Monday, January 26, 2015

Tests in Marriage

Every marriage isn't without its issues. And Lord knows it isn't perfect, but every now and then something so ridiculous happens that tests the limits of your love and wedding vows. I feel like that happened to me this weekend...

Saturday evening I went out with some girlfriends for a "Mommies Night Out". Don't get me wrong, we love our children but every now and then you want some adult conversation about the latest happenings in the world (or celebrity gossip) and cocktails without a baby strapped to your chest and one wrapped around your leg. I'm just saying. Well, my two girlfriends and I got together to do just that.

It was the first time my husband was going to be left alone with the boys for more than 2 hours. I figured everything would be ok and I wouldn't call because I needed him to know that I trusted him. If something was wrong, surely he would call. Yea, that wasn't the case.

After having an awesome time with the girls, I walked in the door and found my husband on the couch sleep with the baby on his chest and my six year old on the love seat watching Batman. It looked like a normal scene until my 6 year old told me he had a headache. From there it went downhill:

  • I discovered my husband didn't feed the 6 year old any dinner because he was overwhelmed with the baby so the 6 year old had applesauce on his own 0_0
  • The baby's diaper hadn't been changed since I left home...7 hours prior!
  • The 6 year old started throwing up...and commenced to throwing up 3 times in 30 minutes
  • The baby was wailing because he was soaking wet with pee
  • And my husband looked overwhelmed and dazed
I had to explain, gently of course, that we needed to get the situation handled and get these kids together while he turned in circles. What is it about men and when things go haywire, they have no idea what to do? Anyway, I got both kids straightened and settled before sitting down. I was livid with him. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind and then I remembered something my mom said about picking and choosing my battles. Sigh. 

Honestly, the situation wasn't worth fighting about but doggoneit I wanted to. Instead, I walked away and did what I needed to do. I was still livid so I slept in the living room with the kids so I could stand vigil all night in case we had a stomach virus on our hands.

By morning both kids were just fine and I was slightly over the whole fiasco. It was during the night that I went back over our wedding vows and reminded myself that everything won't always be ok or handled the way I want it to be; it is during those times that I have put someone else before myself and do what I need to...even when I would rather fight :) 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Repost: You Just Had a Baby

Every now and then there is an article that speaks to me in ways I never saw possible. This article is one them. As the mother of a 9 week old, I oftentimes have to remind myself that I don't need to put on my invisible cape, or open my shirt to display the "S" on my chest proudly. It's ok for me to not have it all together all of the time. Huffington Post validates just that for me.

To myself, and anyone else who needs to read this:
You just had a baby.
I know your jeans don't fit. It sucks. I know you tried on 17 pairs at Nordstrom Rack last week and almost cried in the dressing room. I know you went to Gap after that and tried on 14 other pairs and almost cried in that dressing room. I know the only thing you bought that day was a pair of sweatpants and a loose white T-shirt. It's OK.
You just had a baby.
I know your to-do list is never finished. I know you're worried about things like savings accounts and college funds and life insurance and making a will. You don't need to do any of those things today. You'll do them soon enough.
You just had a baby.
I know you're trying to balance your dream job (which pays nothing, yet), and your regular job (which pays a little), and trying to figure out how to pay for daycare and how to find a daycare and how to not feel guilty about using a daycare. I know more than anything right now, you want help with your super active toddler who needs to run, run, run while you need to sit, sit, sit and breastfeed, again. It's OK.
You just had a baby.
I know you're trying to figure out how to cook meals that are not scrambled eggs and how to stop running out of milk at the end of the week and how to get your toddler to poop in the potty. I know you secretly just want 100 hours of babysitting so you can make a baby book and create a meal plan and go to Costco and organize your closet and shave your legs and write overdue thank-you cards and clean off your desktop and cut your fingernails and vacuum every room and maybe, just maybe, watch a movie? With popcorn? And Milk Duds? It's OK to wish for those things.
You just had a baby.
I know everyone is making 25 resolutions and setting goals and choosing one word for the year. I know you're eating peanut butter cups in the bathroom and making resolutions you don't even think you'll keep and trying to think of one word that isn't SURVIVE, but it's the one word you keep coming back to because damn, this two-kid thing is hard.
I know you're exhausted. And frustrated. And overwhelmed. And sleep-deprived. And thankful. And grateful. And happy. And tired.
You just had a baby.
I know everything feels undone. I know being a grown-up sucks. I know your house is a mess. I know you have writer's block. I know you feel behind. I know you wish you were superwoman. I know. I know.
You just had a baby.
So, let's stop pretending like that didn't just happen.
And let's give you some grace and permission.
You don't have to answer every email, every text or every invitation that comes your way. You don't have to keep your house clean or make fancy dinners this week or plan your family vacation for the year. You don't have to take your toddler to the dentist or figure out how to save for college right now.
Let it be.
Eat a bagel. Heck, eat two bagels. Let your baby nap on your chest. Pretend to be a dinosaur with your toddler. Go to Target by yourself and look at all the things. WatchParenthood and cry a little. Go to brunch with your friends. Rest.
You're fine.
And when you go to bed tonight thinking of the 63 items left on your to-do list, feeling unaccomplished and disappointed in yourself, I want you to repeat after me.
I. Just. Had. A. Baby.

Relax. You're doing great.

Monday, January 12, 2015

36 Things I Know After 36 Years of Marriage

Huffington Post has some great hidden gems when it comes to articles. I ran across this really great article that a friend posted on Facebook. It's called "36 Things I Know After 36 Years of Marriage". When you get a moment, check out the full article but the author lists some really great advice here about marriage.

As someone only a year and half into wedding bliss, I have to say, she has spot on with things. I plan to print this out and hang it on my vision board a reminder to us. I want to be able to look back 36 years from now and say, "remember that time we did this one..."


1. If you think marriage would have been much easier with somebody else, you're probably wrong.
2. Most marital problems are fixable. Really. Even the tough ones.
3. The D word (divorce) is a dangerous weapon. I suggest the F word instead: frustrated. Nobody's heart will be broken if you say, "I'm so FRUSTRATED I could scream!"
4. The term wedded bliss should be stricken from every couple's vocabulary. Marriage is wonderful in many ways, but expecting bliss makes the inevitable rough times seem like a problem when they're simply part of the deal.
5. That bit about how your partner won't change: Wrong. My husband and I met in our early 20s. If we'd both stayed just as we were, we'd still be two naïve kids, stubbornly insisting we have to have things our way, thinking marriage shouldn't be as challenging as it is.
6. Marriage doesn't get good or stay good all on its own.
7. Every one of us is, in our own way, difficult to live with. Beginning to work on evenone of your own problem behaviors will make a big difference in the quality of your marriage. Added bonus: your spouse will greatly appreciate it!
8. People who are unhappily married sometimes think marriage is the problem -- that marriage is unnatural or outdated or impossible to do well. There's not a third entity called marriage. Everything that goes on between you is your creation. Each of you playing your part. Why not create something worthwhile?
9. Marriage is a "learn on the job" proposition. None of us comes into it with all the skills we need for success. When the going gets rough it's most often a sign that we need some new skills -- not a sign that we need a new spouse.
10. Struggle in marriage is not only inevitable, it's necessary. None of us can grow a strong and healthy relationship without having to face and resolve difficult issues.
11. Even the best marriage can't make up for the difficulties we faced growing up. We all come with childhood injuries. Thinking your spouse can make you feel safe and secure when you're wobbly inside is too much to ask. The sooner (and more effectively) you deal with your "stuff," the healthier and more satisfying your marriage will be.
12. Love grows as much from the challenges we face and surmount together as from the delights that we share.
13. Marriage is a long negotiation about how two people are going to run things. Money. Intimacy. Parenting. Chores. You can battle, or you can collaborate. Collaboration is a lot more rewarding.
14. Even the most stubborn among us can learn how to yield. Trust me on this one.
15. Most of your spouse's upsets and frustrations aren't about you -- but some are. The sooner you figure out which is which, the better off you'll be.
16. During hard times, commitment may be your saving grace. The fact that, way back when, you said "'till death do us part" may be the only reason you keep two feet in long enough to fix what's not going well. And that's reason enough.
17. Marriage can make you a better person or a worse person. It's your choice.
18. Complaints and criticisms aren't the same thing as requests for change.
19. Discouragement is one of the greatest threats to marriage. I've seen struggling couples give up on marriages that could quite likely be saved had they been given the proper guidance and encouragement to hang in there and fix things.
20. Thinking you have a 50-50 chance of ending up divorced makes it seem like a coin toss. It's not. There are some behaviors that nearly guarantee failure. We all know what they are. It's a good idea to not do them.
21. Being nice helps.
22. Saying thank-you does, too.
23. The happier I am about my own life, the less irritated I am about my husband's irritating behaviors.
24. A good marriage will have its share of conflict, frustration, boredom, unresolvable arguments, slammed doors and nights where one person sleeps on the couch. The key is to have enough good things to balance them out.
25. It's not always easy to keep your heart open.
26. Love matters. While love doesn't heal all, even (especially) during hard times, love is a touchstone, a reminder of why you got together in the first place.
27. Marriage is not an antidote for loneliness. While marriage provides companionship, closeness and connection are not a constant. Sometimes we're in sync. Sometimes we're not. It's important to be able to soothe and comfort yourself when need be.
28. It's easy to get into a rut when you're with the same person, year after year. Sex. Vacations. Dinner. How you spend Saturday night. Change things. Add some spice.
29. Most good marriages have one person who plays the role of the relationship "guardian": The person who brings up difficult subjects. The person who stays hopeful in hard times. The person who acts as a steadying influence when one or both of you are getting worked-up. In an ideal world, that role would be shared. In the real world it only takes one.
30. One of the best things to do in the midst of a fight is to stop fighting. Take a break. Cool down. Come back to it later. Hotheads are terrible problem solvers.
31. Some conflicts cannot be resolved by compromise. (We can't have half a child or buy half a vacation home). When there's no such thing as "meeting halfway," the solution becomes a matter of generosity, where one person says "yes" to their second choice and the other acknowledges that as a gift.
32. Fights are never about content. Where we store the dish soap, whether it's quicker to take the frontage road or the freeway, whether it's horribly rude not to answer a text -- none of these are worth getting ourselves all in a twist. Our upsets are about the larger meaning we make of that unanswered text, that resistance to influence, that refusal to take seriously the things we request. It's really helpful to accurately name what's setting you off.
33. There's a big difference between being happily married and living happily ever after. None of us are happy 24/7. Thank goodness we don't need to be.
34. When you think to yourself, I really shouldn't say this, you're probably right.
35. Learning how to make up is essential since you'll never, ever, get to a point where neither one of you screws up.
36. One of you has to go first. Apologize first. Be vulnerable first. Yield first. Forgive first. Why not let that person be you?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Product Review: Pure Belly Band

During my pregnancy, one thing that I suffered from was the weight of my belly. I don't remember my tummy feeling so heavy with my first son but this second time around was rough on a sista. Enter: the Pure Belly Wrap.

My manager was actually the person who recommended the wrap to me. I purchased it during a visit to Buy Buy Baby one day with my mom. It is functional, lightweight and gives you some support. I would recommend that you go a size smaller than what you think you may need. I regret not doing that because oftentimes I felt like my belt was too loose at times.

Another con on this belt is that I often felt hot with it on. Sure it was breathable material, I still felt hot and couldn't wait to get it off when I got home. But the fact that it took some pressure off of my tummy and back outweighed the heat I felt.

It comes in various colors but I stuck with black since you can wear it under anything. It is a machine washable and doesn't shrink. Over all, I would recommend this belt although it you want some super support, you may want to go with something else.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Unboxing an iMac

If you follow me on instagram, you know that my wonderful, sweet husband surprised me with not only a Macbook Air but an iMac for Christmas. I mean, this man literally left me speechless for the first time in my overly articulate life (thanks Miranda). Anyway, according to him, the Apple junkie, unboxing an Apple device is an "experience" and I made sure I captured every step of it. 

I have to give it to Apple, they are gangsta when it comes to their products. I will NEVER get an iPhone but I do love their other stuff lets get started...

This was my desktop PC. I had 32 inch monitor on my desk. Nevermind the nakedness of the desk; I cleared everything off just to step up the iMac.

The box was big. Not overly big but big. I suppose it would be to hold the monitor/cpu. Don't be fooled though: Apple does not include anything but the necessities in the box. You'll see what I mean in a second.

This is the entire system, still packaged, standing up. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Apple keeps it simple and clean. I love it!

To remove, you simply slide the top piece of foam up.

Next, you remove the bottom but separating the two pieces. How freaking easy is that? Keep in mind, the monitor is just standing there chilling. 

Don't toss those foam pieces though. Your keyboard, power cord and mouse are in there.

Ah, finally, all foam is removed and the monitor stands alone waiting to be unwrapped.

I put the foam back in just to give you an idea of how simple yet effective the packaging is. 3 freaking pieces of foam. Amazing.

On the back of the monitor/cpu is an adhesive tape to cover up the circle that your power cord goes through. You can peel that off easily and toss it away.

Let's unwrap this baby. The covering, which I thought was tissue paper, was actually some sort of felt  It was SOOOO soft and easy to peel apart. 

It too came in two pieces so remove the first cover and then the second.

All felt removed and now the clear plastic remains. Again, don't be fooled by the picture. Its a very gentle, yet strong plastic covering over the moving. Remove that and bask monitor glory.

So I spent 10 minutes looking for the CPU before my sweet husband, who was recording the whole thing, explained that there isn't one and that the USB plugs are on the back. MINDBLOWING!!!!! You have a slot for (starting left to right): headphones, an SD card, 4 USB slots, a lightbolt, a ethernet and some other one. Y'all its gangsta!

So, I finally got around to pulling out the keyboard for this sucker. Its super lightweight in the box. Of course, its packaged simple and easy. 

Both the keyboard and mouse are in the sample box so just slide the whole tray out. And don't worry about batteries: Apple hooks you up.

Look that simple and wonder keyboard. 

Even the mouse comes in its own little felt wrapping. I mean, it doesn't get any cuter than this!

Here they are! Setup and ready to get this show on the road.

There was also a box that included a screen cleaner and a some stickers. 

Since I was first timer, I had to ask Hubby, "How do you turn this freaking thing on?" Don't worry, the power button is located on the back of the screen. Be sure to hit the power button on the side of the keyboard and the bottom of the mouse. They will connect to each other on their own. Gangsta!

And here she is! All unpacked and ready for me to create magic on. 

It took us 3 hours (!!!) to set her up and for Hubby to give me a crash course. I couldn't be happier. I'm in complete love with this baby and can't wait to put her to work! Actually, I have been putting her to work and plan on getting it in even more as I get familiar with the system.

Hubby was right about this being an "experience". Who knew!

DIY: Laundry Room

This is the current stay of my laundry room shelves. Pitiful, I know. Not only does it look messy, it isn't functional for all that we have going on. I have been nagging Hubby for months to install some shelves and we finally got around to going out and pricing them. I have a vision in mind for our laundry room and it looks a little something like this...

via Pinterest
...sans the chandelier overhead LOL I can't wait to post after pictures. Our plan is to purchase the cabinets sometime in the next month and then we will work on painting the laundry room, changing out the light fixture and then installation. Stay tuned for more pics to come!

Back to Reality...

So, I have about a week and a half left in my maternity leave before its back to reality. These 3 months have flown by at lightening speed and I'm not ready to go back. Pregnancy complications, a week in the hospital, an emergency c-section, a painful but fairly short recovering and readjusting to having a newborn in the house - yeah, its been quite a lively 12 weeks around here. But you know what, I wouldn't change it for anything.

I have a happy, healthy family that now includes a bouncing almost-9-week old little boy. I'm blessed beyond measure.

One thing being home on maternity has made me realize is just how much I enjoy being a full-time stay at home mom. Granted, I still worked my online teaching job while home but besides that, I truly enjoyed it. I was able to stay home for 10 weeks with my first son and this time I was able to stay home for 12 weeks. Since we planning on baby #2, I would like to take a full year off of work, but that's a story for another day...

As much as I'm going to miss being home every day and shopping online for hours on end, we have bills to pay that won't pay themselves so back to work I go.