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.

Runchkins – Kids fashion delivered to your door!?!?

If you know me well you know a few things – 1) I’m not great at creating my own stylish outfits, 2) I love StitchFix and 3) I love dressing my kid in adorable “mini me” clothes.

So when I heard about Runchkins, basically StitchFix for kids, I thought, “I HAVE to check this out.” I know what you’re thinking….why does she need fancy clothes for her little human that will outgrow them in 3 months anyway? Well I mostly did this just to check it out, I was crazy curious to see what they might come up with and yes, I’m a sucker for adorable boutique type baby clothes. Plus I figured the $20 styling fee was worth it even if I only keep one item.

My review? It’s an adorable idea but I’m not in love (like I am with Stitch Fix!!). The clothes just didn’t work for R. I’m kind of not surprised since she’s related to me and I struggle to find clothes that fit right. The outfits were pretty cute though! We had a fun fashion show 🙂

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This one didn’t work at all, it has elastic in the legs which just doesn’t work for R (she’s still got her baby thighs hehe). I also just purchased something similar recently so although I love the look I wasn’t upset about it not working.

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When I opened the box I LOVED these shorts, so cute! But they didn’t fit at all! If you check out the pic you can see the right side of the shorts have crept up her leg. Ugh, I know how she feels 😉

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Although cute it was actually too big. Sure I could keep it for future but I wasn’t totally in love. She did love the pockets, I too love pockets!

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This dress was not good. It’s actually odd, it’s long but a little short for a maxi AND the shoulder straps were way too long so if adjusted the length would have been even more awkwardly short. If it had fit I would have kept it though, it was really cute and fun!

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The shirt wasn’t really my style but I actually thought this one was so adorable! I was also in LOVE with the skirt. She wore it today and it was a hit! She looked so grown up in it too! I kept the skirt but not the shirt, I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d rotate through her closet since I don’t normally like screen printed shirts.
The shoes….I love the idea of these shoes because they are hand made in South Africa but who thinks white shoes for a toddler is a good idea? They are also elastic in the back and R has always had those types of shoes cut into her feet:

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The last outfit was very cute! A navy dress with birds on it. Love it, has enough detail to make it interesting, and she loved it! That’s how you know it’s a good purchase! I kept this one for sure!

If you want to check it out? Here is my referral link. Give it a try, worst that can happen is you pay $20 (styling fee) to have a fun fashion show with your little one. Totally worth the fun!

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?

How to lose your sanity in 5 minutes or less

The answer? Have a toddler…

Today was supposed to be a great day. We had plans with our Friday Adventure Group, more on that later, to check out Rancho San Antonio and Deer Hollow Farm. Then in the evening a fun date night with the hubby.

As per usual, things don’t always go as planned. R wasn’t having a great morning and said she wanted to stay home. She was being extra clingy and cry-ey (totally made that word up) so I thought it would be best to stay home. I was probably wrong….

So this story actually happened over the course of the entire morning, not just 5 minutes, but each instance was less than 5 minutes and each of them got me closer and closer to losing my marbles.

Anyway,  I decided it would be a great day to take the dogs for a bath at the groomer. Husband forgot to charge his car so he took mine and I had the brilliant idea of walking our two dogs and pushing a stroller the mile to Petco. One would think this should be an easy task right? Well not with my dogs. One likes to run and the other hates the leash but in the end we made it work without anyone getting (seriously) injured. After arriving at Petco we insert meltdown #1 – R was SO upset we were leaving the doggies behind. This meltdown was cute so I didn’t get upset and we went on our merry way.

Next stop, Target to get myself some coffee and milk (so I can have more coffee at home later). This is where we insert meltdown #2. Apparently leaving Target isn’t something a toddler wants to do. I totally understand, but if I stay too long I’ll end up buying the whole store so I drug her out and we headed home.

Back at home it’s time for lunch so I set R up with some homemade chicken nuggets and mustard (she ate more of the mustard than the chicken). At one point I had to “potty” (will I ever use adult words again?!?!) and I come back to find her bowl of chicken nuggets is now all over the floor. After asking her to help me clean them up and getting a very bitchy “no” back we insert meltdown #3. I put her in her Thinking Chair for 2 minutes with her timer and after the first minute she had calmed down. We talked and I convinced her to help me (as much as an almost 2 year old can and still with a bit of sass).

And lastly we have bath time. My kid LOVES the water, as do most toddlers, but I swear this kid is obsessed. Lately she wants a bath or shower daily, which was not our habit before. Either way, I let her do a LONG bath today because she was having a blast and we were practicing our ABC’s. She started to get whiny and after all the crying and screaming from earlier my ears and head just can’t handle much more so I decide it’s time to get out and have an early nap time (only 15 minutes early so shouldn’t be a huge deal right?). Getting that kid out of the tub….oh lordy. Kicking and screaming and yelling that she wants more water. Sorry kid, this is the exact reason we are heading for nap. Meltdown #4 is just too much for this momma.

Thankfully my kid also LOVES books so I sat down in her chair, pulled out a book and she came and cuddled right up and calmed down. Snuggling with that little human is one of my favorite activities and I try to soak it up as much as I can because I know she won’t always want my cuddles. But after that morning I sure was thankful for nap time!

In the end, what did I do? I worked out. Wrote up my own interval class, got out my yoga mat and rocked out in the backyard! I feel way better.

Growing What You Eat

I’ve never been much of a gardner. I remember being young and my grandma getting me out in the garden to plant flowers, I never loved it. But it sure is a great skill to have. You can literally feed your whole family but just growing your own produce. But you do have to have the time, the right garden spot, the right weather and some patience.

My first experience growing a veggie garden was in 2010 with my now husband. We had planter boxes in the backyard of our rental house and I wanted to see what we could do. He had been growing a few things years prior, like snap peas, but I wanted to do more. So we got out the gloves and garden tools and went to work. Zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, peas, and more. It was a fun weekend project. In the end the only things that actually worked were the peas, spinach (so easy to grow) and we got a HUGE zucchini. I have to say that giant zucchini gave me hope, hope that one day I could actually do something with this new found “skill” I wanted to develop.

Our next garden was 2012. We had moved to San Jose where you can pretty much grow anything all year because the weather is so great. We built two above ground planter boxes, and by we I mean my husband, and then planted lots of leafy greens and herbs. This one went TOO well. We could not keep up with the amount of kale and spinach we had so a lot of it ended up going to waste 🙁

Then again in 2014 at a new rental we did a small garden with leafy green and herbs. Thankfully we went smaller this time so we could keep up better. That year though none of our other veggies did anything so it was a bit disappointing.

This year I finally got the garden going! I’m doing a vertical herb garden using a pallet. This project was SO easy! Here’s what you need:

  • garden fabric (to protect from weeds)
  • soil
  • staple gun
  • seeds or plants

And here is what you do:

  1. Clean off your pallet and determine the size of each of your “pockets”. Mine were about 11 inches long and 4 inches wide and deep
  2. Using these measurements as a rough estimate cut out pieces of garden fabric for each section. I really didn’t measure exact. I made it a little too long and wide on purpose to make sure it covered well
  3. Fold each piece to fit in its section making sure that it covers the front, back and side of its section well20160528_203418
  4. Use a staple gun to attach
  5. Put in your soil and plant your seeds or plants

Easy as 1,2,3 (4 and 5 I guess too)

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I put the pallet piece in the center of our garden area. On the left are tomatoes, on the right peppers and in the middle we have some squash and broccoli. I can’t remember which I planted where but we will soon find out as we have some growth just starting to sneak up through the dirt 🙂

Once we collect our first harvest I’ll post more pictures. I’m really hoping we can get some tomatoes and peppers! Nothing beats fresh tomatoes off the vine!

What sorts of things have you grown in your garden?

 

Dinner Time

I’ve never been much of a cook so I’m always on the hunt for easy and healthy dishes to make for the family. I’m also one lucky lady because my husband is actually a better cook than I am AND he actually enjoys cooking. So in our family we’ve decided to switch off each week who cooks dinner. It makes it so neither of us get overwhelmed with too much cooking. We do two weeks a month where we order HelloFresh (post coming soon) so we have that for three dinners which also helps cut down on the stress of figuring it all out.

I try to keep it simple when possible and to keep costs down. So here are a few of my favorite go to options for dinner

Chili Mac – although this one isn’t crazy healthy it’s delicious and makes tons of leftovers! It’s toddler and husband approved too

Healthy Mac ‘n Cheese – I LOVE this stuff. I don’t use as much cheese as it lists and I change out the veggie each time I make it. I also will often add a protein. This one is very toddler approved and even my husband likes the “healthier” option

5 Ingredient Pesto Pasta – I LOVE this dish because it is literally the easiest thing ever. We actually had it for dinner the other night. Ryley also enjoys this one, but without the leafy greens

Salsa  Chicken – this one is great because it can be used in so many ways! We make burrito bowls, salads, mix it with rice, quesadillas, the options are endless. R likes it with some greek yogurt and avocado for lunch. The one I normally make  it actually just chicken, adobo seasoning  and salsa. I vary the salsa to keep  it fun

What are your favorite simple go-to meals?

Granny Panties

As I sat doing laundry the other day and “folding” my underwear, I realized I have way too many pairs of old lady underwear. I bought these when I was pregnant and preparing for postpartum recovery. Everything I read talked about how much I would be bleeding afterwards so to buy some crappy but comfortable underwear you didn’t mind ruining. So I went on Amazon, because I definitely didn’t want to be seen in Target buying these things, and purchased 10 pair granny panties.

But, lucky for me I didn’t have a huge amount of bleeding. So all those granny panties i bought? Well they were not ruined and instead I’m actually wearing them. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that I’m wearing this bad of granny panties. Don’t get me wrong I love my bikini style underwear but these ones? These ones are just not good. They have thick waistbands, thick fabric, and lots of them are white… It’s like I’m wearing men’s whitey tighties. I’m sure you ladies understand what I’m talking about, we all have our Period Panties.

So.. I’ve decided. It is time to take back my underwear drawer. I’m headed to Victoria Secret, semi-annual sale anyone, to get some new options that make me feel great about my post-baby body. Who’s with me?!?!

Pinterest Addict

One of my favorite things to do is browse Pinterest. I’ve been using it since before our wedding and have been addicted since. There are so many awesome things out there, now I just need to find the time and motivation to actually do all those things 🙂

So this summer I made a Summer Bucket List board for all the great projects I want to work on. There are LOTS of things on there and I’m hoping I can actually get most of them done.

I’ve started work on the entry hall – pictures to come. I’ve also been working on the play kitchen. In fact I had a fun time setting it up the other day to “make sure” all the accessories I had purchased fit 🙂

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With R’s birthday coming up I’ve also been doing LOTS of DIY decor

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And the garden is coming along too….(sorry for the dark picture, this was at night and I haven’t had a chance to get a new pic)

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I’m working on lots of other projects too. So many things at once, I’m a total multi-tasker. I’m never the type to keep to one project until it’s done. I get bored, so I try to mix it up and have lots of things going at once. My husband is the total opposite, he’s not exactly good at multi-tasking 🙂

What sorts of projects do you have on your list?

 

Gym, Gym & More Gym

If you followed my previous blog you know that I’ve become somewhat of a gym person. Gym might be the wrong word as I’m not at a typical gym but rather Lift which is a Barre + Cycle studio. If you knew me prior to having a kid you are probably surprised by the fact that I now go to the gym at all, let alone at least 3 times a week!! And if you only know me post baby you’re probably surprised that I wasn’t a gym person prior to the babe.

Let me tell you – I’ve tried. I’ve joined gyms, gone a few times, stopped and continued paying the monthly fee for months, if not years. But I’m no longer that person. I’ve found what works for me.

It all started in September 2014. My friend Sally asked me if I wanted to do a barre classes with her at Barre3. Scared out of my mind, I agreed. The first time I walked into that studio I was SO nervous. A little bit for leaving my 2 month old with these people but mostly for myself. I had a fear of doing group classes because I wasn’t in great shape and didn’t want to embarrass myself. But I put on my big girl panties and went for it! Even after the first class I knew I loved it. Everyone was so nice right when you walked into the studio and the instructor was incredibly helpful. I realized, the other people in the class are all at different fitness levels too. No one cares if you can’t hold a plank or do very many push-ups.

I started out going once a week, then twice and eventually three and sometimes four times a week. At one point I moved from Barre3 to Dailey Method because of nap schedules for R. Then I stuck with Dailey Method, now Lift, and love everything about it! Lift is great because there is Barre, Heated HIIT, and Cycle classes. I don’t cycle much but I LOVE the Heated HIIT program. It’s got all the moves from Barre but in a heated room and fast paced. It keeps your heart rate up and keeps you SWEATING. I even did a Dry Tri last weekend where we did 45 min Heated HIIT, 45 min Cycle, and 45 min Barre classes back to back!

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So long story short, I’m a gym person now. I take R at least 3 days a week and we dredge the 25-30 minute drive over to Lift so that I can start out my day feeling good. Honestly, I’m a better momma when I get my workouts in regularly. I have more patience and I’m more attentive when I make sure to take time for myself too. Added benefit, R loves the childcare and I think it’s good for her.

Do you go to the gym or do some other sort of exercise? If not, I really do encourage it. Literally NEVER worked out regularly before this and now I’m hooked. Give it a try 🙂

Sugar

When R was a little baby Matt and I watched the Katie Couric movie, Fed Up. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about the obesity epidemic in America and how sugar in processed food is a huge cause. A portion of the movie talked about how all of this sugar affected children too. This part especially stuck with us.

So as R is growing up I try to be incredibly conscious of the processed foods and added sugars that are in the food I feed R. My friends probably think I’m a little crazy but I’m hoping  that I can teach R how to make good choices with food.

Now don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy going out to eat. I just make sure that when we are eating at home we make sure to stick to healthy eats. Here is an example of a daily menu for R:

Breakfast: One egg, plain greek yogurt, and blueberries – The only whole fat greek yogurt I’ve found consistently is Fage so we go with that. I never even realized how much sugar is added to the flavored yogurts! Now we use greek yogurt for everything (it replaces mayo, sour cream and cream)

Lunch: Half a PB&J sandwich, avocado and fruit – I use “healthy” bread, although bread really isn’t healthy ha, All Natural Peanut Butter, and homemade Jam (I LOVE making my own) so the peanut butter and jam have no added sugars and bread has very little

Snacks: Cheese stick, hummus & veggies, freeze dried fruits

Dinner: This one varies a lot, just depends on what we are eating but this is where we try to get her most of her veggies and meat (my kid will definitely never be a vegetarian ha)

Costco is also a great place to find healthy, no sugar added, and organic snacks for the little ones. They have an apple sauce R is obsessed with, fruit leathers,blueberry seed bars, and more. Unfortunately they tend to rotate through all of these goodies so you never know what you’re going to get on any given trip. I also try to make fun snacks to have on hand too. In the picture there are blueberry oatmeal muffins, they use honey, and broccoli cheese balls that are deliciously yummy! Plus the homemade jam, I’ll share that recipe soon!

So I’m no where near perfect. We love Mod Pizza, Chipotle and lots of other eating out but that’s why I try to focus on eating healthy when we are at home. It’s all about balance, the 80/20 rule. I’m better at sticking to it for R than I am for myself, but I’m getting there 🙂

What are your favorite healthy snacks for the kiddos?