NEW MOM MONDAYS CHASING LITTLES
This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Fatima Torres

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a mom of two boys and two pups, married to my soulmate. I’m also a freelance social media strategist and Family/Lifestyle blogger who is passionate about life and being social.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have two boys and two pups. Sebs (3), Chris (1) and the pups are 5 and 11.
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
I find a little “me time” any chance I get. Oftentimes it means waking up earlier than usual to write a post or finish up promo. Sometimes I sneak in a few pages from a book I’m reading.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
Anything from National Geographic, which reminds me, we have to replace the dinosaurs book our youngest destroyed.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

I had a really good baby carrier we purchased when we had our firstborn. We kept it until our second child outgrew it and gave the carrier to a family member. It was a lifesaver whenever we went on family walks or even when I had to travel to events with the two of them.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
“Remember, you’re going to be exhausted. Just don’t take it out on everyone.”
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

I did a lot of planning prior to having our firstborn, and even then I couldn’t predict I was going to be a mom at 23. Prior to meeting my husband, I had graduated college a year ago and found my dream job. I was hoping to move up on the ladder until I became pregnant. It happened, and I embraced it. All I wanted was to be with my child. We moved to another state and I was home with our little one until I started doing freelance work and blogging from home. It’s been a blessing. Thankfully, I learned a lot from my 3.9 years at the digital publishing firm. Sometimes I feel as though with blogging and side projects I’m running my own digital firm.

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?

You are not just a mom, so don’t hold on to that title like it’s the end of the world. There’s more to you. There’s more to who you believe you are. Go find her! 😉

♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

The moments when they’re finally down for a nap/bed after a very long day. Those repeat themselves often, but the emotions are always the same. I always look back at our moments together. Those are what count. Not the mess, not the tantrums. And believe me, there are PLENTY of both.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.

Our first child was born through C-section It was terrifying, and I was numb to the experience. I remember being told I had to breastfeed my child after everything was done. Silly me, I had told them prior to going into labor that I’d like to do so.

When our second, I went through a VBAC. It was a breeze compared to what we went through with our firstborn.

♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood to me is finding strength in things you never thought were possible. It’s breathing life into someone else and even giving a new meaning to your own. It’s tough, but it’s also life-changing.

To hear more from Fatima be sure to visit her blog Motherhood Through My Eyes and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 

Somehow we’re halfway through the year…(HOW?) I wanted to check in with myself and with all of you (because accountability rocks) on how I’m doing with my new year resolutions.

To save you the searching for the post to compare, here are some of the public items on the list and the updates:

I will workout 182 days out of the 365 days of the year.

Last week I hit a huge goal which I am super proud of. I hit 100 days of working out. Originally I had this idea that I would do the first 100 out of the 182 in a row. Then life happened. There was a long necessary three week break in there from injuring my back and fracturing a bone in my neck (ouch!) so although I was very frustrated (believe me, I was not a happy camper) with the situation, I allowed my body to heal with the help of wonderful practitioners and some light yoga. Then got right to it with my daily workouts all the way to last week when workout number 100 was crossed off the list. It was a wonderful feeling, and it’s hard to describe. 100 of anything is a lot of something, and the fact that I didn’t give up, that I continued on is such an exciting and motivational accomplishment as I race to get those last 82 in there.

I will say that the mental battle I went through during the injury was a rough one. I felt like I had failed, that by taking a break I was being lazy, and that every day I didn’t work out I was getting further away from my goal. Talk about negativity levels through the roof! It took some time but with the help of my ever loving and incredible husband I started to understand that no, I wasn’t being lazy, and yes my back did hurt and my bone was fractured, and resting is what I needed to focus on. I was able to feel proud for the 50 some workouts I had completed up to that point and resting my back was not going to take that away from me. Getting the last few workouts in last week was pretty hard from a motivation standpoint. I don’t know if it’s because I felt like I was basically already there or if it was my mood just being a little low for some time prior but it’s now done! Regardless, I just have 82 workout days left before I can officially check off this goal! Here we go!

If there is one takeaway I got from this journey it is to learn to celebrate the small victories. Rejoice after every 5 or every 10 and celebrate your determination. Be kind and gentle to yourself through this journey and if you decide to give a 100 workout challenge a try, do send me a quick message! I’d love to cheer you on on your very own journey!

We will pay off all of our debt, excluding our home.

This is a pretty exciting resolution for me. We’ve been using the every dollar app for a while now and it’s truly been a lifesaver when it comes to reaching $$ goals. Living a debt free life originally seemed like a crazy idea. How can anyone live without a credit card? How does a family not have a car payment? What do you mean you’re going to buy a car with cash, I thought the options were finance or lease? A mind shift has happened in our home and both Christian and I are so excited to be so aggressively shooting for this goal. It’s odd, when you start drifting away from what the norm is and you start creating your unique way of going about life. We know not everyone will agree or understand, but then again, we’re happy with our decision, so nothing else matters. Finances are a taboo subject, so I’m staying pretty vague, but with a plan in action, a goal, a deadline and a whole lot of drive, anything is possible.

I will eat 80% clean and reduce my dairy intake.

I can say this has so far been very consistent. I have been eating a very healthy diet this entire year and it has helped to have the workout challenge at the same time. You need lots of good food to have the energy to sweat every day! I’ve also enjoyed cakes and ice cream, pizza, and veggie burgers with fries etc to fill up that 20% They really taste better when they’re eaten less often!

As for dairy, I have lowered the amount of cheese and yogurt I eat and aside from those two items, there weren’t many other things in my daily diet that had dairy. This has been surprisingly natural and since I’m not looking to eliminate dairy it has gone over well to just reduce it.

I will continue to grow in this beautiful marriage my husband and I have forged for ourselves.

Throughout this year, Christian and I have continued to live every day however we choose to. We’ve planned for so many exciting things in the future and have really taken to enjoying where we are today. For someone like me who lives attached to goals and improving in all these different areas, it can sometimes be easy to forget how wonderful life is today, this very moment. Thankfully my counterpart works very much the other way. Christian is all about enjoying today, being silly and funny and keeping life light. He’s the “things will work out,” to my “what are the steps we are taking to get to this goal,” and do I love him for it. He keeps me young and happy and honestly, I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

We have some huge plans for this year, some trips planned, some days for us to get away just the two of us, and sometimes that’s just with frozen pizza binge watching Netflix. Can’t wait to see what else we get up to this year that isn’t planned because I’ve grown to expect the unexpected and I know together we can tackle anything. It’s now JUNE which is the month of our anniversary. June is my love month. We were flirty high schoolers in June, we started dating in June, we got married in June… It’s just our month and I’m looking forward to thinking back on our journey through all these past Junes.

We will travel to someplace warm.

In February, Christian and I had a most magical trip down to Texas, New Orleans, and many warmer places like Belize, Mexico, and Honduras. We’ve never traveled with other people but this year my beautiful cousin Susy and her husband Roberto agreed to join us on this wild adventure. I am so grateful to have such a large and loving family filled with cousins and aunts and uncles sprinkled all over the globe. It’s difficult when it comes to holidays, seeing as we are all so far away. But when it comes to traveling it means you have many cozy beds to choose from.

After meeting them in their home in Houston we road-tripped it (is that a word? it should be) to New Orleans where we stayed in a super cool guest house that used to be an orphanage in the 1800s. The creepiest photographs littered the walls and the amenities were… well none. No matter though we had a great time celebrating on Bourbon Street until the wee hours of the night the first day of Mardi Gras!

The next morning we cruised down to these magical and beautiful locations and had an incredible time on the ship. The memories that were made will live in my heart forever and I am so grateful to have shared this trip with family.

This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Kristin

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a SAHM/WAHM of two and I feel like it all happened overnight! My husband and I bought a house in 2009, were married in 2010, had our little guy in 2011, and our little lady in 2012. The years since have flown buy and the kiddos are reaching school age.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
Our Little Guy is 5 and just started kindergarten and our Little Lady is 4. My husband’s daughter is with us part-time and will be a teenager in a few days.
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
This is something I’ve struggled with so much! Ever since our second child I have stayed home, but I have also put a lot of pressure on myself to try to help provide for the family. I got into blogging as an outlet when I was home with the two babies, but I then started putting some pressure on myself to try to earn some money. My blogging me-time suffered when I started working from home, and I don’t think I had any real “me time” for the next few years. Recently, I have stopped working that job and tried to focus on enjoying these moments with the kids. My me time lately comes in the form of trying to get stuff done once the kids are in bed. I guess I haven’t really gotten this figured out just yet… haha!
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
When I as pregnant A Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy was the best book I found because it was so relatable
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

My sling baby carrier.  I’m lost without it.  I love it because I can go to the store, park, zoo, state fair – pretty much everywhere and my baby will sleep, sleep, sleep while I take care of things and have both of my hands free.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
I would say “relax, Momma, you’re doing fine. You don’t have to do it all, just nurture these awesome babies.” It something I still have to tell myself because, in an effort to be there for my kids, I put a lot of pressure on myself to have everything else all together when I really should be enjoying these fleeting moments. It goes so incredibly fast, just be present and enjoy it.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

I didn’t do a ton of planning – of course, we had the nursery and gathered supplies, but the best things came naturally as we learned about our little ones and our needs. I would say not to plan too much, this will be totally different than expected. Don’t buy too much from the start, because you won’t end up using a lot of it. As you find out what you could use in your daily routine and what will work best for your family and your little one, then make those purchases.

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?

These all really tie in together: Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. We’re all trying to do the best we can and there is no right or wrong way. Also, be flexible and do what works best for you and your little one. Last, don’t compare yourself or your baby to others. Each parent, family, mom, baby, etc. has their own strengths and weaknesses and everyone is different.

♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

My best memories come from simple moments with my kiddos. Watching them enjoy things for the first time, watching them grow, each new milestone… My best memories are the moments were we all climb into bed together to read a book and cuddle.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
With my oldest, we started with a midwife and I didn’t have much of a plan. I had no idea what to expect so I didn’t want to make any specific requests or decide to have a natural or medicated birth. My blood pressure started to rise toward the end of the pregnancy, so I ended up not even seeing our midwife for the birth and going with a regular doctor. When we got to the hospital in the middle of the night, it was a pretty long labor and I eventually went with an epidural. We also started to have a bit of stress just before delivery. I hardly recall it all because it seems so perfect in my memory, but we had a lot of monitoring and our little guy had to be taken right away shortly after I delivered. He turned out just fine and has been the healthiest kiddo ever since. With our second things were so much quicker! She came in no time and I remember hardly anything about that day. 🙂 No matter how it happens, those memories always turn into good ones.
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood to me is a beautiful, rewarding, and loving responsibility. You’ve received the best gift of your life and now it’s up to you to do the best you can to shape these little people into a better version of yourself. It’s the best job you can ever do. I can’t imagine my world without them.

 

To hear more from Kristin be sure to visit her blog Exploring Domesticity and follow her on Facebook.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 

 
 


 
 

Best nine memories in May

The best nine memories. May was a strange month. A wonderful and happy and yet stressful month. Here’s the breakdown of the best nine memories from May.

One

Azzie came over for a full day of girlie time. We ate some food, watched some tv, we crafted our own inspirational boards as we cut up magazines and read funny articles. Before she went home we did a killer workout and although she thought she wouldn’t be able to finish she did and I was so proud of her for making it to the end. 

Two

Earlier in May I was at an appointment close to my old high school. When I was out of the appointment I realized it was still school hours and some of my old high school teachers might still be teaching so I redirected the GPS (because I still don’t know how to get anywhere without it) and parked in the small parking lot filled with senior kids’ cars. As I was walking in the building I got immediate butterflies. The halls, the kids hanging out in some of my old usual spots. A theater performance under way, music students in the wing practicing. I got a chance to see two of my art teachers and it was such a nice moment. A quick hug, a quick “hope you’re doing well, just thought of you and wanted to stop by” and I was back in my car. Classes were underway so not much of a chit chat but just enough to remind me and them what great teachers I had, and how it’s shaped who I have become. Go teachers!

Three

Mother’s Day was spent with mom. We went on a walk with Congo and we cleaned out her closet of old paperwork she had been meaning to get rid of! She really did want to spend the day doing something productive and I know it brought her a lot of joy to get rid of so much baggage (haha, see what I did there?) because of all the bags of paper… and they were old immigration stressful things type of paperwork so, ‘baggage’ anyways.. The day before mother’s day though I got to spend it with both my mom and my mother in law 🙂 I am so lucky to have them in my life and to share with them my life and them with me. Being an immigrant child means I left a lot of family behind, but it means my parents left even more. So when I get to visit my mom and hug her I know I’m so so lucky because it’s something she can’t do, and it’s because she chose my future over it, and that’s true love.

Four

Christian and I played our first game of Slo Pitch together and it was awesome. They have him on third base and I have been alternating between outfielder and catcher. It’s been so great to get out and have a team of strangers who cheer you on just because you’re wearing the same coloured jersey. I know we’ve both enjoyed getting out and doing something active together that is also super fun to watch when we’re not on the field! We’ve talked about getting a few practices in because we both have to work on our batting! If I could sprint and run bases for everyone I’d do that all day, but batting… oh boy.

Five

As you may or may not have heard, things in Venezuela are not too great right now. Basic necessities are scarce or ridiculously priced by people who buy all the stock and sell it on the streets. It’s not safe and violent crimes are on the rise as people enter survival mode. Through all this though, I give thanks that my family is safe and although they have experienced many hardships they are alive, and as well as they can be given all the circumstances. My mom’s uncle and aunt flew to Canada to visit family, and we had them over at our place for a day to play Bocce Balls, a very popular game in Venezuela. We had a good time enjoying the weather and hearing their old childhood stories about having a lion cub turned lion in their home as a pet for a few years and their adorable pet monkey. 

Six

I like themes. I like them because it gives everyone an idea as to what to expect. If it’s a pajama party I can expect people to come in PJs and there to be some popcorn and pillows. If it’s a pool party I can expect some swimming suits, sunscreen, and cold drinks. I decided to host a Tropical Party, which so far includes fruit platters, shrimp paella, pineapples, and flamingos. Christian and I love having friends over and hosting people at our home, even before we had this new nice home we made do with whatever space we had always seeming to max out how many bodies we could fit into a tiny one bedroom apartment to having little to no wiggle room at a halloween party in a skinny townhouse rental. We just love entertaining, and it’s turned out to be an important part of what we enjoy doing together!

Seven

Earlier in May I officially applied for a Product Design role. Quite different from what was my current Graphic Design role, but then again also kind of similar. It was a huge change for me as it’s been the first big change I’ve made in my 4 and some years at working at the same place. There’s something nice about being a part of the same team for that long. There’s that familiarity, that history with clients and processes, that personal connection to all those on the team. You tend to be responsible for more, simply because you’ve been around long enough to know the ins and outs of a specific project etc. This new job gets rid of many of those comfortable factors that made up my work-life. I don’t know many people on this new team. I am not aware of current process and procedures. I don’t know how their timeline works or where I fit into the big picture yet. But soon, and I believe it, I’ll have all the answers I need. The greatest part about this decision is that it’s a new challenge involving something I truly am passionate about. It’s going to expand my skills and my world so much, and I’m starting a new chapter of my short life.

Eight

The girls and our boys got together at Matahangi and Nish’s place in Toronto and it was such a good time. Chill, relaxed, nothing crazy planned. Just friends sitting and gathering around food, talking about this and that. I love my friend time and sometimes I long for more of them because we see each other all together such few times. I love these girls with all my heart and although I know Azra wasn’t there I always carry her in my heart so it’s like she was. We somehow all showed up in a different version of denim and it was way too cool so we snapped a  photo!

Nine

It happened y’all. There’s a goal I can check off. 100 days of workouts and right in time for almost half way through the year. There’s a post coming soon where I touch base on how I’m doing with my resolution goals, so look out for that to hear more about the struggles I went through while completing my 100 days goal. There were many. 100 was just a big number I had a dream of achieving one day, and thanks to the determination in me, the support from family, the support from friends watching my journey develop on instagram and facebook and of my friends’ consistency in the WhatsApp private group, I made it through. The group helps keep all of us accountable! We have to check in with a Photo of our workout, or a meal we’re eating if we want to. I am so proud of them for hitting their weekly goals and most of them are super close to 100 too!! So proud!! Now to think of a new goal and crush it! 

In May I was grateful for…

  • Bring able to follow my workouts on mute while watching Netflix.
  • Azra for coming to see me and crafting inspiration boards with me.
  • The feeling after a good sweat.
  • Birthdays and healthy options at restaurants.
  • Being brave enough to cut Congo’s mane.
  • The changes in my body as I hit 80 workout days!
  • Benefits through work to continue to care for my neck/back
  • Massages from people that don’t get tired as quickly!
  • Abs starting to show some definition.
  • Homemade sushi, and the fact that it’s just as delicious as restaurant quality!
  • Morning shakes and new recipes!
  • Dan and Michelle’s awesome magnet gift!
  • Duolingo and holding my French daily streak for a while there!
  • Old high school teachers that made a difference in my life.
  • My mom for being the very best and having her close for another mother’s day.
  • Being healthy enough to play our first slo pitch game.
  • Co-workers who help practice your ball throwing and catching at lunch
  • Breaking out of my comfort zone and applying for a new job.
  • Getting that new job!!
  • Flexible working from home days.
  • Cooking meals at home.
  • Family time with those close and family from Venezuela – playing in great weather.
  • Workouts that are choreographed dances!
  • Congito and him being the cutest.
  • Checking out the city more and going to our first parade here.
  • Designing a themed party and planning decor!
  • Finding a dress at a thrift shop for $16 for Sean and Danielle’s wedding!
  • Purchasing our dream tree, a fiddle leaf fig, and naming it Mowgli.
  • For all the green things thriving in our home.
  • Great co-workers I will miss seeing every day in my old team!
  • Nice and welcoming coworkers on the new team!
  • Seeing my girls (missing Azra) and catching up!
  • Our softball team getting better and better and us wearing matching uniforms.

Look out for another Best Nine next month to hear all about June!

Mariangelica

This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Michelle

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m 29 years old and I live in Vancouver, BC. I had my son when I was 16. I’m currently a SAHM because I’ve been on a medical leave since September 2015. I love reading and binge watching shows on Netflix.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have one little monkey. His name is Riley and he just turned 12 years old.
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
Since my son is now older, my free time happens while he’s in school and when he’s at his dad’s house.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
In all honesty, I didn’t read any baby books.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

I loved the playpen. I loved that I could put Riley in there and know that he was safe. Plus, as he grew older and started crawling and standing, it allowed me to do things like cook and clean without worry that he’s going to get up to something not good for him.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
1. It’s going to be a difficult road ahead but it’ll be so worth it!
2. Don’t be scared, you have so much help around you.
3. You are going to be an AMAZING MOM.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?

I planned and planned. As in… I made sure that I got everything before hand and I had to organize how I was going to finish my schooling. I left the high school I’ve been attending since grade 8 and decided to compete it online so that I can be at home. You can’t plan for everything because in reality, everything is on the baby’s schedule. Everything else was trial and error.

♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1. Always live in the moment. It’s going to fly by so fast… you won’t know what hit you.
2. Take lots of pictures! I love looking at all of Riley’s baby albums.
3. Start some sort of baby book where you can record all the baby milestones, you’ll appreciate the memories when they’re older.
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

In all honesty, that’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many memories to choose from! I took a mental video of when Riley was learning how to crawl and his first baby giggles and those are baby milestones that definitely stuck in my mind. I love watching my little monkey find himself. I love watching him learn and try new things. I love watching him not give up. There really are a lot of memories in the past 12 years.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
I just knew that Riley chose his birthday – he decided to come 3 weeks early. The birth itself was super fast – only 3 hours and 12 minutes from the moment my water broke. He was born in a hospital and delivered by a doctor who was not my OB because my OB was delivering another baby.  I had my mom, a friend from school and my brother’s girlfriend at the time with me. I didn’t plan on taking any pain medication and in all honesty, there was no time for it. The birth itself was fast and with no complications. The nurses and the doctor was so surprised that I didn’t need stitches! Riley was slightly jaundiced and I had high blood pressure so we stayed two nights. I was so happy that I couldn’t sleep at all that night.
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

It’s a crazy rollercoaster with its ups and downs. It’s exciting… stressful but so rewarding!

To hear more from Michelle be sure to visit her blog CoffeeHeartMind and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too!