Traveling into the New Year

Happy New Year!!!

As I’m sitting enjoying a cup of coffee, I find myself reflecting on the past year and ultimately the past week. We’ve certainly ended 2019 in a frenzy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We decided to do two trips about 3 days apart. We went to New Orleans from December 22-24 and Dallas from December 27-29. Throw in Christmas between all this and it was a little crazy.

New Orleans was fantastic. A great recharge before the holidays and family celebrations. We did everything we could in a span of a two days. We toured the park, had beignets, rode a trolly, went to the children’s museum (side note: always find the children’s museum in any city you travel; well worth the time and memories watching your little ones explore), ate good Cajun delicacies, and maybe enjoyed a drink or two. It is New Orleans after all.

Needless to say our day ended very early. As many folks know, the party in New Orleans truly starts when the sun goes down. Well, that’s when our party ended. we reminisced of past trips to the ‘Big Easy’ and concluded that this was our favorite. Until next time NOLA.

Christmas was amazing and relaxing. We hosted and enjoyed my husbands family coming over for the day. Needless to say, we were more than ready for a long winters nap when everything was said and done.

We took the next two days to regroup and prepare for Dallas. We were exhausted and excited for our next adventure.

Dallas was awesome as well. We toured the stockyards in Fort Worth and saw the cattle run (a favorite of Magnolias), then went to the Dallas Cowboys game. I am not a Dallas fan by any means (NE Patriots all the way), but I had fun cheering on my husbands team and watch his face light up just to be there. Well worth everything in my book.

Magnolia needed to let off some steam and as nap time approached and went, I had to find an alternative to keep her busy during the game. Bring on the ramps. For about 30 minutes, her and I just ran up and down those ramps and trying to stay out of trouble.

During our little marathon, I was stopped by a couple who asked me to take their picture. As I did, they marveled at my daughter and how well behaved she appeared (meltdown was imminent but I was avoiding it at all costs). They told me they were hoping to start a family soon and if I had any advice. I found myself telling them words that my husband and I live by everyday.

Don’t be afraid to stop living your lives. To take those weekend trips with your young ones. They will adapt as long as you adapt with them. Hence why I’m running up and down these ramps. Having a child shouldn’t change your lives completely. Just remember everyone has limits and at the end, you’ll be glad you took them along.

The women starting crying and thanked me for the best advice anyone has given her. It made me think of the advice I had received when I announced I was pregnant. I was told that I was at the mercy of my child. Doing what fit in their schedule. I quickly learned this was not the case. I was a walking milk supply for a year, as long as she was with me, she could eat. We brought the pack n plays along with her portable music night thing and she would sleep with no issues. Why were we afraid to travel? Yes our nights ended earlier than normal, but that was ok. It reminded us to stop and relax.

We made so many memories on the multiple trips we’ve taken with her. So many laughs and tears from the stress of traveling, but ultimately we only recall those happy ones and learned from the tears.

Don’t be afraid to live a life with your children. It will create moments that you will cherish for a lifetime to come. It will make you stronger parents and teach you to go with the flow. Life should never be planned and regimented. Love isn’t measured. Our love for family evolves through experiences and memories. Learn to love life and our families through these unplanned moments.

This is Motherhood

This is motherhood. It’s not perfect. It never will be.

I will make poor decisions every minute of every day. I will also make the right decisions every minute of every day.

Will my child take a bath every night? Nope, and that’s ok.

Will my child always be in bed at the same time EVERY night? Nope and that’s ok.

Will my child ever question my love and support to her? Nope, NEVER!!

The past 19 months have allowed many demons to surface at full force. With my own family and support so far away, I found it very difficult to tackle motherhood while still being an effective teacher and wife. Instead of helping, I was told to just either suck it up or adapt to someone else’s routine that works.

I hate to break it to people, but that doesn’t always work. As a society, we expect to place everyone under the same standards and expectations. If we do that, where’s the individuality? Where’s the piece that allows us to be human and express our own opinions and thoughts. Why, as woman, do we need to constantly appear as if we have it all under control? It isn’t fair to anyone.

Tonight I had to go for a run. I’ve decided to run a half Marathon on March 1. This is something for me and me alone. This is my thing. My escape. My therapy. I already feel better emotionally and physically. More stable in every area of my life.

Tonight I got home from work a lot later than I anticipated. My husband had a prior commitment. He dropped off our daughter to me at work and we went home as he ran off to what he needed to do. I got and prepped to go for a run. I knew if I didn’t go now, I’d find every excuse. So into the stroller and to the gym at our complex.

Things went great until they didn’t. Right at the end of the run she dropped the iPad. (Yes I gave my daughter an iPad to entertain herself in the stroller while I ran, it’s life). All I have to say is thank goodness for ‘Beat Bugs’! They have been a savior.

Was my daughter in the stroller, at the gym, with the iPad an idealistic situation? NO.

Was pushing her dinner back by an hour smart? What do you think?

But, guess what? She survived. I survived. She was OK. We made dinner together. We sat and talked while she ate and I started dinner. We laughed in the bath. We talked some more getting ready for bed. I kept getting hugs and sweet looks.

She didn’t care! She still ate and played and spent time with mommy. Her night was complete.

She constantly teaches me there are no rules and expectations. My health and happiness are what matter. Her happiness and well being are what matter.

This is how I tackle motherhood.

Halloween Hangover

Happy Halloween! (Couple of days late but o well)

Halloween was a great night when I was a child. Getting into a costume you’ve waited all month to wear. Running around your neighborhood while people handed out candy. It was like being loose in Willy Wonka’s factory, just minus the judge mental Oompa Loompas and deadly river of chocolate.

Halloween has now become a fun, stressful night. I never remember my parents looking frazzled at all. Any parent tells you how hard it is to get home and get your child ready for a night of candy hoarding.

This year we sent our daughter as Beetlejuice. When we picked her costume, we underestimated the struggle of placing makeup on a 17 month old. We imagined an easy 10 minutes of pure parent bliss. I know you are all laughing at how naive we were. I’m laughing just typing this. After 30 minutes of screaming, crying (from both me and my daughter), and always fun flailing, the makeup was complete!! Just an FYI, goldfish make everything better.

The night went as smooth as it could after that. It was memorable and pictures were taken to show her just how awesome her parents really are!!! I mean Beetlejuice!!

Here’s hoping the rest of the holiday season goes just as smooth. Hahaha I’m laughing again.

Time to be honest

Motherhood is a selfless act. The minute we hold our babies, we promise to always protect and provide until the day we die. The love we have for that little bundle immediately consumes and overwhelms us. It becomes our reason to be alive everyday. Some will argue it’s the hormones and drugs. I call it unconditional love.

The minute I held my daughter, I just remember crying. Here she was. After years of hoping, praying, and waiting, she was in my arms. Looking at me with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. I didn’t want to put her down. Nothing else mattered. I experienced no other feeling except love.

Fast forward 17 months and that love has grown exponentially from that day. I’ve provided and protected her but at a great cost. I’ve forgotten to protect and provide myself. I’ve put her well being and the well being of my husband before my own.

I’ve often gone without and kept my feelings and emotions hidden. Trying to let the world see that I’m great. Everything was fantastic. In truth, everything is not.

Lately I’ve been neglecting my personal mental health. I’ve stopped caring about things I once enjoyed. I no longer want to be around my daughter or husband. I just want to run away and cry. Cry for no reason. It’s starting to affect my marriage, my work, and my daughter.

I’m seeing the warning signs. It’s time to stop putting everyone before me and worry about me. The house doesn’t work when one person is down. If I’m always down, it doesn’t help anyone.

As woman, we need to stop trying to be like everyone else. It’s ok to not always be on. There’s no rule book on how a child should be raised or how fast they should develop. Moms can’t do it all and as women, we know this. There’s no shame in asking for help. Asking for help means we can recognize when it’s tough and it makes us better.

I’ve taken the first step in talking to my doctor on what to do. I’m done competing with other woman who appear to have it all. I already have it all. I have the best version, to me. No one else matters. What works in my world, works for me and me alone!

It’s time to speak up and stand. I can’t do it alone. I need help!

Tough One

Mommy rant coming to a computer near you…………NOW!

For me this has been a week! All I have to say is thank goodness for weekends!

Last weekend was a wash as all three of us were sick. Nothing major, just the common cold. Cue the tissues, cough drops, sinus meds, tea, and all the extra snuggles. By Sunday night, I thought I had this thing beat. Boy was I wrong.

Monday morning, I woke with a raspy, weak voice. I could talk, but it was a strain and you couldn’t really hear me. Awesome! My 17-month old took full advantage. She knew she had me. Not only could mommy barely say no, now mommy was inaudible. The day was just downhill from there. Side note. I’m a high school science teacher. My day was already next to impossible. Let’s just say, the struggle was real.

That night we decided on take out as neither of us had energy. My husband was also down and out for the day. We were definitely winning. After putting our daughter to bed, I started to feel less than awesome. Within hours, I was camped out in the bathroom sick to no end. After two hours of feeling like an exorcism was being performed on my body to rid it of all the evil, I was finally able to get some sleep in bed.

A normal person at this point would’ve called in sick. No voice. Food poisoning. Just spend the day in bed watching bad day time TV or catching up binging my favorite shows. But then, I would’t be stubborn, old me. I decided to muster up what little energy I had and head to work. Why you may ask? It is because it is literally more work to call out. I had to find my own sub, than come up with lesson plans for my students to do that day and make copies at school anyway. My answer was just to go in.

The day went smoothly. Yes I am lying! I taught to the best of my ability. I am extremely grateful no one decided to do a surprise observation at all this week. This kids saw my weakness and pounced. I felt surrounded by a pride of lions with just a fly swatter. I was so grateful when the bell rang signaling the end of the day.

By the evening, I was starting to get an appetite back. I was weaker than ever but I felt like I was turning around.

Wednesday morning rolled around and my voice was finally coming back. Nobody was more relieved than me. My kids still thought I sounded horrible but I was easier to understand. However, by the end of the day, I was running on ‘E’. I hadn’t eaten much all day and was going between thinking I was going to be sick to ravenous.

During dinner, I took a few bites and thought I was going to loose everything. My muscles still hurt from the other night. Every bend, move, breathe was just painful. Once my daughter was down and all the toys were picked up, onto the couch I went.

Not only was this past week a struggle personally, my husband and I have been trying to navigate our daughters new attitude. We knew she wasn’t feeling well, but the crying and tantrums seem to be pretty frequent. The minute she doesn’t get her way, the theatrics start. Eventually she stops and seems to forget what she was crying about in the first place. If this is a hint of what the teenage years are looking like, I’m going to need a lot more ice cream.

Thursday was another long day of teaching and tantrums.

Friday rolled and I had a professional development day. This meant I could sit and relax while someone else taught. I was in teacher heaven all day. We got out early and I went home and relaxed on the couch. I asked my husband to pick up our daughter and took advantage of the peaceful house.

There were many times this week I wished I wasn’t a mommy. I wished I didn’t have to pick up toys every night or make an extra lunch every morning. I could come home from school and just unwind without having to worry about dinner or the nighttime routine.

I love my daughter beyond words and emotions but sometimes mommy needs a break. I miss summer when we just got up and relaxed and saw were the day took us. I am extremely lucky to have married a man who is a true partner. He always has my back and picks up the pieces where I am faltering without even being asked or told. We end every day now with a high five and kiss. We survived.

It will and has gotten better. Being sick is no fun, but being sick when people depend on you adds a whole new level of stress. Parenting is not easy and is the biggest learning curve in the world. I am learning to take each day slowly and worry about the now and not the future. Sometimes you miss amazing sweet moments sprinkled into the chaos.



Imelda……….

Here we go again.

My husband, daughter, and I recently returned from a trip to Rhode Island on Monday afternoon, after visiting family and attending my friends wedding. As we were planning to board the plan, we starting hearing reports of a storm forming off the coast of Texas. It was most likely be nothing and possible dump a little bit of rain. My husband and I shrugged and reminded ourselves we survived Harvey relatively unscathed. This would be nothing.

Fast forward…….

Here it is on Thursday morning and I am looking at the surrounding area flood. I am immediately reminded of those long days watching the golf course behind our apartment complex flood and water levels rise. The radar shows small patches of a break, but there are more storm cells forming and coming. The main concern is after the raining has stopped, what about the surrounding rivers and bayous that are now currently saturated.

After watching the lights flicker a few times, I started packing an emergency bag for our daughter in case we needed to leave. I ran around making sure I had all her comforts in case we were displaced for any reason.

This time its different. This time I am a nervous wreck. I am shaking on the inside. I just want to curl up and cry. I want to get in my car and drive North as far as I can go. This is scary. Every second there is a new development. You have to stay on your toes. For the first time, I don’t know what to do.

They just started shutting down highways. When Harvey hit South East Texas, I had literally just found out I was pregnant with our daughter two days prior. I knew she was safe because I was protecting her. Now, shes a 16 month old. Her safety and well being are our top priority. Not knowing is the worst.

Compared to others, we are fortunate. Many have already evacuated their homes due to flooding. Many just reentered their homes within the past months after they completed Harvey renovations. Many are still displaced. As a community, the fear and anxiety felt two years ago is still strong as we are seeing mother nature, once again, making her presence felt.

We are not out of the woods yet and are expected to experience more storm cells and heavy rain. Please keep the city of Houston and South East Texas in your thoughts as we tackle yet another tropical storm.

Summer of Renewal

It has been a while since my last post. I decided to spend the summer relaxing and bonding with my daughter and husband. I wanted to find out who I really was.

Last school year was the toughest teaching year I have ever encountered. I found myself in full on survival mode every day. I would wake up to feed my daughter before I got myself ready for the day. It became a marathon just to leave the house every day. The school day was filled with so many ups and down that I would leave there drained both physically and emotionally. Not to mention I had to pump on my lunch so I would have milk for my daughter. I would then arrive home to a very hungry little girl. She would cluster feed from the moment I walked through the door until she went to bed. In between would be dinner, taking care of our dogs, and night time routines. I felt like I was living in my own Groundhog Day. Every day was the same, no breaks or change-ups.

The older my daughter got, the harder and more exhausting everyday became. By the end of the year, I had had it and was welcoming summer with open arms. One of the silver linings was the passing rate of my students on their state biology test. I had a 97% passing rate. My students performed phenomenally, and it just showed that all the hard work we all put in was worth it.

Our first summer trip was a weekend in June in Austin. It was a work trip for my husband but a bonding trip for my daughter and me. The two of us spent the entire time revisiting my favorite areas of Austin while discovering new ones. The Hill Country in Texas is my favorite place in the world. My husband and I were married there in 2017 among the blue bonnets and spent a romantic evening hiking up Enchanted Rock in 2015. It was on that hike that I realized without a shred of doubt that he was the man I was going to marry. This summer was our first time bringing our daughter and I just enjoyed exploring the city and surrounding area. As we were touring The Wildflower Center, I found myself becoming relaxed and just enjoying the moment. I was seeing my daughter in a whole new light. Here she was at 13 months, walking around and just taking in every moment.

It was in this moment that I remembered how I felt that day on Enchanted Rock, dancing under the pecan trees in the Texas rain, and standing in a field of wildflowers staring at the man I just married. I was always in the moment with the most important person in my life: my husband and now my daughter. The stresses of everyday life are not important. My job does not define me, and it never will.

I recently started a new job at a new district. With it comes a lot more responsibilities and expectations. I am working hard to live every day in the moment. Experience the joy through my daughter and the love I have for my husband. The grades and lesson plans can wait. My daughter won’t. She is going to keep growing and become this amazing little girl. I am never going to make these memories again with her.