Category Archives: Updates

To Answer the Big Question….

I am taking a DEEP breath and letting go before I even start to write this.

The question has come up a lot across social media, twitter… Instagram… I avoided it because I felt it really needed a blog post to go along with it to lay everything out. So here goes.

What happened to David?

Yup- you are right he pretty much disappeared from my posts.  No longer mentioned or pictured on my social media.  You noticed… a few of you came out and asked and well the truth is- he’s gone- out of my life.

What Happened?

Ha… What didn’t happen? is the better question.  But I will lay out the timeline for you:

June: The custody case crashed and burned.  Colton couldn’t move to Florida so I moved back to Ohio in August and moved in with my mom.  I continued to go back and forth between Florida and Ohio visiting David.  The situation was supposed to be temporary so I just assumed we would continue with this until either Colton was able to move to Florida or David gave in and moved back to Ohio with us.

July: Right after Colton’s Birthday I found out I was pregnant (again).

August: I packed basic things in my car and drove up to Ohio and moved in with mom.  The situation was supposed to be temporary- so Colton and I were in her room, on an air mattress and basically living out of suitcases and bins… it SUCKED to say the least.

September:  Colton and I go down to visit David and have some family time.  (Or so I thought)  I get off the plane to nice message from one of his co workers letting me know he is cheating on me with someone he works with.  I’ll be honest… I tried not to freak out.  And had I not been pregnant and had all those raging pregnancy hormones oh and about 10 minutes from the time I got the message until I had to see him- I probably would have been able to hide my shock better.

Blindsided.

110% Blindsided.

It was just a few months earlier he proposed to me… put a ring on my finger and said he wanted to get married… ya well according to the mistress he was seeing her when he proposed… Oh and when he got me pregnant not once, but twice… YUP.  THAT Happened.

CRASH AND BURNED.

My whole world fell apart that night.

I kid you not… Crash and Burned… and took everything in me to keep it together on a daily basis.

Worst Nightmare… came to life

World… Crashed and Burned.

September-November… the Yo Yo… Basically this was the period of :we are going to work things out: … Kind of.  We went back and forth on this.  Had some good conversations- some great days.  I was still going back and forth to visit with him (without Colton).  We went out on dates.  But it was so back and forth- one day things were great… the next he wanted me to date someone else.  That was his thing through this whole period… he wanted me to date someone else.  Ya… weird… I know.. but I learned through this whole thing he was pretty much off his rocker so these weird things were no surprise after I looked back and put the puzzle together.

I would say the Yo Yo was about the worst part of this whole thing.  Not knowing… not being prepared for everything.  Not knowing where I was going to live.  Not knowing where I was going to have this baby.  Not knowing if he was even going to be around.  It was a whole world of unknown.

December:  Realization.  Realization that he was crazy and had so many issues that I didn’t want to work things out any more.  Realization that he didn’t contain the ability to be faithful to me… to the new girl…  to anyone.  We still talked in the beginning of December because I remember him texting me from a date with one of his girls he was seeing and I remember him texting me pictures from the mall of Millenia because it was decorated for Christmas.

I know I talked to him after I fell down the steps because I texted him ultra sound pictures… that was near Christmas because I remember freaking out that I wasn’t done shopping but was stuck in the hospital.  And then we talked a little in January after my step-dad passed.

And that was all she wrote.  At that point I knew it was over.  I had the majority of my stuff from FL.  And we were done.  He didn’t call or text when Caleb was born… and lets face it- I put myself out there so it only would have taken a quick peek at my Facebook Fan Page, Instagram or Twitter to know he was born.  And I was okay with that.

It is better this way.  I am able to be a better mom, and he is able to grow up without being torn across the country and dealing with two families.  He will have a better life and it truly it best this way.

As for the little baby boy.  He is perfect.  I had all these horrible feelings about being pregnant- I was horrified I was going to be a single mom again.  I was scared.  I was worried that I wouldn’t love him. The moment he was born and they put him on my chest all those feelings went away.  This baby needed me.  We instantly bonded and I can say we have a bond that I can not describe.  He is perfect.  He is beautiful.  He is the exact baby that our little family needed and the moment he was born my heart doubled in size because I instantly loved him more than life itself.

As for Colton… that is the toughest part.  Explaining to him that David and I were no longer going to be together was about one of the most heart wrenching things I ever had to do.  I have only seen my child cry real tears of sadness once… and this was it.  He was heart broken.  He loved David.  They were buddies.  At first I told him that he and Dave could still be friends and he talked to him on occasion.  But that slowed and when I stopped talking to David… so did Colton.

He still asks about him.  He still talks about him.  He still talks about going to Florida and getting on a plane to get there.  He still talks about his house in Florida.  He still misses David.  It sucks.

Oh and he is still coming around to the big brother thing.  It gets better every day, for all of us.

Where we are now:  We are living with mom in the house I grew up in. Colton is actually in my old room, which is kind of cool.  Caleb and I share a room… which is inevitable because he won’t even sleep across the room in his crib. Don’t worry.. he’s not in my bed, mom got me a bedside sleeper that he sleeps in.

I don’t see us moving out anytime soon.  And I can’t imagine going to work and leaving this little baby at home so we are going to stay here for a little while.  For me, for Caleb, for Colton.. and for mom- because she doesn’t want to be alone after losing her husband.

I hope this answers all the questions that have been asked… I tried to not dump all my emotion into this and considering this was a series of events over several months, in order to keep this post under 5000 words I gave you the :in a nut shell, this is what happened: version.  :-)

I am not Spoiling my baby, I am loving him

Everyone has a way of butting into your parenting style.  Everyone wants to pipe in and tell you how to do it and what you are doing wrong (notice, I didn’t say right because if you are doing it right, they wouldn’t have anything to say LOL).  Right now the most common thing I am hearing is “You are spoiling him”  “You hold him too much”… I will admit I have been joking about what a spoiled baby he is.  But the truth is, he is not spoiled at all, he is LOVED.  Caleb is a VERY loved baby.

Yes, I hold him a lot, but why wouldn’t I want to hold my baby a lot?  I don’t understand why someone  wouldn’t want to hold their baby all the time and enjoy those little baby snuggles.  He will only be this little for a short time, he will grow and be 5, almost 6, like his big brother in the blink of an eye.  So yes, I will hold him and I will :spoil: him.  And if he cries when I put him down, I will pick him back up and enjoy the snuggles and love even more.

I am not spoiling him, I am loving him, I am bonding with him, I am teaching him that I will always be there to fulfill his every need.  And guess what… that doesn’t mean I am “ruining” him or making him needy.  In fact, babies that are held a lot tend to be more secure kids.

Why are we rushing independence?  He will learn independence on his own, as he grows and explores– there is no need for me to force him into being independent at 2 months old.  Why would I do that? So he is an “easy” baby that sits in his bed or swing all day?  Why on earth would I want that… oh because I have :other: things I need to do?  To be honest… I don’t really care about all those other things.  If my baby needs me… those other things don’t matter.  They will be there later and I can work on them while this little guy sleeps.  He is what is important and spending time with him (and of course Big Brother Colton), is what matters most.  Being a mom isn’t supposed to be easy.  But it is supposed to be rewarding and if I am paid in hugs, kisses, and baby snuggles… I think that is all I need for the rest of my life.

So no, I am not spoiling my baby, I am loving him.  And I am enjoying having a baby that loves me and thinks I am the most important person in the world :-)

Caleb Vincent

Why I’m a Mom

Why am I mom?  Why is it all worth it?

I am sitting here expecting #2 and thinking back to all the firsts I had with Colton.  I am excited to hold my very own teeny baby again and enjoy the cuddles and love that happen only between a mother and baby.  I wish I could pause those moments and make them last forever.  I remember holding Colton, just a few days old, on my chest and rocking him.  I could feel right then that he needed me more than anyone in the world.  He smelled so fresh, he was so calm, and not a single sound other than him breathing… it was magical, truly magical.

me and colton halloween 2014

Now fast forward and I have a 5 year old.  And this little boy means the world to me… and more.  He is the sweetest little boy and he loves his mom so much.  Nothing in the world compares to how much I love him and how happy it makes me to read him stories before bed, or for him to WANT me to eat lunch with me at school.  I know these moments won’t last long either, just as everything else has… this too will fly by before I can even blink my eyes and he will be “too big” for my lap, or too cool to give mom extra hugs and kisses at the door when I drop him off to school.  So for now, I will take all the love he wants to give me.  <3

I live for the good moments.  The memories that I want to keep are the good ones.  Forget the tantrums, the crying, the frustration and remember the love, the kisses, the hugs, the bonding, the fun, the learning, and the watching them grow.

Thank you to Mommy’s Bliss for sharing this video and reminding me of how great it is to be a mom <3

How To Keep Your Home Perfect

It’s the thing we all dream of when we’re busy picking Cheerios out of the carpet or scrubbing sticky fingerprints off the TV, a sparkling clean home. Like the ones in the magazines. Of course, they don’t exist in real life. Or do they? Here’re my top tips for making sure your home looks beautiful all year long.

Cleaning

Image Source: Fort Carson

 

  • Cheat

There is no harm in asking for a little help now and then, especially given everything we have to do in a day. Some days it can feel like you are just following the kids around and mopping up after this spill or that disaster. All thoughts of the dusting, tidying and vacuuming you had planned to get done fly from your mind as family life takes over. So let it and delegate.

Domestic help is not just for the rich and Downtown wannabes. There is an army of lovely, experienced people out there to suit every budget and family. If you have more little ones than hands, employ a full-time housekeeper from SupaCare to handle washing clothes and cleaning the house. If it’s the time to flick the duster around that you lack, hire someone to come in once or twice a week and straighten the house up for you. Whatever help you need, you can get it easily. And it’s not really cheating, it’s delegating.

Pretty OfficeImage Source: Christopher Barson

  1. Set Yourself Up For Success

The reason our homes are so difficult to get looking perfect is because they’re not designed to be. We buy sofas in practical colours that won’t show the stains and wallpaper that can be wiped clean. We plan for failure and then we get disappointed when the kids do stain the sofa and put grubby hands on the walls.

If you want your home to look perfect, you have to design it that way. Practical is fine (and key) but it is not a trend or fashion. Include lots of hidden storage options in your rooms so that you can de-clutter simply and easily but still live family life unhindered in the space. Choose a slightly less practical sofa and dress it in washable throws and cushions to shield it slightly. Does the kids craft table need to be plastic and colorful or would a smart white miniature table with cute, colourful stools look just as good?

There are so many furniture options available these days that are both practical and stylish, there really is no need to opt for sensible and boring. Take the time to design your scheme and you’ll love it so much you won’t even notice yourself taking care to keep it perfect.

Kids Eating Ice Cream

Image Source: Julia

  1. Relax

It is so easy to get caught up in all the little things we have to do that we never stop and just take time for ourselves. It’s more important than you think for keeping your home perfect. Taking time out gives you the opportunity to re-charge and be a little more efficient in cleaning, straightening and righting all the wrongs around the home. It also means you are far less stressed. And a Mum who isn’t stressed has time to sit with her family, play games with the kids and fill the house with memories and laughter. And let’s face it that’s the best way to make a home perfect.

Amazing Ways That You Can Make Your Daily Life Easier

Daily life, combined with kids, can be difficult. It’s often hard to know where to begin when you are doing the school run coupled with chores, dinners and homework. Of course, you wouldn’t change being a parent for the world, but there are some times when you need to stop being mommy and start being you.

Making your daily life easier is important. Of course, we all have our routines, but there are some great life hacks that you can use to make sure that you are getting the best from your time.

So, between the school run, work and mommy duties, you can make sure that you are making life easier in the long term. What will you do with this extra free time?

Do More Online
Let’s face it; the internet is an excellent thing. You can make sure that your daily tasks are completed, without having to leave the comfort of your chair. You can buy stamps online – right from your computer. You can order your weekly groceries online. You can shop for clothes via the internet. You can manage your banking from your desk. You don’t have to leave the house if you don’t want to! The great thing about managing these tasks online is that you can set up an online calendar or use something like Google Tasks. This can help you manage your time more effectively and allow maximising your time in-between mummy duties. Take the helm of your entire life via the online world. Organise and plan using an app or planner. Set aside one hour per day for your personal administration tasks. You will be on top of everything in a jiffy.

SqueezeballBottled Void: Flickr

Setting Aside Time to Clean
When it comes to cleaning, it’s like vacuuming in a tornado with kids around. It can be difficult. But, having a clean home is vital. You don’t have to spend hours per day cleaning your house. On the contrary, all you need to do is set aside one hour per day to get the vitals done. You can spend that hour focusing on one room so that every room in your home is done at least once per week. Alternatively, you can do a full range of small jobs. Take 15 minutes to clean down the kitchen. Take another 10 minutes to wipe around your bathroom suite. Vacuum throughout the house using another 15 minutes. You don’t have to go for a deep clean every time, but utilising your time little and often is important.

Making Use of Technology
Apps can help you organise your life a little more clearly. There are a wide range of apps orientated at mommies for organising their time. You can plan your kid’s events and make sure that they are on time and punctual for everything. While calendars and diaries have a place, apps are downloaded straight to your phone and are armed with alerts. You can set these alerts up as and when you need them.

Being a mommy doesn’t need to be stressful. It’s all about using the right tips and tricks to make your life easier.

Could a Pet Make the Perfect Addition to Your Family?

With Christmas a mere matter of weeks away, if you have young children, you’ve probably already been given a list as long as your arm of things that they want. Being a mom myself, I know how challenging this time of year can be. You want to be able to give your kids everything they want, but as parents it’s our job to know where the line must be drawn. So, if one of your little ones has been begging you to get them a cat or a dog for Christmas, you may be going back and forth about whether it’s the right thing to do.

CatCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Well, we’d never recommend that you give a pet as a Christmas present. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not something that you can consider in the New Year. But before you decide if a pet would make the perfect addition to your family, we’d strongly suggest that you read this post first.

Lifestyle
Whether you decide to get a pet, and what pet you choose, should be determined by your lifestyle. If you decide to get a dog, for example, and you don’t have the time to take proper care of it, this is as unfair to the dog as much as it is to your family. We must be realistic about what level of responsibility we are able and willing to take on. You may think that a goldfish would make a low-maintenance pet, and when you compare their care needs to that of a dog’s then in many ways you’d be right. However, a goldfish still needs to be fed and have its tank cleaned on a regular basis.

fishCourtesy of Flickr

So, it’s important that you sit down as a family beforehand to decide whose responsibility such jobs will be. It’s important to clarify the role that everyone in the family will be expected to play. Otherwise, you may find that rather than bringing you together your pet will cause arguments and conflict.

Cost
Depending on what pet you plan on introducing into the family, you may find that it can be quite a costly affair. There’s the initial cost of the animal itself; then there are vaccinations to consider, as well as food, toys, grooming and healthcare. So, if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, we’d suggest that you think very carefully before introducing another dependent into the family. You can visit websites like www.365vet.co.uk to give you an idea of how much such pet products are likely to cost.

Parental Responsibility
Sadly, all pets pass away eventually, and as adults we know just how devastating this can be. So, if you have younger kids, you need to ask yourself whether the loss of a beloved family dog, for example, is something that they will be able to cope with. All children mature at different rates; some are far more sensitive than others. So, it’s up to you to decide as their parent, whether they’re emotionally prepared for such an experience.

dogCourtesy of Flickr

We hope that this post has helped you to ask the right questions and weigh up the pros and cons so that you can make the right decision for you and your family.

DIY Ideas For Your Wedding #Wedding

Whatever size wedding you’re thinking of having you need to consider how much you’re going to have to spend to arrange it. The good news is that there are ways in which you can help to reduce the cost of your wedding, without having to cut corners too much! One of the best ways to look at reducing costs is to get creative and make what you can yourself. If you look up tutorials you’ll see that making things yourself doesn’t need to be as complicated as you might imagine. Making items like this for your wedding is a really lovely way of adding a personal touch to your wedding too.

Wedding Invites
If you contact a company about designing and sending out your wedding invites you’ll probably be surprised at just how much they charge. Not only that but you’re getting generic invites that don’t reflect your personality. Instead look up paper themes for creating your own wedding invites. You can make this into a project for you and your partner to do. Your guests will love receiving wedding invites handmade with love.

wedding

Flickr – Image Source


Wedding Favours
No wedding dinner is the same without wedding favours, but when you have a number of guests to give gifts to the cost can soon add up. Rather than go overboard with this, why not look up ways to make your own. There are some lovely gift ideas. If you fancy getting your bridesmaids involved in any of the creativity towards your wedding then getting them involved in this part can be really handy.

Wedding Food
You might not want to prepare your own wedding dinner, but the reception party food is easy enough. Lots of venues charge over the top for buffet food, especially if you have a number of people to cater food.  It is quite easy to put together a few plates of party food and  it can help you to shave a few pennies off the cost of your wedding.

If you have a particular flair for cake making and baking then you could always consider making your own wedding cake. Bakers tend to charge hefty amounts for wedding cakes so making your own can help you to save money. You also have the added bonus that you’re adding another personal touch to your big day.

Giving Wedding Gifts
DIY wedding ideas aren’t all about your own big day, they can help when others are getting married too! If you know someone else that is getting married then why not offer your creative skills to help them out. Offering to make the cake or help with wedding invites can really help to take the pressure off.  Arranging a wedding can be expensive but with a little help from just a few loved ones the cost of the big day can come down. When there are so many ways you can get involved, there really is no excuse not to.

Church and Family <3

I have been working over the last year or so to improve my relationship with God and get myself in the right place.  If you don’t know- I was pretty much raised in the church, I think I had more days I was at the church than wasn’t growing up.  I can thank my grandpa for that lol.

As most young people did, I stepped away for a while and came back once I had Colton.  Marriage and then divorce made me feel lost of where I belonged in the church.  When I met David, we so in line with things like church, family and religion that it helped me to get back.  We found an awesome church in Florida and attended there with family.  I loved this church, the pastor is awesome and the church family is friendly- they are all just really great people and I miss not being able to go there.

Since being back in Ohio, my grandparents mentioned that they started going back to the church that our family went to and they really liked the new pastor there.  In search of where I was going to take Colton to church I decided to check it out and see if they were right.  They definitely were right on.  Pastor Patrick has a great message, and while the congregation is small in numbers, I feel big things happening in the church and I am happy to be a part of it.  I finally feel at home again.

I have to say that going back to the same church that I was dedicated in 27 years ago, and seeing Colton go to Sunday School in the same classroom I was in just melts my heart.  So many memories in that church and I am happy to bring him here.

Just tonight at Bible Study my old Sunday School teacher started tearing up when she was talking about how she had me in her class for so many years and how heart warming it is for me to bring Colton to my church home.  It really is heart warming and I am really happy that my grandparents are going back to this church.

In fact tonight my grandpa surprised me and came to Bible Study.  It is funny because my grandpa used to go to bible study every Wednesday night and would bring me to the children’s church (it was a bible study for kids called Missionettes for girls and Royal Rangers for boys).  He hadn’t been going to Wednesday night bible study because he goes on Thursday to another small church- well since I have been going he decided to go :-)  (so maybe me going to the church is good for him since he is getting involved more too)

I also love that going to church together has also brought Colton closer to my grandparents.  He looks forward to seeing them every Sunday and having lunch at their house after church.  It is great to see him have this bond with my grandparents :-)

God First
Family Second

Supporting Families with Disabilities: Everything You Need to Know

Disabilities can affect anyone. Family life can be affected by disability. But, there is help at hand. You don’t have to suffer the emotional and financial impact alone. On the contrary, there are a number of people and organisations that you can turn to if you are the parent of a disabled child. The key is to remember that you are not alone. If you need support, there are many places that you can go for this.

Here is a breakdown of factors that you may need if your family are supporting an individual with disabilities.

Greg Westfall

Practical Help
Practical help is always needed with families that have a disabled child. Charities are on hand to assist families with all of the practical help that they need. This may mean customising your home so that your child can move freely or use the toilet. In some instances, they can provide equipment to help your child live a normal life. Your home may have to be made more accessible. But, this kind of support and practical help can be sought from a number of charities.

Emotional Support
Emotional support for both parents and children is vital. Many parents feel exhausted being on hand to care for their children all of the time. This can have a detrimental effect on your emotional well-being. The key is to remember that there is emotional support at hand. Groups, charities and online forums can prove to be an emotional crutch during this time. A simple internet search will retrieve lots of results. This can help you find the support that is right for you and your child.

Financial Assistance
In the US, you can find a number of outlets that can provide you with financial assistance. The cost of medical care can be expensive. But, the loss of income can also be difficult to deal with. Social security family benefits can be sought. You need to make sure that you apply early and that you eligible for these benefits. Social security claims are often approved. This means that you can get financial assistance for you and your child. Family benefits are also available to those with disabled children.

Benefits will not only be paid to the disabled child, but the family will be paid for caring for the child too. This means that you and your spouse will be assisted, financially, with the care of your child. When you are in receipt of disability benefits, you may be able to claim for financial assistance with other children too. There are legal services that can provide more information on this service and what you are entitled to.

You will need to be able to provide evidence of your child’s disability. You will also need to provide information regarding their social security number. In some instances, you may be asked to provide a birth certificate.

Families with disabilities do not have to go through this alone. With an extensive network of support and financial assistance available to families, you can ensure that your family has everything that it needs.

How to Feel Good About Yourself During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you might feel down about your changing body. Some days you’ll feel sick, others you’ll feel fine – just HUGE. Many women say they miss their bump after giving birth, so make sure you make the most of yours. Although this time is exciting, it can also be hard to feel good about yourself at the time. These tips will help you feel amazing during your pregnancy:

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Do Your Hair and Makeup
Don’t let yourself go just because you’re pregnant. Do your hair and makeup the same as before. Your skin type may change, so beware of that and use products accordingly so you don’t end up with any spots or imperfections. Speak to employees at a beauty counter or salon for help if you need it. Your hair will also grow way faster than before, so you may want to visit the hairdressers to keep it under control. Remember, it’ll feel thinner once you’ve given birth and you’ll probably find it everywhere. Make the most of it while you’ve got it!

Wear Nice Clothes
You should be able to find some maternity clothes that suit you. Wearing clothes you like will make you feel good about yourself despite your bulging bump. Not all maternity clothes are frumpy, so give them a chance! Buy things that you can easily interchange, so you don’t have to buy too many items. Once you’ve given birth, it’s a good idea to stop wearing maternity clothes. You’ll want to feel comfortable, but if you want to continue feeling good make sure you wear flattering clothes. Don’t wear your best clothes though – they’ll get covered in baby sick in a matter of minutes.

Read Self Help Books
If you’re feeling confused about who you’ll be once you’re a mother, make sure you read self help books to sort your head out. They can also help if you’re scared about giving birth, and don’t know what to expect. However, remember that nobody will be able to predict what your pregnancy will be like. Each one is different. Read as much as you think will help you. You may also want to watch programs on TV.

Treat Yourself
Why not treat yourself every now and again? Pregnancy isn’t easy; you deserve a treat or two! Consider heading over to Houston jewelry store Whiteflash to see if anything appeals to you. You can then move on to makeup stores and anywhere else you like! It’ll be all about the baby once they’re born, so take this opportunity to get yourself a treat.

Get Pampered
Pregnant ladies love getting pampered, but it isn’t easy to do it yourself because of the enormous bump in the way. You could run yourself a nice bath with candles and bubbles, but why not head to the salon? You could do this right before you give birth, have some waxing, tinting, and nail treatments. You might not feel great while in labour, but you can sure look good.

Good luck!

image credit