndrome. After Ethan was born  I always felt guilty.Like I wasn't able to enjoy Ethan's babyhood the way I did Giannas. When Gianna was born I spent all day laying on the couch snuggling with her and holding her at all times. If I put her down and she made a peep I was instantly at her side. Ethan def doesn't get that treatment. He was put down a lot on his swing or playmate and if he cried and I was busy with Gianna he had to cry. 6 month's later he is as happy and content as can be. I worried for nothing. Babies are going to cry, and they have to learn to entertain themselves. So don't feel so bad if you put the baby down to take care of some things. They will be ok

5. Don't compare. Of course  you are going to compare the kids to some extent. Ethan was def a fussier baby than Gianna. Gianna from early on was very  mobile whereas  Ethan is more of a talker. Those kind of comparisons are ok. Just don't sit there and dwell on the fact that baby number 2 isn't doing something when baby number one did it. All kids are different and develop on their own pace

6. Mommy groups bring sanity- I've joined a few mommy groups and they have been lifesavers. Playdates with friends and their kids provide us moms adult conversations and the kids time to play with other's their own age. It's a win for everyone

7. As fun as playdates and all that are some of my favorite days with the kids are pajama days. Days spent lazing around the house making a huge mess, cuddling on the couch and laying on blankets watching tv. Love me some pajama days

8. Enjoy the ride. It won't be long before your baby is a toddler and your kids are grown. And surprisingly you will miss those days. I look at Ethan now and can't believe how big he is already. Each stage of your child's life brings hard times and good times. Don't let them overwhelm you and try and go with the flow(so easier said than done) but it really is true!

9. A happy mom means happy kids. Don't be afraid to take some time for yourself. Since I've started using nap time as my mommy time I've become much more laid back, patient and less stressed. Everyone benefits. Laundry and dishes will always be there. It can wait

Life with my 2 gets better and better every day. I love them with my whole heart and am so blessed to be their mommy

Thursday, April 18, 2013

He's Home


 She's so happy
 I'm not letting go
 Reunited at last
 The hubs was quite surprised at how big his little boy had gotten

 Still not letting go

 Love this picture

It's so nice to have the hubby home again. Its melt my heart seeing how excited Gianna is to have him home. Although it def is an adjustment, so far the transition has been pretty smooth. Each day gets better and better and I"m looking forward to our family vacation where we can all relax and decompress