Happy 2nd Birthday, Buddy!

Two years ago our worlds changed forever and for the best when our sweet baby H was born – making us parents and making us the happiest we have ever been! I always, always knew I wanted to be a mom and was constantly dreaming about the day that those dreams would come true. I had high, high expectations and knew I’d love it. But wow. H exceeded those expectations by so much and I love being a mom much more than I ever could have imagined I’d love it. He has always been so easy going and calm. He is genuinely good and as he’s got older, he actually tries to do good too. I am forever smitten by this precious boy and am forever grateful that he is my son and I am his mom.

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Wild Man and I are already happy people but when we had H he brought a joy to our family we never knew we were so terribly missing. He was truly the puzzle piece that completed our little starter family that we weren’t aware we so needed. He has given light to our bummed out days. He has been a constant reminder of whats actually important and what should be a priority and what should have a lot of our attention. He is our pride and our joy.

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Being this sweet boys mom has given me so much purpose and so much knowledge. I guess in my mind, motherhood would just be me teaching my children, but I had no idea just how much I would be learning from him – even when he was teeny tiny. I think the greatest thing he has taught me is about unconditional love. He showed me parts of my heart that only he could have. He showed me a new side of myself that I never could have found myself. He has also taught me a lot about self-love. I easily can feel like a not-so-great mom, but the way he treats me and loves me no matter what has helped put things into perspective and helps me realize I’m doing a good job and he loves me and thinks I’m a great mom.

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Happy Birthday to our big, new two year old! These past two years with you have easily been the best two years of my life and I’m grateful to know that my life will always be good and have positivity in it because you are my son and I am your mom. You are my light, my happiness and my reason. Thank you for being you and creating a new, wonderful life for us. Have the best, happiest, most magical birthday, buddy. No one deserves it like you do. I love you to infinity and beyond – forever and ever.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

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Disneyland – October 2017

*WARNING: Also no surprise, this is a picture overload post. It was impossible for me to choose only a couple pictures I wanted on this post.

I really, really hoped that we could squeeze in a Disneyland trip before baby was born. Initially I was thinking September would be ideal but as it turned out, October was the only thing we could really make work. I knew it would be a little risky because in October I hit 8 months pregnant, but its gonna take a lot more than that to keep me and my family away from a Disney Park. We spent five days there and I can safely say that all five days were pure magic and happiness. They were also full of exhaustion and very swollen feet, ankles and legs – but thats besides the point.

We had Mickey’s Halloween Party the first day and it was great. Although can I say something slightly negative? I don’t feel like Disneyland’s candy was as good this year as it usually is.. If you ask Wild Man about this he will be very vocal about the lack of Butterfingers in our trick-or-treat bags. Besides that, no complaints. Disney knows how to do a Halloween Party. One of H’s current favorite movies is Monsters Inc and Monsters University so we decided that would be our costume theme this year. Wild Man was Sulley, H was Mike and I was Boo – which also meant I got to wear pajamas to Disneyland! What more could a giant pregnant lady ask for? Usually we make our Halloween costumes. I love handmade costumes because they are so personal and they are one of a kind. But this year we were just a little too busy and a little too sick so we reluctantly purchased these costumes (mine was pieces I found from Amazon). I was bummed about it at first, but they really didn’t turn out too bad. Wild Man’s costume cracks me up and H felt like the star of the show in his – so it was a success.

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My cute sisters dressed up too. One was Jane Goodall and the other was Mia Thermopolis (Princess Diaries) and HOW CUTE ARE THEY?

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There were four huge highlights of this trip for me.

  1. H’s love of Carousels. King Arthurs Carousel was an instant hit. He loved riding his “howa,” (horse) and you could not wipe the giant smile off his sweet little face. He would laugh and laugh and squeal with excitement and his reaction was contagious, as he made everyone else around him laugh and smile. It was so happy. Pure. Magic. There was nothing more exciting to him and it was so special to me. I love my happy, Disney boy.
  2. The second highlight was watching the Disney Junior Live show in California Adventure. Just Wild Man and I took him to this. Its a show where you sit on the floor and watch as Disney characters dance on stage and put on a little show. Things fall from the ceiling, there are fun songs and lots of dancing. H was in heaven. It was so special. Then when Mickey and Minnie came out on stage at the end, H squealed, jumped and covered his mouth with pure excitement and I couldn’t help myself from the flood of tears that came over me. There is nothing like seeing Disney magic through your little ones eyes.
  3. Third, our last day in Disneyland Wild Man and I were doing some shopping and a girl that was probably in her early twenties approached us with a Mickey Mouse balloon that lit up and asked if H wanted it. She had apparently bought it but then decided she didn’t want it. Another very magical moment. Every time we passed the Cast Members who would hold the large bunch of balloons H would excitedly point at them and reach for them. Maybe I am a lame mom but I never wanted to get him one because they are pretty pricy and I’d rather spend money on something that won’t deflate after a while, you know? So this was kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity for H haha. The way his little face lit up when she handed the balloon to him was so special. He hugged the balloon and was so proud of his new souvenir.
  4. The last highlight is the biggest highlight and the most magical, special thing that happened and I have a hard time believing that anything could top this. I am tearing up just preparing to type this. Ok. One of our days in California Adventure we were in Cars Land and our group went on Radiator Springs Racers. H and I couldn’t join in on that ride so we decided to just wander the streets of Cars Land. We went into a small shop to look around before being in the store for a full 30 seconds, a tiny, frail, little old man approached me and asked, “could I buy a gift for your son?” Before I could answer him he kept on speaking and told me that he was never blessed with grandchildren but he loves kids. He comes to Disneyland once a week and every time he does he adopts an honorary grandchild and buys them a gift to remember their vacation to Disneyland and also him – Grandpa Perry. He told me that he and his wife used to live about an hour away and would visit the park as often as they could. She died 14 years ago and when that happened he moved to Anaheim so he could be in Disneyland, his happy place, more often and its been that long that he’s come once a week and made these magical moments for his honorary grandchildren. How could you not hear this sweet old mans story and not sob? It was impossible for me and I don’t think it was just pregnancy hormones, either. Together, he and H chose a pair of Cars Mickey Mouse ears and a Cars pinwheel with candy inside of it. I thanked him a million times. He gave me his email address so I could email him pictures of H in the ears, then he kissed H’s head and went on his way. I will never forget Grandpa Perry and I am so grateful that H gets to be one of his many honorary grandchildren.

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I ate an absurd amount of treats on this trip. But thats what you’re supposed to do in Disneyland so I have absolutely no shame.

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Because I was 35 weeks pregnant while on this trip, we decided to stay on the side of safety and have me use a wheelchair. It was kind of embarrassing, but it also saved me. My cute sisters were my chauffeurs most of the time and they are troopers!

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Meeting characters was different this trip. In our past several trips to Disneyland H is all over the characters and very excited by them. This time he was much more timid and shy. He was still totally excited, but also needed to have a good grip on me the whole time while meeting them and wasn’t too keen on giving the usual big hugs that he has given them in the past. I thought it was so cute.

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The picture below is one of my very favorites. H has this new thing where he roars at everything. A ton of our pictures from this trip include H roaring. My dad took the picture below and was standing under a monster decoration in Cars Land and H could not stop roaring at it and my dad. It cracked me up and the picture turn out so good!

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It was such a fun, magical trip. I know this post is a little spacey and all over. But I have some plans of doing more specific Disney posts in the future (maybe the far future because hopefully baby comes soon!!) but for now, here is my picture dump. Right now we are focused on finishing the last couple things up before little brother makes his arrival, but after those first few weeks of newborn heaven you better believe I’ll be chomping at the bit to get back to our happy place with our new family of four!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

The Captains Top Disney Reads

It will likely come as no shock to you that we have a lot of Disney books in our home (but of course we never have enough and our collection is always growing). H and I read several books throughout our day and at night H loves when his dad sits and reads to him before bed. Today as I was trying to brainstorm what I could blog about, H approached me with our newest favorite Disney book to read and thats when the idea hit me. Today I’l show you H’s favorite Disney books (for the time being).

The Captain’s Top 7 Favorite Disney Reads

Disney in Details: This is basically a bunch of hidden gems around Disney World. Our family already knew about the majority of these, but its still a fun book to have around the house and H loves the pictures!
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My First Words: Its a whole bunch of images and some are Disney characters! Whats not to love?
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Small Disney Board Books: A few Christmases ago my aunt H this pack of small Disney board books. There are tons of them and I don’t know that H necessarily has a favorite, but he loves them. There are so many different characters and short little stories and books that talk about characters, shapes, etc. These are a big hit.
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Who’s Who: This one is probably our very favorite right now. Or mine at least. This book is the perfect tool for teaching your little one all the Disney characters – even some of the more obscure, less thought of characters. Its so much fun, there are little bios on each character and colored pictures. This book wasn’t released very long ago and H and I have already spent hours in these pages. I highly, highly recommend this book to all of you.IMG_7660

My First Colors: Ok, this one is probably H’s favorite. Its his newest Disney Baby book and its a fun one. The pages fold out which is definitely his favorite feature. Its been really nice right now too as we are working on identifying colors.IMG_7661

Hello, World!: All the It’s a Small World books are very loved in our home but this is the one we read the most. If you want to challenge yourself as a parent and try and figure out how to say ‘hello’ in a whole bunch of different languages – this ones for you!! Its a short read, but H is never disappointed by it – even though his mom surely slaughters the different languages featured inside.IMG_7662

Disney/Pixar Look and Find – Toy Story: He got book in a set of four. I don’t know if this one is his very favorite of the four but its the one we’ve looked at about 100 times already today. Look and Find is a little too advanced for him right now but he’s picking up on it more and more each time we read it and even if he isn’t in the mood to find the certain characters/things, he enjoys looking at the pages nonetheless. IMG_7663

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

30 Weeks!


Yesterday I hit 30 weeks pregnant! I can still so vividly remember reaching this point when I was pregnant with H and feeling so proud, excited and CLOSE to baby time. A lot of those same feelings are happening again, but also so many more. I think that since this time I’m already a mom, my whole attitude is different. I basically know what to expect this time. I know I am capable of at least decently raising and caring for a little human. I know how much I’m going to love this baby. I know what needs to really get done before his arrival and what can be put on the backburner if need be. 

Mostly I am just really, really excited. I’ve been having a lot more dreams about baby boy lately. When I lay in bed and can’t sleep or have free time during the day I find myself daydreaming about this new baby and watching him and H grow up together. I have a lot more feels. I feel a lot more in tune with my body. But I’m still definitely not patient. Ten weeks (ish) left and I worry they’re going to drag on because of how anxious I am to get this little guy here. I tell myself all the time how close November is, but have you ever realized that a lot of the time when you’re really excited for something it tends to come slower? I’m hoping that isn’t the case. Maybe like the rest of the pregnancy it will come quickly. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about labor too. I think it’s normal to be nervous. My labor with H was really straight forward and we both reacted totally fine with no real issues (except my epidural not working but that’s not a big deal really). There is part of me so worried that I couldn’t possibly repeat such great luck. But thankfully the more people I talk to, the more I’m made aware it’s actually very possible. I was recently talking to a friend who had her second child several months ago and she told me that leading up to her birth she had these same concerns but decided to just imagine her ideal delivery situation. Power in positive thinking! For her it totally worked. I know every situation is different. But I love this idea of focusing on all that could go right instead of wrong. I totally believe that sometimes your thoughts and attitude can influence the way something turns out. I’m channeling that. 

It’s crazy to think that in 10 weeks give or take H will finally meet his little brother. I’ll finally be able to snuggle this tiny guy and I’ll finally get to see Wild Man become a father again and melt into a puddle of emotions while I watch him dote over another sweet son. I am so darn excited!

xoxo

The Thing About Books

Books have been a lifelong struggle for me. I want to love to read. I want to be one of those people who can cruise through several books a month. I want to have bookshelves full of books I’ve read and have full reviews on. I want to settle down in bed or in the bathtub with a good book and lose myself in its world. But it just doesn’t happen for me that easily. I can start books like nobodies business. I set time aside that are designated for reading and I hype myself up for the currently book I’m reading but the majority of the time I end up putting the book down and very seldom return to it. Well, thats a lie. I’ll give a book several chapters (which equals several days/weeks) before I decide to quit it all together. Why is it so hard for me to get really into books? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve learned I have a very particular kind of book I want to read and its hard to find. I like mysteries/thrillers (but not too scary) and they cannot whatsoever have anything harmful happening to children or babies. Since becoming a wife/mom my anxiety has gone through the roof and I can’t even handle reading about fake terrible things happening to families. So I need to avoid that kind of stuff, too. I’ve read a few more books that are out of my usual murder-mystery niche and have enjoyed a couple. But again, I usually end up just putting the book on my bedside table where it gathers dust until I give it back to my mom – who has an amazing book collection.

I haven’t given up on myself though. As I try to find a book to read I occasionally am able to find one I love and will finish. It just takes time. And I still have the dream that someday I’ll be able to be a lot less picky and have a better attention span and be able to finish whatever book is recommended to me. It’ll happen someday – fingers crossed!

I don’t want my kids to be like me. I’m not saying they have to constantly have a book in hand or read 5+ books a month during the summer. But I want them to love and appreciate reading. I’d say we are on the right path right now with H. I’m not sure how much about your babies future you can tell when they’re only 21 months old, but so far H’s whole life has consisted of a deep love of books. We started reading him books when he was a newborn and we haven’t stopped. Now he loves books. He doesn’t even have to have them read to him, he really loves to sit on the floor and ‘read’ by himself. Its one of my favorite things to see. He gets excited about the pictures, he points at things and talks, he has his favorite books that he always gravitates towards. Its great and I encourage it all I can.

So I guess if I never become the reader I want to be theres still my son I can be proud of (and hopefully the rest of our kids!)

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Happy National Read a Book Day! If you happen to have a book you think I may like, send me your recommendations!! Remember, I haven’t given up on myself completely!!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Update on the Frenemies

You guys. I really like our puppy. She is almost five months old and we have had her about three months and a lot has changed with her since the day we got her. Not only has she grown so much bigger and taller, but she has also really started shaping into the dog we have dreamed about for our family and this thrills me. She is still a puppy and she still gets a little wild (like chewing on things she shouldn’t, jumping up on people or the couch and being a little stubborn when it comes to her training) but all things considered she is GREAT.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my favorite thing about this girl is how patient she is with H. He sits on her, pulls on her, invades her space, pokes her eyes, tries to drag her by her legs, whacks her, pulls her around by her collar, etc and never once has she retaliated. She patiently lets him do his thing or will simply change locations.

They are becoming cute little snugglers and I try to capture those moments whenever they happen then I’ll send the picture off to Wild Man at work and tell him this is what I pictured when I imagined our family dog.

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She genuinely loves H. We always say that he is her favorite owner and its quite obvious (don’t worry – pretty sure I’m her least favorite) and oh so adorable. For a long time when she went into H’s room it made me nervous because there are so many books, toys, clothes, shoes and stuff in there that she’d be overjoyed to chew on. Only until recently do I let her spend any amount of time in there but its always been with close supervision. But just in the last few days she follows H in there and will just lay in there and watch him play without – well usually without – chewing on anything of his. Sometimes she’ll even go grab one of her own toys and bring them into his room so she can play too. They play so nice next to each other and with each other. I love it!

As usual, life with our puppy is busy and the bigger my belly is getting and the more my hips and back are hurting I can easily find myself questioning why on earth we got a dog – but we really do love our girl! She’s good. She’s catching on to the way our family works. She *tries* to be obedient. She loves us. Its a good situation.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

My Little Boy

I have been hit pretty aggressively with the realization that we are down to just a few months of having just one child. Our sweet baby H. The perfect little bundle of joy who made us parents and introduced us to a happiness and overwhelming feeling of pride we never could have known if it weren’t for him. 

My heart is feeling torn in so many different directions. Of course I am beyond thrilled to have our second little boy in November. I’ve dreamt my whole life of having several kids and that’s still my dream! I am so excited to see H become a big brother and to finally meet this little brother of his. I am so anxious to see his face, to learn his personality and to soak all of him in. I actually feel more excited this time around, probably because this time I’m not so clueless. I know how special my children are now. I know how much I love them and how much I love being a mom. I can’t let myself dwell too much on this or else I turn into an emotional puddle. 

But then there is the part of me that knows how much H’s world is going to be rocked. Life as he knows it is going to drastically change and a part of me, in a weird way, feels a little bit guilty. People who often joke about how H is going to be second place, etc certainly don’t help the way I feel either. He is very accustomed to being the one and only. He’s used to undivided attention and snuggles on demand. I know it’s good for him to learn that the world in fact doesn’t revolve around him…but there’s still guilt!! 

I hope he can figure out quickly that he’s still so loved. Our love isn’t going to lessen for him even in the slightest. In fact I’ve heard the love we have for him will even grow! Our hearts are just going to get bigger so we can have the same amount of love for little brother! I hope he sees that he’s still our world, our joy and our tiny best buddy. Because he is – he always will be!

I know that especially once the baby is here I will feel differently. I’ll just know our new family of four is perfect and meant to be. I know that now, come to think of it – I’m just.. I don’t know. Am I even making sense or do I just sound crazy? I am so in love with this crazy 20 month old and I want him to never feel that his value has decreased just because another baby joined our family. It’s giving me so many emotions I honestly wasn’t anticipating. It’s funny how I am so far past elated for this new addition but at the same time feel a tinge of guilt. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever felt like this? Also please tell me it’s just hormones or a phase or something and I’ll get over this before November?!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles