A Heaping Dose of Reality

See this picture? This (high quality) photograph is a pretty perfect depiction of my life since March.

IMG_5913

My morning sickness started kicking in pretty intensely at about 5 weeks for me and if I remember correctly, thats about when it came in when I was pregnant with H as well. I really don’t like complaining about pregnancy stuff because I know there are some women out there who would give up everything to feel the way I feel. I was an only child for 8 years and watched my mom wish for another baby. I have friends who had to wait a really long time to get their baby and some who are still waiting. I totally understand how lucky I am to be pregnant with my second child right now. I don’t take this experience for granted and although I do complain occasionally, I hope its not mistaken as me not being happy about growing a baby or being able to physically grow a child.

But sometimes it feels good to complain a little, am I right? I’ve been losing weight, I throw up several times a day, I live in constant fear that I’ll be diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes again, I have no energy or motivation, I’m so dang tired and I just don’t feel like myself yet. I remember there came a time during my pregnancy with H sometime during my second trimester that I eventually figured out how to force myself to be productive and be a functioning human being again and I’m really hoping now that I’m in my second trimester I can figure that out again, soon.

I’m so grateful for my husband and for the patience he has had. He went from having a good wife who did all the housewife jazz to a wife who lays on the couch and forgets grocery shopping and meal planning all together most weeks. He has been the dish-doer, the laundry guy and the person who straightens up our house and he hasn’t complained or made me feel bad or guilty about it once. I mean, I still do feel guilty about it, but its just because of my own thoughts. I married a real good man and I hope he knows that I’ll be back at my wife duties soon (fingers crossed)!

I also have to talk about what an angel H has been. His mom is BORING right now you guys. I can’t tell you how guilty I feel about this subject. H is a wiggly, active, energetic little boy who just wants to play and to be played with. Yet his mom is usually gross on the couch and is turning on yet another Disney movie for him. But he has rolled with this change so effortlessly and so easily and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. He plays happily by himself on the floor but still makes sure to crawl up on the couch with me from time to time to cuddle and give kisses. He’s been a dream boy through this. Lately I have been able to get down and play with him a little more often and I hope it just keeps getting better because you can just tell how much he loves it! But I’m also really glad that he knows how to play alone and self-entertain when he needs to. I have an amazing little boy.

So anyway. Life is weird right now. I’m lazy and sick and tired and gross. But I’m really grateful that I get to have another sweet baby and that our family is going to grow. Every second, no matter how barfy, is worth it in the end.

And I end this post with a picture of my family this past Sunday – a rare occasion when I actually got ready.

IMG_3735

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Advertisements

The Freaking BEST

I’m a Master Esthetician and I own my own spa that is in my basement. It keeps me busy and I really love that its my job. The thing I do the very most is eyelash extensions and doing them is really fun because for a few hours I get to chat with my cute clients/friends. Its really awesome to talk to these great ladies and socialize, laugh, vent and all that great stuff. A few days ago I had a client who doesn’t have kids yet and she was asking me lots of questions about how I like being a mom. I kind of got the idea that she’s not in any rush to have children because a lot of her questions basically ended with her saying, “it seems so hard” “it seems messy” “it seems like so much work” “it sounds like you never have time for yourself” and so on. And thats just fine! Everyone has their own opinion and they know themselves best so I’m totally not bashing on that. I like being really honest about motherhood. I don’t sugarcoat stuff because I feel like real life needs to be more regular instead of all this i-have-a-perfect-life stuff. I just have my little 18 month H right now (and the baby I’m currently cookin’) and yeah, life with him is busy and messy and sticky and poopy. It comes with the age! It comes with the fact that I wanted to be a mom! Sometimes, yes, it does make me want to cry and pull my hair out – like when I leave the room for less than a minute and walk into my kitchen to find him drawing on the tile floor with a permanent marker…

IMG_5856

…but its also the best thing I could ever do. The rumors are true. Life changes BIG time when you add a child to your life. Priorities change drastically. You find that you focus less on yourself and more on this little person who is in need of another diaper change. Your house gets a little messier and your walls/cupboards/everything gets stickier. You’ll sleep less, worry more and feel completely clueless but also all-knowing. It changes you in ways you could never prepare for and no one could ever accurately depict to you. But if you want my opinion, its honestly the greatest thing EVER. I knew I wanted to be a mom since – well forever. I was always (still am) the girl who wants to hold all the babies and when I’m not pregnant I long for the days that I am again (yes, even with how sick I get). But even with how excited I was to be a mom and how much I knew I’d love it, its still surprised me with just how incredible it is. Nothing compares. Nothing, to me, is more fulfilling.

 

IMG_5823

I love being a mother. I understand that it isn’t for everyone, but it is absolutely for me. My hairs never been dirtier, my clothes have never been messier and the bags under my eyes have never looked scarier, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my sweet little guy. He’s my best friend and the cutest little partner. I am so excited to meet our new baby and to get to know it so closely and carefully. I’m eager for our future children. And hey, I’m even super excited for my grandkids! Kids are just the best and being a mom is the greatest. Its the freaking BEST.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Last Post of 2016

I wanted my last post of 2016 to be something really cool. You know, go out with a bang type post. I thought about doing an in-depth review of my year, or the typical New Years Resolutions post. Then yesterday H and I went to the aquarium with my family and as I was watching him oo and aw at all the different fish I was hit pretty hard with the obvious realization that he was my whole year. 2016 was our first full calendar year with our little guy and it completely consumed us.

IMG_3216.jpg

I think Wild Man and I changed a lot in 2016. We went from being 2015 people with no parenting experience or knowledge, to being these 2016 people who have this new little person in their lives that they’re completely obsessed with and want nothing but the best for. We changed the way we thought, the way we made decisions, the way we cleaned, decorated and organized, we changed our daily rituals, we changed our priorities and our hearts changed the very most. There is nothing quite as bonding as having a child together and working together the best you can to ensure that you’re sweet little one lives a good life. Its exciting and terrifying all in one, but there is nothing comparable to it and though its only been 13 months, its been the best 13 months I’ve ever lived. I turned into a different person this year (ok, last November) when I took on the title ‘mom’ and theres no greater joy to me.

Our family is small – just the three of us and in time it will grow, but I couldn’t help but think about what a great year its been with just our little crew. We have made so memories and we’ve all taught each other so much. I get real emotional thinking about the future as we add on more children, more memories, more lessons and more experiences – life is awesome! It has its downs, yes. Every year does and some are greater than others but I am feeling so fortunate to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints and to have faith in God’s plan for me and my family. I don’t know what 2017 has in store for our family but I’m excited (and as always, a little worried) to find out. As I say goodbye to such a nice, happy year I can’t help but thank 2016 for the great memories – and definitely for the entire year I’ve been able to spend with my husband and son. Those two fill my heart and bring me all the joy and happiness I could ever wish for and the more I think about it I know that as long as I have them, then my life – and 2017 – will be good.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Mama Bear

You know how you always hear people label other moms as ‘mama bears?’ Basically meaning that they can get fierce, feisty and ultra protective when it comes to their children? This may sound weird but I always hoped I could be one. I hoped I wouldn’t have to be one too often, but I hoped that if the time ever came, that I would be brave enough to stand up for my child or do whatever I had to do to protect my child. I’m a very non confrontational, awkward human being so sometimes this seemed like a lofty goal, but I always assumed that if it came to my son I would do anything. Yesterday I learned that I can indeed me a Mama Bear and to be honest I am feeling really, really proud of that.

H has graduated from his infant carseat and we just recently got his new seat. During the day yesterday he was perfectly content with his bowl of snacks and watching Octonauts so I figured it’d be a good time to run out to my car and take the old carseat out and install the new one. Our door that goes out to our driveway is only a few feet from where my car was parked and I left the door open a bit so I was able to see/hear H while I switched seats. For this story its important to know a little about what our porch looks like out of this door. There is no railing around it. The driveway is off to the right and the stairs are parallel to the driveway. (does this make any sense? no? sorry.. thats the best i’ve got) 

So there I am trying to work quickly when all of the sudden someone starts talking to me. A guy, probably a few years younger than me was standing behind me and asking me if I’d heard about some product he was trying to sell. I didn’t really pay attention to his little speech and when he’d finished it I informed him I wasn’t interested. He seemed nice enough and I recall thinking I wished more salesmen were like him because he was so cool to take the rejection and leave. He took about one step away then turned back to me and asked if he could use my restroom. Wild Man was at work, my baby was inside — it just felt sketchy and scary so I just straight up said, “no, sorry I’m not comfortable with that,” thinking that was the gutsiest thing I’d have to do that day. Honestly, to me that felt like being a Mama Bear because that was a form of confrontation and let me remind you again that I avoid confrontation like the plague. He turned back around and I figured he was off to the next house to try and sell his product. A second later I looked up and HE WAS WALKING TOWARDS THE DOOR TO MY HOUSE. He was closer to the door than I was and I knew H was in there. It was like every scary story I’d heard in the news recently rushed into my head and my blood started to boil and my heart started to race and I yelled, “excuse me?” as he got to the four stairs that lead to the door. He turned to me and said, “I just really have to use the restroom.”

This is where the Mama Bear kicked into gear inside me. Something took over my body because there is no way I should have beat him to my door. I had to run around my car and jump up the ledge from our driveway to the porch. I got there right before he reached our door. I ran inside and slammed the door and locked it.

Maybe all he really wanted to do was use the bathroom. But you DON’T go waltzing into someones house – especially when they told you NO. Maybe nothing would have happened. But also maybe something would have happened. Maybe my day could have turned out a lot worse. You never know and I’ll never know. But I knew my baby was inside my house and didn’t want some stranger to even so much as look at him so I did what I had to do to ensure he stay safe.

I was pretty freaked out for a while and needed a bit to calm down. I called the police station and reported it and ultimately felt safe inside of my locked house. But it was a scary situation. I’m very grateful all turned out well and that somehow I was able to run faster than I’ve ever run.

I am a Mama Bear.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

H’s Birth Story

My sweet baby H is almost one (can you believe it?) — so I guess now is as good of a time as ever to finally share his birth story, right? I have a private blog where I typed out his story in full detail and I had every intention of sharing it here as well but obviously I didn’t. But alas, here I am finally blogging about the most special, incredible day of my life.

On November 18th I started not to feel well. It was different than the usual discomfort I was used to and ::not to get too graphic:: that day I had passed my mucous plug. My body was getting ready for a baby!

On November 19th I was in pain all day but there wasn’t anything that stood out to me as signs of labor. Plus I had myself 95% convinced I was going to go over my due date (the 24th) so I was pretty sure it was nothing. We went to bed and not too long after falling asleep I woke up to the most excruciating pain in my hips — and it wasn’t stopping. We downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing the pain on the chance they were contractions. I had all my Braxton Hicks contractions in my stomach/hips/back and I’d always heard contractions happened in your stomach, so the fact that the pain I was feeling was only in my hips made me think it was just pain and not really contractions. As time went on the pain spread to my back and lower stomach and it was the same time that the pain AKA contractions were getting closer together and more intense.

I was awake all night and I kept Wild Man up all night with my restlessness and constant moving, whining and panicking. It was time for Wild Man to get ready to go to work and the entire time he kept asking if he needed to stay home and I kept insisting I was fine and he should go. He kept trying to help me find a comfortable position in bed but before I could take a deep breath, the pain would return. After a while I kept throwing up with about every other contraction and was miserable, but still sent Wild Man off to work. As he left I remember sitting on the coffee table and just thinking what the heck is this?!

A lot of the night and into the morning I had been texting my mom and one of my sisters in law about what was happening. They both were giving me advice and such and my mom kept telling me “the only way you’ll feel better is to have that baby!” …she knew I was in labor but I was being stubborn and not accepting that.

Wild Man hadn’t been at work a half hour before I called him and told him I needed to go to the hospital. He came straight home (luckily he worked really, really close to the house we lived in) and he came home and we grabbed our bags, he put a few things away and we left.

I was terrified I wouldn’t be admitted into the hospital and maybe this wasn’t really labor and I was just a baby. After trying to figure out where we were supposed to go we finally got to the labor and delivery area and they checked me. I was at a 6 and my cervix was ‘paper thin.’ HALLELUJAH! They hooked me up to the monitor to track babies heart beat and my contractions and we were admitted around 9:30am.

My contractions were coming every 45-60 seconds when we got there and the nurse strongly suggested if I was going to get an epidural to get it quickly so I wouldn’t be completely warn out when it came time to push. Even though my plan was to feel my contractions for a few hours, I was in a lot of pain and agreed to the epidural.

img_3049-1-53-43-pm

After a little while the families started showing up. My mother-in-law, then my mom and sisters, then my dad, then my father-in-law and one of our cousins. I was progressing pretty decently and never had to be given Pitocin! At one point they decided to call in a doctor to break my water because it wasn’t breaking on its own. The doctor came in and had that tool to break my water, but before he used it he wanted to check me and ended up breaking my water with his hand. Also, the rumors are true – that is the strangest feeling.

As I said, I was progressing great but our baby boy wasn’t descending very quickly so they didn’t want me to push quite yet because he was so high so I’d be pushing for a long time. So we waited and waited and waited.

img_4471

During this waiting I started to notice something terrifying. My epidural wasn’t working anymore. I could feel everything again. Everything except my thighs down. I really needed it to be working a little higher and it wasn’t. Cue the panic. I told my nurse and she pushed the button that was supposed to give me another dose. But guess what? Nothing. It didn’t help.

Around 3ish I was informed it was time to push. I have a vivid memory of looking at Wild Man and my mom and saying “I can feel everything!” Wild Man squeezed my hand and my mom just said, “Yep!” I mean, what could she do?

So low and behold I had a natural birth. As scary as it was in the moment and as intense the pain was – it was actually pretty incredible and empowering and made me feel tougher and stronger than I’ve ever felt in my life.

Anyway. I pushed for about an hour. I had my family surrounding me and most importantly, Wild Man by my side holding my hand and my leg. Having him beside me was incredible. He was so supportive and I noticed during the pushing a lot of the time I would zero in on Craig and listen to his support and cheering and coaching and it was how I was somehow able to zone out the pain. Thank goodness for that great man.

img_4453

At 4:12 pm on November 20th on a Friday, our sweet and perfect baby boy was born. He weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. That moment was so spiritual and perfect and raw and one I will never forget. Our sweet baby was perfect and healthy and we couldn’t have been happier.

img_0013

img_0043

I had a major episiotomy (woof!) and the stitches were pretty painful to get. For the beginning half of getting them, my son was getting weighed and a basic cleaning and it was so hard to sit there and feel everything (stupid not working epidural) but as soon as they gave me my baby and I got to hold him and snuggle him again, I was able to look past the pain again. Thank goodness. You know those sweet babies are special when they can mute all pain.

Holding this fresh, tiny baby was so incredible. This little squishy, beautiful baby boy filled my heart so full and he put a happiness into our life that nothing else ever could.

img_0193

img_0197

We spent the next few hours in the labor room while our family stood around us and stared at our sweet little guy. It was very special. After a little while everyone started leaving and it was just the three of us. Our little family of three. I can’t begin to describe the feeling we felt as it was just us. Everything became so real and raw. Our family felt whole. It was such a terrific moment.

img_0211

img_0217

img_0241

img_0258

img_0270

I was so excited when I learned I was able to go into the nursery with Wild Man and our newborn. They were very cautious about if I would feel ok and told me what to look out for but I knew I’d be ok to accompany my boys to the nursery. It was interesting. It was the first time I was really able to study him and take him all in. He was very red so they had to run a couple tests on his red blood cells (all was well) and then they cleaned him and bundled him up and put him back in my arms and we were taken back to our room.

img_3158

img_3213

img_3223

We didn’t name him until the day after he was born. We wanted his name to be absolutely perfect for him so we had to think on it a little longer than most people, I guess. It was fun though for a while to be the only two people who knew his name.

We were released on Sunday. We would have been able to leave sometime in the morning but they wanted us to stay until evening because they were keeping an eye on my episiotomy and bleeding. Sometime around 5pm we were released. Going home with our sweet new baby boy was the most wonderful and exciting thing I think we’ve ever experienced. It was all so real and beautiful. We are so, so very happy to be this perfect little boys parents and feel that Heavenly Father has blessed us tremendously with this sweet little one.

img_3239

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Woes of a Thin-Skinned Momma

As you prepare to become a mom you hear a lot of stories and receive a lot of advice. I heard many times that you would get a lot of opinions, unsolicited advice and suggestions – much of which could end up sounding more like insults. While I was pregnant I wasn’t too worried about this because I figured it’d just roll right off my back and I’d pay no mind to it. My kids are just that – mine – so it didn’t matter what anyone else thought or told me. Now that my son is here I still totally believe that and I believe that my husband and I are the only two people who really know whats best for our son, but I was wrong in thinking that everyones comments wouldn’t effect me. They do not just roll right off my back. Instead I internalize everyones comments, their advice and their questionable looks. I’m sure a lot of it I’m making a bigger deal than it actually is, but I know for a fact that other times I’m not. Its so upsetting to me that people think they know how to raise and nurture your child better than you, the parents, do.

I have struggled with not letting peoples words get me down. Poor Wild Man hears me complain about this all the time. But as I’ve been thinking more and more about it I have realized something – I can’t change people (dang) There are just those people you have in your life or you’ll meet randomly in Target that are going to say things that are going to sting and make steam shoot out your ears. Thats just how it goes.

The only thing I can do is change myself.

I am very thin-skinned. I am a softy, I’m very sensitive and fragile (ew that sounds dumb). Somehow I need to work on thickening my skin when it comes to motherhood drama. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I’ll do this, but I know I’ve got to. Thank goodness for prayer, right?! I also plan on reminding myself each night as I wind down (hopefully in a hot bubble bath) that I am my sons mom and he was sent to me and I know whats best for him and I do what I believe to be best for him. And most importantly, he loves me and he is happy and healthy.

I know I’ve said this before in past blog posts but I’m saying it again because its so important to me:

Be careful with moms. It doesn’t matter if they have one kid or ten – they feel pressure to be the best mom they can be. Maybe some are tougher than others and maybe some cry all the time, but either way they are doing something really special and really tough. Think about how neat the world would be if we could all support and uplift each other in motherhood rather than tear each other apart and make mothers feel inadequate or wrong. Just some food for thought.

Thanks as always for listening to me vent.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Love One Another 14-Day Challenge

As I was browsing through Pinterest a few weeks ago I came across this challenge. At the time I was trying to find ways to prepare myself for LDS General Conference and this seemed like one way I could prepare that would be very beneficial. And ironically on the day I found this, it was exactly 14 days until Conference. I think thats what people call fate?

672cd6696c919a730dcc635f8cfe1634

I was so excited to immediately take this challenge and focus on loving others. Each morning before I got out of bed I would check the prompt for the day and tried to be mindful of it the whole day. I was proud of myself for those two weeks because I did a really good job. The fourteen days are done now and its been about a week since doing it and I’m already planning on taking this challenge again. At the end of these fourteen days I actually noticed my heart felt a little lighter, I was so much less judgmental, I felt kinder and I found it easier to love or look at people positively. I highly recommend this challenge guys. If you’re serious about it, it can change you.

Day One was showing patience with someone. I learned pretty quickly on that day that ‘someone’ would be my son. He was having a rough day and it turns out so was I. I felt my patience get slimmer and slimmer as the day went on. He’s just a baby so its not like I’d lose my cool with him or anything, but I realized I definitely could be much more patient with him – especially on tough days.

Day Two was overlooking someones shortcomings. I actually chose to overlook my own shortcomings. When it comes to motherhood I am really hard on myself and often feel inadequate. I looked past those feelings of doubt and failure and my day was actually significantly better.

Day Three I was challenged to look beyond looks. This is something I try hard to do on a daily basis because my parents taught me from a young age that looks do not define a person. It was nice to think about how important that is and it also served as a reminder to me about how I want my kids to treat everyone with the same respect and kindness no matter how they look, etc.

Day Four was kind of hard. Resist the impulse to categorize others. Maybe its just me, but I found out I do this so easily and so often. Thats horrible. I had to be actively mindful about this and I forgot a lot.. But it opened my eyes to how much I need to focus on this.

Day Five was seeing a situation through someone else’s eyes. The situation I focused on is one I’m choosing not to share. But it was moving. Its always wise to consider all sides of the story. It’ll do you a world of good.

Day Six was to forgive someone who wronged you. I had a client on this day and we got to talking and during our conversation I realized I was holding a grudge against someone for something they did a YEAR ago. I knew I needed to get over it and forgive them so I could love them 100% again without always holding on to that one thing.

Day Seven was don’t criticize actions. This was very similar to Day Four except I feel like I’m not as critical of others actions. I feel like I’m pretty good at realizing everyone has their own agency and makes their own choices and that should be just fine with me. I feel like especially in motherhood, people are quick to judge a mom for the way she parents her child. I’ve been victim of this and know how awful it feels so I try to stay far away from judging others – especially parents.

Day Eight challenged me to show mercy to someone. Another personal topic – another beautiful moment thanks to this challenge (and prayers for bravery).

Day Nine was my favorite. Give ten minutes to really listen to someone. Wild Man and I had one of the best conversations this day. We both went deep into conversation, we listened to each other and it was bonding and special. That same day one of my sisters opened up to me about something and I just let her talk and vent and it was really neat to just hear her and see how her mind works and better understand her. Listening – really listening – to people is really incredible.

Day Ten focused on speaking kindly to others. I am so non confrontational and I don’t want to sound braggy, but I’m not mean nor do I speak unkindly to others. So I just focused on making sure I was extra kind, gave extra service, etc. I absolutely could have done better though..

Day Eleven – say ‘thank you’. I realized this day that I am lousy at being as grateful as I should be. I neglect saying those two simple words far too often. I’ve made it a daily goal now and it helps me feel better about myself and I genuinely think it makes the people you thank feel good too.

Day Twelve was focusing on things you have in common with people you meet. This one was fun and helped me feel close to those around me, even the strangers. It also made me want to be more friendly with everyone and get to know them or go the extra mile to leave them with a  good impression of the person I am.

Day Thirteen encouraged you to offer a genuine compliment. This turned into a game. My husband, sisters and several family members through texts got messages from me all day. Complimenting others is a drug and is so much fun!

Day Fourteen was the most special day as we were challenged to see people as God sees them. Wow. God sees everyone with loving eyes. I know I do not even when I try, and it was really special to actively work on just loving everyone I saw that day. It warmed my heart and made me really want to be more Christlike than I’ve ever been. It also made me so much more grateful and aware of the love that Heavenly Father has for me. This one was the greatest testimony builder and the day I learned the most from.

I really do hope you’ll take this challenge. I’m starting again this week. Its so important to love one another and live with love.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles