Ramblings of an Anxious Mama

I woke up this morning to the aftershock of an earthquake. This, coming after a terrible nights sleep because of a two year old who was having random ear pain all throughout the night and having so much anxiety all throughout the night because its like suddenly it clicked to me that I’m a pregnant woman during a pandemic. Then I started having these scary thoughts – we already know we won’t have anyone come in and visit after I deliver baby sister (even her brothers *cue sobs*), but then I started thinking about, what if Craig gets sick and he’s not allowed in either? What if I have to do the whole thing without him?

Then I remembered I find out soon if I have gestational diabetes again. Everything I’ve been reading has said that basically, jury is still out if being a pregnant woman makes you high risk for Covid-19, but I have read since the beginning of all this that being diabetic does put you at high risk. Does that include gestational diabetes? Not to mention, I just really don’t want to have gestational diabetes again – that was a low point in my life haha. The only food I can consistently rely on during my pregnancies is candy, so you can imagine how that just really, really sucks for me.

Anxiety is fun, folks.

This is all kind of ticking me off, because up until last night, I really haven’t let the stress and panic of everything get to me. I really haven’t, and thats incredibly impressive for me! I’m not great at remaining calm, but somehow I have been. Then I went to bed last night and my anxiety and dumb brain that won’t shut up got the best of me. Then, like I said, I woke up to news of an earthquake. Now I’m making a plan on what to do with my kids in case another one comes soon (or ever), and let me tell you, for an anxious person, making a plan like this does not necessarily calm you down!

I’m just trying really hard to be mindful and aware of things lately. Pay attention. Don’t let unimportant things distract me. Hug my kids tighter and, as always, wash the crap out of our hands.

25-ish

I very recently hit 25 weeks with Baby Sister and this ones really feeling like an exciting milestone. 25 weeks! Thats 15 weeks left of this pregnancy at the longest! I’m so glad time is passing – and moving a little faster every day. I think thats a benefit of subsequent pregnancies. You don’t have as much time to dwell on time and how fast or slow its moving when you have other kids to chase around. Its a pretty great thing that I’m grateful for.

I’m feeling so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside of me. She’s already blessed my life and is starting to give me hints of her personality stronger than she used to, and I’m loving getting to know her better and better. I can’t wait to meet her and get to know her even better. This little girl is really going to change the dynamic of our family – I can just tell and I’m eager to witness it all happen. Craig and I are making great progress in her nursery and I need to start working on organizing her closet/clothes/bows/etc and I know thats going to make it feel all the more real and exciting!

Now, just to mix up these periodic bump update pictures, here is a little collage of my three pregnancies, all at 25-ish weeks! You have Harrison first, Emmett in the middle and baby sister on the right!

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Little Ones in Disneyland Q&A

By far the topic I get asked the most about when I’m talking Disney with someone, is about babies/toddlers/little ones in Disneyland Resort. I need to start working on blog posts for each subject I get asked about pertaining to small ones in Disney so when I get asked about it I can send them a post where I’ve given my in-depth answers, but for now while I slowly start working on those, I thought I’d do a little Q&A involving the questions I get asked most frequently. I asked on Instagram for people to send in questions they had about this, and I’ve compiled a list of the questions I get asked most often when people are planning their trips to Disneyland and picked the questions I get asked the very most/I feel are most important to know. If I didn’t answer your question in this post, please reach out to me and ask! I love talking about this – Disneyland and little humans?! My two favorites!!

 

Is it worth taking my little one to Disneyland? 

I will forever and always answer yes to this. Yes. It is always worth taking your little people to Disneyland. I know, its another person to watch, another mouth to feed, another person to care for, another factor to add to stress – but if you let it, its also another source of absolute magic. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true. The youngest I’ve taken my kids to Disneyland is at two months old, and even at two months I think its worth it. I know they aren’t going to retain any of the memories, but they still are taking stuff in. I think about my tiny babies in Disneyland and seeing them stare at lights and watch their little limbs flail around when they get excited about these new things they see. Its also adorable to watch their reactions to the new sounds. When they’re a little older, even though they still won’t keep these memories throughout their whole lives, they still will have the time of their lives in the park and you will take the cutest pictures of that. Walt Disney said that Disneyland is for people of all ages. He meant it. All ages can love and appreciate this wonderful, magical place.

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What shoes should my kid wear?

Wear what’s comfortable. Sometimes my kids wear sandals, sometimes we play it extra safe and wear comfortable sneakers. I recommend wearing what you know they walk well in and what doesn’t hurt their feet.

Is it worth it to wait in character lines? 

If you want those adorable character pictures, then absolutely. I love character pictures, so I definitely try to make it into several character lines, but my current problem right now is that my boys want nothing to do with characters right now and do not want to meet anyone. Such a fun phase. So right now it isn’t a priority for us (unless I’m in the mood to wrestle them a little bit), but you can bet as soon as they show even a little bit of interest in characters, we’ll be back in line!

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Where do I nurse my baby? 

Wherever your heart desires! I mean really, there are so many good places to breastfeed in Disneyland. There is also a Baby Care Center in both Disneyland and California Adventure (click on my link to it – this place is amazing, I love it) where you can privately nurse in a nice, quiet area. I, personally, am a fan of nursing on Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean or the Disneyland Railroad because they’re long enough that my little one gets a good feed and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of activities while nursing. (does that make sense?) There are also benches galore, spots at restaurants to sit, you name it – I’m sure you could nurse there. I was also asked if there are any places you can’t nurse. To my knowledge, no. I am more comfortable nursing with a cover, so I feel totally fine nursing anywhere.

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Umbrella stroller or our big stroller?

I am team big ol’ stroller. I absolutely get the appeal of the umbrella stroller because its smaller and in theory, you could move around the park quicker, but I will never use an umbrella stroller because I refuse to sacrifice the comfier seats for my kids, the storage and the drink holders! I will happily accept that I’ll move a little slower in crowds with my big stroller (I use the Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller) knowing that my kids can take better naps in their reclinable seats, I can stick my bags, etc underneath and can store drinks, phones, etc in the drink holders.

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What are the stroller measurements now? 

Strollers can’t be larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.

What rides have no height restrictions? 

Way more than you think. Read this postI did earlier that maps out all the non-height requirement rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. (I know its a little dated – still has Bugs Land, etc, but you’ll get the general idea!)

Is it an issue if my toddler has a tantrum? Will they ask me to leave the park?

Disneyland Resort is so loud. More than likely, your kid, even while tantrum-ing will blend right in. Don’t worry about your noise, everyone is making their own noise and if you ask me, people need to be more accepting of the fact that kids will be kids! Also, I’ve never heard of a family being asked to leave the park because of a tantrum. I’m like 99.9% sure it doesn’t happen.

What age is the best time to go with a baby?

This one is tricky for me to answer because I love taking all ages, but if I had to choose one, I’d say 2 and older (broad, I know). Before age 2, I don’t know that they get into it quite as much, but once they’re two, they can understand rides, lines, characters, parades, fireworks, etc. Also, they’re still free when they’re two! (you start paying for their tickets at three).

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Should I do the rider switch/baby swap passes for rides? 

Absolutely. My husband especially swears by these – I think he’ll be real sad when we no longer have babies to use for this! With the rider switch passes you and your group go up to the Cast Member at the entrance of the line and tell them you need a baby swap pass. Then they’ll give you some kind of slip of paper. Then the first half of your group will go through the regular line and ride the ride. When the first group is done, the second group will then take the slip of paper to the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride and be able to go through the Fast Pass line and get on the ride. Thats the very simple explanation of how to baby swap. If you have questions on how it works, ask a Cast Member! They are friendly and ready to answer your questions!

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How do you do naps in Disneyland?

This is half the reason I love bringing my nice, big stroller to Disney – so my kids can take a nice nap in them and we can stay in the park. I’ll recline them in their chair, pull the shade over them, bring a light blanket for them to use if they want and let them snooze. Sometimes we’ll still walk around and do our regular Disney things, or sometimes we’ll sit somewhere quiet and let them sleep in semi-silence. However, I also think sometimes going back to the hotel for nap time is a beautiful thing. We don’t do that nearly as often, but when we do I never have regretted it. You know your kid the best though – you know how they’ll nap the best!

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What do you recommend we don’t miss with little ones?

I’m going to be broad here – but if its a ride that your child is tall enough to ride on/has no height requirement, I say go on it! I’d especially be sure not to miss Jungle Cruise, Small World, Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Casey Jr. Circus Train, King Arthurs Carousel, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Disney Junior Dance Party, Ariels Undersea Adventure, all the parades, fireworks (if they’re not too scary) and all the Main Street shows!

Are there good food options for little ones in Disneyland?

I will bring baby food in (pouches, juice, etc) when my babies are at that certain age, but with feeding my little ones in the park, I typically just let them eat what I eat. I’ll break it down into little pieces and give them what they’ll eat.

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Can I bring baby food/snacks/juice in?

Yes! You can bring any food in you’d like to. Also, if your baby is a baby food eater and you’ve forgotten to bring it into the park, they also sell baby food at the Baby Care Centers!

Should I try to get there at rope drop even with a baby/toddler? What about for staying until close?

This one is hard to answer because again, you know your kids better than anyone else. If you kid can handle getting there early at rope drop and it won’t make them overly tired or cranky or hard later in the day – totally try to get there at rope drop so you can get there when the park first opens and the lines are a little shorter. If your kid can stay up late without ruining their night, or will sleep good in the stroller while you wait it out until close, go for it. Just do what you know will be best for your little ones! I personally just play it by ear every trip because as parents, we know sleep schedules can change weekly!

Tips for going to Disneyland while pregnant? 

Its totally doable! Just be prepared to move a little slower and take extra breaks. When I’m in Disneyland while pregnant, I know that I’ll have limited rides I can go on, but I also give myself permission to eat extra treats 😉 I get pretty sick when I’m pregnant, so I also make it a point to know where the nearest restroom is at all times so I can run there to throw up if needed (fun fact: I have a list of my favorite restrooms to throw up in, in Disneyland). Other tips I have would be to stay hydrated, don’t be ashamed if you need to go back to the hotel for a nap, sit a lot – watch the parades, go to the shows, etc, eat a lot and don’t rush yourself! If you go when you’re big pregnant, I’d recommend renting a wheelchair, too. That was a lifesaver for me when I went at eight months pregnant.

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*****

I’d just like to wrap this up with saying, Disneyland can be so extra magical with your little ones there. I promise! Its more work, but its 1,000% worth it. Again, I promise. Seeing the magic through your little ones eyes, no matter the age, is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Also, if I didn’t answer your question here – like I said, please reach out to me!! I’m happy to answer you!! I just tried to answer my most frequently asked questions!

Have a great time in Disneyland!

xoxo

First Pregnancy Update!

I’ve been really excited to start these baby updates! I don’t know why, but keeping this pregnancy a secret for those first several weeks, was particularly tough for me this time around! I mean, first of all, my bump made its debut so fast, and I’ve just been so eager to share the news!! I know a lot of people were suspicious, so it was also a relief to finally tell people they weren’t crazy and I wasn’t getting chubby – its a baby!

Much like with the boys, I’ve felt pretty miserable. Lots of throw up and so much body pain, especially in my pelvic area, upper thighs and lower back. Oh, and my c-section scar has been hurting a lot too as it stretches – thats something new.

I have been graving sweet/sugary things. Candy and fruit are my current cup of tea and some of few things I can keep down. I also have gone through phases of craving chocolate milk, hot chocolate, greasy fast food and mashed potatoes.

I have lots of aversions. Sometimes I feel like absolutely everything sounds revolting. The worst thing for me has been the smell of my fridge and the smell of smoke or heat (ha that sounds so weird, I know).

At first, sleep was coming easy, but I’m now reaching the point where sleep is rough. Laying on my sides hurts my hips so bad, laying on my belly isn’t possible and laying on my back gives me instant heartburn.

I’m very low energy, low motivation. I feel like maaaaybe that is starting to ease up a little bit, but for the most part I just feel like a slug.

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I’m so very excited to add this baby to the family. Three kids! Thats so awesome!! It will also be really fun to have a warm weather baby! Life is good!

What I Hope We Remember from Summer 2019

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Dear Boys,

2019 has held my very favorite summer that I can remember, and I have you to thank for that. The season started off really rough for me. I was in a sad, frustrating, emotional spot and originally I believed my summer and maybe even the rest of the year would be stained with sadness. I wasn’t feeling motivated to be all that fun and push us to have an exciting summer. But as you two always do, you encouraged me with your adorable little voices, consistent begging and precious faces to at least try. So at the beginning of the summer I decided to go forward with the attitude of ‘fake it til you make it’ to have a fun summer with you guys. In no time, after several fun outdoor playdates, pool visits, splash pad adventures, evening walks, porch sits and so much more, we were having the best summer ever and I’d completely forgotten about the crumby beginnings of the season. Again, I have you two to thank for that.

Once the ball got rolling, I decided to dedicate the summer to you two. We didn’t have vacations planned or anything big and exciting in the warmest months of the year. So I let you guys call the shots and that was the best thing I could have done. We had a blast spending time together, the three of us, and times got even better when dad could join after work.

You two are so young still, so I don’t know what, if anything, you’ll remember, but I hope I can at least remind you often of what a great time it was. I hope we remember all the swimming in Grammy and Pops pool that happened – how Emmett gained so much confidence in the water, floating in his puddle jumper by himself and figuring out its not the worst thing ever to get water in your face, or how Harrison really started to get a grasp on swimming by yourself, pushing yourself and feeling brave in the water.

I hope you remember the trips to the farm, the zoo, the Museum of Curiosity and the Dinosaur Museum. You two were filled with wonder, excitement and lots and lots of enthusiastic pointing and squealing. You learned so much, you explored it all and you never wanted to leave. “I want to stay here forever!” – Harrison after leaving most places.

Then there were all the visits to the Splash Pad. I know we have access to our own private pool, but sometimes the Splash Pad was what you guys desired. Emmett hated it the first time. The cold water touching him upset him and he was happiest to sit on the blanket with mom, but by two or three times in, he was just as happy as Harrison to get in the water, to get splashed and soaked. Harrison made friends at the Splash Pad, he shared, he returned lost toys, he helped kids who fell down, he covered every inch of that place.

I hope as you two grow up, you always think back fondly to our family walks. We’ve done this since before either of you were born, but they just keep getting better now that we are adding kids to our evening walks. Our walks involve playful conversation, big decisions, lots of “I Spy,” animal watching and people watching, and so, so many questions from you two. Our walks are something I look forward to the very most with you little boys.

Lastly, I hope we remember the times in our very own yard. There were countless hours spent on the porch on the rocking bench, talking, watching birds fly by and chatting. There were hours in the front yard playing fetch with Penny, racing, playing Avengers and dinosaurs and riding our bikes and scooters. In the backyard, we had our tiny kiddie pool, sprinklers to run through and the large cement pad where thousands of chalk drawings were made.

There were so many wonderful, simple, perfect memories made this summer. I’m so happy for that time. I’m so happy that you two turned my whole attitude around. You two are wonderful and magical.

I love you to infinity and beyond,

Mom

Must Be Doing Something Right

If you weren’t already aware, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. I can’t tell you just how many times a week I wonder if I’m doing enough to teach my sons about the gospel, especially about Jesus Christ. I try to incorporate gospel lessons, discussions about Christ, reminders about things we’ve learned in our family scripture study and Come Follow Me study into our daily lives, and I make sure we have pictures of Christ, temples, etc up in our home, but I still feel like I’m failing them a bit. (Have I mentioned that mom guilt is the WORST?)

Over the past week I have been re-doing our living room – new paint, new color scheme, new decor, etc. As I was laying out our pictures and frames on the floor, trying to visualize where I wanted to hang them, Emmett walked over to the picture we have of Jesus. He got down on his hands and knees and got real close to the picture (like so close he kneeled on it) and just stared at Christ. I watched in silence as he pointed at Christ’s facial features and then, in an incredibly adorable act, leaned down and kissed the picture. Then he turned to me and exclaimed, “Jesus!” He said it in the same tone he chants “dad!” when Craig gets home from work.

I could tell that even at his young age, we have at least taught him that Jesus is his friend, that Jesus loves him and there is joy through Him and I could see in Emmett’s actions and the look of pure elation on his face that he really knew that.

I guess I must be doing something right, after all!

Being a Mother

This quote has been replaying in my head a LOT, lately. It sums up what I believe motherhood, for myself, to be, perfectly. Becoming a mom introduced me to a new, strong, exciting side of myself I’d never met before. It also gave me even more things for my already very worried self to fear. It opened my eyes to so many things, both good and bad, scary and exciting.

By far the thing that has most surprised me about turning into a mother is how in-tune to my children I am. I can confidently say I know them better than anyone else, and that’s empowering, overwhelming and awe-inspiring. I have been given a gift to receive personal inspiration about them and I know better than anyone else what is best for them at this point in time (oh how I know this will change, especially in their minds, as they grow older). I’ve only been a parent now for almost four years, but in that time I’ve felt a lot of power from those special feelings I, as their mama, receive. It’s validating and spiritual and like I said, so, so powerful.

I think if I could give any new mom, or mom-to-be a bit of advice, it would be this:

Only YOU are their mother. Only YOU have that deep, personal connection to them. YOU know what is best for them, yourself and your family and it’s ok to stand up for that even if it is unpopular, embarrassing or hard to admit. Stick with your gut. Follow your mother’s intuition.

I feel very passionately about this. I’m very lucky to have a husband who supports me and my intuition. I am lucky to have family who does as well. Lastly, I am lucky to have these sweet boys to mother.

Mommin’ Truth

I have good, good boys. I really do. They are sweet and my favorite little people in the whole wide world. We have way more good days than bad days, but it wouldn’t be real life if every day were 100% perfection, right? Right.

A few days ago was rough. So rough. It all started with a weirdly off and chaotic morning. The night before, E had a terrible nights sleep, so he desperately needed a great nights sleep and I really hoped he’d sleep in too. But that didn’t happen because early, early in the morning, H woke up screaming. And when I say screaming, I mean it. Screaming, kicking, yelling, punching, swinging and screaming some more. He kept yelling, “I don’t want to be home!” It took us a minute, but we realized that he’d woken up from a dream where he was at a splash pad and when he woke and saw he was no longer at the splash pad, he was ticked. Pair that with being half asleep and it was just a bad, loud, violent combination. Seeing as the boys share a room, there was no way E slept through the freakout.

So then both boys were awake for the day and the lack of desperately needed sleep really took a toll on their day and in result, our day, too. There were so many tantrums. So many tears. So many melt downs. So many fits. So much attitude. So much whining. So much stress.

I don’t blame them. I don’t function well under hardly any sleep either. Everyone has ‘those days’ and it just so happened that both my boys had one of ‘those days’ on the same day. Bad luck for us, but thats real life. Thats life as a parent.

It was a hard day. I was short with my husband. Short with my boys. Short with myself. It was, as H would say, “a tricky day.” It was absolutely a day that I went to bed feeling defeated and annoyed with myself and how I handled the day. Usually I feel like I’m good at being patient with my boys. More than anything, I want them to be able to feel how they feel. If they’re angry then I want them to feel ok about expressing their anger. If they’re frustrated or annoyed, I want them to feel free to express those emotions as well. Their feelings are valid and I feel like my job as their mother is to remind them daily its ok for them to feel whatever feeling they have. But I wasn’t very great at it on this particular day. I wished I could have a do-over.

Thankfully, the next few days following this hard day were much better. The boys slept, Craig and I slept. And our attitudes were much happier, calmer and kinder.

If thats not mom life, then I don’t know what is.

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The Motherhood Project – Back by Popular-ish Demand

I don’t know if you guys remember a few years ago when once, sometimes twice a week I featured a different mom on my blog. I’d post a picture of her with her kid/kids, and ask her a few questions all about being a mom. It was really fun and they were very informative and empowering, but then somehow they just kind of faded out of my regular blogging schedule. Every few months I’d have someone send me an email or DM and ask if I was ever going to bring that back and I always said, “yes, eventually.” Well I’m happy to say that eventually, is now! I’m bringing back The Motherhood Project!

SO!

If you would like to be featured on my blog, or you have someone you’d like to nominate to be featured, contact me any way you’d like (leave a comment, email, social media, text me – whatever!) and I’ll send you over the questions! If you have already been featured on my blog a few years ago and would like to do it again, no worries!! I’d love to re-feature you!! It doesn’t matter your age or number of kids, I’d just love to have you guest post on my blog!

I am so excited to get this project going again!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, or need a refresher, I’ll post a couple links to some of the features I did years ago, below.

The Motherhood Project: Sarah

The Motherhood Project: Felicia

The Motherhood Project: Katie

The questions you/your nominee will be asked are:

Your name & your kids names/ages (if you’re comfortable sharing)

Did you enjoy your pregnancy?

How was your delivery experience with your children?

Whats your biggest struggle when it comes to being a mom?

Whats your biggest strength when it comes to being a mom?

What is your parenting style?

What is your favorite part of the day with your child/children?

Who is an inspiration to you when it comes to motherhood?

Advice for fellow moms who need a boost?

Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? Favorite place to shop for your kids?

Whats your favorite product for yourself? Favorite product for your kids?

How has being a mom changed your life?

If this is something you want to do, get in touch and we’ll make it happen!! (my email is ceeceesparkles@gmail.com – or you can comment, contact me through social media, etc)

Mom Life Realness

I don’t know what it is, but lately day to day life has been hard! My boys have been hard and emotional. I feel like I’ve lost all of my mom-skills. My brain is scattered. My motivation is is chaotically unpredictable. My emotions, especially my anxiety, are all over the map. I feel guilt about everything – all the things. I feel like I’m just trying to survive each day and make it to bedtime without a meltdown or blow up.

I know its just a phase, but geez its exhausting! Being a mom is crazy and quite literally all the emotions and just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, you learn that you actually don’t.

What a ride!