The Climber

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Stay there; its okay mommy is coming. How’d you get up there? Ugh it doesn’t matter just sit down!

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He looks innocent enough however this smiling face decided timeout wasn’t for him then climbed onto his changing table and got stuck. I tried not to think of all the horrible things that could’ve happened while he was up there but I’m a paranoid person so my imagination soared. As I pretended to be calm on the outside, I smiled and told him he was going to get his big boy bed. What I was really doing resembled the panic from the father on Inside Out when his wife was trying to non-verbally communicate. I was freaking out. I wasn’t ready for my baby to be in a toddler bed. I mean is he even a toddler??

Once I collected myself I realized he’s going to keep growing unless something horrible happens. And growth is a good thing not only physically but in every aspect of our lives. I’m sure I’ll have way more moments like this as he gets older but I’ll try to make sure I encourage his growth and maturity and smile knowing his father and I are doing the best we can to make him a productive happy human 🙂

On a not so mushy note I now have to find a better place for timeout so my little climber doesn’t hurt himself…

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Color Run 2017

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This is everything from the Color Run packet: Happy tattoo, number, coupon for the C.R. store, epsom salt, official shirt, detergent sample (I think) & sweatband. There were also free Lays Poppables when you picked up your packet the day before run

The day finally arrived. I would be in my first fun run! I ate clean, exercised, got a good night sleep and prepared my outfit the night before. Just kidding I didn’t do any of that 😉

I’ll start by saying in the beginning I was preparing very well then I let life get in the way. The nail in my coffin was hanging out and having a few sips the night before/ day of. I don’t regret a thing because I needed to catch up with my friend and relax without hearing someone scream bloody murder when I left the room.

Race Day

Somehow I managed to drag my tired self out of bed on time so I could shower and get all dolled up. I was going to wear my lime green wig, fill in my eyebrows some shade of pink with matching lipstick, use the brightest Crayons to add flare to my number and blend my favorite green smoothie which at the moment is spinach, pineapple, banana and carrots. What did I end up doing… well I’m not sure but by the time I finished showering I was rushing to do everything. I’m not wearing any makeup and barely colored in my number which I attached to the front of my shirt instead of the back. I didn’t drink water that alone blend a smoothie. The best outfit I could do was my Color Run sweatband and shirt which I put on while my husband was driving (don’t worry I stayed buckled up the whole time; safety first). To add to my mess of a morning, I forgot the freeway was getting a much needed face lift, there was a bad accident involving multiple cars (everyone seemed okay just shaken) and we (I) was running so late that the regular entrances were closed so hubby had to drive all around to figure out how to get me to the race before they stopped letting people in. Well we (I) made it with only a few minutes to spare but they weren’t very strict on the time since there were multiple waves.

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Top Left – taken at start line; Police Officer – shortly after starting; Mile markers 1 – 3; Purple Party – last marker before finish line; Medal & son (covered in purple) – Finish line party which you can see behind us

Notes

  • Any fitness level can do this (walkers, runners, families, etc)
  • It’s shockingly fun: beginning had foam/ bubble area and hubby liked the end*
  • Family Friendly!! Police officers were out in full effect some even enjoying the music and giving high-fives to the kids as they passed by while others were singled out because they looked more like calendar models than real officers 😉
  • This is more fun with a buddy or a group but can be enjoyed by an individual with the right attitude
  • The halfway point had water and a Port-A-Potty (sp?)
    • Official Color Run Water cups. Yes I have four! I wanted a set
  • Be cautious if you have respiratory issues or have little ones. Bring a mask or ask that they not throw color on you. As my husband went through with our son everyone was very kind and asked if he wanted color. He declined but our son was able to get color during the finish line party and he wasn’t a fan 😦
  • Finish line party is awesome but extremely loud. If you have hearing issues or little ones you might want to bring ear plugs, stand far away from the speakers/ stage or skip the party. We decided to go but the combo of colors, noise and crowds weren’t his thing however if he wasn’t with us we would’ve stayed and partied.
    • I almost forgot to mention the free stuff at the party!!! If you’re like me and love free then this will be almost as awesome as the run. Pay attention to who is sponsoring as these are usually the ones with the best stuff. Lays gave Poppables: Sea Salt (okay…) & White Cheddar ( my fav), Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soak Relax & Relief which was really helped and smelled amazing (glad I took a few) as well as free beverages and multiple booths giving away prizes
  • Not sure all Color Runs have this but our run had blowers so you can get some of the color off before you leave. It was more fun than effective but I was still grateful for it

*hubby was a big naysayer but supported his wife and is now planning our next fun run so give it a try

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Hair Update 7/2017

My edges have returned and hair that has broken off is also growing back despite the horrible neglect it has suffered dating all the way back to the end of my first trimester. I was so excited to see my full edges that I took pictures at different stages of the process. EDITED: After I added the pictures I realized there aren’t any clear images of my edges #fail

My wash day is typical of most found on any curly-haired blog/ YouTube channel with the exception of adding heat so I can trim my own ends. I’ll admit I’m not super into my hair like I was before having a child so I’m sure if you look close enough you’ll see tons of SSK (single strand knots), split ends and general unevenness but hey it is what it is and I maintain my hair in a way that is easiest for me. Without further delay my edges (and the rest of my hair)!

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Photos above are of my hair right after I washed it. It was still soaking wet but I was feeling it way too much to let it dry 🙂 However I did let it air dry (took 1-2 days) in big twists to minimize the amount of heat I used.

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1- After taking down twist

2 – Flat iron

3 – Trimmed

My bathroom is really small but I was stuck in there since I didn’t want to wake my son up. It was my husband’s awesome idea to put the giant fan in the bathroom with me so I wouldn’t ruin all my hard work with sweat. Needless to say whenever I flat iron it again I will be using the fan.

Size 4 Diapers

“What brand of diapers do you prefer?”

This was one of the most common questions I was asked towards the end of my pregnancy and during his first few months on the outside. The most common answers:

  • I have no idea
  • Whichever ones are on sale
  • Whatever you want to buy me is fine

Then the day finally came when I ran out of diapers from our baby shower. I had no idea what I was doing. I almost called my mom in tears as I stood sleep deprived in the middle of Target trying to figure out what everyone had bought us at the shower. All I could think of was “insert brand is the best diaper”. I knew there were lots of options including reusable, partial reusable and disposable as well as a million brands each carrying different types. What I didn’t realize is no matter what works for others you still have to find the one or a few you are personally comfortable with.

I am by no means an expert with only one child that is one years old and only having tried 5-6 different types of diapers. While I was gifted reusable diapers I never got around to using them as I had already gotten used to disposables by the time I received them. This is just a quick rundown of the few diapers I’ve tried. And I’m mostly posting this in case we have a second child I can remind myself that I DO want to give the reusable diapers a try as well as which ones seem totally unnecessary.

First I’ll give honorable mentions to the diapers I only used 3-4x

  • Honest Brand: Expensive and over-rated IMO but very cute and allegedly better for the environment than regular disposables
  • Seventh Generation: Too stiff/ hard but allegedly better for environment than regular disposables
  • Luvs: Chemical smell, very affordable, caused rash and had to return but could work perfectly for someone else (please note I’ve never had this problem with any other diaper and my son doesn’t have extremely sensitive skin)

Now for the diapers I purchased numerous times

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Note these are all size 4 diapers 22-37 lbs.

1 – Pampers Swaddlers

Pros: Fit well, soft & readily available

Cons: Not a good fit once baby started crawling due to the straight edged back (see pic #1 back)

Price: Coupons and discounts occasionally but good at places like Target that offer gift card deals if a certain quantity is purchased

2 – Huggies Little Movers

Pros: Cheaper than Pampers but just as soft, stretchy with elastic style back (see pic #2). It also has a purple patch on the front that seems to help the diaper stay in place better

Cons: Thigh area was a little snug until he started to thin out so if your baby has larger thighs then be mindful this could cause chaffing

Price: Always has coupons in our local paper (free coupons that come automatically) and has the gift card deal at Target

3 – Huggies Snug & Dry

Pros: Extremely thin!!! I didn’t think this would absorb as much as the regular diapers which all seem to be larger/ plusher but it does without all the added material. Wetness indicator & stretchy back (see pic #3)

Cons: Not as soft as other diapers, slight smell to them

Price: Same as Huggies Little Movers

4 – Kirkland Signature

Pros: Very similar to Huggies Little Movers (see pic #4)

Cons: Need Costco membership, only available at Costco

Price: Very affordable and seems to have a sale/ discount every few months

 

Review: Face & Body Brush

The Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions

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Price: Varies but this was under $25 on Amazon (Feb/Mar 2017)

Packaging: Efficient and easy to open (see product pic in collage)

Instructions: Not a lot included but I received additional instructions in an email from the seller which I found helpful. I would also recommend looking at a review on Amazon with one star that gives detailed info which is the reason I bought this product.

Quality: Appears to be great buy for the price and service. The customer service seems to be great. I’ve been contacted a few times to verify the product is working correctly

Progress:

Skin – I spaced on taking any decent before or after pictures so I will not include any. However I will say with regular daily use I noticed old acne scars start to fade, smoother skin and softer smile lines. I will add taking before and after pictures when using any skincare product (no makeup of course) would be the best way to see if a product is truly working for you but if you have a really observant husband like I do who compliments you on the improved texture and clarity then that goes a long way 😉

Feet – Unfortunately I can’t give a thorough review of the pumice stone as I became lazy and stopped using it regularly but I can say after 2 weeks of (every other day) use I noticed slightly smoother feet. It made a bigger different on my rough heels than on the pads of my feet but I do still use it for pedicures.

Overall: The Perfect Skin Brushing System (face & body brush cleansing system) by Essential Skin Solutions is worth the money for me as I really like the ease of use, battery life, handle and hanging string plus all of the accessories. The only downside is having the time to spend brushing your entire body. If you are on the larger side like I am and want a thorough clean then it takes a bit to be able to use the body brush all over then switch to the pumice stone then switch to  the facial brush. Was it time well spent? Absolutely! Do I have that kind of time as a new inexperienced mom that likes a tidy house and is attempting to get on a schedule for son, husband and personal care… No but I still use this entire system (face & body brush and pumice stone) when hubby takes over and I have an in home spa day.

 

Nail Polish & Unicorns

WARNING: This is a random emotional dump so if you want more then read something else.

It has been rough in every sense: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. The toughest being wondering if I have PPD or am having violent mood swings. The other realizing I am failing spiritually.

Instead of continuing to drown in my emotional state, I started to workout which I mentioned in my March Update post. I’ve since committed to working out at least 10mins daily in hopes I’ll improve my mood and alleviate stressing over things that are beyond my control. Well I was wrong. It has boosted my mood however the same problems exist and come flooding back as soon as the high of the workout ends. Today was no different…

Started the day by exercising. I’m currently doing Slim in 6 but I’ll do a separate post once I’ve completed the 6 weeks. Played with my son who was screaming MOM at the top of his lungs by the time I was done then clapped for me after I picked him up. We watched family vlogs until I got in the shower. I prepared for my appointment and this is where things started going wrong. The appointment was mislabeled, changed then rescheduled all after I had shown up for said appointment. I decided not to complain and just continued onward to lunch. The restaurant closed at 2 which was especially annoying as we’d been waiting to go back since Saturday plus we paid for parking but we found a different place within walking distance so the parking wasn’t a total waste. At this point hubby and I were both annoyed at the events, realized we’d forgotten something due to our extreme irritation and both expressed our grievances which took up all of our lunch. That is when I told him we needed to do something to wash off the stink of these events in order to salvage the rest of our day.

First stop was taking care of what we’d forgotten and that felt pretty good because yet again we’d hit a personal/ couple goal. Then on to Starbucks for the new Unicorn Frappuccino which my hubby described as a sweet tart ice cream. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but the name mixed with the colorful appearance put an instant smile on my face and changed my perspective.

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The Unicorn boosted my mood and lead me to do something I haven’t done in what seems like months; give myself a mini manicure & pedicure. I call it a mini because I didn’t soak or massage beforehand I simply cleaned up my cuticles, clipped and shaped my nails then polished. I was running late for my religious meeting (totally my fault I was 30min off…), messed up on a nail and ended up having an unpolished thumbnail but we made it. Once we got back home and were in comfy clothing, I polished my thumbnail and for some reason the whole day felt right. The weather was perfect (rainy and cloudy my favorite no joke or sarcasm intended), we made it to our meeting, our son was asleep, my fingers and toes looked nice, my hair was somewhat done (read better than all over my head or in a knotted bun) and we were relaxing together watching Founders which kind of turned me off of McDonald’s not that I frequented the place.

However my wow moment didn’t come until after the movie. I was deciding between going to bed and reading. I needed sleep desperately but I hadn’t read in silence in a while. Reading won; Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul pt 2. As I was reading the short stories, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. I caught myself admiring the color and the time I took to do it even with all the interruptions. Finally I came across a story that (like the book had warned/ suggested) stopped me in my tracks and helped me appreciate my day even more. I closed the book right that second so I could reflect on the emotions the story evoked. Finally the WOW moment. I was happy because of two simple things: Unicorn Frap and my nails being polished. It wasn’t huge but it sent me straight to my Gratefuls book which I hadn’t used since late 2015. I wrote down a condensed version of this post with a few extra more personal details and here I am. I felt so inspired I decided to add writing in that book to my list of things to do. I’m hoping it’ll force me to find at least one thing to be grateful for daily beyond the basics that everyone is grateful for namely food, clothing, shelter, family and good health.

I’m not sure if any one thing will help or if I need to see my doctor to make sure this isn’t PPD but I do know all these little changes will only help me even if it doesn’t fix everything.

March Update

Well things went south… Details would be boring so here are the highlights 🙂

Parent Life

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  • breastfeeding beyond one
  • trying solids
  • teething
  • tantrums
  • clingy mommy only times

Food

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  • too much so I’ll show the healthy ish ones and avoid pics of pasta, buttery shrimp, fried stuff, cookies and muffins… (avoids eye contact)

Life Changes

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  • Weight: 230.2lbs
    • it is 6:38pm PST and I’ve been drinking lots of water but it’s still bad…
  • Health/ Fitness: exercised 4 out of 10 days (3/26 – 4/4)
    • big accomplishment considering I haven’t been this consistent in years!
  • Note: I was going to write “before pics” as the caption but I already started the journey so these were rightfully captioned “IP (in progress) pics”

Self Care & Balance

Life happened and I wasn’t being balanced. I haven’t been on the diet in weeks, was eating everything in sight (thanks Pinterest not so healthy food pins) and my weight showed it. As of Sunday March 26th, 2017, I stayed awake (son still wakes 2+ times per night), drank coffee possibly ate breakfast then prepared to walk. I didn’t let my son getting back up stop me. I dressed him in his track suit and strapped him into his stroller and off we went. This started a chain reaction which included exercising intentionally, weekly pampering, drinking more water  and eating meals with more attention to health. For now life seems to be all over the place but those are little things I can do no matter what.

What I learned:

  • Don’t forget about yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Appreciate the present even if it isn’t ideal
  • As long as you’re alive you can change things but it is up to you if it changes for good or for bad

Weight & Stats – 2nd Month

Explanation (excuse) – As you can see there are no pictures, stats or measurements. The last week of the diet month was terrible. I could say Superbowl started me down this slippery week long binge but I’d be lying; there was more to it than that. I won’t give details because it doesn’t matter since it is an excuse. I’m not giving up or giving in. If it was easy I would’ve never gotten out of shape and unhealthy in the first place. I’ve set new specific goals and I plan on crushing them. I also plan to cheat wisely until I gain the willpower to cheat only on the planned day. This is the compromise I am allowing myself. If you’re physically healthy yet mentally deteriorating then what does it matter? I want balance and this compromise will allow me to find it in order to make a lifetime change and not a temporary one.

Goals for the Month:

  • Find something to replace emotional eating
    • Write down specific triggers even if it is as simple as boredom or I wanted xyz
  • Finish one workout DVD
  • Lose 4lbs

Weekly Details:

62 Days down (9 full weeks completed)

Week 1 (1/8*) – I failed this week… I cheated 3x on non-cheat days 😦 but I did ask my husband to force me to throw away my candy if I cheated again so my candy stash is no more. I still won’t give up this time. I’ve got goals!

Week 2 (1/15*) – Only cheated on my scheduled day!!! Winning 🙂

Week 3 (1/22*) – 2x but I know what happened. This was an emotionally intense week and I defaulted to my old habit of finding comfort in food.

Week 4 (1/29*) – 2x again but once was during a play date and I regret nothing.

Week 5 (2/5*) – All bad… Cheated all week long

*Weeks begin on Sunday because cheat day (Saturday) is the end of the diet week. I originally was counting by Monday – Sunday but that confuses me when it comes to making notes for a specific week.

What I learned:

  • Drink more water – succeeded
  • Incorporate exercise – failed which is why it is back on the list. Actually it would’ve continued to be on the list because I am going to set monthly fitness goals like the one I’ve listed for the coming month

 

 

Family Day Date

As I write this, I’m listening to The Point Of It All by Anthony Hamilton on Pandora. This song sums up how I feel about my little family. I love when we’re together; that’s why I chose to make this a Family Day Date instead of a Date Night post. Call me mushy but with everything going on in the world I find my family to be a refuge thus I’m taking advantage of it by having a family date. Now to the post!

We decided to take our own family pictures because budgeting… The perfect backdrop was the beach. It had a combination of water and sand along with trees and dirt. It also gave us flexibility since we could bring our own lunch, E could move around (somewhat) freely and it still felt kind of romantic. Plus it was cheat day and this was the perfect environment for bad snacks.

Below is E and I goofing around in an attempt to get him to smile for the pictures.

The picture below is of one of the elephant seals. There were warning signs every where saying to stay away from them and not to approach for any reason because they’re aggressive. They were minding their own business while sunbathing and besides the dead pup all seemed tranquil. With that said we still gave them the respect and room they deserve because wild animal.

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These pictures are of the beautiful scenery.

All in all this was a great day. Hubby and I were able to relax during the drive up because E fell asleep and stayed that way for most of the drive. We had a pit stop so I could nurse E and grab a few things we forgot. Arrived at the beach which was unusually busy because of some sort of tour but not too many people were on the beach because of the elephant seals. We took all of the pictures we wanted then ate snacks and relaxed. It was the perfect family day date.

Baby Book Expectations

What I said:

  • I need a baby book
    • reasoning – it’ll help me keep track of all of his firsts
  • I love this one; I’ll add it to my registry
  • Yay I have it!
    • I’ll fill it out regularly

What I did:

  • Brings to hospital
    • forgets it exists because baby
  • Pulls out once during unusually quiet moment
    • imagines all the cool things I’ll be able to fill in
  •  Fast forward to present
    • rushes to fill everything in
    • extremely thankful for pictures and videos that have a date 🙂
      • haven’t actually printed any of the pictures to put in book…

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What I learned from this experience:

  • I don’t (didn’t) need a book
  • pictures and videos on cell phones make up for the book
  • I haven’t printed pictures in years so what made me think a book would change that
  • I’ve forgotten lots of stuff so some things only have the month
  • I don’t check it every time he hits a milestone

To all of you first time parents who might be considering a baby/memory book ask yourself these questions before purchasing one or adding it to your registry:

  • Will I remember to fill it out
    • most start off with basic info and hand/ foot prints
  • Am I honestly going to print out accompanying photos
    • do you have a printer at home or will you need to have them printed elsewhere
  • What am I going to do with it later
    • Will I keep it in a box filled with other keepsakes for that child
    • Do I plan on giving it to them when they’re old enough
      • Will they care
      • What will I do with it if they don’t want it

With that said I plan on finishing his entire book and apologizing to future children because I doubt I’ll do this again… I hope this is helpful to someone who is considering adding one to their registry or buying one.