HELLO 31

Tuesday, I turned 31.

I’ve never really been a huge fan of birthday’s, at least not the last couple of years, cause I just really haven’t been happy with where I was physically .

Yes, it’s true there is a ton to be thankful for but sometimes where you are health wise just affects everything. Clouds your opinions so to speak.

Each year I got older I worried more about what the scale number instead of celebrated my number of years.

This year was totally different.

We have been super busy lately and I’m sorry I haven’t really been keeping everyone up to date on my health journey but I’ll give a bit of a run down here. 

Over the past couple of months I’ve done a few things that I never thought I would actually do.

The Saturday before Easter my husband and I took a 5.6 mile hike at Pedernales Falls Sate Park. About a half mile in I wanted to quit but my husband kindly pushed me to keep going. It was a HUGE accomplishment for me. Even though it may seem small to some people, I have attempted several hikes since our first miscarriage and quit every time. This hike was more about the mental battle I won but being about 17lbs lighter at the time was a huge help as well.

I celebrated one month on the program with my coach and friends in South Louisiana and learned how to eat crawfish and veggies the healthy way. I mean thats a huge plus for a cajun girl.

I’m not sure why but over the years, I have held on to some clothes in the hopes of one day fitting back in them. I was so close to giving them all away when we made the move from LA to TX. I’m glad I didn’t cause I’ve been able to open that “Loose Some Weight” Box and wear them again. Some of them have actually started to be to big for me now.

My parents also brought my jacket from high school this week and I was actually shocked that it buttoned at the bottom. It has always ran big and sort of fit but that bottom button hasn’t buttoned since sophomore year of college.

Photography is something I have always loved to do, but when I put on weight it got hard to do. I stopped doing sessions when I got pregnant for our first because eventually shooting with a baby bump is a bit of a struggle. I tend to like to get into weird positions and try to capture unique angles but when you 205 that can be hard. I’ve dropped lbs and picked up a camera again and I’m kinda loving it.

The hubby and I won free tickets to Schlitterbahn AND got to go BY OURSELVES, which was awesome. What was even better was that I had to BUY A NEW SWIMSUIT because the other one didn’t fit! Not only was it nice to get a new suit, the whole time we were there what I was wearing never crossed my mind. Typically I would wear a swimsuit under a tank top and shorts but the whole time I’d still be fidgeting with my clothes because the shirt would either ride up or my shorts would or the suit would be slipping under my clothes or it would get to tight. It was always a struggle. Now, I have a cute, modest (I’m all about that life) suit that I feel super comfortable in. Plus we got season passes so it will get good use.

For my Birthday my love took me out to one of  my favorite restaurants for dinner, followed by shopping, which use to be a stressful event. This time it wasn’t, ok well maybe it was a little, but it was a different kind of stressful. In the past nothing fit and  I always left depressed by not finding anything. This time tons of stuff fit and I didn’t know how to narrow down what to get. I guess it was a good kind of stressful.
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This past week I turned 31 and today makes 2 months on the program.

I’ve lost 28lbs and 30+ inches. I’ve gone from XXL/XL shirts to Mediums. From a size 18 pants to a size 12. I’m still 45lbs away from from my goal but everyday is a new adventure and every food I pass on becomes worth the sacrifice.

I just need a MOMent! 

Let’s take a second and talk about “pregnancy brain”. You know that point in your pregnancy when progesterone has taken over it seems and your suddenly putting the milk in the pantry and the cereal in the fridge. Or you accidentally loose your keys in a take out box in the fridge for 9 hours and have half your friends searching for you. 

When I was about 5 months pregnant for our oldest I used the term Pregnancy Brain in a room with my husband, brother and his roommates, all college guys. I think football was on and they were getting food when one of them discovered cereal in the fridge. The moment I said it the whole room went quiet and all eyes where on me. After a second of inquisitive looks one said “I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing.” They all just assumed I was a little crazy and went back to football and all things man. A couple weeks later I found an article about it in a pregnancy book and proudly showed them all, to which I got the response “yeah I still don’t think it’s a thing.” Now in case you are wondering, my husband wasn’t the one making these statements. He lived with me and didn’t dare say anything about me and my hormonal state. 

That was 2013. The memory is something I chuckeled at over the years as one by one all of those guys got married and now have a child of their own. Meaning they have experienced their wives emotional, harmonal and one snide remarks away from the loony bin. 

Now a mom of three I’ve discovered something, pregnancy brain is something you get during pregnancy and in some ways never get rid of. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. ESPECIALLY if you live life outnumbered. 

A dear friend of mine and I refer to them as the Oh, Crap moments. My husband referres to it as scatter brain. Regardless it’s a MOMent. 

I had one of these MOMents a last weekend. It was the end of a rough 2 weeks and we had some family coming to town. We were all anxious to see loved ones, get out of the house and explore with them. Of course like any good mom I bathed the kids, folded the 12 loads of laundry on my sofa and got the house looking nice. Don’t go in my bedroom though! My husband mowed the lawn and cleaned off the pourches. In the midst of his cleaning he brought me something that needed to be cleaned. I took it into the laundry room and opted to soak it in the utility sink for a bit before putting it in the wash. I started the water, plugged the drain and put into the soaking liquid before stepping out of the laundry room for a min. 

When I stepped out of the messy laundry room into a cleaning living room, smelling of rose petals and book leather, my lovely Belles library candle, I smiled. My husband had come in from outside and was dancing with our girls while our youngest practiced walking around occasionally grooving to the music we had on. We talked for a minute about what we were gonna do next before I realized …… the girls bangs are kind of long, I should trim them. 

So I found my cutting sheers, a spray bottle of water and the girls and I went out front for a little hair cut…. oh but wait….. the bathroom needs some tidying. 

A few minutes, the bathroom now in order, I realized…. the youngest needs a bottle and a nap before company comes over! Off to do that task. After getting him settled and my attention now on the girls, we marched outside for bang trimming. After a good 5 min I walked back into the house to get the broom to sweep off the pourch my husband had so sweetly already cleaned. The broom was in THE LAUNDRY ROOM, the sink, the item I was cleaning! 

I immediately ran from the front door to a now, very wet laundry room. The sink was full and overflowing, the counter covered in water and spilling down on to the floor. I turned the water off and pulled the plug on the drain. Luckily the dirty clothes and towels that were on the floor waiting to be washed soaked up most of the mess. After grabbing some clean towels, the ones I just finished folding, getting a fan from the shop and getting the mess cleaned up, my husband walks into the room, freshly showered,  and ask “what happened?”

“Welllllllllll, you see what had happened was…the sink overflowed.” 

“Again?!?!” 

Yup! See one of the twelve loads of laundry I had just folded was a bundle of towels, the ones I used to clean up the current mess. Towels I had just finished washing and folding from the sink overflowing in the laundry room the week before. 

I proceeded to laugh and sob histerically at the moment, knowing very well my husband and kids were looking at me curious if I should be admitted. 

See here is,what I think, the reality of pregnancy brain. When you’re pregnant your braincells take a journey from your brain down to your womb and travel through the umbilical chord until they become an active part of your growing child’s brain. 

I mean think about it, your kids may look like you or act like your husband but then they get to the age of talking and one day they open their mouth and say something that makes you stop in your tracks. You have a moment where you think, how did they come up with that? I’m telling you they steal your brain cells. 


Some days, when I have a MOMent and my husband and kids look at me like I’m crazy I want to say “If I had all my brain cells this wouldn’t happen.” My house wouldn’t look like a crazy mess with the dryer open, the dishwasher half emptied and a water faucet or tub in the process of being cleaned or cleaning something or someone. 

So dad, kids, everyone else who doesn’t have kids. We aren’t crazy or in need of a mental evaluation. Sometimes we go to the grocery store in sweatpants, sports bras and messy buns. Sometimes we let our kids dress themselves and they look a little Disney princess meets redneck hunter. Sometimes we walk up to the register to check out only to remember we forgot to get what’s on the back of the list. Our houses are messy, our laundry overflowing along with our sinks but we aren’t crazy. Just missing a few brains cells and in need of a MOMent. 

Dying Breed

I’ve been a little MIA lately. Over the course of a couple weeks we went from my husband’s hours being cut at work, wondering how we were going to make it living in Louisiana to packing up our house and 3 kids to move to Texas for a new job. It’s been a whirlwind.

My husband actually moved up 2 weeks before the kids and I did and talk about madness. Me, 3 kids and packing to do. Talk about juggling act. We survived though and are all back together in Hill Country but that’s not really what this post is about.

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About a week before we left Louisiana, I decided to brave the grocery store with three, very cranky kids. It was hard to get what I needed while juggling who wanted to be held and who was on the brink of a tantrum in the store. Needless to say my trip was cut short due to my frustration and the looks I got. Not only did I get looks, I got comments and questions.

“Are they all yours?”

“Did you plan to have that many?” 

“Those two of have to be twins.”

“You must drink a lot.”

or my all time favorite side remark that people don’t think I can hear….

“That’s why we aren’t having more kids funny”

I mean come on now. Are we serious people? When did this become a thing?

13582086_977429455705362_315073903965527646_oGrowing up I was 1 of 5 kids in my class that didn’t have a sibling and most of the kids in my class had 2-3 siblings. Families where typically made up for 4 or more. Now don’t get me wrong some people can only afford, or physically have only one kid I’m not knocking those people. I’m not even really complaining about the people who have kids. I’m simply just shocked about the fact that society has made having multiple kids such a strange and terrible thing. Isn’t it bad enough that we have to battle our own emotions and scrutiny, now we have to worry about being judged in public for our choices of how many kids we chose to have, how close in age they are or how we raise them.

 

So here’s a note to all you mom of multiples (and moms in general).

WAY TO GO!

Sure, sometimes the kids run around in just diapers and eat lunch off a unswept floor. Most nights we go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink and clean laundry crashed out on the couch. Our Pinterest boards are filled with grand ideas that rarely come true and our uniforms are made up of sweat pants, t-shirts and pulled back hair. Life is crazy, messy and always smelly (excuse me I need to go change a diaper or two) but you’re kids are alive. What we see as failed art projects are some of their favorite memories. Laundry piles become like fall leaf piles made for jumping in or clean sheets become tents. Dirty dishes equal picnics on the floors and eating with their hands. Only you see your shortcomings. Your kid sees a mom who’s present. Forget those people who think or look at you like you’re crazy. You know where you were before you’re blessings and you know the cost, effort and love you putting into each one of those precious lives. They are the ones missing out. 6999125ecebd34c879ffa1bea5871081

After paying and loading up my groceries (and kids) into the car, this older lady stopped me in the parking lot.  With her kind eyes she looked at me with compassion and sheer joy.

“I had 9 kids by the time I was 35, doctors told me I would never be able to have one. When that first baby came I knew I wanted more. Such a precious gift to see brothers and sisters experience life together from toddlers to adulthood. It’s hard work but the blessings are worth it. I only wish more women would experience it. Be proud of yourself cause darling you’re a dying breed.”

I got in and started my car, some kid song came on the radio, my 10 month old fussed for a moment till he cooled down and the older 2 started singing as loud as they could and in that moment I didn’t feel guilt, frustration or exhaustion. I just felt refreshed.

Moms are a dying breed, good ones at least. So if you are a mom who’s tired, overwhelmed at the brink of an emotional break down. Be proud and realize if you feel that way, you’re doing something right.

Don’t forget the coffee.


Coffee seems to be on trend right now. I mean people have loved it for years but the word, smell, equipment and hipster vibe that comes with a fancy cup of coffee seems to be all the rave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m amongst the ones obsessed. I’ve even got a shirt to prove it. We consider ourselves coffee snobs, we only by certain beans, roasted a certain way. We also don’t drink K-cup coffee. Unless we are desperate… Very, very desperate. We have a small collection of machines that grind and brew our coffee. Espresso, we’ve even got a fancy pot for that.Most mornings I make a fresh pot of coffee, fix a cup, it probably gets reheated about 4 times through out the morning, then store the remainder of it in a mason jar in the fridge for an ice coffee later in the day. If I don’t have time at home, I have my own special French press pot at work. When we travel, we have a travel pot. Like I said, slightly obsessed. Growing up, my dad alway drank coffee black and my mom preferred cappuccinos. I eventually fell into the trend of Starbucks coffee, until I had kids. 

 If you don’t know much about us then let me inform you of something several have called us crazy for. Our youngest is 10 month old and for the first time in 4 years. I’m not pregnant! That’s right 4 years, 3 babies, one after another. So my life for the past 4 years have been made up with diapers, feeding schedules, Bubble Guppies,sleep deprivation and lots and lots of coffee. It’s not just about chasing toddlers and a now mobile baby. It’s the laundry, job, dishes (oh the dishes) meals and other household things that need to be done in a day. When they sleep, deciding which chore is more important at the time is the biggest struggle. Just staying on task is a huge challenge. I’ve put milk in the pantry, cereal in the fridge, ran the washing machine 4 times in a week along with other mommy mishaps.  Don’t even get me started with “running to the store for a few things” there is no such thing. A simple run to the store turns into an hour or more road trip with 3. It has to be a level 4 necessitiy to merit me loading up and driving to the store with all 3.As moms ( I could be the only one but I feel like I’m not) we spend our days playing chauffeur, chef, maid, sanitation worker and referee amongst other things. Working any form of a job AND being a mom should be classified as 2 full time position. I’m actually even more exhausted just thinking about it.  The background music of our life is some cartoon show our kids watch on loops, alphabet songs and  whines from toddlers who are testing their boundaries. Oh and when one cries…. They all cry.  We spend our days deciding which battles are more important to fight and begging for nap time or bedtime to come soon. 

Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my kids. Before we had our first we had 3 miscarriages. Every day that they wake me up I’m grateful for each and everyone of them. I work hard as a mom to make sure their teeth and hair are brushed, they practice good manners ,they do their chores and attempt to potty train (don’t get me started on that one)  so I’m entitled to one thing right? It obviously can’t be sleep, or even potting in peace most days so just give me the coffee and we will all survive the day. 

I say AAAAALLLLLL of that to convey this funny story.

My 3 year old acts like she should be 30. She knows how I feel about coffee and that it keeps mommy a little bit more sane during the day. The day before we left for vacation I was scrambling to get things packed, cleaned  and ready to go. As I was getting ready to run to the store for a few things she stops me with both hands on her hips, head tilted slightly to the left and we had this exchange. 

Elia: “Momma, where are you doing? You look like a crazy person.” 

Me: “Momma’s gonna go to the store in a little bit. I’m making a list of things we need.” 

Elia: “Oh ok momma. Well don’t forget my juice. Oh and Don’t forget the coffee. We never forget coffee.” 

I started giggling, scooped her up, gave her a big hug and a kiss and thought, she knows me so well. 

“No baby, we never forget coffee.”

It’s a…. cat? 


Yesterday was a rough day. We all have them. My kids seem to all have them on the same day which makes life real fun. It’s like their mood clocks sync up every month. Elia decided listening was overrated, Ally was anti diapers and discipline and Roman’s top two teeth finally decided to make an appearance. So the day was filled with moments of ,what seemed rehearsed, crying or screaming from all 3 kids along with constant questions and I wants. 

It’s easy to mainly see the highlight reels of everyone’s parenting successes in social mefia these days, to feel like where in a mad house world of our own. That was how I was feeling yesterday. Till I realized …. Some days I have kids…. Other days they’re cats… 

About 2 :30, after their nap the kids are all in the living room stretching and waking up when my 2 year old Ally comes into the kitchen where I am. She begins the “mommy I want…. ” plea in which she wanted goldfish. I was doing dishes so my hands were soaked in soap and water so grabbing goldfish quick wasn’t as fast as normal. She hung around my legs, climbed between them and continually asked for goldfish. I wiped my hands walked to the table and filled her little bowl with goldfish. She came running, hopped in her chair and started snacking away. That’s when it hit me….

Now bear with me cause this has the potential to give you a chuckle on your upcoming rough days. I have been chuckling about this epiphany all afternoon. 

Essentially kids are like cats…. I mean really let’s compare. 

Cats are temperamental, sometimes they want to cuddle you, be sweet and calm. Other times they have crazy eyes, run after imaginary objects and swat and hiss at you if you try to cuddle them. 

Unless your cat is exceptionally trained, they use a litter box, that you have to change, often. Basically a giant diaper minus the Disney characters. 
If you sit down to eat or drink anything, cats suddenly want to be on your lap, in your face investigating everything. Or opening food wrappers or bags can bring them from miles away. 

Younger cats especially get surges of energy mostly around at night. This can cause them to run back and forth for no reason. They may find ideas like climbing the Christmas tree, getting on top of the dinner table and playing with the water in the toilet bowl, entertaining at this time. 

I mean really. Even though those statements were things cats do, does it not sound like something your toddler does? Except they say words instead of meow. So if your a new couple, considering having a baby, get a cat. If you and the cat survive the tradition from cute kitten to adult cat, you might just be ready.

Yes it’s true, cats you can legaly kennel, or leave them at home when you run to the store. When they grow up and get fat they have a tendency of being great chill lap companions.Yes it’s true, kids often make days go by fast with their creative imagination. Even on bad days, you often find yourself amazed at the new things they have learned. So their are some differences between cats and kids. 

Then one day while sitting and writing about your crazy kids, your girls will dog pile you in bed, fill your room with laughter and say “good morning mommy, we love you.” So with a now achey back and tear filled eyes, I’ll  hug and kiss them and think to myself, kids are way better then cats.