This Mom's Gonna SNAP! An Ordinary Life + Style Blog... With a Stevie. Wed, 26 Jul 2017 01:10:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jumping Off Point Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:46:01 +0000 Yesterday, we had a big time doctor’s appointment for Stevie at Boone Fetter Clinic.  A few of you already know that this was long awaited — not only for the last several years of talking about it, but once we finally made the decision to go forward, we had to book 6 months out.

Popular place.

They offered to make a referral for us, but I knew there was a long wait for a reason.  These are great doctors / developmental pediatricians, and I’m really hopeful that they can point us in the right direction. Felt worth the wait.

So with this looming for so long, I was ready to get it over with.

Or at least I thought I was!!  The morning of the appointment, we were up early.  I had my usual coffee and went for a second cup, when I realized I probably shouldn’t.  My stomach started to hurt and I started feeling the nerves kick in.  Trying to portray calm, while my insides were anxiety-ridden.  As I put on my face, I envisioned the feelings that inevitably wash over me every single time we are at Children’s Hospital.  The memories, good and bad.  It’s a strange feeling to return there.  I knew what was coming, but not really.

The direction we are going now is all new territory for us.  Not heart related, not eye related, but not-really-sure-what related.

You see, Stevie’s brain and the way it works and the way he processes things has always been a total mystery to us.  We’ve never been able to reach a diagnosis, even though he’s been assessed a few times.  They simply call it global delays or an intellectual disability, but I think it far outweighs either of those.  So while we’re not sure why he is the way he is (we have our hunches), we are ready to try and find out.  But mental health issues and learning disabilities are tough to nail down.  Is it brain damage, ADHD, learning disorder, multiple issues?  Can it be treated with medication?  Do we want to treat with medication?  Will he need more therapy?  Has what we’ve done so far helped him or hurt him?

And the first thing I realized during the appointment was that this was going to be the start of another long journey.  Or like a new branch of our already long journey.  A little fork in the road type thing, where we are choosing to go left and seeing where it will take us.

His lack of diagnosis is one of the reasons it’s been so hard for him and me to relate to other kids and parents.  Obviously there are no two families on identical paths, but there are usually similarities.  And we’ve had a hard time finding people to share this with.  Which means there’s no one to turn to for guidance or advice.  It’s definitely tricky to use our method — the “try everything and hope something helps” method.  I’d love to hear something slightly more definitive, and maybe find some other people who can connect with us.

So we arrived bright and early for our appointment.  I sat and gave them a long medical history (don’t they have charts for that??) and shared our concerns, while Stevie patiently waited, driving Hot Wheels on the couch.  It may have been the most well-behaved I’ve ever seen him, go figure.  The doctors were thorough and kind and didn’t rush me.  They told me I was doing a great job with him (which is always nice to hear).  They mentioned that this was definitely something they couldn’t give me any answers to right away, but we would start working toward that.

So they made a referral for me to do the following:

  • More therapy in all areas (Occupational, Physical, and Speech)
  • See a Neurologist for an MRI or some kind of brain scan
  • Cognitive testing with the Child Psychologist
  • Get his hearing tested again

Immediately, I felt… calm and overwhelmed at the same time.  Like I know this will be the right step, but also OMG WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO MUCH WORK.  We already have such a busy schedule and it’s been off of our radar to visit specialists on the regular, other than his cardiologist and ophthalmologist.  This child is going to continue keeping me busy for quite some time.  But I know I can do it.  And Stevie can do it.  We’ve been drowning in appointments before, so it’s just breaking those busy days down into increments.  And if it means getting some answers and doing what is right for him, we’ll do it.

stevie fan club, parenthood, special needs parentingAnd I do hope with all my heart it’s right for him, as I’ve hoped with everything else we’ve tried.  This kid does not lead an unhappy life, by any means.  But his struggles are very real.  So if we can help take some of the weight off him, so he feels successful and confident, we just have to.  We want to do all we can to set him up for a happy life.

So here’s to the jumping off point on our little left turn at the fork in the road.


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Summer 10×10 Challenge Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:54:28 +0000 Another day, another style challenge!

Summer is definitely my most difficult season for dressing.  It seems like it should be the easiest!  I really feel like I should have this down by now.  I mean, I always start off optimistic enough.  Every single June, I’m like this is my year to wear cute dresses and embrace those easy, California-girl, summery feelings!

And every single July, I’m like it is way to freakin’ hot to be cute.  Cut-offs and a tee.  FOREVER.

So for 2017, I made some real changes to my summer wardrobe, without spending a lot of money:  I feel myself more and more drawn to linens and relaxed fits, but finding dream clothing that is responsibly made can get really expensive.


If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this.  I’ve been sharing a few of my projects there as I go.  It has been really fun and really frustrating.  But I’m proud of myself that I started and I’m learning.  I’m seeing improvements (for the most part) and I’m really figuring out what I like to wear.  When I make the clothes myself, it has to be simple and comfortable because a) I’m not very good yet, and b) putting all that time and effort into something that I’m not going to wear would be such a waste.  So it’s all very thoughtful.  I buy fabrics that I love and let them sit for quite some time.  I look at them and touch them and wait until inspiration strikes.

Not all of my projects have been successful.  A jersey knit dress was a complete fail.  Some simply haven’t held up.  And some items are waiting to get reworked.  But all of this sewing takes my mind off shopping like nothing else.  It’s given me a new excitement and appreciation for clothing.

And back to my point.

This #summer10x10 challenge (hosted by Caroline + Lee) has by far been my most successful wardrobe challenge to date.  I made about 1/2 the pieces that I included, and I’m so pleased with all the looks.  They all reflect that easy, effortless, California (AKA beach bum) vibe that I’ve always struggled to achieve.  Once I put all the pieces next to each other, I realized I inadvertently chose colors that reflect those beach vibes too.  The blue-ish gray of the ocean, the warm sand, and even a little seashell pink.

So I ultimately think this mini capsule would make the perfect packing list for a sun-soaked vacation.

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  1. LINEN TANK (old, I altered into a crop style) | SIMILAR made responsibly
  2. PINK WRAP TOP (made by me, fabric from Michael Levine) | SIMILAR tee (made responsibly)
  3. STRIPE DRESS (made in the USA) | SIMILAR fabric from Amazon
  4. STRIPE CROP TOP (made by me, fabric from Amazon) | SIMILAR matching set in pink stripe
  5. STRIPE SHORTS (made by me, fabric from Amazon) | SIMILAR  matching set in pink stripe
  6. DENIM SHORTS (sized up for loose fit)
  7. JUMPSUIT in natural (made responsibly)
  8. TUNIC (made by me, fabric from Michael Levine) | SIMILAR (this is the one I want!)
  9. HAREM PANTS (made by me, fabric from Michael Levine) | SIMILAR
  10. FLIP FLOPS (made in the USA) | SIMILAR for less

Here are the 10 looks that I came up with:

summer 10x10, wardrobe challenge, mini capsule wardrobe

I barely even accessorized, because I didn’t want to complicate this one tiny bit. I only added sunglasses and a bag (this one or one like this).  Oh, and this beautiful hat while I was out and about.  I think the styling — or lack thereof — only contributes to the relaxed energy I’m trying to give off.

Before the challenge started, I honestly wondered if I should do another one.  I didn’t see any thing else I could possibly learn, and I don’t know that it necessarily helps with my writing rut.  But I’m so glad I did.  It forced me to hone in on the summer style I’ve been craving and makes me hate the heat a little bit less.

Tell me more about your summer style!  Do you have one nailed down?


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We Are All Parents In Training Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:25:25 +0000 As I started writing this blog post, I wanted to dedicate it to the new parents out there. Because holy crap if you’re a new parent.  You are surely going through some big changes.  You are definitely tired.  You are probably hormonal.  You are feeling accomplished and hopeful and well-adjusted one day — and like a huge flop of a failure the next.  I was gonna be all, don’t worry guys.  You’ll figure it out!

But the more I thought about it and wrote it out, I realized this blog post is probably just as much for me, and all of us who are in any stage of parenting.  You see, just when you I think I’m getting the hang of things, it all changes.  I wonder why I forget that.  Maybe because I feel like I’ve been doing it a long time.  Maybe because I think I’ve survived the hardest years of my life and I lived to tell about it (so far).  Maybe because my brain tricks me to believe it.

But I think I’ve mentioned here before that things as a parent don’t always get easier.  They just get different.  We overcome one challenge to be met with another.  Each stage of parenting has it’s own demands.  From the newborn stage to toddlers to tweens and teens all the way into adulthood.

If you’re a parent, you’re in training.  We ALL are.  Learning as we go.

parents in training, parenthood, stevie fan club, special needs parentingI personally had (another) big lesson a couple weeks ago with Stevie.  It didn’t seem big at the time, it seemed ridiculous.  But when I sat and thought about it, it gave me a lot of insight into what this kid is dealing with.  Basically I had asked him to go get his swim trunks from his dresser.  He went in and returned saying “I can’t find them”.  I rolled my eyes because he can never find anything.  That’s what kids always say.  I sent him back and he returned 10 seconds later repeating that he couldn’t find them.  I explained EXACTLY where they were — in the drawer with all his other shorts.  Same place they’ve been all this time.

He started showing signs of frustration, whining and yelling that he really couldn’t find them.  I started getting stern with him and said “Listen, if you don’t go get your swim trunks, we are not going swimming.  And that’s it.  Enough is enough!  Don’t even come out of your room until you have them.”  I went back to doing the dishes (that doesn’t sound like me, but let’s go with it) and assumed with that kind of ultimatum he’d be back real fast.  But all I could hear was him crying and screaming.

It gradually turned into a full-fledged-over-the-top-meltdown.  And it went on about 5 minutes before I had the thought to record him and send a video of this insanity to his dad.  At least we’d laugh about it later.  I sneaked into his doorway with the iPhone rolling and what I saw broke my heart a little bit:

He was opening and closing all the drawers, screaming at the top of his lungs, big crocodile tears rolling down his cheeks. He was… desperate to find his swim trunks.  He looked in the drawers I had asked him to over and over.  He was trying.  But couldn’t figure it out.  I watched for a minute and then set down my phone and put my hand on his shoulder to calm him down.  I showed him that the swim trunks were underneath a different pair of shorts. He simply needed to move one pair out of the way to see the others.  I had never specifically shown him that he could do that.  When he chooses his own clothes for school, he picks whatever is right on top.  It was a light bulb moment for him — and for me.  It made me think of all the other things I’ve never specifically shown him, and made me realize how many skills I’ve had to teach him, baby step by baby step, that come so naturally to other children.

An important training moment for me, at this stage of parenting — when I thought he had a simple task down, but there was a very important factor missing.

parents in training, parenthood, stevie fan club, special needs parentingAs our children grow, we seem to be met with unique and different circumstances all the time.  We take them as they come.   Make a lot of gut calls and hard decisions.  Things that we never thought we’d have to deal with and things that other people will surely offer advice on. It doesn’t matter what anyone says though.  Because you ultimately have to make a judgement call based on what’s right for you and your family.  This is your experience.  This is your training.

It’s also interesting for me being in a mom’s group where most of the children are toddlers and younger.  I feel like a seasoned veteran in some areas of discussion.  It’s easy for me to say “let them cry it out” / “they’ll be fine” / “you are doing a great job” because seeing it all from the other side, I know this.  I know that if your baby drinks formula or breast milk, they’ll be fine.  I know that if your kid watches the iPad before the age of 2, or after, or never, they’ll be fine.  I often encourage moms to relax.  And encourage them to take time to themselves and their partners.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

But it’s so different when you’re in it.

And still in my own life, I’m a lot harder on myself.  As a parent, as a wife, as a friend.  I fall short more often than not.  I try to forgive myself daily, but it sometimes builds up.  I certainly don’t give myself much credit for the hard work I put in because there is always more to do.  I don’t take my own advice.  I feel guilty taking time for myself.  I feel guilty that I don’t give enough time and effort to my relationships.  And I totally feel guilty asking for help.

Is it a genetic thing?  A generational thing?  A mom thing?  Well, my husband gets guilted too, so maybe a parenting thing in general?

The silver lining in the whole matter is that we are not alone in these feelings.  That keeps me hopeful.  I know the seasons will change.  Sometimes more slowly for some than others, but there’s really no stopping it.  We all have our ups and downs.  We all make mistakes.  We are all figuring it out as we go.  We are being trained.  For what, I’m not really sure.  Since there never seems to be an end in the lessons.

But god-damn if we won’t be awesome grandparents, because for sure we’ll have it all figured out by then!  Or at least we’ll be smart enough to pretend we do.

parents in training, parenthood, stevie fan club, special needs parentingWhat stage of parent training are you in right now? Any advice you would give yourself looking back?  


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Taking Stock: Summer 2017 Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:34:20 +0000 I originally found the Taking Stock list on the Meet Me at Mike’s blog. Thanks for checking in!


Making: clothes!  It’s really happening!
Cooking: hard-boiled eggs… I don’t think that counts…
Drinking: summer beer.
Reading: oops…
Wanting: simplicity.
Looking: for anything to help us beat the heat.
Deciding: on my next polish color.
Wishing: some answers were a little easier to find.
Enjoying: warm evenings on the back porch.
Waiting: for our new recliners to arrive.
Liking: my current wardrobe challenge. #summer10x10
Wondering: if Stevie is in the right school program for him.
Loving: the magical mom gang that I’m in.
Pondering: ways to be more positive.
Listening: to the soundtrack from Big Little Lies.
Considering: a grown-up getaway (since our last one got jacked).
Buying: and returning bathing suits, just like every other year!
Watching: just caught up with The Americans.
Hoping: Stevie does better at summer camp this year than last year.
Marveling: that summer is half over!
Cringing: at the forecast.
Needing: to de-clutter this joint.
Questioning: the direction I want to take in regards to social media.
Smelling: wet beach towels, sandy shorts, and chlorine.
Wearing: linen, linen, and more linen.
Noticing: it’s hard to stay informed without feeling frustrated.
Knowing: that it’s ok to accept help (in med form too).
Thinking: it’s time for me to try using a pattern.
Admiring: those who are giving of their time.
Getting: nervous for Stevie’s neurology development appointment.
Bookmarking: summer mood board.
Opening: a can of whoop-ass on my workouts this week.
Closing: with wine, I predict.
Feeling: a whole lotta love for our sweet Fergus.  It took me awhile to get there, but he’s the best.
Hearing: a lot of requests from the wee one.
Celebrating: the little victories, always.
Pretending: that I’ll eat healthy all week.
Embracing: flip-flops.

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I can’t believe school starts back up in about 6 weeks for us!  What’s been your favorite part of summer so far?


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Summer 30×30 Wardrobe Challenge Wrap-up Mon, 03 Jul 2017 01:13:16 +0000 Before I talk about clothes again, I have to give a big old shout out to my dear husband today.  For taking good care of me and the Stevie, as us two ding dongs ruined the holiday weekend by getting sick with a stomach bug.  I mean we really messed it up.  Paul and I had plans. Like grown-up-getaway-overnight-plans.  And instead of going out and enjoying said plans, things were canceled and Paul got stuck waiting on me and the kid while we whined and barfed and barfed some more.  Ugh.  Maybe you guys can give me some ideas on how to make it up to him.

Now down to the challenge — I can’t believe a whole month came and went since I started this thing.  It was co-hosted by three of my favorite style influencers: Lee, Andrea, and Paige.  And I have to say, this one was a breeze for me.  I got really lucky with the weather and the only times I struggled was when it got extra hot for several days in a row and I didn’t have many options other than shorts and a tee.  Not much creativity goes into those looks.  I even had a couple “cheats” where I had to bring in a clean pair of shorts that were not drenched with sweat.  Sorry, gross.  But it was like 160 degrees here, I swear all the thermometers were wrong.

I didn’t have any big breakthroughs or amazing takeaways to share, other than the consistent reminder how easy it is to live with less options.  In fact, I think I could’ve done the challenge with even less than 30 pieces.  But I separated the 30 items from the rest of my closet, did laundry as usual, and didn’t think too hard about what to wear.  It is so nice to simplify.  It also gave me time to ponder what items I might want to add to my capsule this year.  And while I certainly don’t need much, I definitely see my style leaning in an even more relaxed direction for summer (if that’s possible).  Lots of loose fits and un-fussy fabrics — some purchased and some made by me.  Basically if I can wear it without anyone noticing a food baby, it’s win in my book.

On that note, here are just a few of my favorite looks from the challenge:30x30, 30x30 wardrobe challenge, capsule wardrobe, ethical wardrobe, mini capsule, summer capsule, summer outfits, sustainable wardrobe, transitional capsule

You can see a couple more looks on my Instagram, or follow along with the other participants by checking out #june30x30.

I also got wind that Caroline and Lee will be hosting a 10×10 Challenge again together for July too.  Who’s in??


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JORD Watches Summer Giveaway Sat, 17 Jun 2017 00:55:17 +0000 If anything can attest to the fact that summer has arrived, it’s a trip to Disneyland.  The skies are blue, the heat is on, and the icy lemonades and Dole Whips are flowing.  NOTE TO SELF:  Get a dole whip next time you’re there, dummy.

Even though I’m at Disney a lot, it’s not very often that you’ll find me doing a style post there.  Sometimes the selfie game is just a little too embarrassing.  But you guys!  JORD Watches offered to host another giveaway for my readers, so how could I resist taking my wood watch to the Happiest Place on Earth??  I sucked it up (and sucked it in) and set up my timer and got pretty dang sweaty, but I did it.  Pictures just for y’all, since you’re my fave.

Now listen, you probably know by now that I’m not one for a lot of accessories — especially in the summer time.  But I do like a few items that are versatile and keep the fussiness to a minimum.  So most Disney days you’ll find me wearing a fanny pack (no sore shoulders), a bandana (to cover my neck or head when it gets too hot), and an easy watch (that’s lightweight and doesn’t make me sweat).  Done and done.  And done.

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I wish I had gotten these pics done sooner, so we could do a Father’s Day giveaway, but I guess this will have to do — better late than never.  JORD always has cool gifts for men and women, regardless of the occasion!

So let’s get to the good stuff… GIVEAWAY TIME!


Exciting details: Every person who enters will be eligible to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site.  One lucky person will win, but every single person who enters will receive a code worth $25 off!

Boring details: The giveaway will close 07/09/2017 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 09/30/2017.

Good luck and thanks for the support!

Anybody out there Disneyland-bound this summer??


Luxury Wooden Watch

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Summer 30×30 Wardrobe Challenge Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:42:29 +0000 Time, once again, for a wardrobe challenge!  I finally made peace with my closet for the Spring, but feelings have been creeping back in.  The ugh, I have nothing to wear type of feelings.  I’ve been immensely discontent with my closet the last few weeks and I know exactly why.

Hint: it’s never about the clothes.

Whenever I’m in a rut and get the urges for new + shiny things, it always traces back to reasons within myself.  It’s rarely ever (AKA NEVER) because I actually need new clothes.  So, when I find myself doing a lot of pining and online shopping and not sticking to my goals, it seems to take me a minute to realize what’s going on.  And when it finally dawns on me that I’m feeling stressed or tired or not good enough in some way, I can start to reel it back in and see the bigger picture again.

It took me a lot of years, trial + error, and soooo much wasted money before I ever realized where my shopaholic behaviors were coming from.  I’m glad that now I know what to do to manage my urges for shopping sprees.  That’s not to say I never impulse shop or buy things I don’t need.  But when there’s a feeling of urgency and desperation that goes along with it…  That’s when I know it’s not right for me.

So when I heard a few of my favorite style bloggers (Paige, Andrea, and Lee) were doing a 30×30 wardrobe challenge, I decided to jump on board.  These things always seem to come around at the right time to help me focus and get my head in the game.

You’ve seen my 10×10 challenges here and here.  This is essentially the same idea, but we take 30 items to make 30 outfits for 30 days.  June has 30 days.  And it feels like a fresh start to summer.  So here we go!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate making these graphics?  They just take forever.

  1. Blush tee by Jamie + the Jones
  2. White cami (old from American Apparel)
  3. Chambray shirt (old from Old Navy)
  4. Drop-sleeve tee by Everlane
  5. Checkered shirt by Tradlands (on sale)
  6. White linen button down by Everlane
  7. Grey v-neck tee by Everlane
  8. Black muscle tank (old from Gap Outlet)
  9. Black linen crop tee (by me!)
  10. Navy blue shirt by Tradlands (on sale!)
  11. Striped button down shirt (old from J. Crew)
  12. Amber tee by Jamie + the Jones
  13. Grey tunic by Tradlands (on sale!)
  14. Grey cardigan (old from Patagonia)
  15. Chambray dress (old from American Apparel)
  16. Overalls (old from American Eagle, I cut them into shorts)
  17. Linen midi dress by Elizabeth Suzann
  18. Striped skirt (old from J. Crew)
  19. Boyfriend jeans (old from Gap)
  20. Mom jeans by Levi’s
  21. Black ankle-zip leggings (old from Gap)
  22. Jean shorts (old from Gap)
  23. Grid print culottes (old from Anthropologie)
  24. Army green culottes (old from Anthropologie)
  25. Black linen dress (by me!)
  26. Gold sneakers by Veja
  27. Heeled booties by Frye
  28. Clogs by Lotta from Stockholm
  29. Slides by AvarcasUSA
  30. Wrap sandals by Sseko Designs
  31. Double strap sandals (old from Nordstrom Rack)

Oops!  I have 31 pieces.  It is highly unlikely that I’ll wear the booties, but it just depends on the weather.  I started off today wearing my checkered shirt, green culottes, and black slides.  (Check your girl on Instagram @thismomsgonnasnap.)  Most of my outfits will be simple and comfy.  Just like I want the rest of my summer to be!

Has anyone else done a 30×30 Wardrobe Challenge?  Tell me about it!


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Summer Goals Tue, 30 May 2017 14:32:45 +0000 Summer is already upon us!  Stevie is out of school and Memorial Day weekend is but a memory.  Ours had its ups and downs and the down parts got me all sorts of anxious at the thought of our impending long, hot summer.  So it’s time for me to focus on some other things.

The past couple years, my summer goals were mostly to have a bathing suit body.

Well, I have a bathing suit and I have a body.   So there it is.  Goal met.

Sure.  Yes.  This body is ten pounds heavier than last year’s body.  But it’s a body nonetheless.  I’ve been working really hard and not getting anything near the results I want and to be perfectly honest with you, I am soooo sick of thinking about it.  And worrying about it.  If I decide at some point to wear a bathing suit, I’m just gonna wear the HELL out of it.  Okay?  Fluffy bits and all.

This year, I would like my goals to be less of the superficial type. Well, one of them will be to wear a bathing suit without wanting to die, but other than that.

I mean, really though.  I don’t know how you guys walk around in those things.


OK what other goals can I work on? I can think of a few!  I won’t share them all because then you know too much about how my brain works and the type of rampage it’s been on.  But here are a few.

  1. Hydrate better.  Champagne doesn’t count.  At least 64 oz of water a day.
  2. Wear freakin sunscreen and/or a hat.  Like every day.  Note: find a good hat.
  3. Continue Wednesday date-nights-in.
  4. Teach Stevie to put shoes on.  Any kind of shoes. I don’t care anymore.
  5. Pare down the closet and make a summer style lookbook of my favorite outfits.
  6. Don’t be lazy with my big camera.
  7. Go somewhere I haven’t been yet with my husband.  Doesn’t have to be fancy.  A nice restaurant or museum will do.
  8. Continue working on my sewing skills.  I am going to try pants next!
  9. Take the yelling down a notch.
  10. Swim, play outside, dance in a meadow, frolic on a beach, wear dresses, ride bikes, day drink, belly laugh, s’mores for dinner, watch the sunsets, relish in silence.

Ok those last few were totally LaLa Land Jaana talking.  But you get the idea.  I think I’ve mentioned before how much I miss the more light-hearted version of myself.  Whether it was naivety or youth, a little sliver of that would be nice to have back.  And what better time than summer?

mom life, summer goals mom life, summer goals mom life, summer goalsDo you have any goals for summer?  Is this a thing?  Or just me?

Either way, let’s do this.



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Mom Life Right Now Fri, 12 May 2017 16:30:10 +0000 Mom life right now is…
sharing a bed with too many large creatures. Stevie always comes to our bed around 1am and Fergus is catching on too. They are either getting sneakier, or Paul and I are so tired that we don’t even notice.

Mom life right now is…
two short workouts a day — one after dropping Stevie at school in the morning, and one after he goes to bed at night. I’d gotten a little careless with my eating (I guess!) plus I had a birthday.  Gained 10 pounds in record time, so I’m working really hard to get back on track. I hate it as much as ever.

Mom life right now is…
anticipating Stevie’s first neurological evaluation this summer. Hoping for some new perspectives and guidance, but also knowing that I can’t put all my eggs in this one basket.

Mom life right now is…
coffee. I go to bed each night already looking forward to my coffee in the morning.

Mom life right now is…
cheering Stevie on in swim class, as he swims (flails?) from one end of the pool to the other. He is working so hard and it makes me tear up to watch him!

Mom life right now is…
getting used to not being so busy all the time. Last year was so overwhelming, that I had to scale back in certain areas.  Things that I wanted to do, but didn’t have to do (yeah, writing) just fell off the list all together. I gave in to the fact that I just couldn’t do it all. And I keep telling myself I’m ok with that. Am I actually ok with it? I don’t know. Just roll with it.

Mom life right now is…
simultaneously surprising and mundane. Stevie has obviously never been one to bore us, but some of the things he says and does lately catch me off guard. They’re new. And they’re mixed in with the same old questions and demands of every other day. I LIVE for those new little surprises.  Like a “thumbs up” outta nowhere!

Mom life right now is…
still a lot of daydreaming about grown-up vacations.

Mom life right now is…
knowing that Stevie won’t go into school without a hug and a kiss.  The kisses are still sloppy and I always want the hugs to be tighter, but even if he forgets in all the excitement of drop-off, he will run back and deliver.

Mom life right now is…
still hard. I wish instead of saying “it gets easier”, people would tell you “it gets different”. Because we overcome one challenge to be met by another. Behavioral therapy is helping, but it’s a long and slow process with lots of charts and data keeping and SO MANY RULES. I still struggle finding the happy medium between being Stevie’s mom and being his therapist. I just don’t know what that’s supposed to look like.

Mom life right now is…
being attached at the hip to a little boy who still needs me for so much. Besides being there to help him with life tasks, he has pretty bad separation anxiety overall and will hardly do anything alone. This includes, but is not limited to, playing Hot Wheels, watching ridiculous YouTube videos, using the toilet, eating, riding his bikes, falling asleep… aaaand that’s pretty much what we do after school on a typical day. Some days I hate it. A lot of days I do. He leaves my introvert meter all the way on empty. But other days — the days where he’s in a good mood and says things like “will you sit right next to me mom, because I love you?” — come on. I have to.  And I love it.

Mom life right now is…
photos requests.  Stevie wants a picture of him and Fergus on the way to school every morning.

Mom life right now is…
making time for the marriage. After our family trip to Seattle and how much freakin’ work Stevie was, I realized Paul and I had barely had a real conversation the whole trip. I missed him and we were right next to each other!  So,Wednesday nights we have a standing in-home date night after Stevie goes to bed. Instead of the usual TV watching or catching up with work, we sit next to each other and talk. About whatever. Sometimes it leads to arguing because we don’t even have time to do that properly, but overall I know we will be glad we did this. Especially when Stevie doesn’t need us as much. We won’t wind up being strangers down the road.

Mom life right now is…
laughing as Stevie “walks” the dog.  (Which could also be viewed as him being dragged down the sidewalk.)

Mom life right now is…
skinned knees and fat lips and bruises everywhere.  #boylife

Mom life right now is…
less forcing, and more allowing. Instead of forcing Stevie to stay busy, I’ve been allowing Stevie to do more of what makes him happy.  Sometimes this means instead of going to a museum, he pushes a stroller around the backyard. Sometimes it means playing really repetitive games instead of forcing him to always try something new.  Sometimes it means letting him take transitional steps like turning on the bath water himself, instead of dragging him to the shower. Sometimes it’s just reading his mood. For instance, we went to Disneyland a couple days ago. Instead of forcing it on a particular day, I kept it in the back of my mind for weeks and just waited for the right time when all the stars aligned — no traffic, good weather, good day at school — and went for it. I also didn’t force him to stay more than a couple hours. We left on a happy note instead of after he’d had too much. There are days when I feel that I’ve given up because I’m not pushing him. I’m too tired for the fight. But I also think he learns in his own time. When he’s ready, he’s ready. And the stress of making things happen has definitely taken a toll on us all.

Mom life right now is…
being amazed at the boy and his appetite.  He will eat so many things I never dreamed a 6 year old would, and it’s so fun.  I already know when he’s a teenager, he will quite literally eat us out of house and home, but at least we can share our love of food.

Mom life right now is…
a continuous journey to find balance.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the beautiful baby mamas out there.  And the mama mamas.  And the mamas in waiting.  And the mamas in grieving.  And the wonderful aunts and cousins and supportive lady friends.  Therapists, teachers, hard workers.  It takes a village and you all deserve the recognition.


P.S. Sunday is the last day for my Mother’s Day natural deodorant giveaway, so go get yoself some.  You don’t have to be a mom, you just have to like smelling good.

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GIVEAWAY: Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Mon, 08 May 2017 00:56:43 +0000 Alright ladies, so this might not be the sexiest Mother’s Day giveaway ever.  But as someone who had a really hard time finding natural deodorant that actually worked, I am pretty excited about it!  Smelling good certainly can’t hurt the sexy factor.

First of all, please tell me you have switched to natural deodorant and are avoiding all the unnecessary garbage in regular deodorant?  (This coming from the woman who fully uses toxic dryer sheets in the laundry because they smell so amazing.  But that is neither here nor there, okaaay?)

Yes?  No?  Maybe?

Believe me, I was on the fence too.  I used regular ol’ deodorant from the time I was 12-ish until about 2 years ago.  Don’t try to do the math.

I am not a scientist and don’t actually know how much worse regular deodorant is for you — if at all — but when we started making small changes in our diets, it kind of spilled over into stuff like this too.  I started using soap and shampoo with natural ingredients and I’m hoping to eventually switch to more natural skin care too.  This just felt like a good place to start going to the crunchy side.

I tried quite a few natural deodorants at first and was NOT impressed.  Like, honestly, I never knew I could smell so bad.  This was not going well for me.  So I’d only use the natural deodorant when I knew there was no chance of sweating.  Forget about summer time.  Ugh.

Then after several months of experimenting, I found a couple that I liked.  But they were in glass tubs and felt really inconvenient to put on.  It took just a tiny bit too long.

Enter (drumroll please)…  Schmidt’s Naturals!

schmidt's natural deodorant, mothers day, giveaway, skin careA natural deodorant.  That works.  In traditional stick form. Yaaaaay!!  Goes on easy and is more convenient for travel, a gym bag, and yes.  Even my beloved fanny pack.

And here’s the good, sexy giveaway part!

Schmidt’s wants to give one of my lucky readers a 5 pack of their natural deodorant to try!

schmidt's natural deodorant, mothers day, giveaway, skin careIt is so easy to enter too.  Just leave a comment  here on the blog telling me what you want to give or get for Mother’s Day (besides this awesome deodorant) and I will choose a winner at random.  If you want a bonus entry, you can also like and comment on this Instagram post.

I know, I know.  Try to contain yourselves.  And get to commenting!  Good luck!


***no purchase necessary to enter.  drawing will be closed at 11:59pm on sunday, may 14th 2017 and the winner will be chosen at random on monday, may 15th, 2017 and notified via email.  shipping costs will be covered by me.  giveaway sponsored by schmidt’s naturals.

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