Wednesday, May 15, 2019

<< Gracie's Golden Birthday >>

On March 7th, 2012, this beautiful girl came into our lives, making us mamas and changed us forever. To know sister bear, is to love her. She feels with all her heart. She takes care of her friends and absolutely treasures her family. For Gracie, there's always questions... because smart girls need to understand all the things and our smarty pants never hesitates to dive in and investigate things for herself. She loves to dance with her little brother, swim, to draw and paint, play basketball and be outside. If there's makeup within a 3-mile radius, she's putting it on and when it comes to princess dresses, accessories or princess anything really, she's all about it.

For as far as back as I can remember, I knew that I wanted a daughter. I thought of it often and imagined what it would be like, and for as much as I could dream and all I could hope for, there is just no way I could have known what being Gracie's Mama would mean for me. For these reasons and so many more, G and I knew that the Bean's Golden Birthday needed to be just as special as she is!

A person's "Golden Birthday", also referred to as their "Lucky Birthday", "Champagne Birthday" or "Star Birthday", occurs when their age and the day of the month that they were born on, are one in the same. For our gal, her magical 7th birthday fell on the 7th of March and thus was Golden and extra special! 

To be honest, I had never heard of a Golden Birthday prior to this past March, but once my mother-in-law told me what it meant, I was all about it. There's just so much about Gracie that makes her special, that any excuse to celebrate her in a big way, is always welcome. So, to get the party started for this very special birthday, Georgia and I finally agreed to let our beautiful girl cut off all of her beautiful hair, which was not an easy thing to do. I mean, I get it... it's just hair and it'll grow back, but it was her first big cut and it was hard on us mamas. At the same time, Georgia and I both agreed that teaching our daughter that she gets to be the one to make important decisions regarding herself and her body, is such an important message too, so we sucked it up and uncle D cut it off! She then ran around the house squealing with delight and just could not be happier about it. It was the perfect launch to her b-day shenanigans!

Our next big to-do was to ask the Bean what she wanted to do for her actual birthday and then do just that! Her uncles flew in for her birthday week and so that in itself made the whole experience for her. Once we told Grace that we would do anything she wanted, she instantly had so many ideas and so we just went for all the things she had on her list. They were as follows...

* Golden Birthday Requests / Year Seven *

"Mama, I"m ready for my haircut!" - Gulp... fine, ok.


"Moms, I'm going to get birthday cupcakes for breakfast, right?" - Yes, of course!

"I want you and Mommy to come visit my class, so we can all have a treat together!" - done.

"I want to wear my Little Mermaid sparkly dress + heels, all day." - Well, of course!

"Let's go eat some place new and I get to pick!" - Sounds like a plan! In the end, she ended up letting her uncles pick as one of them has a gluten allergy, but it was yummy. :)

"Moms, let's use my family pass and visit the Aquarium!" - YES, let's do that!

The bean's Golden Birthday was an action-packed, non-stop day of fun. We ran all around town making sure that our sister bear did all the special things that she really wanted to do. She consumed more sugar than I'd like to admit. She played and ran and told us she loved us about 20 times throughout the day. It was just such a special day and as two working moms, G and I were just so glad that we were both off to be a part of it. 

Happy golden birthday to our sweet girl! 
You are seven and sassy and perfect in every way!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

20/52: Mom Guilt | 2019 Edition

I've been feeling a ton of mom guilt lately, mostly because I feel like there just isn't enough time for me to be the mama that I want to be. We're constantly on the go and I feel like I'm always rushing the kids from one location to the next. When I look back on Gracie's development at 2 years old, I feel like we did so much more to teach her things and assist with her development than we're doing with Will, because there's just never enough time. The baby starts preschool in August and as shocking as it is, potty training is already on the horizon. I can't seem to find the time to blog as often as I'd like, even though it's one of my absolute favorite things to do and something that means so much to me. I still have yet to post about Gracie's Golden Birthday, which took place in MARCH and I haven't even gotten around to uploading the pictures of Will's 2nd birthday party yet. Bday posts have always been my favorite to share, so the fact that I am 1 and 2 months behind on that shows just how hectic things are and seem to just always be now. 

I wish there were more hours in the day. I wish we could afford for me to work 30 hours a week, rather than 40. I wish the evenings lasted a bit longer and that I didn't feel like every night is a mad dash to leave the gym and get home at the same time as G and the kids. I wish our nights weren't a relay race of dinner-making and homework and bath time and dishes and poof, 2.5 hours have flown and it's bedtime for the kids. I wish we could slow down a bit, but I know that the chapter of our lives that we're in right now just doesn't allow for that.

I also know that I really do enjoy having a career and that it's an important part of my identity. I know that Georgia and I are doing our best and that it's a miracle we're even able to practice self-care, exercising and somehow finding time for each other. I also know that our babies are happy. I can see this in their faces. I hear it from teachers and I know that getting to spend so much time with their grandparents, who are in their late 70's is such a huge blessing for them. None of this makes it easier though, because at the end of the day, being a working mom is just hard y'all. 

I know this and G knows this, but I'm pretty sure our kiddos don't. From the looks of things, their lives are full of happiness and so that's what I'm going to focus on for now. 

My beautiful girl. :)

19/52: Sissy's Biggest Fan!

How did these two ever exist without each other? Sure, they argue over toys and Will often drives Gracie nuts messing around in her room, but they have this special connection and more often than not they are off together playing little games, dancing or reading and it makes my heart want to burst. Of all the things I'm thankful for, these two are at the top of my list.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Easter 2019 + The Terrible Twos

Oh my goodness, you guys! Can we all please just take a quick look at this Easter Bunny pic of my beautiful babies?! It might just be the most adorable thing I've ever seen and something I did not think would happen... Please allow me to explain why... We've all heard the warning about "the twos", you know those terrible ones. Well with Gracie, she wasn't noticeably hard until she was 3 years old and so Georgia and I always thought that the tantrum-throwing twos were a myth, and I'm pretty sure I even judged parents who referred to them as terrible. 

The thing is, they're not a myth. Oh, for the love of sweet baby Jesus - they.are.not. We began to see a difference in Will around two months before his 2nd birthday. All of a sudden he wouldn't let Georgia put him in his car seat without 100% losing his shit. I'm talking screaming, kicking, scratching, going noodle, the works. It got so bad that she feared an onlooker would hear Will's screams and think she was hurting her kid. It was tough. He did it with me too, but only once or twice and I think that's because I do the morning drop-off when he's all rested and happy, while she does the end of day pick-up, when he's exhausted. 

This change in behavior was followed by Will suddenly yelling "NO WAY" for 96.7% of things we asked or instructed him to do. Like, he was just not having it! Bedtime -- NO WAY! Dinnertime -- NO WAY! Please let sister try that toy -- NO WAY! Let's take your jammies off to get dressed for the day -- NO WAY!!! I mean, I can't even tell you the number of times we've dropped this boy off at his grandparents over these past 3 month wearing his PJ's from the night before, because we just didn't have time to battle for 30 minutes to get him dressed. There's been scratching and lots of crying and just lots of behaviors that literally did not exist prior to February of this year.         

Gracie, 2 years old with the Easter Bunny + Will, 2 years old with Mr. Bunny
It's been exhausting, but thankfully it comes in waves. Some weeks Will is totally cool with his car seat and then BAM, hates it. There's lot's of times when he's gentle and wants to share and have dinner and get dressed and smile and cuddle all day and then BAM, he'll flip the switch and be pissed for a day or two. At one point about a month ago, I realized that he was getting his 2-year molars because was an absolute drool monster and then felt horrible that I thought he was just being an a-hole, when he was in fact in pain. So that was hard. He's a Mama's boy to the max and that's been hard too, because when he exhibits these behaviors, there are times that he just wants me and that hurt G's feelings. We're a team and so we make sure that he doesn't think he can just pick which parent he's going to listen to, but when he's beyond exhausted and just falling apart, I'll almost always end up soothing him back to calmness so we can all have a talk. I always remind G that Gracie was like this too and only ever wanted her and we still had and have a strong bond, so things will be ok with her and Will too. Still, that doesn't make things any easier in the moment that they're happening. But back to the Easter Bunny!

I'm going to be honest here and say that we almost forgot to take these kiddos to see the Easter Bunny this year... We're just always so damn busy and didn't snap until the Friday before Easter Sunday, so we ran over there that Saturday, while on the way to a pool party and took some quick pics. Gracie did great (as always) and Will did amazing! No tears, no NO WAY or screaming. He was just happy to sit on that terrifying bunny's lap and it was like a Christmas miracle. Hallelujah! G's mom bought them these adorable ears and bunny glasses and so we brought them along with us. Grace was excited to wear her ears and Will wanted to just hold his, but let Mama snap a quick pic before pulling them off his face. My sweet little bunnies. :)

My mom invited all of us to a BBQ at my brother's house the week before Easter, sending a text to my entire family inviting us to an, "Easter barbecue and a cu.nt" (she meant to write hunt). So that was hilarious! I've been telling her for years to please stop using voice to text, because things like this happen to her all the time, but she never listens. The C word was even sent to my 100 and 101 year old great grandparents, so I'm thinking she may have learned her lesson this time, LOL! 

Our day was super chill. Will was a happy boy (thank gawd), Gracie was thrilled to run around with her cousins and even the in-laws were able to join us for the afternoon. It was good times and a mark to the end of what I lovingly refer to as "party season"... You know, those 4 weeks when I get to throw a birthday party for Grace, a birthday party for Will, a birthday celebration for Georgia and make Easter magic happen, all in a month's time. Yeah, I survived another "party season" and I'm just so happy all went well (and it's over). Until next March, friends! 

I hope you all had a happy Easter too! :)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

16.52. About Mama

I haven’t done one of these in about a year, so here goes...

Hi, I’m Kristin, aka Mama or “the loud, Hispanic looking one”. 

I’m a native New Mexican, married mother of 2. 

My wife Georgia and I will celebrate 13 years together, 10 years hitched this year. 

If you were to look at my playlist, you would think it was 1998 as 90’s R&B will forever have my heart. 

Two words, you guys: chips + salsa, all day everyday. 

I’m working my booty off to be a fit mom, currently in week 46 of that lifelong journey. 

I love to write, swim and camp.

If you wish to compliment me, tell me that I’m soooo liberal, or smart, or that I have great kids. 

My favorite color is orange and my favorite smell is new carpet and fresh paint. 

Biggest fear is not reaching my full potential and, well... sharks. Sharks scare the shit out of me. 

When it comes to parenting, my goals are simple. Don’t raise them up to be assholes, because kindness is everything. 

and lastly, at 37 years old, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my eyebrows are like two sisters, who look nothing alike. And that’s fine, I guess.

Nice to remeet you! 

15/52: Birthday Babe!

Dearest Baby Cakes on your 41st birthday,
You are the love of my life and I’m just so thankful that you were born! 
I’m also thankful that 41 years ago, your dad decided to change the name on your birth certificate from Conchita to Georgia, while your mom was in recovery. Your mom loved the name Conchita, but your dad was not a fan, so he decided to just name you after him. 

I think we can all agree that Kristin + Georgia has a much better ring to it, so thanks Papa George! Love you, lady.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

*William's TWO Year Birthday Pictures*

Today this beautiful boy turns two years old. Two. And what I need to know is just how and when and HOW is he already two?! I know all parents say this and they say it often, but how do the months pass so quickly?! I've done everything I can think of to savor every day and all of those special little moments with this sweet boy. I've cuddled with him endlessly while leaving piles of laundry and dishes in the sink. I've held him long after he's fallen asleep, rocking him to bed every night. I've learned from my experiences having already been the mama of a first born, to slow down and play more, and I've done all the things they tell you to do to savor your last baby. Still, this past year flew as time always does, and while my heart is full and I just adore this sweet and growing boy, I can't quite wrap my head around how another year passed so quickly, or how he seems to have grown another 2 inches in these past few months alone. 

As we did when Gracie turned two and had a two year photo session all her own, we did the same for our Sonnie Bear. Will's an April baby and as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, so we decided to go in studio for his birthday pictures this year. His one year bday pics were taken outside on the Bosque Reserve in February, over a month before his actual birthday and even then it was already getting stormy out.

I've written quite a bit about my desire to simplify my life as a mother, over this past year and I'm totally nailing it, you guys! When G and I started talking about Will's pictures back in January, I threw a name in the hat of a small studio here in town that does 45 minute in studio sessions for like half of what we've paid for birthday pictures in the past, and when I called a few weeks ago they had a cancellation. I booked this little cuties session right then and there. We headed out to the mall to find a Mickey Mouse shirt (thanks for the tip Amanda) and the next day we were on our way to his appointment! 

Our sweet boy takes his Mickey everywhere and so we decided to bring him along for pictures and I think it really helped. Will held him the entire time and gave us the sweetest smiles. Just look at this beautiful boy! 

The birthday boy did smile beautifully, yes indeed - but I feel I should let you all in on a little secret. If you want to possess the power to make your kids laugh on cue, teach them that farting is hilarious and then make farting noises anytime you want them to smile. I swear it works like a damn charm and always yields the most adorable results. I basically stood behind our photographer and acted like a crazy person jumping around, making farting noises and yelling "toots" as Will smiled and laughed the entire time, haha! Our photographer thought it was pretty funny too and I honestly think that his laughter helped to make Will feel even more comfortable. We all just made such a fun time of it!

Georgia and I really wanted to include Gracie in our guy's birthday pictures and so we had her wear some Minnie Mouse gear just in case there was time for her to jump in on some shots and thankfully, there ended up being more than enough time to include her too! She was so excited to be a part of it and the pictures they took together obviously ended up being mama's favorites. 

When I looked at this photo proof following our session, all sorts of feelings and memories hit me like a brick wall, (no pun intended) and I was in tears. As I've written in this space so many times before, building a family was incredibly difficult and somewhat heartbreaking for Georgia and I. Our journey involved over 5 years of fertility appointments, a total of 21 IUI's, IVF, years of fertility acupuncture, 2 unsuccessful frozen embryo transfers, multiple miscarriages and more money than either of us spent on our college educations, combined. It was so unbelievably hard and it was hard for such a very long time. Still, giving up on the dream of having these two beautiful babies was just never an option for us. We knew that another little soul was out there in the universe and we knew that Gracie would be a big sister, one day. 

When I look at them loving one another and when I look at this picture, I am reminded that things don't always happen as quickly as you'd like them to happen and maybe they don't look like you thought they would look, but my gosh there is so much beauty in that.

Mama just can't with this sweet face! 

As I shared when William turned one, my plan is to add a giant balloon to his birthday pictures every year, with the bouquet growing year after year. Georgia says I won't make it happen past the age of 5, as she doesn't think I'll be able to fit all the balloons in my vehicle, the older he gets. Challenge accepted, babe! 

Happy birthday my sweet boy! Your OhTWOdles birthday party is this weekend and your family is already arriving in town to celebrate! Once the dust settles, Mama will be sure to write a post about what makes you such an amazing two year old and I'll share some tons of birthday party pictures! Yay!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

14/52: Another one for the Tooth Fairy!

Our gal has now officially lost 4 teeth! This tooth, like the 2 before, were pulled out by her, all on her own! She's a brave one indeed. Speaking of brave - girlfriend's joined the basketball team at her elementary school and starts practice this week. She's so excited that she begged us to put up a small hoop to "practice her shots" in the backyard, so she's going to do great!

Elementary school, turning SEVEN, swim team, basketball and now losing another tooth. Be still my heart. She's just such a big girl.

Monday, April 8, 2019

{Mermaid Girl's 7th Birthday Party}

Dear Gracie,
You, my sweet and sassy girl, are SEVEN years old! Seven whole years and for whatever reason, this is a birthday that you've looked more forward to than any birthday you've ever had before! When you were just 6 1/2, you started talking about your 7th birthday party. You knew you wanted to invite your friends from school for the first time and you knew you wanted to have (yet another) mermaid themed party. So, when we were at your most recent USA Girls Swim meet this past January, and you got to take a look at the indoor pool next-door, you knew this is where you wanted to have your Mermaid party! You decided right at that moment and so you and I marched on over to the pool's office and booked your special day, without even thinking twice about it (or consulting Mommy, lol)!

The thing is, you LOVE mermaids and you love water; probably more than anyone I've ever met, including myself. This is likely why you were so excited to be the Little Mermaid for your second Halloween, when you weren't even 2 years old yet and then asked to be a mermaid again, just 2 Halloween's later! And did I mention that this isn't even your first mermaid themed birthday party? You picked a Little Mermaid themed for your 3rd birthday, so yeah - you LOVE mermaids and so obviously a pool party is just the natural choice! 

Mommy and I both agreed that since you're in elementary school now and turning 7, you could choose 7 friends to invite to your party from class and let me just say, making your guest list was not at all easy for you! You would make a list and then scrap it, just to make it again. You went back and forth on who you wanted to include because at school, you have 9 close friends and so picking 7 seemed just way to hard for you! Mommy and I finally folded and said that because 2 of the friends on your list are also from your preschool years, those would be our guests and you could invite 7 more. You were so excited and relieved when we opened up the invite list, that you thanked us like 10 times! We then found you the most perfect mermaid swimsuit, the cutest mermaid decorations (thank you Tar.get) and cupcakes for the big day and we were ready! 

The afternoon of your party, you helped Mommy and me set up a cute little backdrop for pictures with props and even hung the sparkly blue tool on the wall, all on your own! You helped lay out your mermaid scale tablecloths and just had to make sure that they were set out perfectly. You laid out the bubbles, party blowers and balloon bouquets on all the tables and even helped Mama set up all the mermaid gift bags and plates and napkins like such a big girl. You were dying to jump in the pool the whole time, but we told you that you had to wait until your guests arrived, so I think all the decorating helped to keep you distracted. It also helped that your little brother wanted you to walk around the pool with him, so Mama strapped a life jacket on him and off you went to explore together. Soon enough, all your guests began to arrive and it was party time!

Mommy and I were so excited to see that every single one of the friends you invited, showed up with their parents and a special gift, just for you! Once your buds arrived you disappeared into the pool and we didn't see much of you again for at least an hour! Mommy and I had plenty to do to keep us busy refilling all the party goodies we had out for everything while also keeping an eye on your brother. Your party reminded us of how lucky you kiddos are to have older cousins that are teenagers! Rudy and Devin played with brother, which meant you were free to swim your heart out with your friends!

Soon enough the pizza arrived and it was time to force all you kids out off the pool to eat. You would think that marching in with 10 boxes of yummy pizza would have you all running, but nope. You actually asked if you could eat your pizza while also swimming and just couldn't understand why that wasn't an option, lol! Thankfully, we were able to get you and your buds to take a 20 minute break to have some pizza, a serving of your favorite kale salad, along with some fresh fruit and gummy snacks. I a heartbeat though, you were all right back in. 

As is normally the case, about 2 hours into the party you started asking about presents. This was something that your mamas didn't have to ask you get out of the water for, haha! We did insist that we all sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY first so that we could pass out cupcakes while you opened gifts and you were happy and more than willing to dry off to see what cool things your friends picked for you, and to have some cake (of course)! It made Mommy and I so happy to see just how well your school buds know you and how amazing they did at picking special and thoughtful gifts that included all of your favorite things. You received lots of LOL Surprise stuff and slime kits and science experiment type things. You also were given a hard shell suitcase for a surprise trip we'll be announcing at Brother's birthday party in a few weeks. You were just so excited to open each and every gift and did so good at saying thank you to your guests. :)

Your BIG surprise from me, Mommy and Will was you very own mermaid fin that you immediately jumped into the water to test out. By the end of the day you knees were all skinned up from swimming like a mermaid along the bottom of the pool. Your belly was full of pizza and cake and you had just the biggest smile from ear to ear, as you played with your friends. 

You ended the day telling Mommy and I that this was the best party you've ever had, (which is something you say every birthday) but is still music to a mama's ears, so we never get tired of hearing it! We're so happy that you loved your 7th birthday mermaid party, sweet girl. We love you as high as the sky and as deep as the sea! 


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