Stop the Comparisons 2017

We have a cousin who’s daughter is just three weeks older than H. We are very close so we see a lot of each other and for the first several months of their lives I realized I was always comparing our babies to each other. Not in a who’s baby is better than who’s kind of way, but in that I was always comparing their milestones and achievements. I always felt like H’s cousin was progressing faster than him and it freaked me out and I spent way too long worrying that maybe, heaven forbid, there was something wrong with my perfect baby. I (thankfully) eventually came to realize that there wasn’t anything wrong, but that they are two different people who do things differently than one another. H was farther along on some things and his cousin was farther along on some things. Sometimes I feel like I spent so much time on worrying that H wasn’t just like his cousin that I missed out on really enjoying the current stage he was in.

Since I became mindful that I was doing this, I’ve come to realize I actually do it…like a lot. With so many different areas of my life. I cannot even count how many times I have made myself feel small and inadequate because I have compared myself to other people who I swore had it more together than I did. I’ve really felt this as a mom and housewife. I have one child and am pregnant and its seriously a struggle for me to always have my whole house clean. Then I think of my sister in law who is pregnant with her fifth child, or 99% of my friends who have more kids than me – and they all have these clean, organized homes. I’ve spent countless hours crying while I clean my kitchen, feeling overwhelmed that I’m a bad wife because I can’t do this one thing as good as so-and-so. Its draining and its debilitating. I am SO good at comparing myself to others and its a really rotten talent to possess. I could give you so many examples of times I have compared myself to someone else who is seemingly very near perfect at something, then looked at myself and have felt instant misery because I wasn’t at the same place they were. It takes you to a place of sadness, heartache, depression and a loss of self respect and love.

I know my husband and son love me and appreciate me, but so often its easy to feel undeserving of such feelings. How could my husband truly appreciate me when the sink is full of dirty dishes, theres toys all over the floor, I don’t know whats for dinner and the bed isn’t made – and lets not even mention the laundry. How does my son still idolize me when I stick him in front of the tv so often while I have a meltdown or try desperately to catch up on housework? Its feelings like these that start piling up way too easily and swiftly drag me down to a place of feeling so bad.

Not that long ago I became really aware somehow that I was letting these spiraling thoughts into my mind way too easily. So I decided to try and actively fight these evil thoughts. Its really hard not to compare yourself to all the ‘perfect‘ people in your life. Believe me, I know this from experience. Its hard to feel like you’ve done some good in your life and the life of your family when someone else has an immaculate home, perfect child, well-trained dog, a homemade meal on the table and has perfect hair and makeup every day.

But guess what? That perfect person most likely feels just like you do. Who knows, maybe they even think you’re the perfect person they keep comparing themselves to. Its very likely there is something you do really well that someone wishes they, too, did just as good. The things you think you’re bad at, someone could be wishing they did more like you. The reality is that none of us are perfect – we are all just trying. And its a lot easier to try and be the best version of ourselves when we only worry about ourselves – not about the neighbor. Everyone is struggling somewhere in their life. They have days where they feel awful, too. Even that Lifestyle Blogger who only posts the pretty and perfect things going on in her life.

Actively reminding myself of these facts was a game changer. I obviously don’t always remember this and have plenty of pity parties. But when I do remember that everyone is just trying to get better and the only person who I should be worrying about is myself, I do a lot better.

Its so easy to compare and its really hard not to. But oh my gosh when you stop worrying about what someone else’s home and life is like – life gets 100% better. I have been able to take more pride in what I’m doing around the home. I am able to see why my family values me. I am better able to go throughout my day with a clear mind and light heart. I am happier and calmer and have a lot less anxiety. It makes me more confident and relaxed. It takes concentration, mindfulness and focus but forgetting about all the other perfect people makes my life seem a lot more perfect.

It has been the biggest blessing to be able to feel like I’m sort of getting a grasp on this. I know myself, so I know this will be a constant, lifelong struggle for me, but I am so glad I know how to combat these feelings too. Also, talking with family and friends has worked wonders. The people around you who love you will really boost you up and remind you of your worth and will be able to help you see that no one is as perfect as you fear they might be.

I imagine I’m not the only one who feels like this from time to time. If you’re one of these people I really hope this post gave you some ideas or gave you some hope. We are all just doing our best!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Back to Me!

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Finally at 22 weeks pregnant I am feeling almost 100% myself, again and I want to shout this good news from the rooftops! When I got pregnant with H, though I was really sick, I still felt *normal* as I could. I was able to get things done, I was able to find motivation even if it was just in small bursts, I was still myself more or less. But this time around it took me so long to feel that way. Like I said, I’m still not 100% but I can see and feel the changes finally. I’m able to keep the house clean, stay on top of laundry and do the dishes regularly. I can put effort into dinner again. I just feel so much better. So much more me!

This all came at the perfect time really because this past week poor H has been the sickest I’ve seen him. He got hit with a nasty bout of diarrhea and then also started throwing up. Just when I think he may be on the mend he has another yucky diaper or throws up again. Its kind of heart breaking. Seeing him laying on the couch for hours at a time just watching movies is sweet but also really sad. But thankfully now that I’m able to be motivated I’m able to keep up on the dirty laundry this poor sick boy has created in ever growing piles. I’m able to keep his room and bed (ohhh the messes that have happened in his crib) clean and sanitized and feel like I’m doing all that I can and should be doing to hopefully help him along the road to recovery. Its a good feeling – feeling like I’m able to give my all to being the best mom I know how to be to my more than deserving little guy.

I know this is a short, random little post. But I’m feeling really jazzed about feeling good. And really hoping H can join me soon in this feeling good party. ::fingers crossed::

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

 

Magical Monday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DISNEYLAND!

Full disclosure: I’m emotional as I’m writing this post.

Sixty-two years ago The Happiest Place on Earth opened to the public and in my opinion, the world has never been the same since. Disney brought a magic to the world that it lacked before and it continues to sprinkle magic through its parks, its characters, its apparel, its music, its movies and so much more. I am seriously so grateful that Walt Disney had a dream and that he stuck with it and didn’t let opposition get in his way – because a world without Disney sounds… depressing.

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I am sure I sound like a broken record by now because I’ve been saying this my whole life but I am so glad that I was born and raised in a Disney crazed family and I’m glad that my husband decided to fully embrace this lifestyle so we can raise our family the same way. Disney is the way to go. Its happy, its magical, it encourages curiosity, bravery, individuality and so much more. Theres a reason I fill my home with Disney quotes, pictures, toys, books, music and all the other paraphernalia I can get my hands on – because its truly the best and no matter how hard other companies try, there is nothing else like it.

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland! Thanks for all the magic.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

A Month with the Pup

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We have had our sweet puppy girl for a month now (well like a month and a week if you’re wanting to be technical) and I most certainly have some thoughts and feelings about this. So many of my friends have kids and dogs and they rave about what a wonderful thing it is to have kids who have dogs. I knew I wanted that. Wild Man and I always talked about how we were going to get a family dog but we weren’t planning on getting her until later. Getting her ended up being kind of a rushed decision, but I truly do not regret it. Yes, we have a one year old, a baby on the way and a puppy. It is a little overwhelming and crazy, but overall it has been a good thing. I got really frustrated with her the other day and I’m not going to lie, for a split second I was ready to text Wild Man and say we are selling the dog – I’m done. But then I thought about the month we’ve had with her so far and I honestly think I’d be devastated if we got rid of her. She drives me nuts but we already love her and she’s part of the family.

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By far my favorite thing about having a dog is the relationship that H has with her. Its no secret that she loves him the most and he adores her right back. If H could talk I have no doubt she’d obey his commands the best and quickest. H is sad when we leave her and when we come back she’s always most excited to see him. These two are going to be such cute friends growing up. However their friendship is not all sunshine and rainbows. I often refer to them as frenemies. H for whatever reason gets really rough with her sometimes. He loves to yank on her ears, pull her tail, poke her eyes, step on her while she sleeps and so on. She’s a good girl and doesn’t ever retaliate but I still feel bad for her. But she’s not innocent in this either. Her favorite chew toy is unfortunately still H. Its getting better though – thank heavens. 90% of the time, however, they’re the best of pals hanging out on the floor or her dog bed together, snuggling and bonding. I love it. I am so glad my boys have a dog to grow up with.

This next point is kind of good and bad I guess, but I love that she is challenging me. She motivates me to get outside, go on a walk or just sit in the grass when I’d rather be on the couch watching tv. She has also made me more patient and has greatly shown me where I lack in patience. She has also been awesome motivation to keep the house clean so she doesn’t chew up everything in view.

She’s picking up on training pretty quick and we are really proud of her. She is a lab and labs are kind of notorious for being easy to train and for picking up on things quickly. We can mostly attest to that. She caught on to house training and being crate trained within like 3-4 days and has rocked those ever since. House training was the thing I was most worried about but she has proven to me that she’s reliable and has got it down. We hang a bell on our back door that she rings when she needs to go out and she’s so good at it! Its a massive relief. She’s not awesome at responding to her name yet but she improves every day. She’s good at come finally, too, which is nice. She’s mastered sit and lay down and we’re starting some more tricks now like stay, shake, etc. We are also working daily on training her to walk good on a leash which 9 times out of 10 she’s great at. She’s really a good girl.

Then theres the biting. And she’s recently discovered her bark. Those two things kind of make my blood boil. I am so sick of being bitten by razor sharp puppy teeth! I know I got myself into this by buying a dog, but oh my heck I hate it. Everyone says its because she’s a puppy and she’ll grow out of it – I can’t wait. For now we are working with her best as we can. I’ve definitely seen improvement but theres also a long way to go. The barking is new. The barking is loud and ear piercing. This is our latest challenge we’re tackling head on because this just isn’t acceptable in my house (do i sound like a prude yet?)

So yeah. She is a challenge and she is a pain and she tests my patience hourly. BUT we love our girl and are very pleased with our quick decision we made a month ago to randomly get our family dog.

20/21 Weeks

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I wanted to do this post on the day I hit 20 weeks pregnant, but big shocker – I spaced it. I am now 21 and a half weeks along but I figure the updates are still pretty much the same as they were last week so this will have to do. I swear one of these days I’m going to get my life back on track and post more regularly and not always be so jumbled, but today is still not that day.

20/21 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE

  • I feel better this time around. I’m still sick and throwing up but not nearly as often as I did with my first pregnancy. I feel like I can comfortably eat more and have a higher chance of it sitting well.
  • I have got more energy the last few weeks and I have never been so thankful!
  • Baby Boy is a wiggler just like his big brother was. I started feeling him move frequently at about 19 weeks and he hasn’t really stopped since. Its still not quite strong enough to feel with your hand from the outside, but I do feel it all. the. time. on the inside. I think thats my very favorite part of being pregnant is being able to feel the little miracle moving around inside of you.
  • My body hurts more this time. The pain started quicker and is quite a bit stronger. I went to the chiropractor not long ago and he told me my body was holding myself as if I was 30+ weeks pregnant. My sciatic pain is pretty intense and my back and hips are aching almost constantly. I had all this with H, too, but I swear it started a little later.
  • Baby Boy has strong genes from my family, just like H. What this means is he’s got a big ol’ head. It is measuring farther ahead than the rest of his body, which is also what H did. What can I say, my family makes big headed babies!
  • I’m finally starting to feel more like myself. It took me a long time to feel ‘normal’ again after getting pregnant. I was so sluggish and it was almost impossible for me to find motivation to do my usual housewife tasks. It was really frustrating and led to a lot of feelings of guilt, failure and self doubt, but I’m really happy to say that I feel like just this week I’m getting things back under control and finding myself and will be able to easier be a normal human being.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

I Wants the Red Head

I just recently made a goal to blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Well here I am a week into this goal – its Friday – and I have absolutely no idea what to blog about. I had an idea but its turning out to be a much more detailed post than I’d anticipated so that one will come later. But now that leaves me idea-less. So if you don’t like my stream of thought posts where I just blab about whatever is currently on my mind, then I understand if you’re going to click the ‘x’ button in the corner now. But if you’re stickin’ around. Thanks.

So this is our topic today. Something I learned about yesterday that has literally been troubling my heart and making me sad. Do you know who this is?

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This is The Red Head from the ride Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland. She is in a scene on the ride where some pirates are auctioning off wives basically. A large sign reads, “AUCTION Take a Wench for a Bride” and the second bride in line is this stylish Red Head. The pirates watching the auction are yelling out, ” we wants the red head!” Its admittedly one of my favorite scenes. But in 2018 they are replacing the scene and I am devastated. Supposedly people are complaining because this scene is teaching our young children that women are objects to be bought and owned and thats its ok to treat women as a prize to be won/auctioned. Do you get what I’m saying? Its people freaking out about being politically correct.

I totally agree that women are not an object to be owned. But you guys, this is a Disneyland Attraction. They aren’t looking to make any political statements. This is how the ride has always been – its a classic! And if you want to get real technical, in the time of the pirates, this IS how women were treated! Its historically accurate (haha). I think what makes me the most sad is that Walt Disney had a hand in this ride. He was still alive to really take part in bringing this ride to life and now they’re changing it, taking a piece of Walt out of his very own park. It really bums me out.

Years ago they made changes to the ride where there are pirates chasing women around in circles because again, it was teaching the wrong thing about how women should be treated and I was bugged then, but replacing the infamous Red Head has me fuming. Rumor has it she will still be there. She’ll just be a pirate instead, helping gather loot or something like that. It will be interesting to see what they do. I just wish no change was being made in the first place. People are offended easily. I guess if the ride insults you so much, just stop riding it?

*Please keep in mind, these are MY opinions. Everyone has different thoughts – these are mine.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

So You Want to Buy a Puppy

Perhaps you are one of those folks who considers yourself a dog-lover. Maybe you’re a blanket animal-lover and have been eagerly looking forward to the day when you could finally find your family pet. Maybe your husband, who isn’t as much of an animal lover, has informed you the only animal he wants is a dog. You, who love all animals, don’t argue because dogs are awesome. So you find that sweet litter of puppies thats not too far from home and decide to set up a time to go look at them and pick your perfect puppy. Its a pretty overwhelming task at first because they’re all freaking adorable and you kind of just want to take them all home. But then they start nibbling on your toes and your child and you realize just one will do. So you play with them and really begin to eye that one specific one. You tell your husband to come over a little later and meet her. He likes her too but ultimately lets you decide if you’re going to really go through with buying a dog or not. Its really cute so obviously you say yes and a couple days later you come home with your newest, furriest family member. Congratulations!

But now what? Allow me to explain to you how your first few weeks will go, some of the thoughts you will feel and emotions you will undoubtably need to express somewhere.

First you will be thinking: YES! This is the greatest! This dog is amazing! I’m going to train her so fast and she’ll be the perfect dog in no time. She is going to stop biting my one year-old constantly because she totally understands that he is also her owner and wouldn’t dare bite her own owner! You’ll also start fantasizing about taking naps with her, taking her on long, effortless walks and how she’ll never have an accident in the house because you’re going to train her so well and if you’re putting in the effort, then so will she – duh.

Then you put her to bed in her crate for the first time. Ok, maybe she isn’t as perfect as you thought. She’s practicing her dog screaming/yodeling/crying and she’s getting an A+ at it. You lay in bed with your husband and each remind each other…she’s only a few weeks old, she’s a newborn, we just took her from her parents and siblings, this is fine, this is normal. But a ways into the musical practice you wonder what the return policy is on this new puppy.

You’re totally shocked when potty training is actually going pretty smoothly. See? You knew she’d be the best dog (and sleeping is getting easier for her too) Accidents in the house? Nope, not my dog! But then there are two days in a row where you find yourself having literal emotional breakdowns (maybe because you’re also pregnant) because the freaking puppy won’t stop peeing on the freaking carpet! You text your mom while you’re in tears and she brings over some amazing carpet cleaner thats safe for animals and babies and does the job, but still, who wants to clean up dog pee? Its gross and WHY is the smell so brutally strong? Its ok, this weird potty training regression only lasts a few days but you live in fear the rest of your days that when she’s sitting on the carpet she’s actually doing something else.

Remember how she’d never bite her owners – especially the baby? Wishful thinking, lady. She probably does love you and for sure really loves your baby – and for some reason that actually makes her bite you even more. You send a cry for help into the social media world for advice on how to make the biting stop and thankfully people are saints and send you tons of different ideas that worked for them. Some fail miserably with your dog, others are slowly working. The biting is still happening for now but you see a very itty-bitty light at the end of this pokey tunnel and you cling to faith that she’ll eventually stop using your flesh as a chew toy.

Then you strap her in to her cute new pink harness and you take her on one of those effortless walks. So its better than when you just walked her with her leash and collar (apparently harnesses make a difference?) but she is quickly informing you she doesn’t care if she’s a large breed of dog and needs lots of exercise. She wants to stay home and lay in her spot in front of the couch, under the ceiling fan and sleep. Walks are dumb. But you’re determined to be persistent. You load your one year old into the stroller, you tell your sciatic pain to chill for a little bit and you beg your puppy to use their dang feet as you physically drag her down the street. This too will get a little better, but she’ll still put up one heck of a fight at least once a day. Don’t lose your sanity. You are stronger than her! Or so I hear..

There may also come a day when your son puts all her dog food in her water then the two of them team up together and spill it all across your kitchen floor. Its the strangest consistency you’ve ever laid eyes on and you’re at a loss for how to even start cleaning it. So naturally you burst into tears and have a little meltdown on the floor for a few minutes before putting on your adult pants and getting the job done. And while you do the dog runs over and tries to eat some of your sons toys – I feel like that nightmare is a post in and of itself. That may be your toughest hurdle but people tell me it gets better, but has it yet? No. No, not at all.

Its not all bad though. You had dreams of this dog being BFF’s with your kids. You only have one so far but they actually both really like/tolerate each other and you’re seeing the beginnings of a beautiful friendship. Its exciting and motivates you to train her even more consistently so she can be that good (you’ve given up on perfect) dog even sooner.

When she’s had a long walk and is finally on the mellow side she’ll come and snuggle up next to you and stare into your soul with those puppy dog eyes and you melt a little and pat yourself on the back for making the wonderful, life changing decision to buy a dog.

Your husband gets home from work and she excitedly greets him (and doesn’t jump up on him like you’ve been working on!) and the whole family loves her a little bit more because that was a really cute sight. You calmly remind yourself the puppy stage doesn’t last forever and she’s well on her way to becoming a well trained member of the family.

There are the days when she’s really rocking her training and you’re so proud of her and even though she’s only 12 weeks old you feel like she’s mature beyond her weeks. Maybe, just maybe you did get a dog that has the potential to be perfect?

But then you look over at her and she’s gnawing on your shoe on top of the bath mat that she pulled from the bathroom, next to a puddle of her own urine. #doglife

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles