Baby Shower.

On Saturday with the help of family and friends, we celebrated our sweet baby girl (who will be joining us in just 10 ish weeks!). Since before I even got pregnant with baby #2, I had envisioned a beautiful girly boho styled baby shower and it was so surreal to finally see all of my dreamy pinterest boards come to life.

Breaking away from tradition, we decided to have a co-ed baby shower. Since this is our second baby, we viewed it as less of a “shower” and more of a celebration… so the more the merrier. Decorations mostly consisted of half the flower asile at Trader Joes and succulents and basically any DIY ideas I could think of to make use of all the extra pallets we had at my job. We decided on having the most delicious tacos catered because I don’t know of a single pregnant lady ever who has wanted to worry about standing around the kitchen helping to put together food for a crowd. Games were kept super simple. I have never been a fan of cheesy baby shower games and wasn’t about to torture all of my friends with them, so we chose just two games:

1. Baby Drawing contest: Everybody gets a paper plate and a marker, then they place the plate on their head and have to draw a picture of a baby. The mom/dad-to-be choose the best drawing as the winner.

2. Beer Drinking contest: all participants get a baby bottle full of beer. Fastest one to finish their bottle wins.

The games seemed to be a hit and were so easy to throw together… which was great because we honestly forgot about games completely until the night before the shower. For a photo backdrop, we took two pallets, nailed them together, stained them, and added some fake flowers. By we I definitely mean my husband. There was of course a mimosa bar in which I was able to enjoy nice virgin mimosas… aka orange juice. We set up a boho style low to the ground pallet table surrounded in blankets and pillows in the backyard. It was 110 degrees and got absolutely zero use but hey, it sure did look cute.

It was truly a beautiful baby shower that once again reminded me of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a great group of people. My sister photographed the entire thing beautifully. We got lots of adorable little gifts for baby girl. I had like 4 rounds of tacos. Feeling blessed as always and so happy to know how loved this baby already is.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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A time for change.

For three years now, I have been a stay at home mom. Day in and day out, I have been blessed enough to have the privilege to stay home raising my little boy. Every milestone, every bad day, every good day… I have been there to see them all. When I began my journey as a stay at home mom, I never thought I would see the day where I felt like I needed more. My job was to be mommy, and that was all I could ever want.

But here I am three years later and I found myself beginning to think “what about me?”. I am a mom. I am a wife. Those are my two favorite titles and I am so proud every day to be both of those things…but I’ve reached a point where I need to have my own identity outside of those roles. I need to take care of me in order to take care of them.

Some of you may remember me writing a blog post similar to this earlier this year. I briefly tried working part time at a yoga studio before deciding that it just wasn’t for me. I happily returned to my life as a stay at home mom, thinking that I had gotten it all out of my system. I’d seen the other side of the grass, decided it was not actually greener, and told myself I never wanted to leave my baby ever again.

Until a few months ago.

My husband has been traveling so much for work lately that more often than not, he is gone about 2-3 nights a week. Sure, we sometimes travel with him. But when he’s got too much work to do or we don’t want to put our dog in boarding too often, Liam and I remain at home. I found myself having far too much free time, and with that time, I couldn’t help but feel like I could be doing something more to better how I felt about myself. Something that could not only benefit our family financially, but something that could motivate me and get my mind moving (because sometimes potty training a toddler day in and day out just isn’t quite the mental stimulation you desire).

It slowly began to dawn on me that perhaps the problem with my short lived yoga studio front desk job had not been with me being a working mom… perhaps the problem was that I was leaving my baby to do something that I wasn’t excited to be doing. I felt like I had been giving up precious time with my baby to go to a job that I had zero interest in pursuing a real future with. What I needed was a job that I enjoyed. A job that I could excel in and be proud of.

And then just like that, everything fell into place. I often find myself completely amazed at the way the universe works… The way you can throw a thought or a prayer out there and have it answered in such an obvious way.

I had been taking a long “me time” bath a couple of months ago. As I sat there thinking about what sort of job I really wanted to pursue, I found my mind continuously going back to the job that I was working when I found out I was pregnant with Liam. I worked sales, customer service, and social media for a locally based baby product company and it was a job that I truly had a lot of fun with. I knew that the responsibilities that I had at that job were what I wanted to look for in my next job, I just wasn’t sure how I would find it…let alone find something that worked into my ideal schedule. I had thought about contacting my old bosses but assumed they had filled my role long ago and wouldn’t have a spot open for me to return to.

Several days later, out of nowhere, my old boss just so happened to contact me to see if I was interested in working a convention for them. I accepted the job and before I knew it, one thing lead to the next and suddenly I had my old job back. I was able to work out a schedule with them that allows me to work from home half the time, which gives me the best of both worlds. My biggest fear in returning to the working world had been that I would have to sacrifice the time that I got to spend raising my son. The way that it worked out, I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice anything. I get to go to the office a couple days a week where I am surrounded by adults + get to focus all of my attention on the job at hand…and Liam gets to go to a great in home daycare a couple days a week where he can socialize with kids his own age. I could not have asked for a better situation and I am so incredibly thankful that this opportunity came our way because no matter how long it ends up playing out… It has made me feel like me again.

It has been a few weeks now since I have returned to the working world and so far I couldn’t feel better about the decision. Liam absolutely loves playing with the little babies at day care, and I absolutely love what I do. On days that I have to be in the office and my husband is in town, we forgo the daycare and Liam gets to spend quality one on one time with his daddy… something that very rarely happened before because I was always around.

I take a step back and look at my life each evening and can’t help but to feel completely overjoyed with the life and the opportunities that my family and I have been given. Perhaps it’s just the joyful Christmas spirit filling the air, or perhaps it’s the total uplift in my own spirit, but I couldn’t be more content and excited about what the future holds.

If you’re a stay at home mom struggling with the same feelings that I was experiencing… take control. I was in a slump for a while there and the only thing that finally picked me up out of it was my husband reminding me that this life is mine to do what I want with. Whether your inner happiness is going to come from a part time job, starting your own blog, getting involved in mommy groups, getting out of the house to go to yoga a couple times a week, or the hundreds of other possibilities… just go find it. Find whatever it is that is going to make you feel like you again and make it happen.

As Christmas approaches, I wish you all so much love and happiness. I would like to say that I will be blogging more consistently again but after saying that a good five times now, I’m going to refrain from making any promises (but i certainly plan on trying).

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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

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It takes a village.

I’ll start off with this: my kid is SOCIAL. He will talk to anyone, anywhere and wants to be friends with whoever happens to be playing at the park when he arrives. Normally this isn’t an issue. My husband and I take our son to the same park every single night, and have been since the time he was kicking around inside my tummy (during a fit of desperation, I heard swinging could induce labor… so I took to swinging nightly in my final weeks of pregnancy). Normally when we arrive at the park, my son runs up to whatever other kids are there, they become instant friends, we exchange a few friendly words with the fellow parents, and laugh as our children frolic around together. Tonight however was different. As soon as my son ran up near this particular group, the parents sent out “are you going to come get your child away from us” vibes. On any other occasion, I would admit that I may have been reading deeper into it than need be, but moments later, the group migrated to a different area of the enclosed toddler park. Still, I thought to myself “perhaps I’m being dramatic and it was just a coincidence that they wanted to move spots when my son got there”. But again, my son ran after them to try and play with their children. Moments later, the group migrated. And then again, it happened for a third time.

I’ll be the first to admit that there are times that my son can be a bit ‘in your face’ and downright obnoxious if you don’t know him. But in this particular situation, my son really had done nothing to this group other than want to play in the general proximity of them. He was not being too invasive, he was not being mean… he simply wanted to play. And yet time and time again, the mom would herd her children away from him. Finally, the mom decided that she was tired of actively keeping her children away from my son and took them to go to the big kid side of the park, past the enclosed toddler gate. However, while doing this, she held the gate open and watched as my son escaped… not saying a single word. No “hey, your little one is trying to run out!”… No “hey sweetie, stay inside here with your mommy”… and No “hey kids, hurry up and close the gate so this little guy doesn’t get out”. She allowed and watched my son run out of the gate without doing a single thing about it. My husband and I believe in watching our son from a distance and allowing him his own space to play, so we had been observing from afar. Upon seeing him make a break for it, I had to go running off towards my toddler track star of a son across the park, just barely reaching him while he was still within eyesight… but I shouldn’t have had to because she shouldn’t have allowed him that opportunity.

I’m not saying that everyone has to like my child. I’m not saying that everyone needs to allow their children to play with my child. And I’m not saying it is anyone else’s obligation to step in to parent my child. But as a fellow mother, I do feel that it should be instinct to watch out for the well being of other children… meaning that when you see a child trying to run out of the toddler gate, you don’t actively hold the freakin gate open for them to run out of sight. When I’m at a park watching children play, my first instinct when witnessing a kid about to fall, is to lunge to catch them. My first instinct when someone’s child is about to run off while they are looking in the other direction is to alert them. My first instinct is NEVER to turn a blind eye to a situation that could result in a child being hurt or lost.

I feel that the parenting community is a strong one. There is no one that ‘gets us’ like fellow parents do. We should be each others biggest supporters and we should view ourselves as a giant unstoppable team of parenting greatness, driven primarily by the hopes of creating a generation that will thrive. And yet it often feels like parenting is instead turning into a giant competition in which its every parent for themselves…whether it be a rude and unnecessary comment on a fellow mother’s Instagram (adult cyber bullying at its finest), an unpleasant glare from the mom in the grocery store who clearly does not approve of your parenting methods, or the parents at the park who (upon bringing their child to a very public place) expect your toddler to keep a 15 foot distance from them at all times.

It is important for us to remember that our children will practice what they see. Looking out for another child on the playground or giving a fellow mother a helping hand teaches our children to look out for each other as fellow human beings. I feel as though this post could become rather preachy rather quickly, so I will wrap things up… but really guys, can we just all play for the same giant parenting team? We might not all agree on what the most flattering ‘parenting team’ uniform color would be (but let’s be real, its maroon) or what discipline technique is most effective, however I think that we can all agree that we want the best for our babies. In order to give them the best, we need to show them a world that knows compassion and acceptance and love and the value of a strong community… And to do that, it truly takes a village.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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A letter to my pre motherhood self.

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Dear pre-mommy me,

A short time from now, you are going to be blessed with the craziest ball of energy you’ve ever seen. He will look just like you and act just like his daddy. He will say no to absolutely everything (even when he means yes). He will throw entire bowls of food on the ground and laugh in your face as you tell him to pick it up. He will cover your white coffee table in dark baby cub paw prints… Five minutes after you’ve cleaned it. He will roll around the dirt in the backyard at least twice a day (and usually try to snack on it as well). He will deny the plate of dinner you set in front of him 5 out of 7 days of the week. He will test your patience. He will make you question yourself and your parenting abilities. But more than any of that, he will make you a better person. He will give you the title of mommy, and you will wear that title with pride.

Because pride is the feeling in your heart when you look into the innocent eyes of the little human being that you created. Pride is the feeling in your heart when your little human shouts an enthusiastic “HI!!” to the sad stranger walking by and manages to make that stranger genuinely smile. Pride is the feeling in your heart when your little human figures out a new word or follows a new direction.

I will not lie, motherhood is just as scary as you’re expecting it to be. You’re faced with decision after decision and you won’t know if you’ve made the right decision until after the choice has been made. You will make mistakes, but there is no mother who hasn’t. You will do your best, and at the end of the day, that is what your son will see.

Rest up, for motherhood is exhausting, and like a guard dog, you will never truly sleep. But for every night of 2am wakes up, there is a morning of sweet snuggles. For every tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, there is a playful dance in the middle of the living room. For every time that you look in the mirror and miss your old body, there is a happy little boy running around as reminder that the changes were worth it. For every doubt you have, there is a sweet little hug as confirmation that maybe you really are doing it right.

During the quest to be a better parent, Google will be your best friend and your worst enemy. So will social media. You will find yourself constantly comparing yourself to other mothers, forgetting that your life does not need to look like anyone else’s. You will struggle to allow your little one to leave the protection of the safety bubble that you’ve created for him (even if it’s just playing on the jungle gym with another toddler). As cliche as it may sound, follow your heart. Follow your mother instincts. They will always point you in the right direction.

Of all the titles you can have in this world, mommy is certainly one of the best. I know that at this time, the only thing scarier than the idea of giving birth is the fear of being a bad parent. But fear not, for epidurals are a gift from the heavens and the happiness that motherhood fills you with will forever outweigh any worries you may have.

I guess all of this can really be summed up with this: motherhood is awesome (even if it doesn’t feel that way in the midst of a restaurant tantrum). Don’t be afraid, be excited. For there is a little boy who is about to REALLY make life interesting.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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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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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.