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Toddler Times

Hey everyone!

So as many of you know, I have two toddler sons and I am a stay at home mama. I’d like to take some time to discuss activities and schedules and day to day planning with you. I would also love to hear feed back for you to see what has worked for you and your families as well!

Stuffed ball and outside is all you need

First off- I will admit, I have big plans but have a rough time sticking to them every day. I am working on it, especially because I know that the more structured/ scheduled the day is and consistently, my boys behave better and seem happier. Do you find that schedules help you and your kiddos out? Do you wing every day?

I have found that my kids don’t love breakfast… they enjoy something small but like a later breakfast or mid morning snack. Some screen time and activities for the day. So, Here is a broken down list of inexpensive/ budget friendly activities to do on a day to day basis:

Coloring and Drawing! You can get all the needed books and crayons at dollar stores! I go about once a month to get new coloring books. They usually have the good ones like avengers, paw patrol, mickey mouse and some others. I spend maybe $10.00 for everything including stickers,

Finger Paints! Sometimes I can find some at the dollar store, other wise walmart! Crayola has great ones for a bit more money that are super easy to clean up with water or wet wipes.

Puzzles! My 3 yr old loves them! Dollar stores usually carry some. You can also make your own. YouTube has some fun DIY videos on that.

Bubbles! Inside or outside… yes I said inside. All kids love bubbles! Cheap and lots of play!

Bath time can also be play time. Amazon has so many awesome bath toys now its crazy. Some bubbles, boats, animals, anything even a cup makes bath times extra fun.

Imagination play- Blocks, legos, Lincoln logs, magnetic tiles… getting to build with their hands and imagination is a great bonding time plus its great for fine motor skills! Double win right there!

Don’t forget to get involved. Sometimes we just need to put our phones down and get on the floor and play! Dance parties, banking and cooking together are always fun. My boys love to take balls, dinosaurs and a few cars outside to play with too. Seriously, they never get bored lol.

When we go to the grocery store my husband and I like to involve the kiddos as well, Letting them pick out a snack or drink… putting items in the cart. Anything and everything can be made into a learning and teaching activity! I hope these ideas help you!

Now Schedules– I suggest start by finding what order works for you. for us its:

Breakfast/ tv/ activity and snack/ play with toys/ lunch and naps/ play or activity/ dinner/ bath/ snack / brush teeth and bed time story

At least roughly in that order. Bed time for my oldest is 8-830 most nights. If its been a rough day then 730-8pm. Im still working with my youngest to adhere to a bed time, but both kids wake up between 730-830 am on their own.

I kind of followed my youngest sleepy cues to go with naps times. Which I would say 6 out of 7 days they stick to 1-3pm nap times. For some they may say this is crazy, but its just what Ive found works for my boys. I have learned that it takes one day to ruin a set schedule and about 4 days for my kids to get back on track.

I would love to hear what you do, and what activities you and your kids do!

All the beads and skills
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Food Issues With A 3 Year Old

I’d like to explain my kiddos food allergies and issues. Its not simple and yet its not difficult to understand.

Damien is 3 1/2 years old. Short life so far, yet we have been through so much with him when it comes to his food issues.

Here’s a list of his sensitivities and allergies:

  • Milk/ Dairy intolerant
  • Meat… especially hamburger intolerant
  • Gluten sensitive, but not intolerant
  • processed sugar sensitive
  • dye coloring sensitive

All these can be triggers to his Cyclic Vomiting Condition. Meaning, if he eats these items or too much of these, they can trigger 2 to 8 days of vomiting for Damien. He doesn’t actually get sick, just pukes. No fever, he still plays some, but he doesn’t eat or drink much. The vomit itself if odd as well. It’s not really normal puke, its like a mucus, frothy white slime that comes up.

How do I get around all this with him being so young? Well, Damien actually understands that certain things can make him sick. He knows cheese and milk will hurt his belly. I have made it a point to get him learn his allergies for safety reasons. So far, It has worked out great for us and our family.

Damien can’t drink almond milk as it has same of the same properties as meats, it makes him vomit. So, coconut milk it is! Which he only gets with cereal or in baked goods, and small doses like that. He does get to eat sugary fruit snacks, but we get lots of organic fruit bars. Kashi is a favorite brand, and we look for dairy free and gluten free when we can find it. Vans brand is great for this! He loves fruit, so berries are always a snack. Damien still gets to eat like any other kid but sometimes its at a limit or just a different brand or home made. Muffins are great for breakfast or a snack.Oatmeal with berries and chocolate chips make for a great breakfast and he gets a treat! Damien loves water so that’s mostly what he drinks. We do get fruit juices but only once in a while. None the less, he knows no different.

I will add to the resource page links for cyclic vomiting.

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Toxic Relationships Wake Up Call

Now, I’m not a professional. I am simply a 24 year old who has some experience with this subject so everything will be from my point of view.

Toxic relationships are not limited to boyfriends/girlfriends or spouses. They included family members too. That saying blood is thicker than water is wrong. Just because someone is blood does not mean you must love them, respect them or suffer their anger or negative energy.

If you read my post ” Four Years of Hell” then you may know that I have a whole group of family members I haven’t spoken with in six years. They horrible, negative, and frankly their mental stability is not something that is good for me.

You can not live your life to suit others. You are not here to make other people happy or to take care of them. No matter if the person is your boyfriend or mother.

You do not owe anyone a damn thing. If you had the type pf parents that loved to say “you should be thankful you live here” or “you should take care of me because I took care of you” – that is not love. They are your parents/ caregiver, that is their job. It is not the job of the child to grow up and owe the parents anything. That is toxic thinking. You don’t owe family members help, money, a place to stay- nothing.

Now, do I sound insensitive? Do I sound hateful? Yes, probably. But here’s the thing;

If someone makes you feel bad about who you are, cut them out. They are toxic to you. You do not deserve that. You deserve support and love.

Point is- CUT OUT TOXIC PEOPLE! No matter who they are. You owe NOTHING to no body! You deserve to live this one life in happiness, surrounded by those who love and support you. Not by those who try to change you, or degrade you.

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PCOS Update

Hi all! I know I have briefly spoke about my diagnosis of PCOS. It has been a little over a month on my new care plan and I wanted to share it with you, and maybe it can help someone else!

First of all, it took nearly six years to get the doctors to say this is what I have rather than just try to push birth control on me. I know many women have struggled for so many more years than myself, so I feel very thankful I finally got a doctor who listened to me and my concerns.

The first thing that changed was I have been taking Metformin. Which is actually medication typically taken by diabetics. However, it aids the body in processing carbs. Something I didnt know, is that with PCOS you may crave carbs more, but you body doesnt process them properly which can lead to weight gain. And if any of you suffer with this , you know how hard it is to lose weight when you have PCOS, no matter how healthy you eat or how much you exercise.

So, I take metformin daily and it has helped me in losing some weight in the past month. It is a touchy med, so if you eat a lot of carbs like have a pizza night prepare for a night spent in the bathroom. So feeding off that, I am working on eating less carbs.

Water is your best friend. Having this lovely hormonal issue, raises your internal temp. Meaning, you probably sweat or are very hot ALL THE TIME! Yes, this is happening to me. So stay hydrated. For every sugary drink you drink, consume double that in water. Plus, cutting out the sugary drinks can help with weight and the cysts and pain during your “monthly” cycles.

Now, the best part- the menstrual pain. Yes, it hurts. Id much rather give birth again then deal with the cramps at times. Basically what happens- for me at least- cysts form prior to my period each month. Then rupture during my cycle. The first few days are horrible. And sometimes it eases up and sometimes not. Luckily, my cycle has shortened since being on meds and adjusting my diet some.

As far as I know, there isn’t a cure other than having a full hysterectomy. But for some ladies there are some ways to help ease some of the issues. This is all I’ve figured out for now. But I hope to find out more and share. PCOS and other female hormone problems are not talked about enough. So many women suffer and assume that its normal and its not.

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Room Refresh & Mind Refresh

So, do you ever just get the feeling to redo a room? Refresh the decor or furniture?

That’s me all the time. However currently, I’m all about repurposing and reusing what I have. So I updated this little table. We painted it olive green and black. I already have the “memories” from the dollar tree. I dried a rose from a bouquet my husband got me for mother’s day. I did purchase the peace lily, which I will repot as soon as I pick out a cute pot! It’s surrounded by crystals and sage. I call this my “Hippy Table”. I look at it and it makes me happy. It cost me $8, for the plant, that’s it. I moved around my desk and dresser to open the room up some. Ill be adding some new wall decor and that’s it!

Its funny how a simply room redo can make your heart so happy. Sometimes we feel stale because our surroundings get stale. I’m a huge supporter of moving your furniture around as often as you’d like to. Ill share some easy and inexpensive DIY decor and dollar store decor soon!

Basically, all this to say…. make you happy. Make your home reflect you and your soul. Make it a peaceful, calm. Crazy loud place. Whatever you see in your mind, make it so!

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Why I chose to Formula Feed

This is possibly one of the most heated topics when it comes to babies. How will you feed them? Formula or breast? You will hear fed is best, breast is best… you’ll hear every ones opinion. Frankly, it gets annoying and old real quick.

So, I’m going to share my choice and why I did what I did. I will state, I am in NO WAY SHAMING anyone choice. I fully support fed is best. However and whatever works for you and you little babe is good.

First Child: I was pregnant, and I was learning all about formula vs breast feeding. I had talked with moms on both sides of the spectrum. I read books and watch videos on breast feeding. When I was 28 weeks pregnant the doctor wanted to discuss feeding with me at an appointment. She briefly went over he view as a doctor, and I decided on Formula. Here’s why- I knew I would be alone with my son 100% of the time (deployed father). I knew there was a chance of a c-section and that can delay milk coming in. I also knew I wanted others to be able to feed my son as in day care or babysitter. I knew I didn’t want to be stuck to a pump either. So I chose formula. It seemed best for my life and situation at the time. I got judgement and women letting me know how horrible formula was ect… but I didn’t care. I made the right choice for my son and myself.

Now, for my second child- I knew for sure I would formula feed again. I knew I enjoyed the freedom of others being able to feed him, and being able to not have to deal with a pump. I also knew that with my 1st kiddo, I didn’t produce any milk. None, at all, so I figured that was a possibility again. When I had my second child I had a repeat c-section and began formula feeding right away. Around 4 days Postpartum My breast decided to engorge, and holy shit that was hell. I ended up with mastitis. Eventually, I dried up and all was well. My kids hit all their mile stones, have no delays… formula isn’t for everyone and yes, it is pricey. But for some it is the right choice. Sometimes, formula feeding is what’s best for the mothers mental health. And that is okay too. We moms have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children.

So for the love of humanity, next time you see a mother feeding her child… and you want to say something just dont. We already deal with enough, we truly do not need others opinions on how we fed our children. Formula or breast fed, fed is best. Happy, healthy babies is what matter.

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Untold Motherhood & Postpartum

Do you think society lies about mom life? I sure do…. now I promise I’m not crazy so please stick with me.

Was your pregnancy planned or unplanned? Because to be completely honest that changes a lot with this post. For someone who plans on having a baby you most likely did some research. Ya know, baby books, google searches… but for those of us who got the surprise positives … well for me at least- I DIDN’T KNOW ANY THING!

Okay, in all seriousness I wasn’t planning on having my son when I did so I had never picked up a baby book. Never heard of HG, round ligament pain let alone look into birth or breast feeding….

So, for any of you expecting moms out there or veteran moms who may want a laugh this may be a post for you- I;m going to share the things I’d never heard of, didn’t expect… or just was blown away by.

To start off- I knew my body was going to change. I knew I was going to gain weight, and my belly grow… HOWEVER no one not ever my doctor warned me about round ligament pain. Like holy shit. With my first son it started at like 12 weeks. The pain was bearable but annoying. I didn’t know what it was. After talking with other moms, since I had to wait til my next OB appointment, I found out what it was. And thanks to google at 13 weeks started wearing a belly band to help.

Next we have the boobs- now again I knew and expected my chest to grow.. what I did not expect was leakage before I had the baby. I also wasn’t aware that they would be so damn sore. I must have had a crappy doctor. I learned this thankfully was normal from books.

Cravings: They are REAL LOL. I really thought it was a lie so pregnant women could eat whatever. Nope, I was like 4 months pregnant eating ice cream and pickles…TOGETHER. I had no idea that was a real thing until I experienced it.

Morning sickness is not just in the morning for a few weeks. Like seriously… I was sick at night with my first for like 6 months. Morning Sickness is such a lie. It should really just be called pregnancy sickness. Like did you know that that shit could be so horrible?!

What else should be on this list? What did you not know??

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Therapy and Medications: My Journey

I’ve written about the start of my mental health journey but this time I’d like to dig a bit deeper and show you why I stress therapy and mental health education to not just women and mothers but everyone.

In the above picture, its a typical tuesday look. No fancy clothes, hair in a messy mom bun and no makeup. My comfy tank and leggings and cup of luke warm coffee.

Now, why did I start going to therapy? The answer is simple. I wanted and needed to talk. I knew i didn’t want to family or my husband about what was in my head. So I went to my VA Center and they set it up.

Why am I on medication? I’m currently on an antidepressant/antianxiety pill. Hopefully it alleviates some of my anxiety and prevents my valleys of depression. Are pills for everyone? Nope. Not at all. Sometimes therapy is enough. Which is great, but I happened to need and want both.

So, what exactly is going on in my mind? I would love to tell you. But honestly its so messy at times I don’t even know. I am finally experiencing emotions from past traumas and currently Im working through all that.

I honesty had no idea I even had anything wrong with me until after I had my second son. I experienced horrible PPD. After that, I was to separate from the Navy and so I decided to get help then.

So, I’ve been in therapy and on medication for a little over a month and here is whats going on: I still have good and bad days. I still feel depressed at times and still have issues with anxiety… However I’m finding I’m able to find the light in the situations. I’m able to be upset while re-grounding myself and lean towards the positive side easier. I’ve noticed I;m triggered less which is really great for me. Im hoping the further I dive in the more good comes from all this.

A lot of my emotions that I’ve buried for years are surfacing and while yes its rough its been really great also. Currently I’m working through the loss of my father. I can say if you are having a rough time and need someone to listen to you, therapy is a great tool. From eating disorders to loss of loved ones, to just feeling down…. there’s no harm in trying therapy out. It may just surprise you how much better you feel after talking to that stranger. We all need support, sometimes we need it form friend and family… and sometimes we need a stranger, an outsider to just listen and support us, I’m so glad I decided to go to therapy. I have someone who I can share with, and express my feelings with that has no outside knowledge other than what my side is.

My struggle is not over, and wont be for a long time. S for now I will take it day by day. I will work towards each of my goals one at a time and I will continue to better myself.

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My dad.

Yesterday was fathers day.This day, since his death has never held much meaning to me. Ive not been sad or mad, just not affected.However, yesterday that changed.Yesterday I cried so much I got a headache. At first I was mad for feeling this way. But now I can see that after almost 11 years, Im finally feeling.I am feeling the loss of my father, my role model, my dad. After he died, I never really grieved. I went back to school, and carried on with life. Not so much by choice, more by force. So I’ve decided to share somethings about my father.Like how strong of a person her was. He didn’t have the best parents himself, nor the best upbringing. He was married young and had kids young. He didn’t get to finish his teen years, yet he took responsibility and became an amazing dad. I was raised by him, my mother was never in the picture.He used to take me fishing. We would packs snack, drinks and spend the day either at the park or at this pond he loved so much.We would ride bikes to the Englewood park to play tennis on days he didn’t work. We had days filled with so much fun, that I never knew we didn’t have much money.My childhood, may have bit a bit odd but I was loved. My father was my best friend. He used to paint my nails and braid my hair. Goodness, I remember he would put my hair in a ponytail for school… it would be so tight and perfect it was a facelift for me.I remember the Christmas he literally got every single thing I asked for. I remember the year I asked for Britany Spears perfume and I got it.I remember days he would get his beer and snack, sit in his recliner and “watch” a race or football game… but really he would just fall asleep. I remember him teaching me to bait a hook, and to remove the fish scales in the kitchen sink.I remember him always calling me bug.I remember him and I taking walks in the summer and talking about what life would be like when I grew up. Boy, we were wrong. Although, I did leave Ohio and travel some.My dad taught me something that has stuck with me- in life you have to make you happy.It may not always be easy, but being selfish is a good thing. You have to be happy in order to be the best you.For anyone who may have known me in school, you probably never really knew anything had even happened. For those of you who supported and loved me thank you.For those of you who bully, well you suck. You never know what is going on in someone elses life.You see, Im not writing this for anyone but myself. Ive learned that sometimes sharing is the best therapy….

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Hobbies with in a Marriage

Does your significant other have a hobby or hobbies that drastically differ from yours? Or maybe their hobbies are on the more expensive side…

I can assure you, it is normal.. at least, I think it is. Well, I should clarify, I’m not speaking about gambling or dangerous activities as such more along the lines or material objects.

In my marriage I enjoy the artistic hobbies like sewing, baking, DIY projects and now blogging. While my husband enjoys electronics, gadgets and mostly video games and everything there is to do with them. To help show you his love of video games he was accepted into The Art Institute of San Francisco for video game development.

Now, I am in no way shape or form bashing video games in this post, its actually some of the greatest memories when first started dating in Japan. However, as you can see….. our hobbies don’t over lap and are on completely different ends of the spectrum. This is not to say this hinders our day to day marriage but it has been the root of some… or rather many arguments.

When you are a new couple, and even when you have kiddos, you have to adjust to a new routine and life style. Sometimes this may mean giving up or re configuring hobby time. For my husband and I this was a struggle. Video games took up our tv, took up family time… but so did my hobbies. I would get a bit engrossed in my projects and let other things go way side.

So, I’ve sat down with my husband and come up with some solutions to try to help you solve issues regarding hobby tiffs and tats.

First off, COMMUNICATION! It’s key in any relationship. Especially if a hobby is bothering you and you feel like its taking time away from other important issues and time. So, sit down and talk.

Try discussing setting aside time for each of you to have “you time” . That way its planned out and wont interfere with family time, or other important activities.

Try sharing your hobby with your partner! Even if its not really for them, make it fun! Get some pizza and a drink and have a good time!

I’d love to say our disagreements were fixed with one simple conversation… but I’d be lying to you. With any problem within a marriage it takes time to resolve and figure out what works for you and your significant other. I’d be happy to hear any other suggestions you may have or used to help you!

My Husbands PC set up. Not pictured is all the consoles and games he has.