0

 Saying Goodbye and Grandpa’s Chocolate Cake.

September 24th, my least favorite day of the year. Today marks 5 years since we lost the strongest and most brilliant man I’ve ever known. My Grandpa Jack.

It wasn’t necessarily unexpected, he had been sick for many years; but it was completely unexpected all at the same time.

We weren’t ready. We didn’t have enough time. 

On the last day that I saw him, before he passed away, he had been in the hospital for 11 days (13 total). I was the last one to see him that day.

He was in such bad shape, and could not respond, but I held his hand and said

“I love you so much. I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise. It will be ok.” 

Then I kissed his forehead, and I left. Looking back at him, lying in bed in the dark room, as I did. I didn’t want to leave him, but visiting hours were over, and I really believed it would be ok. He was only 61, he had so much life left to live.

It was a 1.5 hour drive home, and as we exited the freeway, my check engine light came on.

I knew immediately I would have to break my promise and the first thing I said was

“I promised him I would be back tomorrow!”

Jairo told me it would be ok, he would understand. I called my Mom, she reassured me that he was ok and that it was ok, “Grandpa wouldn’t want you driving the car like that anyways.” She was right.  So I stayed home.

I didn’t do much that day, or the next.

I got the call around noon on the 24th. 

I picked up the phone and I could barely understand the words that my mom said.

What?”

“Grandpa is passing.”

Oh no…”

“I love you. I gotta go”

We hung up. Everything stopped and all I could do was cry. I cried for almost 5 minutes and then I realized I had to get there somehow.

I looked at Jairo and said “I have to get to the hospital and I need you to drive.” I never said another word. He got me in the car and we were gone.

My check engine light was on but I knew that my Mom’s other car was at her house. If we could get my car there, I could get her car and make it to the hospital.

Total, this should have taken over 2 hours.

As we drove, I prayed.

Please God. Please let me make it.

Over and over and over again. Until we were outside the hospital. It was barely after 1PM.

It had only taken us one hour to get there. 

Jairo pulled up to the front of the hospital and before the car fully stopped I was out the door and on my way. This is where things got strange for me.

As I walked….actually more like ran….into the hospital, I was no longer carrying my own body. Something greater was guiding me. People talk about out of body experiences, and this is the only way I can explain what happened that day.

I watched myself from above (in my pink tank top and jean shorts) running into the hospital. I took a left through the lobby to the front desk, checked in with the short haired woman in the black cardigan and ran to the elevator. Still praying my simple prayer. I exited the elevator, took a left and headed straight into the unit he was in, (which was a locked unit and I happened to catch the door as someone was leaving). I took a slight right around the central nurses station and was in his room.

He was surrounded my my Mom, My Step Dad, my Brother and one nurse who was monitoring his vitals.

I joined them and grabbed his left hand.

As I touched his hand, he took his last breath and the nurse pronounced time of death. I had just made it.

By the very last seconds.

My world fell apart, and I was no longer watching myself. I was now fully in the room, feeling the world crumble around me. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. My last words to him, now a broken promise. I had never broken a promise to my Grandpa, and we were ending on one. That was all I could think and have thought about for years. 

His last words to me, said just days before will stick with me forever.

“I love you kid. I’m sorry you have to see me so sick.” 

He was sorry?! How could he be sorry?! 

He had been the greatest Grandpa, and he didn’t have to be. He chose to be our Grandpa, to stay with my Grandma through all the fighting and hard times. His love for us never faltered. It only grew stronger every year.

At his funneral I was angry and couldn’t find the streangth to speak; but I wish that I had stood in that church full of people and told them all about the wonderful man he was. I wish that I could go back and brag about how lucky I was to have him. Every.single.day.

The last 5 years have not been easy. Every event is a little less joyous, because he is not there. Every holiday is a little less merry, and every Veteran’s Day has a little more meaning.

But in these 5 years, looking back, I’ve learned to have uncommon gratitude for the events that took place that week. From fighting with a McDonald’s employee and a hospital nurse because they got his food orders wrong (how many times to do you have to say someone doesnt like green jello!?!), to getting dropped from beauty school because I was at the hospital and everything in between. They all served a purpose.

I couldn’t see it then, through the anger and the tears, but I have come to see God’s work in that day.

I was angry that I was not there, and that I didn’t get to say goodbye. With time I have come to rejoice in the fact that God saved me from the pain of seeing his final days, but gave me the ability to be there for his final moment. I may not understand God’s plan fully, but I know that it was his works that day that allowed me to make it to that hospital and to be there to hold his hand.

It didn’t stop there. God has kept working throughout these years, giving me different signs that I am never alone. It has taken almost 5 years, but through this loss my faith as grown.

One of the biggest signs that I have received is my baby girl, who is named after her Great Grandpa Jack…

Jackalynn Lee.

But I will tell you her story some other time, because she deserves her own!

IMG_7418 (2)

Grandpa Jack watched over while Jacky came into the world.

Today, I will leave you with my favorite cake ever made.

My Grandpa’s Chocolate cake. 

Well, to be honest, it’s “Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake” (yes the one on the package of cocoa) topped with Betty Crocker frosting; but to us, it was always Grandpa’s Chocolate cake.

It wasn’t the recipe, it was him. I have tried to make this cake without him and I just haven’t been able to finish it. I buy the ingredients and they just sit there, unused, because it is too hard to make this without him next to me, like I always did.

But this year, I promised myself that I would make that cake! How can I let Jackalynn grow up without Grandpa’s Chocolate cake? I cant.

So, with his love and memory to guide me, (and through a few tears) I made that cake and shared it with my family. I plan to make it a tradition that Jackalynn can help me with. Hopefully it will be the bonding experience, and the opprotunity to tell her where she gets her name from, that I picture. (Fingers crossed!)

I did slightly change it, by making it a round-layered cake. He would have made it in a square pan, with a thick layer of frosting on top. He was a no fuss kind of guy. I have a tendency to make things pretty, but he liked that.

So; Grandpa, here is your (round) chocolate cake. I even sent a piece to Grandma, just for you.

Grandpa’s Chocolate Cake

(Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable order
  • 3 tsp vanilla***
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 jar Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting

*** Grandpa’s Cake uses extra vanilla,
compared to the original recipe.

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prepare desired pan(s) by greasing and lining with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl (I use a stand mixer) combine dry ingredients
  • Add in eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • Stir in boiling water (batter will be runny)
  • Pour strait into prepared pan(s)
  • Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and cool before adding frosting (or it will melt)
  • Frost and Serve with a big glass of milk!

20170922_151457

IMG_20170922_152305_824
20170922_144058

 

 

Advertisements
0

83 Pounds

This. It shouted at me and said “pay attention!”

So I did, and here I am. 

I have always had a lot of body issues. No matter how much I worked out or dieted I still felt “fat”, So much to the point that I would stop working out and stop dieting, because what’s the point if you still feel ugly. Right? 

I can remember the first time I dieted. I was a freshman in high school and I was somewhere between 150-160 pounds. I did the 7 day Cabage soup diet and I lost 12 pounds. I was so excited about my weight loss, I felt so accomplished, but I STILL wasn’t comfortable with my body. 

There would be times when I felt great, and I would think it was just a really good outfit, or my hair looked really good that day. 

I’ve continued to diet off and on over the years, losing less and less each time, and still feeling the same after. 

I’ve developed a deep hate for clothes and clothes shopping because I have such a hard time finding anything that makes me feel good, and have you compared jean sizes lately?? I don’t have 2 pairs of jeans that are the same size in my closet. That’s how much sizes vary by brand. 

One brand you might be a 10 and think “Gee, I’m really doing great!” But then you try on the next pair and need a size 16, and you back-slide right back into the ugly feeling. 

But why does being a size 16 make so many of us uncomfortable, and why do sizes vary so much by brand? 

I don’t have those answers. But what I do have is my story, and I hope that it might help someone struggling with their image. 

I am tall and I always have been. I was taller than my mom by 3rd grade and I am now 5’9″.  Growing up this was a target for kids, along with my big forehead (Which my Mom covered with big fluffy bangs). 

“Hey how’s the weather up there?”

“Can you see us from all the way up there?”

“Jolly Green Giant”

“5 head” 

“You could land a plane on that forehead!” (That last one came from my brother…) 

So body image issues started pretty early for me, and then in 6th grade we moved. 

I went from 6th grade elementary to 6th grade middle school, with no summer transition in between. 

From chasing eachother around the playground, to sitting and eating lunch in a “quad” with no playground, and where boys asked you to Dances. 

From one teacher, 30 of the same friends and the same desk all day; straight to 6 different classes, no desk of your own, and over 120 different faces everyday. It was a lot to handle. Plus, a new house, a new bus route and a hundred other new and uncomfortable situations. The, before 7th grade, they opened a new school, so I got tranfered AGAIN. It started over. New school, new friends, new bus route, new teachers etc. This set me up for failure. 

Not to mention, we moved to a completely new demographic. We moved from a place where pretty much everyone was broke, to a place where everyone spent their weekends and holidays at “the river”. 16 years later, I still have not adjusted to it. (I guess im just not boujee? Haha!) 

Being in this new demographic meant kids had different clothes, they had cellphones and majority of them had stay at home mom’s who picked them up from school. Oh and they charged you for bus passes. Like, A LOT! We moved from a neighborhood where the bus was free, so this became a challenge for us and meant someone had to pick me up. My Step dad worked nights, and was asleep when I got out of school. He was sometimes late picking me up and the school would not let me wait there for him, so I would wait on the corner across the street, in front of a nice house. This was a magnet for negative attention from other kids who would mock me for being on the corner. 

So the kids in this new school had a lot of ammo towards me and I took it all to heart. It was all these kids, against just me.     They must be right, because majority rules, right? 

Wrong

God Rules! 

He made us in his image, the way he wanted us. How can that be anything less than perfect? 

This was a hard lesson for me to learn.

When I got pregnant I was 175lbs. I lost 10 with morning sickness and loss of appetite, but by the end I was up to 248lbs. I had gained 73 lbs, and was told I should gain no more than 20lbs. I felt like a failure. 

When I looked down all I saw was a flab of fat where a beautiful round pregnant belly had been and I would just cry. I felt like it was never going to go away and I tried so hard to love this new body of mine. 

This body had made this beautiful child who I love unconditionally, why couldn’t I love myself the same? I was miserable. 

But I wasn’t just miserable because of my image, physically I felt miserable. My knees and back ached, I tired easily and normal activities were too much for me to handle. 

On top of this unexpected weight gain, I had agreed to be in a wedding just 3 months after giving birth. This meant I had to be Vegas ready for the bachelorette party AND Fit into my bridesmaid dress, in less than 3 months. On a super tight, New mom budget. 

This alone brought on all kinds of body image issues and thats when I really started looking at other women. 

I was going to Las Vegas with a group of 21, beautiful women and I felt like the odd man out. 

I went to Instagram and I searched #postpartum and #postpartumbody 

STOP!!!! DO NOT DO THIS! TRUST ME! 

I was expecting to find other mom’s sharing their honest postpartum journeys, But I was wrong. I found Instagram models with the amazing 6 pack abs-6 months after giving birth and all the amazing “bounce back” images and comparisons; and you know what that did? It made me feel even worse!! I felt like I was failing! 

I again came to that point where “what’s the point” became my go to. 

No matter what I did I felt like a sack of potatoes, so forget it. I was going to have to accept the new me, and get used to it. 

I gave it my all.

I went and spent way more than I wanted to on clothes to fit my new size. It was a struggle, and I don’t even know how many hours I spent, but when I was done I felt somewhat put together. I made it through the Vegas Bachalorette party  (feeling like the super conservative chaperone, instead of the bridesmaid to one of my best friends) and I made it through the Wedding. I felt accomplished, and like I would start feeling good about myself. I didn’t put much thought into weight loss after that even tho at the wedding I was 226lbs. 

I stopped weighing myself, and just started living. We started going to church regularly, and I started to pray for the things that had been hurting me, to be resolved. But I never specified what was hurting me. 

One day, a few months later, My father in law brought home a doctor’s scale from a doctor’s office he had cleaned. 

I jumped on it and was surprised to read “196” I looked at Jairo and insisted it was wrong. It’s broken that’s why they didn’t want it anymore. Surely, it had to be wrong. He went on YouTube, learned how to calibrate it and we tried again. Still, 196. We went to my mom’s house the next day. Her scale is always a few pounds off, but I thought if I had dropped 30lbs, a 2 or 3lb difference wouldn’t matter. I walked in and made a b-line for the bathroom. I pulled out the scale, took off my sandles (as if my paper thin flip flops are really gonna tip the scales) and stepped on.

191!

I just stood there in disbelief. I still could not believe what I was seeing. I weighed myself 3 more times just to be sure, and then ran outside to find Jairo, because you know, witnesses

Over the next week I lost 2 more pounds and decided I should try the cabage soup diet again. In the past I had lost 7-10lbs in a week on this diet. This time I was dedicated like never before, and I only lost 2 lbs. The same amount I would have lost if I hadn’t spent the money and time to do the diet. 

I started to get discouraged again and fall back into the rut I had been in. Then I read a blog post by a friend and fellow blogger Erin, and once again I decided to accept myself and my new body. It had created a beautiful human who loved me unconditionally, I could learn to love it too. 

I stopped dieting and I stopped weighing myself, and again I started losing weight. The smaller shirts and shorts I had recently purchased started to fit big. 

I weighed myself. 181. I continued on. 

Yes, you can argue that I eat less and have less of an appetite now than I did before because I’m a busy Mom, and yes, I run around like crazy some days, but that’s only some days. I’m also a stay at home mom, who let’s admit, gets plenty of down time to sit here and write this novel of a blog post. And when I eat, I can’t admit to always eating the healthiest of foods or getting enough fruits and veggies. I still need help in those areas, plus I rarely take time to “workout”. 

But somehow my body has gone back to my high school weight, 165.5lbs, on it’s own. 

That’s less than I was before pregnancy and I can only explain it one way. 

If  you are not religious, the following may not be for you. 

I truly believe that is the power of God. 

I only realized that this was his mission with me, after a women’s retreat this past weekend. 

A Pastor named Adriana Bradley spoke about her husband’s passing and the loss she had suffered. She was angry and did not want to lose weight because she has lost too much already. But God spoke to her, telling her that she wasn’t losing, she was gaining the body that he had created for her. This is when I realized….

All this time I had thought I was fat, ugly, and needed to be fixed, all the diets and trying to lose weight, never accepting myself for the 165-175lbs I had been. 

Then I gained that 73lbs and started to accept myself for what I was, and thats when the weight fell off. 

When I stopped fighting God’s plan and started accepting it, that is when he showed me that I was perfectly made all along. 

Today, I am down 83lbs, and I look back on high school and even more recent pictures and wonder why I ever felt bad about myself. I look back and think, “Man! I should have eaten a sandwich!”  I think about all the things I could have done if I had accepted and loved myself along time ago. 

Now that I have managed to accept myself and accept God’s plan, I am striving to eat better, live better, and truly care for the body that God has designed for me. 

It is beautiful, It is perfect and it does deserve to be cared for, just the way it He made it. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 

0

Peach Sun Tea 

One day last week, I was having my daily talk with my best friend who mentioned she was making sun tea. 

I love sun tea! 

I happened to have a bowl of homegrown peaches that my father in law had dropped off that morning. They were almost too ripe and needed to be used so I had been trying to figure out something easy to make. 

Since we were in the middle of a heat wave and it was 106, using the oven was not an option. This meant the traditional peach recipes were out the window. No warm peach pie or crispy cobbler with vanilla ice cream. But then a moment of genius struck. 

Peach Sun tea

When I make tea or any type of sweetened drink, I make a simple syrup. 

Simple syrup is just even parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves and then cooled. It is a great way of making sure you don’t end up with un-dissolved sugar in your drinks. 

For this I decided to try the same simple syrup, but with fresh peaches added in. 

To do that, I roughly chopped the peaches off of the pit (leaving the skin and all) and added it to the sugar-water while it heated. Once it came to a boil and the sugar was all dissolved, I covered the pan with a lid and let it sit while I prepared the tea. When it’s done you have 2 cups of peachy pink simple syrup. 

For the tea, I fill a large glass drink dispenser (you can use any glass drink pitcher or container that you have) with water and leave enough room to add the simple syrup (about 2 cups). To this I add 8 Lipton Black tea bags. Cover and find a bright sunny spot to steep your tea. 
Once you find the perfect spot, just leave your tea and let the sun do the rest. 
I like to make sun tea early in the day and let it steep while I do house work. When I’m done, I have a big pitcher of delicious tea to cool off with. 

Once your ready, bring your pitcher inside. Your tea should be nice and dark. 

Before serving, I add in the simple syrup and stir. I serve it over a tall glass full of Ice. I leave the drink dispenser in the fridge to get cold, and serve it straight from there. 

Sun Tea is the perfect refreshing drink for hot summer days and the sweet peaches gave it an even sweeter summer-time kick. 

Peach Sun Tea

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Cook time: 1+hrs 

(depending on strength of tea desired) 

What you’ll need:

  • Glass pitcher or dispenser
  • Sauce pan with lid
  • 1 gallon + 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 peaches (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 8 Lipton Black Tea bags (could also use green tea)
  • A bright sunny spot free of pests 

Directions: 

Peach Simple syrup

  1. Add 1c water and sugar to sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Roughly chop fresh peaches, remove pits and add to sauce pan. 
  3. Stir and bring to a boil. 
  4. Once boiling, cover and remove from heat. 
  5. Steep for 30min – 1hr (longer for stronger peach flavor) 
  6. Strain and store until ready to use

Tea

  1. Fill up pitcher or drink dispenser with water (leave room for simple syrup) 
  2. Add tea bags
  3. Place in sunny spot until desired strength is reached
  4. Add in peach simple syrup and stir. 
  5. Serve over ice
  6. Store in the refrigerator. 

Garnish with fresh mint or basil for an added taste of summer. 

0

365 days.

At this time, 1 year ago, (6/27/2016) I sat on my hospital bed holding my newborn baby (who had just finished treatment for Jaundice) and listening to my delivery doctor talk. At this point in the conversation, she was an adult on a Charlie Brown cartoon , a muffled sound that I couldn’t make out.  She had just gave us the okay to go home that day and all I could think was, “I’m not ready to take her home!” 

I was terrified. 

Up until now, I had been so ready. The room was ready, there were more than enough diapers, wipes, powder, butt cream and burp clothes to bring home triplets. But for some reason as soon as the doctor said “Okay, let’s get you out of here today!”  I wasn’t ready. 

It was 6:30 in the morning, I knew my mom was catching up on sleep so I text her. “We’re going home today! Yay!” 

But that “Yay!” was just to cover how truly terrified I was. 

At that time, Jairo was working two jobs and was only home for about 2 hours a day, and slept during that time. He would have time off from one job for two weeks, but would still be working nights. I had just given birth to a diva who started screaming the moment her mouth was free and had done a lot more screaming in the last 36 hours, and now I had to take her home and be alone every.single.night. 

Nothing prepares you for that feeling. 

You can take as many classes as you want, read as many books, talk to as many experienced mothers as you can, but nothing will prepare you for the moment you give birth to a baby that the whole hospital can hear screaming. 

Now, I was going to take her home, and my neighbors would hear her screaming. Their surely going to think I’m abusing my child. Right? I mean if I had heard this scream, I would only assume the worst. My Mother In Law is going to think I’m a terrible mother because she screams so loud.  I’ll never be able to go anywhere in public with her. 

I sat there and a thousand scenarios played through my head while Jackalynn was, what I thought was breastfeeding, and Jairo was sleeping on the pull put bed. 

When Jairo woke up we talked about going home. We were equally terrified and we agreed it would be best to have family come home with us. So they did. We had dinner and then my mom ended up staying the night with us. Thank God she did because Jackalynn’s first night home was no picture perfect event. 

She went to sleep easily, but then would wake up screaming. I was breastfeeding and didn’t want to use any plastic for atleast 2 weeks. This meant no pacifiers. I kept feeding her. I thought she would latch, but she would always end up screaming a short time later. There was milk on her face, so we were sure she was eating. Finally around 2AM, my mom convinced me to give her a pacifier and she took her to sleep with her for a while. 

The next day we had a doctor’s appointment to check her Jaundice and the levels were back up. She was immediately admitted and we were sent to Palomar Medical Center for treatment. 

When we arrived, the doctor immediately explained to me what caused something like this. 

She wasn’t getting enough milk to flush out the bilirubin because I have flat nipples and she wasn’t latching correctly. 

48 hours I was in the hospital with a screaming child, 6 nurses, 2 doctors and a lactation consultant  saw my child and no one until now realized that I had flat nipples and needed a nipple shield?! (I actually stayed in the hospital an extra day to be able to see an LC before I went home.) 

I’m a new mom, who has never breastfed. How was I to know this? They told me she was latching. So we all thought that I just had a screaming, diva baby. 

I still didnt want to use plastics or formula, I really wanted to give breastfeeding the best chance I could and I didn’t feel that I had done all I could do yet. 

So the nurses brought me a pump and that’s what I did for about 19 hours, the same amount of time it took me to give birth. (For the record, I would rather give birth than pump for 19 hours). 

At the first pump, I pumped 25ml and the nurses were over the moon. Jackalynn drank her very first bottle and I immediately had a different child. My screaming, emotional diva, was a sweet sleepy angel who just wanted to cuddle. I cried, and I cried hard. I cried all night and most of the morning. It was Tuesday and my baby had not had a good meal since she was born on Saturday. My heart shattered and I felt like the worst person ever. 

Wednesday Morning, after a night of pumping, crying, weighing diapers, more crying and no sleep, the LC came to see us. 

She was the nicest woman who really wanted to help. She could see my desire to breastfeed my child and instead of telling me to just give up, She educated and encouraged me to keep going. She spent more than 4 hours with us that day. Just watching Jackalynn feed, talking to me, helping me understand things that my body would need and do, and what Jackalynn would need. She answered all the questions in the world. From what foods I should eat, to how long I should let her feed. Thanks to her, I ended up breastfeeding for 7 months and 28 days. 

Fast forward to 365 days after I sat there terrified to take her home and  I sit here terrified to ever lose her.  

It was a hard first week. Harder than we imagined it would be, but easier than it could have been and we are so grateful for that. That one tough week we had, led to a year of amazing growth and milestones. 

365 days of love and laughter and I wouldn’t change a single moment. 

0

Helmet Update and Giveaway Winner! 

At the start of Jackalynn’s treatment, they told us it would be a total of 7 months, minimum. Jackalynn had other plans. 

At her last appointment on May 9th, Jackalynn measured in at a 4.8% (down from a 6.9% the month before). To remind you, normal head shape measures between 1 and 4. Mike has said he would like too see it down one more percent, but that at this point, when we end treatment is entirely up to us. We have decided to make that her next checkup on the 6th … just under 3 weeks!

That means Jackalynn used her last growth spurt to cut 7 months down to 3! 

I couldn’t be happier or more excited to start seeing my baby’s hair grow everyday, to feel her head on my chest when she hugs me and to smell her scent instead of hard plastic. 

I feel extremely blessed and fortunate for the way this has worked out. Her case of plagieolcephaly was not severe and it did not take long to correct. I know that it could have been far worse or taken years to fix. 

Now, it’s time to stock up on bows, hats and other accessories! Which means I need to find some good shops to….well, shop! 

I love small mom and pop businesses. So, If you know of any great shops for baby accessories, if you make baby accessories or know someone who does, leave me a comment. I’d love to find some great new shops! 

A couple weeks ago I posted a giveaway for a free 6 pack of V8Fusion Energy (sponsored by BzzAgent). 

There was only 1 valid entry, so the winner is Denna Palmer! Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy your case of Pomegrante Blueberry! 

Thank you all for reading and sticking with me. Please follow for more reviews, updates and giveaways! 

-K

1

Being Kind to Mom

With Mothers Day approaching (and Mexican Mothers Day having already passed, we celebrate both in this Family)….

Are you serious?! I just spilled an entire cup of coffee on myself and couch…….

The evidence.

(This is real mom life people!!)

Well anyway…..back to my original post….

With Mother’s Day approaching (my first!), I’ve been thinking a lot. Thinking about my own Mom, other Moms, being a Mom and “Mom Shaming”. 

First of all, why is that last one even a thing?! Why do we shame people at all? 

Especially now. I’ve seen more “Mom Shaming” this week alone, than I have in a long time. And it’s heartbreaking. One particular example that really bothered me, was a friend of mine being judged for being a working Mom. How can anyone judge a Mom for working to provide for her Family? 

Erin is a wonderful Mom, like so many that I know. She works hard to provide for her family, and she expresses her wishes to stay home with her sweet Kennedy all the time. Unfortunately, where we live, it is very hard to make that happen. But an explanation isn’t needed. It’s their life and they will do what they see best for their family. This is their season, and it is no one elses place to tell them how they should be living it. So why do people feel that it’s ok to kick a Mom who is already hard on herself? 

I experience this daily and as a new mom, I know that we question every little thing. 

Are we giving them enough food? Is it the right food? Are their clothes and diapers the right size? Wait, is poop supposed to be that color? Should they be walking already? When do I start teaching her to count? What’s that bump on her face? Why won’t she sleep? Is this the right formula for her?         And on…and on….and on……

And then strangers start to chime in…...

“What’s the helmet for? Does she REALLY need it? Well back in my day…….” Well back in your day, did they teach you respect at all?! 

From friends and family’s houses, to the grocery store and church. Everywhere we go someone is always questioning, then questioning some more, and then throwing in their unsolicited advice. 

Even at church, where we should feel safe and guarded from any ridicule or judgment, I have had more cast upon me than anywhere else. 

“It’s the trendy thing to do now” and “I don’t understand the fad” are among some of the most disheartening things that I have heard from absolute STRANGERS. 

I didn’t chose to put a cranial band on my child because it’s a fad like Kylie Jenners lip injections. I did it because her pediatrician, (the person I trust most and turn to for advice on her overall care) suggested that we have it evaluated. How does that make me a questionable parent? 

If you ask me, your judgment of me, makes you a questionable human being. 

Unless a child is mistreated, than people need to learn to just leave parents alone. Let them navigate the tough road of parenting without your added speed bumps. 

Now on to Moms in general. Where do I even start? 

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to each and every beautiful Momma out there. No matter what your parenting style is, if you’re a stay at home mom, a working mom, a breast feeding mom or a formula mom, you are all amazing! 

We have a tough job as Mom’s

Most days we don’t get to finish a warm cup of coffee or eat a meal before it’s cold. We go days without showers and sometimes forget that we need to pee. We question ourselves all the time and often, a lot of us feel alone. And most of the time, these things go unnoticed by others. 

That Mom you judged at church on Sunday for her wrinkled shirt and frizzy hair, she was up all night with a fussy baby and barely had time or energy to pull a half clean shirt out of the laundry basket in the rush to get to service 15 minutes late. The Mom that you made assumptions and joked about at the grocery store who had perfect hair, makeup done and nice clothes on, isn’t rich with helping hands, she probably got up hours before her family did in order to leave time for herself before the madness began. The Mom who you were rude to for her baby still wearing pajamas, is a single Mom who is working a full time job and going to school. Feeding her baby breakfast and getting to work on time was more important to her than the clothes that the baby was wearing. And by the way, check the diaper bag, chances are there’s a clean outfit or two shoved in there for later.

Before you make assumptions and judge a Mom, take a moment to think about what she could be going through. Before you question her parenting or why her child has a helmet, question how she is doing. Ask her how she is feeling and if she needs anything. If you see her carrying an arm full of bags on one side, and baby on the other, offer her a helping hand, not your unsolicited advice. 

You never know just now much a kind gesture or word, could mean to Mom who feels overwhelmed and alone. Even those of us who have awesome support systems, sometimes feel alone. 

So this week, let’s make an effort to end “Mom Shaming” and let’s start something positive. Let’s Be kind to Moms. Make it a point to get to know another mom, or to tell a Mom how great she is doing. 

Buy your Mom a cup of coffee, and then let her drink it while it’s still hot. 

Let’s start “Mom Sharing” and share stories about the wonderful Moms in our lives! 

Just Be Kind to Mom’s. 

From one stressed out, overwhelmed Mom to another…. You are amazing and no one compares to you! 

Thank you for reading! 

If you like this post, share it for another Mom

Please be sure to give this post a like and follow for weekly updates! 


3

Testing Tuesday V8 V-Fusion Energy 

On this Testing Tuesday, I’m going to tell you about V8 Energy, which I received complimentary, for testing purposes, from BzzAgents. 

(Keep reading for your chance to win a 6 pack for yourself!) 

I was super excited and ready for this bzzkit. 

I am a daily coffee drinker, and own just about every type of coffee making device possible. I really REALLY enjoy coffee. Jairo works night shift and often drinks energy drinks. He tries not to because of the terrible ingredients and health risks of your normal energy drinks. 

We both get busy and lack in fruit and vegetable consumption. We really should eat more fruits and veggies. We know this and it is a daily struggle of ours. So being able to get a full serving of fruits and veggies and energy all in one sounded really great. 

In the bzzkit I received three cans of V8 Energy in; Pomegranate Blueberry, Orange Pineapple and Peach Mango and several high value coupons for even more FREE cans. 

To be completely honest, we were so anxious to try them that we cracked them open and tried them before I remembered to take a photo of my bzzkit. Ooops. Luckily we received 5 coupons which were enough for a free 6 pack, each. So over this testing period, we had the opprotunity to test and share 33 cans of V8 Energy. 

Out of the three flavors we tried, I liked Orange Pineapple the best. Each flavor was delicious and I would purchase each one again.  They actually taste exactly like V8 fusion Juices. 

Now to the facts. 

Every can is 8oz and only 50 calories. It has Zero fat, 12g of Carbs and 10g of Sugar. Which isn’t bad compared to other energy drinks, or my morning cup of coffee. It also has one serving of fruits and vegetables and 80mg of caffeine from green tea. 

We drank these almost every day for over a week. We took them on our day trips, on hikes, to the Zoo and to the Safari Park. We also drank them while hanging out at home. 

While it doesn’t give you the same boost in energy as coffee, or other energy drinks, it definitely has a perky side. I felt more alert, without feeling wired or gittery, and there was no crash. Which is perfect for a busy mom who needs an extra boost throughout the day. 

While I still prefer my coffee as my morning source of energy, I will continue to enjoy V8 Fusion Energy for a mid morning or mid day pick me up. 

I enjoy the steady energy it provides, and that it helps a busy mom still get in the fruits and veggies she needs without unnecessary ingredients. 

The only downside; 

We wish the cans were bigger. 

I have one coupon left, good for a free 6 pack of V8 V-Fusion Energy. I would like to give it to one lucky reader! Follow the rules below for your chance to win! 

Giveaway Rules: 

This giveaway is for ONE Coupon, good towards any size or variety of V8 V-Fusion Energy (Maximum Value $5.25). 

To enter: 

  1. Open to US Residents 18+
  2. Follow Jack and June
  3. Like this post
  4. Comment the flavor you would try

Giveaway will end on Monday, May 15 and winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 16. 

Thank you for reading and Good Luck!