Treat Yo Self

About a month ago, I decided, after a tiresome day of non-stop parenting, to add some dates to my calendar. I can schedule work calls, appointments with the pediatrician, and kids’ parties my daughter is invited to, which means I can schedule time to go sip a drink and eat appetizers with a friend, nap, and get my kid-free relaxation on. 

And this past Saturday was just such an occasion; it was my very first “Mama, Treat Yo Self.” 

Treat yo selfie! Dangly earrings, waxed eyebrows, and a cute top – my foray into mommy-of-two land has robbed me of opportunities to wear such accessories.


It’s probably apparent by the fact that I have only written in this blog three times since my son’s arrival that I have virtually no free time now. The time I do have free is usually spent with my family, unplugged from practically everything.

Speaking of family…

Airport Ussie


We just enjoyed a great vacation to Oregon to watch my cousin graduate from college. Oregon sure is a beaufitul place! I can see why people who are from there love it. 

Though I don’t always chronicle my journey on here anymore, I promise I’m still living life wholly and fully. Having Adrian has taught me so much, specifically, his presence in my life has forced me to grow up, grow stronger, and become more resilient. I’m a better woman through being mom to both of my kids, and I’m grateful God chose me for them. 

Now, I am off to make dinner! #ThatMomLife

Traditions

Christmas is five days away and while our home has looked festive for the last month or so, I am still scrambling to get everything in order with regard to gifts, accommodations for my parents, and ingredients for what will be on our Christmas Day menu.

I enjoy this time of year a lot more now that we live so much closer to my family. It’s also fun to get to share the traditions of the holidays with a toddler Kennedy, who is now old enough to understand and get excited for the big day. She’s also debuted some new traditions with my mom and me. Well, new to her, anyway. We’ve been baking cookies together for decades!

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Cutting cookies! ✂️ We introduced K to my grandmother’s recipe box this week.

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…and decorating 🌈

She also did a lot better with Santa Claus this year than in the past!

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2014 vs. 2016

And we all got to enjoy a Christmas party together that my fabulously talented husband catered (to perfection!).

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Fam bam❤️

Each year, I’m sure we all hear an earful from someone aiming to point out the overly commercial nature of the Christmas holiday as it is celebrated in the Western world, so I won’t start down that path here. What I will say, though, is that even if you are someone who chooses to indulge in the holiday for all its sparkly capitalism, do not do so devoid of generosity, making memories, and kindness. I’ve seen way too many people use Christmas gifting as a means for trying to prove their love or make others jealous, and that’s definitely not the right emotion to place behind giving.

Help! My House is too Quiet!

Kennedy spent the night with her grandparents last night, and Fabian left the house early today to go work on prep for a party he’s catering this Saturday. This is the first morning I’ve had alone in…years! It’s so quiet in here that I’m confused.

I’m used to having someone asking me for something constantly, or hearing children’s shows/music as consistent background, as well as being interrupted while I work, and wondering every two minutes, “What’s she doing?” if I haven’t seen or heard my daughter in a while.

I got five hours of uninterrupted work done. I cooked eggs and bacon for breakfast and nobody hounded me for my bacon. I didn’t have to fight with anybody over first use of the master bathroom this morning. I woke up on my own – no toddler alarms or under the sheets nudging.

Even now, as I get ready to head out the door, I only have myself to worry about.

And while all of this probably sounds like a paid vacation or something, I’m actually not sure how to handle it all. I miss my husband! I miss our daughter! I like the chaos of mornings as a WAHM. Can’t wait to get back to normal tomorrow.

This all just affirms that I really have become Mommy AF.

 

I have to pee. #PregnancyProblems

‘Tis the Season

The season has finally changed here, as evidenced by this crazy cold temp we welcomed in the other morning…

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Brrrrr!

The seasonal pattern down here is very different from how it was in SoCal. In California, I’d spend most of the year longing for the sunny, warm weather of spring and summer because summers there are bearable. Fall and winter are bearable too, but beach-going in those off season months means ridiculously cold water, so you just kind of chill on the sand, and it’s usually windy, so not always the most ideal beach conditions. With the beach only about a 10-minute drive away, a dip in spring or summer is easy and comfortable; water temps are much warmer from March through August/September. But overall, the weather is easier to contend with because there’s not much severity (or at least there had not been in the first 20 years of my living there) with regard to heat or cold. Climate change (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) has brought severe heat and dryness to the area, and winters have gotten colder (it even snowed in certain parts of the Inland Valley in December 2014).

This post isn’t about weather patterns or global warming. Sorry if that’s what you came for.

Here in Florida, the opposite is true – I pine after cool weather months as they are a relief from the severe heat and humidity we face from May through September/October. I live much farther away from the beach now, so a dip in the Atlantic requires a day trip. I don’t mind that so much, but it limits us to only going on the weekends. We have plans and the room to add a pool to our backyard, so that will help us cope in the future. For the time being, we celebrate when the leaves change and the air becomes cooler and our AC unit stops kicking on regularly throughout the day.

Combine this change in temps with my current urge to nest, along with some killer specials at Michael’s, and Christmas has exploded early at our house.

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My nutcrackers are back 🙂


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I ALMOST bought a new wreath this year, but I opted to dress up the old one for a fraction of the cost. This wreath originally was all green and silver.

I know, I know…”But Antoinette, you love fall!” Yes, that’s true, but I love Christmas even more. And, Kennedy is just that age where Christmas is becoming that perfect level of magical. She’s old enough to understand what the holiday is about, and young enough to still believe in Santa Claus (a nifty tactic for controlling tantrums and other bad behavior, by the way). She’s old enough to help out with Christmas baking and decorating, and young enough that she isn’t too cool for family traditions. I’ve been waiting for her to reach this point since she was born, so I’m in mother-daughter heaven with her a bit.

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Christmas card teaser! This isn’t what went to print this year, but it is one photo we took. Super easy to do with some holiday props and a selfie stick. 

I’m also in mother-son heaven with a growing bump to show off in fall/winter rather than spring/summer. When I was pregnant before, I thought it’d be better to be pregnant during spring/summer for ease of wardrobe. Perhaps that is true in San Diego where the temps are easier to deal with, but here, the North Central Florida heat killed my spirit and motivation during my first trimester. I wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone, even those I can’t stand. Nausea + sticky hotness is just a fucking chore, so needless to say, I’ve been LONGING for it to get cooler out here.

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23 Weeks. Fall/Winter bump > Spring/Summer bump.

I’m not nauseous anymore, but I have other things to contend with by way of sciatic nerve pain, low back pain, hip joint pain, and Braxton Hicks contractions (which are more uncomfortable than they are painful). None of them are fun, but I’ll take those over the nausea. My back might hurt, but at least I can eat Chipotle again. 🙂

A growing bump also means a growing baby with bigger kicks and rolls, and though they sometimes send me rushing to the bathroom to pee, or keep me up at night, I’m so enamored with feeling my son’s movements. We’re also in the fun phase of planning for him where we’ll start (I say “we,” but really it’s just Fabian) painting and purchase matching sheets. I got curtains on sale at Kohl’s a few weeks back and plan to have the glider rocking chair reupholstered. Decorating has kind of been my jam lately, so it’ll be fun to create a new space for a baby boy – something I haven’t done before.

The incoming holidays also mean more time that we get to spend with family, something that has always been a priority for me regardless of the time of year. As I’ve grown and changed this year, I’ve found myself clinging tighter to my family as my inner circle, basing more of my activities around my opportunities to involve them. Especially as my parents get older, it’s important to me to keep setting aside the time for them, even through the differences I experience with them (particularly, my dad). We aren’t meant to move through this life alone; my belief in God and Jesus means that they serve as my Creator and Savior, but belief in them doesn’t cancel out the need for companionship and a sense of purpose. My purpose used to be vague to me, and in many ways it is still undefined to me, but through the growth and development of my own family I’ve come to appreciate the place I have in relation to them, and the value they all hold for me. That’s probably one of the things I am most grateful for this holiday season: realizing my importance through my family.

Quicker Than a Ray of Light – Kennedy is Three!

I don’t know how this happened, but I am suddenly mom to a three year old. That beautiful baby I incubated and gave birth to seemingly yesterday has grown into a little kid – talking, walking, singing, dancing, laughing, and brightening the world of those around her. Where has the time gone?? Here are some photos of what the last 365 have been like for sweet K. Faye:

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Right after she blew out the candles on her second birthday cake, Kennedy came with me to New Orleans to visit Auntie Tiffany. She liked the French Quarter. 🙂

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We dressed up as fairies for Halloween 2015

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Christmas with kiddos is always a blast.

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In January, Kennedy got to meet the cousin she shares a birthday with, just after his team’s amazing victory over the Florida State Seminoles!

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We moved into our new home in February, and Kennedy and I started soaking up the new yard almost immediately. 

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Someone also graduated to a spiffy new toddler bed for her brand new big girl room!

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Upon unpacking, she got to try on my wedding dress, finally. 

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Reppin’ the Giants like a BOSS! #GotItFromHerMama

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I wish we could’ve spent more time at the beach this year. We’ll do better next year, K. 

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More than any other year, Kennedy spent lots of time with family, such as her sister cousin Giovanna. 

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…and her beautiful Auntie Patricia 🙂

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The Fourth of July was another fun backyard occasion. 

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Newly three years old. She’s a Barbie girl, she’s a princess, she’s my everything. ❤

Every day of being Kennedy’s mom brings new challenges and joys to me as I strive to be all that I can be for her.