Dilemma; Breastmilk or Formula

My posts from now on will be mostly about getting ready for this little girl. So be prepared for an overload of pregnancy posts these next few months. To start if off, let’s talk about breastfeeding. I’ve been flirting with the idea of using formula and skipping out on breastfeeding this time. Here’s why; I breastfed Emerald for 11 months.  The only reason I stopped before she turned a year was because she was cutting me every time I would nurse her.  By this time, she had little teeth and for some reason she was grinding them on my nipples causing cuts around the nipple that never healed since she wanted to nurse throughout the day. It was painful. I couldn’t handle the burning sensation I would get every time I nursed. It felt like lemon juice on a paper cut or that feeling you get right after a cat scratches you, but the pain lasts longer than a few seconds. Thinking about that pain makes me cringe. As I look at my nipples now I see scarring. So I’m fearful that if I nurse this baby, my nipples might just fall off.  Not really, but I’m worried about having some complications if I were to nurse this baby and like getting an infection because of open cuts and then having my nipples fall off. You know? Til this day my nipples are a little sensitive.  So what happens when this one comes, and she’s just as aggressive or more on my nipples? Which is why I’m leaning more towards formula. 

IMG_4093.jpg


On the other side, I’ve also had my experience with formula. I don’t care for it. The smell is awful, it’s expensive, and it’s inconvenient in that you have to use the bottle within an hour.  If the baby doesn’t finish the bottle or isn’t hungry for whatever reason, you have to throw it away, which is frustrating.  The stuff isn’t cheap, so every time you throw away some, even an ounce, it adds up.  Almost as if you’re throwing away precious jewels down the drain. Let’s not forget the mess you make with each bottle you prepare. If you haven’t had experience with formula then you might not know that it is a fine powdery substance. So with every scoop, that stuff goes flying everywhere. It’s annoying to say the least. Another negative to using formula is the added weight to your diaper bag. You have to have purified water and the formula with you at all times since you can’t prepare the bottle before hand. It’s not as convenient as popping your boob out with fresh warm milk.


Still, I can’t get the image of my nipples falling off out of my head. The only thing that is pushing me to nurse is the bond we will share during her feedings. I loved nursing Emerald. It was relaxing, and she was peaceful and observant. Looking up at me every time with her big beautiful eyes, it was as if she knew she was safe. I feel as though that played a very important part with how close we are, and I would hate to miss out on that same bond with this baby. It’s not as if I don’t have options. Right? I can always pump while we are at home and nurse when we’re out. Or is it the other way around?  I chose to nurse Emerald strictly from breast since it was easier and to me safer. I didn’t have to worry about sanitation with the bottles which worries me. Not to say I have poor hygiene but something about having the baby bottles near  the sink where we handle raw food doesn’t sit too well with me. And I know my husband isn’t the most careful about stuff like that. 

IMG_9998.jpg
Look at the way she is latched onto my. Yikes!

Look at the way she is latched onto my. Yikes!


As I’m typing the pros and cons for each, I’ve realized that breastfeeding is the way to go for me. I can’t miss out on that bonding time with my little girl, and it’s unfair to her not to experience that with me as well. Even if it’s for 6 months, or however long I’ll nurse her, at least she’ll get the same opportunity Emerald did. 


I want to make it perfectly clear that feeding your baby formula isn’t wrong and I’m not in anyway shaming anyone for choosing formula. This is my opinion and my experience. There are so many reasons why a mother would choose formula over breastmilk and it’s no one’s business but your own. You do what you feel is right for both you and baby, and only you can determine what that is. And honestly, the one thing that kept me going at first was the fact that I was too lazy to make Emerald bottles. I was so tired that sitting in bed with her was easier for me. If making a bottle didn’t require me to get out of bed at 3 a.m., then Emerald would’ve had formula. Let’s just hope my nipples don’t fall off. 

Love, Mama.

Good-Bye 2018, Hello 2019

I can’t believe it’s 2019! But it’s welcomed, as we all get to start fresh. Move forward from what was holding us back or thrive in what we’ve accomplished in 2018. Still I can’t help but reflect on this past year. All of our ups and downs, our small successes, and the “I can’t believe this is happening” moments. I know most if not all people do this every year but it’s comforting to know where you were and where you want to go. I would be a mess if I wasn’t sure about the direction I wanted my life to go in. Or worse, not being open to the possibility of growth, which can happen if you’re complacent at this moment in your life. But as content as I may be I still believe in growth, just in different aspects of our lives. And being a mother, growth never stops. But it’s not all about just being a mother, it’s about knowing who you are and focusing on what you really want to work on. January 1st signifies new beginnings. 

IMG_4226.jpg

So here’s me looking into the future. I see fun family trips, to the zoo, of course to Disneyland, and maybe a camping trip to two. Here’s to exploring the possibility of being a professional photographer (not to say I will be this year) or at least on the right path in that direction. Learning to ignore my personal limitations, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. To not dwelling on missed opportunities, but celebrating every little success we accomplish. Learning to enjoy all of the messy moments of life and not surrendering to them. These are the same goals I had when I started my blog that unfortunately have become a nagging nuisance instead of a positive lifestyle change

IMG_4253.jpg

Which brings me to my next point, being kind and forgiving to myself. I put so much pressure on myself to do more, relax less, and I always manage to have too much on my plate at one time, which isn’t going to change as I am soon to be a mother of two. So instead of lightening my load, I plan to work through it with a positive attitude. I’m done with complaining.  I’m done with stressing.   I’m done with doubting myself. This year is going to be the year I make all of the necessary changes that will potentially create a better environment for my family and myself. The theme of this year is self improvement.

Obviously there are few predetermined milestones I’m looking forward to this year. Which are; birthing my second child like a boss, turning 30 soon after, and ending the year with a bang as we celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. All huge moments that only this year can bring. What more could I ask for in a year? Anything more is just plain greedy. But I’m excited for this year and what it has to offer. Good things are coming our way.  

What are some of your goals or plans for this year?

Love, Mama.







DIY: Posion Ivy Costume

Halloween has to be one of my favorite holidays, which would explain why I put so much time and effort into our costumes. Not so much ours anymore, mostly Emerald’s. But I try to make our costumes rather than buy them. Especially now that I have to dress my bump. I pictured myself drenched in sweat beneath my clothes and unable to move comfortably the entire night in a store bought, polyester costume. 


So I started brainstorming on what I could make that wasn’t too difficult or time consuming. I had come across this bodysuit months before, that I felt would be comfortable for me. I had ordered from this store before, so I knew the fabric would be soft, breathable, and flexible. It was a long sleeve all black bodysuit which was where the inspiration came from. Cat instantly popped into my head. What was a little more difficult was what my little sidekick would be. Simple and cute is what kept flashing in my mind. So I thought of the usual cat foe or friend. But nothing came to mind that fit our style. Then I remembered I was Catwoman in my younger days, and I had saw that photo recently and I remember it being one of my favorite costumes. And that’s when the idea of making Emerald Poison Ivy blossomed. Both easy, and I already had an idea of how I wanted to make them both.


I ordered her leotard from Amazon.  The one I ordered at the beginning of last month hasn’t even shipped yet and I have no idea what happened to that order, so I had to act fast in order to receive it in time.  I picked up the rest of the materials from Michael’s. The vine that I pulled the leafs from, the fabric adhesive to glue them on, glitter glue to place the sequins, and glitter glue pens to add more shine along the leafs. 

IMG_0263.jpg


Easy Steps: 

Wash leotard before applying leafs

Pull off all of the leafs from the vine

Place leafs in the direction or pattern you prefer (do before adding glue)

Apply small amounts of fabric adhesive to the back of the leafs 

Place each flat on leotard, pressing ends 

Continue until entire leotard is fully covered 

Let dry for 24 hrs or as directed on fabric adhesive bottle

IMG_0271.jpg
IMG_0265.jpg
IMG_0285.jpg
IMG_0269.jpg


Once the glue dries you can start adding the glitz and glam. I purchased sequins in different sizes and colors to give it dimension, along with some glitter (which I didn’t use). But it’s completely up to you on how to dress it up. I started placing the sequins on the leotard before I added glue, that way if I made a mistake there wasn’t a trail of glue residue on the leafs. Again, I let this dry for 24 hours.  At first I wasn’t satisfied with how the sequins looked. They were out of place on top of the leafs. I tried adding different sizes and colors and still it looked odd. After going back and forth about leaving them or taking them off, I made a decision to keep them. It added a little something, even if they looked out of place. After all of the sequins were glued and dried, I added the glitter to the edges of the leafs. The glitter came in a pen applicator which made it easier to outline the leafs, but be careful with how much you apply. I made sure to make the lines thin, and I used a toothpick to move the glitter down on the leaf. I did this using a scratch like motion to drag the glitter and spread it to make it look more natural, as natural as glitter can be. I did this in green and in gold glitter. I did not do this to every leaf. Once I was done with the glitter, I let it dry for a few days just to be sure none of it would wipe off, creating a mess. The day before use, I checked to see if there was anything else I needed to add and made sure there was enough glitter. Halloween came and it was ready to wear. 


Mask:

Green foam paper

Glue

Scissors 

IMG_0291-2.jpg
IMG_0292.jpg


So for the mask I bought green glitter foam paper. I drew the shape of the mask Poison Ivy wears on the back of the paper and managed to get it on the first try. I was mindful of the size since my munchkin is tiny, I didn’t want it going into her hair line. The plan was to use eyelash glue to keep it on her face.  If it had gotten into her hair, it would’ve been a painful mess to get out. It was difficult to get both pieces of the paper to match identically. So instead of drawing it twice, I used the first piece that I cut out and flipped it and used that to cut out another piece. That way they were the same size and avoided the frustration I knew I’d have for not getting them exactly the same. The masks that came up on Pinterest were a lot more detailed, but I would hate to put that much effort into something I knew she’d ruin. I did add a few little pieces of what was left of the foam paper to the mask so it wasn’t so flat. I was worried if I added too much it would cause the mask to be stiff and making it difficult for it to bend to the shape of Emerald’s face. Once it was done and dry, I placed it on Emerald to see how it fit and made adjustments. And -voila!- a Poison Ivy mask made out of foam paper. 

She wasn’t up for photos without her cousin.

She wasn’t up for photos without her cousin.

IMG_2749.jpg


This was my interpretation of Poison Ivy for my two year old. It was age appropriate, comfortable, and really easy to make. I was happy with how it turned out. And I can’t wait for next year, I’m already planning her costume and a costume for our newest addition coming in March. Who knows, Emerald might be at the age where she knows who she wants to be and won’t want mom to make her costume. But I will have my other little princess to create costumes for at least for another three years or until she starts requesting the popular cartoon character that year. And I can’t forget my husband, he loves to dress up as well. So my DIY costumes will never go out of style in this household. Lucky me.

Love, Mama.









A Spook-Tacular Halloween Party

Every year around this time Disneyland has their Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and this mama has always wanted to go. Just to see what it was like, you know to see what all of the hype was about. But we never felt it was necessary since we were childless for so long. I felt weird and I knew my husband would feel weird if we were to go since it’s basically a big trick or treat party which is for the kids. So you can understand why we never went. But now all has changed, thanks to my little Emerald. Obviously, we had to wait until she was old enough to understand what was going on and hopefully at an age she’d appreciate the experience. We felt two is a good age. She still gets in for free and if she can recognize the characters. Then she would be at a point where she can really enjoy these types of events (in my opinion).  


I started seeing the advertisement on social media for the event. After that I went online to see if they had the tickets available. And lucky for me they were! All of the Friday’s were sold out but we didn’t care. We had planned on going earlier in the week, less crowds. Friday’s and Saturday’s are normally out of the question since you’re elbow to elbow throughout the whole park. We value our personal space. But if Friday’s are your thing, definitely start looking on the Disney website in June, I purchased ours in July, so they probably went on sale the month before. The party is only five hours long but you’re allowed to enter the park before then, just make sure you get your wrist band from the cast members at the front entrance. 


As we parked and unload, we see families pass by in cute family costumes. Lots of Incredibles walking the park that night, also Jack and Sally. We dressed up as the Hauntley family. Our costumes weren’t as fun as some but they did the job. It was our first year so we didn’t know what to expect. We repurposed Emerald’s Vampirina costume from her birthday and the husband and I picked up a few things we knew we’d wear again, it was simple but cute. I’m proud of my husband for participating. Before you ask “why didn’t she read the dress code?”, let me start by saying I did read it, and it wasn’t that clear to me. Which is why I didn’t paint our faces. I didn’t want to show up with a full face of blue makeup just to wash it off and walk around with a bare face. That alone would scare the living daylights out of young children. After seeing some the costumes people were allowed to wear, it’s pretty safe to say that next year our costumes will be better thought out.  


The park itself was beautiful. They had lights projecting on the buildings of spider webs that change colors, vibrant teals, purples, pinks, and greens. It was so pretty!  Better decor than their usual Halloween decorations. At the beginning of every trick or treat trial they had a tall Ghost Mickey lit up so it was easy to navigate your way through the park ( which was really dark). It was so cute watching Emerald walk up to the cast members standing at the carts and saying what I knew was “Trick or Treat”. The candy carts divided the lines which made them move faster and made it easier for people to go around you if you were walking too slow (like our munchkin). But once she got the hang of it she was ready to go. Then I was the one walking slow, she kept yelling at me “Come on mommy, let’s go.” I was concerned about how much candy they’d be giving out since I didn’t see that many trails, cravings need to be satisfied. But you will get a lot of candy.  They have about five carts with candy in one trail, so bring an extra bag for all of the goodies (small bag is provided). 

IMG_2433.jpg
IMG_2441.jpg


At first you think five hours is enough time to get through all of the trails, see the shows, and still manage to get on rides. It’s not. You have to consider walking distance between the trails, finding food, and stopping to use the bathroom. Yes, it’s important especially if you’re pregnant or have a small child. A lot of our time was spent wandering and waiting. We waited over an hour to see Jack and Sally, which now looking back probably wasn’t the best way to spend our time. I’m not sure, but I think they’re there the entire night, so waiting that long probably could’ve waited until after we were done getting candy. Finding food took along time as well. I didn’t know that all of the dine-in restaurants close at 9 p.m. If you have a favorite restaurant you really enjoy or crave, make sure to go before you start your adventure, or eat before you enter the park. After 9, the food selection isn’t the best. You’re reduced to hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken tenders.

IMG_2421.jpg
IMG_2423.jpg
IMG_2425.jpg

I would like to say that the parade and firework show were the best part of the night but I’d be lying. I was more fascinated with all of the beautiful decorations. The fireworks scared Emerald, so she didn’t pay attention to the show they were projecting onto It’s A Small World. Maybe next year she won’t be so afraid of the fireworks. We also stayed for the parade, only to see the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas riding around in his car, but that was it. Oh, and we wanted Emerald to see Vampirina. But of course, they saved best for last, and Emerald was knocked out.  We had to watch the entire parade before we could head to the car. Once the parade ended, the clock struck 11 p.m. It was time to head to the tram and make our way home. 


A few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on going next year. Plan out your night, eat before festivities, and bring extra bags for all of the delicious treats. We will definitely be attending this Halloween Party next year. We loved seeing Emerald get excited about being there, watching her little personality shine. And the best part about next year is she’ll have a little sister to enjoy the experience with. I hope this helps for those planning on going in 2019. It’s an experience the entire family can enjoy. 

Love, Mama.







A Very Special Disney Day

How many of your kids get super excited when you tell them you’re taking them to Disneyland? I do this thing with Emerald where I get her all hyped up when we are taking her somewhere fun. Going to Disneyland being one of those things. So what I do is I ask her over and over again if she wants to go to Disneyland, and if I don’t get the reaction I was expecting I turn around and yell “Disneyland! We’re going to Disneyland!” I jump up and down and dance I say “woohoo” with my hands in the air, anything to get her excited. It almost always works. She starts telling me she’s excited and imitates my hand gestures. Her birthday was no exception. I was definitely over the top that morning. But you can’t blame me, my baby turned two! My husband always gives me this crazy look, but I’ve learned to just ignore him. 


We arrive at Disneyland and my husband and I realized we haven’t eaten. So we’re starving, I’m feeling nauseous, my husband says he’s about to pass out so we are hurrying across the park, trying to make our way to the Red Rose Inn. This mama was craving their yummy garlic fires. But I’m distracted by the fact that Ariel, Snow White, and Cinderella are in the castle for a meet and greet and there isn’t a huge line. Of course we had to meet the princesses before they left regardless of how hungry we were, it was after all Ariel, one of Emerald’s favorite princesses. And let me say it was worth the extra 15 minutes of starvation. 

IMG_1655.jpg


Emerald was so happy to see the princesses, she walked in and immediately saw Snow White. She would’ve ran to her but there was a group before us, so we had to explain to her that she needed to wait. Which as you can imagine didn’t go too well with our two year old. She was about to throw a fit but thankfully the group before us was finished so it was our munchkins turn to meet Snow White. Ariel was next. I knew she’d be really excited to see her since she loves The Little Mermaid. Again we had to wait but this time she wasn’t taking no for an answer. She ran up to the princess and started yelling and clapping and kept saying “Mermaid, mermaid!” The group before us got the point that Emerald wasn’t going to wait. It was funny to see. The princess greeted her with open arms and much to our surprise Emerald went up to her without a problem. It was the sweetest thing to watch.  She walks up to Ariel, shy at first, but then it was as if she remembered they were friends. She started talking to the princess, mostly rambling, but I heard her say mommy and daddy. I couldn’t make out what she was saying since I was trying to keep my distance. You know, letting her be a big girl. I knew Ariel didn’t know what she was talking about either, but she made it seem as if she did which made Emerald feel very comfortable. I made sure to record the whole visit. It was the perfect photo op. Cinderella was different, she’s not familiar with her as much as the other princesses but she handled it very well. Well enough to get a photo.


We said our good byes and were walking towards Fantasyland. We were finally going to get food, when my husband spotted Belle. And instinct took over. I ran to the line and asked the cast member if we were able to see Belle and she said yes. I was shocked. We’ve been bringing Emerald to Disneyland since she was 6 months old and was never able to get a photo with Belle or Beast. They’d always walk through the park not stopping for photos, so we were getting a photo with Belle. Even if my husband passed out and I threw up all over the place, we were not leaving without Emerald meeting Belle. Her reaction was priceless. I can’t explain how excited she was.  I know I keep saying that, but she really was excited. It makes my heart so happy that I can do this for her, that I can bring her so much happiness. I know I’m doing something right as a mother.  

IMG_1698.jpg


We didn’t get on too many rides. One ride we didn’t want to skip was The Haunted Mansion, since it’s all dressed up as The Nightmare Before Christmas, another favorite of hers. We made sure to grab a fast past, the wait time can get pretty long. Another ride we wanted to get on was Pirates Of The Caribbean. We use to take her on it when she was little and she would always fall asleep on it. It never failed, even with people screaming she’d just fall asleep. We weren’t sure that would be the case this time since she’s older and understands more. I was worried she would freak out on the drops and when Emerald is afraid and goes straight victim mode, there’s very little we can do to console her. I was concerned she might want to jump ship, literally. So I was nervous, especially when she decided she wanted to sit between my husband and I instead of on our lap. I think she was trying to be a big girl, so I just went along with it. First drop comes and I hold on to her tight, I was prepared for the kicking and screaming but it never happened. I was so proud of her. She sat there, didn’t cry, didn’t say she was scared just sat there and enjoyed the ride. I wanted to cry because it was a big moment. I saw my baby be a big girl, and it was beautiful. I know it’s just a ride but seeing fear in your child’s eyes is one of the worst thing a parent can witness, fear of any kind hurts because you never want them to feel unsafe. And I know first hand how traumatizing a ride could be (thanks mom). It scarred me for life. So I was relieved it went as smooth as it did. I wouldn’t want to read a post by Emerald saying I traumatized her from riding roller coasters forever. 


We were only there for a few hours but I made sure to make dinner reservations. It was her special day so I wasn’t trying to cut it short by skipping out on dinner with Disney characters. Originally I wanted to make reservations at The Blu Bayou Restaurant (characters-no, delicious filet mignon-yes). But of course, I was late on calling to make reservations so they were completely booked. Plan B was to have dinner with characters. It’s such a fun experience. I highly recommend making reservations where they have character dining, the kids love it. We took her to Ariel’s Grotto last year.  But since they no longer have that restaurant, my mom suggested Goofy’s Kitchen. I made sure to call right away. It worked out better than the original plan since she had so much fun seeing Mickey and Minnie at dinner. It was a fun experience, a little pricey for buffet but the overall experience was worth it. 

IMG_1829.jpg

And that’s where we ended our night. Dinner with papa, grandma and mommy and daddy. Plus with all of her favorite characters. We managed to see everything we thought she’d enjoy, from characters to decorations. Mommy was able to get as many photos as I could, daddy enjoyed watching his little girl have a happy day, and we did it without any issues. It was the perfect day and I hope it’s one she will remember for years to come. If not, I’ll have proof she had a great birthday. Can’t wait to see how excited she’ll be when we go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Love, Mama.











Emerald Turns Two!

It’s finally over! All of the running around, all of the stress and pressure of putting together a birthday party is finally over. It’s a bitter sweet moment for me.  I’m glad all the party chaos is over, but that means my munchkin is two. Time is flying by so fast and I wish she could just stay my little baby forever. But I know that’s impossible. As you can see, I’m still emotional about her growing up, but that’s for another post. 

IMG_1006.jpg


Her party was small, just our close family and friends to celebrate our baby turning two. There almost wasn’t a party since my husband didn’t get to the park we had chosen early enough. It was a non-reservable park, so first come first serve and we were late. Minor meltdown on my end but luckily the husband found a park not too far from the first location; so crisis averted. It turned out better at this park because the playground was fully covered by trees giving us lots of shade, which I was concerned about at the other park since the playground was completely exposed under the harsh sun. I knew it was going to be hot so I was worried about the kids playing in the heat, so we definitely lucked out with this park. 


The plan was to have this really cute, elaborate Vampirina themed birthday party. But I was right in the middle of my first trimester and the exhaustion was too much for me to shake.  So my mom advised me to keep it simple. Which didn’t sit well with me at first but as I got further along and my symptoms worsened, it was sounding a lot better. I ended up passing on the balloon arch, some desserts, and an entree. Just to keep it simple and to cut the amount of work we needed to do. I did love how the centerpieces came out, they weren’t big or over the top, just cute little Halloween decorations I picked up at Target in the bullseye playground section. Things I can use yearly and not just throw away. Even though there wasn’t any DIY projects, it still took a lot for me to gather all of the decorations. I had my family running around trying to find a Target that was fully stocked. I wanted these little purple jars for citronella candles but they only had four at my target so I was on a mission to find them. 

IMG_1058.jpg
IMG_1056.jpg


In the end it all came together quit nicely. She had lots of fun, running around, playing in the sand, climbing on the toys and not wanting to stop for a minute. That’s all that mattered. She didn’t care about the balloons or the other decorations so I got over it rather quickly. The food was great and there was plenty of it. The cake was delicious as always. And everyone seemed to enjoy themselves regardless of the heat. That, to me, is what makes a party fun. But the fun wasn’t over. We still had our Disneyland trip on her actual birthday.

IMG_1033.jpg
IMG_1063.jpg
DSC09389.jpg
The haunted house was from Michael’s

The haunted house was from Michael’s

IMG_1065.jpg

I was so busy with setting up and driving around for extra things that day, I wasn’t able to get nice photos but the ones I did get will do. Note to self get photos before the party starts.

Love, Mama.







The Count Down, Begins!

It’s July and I’ve been so consumed with infertility treatments and pregnancy tests, that I’ve completely lost track of planning Emerald’s second birthday party. I’m already two weeks behind and I’m wondering if I can deliver the elaborate party I picture in my mind (or what I’ve seen on Pinterest). You all know that was the first place I started searching. All the beautiful dessert tables with candies and desserts: balloons everywhere. It seems like balloon arches are the current fad right now because that’s all I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. So of course I want one for Emerald’s party. It didn’t look as difficult to make as I thought it would, so it might not be as stressful as I thought. I wish I could hire a party planner so I could get out of doing all of the work, but it’s most likely not in the budget and a definite “No” from the husband. That’s what people that pin these photos of extravagant parties forget to post; the behind the scenes and what it really takes to plan one of these parties. I have one birthday party under my belt and let me tell you I was happy when it was over. As exhausted as I was and how much money we spent, one could assume I’d never want to host a party again. Nope, not this mama! The long nights and countless trips to Michael’s won’t discourage me from doing it all over again for my beauty’s second birthday.

IMG_9789.jpg
270 balloons and I think I might need more. 

270 balloons and I think I might need more. 

I can’t remember much from my childhood, but what I do remember were the birthday parties my mom threw for us. Back then, we were closer to our extended family, so our parties were always huge. Lots of kids running around and tons of food my mom made.  Although I can’t really remember if they were decorated, they were themed.  But I’m not sure how far she went with the decorations.  At that age, I didn’t really care about the centerpieces. No, I was more interested in playing and eating as much candy as I was allowed. Most of the time we had a pinata of our favorite character, which looking back now, might’ve not been such a good idea. Those things can be dangerous and a lot of work. I’ll admit I thought about getting one for Emerald but I went with my better judgment and decided not to (smart). Last year for Emerald’s first birthday we did Beauty and The Beast.  It turned out a little better than I expected.  We were limited on space so my vision couldn’t come to life completely. I’m hoping to redeem myself this year. 

We have decided on a theme. It wasn’t easy since she likes a few characters at the moment; one being Moana and she recently added The Little Mermaid to the mix. But she absolutely loves Vampirina. She knows all of the songs, and knows all of the characters. She says Goria instead of Gregoria, but she says Demi perfectly.  We’re still working on Vee though. It’s the funniest thing when she tries to sing the Vampirina Ballerina song.  She doesn’t know the words but she can follow the rhythm. It’s the cutest thing! I might have a little singer on my hands. Anyways, the colors I plan on using are teal, black, pink, and lavender. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too dark; she is going to be two after all. There wasn’t much on Pinterest for Vampirina parties (which I thought was weird being that this cartoon is relatively new).  I’m not sure, but I think it’s only been on TV for a little over a year. If you’ve never seen Vampirina, don’t worry.  It’s your typical vampire, bats, and spider web motif, but for small children. Lots of pink, and purple. So it’s age appropriate for our little munchkin. I was kind of flirting with the idea of making it a costume party since it has that Halloween vibe, with monsters and ghosts. But I haven’t worked out the specifics. 

IMG_9829.jpg
IMG_9850.jpg

I hate shopping for items last minute because it’s not always a guarantee they will be available in store. This week I’ll order almost everything I need that I know I won’t find in stores. Now it’s just the matter of gathering all of my supplies and turning those supplies into a beautiful work of art. The count down begins! It’s time to get cracking.

Love, Mama.

My Beauty and Her Imagination

I love watching my baby play with her toys. I remember when I was that little. I had a crazy imagination. Do you remember pretending to be lions in the front yard? Or mermaids in the pool? I do. Those were the best memories. Now I’m here watching my Emerald play pretend. She sits in her crib and has  full on conversations with Belle and Beast, giving Demi and Vampirina hugs and kisses. Then she holds Moana as if she were a baby crying, patting her on the back telling her “you ok” while rocking back and forth. 

IMG_9200.jpg
IMG_9218.jpg

The funniest thing to me is that she has to have the characters together just like they are in the movie. Belle goes with Beast, and Moana goes with Maui and Hei-hei, isn’t that cute? I think it’s amazing how she understands they belong with each other. I don’t remember playing with my toys like that, but then again all I wanted to play with were horses. Lucky for her I buy her toys in sets. I know, I’m weird but for some reason I can’t just buy one character, I always buy three. Now I know it’s not a waste because she actually plays with them in order. It makes me happy she appreciates my thoughtfulness. 

The playtimes are getting more imaginative, she holds on to things and acts like she’s falling then drops to the floor saying “whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, aahhh!” Then she tells me she fell. I wonder what she’s imagining when she does that. Is she in the jungle, hanging over a cliff, holding on to a vine for dear life after being chased by 400 pound gorilla? It’s funny to picture. Or when she’s on our bed and she hiding in the pillows (we have 8 pillows) telling Ariel to hide. Who could she be hiding from? Ursula? Hoping to spare Ariel from the evil witch. I told you I had a crazy imagination. I’m pretty sure making caves out of blankets are coming soon, which is why I’ve been collecting blankets. I’m two steps ahead of her. 

We bought her a play kitchen for her first birthday and it has a little phone. I pretend I’m talking to someone  I say “Hello? This is she, Oh, how are you? I’m fine. Well Emerald isn’t cleaning her room, it’s a mess. I know, I know, hold on let me get her.” Then I’d hand her the phone and say “its for you”. She’d say “Hello?” Put it up to her ear and hold it on her shoulder walk away and continue the conversation with baby talk. I have no idea where she learned that, but it’s adorable to watch. Her room is full of toys, so her imagination can run wild. Just like my childhood memories. We lived with my Papa for most of my childhood and all I can remember was how much fun it was. We had the dinning room full of toys and the backyard was our battlefield. I’m trying to keep my memories alive through my baby, so I make sure to play with her as much as I can. I hope when she grows up, she remembers me playing with her.I can sit and watch her for hours, just doing her thing, going from room to room talking in her own language. I’m looking forward to watching her little adventures grow.  

Love, Mama.

 

It's Time To Eat

Anyone having trouble feeding an 21 month old toddler? Raise your hand. Well my munchkin is giving me hell when it’s time for her to eat. I wish I knew what I did for her to be so picky. All I can say is she gets it from her dad. She doesn’t want to eat anything I make. I know it’s not my cooking, because we eat it and I don’t hear any complaints from the husband, so it can’t be that bad. I wouldn't worry so much if she weighed more. She’s almost 2 years old and weighs about 20 pounds. All we hear from the doctor is she’s small but healthy, that she’ll eventually gain the weight. So what does a proactive mom do? I obsess over her eating. We make sure she has three meals a day with snacks in between. We give her two bottles of milk and a Pediasure for bedtime. We started the Pediasure when she was about a year old, it was right after I stopped nursing. We were told by her doctor that it was a good way for her to gain weight since I wasn’t nursing but it hasn’t helped. 

IMG_7684.jpg

A typical day starts with breakfast, a combination of baby cereal and eggs with occasional French toast or pancakes. Recently we introduced cold cereal.  She loves it more than her baby cereal, so she is officially off baby food. I would serve eggs with her baby cereal, it was an easy way to introduce scrambled eggs. That was working for awhile but all of sudden, she didn’t want either. I know why she doesn’t really care about the baby cereal anymore but the egg? I’m lost. She loved eggs. She would make sure to eat the egg before the cereal then leave some for the end. But now she sees the spoon full of egg and she closes her mouth super tight, eyes closed, and shaking her head no. If I’m not quick enough to move the spoon away from her, she’ll swing. We’ve gotten pretty good at dodging her swings.  There are times where she catches me off guard and there goes the spoon full egg. Flying across the table, in slow motion. And I’m holding my hand out saying “NOOO.” Not really but I am annoyed. She acts like she’s never had it. Finishing her breakfast was never a problem. I just hope she doesn’t continue this because I’m running out of things to cook her for breakfast.

Lunch is always tough. Her favorite food right now is peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If she could, she’d have these everyday (which she does unfortunately). She starts throwing anything she sees. Her sippy cup always manages to hit me right on the tips of my toes, ouch. I wish she’d try new things, even foods we use to give her that she liked but doesn’t eat anymore. She loves burritos or wraps, so I try to give her those before I make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but she needs to be I the mood for certain things. If she’s not feeling the chicken wrap, its on the floor, and our chihuahua is enjoying a very nutritional meal. The cutest thing about her throwing her food is her calling ginger our chihuahua. It’s so cute, it fascinates me that she knows ginger eats whatever lands on the floor. So now when she drops something or throws it she instantly calls for “Ginner.” 

IMG_7659.jpg

It’s the same way for dinner. Few foods she loves, many foods she doesn’t. So it’s a lot of trial and error. And if all else fails we make her the pb&j sandwich. We've tried giving her extra fatty foods to help with her weight like ice cream and fried foods, we try not give her too much for the obvious reasons. I know that sounds terrible but what are my options? Force her to eat something she doesn’t want and risk her not eating, or give into her and give her the damn sandwich. We are battling an uphill battle here, it wasn't so bad when it was just her weight, but to add her pickiness now, ugh. This mama is lost about what we can do about it.  Hopefully this is just a phase, crossing our fingers it's almost over.

Love, Mama. 

 

 

Is She Ready For A Sibling?

The other day, I was thinking about how next month I could be pregnant with baby number two. So, as I’m thinking about our second miracle, I look over at my beautiful Emerald and wonder how having a second baby will effect her. Does every mom go through this? It makes me really sad, what if I ruin her world, you know? I mean not literally, but she’s the center of our universe and she knows it. So introducing another baby into our lives is a huge change for a two year old. She’s not going to understand that she is going to have to share her mommy with another baby. She’s a jealous little monster now. I can’t imagine how she’ll be with another baby in the picture. Even now, when I play with other babies, she goes up to them and says “No, mine.” And she swings at them (no I don’t encourage hitting). If you saw how she is with me, you’d see what I’m talking about. 

DSC09317.jpg

I feel guilty. Like we should ask her if it’s ok to have another baby. Unfortunately she’s too young to understand and I don’t know if we’d listened to her if she did understand.  But just to make her feel like her opinion matters. That’s crazy I know. But I don’t want my baby to feel like she’s not important. Since all of our attention is going to be directed towards the new baby in the first few months. I want to make sure that as a mother, I’m fair with the amount of attention I give to both children. Recognizing the signs when Emerald needs a little more attention than she normally does. You know? Will it come naturally? 

IMG_6758-2.jpg

My biggest worry is playing favorites. I know it wouldn’t be intentionally, but I know Emerald might feel like we’re doing it on purpose. Little things she does now that aren’t a big deal might be a big deal. I can remember when we first brought her home, I was irritated almost all day. The exhaustion completely takes over and not even the smallest mess is forgivable. Every little thing bothers you and you’re on the edge every minute of everyday. What if she wants me to pick her up while I’m holding the baby and she doesn’t take no for an answer and I snap. Not like crazy snap, but what if I react in a way I never have before with her? This can impact her little life in ways that can be harmful. That’s what I think about when we talk about having our next baby. I’ve heard stories about how the first child acts out when the second child comes along. I feel like this happens because they realize they aren’t the center of attention. What if my sweet little munchkin is angry and then takes out her anger on the baby? Ugh. I sound like a horrible mom, but this is reality. 

Growing up, my siblings and I witnessed favoritism at it’s finest. Our cousins were favored by other relatives and for a young child to experience that is crushing. There was one incident in particular.  We were at my grandmothers house for Christmas and everyone was opening gifts. Being children my brother and I were excited to open gifts with everyone. As we walked towards the tree my mother grabbed us and told us there were no gifts for us under the tree. Can you imagine how we felt?  I’m almost thirty and I can remember that day like it was yesterday. We were young too, no more than 5 years old. That’s an extreme situation, and I would never do that to Emerald. But you get the point. Being overlooked by them was a traumatic and unforgettable moment for me. There’s just so much we haven’t considered before making the decision to have another child. What if me babying the new baby makes Emerald feel like I don’t love her like I love the new baby? I understand that children are extremely different from one another, so what works for one probably won’t work for the other. What if that comes off as favoritism? 

She's my bestfriend

She's my bestfriend

I want to be mentally prepared for when the second baby arrives. Being a mother has always been a dream of mine and like every mother I want to be the best mother I can be to all of my kids. Give them all the attention that they need. Not to make any of them feel like they couldn’t come to me because I was busy with another one. Or hearing Emerald say she wish I were there for her more. Or how I could’ve been more supportive but I wasn’t because I was spending too much time with her siblings. That would break my heart. I know it’s impossible for me to give each child all of the attention they want but I’m going to try. 

Love, Mama.

   

 

Emerad's Getting The Boot

I’m not sure if its only at our doctors or if all hospitals do this, but I cringe at answering those little questionnaire forms. You know the ones they give you for the first year after having your baby? Well the receptionist hands it to me every time we check in for her well baby appointments. There’s this one question I wish they didn’t ask. It’s the “does your child sleep in his/her crib?” I always mark the yes bubble. Yes, I lied. Every time they gave me that paper, I asked myself why do they make me lie to them. No my baby didn’t sleep in her crib, yes she still sleeps with my husband and I. I know there has been a study about how co sleeping is dangerous. I just wish they wouldn’t make me feel like an irresponsible parent because I felt like the best thing for our baby is to sleep with us. 

IMG_6148.jpg

For the record we really wanted to have her in her crib. My excuse for that is, she was so tiny when we first brought her home. She had low blood sugar because she wasn’t eating. It was the middle of September, so it was hot and we used a fan to help cool the room. I was afraid that I wouldn’t hear her if she was crying with the fan on. Plus we were so exhausted I thought we’d fall into a deep sleep and wouldn’t notice if something were wrong or to even be aware of it. If that makes sense.

I was freaked about SIDS, like any new mother, so I didn’t want her to be too far from me. With SIDS on my mind, her not eating, and me knocking out, I was a nervous wreck. I was looking over at the pack n play every minute. It was miserable. So we decided that she needed to be in bed with us so we could get some sleep. For about a month, she slept on my chest. I was a little concerned about her rolling off of me but we placed pillows all around me like if I were still at the hospital. I finally was able to sleep without freaking out. Once she was eating normally and her cry was stronger and more distinct, we felt more comfortable with her sleeping in the middle of us. Again, we made sure she had a barrier to keep her safe. Our plan was to have her sleep with us for a bit and when she started sleeping through the night, that’s when we would put her in her crib. And now, here we are 21 months later and she’s still in our bed. Boo. 

I tried using the advice other mothers gave me about getting her to sleep in her crib. I tried letting her cry it out. We tried putting her on a schedule, which worked for getting her to sleep at a decent time but not to get her in the crib. I would nurse her before bed. That didn’t work. I would even try to have her sleep in her crib during the day, have her in there when she would take a nap. But all that would do was piss her off, then I was screwed because then she didn’t want to go back to sleep. After that I kind of gave up on getting her in the crib. I found that when you’re exhausted you want to do anything for sleep. Even if it means enabling bad habits. 

IMG_6165.jpg

The reason why I’m bringing this up is, we might be pregnant soon with a little sister or a brother, and Emerald is probably going to get the boot. I feel bad. She does this cute but annoying thing where she needs to rub my stomach in order for her to fall asleep. And I’m going to miss that. But there isn’t enough room in our bed for two babies. We weren’t sure how we were going to do it. Should we keep Emerald in our bed since she sleeps with us already? Or should we try to get her out so the new baby can be in bed with us. So it’s easier on me when nursing? Then we could probably expect both babies crawling into bed with us at some point if we do it that way. It really comes down to what I am willing to deal with now or later. Pregnant or not, I feel like it’s time Emerald should be in her own bed. 

Love, Mama.

Happy Mother's Day

I’m celebrating my second Mother’s Day and I couldn’t be happier. For a long time Mother’s Day was difficult for me to deal with. I forced myself to put a smile on for my mom and my sister because I didn’t want to ruin their day. It reminded me of what I was missing out on. The celebration of mothers that I couldn’t be apart of because I wasn’t a mother. I was alone, I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about it because no one around me knew what I was going through. I always felt like a failure because I never got pregnant, like something I did was the cause of not conceiving. Month after month, year after year and still no baby.  It broke my heart. I almost lost hope that someday I would be a mother. 

IMG_5947.jpg

Then one day all of my pain was taken away, the moment we saw the heartbeat in the exam room. There was a little being that was growing in my tummy. Instantly, I was my cured. She cured my sadness. The only one that could mend my  broken heart. I know everyone says this, but she has brought so much happiness to my life. She is my someday, and I am her forever. All I want to do is protect and love her til the day I die. I remember when I was pregnant I would drive to this 3D ultrasound place in Ontario every other week just so I could see her. I would’ve gone everyday but my husband told me no. I was scared to death that she wasn’t real. And every time I’d go, there she was.  Her little hands by her face growing in my belly. I’d sit in my car after and I would tell her how much I loved her and how I couldn’t wait to have her in my arms.  Almost two years in and I still have to ask my husband if he can believe we have a baby. And he points to her with annoyance on his face and says “yes, I can love”. I ask him this once a week so you can understand how this could be annoying. It’s only because I only had dreams of being a mother, that was my hope after 6 years of trying, you know? So to see a little munchkin in our bed every night is still surprising to me. 

IMG_1985.jpg
IMG_2595.jpg

I have found that being a mother is messy, it’s exhausting, it’s a learning process, but most of all, it’s beautiful. To have this unbreakable bond with another human being on this earth is so special. I love you Emerald, Thank you for making me a mother and teaching me what love really means. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful and hard working mothers. Motherhood is never easy but I know we can all agree that it’s worth it.  

Lov, Mama.

Why Are You Screaming?

We are now entering the terrible two’s phase. I’ve only witnessed these outrages acts of violence from afar. And I’ve realized in the past few weeks my beautiful munchkin is now a terror. I know it’s not the hardest part of raising a child but it’s really uncomfortable. She’s too young to be disciplined and too old to get away with bad behavior. I feel like this is where we begin to model her into a little brat or a well behaved child.

IMG_0866.jpg

I remember the time of relaxing lunch dates, and our long shopping trips to target. Our bonding time and now a distant memory. Now, I dread going to eat with our munchkin. I  loath our target trips. Why you ask? Because of the ear piercing screams of an unhappy 18 month old. Sitting her in the cart is like she is being murdered. I’m pretty sure all you moms out there know what I’m feeling when she throws herself on the bacteria infested floor. I feel like everyone in the store is judging me. Like “why is she letting her baby act like that?” Or judging me for correcting the behavior. I don’t spank her but I do tell her to stop acting like this in a stern tone.  

These outbursts are not new. As you can recall in my Happy Little Trees post we’ve gone through this when she was in an uncomfortable situation. Her thing now is doing this whenever she doesn’t get her way. She hits me for the weirdest reasons. It’s embarrassing. I definitely recognize the stare I get when people see her hit met. I hate to say this but I’ve given that look to parents when their kids hit them. I want to apologize to those parents. I know now that it’s not their fault their kids beat them. What do you do in that situation? When she does this I just tell her to stop and the response is more defiance. She gives me attitude. She stands in front of me with an angry expression and lips puckered. And she grinds her teeth while muttering baby talk. I’ve tried translating it, and pretty sure she’s telling me to “stop it.” I know when I’m being scolded and that’s exactly what she’s doing. How in the hell did I allow this to happen? 

When we go to a restaurant, she doesn’t want to sit in the highchair anymore. This girl wants to run around or jump on the table. I tell her in a calm tone “no baby, you have to sit down.” I believe that baby’s feed off your energy so I try to play it cool. I tell her again. That’s when she lets me have it. The scream that makes you cringe and sends chills down your spine. Awful sound. It could be just I’m a new mom but I swear I see all heads turn towards me and my misbehaved child when she does this. She is on the verge of losing her outing privileges. I want to leave her with grandma because of her attitude and tantrums. 

IMG_0886.jpg

My husband and I are at a loss of what we should do to correct this behavior. It’s funny because before she was born my husband was all for spanking, you know “I will never let my child act like that, I’ll hit a child.” It sounds bad and nowadays kids aren’t spanked like we were growing up so you could understand why he felt that way. But I don’t think he’s ever spanked her. Not even a little pow pow. I’m the one that gives her pow pow when she smacks me right in the face. And now when I say pow pow she turns and does it to herself. Pow pow has no affect on her. This little girl has daddy wrapped around her little finger. He’s always giving into her which would explain why she’s worse when he’s around. She smacks him every time he tells her no, she throws herself back and straightens her body so she can slip right out of his hands. She foams at the mouth while big tears run down her face. She definitely has her act down when daddy is around. 

IMG_2120.jpg

I know why he gives in to her. He gets embarrassed, and maybe worried about how her tantrums reflect us. I found myself trying to control an outburst at target the other day and I told her “let’s go to the the toys, do you want a toy? Mommy will get you a ball.” Does the screaming stop? No. Does she get up and acts like a normal child? No. But she says yes to the damn toys. I’m thinking to myself, I’m going to buy a ball for this brat? It really hit me that I’m doing something wrong here

We need advice, when is it good for us to start discipling her? I don’t mean putting her in time out because that doesn’t work she gets up and walks away. Help!

Love, Mama.