Bring on the holidays.

IMG_3994IMG_3963IMG_4087image-35 image-32

November first is officially holiday season in my books (aka my favorite time of year) and after the busiest month of October I have ever experienced, I couldn’t be more excited to settle down and enjoy the upcoming holidays with my two favorite boys.

My husband and I moved into our new home just about two weeks ago, and we are already entirely moved in. I’m not sure if that makes us overachievers or if that just makes us crazy, but either way, it feels pretty damn good to be settled in to our new house before the holidays arrive. Other than one pretty scary fall down some stairs, my son has adjusted well. For the first several days he was incredibly confused and had a rough time sleeping, but as the days have passed he seems to have forgotten that our condo ever existed. Intrigued by the trees in the backyard and loving the fluffy carpet, he has finally embraced our new dwelling, and thankfully has returned to sleeping through the night.

Halloween brought on its share of events as well. Being the online shopping addict that I am, I spent months searching for the perfect Halloween costume for Liam’s second Halloween. The way I see it, as a parent you’ve got two, maybe three years to choose the Halloween costumes before your little ones want to take charge, so each costume has really got to count. Eventually I decided that I would be a lifeguard, my husband would be a surfer, and Liam would be a shark. As soon as I found his costume I knew he would hate it… But I also knew he’d be the most adorable grumpy little shark I ever did see. I couldn’t have been more accurate with that prediction. Halloween evening arrived and as I put my son into his shark costume, he became immediately angry. Upset that he couldn’t move around as easily as he normally could, he began throwing his body around in the most dramatic of tantrums on the floor. However, just when I was about to give up on taking him out for the night, we decided to take him to my grandmas house and he finally realized what Halloween was all about. Upon seeing other children dressed in their costumes and houses strung up with lights, his mood was instantly changed. My little shark baby began frolicking around the neighborhood trying to talk to absolutely anyone and everyone. We allowed him to have one (his first) lollipop and watched as he sunk into the couch, quickly going from 10 to 0 on the energy scale.

Following Halloween, my husband and I dedicated our weekend to getting our house into shape. The last push of the move was probably the most tiring, but it was all worth it when we were able to lay back at the end of the weekend and enjoy some drinks and quality time with friends around the new fire pit.

Which brings me to Monday and the tale of our first family trip to urgent care. About three months ago I arranged for us to have winter family photos done with our family photographer. I spent the last several weeks putting together our outfits. I got my hair done, and put Liam down for bed early on Sunday night so that he’d be in a great mood for photos. Monday morning arrived, and as we were getting ready, Liam put his hands where they were not meant to be and burned himself on my curling iron. We had left the room for just a moment, and in all of the chaos of trying to get everyone ready in time, I forgot that id left my curling iron on. The second I heard the scream I knew exactly what had happened and fear and guilt immediately overtook me. The amount of pain a mother can feel while watching her child experience pain never ceases to amaze me. After a couple of hours Liam seemed to be feeling a lot better, however after seeing the blister that ensued, my husband and I decided to take him to urgent care that evening. The doctor assured us that the wound would heel on it’s own, Liam babbled away (successfully winning the hearts of every nurse working the night shift), they bandaged him up, and sent us on our way. Luckily we were able to reschedule our photos and he hasn’t shown any sign of pain or discomfort since the initial incident occurred. I think it’s safe to say that Liam and I both learned our lesson.

It has been the most eventful past couple of weeks, and I welcome the joy and relaxation of the holiday season with open arms. My husband has got a busy month of traveling ahead, which might make life a little trickier than usual…however, equipped with a new home, new fall clothes, and a Pinterest board full of holiday ideas, I will most certainly be embracing November and the winter events to come.

Cheers,

T.W.C

 

image-34image-31.IMG_3893

Tis the season for pumpkin lattes and moving.

IMG_3680 IMG_3698IMG_3777IMG_3758 IMG_3623IMG_3800

The Las Vegas heat is finally subsiding and I’ve made my first batch of potato soup of the fall. I can finally justify wearing a sweater as I make breakfast in the morning and my little man has been sleeping in footsie pajamas. Fall is here and I couldn’t be more welcoming of it.

These past few weeks have been a bit hectic around our household after finding out that our landlord wanted to sell our current home. The house hunting began, and after viewing 15 homes (and chasing Liam up and down the stairs in each and every one of them), we finally found the perfect one. We had initially been upset about the idea of moving out of the home that we brought our son home from the hospital to. The home that housed so many of our family’s ‘firsts’. However, our new place is quite the upgrade from our current little two bedroom condo, and as moving day gets closer, I have become increasingly excited. As we remove the personal touches from our current home, it begins to feel less and less like we live here, and all that I can think of is how things will be in our new home. All the space we will have.. The backyard to play in.. The front porch to share coffee on.. The fire pit to drink wine around. We move towards the end of October, and I feel as though the end of a month has never felt further away. I know there is days and days worth of packing to do and I should appreciate the preparation time that I have, but impatience has gotten the best of me.

In the meantime I am left to daydream. I have at least 10 tabs pulled up on my computer at all times of various home goods sales that I am waiting to pounce on. I have been checking local puppy adoptions constantly in anticipation of the new puppy we plan on bringing into our new home for Christmas. I sit in bed awake at night figuring out where each piece of furniture will go in the new place and where each picture frame would look best on the walls. My daydreaming and fantasizing is ridiculous and out of control to say the least.

Between packing and daydreaming however, my family and I have been able to enjoy the peaceful coolness of the fall air. Our evening walks have increased and despite my hesitance to join the ‘basic white girl pumpkin spice’ bandwagon, we may or may not have purchased several pumpkin lattes in the last couple of weeks. My husband and I had the opportunity to attend a lovely outdoor wedding and ‘birthday season’ for my husband and many of our friends is quickly approaching. The pumpkin patches are finally being set up around town and the evenings are at last cool enough for me to wear sweats. I may be impatient and anxious, but being impatient and anxious isn’t so terrible when you’ve got such beautiful fall weather and activities to surround yourself with.

Although I will do my best, as moving day slowly approaches, you will probably continue to hear little from me as I’ve got packing to do, pumpkin patches to visit, and Halloween costumes to put together. I’m sure I will have blog posts galore of stories to tell and photos to share, but for now I am going to enjoy my favorite time of year with my favorite people and I encourage you all to do the same.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Three’s a crowd

securedownload

As I sit here on a Monday morning cuddled up on the couch drinking coffee and watching my little guy chew on an old DVD case, I couldn’t be happier. My own home, surrounded by my familiar things, with all of the time I could want to focus all of my attention on my little man. I always appreciated this special time I have with him, but not to the extent that i do following last weeks events.

Last week I found myself babysitting Monday through Friday for 10 hours a day in a house that was not my own. The children were two girls ages 2 and 4, and I brought along my one year old. As I played out the week in my head beforehand, I told myself that it shouldn’t be too difficult because the children were all close enough in age that they would all play together happily. Anybody with 3 children is probably getting a good laugh at that one. Now I know.

About 3 minutes after arriving, it became very apparent how…interesting… The week would be. The two little girls were instantly aggravated by my son, who mistook their sippy cup for his own (to his defense, they did look almost identical). Having two annoyed little girls, I can handle. Having two annoyed, shrieking at the highest pitch possible little girls, I cannot handle.

The week went on in the same fashion. My son would do a normal innocent baby thing (such as sit on their beanbag chair), and they would scream and shriek and pretend to cry fat nonexistent alligator tears. As if the behavior wasn’t enough to handle, the unfamiliar home was not baby proofed in any way, shape, or form. Flights of stairs, expensive wine cases at floor level, and tiny craft beads were all the most amazing things my son had ever seen, and each posed a threat of their own. All in one day, my son fell down several stairs (luckily I was nearby to catch him), he broke a wine bottle (which spilled glass and red wine all over the tile hours after their cleaning crew left), and he almost choked on a small bead (he mostly just put it in his mouth and I freaked out more than necessary). The not so baby proofed house wouldn’t have been an issue had I had my undivided attention to dedicate to following my curious baby around, but I was also busy dealing with countertops painted with nail polish and little girls pretending to be hurt in order to acquire an ice pack. Stressful does not even begin to sum it up.

Headed home at the end of what was easily one of the hardest work weeks of my life, I had two thoughts:
1. I’m not sure I would ever be able to have three children of my own. I want a second without a doubt, But I think two babies might be all that this mama can handle! As I grow as a mother in both years and experience, my feelings towards having three could change, but at this moment in time I’m definitely feeling fonder towards the thought of completing our family at baby number two.
2. Mothers of multiple children are little angels sent down from the heavens.

Really though, I don’t know how you guys do it. I wish I could send all of you on week long vacations to the Bahamas because you all are so very deserving of it. You have the patience of saints.

After finally winding down at the end of the week with several oversized glasses of wine, and the stress of the week had finally worn off, I couldn’t help but to think about how lucky I am to normally spend every day in the comfort of my own baby proof home, paying all of my attention to my son, my housework, my husband, and my own well being. I may have done far too much complaining about last weeks circumstances (I’m sure my husband wished I would shut up on multiple occasions), but in a way I am thankful for the experience, because it reminded me of how blessed I am to be in my situation. I do miss getting out of the house and going to an office full of adults where I could have adult conversations and deal with adult situations, but I am so very lucky to be taken care of by a husband who wants nothing more than for me to experience the joys of being a stay at home mom and psychology degree seeking student.

Last week was long and last week was exhausting, but it was also rewarding and thought provoking. So now I will enjoy my day with my son, following him around the house as he makes messes for me to clean and diapers for me to change, and I will perform each of these activities feeling incredibly thankful for the life I have been given.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

When did “discipline” become a bad word?

securedownload

image-27

When I became pregnant, I was young, scared, and paranoid that everything that could go wrong would go wrong. I ran out and bought a baby heart monitor that I would lay In bed with every night. I bought the pregnancy books and I had a new list of questions for my doctor every visit. One of my biggest ways of coping with my constant fears and questions was pregnancy chat forums like babycenter and circleofmoms. On these sites, I could find women with all of the same crazy questions and concerns as me. Not sure if that’s gas or a baby kick? There’s a forum for that. Is being this tired normal? Forum for that. Can I eat that food? Forum for that. These forums helped calm my nerves and guided me through my pregnancy complications and bed rest. After enjoying these forums so much while pregnant, I naturally turned to them as well once my son arrived, but I’ve quickly become more and more disappointed by what I’ve found on these sites.

I recently began having issues with my son while at restaurants. The second he turned one, it was as though a switch was flipped and he suddenly began acting out at restaurants in a way that was obviously disturbing to those around us. It upset me that not only was I being glared at by those around me, but even more, it upset me that nothing I did to soothe my son seemed to work. Being a first time mom, I had no idea what to do in these situations, so I went to the internet in an attempt to seek advice. Upon finding an open forum started by a mom with the exact same issue as me, I was completely disappointed with the responses I found. Fellow mothers were taking over the forum and absolutely destroying the mother who simply wanted advice as to how to teach her child to behave in a restaurant. One mothers response in particular stood out to me. She said something along the lines of “you are a terrible person for trying to train your child. Children should not be trained, they are not pets”. Excuse me? Since when is teaching your child good behavior and proper manners  treating them like a pet? Has the current generation of child raisers become that morphed in their thinking that they view discipline as an abusive practice? I would like to apologize to anybody offended by my thoughts on this matter, but I can’t, because I truly am not sorry for thinking that children should be raised to grow into respectable adults.

I am honestly nervous about the future my son will face. Raising a well behaved and respectful child is proving to be a more and more difficult task when surrounded by a world of new age parents who view teaching respect and good manners as an abusive practice. Teaching your child right from wrong.. Teaching your child how to behave in public.. Teaching your child to respect.. These are things that I feel are common sense, and by no means does teaching my child these things mean that I love him any less. While I realize that he is still young and is unable to communicate his feelings, it is my job to use my judgement to determine how to respond to the situation, and it is my job to respond in a way that my young son will understand. It is not mean to encourage my son to have good behavior… it is mean to allow him to grow up thinking that he is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I feel as though there is a very negative connotation tied to the idea of “disciplining” your child. Discipline does not have to be harsh and it does not have to be mean. Discipline and good behavior can one hundred percent be taught through love, respect, and understanding.

I have found that raising my child is not simply me raising my child. It feels as though there are always watchers. If I tell my child no in public, there are parents who look at me as though I am cruel. If I let me child do what he wants in public, there are parents that look at me with disgust. There is no way to please everyone, so with each day and each public outing, I am left to make a decision not for the public, not for me, but for my son. I want my son to grow in to a strong, respectable, polite man. I could choose to overly baby him now. I could choose to let him do whatever he wants. I could choose to let him call the shots. But when would that end? At what point would he suddenly become the respectable man that I wish for him to be? It does not just suddenly happen. Good behavior is something that starts young. It is something that must be taught, and it is something that takes time. So what better time to start than now? I am not “training my child like I would a dog”, as the forum mother said. I am simply teaching my child to be a good person, and I am doing my best to teach my child that in a way that he understands.

I would like to know what other moms think about this topic. I am not here to argue, and I am completely open to hearing all opinions. As I’ve said before, I am a first time mom. I am stumbling my way through parenthood and hoping I making the right turns along the way. If you have any thoughts on this matter, I would love to hear them.

Cheers,

T.w.c.

First year reflections

EYP-2

IMG_6513

EYP-4

IMG_6511

My son’s first birthday is just a week away, so of course I’m feeling pretty darn sentimental. As he attempts to tackle my laptop, I can’t help but to be amazed that the tiny 6.5 lb boy that I brought into this world, is now walking around the house attempting to dig goodies out of the trashcan and destroy as many books as possible.

As his first birthday draws nearer, I find myself holding him for a few minutes longer each night before putting him in his crib. I stare at his tiny little baby feet and his plump baby thighs and I think of all of the grand hopes that I have for his future.

I hope that my son loves. I don’t mean that I hope that he loves his mickey mouse doll or that he loves going to the park. I mean that I hope that he grows up with the ability to truly love another human being with all his heart, and I hope that he has the strength to walk away from those that don’t love him back the way that he deserves.

Ihope that he surrounds himself with the right people. Looking back at my life, I often find myself wondering what path I would have gone down had I had different friends. The quote “you are who you surround yourself with” always comes to mind. The quote has always bugged me a little because I would like to think of myself as an individual who makes my own choices, however one of those choices IS who you surround yourself with. I strongly believe that I made the worst choices in my life when I was surrounded by the wrong people, and I made my best decisions when I was surrounded by happy, successful, and supportive people. I hope that my son has the ability to recognize who the “right” people are, and that he chooses people that will encourage him to be a good person.

I hope that my son is a hard worker. My husband and I often talk about how we do not want our son to be lacking of anything. We want to provide him with the best education, to get him involved in sports and activities, and we want to show him the world. I feel that there is a very fine line between providing for your child and spoiling your child, and I hope that my husband and I can raise him in a way that he knows that he can have the world, but he is not entitled to it.

I hope that my son is respectful. I hope that he grows to be a man of admiration. I hope that he is emotionally strong and level headed. I hope that he learns from his mistakes. I hope that he is charismatic and I hope that he is polite.

Most of all, I hope that we can teach our son to be all of these things. My biggest fear about having children was always the fear of being a bad parent. My son is only one and I feel as though I have already been faced with so many decisions regarding how I want to raise him. There are thousands of parenting “methods” out there, but I am beginning to feel more and more each day that the only “right” method is your own. And so I go into each day doing my best to demonstrate all of the things that I want my son to be. Children learn by example, and the best I can do for my son is be the example that he needs me to be.

My son will be one next week, and I am so very proud of who he is already becoming.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Rants of a stay at home mom.

securedownload

Being a stay at home mom is such a blessing, and I am so thankful that I can be at home with my son every day. As much as it is a blessing, it is also far more of a challenge than most give it credit for. I remember while pregnant, telling my husband “being a stay at home mom is going to be easy! The house will always be clean and I will have everything done, and dinner will be on the table as you walk in the door!”.

Riiiiiighhhhht…

The most “cleaning” that gets done during the day happens when I put two dishes in the dishwasher before my son notices and comes wobbling over in an attempt to crawl inside the dishwasher. And my son LOVES helping me fold laundry… as in.. he likes grabbing the newly folded piles and tossing them all over the floor. What about during naptime you say? Naptime is for showering, answering emails, kind of trying to make myself presentable looking, trying to make food without waking my son, and on especially exhausting days, nap time is well… for napping. My son is a little ball of  one year old energy and if I’m not playing with him, staring at him, or within reaching distance of him, there.. will.. be.. trouble.

Oh but it doesn’t end there. I also work from home. I take care of all new customer accounts, processing wholesale orders, and managing social media for Ulubulu Baby Products. If you’ve spent as much time at Target as I do, I’m sure you’ve seen our products in the baby aisles. It’s incredibly difficult sometimes to be a stay at home mom while also working from home, but I have been so blessed with this opportunity and I mean, you can never have too many free pacifiers, right?

It gets better! I’m also attending college! I’m taking 2-3 online classes per semester, slowly working my way towards a psychology degree. So somewhere in between being a mom, wife, and employee, I also have to find time to be a student. Need I explain why I usually wake up exhausted?

My life has become a giant balancing act between baby, work, play, school, family, and friends. It is stressful and chaotic, but it is also incredibly rewarding. At the end of the day I might have a few emails that will go unopened until tomorrow. I might have a sink full of dishes, and a couch full of laundry loads that I just could.not.bring myself to fold. I might be tired and overdue for a pedicure. I might take a few too many days to write a new blog post, and I might only skim read my school assignment. Dinner might be 30 minutes behind schedule and missing a main food group. But at the end of the day, my son is happy, my husband is happy, and I am happy. And that’s really all I need.

Cheers,

T.W.C.