Saturday, September 30, 2017

Twenty Six

My birthday is Monday and I've just been thinking about my life. Literally everything that has led up to me being who I am. Everything from people I've met to experiences I've encountered. Within the past year I've learned a few things about myself.

I've learned that I want to leave a positive impression on people. Regardless of theirs.
In twenty five years, I've lived in four countries and three states. I've been in 11 schools and in that time, I've met countless people. People who I've spent a year(or more) sitting next to in class. People at the drive thru. Or a doctors office. Some people I saw everyday and some I never saw again. But they were all left with an idea of who I was.

There is a part of your life that lives on in someone else's mind. To someone, I'll forever be the girl who was constantly ashy. To someone, I'll forever be the girl from Hurricane Katrina. To someone, I'll forever be the pregnant senior. To someone else, I'll forever be the girl who was pumping in a community dorm bathroom at UGA. 

You get the idea.

If you run into someone you haven't seen or talked to in a while, catch up! Try to leave a positive image of yourself. And maybe they'll leave a new one of themselves as well! 


What's meant to be will be. 
Obvi, I have goals and ideas of how to reach them, but if something changes along the way, I know that everything will work out the way it's meant to be.

I firmly believe that my destiny is out of my control. 

After being a control freak for 25 years, I've had to adjust to the realization that what's meant to be will be. Whether it's good or bad. I just know what's meant for me will happen in the time it's supposed to happen. 

I still honestly have no idea how I got pregnant with Jaxon. Trust, I was not trying to be pregnant then or maybe ever again. 

I had a miscarriage six months before finding out I was pregnant with Jax. We still don't know why my water broke at 16 weeks. I think that's why I was genuinely concerned. I became insanely anxious. All the time. Constantly worrying about anything and everything. I had realized that I wasn't living anymore. I knew could not live the next eight months in constant fear. I had done everything right with Baby Esco and we still lost him. What was meant to be would be. Whatever was supposed to happen would happen.

I read a book by a monk named THICH NHAT HANH where he spoke about how we all live in fear. How fear restrains us from living our best life. I always think about his rememberances.



As horrific as that experience was, I had one just as incredible. Bella was in the room with us and Steph, a bestie, snuck in, too. Another plus, my mom was in a better place than when I had Bella. 


This past year, I've been trying let go of my worries and focusing on the moment. If is bad, I know that it's a time for learning and it will leave. If it's good, I enjoy it as much as possible for it is leaving, too.


Contentment
I also realized I was in search of happiness. I thought things would make me happy. There would be something to show how hard we worked. How great we were doing. I quickly realized that things weren't enough. I needed to be content. Yes, I want to have a house but I also want memories. But the thing is, we'll make memories regardless of our house. It's the moments and people that make it a home. Now I know I want security for my children, for me, for my future. I recently found a quote from OTH. 


Happiness isn't a destination but a mood. I can find happiness just about anytime! It's contentment that remains constant. Knowing what matters. Knowing the difference between wants and needs. I honestly think I'm happier now that I've found genuine content.

Within the next year I hope to learn during my sweaty sixth year: patience.



Zamn, that was long. 


Happy #LibraSzn

Monday, September 18, 2017

#Eloping

Eight year old me would be disgusted with twenty-five year old me. See, EightYearOldShanice decided to plan her wedding. I blame it in part to the fact we didn't have cable. She was about the baller wedding. Princess gown with a crown veil. Seven bridesmaids and he would have seven groomsmen. There would be two flower girls. One for my entrance and actual dropping of flowers. One to carry my train. Oh, and one ring bearer. There would be a tooon of food and friends and gifts.

Sorry, Miss Extra. But at least you married the right guy.

It wasn't that Dev and I didn't want to get married, it's just that a lot of people were invested in our relationship. And let's be honest. The wedding isn't about you. It's about your guests. We had accumulated friends and family over the past ten years. There were a lot of people who wanted to celebrate this union with us! 

We had discussed marriage before and we even started planning but it became overwhelming. And expensive!  #ZeroToAhunnid The venue. The decor. The flowers. The reception. The food. The DJ. The dresses. The tux. I'm sure family would help but I didn't want to assume. Even if they did, we didn't know how much they would invest.

So we put it off until we could realistically afford a wedding.

Until one night while we were tucking in Bella for bed. We had a conversation that went something like this.

Bella: I'm a Bayon and Daddy is a Bayon but you're a Wilson. Why is your last name Wilson?
Me: Yeah, Dev. Why aren't I a Bayon?
Devon: One day she will be!
Bella: Really?! SHE WILL?!

She immediately became excited! As Dev and I left the room, we looked to each other and simultaneously said, "We have to get married."

We figured we should save what we would spend on a wedding and use it toward a badass honeymoon instead. We decided to "elope" and then go on a cruise in September of 2016. It gave us plenty of time to save.

But God was funny and in May of 2016, I was eight weeks pregnant but no one knew. Dev and I had already planned to get married in September but I'd be seven months pregnant. So basically, hell nah to September.

It was the end of May and we literally had something to do every weekend until mid-August. We quickly came to the realization that we needed to get married ASAP. We decided that no family would attend since Devon has family in NY and they wouldn't make it in time. We had two weeks to get our shit together. 

Although we were "eloping", we didn't keep it a secret. I discussed getting married with everyone! AND BOI! I'm glad I did. Surprisingly, everyone respected our decision when I explained that money was holding us back from marriage. Everyone I talked to told me that they wish they had just gone to the courthouse. So many people had horrific narratives about their wedding/wedding prep. From people losing friends and/or family, going actual bridzilla, and regretting spending hella dough on one day. One woman spent so much that it's been five years and she is still paying off the wedding! Even after the divorce!

As a little girl, I thought that weddings were magical days of love not nightmares of animosity!

Initially, I didn't want to be judged for being non traditional. But after having these wild ass discussions, I knew that I was doing the right thing. We did keep a few traditions, though. My mom and I went dress shopping, I had a bouquet and a cake! Bella was even able to be the flower girl for all eight couples. *crying emoji* She was living for it.

Although no one was at the courthouse, we still wanted to celebrate. After the ceremony, we went to dinner with our best friend, Drew, my family and Devon's mom. It was perfect! Minus the whole not partaking in the toast. *eye roll* 

But I's married nah!



I'm plotting on doing a post about tips for a courthouse wedding. Just in case someone out there wants to save some cash. And a headache.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chaperoning will be lit

It's still bizarre to me that Bella is at an age of actual friendships, meaningful conversations and teeth losing. As cliche as it is, she's growing up so fast! 

I'm watching one of my best friends grow up into who she is supposed to be! It's the best! I see how she's matured and changed when handling situations, from anxiety to frustration.

Dev, Bella and I are all each other's best friends. I mean, sometimes she forgets the boundaries but we're quick to shut it down.**

And as any besties, we are involved in each other's lives. It's important to us that we attend all of Bella's school events, friends' birthday parties and social gatherings. 

All of this to say, I'm controlling af and going to be a chaperone for a field trip to the local zoo! Devon and I chaperoned one last year and we had such a fun experience I had to volunteer again! I'm stoked! Unfortunately, no siblings so I'm riding solo while Dev is in baby duty.

Now, the real question is, do I stunt on these hoes? The weather is going to be warm but possible rain *eye roll* so I'm not sure what I'm going to wear! 

UPDATE: I had a badass kid in our group and almost made him stay with the teacher but he damn near cried in front of everyone so I couldn't be that mom and I regret it. I should have given him up. 

**Also if you're cool with your children, they tend to forget you're a parent. Their feelings might be hurt because of something you did or said. Simply remind them that your responsibilities as a parent are to keep them safe, healthy and happy. And in that order. If you say no to something, ask them is this action safe and healthy? Are the consequences worth their happiness?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#CIO #WokeWednesday



At least Right now.

I don't know how much I actually believed in the Cry It Out Method until I had Jaxon. He was a little shithead in utero and he's a little one now. 

A Little History:
First of all, his head is flat.
Second, he has history of terrible reflux. 

I know it's not Jaxon's fault, poor kid, but it's why we are where we are. 

He likes being nursed. He likes being rocked to sleep. He likes being held a certain way. All in all to say, he's a time consuming baby.

Now, I feel like a shitty mom to Bella. I feel like she's constantly getting pushed to the side for Jax. Luckily, she's finding comfort in her new Moana book. 

Devon is either sleeping, at work or just "not mommy".

I made their evening schedules to where I can have some guaranteed one on one time with Bella at the end of the day. So when I hear Jaxon crying during my solo time with Bella, I have to prioritize once again. This time it's easy. I know for a fact that he:
Is fed and full.
Has a clean diaper.
Is comfortable clothing wise.
Is actually tired.

He's fine. 




He is in the process of learning to self soothe. He's used to a comfy bed that constantly moved while he slept. Now he's in this wack ass crib with a hard mattress. I know it's my fault and I understand his frustration. However, I'd much rather deal with this now than when he is older, more aware and louder.

Now, I will say that Bella and I check on him roughly every five minutes but he usually falls back asleep after fifteen. 

This is what's working for my family right now. I know the Cry It Out Method has a bad rep but at the end of the day, I gotta do me and you gotta do you. 

This is your life. 

No one else is missing your sleep. Or your time with your family. Or your mommy time. 

Do what works for you. 




But at the same time, don't judge others because what they chose works for them.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DIY Faux Fur Sandals



You don't have to be into fashion to know 90's and early 2000's style is coming back. #BlessUp 

So it's no surprise I've been seeing faux fur sandals everydamnwhere! I've only seen heel options and if you know me, I'm not a heel wearing kinda gal.This means I would only be wearing them sometimes and they're too cute to only wear sometimes!

I obviously had to make my own version! 


I used my old $6 sandals from Old Navy and some faux fur from one of Bella's old tiaras. I'm still not sure why she had a black tiara? Serious Peyton Sawyer vibes.

STEPS:

1. Cut the fur to size
2. Glue the fur across the strap
3. Stay fly as hell


This DIY was maybe five minutes and I love the way they turned out! And I didn't spend any extra money. #Win

Thursday, March 16, 2017

My Baby's Head is Flat!



Let's just say, Jaxon has a history of reflux.

As you can see, we were desperate for help, especially when he slept. The Rock N Play was our saving grace! It kept him elevated, which seemed to help prevent vomit. It also kept him moving which also kept him happy. And quiet! This thing was brilliant! Jaxon fell asleep and stayed asleep! Oh, and it was a gift so it was for the free, too. 



Fast forward to three weeks ago. I'm noticing his head is low key flat but I'm like, "I'm a Libra, I notice flaws all the time. It's nothing." Then we go to the pediatrician and he's like, "His head is a tad flat. He just needs more tummy time." 

WAIT, HIS HEAD IS WHAT? 

All I'm picturing is Jaxon wearing a helmet. Nothing wrong with it but like, I want to avoid it. I mean, yes, there is the whole neurological and developmental aspect but HIS HEAD IS FLAT. 

So I'm panicking. 

Are they going to call DFCS? I promise I'm not a neglectful parent! We do love him! We play with him and he does tummy time! 

Thankfully, the doctor reassured me that Jaxon is still developing on target and we have time to correct his head. Jaxon just needs more tummy time. 

Okay, more tummy time it is.






Later when I put him down for a nap in the Rock N Play, I notice his chin is resting in his chest. I always thought it was because his chunky cheeks were heavy and low. But the more I observe him...Why is his head like that?

Oh my gosh. Is this the mf making his head flat?!

I felt betrayed! This deliverer was also the culprit to Jaxon's lopsided head! #Judas

But how did this happen? He doesn't spend that much time in it. He only sleeps in the rocker. Wait. Newborns sleep all the time. No! It is my fault! How did I even let this happen?! 

I started to feel guilty but that got me no where. So, I got my shit together, did some research and found this goddess physical therapist slash blogger. After reading, I feel a little better as a mom because I realized that I am not  alone. As it turns out, the rocker is popular and one of the major causes for brachycephaly aka Flat Head Syndrome. 

Whew. 

Okay, I'm not such a bad mom and it really isn't too late to correct it. We have a month until his four month check up so I will have an idea of how he is improving.

I know that additional tummy time and changing Jax to his crib are a must. But I'm not naive. I also know that this transition will be challenging and I have to prepare for what is ahead. 

Misery.


From him and me. But it really is my fault. Now, he has a lot of adjusting to do. Just please pray for a young one. *insert crying emoji*


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

#Breastfeeding #WokeWednesday

Breastfeeding as a Millennial

I was nine when I saw my mom breastfeeding my brother. It didn't really register with me that it might be weird to my friends when they came over. It was my normal.
But then I noticed, just about every baby in my life used formula and started to think that breastfeeding wasn't so normal.

Fast forward to the present.There are a ton of resources for education and assistance. Insurance companies are providing pumps for free Laws are changing. And it seems as if women are stepping out of bathrooms and onto social media. I've noticed so many women posting breastfeeding pictures and it's inspiring. Social media influencers like Tammy Hembrow and Catherine Paiz and even supermodel Candice Swanaepol are using their platforms to #NormalizeBreastfeeding.

When I breastfed Bella (seven years ago), it was because we were broke and I saw how expensive formula was and almost had a seizure. Breastfeeding was free and convenient for the most part. But I do remember when my friends came over and I'd hide out to feed Bella or kill myself pumping to pack bottles when we went out.

I was self conscious and honestly afraid to make people feel uncomfortable.

Now? Girl, bye.

I breastfeed anywhere and everywhere! Granted I'm not stripping down and flashing the tit but I feel so much more confident breast feeding in public. I'm just thinking, "My kid is surviving solely from something my body produces. How can you not think that's incredible?".

Now that I have Jax, I thought it would be weird for Bella as a six year old but she's cool with it, too!  I've just explained to her that's how he eats. She's seen me pump, breastfeed in public and while we play Sorry.

I can proudly say that breastfeeding is her normal.
So much so, she's made a few comments...

"Now, Molly, that is breast milk vomit."

"He just wants a plate of boobs." 

"He's hungry for the boooooob."

"Wait, why doesn't Dad ever breastfeed Jax?"

If a six year old can grasp the idea that a baby can only drink milk and the milk comes from its mom, why can't adults?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#BabyWeight #WokeWednesday

You know those IG women. The ones with the banging bodies two hours after they gave birth. The new moms with the insane snapback game. Moms are posting pictures of their bodies after baby and it makes some of us second guess our progress. I honestly don't think we even mean to do it. I think it starts as inspiration and then we slowly slip into comparison. I've done it. Recently actually. 

I had Jaxon in early December of 2016. I was 170 lbs when I went into labor and was heavier than my husband! I didn't look like myself and I was still in limbo. My maternity clothes didn't fit and my pre-baby clothes were still just a tad too small. I wanted to get back to my old thirst trappin self but then I became weak and fatigued. I was breastfeeding and not eating enough calories. On top of that, I was stressing myself to work out even though I only had two hours of sleep.


I was miserable from overworking myself. I eventually had a meltdown in the shower after staring at myself for five minutes straight. Once I realized what I was doing to myself, I decided to stop that shit and focus on my health rather than just my appearance as I always had.

I was rushing to a destination I may never visit again. Plus,I stopped and realized how incredible my body actually is. It's dope af! Not only did my body grow a human, it catered to it! My body squished my organs so my baby could grow! My waistline was almost double! I wanted to show a few pictures to demonstrate the changes my body has been through.

I only have a SnapChat so there aren't too many pictures of my body at a full length. This is what I (Devon) dug up for comparison.

This is me Pre-pregnancy at 134 lbs.


This is me between 36 and 38 weeks pregnant.


And this is me 10 weeks post partum at 136 lbs.
Sure, I'm only two pounds away from my pre-baby weight but my body is no where near what it was. I'm a small girl and Jax was a big baby at 8 lbs 2 oz! I've lost some of my muscle strength and flexibility so right now I'm working on getting back in shape. 

Up until I was seven months pregnant, I would exercise 5x a week first thing in the morning. 
I'd wake up at 5:45 a.m, work out, shower and be ready for the day before Bella even woke up. 
Now, I'm just trying to leave the house before school starts!

My days with a newborn and a school aged child are intense which means SLEEP > EXERCISE.
But I do love being active and I've realized that working out means better me and that means better wife/mom. I (and my family) can tell a difference in my energy and attitude. 

Since having Jaxon, I've had to make an adjustment to my workouts. I work out when I can or when I need to maintain my sanity unwind.


We're finally starting to establish a schedule so I work out maybe 3x a week. But whenever I do, I go hard because I don't know when I'll have another opportunity. When I do workout, I do it from home. It's just too convenient. We have a Smart TV (phenomenal investment) and I put YouTube videos and sweat.

It works because...
1. I don't have to leave (always a plus)
2. I'm being told what to do so I don't waste time at the gym
3. I can pause and check on Jaxon
Bonus: Sometimes, I can't do a video all the way through. Since it's a video, it helps me keep track of how long I've actually exercised.

No, I'm not where I want to be but I'm where I need to be. I'm happy, healthy and mobile. And so is my baby. At the end of the day, that's what really matters.

I promise. 

I'll get where I want to be but for now I'll enjoy my little sleep time with my baby.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Interview with Bella... Three years later

Ah, parenting at its finest. I wanted to do this with Bella years ago but I clearly didn't stick to it as it's been three years since the last one I posted. 

I figured since it's been so long, I should do an updated one! 



STATS:

Age:
six and a half

Height:
 48 inches

Weight:
54 lbs

Clothing size:
7/8 KIDS


QUESTIONS:

What is your favorite food?
Blueberries, strawberries, watermelon

What is your least favorite food?
chicken 

Favorite color:
blue

What is your favorite toy?
LPS (Littlest Pet Shop)

What is your favorite animal?
 A horse

What is your favorite thing to do?
Draw

What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
 Help out with brother

What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Go to Monkey Joe's

What is your favorite book?
Any chapter books

What is your favorite thing to wear?
Dresses

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An art teacher

Monday, March 6, 2017

Baby Reflux Sucks




Jaxon, our sweet, chunky angel was puking ALL THE EFFING TIME. 

Puking after feedings. Puking during feedings. Puking two hours after feedings. Puking back to back. Puking in his sleep. Puking during diaper changes. Puking during clothe changes. You get it, he was puking. And let me just say it wasn't "spit up" because although he did that too, the vomit looked different and there was more of it. 

Aaaanyway, he was constantly going through clothes and sheets. His. Ours. And Bella's. Thank the Lord our couch is leather or we'd be getting a new one.

He was on two different medications. Which didn't help. We tried formula to see if he was allergic to my milk.Still no help. I had to mess with my diet. Thankfully, no help. 

Then sometimes he would projectile vomit and the doctor thought it was pyloric stenosis. Thank goodness it wasn't but they didn't know what was wrong so we went to a specialist.

The specialist said, "He's fine. He's gaining weight and developing on track. He'll grow out of it."

"FINE AND GROW OUT OF IT?!"

Yes, it was good news. Nothing was wrong with Jax. 
But at the same time, NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH JAX. 

If nothing was wrong, why are we using hand towels instead of the cute burp cloths from my registry?! Why is he wearing bibs 24/7? Why is my Boppy in the washer for the third time this week? Why was I buying new clothes because I was tired of doing laundry?


I felt defeated because no one could explain this frustrating issue.

A part of me felt that maybe he was over eating. But I didn't want to just stop feeding him and end up starving my newborn. 

I was lost.

By then, I had to start pumping for a return to work stash. It was then that I realized why he was so gassy and throwing up all the time!

My let down was crazy forceful! 

The greedy hungry kid was just trying to keep up. This also explained why he did so well with a bottle. I also realized that he just liked to nurse. It soothed him. So he actually was over eating.

After weeks and weeks of trial and error, I figured it out. I had hungry baby who also found comfort in the boob, which caused him to over eat. The same boob that over flowed causing him to try to keep up resulting in him vomiting.

Finally putting the pieces together, I've come up with a system. I only feed him one side per feeding and I have to stop him during feedings. If he vomits, not spits up, we're done feeding until the next one. 

It's been working. I asked Devon just to make sure it wasn't just me getting used to vomit. He confirmed I wasn't tripping.

Although my laundry load is still sinful and we're all on high alert after he eats, I can say it's improved. He vomits less vomit and does it less often.** I think he's finally starting to outgrow this hot mess. 

Does anyone have tips or know of anything else that might help? If so, let me know. 

SOS. 










**Weird how vomit is both a noun and a verb in this sentence. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Save Big on Little Clothes

Kids grow through clothes waaaaayy too fast for me to be spending much of my hard earned pennies on them. Here's the other thing. KIDS LIKE TO PLAY! I don't want to restrict my children from their imagination and childhood because they might ruin their clothes. But I also want them to be able to be fashionable.

I'll be honest, envy Bella's closet. It could be that I'm used to wearing scrubs and I can't wear street clothes on the reg. It could be that her clothes are just sofa king adorable. Or it could be that she literally only has quality, name brand clothes. It may sound like I am bragging and I guess I kind of am.. but not for the reason you think I am. Sure the clothes are fashionable but they were also inexpensive.

Before I go on, let me clarify the difference between cheap and inexpensive. At least to me.
A cheap piece means poor quality and an inexpensive piece means good quality that costs less. Exhibit A. I bought Bella a shirt on super sale from GAP that was the same price as one at Wal-Mart or a consignment shop. (Nothing wrong with either just trying to prove a point) But honestly, which shirt would you rather have your child wearing? It could be the Libra in me showing herself but I'd rather have the name brand. *insert emoji monkey covering his eyes*

Also, I'd rather not have Bella in the same clothing as most of her schoolmates. Because let me just tell you how annoying it is for someone else to take home the exact same article of clothing.
Even though they didn't wear it to school that day nor did they acknowledge that her name was in it.
Whatevs, I don't want the issue to happen again.

Let's get started shopping, shall we?

STICK TO A GENERAL PLAN. Know your budget and what your child actually needs. I usually do not spend more than $5 per article of clothing. I'm more lenient on coats and jeans but you get the idea. I also try to think of items I wish they had. In January, we had a nice dinner to go to and I was wishing Bella had a nicer sweater to wear. The next time I spotted a clearance sale, I searched for a fancier sweater.

SHOP OUT OF SEASON. I can't skress this enough! Last Spring, I bought Bella this incredible $65 suede and faux fur coat for only $13! You should have an idea of how your child grows and what size they will be in by the next season. But if you're worried about buying the wrong size, consider stores like Carters. They don't have a time frame on when to return and exchange items. Just hang on to the receipt or you'll get the exchange for the current price of the item. Which can hurt.


 I got these for next fall/winter. Each piece came to about $3 each! That's consignment prices for new clothes!

FILTER SEARCHES.
Most sites have the option of narrowing down your options so you don't get your hopes up on items you initially spot. This saves you both time and depression. I usually filter by size and price, then sort low-high.

BE PATIENT. It's easy to buy a piece the minute you spot it but sometimes waiting is the key to getting the most bang for your buck. My mom always said, "I got more time than money". Plus, most stores offer coupon codes on the regular. Just save a piece that you want and go back frequently to check if any codes come up. Remember everything goes on sale eventually.

OPEN A CARD. Now, I get this isn't for everyone. But if you find yourself going back to the same store, you should really consider it. For me, my go to store is Old Navy aka Bootleg Gap. I find that Old Navy usually has the best deals because they have low clearance prices on top of coupon codes. I shop there pretty often so I opened a card and it was totally worth it.

I think that's all I have for now. If you have any shopping tips, PLEASE hit me up and leave a comment!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Wow

So first things first.


My bad.


I kind of lost track of my blog so here's an update...

I'm 25 now.


Devon and I eloped and got married.





 I had a baby.


Bella is the best big sister. Ever.




We're moving to a house soon. That's the plan at least.


I decided I want to be a nurse and enrolled in school.


I'm working SUPER part time and will have free time to keep the blog updated!