Super Mom

I’m always looking for new mom blogs and communities to check out and inspire me. Today I found Coffee & Crumbs over on Facebook. As I was checking out their blog there was one post that really resonated with me and got me thinking about if I was a Super Mom.

Looking back, I feel like I started this blog with the intention of trying to prove to myself and those around me that I had it all together. That I could do it all. That I was just as good at being a mom as I was at my job. That I could be SUPER MOM! I get lost in that sometimes. The desire to feel accomplished and needed and appreciated…and honestly viewed by the outside world as someone who is good at this mom thing.

When I started this “job” of motherhood I honestly didn’t know if I’d be very good at it. I think that’s why I was trying to prove something, to myself and those around me. Work was life, not just a job to me. Leaving the comfort of something I enjoyed and was really good at was scary.

As my time as a mom continues, I’m realizing that I am Super Mom. The Coffee & Crumbs post was right, we are all Super Mom! We don’t need to “do it all”, what we need to do is love our kids, have fun, and do what is best for them. There are good days and bad. For me, there are days when I’d rather have a glass of wine then sit and play with her or when I want to leave her in her room longer so that I can get more done around the house. There are also other days where she wants to play dress up and have a tea party. Or days where she says new words or does something new like jumping off things with two feet (mastered yesterday, SO proud)! Those days, and even moments, are what make it all worth it. It’s not about perfection, it’s about love and a sense of humor.

As R gets older it does get easier. Now at the ripe old age of 2 she is SO fun! I love my days with her. Sure there are days that are really hard…she’s been whining all day today, but she needs me and I love seeing her grow and develop. As we were sitting and doing puzzles with R at the end of the day my husband told me I had the patience of a saint because I didn’t just do the puzzle for her. Reality, don’t tell him this, is that as she’s attempting to get those pieces together I’m staring off into space dreaming of the things I’ll get to do in 20 minutes when she goes to bed, but I’ll let him keep thinking it’s patience I have.

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This parenting thing is hard. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Take each day as a new opportunity to be Super Mom. Make a fort with your kids, blast music and have a dance party, have a glass of wine at 4pm if you need to. The thing that will make you the best Super Mom? Taking time for yourself and recharging your Super Mom powers. Now go out there and live your Super Mom identity, you got this!

Learning To Find My Way

If you know me from my pre-baby life you know I was a work-a-holic (honestly who am I kidding, this hasn’t changed). It’s something I seriously struggle with now that I’m a stay at home momma. And as R gets older I find it even more of a struggle.

When R was young….well, she didn’t really do anything. Babies are blobs and to keep my own sanity I volunteered for everything and added even more to my plate. I currently volunteer with five different organizations and put in countless hours. But as R’s getting older she actually needs me more so than as a baby. She wants me involved with her activities, teaching her, playing with her and being present. I can’t sit and respond to emails while I’m breastfeeding anymore and she even actively asks me to put my phone down these days. It breaks my heart that a statement like that has to come out my 2 year olds mouth 🙁

A couple months ago I joined an online mom/wife group and began something called Project Reset (check out The Home Loving Wife for more info). Essentially the goal is to figure out your values and prioritize your life based on those values. It took me some serious time to think about my values and how I was prioritizing my life around those values. I realized that I was not prioritizing my life based on how I wanted to live my values.

After some serious soul searching I realized it was time for changes in my life. I needed to cut back on my volunteer work, I needed to spend more time with my family, I needed to spend my time with the people I love not spend my time constantly responding to emails and managing people.

So this year has been huge for me as I’m discovering the things that really matter to me. R is becoming more interactive, more fun but also more demanding and it’s harder to find time with my hubby. I’m STILL trying to figure it all out, I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that I’m taking steps to understand myself better, to create a positive family environment and to lead by example for my daughter.

I spent the morning with a couple fabulous mommas at the beach. The overcast sky and mild temperature was actually amazing. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda lady and it’s been crazy hot here so I was excited to enjoy a “comfy” day. Digging my toes in the sand, watching R play with her friends, shrieking about the coldness of the water. It truly was perfect and  it was exactly what I needed to start off a weekend of focusing on my family.

This weekend I promise to keep my phone away more, to be present and excited with my daughter and to take some time to cuddle with my amazing hubby. Every step I take gets me closer to living out my life with purpose and happiness. I’m excited for this new journey I’m on!

10 Things to Know for Camping with Tots

This past week was spent with R’s besties camping out in the woods and celebrating the little ladies 2nd birthday! I can’t believe she’s 2!

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A tradition Matt continued from his childhood is waking up to a room full of balloons, so even though we were camping we kept it going!

Outside of celebrating her birthday we spent lots of time enjoying the great outdoors.

Ok, so let me preface this by saying that I haven’t been camping in YEARS! I went a lot as a kid, both with family and Girl Scouts, but it was probably high school the last time I camped. This camping was “supposed” to be easier because it was in cabins. But I swear tent camping would have been easier than these cabins. It was nice to have a stove and electricity but otherwise these cabins were basically death traps waiting to happen! Okay maybe I’m over reacting a little but seriously there were nails sticking out, broken benches, ugh.

We had such a blast! But I gotta say I’m quite happy to be home. Sleeping in my own bed and having a playroom to “lock” my kid away in is pretty damn awesome. We were too ambitious, we planned on staying 7 nights, we lasted 5….barely. So here are a few things I learned while enjoying the great outdoors with the little ones:

10. Don’t Do It!
If you’re thinking of going, just don’t. Instead put up a tent in the backyard and play outside. It’s much easier

9. Wrap your Kid in Bubble Wrap
They are toddlers. They fall a lot. Enough said.

8. Don’t forget the First Aid Kit
Believe me, you’ll need it. The bubble wrap I suggested above will help but I swear you’ll still need it. Likely for yourself too. One of our mommas cut open the bottom of her foot on the first day, not a fun way to start out the trip but she was a trooper and stuck with it.

7. Man on Man Coverage versus Zone
As often as you can, try to have just as many parents as there are children, or at least older children who can help the tots. The ground is uneven, there are hills to fall down, streets to get run over on, animals to get stung by, and a million other things to mess up the kids so you need as much coverage as possible

6. Lots and Lots and Lots of Spray
Bug Spray – I swear everything bites while you’re camping. We had flies, mosquitoes, freaking everything! I hate the damn bugs. Sunscreen – apply, apply, apply! I know, applying sunscreen to toddlers usually ignites lots of screaming but imagine trying to apply sunscreen to a burnt toddler. Give yourself a chance of avoiding a crispy lobster child by applying constantly

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5. Remember, it’s Camping
That means it’s dirty. Really dirty. And toddlers attract dirt. They also really love putting dirt in shoes and then pouring it on each other and you

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4. Go During the Week
This will allow you the weekend to recover from the crazy. Originally we planned Saturday to Saturday but after 5 days we were totally done. The last day was spent sitting in the grass entertaining our kiddos in the campground laundry room. That’s right, the laundry room. But the good part is we then had Friday-Sunday to get ourselves back to some semblance of alive before the hubby had to go back to work Monday

3. Nap Isn’t Just for the Kiddos
The kid takes a nap so you should too. The sun is exhausting, it’s hot, and you deserve it. It’ll keep you ready for more beers (see below). Plus it’s a family trip (not a vacation because anything that requires you to chase toddlers and be up by 7am is NOT vacation)! The perfect time to attempt to catch up on your missing sleep

2. Bring Lots of Booze
After chasing your toddler for hours all you are going to want after bedtime is a very large cold alcoholic beverage. But don’t drink too much, you need to be prepared to wake up in the middle of the night when something “scary” wakes up your little one and then again at the crack of dawn with a tot screaming in your face for breakfast

1. HAVE FUN!
Even though we were EXHAUSTED by the end of every day, we had such an amazing time. R had SO many firsts and it was exciting watching her explore. She went on a boat, she went tubing, had lots of ice cream, played horseshoes, played tether-ball and more.  The adorable factor was on  point for 80% of the week (the rest was spent sleeping or stressing about safety). It was the longest and most fun week I’ve had in ages

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In the end it truly was a great trip but my final recommendation? Don’t plan on going for a week.  I think 2 nights tent camping would have been perfect. Next year we will still enjoy a 4th of July #bestiesweek, and R’s  birthday, at a cabin but more VRBO or AirBnB style. (We might be wimps but oh well)

Enjoy a couple nights of outdoor fun and excitement and then head home to relax for the rest of the weekend. It’s totally worth it!

This Mom Thing

Before R came I had been with the same company for 5 years. It was my first job out of college and I LOVED it. I had plans to go far in the company and was well on my way to making that happen. I was really good at my job, like really good, and now that I’m a mom I have to say I feel a little bit lost.

It’s not that I don’t love being a mom and love being home with my little lady, because seriously there is NOTHING better than a random hug and kiss from that sweet little toddler!, but it doesn’t come as naturally to me as working did. So I’ve been trying to find ways to make it more, like a job I guess. I’ll get excited about something (planning crafts, activities, etc.), then I get busy and then I forget and then I get excited about it again, do more work and the cycle repeats itself but I feel like I seldom actually accomplish anything.

I’m also not a homemaker haha! I don’t love cooking and I hate cleaning, especially the laundry and the dishes (thankfully my husband is much better at those things that I, score for me!). So I’m feeling a bit lost when it comes to what I do and where I fit.

I try adding in volunteer work to fill that spot of “work” and that sometimes helps. But trying to fit it in with my own hobbies and my family can be hard. There are times I feel like those hours are time I should be spending on R but then when I have that time I often have no idea what to do with it. I feel like before R, there was work and Matt with a little bit of other stuff. But now with R I have R work, volunteer work, hobbies work, Matt, home ownership, chef, maid, teacher, dog sitter, you get the picture. It’s not that I didn’t have some of those things before R but I swear I had way more time then ha!

So I guess what I’m trying to say about this thing called stay-at-home mommying is I’m still trying to figure out what the f*** I’m doing. I’m trying to figure out where I fit into this equation of mother, housewife, etc. I definitely haven’t found my sweet spot. I’m not unhappy, there really is nothing better in life than being a parent, but I just don’t feel that same sort of heart pumping excitement I used to get with work.

It saddens me to say that. Seeing R count to 3 for the first time the other day was AMAZING but I’m missing that same excitement for myself and the things I do. I get lots of time to be excited for R and my hubby about all the awesome things they do but I don’t have things I do that give me the same “feel good” feelings work did. Sure I have hobbies, but I’m just not as good at them as I was work (although I have to say I’m getting MUCH better!).

I know it’s been two years, almost awwww, already but with a kid I feel like every few months is like starting a new job. Every time you think you have it down, they change. So here’s to pushing on. Keeping strong, going with the flow, and encouraging myself to keep figuring it out. Someday, maybe I’ll get there.

Father’s Day

I have a pretty awesome husband, I gotta say. He’s a great husband, great dad and just all around awesome! We just spent a fabulous weekend celebrating him. I had planned a fun filled weekend and it really was great.

For all of Matt’s gifts I love to have R help me and make something creative. So this year we made him a custom painting for his garage. I also made a couple dish towels and did R’s handprints plus got him a new flour sifter and rolling pin (not only does he build stuff he likes to bake too!)

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Friday we had an awesome date night! We’ve been cutting back on date nights to save money so it was much needed and SO much fun! We went back to one of our fave spots from our time living downtown San Jose, Chacho’s. Tequila shots and a chevla were a great way to start the weekend!

Saturday we had more family time and we spent actual Father’s Day taking a hike at Rancho San Antonio, visiting Deer Hollow Farm and playing in the creek. I love seeing our little girl with her daddy, she LOVES that man! I also got him an extra special present, an hour long massage! He works long days and then comes home to work on the house even longer so he deserved it!

 

How was your Father’s Day?

Baby Life – A few of my Favorite Things

Life with a kid goes so fast. I wish I had been better about writing things down with Ryley’s milestones but I always forget and by the time I remember I forget when it actually happened. Same thing goes for our favorite baby items and toys. So here is my post of trying to get the list out of my head and down on “paper”.

Newborn stage:

  • Rock ‘N Play – this was one of my FAVORITE things. I didn’t use it as a bassinet but would put her in it while Matt and I ate, I needed to go to the bathroom, really anytime. Ryley never liked the vibrating but she loved the rocking. It was a serious lifesaver and it was inexpensive. I highly recommend this one
  • Sound machine – there are a billion options but I think anything that has multiple types of sound options will work. Ryley still uses this for naps
  • Boogie wipes
  • G Diapers – I LOVE these things. We wanted cloth diapers but they were so big on Ryley. These come in 4 sizes and actually fit her well. Plus they hold more than disposables, and of course have far less waste
Infant stage:
  • Monkey bouncy seat – once Ryley was too big for the rock ‘n play we got this seat. Ryley had so much fun reaching for the monkeys and bouncing. This seat was quite useful when I needed to take a shower 🙂
  • Pacifier clips as toy clips – I happen to think this idea is genius! We use the pacifier clips and put them on toys and clip them to Ryley so she can’t toss them. This is great for restaurants, walks, etc. It’s also been really useful for teething toys
  • Gum brush – speaking of teething toys, this has been Ryley’s favorite
  • Korean play mat – this thing is mostly for me, it’s squishy and comfy for me plus good for Ryley crawling. I like it more than the puzzle type ones because it’s thicker, Ryley can’t take it a part and it’s easy to clean
  • Usborne Touch & Feel Books – Ryley loves books and these are some of her favorite!
Toddler stage:
  • Little People ride on – Anything that plays music Ryley loves but this one especially
  • Bubble Gum Machine – It was amazing watching her learn how to use this toy. How to put the balls in the top and press the leaver to release the balls
  • Kid Chair – She loves grabbing a book and climbing into her little Pottery Barn chair, so stinking cute! I also got another from Target. She loves both
  • My First Touch & Feel Cards – My dad got her the First Words edition for her birthday and she loved them so much we got her the rest of the set. They have great questions for parents to ask their kids too. She isn’t to that point yet but we will get there
Once I publish this I’ll probably think of other things that I love but for now these are some of the things I want to make sure my fiends know about 🙂
What are some of your favorite things?

Married Life – We bought a house!

Wow I can’t believe it happened but we’ve finally purchased our first home! When we first moved to San Jose our plan was to only stay for a couple of years and then move on to Austin. We even spent a weekend down there and checked out open houses. Pretty crazy what you can get for your money there!

Back to our new home…we finally bit the bullet and just went for it! The house is a great starter home. 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom at 1600 sq ft. It’s a cute little house with a bit of spanish flare. Before move in we worked on the house, the previous owners had a few interesting things set up in the house.

Before move in we, as in 98% Matt, we worked on –
1) Garage: They had built a laundry room in the garage so you couldn’t park in there. We took down that room and then need to put in some extra rafters to support storage in the top of the garage to house all my decorations

2) Family Room: In the 70’s they put in a conversation pit around their fireplace. They raised the floor and then dug in a hole for the pit. We had to pull up all the flooring, fill in the hole with dirt and concrete, grind down the concrete that was under to be smooth, patch in dry wall, lay new floor and put in a new sliding glass door. This one is a big project, we aren’t done yet but it’s been fun and really hard so far!

3) Outside: They had an old rotting wooden deck in the back. I took it out, BY MYSELF!! Woot woot, go me 🙂 So eventually we are going to put down a tile porch and build a pergola. It’s going to be very fun and relaxing place once we are done!

Can’t believe we did it! But we love our neighborhood and our house, even though it still needs some work. We are so excited to have our own home 🙂

Family Life – Grandparents

Grandpa and Bo-Gee (bonus grandma) meet little Ryley!

This past weekend my dad and his fiancé came down to visit and meet Ryley. They were here Thursday thru Sunday and it was a great time having them. It’s my dad’s first grand baby so he was very excited. Ryley is finally more alert so she got lots of grandparent cuddle and play time. We enjoyed time out, took them to Matt and I’s favorite restaurant Enoteca, playing in the pool and some delicious mac-n-cheese made by Shawn. I even had leftovers for lunch today 🙂

It’s hard not having family close by but it’s great that they get to visit. Matt’s parents were able to visit 3 weeks after Ryley was born. She was a bit more of a “blob” then but they are coming out again in October and she’ll have grown SO much by then!

Look how much she’s grown just in the three weeks between the visits! Her head is so much bigger, adorable 🙂 Miss Ryley is also Grandma and Grandpa Bossenbroek’s first grandchild and they couldn’t be more excited to have a little one.

Ryley is one lucky lady! She has the grandparents above plus Leigh Ann, and amazing GREAT grandparents. We are going to be heading back to Ohio for Christmas so that she can meet Matt’s grandma Lucille. She has quite a few great grandkids but is still beyond excited. We’ll have to figure out when we are going to take a trip to WA to see my grandma Virginia; this will be her first great grand baby! I’m so glad Ryley will have all of these amazing people in her life; she is one lucky lady!!

Thanks,