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Books, Life, love, Me

Books, books, and more books!

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read! The first book I remember being a favorite was Rupert Gets Glasses! I’m pretty sure I had it memorized, because my mom read it so much!

Then I remember getting into The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley books! Oh my goodness did I LOVE them! Then my reading matured and I would steal my mom’s Danielle Steel or V.C. Andrews books! I remember trying to read Gone With The Wind when I was 12. I couldn’t get through it. I did finally read the whole thing in my 20s.

These days I find myself exploring a little more with different authors, but as far as my shelves are concerned they are FULL of Nora Roberts and Kristan Higgins. I impatiently wait for each of their new books to be released. In between these times, I can be found looking at garage sales. Which is one of the best places to find deals!

With all that being said, I come from a long line of readers! My grandpa always seems to have a book on the table next to him. My mom is the same way. If she doesn’t have an actual books to hold and read, she’s got one on her kindle! I always have a book next to my chair or bed. I hope that the love of reading continues through my son. I will catch him grabbing his books from his shelf and sitting to flip through them. He doesn’t always want us to read them to him, but the fact that it’s his go to warms my heart.

Because I do love to read, and I want my son to have that love as well, I started selling Usborne Books and More. Having access to all these books will give my son such an advantage in life. I truly believe in spreading literacy and opening new worlds for kids. These books have done wonders for friend’s kids that have had trouble reading or dislike to read. I’ve had home schooling parents buy these books to supplement their curriculum.

So when I say I love to read I’m not kidding!

What was your favorite books as a kid? Do you have any favorites now? Did you have a book that changed your life? I would love to hear about it!

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Life, Me, Postpartum

What my pp anxiety is like…

After having R, I expected to be exhausted; physically and mentally. What I didn’t expect was the excessive amount of anxiety. Now I had anxiety starting in my teens, but I never imagined it would become much worse with pregnancy and birth.

I didn’t feel depressed at all, but I definitely felt like something was off. I didn’t understand why I felt like I did. I constantly felt on edge and worried. It took me months, and lots of reading, to figure out that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. I felt ashamed that I was feeling so overwhelmed, and that I was failing at being a mom. I just tried to push through it.

Anxiety is a problem when it surpasses reality. If you’re dreading everyday situation. For example: I had a hard time driving with R in the car.

Some of the symptoms I personally have are:

  • Hovering
  • Making sure he is breathing during naps
  • Co-slept for peace of mind
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Physical tension
  • No appetite
  • Shaking hands
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Unable to focus
  • Poor memory
  • Always feeling like something bad is going to happen
  • Constant worrying

For me, the worry that surrounds the well being of not only R, but my husband and myself. Worrying that something might happen to my husband while driving or at work. Worry that something will happen to both of us and leave R alone. I wanted to have a second baby soon just so that if something did happen to us, they would have each other. This would make me so emotional I would cry! The worry really messes you up.

Always feeling like something bad is going to happen is just as crippling. The first time I really experienced this aspect was when my husband and I talked about whether I was going back to work or not. I had never felt so sick, and, oh my gosh, the crying! It was awful. I didn’t want to be away from R. I thought something would happen if I wasn’t around. I actually still feel like this. I remember being sick to my stomach and starting to shake when my husband was holding R while standing by a staircase. Going to any body of water stresses me out even though it’s one of my favorite things to do. We have a rock mantle in our house and I fear he will crack his head open as he toddles around. These are only a few examples!

I understand how irrational these thoughts are. Now knowing what I do about having PPA; I am slowly taking steps to help me deal. I am not wanting to take medication for my anxiety so I have been finding ways to manage things without.

I do:

  • Exercise for 30 min (usually walks)
  • I work on my bullet journal
  • I work on my blog
  • I work my UBAM business
  • I take vitamin D
  • I clean
  • I try for at least 7 hours of sleep

Sometimes just stepping away from everything, gives me a chance to relax for a minute. While I feel guilty for stepping away I know it’s best for both me and my family.

#coffee, Books, Life, love, Me

Clearing Your Mental Clutter

I usually write my thoughts out in these blog posts so I don’t personally have a journal, but I have had them when I was younger. After doing some research for this post, I may have to get back into it though!

I usually have a very hard time putting my thoughts into words, but if I can write it all out, everything seems to flow better. It tends to help me understand, and fully experience, any of my intense emotional moods, which I have a lot of! It is also a great form of therapy and provides emotional release from those moods!

With that being said, we all have good and bad days. We all have days we can’t wait to share with everyone, and we all have days where we want to close ourselves off from the world. No matter the type of day you’re having; writing in a journal everyday has major benefits.

A few of the benefits I found are:

  • Give you some alone time
  • Leaves a legacy/records life history
  • Can look back on your progress
  • Get to know yourself better
  • Elevate stress/depression/anxiety
  • Boosts mood
  • Clarify thoughts and feelings
  • A way to meditate
  • Helps achieve goals
  • Improves communication skills
  • Helps to heal emotionally/psychologically
  • Sparks creativity
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Helps to detach and let go of the past

Do you journal? Do you journal everyday or just occasionally? Have you noticed any benefits to yourself?

Life, love, Me

A bit mushy, a bit personal 💙

I thought I might give a little more of an insight to me. I’m not great with being vulnerable, but I’m slowly learning that sometimes we need to be. It’s good for us!

I was in a relationship a few years ago, and it was less than ideal. He was a narcissist. If you’ve ever been involved with a narcissist, you know how awful it is. In true fashion, he didn’t know (think) what he was doing was wrong.

There were many times when I thought he was cheating on me, but he always told me I was crazy! If we had any arguments, he would just walk out. He never physically did anything to me, but he was very good at verbal and mental/emotional abuse. He could be very sweet and then flip a switch to be the opposite. I knew this wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know how to change it.

I found this picture created by @narcissist_free that describes my situation pretty perfectly.

Move forward a few years later. I thought I was ready to be open to the possibility of a serious relationship. I figured it would happen when it was suppose to. I wasn’t actively looking for a guy to date. Then my now husband walked into my life and I was a goner!

I knew from day 1 that I would marry him one day! Even with that knowing, I still had a very hard time with past instances popping up in my thoughts:

“Would I be good enough?”

“Would he cheat too? “

“Maybe I am crazy!”

“What if he leaves me too?”

Trying to move past these thoughts wasn’t easy. I had to be open with P about the thoughts going on in my head. You know what? He didn’t judge me for it! He was reassuring and amazingly awesome about everything. He has shown me nothing but love and support. Such a huge change from that other relationship.

If I had kept letting the past get to me, I was never going to be able to move forward. I do know that if I had not gone through what I did, I would not be able to appreciate P like I do. He is my rainbow after the storm!♥️

#coffee, Books, Life, Me, Postpartum

Self care is so important!

There is no doubt that we love our families! We love our husbands, children, pets, etc. we would do everything in our power to make sure they are taken care of. So why wouldn’t we do that for ourselves? We are important too, right?

If you’re anything like me, you probably feel like taking a few minutes to yourself each day is selfish. This is my family, I need to do this and that for them. But, what about you? Who takes care of you?

Picture you have a watering can and are watering your flowers. You had to fill this can with water in order to pour it in the pita to nourish your flowers. What do you do when the water runs out? You refill it right? Because you can’t water your flowers from an empty watering can. The same goes for us as well. We can’t keep giving and giving without replenishing ourselves. So taking a little time to recharge is not only great for you, but it’s amazing for your family.

Recharging allows you to come back to your husband and kids ready to go again! You are happier and they in turn are happier! It’s truly a win/win for everyone involved.

If you need some ideas. Here is a list of a few things you can do for self care:

  • Listen to music
  • Write in a journal
  • Have a drink (tea, cocoa, alcohol, etc)
  • Hang out with a friend
  • Color
  • Go for a walk, run, hike, to the gym
  • Bath with bubbles
  • Read a book
  • Go fishing
  • Mani/pedi
  • Shopping alone
  • Meditate
  • Take a nap

Sometimes we do have to schedule in time for ourselves. Talk with your spouse about setting aside time or set up a babysitter and take care of you for a little bit. You will definitely feel better in the long run, and your family will thank you!

What do you do for self care?

#coffee, Diet/Foods, Life, Me, Postpartum

When coffee helps you do this thing called life ♥️

Coffee!!! Oh what can I say about you and the love I have for you! When mornings are not my thing, and I really need to function, you are there for me!

I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but anyone that knows me knows I’m not a morning person, and that I need my caffeine to function! With R just starting to sleep through the night, it’s been one sleep deprived year for me and my hubby! When that first hot sip hits, oh man, it’s wonderful! It’s like the fog clears from my brain and I can think clearly!

I’m not really picky in the form that my coffee comes in; hot, iced, cold brew, etc. I will drink it black if I have to, but ideally I love a coffee with a couple stevia packets and heavy whipping cream. With having a cane sugar allergy it has really cut down the way I drink my coffees. I do, however, indulge some days and just deal with the consequences!

Some friends of ours just opened a café, and it makes me wish we lived closer to them! I would love to support them in this adventure while succumbing to my coffee addiction! If you are in the Hood River area or passing through, you should definitely stop in! Freerider Café is the place to be!

If you love coffee as much as I do, and would like to try their brand out, just click here Post Canyon Roasters and place an order! (No I don’t make anything off you clicking/ordering) I do believe my absolute favorite of their roasts is Dirt Surfer! If you have tried their roasts , please take a moment to let us know which kind and what you thought!!!

Cheers!

Baby, Postpartum

Co-sleeping… is it right for you and your family?

As a momma that struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, we co-slept. I realize that this is not for everyone, and that there is a lot of controversy on the subject.

For me, it was not only being able to get some much needed sleep, but it also helped keep some of my anxiety at bay. With R in bed with us; I was able to nurse him right away if he woke, I could calm the little phases of night terrors we went through, and I was able to make sure he was breathing. This was a huge thing for me. I, like all parents I’m sure, had the fear of SIDS. It was almost a paralyzing fear. So as much as I thought I would never co-sleep; I also thought I wouldn’t have PPD either.

I asked a few friends about their thoughts and struggles with co-sleeping:

💛When switching to T sleeping in his bed, there is more space, but I can’t sleep as well without him.

💛I always have them start out in their own beds. A big pro for me is that I can get close to a good night sleep. I can feed the baby and snooze. If I’m still awake when she is done feeding then I put her in the bassinet. A con is that when the baby starts to roll, they can roll out of bed. Another con is that your partner could roll over on them in the night.

💛I did co sleep for 4 months then after that no more. I wanted to have that time with my hubby again. Little kidos can wear on the hubby too. I have talked to other guys that say they miss their wives, but yet love their kidos. Co sleeping is great. But I’m selfish and want my room to be my oasis and break for me also. And a place where hubs and I can just be us no kidos. Even now the kids don’t bother us unless it’s an emergency lol. It’s usually our only spot to talk in quiet or just sit in silence, sorta!

💛I have a love/hate with co sleeping! I love that he’s next to me and when he’s not feeling well I can easily check on him causing my anxiety to go down. I love that when he wants a bottle or a fresh diaper I just have to roll over to give it to him. I love the snuggles. I hate not having my bed to my husband and myself. There’s not a lot of room to move while I’m asleep and I hate being woken to a head butt or kick! And I hate not being able to snuggle with my husband!!

💛We were told right off the bat that co sleeping is not recommended haha but we didn’t listen. I researched it a bunch because being a new parent I was clueless, and at the same time I did it out of necessity for me because I was sooo tired, so would let him nurse laying next to me so I could sleep- that was basically it. My husband loved him sleeping with us , even though I was super nervous at first because I thought I’d suffocate him 🙈🙈 I feel like he woke up way too often and he still wasn’t sleeping very well through the night at like 2-3 months, he would just use me as a pacifier and I couldn’t sleep and then my shoulder got all jacked up because of the weird position. But it turns out he wasn’t eating enough, he was always hungry, go figure. So once the doc talked to us about that and we started supplementing with formula then he literally slept like a baby. No one taught me anything about breastfeeding so I didnt drain each time to keep producing enough milk (but that’s a whole different story 🤷🏼‍♀️) he slept with us until end of last year when I finally started training him to sleep in his own bed, although he still gets up every once and a while and crawls in with us, which is fine. If it wasn’t for me sleep training him now though my husband would let him and even the babies sleep with us until they’re 18 😂🙈🙈 but I like my space and my sleep. lol I do think that co sleeping helped us bond more and made sure he was comfortable and loved. I think that when the twins get a little older and bigger they will probably sleep with us, and I’m ok with that because I want them to feel the same comfort that G felt with all of that. Obviously there are circumstances where a tragedy happens with co sleeping but I’m pretty sure the parents were just idiots and there’s a lot more to the stories than what we hear- like they were drinking and passed out on the kid. as a mom I’ve been way too paranoid from day one about waking up to every sound to make sure that all my kids are ok, and that’s just instinct. I never thought I’d be this person hahaha life is crazy.

I don’t feel there is a right or wrong answer to co-sleeping, but I hope that if you choose to co-sleep, that you take extra measures to be safe.