Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

It’s easy to get down in the dumps, especially when life gives you lemons. I know there are a lot of positive people in the world, but there are also a lot of people that are pessimists. I myself, am a pessimist for sure. I often let the bad outweigh the good in situations. I could have a million things go right and one thing go wrong, and I will focus on the wrong rather than the right. I’m not saying that I’m living in a darkness or anything, but, for me, it takes a little extra effort for me to shake off my pessimistic views. My family, friends, and husband often put things in perspective for me, and for that, I’m grateful.

When Eli was first diagnosed, I was devastated. A million worries sunk me to a low and I did not have a good outlook for Eli. Looking back now, I realize how dramatic I was. I didn’t know anything back then, I thought autism would be a social death sentence for him. He would be so far behind his peers, kids would be mean, he wouldn’t fit in. It’s only been two years and he is damn near caught up to his peers and has many friends. One doctor’s diagnosis does not define my son. He is healthy, beautiful, and HAPPY. It just took me a while to realize that.

When Camille was born, everything was great for the first month. She was such a calm baby, never made a peep. After her one month things started going downhill. She was spitting up and throwing up constantly. She would scream all night long from her reflux pain. I was getting no sleep and doing it mostly on my own. At times I would have to give her to my mother and grandma just to keep my sanity. Difficult babies are hard on everyone and it’s so easy to go down the emotional rabbit hole. I was there. It’s hard to stay positive when your baby is hurting and there is nothing you can do about it. There’s times I felt like horrible parent, even though everyone around me was telling me how great I was doing. Now that we have hit her two month birthday things are slowly getting better. She’s screaming less and sleeping a little more. Looking back, I realize how hard I was on myself. I can see now that I am doing a good job as a parent and sometimes there’s nothing to do but ride out the storm.

Outside of my parenting, I am pessimistic about myself. I have always had self-esteem issues. I never thought I was pretty enough, skinny enough, athletic enough, etc. In high school, I thought I was gigantic because I had a little roll hang over the top of my jeans when I sat down. Now, as an adult with a mom body I question who DOESN’T have a roll when they sit down? Looking back on my childhood I see how good I had it. I had a lot of friends, I had boyfriends, I played sports, went to parties, did ok in school, and most importantly I always had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over my head. Of course, teenagers aren’t really the ones to count their blessings. Even as an adult though it’s hard for me to look past my looks and weight and see that I am a beautiful woman. Even hearing compliments from my husband are hard to take serious. But I am learning to accept things the way that they are and that is including MYSELF. I am an awesome person. I’m friendly, sarcastic, funny, loving; who cares if I weigh more than I did before my two kids??

I’m sorry if this blog comes off as a pity party. That’s not really my intention. One thing I’m trying to do with this blog is connect with other people. I’m hoping this blog can resonate with some people out there. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but doing that keeps us from seeing all the positives in our lives. Every bad thing in life has a silver lining somewhere, it just takes some of us a little longer to see it. If I worry too much about my children or succumb to my fears and anxieties about them, I won’t be present to enjoy all the happy moments that are right in front of me. Life is too short to worry (this is way easier said than done, I know). And I’m trying not to be a hypocrite right now because I am still a pessimist, I just need to put towards the effort to make my glass half empty turn into a glass half full.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Tired Mommy Games

Being a mother of one is hard; you’re new to the game and have no idea what to expect. It takes a while to learn to manage your time, you need to get used to getting no sleep, and most women worry about getting their pre-baby body back. Now that I’ve got two kids I’m pretty good at multitasking, I consistently run off three hours of sleep, and I’ve given up on any hope of a tight body. But just because you’ve had a kid already doesn’t mean you’re not going to ride the struggle bus with your second.

Even as a (somewhat) seasoned parent with four-year experience, I still find myself a little lost and loopy with my second child. I haven’t had much practice with a newborn since Eli was born, aside from an occasional overnight babysitting gig for my sister. I’m sure it doesn’t help that Miss Camille is a little refluxy and a little colicky (jk it’s not a little, it’s a lot 😫). Eli is very patient and understanding with the baby; but he is also mostly his usual hyper/needy self, which is the cherry ontop of a no-sleep sundae. Sure, I only slept from 3am-6am but Eli woke up at 7:30 and he wants to eat cereal and play Mario party NOW. Nonetheless, these children are exhausting but I couldn’t love anything more (sounds cliché, but it really is true).

One thing that helps me keep what little sanity I have left during these long nights is the little games and self-competitions I play with myself. They’re not your typical games. Honestly, they’re not really even games at all but when you’re tired and delusional, anything is entertaining.

1. Guess whose shit this is


“Whose poop is this?!” It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? ….no? …It’s not? Well it is in this house!


  1. Find the smell.


What is that?! Is it dirty diapers? Did someone poop their pants? Who farted? Is it pukey baby neckrolls? Is it me? It’s usually me…


  1. Dirty Bottle Standoff


I like to live on the edge. What’s more thrilling than having your baby scream bloody murder at 3am for a warm juicy bottle only for you to find out that there’s no clean bottles so you must power wash one as fast as your chubby little arms can work before your baby hates you forever.


  1. hide and go seek wipes.


I don’t play this game with myself. The wipes play it with me. I swear they hide themselves. My wipes are never around when I need them!! Why would I have put the wipes in the dryer? How does this happen? Was I trying to warm them up?


  1. Dirty diaper basketball


Fan favorite. It’s 3am. 4th quarter. 2.5 seconds left on the baby screaming clock. You’re obviously not getting out of bed for a layup, gotta shoot the 3. Bank shot at the buzzer. Everybody cheers (you cheer). You won the game (nobody wins).

  1. Pretend pumper


The first time Eli walked in on me pumping, he asked what I was doing and I simply said that I was making milk for sister. Since then he has respectfully referred to me as a “people cow”. I find the name quite fitting because there a few things more tedious than sitting and being yanked for 15-20 minutes, so you might as well reward yourself with a secret break. This game can get carried away quite easily. It starts with “let me finish this episode of chopped” and ends with watching the entire chopped junior championship for 4 hours.


Whether you have one kid or 10, it’s important to have fun and relax. It’s easy, especially with newborns, to get stressed out and let yourself get overwhelmed. When you’re stressed out, they’re stressed out. When you start to feel yourself getting overwhelmed try and make it into something less horrible, then just have a glass of wine after your screaming baby finally passes out.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized


As some may know, my family welcomed our new addition, Camille, at the end of August. She came in like a freight train and over two weeks early at that! My husband only had a few weeks off work to be with us before he had to return to California, so we had a little “babycation” where we didn’t do much of anything besides hang out with our kids. I also took a break from Eli’s therapy schedule during this time. Admittedly, mainly because it was hard remembering an appointment after being up all night with a newborn; but also, so he could enjoy every moment he could with both parents together.

Despite my fears, Eli is actually adjusting quite well to being a big brother. Throughout my pregnancy, I kept Eli involved as much as possible. He went to a few doctor visits and an ultrasound; he really enjoyed listening to her heartbeat. I always made sure to reference the baby as much as possible so he could get used to the idea. I’m sure it also helped that my sister and cousin both have had babies in the past six months. Eli has spent quite a bit of time with them and has gotten used to being around little babies.


He has always had a tough time being told no. Anything that wasn’t an immediate yes was taken as a no and he would run away crying. So you can imagine what I was expecting the first time I told him he had to wait because I was feeding the baby. I thought for sure he would run away screaming and slam a door like he’s done in the past. Instead, what did he do? He said “ok!” and walked back to where ever he needed the help and waited for me to come help him.

It was hard making the adjustment from one child to two. Now that my husband is gone and it’s just me with two kids, I’m a little in over my head. Staying up all night with your first kid was hard enough, but at least you got to take naps during the day when the baby napped. This time around I have a hyperactive 4 year old who I need to take care of bright and early. Last night baby didn’t go to bed until 6:30am but guess who woke up at 8:30? Since becoming a big brother Eli has becoming very understanding and patient, but he’s still loud as hell. I’ve been trying to lay down as much as possible today but between cleaning and fixing bottles and Eli’s ever so persistent “mommy come look!” I didn’t get much sleep in.

Babycation is officially over. Time to dust off my planner and dry erase calendar because Eli starts back up with his therapy next week in addition to his regular school days. I’ve spent too many days floating around being lazy with my kids. It’s time to get everyone back on a routine. We have a couple more months in Michigan before we head back to San Diego so we need to start utilizing all of our remaining time.


Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Half-Assing It

Being pregnant is one of the best miracles a woman can experience in her life. My first pregnancy I was a little spoiled; I didn’t have any morning sickness, I never felt more beautiful, and most importantly I didn’t have to chase around a child while I was as big as a whale. I lived with a roommate then but we were on opposite shifts so I spent most of my free time in bed eating and watching old Law and Order: SVU episodes on Netflix. I ordered whatever food I wanted with no judgement, it was quiet ALL THE TIME, I could take naps whenever I wanted. It was the pregnancy dream! This pregnancy is oh so different. I had morning sickness for about the first four months that slowly shifted into daily headaches. I managed through both of those plus the usual fatigue while being trapped in a house with an overly-hyper 3 (now 4) year old. I don’t get to eat whatever I feel like eating (mostly because there are no food places in this town), there’s no peace and quiet when I need it, and I can’t nap whenever I feel the need. My illusion of another magical pregnancy has been shut down. I have started to realize that because of all of this, my parenting skills may be lacking. Hold on, don’t call CPS yet…let me explain.

{the following photos are reenactments}


  1. Sometimes with my morning sickness I can get as far as changing a diaper and preparing breakfast before I’m back in bed struggling to keep contents of my stomach where they belong.


One morning Eli came into my room to ask what I was doing, I replied that I was sick and just needed to lay down for a while. He left and returned with a giant bag of skittles and assured me that it would make me feel better. Then shortly after, returned again asking for more cereal. I told him I couldn’t get up and to bring the cereal to me. So being the good little man he is, came back in with his bowl and box of cereal that I could pour from the comfort of my bed.



  1. Most of my relaxing time is laid back in a recliner. When you’re pregnant, getting in and out of furniture proves to be quite the challenge; thus, making me a seated yeller.


Much like a small puppy, Eli needs to be reprimanded right when bad behavior is happening so he is aware of what I’m talking about. If I miss my opportunity, odds are discussing it after the fact doesn’t have much effect. When I am sitting down and Eli is in another room or in the basement I listen out for any signs of distress. I distinguish whether he is frustrated (whiny yell), upset (loud yelling/crying), being mean (other child crying), then proceed with the coordinating response. For example: “Don’t get mad, just take your time!”, “What’s wrong with you now?!”, “Eli you better be playing nice or you come upstairs!”



  1. When my morning sickness shifted into daily headaches I was back laying down with an ice pack. I usually just tell Eli mommy’s head hurts and he can do whatever he wants if he leaves me alone for a while.


I’m sure I will be using this one once the new baby comes and I’m exhausted and delusional. It’s much easier to let the kids make a mess so they leave you alone then clean it up yourself later. Anyone with me? Or is this just me?



  1. I’m not really a “cravings” type girl, however the fact that I couldn’t keep anything down for most of the first four months of this pregnancy led me to be a lover of food now.

I use Eli as an excuse to get whatever food I feel like eating. “Eli, you wanna go get ice cream?” Sometimes he says no because he’s too busy playing, which sends me into a panic because I really wanted ice cream. “Are you sure you don’t want ice cream?” “Come on, let’s go for a ride!” [OMG PLEASE GO GET ICE CREAM WITH ME]



  1. Kindergarten is just over a year away. Did you know they don’t take naps in kindergarten anymore? What kind of crap is that… The time is upon us that Eli’s nap time will soon disappear. He already doesn’t nap at daycare, but believe you me, at home we are taking naps.


Your girl is pretty exhausted these days. Sometimes I need a little nap time to get me through the day. Who’s with me? Eli is fine with or without naps to be honest, but while we have the time to nap and I have the need for my own nap time, why not? I am keeping nap time around as long as possible, even if it is for my own personal gain.



  1. Empty threats. I spoke earlier about how it’s already difficult for me to get out of the recliner sometimes. This has made me the queen of empty threats.

“Eli knock it off or I’m gonna come down there!” yeah…. I’m not going anywhere…



  1. I find opportunities for rest and relaxation whenever I can, including bath time


Eli usually handles his bath time by himself now, I only step in for hair washing and when it’s time to get out and get in pajamas. Therefore, everything in between in mama’s break time. Every bath night I can be heard saying “Eli, we have to get out in 5 minutes” repeatedly for a good half hour.

I am sure there are even more things that I am half-assing as a pregnant (and temporarily-single mother). Surely, I can’t be the only pregnant (and even non-pregnant)  woman out there who struggles to find breaks and relaxation?

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Growing Our Family

As most of my family and friends know, we are expecting our second child.

Since the day I had Eli, I always wanted another baby. My husband was determined to wait as long as possible, until he finally caved. Looking back, I am grateful for him making us wait this long; this is truly the right time for us, for many reasons.

Eli has needed so much of my attention; he has been in therapy since he was 18 months old. Sure, I could absolutely have another child while my first child is in therapy, I see plenty of mothers in the waiting room with their other children. However, for me, giving Eli my full attention was necessary. There were times he needed me back in his therapy rooms during a meltdown, how could I give him my full attention with a brother or sister attached to my hip? I wanted to be able to give him all I had while he needed it. This time for him before kindergarten is the most critical and intense for his therapy regimen. Everyone wants to get as many hours as they can so he can be school ready. Life is busy enough chauffeuring him all over San Diego to different appointments, throwing in a nursing newborn would have drained me even more.

Aside from Eli deserving my attention, we also needed to consider his emotions in having a second child. Would he have accepted a sibling a year or two ago? He needed so much of our attention because he didn’t talk until he was 3 ½. He needed us to be able to hear him even when he couldn’t say anything. How could he get across to me what he needed while I was occupied with another tiny human? He was already having so many tantrums back then from not being able to communicate, what would his tantrums be like if I was too busy to help him? He has loved his cousin since she was born, but she didn’t live with us and didn’t take up all my time. Yes, a child should learn to wait their turn, but that is a lot easier said than done with Eli. He’s better now, but back then waiting wasn’t really an option (without a tantrum in tow).


Now that we have a second baby in the making, I wanted to make sure Eli knew what happening so there were no surprises. He went with me to my first doctor appointment and he saw the baby on the ultrasound. Everything was pointed out to him, I told him where the baby was growing. He told everyone there was a baby in mommy’s tummy. When asked If the baby was a boy or a girl he would always answer It’s a boy. When we finally found out that the baby is in fact a girl, he didn’t take the news that well. No tantrums, but he still insisted it’s a boy. The doctor must be wrong… He is finally coming around to the idea of having a sister. All this interacting and interest with my pregnancy shows me that Eli was ready for this. He is old enough to understand what’s happening. He is also quite fond of my newest niece and loves babysitting. He likes to be near her and help take care of her. He will ask to hold her and if she is upset he will lean down and try to cheer her up with silly faces.

As far as our busy schedule goes, it will still be pretty busy for me. We both know what to expect when we make our move back to San Diego though and hopefully it won’t be too hard to fall back in to our old schedules. Plus, there’s only a short amount of time until Eli will start Kindergarten (stop, I’m not even ready to think about that yet). Another thought that crossed my mind is- what if this baby has delays like Eli’s? What if she is diagnosed with autism too? I don’t really have any fears about it. So, what if she does? I am more prepared and experienced that a lot of other people out there. I know exactly what to look for, I know what resources to get, I know exactly what my insurance will pay for, and all the hoops I will need to jump through. I’m already bringing one child to therapy all week, might as well just throw them both in there at the same time!


We couldn’t be more excited to bring another bundle into the world and for our little family the time is just right!