Mom Chronicles: I wanted a baby, not a husband

This post has been sitting in my ‘Draft’ box for a couple of months now. Mainly because my feelings on motherhood and the choices I am making along the way are mixed and personal.

I am finally sitting down to write this post because I can’t get it out of my head and I believe if something stays with you (in your heart, your head, your gut…), you should see it through.

I also think that many women struggle with what I struggle with and I want to use my blog as a sounding board for all things related to motherhood.

“Why?”, you ask. Good Question.

Motherhood is a hell of a thing to go through in life. Everyone’s story is different-the where, when, how, why you became a mother varies. The process of conception, trimesters, delivery–all different. When that feeling takes a hold of each mother is different–The love for my children started the moment I saw their human-shaped bodies on the ultra-sound. Not the sea-turtle body that babies evolve into after a couple of months. The beautiful thing is, that even with all of its differences, there is one absolute constant: motherhood changes your way of life forever.

Becoming a mother absolutely rocked my world. It was something I always wanted and I wasn’t picky in the manner that it came to be. Due to my overly independent personality and the mind-set that I was going to become this Corporate America, female powerhouse, I was totally ok with raising a child without the presence of a father, having my own or adopting–it didn’t matter.

It just so happened that I fell in love, got pregnant, got married and now I am living the “2.5 kids and a dog (Junior, our German Shepard)”  American dream. And, let me tell you, I am so incredibly grateful that it worked out that way.

When I first met my husband, I was completely smitten– he was tall, dark, and handsome, smart, funny, super kind, we liked the same music, had the same kind of off-beat personality–it was amazing.

During our dating phase, I received news that I had abnormal blood cell formation, possible tumors, blah blah blah. I started spiraling through the memories of being 14 and having surgery to remove half of one of my ovaries which caused ridiculously abnormal periods and a more difficult (they claimed) path towards pregnancy.

Returning back to situation at hand, I went through a couple of procedures and the doctors determined that I could (in the most layman’s terms possible because it’s the best I can do) have my uterus frozen to prevent future issues. I could do this and my chances to have babies at that point would’ve been slim to none….more like “none”.

I decided that I needed to have a kid before I would agree to anything like that. After all, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t married–I had never really dreamed that up as my life. I knew that my boyfriend was head-over-heels in love and that the feeling was mutual, we both had good jobs and came from good families–no brainer, right?

Wrong. I was so wrong.

After I got pregnant, he did the most “ridiculous” thing and asked me to marry him. Seriously? Did he seriously ask me to marry him and potentially ruin this lovely relationship by throwing marriage into the situation? I declined his offer. I broke his heart and pissed him off simultaneously because, really, why would he be good enough to father a child with but not to marry?

I had no real answer besides the fact that I didn’t want to. Marriage seemed like the end of my anonymity, my…..everything.

Later on into the pregnancy, he asked again and I declined….again. It was getting ridiculous and when I say “it” was getting ridiculous, I mean that I was being ridiculous. I absolutely loved this man…the father of my unborn child…the person I actually saw my future with. The only difference was that the future I saw didn’t have me wearing a wedding ring.

 

 

 

 

Outside Essentials for RJ’s sensitive skin

RJ, bless his heart, has my skin. That “high-yellow” (for lack of- and no interest in finding- a better term) skin that burns easily in the sun and the “sweet” blood that attracts every kind of mosquito and ant in a 15 mile radius. Did you know there have been studies that show that certain blood types do, in fact, attract mosquitos? It’s true. RJ, in addition to being the sweetest kid on earth, must have one of those mosquito-loving blood types.

Side Note: I was always so miserable growing up with all my mosquito bites and scars. My grandpa use to tell me that the mosquitos only messed with me, and not my cousins, because I was the sweetest person in the world and the sweetness ran in my blood. Way to make a girl feel special, right? It takes a special gift to turn a travesty to a honor but, let me tell you, I was honored.

Any ways, my poor, sweet, sweet, RJ has this same problem. After a couple of summers and island trips, I have curated some products that are the best at protecting skin against insect and nature (sun) attacks.

SkinLove

  1. Lavender oil is great for preventing mosquito bites and soothing skin. Apparently, lavender is also known to stop bleeding, act as an antibacterial agent and an anti-inflammatory.
  2. Coconut Oil is, in my non-professional opinion, like a holy oil. Just bath in it, eat it…you get hit in the head with something? coconut oil…..Not really but it’s pretty amazing and it is another antibacterial oil that is great for itchy bits. You can also mix it with the lavender for a preventative method aaaaaand a smell good–RJ still has that perfect baby smell most days (bias mom, here) but the lavender is a strong second best.
  3. Citronella was a life saver during our trip to St. Lucia. We were shining like the sun but the mosquitos kept their distance.
  4. I’m an all around fan of The Honest Company and the sunscreen works.
  5. If a sunburn happens, and with skin like RJ’s it will, aloe vera gel is a soothing, natural way to cool the skin and give relief to an uncomfortable, unhappy baby.

 

Brand Review: Amae Co.

Amae Co. is a business locally owned in the San Francisco Bay Area by Stacie Lucas who is the co-owner and designer. I not only follow the brand’s IG account @amae.co but her personal/family account @thelucasdaily and I absolutely love her.

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She is very genuine and funny and off-beat and her kids are super cute and she makes it a point to interact with her followers in a meaningful way which keeps her accessible and lovable and one of the reasons why (I would think) people support her business. I know it is one of, many, the reasons I do! Not that I have tried to talk to her–I am very much an introvert so randomly starting convo is not my forte. But if I was one of those people that easily interacted with others, I’d totally choose to @ Stacie. Fact.

When I first became pregnant with my daughter (as I’ve said a million times before), I immediately began seeking out original, heirloom pieces for her closet. Amae Co. started out as Duchess & Lion, an Etsy shop–that’s where I was first introduced to Stacie’s work.

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Back when she wasn’t making clothes more than a handful at a time and mamas were setting their clocks to get pieces when D&L would drop a new line. You know me, I love a good “crazy carting” experience.

Since then, D&L has grown and been rebranded to the current Amae Co. and I am still as in love with (if not more) the pieces. The photos below are from The Fish Bar drop, Amae Co.’s latest line.

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I have been buying Stacie’s pieces for almost 3 years now and every item is superb. I fall in love with the shirt, dress, head-wrap, every time I put it on my baby girl. Another plus is that a wider range of more affordable pieces are showing up in her lines, all while remaining responsibly and ethically made. AND she has added a boys line as well! Now RJ and rock this brand with his sister. Win-win.

Music Chronicles: 10 Songs Perfect For Summer

I grew up listening to all genres of music…Boys 2 Men, Sam Cooke, Christina Aguilera, Micheal Jackson (I listened to Michael Jackson so much when I was younger, I actually thought he was of MY generation.) Yea- my mom probably would’ve been one of those girls that cried and passed out at his concert had she ever gotten the opportunity. Her love for him was REAL…and so was mine.

My mom was also pretty tight fisted with the TV remote so music was my real form of entertainment. I want to give that same love for music to my kiddos.

Let’s be honest, I like a good Disney song as much as the “dancing in diapers” crew but I can only listen to ‘Blue Ribbon Bunny’ or ‘Everybody Wants To Be a Cat’ so many times before I start losing my grip.

Here are some of my favorite, kid-friendly, songs for summer.I’m thinking: beach visits, road trips, sunny days out in the yard…you get the idea.

Click my lovely logo below to listen to my playlist or just scroll down to take notes on some killer summer jams to listen to later.

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       1.The Beatles– Here Comes The Sun

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3. The La’s– There She Goes

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4. The Lumineers– Flowers In Your Hair

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5. Gavin DeGraw– Best I Ever Had

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6. Lauryn Hill– Doo Wop (That Thing)

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7. Justin Timberlake– Señorita

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8. Felix Jaehn & Jasmine Thompson– Aint Nobody

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9. Ben Howard– Old Pine

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    10. Gallant– Talking To Myself

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Unicorn Birthday Party

For Milly’s birthday, I decided to throw her a unicorn themed party. I was super excited and went to work trying to find all the best decorations and planning the little details. I had my mom reach out to all Milly’s cousins to see if they were willing to come to a “play date” for Milly’s birthday.

I learned after my first child that huge parties are a pain/stressful/hectic and you leave with war scars and all for what? RJ is not going to remember his first birthday party nor will he be super interested in re-living it when he gets older. So I decided to save my sanity the second time around go smaller, more intimate, and less hectic.

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This ^ is what Milly woke up to on her special day–a ceiling full of balloons. Like a maniac, I woke up at 4:30 am to pump helium into these bad boys and release them into the room she was sleeping in at the time.

(Didn’t I say that I was going smaller & less hectic? Oh well)
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She thought it was the coolest thing. “Mom! Look! Prettyyyyy!” While she laid there admiring the balloons, I was able to snap this photo.

I put these unicorn balloons together for decorations/party favors for her little cousins.

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And I decorated the counter top in the kitchen.

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The cake was seriously the cutest thing ever. That chubby unicorn was everything!

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I also had a bubble machine which I thought would have a whimsical effect. It didn’t. I should have known seeing as how the toy was called the TORNADO. It was shooting bubbles everywhere. Maybe I’m a little dramatic but after being attacked by a swarm of bubbles, I decided to put them away for another time. So…..no pictures.

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Birthday Party Aftermath

Festival Fever- What To Wear

Growing up in Texas, Austin was a hot-spot for getting away, getting out, and having fun. ATX is considered the “Music Capital” of Texas and it definitely lives up to that name. You can barely walk 2 blocks without hearing live music. Everything from starving musicians to nationally acclaimed bands who just happened to stop by. It’s just the culture. For those reasons, and many more, festival season is near&dear to my heart.

With SXSW (South By Southwest) just passing & Coachella rolling into it’s last weekend, I thought it would be fun to put together some cool festival-inspired looks for you and your littles.

Of course, a lot of these brands are considered small shops–hand sewn, personally curated, well made/loved items for your littles. As you know (because I’m always harping on this topic–sorry! (not sorry)) , I really think it’s important to support the entrepreneurs (or mom-preneurs) in the world and these brands know what they are doing! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll shop any and everywhere- from second hand stores to Neiman Marcus-but my heart is with the small shops and if it fits, I support. Check ’em out!

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Mama Bear

1// I think I love you Dress [here] – channeling my inner Stevie Nicks with this one

2// Skinny Scarf [here] – if you’re someone like me who loves a scarf but lives in 90+ degree summers.

3//Platform Sandal [here] – for me, black is “in season” all year long so a black sandal is the obvious choice.

4//Camille Fringe Bag [here] – fringe for dayyyssss

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5// Studded Gladiator Sandals [here] – these little sandals are to die for

6//Flutter By Top [here] – it’s the perfect mix of edgy & whimsy which I love for my little girl

7//Susies Custom Shorties [here] – as seen on all the cool celebrity kids

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8//Bliss Tour Concert Tee [here] + you’ve got to check out the tour dates graphic on the back of this tee!

9//Arizona Shorts [here] – a good wash can take a pair of jeans a long way and you can be fun without going crazy with your little man

10//Tartan Socks [here] – I’m a sucker for grid patterns

11// 574 Acrylic NB Sneaker [here] – New Balance is really hitting the “super cool” mark this summer!

I Hate Unicorns…Said No One Ever

Is it just me or is there some serious unicorn obsession sweeping the nation?! All kinds of unicorn inspired merchandise is popping up everywhere & I’m not mad about it.

I’ve even decided to theme Milly’s birthday party after this trend. I’m most definitely more excited than she is seeing as how she’s only turning 2 and would probably be happy with a single balloon and ice-cream. (She’ll be getting those things too! Of course, the balloon is a unicorn balloon. Of course.)

I’ve put together some of my favorite unicorn products out there (for kiddos & mamas) right here on the blog.

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1// Unicorn Wall Art [here] – I love this take on the unicorn.

2// Rainbow Unicorn Float [here] – I mean…If I had a pool…

3// Nila Anthony Highway Unicorn Crossbody Bag [here] – this is for the mama who is still a kid at heart.

4// Geometric Rainbow Unicorn Brooch [here] – I’m a big pin fan so this spoke to me. I think it’s adorable and will add some whimsy to any outfit.

5// The Claude Unicorn Pillow [here] – Claude HAS to be the coolest boy unicorn ever imagined.

6// Pretty in Pink Unicrown [here] – I would love to see this as a photo prop or on some toddler for a birthday party or, you know, grocery shopping.

7// Teacher’s Pet Unicorn Backpack [here] – For the coolest kid in the class

SMA Awareness Month:: Wee Delights

While the month of August has flown by, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate mom-preneurs, small shops (of course), and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness month.

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If you didn’t already know, August is SMA Awareness month and I have been privileged to meet Christine, owner of Wee Delights, and mom to Caleb who battles with Type 2 SMA.

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Christine and I partnered up to get some cool pics of my kiddos in some Wee Delights gear and the rest (as they say) is history. I was immediately drawn to her kindness, her adorable kids, and her amazing brand. Even with a 3rd baby on the way, she was gracious enough to take the time to sit and let me interview her for my blog and here it is:

  1. Can you give us a brief history of Wee Delights? (How long have you been in business? Where are you located? & any other cool info you’d like to give us!)

    We’ve been open for about a year and a half. My shop was inspired by my son, Caleb, who was diagnosed with SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 2 at 17 months old. I wanted to create awareness and raise funds to find a cure of this rare disease without having bake sales. I’m a hazard in the kitchen. 

  2. What is the ultimate vision for Wee Delights? Where do you see your business in 5 years?

    My ultimate goal for Wee Delights is to have the brand of apparel that is known for great designs and great messages while spreading SMA awareness and raising funds to find a cure. We currently have apparel for babies and toddlers and would like to expand to proving youth and adult sizes.

  3. What does the infrastructure of Wee Delights look like? Who helps you or are you a one-woman show?

    Wee Delights is currently a one woman show. Our shirt designs are created and thought of by me and digitized by friends who are digital designers by trade. I used to work with a seamstress for all the handmade pieces but our t-shirt designs seem to be really taking off. I see the shop making a turn in that direction. I currently pack and ship all orders myself as well as answer all emails and handle customer service issues. 

  4. What advice would you give to a mom thinking about going into business for herself?

    As far as advice to give any mom thinking about going into business on her own, I’d say to do it. It’s such a blessing that I am able to work from home and tend to my children’s needs, especially my son. It’s a huge sacrifice but totally worth it. It’s not an easy job but us women were built to multi task.

  5. Balancing work + motherhood is tough. Let’s face it, being a mom is hard enough! What does a typical day for you look like?

    As much I’d like to say we have a daily routine, we don’t. My kids are currently not in school as we’re attempting and exploring homeschool. Due to his diagnosis, my son’s immune system is very sensitive and he cannot get sick. When gets sick, he has to be admitted to a hospital to recuperate. He cannot be nursed at home. So mornings are usually filled with a little bit of learning while I answer emails after breakfast. After lunch is nap time and that’s when I pack and ship orders. When the kids are up from their nap, we’ll take a trip to the post office then come back home to do a little more learning until it’s time to make dinner. I’ll continue to pack and ship after they’re in bed until the crazy hours of the morning. However, all of this will change in the next few weeks when baby #3 arrives. 

  6. August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness month- Tell us a little about the illness and how it has affected your beautiful family.

    August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month and it’s the second year we’ve really advocated for spreading awareness. Though all year, we raise funds and donate to charities, we really make a push for it in August as other families and shops ban together to spread awareness and make it known that there is no cure and help is needed. Basically, SMA is a recessive genetic disease that causes the muscles to deteriorate due to a lost connection between the brain and muscles by a lack of important  genes, neurons, and proteins.  A person can be a carrier and not know it, 1 in 10 people are carriers to be exact. When 2 carriers have a child, there is a 1 in 4 chance their child will have SMA. This disease is rare and there is no cure but there are treatments on the horizon. There is HOPE. Our family was completely shocked and devastated by my son’s diagnosis as we’ve never heard of it but we’ve always had HOPE. We live a happy normal life but are extra cautious about germs and sicknesses. We sterilize everything and make sure everyone knows not to visit if they are sick or to let us know if they are not feeling well. 

  7. Caleb is such a cutie! How does his journey with SMA motivate you to keep doing what you’re doing?

    Caleb has really shown our family how to fight and never give up. He really has taught us to be grateful for everything, every moment, every experience. He’s taught us to love more and he’s really opened our eyes in seeing life differently. Our hearts are more compassionate towards people and our spirits are more alive than ever. He’s such a happy kid and doesn’t let anything stop him. He can do anything a “typical” kid can do, just differently and in a wheelchair. 

  8. How is Wee Delights celebrating SMA Awareness month? Where can someone go to find out more about SMA?

As much we’d like to do more this month for SMA awareness, I’m having to take it easy with our third child due any day now. There are so many events going on this month to help raise funds and spread awareness from Major League Baseball games, galas, walks, etc. You can find out more information about SMA and SMA related events at www.CureSMA.org

Congrats on your brand & your new baby, Christine! From my family to yours. 

Brands That Make Parent/Child Twinning Easy: Thief & Bandit

I was going to give a nice little intro like I usually do to present a new brand. Thief & Bandit, however, have this amazing graphic on their ‘About’ page that I couldn’t resist using it to introduce them. Anyways, who better to tell you about Thief & Bandit than Thief & Bandit, right?! I digress:

I absolutely love this brand–the designs and patterns are so fanciful and really grasp the beauty of being out doors. What makes T&B even more lovable is that the patterns are totally do-able for mom and babe #twinning. 

And, lets not forget how special the small-business process can be: T&B’s patterns start as ink drawings and are burned into giant silk screens. They print the fabric in the attached workshop of Amie’s house and all garments are sewn by a single seamstress, Carly, in thier downtown studio. Truly hand-made. Truly a small business.

'Desert Floral' Pocket Skirt

‘Desert Floral’ Pocket Skirt


'Desert Floral' Twirling Dress

‘Desert Floral’ Twirling Dress


'Antique Vase' Full Circle

‘Antique Vase’ Full Circle


'Antique Vase' Leggings

‘Antique Vase’ Leggings


'Scavenger' Tee Shirt

‘Scavenger’ Tee Shirt


'Scavenger' Sweatshirt

‘Scavenger’ Sweatshirt