Monday, July 29, 2013

The Toddler Walk

Lately I have taken notice of Little C's walk. I am seriously in love with it and could follow behind him for miles never tiring of my little dude's saunter. 

His head is always held high. He exudes confidence and seems so proud. Proud of what? As his mom I can name a number of things he could be proud of but I assume by the way he carries himself, he's simply proud to be strolling along to whatever destination he's set for himself at the time.

His shoulders are relaxed and if he isn't carrying something in his arms, those two little limbs are swaying back and forth with lively vigor!

His toddler gait is slightly bouncy and sure-footed. His head is on a constant swivel as he takes in all of the surrounding sights and sounds. My son must know what everything is. We aren't quite on a "why?" streak just yet but more of a "what is that?" streak. He notices everything, and I mean EVERYTHING while he is out in the world. Whether it's a giant big rig barreling down the street or a tiny ant crawling along the sidewalk... Little C will notice it. 

As he walks, the boy also talks... And talks... And talks. Always friendly with people he meets and even when they want nothing to do with him he will still offer a booming, "HI!" to whomever walks by. If you are so generous to stop and engage in conversation with our little toddler then you never know what you may get! Perhaps he will want to show you the robot on his shirt, tell you that his hair is brown, or announce that he goes to swim class with his Dadeo

The conversation is short and sweet and after a simple wave and a loud, "BYE!" he is once again on his merry way walking to his next point of interest. 

The "toddler walk" kills me! Could you imagine if we all walked around with such confidence, inquisitive spirit and friendly demeanor? It would be a much happier world out there indeed. 

Walk on, Little C!

Monday, July 22, 2013

What to Expect: When breastfeeding finally clicks

Recently I was asked to provide a guest post for the Word of Mom section on the popular website, What to Expect. I was so excited for this opportunity and was ready to provide them with something really profound and brilliant. So I sat down at my computer and... nothing happened.

Writer's block. What was I going to share about pregnancy, labor, toddlerhood, etc? So many things with potential but nothing was "speaking" to me.

Until one amazing day on a weekend...

I was rocking baby P-Nut and nursing her to sleep. I looked down at her and my heart swelled at least 10 times its size and tears welled up in my eyes. It hit me... I love breastfeeding. Love it.

Who am I? How and when did this happen? I don't know for sure but I do know that my struggles and my commitment to sticking with it really paid off. She is not exclusively breastfed and we supplement with formula which is a-okay. She is given a bottle all week during the day at daycare and that is just dandy. But on the evenings and on the weekends, I get to hold her and nurse her to both of our hearts content.

I didn't get it at first, I wasn't in love with even the idea let alone the act of breastfeeding. It wasn't comfortable and it was painful, both physically and emotionally. But I broke through to the other side and now I get all "verklempt" and weepy when I even think about stopping. Pumping, on the other hand, I could stop tomorrow and be okay with it. But alas I have to keep it up if I want to have any shred of supply for P-Nut to nurse from. (le sigh)

So I thought I'd share with moms out there how this was not a natural progression for me. It was work. It is natural NOW but it sure wasn't at first. I hope that a new mom struggling with the idea and then the act of breastfeeding might relate and I can encourage her to stick with it. However, the most important thing is to do what is best for you and your baby and the answer to "what is best" looks and feels different for each of us. Remember, motherhood/parenthood is not one size fits all.

I hope you like this post. Click on over and check it out!

Oh, and Mama? You're doing a great job! ;)

Friday, July 19, 2013


My good friend K alerted me to a new parenting trend that I am going to adopt ASAP. Simply put, the CTFD method of parenting translates to: Calm The Fuck Down!

You can read more about that here:

This is going to be my new mantra. For the reals. And not just for parenting...

I am as guilty as they come for getting worked up and stressed out over any number of things related to parenting and life in general. I know a lot of it is a hard-wired part of my character and I have come to accept that "I am the way I am." I am not good at letting things roll off my back and curve balls always throw me for a loop.

I've tried and tried in earnest to change this about me but now I'm starting to wonder, why? Why do I need to change who I am and fight against it? I do envy other people, women and moms, who can take a "meh. Just is what it is" approach to parenting and life in general. I sincerely wish I could be like that but truth is... I'm not.

I am sensitive. Vulnerability scares me. I care so much about all. the. things. I bend for others. I am nice to possibly a default. I want to see the good in people and I am naive to the fact that sometimes it isn't there. I try really, really hard... all the time, at most things and I get really, really defeated when these "things" don't work out.

As you can see I'm setting myself up for feeling like a failure most of the time. Even when I haven't really "failed" at anything it just feels that way. Now here's the thing... I can't change who I am. Try as I might, I can never be a "meh. Just is what it is" kind of gal. Or can I????

I am sensitive. So what?!? Just is what it is.

I care so much about all. the. things. - meh. Just is what it is.

I bend, I'm nice, and I try really, really hard at "things" - That's just the way I am, take it or leave it.

What I can change about myself is the ability to CALM THE FUCK DOWN! I can still care and be sensitive but I don't need to blow a gasket over every silly little insignificant thing. I may get thrown a curve ball and I am allowed to let it bother me but there isn't anything I can do about it so once the initial shock is over, CALM THE FUCK DOWN!

Yesterday I cried on the phone to my friend K and whined and complained and stressed and acted a damn fool over something that I had no business doing any of those things over. It was something I'm passionate about and the concerns in my heart are valid but seriously, if I had just calmed the fuck down and took a moment to look at the big picture I would have not needed to get so worked up.

This new mantra of mine can be applied to so many areas... My marriage, motherhood, my work, and just freaking life! I'm feeling great about it already and I like the fact that I don't have to force myself to be something I'm not. I just have to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, breathe, and let things WORK THE FUCK OUT!



How about you? Are good at letting things roll off your back? Do you need a reminder to CTFD?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mama and Baby Update - Month 6

Shut the front door!! Half the year is over?!?!?!? How? When? I can't believe sweet baby P-Nut is 6 months old already. It seriously blows my mind.

This last month we had Father's day which was awesome. These two seriously love each other fiercely and this photo makes my mama heart melt.

P-Nut has started sitting up all by herself which has literally opened a whole new world for her and, quite honestly, for all of us. She can interact more with brother which they both really enjoy and we can do more with her instead of just plopping her into the Bumbo.

We've taken her swimming a couple of times which she really seemed to enjoy. But why wouldn't she? She is seriously the most calm and easy-going baby ever. We really lucked out!

P-Nut made it very clear to us one day that her daily bottles were no longer going to cut the mustard when it came to her being satisfied. So we started simply with rice cereal and she really liked it. It took her a few attempts to grasp the idea of the spoon but once she did... Look out!

After the rice cereal we made the decision to stray from the typical spoon-feeding method of introducing solids and instead subscribe to the Baby-Led Weaning method. It has been going great so far and we've let her gnaw on the following:
  • green, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper sticks
  • apple slices (raw)
  • carrots (steamed)
  • broccoli (steamed)
We've mashed up the following foods for her to use her hands to feed herself:
  • avocado
  • banana
  • sweet potato (baked)
  • eggs (scrambled)
  • blueberries
We only give her a little bit at a time and we do it at dinnertime with the rest of the family during the week and at breakfast, lunch and dinner on the weekends. She only gets a little bit and we don't give her more than two items at a time. We try to mix it up so she gets a stick and some "mash" at each feeding. We've also let her have Mum-Mums and frozen mangos or peaches in the mesh "teething thingy" pictured above. So far we really like this method and it saves us so much time in the evenings and it is nice that all four of us can sit down and eat dinner together.

P-Nut had her 6 month doctor visit and she is 50th percentile all across the board. I've mentioned before that she is a quiet little thing. She started blowing raspberries which is stinking adorable and she will make noise on occasion but she is not making any single syllables yet or blabbering up a storm. She can get very loud when she wants but I feel that she chooses to stay quiet. 

Her eyes are officially blue with a hint of green around her pupils. Her hair (what little she has) appears to be growing in much lighter than what she was born with.  

Mama Update:

The biggest thing for me has been going back and forth in my mind on when I want to stop nursing and pumping. I am still plugging along but it is a great stress in my life... the pumping more than the nursing. Weekday mornings are becoming increasingly difficult as P-Nut has started to wake up earlier than she used to so having both kids awake while trying to pump with Hubs and I are both trying to get out the door is a struggle some days. 

I still pump on my lunch break and again before bed. Those pumping sessions are so much easier because there are no babies and my time is just mine. And for some reason it now takes FOR-EV-ER for my milk to let down so I each session lasts for a MINIMUM of 45 minutes! Grrr.

On top of that  my supply has decreased so much that two out of the five daily bottles P-Nut gets are breast milk. The rest is formula. I am mostly keeping up with this because I enjoy nursing her when I can and I want there to be something there for her when we get the opportunity. 

So that's it for this past month. My baby girl is a complete delight and I am beyond grateful for her health and her calm, sweet disposition. 

Happy 6 months P-Nuckle!!!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Will My Negative Self-Talk Impact My Son's Self-Esteem?

(photo credit)
Today I'm over at Mile High Mamas talking about how I can be a good role model for Little C regarding body image and self-confidence, in addition to P-Nut. I realized that I had been putting more emphasis on being a good role model for my daughter than I was for my son.

When I came to this realization I felt a bit silly. Why didn't I think of my son? Isn't he going to need me to be a good role model for him as well? There is probably a good deal of research that would explain why I put the focus solely on my daughter at first.

It would be fascinating to me to learn why some of us innately treat our girls differently than our boys. It isn't always intentional and I certainly don't want to favor one gender more than the other with important topics like self-confidence. This concept is something I think I'm going to look into a bit more...

But, I digress.

Today I pose the question to Mamas out there, how do you think your own body image issues and self-confidence impacts our boys? I'd love to hear what you think about the topic!

Click here and head over to the discussion...  

Monday, July 15, 2013

NatureBox Review and Giveaway! {WINNER}

Congratulations to Barbie! You are the lucky winner of a FREE discovery box of snacks from NatureBox! Please email me at myfullthymelife{at}gmail{dot}com and I will get you set up. 

When Molly with NatureBox asked me to review a discovery box of their delicious snacks, I was 9 months pregnant and quickly said, "Hells-to-the-Yeah!"

I shoveled each and every snack ravenously into my pie hole and then failed to do my review because, you know, I went into labor. WOMP.

So here we are 7 months later (sorry, Molly!) and I'm now ready to share my love for all things NatureBox!

NatureBox is a subscription service which offers the ability to discover and enjoy healthy snacks on a monthly basis. Their products are made from wholesome ingredients and abide by strict quality standards:

  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • No partially hydrogenated oils
  • No trans fats
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors
The first box is packed with a surprise "discovery" selection of the most popular products and you get to choose your snacks for subsequent boxes.

You can click here to visit their website and learn more about the variety of boxes offered. The sample I was provided with was called the Summer Celebration and included:
South Pacific Plantains
  • Tart & Tangy Fruit Medley - Dried cranberries and dried apple bits. These were delicious and 2 year old Little C LOVED them!
  • Cherry Crumble Granola - This is a soft baked granola so it isn't crunchy like you may be used to. It was so flavorful and the dried cherries were soft, tart and perfect!
  • South Pacific Plantains - These were by far my favorite snack in the bunch. They were crispy, salty and had a hint of sweetness. So stinking good!
Mango Almond Bites
  • Mango Almond Bites - These were hearty but not in a way that weighs you down. They were good in the sense that you could have a few and be satisfied for a while. You would think by looking at them that they'd be hard and crispy but they were actually really light and pleasant to bite into. I hate when things are super sticky and too crunchy and will stick to your teeth, these were not that way.
  • Tuscan Summer Mix - This was a medley of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit spiced with savory Italian seasonings. This was probably my second favorite of the bunch and I put them on salads or just had handfuls on its own. Flippin' delish!

Overall I was very impressed. The resealable packages the snacks came in were convenient to throw in my work bag, diaper bag, etc. The variety of salty, sweet and savory snacks can please any palette and each snack truly was delicious.

The concept of the healthy snacking is a good one. I like to have three solid meals a day and have a mid-morning and late afternoon snack to keep my metabolism going. This was also a good habit for me when I was pregnant. Snacking kept my nausea at bay in the early stages of pregnancy and kept me from getting HANGRY in the later stages. I think this idea of a snack subscription would be a great gift for an expectant mama because they are healthy and the wholesome ingredients would be good for both mom and baby.

Even if you aren't pregnant this snack subscription is a great way to make healthy choices and enjoy doing it! The concept is simple and getting set-up is a snap! The monthly subscription is $19.95 per month for five snack bags and there are even larger orders for an increased price available.

Now for the fun part! Molly and NatureBox are going to provide one of you with a FREE discovery box to see for yourself how delicious and nutritious their snacks are. All you have to do is leave a comment here stating what your all-time favorite snack is by Thursday at midnight. I will pick a winner at random on Friday, July 19th and email the winner.

Also, if you are interested in signing up you can use the code HEALTHY50 to receive your 1st box (any size!) for 50% off!

**You will receive a different box than the one I reviewed. Also, at this time they are unable to customize promotional NatureBoxes for specific dietary needs or personal preferences. Lastly, NatureBox can only ship to US addresses.

Good luck and happy snacking!

Friday, July 12, 2013


I recently approached one of my favorite healthy living bloggers, Caitlin, about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Caitlin is behind two amazing blogs, Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful. Her message struck a chord with me when I was struggling with self-loathing. Remember this post?

I instantly LOVED the message behind Operation Beautiful and man, oh man, do I wish something like that existed when I was 13 years old. 

I've also mentioned on here before that my pregnancy with P-Nut has literally changed my life in more ways than the obvious one. Having a "surprise" baby really threw me for a loop and forced me to deal with some inner "demons" that I've been struggling with for so long. 

One of those struggles has always been my body image, self confidence, and self acceptance. In short, I haven't loved myself for as long as I can remember. I can't pin-point why or trace back to an instance in my life that I can recall to make me feel this way, it just became the norm.

But lately there has been a shift. I still struggle at times, and possibly always will, but I am making some progress. I don't know if it is because I now have a daughter and I so desperately want to be a good example for her, or if it was just time for me to get over it and start living my life comfortably and not always uptight and worried about what others will think of me. 

Whatever the reason, I wanted to start appreciating myself more and I though by putting out there in to the world what I love about myself without any shame, would make me feel better. Being proud of what makes us unique and beautiful can be really hard for someone who doesn't feel worthy. But we are ALL worthy of feeling beautiful in our own special way and truly believing it! My idea allows us shout it from the roof tops!

Click here to read about the concept and then it will be your turn! Be proud of who you are. You are beautiful and we all know it... It's time that you do too!  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How do you beat a funk?

The past few days I have not been feeling well. Not sick or anything, just not 100% on top of my game mentally. I was feeling rather blue, stressed-out and cranky.

I blame hormones (because I always do) and after placing blame I have to apologize to my husband, (because I always do). This time however I wanted to stop the madness and figure out how to snap out of my funk. I pondered the question, "what will it take to get me back to my charming, lovable, old self?"

Upon first review I responded, "FUNK IF I KNOW!!" ::snort:: See what I did there?!? hehehe

But then I pulled myself together and took some necessary steps to get myself back out of the funk.

(photo credit)
First of all I had to listen to my body. I had a glorious four-day weekend and with it came a great deal of eating, drinking and being oh so merry. I can't say I was eating very healthy, and I certainly was in "vacation mode" when it came to drinking adult beverages each evening so I could tell come Monday morning that my body had had enough! I'm no spring chicken anymore, people.

So Monday and Tuesday I cleaned up my act and tried to get back on track with eating better and I didn't have any adult beverages in the evenings because it just wasn't necessary. This made a HUGE difference right off the bat but I still was in a funk...

(photo credit)
The second thing I did was take a timeout. I had a gift certificate to get a pedicure and each day of the four-day weekend I kept saying that it was all I wanted to do. I was in desperate need and knew it would be a nice relaxing thing just for me. But lo and behold one thing after another kept popping up and my pedi kept getting placed on the back-burner.

Also, I don't know about you, but I have a hard time leaving both kids with Dad sometimes. Not because I don't think he can handle it because I assure you, Hubs is legit Super Dad. I just feel guilty. Even if both kiddos are on their very best behavior, handling the both of them solo is a lot of work. But when a window of opportunity presented itself on Sunday for me to take advantage of my pedi gift certificate, I jumped on it! Hubs said, "why don't you go get that done," and instead of hemming and hawing over whether or not I should leave, I just quickly said, "OK!" I LET myself go without feeling a shred of guilt because I knew I needed a few minutes away and I knew I would come home feeling so much better.

The funk started to lighten a tad...

(photo credit)
And speaking of "funk" there is the other kind that helped my mood tremendously, MUSIC! I was recently introduced to Rdio and I am looooving it! I can listen to my favorite music all day long AND I'm introduced to new songs I've never heard before which expands my horizons. If there is one thing I can consistently count on to enhance my mood, it is music. 

Funk kept lifting...

Lastly, to really kick the funk to the curb I took inventory of what was stressing me out and put things in perspective. I mentally checked-in with myself and decided which things had my panties in a bunch that I could control, and which things I couldn't. I won't bore you with the details of what I grappled with in my head but I just wanted to share that the exercise worked and I felt much better after this.

Funk was outta here! And I'm back, people!

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Reflection and Contentment

The past four days were absolutely perfect. I feel like I often write about, and read about, the struggles, stresses, challenges, and even complaints in regard to parenting in the blogosphere and in the Twitters. There is nothing wrong with that and I think everyone does it with a great deal of exaggeration, humor and as a healthy outlet. We are entertained, educated and find solidarity in it all.

This weekend was all of the opposite. I soaked it in and had an amazing time with my little family. I kept quiet here, I barely tweeted or FB'd, and did my best not to be glued to my phone/computer. I didn't complain or quip about tantrums and difficult toddler behavior. I didn't moan and gripe about early rising (at least not on the Internet). I just let it all happen and lived in the moment.

My kids are amazing.

Yours too? Oh, so you totally get it.

Their smiles, sweet faces, and expressions. Their sticky fingers, the smell of their sunscreen laden skin, and their ridiculously adorable little kid toes.

My toddlers funny phrases, his loud over-the-top enthusiasm for every. little. thing. His need to know, explore and experiment. His repetitive nature and predictability offset by random and spontaneous behavior. His compassion and love for those closest to him and the genuine need to be near his sister as much as humanly possible.

He has a zest for life and innocence that you can't help but appreciate. From sun up to sun down he is all GO and when he finally closes his eyes at night his gentle breath and calm face is positively irresistible.

Then there is my baby. Her smile stops my heart and fills us all with pure joy. Her girly cry is adorable and she only breaks it out when necessary. Her perfectly round cheeks receive only 10,000 kisses a day, as do her fingers, toes, her neck and her hands.

Baby rolls... fuhgetaboutit. Baby blowing raspberries... hilarious. Baby holding my shirt with her tiny little hand and making sweet sounds as we nurse quietly in her room... ACK! I die.

All weekend long Hubs and I would give each other "that look." You know the one... your child does something and you look at your partner with a simple grin on your face and without speaking your eyes suggest how proud, happy, and in love with them you both are.

Over the years I've struggled with the idea of contentment. It could be viewed as settling and not feeling a need for improvement or not welcoming change. But I have changed my outlook with the idea of contentment and I now embrace the idea of it. You may have heard the following quote before:

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." - Anonymous

The past four days I was filled with an abundance of contentment as I spent time with my loves. Content with how full my heart is and how happy I am that they are mine.

Did you take time off around the 4th for a nice long weekend? Do you know that feeling of contentment that I'm talking about? It's pretty great, right? ;)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up: Little C's Fire Truck Adventure

Hi guys! It's me... Little C!

You guys. Seriously. I need to tell you what an AWESOME weekend I had! I may only be two years old but lemme tell you, I am doing some impressive Big Boy things.

For starters my parents are insistent upon getting me "potty trained," which means absolutely nothing to me but apparently it's a pretty big deal. So I've been trying to cut them some slack lately and entertain the idea of relieving myself in their porcelain receptacles.

I seriously don't know why I didn't do this forever ago! My folks went BANANAS when I did "the deed" and they treated me liked freaking royalty or something. Now, I had gone numero uno plenty of times before, but this weekend I went all out and ::ahem:: you know...

Well this got me a one way ticket to the toy store to pick out a new truck or car or whatever my little heart desired as long as it didn't cost mom and dad an "arm and a leg." I mean, calm down mom and dad. No one is asking you to give up any limbs for this potty training stuff. Chill.

So after much debate I decided on a brand new motorcycle!! Check it out...

And for the record I will neither confirm nor deny the reason I'm not wearing shorts is because while selecting my "potty training prize" I had an accident and wet my pants standing right there in the aisle. 

Whatever... I got a new MOTORCYCLE, people. Let's focus on what's really important here.

The potty training experience was neat and all but little did I know what was still in store for me. What first appeared to be a fun outing to the park with my mom, sis and grandma (or Mopsi, as she is lovingly referred as) turned out to be one of the best afternoons E.V.E.R.

All of a sudden I hear my mom say, "C! Look over there!" And guess what I saw?!?!?

A FIRE TRUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

You guys, my mind was BLOWN with excitement! A fire truck right in front of me!! I first wanted to share my over-excitement with my little bestie, Sis. "Hey Sis!! Check it out!" And she was all...

"Big whoop, Bro"

She just doesn't get it. This was Big Boy stuff, waaaay over her tiny little head. ::rolls eyes::

Back to the action! I made my way over to the truck...

And then pure awesomeness took place!

 I climbed my way inside the truck and I'm not gonna lie... I got a bit nervous.

 I may be a Big Boy, but c'mon... I'm only 2, people. This truck was HUGE and as I looked across the other side, I saw this guy...

You'd be nervous too. Amiright or amiright?

I sucked it up and made my way across to Captain Grumpy-Pants.

And the excitement continued!

I didn't want it to end! But you know what they say, all good things...

And just like that, it was gone. Big Red was off to go save people's lives. Captain Grumpy-Pants and his crew were along for the ride.

I gotta say, this was one spectacular experience. I am quite the Fire Truck aficionado so getting to see one up close AND getting to climb on it, was the coolest!!

It's not always easy being 2 with all the rules and regulations I'm supposed to adhere to. But despite all that, being 2 is also pretty freaking awesome!!

To all the other two year olds out there... I feel ya. Solidarity, peeps.