The Best Crockpot Arroz Con Leche Recipe

So, I’ve been on a mission to figure out ways to incorporate milk into my diet this pregnancy. Since I was unaware I was pregnant for almost two months and I was still breastfeeding my son AJ – I was told I could use more dairy and vitamin D in my diet.

One of my all time favorite Spanish deserts is Arroz con leche. I would love coming home to a homemade pot of Arroz con leche when I was a kid, my mom always had a fresh batch for us. So I tested out a few recipes of my own and finally came up with a fool proof, delicious and easy recipe. To make it even easier, its a crockpot recipe so you don’t have to do too much babysitting. You can walk away and do your daily tasks, which in my case is cleaning after my toddler.

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 Cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of white rice
  • 1 stick of cinnamon ( I used 2 tablespoons of cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

-you can add raisins if you desire, I personally do not like them

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot
  2. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. I stirred about every hour or so.
  3. Cook until rice is fully cooked through and milk is thickened into pudding like texture. About 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

Serves about 3 1/2 – 4 cups

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I like to take the rice pudding out at about 2 1/2 hours so that its left like more of a pudding consistency. If you leave it for about 3 hours, it will be a little bit thicker of a consistency. But this may vary depending on your crockpot settings.

There it is, one of the easiest and tastiest arroz con leche recipes! Better than restaurant or store bought! Try it out and leave a comment below!

Till next time!

~G

 

Gloomy Days, Don’t Dull My Sunday Vibes

After a whole week of sunshine, it decided to rain this weekend. Sure, there were moments when the sun peeked through – but my heart was saddened when the sun decided not to make it’s permanent appearance.

When we lived in California, it felt like summertime every day. You start to take the sunshine for granted, now that we’re in Washington – I definitely appreciate the sun more and take advantage when it comes out to show off its rays.

Even though it was particularly gloomy, we still ventured out to get AJ out of the house for a while. Plus, I need to walk the baby bump. I took advantage of the gloom and wore some of my warmer clothes. I do love the fall season, so this outfit made me reminiscent of that beautiful time.

I love rock music, pop rock was the genre of the band that I used to sing in. So this outfit was definitely in reflection to that time in my life when I used to get on stage and sing my little heart out. I say little because I’m 5’1″…and a half!

What I’m wearing:

Black faux leather jacket: Forever 21. Grey stripped long sleeve shirt: Forever 21. Black under tank: Mossimo, Target. Gray fleece lined leggings: TJ Max. Military Boots: TJ Max.

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I had to include some pictures of my son AJ, I think he is a camera natural! Even though lately it’s been really hard to capture photos of him because he doesn’t like to stand still once we let him run free.

What AJ is wearing:
White and grey long sleeve shirt: Cherokee, Target. Caramel Khakis: H&M Kids. Shoes: Grey Checkered Vans.

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Why I Miss My Husband

My husband and I always had an amazing connection. When we first dated, it seemed as if we just couldn’t stay away from each other. After we got married, people would tell us that once we passed that “honeymoon phase” we would start to tire from one another. Well, I can confidently say that we have been together for almost 9 years and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I feel like I long for him more now than ever.

After having a baby, obviously things change. Priorities shift and the baby becomes the center of the love and attention. We went from being a couple that would constantly have date nights to mom and dad – the feeding and poop changing machines. Parents who made their child the ultimate priority and along the way had a little less time to cherish each other.

My son didn’t like sharing the “milk machine” with daddy, he would cry out whenever he saw mommy and daddy sharing a kiss. It didn’t help that we had just moved to Washington a few months before I had my son, he was our first baby and all our family and friends lived in California. This meant I had no help; no one to help me watch the baby, no babysitter, no nothing. My husband sometimes worked 12 hour days so I would always feel guilty asking for his help when he came home so sometimes I just toughed it out. Aside from all the obstacles, we still made it work but forgot about ourselves along the way. No help meant, no more alone time, no more date nights, no indulging in our love for one another.

I started to miss my husband. How he would randomly take me to dinner and a movie. How we would just hold hands everywhere we went. Just simply enjoying one another. We didn’t have that anymore, and we both missed it. I didn’t have time to get gussied up for him anymore. He went from seeing me wear my tight fitting sexy outfits to mostly wearing a uniform of sweat pants and oversized t-shirts, that belonged to him. I didn’t feel sexy anymore, I didn’t feel like ME.

Still, despite of how I started to feel about myself – he still called me sexy. He still told me how beautiful I was every single day, even though I didn’t FEEL beautiful. It was enough to help me keep it together because I still needed him to love me, just like he still needed me to love him.

I started feeling badly because I couldn’t give him the same. But I made it my mission to give him whatever I had left. Whatever energy I had left, when he came home – I made sure he knew I missed him. Every phone call he made to me, I told him how much I appreciated him and how much I loved him. I couldn’t wait till he got home so that I could have a plate ready for him for dinner. With whatever I have left, he will know that I miss him.

I still do my best, and although sometimes I fall short… I know he knows how much I love him. Because a man that can still see beauty in you when you cannot, is a keeper and I treasure him.

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Mommy of 1, Now Mommy of Two!

So, I know I have been missing in action…again! Owning an Etsy shop started consuming my life, aside from the already time consuming 24/7 job I have of being a work at home/ stay at home mother. The past 5 months had become so stressful and I was at the point of a mental breakdown, but I didn’t understand why I had started becoming so overwhelmed so easily.

I had lost my passion for the pieces I was creating, lost sight of why I had started it all. I was snapping at my son because I was so exhausted, sometimes working in to the wee hours of the morning to try and get orders out in a timely manner. All for what I felt was starting to become in vain. I received some negative feedback in my shop which I felt was very unfair, and I took it really to heart because I worked so hard on people’s orders. I thought to myself, why am I neglecting my son for strangers who didn’t appreciate what I was sacrificing? So I decided to take a break from it all.

The negativity had really gotten to me. I felt like a terrible mother who was constantly snapping at her son and not giving him the patience and attention that he deserved.

Then amongst the madness, I received a wonderful surprise.

I was pregnant with baby number 2!!

I received a wonderful blessing during such a trying time in my life, and it gave me so much peace and hope.

So, those are the reasons why I have been “out of the office,” lately. But I have a feeling I will be posting more now that I have so many more experiences to be documenting.

Till next time!

~G

Confessions of a Stay at home Mom

I used to always be aware of time. I’ve always liked to schedule my time to try and get the most out of my day. A typical day for me in the past would start with: getting ready for work, preparing lunch for my husband and I, feeding all my animals, and then off I was to my commute for work. Work from 9-5, off of work, drive to pick up hubby, and off we were on our commute back home. This was very single day, the same routine.  And then there was the weekend. Sounds kind of boring when you have an unfulfilling job and you feel like you’re lacking a purpose.

Now, I am a stay at home mother and although I have finally found the most fulfilling job that gave me a purpose – I still run in to obstacles. In a previous post I went on to describe my experiences with my “fussy baby” and although I love my new job, I can’t help to sometimes feel unappreciated. It seems to me that society really praises women who chose to put their careers before their family. Maybe it’s because not too long ago, women were not allowed to have careers? I mean, more power to you if you are pursuing your dreams – this is not a women’s bashing post what-so-ever, I’m just kind of tired of the misconceptions people have regarding what a stay at home mother really is.

I can remember a conversation I had with a friend a few years back; we were discussing our futures and aspirations. She went on to list off all the possible career choices she was considering and what her dreams were. When it got to me, I had a list too – one that I had put together because people expect these types of answers. But instead I chose to just be honest and say what was in my heart. “I just want to have a family and be a mother.” Well, the response on her face alone shamed me but when she finally uttered the words “that’s it?” I kind of felt embarrassed and went on to list off a few other career choices that were within the major that I was studying.

Now a days, we pay people to watch our children so we can go out to the world and pursue other things; careers. Some people don’t really have much of a choice and for financial reasons, they have to get jobs in order to provide for their families and there is no shame in that. There’s no shame in any of it, but why do I have to be ashamed for what I love to do?

When I was a working woman with a career, I did not find much fulfillment in it but obviously I had to work for financial reasons. I also wanted to make sure I had a strong working record to build a strong resume. All things I have accomplished, but didn’t fulfill me.

I know on most days, it’s hard for me to get through the judgments of other – what I like to call “Mean Moms.” They seem to nit pit at every decision that you make, or one up you every time you think you did something really great for your kid.

I think what’s important is to do what is right for you and your family. Whether that is to stay at home with your child or choosing to work – just own it. And don’t let others make you feel like what you are doing is wrong. No one lives in your shoes; no one knows your fears, your struggles, and your financial situation.

Just keep on rocking that mom life you’re living!

~G

What’s In My Diaper Bag?

Sorry to have been so MIA lately! The demands of running a small business all while being a stay at home mother and over all house slave really puts a time restraint on getting much done these days.

Anyhow, I’ve been through quite a few diaper bags in the short time that I’ve lugged around my little guy. Through trial and error you start to learn what your must haves are when you leave the house and have that “oh crap” moment when you forgot about something you suddenly remembered you left behind. It’s important to have a diaper bag that not only can:

-physically hold up

-has proper functionality for your on the go needs

-has enough space and storage

-is affordable (some diaper bags are ridiculously expensive! Huge downer!)

-must look cute!

So I finally found this gem! The Carter’s Zip Fashion Bag

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I love the cute mint color of its interior, it has two side pockets, a large back pocket, and an ingenious zipper down (detachable) changing pad (pictured below).

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As you can see, it’s not only functional – it’s fashionable and affordable! I purchased mine for about $50 on Amazon and got free shipping because I’m a Prime member. I believe sometimes when on sale, you can find it for $39 – $40. It also has sewed in stroller handles so you can just clip on the stroller handles which literally makes life so much easier!! You can stuff so much inside, here’s a picture of everything I have inside mine:

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Everything inside my bag I consider ESSENTIALS and MUST HAVES whenever leaving the house with my little guy! Not having these = my doom!!

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First, and foremost – the most important item in my diaper bag, my life saver (hence why it’s at the very top of my bag once the zipper is open):

  • My Ergo baby carrier (link is to the one I purchased, which I purchased with the infant insert). I seriously CANNOT leave the house without it. My son AJ hates being in the stroller for too long and prefers to be held/ carried. The Ergo baby carrier is the perfect solution for this. I put him in the stroller until he starts to get fussy and starts to cry, then I strap him in his carrier and he’s good to go until he falls asleep in it.
  • TONS of diapers, because – well, this should be self explanatory. Baby poops, baby poops often, mommy must clean the poop!
  • An extra onesie for the times baby boy poops all over himself or decides its fun to play with food and smear it all over himself

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  • A jacket for those days when its unexpectedly cold or extra breezy.
  • Bib so that baby boy doesn’t ruin the perfectly adorable outfit you put together for him while he’s eating.
  • Wipes pouch full of wipes. For poop, food residue, crumbs, all sorts of messes. Baby wipes cure ALL!
  • AJ’s cute sunglasses I got at Nordstrom’s for $10! They’re a flat blue color that have checkered stems (not sure what these part of the sunglasses are called, but they are the long pieces of the sunglasses that rest on your ears)

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  • Neutrogena Kid’s Sport Sunscreen
  • Honest Company’s Organic Kid’s Sunscreen
  • Earth’s Best Organic baby food pouches. Now, I like to make all of AJ’s food at home, but when I’m on the go and can’t take his homemade food out – I purchase this brand. AJ likes them, they are convenient for when we are on the go, affordable, and most of all ORGANIC. Which is a relief because I don’t have to worry about what is going in to his little body.
  • Disposable baby utensils for when we eat out or go to a restaurant, I don’t have to feed him with my hands or sharp metal utensils that he’s not ready for.
  • Extra pair of socks since he’s notorious for pulling them off and getting them lost. Forget about even trying to get shoes on this kiddo!
  • Mommy stuff: Small perfume bottle and hair ties. Getting myself and AJ ready to go out can be quite a challenge. I always try to remember to get everything he needs, but often forget about myself in the process so I stash a bottle of spray for myself and hair ties in my diaper bag to prevent all the hair pulling.
  • Infant thermometer
  • Baby Orajel – because he ALWAYS seems to be teething
  • A baby nail file

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  • Baby blanket, just in case it gets cold
  • Sun cap, because AJ hates the sun in his eyes
  • Beanie, for that Washington cold weather
  • Pacifier with pacifier clip holder
  • Plum Organics Little Yums Organic Teething Wafers. To calm down that cranky, teething baby all while enjoying a yummy snack! AJ prefers the Spinach, Apple, Kale flavored one. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A PACK!
  • Extra baby bottle to add water or juice to for baby boy.

A few things I also have in the side compartments:

Receiving blanket: when nursing AJ because he gets really sweaty and breastmilk gets everywhere!

A bottle of water for the both of us.

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AJ Photo bombing!

Well, those are my diaper bag essentials and everything I lug around with my little guy. What are your diaper bag essentials? Hope you guys enjoyed my post, leave some love in the comment section below!

Till next time!

-Gisella

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Awkward And Confusing Moments Every First Time Mother Goes Through That No One Prepares You For

There are a lot of things people warn you about when you are expecting your first child: the sleepless nights, colicky babies, the unlimited amounts of diaper changing, etc. But there are a few things that people forget to mention that I don’t think anyone can really prepare you for. Moments that get you when you least expect it which leave you shocked and just a little bit confused.

The First Time Your Baby Pee’s on You

So, you noticed your baby’s diaper is soiled; you start your diaper changing routine. And then out of nowhere – he gets you!! Not just a little bit either, enough that now the mattress is soaked and the sheets need to be thrown in the washer. Total rookie move.

Newborns Scratch Their Faces Off

No one ever warned me that babies scratch at their faces, so when I watched my little guy go to town on his little bitty face – it made me gasp in fear! I bought hand mittens and even used socks on his hands because he got them dirty so quickly. The bad thing about them was that they left his cute little hands smelling like vinegar. Once, I was backed up on laundry so I let his little hands free….BIG MISTAKE! I turn around to the shrieking sounds of my baby (not even a month old yet) pulling his own hair with all his little baby strength in a death grip, right on his soft spot!! He was screaming in pain but I think I was screaming in fear louder than him. When I finally got his grip to loosen, I held him while crying hysterically and giving him little baby kisses. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences as of yet.

The Dreaded Car Seat.

I don’t know what it is about that car seat that makes my kid go bonkers but for the first few months, going anywhere was just dreadful. The look he gives me after he’s finally strapped in, then he sees me get up to go to the front seat – is that of ultimate betrayal. There is nothing more stressful than to hear the cries and screams of your child coming from the backseat of your car and fighting every urge to just stop the car and jump back there to soothe him. If my husband is driving, I will just jump back there mid drive to try and stop the madness.

Poopie Leaks

Always happens at the most inopportune time but you hear it…then you see it. That moment when you’re out in public and your kid poops himself.  Then you realize the poop somehow made its way out of the diaper and in my case – always makes it on to his upper back! How the heck did it even get there???!! I run to the restroom holding my baby like a football and diaper bag in the other hand, use all the wipes and realize…I FORGOT TO PACK THAT EXTRA ONESIE!  -_-

Pretending to be asleep

My son always fights his sleep, as if he’s going to miss out on some secret party he thinks me and his dad are throwing. He’s also a light sleeper so when rocking him to sleep, he sometimes wakes up a little bit earlier than anticipated.  When he does this, I shut my eyes and pretend I’m sleeping in hopes that he will just go back to sleep. I’ll even throw in some fake snoring to make it believable. Sometimes, he buys it and goes back to sleep! It’s the little victories in life!!

Breastfeeding in public

Some women are really good with this concept, for me however I just couldn’t get over my shyness. I didn’t want anyone starring at me while my baby ate, or judging me so I always felt a little awkward when I needed to feed my little guy. Instead, I would go hide somewhere to feed him: the backseat of the car, in the bathrooms at the restaurants we would eat at, etc. I tried nursing covers but they seem to attract more attention and made my little guy hot. I always admired the women who were strong enough to nurse in public and handle public ridicule with boldness and grace.

The Boob Snatching

That awkward moment when you’re having a conversation with someone and your baby  thinks it’s a good idea to pull your shirt down, almost exposing your breasts to the world. You try to stop him but he then thinks it’s funny to go ahead and motorboat you. -_- This is his way of saying, “mommy, I’m hungry – stop talking and give me the boobies!”

Using Your Bra as the Ultimate Holder Keeper

There are a few things that I always need in a case of an emergency but always seem to loose.  However, it seems like there is never enough time to reach for those items due to the excessive crying so out of desperation, I have resorted to stashing them in my bra. These things include:

  1. The Pacifier. In times when the baby just needs to be pacified.
  2. My nipple guard. For nursing and to prevent biting. Because baby boy needs to eat.. NOW!!

You Learn to Eat In Less than 5 Minutes

If you even get time to eat a whole meal, consider yourself lucky! Most of the time, if I have a second to eat – I usually just snatch a snack sized meal that comes from a box or that I can microwave in just a few seconds. Then, when I attempt to eat it – I have to fight the grasps and reaches from my little guy. He usually climbs on my face and uses my hair as rope while he tries to reach for my food. It’s like a modern day baby wrestling match. If I don’t share my food with him, he grunts and smacks my face in protest. I pick my battles and he’s a bit of a bully.

Eww..What’s that smell?

Yea, that’s you. If you even get a chance to take a shower, it better be 3 minutes or less. My little guy hates if I’m not in his sight, so putting him down is something that usually never gets done. I even have to hold him while he sleeps because he wouldn’t have it any other way. If I want a longer shower time, I have to wait for my husband to get home from work and practically beg him to hold the baby while I take a shower. Asking for time to blow dry my hair would be pushing it. As soon as I leave the room, the baby already starts crying! I’ve started to shower with him now, which at least gets me to a happy medium but I feel like it’s not very productive.

Now, these are my top ten but I’m sure there are many other moments I may be leaving out. What are your awkward moments not listed above? Share by posting in the comment box below.

Embracing Living With a Fussy Baby

 

 

AJ was always a bit of a fussy baby. He hated being left on his own and always longed to be held by either myself or his father. He never fell asleep on his own; he wanted to be nursed and preferred to fall asleep in my arms. No matter how hard I tried to break this habit, I had very few successful moments. IF I ever was successful enough to put him down as he fell asleep and not have him wake up as soon as my arms left his little body- when he did wake up, he let me have it!!

If I even left the room, he would scream bloody murder! It was challenging to say the least. The first few weeks we took him home, I didn’t eat or sleep much and showers were a privilege I seldom saw. I figured he would eventually just grow out of it as his independent skills developed however, this has yet to happen.

I found myself very frustrated and wondered what I was doing wrong. Why is he so upset? Does he have colic? Is he teething? He’s too young to be teething, isn’t he?

I went to the pediatrician’s and sought out his advice. Although I was glad to hear that I had a super healthy baby boy, I wasn’t pleased with his advice on how to handle my little one’s attachment to me. His suggestion was to let my baby “cry it out” and to place him on a strict feeding schedule. AJ did nurse every two hours or so, but at times he liked to be nursed more often. This got very difficult for me as I ended up sitting on the couch for most of the day nursing him and then holding him while he slept, as he wouldn’t have it any other way. I started feeling really guilty as others would tell me that I was spoiling my baby and getting him too used to being held. This really bothered me because I wanted to make the best decisions for my child and sometimes the best decisions are the hardest to make. So reluctantly, I made myself have him “cry out.”

It was like slow torture to my soul. Just watching him look up at me with a confused and panicked reaction as to why I had put him down and why I wouldn’t pick him back up. He would squirm around with desperation that broke my heart and sent my soul in agony. I think my hormones were just freaking out, he was so little to be going through so much pain and he would not let down. He cried and screamed, longer and louder. I wanted to pick him up so badly but my husband tried to comfort me and reminded me that it was for his best. I tried to occupy myself as I put groceries away and then started washing the dishes. All the meanwhile I was slamming dishes, boxes, cupboards, anything I got my hands on, in silent protest to let my husband know just how unhappy I was with the situation. My son cried for an hour and going on twenty some odd minutes until I could no longer take it.

As I picked his little body up and wiped away his wet face full of tears, I noticed he was wet and sweaty from all the crying; and hyperventilating. He had stopped crying as soon as I picked him up and put his head down on my shoulder. I held him close and just filled his face with kisses. He was short of breath, wheezing, and trembling. All he wanted was to be nursed. I felt beyond guilty and remorseful for what I had just put him through. I had denied my son my affections and left him hungry just so I could “show him whose boss? It felt wrong.

At our follow up appointment, I had let our pediatrician know how it went and I had let him know how I felt about letting him “cry it out.” He rolled his eyes and said that babies learn to control us and that I needed to teach him that he couldn’t do whatever he wanted to do. My baby wasn’t even 3 months old yet  and was still trying to adjust being outside of the womb. Babies at this stage are still trying to adjust to their new environment. If my child is telling me he’s hungry and asking me to feed him, what sense does it make for me to deny him just because it’s outside of his feeding schedule? If I were hungry and someone told me I couldn’t eat because it wasn’t lunch time, I would tell them to go to hell! So why can’t I feed my child? I was once a child and remember my mother always being there for me. If I was sad, she would console me. If I needed someone there, she was the shoulder to lean on and always embraced me. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know how lost I would be.

Now, I am a new parent and am still learning every day. After a while you start to learn when your kid is crying because they need something or when they are crying just to fuss. If I need to cook a meal for my family and sit my baby in his swing in the kitchen with me and he’s crying because I wont pick him up – I have to let him cry a little. He does need to learn that these are the things that mom needs to get done. He still cries and has a fit, some days he is okay as long as I keep interacting with him. It varies and again, is very challenging at times. I have also put him in his baby carrier and have “worn” him with me but he absolutely hates it. But I do not want to just leave him in his crib alone in his room to let him just cry on his own and leave him to feel like he is being punished. He is still growing and developing and I don’t want him to learn that sleeping on his own is a punishment and I also don’t want him to feel like he is on his own. We are a family and we are going to work through his together.I want him to feel loved even when he knows I am not happy with his behavior.

The “cry it out” method may very well work for some parents –  I just don’t believe it is right for me and my child. I believe that all people are different, so why does this exclude children? Some children require more attention than others, while other children may be more independent. I think for effective parenting however,  you have to learn to adapt to each situation and give each individual child what they need. Some may need more reassurance, others may not but your have to be sensitive to each individuals needs and not just think that one method is going to work for all different types of personalities. I feel that if you have a hyper sensitive child, leaving them alone in a room in that manner will leave them feeling abandoned and punished. Now, I am not an expert of any sort, this is just my “educated” opinion that I have gathered through my experiences with a high needs child. I in no way wrote this to offend or pass judgement on others but simply wrote this post in efforts to offer support for other that may be in the same situation and just express my experiences.

Once you stop worrying about other’s opinions regarding your parenting, that’s when you really start to give your child what they need. Your child needs for you to love them with no boundaries and without a check list telling you what is appropriate for them. After all, every child is different – all their personalities differ. There is no right answer, no miracle cure for a “high needs” child. You just learn to adjust and love them for who they are, and who they are is just beautiful. I believe that God makes no mistakes and He wouldn’t have blessed me with AJ if I couldn’t handle being his mother. So for the rest of his life, I will love him unconditionally and guide him to the best of my abilities. Most importantly, I will be there when he needs me, whenever he needs me. You see, he will only need 100% of my attention for so long. I know there will be a day when my little guy outgrows wanting to fall asleep in his mommy’s arms, and even though meeting his demands can be really challenging at times – knowing that all he wants is to just be held by me makes everything worth it. The sleepless nights, the walking on egg shells, the crying. He just wants to be held by his momma, and I’m lucky enough to be his momma. One day, he won’t need me that way and my arms, although rested, will be empty and my heart will long for the time when all he wanted was his mommy’s embrace. So I will soak up all his love and snuggles and hold on, until he lets go….

 

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Staying Golden In The Evergreen State (First Blog!!!)

If you had told me two years ago that I would be relocating to beautiful state of Washington from Southern California, to say the least I would not have believed you. If you had told me that I would be 7 months pregnant during this relocation, I would have told you that you were completely bonkers! But that is what happened! Unexpectedly, my husband had to make a career move that would send us on our way to a new adventure through the Pacific North West!

When my husband first left, I was 5 months pregnant and had to stay in our Southern California home for two months while he got our situation settled. During this time, I still went to work full time and managed a heavy commute of about an hour and fifteen minutes (there and back)! I had a really rough pregnancy, which made things pretty complicated for me. For the first, I want to say 4-5 months of pregnancy – I couldn’t keep anything down. I could barely indulge in a crisp cup of water without hurling. Then when the 5 month mark came around, I suffered from dizzy spells that left me pretty concerned, especially because I had to tackle such a tough commute. I eventually had to stay with my parents for this period of time. They thankfully lived only 3 minutes away from my job which allowed more rest for me. For the normal person, this would seem like the ideal situation however I was a fur mommy to 4 dogs and a bunny rabbit. Yes, I am one of those people. So I had to still travel back and forth to make sure they were taken care of.

Anyway, when my husband finally came for me I was thrilled. My husband and I have a really strong bond – ever since I had met him, he just understood me in a way that no one else could. Not to get all sappy, but I love him with all my heart and soul. He is my best friend and someone I always lean on when times get rough. So when we were apart for two months – it weighed heavily on the both of us.

As we drove through California and onto Oregon in the big Budget truck we rented, we pondered upon this new chapter in our lives and wondered about all the new things that were to come. I had never seen so many beautiful trees and greenery; it was like a beautiful movie that we were experiencing. Although I was excited, I knew I would miss my family and friends back in California. I hadn’t lived anywhere else but SoCal for the majority of my life. I was born in Peru and moved to the United States as a toddler, so all I really knew was the San Fernando Valley. Even though I knew I would miss them, I had always dreamed about raising my children in a place where you get a full autumn and get to experience all the gorgeous seasons.

17 plus hours later, we had finally made it! Excitement and joy filled my body as we drove through what seemed to me to be an enchanted place filled with gigantic looking Christmas trees! Who doesn’t love Christmas all year long? It was like watching the movie Twilight, only without the bad acting and make believe characters and all.

There started our great adventure to the new beginning of our lives.

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