That MOM Style…

That MOM Style….I know I am mixing it up a bit but I feel like I really need to touch on this topic. 

This photo taken about 4 months ago, when I was in the midst of baby madness and post-partum craze, and physically now where I wanted to be……BUT it shows the essence of  MOM Style. 

This photo is scary but true….

I see all these fantastic photos of instabloggers on social media….They are momstoo  and their houses are cleaned and in pristine condition, their closets are organized, they have perfectly curled hair, and they wear perfectly contoured make-up and most of them are always traveling with their littles. 

This isn’t real life….they have to have help… RIGHT?? 

OR…Am I the only one in the first few months after giving birth….heck even after…..that is falling apart with spit up and milk on my clothes and the only thing I got accomplished for the day, for myself was straightening my hair…

I am trying but I am sure that insta-perfect will never be me….

Before the boys were born I was a shopper, I liked my high priced staple items BUT also finding a deal. I would try to have several cute mix and match pieces. I was into watching and looking for what was “in” and then finding a way to make it my own. 

Most of the time I enjoyed being overdressed.

Since having the boys and having my body change and then change again, I was lacking style. And CONFIDENCE….

Plus the budget had to change. 

Well, ya know, because we are now buying clothes for two other people…and I LOVE baby clothes.

BUT…..

I mean Momma’s let’s get REAL……

We can’t call yoga pants/sweatpants and a Piko top ….style.

Nonetheless, that was my “uniform”.

For a while I felt unhealthy and lethargic. My style and myself wasn’t on the top of my priority list. I wasn’t sure why I had to wear something cute when I was just chauffeuring my son to therapy, running errands , going to doctors apts, and cleaning and organizing the house. 

But now I see how it affected my mood. 

Now that Theodore is 1 year, 9 months and Oliver is 8 months, I finally am beginning to find my “mom style”. It is more practical and subtle but I am beginning to have fun again. 

I am beginning to accept my imperfect, scared, blemished and YES cellulite body. I now just find pieces that help me feel comfortable in my own skin. 

I worry less about what is in style or on the runway, and focus more on what makes me feel beautiful. 

I still have my eye on this high priced items, but I either search for them on eBay or other shops where I can get them at a great discount. 

Most of the time I try to find items I love just at a great price. 

Sometimes, I find an item I love and buy it in EVERY color. I don’t fret as much anymore about the size but how it fits. Before children I may have been ashamed BUT now I DONT CARE.

If I think it’s cute, it fits and it is practical for therapy for Theodore and chasing two boys around………. I buy it.

I still wear many dresses and skirts, ( bc I really hate jeans) but they have to be more flowy and a bit longer. 

I still wear jewelry, but it has to be JUST RIGHT so I don’t scratch the boys. 

I still wear heels and wedges, but they have to be comfy and just not so high. 

I still love purses, but I have resorted to a big diaper bag and a wallet I LOVE!!! 

I still wear hats, but I know they may get ripped of by my boys. 

Now don’t get me wrong I still DONT wear make-up often, I cut my hair short because you won’t catch me curling it into loose waves, sometimes I forget deodorant, I put dry shampoo in my hair most days, converse are often a part of my outfit, I love  black yoga pants, I have clothes I still wear from high school, I repeat many outfits and sometimes still wear yoga pants and work-out clothes bc I feel to tired to change clothes. 

I will, Report to Duty, MOST days to put an outfit together. However, I will still have days that I wear comfy ill fitting clothes. From now on I will post my outfit and will always be open to recommendations. Style, shopping and clothes are things I find to be good for my sole and I want to be accountable more often. 

I have discovered that in this life I need to find things I enjoy more often and follow through with them MORE OFTEN. I hope you can do the same! 
Until Next Time,
Reporting to Duty
Xox

Thankful for those TINY little things! 

In all of our lives things become OVERWHELMING.

Sometimes we are going too fast, working too hard and concentrating on things too long to see what makes things go, work and turn.

I am definitely one of these people. 

I am constantly focusing on the BIG goals and the BIG steps we have taken to get where we all need and want to be in our lives. 

I forget about the TINY little things.

However, this year on Thanksgiving I am trying to remember all the TINY little things and BIG things we should be thankful for this year. 

1. I am thankful for our two beautiful boys. A year ago we only had one and now we have two. Each very individual of each other, but equally special. Theodore is spunky, loving, strong headed, courageous and unpredictable. Oliver is brave, predictable, loving, he already idealizes his big brother and we continue to learn more everyday. I am thankful God chose us to be their parents. 

2. I am thankful for my husband. This last year has been interesting to say the least  and I am glad that I get to have him as my partner. He was especially strong and supportive while Theodore and I lived in Indiana as we figured out/researched Theodore’s health. During this time I had our family near but he was all by himself and remained our strength. I am thankful for him everyday, even when I don’t show or say how I feel.

3. I am thankful for my family. They have been so supportive and helpful. I don’t take much time off from fighting or being a mommy but if and when I do they have been there to help (sometimes they even force me to take breaks). Each one of them celebrates our wins and encourages through the losses. I am thankful for each of them and their uniqueness. My family is like no other! 

4. I am thankful for the doctors that believed me, faught for us and broke boundaries to find Theodore’s rare chromosome deletion. We never wanted something wrong with our child, but  we knew something wasn’t right. I am glad they took the time to figure out the cause.  I continue to be thankful for their input and support with not only Theodore but Oliver. Not all doctors are equal and when you find those that REALLY care, you found a rare gem. In that, I am thankful for our team of docotors!

5. I am thankful for our Journey. I have not been happy, thrilled or joyous everyday of our Journey. I have learned how strong I can be and how hard I can push. I have seen and been amazed with the strength that has come from such hard and low moments. I am thankful for those we have met and all we have learned.

6. I am thankful for our friends. Those that have been in this with us have been patient and understanding of our inability to be present both physically and mentally (LOL). They have checked in and sent many many prayers and I am thankful for each one of them and their individual qualities. 

 I am thankful for a great deal. I hope I am able to see the beauty in everyday and I know that I will have days where I continue to struggle with seeing the positive. 

Nonetheless, I want to Report to Duty in taking time today, and try every other day to be thankful for those things that we take for granted. Some of these things we may even find silly to say aloud, but I sure am thankful them. 

Here is just a small list…..our home, our dogs, our nieces 👯, my shoes 👠, food on our table, shelter, our dogs 🐶, my comfy bed, transportation 🚤✈️🚂🚲🚙, support, feeling loved, being an American 🇺🇸, being a women, comfy slippers, wine, love, kindness, freedom, coffee ☕️, a nice handbag 👜, lip stains, vacations, medical breakthroughs, and much much more…

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and please take time to be thankful for the small tiny tiny things. 

If we can’t be thankful for the small things then maybe we will never be appreciative of the bigger things!! 

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

Following MY Journey.

Last week my husband, Keith asked me, when the last time I wrote on my blog.

I knew I had been neglecting it and I tried giving a valid excuse, but the wonderful man ( sitting across from me in the hospital) wasn’t going to take an excuse.

Sadly and honestly I don’t remember the last time I posted a blog. I do know that I have several drafts and a few titles, but no posts.

In my mind I am stressed out, LOST,  over worked, being a terrible adult and severely OVER multitasking. In reality, I am making excuses and feeling sorry for myself.

Sooo…… I need to get over myself!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

*Adapting to Oliver and working his schedule into ours

*Learning what is best for Oliver

*My healing( after c-section)

*Theodore’s therapy

*Learning how to parent two children

*Taking a road trip to Indiana for Theodore’s schlew of appointments

*Learning about more interventions/procedures needed for Theodore  ( eye surgery, new glasses bc new prescription, hearing aids bc failed hearing in left ear, ENT bc breathing issues while sleeping… I will update in another blog)

*Keith getting put in the hospital during his short visit to Indiana interrupting my crazy plans (diverticulitis and an abscess in the colon) -Exhibit A -I should ease up on the planning.

All of this feels like a lot and sometimes I feel extremely overwhelmed, LOST , mad, sad and tired.

BUT…..I have to keep telling myself we can get through this journey, I can handle my part of the job…..

but ….DAMN IT, sometimes it is freaking hard.

I have come to realize I cry less than I used to and I pray more. I pray so much more. I pray when I am showering, walking out of the hospital, before I go to bed, grocery shopping, when I am driving and even when I occasionally drink a glass of wine.

I need to know that there is something bigger better and in more control than I am. I need to know that God is only giving me what I can handle and that Keith and I can conquer each of our challenges together.

Now I am NOT trying to get you on a God bandwagon and it really isn’t something I “preach” about, bc ya know I don’t care who your God is and I am not judging.

BUT I am sharing because I need God!

I still cuss, yell and drink (ya know we believe water was turned to wine by BIG J himself so it’s appropriate)  so I am NOT claiming to be all holly and perfect but I NEED the man! I NEED to know he listens even when I feel lost.

I NEED to stop feeling lost and out of control!

I know in my life I have said I need many things; including Starbucks and a new pair of shoes, but I truly know those are not real needs. I am just being over dramatic and probably should get over myself. But hey it wouldn’t be me without those quarks!!

I know in order to stop feeling lost I need to stop saying what if, over planning and let life happen. I NEED to trust in the plan created for me!

If you know me well those three things are VERY hard! But that truly does NEED to happen. I understand I will occasionally feel lost in my life but I know I will NEED to regroup and understand life happens! You all need to pray I can let go….GROUP WORK!!!

I will TRY to Report to Duty, everyday, in effort of letting go and following the journey. MY Journey. I will try to guide myself with the enjoyment of the unknown and refuse to get lost.

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

Xox

Firsts, The Fourth and Our Friendship

I have been MIA and it has been wonderful!

Theodore and I took a trip to see daddy, my love and my best friend in North Carolina. We all spent some great one-on-one time together.

We escaped doctors visits, therapy and added the ocean and the pool to our daily routine.

All of this sounds easier than it actually is, because we still spoke to doctors and worked on therapy every day. Now at 11 months old we are understanding of what is needed and what has to take place to keep Theodore on his toes( well getting him to be on his toes).

With Theodore some routine is necessary and other routine he develops on  his own, based on how he is feeling. Sometimes the transition is a bit hard for him and it affects his immune system and breathing. Now that we are WORLD Travelers…wink wink….we know what is needed and necessary. Let me tell you, this was not always the case….

After many struggles and strides we now understand and are more calm as we wait for him to develop an understanding of where we are(in the world) and how is routine benefits him. We are glad because we are many places and have a few BIG changes happening over the next several months.

Luckily, Theodore has been adapting to some of these changes well, with his schedule.

While we were at our other home in North Carolina we tried to work on the #babymiller2 nursery/bedroom. This included several trips to Hobby Lobby, Target and Babies RUS….I would like to say the room is complete BUT it’s not…..

Instead I snuggled with Theodore, laughed with Keith, went to the pool and mossied to the beach and READ…an actual book which I have not done since WAAAAAAAY before Theodore was born and it felt wonderful to do nothing.

There are many loose ends and HONESTLY the freak inside of me is CALM….I KNOW RIGHT…but I have to accept the peace and know it will be done…well Hopefully, it will be done.

While we were visiting with daddy, Theodore had MANY FIRSTS…

His FIRST big boy haircut….went off without a hitch…I was fearful the clippers would scare him, but it was the opposite…Loved the clippers and hated the scissors. Now he just looks even more handsome and I didn’t know that was possible.

His FIRST time saying MAMA and DADA…Yes, it was wonderful!! He said MAMA first and then started rhyming everything and ended up at DADA…plus now we say..lala, nana, gaga and many other rhymes. Recently he has started making SSSS sounds…I feel he will talk before he walks.

His FIRST Fourth of July…Yes this time last year I was a mere 36 weeks pregnant lounging in a baby pool wondering about his arrival. This year we enjoyed a fun day at the ocean playing in the sand, taking beach naps and splashing the water…Wow what a year brings!!

His FIRST fireworks show…I was terrified..Theodore has some issues with low loud noises and I was fearful he would HATE the fireworks…Nonetheless, he proved me wrong AGAIN….Before we even sat down in our chairs the fireworks began and he started squealing with JOY and Excitement…he did this the entire time and when the finale began he was so excited he clapped!!!

His FIRST time clapping his hands…YES we have been working on this since day ONE. As a baby with low muscle tone it takes a lot of energy to hold his arms out or up. Clapping was always physically impossible and we often could see the struggle in his eyes when he wanted to try. What started out as only reaching in from of him has developed to clapping. Yes, it is still very slow and makes no noise but maybe to a humming bird but he claps!! This is a HUGE accomplishment in our world.

After many firsts and two and a half weeks home it was time to leave. We were all so sad, but knew it was back to the grind for a few more weeks. Before it was time to leave, Keith and I reminisced over the past 2 weeks. Then moved on to the past 11 months and our joys, sadness and strengths. We have had to push and pull on each other a lot, and although it has been a struggle we know it has been for the best. We know that because of our sacrifices Theodore has been able to prosper and this was and will be our goal.

Theodore has reached many FIRSTS and will continue to reach many as Keith and I work as a team and best friends. It is not always perfect, but we will Report to Duty, in ensuring our relationship and our children come first.

Until Next Time,

Reporting to Duty

xox

Milestones

In my life I have always been a huge fan of reaching milestones. I have always seen them as goals and was adamant about conquering them and doing my best. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where I failed. Nonetheless, I only try to remember the ones I succeeded and only took what I needed from those I failed.

When we found out we were expecting Theodore it was another milestone in our lives. Having children and growing our family is something we had always discussed and dreamed about on occasion. We were extremely excited and this was one of the first milestones we were reaching together. We were getting a chance to share our love through a “different media”.

During the pregnancy we discussed our dreams, goals and desired milestones for our unborn son and how we would be as parents. ….We discussed: sitting up, crawling, walking, running, playing sports, painting, getting dirty and being suspicious.

But we never expected the curve ball we were thrown…..

In the beginning the struggle was real……

We forgot or better yet dismissed all the milestones we had discussed for Theodore. We were focused on getting him to stop screaming enough to to eat and eating enough so he didn’t scream! We had to ensure his medicine and food were working properly so he didn’t just SCREAM, cry and shake…and well once we had this accomplished we had already reached ONE milestone!!

It was a MESS, a big hot MESS( and let me tell you we all looked like a mess too) …..During those rare times when he was calm we worked on Tummy time, getting him to recognize toys, getting him to grab toys and trying to get him to recognize his name. Then at four months we tried getting him to eat baby food, worked on sitting up and more tummy time. We were trying and trying.

HOWEVER… Each one of those was terrifying and a repeated failure. Most of the time the only thing we succeeded at was adding to the screaming, crying and shaking……WHICH added more complications to his digestive system.

BUT….we knew we had to try…we knew we had to keep pushing.

During tummy time he would only use his legs and work himself in circles. He would NEVER EVER push up with his arms or attempt at rolling over.

Then when we worked on baby food he would scream, choke or throw up.

He would NEVER reach for toys

He would NEVER turn his head towards someone saying his name, unless your voice was just right and you were in the right light.

He would NEVER attempt to roll over.

Basically, as we attempted each of the milestones we began to see no progress. However, everyone always told us that no babies reach milestones at the same time. In the beginning their was no worry, and then…..

It all began to feel defeating.

As months have gone by he has began to eat food, but will not eat baby food. So we have tried Baby Led Weaning. Believe me, I was obsessive about starting with orange vegetables, switching to green then trying fruits. Well Theodore made us throw this out the window and now we have FUN with food. Don’t fear…this is Doctor approved and he LOVES it. It helps his developmental milestones and he gets to practice eating. WIN-WIN!! We have now attempted self-feeding…still a work in progress.

We have learned that he has what is called Torticollis and has had it since birth. This causes turning of the head, lifting the head and other activities to be painful for him. So with PT and “baby massages” we have made progress! Yesterday.he actually pushed up during tummy time!! Huge step!!

Since we have worked on his neck, he has been able to learn to roll over, but often refuses to go from back to belly because he HATES being on his belly. You will often see him playing with his feet, begin to roll over and correct himself. You can see it all over his face like….. Woah, that was close. So rolling over happens, but we are still perfecting this milestone.

Glasses… Glasses, glasses…. They have helped a  TON. He has what is called Nystagmus and poor eyesight. We are still unsure how much he can see but we will know more as he grows. Before the glasses, as I said he would not look or play with toys that weren’t handed to him. Now with the glasses he reaches out of his zone, and puts everything in his mouth (including his feet) and looks towards people as they call his name. The shaking of his eyes has decreased and even when the glasses are off he is willing to look and explore. He now knows there is a world!!

Standing or what we call “weight bearing” and sitting up is still a work in progress. With low muscle tone Theodore has to build his strength and work in small steps. It can be exhausting, for all of us.

However, he is very smart and try’s hard… I mean, he grunts and sweats like a body builder at the gym. It is amazing to see his mental strength and his determination work, because it shows us he wants to meet his own milestones.

We know he has determination, and most of the time we laugh because we say he will talk before he does anything else. There are so many great things and milestones that he has reached and we try to focus on the positive when he gets discouraged.

BUT, do not get me wrong…we have times where we get discouraged and we know those are the times we have to be strong and push harder.

It is strange because you would never think that at 9 months old a baby could get discouraged BUT he does. When this happens we cuddle, give him loves and tell him he has done great and then REST, REST and REST.

We know he will reach his milestones and the doctors tell us that eventually he will reach his milestones. But, we know as parents we have to think of them as goals. We have to take them one step at a time and be patient. We know he will get there, but we are just unsure if it will be next month or next year.

For now, we will Report to Duty, every single day to be his parents and work through his milestones. Everyday we work on something and often things seem repetitive. We have to look at the big picture in knowing this is the best for him. Sometimes he screams and cry’s and it is heart wrenching, but we have learned that if we stop we are only giving up.

We wont give up!!

Until next time!

xox

Reporting to Duty