Bring on the holidays.

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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

 

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Tis the season for pumpkin lattes and moving.

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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.

Who says baby boys can’t be stylish?

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If you’re a momma to boys, I don’t have to tell you that buying clothes for boys pretty much always sucks. Walking into the children’s clothing section of just about every store, the girls side takes up about 75% of the space and is overfilling with adorably stylish options, while the boys side is picked over with only a few ninja turtle graphic tshirts remaining. Upon quickly discovering this, I set out to find the best brands for catering to my stylish little dude. The first and most important thing I discovered was that internet shopping is your best friend when it comes to little boys clothing… Which works out for the best because taking a little guy shopping can be a whole journey in itself. Here is a list of my top 5 baby boy clothing websites. Let me know what your favorite baby boy clothing shops are in the comments section below!

Baby Gap: Gap is where a good 2/3 of my son’s clothes come from. If you pounce at the right time, they’ve usually got major sales going on with anywhere from 25-40% off everything. They have everything from basics to adorable button downs and cardigans, and they very rarely are out of stock of the sizes that you need. I think a lot of people avoid baby Gap because they are under the impression that it’s super pricey, but if you shop with them online and wait for the major sales (which happen at least once a week), you can snag deals just as good as you’d get at a department store. Website: gap.com

VonBon Apparel: VonBon sells my favorite baby leggings in the entire world. A lot of baby leggings tend to sag or fit awkwardly, but not VonBon! These leggings are on the pricier end of things, but with the unique patterns and organic cotton, splurging on a couple of quality pairs of leggings can be completely justified. They also sell matching organic cotton bibs and blankets. Website: vonbon.ca

Etsy: Etsy is a dream come true for the mama who wants unique trendy baby clothes without breaking the bank. There are hundreds of quality shops selling moccassins, graphic tshirts, bandana bibs, and leggings that look almost identical to some of the most expensive designer baby brands. And since I’m pretty sure your little man will never look back at his baby photos and scold you for buying him Etsy shop moccs instead of designer baby moccs, you can’t go wrong! Website: Etsy.com

Lucky Brand: I felt so.. Lucky… when I discovered the sales going on at Luckybrand.com (giving you all a free pass to make fun of me for that dorky joke). I had initially checked out the website for myself after I’d outgrown all of my jeans during pregnancy. While on the site, I decided to check out the baby section, and what a pleasant surprise it was. The baby sale section has some of the best baby sales out there. I managed to buy my son two pairs of pants and four adorable tshirts for $40. Lucky sells very few products for the smaller guys, but is awesome for boys 2T and up. Website: luckybrand.com

Loola: I came across Loola on Instagram and instantly fell in love with their unique baby leggings. While a lot of their products are geared more towards little girls, they do have some awesome baby boy items also. My son has several of their clever tshirts as well as a pair of their leggings. The leggings are so flattering and are far more affordable than a lof the the quality baby leggings on the market. Loola also regularly posts discount codes on their instagram, which only makes them even more affordable! Website: loola.bigcartel.com

The Mom Life is the Only Life for Me.

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I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I could go into another story about how busy I’ve been, or I can just tell you that I’m a mother. I’m a busy mother who cleans and cooks and teaches and plays and at the end of the day I just cannot always bring myself to write a blog post about all of the things that are keeping me so busy.

I often find myself feeling guilty for not doing more. Not writing more. Not photographing more. Not working out more. Not seeing my friends more. Not cleaning more. Not…doing…more. But then I look at my energetic little guy frolicking around the house, just happy to be playing with mama amongst his ever growing pile of toys, and I think that maybe I have done enough. My role as a mother is to raise a happy child, and I think it’s safe to say that I am in the process of doing just that. All that other stuff is just icing on top of the big cake of being a stay at home mom. The messes will be there to clean tomorrow, and my blog posts will eventually get written, but my son is one year and 2 months old today, and there will never be another day where he is that age. That tiny. That innocent. These days of cuddles and tickles will soon turn into days of high fives and baseball practice. When that eventually happens, I will do that extra load of laundry and workout every day, and maybe even finally return an old friends phone call. But for now, my baby is just a little guy who wants nothing more than to hang out with his mommy. And so that is what we will do.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself involved in a conversation during which the person I was speaking to asked “how do you do it? You’re too young to stay at home with a baby all day”. The sassy Italian in me wanted to respond “you’re too old to be out partying all night”, but I refrained. The real answer is that yes, I’m young, but what are most young people doing? Trying to find their purpose in life. Trying to give their life a meaning. I’m just fortunate enough to have already found mine.

I remember when I was little, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, and the answer that first popped into my head was always “a mom”, but instead I replied with an assortment of careers that society deemed respectable. You see, even as a child I was made to feel that simply “being a mom” was not enough. You have to be more. You have to do more.

But I am a maid. I am a cook. I am a personal assistant. I am a caregiver. I am a teacher. I perform the tasks of multiple different careers all in one day, with no “days off”, and yet there are members of society that make me feel as though simply being a mom is not enough? This thought had me temporarily aggravated… Then, my son came waddling into the room holding out his fake telephone and saying “ello?”, and I remembered why I do all of this. Because it makes him happy. It makes my husband happy. It makes me happy.

Being a mom is what I do best. I care too much and I love to organize and cook meals and have full conversations with babbling one year olds. Diapers don’t bug me (unless there’s 4 poops in a row, then we have a problem), watching Disney movies is my favorite pastime, snuggling is my forte, and cleaning up messes makes me feel oddly content.

There is no doubt in my mind that living “the mom life” is exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and when you’re doing what you love, it is always enough.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

Three’s a crowd

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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.

Being Happily Frustrated is a Thing

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Every single night Monday through Friday, I make dinner.. we go for a long walk.. we put my son to bed. Two minutes into hitting the bed, he passes out and remains passed out until the morning. Tonight was different. You see, tonight, we had a friend over. Overcome by the excitement of seeing a face  other than mom and dad’s, my son jumped from couch cushion to couch cushion showing off for our friend. Eventually his bed time arrived, so I prepared him milk and took him to bed as I always do. Seconds after tiptoing away, the screaming began. I knew he was tired. I knew he was ready for bed. I also knew that he was filled with excitement for the small change in routine. I went to his room and decided that tonight I would rock my baby to sleep as I did when he was just a little guy. As I held him in his rocking chair, listening to the sound of his sleepy sighs, I couldn’t help but to smile at the fact that my little boy was simply so happy that he could not bare the thought of sleep. I find myself doing this constantly through out each day.. smiling at something slightly frustrating that my son does. I mean, of course I wanted my son to go to sleep. I had had a long day with him and was tired myself, and wanted him to easily fall asleep just as he would any other night… But his little baby brain was filled with so much happiness at the fact that we had a visitor. Who was I to be upset about that?

Just yesterday, my husband and I watched as my son learned to climb the couch. And I don’t just mean climb on to the couch.. I mean climb up and walk around and climb over and crawl under the couch. He will go from one end of the sectional to the other, running as fast as his little baby legs will carry him, laughing the entire way as my husband and I hold our breaths in frightened anticipation of a fall. Initially, I had told my son no. No couch, no couch, I told him repeatedly for fear of having him fall off. But then I realized that he is a baby and the couch is new and walking is new and the world is new and he just wants to explore it all. And so I let the climbing begin. I obviously monitor him, however, I let him run free for the most part… and free he runs. I have never seen that boy happier than when he pounces around on those cushions. It is scary and it was originally somewhat frustrating… but it is also adorable and for that, it makes me happy.

We have recently found that my son seems to be really working his “problem solving skills” as well. He has had an obsession with the light switch for his closet since he could see what it was. For months I have watched him stand on the floor looking up at it with interest. The other day I was doing dishes in the kitchen, and decided that my son was far too quiet for my comfort levels. I went to his room and discovered that he had climbed on top of his play table and had managed to finally reach the light switch that he had longed for. My initial reaction was to lunge towards him in fear that he would fall off. My following reaction was to be absolutely amazed and proud at his newly found problem solving skills. I eventually took him down, but only after spending a few minutes standing next to him watching the pure joy on his face as he flipped the light on and off.

Then there was the diaper incident. Anything titled the diaper incident just cannot be good. Ever. My son has been struggling with a bad diaper rash recently, and my husband and I have tried our best to change each diaper within minutes of soiling. But sometimes you’re busy being a mom/housewife and you’re cooking dinner while simultaneously doing laundry and you just cannot change your babies diaper at that very second in time. So.. my son took matters into his own hands. He removed his diaper, and the discovery went a little something like…

husband: nooooooo… liam took his diaper off! Pooooooooop. Pooooooop! Hellllppppp!

You can fill in the details from there. We found ourselves so initially frustrated at the fact that he would remove his dirty diaper in the middle of the living room.. then, we realized.. it was really intelligent for him to recognize the problem and figure out what to do about it. I’m by no means saying that I find it appropriate for my son to take his dirty diaper off in the middle of the room, however, I can recognize how smart it was for him to recognize that his dirty diaper was causing his discomfort and that the solution would be to get rid of the dirty diaper. Again, slightly frustrating… but pretty freaking smart.

Since the beginning, we knew that our son would be a testy little one. He does not like boundaries, he laughs at the word no, and he enjoys doing things that he knows he shouldn’t. He has the energy of 5 babies and the charm of a puppy (along with the desire to eat out of a trashcan like a puppy). He is sometimes frustrating and nerve wracking and daring but he is also the most adorable thing I have ever seen and he fills me with so much joy that I find myself with goosebumps at the thought of how happy he makes me.

In my entire life, I would have never paired the words happy and frustrating… These were always two entirely different emotions to me. Then I became a mom. Children will test you. They will push you to your farthest limits. But they will also make you smile bigger than you ever thought possible. They will make you cry with happiness. They will make you live in the moment, and they will open your eyes to how quickly each day passes. You find yourself staring at the perfect little human that you created, and no matter how frustrated they may make you, at the end of the day, they are still your perfect little human.

Cheers,

T.W.C

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A Cali Baby is a Happy Baby

 

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     Our last family trip to California took place last year when our son was just two months old. We were new parents full of impractical and ambitious ideas as to how the vacation would go. Long story short, we spent almost the entire vacation stuck in our hotel room, completely overwhelmed by our cranky colicky newborn. This time around, we could not be more excited to fully experience southern california with our far more alert little man.
     Initially this trip had been planned as a family vacation over six months ago. As the time came closer however, my husband was asked to travel to the same area for business, so we figured we might as well extend the trip. An entire week away from home with a one year old whose favorite activity is testing the word no to the fullest extent. “Patience”, I told myself repeatedly as I mentally prepared for the trip. As I packed a weeks worth of baby diapers, toys, sippy cups, outfits, beach supplies and more, I prepared for every situation that could possibly occur. Back up outfits, backup blankies, backup wine, backup everrryyyything.
      First obstacle to be tackled: car ride. My son has hated his car seat since he was about 4 months old, so it was safe to assume beforehand that the 4 hour car ride would not be his favorite thing. I made sure to have snacks, juice, and toys within reaching distance. Between that and his nap, we made it to the halfway point without a problem. Luckily, we stopped off to visit my grandparents, which gave my son the perfect amount of time outside of the car to “reset” before heading out for another two hours on the road. This was the first time that my son ever met my dad’s parents, and I couldn’t be happier to have been able to share my son with them. We spent the entire visit playing on the same floor that I used to play on, with the same toys that I used to play with as a child. By the time we loaded our family back up into the car, we ALL needed a nap time.
     Finally arriving at our first hotel in Newport Beach, we couldn’t have been happier with our beach front room. The best part was that there was a balcony connected to the room that my son seemed to think was the best thing that ever happened. A major joy of hotel traveling is that there are so few items in hotel rooms that they are pretty much “baby proofed” before you ever get there. So between the baby proof room and the balcony, our son was one happy camper… and we all know that a happy baby makes for  two VERY happy parents. 
     Day number 2 in Newport, we decided to set up shade on the sand and have a relaxing beach morning. Relaxing.. not so much. About 15 minutes into our adventure, my son lashed out at my husbands soda can, cutting his finger on the edge. Blood.. was.. everywhere. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we came with no bandaids and there was no lifeguard on duty. As my husband ran back to the hotel, I sat on the beach trying to hold a cloth to my sons wound as he flailed around, unable to understand what I was trying to do. By the time we got the bandaid on, all of us were exhausted from the entire event and we decided to head back to the hotel and find a more baby friendly activity for the day. 
     The trip continued on, and we quickly discovered my sons newest development: screaming. Boy oh boy does that kid have a voice. I wouldn’t mind if the screams were taking place in private… I could handle private screams. But of course, his favorite place to scream is in the middle of restaurants exactly two minutes after our food arrives. He stuffs his face with as much food as he wants, then the second he’s done, he begins screaming and throwing his body around. There was not one.. not two.. not three.. but FOUR times on this trip that I had to leave the restaurant early with my son while my husband grabbed our tab and to go boxes. It was a little chaotic, but by the end of the trip I can proudly declare that we were masters at handling “the scream”.
     Our trip was full of visits with family members and friends that I haven’t had a chance to see in far too long, food that was so amazing that I was in shock when I hadn’t gained 10 pounds, and beach front hotels that made a girl feel spoiled. Driving around by myself with my son in LA while my husband was working was stressful and challenging, and by the end of the trip, I felt as though I should have won a trophy for conquering the California roads. The trip certainly had it’s ups and downs, but bumps are to be expected when traveling with a curious one year old. All things considered, it was a beautiful trip with my favorite two humans. And I mean… crawling into our own bed at the end of it was pretty great too.
     We have been going to SoCal annually since before our son was born, and I hope to make it a tradition that lives on… Three years down, many more to go.
Cheers,
T.W.C.

 

When did “discipline” become a bad word?

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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 Birthday Party attempts by a pinterestaholic.

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Going into my son’s first birthday, I repeatedly told myself “He’s one… How hard can planning his party be?”. The answer: HARD.

Part of my problem probably lies in the fact that I am a pinterestaholic. For months and months, I laid in bed pinning away on my “First Birthday” board. Because of this, my bar was set high. After changing the theme multiple times, I finally settled on a Tribal theme. If you’re anything like the rest of my family, you have no idea where I’m going with that.. so by tribal I mean arrows and dream catchers and things of that nature. Honestly, even I thought I was crazy as I attempted to put it all together, because let me tell you… tribal theme is by no means a “popular” theme at this time. So of course, I went to Etsy. Etsy has never failed me. I was able to find a grande assortment of everything I had envisioned, and as each item started to arrive, I could see my vision coming together.

Finally, the day arrived. With the help of my friends and family, we were able to pull off what was easily the best first birthday party I’ve ever thrown. Ok, it was the only first birthday party I’ve ever thrown, but it was definitely the best I have ever attended. From macaroni salad and spinach dip, to sangria and passionfruit tea lemonade, there wasn’t a person who left hungry or thirsty, and there wasn’t a baby who didn’t leave completely exhausted. A party that produces an excellent nap time can never be a bad thing, right?

My husband and I had a tornado of a mess to clean up the following day, but we could both agree that it was completely worth it. Next year’s 2nd birthday party will be a whole other adventure… Good thing I’ve got a whole year to prepare!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

One. One. One.

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Exactly one year ago, I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband, when I suddenly felt that I was sitting in a puddle of wet. Overcome with embarrassment, I ran to the bathroom thinking that my “pregnancy bladder” had caused me to pee myself. It wasn’t until five minutes later when water was still dripping out of me that I realized I was in labor. My husband and I each took a quick shower, and scurried off to the hospital. I arrived at already 6 cm dilated. None of the nurses believed that I was in labor because of how calm I was, and they were even more shocked when they realized how close to being fully dilated I already was. 1 epidural and a few pushes later, my 6.5 lb baby boy was in my arms. This first year has been filled with every emotion on the spectrum, but most of all, it has been filled with happiness. Today is about celebrating an amazing first year of my son’s life, and surviving our first year of parenthood! Heres to many more.

Cheers,

T.W.C.