On Becoming Mom

It’s true. I debated long and hard on becoming a mom. In fact, for awhile, I think I sabotaged anything good so that I wouldn’t even be faced with the option of getting serious enough to get to wedded bliss and tiny people.

But I’m sure glad I did. My latest on Her View From Home- I’m not my childhood. And neither are you, Mama.

The Present of Presence

I’ve given myself a gift this year. It didn’t cost me a thing, and the return on investment has been immeasurable.

I’m a phone junkie. Putting down my phone has been a serious challenge. It’s my lifeline- I use it for email, keeping in contact with my friends and family, social media- everything! Everything has a sense of urgency. Emails and text need immediate attention, and heaven forbid I miss an Instagram update! To be honest, it was scary at first. How would I deal without my lifeline? What if I (gulp) missed something important?

I realized recently that even though it was my connection to the outside world my phone was disconnecting me from those most important to me. By being on my phone all the time I was missing out on the little things. I was hanging on to the phone instead of hanging on to the few precious moments we get to spend together. It wasn’t rare to hear a “Mom isn’t listening” in the background while I tried to quickly shift my attention to the world around me.

I learned that there was nothing more important than the boys in front of me. They’re growing so quickly, and by always staying online I was offline with them. Not only that, but I was encouraging them to be dependent on the screen too- whether it was TV or my phone, they always want to be connected to something. If they weren’t, it was epic temper tantrums and tears. Something needed to give for all our sakes, so I decided to make a change.

Now, as soon as my husband gets home from work, I step away from the phone. I leave my work for later, ignore Facebook and focus on the real faces. The three I love most and who want nothing more than a little time with me.

It’s changed our whole family. My husband and I communicate more, and we have real conversations instead of scrolling through our phones while half paying attention to the words. My sons are calmer because they’re not competing with a device. We enjoy family time more because we are fully invested. It’s special. We play games, watch movies and just enjoy being together! We treasure the hours we have as a family and our bond grows even stronger when it’s uninterrupted. And as a working mom, I feel less guilty when I can’t be there because the time we are together is quality.

I’ve given myself the present of presence. By being more present I’m happier. I’m a better wife, mom and woman because I am fully participating in my life. It’s a good feeling to let go of what’s going on outside and just focus on the inside- on the place where you are, the people you’re with. The most important parts of me are getting all of me. At the end of the day, the memories inside your heart and mind are much better than those on your phone, anyway.

For the Love of Yoga Pants

*this post contains affiliate links.

While the rest of the US is preparing for the biggest football game of the year, I’m cleaning out my closet. While I haven’t embraced the Kondo kraze that is going on right now, I’m trying to downsize. Just. So. Much. Stuff.

For example, I have an obsession with yoga pants. It’s borderline unhealthy, but since I work from home I just consider them my uniform. And while I don’t do yoga (I should!), I do work out a few times a week, so they’re a necessary part of my wardrobe.

Finding the right yoga pants isn’t as simple as it might seem. I know, right? They’re spandex pants… how hard can it be? Well, I am here to tell you that finding the perfect pair of stretchy pants isn’t as simple as you might think. Remember the scandal about see-through yoga pants from one of the world’s biggest sellers of all things yoga?? I rest my case.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of pants for quite some time. I’ve tried several, and some are definitely better than others. Here are a few of my faves and not so faves.

Fabletics- I know, right? I shied away from these forever because of the celebrity endorsement, but I got my first couple pairs and love them. You join their VIP membership and get two pairs of leggings for $24. Every month after that you can either get a new outfit or skip the month.

I love the High-Waisted Solid Powerhold leggings because they have a higher waist and are thick enough to start up to squats and kickboxing. They don’t lose their shape or stretch out and come in a ton of different colors. Color me a convert!

90 Degree by Reflex– These (IMO) are the finest inexpensive yoga pants one can find on Amazon. They’re not as thick as some of the others I have found, but for the price they hold up really well for awhile. I find they last about a year before I need to replace them, and I wear them often. (Read: Daily)

Zella– I heard about these from a favorite blogger of mine and tried so hard to love them. The pair I purchased is really light-weight, and I don’t feel like the fabric is very forgiving. They’re high-waist, but keep coming down. Sadly, just not a fan.

So many leggings, so little time… If you have any faves I need to know about, please share! The hunt for lycra to love is never-ending!

PLEASE, Potty!!

Recently, I wrote about our adventures in potty training for Reality Moms. Super sexy, right? It’s been a journey, for sure! But it’s a big struggle and milestone for parents and kids alike. To continue the conversation, here are some of my other favorite tips & tools for potty training.

Bribery. I’m not usually one for bribing my boys, but in order to get some quality potty time I got to the point that I would try anything.

Baby steps to poop. One of the tips I found for those kiddos afraid of the p word (poop!), was to put them in a diaper and have them poop on the potty while still in a diaper. We’ve done this as a transition, and it seems to help with the fear.

Potties, potties everywhere… We have a house with a main floor & an upstairs. Since you never quite know when the urge will hit, we have a potty on each floor. I like this one as it’s easy to clean and transport if need be.

Lastly- give yourself some grace. It’s ok if everyone else’s kid is potty trained and yours isn’t. He will be eventually. I rarely see parents out and about these days wearing a pull up, so I’m fairly confident in that one.

*this post contains affiliate links.

An Ode to the Village Raising Our Son

Mere hours Ben’s second birthday, I’m filled with so many feelings. Ben’s short life has just been filled with alllll the things. If you had told me just two short years ago that we would have gone on this journey with the babe about to be born, I wouldn’t have believed it.

From the moment he was born, I was in love. He was a beautiful, healthy, sweet baby. We were so happy with our two boys.

When Ben and Jeff’s accident happened, I saw in the blink of an eye how an entire life could change. You hear about these things happening- an accident, an illness…  where your entire world is flip-turned upside down, but you truly never think it will happen to YOU.

We were in the hospital for a relatively brief period of time, but it changed us. His accident was the worst thing I have ever experienced, but it has turned out to be the best. As a Mom to a child with unique needs, you have the experience of viewing life through a slightly different lens, and I am so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. If I could take away the pain he experienced in those first few weeks of life of course I would. But I wouldn’t take away a minute of our journey. I am honored that God gave me Ben as my son- through every piece of his journey.

Today, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and thank everyone who has been on this ride with us as we get ready to start another year of this miraculous life of Ben.

I’m grateful…

To every nurse and doctor who took care of Benny & I… I meant it when I said you are stuck with us. I want you to see this beautiful boy as he grows and know that you played a part in the miracle that is Ben. I am eternally grateful for the care you took with our family. You helped me to feel like a Mom when Ben didn’t even look like my baby.

To the B team- Erika, Judy, Melissa, Kristy and everyone who has been a part of our experience with Imagine!- you have made Ben the boys he is today.

To our friends and family who have loved us through it all.

To Jeff- for being the best dad to both boys…  there are days I didn’t think we would make it, but here we are.  Looking a whole hell of a lot older, not really any wiser, but more blessed than ever.

And to Ben.  The strongest tiny human I have ever known.  My love, my heart, my inspiration. I am so proud to be your Mom.  Happy Birthday.