If we’re being honest.

I’ve never been a big fan of change. I’m a creature of habit, a lover of routine. I take comfort in familiarity and am all about my planning and my schedules. It may sound boring, but it’s what works for me. Since my son was born, my family and I have settled into a groove that has worked for us and life ran pretty smoothly.

With my husbands job switch, that all changed. Going into this, we knew what to expect and decided that it was worth it. There would be three months of out of state training during which we would live separate lives thousands of miles away from each other. After returning, my husband would be working from home for the first time ever and instead of traveling to his previous territories for business, we would now be traveling to Arizona. We knew what we signed up for, but I don’t think either of us fully understood just how hard all of it would actually be on our family. Sometimes I can’t help but to feel as though our perfectly put together puzzle was taken apart and all jumbled up, and now we are left with entirely different puzzle pieces to form a new picture with.

None of this is a bad thing whatsoever, it is simply a different thing. While we are so excited to begin our traveling with this new company and we are so excited to settle into a life where my husband gets to work from a home office, it has not been an easy road. Three entire months away from the man that I have never spent more than 3 days apart from has easily been one of the most trying experiences of my life. There are visits for a couple of days every other weekend, but its just that… visits. Visits that never feel long enough. I cannot even begin to tell you how often I fantasize about the day that he comes back home to us, not for a visit, but to stay for good. To settle back into our home and our life together. To settle into a new routine, a new groove, a new normal.

We have both talked a lot about how this time apart feels pretty purgatory-esque. He’s away training, unable to actually start up new business ventures until he’s finished. I’m at home with our son, unable to fully settle into a new way of life knowing that once he’s home, everything will change again. The entire summer has just felt like the longest wait of my life.

It’s safe to say on any given day of the week that at some point I’m having a mild emotional breakdown. Going from co-parenting with the best most helpful spouse around to solo parenting entirely on my own 100% of the time has been a shock and a total roller-coaster. Like, I’m talking the craziest roller-coaster the amusement park has to offer. Mind you, all of this came in the midst of the terrible twos transforming into threenagerhood, or as my friend informed me the other day “the trying threes”. My son’s new favorite hobbies include having meltdowns over simple statements like “you can’t have ice cream for dinner”, as well as jumping off of the dining table and climbing up onto the kitchen counter (claiming that he is “rock climbing”, duh). I am fairly certain that he shows all signs of being a future extreme sports star, which isn’t exactly comforting for this overprotective mama. These days, I consider it an accomplishment worthy of a trophy (or maybe like…a free pedicure)  if I manage to get through an entire five minute shower without him destroying something and I’ve become accustomed to warming up my dinner a good five times before I actually have a moment to finish it. This blog post has been in the making for a good 3-4 weeks now and is only finally happening because I’ve been blessed with a small miracle called “my kid has decided to nap every day this week”. Then of course, right when I am at my wits end and about to finally suck it up and hire a babysitter to take him off my hands for a while, he snuggles up next to me and gives me the sweetest cuddles. He kisses my forehead, tells me he loves me, falls asleep holding my hand… and just like that, all is forgiven and I am ready to brave it out another day.

Perhaps the only few things getting me through this incredibly difficult stretch are my occasional weekends with my husband, really good friends, and visits from my grandparents. At the end of a long day, a wine night and adult talk has a way of totally renewing my sanity. In the middle of a rough day, lunch from my grandma has a way of just lifting my spirits (those cafe rio salads are magical I tell you). And at the beginning of an already exhausting morning, coffee with my grandpa while he goes on and on about politics/his homeland in Italy has a way of distracting me in the best way possible. I’ve found during this time that the only way to get through this is to count the small achievements and to focus on still doing things for myself sometimes, even if that just means curling up on the couch with a pint of gelato and binge watching bad reality tv for two hours after my son has gone to bed.

Beyond the difficulties of parenting on my own, there has been the obvious difficulty of living so far away from the man that I have always had such a deeply close connection with. We understand each other better than anyone on this planet. He’s my best friend, my partner, my love. Distance sucks.  Feeling as though we have had two different lives this summer sucks. I will never have a true understanding of what his life and training in Ohio has been like and he will never have a full understanding of what my life as a solo parent has been like. The best we can do is focus on communication, understanding, and always always always loving each other through it.

Our mantra through all of this has been “this is just temporary”. We like to envision ourselves a year from now, settled into our new way of life, looking back on this time and laughing at how dramatic we were to feel as though it would never end. I am fully aware that it could be worse. It could be longer, there could be no weekend visits, there could be far less opportunities to talk on the phone. All across the country right now there are military wives with deployed husbands that are going through a far more difficult experience than I probably will ever know. There are single moms that do what I’m doing day in and day out with little to no assistance. This experience has given me the utmost respect for these strong women, that’s for certain.

We are officially two and a half months into this training with only a couple more weeks remaining. Mid August, my husband will return home briefly before heading out to shadow for a couple more weeks. And with that, it will all be over. He will be fully trained for this new and exciting position, he will be living back home, we will be traveling on business adventures to Arizona… together.

With each day I find myself breathing a little easier knowing that we have almost made it. This summer certainly has not been what I’d had in mind, and while it may have been far from easy, it did come with its share of experiences. It has allowed me to strengthen my friendships. It has reinforced the importance of communication and being open and honest with my emotional struggles. It has taught me that I’m a pretty badass mom. It has taught me that no matter what total curveballs life may throw at me, I will deal with it and I will be ok. It has given me time to become a more creative parent and to work on my parenting techniques. Most importantly, it has reminded me that no matter where my husband is in the world, our love will always get us through. No matter how hard this has been for both of us, and no matter how much has changed this summer, the one thing that has never changed is the crazy amount of love that I feel every time I hear my husband on the other end of the phone (Yeah yeah yeah, I know that sounds so cheesy and sappy but it wouldn’t be us if it wasn’t).

This summer took me far out of my comfort zone to say the least, but we have finally arrived at the final stretch and we are SO close to creating a new “normal” for our family. 2.5 months down, 2 weeks(ish) to go. In my husband’s words, “This has been hard, but it has not left us shaken”.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

 

IMG_5531IMG_5348IMG_5257IMG_5162IMG_6079IMG_5858IMG_5205IMG_4985IMG_4390IMG_5968image4-3IMG_6103image1-4IMG_5997image5-3IMG_5934IMG_5837IMG_4148

IMG_4147

Palm Springs 2016.

My husband and I have not been on a solo vacation since several months before I got pregnant with our son. That’s almost 4 years you guys. 4 years of not one single true vacation. Don’t get me wrong… I have so much fun traveling with our son. But as every parent knows… a vacation with a toddler is rarely a true vacation. Since becoming a mom, I could not help but fantasize about a vacation in which I could sleep in until whatever time I wanted… lay out by the pool relaxing with a drink in my hand without having to keep anybody entertained… pick restaurants based on trendy atmosphere rather than the children’s menu… and so on. Well, that vacation finally came and it came in the form of Palm Springs last week.

Several months ago I got a promotional email from hotels.com, which is really what sparked this whole thing. I sat there for a few minutes thinking about how great a romantic summer vacation with my husband would be, if only we could find a convenient time. And then it dawned on me… there would never ever be a “convenient time”. Whether it be work, money, lack of babysitting, or a million other variables… it is so easy to always find a reason not to take some much needed adult time to yourself. The truth is, it will extremely rarely (in fact probably never) be easy to find someone willing to watch your super high energy toddler for two whole nights while you run off to a desert oasis to lay by the pool and drink mimosas all day with your spouse. It’s just not going to happen until you make it a priority. So, that is precisely what we did. I booked the hotel right then and there, texted my saint of a sister begging/bribing her to babysit, marked it in our calendars, and just like that… we at last had a romantic get away set in stone.

Not surprisingly, Palm Springs turned out to be everything that I needed. We spent our stay at the Ace Hotel/Pool club and couldn’t have been happier with our hotel choice. Our room had a really cool private patio entry, the decor was spot on to the bohemian desert oasis vibes of the hotel, and possibly the best part… it was about 15 steps away from the pool entrance. The great thing about Palm Springs in the summer is that it is so absurdly hot and dry that there is almost nothing to do other than relax by the pool, so the place just has vacation written all over it. I really don’t know how anybody gets anything done around there because I know I personally found myself just wanting to be in the pool at all times. The small fraction of time in which we weren’t being total sloths by the pool, we were able to check out a few other cute spots around town, like the beauty that is the Moorten Botanical Garden, as well as the stunning ‘Alice in Wonderland-esque’ grounds of Le Parker Meridian Hotel.

After that vacation with my husband, I can confidently say that every couple with kids should make it a priority to do a “no kids vacation” every so often. Whether it be to Palm Springs (which I would highly recommend) or just a fun staycation in your own city, child free bonding time is so very important. Not only did I return from the trip feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to be a good mom again, but I also came back feeling closer than ever to my sweet husband.

And as for my son? He apparently hardly noticed that we were gone. No matter how guilty you may be feeling for leaving your little one(s) for a couple of days, the truth is, sometimes they need a change-up in the schedule and a little bit of time away from you as much as you need a little bit of time away from them. My husband and I got a relaxing vacation, and my son got some quality bonding time with his aunt, so it was really a win-win.

I have no idea when the next opportunity for another romantic little getaway will be, but I sure am happy with the time that we got. Until next time, Palm Springs.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

Santa Barbara 2016.

I have to admit that up until now, I never truly appreciated Santa Barbara. Our last trip there was a little more than a year ago. It was off season, it was cold, our son was pretty moody the entire time, we stayed pretty close to the hotel, and I never got a true taste of the area. This time was different and I can now say that I completely understand what the Santa Barbara hype is all about.

What’s great about Santa Barbara is that it’s within 40 minutes of every activity we could have ever wished to do as a family. There’s the beach, there’s plenty of diverse food options, there’s hiking, there’s wine tasting, there’s tourist attractions. I’m telling you, we could have had a whole two weeks longer and done something fun/different every day.

We stayed at Hotel Milo, which is right on the beach and is situated on some pretty stunning property. The appeal mostly ends there however and I’m not sure I would actually recommend staying there (although I’m admittedly super picky when it comes to hotels and I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love this spot). If you’re looking for an affordable property close to the water/pier with plenty of food options within walking distance, then it might be the hotel for you.

Our first day in the area, we went for a morning hike at Nojoqui Falls, which is about 30 minutes out of Santa Barbara. Super short hike, easy for kids, beautiful area, nice and secluded. Only downsides were the not so comforting mountain lion warning sign (had us paranoid the entire time) and the fact that there was no waterfall at the end… Not sure if we went at the wrong time of year for it or what, but the hike was beautiful regardless of its missing waterfall. About ten minutes from the trail head is the Main Street area of Solvang, a quaint tourist town that personally felt like it could make an interesting setting for a horror film… A unique town to say the least. We had lunch at a Nordic cafe there, then we ended the day with a swim/mimosas at the hotel pool, which was probably one of the best features of Hotel Milo.

The second day of our trip after my husbands meetings, we went on our first ever wine tasting adventure. The Santa Ynez area is covered with beautiful sprawling vineyards and is only about a 40 minute drive from Santa Barbara. After doing my research to find the most child friendly vineyard options, we ended up at the Zaca Mesa winery. I was feeling a little hesitant to bring my toddler (who regularly enjoys testing his vocal range) to a wine tasting room, but it actually ended up being totally fine. We were told people bring their kids all the time and the tasting room even had a friendly puppy to keep my son entertained. We got to try six wines, bought a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc, got some beautiful pictures of the vineyard as a rain storm rolled in, and just had an overall really lovely time. It all left me with an itch for more wine tasting and I’m totally mentally planning a trip to Napa.

The third night of our journey was spent in LA at the Hollywood Roosevelt. The epitome of ‘hip’, the hotel’s target audience is certainly not families with young children, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time and taking over the flamingo floaty at the pool.

Traveling with the little dude typically leaves me so exhausted that I need a vacation from my vacation, but this time was overall about as relaxing as you could hope for while traveling with a toddler . As Liam gets older and more familiar with travel, taking him on all kinds of adventures gets undeniably easier, and for that I am so thankful. The entire way home he begged for “hotel, hotel!”, so I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed our travels as much as we did.

Until next time, California.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

IMG_3087IMG_3389IMG_3388IMG_3105IMG_3390IMG_3233IMG_3394IMG_3392IMG_3262IMG_3393IMG_3263IMG_3264IMG_3347IMG_3387IMG_3383IMG_3361IMG_3396IMG_3354IMG_3373IMG_3377

Newport Beach 2016.

At 3 months old, we took our son to Newport Beach for the first time. I was so excited for him to breathe in the ocean air and listen to the sound of the waves at the same beach that I had spent so many summers at as a child. Being a wee little newborn however, he mostly cried the entire time and we packed up and left about 20 minutes into the whole experience. Sadly, our beach ventures have gone pretty much the same way every time since then, with our son either crying, whining, or trying to run away from us the entire time. This time however, was different. Finally old enough to appreciate all that is Newport Beach, the little dude ran around playing in the sand as happy as could be and has even asked to go to the beach several times since we left.

This trip was a major reminder of how blessed we are to travel so regularly as a family. I think I often get overwhelmed by all that goes into traveling with a young child and I forget to stop and simply be thankful for the experience. With the calmness of this trip, my husband and I were mostly able to sit back and watch as our son happily ran around exploring his surroundings. This kid has experienced places and things that I never could have imagined providing my child with, and I am forever thankful for the opportunities that my husbands job has blessed us with.

We stayed at The Island Hotel Newport Beach and just like our last stay there, it was everything we could have wanted. This time we had a corner ocean view/balcony suite, which was perfect for our family and gave us enough space to not drive each other crazy. The hotel has a beautiful pool with an outdoor bar, is a five minute drive from the beach, has some of the sweetest staff members we’ve ever encountered….And don’t even get me started on the delicious patio breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant-Oak Grill (ordering a round of mimosas is a must).

After a couple days of beach going, swimming at the pool, and walking around fashion island (probably a few too many times), we capped off the trip by visiting a few of my sweet family members in the area, who even babysat Liam so that we could end our trip with a baby-free dinner at one of our favorite spots in Irvine (The Lazy Dog). Our time in Newport had a little bit of everything and was certainly one for the books. It’ll be rough topping such a beautiful trip…but you can sure bet we will try!

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

IMG_1860IMG_2076IMG_2010IMG_2074IMG_1861IMG_2069IMG_2070IMG_2009IMG_2041IMG_2034IMG_2036IMG_2075IMG_2067IMG_1739IMG_1782IMG_2038IMG_1977IMG_2031IMG_2072

02.24.15: A february update.

I should probably change my blog’s description to “occasional blogger”, since clearly blogging consistency is just not my thing. It’s not that I haven’t tried, really. It’s just that this afternoon my son woke up literally the SECOND I sat down to work on this post. Yesterday my small amount of ‘free time’ (if that’s what you would call it) was taken up doing the backed up dirty dishes in the sink and being taught by my sweet but very bossy Italian grandpa how to ‘properly’ cook chicken. The day before that was meal prep day and the day before that was errand running day and the day before that was pretend you didn’t wait until last minute to do all of your homework day and the day before that I told myself I would write this blog post no matter what… until my son decided he should dive all over my laptop… and the day before that we were on a last minute business trip in Santa Barbara. You get the gist. As much as I would love to sit down and provide updates and stories and recipe ideas and advice and all of the other fun and adorable things that super mom bloggers write about… I just have not had the time, and probably will continue to not have the time until this semester of school comes to an end.

So here we are, several long weeks since my last post. Our time has been spent partly trying not to think about the hamburgers that we could be eating instead of the turkey vegetable patties that we are actually eating. We continue to work out 6 days a week (mostly) and as exhausting as it has been, we have found much success with the p90x3 workout routine. Now personally down 12 pounds, and my husband down another 15 or so, we are finally seeing the progress that felt so far away just two short months ago. Adding green tea to our nightly routine has seemed to make a big difference in our fat burning ability and getting to bed at an earlier hour has made an incredible difference both mentally and physically. I have picked up a love and appreciation for essential oils, and although I am still stumbling my away around which oil to use for what, at least the oil diffuser makes our house smell pretty freaking good in the meantime. Keeping our goals in mind, we are pushing along. Between the focus on our healthy lifestyle and our focus on both finishing up school, we are left with very limited free time. My husband is just one class away from taking his real estate licensing exam and all that we seem to be able to think about are the exciting new adventures on the horizon. All I can say is that there are two well deserved (probably low calorie) drinks with our names on them once pool season is upon us!

In more interesting news, my son has recently added moon and night night to his vocabulary, while also getting a little bit better at not calling everything on his face an eye. He has gotten surprisingly good at following directions (when he wants to) and has figured out how to open the fridge and bring us the apple juice container when he’s thirsty. This kid has a love for the outdoors like I have never seen before, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have a backyard for him to frolic around in. Other than throwing our backyard rocks down the garbage disposal and crunching leaves all over the freshly swept patio, Liam’s favorite new past times have included dancing the most adorable of dances to any and all types of music, along with with a love for all things with four wheels. He points at airplanes and says “oooooooh!” and he can down a bowl of mac n cheese as though he’s in a food eating competition. We gave the potty a try the other day, but he thought that big porcelain bowl of water was the scariest thing he ever had to sit on… so we probably won’t be trying that again for a while.

As we enter this weekend, I look forward to my upcoming birthday celebration. I honestly could not tell you the last time that I had a night out with my friends and I am looking forward to it so very much. My blessing of a grandma is taking Liam for the night so that my husband and I can join our friends for a night of good food, good drinks, and good times. The reservations are set, my outfit has been picked, plans for the taxi that we will inevitably need have been made, and my nail appointment has been scheduled. All that comes between me and my celebration of 23 years of life is a few long week days, probably several rounds of dishes, a couple of homework assignments, and some dreaded workouts. But hey, it will make the days go by quicker… maybe? Kind of? Sort of? Probably not, but one can hope! In the meantime I will continue to fantasize about the cheat donut that I am going to consume the second I wake up on Saturday.

I’ve held my son hostage in his high chair for a few minutes too long now, and the second his strawberries are gone, I know the protesting will begin. With that, I will wrap this up and return to my mom duties/master chef dinner preparing duties with the pride of a blog post finally done!

Cheers,

T.W.C.

IMG_5960 IMG_6150 IMG_5994 IMG_6201 IMG_5916 IMG_6064 IMG_6025 IMG_6050

Mission: get hot.

The new year is upon us and this slacker mommy is finally back to blogging. While my blog took a back seat in the farthest row possible during the holiday season, I now welcome it and the new year with open arms.

I have never been a ‘new years resolution’ type of girl. Always taking the pessimistic route, when asked what my resolution was for the year, I would come up with a sassy answer along the lines of ‘to not eat any shellfish’ (I am allergic to shellfish and hate the stuff anyways). I approached the entire thing wrong, thinking that if I set no goal for myself, I couldn’t disappoint myself when I couldn’t accomplish said goal. This year however, inspired by my husband’s incredible ability to achieve his wildest goals, I set myself a goal. To put it at it’s simplest: get healthy, fit, and well… get hot.

I went into pregnancy weighing 107 and wearing a size 0 or 2, but I was by no means healthy. I ate McDonald’s once a week, drank a dr pepper once a day, and couldn’t even tell you what the last fruit I ate was. Since having my son, I have drastically modified my ways, however I still have not been consuming in a way that any nutritionist would approve of. I have lost very little of my birth weight and every poor food choice I make seems to haunt my remaining little baby pooch for weeks to come. Wasting money on poor food choices and fattening alcoholic beverages has led to very minimal baby weight loss, which in turn has led to a very low confidence. In the 19 months since birthing my son, I have done several juice cleanses and diet modifications, however I have not fully committed to any of them. My exercise routine consisted of a few squats and push ups every 3 or 4 days, if at all… And I wondered why I wasn’t losing any of the baby weight? I was living a lifestyle that was simply not sustainable long term for my health or for my bank account. It took talk of New Years resolutions, Instagram creeping some super hot fitness models, and several conversations with my husband and close friends to realize that now is the time for some big change.

In the least overdone and cliche way possible, I mean it when I say that 2015 is our year. My husband and I are committed to not only getting the ‘hot bods’ we’ve always wanted, but we are also committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Knowing that I will be on bed rest for the entire duration of my next pregnancy, I have always said that I cannot get pregnant with baby #2 until I have lost all of my previous baby weight. Getting pregnant before I have achieved that goal would most likely cause me to gain so much weight that I fear I may never be able to come back from it. With that being said, I am not only losing this weight so that I can look good for my husband/myself, and I am not only losing this weight so that I can demonstrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle to my son…but I am also doing this so that I can bring another little human into this world.

After a beautiful holiday season filled with cooking the largest most delicious meals, a Park City vacation in which diet was the least of our concerns, stuffing our faces with chocolates, and having a few too many beers, I can confidently say that I am ready for this change. My body has been begging for this change, and it is about time I listen to it. This year I will prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing my goals. I will prove to myself that New Years resolutions CAN be fulfilled, and I will prove to everybody else that it is possible to be in better shape after a baby than you ever were before.

To put our plan into action, my husband and I invested in the newest p90x. I was always skeptical of workout videos prior to meeting my husband, however, he has completed the p90x program in the past and was very successful with it (that is, until I got pregnant and he joined me in my endeavors of eating for two!). Two days into the workouts it already became very clear to me that if done right, p90x will be very successful at whipping us into shape… By ‘it became very clear to me’ I mean that I have not been able to walk up the stairs without wincing for 3 days straight. In addition to our 7 day a week workouts, we will: go for long walks in the park on weekends, be drinking the suggested daily amount of water intake, going to bed earlier, drinking no alcohol (with the exception of the occasional glass.. Or 2..of red wine of course), eating no fast food, and we will be sticking to a very strict meal plan that contains primarily fruits, veggies, and protein.

Everybody may be seeing a little less of us. I may not be the ideal person to ask to go grab a burger with and I may not want to drink as much at social gatherings. I may decline an invite because I’ve got to work out, and I might not hang out as late because I’ve got to get my 8 hours of sleep. Call me boring, but I’ve got a bigger goal in mind. A goal that will lead to a healthier me, a more plentiful savings account, a husband who is even more attracted to me than he was when we met, a son who can see me as a healthy role model…and eventually this goal of mine will lead to Baby #2. With the goal on my mind, a positive outlook, a supportive community of friends/family, and a fridge full of meal prepped food containers, I WILL make 2015 my year. Let ‘Mission: get hot’ begin.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

-2-1 -3 541595_10152921660772641_459112549878099018_n 10256424_10152888328572641_4808361418931547795_n 10392472_10152963726227641_2662729492998585280_n 10857717_10152921661077641_5136179997007622628_n 10882360_10152930268667641_1738265258260171166_n 10885234_10152921660852641_8779730070661005057_n

10477884_10152888328492641_246081672453665868_n 10885156_10152932320597641_7925062862536724620_n

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.

The Mom Life is the Only Life for Me.

unnamed

unnamed-6

unnamed-5

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

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.