Family & Baby

dirty hands & dirty feet

I was thinking today while my son was taking a bath, and something dawned on me: my son doesn’t get dirty enough. Some times we get all caught up in these Pinterest-looking houses, that we forget that’s not always real life. Real life is trailing mud into the house because you were running in the backyard barefoot. Or a puddle of water on the floor because you were busy making snow angels outside in that fresh, fresh white fluffy snow. Or how about the pile of clothes on the floor as your toddler walks in and undresses himself without a care in the world. Tripping on jackets and boots on the floor is a blessing. It’s those tiny details we forget when we get lost of in other people’s lives. It’s those tiny details we take for granted, and it’s those tiny details that makes strings of some of the most wonderful memories.

My son doesn’t get dirty enough because I’m one step behind him nagging and cleaning up the trail of fun he leaves behind. I’m picking up the jacket and boots, I’m immediately there with paper towels to clean up the puddle. But here’s the thing, my son isn’t going to care about having the perfect looking house. He doesn’t care what it looks like, he cares about the smiles and giggles and memories inside. But I don’t have to miss out. I can find that balance, I can make a mess and still not feel like a mess. It’s okay to let some things go. Let yourself be that free spirit, let yourself be that child and make snow angels. Run barefoot and embrace the moment. And soak in those tiny details, like the way he struggles to take off his shoes, the way he makes this silly grin like it should be such an easy task but yet it’s like climbing a mountain. Success! As he tosses them on the floor, he doesn’t care as to where they land. He lives in the moment, and I think we can learn a lot from that. From the innocence and freshness of a child’s heart. So free-spirited. I want him to always be that way!

So from now on, I’m dedicating more time for dirty hands and dirty feet. Because to me, dirty hands and dirty feet remind me of a pure, rich childhood filled with raw and real memories.

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood” Agatha Christie

What reminds you of a happy childhood?

Family & Baby, Simple & Minimal

slowing down for the season | bring back the calm

I just kind of felt like writing tonight. Just one of those nights where there is a heavy load weighing on my mind and I cannot seem to shake it. Lately things have felt a little off. Mostly inside my soul. I don’t know whether to blame the weather, or some type of imbalance of chemicals going on in my brain, but a change is in order. That is a must.

The other day, as I was hustling around trying to do dishes, trying to take out the trash, after being exhausted from trying to make a productive “at home” day for Owen (the 3 days a week he isn’t at daycare), after trying to sneak in a study session while Owen sat upstairs crying for a while because he didn’t want to take a nap though i desperately needed him to because I was so behind on laundry and I needed that study session, but that turned into: me not getting anything done, and after more and more stress piled on, I felt the weight of it hit me and you could easily see through my facial expressions that I was tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. My two year old could see it. A phrase I never knew he knew. A phrase I have never heard him say. I’ll never forget it though.

We were walking up the stairs, more like a drag, “come on Owen, it’s bedtime and I have asked you about a handful of times now, so please, get upstairs”. And usually he will fuss and moan but he will do it. Generally. I mean he is two. He needs patience and direction from me. Ah, life truly is a balancing act.

But this time, he stopped halfway on the stairs and looked down at me as I fumbled to bring up a stack of laundry, dropping teeny tiny socks on my way up, and he looked me dead in the face as I was half way through a grunt.

“Mommy..are you okay?”

What. What?

I had no idea how to respond. I changed my facial expression and I said “honey, mommy is OK. She is a little stressed, babe. Sometimes that happens to people. They get stressed. It’s like another emotion. Just like being sad, or being angry.” (because we are learning about emotions lately).

But I wanted to tell him more. I wanted to tell him that quote that I could barely remember by the man/women I couldn’t remember who said it, “it’s not the load we carry, it’s the way we carry it”.

Yes. Am I stressed? Of course. Nursing school is stressful. Taking night courses is stressful. Adding in an extra class on top of that workload is stressful. Trying to keep a clean house is stressful. Trying not to nag is stressful. Trying not stress about the things I know I need/have to stress about is stressful. Trying to spend our “at home” days with Owen and filling it with education, exercise, productivity, and positivity is challenging.

It is challenging being a parent. I have a few tips that I truly hold dear that you can find here. And a few thoughts on when you want to be super mom that you can find here. I would be lying if I said otherwise. And maybe some people don’t feel that way, or they have more support, or more money, or whatever it is that could make the job a tad bit easier.

But at the end of the day, it feels as though I have me. And some days I really question if that is enough, but most days I know that’s enough. I love him and I care so much about him. I’m doing the best that I can, and that’s all that I can do.

So tonight, when Owen started crying more than usual at bedtime, and I mean crying off and on for a period of two hours, he finally said “I lay with me” which is code for “can you lay with me mommy?” He then proceeded to ask if he could come in my bed. Most days I say no, to be honest, I have school work to do. I have a routine of diffusing essential oils, setting up my books on my bed and getting to business. But tonight I carried him into my bed and snuggled him so tight because I remembered what he had asked me, “mommy…are you OK?”

I wasn’t going to let all the stress of all the things that I needed to do or all the things I didn’t do yet, or even the stress of the stress I have yet to stress about, get in the way of this moment here and now.

So here I am, snuggled closely in bed with my beautiful son peacefully sleeping and snoozing, cuddled in my arms with his Mr. Fox and baby fox he will never sleep without.

And I just wanted to share that story because I just wanted you to know how OK it is sometimes to not be OK. How easy it is to put on a brave face and pretend everything is fine, except when you find a funny meme of someone tumbling down the stairs, or smacking into a tree and you read the title “current footage of me making it through life right now” and you’re like, “Yeah. That’s me some days. Some days I’m that person”

There will probably come another day where he will ask me if I am OK, and I may or may not be that day, but I know in the end the little moments matter the most. It is all a balancing act, but you must be kind to yourself and you must take a step back, breath and ask yourself, what is truly important?

With the warmness and coziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I’m excited to really dive into the little details. Pay attention to those! The look in his eyes as he places his first Christmas ornament on the tree because he actually understands it this year. Amazing. Or the way he listens (mostly) as I read The Polar Express or How The Grinch Stole Christmas that my lovely friend Katie sent us, and her beautiful note that came with it of how her father use to read those under the Christmas tree, surrounded by love and warmth. That was something she remembered. That little detail.

I saw something on Facebook a few weeks ago that really caught my attention. It showed a story of a mother going about her day. It looked so stressful. Kids were running around everywhere. Trying to grocery shop was turning into a nightmare, hustling and bustling to get things done. She saw a ton of stress, or at least that’s what the viewer saw. But the father came home and he asked the kids, “so how was your day with mommy?” And the child’s face lit up. “Today mommy took me grocery shopping and we pushed the carts and that was so much fun! And we read books and we played!” He saw a beautiful mother fiercely loving her babies.

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” – Iain Thomas

with so much love and warmness,


Family & Baby

when you want to be super mom

Like most of you, I want to be supermom. I want to do it all and have it all. But in reality, most days I’m tired, and most days I’m super pumped and proud of myself when I put a bra on.

But I want to be the perfect cook. I want my son to eat healthy. I want to be the perfect educator for him. I want to get straight As in my nursing clinicals. I want a clean house with continuously fresh linens. I want to be able to go out with friends. I want to take care of myself.

I want I want I want. And that’s all great. And that’s OK to want everything, why should we limit ourselves? But sometimes we set this unobtainable goal, and sometimes we have it in our minds that we have to be perfect. But we are perfectly imperfect, and I think if we give it our all, we can find a happy balance. And we will be supermom not because we did it all, but because we gave it our all. Mamas: we work hard and we deserve a happy life. So here’s a few tips to get you started.

  • Balance + prioritize: major key to making this all work and tying everything together. I use a calendar I got from Michael’s and it has done me wonders. Not only does it have absolutely adorable stickers, but it really helps me plan my days and weeks and months. It helps me see the big picture, and to focus on what needs to be done at what times. But most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to push things back whenever I am feeling over loaded or overwhelmed. Every day I write down three important things I want to accomplish for the day and I focus on doing those. That way I feel good about myself, and also I can slowly get important things knocked out each week.
  • Do a little day by day: I spend 20-30 minutes a day cleaning, about 30 minutes a day prepping or cooking food, and the rest goes to Owen and even more feels like it goes to school. I trg to clean when I can. I even clean when I’m showering, I mean it totally works. I have an all natural cleaner that doesn’t need to be rinsed, and it’s safe to use around me so I spray that baby all over the walls and wipe everything down while I’m showering. When you see something that needs to put it away, do it. Don’t set your stuff on the floor when you walk in the door. I forgot where I heard this from, but it’s called the one touch rule. If you set your jacket on the chair, you’ve touched it once. And then let’s say you moved it to the couch, that’s twice. And now you finally hang it up. You’ve just touched that item three times to get it where it needed to be. Everything needs to have a place so you can easily put it away. I balance school work by having a daily routine. Every night I dedicate 4 hours to my studies after I put Owen down to for the night. During the day I try to throw a load of laundry in, and the next day I try (and when I mean try, I really try) to put the clothes away. But I know it’s more important to get my work done before having the perfect house. Priorities. Also, having a glass a wine is up there too.
  • Understand your limits: I think this is extremely important because we tend to push and push until we are burnt out and to the point of exhaustion. If you know when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ll be better able to handle stress and health. I can get overwhelmed pretty easily, so I usually know when it’s time to take a step back. Some nights I find myself straying away from studying, playing on my phone. That’s when I know I should just quit for the night. I think when we self assess and really focus on not hitting our max-out point, we can better go through the weeks being a healthier and happy mom. And in return, our children will really benefit from this.
  • Stop multitasking: try to focus on the task at hand instead of doing a million things at once. I use to think it was better to get everything done half-assed than to get the job done really good. But I found that half assed jobs really don’t last, but focusing on one thing at a time really keeps me from having to do it again.
  • Allow yourself to just be: as Buddah has said “what we think, we become”. Focus on present awareness, mediate, exercise, and put your phone away. Focus on just being in the moment. So you have to clean out the fridge? Try to just enjoy it and don’t feel like you belong somewhere else. Stop worrying about the future and focus on what’s going on around you at that moment in that time. Stop outside to smell the flowers and hear the birds chirp. Look around, the world is beautiful. You are not needed anywhere else. You are needed right here right now in this moment. Tune into it. Don’t see life as chore. Don’t plan everything because it’ll never happen. Set obtainable goals for the future and then let it go. If something is bothering you before bed, write it down and let it go. You are needed for sleep, not anywhere else. Do you get what I’m saying here? That you are needed in the present moment. Look up present awareness, it’s one of my most important goals. I want to be able to be in the moment, because right now, it kind of feels like my mind is always somewhere else. What can I do? What should I be doing? Sometimes I am even playing with my son but yet stressing in my head, when can I get a break to finish all that needs to be done? How far off from nap time am I? That sounds horrible, but that is just how my mind works. It’s a wheel spinning round and round and driving me nuts. You are not needed anywhere but right here right now. Keep reminding yourself of this.

I hope some of these tips help you 🙂 I’m not perfect and I’m still working towards a happier + healthier me, but that’s always going to be the case. It’s always been about the journey.

Hang in there mamas!