The world I leave you.

Smush and Thumper,
The world I’m leaving for you both is not the world I had ever imagined, hoped or dreamed that it would be. I had wished for so much more for the both of you.
I’d like to say that I have done all that I can to give you this perfect world I had dreamed up for you. But, I don’t know that I have.
This place that I’m someday leaving for you is so broken. Sometimes it feel’s like the hurt runs deep into the earth’s core. Like if you stick your hand into the earth’s soil you’ll be able to pull out all of the hurt. Strands and strands of little intricate veins of previous generation’s hurt and wrong trickling and fracturing through. Stringy and gooey and wrong.
When I got pregnant with you smush it really hit me, what I have and haven’t done in this world and what that now mean’s for you. I wish that I had lived up to the expectations of my childhood self, the little girl who didn’t think but knew she could save the world. A little girl who believed in love, fairy tales and genuine human kindness.
More often then not I look back on that girl, and wonder where it was I left her. I search in the crevices of my mind, closing and opening doors calling for her.
Calling for a peace of her hope, just a tiny wedge like the sweetest chocolate to tuck away and enjoy slowly another time.
I see pieces of that in your eyes, smush. I hear pieces of that in your laughter Thumper.
And so, I have to tell you about this world someday. But most importantly I have to figure out how to help you fix what we couldn’t fix, and those before us, and those before that. I have to figure out how to teach you to be good men with good soul’s that the world cannot and will not corrupt or beat down. I have to figure out how to make good human beings who will make good human beings, who will also make good human beings and chalk that up as my contribution. Because all I can tell myself is that by making one more good human being I’ve helped changed the world, even if it’s just a little.
I want to show you that you can conquer the world, your world, your dreams, your passions. That you can overcome your sorrows and bring back the light, turn back on the sun and ward off the fog that can sometimes over take a person’s mind.
It’s terrifying. Because more often then not I am sure I will let you down. More often then not I know you will look back on a memory and think of how I could have handled it better, or been better so that YOU could have become a better person.
And I wonder, how many of those moment’s have come to make up this world.
I want you to reach out and help always, and love wherever you can. I want you to keep your soul’s clean, and your bodies as well. Drugs and the like are just band aids.
They were not made to solve the problems in your life, and trust me when I say that many men have fallen before you to the likes of this.
This concept that you can find a band aid, to solve your hurt or feelings or problems of any kind, is a trap of the oldest kind. A trap that spirals and never let’s you back out of. There is no emergency ladder or escape route once you start heading down.
This is your warning, I hope you hear it.
I want you to be kind, always. This is hard. Even one someone doesn’t deserve it. Even when you feel like ‘why do I have to be?’
The world will always need a little kindness. But on the same note, be wary, and protective of yourself. Because this world is not a good world, and bad things are always happening.
Laugh and live in the moment but not too much that you are reckless, trust me, there is a huge difference. But it is also a difficult balancing act. Lose your balance and you will go plummeting downwards towards something that will break you, something you may not be able to get back up from.
And my loves, there is no safety net, no training wheels, no one to hold your hand.
Work hard, study hard and play hard.
Understand that you weren’t put on this earth to simply do one . You are here to sing, dance, smell the ocean. You are here to kiss and love, and burn with dreams and passion. You are here to work hard and learn. To fall and climb and get back up.
Learn balance, its essential to being a good person and helping others to be a good person. If you cannot take care of yourself you cant help anyone else.
One of the most important things I can teach you is that you can work as hard as you possibly can, you can put everything you have into it. And you can still LOSE.
The world does not owe you anything.
There is no shame in how you feel. There is a double standard for boy’s to be tough, to choke down your emotions. And I hope I can teach you, instead, how to work through emotions that otherwise may seem crippling. Emotions that when society is telling you to tough it out it would leave you feeling lost and floating away. Or frustrated and overwhelmed. Instead I hope to show you how to work through them and learn through them. How to turn them into something constructive and not destructive.
You don’t always need to be tough, nobody is always tough. It’s an impossible schema.
I hope that I can show you these things, and the world you wake up and leave to your children is not the world that I have woken up and left to you.
I hope you break walls, and ceilings of societal standards that are outdated and harmful. I hope you pave the way for others to follow. Always looking to see what you can do for them and not what you can TAKE.
I hope that if you ever sit down to write a letter about the world to your children it’ll be so different then this.
Love, mama


Here come’s spring

Ive been so motivated to try and get my life together with spring getting here. I’m never sure how long this will last and so I wanted to fully optimize on this motivation and drive. So I got my butt in gear and finally got the playroom put together. I’ve had this on my ‘to do list’ for over a year now, but with going through a 2nd pregnancy and dealing with a toddler it just didn’t seem plausible.
This was something I really wanted done for the boys though, because I think it’s crucial that we all have our own spaces. Like, there comes a certain time when the kids toys no longer need to take over my living room.
I should have just started selling admittance ticket’s to my living room like it was a circus, cause it was pretty damn close. And let’s face it, I was kind of tired of feeling embarrassed when people stopped by and saw the disaster zone that we call a home, like ‘hey…sorry my house is such a complete and utter disaster, I’m exhausted and the children are winning the war.’ (let’s face it, they are always winning).

I decided Monday morning when the baby woke me up at 5am…again, that I no longer wanted to be the ringmaster of the Doodle-chunk show and started the process of creating a playroom for them. I already had some idea of what I wanted it to look like, and when doodle was a year old I had already picked up some orange paint for the room (Which wasn’t enough and I ended up having to go get more.)
I spent two days of hard work in this room, and I’m actually pretty proud of how it turned out. So first let’s show the extremely embarrassing before picture and I’m gonna hide or run away to another dimension while ya’ll judge me, cause it’s ridiculously messy.20180409_094439

OOOOOKAY, let’s just scroll on down and pretend that never happened.

I feel like the door should have had a sign on it that said ‘Welcome to the room of junk’
Not saying I think my belongings are junk, but I mean…they kind of are. How do we accumulate so much crap?

So, I made myself a strong drink of lemon water and got started. I spent all day in that room, clearing it out, taping down the walls. Giving myself a pep talk that painting one of my walls BRIGHT orange wasn’t the world’s worst idea. I mean…how hard could BRIGHT orange be to cover up. Notice how I have to keep emphasizing BRIGHT. I Feel like it better showcases my fear of this orange paint.

So I jumped in, like I always do. Without testing the water, without a life jacket or a safety boat nearby. I just did it.
And I FING love that BRIGHT orange wall. It made it into a playroom, it took it to that next level. And I’m just like ‘dang I’m a straight BA, let me go get a motorcycle and leather jacket.’
It’s amazing what painting a wall orange can do for you, I totally recommend it. (OR…don’t, cause I SO don’t


want angry email’s if it doesn’t turn out. Some walls don’t need to be painted orange…just sayin’)
So, after spending majority of the day feeling like Cinderella..just kidding, I feel like that everyday….I ran out of orange paint. I was derailed. But I knew that if I just closed the door and said ‘I’ll finish it another day’ it’d never get finished. SO, naturally I took a nap since both the boys were miraculously napping at the same time. (Did anyone catch a unicorn Monday? I hear those are nonexistent too) Then when we were done napping the firstborn and I headed out to restock our paint.
And, FOUR coat’s later (which…Seriously BRIGHT orange? Why you do that to me?) it was painted.

(If you follow my Instagram at: Paperdaffodils, you may have already seen some of these pictures as I posted a few up to showcase my progress)
I mean…BAM! Doesn’t that just smack you in the face with wonderfulness?

And after that, It all just started to come together. Piece by piece, this room that I had been dreaming of and pushing from one month’s to do list to the next was finished. Take a gander:20180410_091030

The paper lantern’s were from doodles first birthday, except I never got around to using them, and they work perfect in the playroom. He keeps seeing them and pointing to them excitedly.

  • 20180410_133842.
    We do still have to mount the T.V. and put together another cube shelf..thing….BUT…his toy box is out of my living room, I’ll take that as being one battle won. And, if you want to make yourself one of those nifty photo containers for a plant too, wander your happy self over to my blog post: If I were an empty container then I would be20180412_14164520180412_14180520180413_182158
    This kid has so many stuffed animals already. So I ordered him this bean bag, that you literally zip open and stuff with stuffed animals. This thing is waaay bigger then I thought it’d be though, so It’s going to mostly be for decoration until I can trust the kid with it.20180413_182211

    And, VOILA! I still have a few things to do…aka…my husband has a few things to do. He needs to get the bookshelf thing put together, a TV mounted and a ceiling fan with a light put in. But..just imagine it as if that’s already done. Cause this mama’s tired and done all that she can for this room. So….the kid absolutely adores it and plays in there all the time,
    ignores that the room even exists. I’m not even sure where to rank this, as a win or a lose. I guess someday he’ll be excited to have it and will use it. Until then, I’m digging that BRIGHT orange wall.

    So, I was inspired and tackled another project I’ve been wanting to get done. Yo girl was busy this past week guys.
    So here’s the before picture. And again, I’m going to return to the previous mentioned dimension and hide:20180410_082326

    I cleaned out and organized my fridge…and this is with one shelf already cleared out and wiped down so it’s not even as bad as it did look. Don’t mind my child trying to reach for his 4th yogurt of the day. I make him scrambled eggs and a pancake and he tried to feed it to the cat and heads over for a yogurt. Again, I think I’m losing here guys.

    This was an idea I think I found on pinterest, if not there it was youtube. It was so long ago that I don’t even remember. And everything was from the dollar store.


    Isn’t it so pretty? I know I’m old, because this legit was fun and exciting to me. So, I got the liner paper from the dollar store, and the glass jars I had on hand. I condensed things down and switched things to glass jars, because why not? And used colored scotch tape to label things. The containers are from the dollar store. One is for doodles yogurts and apples (comfortably out of his reach I might add) and the other is for partially used cut veggies, and hard boiled eggs. Because I have a tendency of placing those in the fridge door and forgetting about them.
    I am so not showing the fridge door because:

  • I have a condiment problem. Legit…I need help. And I can’t ever seem to bring myself to throw them away.
  • It’s a hot mess because I ran out of steam. The baby was losing his ish and Doodle was throwing the world’s largest tantrum because he wanted another yogurt (It’s all this kid want’s to eat). SO this mama called it a day.
    And…that’s it. that was my spring cleaning…impressive eh?
    Ok…well i’m impressed with myself. Till next time guys.

    Paper lanterns and BRIGHT orange,

A.B. After baby




*Contents in this post could have triggers, please proceed in reading this with caution. This post is not meant to upset anyone in anyway, but to express emotions and feelings on my part.  Any stories in this post that bare actual resemblance to a real story are purely coincidental. I am not a medical professional, and nothing I ever post should be taken as medical advice, if you feel in anyway wrong or that you are experiencing symptoms of any ailments such as but not limiting too postpartum depression please seek medical advice immediately. *


After a baby, your whole world changes. And I don’t mean just on the outside, where everyone can see. I don’t mean how your whole world becomes diapers, and wipes and is the diaper bag ready? The baby toys, the pack and play, the swings, the bouncer that overrides your life and your home, that leaves you sitting there wondering if you are ever going to have some semblance of adult normalcy back. I mean, you change as a person. You can’t watch things on the news any more, and if you do, sometimes it’ll leave you crying and going to grab your sleeping baby to hold and kiss…and yes I mean the sleeping baby you just spent an hour trying to get to sleep and now you are waking them just to feel their skin on yours and to smell them, just to know they are still safe and sound in your arms.
When I was pregnant with my first, I remember having these moments, filled with fear. And not for them. For me. I knew that this was going to be a huge change. I just didn’t know how much it was really going to change. I felt like I was closing this chapter in my life that I wasn’t completely ready to close. And so many people would answer with ‘well you have 9 months’ like that was plenty of time to wrap up all the things I didn’t even know I needed to wrap up.
And then the baby is here.
And people no longer see the baby inside of you, and it’s like they automatically think that with the removal of the baby you’ve gone back to who you once were. And you haven’t. Your so far from who you were.
They think you’re back to normal and your really this ball of emotions and sentiment that’s tangled and messy and possibly never going to be neat again.
Then there’s this baby crying and needing you, this tiny human you love with the entirety of your soul. And that emotion alone is new, foreign, and twisting inside next to that clumsy ball of emotions you keep shoving down.
People don’t see all this mess, and they just expect you to be snapped back, to the world they live in.
It’s like the purpose in life is to find, label and sort out the colors, and place them in neat little piles, but after a baby they’ve blended into this huge incomprehensible mess, everyone keeps telling you to get started on getting it all sorted it out, but not only do you not know how, you don’t want too. You cant be bothered too. You don’t feel like your smart enough too.
That’s what postpartum depression has felt like too me.
And I think the truly worst part of it is that tabooness it incites. The looks people give you when you talk about it.
Because omg, postpartum depression automatically means you are going to be like Trudy who locked her kids in the car with her and drove off a bridge. They give you this look like you are wrong and broken and the entire time you are screaming I KNOW inside of your head.
I know.
Ive told myself many times that I am not worthy, I am not good enough, smart enough, strong enough.
I’ve asked myself what was I thinking putting myself on this path in my life when its clear I would never be ready enough.
I don’t need the looks, that you think you’ve cleverly hidden when this topic comes up.
And at the same time I have enough clarity to know I am not wrong. There is nothing bad about me.
It’s the expectations that society has placed on women. That they pop this kid out and go back to who they were and how it was, when in truth some women, like me are just trying to shift through the emotions and place them back to where they belong.
What not enough people tell you, when they instead give you this look like your bad, is that for a little while it’ll feel like your drowning but eventually you catch your breath.
This is a rediscovery of yourself.
Be patient. Take breaks when you need them. It’s ok to take those moments to take deep breaths.
And when the second baby came, I was bracing myself for all of this again. So imagine my surprise when it didn’t come. It’s different every time, for every person and every pregnancy. Which is why we need to be patient and loving to each other.
It’s that simple, and that complex

Iced coffee and baby diapers,
Paper Daffodils

Summertime mean’s Bug Spray and Sunscreen

I’ve been meaning to get this post up. I feel like that is the headliner of all my blog posts. I’ve been meaning to get around to this, and I’ve been meaning to get around to that. That could seriously be my life motto. The title of my memoir, ‘Mama meant to get that done yesterday’.
It’s what it is I guess.
What spurred this on today then, since it’s something I’ve been meaning to post since July? Well you see my child decided to rip a handful of my hair out today, just for the hell of it. Why did that spur this on? I have no idea. Because it doesn’t really relate to this at all.
Back in July we flew back to Wisconsin to spend some time with my parents and sister. Smush adored them, and I think it goes without saying that the feeling was mutual. Guys, there’s really something to say about being home that is irreplaceable. The place where you grew up and ran wild, it’s your roots. And nothing can ever take that away or replace it.
However, I didn’t miss the bugs and mosquitoes that seem to come with Wisconsin. Seriously, the joke is that the state bird is the mosquito. You can say that being from California, my husband is a little paranoid about getting bit by bugs, especially mosquitoes. And I really didn’t want doodle to suffer the fate of my child hood, being covered head to toe with mosquito bites.
“I swear guys, it’s not the chicken pox. Mosquitoes just feasted on my flesh.”
The mosquitoes can be relentless, sometimes even after bug bombing, burning citronella candles and spraying with bug spray.
We all know the stuff that’s in bug spray, stuff that I’d prefer to avoid putting on my infant if at all possible. So I went in search of something we could use for doodle, being well aware of how bad the mosquitoes are from my own past experiences.
And I came across Babyganic’s Bug spray:

(Please note the image above is a an affiliate link, this means that if you click on it or use the link to purchase the item some money does find it’s way back to me.)

Now, according to the bottle, it say’s its made with 100 percent natural essential oils, it’s non-greasy, Paraben and Deet free, not tested on animals, and a few other great qualities. I can for sure get behind that.
Except I couldn’t.
I wanted to love this. But, again, I couldn’t.
It smelt weird to me, now in retrospect and rereading the ingredient’s I’m assuming it was one of the essential oils listed on the bottle. And it say’s its not greasy. But I found that not to be true. It didn’t spray well, and considering the consistency of it I’m not quite sure why they chose to put it in the spray bottle. I had to spray it onto my hands then try to rub it onto Smush. It didn’t absorb well what so ever, it felt like I was taking a stick of butter and rubbing it all over my kid, and I’m pretty sure it stained his outfit.
So what right? That’s the price I’m willing to pay to have less chemicals and more goodness, with a side of confidence in a good quality product….right?
Because it didn’t work.
Or maybe it just didn’t work against the caliber of those Wisconsin mosquitoes, because they still went after him. We ended up using OFF!; which worked great.
And I’m sure I looked like the crazy California hippie trying to go chemical free, and fix something that wasn’t broken. Basically, I was disappointed. I had hoped for more with this one.
Their sunscreen however, was amazing. Because let’s face it, no matter where you are in the summer time you need to protect yourself and your babies from too much sun.

(Please note the image above is a an affiliate link, this means that if you click on it or use the link to purchase the item some money does find it’s way back to me.)

Do you guys remember, shortly before July a bunch of parent’s were coming forward with pictures of their infants who had suffered burns from their sunblocks and or bug sprays? That’s what set me off on this search. I had a little mommy melt down. Because I’m freaking super mom, with a cape and sword, supposedly protecting my children, yet just a few months ago I was rubbing the same brand sunblock on my kid that these other poor babies had suffered from. I beat myself up over it.
It’s really hard in such a consumer driven world to always make sure you are getting the best of the best. Especially because sometimes you are mislead about the quality of a product. I’m not perfect, but I try even harder now to eliminate excess chemicals and other stuff from my children. I wish we lived in a world where that wasn’t necessary.
According to the bottle this sunblock is made with seed oils and is free of all the crazy stuff, fragrance free and etc.
And it was great. My husband and I also used this and none of us got burnt. Except for when he went fishing with my dad and decided he was going to skip the sunblock. Seriously, husbands.  It absorbed and didn’t leave any oily residue, which is important to me, because as an especially pale child I always hated how oily and gross sunblock left me. But I had to have it put all over or risk being miserably burnt after 10 minutes.  And while no one loves being lathered with sunblock, Smushsmush tolerated it, the fact that it absorbed quickly helped. It didn’t have a weird smell, and it performed by preventing sunburn.
What a contrast in products.
And on that note, I hope this helps. The reason why I choose to ever review anything on this blog is to be helpful. I do reviews, because sometimes I feel really tired of going to read what someone has to say only to find out that they are selling the product or brand. And when I search for real people, real moms with real opinions I can’t find many. I just want a real perspective. And while I do have the affiliate links, I chose amazon so I could review whatever products I wanted as honestly as I could with no affiliation to the actual brands/companies.

Hungry mosquitoes and fun in the sun,


Letters to my son Vol. 2


Twas the weekend before Christmas, and silence all through the house. Both the boys are sleeping..and even the cat’s are leaving me the heck alone.

Which is the perfect time for a blog post, right?

I hope the holiday’s are finding you well, and that you are soaking in all the holiday joy. I on the other hand, can’t believe Christmas is next weekend. It has come by so quickly. Everything I wanted to get done this year, is for sure not happening. Like making tamales, maybe next year. I kind of thought that was going to be an ambitious goal.
So while the two boys are sleeping I figured what better time to work on my second installment of letters to my son. This one takes a lot of time and thought, so I really needed to have some semblance of peace around me while I work on it. Which is why there’s only 2 so far because it so rarely happens.

So volume 2, is going to be all about me…but…not really? It’s going to address all the things I have learned so far from being this little boy’s mama. And I know for sure I am not done learning.


Dear little smushsmush,
When I first found out I was pregnant with you the emotion I had was disbelief. I wish so badly that I could tell you it was euphoria and Joy. But it wasn’t. I felt like someone was playing a joke on me, and not because I didn’t want you, oh boy did I want you. It was because I felt like I had tried and hoped and dreamed for so long that I couldn’t even believe it was possible that now you were here. Eventually after 15 pregnancy tests and the first ultrasound that disbelief wore off and it was replaced with joy…and worry…
And that leads me to my first and one of the most important things you have taught me.
You’ve taught me to love myself in a way that no one and nothing has ever taught me.
Growing up I have always struggled with my weight and pretty much every aspect of my looks. I got made fun of for my red hair and freckles and my weight. I got fun of for being too pale, and even still I get told that I should go get a tan. I already know, that it is going to break my heart the first day that you come home upset or crying because someone was mean. My sweet boy, know that high school and all the other years are not the best years of your life. Brush off what they say and only worry about being a good person at the end of the day.
I didn’t do that. Throughout my childhood, I really struggled to fit in, and to be ‘pretty’ enough. And so, it was no wonder that in my high school years I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I developed an eating disorder. (Sorry mom, if you’re reading this, which I’m sure you are, because you have done nothing but support my ambitions in life). I felt horrible I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. And when I did look in the mirror all I could see was something repulsive.  Obviously, everything people said about me was right. Or so I thought.   And when you feel that disgusted by yourself, all the time, it’s a hard thing to handle. I remember that one of my high school goals, wasn’t to get good grades, it was to drop a ridiculous amount of weight in a short period of time so that I could walk across the stage, accept my diploma and show those assholes that were mean to me that I could be pretty.
It started small, and greatly progressed. Before I knew it I had fully developed an eating disorder…and I loved it. I loved the sense of control and I loved how much weight I was losing, I loved finally being ‘skinny’. But here’s the thing…It was never enough. I never felt good enough. And that’s what it comes down too. It didn’t matter how much weight I lost, I was never going to like myself until I really learned how to love myself. And that is not something I have really accomplished until having you. Don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments, especially because the eating disorder was also about having control and I greatly desired and enjoyed how much control I felt I had while doing that. But when I look in the mirror now, when I have down days, I take a step back. And I think about how truly wonderful my body is. No, I may not be at the size I want, but I grew this tiny perfect little life inside of me for nine months. My body shifted around, and pushed itself upwards to fit you, and grow you, and nourish you. My body…is badass. And I refuse to disrespect it in the manner I used to. I refuse to not recognize the pain, and hardship it went through during labor to birth you, and the energy and love and life it took to nourish and grow you. I am beautiful because of that. And feeling that way is an emotion that I have never experienced, that appreciation for my body has never been there…until you.
The second thing you have taught me is patience. Please know that I am not perfect, and I still and will always have my moments. But man, I am trying so hard to get better about this. My level of patience before having you was zero. So it goes without saying that it has gone up. When you first came along, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing (still don’t) and so there were moments that were very frustrating and I didn’t have the patience for that. But now I have started to recognize that sometimes when you are fussing and just want to be held, it’s a sign…that we both need to take a pause from everything that is going on and take a break. You have gotten  me to slow down, to pause and breath. This is something that I never understood or was capable of. I never realized how much I truly needed to learn how to do that, but I did. I am too uptight, expecting things to always go perfect and to always go my way. That’s not life. And That was a hard pill for me to swallow, one that I still struggle with and probably will for your entire life. I truly hope that when you look back on your childhood you will see and recognize how hard I tried to control and better this.
The third thing is the realization and acceptance that I do not have everything figured out and that I don’t have to have everything figured out.
When I turned 20 I freaked. I didn’t have a college degree, or a career, we were losing a house, and I was living with my boyfriend in a different state then my parents (your daddy was that boyfriend).
I felt like everything was spiraling out of control, because I had nothing figured out. I remember thinking I was never going to amount to anything, that I was already 20 and I had nothing figured out.
Here’s the thing kid.
I’m 27. And I still don’t have everything figured out.
But now, since having you, I’ve realized that that’s ok. My most important job is raising you to be a good person. I have more of a plan then I did when I was 20. But I also understand that shit happens and plans change, and I am more okay with that now.
Here’s the thing little man, you can plan out your entire life. Go buy a bulletin board, index cards and push pins and map it all out, take the tedious time and energy to put up your idealistic life plan. But you will only be setting yourself up for failure.
Because when life happens and you have to take off half of those index cards, stuck in your plan and your way you will be unable to recognize the bigger picture, the ultimate end goal…being happy.
Please don’t do this.
Don’t make the mistake I made in my early 20’s.
Have a plan but be flexible, be comfortable and willing to change those index cards, to rearrange them and have back up plans. Recognize that sometimes, those index cards you painstakingly wrote out, those ideas you put down, with love and hope…sometimes they need to be let go…and that’s totally okay.
The only constant is that we are constantly growing, and changing. We are never who we were yesterday. So how do you expect, that at 20 you will have how the rest of your life is going to go figured out?
These are just the three big things you have taught me so far. I am constantly learning from you still. I love learning from you, and watching you grow and learn. I never realized how much you would teach me. It may seem small, these three things, but they are monumental to the grand scheme of my life. You are the best thing I have ever done.
Sometimes, you may not like what I say. Sometimes, I may not want to say or tell you these things, but I will. Because I need you to know the truth. I will always be honest with you Edwin. I will always tell you the truth of things even if they are hard. Even if I want to protect you.
Someday when you read all of this, I hope you will understand, and love me for the way I was, for the good things, and for my faults and indiscretions. I hope you will learn from me and find happiness.
Love always,



Letters to my Son vol. 1

Hey guys, welcome back!
We had a short Hiatus there, mostly because of school work…but also because another reason I had started this blog was to do a series called Letter’s to my son. I was excited about it, and it was the major reason for starting the blog and doing this. But I found myself unable to write the first one. The words have been in my head but whenever I sat down and tried to write them they stuck, lodged in my brain like little pricker’s lodged in your foot.  I wanted this to be right. Not only right, but perfect. So, in a sense I was already failing. Because there is no part of writing or blogging that is perfect. Let’s be honest, there is no part of my life that is in any way close to being a semblance of put together or perfect.
So here I am. Kicking and screaming. And I’m going to write it, I’m going to get it. Or maybe I won’t, maybe it’ll end up being only half as good as I want it to be. But the point is, I’m going to do it.




Letters to my son Vol. 1

Dear Edwin,

I don’t hope or dream that you will become the next president. I don’t hope you’ll follow the footsteps of Gandhi, or become a doctor or lawyer or rocket scientist.  While these are all admirable things, with the necessity of growing admirable and strong qualities it’s not something I am asking of you, it’s not something I am dreaming up for you.
I hope you are happy.
More than anything I hope you develop your own dreams, and pursue them with all the passion and perseverance of your entirety. You cannot live my life or the life I dream up for you.
Find something that lights up your soul, something that you are so excited to do that you are up before your alarm clock goes off, ready to accomplish it.
If that’s being an artist, or working a 9-5 job to support a growing family, or if you want to chain yourself to a tree in the rain forest to stop deforestation, I will be happy. That’s just to name a few, there are so many possibilities, don’t sell yourself short.
Be humble, never flaunt what you have, and make sure that what you have is through hard work and effort on your part.
Only look to others to see what they need and what you can give to them.
Don’t take, even if it’s someone you feel is undeserving or who won’t miss it.
I hope you feel and see and taste the world to the core of your being. The colors and the noise and the life all around you is irreplaceable, valuable, important.
Always stand up for what you believe, this will not always be easy, you will find that your beliefs, your values will be subjugated to others beliefs and values. That’s ok.
Don’t worry on it, explain your values and beliefs, present all that you do with knowledge behind it, reasoning and then move on. Some people will see your side of it. Some wont. Some people will hate you for it, some wont. It is not your goal or job to impress everyone, or for everyone to like you.
Never resort to violence.
Be a role model, to all of those around you, hold yourself in a way that is not expected but that is always admired.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, especially animals. We are not here on this planet to be destructive or hurtful.
Understand and recognize, that you are not, cannot be and never will be perfect.
You are beautifully, wonderfully crazily flawed in every essence of the meaning. The beauty and tragedy of being human, is it takes time to gain perfection, to gain expertise on skills, and thoughts and traits. But time is not something we have.
Hold the door open for women, be respectful of women. Never forget where and how you came into this world; through a woman. That a woman held you, and loved you. A woman nursed, and soothed you.

All the while understanding that some women will come and go from your life in destructive whirl winds.
Know that someday someone will break your heart. They will break you down. They will make you feel unworthy.
I hope you follow your heart, I hope you understand your worthiness and don’t stand for those who do this to you. I hope you recognize what you will and will not tolerate, that you put your foot down. The right person will not need you to change who you are, they will never ask that from you.
I hope you live your life full of passion, a splattering tornado of emotions, colors. Chaotic and uncontrolled, unapologetic.
And on that note, I hope you find love, a love that ignites you and grounds you, but never one that extinguishes you.
Please learn the difference. A good love will ground and stabilize you, but ignite your heart and soul, like a lighting pole grounded with rubber, constantly being struck by lightning but never setting the world around it on fire.

If the love is threatening to burn you and your surroundings down, it’s not love.
Son, know that you are just one person. But if you are a good person you are one less person adding hurt, and hate to the world.

Always pursue knowledge over money.
Follow the things that will feed and nourish your soul, nothing less, nothing more.

These are the things I hope for you. These are the things I dream for you. They are tiny and huge, taking up no space but taking up all of it.
Perhaps it’d be easier if I just asked you to become a Doctor. To have a mansion in Beverly hills.
But I can’t, I won’t.
I expect so much more, I know you can be so much more.
You are me, and your dad, you are generations of flawed and wonderfully imperfect beings.
Filled with love, glittering and new.
And this is how we start, this is how we change the world. Through you. Through who you become.


To the pumpkin patch we go

In the Midwest, fall is a big deal. It’s like the prom of life, you don’t just show up to it and sit in a corner. You dance the night away, and have a couple sips of punch. There’s crunchy colored leaves and chilly nights. And in fact, some of the days have started to develop a chill to them that eat right through your clothes and remind you how heinous the winters are. When you do the pumpkin patch in the Midwest, you are on someones farm, you are viewing their hard work for the past months, their livelihood. It’s spectacular.
There are corn mazes, hay rides, apple cider. And when I say apple cider, I mean warm homemade apple cider that warms you to your core.With cinnamon sprinkled through it that makes your bones tingle.  People are wearing scarfs, boots and sweaters because they are cute but also because it’s necessary . And then there are all the pumpkins….and man…is there a lot. Green ones, orange ones, white ones, bumpy ones, smooth ones, large ones…I could go on and on.
when I think of a pumpkin patch, that’s  what I think of.
Don’t get me wrong, I am sure from the first part of this post you are thinking I am a California hater. I’m not. California is where I built a home with the love of my life. It’s where I started a family and am raising it. So California will always hold a spot in my heart…
But…let’s face it…California is currently like the child that never shows up to class.
It’s like someone gifting you a brand new diamond tennis bracelet then you find out a couple days later that all those shiny diamonds are fake.
I digress.
Saturday we went to the pumpkin patch, at least a version of one. There was a small area with pumpkins and the rest of the entire area was blow up jumpy’s for the kids. which, was lots of fun and really cool for all the kids. Little man was definitely too little for this, but it was still fun because I knew what was going on. They also had petting zoos.
Man….let me just tell you about my obsession with petting zoos.
If you ask me if I want to go somewhere, my first question will be “Is there french fries?”
And my second question will be “Is there a petting zoo?”
Extra bonus make believe brownies if there are both.

So we took Edwin into the petting zoo, that was pretty much the first thing we did. My husband did not marry me with no knowledge of my obsession of petting zoos.  There was a goose that refused to tolerate any human contact (can’t say I blame it) A couple of goats, some chickens, and this sheep. We had more fun then little man, he was thrilled with sucking on his hand…but I think he was interested at the same time, he spent a lot of time staring at this sheep.


And then….of course I had to get him with pumpkins. That was my whole ulterior motive to this outing 🙂


My little lion man was pretty tired out by the end of this outing, but he was very good the whole time.


All and may not be the Wisconsin pumpkin patch my heart is yearning for…but if this little guy is with me…its all I really need.

The 10 baby items I couldn’t have survived without

Here’s the scene, your sweet bundle of joy has arrived, healthy, with ten fingers, ten toes and virtually in your eyes is the precise definition of perfection. Between all the doctors and nurses and visitors at the hospital there isn’t much time to think or consider anything for the first day or two, and by the time there is you’re home with your new little human who is expecting you to love, and cherish and nurture them…now what??
Sitting on the couch that first day when we got little man home all I could do was stare at him in complete wonder, and complete fear.
It was then that I realized that I sincerely, entirely had no idea what the hell I was doing, or where to even start.
So here it is folks, my somewhat choppy list of items I feel we couldn’t have survived without for the first 3 months…because let’s face it, having a new baby is hard enough without having some stuff to make it a little easier.

1. Hands Free Pumping Bra:
Nursing is hard. Start and end. In the beginning you nurse so often you feel like you are never going to do anything but nurse ever again. And then there’s the growth spurts….the fussy nursing is enough to drive even the calmest person to a snapping point. Then we get into pumping, because let’s face it as much as you love your precious brand spanking new smush smush you are dieing for some adult time, to see a movie or to have a nice dinner with your understanding but neglected husband. But you can’t leave baby anywhere without a milk supply. Then going back to work looms over your head, and the pumping bonanza begins. And man, does pumping feel like a chore. When you aren’t nursing or pumping you’re obsessively counting how much milk you have in the freezer and doubting your milk supply. It takes forever to pump because you have to do one boob at a time, or baby starts fussing as soon as you get situated. Enter the hands free nursing bra…it’s a game changer. You get to pump both sides at the same time, decreasing the amount of time you spend pumping. It also leaves you able to do something other then pump, such as read or play a game. For me, I had a lot of issues getting my milk to come out while pumping. Pumping both sides at the same time has been the only thing that has helped.
(Please note that through the entirety of this post, what works for me isn’t guaranteed to work for you.)

2. Snacks and Meals:
Okay…I know…this one is more for Mom and Dad then baby…but we count too right? Honestly my parent’s being around to help the first week was a lifesaver, they cooked and cleaned and loved on us. I have no idea how we would have made it through with out them, especially with my emotions out of wack, recovering and zero sleep. My mom made us home cooked meals pretty much every night, there is no amount of money in this world that can replicate that. On that note, my  suggestion is having easy to eat items on hand, and food items that are at least semi healthy that you can eat one handed. There were plenty of times after my parent’s left that I found it impossible to feed myself between nursing and/or dealing with a fussy baby who wanted to be held all the time. Then my milk supply would dip and tears of frustration would ensue from both myself and the kid, sometimes at the same time. So, it may be for Mom and Dad, but ultimately what’s good for Mom and Dad is good for baby too.

3. Gas medicine:
We have used Mylicon . Please be sure to clear any and all medicines or the like with your Doctor before hand. It is better safe then sorry so if you aren’t sure if something’s ok, just ask anyway. We did get the OK from our Doctor because little man was pretty fussy and didn’t and still doesn’t burp very well.I still don’t drink solid amounts of dairy because it has seemed to irritate his tummy. This has been a lifesaver and usually right after giving it to him he let’s out some impressive gas or goes number 2.
If you are apprehensive about the possible chemicallyness (is that even a word though?)
you could always start with gripe water. I did start with that and it didn’t really seem to have an impact on him. He also got hiccups every day, which sounds cute…but it wasn’t because when you’ve spent 20 minutes trying to get a gassy baby to sleep only to have them wake themselves up from hiccups and have to start all over again you just want to cry, or scream..or rip your hair out, and then you stand there considering why you can’t do all 3. If you are interested in Gas medicine and have gotten the go ahead from your Doctor you can find some here: gas be gone!

4. Baby Swing:
There was a time when all little man wanted was to be in his car seat and have us swing it (obviously not all crazy Tarzan style) or he would scream like he was at the top of the Empire State building needing to get mama’s attention all the way at the bottom.
So…Nana bought him a swing, and MAN did this make a difference. In fact I remember being sick (which really ended up being a clogged milk duct) and sitting in front of the swing, the only other thing he would tolerate beside being held, and hoping he would go to sleep, he did. And Mama got an hour of sleep. Hallelujah. The things you will do in order to get sleep when you have a baby….like…swearing to never eat another Twinkie in your lifetime again if he will just close his eyes and sleep for 20 minutes. I call this the sleep bargaining stage.
He doesn’t really tolerate this anymore, now that he is more active he arches his back until his little butt is almost out of the seat. But I will take what I can get, and it bought precious hours for a couple of weeks.

5. Blankets:
I admit that this one probably seems silly, you are probably seeing it and thinking…well..duh. But I tried really hard to compose this list with items that I found I didn’t realize I’d need or that I didn’t know would help save our sanity at times.
This is a combination and here’s why.
You need an assortment of blankets, thin gauzy blankets, solid medium like blankets, fuzzy blankets, blankets for the blankets…just kidding.
But seriously between baby spitting up, and peeing, diaper blowouts and plain dirtiness  you are going to want a good amount of blankets on hand if not just because you don’t want to have to do laundry every single day. Not to mention a blanket that may suit a stroll outside in the stroller may not be the appropriate weight/warmth for the baby while he is inside with let’s say…the heat running.
Blankets are not a bad idea….just sayin.

6. Burp clothes:
Again, this may seem like  a DUH thing…but I really had no idea and we started off with a whole whopping zero.
Between spit up and drool…oh god…so…much…drool, you are really going to want some of these, even if you just buy a big pack of cloth diapers and use those. And like above, you are going to want a lot…because let’s face it, no one has time to wash a couple burp cloths every single day. And if your interested in seeing the pack of cloth diapers turned burp cloths here’s the link:
Burp cloths

7. Baby carrier, Bjorn and or Ergobaby for example:
He doesn’t tolerate being put in this so much anymore, but there was a good solid 3 weeks that he was put in it pretty much always and not only was he put in it, but it was all that made him happy. He wanted to be held at all times or he cried. When you are stuck on the couch all day holding a baby you become very desperate to even be able to do a load of dishes or throw in some laundry or just some pajamas since the pair you’ve been living in for the past month has spit up all over it and is about to start growing mold. Or…you could just keep buying new ones:Non-Moldy Pajamas

hey…I’m not here to judge.

There was a solid time frame of the Bjorn being crucial to the point that not only did we take it everywhere but one time we forgot it so we went back home to get it.
On that note the Ergobaby and Bjorn are not the only baby carriers you can get, they are just the two we have utilized, the Bjorn is simple and easy to strap on, it does the job quick and dirty and I honestly really like the simplicity, but the Ergo baby, while being much harder to put on and get baby in is ten times more comfy, especially on your back. I’d recommend the Ergo baby for when you are going to be wearing baby for long periods of times and the Bjorn when you are just running into the store real quick.

8. Binkie’s:
Ok…bare with me, I know this is controversial for nursing mamas. There’s the whole nipple confusion ordeal for starters. Short of smush smush not latching well to my left side and biting with his little saber tooth, which caused a cracked and bleeding nipple. OUCH…and..TMI. He really didn’t have any latching issues, which is one of the concerns with binkie’s they say you really want to make sure the baby is latching properly before introducing binkies. We got the okay from our Doctor before we went ahead and gave little man a binky. I was very thankful to introduce him to them because I was ready to pull all my hair out from all the nursing. Even to this day little man’s appetite has seemed insatiable.
I usually have to trade him a binky to regain control of my boob. And I swear, we have 20 binky’s and can never find any of them. Our baby really liked the brand MAAM.

9. Pack and play with infant/newborn napper/insert:
This thing has been a lifesaver on so many levels. It’s one consolidated area for changing, storing items like diapers and back up wipes, and for sleeping. We have probably used it every single day of smush smush’s life. And…it’s only going to continue to grow with him, which I think is an added bonus.

10. Swaddlers:
I never took to using receiving blankets and folding origami over the baby. I didn’t have the patience or attention span to learn it. My husband was really good at it so he ended up doing it until we finally bought some swaddlers like these:Summer Infant and these Halo

At 2 am, trust me, the last thing you want to do is deal with a blanket coming unswaddled. With the swaddlers sometimes it was all that would get him to not startle himself awake and start fussing. Also in the beginning my husband and I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to put a blanket on him…so…we were.And while it makes sense now as to why we cant, we didn’t know in the beginning or even think much of it. Once we realized it’s been swaddlers ever since. He has a nice fuzzy one that’s like blanket material that I call his bedtime swaddler and a couple of thinner ones I use when I’m worried the other one’s may be too warm. These really were an item we both agree full heartedly we couldn’t have survived without, which is why it made it to number 10 (which is this list’s number 1)

And on the cheesy side, the most important was the love and support of our family.