Going Back to Work-A SAHM story.

It’s been an emotional few months to say the least. After taking a full time job opportunity in the medical field and leaving my comfortable “stay-at-home-mom” gig, I feel like my emotions have been all over the board. Being able to stay home with your children is such a privilege, and obviously, not everyone is able to for one reason or another. And that’s totally fine! I got to have a little over 3 years with my babes and it was MAGICAL.

MAGICAL: -exciting, hard, discouraging, encouraging, exhausting, relaxing, empowered, chaotic

Anyways, it’s been fun. But the opportunity arose for my husband to pursue his passion and nitch. He enrolled in Grad school and is getting his aster’s degree in teaching. He plans to teach high school History.  I could say I am proud of him, which is true, but I am really envious of his ability to change careers and go for what he really wants. That takes courage and strength in a whole different way. In order to support him and make the next year and a half go by much easier, I took this new career opportunity so he could be home with our kids, and get his school work done at times other than 12 and 1 am.

The first few days were awesome. It was like all the things I did complain about, about being a stay at home mom were fixed. I got to drive alone in the car???? This had bee a foreign concept to me for many years. I actually got to listen to what music was being played on the radio- which that excitement lasted 2 hours in traffic when I realized it’s crap and very repetitive. I got to go talk to other adults all day. This was so exciting as I pride myself on being a very social person 🙂 I got that little “break” every day away from the house, away from the dishes and cleaning and screaming. And then, real life sunk in about 1 month into working. I realized I was never going to get to be home again with my youngest at the age he is right now. It hurt so much! I knew he was well taken care of and getting some awesome bonding in with his dad, but me! What about me?! We had been inseparable for almost 2 years now. I remember driving home about the 3rd week of work and just bawled. Turned on whatever sad song was playing- not Justin Bieber- and bawled. I think I cried the entire drive home which is an unpleasant 50 minutes. I thought about all the milestones I was missing, the laughs, the nap time rocking, the owies he was going to get without me being there to make it all better.

Once I got a hold of myself, pulled it together, approximately 1 second away from our driveway, I felt better. I needed to grieve my former job, former self, former life. I only cried like that once. Sure I’ve gotten teary eyed a few times here and there thinking about things or hearing things I’m missing, but I needed that 50 minutes to myself to wallow. And I think that’s OK. There is no book for the emotions and trials you will deal with when you go back to work. Well there is probably LITERALLY 100 I’m sure but…not my point.

Basically things have changed and we have all adjusted. Was my husband as scared as I was to make this transition? Absolutely. Is he still figuring things out every day like I am? Yup. The pressure we all have to do our best at every “job” in life or title is so exhausting. We feel the need to be the best student, the best mom, the best wife, the best employee. We are all just figuring shit out and doing the best we can! Well most of us 🙂 My husband, has completely won at stay at home chef, and maybe needs some improvement in stay at home house cleaner 🙂 🙂 🙂

I have re-learned the expression TGIF. I have now cleverly changed it to TGIFF. You can probably guess what that means. My weekends are SACRED. They are golden. I now appreciate Saturdays and despise Sundays just like the rest of working America 🙂 My husband has now forgotten what day of the week it is. I have to now brace myself in the garage before I walk in the door. I am flooded with “MOM, mom, MOmmy, MAMMMM, MUM” before I can get my purse or shoes off. “Listen to this song I learned, listen to me read this new book, watch my new trick, look at my owie I got today, he hurt me, sign this now please, help me with my homework, why can’t we go to the park? why don’t we ever do anything fun, you never are home, can I go play? Look at this giant mess I just made!” …..etc etc etc. Then when all I want to do is go change out of scrubs and into my sweats, my little one wants to be glued to my hip. I have to stop and appreciate this because I actually have MISSED him all day. It’s such a battle in my head between what I want to do and what I feel like I need to do. UGH. Soccer games, school functions pretty  much take up my non working time, and then I get left with the guilt of not having time to myself- me, Alison. I am hoping time will heal all…LOL or at least help me get my sh*t organized!

I love what I’m doing, and I love helping patients heal. I love my new co-workers and I love the providers I get to work with daily. I keep getting asked “Do you like working better? Do you think it’s easier than staying home?” The answer to both of those is yes and no. Yes I enjoy working, helping people, interacting with adults and meeting new people. No, I miss my kids, I miss being able to have my own schedule, I miss having more patience with all of them. Yes, I think in some respects it is easier to work than stay home and a big NO at times it is much easier to be a stay at home parent than work. The debate is dumb and shouldn’t even exist. Every day is different and everyONE is different. I will say, my husband has an entire new respect for me and what I did now. He expresses it daily 🙂

So that’s what’s been going on around here lately. I apologize to any friends, parents, people I have ignored or forgotten to call back over the past few months. I have been a complete scatter brain trying to figure this all out and learn TIME MANAGEMENT all over again!!!

**Thank you all who have supported us/me as a family and individually in making this transition for both Brent and I, and the kids as easy as it could be!!**

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pillow Talk

Hi, hello! It’s been 2 months since I’ve last posted! I have been busy blogging over at SugarBabies about awesome kid stuff, and most recently- I started a new job! I recently started working at Virginia Mason and so far I am loving it!
Today I wanted to talk Toddler Pillows. Most of you probably didn’t even know that was a thing. It is. It’s a very good thing. I started realizing Luca, my almost 2 year old { enter sad sad sad face } whom we still bed share with, was not only stealing my entire side of the bed, but stealing my pillow all night. He hadn’t done this before. He now sleeps like a normal human, with a pillow and all. Which again, is super sad. I don’t know why but it just is! So I realized that he actually may need his own pillow. So many questions came up:

    Are toddler pillows even a thing? Are they safe?Do they fit in cribs?

Yes, yes and yes.

I always head over to Instagram these days to find any kid/baby related product I am interested in. They usually have a page, or I can usually check a hashtag and find loads of info on products this way. Sure enough #toddlerpillow brought me to ClevaMama.

When I first began researching toddler pillows, I discovered a whole new world of these tiny little pillows I had no idea existed. They do indeed make pillows JUST for our little toddlers. And yes, they fit in cribs! Even though I do have two older kids, I had never used a pillow for them until they were in their own twin bed. It didn’t even occur to me. I guess, my main reason was safety. How could a pillow, which in some cases is used for smothering, be safe for MY BABY?! There were about 5 top leading brands and pillow types in this toddler pillow category. The ClevaMama pillow definitely stood out among the rest.

There were, like I said, around 5 other brands of top rated toddler pillows. One seemed all too “fluffy” for a crib. It didn’t seem at all safe to me. One pillow seemed extremely tiny for even a kid. It almost looked like a doll sized pillow. And then just like Goldilocks finding the perfect fit, I found ours.

Behind the Pillow:

The ClevaMama brand is a Dublin, Ireland based company founded by two moms, who are also sisters. Their moto is “Designed by mums, for mums.” Seemed perfect. The pillow is made of a type of foam that is scientifically designed to reduce the pressure on the back of your baby’s head by 50%. Manufactured using fabrics and foams that are hypo-allergenic, PH balanced and toxin free makes the pillow suitable for use with toddlers who suffer from asthma and allergies. The AirFlow fabric draws away moisture and increases airflow which makes it safe to breathe. These were all HUGE factors in choosing this pillow. Luca’s head and spine would be in perfect alignment while using the pillow, and I didn’t have to worry about suffocation. I read a few awesome reviews and decided this was the right pillow for us.

Our Experience:

ClevaMama was so generous to send Luca a pillow to try out with their adorable boy themed replacement pillow covers. I was SO excited to try the pillow out that night! I think he was excited too as he tried to pry open the box before I could grab a pair of scissors!

ClevaMama Toddler Pillow Review

 

I laid it at the top of his crib, which fit perfectly in to place. He struggles all night with thrashing around the crib from one end to the other and I was hoping this might help that with having a specific spot for his head to go. We used it first at nap time that day. After laying him down with is head on the pillow and walking out I quickly ran to my monitor to see what he would do. He laid on it for a while, and then sure enough fell asleep just below the pillow. I was just happy he didn’t try to use it as a toy to distract him from sleeping. That same night, I laid him down and was watching him on the monitor. He seemed to be keeping his head on the pillow….and then he fell asleep in the correct position. I was SO PLEASED!

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We have been using the ClevaMama Foam Toddler pillow for about 2 weeks now and he LOVES IT! Though he still ends up in our bed, using MY pillow half the night…the first half he stays on his own pillow sleeping soundly.

The cool part for me as a mom, is knowing he is getting healthy spine alignment and his breathing is not affected. It almost feels like a mini Tempurpedic toddler pillow. Spoiled little thing 🙂

Overall Luca and I would give this pillow 5 stars and I would highly recommend to any momma out there!

The ClevaMama company not only has toddler pillows but so many more awesome baby products I would highly suggest looking into! I have linked the pillow URL below if you wanted to check it out!

ClevaMama Foam Toddler Pillow

**This products was given to us at no cost for reviewing purposes. All thoughts and opinions about this product and company are my own.

 

 

 

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is probably my most asked for recipe. It is definitely not my own recipe…but it’s amazing. I make this roughly once a week and I am STILL not tired of it. My soccer moms love it and I get asked almost weekly for the details! There are so many crockpot recipes for tortilla soup, or easy methods. If you want EASY, this is not for you. I mean it’s easy…it’s just not fast. It is time consuming and has lots of steps. BUT that’s what makes it my favorite thing ever. That’s what makes it drool worthy. So if you have a free afternoon or evening to dedicate a half hour/45 minutes to it….Here you go!

Vibrantly Living- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

(Pictures are not mine either- they are from Pinterest)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (1/4 cup) — Only if you want it spicy
  • 1 (32 oz) carton low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp of each chili powder, cumin, and paprika– For less spicy use half the chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Toppings: Cilantro, Shredded Mexican cheese, Avocado, and Tortilla chips (Juanita’s are the best)

Directions

  • Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and jalapeño and saute 3 minutes, adding garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Add chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover pot with lid and gently boil until chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and allow to rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add diced tomatoes with green chilies to pot. Then, in the 2-cup liquid measuring cup used to measure milk (or a bowl), whisk together milk and masa harina until well blended. Pour mixture into pot and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture boils and thickens slightly (it won’t thicken much). Dice chicken and add to pot, then add black beans, pinto beans and corn. Then stir in cream and sour cream and cook until heated through.
  • Serve warm topped with cheese, sour cream, avocados, cilantro, limes and tortilla chips.
  • *If chicken breasts are fairly thick, slices them horizontally through the thickness to create two portions. They will cook faster this way and be more tender as they’ll cook more evenly.

Vibrantly Living- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Share with your friends, family and definitely your soccer mom group!

*recipe and photo source: Cooking Classy

Donut Holes-Do not Blame me for your weight gain….

10 minute Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Who Doesn’t love donuts, right? Well maybe some people, but that’s dumb. I personally love maple bars, and donut holes. I “Pinterest-ed” the other day and found an awesome recipe for flawless maple bars. I did not take pictures because honestly they were gone before I could find my phone.

I would love to sit here and tell you that I did take pictures of the donut holes I made, but sadly..I did not. Again, they were gone faster than my husband leaves the room when I talk makeup. BUT i will attach a lovely stock photo of a pinterest version of these bad boys just to entice you.

ingredients:

  • Pillsbury Biscuits- in refrigerated aisle–not croissants
  • Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil
  • Mixture of cinammon and sugar in a bowl
  • Your self dignity after you eat everything you just made

how to:

  • open the biscuits and separate them
  • cut them into 4 little pizza looking slices
  • separate them again and roll into small balls
  • pour oil into a saucepan about 3 inches deep, turn on medium heat until hot
  • put about 4 balls in the oil at a time and rotate occasionally till they are an even deep golden brown
  • use tongs to get the donut holes from the sauce pan
  • lay out on plate or paper towel to cool off for about 5 minutes
  • roll each donut hole in the sugar/cinnamon mixture until fully coated
  • try to leave some for your kids…only if you want to

For realzzzz these are addicting. You should even try the Maple Bar Recipe…basically the same but you home make the maple glaze…which is amazing.

Now that you are roughly 5 pounds heavier, your welcome!

“Are you really still nursing?”

*Quick disclaimer. I am writing this with a light heart, and no hard feelings. I do not honestly care what people have said, will say, I am purely writing this for fun. And for the other mom’s who do feel self conscious about this subject. *

That being said…

“Oh my God Becky, look at her boobs. They’re so big. She’s like one of those toddlers moms or something. Ew.” That’s basically what it feels like right ladies? We have all seen the buzzfeed videos and the “viral” 5 reasons why you shouldn’t breastfeed. But I feel like it is worse than just random people staring you down. I personally do no nurse in public. I did, when my baby was very little and he needed to be fed every couple of hours. Do you want me to stay home all day and do nothing? But even so, I usually did it in a restroom that catered to nursing moms or in the car parking lot. I did this because it made ME feel more comfortable. Not because of other people. Does it bother me when other moms did it? No. Not one bit. Did it bother me when I was at the mall play area and a woman whipped it out with no cover, no shelter no care in the world that my 7-year-old son was staring at her? Yes. Yes it totally made me uncomfortable. There is a common courtesy people should give…I mean come on.  But like I was saying, it goes beyond strangers.

I nursed my first-born for 6 months, my daughter for 6 weeks and yes, yes I am still nursing my 15 month old. Did I plan on going this long? No. My goal was a year. I am a stay at home mom and I felt that it was best for my baby and our family. Now 5 months past my goal it’s still happening. Whether it’s my comfort or his it is still working. He is still a baby, hardly a “kid.”  I still enjoy it and so does he? I usually only nurse at night-time, and during the night. This wasn’t planned, but it’s what we do and that’s OK. I’m sorry, does my nursing in the privacy of my home, at night bother you??? Oh I didn’t realize I was affecting other people, by doing this.

“Are you going to be one of those people who nurse their baby till he is 5?

“Are you going to be one of those moms who nurse until the kid starts asking for it?”

“Were you planning on nursing this long?”

“Please don’t be one of those moms.”

WHAT is one of those moms? Who are these horrible mother’s feeding their kids? I want to meet one and give her  a piece of my mind. It’s truly disgusting that a mother would enjoy feeding and bonding with her child past the age of 1. Ugh.

I love my family and friends that are so concerned for my baby and mine well-being, but I think we got it covered. I think we will manage. No, I personally will not be continuing past 18 months. For my own personal reasons, not for YOUR reasons.

Again, I am not truly offended by the comments I get when I mention I am still nursing. I laugh and smile. But for all the other women who are enjoying this VERY SHORT period of time with their baby and are getting crap for it…WHO CARES! 🙂

Don’t let the boobies fly but let the milk flow

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Baby Carrying & Things My Kid’s Say

It’s that time again. One week, actually 6 days. The iconic Adam Sandler chime is on repeat in my head… “Back to school, back to school…” I mean we all love our kids…but come on. 3 months of one on one??? That would drive any person crazy. This summer was a bit easier than last summer when I was trying so hard to figure out how to manage 3 kids. This summer I had that part down…it was how to control all of them! Nap time is twice a day. Which means this can be accomplished if we don’t do ANYTHING that day. Trying to get your baby on a routine when you have 2 other children is extremely difficult.

8 am: “Mom, mom, mother, mommy…what are we doing today? Where are we going?” Me: “You mean we have to go somewhere again today? Monday we were at the pool, Tuesday we were at the lake, Wednesday you played with a friend all day, Thursday we went to the park, and today? Today we are staying the eff home so your brother can take a friggn NAP!”

And that gets me… “You might as well be like a foster parent.”

*HEAD in palm. GO BACK TO SCHOOL CHILDREN. *

Today…the baby is sleeping, the older ones are playing with friends and I am writing. It feel so good to write!! At least you listen to me, and I don’t have to repeat myself fifty times. Thank you 🙂

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Now that I have summed up our summer I wanted to share with you guys something I have used a lot this summer and how it has been a game changer! My Ergo baby.  I had never used a baby carrier before with the older kids because a) they weren’t that popular back then and b) I couldn’t have been bothered trying to figure them out. When I was doing research on all the BEST baby gear to get for this new baby this was definitely something I wanted to try out. I have some disc problems in my back and I really wanted to find something that wasn’t going to aggravate it. I needed to be able to carry my baby e=places like the soccer field, zoo etc because I have other kids I needed to keep up with. I went to Sugar Babies down in Sumner- The baby experts- and tried a few on. They had the Baby K’tan which is more like a Moby wrap with a pouch in the front, and they have the Sakura Bloom Slings. I found the Ergo to be the most comfortable and easy to use. They have a wide variety of adorable patterns from anchors, to owls and my favorite the Petunia Pickle Bottom black floral.

*How can you use it? I was able to use this carrier for my newborn with the newborn insert. I watched a youtube tutorial and it was SO easy to figure out. I was able to use this when I was by myself without help from anyone. My baby instantly fell asleep whenever he was put in it. This was a  LIFESAVER for the first few months when he wanted to be held while I was trying to make dinner and cook. Now that my baby is 15 months I find it easiest to use on my back. Again very simple to put on and get him in and out while I am by myself. We just went back to school shopping. This is a feat for any mom with 3 kids. I brought the stroller which did it’s job for an hour and then he was done. Instead of putting him at my front which I knew he would be pissed, I put him on my back and he was HAPPY.

*Is it Pricey? Yes a little. My theory is you get what you pay for. It has VERY high quality material and clasps and is extremely;y comfortable to wear. It is heavy duty! I would buy this over and over again, and If I could afford it, it would be the gift I would give at baby showers!

I do feel a little bit educated on what baby items actually work, are worth it, which ones you should splurge on and not and what brands are good. This one is one. Go try it on, test it out and see if it works best for you and your baby.

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I am off to 6 days a week of soccer, ice cream socials and classroom volunteering–aka Stay at home mom life…and couldn’t be more excited 🙂

But seriously though- as long as they are gone for 6 hours it will be ok 😉

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother ME!

DUDE. These fruit flies got me like….ugh. It’s disgusting really. No matter how fast I do the dishes, or how often I take the garbage out they swarm, multiply and conquer. My husband is all like ” Someone leaves the door open all day and when one gets in, then they procreate. ” NO. My theory is they magically appear, everywhere to piss you off and make you start flapping, flailing your arms throughout the kitchen like a crazy person. True story, it happens every day now. UNTIL….until I found the cure. The fruit fly cure.

Of course it’s cheap, hell it’s free really. And of course it works…otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing it 😉

If you have this problem, or know someone who does, don’t hesitate to get them help. It’s a real problem that needs to be discussed. I am here to help.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • a mason jar
  • dawn dish soap ( I am assuming any works really-this is just what I had)
  • red wine vinegar (Or any type of vinegar that is not white- also all those red wine bottles you have in your kitchen that are fermenting will work too)
  • a piece of paper

WHAT YOU DO:

  • fill the mason jar a little less than half way with your vinegar solution
  • pour in the soap…no real measurement just think about how bad you want the bugs to stick to it 😉
  • mix it together with a spoon
  • take your paper and make a funnel…do not let it touch the liquid

Now, I placed mine in the areas in my kitchen I have noticed they liked to congregate. My Nespresso machine is a hot spot, and my pantry. So I made two of these contraptions. I waited ten minutes and checked back to see what was going on. I was all worried it wasn’t working because I couldn’t see any floating in the solution…just freaking out below the paper funnel because they couldn’t get out. I picked up the jar and looked from the bottom. HOLY SCHMOKES. There were like 50. Ten minutes. 50.

No more swarm of nasty flies when I open my pantry door, no more looking like a lunatic to my neighbors by swatting, batting ferociously in my kitchen at the air.

Have fun and enjoy the rest of your day fruit fly free.

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