Former teacher, newspaper stringer, tutor, wife and mom.
Some of the Most Poignant or Humorous Conversations I Ever Had
This paragraph is hard for me to write. A Facebook messenger conversation I had recently with an old friend that I haven't seen or even texted in years sparked so many emotions and thoughts for me. It got me thinking about other poignant, even high school romance-tragic conversations I had over the years, and humorous convos that got me through the day or a rough patch in life. My biggest takeaway from all these conversations is that people, of all ages and walks in life, are resilient and stronger than we know. We are innate survivors, even after all the drama, dysfunction, horrible childhoods, and addictions in life.
I Miss College
I went to Douglass College, the all girls campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Douglass is small, historical, and near Cook Campus. Rutgers, the main campus, is ginormous and requires transportation to get around. I lived on Douglass for four years but was home almost every weekend to see my older boyfriend at the time, who commuted to school. I loved everything about college except for sitting in traffic trying to get to class in my car.
Why I Love Old Navy
I first went into an Old Navy store when I was fourteen years old and in the eighth grade. I remember it so clearly because it was one of the most enjoyable days ever. My mom took me there and it was a fairly new store. I've been an Old Navy fan ever since. I even worked at Gap, their affiliate store, in high school. Most of my paycheck went back into the store with all the clothes I bought there with my employee discount. My closet currently is about 85% Old Navy apparel. Their pieces are timeless and for all ages. I'm a pretty simple late 30s aged mom; I don't go for fancy and expensive clothing. I have two kids, thus a leftover lower belly and curves. Their clothes, especially bottoms, are very flattering for my body type. My style is trendy comfortable, too. Nothing crazy and confining. With my Old Navy credit card and being a loyal, longtime shopper, I receive major reward certificates online. Their web site frequently has fantastic sales and promotions too. Check out RetailMeNot for online and store coupons and coupon codes. I love when their Stuff a Bag sale comes around too! Their clothes are usually true to size, comfortable, flattering, and come in great prints and colors. In the past several years, I have only returned one item I purchased online. All their items are top quality, wash well, and last for years.
Why I'm so Tired
Between my three- and seven-year-old daughters up at night to use the bathroom in my bedroom instead of their bathroom, my elderly dog suddenly deciding he can't sleep without company, noise and light, and my husband's alarm clock going off for at least thirty minutes at 5:15 AM every week day, I am wiped out.
I've had many mom fails in the seven years since I first became a parent. When my older daughter was a baby I dressed her in capri pants in the winter thinking they were leggings. Tonight for dinner, I made chicken soup for the first time. Somehow the broth disappeared while it was cooking. My three-year-old wouldn't eat it without broth. I dumped water in her bowl, microwaved it and told her it was soup. When my older daughter was a baby and starting on solid foods, I gave her baby food carrots too many days in a row and turned her nose orange. Or the time I brought my little one with me when our dog had to go to the vet to get his anus checked. The following morning she had an appointment at the pediatrician for a check up. When he went to examine her butt she screamed and cried. I realized she was remembering what happened with the dog. When I told the pediatrician that he laughed so hard. Another mom fail was when my daughter had a cough the second week of starting school. I thought it was just a cough until it started to sound really bad. When I took her to the doctor he said she had bronchitis. I felt so bad I didn't bring her sooner I almost cried. My older daughter and I frequently bribe her sister with chapstick, her favorite thing. From getting her to sit down for breakfast to completing her workbook, it never fails to work. A big mom fail was a few years ago when I left my phone on the table at my brother's wedding. My then five-year-old managed to post videos on my Facebook page and YouTube of herself with several drunk relatives. It took me forever to find the videos on YouTube to take them down. At this same wedding she managed to take at least fifty photos of herself and with others in the photo booth. I guess my husband and I were not supervising her enough but hey, we were in the bridal party and my in-laws were in charge of the kids that night. Last summer, while on vacation, my older daughter got a hold of my phone and messaged a picture of my frozen margarita to a few acquaintances with them replying, "looks good!" I was mortified. Another mom fail was waiting until my older daughter was four to sign her up for swim lessons. She was the oldest one in the mommy and me class and screamed the first three lessons. When my daughter was in her second year of preschool she kept telling me that while playing house at school the kids kept making her pretend to be a dog with the teacher right there watching. Because of that and other reasons I was so tempted to pull her out after Christmas but I didn't because she liked the school so much. I still regret that. When my kids were babies I put groceries on them while they were in the cart in their car seat. I was running out of room. I let my kids ride on our dog like a pony and I let my little one jump from a spare couch cushion we had. She wound up hurting her chin. I don't know what I was thinking. Last summer my daughter went to swim lessons with eyeliner and lipstick on just so we could get out the door on time. Also for the sake of time, my daughter has gone to school with summer sundresses on in the winter with a sweater. When she was in first grade our friends gave us a bunch of hand-me-down shoes that were several sizes too big for my daughter. She tried on a pair before school and I forgot to have her change them before we left. That morning the school nurse called me that her shoes were falling off her feet. I had to go to the school with other shoes for her. At least when you have a second child you learn from the mistakes you made with the first one. I definitely felt more prepared the second time around.
Being a Mom
I first became a mom seven years ago when my older daughter was born. I also have a three-year-old daughter. I love watching my kids learn new things. I like watching my daughter sing and do gymnastics. I like how she helps her sister and does her hair for school. I like watching my little one start school and blossom there. I like watching her in dance class. Her singing and dancing are hysterical at home. I like how she coos over babies, even diaper commercials. I love my daughter's hugs and kisses. They are priceless. As are cuddles and when they say I love you. Cuddling with them in bed on the weekends is the best. I really like when their teachers tell me how well they are doing in school too. I love watching my little one vacuum and help with laundry. I like when my kids donate their toys before Christmas and their birthdays. I like shopping for little girl clothes and shoes too. When you have kids, holidays are a lot more fun. I especially like celebrating Christmas with my kids. Baking cookies and decorating our house are fun with them. The look on their faces Christmas morning opening their presents is priceless. I like taking my kids to the movies, we've seen some good ones together. Same with children's plays.
How Bullet Journaling Helped Me
A few weeks ago, I started bullet journaling. I first stumbled across the idea in one of my Facebook groups. It really intrigued me, but I didn't have the inclination to start journaling. After a rough patch, I decided to give it a try. I looked at various pictures of examples of bullet journals online and I decided to try a modified version. A true bullet journal can be very detailed and I didn't think I could commit to that on a daily basis. I saw some pictures of really cool ones with stencils and lots of colors. People also wrote goals for each month and inspirational quotes for each day. I also saw ones that looked like a day planner with special events written down.
Empowering My Daughters
My job, my goal, is to raise my two daughters to be strong women, empower them, instill independence, morals, values, and never back down. To teach them to be passionate and go after what they want in life too. They can achieve anything they set their mind to. My husband has the same duties to them as me, but I feel it's a bit different being the mom to two girls than the dad. Seth is much more traditional than me, which can be a conflict in a society that is not usually traditional. Our daughters are Alina, age seven, and Catarina, age three.
Why I Love Spin Class, Yoga, and My Personal Trainer
I first started spin class at a local Y before my first daughter was born. I went religiously each week for about a year. Once I became pregnant, I cancelled my Y membership and didn't look back. Fast forward several years and two children later. I was feeling kind of blah and tired of just using my home elliptical machine. I joined a gym that had an emphasis on health versus fitness. I knew I wanted to take spin classes and I purposely joined this particular gym because of the large amount of classes they offered. The days and times were so varied too. My first spin class was a year and a half ago. I was surprised that I managed to keep up with the instructor for an hour. I spent the summer of 2016 trying out spin classes with different teachers. I settled on Mary, whose class is extremely challenging. She also plays the best music. I started off going once a week then twice a week. By the early winter I was down a pants size. Spin class is an hour long and it involves sitting, standing, sprinting, intervals, and arm exercises. Men and women go to class and the ages range from early twenties to mid seventies. I also tried a new class at my gym, HIIT spin. This is high intensity interval training. It was only a half hour class. I really didn't find it challenging and I hated the music. As you can tell, music while spinning is very important to me. I went back to regular spin class, only attending Mary's class. This summer I missed a few weeks for various reasons. The first two weeks back I was so sore the following day. It does take awhile to get used to. I notice that when I spin I feel energized. To me, it's genuinely a fun activity. It's really hard work if you have a challenging instructor, especially for an hour. It's such a great sense of accomplishment when I complete a class. Spin is a great boost to your self-esteem. Exercise is proven to release endorphins. It helps with your mental health too. I try to go weekly and I schedule it in my phone like an appointment. If I miss a few classes I feel very lethargic. I feel that when I'm energized I'm a better mom to my kids. I even took my pregnant sister-in-law to a class. She really enjoyed it and was able to keep up. I would check with your doctor first if you are pregnant or have any medical conditions. I highly recommend trying a spin class!
My Battle With Depression
My battle with depression began as a teenager when I lost a person who was almost like a second dad to me. I couldn't eat or sleep. My parents knew there was something wrong and tried to help me but never put me in therapy. After I met my first boyfriend and was socializing more, I felt much more like myself.