Showing posts with label Motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Motherhood. Show all posts

September 24, 2014

Things You Don't Appreciate Until You Have a Toddler

Time is flying way too fast around these parts. With fall in full swing  and Jonathan entering toddlerhood, I catch myself wishing for this stage to never end. On the other hand, I can't wait until he is a little more independent and we are over the potty training (oh the joys of potty training). I'm definitely learning to enjoy my time with him more and just take in every moment with this curious, smart and energetic boy. Also, looking at life through eyes of the toddler makes me appreciate the simple, every day things that I would've taken for granted otherwise.

The wonder of an open book. Jonathan loves reading, and every time I have a minute to sit down he brings me a book (or asks for one). The pages come alive in his eyes as he learns and explores the familiar stories. It's the excitement and wonder in his eyes that make me stop and enjoy the story with him. He never tires of it and is always ready to listen while intently studying the pictures. He will sit down and imitate reading while flipping through the pages by himself. It's the most adorable thing ever.

The beauty of nature. There are things that he finds in our yard that I didn't even know were there. Being outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine is his other favorite thing to do. Either it's taking a walk through his grandmother's garden or swinging in the park, it's always so joyful and exciting. He doesn't care if it's sunshine or rain, there is plenty to  discover and learn. The outside world is always exciting and never boring.

Unconditional love. No one loves as unconditionally and freely like toddlers. They don't hold grudges, they don't remind of old mistakes and forgive very fast. They really put the meaning of unconditional love in our lives and undeniably receive it in return. Children (and especially toddlers) love us with all our faults and mistakes, they accept us for who we are and perhaps that's why they are the most fun bunch around.

Our own parents. Living with a child and experiencing all the day-to-day difficulties and joys makes us appreciate our own parents  even more. All the cooking, cleaning and teaching our mothers did for years now seem so real and personal. It takes a lot of effort to keep a toddler out of harm's way, and at the end of the day, I am exhausted just by doing simple household tasks. After I had Jonathan, I understood all the work my mother put into me and appreciate it a lot more.

The value of a family. Children really bring life to a family and make the home come alive. Sure we were happy and satisfied as a couple before but now, it's just a lot of fun. Every single day. It brings my husband and I closer knowing that we are in this together and that we are a family. Life without children seems dull, and with addition of just one (so far) in our lives, we have experienced so much joy and fulfillment it's hard to describe it. Children bring extended family closer, they make us drop our guard and open our hearts to each other, because, really, nothing out there is more valuable than family.

August 11, 2014

Leaving a Child

As we were planning our vacation, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted it to be just the two of us. We haven't been away from Jonathan for more than a day in the last two years and it was something we needed as a couple, as parents, as adults. 

So we booked our vacation and arranged babysitters for Jonathan but as the day to leave him behind approached, my heart dropped. I was worried and besides myself. Honestly, I could hardly sleep the night before thinking about the worst possible scenarios happening while we are gone.

How could I do this? How could I leave my baby behind (with family, mind you) and just enjoy a week without him? How will he be without my constant care and attention? How am going to survive without his flamboyant personality and happy giggles? 
And to be honest, I don't know how.

Just to paint you a fuller picture of how much of control freak I am, here is exactly what I did before leaving. I scrubbed my house from top to bottom and washed all the laundry, changed all the bed sheets and stocked fridge with milk. Then I packed Jonathan's bag which included pretty much everything from ten spare shirts to fever medication and bibs. I wrote out a detailed list of his every day routine and gave to family members (yes, I know). 

Let's just say that packing for this vacation was heck of a lot more work than it would have been staying home. But I had to make sure that people who were able to raise a few children of their own would be well equipped looking after mine (oh the irony). 

In the end, I know he's in safe hands and that this time away from every day life is so good for our marriage and relationship. I know it in my mind and I know it in my heart. So I'm putting my dear baby in The Father's care and praying for him to be safe and content while we are gone. 

No matter how much we love out children, relationship with our spouse should always come first. I know sometimes it's hard to get away but it's absolutely needed to renew, refresh and rekindle the love. After all, children thrive in a loving and caring atmosphere and  benefit from a happy marriage.

July 31, 2014

Judge Not

Summer is our favorite time of the year. Jonathan loves all the outdoor activities and spends most of his time running. The shoes take a beating every time he's outside and don't last very long. So, long story short, I found myself at the mall the other day walking from store to store, searching for toddler sandals. Notice that Jonathan hates flip flops. Every time I would try to put them on his feet he would say that they hurt. Apparently retailers forgot how to make regular boy sandals because I could not find even one pair.

Jonathan was completely tired after about an hour of walking around. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't find what I was looking for, he didn't want to sit in the stroller but I couldn't let him walk as he would run away. So after another attempt to calm him with a toy and some snacks, I did what I have judged others for - I searched the YouTube for cartoons. The connection in the mall wasn't so great and it was taking a while to load one 15 minute video but it kept him occupied. He was watching a cute Russian cartoon that I have watched as a little girl and being somewhat cooperative. Target came to the rescue with only the very last pair of sandals in his size, and we were on our way home.

It's taking me a while to realize that there are many ways to parent. Some parents let their kids go to bed late and then sleep in the morning, other parents have a bed time and stick with it. Some parents don't have food guidelines and others have strict instructions what their child can and cannot eat. No matter what your parenting style is and no matter how paranoid or laid back you are, I don't judge you. I'm doing the best I can and you are doing the best you can, so we are in the same boat. People come from all sorts of economical and societal backgrounds, having gained the knowledge of what's normal from their parents. If someone has been less fortunate or simply disadvantaged in some areas, it's not my job to criticize their skills and abilities. We, as parents, need to encourage and help each other along because this job is hard enough without someone criticizing me for doing my best.

xo, Anna

July 2, 2014

Being a Baby Mama


My little boy and I are quite close. I mean it's just him and I day in and day out. We wake up together. We eat breakfast together. We read books together. We go outside together. We take naps together. We do life hand in hand every day. I never thought I would enjoy being a stay-at-home mama so much but everyday my heart is filled with joy watching my son grow.

I got asked what I do for a living and after answering that I only stay home, I've changed my answer. It may seem trivial or unnecessary, but my answer now is that I work a full time job without vacation, overtime pay and sick days. Full time raising a little human being. Life as a mother is non stop and there is always someone who needs me. There is always plenty of learning, playing, exploring and having fun together. 

Jonathan is such a chatter box right now with occasional moments of silence which usually means he's getting himself in trouble. He knows what he can and cannot do, and will turn on the charm if realizes he got caught in action. If I'm scolding him, he will come to me and lay his head on my shoulder while giving a sweet little peck right on the lips. It melts my heart.

Being a mother to a toddler every minute of the day without leaving the house for work outside is harder than one might think. Doing the same thing over and over again sometimes gets tedious and frustrating. But the moments when I see him discover a new toy, learn  a new word and open a new book are the brightest and happiest moments of my life. His giggles and little quirky things he does, that happy grin and fast little hands, the way he lays his head on my shoulder and says first words are the things that I cherish right now. 

Finding joy in the small things, having patience for the tough things, remembering the good things, never-minding the hurtful things, discovering the new things, keeping the old things dear to my heart every single day. That's what being a baby mama is all about. 

May 29, 2014

Currently Loving {Life Edition} Thursday Link Up

Few weeks ago my sister and I took the kiddos and went to the local zoo. It's nothing fancy, mind you, but still it was an event. We strapped the kiddos into strollers and headed up the hill. Half way up we realized that our kiddos weren't so impressed with napping lemurs and dirty zebras (you literally couldn't tell it was a zebra), so we paused for some pictures.
First let's take a selfie. Notice how the kids are acquainted with the concept but don't know you are supposed to put your best tooth forward. Get the joke? No? At least I'm laughing.
My gorgeous sister. We take pictures of each other but she's way better at it than I am.
Us and the llamas. But the zoo is not for Jonathan apparently - there is something more interesting
in the opposite direction.
At least something was interesting enough that he was pointing to it
 the goats which were only looking for a treat from us. The kiddos didn't want to touch them at all and Jonathan's face says it all.
When we were done with the mammals that's the face they gave us. Ha! Money well spent no?
We ended the day with some froyo. Those green little balls are Japanese candy made in all kinds of flavors. I like how they burst in my mouth creating an explosion of taste because apparently dozens of animals weren't exciting enough. This should do it.

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May 23, 2014

Blessings of a Stay at Home Mama

Last picture of his baby curls...

A younger version of myself never saw this life that I'm living in the future. I always thought I will get my education, get married, have children and go back to work as soon as I could. Little did I know that God had different plans for me. Being stay at home mom has its challenges but it's such a huge blessing. There are so many things I enjoy that need to be documented before I forget how precious this time of my life is.

The best part about being with my child 24/7 is seeing the little things he does as he changes and grows. I notice how he goes from dependent-on-me-for-all-things baby to independent boy. I see how his personality starts to show through and he becomes a fully functional member of our family. I love seeing him grow into a little man, attempt things on his own, like certain food and dislike others, categorically object to me leaving him and talk up a storm.

I'm amazed when all the teaching and repeating things over and over again finally pays off. After a million 'please' and 'thank you's he finally says something and it seems like there is nothing more precious in the world. I'm surprised when he randomly brings something into garbage without me telling him, or knows where the place of a certain item is. Those are the moments when every difficult moment and sleepless night is worth it.

I adore his slobbery kisses and hugs, and the fact that I'm his first love. He sees only me, wants me, and although it gets annoying at times, I treasure this time of closeness. Don't get me wrong, I like my personal space and alone time but that boy just knows how to melt my heart into a huge puddle of mush. He is a hugger but not s cuddler, if that makes sense. He will come up and give me a huge bear hug, after he jumps on me a little. But he will not stay passed two seconds because frankly he's too busy and has got to go.

Time is fleeting and life is so short. I cherish the time I get to spend one-on-one with my son. I'm raising a human being, a future leader, husband and father - that has got to count for something more than the career I'm missing or the dress I can't fit into. Motherhood is a great joy, and there is nothing in the world I would rather be doing right now.

May 14, 2014

Thoughts On Parenting

I set down to write this post three times, and have deleted every single draft. It's hard to put thoughts into words when you have ideas coming together in haphazard manner. So here it goes.
I think about what it means to be a parent. A lot. And how it changes me as a human being.
Few weeks ago, hubby and I had a night off (sorta) from being parents. We dropped Jonathan off at my mom's for the night and headed out. Although we were physically away from our child, we were still very presently parenting. After exchanging pleasantries we talked about that little guy that occupies most of our lives. 
We talked about his cute little quirks and the annoying-us-to-death things he does. We talked about life and how much joy that energetic boy has brought into our lives. At the end of the evening, the house felt awkwardly silent without the bubbling toddler running around. It felt a little weird not going into his room to make sure he isn't too hot, or not checking his diaper. His room was empty and it felt as if I never been to that place of just us two. Like we always had him in our lives.   
I thought, I would feel free. I thought, I was craving to relinquish the responsibility of parenthood for just one night. I thought, I missed the freedom.
But the only thing that missed that night was our boy.
Ones you become a parent, you never ever stop being one. No matter what happens in life, no matter the choices that child makes, no matter how geographically disconnected you are, no matter what he/she does, no matter what, you don't ever stop loving.
It was awesome to have a night out on the town with just the two of us, reminiscing about the good ole days. It felt so special to hold hands and not worry about third mouth to feed or the diaper duty. We needed that breath of romance and sweet time alone, and loved every minute of it.
But the next day it was all right with the world again - there were three of us. Hearing that cute babble first thing in the morning, goofing around in bed, chasing around the house, reading books and gathering around the table together. 
As much as I loved the dating and the newlywed stage, and miss being able not to think about nap schedule, I love this new stage in my life. I'm learning to embrace it and savoir every moment of adorable cuteness and naughty mischievousness. I'm learning to have more patience, to let go of the things that bother me and to live in the moment. I'm learning to hit pause for a minute to just sit down and play with Jonathan and remember the moments that brought me so much happiness.
When you hold that precious little baby in your hands, you give up the power and right to act, speak, or think as you want without consideration for another human being that depends on you for everything. That's what it means to be a parent. 

May 7, 2014

Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mama

Every year before mother's day, I see tons of buying guides. They include everything from silk pajamas to flowers but haven't your mama seen it all? Haven't she gotten every gift she doesn't need and will never use? Well, I have put together a list of ideas for your most special moms that won't make them yawn because mothers just want to feel special. Whether you do the dishes or take her to a fancy dinner, it takes a little extra thought to make this holiday memorable. Mothers want to feel appreciated in a thoughtful kind of way so you need to put some effort into it.

1. Treat your mama with a breakfast in bed! She doesn't expect it and will be ever grateful for your thoughtful gesture. Go all out and make something fancy or just simple toast with cup of coffee - whatever it is she likes. Don't forget to make it beautiful and serve it with a single rose on the tray. She will feel loved and appreciated because she, of all people, knows how much work it all takes.

2. Make her feel special with a spa day with plenty of rest and relaxation. Pamper her, either at home by drawing her a bubble bath with pretty candles and her favorite book or by sending her off to a day spa. Whichever it is, make sure you take care of it all so she doesn't have to worry about a thing (especially about the clean up or cost.)

3. A memorable photo album of those special Insta pictures and forgotten ones will bring smile and tears to her face. Every mother says that her children grow too fast so give her a memory capsule she will cherish forever. Make sure your personalize it to make is extra special.

4. Give her a full day off by taking care of little children, cleaning the house and making dinner. Do the laundry for her and any other tasks that need to be done that day. Let her do what she wants while you tend to her every whim, then see if she won't feel special.

5. Buy her something she has been wanting for a while, whether it's that new cook book or beautiful piece of jewelry. She will love the gift but more than anything she will love that you were paying attention and know her well. It's always nice to know someone cares so much.

6. Treat her by taking her out for lunch or dinner, when she least expects it. Of course, everyone is doing something special on Mother's Day but how about taking her to lunch on Friday or dinner on Saturday? It's expected of you to do something nice on Sunday but it's most special when the act of kindness is done unexpectedly.

7. Make her favorite dinner (or buy and bring it to her), from appetizer to dessert. Let her enjoy it in peace in quiet without interruptions, while you serve. She will love the opportunity to relax and have her favorite meal in peace without having to worry about anything. To make it extra special make sure you do the clean up because it's the hardest part (and as a mama she knows it).

8. Do her yard work without being asked. With spring time and lots to do around the house, she can sure use some help. Mow her lawn, water the plants, weed the garden and trim the bushes. If she doesn't have a house, see what else she needs done (a faucet is leaking somewhere probably). Just ask, and I'm sure she will have a list ready to go for you.

I hope you will make this Mother's Day extra special by putting thought and effort into your gift for your mama. She surely deserves it and will appreciate your thoughtfulness, especially because she knows how much work it all takes. Thank her by doing something for her, instead of just brushing the holiday off with another cliche of a gift.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by lovelies!

April 8, 2014

The Gentle Reminder

When everything is going well, we do not appreciate or take the time to enjoy what we have. We brush things off, ignore people and pass by our children being busy with who knows what. We just keep on living without realizing how much we have, how fragile life is and how it only takes a second for everything to come crushing down. 

We had a health-related scare with our little guy. As first time parents, we were freaked out and frightened. We didn't know what was going on and at the time, everything seemed possible and scary. After a short visit to the E.R. we were relieved with a mild diagnosis and went home with a thankful heart.

As we put the little guy to sleep and the house turned into silence, we realized that everything could have gone much worse, that really, we have so much. With a tearful prayer and a thankful heart we were locked in the most intimate and lovable embrace. We were so so glad. We were happy.  It was the bittersweet realization that it's so good to have each other, that we really are amazing together, that we didn't crack under stress, that we didn't blow up or shout at each other. Also, a gentle reminder from the Lord to always be thankful, to live every day to the fullest, to be kinder to each other, to spend more time with our son, to make memories, to be happy in the moment, to be mindful of our hearts, to be sincere in our walk, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. 

I believe God puts us through difficult things for a very specific reason. We may not know it at the time but among one of them is to make us appreciate the good times. We go through testing and trials to understand God's grace, to know that His love sustains and His mercy endures forever. It's the gentle reminders we all need. 

March 26, 2014

Parenting Toddlers

When it comes to parenting, different stages of child's life require much wisdom. Babies are sweet and sleepy; they want to hang out on your shoulder and as long as they are fed and changed, it's all good. Now, toddlers are a totally different story. They are fully functioning members of a family, as they try prove themselves at every possible opportunity. They are very independent at this age and yet need us the most. So here's how parenting a toddler has changed my life. 

1. GIVE FREEDOM (as much as it is safe). They have very little control over their world - from what they eat to where they sleep, we decide everything for them. So whenever possible and you can give them the freedom they so desire, do so. Let them experiment with different foods and textures, run freely in controlled environment and don't be too harsh when they make a mess. 

2. TEACH. At this point in their life, they soak up every single bit of information that comes their way. Toddlers are very observant, that's why they imitate adults so much. Give them place and time to learn instead of restricting everything all the time. Whenever you have time, sit down, play, read and have fun with them. It may seem like not much to you but they are learning even when you are just goofing off. They are learning valuable social skills of human interaction and trust.

3. BE FAIR. Keep everyone in your household, including yourself to the same standards. If you think they shouldn't have candy but you are \eating M&Ms by the bag full, they will catch on very soon. They may not understand it and you may be able to get away with it now, but sooner or later they will resent your partiality. 

4. REDIRECT. When so little of your life is in your control, and you can't do this or that, frustration comes on easily. Toddlers are frustrated a lot at the world around them because they either can't do something, won't do something or simply don't want to do something. Redirect their attention away from the frustration and engage them in something else.

5. BE CALM. Whenever toddlers are upset, frustrated or cranky, it's best to stay calm. It won't do any good to you or them to get all frizzled and start yelling. Escalating situation by yelling and making arguments will just make it worse because they will resist it. Just accept the fact that they will be upset in some near future and will refuse to do whatever it is you want them to do. So keep calm - you have a toddler on hands.

1. REASON. At this point in game, they don't understand reasoning. You can explain all you want why they need to go to sleep and why mommy loves them, but they don't understand it. When making rules, be firm but soft spoken. Assure them by hug or kiss but still keep on doing what you must. 

2. BRIBE. I know it seems that everyone is doing it but it's simply very ineffective way to train. It teaches the child that he needs to do something only if there is a reward for such behavior. They need to learn that obeying and listening is part of their life. It's simply what they need to learn without alternatives and bribes.

3. IGNORE. Sometimes you just want to close your eyes and not see what's happening. But your toddler is watching you every moment of the day. Sure there are times when it's better to just walk away and not engage, but ignoring mean and defiant behavior will not do him/her any good. It needs to be addressed, punished and corrected.

4. GIVE UP. When it seems like you've tried every option and they still refuse to follow directions or eat that veggie, just step away. Don't keep at it if there are no results but don't get so frustrated you just want to give up. Sometimes, you just need to regroup, find another approach and start all over again. Repetition and consistency is your best friend when it comes to toddlers.

March 19, 2014

When A Household Is Sick

Unrelated shot when everyone was well and actually had time to take pictures.

Last weekend was part of 'it was the worst time of my life' story and it all started Saturday morning. 

I woke up feeling tired, achy and overall blah. I did not want to get out of the bed and had no appetite. Hubby was a sweetheart and got up with Jonathan while I got to snooze extra hour or so. We had plans with a few of our friends to go out of town. I hate to cancel on people, so we ended up going and had a great time. But by the end of dinner I was shivering and coming down with some awful chills, that the entire ride home I was jittery and cold. 

All night and the next morning I was ready to die. I had the worst chills and my body felt like I was run over by a train a million times. All that along with never-ending pain in my throat let me think I had the flu. Dear husband took Jonathan to church and cooked lunch, went to the store and got me medicine and fruit so I could stay in bed. I went to see the doctor  Monday morning and the diagnosis was strep throat.

Next day, hubby started getting down with same kind of  fever and chills. He was feverish all night and next day had the same diagnosis - strep. It had got to be the worst - both of us with a full of life and energy toddler. Shoot me now.

Two out of three people in our household had strep throat, so we quarantined ourselves inside the house without anyone in or out. Since strep is highly contagious and awfully painful, I'm was so worried about Jonathan getting it too but thankfully, he didn't. I wiped down the entire house with Clorox wipes and rewashed every utensil I used every day. We feeling better but still not totally there.

It was hard being a parent while being sick. 

When a sweet, babbling baby wanted to clime in bed with us and play pick-a-boo but all I wanted to do is bury my face in a pillow, it was hard. When he wanted to play with me and kiss me all over and I couldn't, it was hard. When he wanted to be held and carried but I was too tired to even get out of bed, it was hard. It was hard not to be physically close, kiss, hold and love my baby when he so desperately needed it. It was probably harder then going through the pain and ache and after only a day of being away from him, I realized how much I missed that sweet boy of mine.

So if anyone in your house is ever sick, stay away from them. Do not sleep in the same bed (even if they want to cuddle), do not share a glass (unless you sanitized it), do not give them a kiss goodbye (so cold, I know) and certainly, do not exchange any bodily fluids (wink). It's hard being sick and caring for a baby but when both are sick, it's even worse. Take that from me.

Thank you for stopping and hope your week is going better than mine!

February 24, 2014

Five Things Every Mother Needs

After a year of motherhood, I fell like I know a little bit about what it takes to be a mother.  I'm certainly not an expert but from personal experience, I've discovered these are the things every mother needs. No questions asked.

Every mother, no matter how much experience she has, will agree with me that all she really needs is a good night's sleep. Without any interruptions, without anyone calling for water, or a clean diaper or asking where the new diapers are. It's those precious eight hours that feel like heaven and make everything seem better, rejuvenate your spirits and make the world brighter. So whenever you can, treat yourself to the luxury of a full night's sleep, even if you have to turn in at 8 pm and don't get up until you absolutely must. I guarantee, you will feel better and those dishes will still be there in the morning (I promise I won't tell anyone).

When you are running late (which is like me 99% of the time) and still haven't had a drop of food in your mouth, while trying to get everyone else ready, the last thing you want is to spend time trying stuff on. To look fresh and put together, you need to figure out what works for you, personally. Your hair, your skin and body type are something that defines who you are. Learn to accentuate your strengths, work with your body type and find drug-store make up that gets the job done. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on make up and clothes to look good. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.

Every mother (and father) needs a break. The last thing you want to do while on a date night is worry about your child(ren). You need to find someone, be that friends, family or hired help, who you trust with your  child(ren) completely. There cannot be any doubt that the person you are leaving your child(ren) with is fully capable of handling that responsibility. Make your wishes fully known, specify things they should and should not do. It's your child(ren)'s well being you are talking about and you shouldn't have to apologize for anything.

When you are running out of steam and just about rip to shreds everything that comes your way, it's time to step aside and take a breather. Every mom needs some 'me time' to refocus, relax and simply take your mind off everything that has to do with feeding, changing and taking care of babies. Mothers with tiny newborns, preschoolers, school-age children, or teenagers, either one or many, need time away from motherhood responsibilities just to ensure their sanity. Put some 'me time' in your schedule or it will never happen and you will feel run down and exhausted. 

It's impossible to get through a day of motherhood without laughing, whether it's at the kids or yourself. The moment when your child does something wrong and you know you should reprimand him/her but all you could do is laugh? Yes that one. It happens to everyone. Just go ahead and smile at your child because really we need more laughter in our lives. If you can't do anything about a situation, you can at least get a good laugh from it and that's worth something. Stop taking yourself so seriously and take it easy, and life will seem much simpler when you can show your children you can laugh at yourself and be silly too. 

And that's that!
Thank you for reading.

February 6, 2014

I'm Not Ready

Before having Jonathan, I could not imagine loving a baby so much. I didn't think I was ready for the responsibility of motherhood but more than that, I wasn't ready for all the love. Now, with every passing day I'm still not ready for the enormous experience of unconditional love that motherhood is. I'm truly not ready for the time to fly so fast.

I'm not ready for him to grow up  and abandon the cute infant stage. I'm not ready to give up the random hugs and kisses when we are goofing around. I'm not ready for the most sincere and funny laugh I have ever heard every time I  tickle or play with him. I'm not ready to be a mom of a toddler. I'm not ready for the love that overfills my heart to the point that it almost hurts. I'm not ready to feel the ache when I think about anything that may hurt him. I'm definitely not ready for the enormous responsibility of raising a human being, a gentleman, future husband and father. I don't know if I'm up for the job. I'm not ready for the tantrums and gentle discipline. I'm not ready hold my tamper when all I want to do is yell. I'm not ready for his hands to wrap around my neck when he had a scary dream and I calm him saying everything is ok. Mommy is here. 

I'm not ready for his serious face when I tell him not to touch something and he's trying to tell me otherwise. I'm not ready for the bruises and scuffed knees. I'm not ready for the boyish fun and rombanxious spirit that wants to come out every time he's on the loose. I'm not ready for his impressionable soul to take everything in. I'm not ready for all the funny giggles and sweet smiles right after nap time. I'm not ready to see him grow and change with every minute of the day. I'm not ready to teach him right from wrong, because some things I'm still unsure of myself. I'm not ready to show him all the hurt and darkness of the world.

I am not ready for my heart to be so full, and life to be so different. I feel like most days I want the time to stop and speed up at the same time. I want him to grow up yet to stay little forever, because I'm not ready for the depth of emotions and huge responsibility of parenthood. Yet it's here. I'm here. No matter how much I prepare myself, I don't know what the future holds. But I know Who holds tomorrow and that I can trust God to hold me in His hand. So, although I feel no ready for this life ahead of me and the role of motherhood, I know that God knows my heart. He will be with me through it all, guiding through the unexpected and unknown.
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

So, bring it on, life. 
I'm ready.

January 29, 2014

Style {Motherhood Challenges Series}

Personal style is defined by who you are as a person. Style is not the latest brands or designer labels but something that makes you, well, you. It's personal and very unique to every individual. And although there are guidelines for looking groomed and put-together, I don't think that being a mother is an excuse for sloppy personal attire. 
Finding your own personal style and knowing what works well for your figure is something that comes with time. As a mother, I have seen my style evolve and change to accommodate my growing responsibilities. I love wearing dresses because they are a no-brain outfit. I adore above knee skirts and high boots (as you can tell with my latest outfit posts) and quiet frankly it's possible with an infant in tow (granted I only have one).
One thing is for sure - I seek comfort and ease of movement with all my outfits and limit amount of jewelry in my everyday wear because those tiny chubby hands love to grab onto everything. I still love pretty sequin tops and never shy away from a great pair of heels but it's knowing how to style them is the key.
Having classic, versatile, high quality pieces makes it possible to mix and match to your heart's content. Here are a few of my picks for a functional mother's closet. 




blousesequin topskirttotebraceletpumps

January 10, 2014

Thoughts On Feeling Like a Failure

I have been thinking a lot about what have I accomplished. Not just in the last year but in my entire life. Looking at other women my age and those even younger, at those with, what seems like, better marriages and celebrity-worthy closets I got jealous. I started feeling pity for myself because I don't have a thousand people following after two years of blogging, every item in my closet does not have a J.Crew label on it, my husband is not a freelance photographer who takes pictures of me for living and my baby's outfits are not Instargam-worthy.

I'm just a married girl with baby in tow who has a blog. I write half legible sentences of incoherent thoughts and post pictures of simple outfits. That's it. I'm not sensational or original. In most cases I look to Pinterest and other blogs for inspiration. I carefully plan out all of my blog outfits and take a million pictures of baby for that one cute grin.

And so I've been feeling sorry for myself just a little bit for a couple of reasons. I don't have a career and I'm not rising to the top of corporate ladder. I haven't made a huge following for my blog and I don't have very inspirational thoughts. I don't have a 'wow factor' with every outfit and I cannot afford Valentino rockstuds. (Google it if you must). Feeling like I don't have anything to show for my life, like I haven't accomplished much has taken over me.

It's easy to feel inferior and like a looser by looking at other people's blogs, families, business, children or what have you, through the prism of social media. Most of the time we do not see the whole picture. We get caught up in the covetous state of mind because let's face it, our culture pushes for it. I see a lot of 'currently coveting' posts and none 'look I'm happy with what I've got' posts because we are always looking for more. That makes us compare our lives with others' and when it doesn't line up with a tiny snapshot of reality, we feet like we failed.

That is absolutely not true.

Behind heavily edited pictures, polished looks, staged family photos and perfect lighting there are people. People who have faults, who fail and who don't have it all together because I surely don't. And that's OK. It's OK to be ordinary and just myself. It's OK to be living an ordinary life, raising babies, loving my husband and growing old. It's OK to be grateful for what I have and do the best I can with the life that God gave me.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise
 (2 Corinthians 10:12)

December 9, 2013

Real Parenting

We had a taste of 'real parenting'. Jonathan has been an easy baby every since he was born - sleeping through the night right away, no colic, no ear infections or major spit-ups (thank God) and we've been spoiled. His bottom teeth came in without a cinch and we were thrilled. 
Fast forward two months and he was cranky, didn't want to eat from the spoon, constantly wining and wanting to be on hands. Once we realized that his top teeth are popping through, at least we could take some measures, stocking up on baby Tylenol and finger foods. As it would happen, hubby was working nights that week and I was alone holding down the fort. 
Jonathan had it rough with sleepless nights, bleeding gums and no solids. He didn't want the spoon because it hurt his gums, so he only ate the stuff he could pick up with hands. We were getting frustrated because he was practically living on formula, super cranky and needy. The teeth finally cut through and we were relieved to have the happy and easy-going baby back. He is sleeping through the night, eating as he supposed to and loving his independence again. 
Those hard times, sleepless nights and cranky baby really proved our marriage. When neither of us wanted to get up to get Jonathan in the middle of the night, when we were snappy and irritable, it took a lot more effort not to kill each other. Glad we didn't because I still kind of like this guy. Scratch that, I love him  and our life together. 

November 15, 2013

Jonathan //9 months//

I remember sitting in my PJ's right after I got home from the hospital, trying to latch you on (crying from the horrible pain) and thinking that this will never end. I will not survive this.
And here we are - nine months later, still alive and well.
You are making all kinds of babble noises as I'm typing away at the computer.

You are smart and fun kid to be around. You love books and every time I open a book you just love turning pages with me and looking at pictures. You play with books by yourself and attempt to turn pages on your own - so stinking adorable.

You are getting into e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. There is absolutely nothing out there that doesn't look or sound interesting. Shoes, for example, are the best and you look to chew on them any chance you get.

You still only have two teeth and although the top gums look like they are a little swollen, they aren't coming out yet.
Since we have the luxury of having two living rooms, I bought a gate to keep you in a controlled and safe environment when I need to cook or get stuff done. You play in it for a while but it does get old, and you love to follow me around.

Your regular bed time is 8pm and usually you wake up between 4 and 6am for your bottle. Then fall asleep again until about 8 or 9. But of course the days daddy has a day off and we want to sleep in you will decide to wake up at 7am and proceed to demand to be picked up.

You are eating pretty much everything we do (although finger foods are your absolute favorite). Whenever I'm cooking, I don't add seasoning until the very end and puree your food then season ours.
You have the most adorable and funny laugh and everything is a game. We play and laugh, and read, and goof around together - I'm loving this stage the most.

You love going shopping and sitting in the cart like a big boy, looking around and grabbing pasta boxes any chance you get. You barely fit in your carrier car seat  and it makes me sad that you are growing so fast.
Bath time is a daddy duty and your absolute favorite - you squeal when you see shower start. You two have a lot of fun together, judging by all the laughing that's going on in the bathroom

You finally learned to hold your own bottle and now it's a lot easier putting you down for a nap, although sometimes I let you fall asleep without a bottle.

You have an easy-going personality and as long as you are fed, changed and rested - all is well with the world. You are starting to show your toddler side and definitely will let everyone know when you don't like something - we are working on it.

As much as I can, I'm teaching you the meaning of 'no' and that I mean it. Most of the time you understand it but still keep coming back and doing the same thing over and over again. I'm definitely learning patience.

You love going to new places and stranger's houses don't intimidate you at all. Really, anyone can babysit you and you will have no problem with it. Especially you love being spoiled by grandmas.

You are crawling and cruising everywhere you can, and I don't think walking is too far away. You can get places a lot faster by crawling so walking isn't on your To Do list right now.

Out of all the different stages and changes you have been going through, I'm enjoying every moment. Seeing how fast time flies and you will never been this little again, I'm doing my best to take in every moment, not to complain and just enjoy the life right now.