Magical Monday: Your First Trip to Disneyland Resort

We are gearing up for E’s first trip to Disneyland and I am so excited. He’ll be three months old and obviously will have not even the smallest memory of this vacation. But guess who will remember his first trip to Disneyland Resort? Me.

This got me thinking. Maybe some of you have never been to Disneyland. If you’re one of those people… This post is for you. If the day ever comes and you find yourself in the happiest place on earth this is what I, a seasoned Disney visitor, suggest you make sure you do on your first trip there. The list is short because you want plenty of time to explore Disneyland without feeling like you have to stick to some kind of guide. But these are the things I think everyone needs to experience on their first trip to DLR!

  • Go to City Hall (to your left right as you’re entering Main Street) and get yourself a First Visit button. Then wear it with pride. Cast Members pay close attention to your buttons – who knows, they may just provide you with a little extra magic knowing its your first time there!
  • Make at least one dining reservation. There are so many great places to eat in Disneyland. You can even bring your own food in if you’d like, but eating at a sit down place at least is really nice. There are character dining options – my favorite is Breakfast with Minnie at Plaza Inn (end of Main Street) and options without characters – my favorite is Cafe Orleans (in New Orleans Square).
  • Get yourself a pair of ears! Wearing a Minnie Mouse headband or a good pair of Mickey ears almost instantly ups the magic factor in your vacation. It adds a little more of that Disney sparkle in your pictures and it helps immerse you in the Disney scene.
  • Eat a treat at Jolly Holiday. Just do it. You won’t regret it. Might I suggest the Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron?
  • Also eat a Dole Whip. You get them at the Tiki Bar right outside of Tiki Room in Adventureland. If you want extra magic, buy your Dole Whip and eat it while watching Tiki Room.
  • Watch the parades/shows/fireworks. They are some of the first things I think about when I think of Disneyland. They bring so much magic – and if you have kids, they especially love the parades!

Thats it! My quick suggestions of the things you absolutely have to do on your first trip to Disneyland! If you are planning a first trip and you need some pointers or tips – lets chat! You know I’m all about talking Disney with you!

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Lots of Feelings

You guys!

I have all the feelings and emotions and my heart is so full.

A couple days ago I posted about our little H and his newly diagnosed Speech Delay. (link to that post here) The response I have got to that post has blown my mind. I really hoped it would be a post that was helpful even to one other parent out there, but this post reached so many more people than I anticipated.

I have received more messages and private comments on that post than I ever have before. So many parents have reached out to me and have told me about their experience with their own child/children with speech delays. I was given so many words of encouragement, advice and well wishes. You have no idea how much it means to me. Honestly, I’m not that stressed out or concerned about H’s speech delay. This is a common ‘issue’ and I know we have taken the correct steps in helping him catch up on his speech. I feel really good about where we are at and I feel so much peace still since getting him screened and finding out he would benefit from speech therapy.

Not only have I got a lot of comments from parents who have been through this, but I have got even more comments from parents who have been where I so recently was. I have had so, so many moms reach out to me telling me how they’ve been concerned that their child has a developmental delay. Lots of wonderful, stressed out mommas have sent me messages saying they have been suspicious for however long that their child has a speech delay. I’ve been thanked for posting about our experience and helping instill some confidence and bravery into other parents so they will reach out to their pediatrician about their concerns.

I have also been asked for a lot of advice. I’ve tried to answer everyone, but in case I missed you – I will post more advice. But it will be later. We are still at the beginning of this journey. We have only barely began speech therapy and I’m still pretty clueless. But I know how it feels to feel alone and stressed out, so I promise you that as we gain experience and knowledge, I will share more advice with you. For those of you sweet women who asked me if I’d start doing videos about H’s speech therapy – yes, I will. I have actually been dabbling with the idea of starting a YouTube channel (is that embarrassing?) for a while and I think this is kind of my big push that will get me to really start it. Again, it likely won’t be for a little bit though. So stay tuned.

So thanks you guys. Thanks for the kind words and advice. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for telling me that post helped you. Thanks for being brave and putting your child first and planning to talk to your pediatrician if there are things about your child that worry you. Thanks for loving H and giving him your best wishes. You guys are amazing.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Speech

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It was a few months ago that I really started to realize that H wasn’t talking as much as other kids his age. He wasn’t even talking as much as kids several months younger than him. You hear all the time about kids who just start speaking later than ‘normal,’ and I just assumed that was what H would do. Just to get some help/ideas to assist him in maybe even trying to speak a little more, I talked to a friend who is a speech pathologist and got some advice from her. She gave me great advice that I immediately started implementing into our daily life. I didn’t tell anyone about my suspicions that he was a little behind in language. Not even Wild Man. I’m so quick to worry and blow things out of proportion and I was sure that was what I was doing so I didn’t want to drag anyone down with me. I used the advice my friend had given me and hoped and prayed I was just overreacting. I kept waiting for that thing you hear moms say all the time, “one day he just started talking like crazy!” I waited and waited..

As time went on and I kept on worrying I did something I very much regret. I went to the internet and went down a rabbit hole. A terrible, evil rabbit hole. I started doing research on toddlers with speech delays and how to identify if they do in fact have one. This ‘research’ led me to several hundred other articles (not exaggerating here) that sent me into a scary downward spiral. I was reading articles about how a speech delay is also a sign of several other much bigger issues. So then of course I start reading about those other issues/delays and next thing I know, I’m 100% convinced that not only does he have  some kind of speech disorder, but he also has this, this and this. It was the crappiest, scariest feeling. I physically and emotionally was hurting like I never have before. It was such an alien feeling. The thing was, I knew nothing would change if I did find out he had a delay or two – I would still love him and my opinion and attitude of him would not change. I just hated not knowing for sure. I still kept it quiet for several more weeks. I was probably overreacting. Thats what I kept telling myself over and over again. But I could never shake the aching feeling.

Finally, I decided to be brave enough to talk to Wild Man about this. One morning I just sent him a text addressing my concern. Come to find out, he was just beginning to be slightly suspicious that he was a little behind with speech. But then his crazy wife texted him and he too went down the dangerous rabbit hole – also becoming terribly stressed out and worried – stuck in this yucky rut of feeling completely helpless and confused.

It felt so good to not be the only one worried anymore, but I also felt bad for dragging Wild Man down with me. It wasn’t a fun place to be. So we quickly decided we wanted to talk to our pediatrician about our many concerns about H. Our little E had his two month check-up coming up the following week. I texted our pediatrician (he’s a family friend) and asked him if he’d have time to talk about these concerns or if we should schedule a separate appointment. Thankfully he was able to make time during E’s appointment to address our questions. The day of the appointment came and I was so anxious! Our doctor told us he didn’t really think we had anything to worry about. Boys apparently statistically speak a little later than girls and since H wasn’t even two and a half yet he said it wasn’t really anything to stress about. Except he knows us and he saw it in our faces and actions – we were stressed. So he gave us the information of a highly rated company in our area that screens children three and under for speech delays (and other developmental delays). We weren’t even out of the parking lot and I’d already logged onto their website on my phone and was filling out the form to talk to someone about getting H screened as soon as possible.They would even screen him for some of the bigger delays we’d worried ourselves about – not just speech. Our doctor didn’t think he necessarily needed those particular screenings but he knew it would give us peace of mind. We just needed answers.

We had the screenings. We said 8 billion prayers. Our testimonies of prayer and faith grew incredibly. A few days ago the answers came back. H has a speech delay. Thats it. (I hope you’re learning from my mistakes – don’t let the internet diagnose your child. Talk to professionals – they know way more than you/the internet. Also if something is worrying you, don’t keep it private for months. Its toxic and painful.)

We have just begun Speech Therapy. Right now I really have no idea what the future holds. I don’t know how fast H will catch up on his language and communication. I don’t know if it will be pretty simple, I don’t know if it will be hard, frustrating and stressful, I don’t know if it will be somewhere in the middle. We are just at the beginning. You know, maybe he is just a late talker – turns out Wild Man didn’t really start talking until he was three. H could just be following in his dads footsteps. Maybe one day he will wake up and be a chatterbox. There is no way to tell. What I do know is I’m grateful I talked to Wild Man and we talked to our pediatrician then talked with the company that is helping us with Speech Therapy. I feel good about the decisions we made once I finally opened up. I feel good about the help he is getting and I am so confident in H. He is smart, attentive, curious and a good, good boy. He’s going to rock speech therapy. I’m already so proud of him and the progress he has made. He has a family that loves him unconditionally and is very supportive. We are his greatest cheerleaders.

There is nothing this boy of ours can’t do.

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Spiritual Sunday: Mom-Love

Sometimes being a mom is really, really hard. Not for the reason you automatically think though. Its not because my kids are hard – I’m actually very fortunate to have two good, very well mannered boys. I’m lucky. Its hard because I make it hard. Its taken me a while to admit that I’m the reason I feel the way I do sometimes. Its not always hard, but lately its hard a lot of the time. I know without a doubt that its because I AM SO DANG HARD ON MYSELF. I expect myself to be strong and tough and perfect and flexible and able to function while spreading myself thin. I have this vision of a ‘perfect’ mother and for some reason I get caught up in expecting myself to be that mom. That mom that 100% does not exist.

Am I the only one like this? I sure hope not. I tell myself I’m not. Thats why I’m doing this post. In case there are other moms who get stuck in this rut of mom guilt and being really, really, really hard on yourself and you need a boost. Maybe I can be a small little boost for you.

When I’m needing my own boost I typically turn to words. In writing and venting it out, yes, but also reading other peoples words. I’m all about inspirational, uplifting quotes and scriptures that instill hope. Over the last couple weeks of battling my mom-demons I’ve compiled my own list of moral boosting quotes and I’ll be sharing them here today with you guys. I hope at least one can make you feel a little lighter and more confident in yourself. Because ladies, we as moms are freaking awesome. There is no reason for us to be so hard on ourselves. As long as we love our children, ourselves and are doing the best we can – then we are being good mamas. Promise. Easier said than done, I get it. But for real. We are good and we are strong and amazing and everything our children need.

“God will be as close to us as we will have him.”

-Marvin J. Ashton-

“Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren the Laminates and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”

-Alma 26:27-

“We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.”

-President Thomas S. Monson-

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

-Jeremiah 29:13-

“She woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. How beautiful it was that she always chose herself.”

-Tyler Kent White-

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

-Isaiah 4:10-

“Your prayers for those in need are heard and answered by a loving God. He neither slumbers nor does he sleep.”

-Henry B. Eyring-

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

January Favorites/Beauty Talk

I kind of fell off of the monthly favorites and beauty talk train there for a while, but I’m back and excited and hope I can at least do a few months in a row! Also maybe this will finally be the year I make a video of my favorites instead of a blog post. Time will tell.

Dr. Brandt Luminizer Primer. This primer is so nice! It feels so good on my skin and gives my foundation a pretty little glow. Its expensive and I’m still deciding if its worth the price, but since I have it – I do like it! Will I repurchase? Not sure. I feel like for now this will be the primer I save for special occasions. IMG_4445

Tarte Tarteist Mascara. I didn’t have high hopes for this mascara, but I should have because its great. It isn’t as much voluminous as it is lengthening so I wear it when I’m doing more of a natural look and want long pretty lashes. I definitely recommend this.IMG_4446

Big Sexy Hair, Push Up. When I’m pregnant my hair gets a lot thicker (and so far has stayed that way!) and with my last pregnancy it also got really, really silky. It feels amazing, but it has no texture or hold to it at all. A friend recommended this and its saved me. It puts texture in my hair and now it will finally hold a hairstyle! IMG_4447

Real Techniques brush in 300. Ok, I admit. I bought this brush because of the pretty handle. But its actually a really good brush! I typically have great luck with Real Technique brushes and this one is no different. I’ve tried using it for a few different purposes and my favorite is when I apply my all-over powder. Its soft, pretty and does the job.IMG_4448

Too Faced Best Year Ever Shadow Palette. My sister gave me this for my birthday in December and I haven’t stopped using it. Look at all those pretty colors! There are mattes and shimmers and they all have great color payoff and the packaging is adorable. My favorite shades are Secret Santa (fun transition color), Workshop, Dollhouse and Elfie Selfie. IMG_4449

Physicians Formula Blush in Plum Rose. Have you smelled these? The smell alone is a big selling point to me. I’ve had this blush for quite a while but haven’t used it much because it looks like a really light bronzer to me. The other day I tried it out again and now I’m mad at myself for avoiding it so long. Its not bronze at all. Its really pretty dark rose color thats so flattering. I love this. IMG_4450

Pur Bronze and Brighten Palette. I’m not so much a fan of this bronzer. Its pretty, but its far too shimmery/sparkly for my liking – especially for a bronzer. The bronze color does make a pretty eyeshadow color though! The blush and highlight though… oh my gosh. Super pigmented and creamy and BEAUTIFUL. IMG_4454

Wet’n’Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose. I wanted to try some cheap lipsticks that claim to be long wearing. I found a winner. There are a lot of different colors but this one is definitely my favorite I’ve tried. IMG_4455

Bed Head Small Talk. Again, wanting more texture and wanting to add a little somethin’-somethin’ to my hair I tried this and I LOVE IT. It also smells incredible. I apply two pumps into my wet, clean hair and it works wonders. It has many claims and I really feel like it holds up to all of them!! IMG_4456

What were your favorite things/products this month? What do I need to try in February?

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

A Listening Ear

I’ve had the itch to start blogging semi-regularly, again. In my kinda-sorta blog hiatus I’ve come up with a lot of ideas that I’d like to post about, the issue was just finding the time. My little boys take up a lot of my time and I love it and wouldn’t want it any other way so I have no real plans of switching my priorities around, but I’ve decided when I do find some spare time, and if I’m in the mood — I should blog.

 

As I’ve been searching my list of blog post ideas, its been kind of hard for me to decide what to post about first. So I decided to start at the top of the list. The idea simply says, “I’ll listen to you..”

Let me tell you where I’m at right now. I have a two year old and a two and a half month old. I also don’t have a car during the day (Wild Man sold his car and now drives mine to work while we wait for his car to be ready to bring home). Thankfully my very nice mama lives close by and will drive me places if I need to go somewhere, but I don’t like feeling like a burden of hers so for the most part we stay at home all day long, anxiously awaiting Wild Mans return from work for some new entertainment. I love being ‘stuck’ with my boys (i have mixed feelings about being stuck with the dog) and I want to make it clear that I’m not complaining. But sometimes motherhood can feel…well it can kind of make you feel like you’re going crazy. When I spend most of my day trying to communicate with The Captain and baby talking to my babbling newborn I love almost every second of it, but there are also those moments where… I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here. Moms put their kids first 99.9% of the time. It just gets exhausting sometimes and in a weird, not-all-that-bad way, you feel like you’re also kind of losing your old self. I’ll leave it at that.

There have been days where more than anything I just can’t wait to talk. To anyone who will listen to me. Preferably Wild Man. But my mom, sisters, mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are amazing at letting me just talk as well. The majority of the time I talk about my boys. I talk about my day. I talk about how I live in constant fear and worry and have anxiety about things that are completely silly. But it feels so good just to talk and be listened to. I feel less alone. I feel more understood and it gives me back that piece of myself I feel like I sacrifice sometimes. My family will never understand how grateful I am that they just let me talk and that they listen.

I want to return the favor. Even if I don’t know who you are and no matter what stage of life you are in, but especially if you’re in the stay-at-home-with-babies phase of life, I will listen to you! I have my email here on the blog. If you need to talk and you are feeling alone, losing yourself or just need to get some words out there, no matter how crazy or ridiculous they may seem, I’m your girl! I know how vital communication with other adults can be. I know how therapeutic talking can be. Please, if you don’t want to/can’t turn to anyone else – talk to me! I’m a real good listener and I think I’m a good friend.

I will listen to you! My email is ceeceesparkles@gmail.com (and if you know my phone number, text me!) Lets talk. About anything!! I’m here. I’ll listen to you..

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

January GBOMB

I like to look at each new year as an opportunity to grow. I know that the year will bring its own unique challenges and hardships but also its own joy and excitement. I went into January 2018 with an open minded attitude – just a lot of anxiousness about the new chapter.

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GOOD

  • I have been doing so good at my goal of daily exercise! I feel good and dare I say it, even look forward to my daily sweat. I haven’t seen results yet, but I have felt them. I feel stronger and know I’m moving myself in the right direction. Its exciting and definitely makes the annoyance of daily work outs so much more worth it. …and less annoying.
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  • My testimony of prayer and relying on the Savior has grown by like 1,000% this month. Long, personal, private story – but seriously you guys, I am a changed person because of this.
  • My words of the year are Kind, Brave and Time – and I am remembering those words daily and I feel like I’m doing a good job at making them me. Especially, Time. I have spent a significantly smaller amount of time on things that don’t matter and so much more time really engaging with my sons and husband. It sounds silly and I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but I have learned so much more about these boys. My relationship with them has grown and my life just feels better, more balanced and purposeful. Its incredible.
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BAD

  • No lies, the first few weeks of January were awful for my brain and heart. The anxiety I felt on top of my already raging postpartum anxiety and depression was crippling. I can’t even count how many times I had full on mental breakdowns. My house suffered tremendously because of it and when my house is messy, often times my brain is too. It was a vicious cycle that seemed kind of unbeatable at times. I felt so helpless and exhausted about quite a few things. Every day seemed like a challenge and my heart could barely handle it all.
  • I’ve been having some body image issues. I gained a little weight while pregnant with E and I hate that it isn’t just magically gone somehow. I went through a little phase of time where I hated seeing myself in the mirror because all I saw was access weight.
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ON MY BRAIN

  • Our sweet Prophet, Thomas S. Monson passed away this month. Of course its sad, but thinking of his reunion with his sweet wife in heaven…oh man, the thought still just gets to me.
  • We kind of attempted to start potty training. Some days H seemed so into it and others not at all. I don’t know what to do at this point? He’s kind of young for this (i think? – he’s 26 months) so I’m not necessarily pushing it.. But if he’s interested then maybe its best to pursue this? I don’t know. Its all just weird to me. How do I have a kid old enough to do this? Also, potty training a boy… its dangerous. #alwaysaimdown
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  • My little sister is on Drill Team and they had Regions at her school and I was able to go. She was so good and her team did awesome! Also, I cried through each of her dances and the Drill Down. I’m quite a bit older than my sisters and the age gap kind of makes me feel like they are my own kids at times and I was so stinkin’ proud of her!!
  • We did not get enough snow this month. Not at all. Like, where is it?
  • I finally got new pictures for our home that included little E. It made our home feel so much more complete and exciting! There is something about pictures throughout my house of my cute family that just make my heart all warm and fuzzy.
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