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Breastfeeding Struggles And Success!

Before I start this blog, it’s all about my personal breastfeeding experience so if that would make you uncomfortable, you might not want to read this. Also, I want to say that even though it was my choice to breastfeed, all mamas are wonderful no matter how they feed their little ones.

Breastfeeding is HARD! There are so many women who talk about breastfeeding like it was nothing for them, but my breastfeeding journey has been harder than pregnancy and maybe even birth itself! In saying that though, all bodies are different so my story might be completely different than yours.

From the beginning, I decided that I was going to try to breastfeed. So a few hours after my son was born, they made me try to get him to latch. My son was 6 lbs and 3 oz and really small so he was having a really hard time. They also told me that I was slightly inverted so my nipples didn’t jut out like they should. I just remember laying in the hospital bed with JJ in my lap crying, and I was trying to squeeze milk out by hand to drip in his mouth. The nipple shield they gave me was even too big for him.

Then they made me try the pump. I cried the first time using the pump because I sat there for 30 minutes without a single drop. The second time, I got about an ounce all together, and we were able to syringe feed that to JJ, and we were still trying to get him to latch too. It takes a while for babies to latch because they have never had to work for anything.

When we went home a couple days later, I got a pump from WIC. I kept trying to latch and syringe feed him, but he always acted hungry. Finally, I tried pumping and putting a couple ounces in a bottle, and he was finally satisfied. I cried because I felt like I had been starving him the whole time because he ate a lot from the bottle once he started going. Man I felt so bad.

Since bottle feeding worked best for us, I would just pump every 3 hours and bottle feed him. I usually pump 5 ounces from each side every time. I rarely tried to breastfeed anymore. Then I made a mistake.. I started wearing bras with nipple pads all the time. I would even try to go all night without pumping because I wouldn’t leak because of the pads. I thought I finally outsmarted having to pump every 3 or 4 hours.

One morning after not pumping for 8 hours, I woke up so sick. My chest was swollen, engorged and bright red. I also felt like I was getting the flu. I was so weak that I was having a hard time even taking care of my son. It turned out that I had gotten mastitis from not doing things right. I had to get an antibiotic to get better. There were some people telling me to switch to formula at that point, but I was too hard headed so I kept pumping and feeding.

As son as I felt better, the next week, I broke out with a terrible rash from an allergic reaction to laundry detergent! After a few days of nothing helping, I had to get a steroid shot and some prednisone, and the doctor said that I couldn’t breastfeed because of it. I didn’t have a choice though because it was what I needed to feel better. It worked out though because I contacted a friend that donates milk to the hospital, and she was able to give me enough for little man for a few days. I was so happy because I’d come too far to switch to formula now! I just had to pump and dump for about a week.

After I finished with the prednisone, I went back to our regular pump and bottle feed routine. Then last Wednesday something really random happened. Little man had just gotten his shots and wouldn’t stop crying so I went to the rocking chair to soothe him. When he wouldn’t calm down, I decided to try to latch him, and he latched! He breastfed like a pro, and it calmed him down so much. We’ve been able to breastfeed multiple times since then too!

I know this blog was long, but I wanted to write it too encourage mamas, and to tell them that they’re not alone in this struggle. It took me 2 months to get the hang of breastfeeding! If breastfeeding isn’t right for you or your baby, that’s perfectly fine too though. I wish all mamas the best health for themselves and their babies.

Enjoying The Quarantine

Life has been really strange lately. Due to the recent Pandemic (aka the Corona virus everyone keeps talking about), it seems like some people think the world has stopped spinning. I will admit that it is serious, and it has affected so many lives worldwide, but I’m honestly so tired of hearing about it. I agree that there should be precautionary measures to stop it from spreading more than it already has, but jeez, do people really need 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 20 packs of toilet paper?! I highly doubt it. I’m just following the precautionary measures, staying at home as much as I can, and praying that this will pass soon. In saying all of this, i would like to focus on the good rather than the bad in this blog.

About 2 months ago, I started working again at a Chinese restaurant that I have worked at on and off for 3 years now. It was great to be back! I got out of the house 2 days a week, and it helps to have a little extra money. When I started working, the virus was barely hitting the news. It started with an outbreak in China. Customers would come and talk about it every now and then asking if it was safe the eat Chinese food.. *Big eye roll.* Then one day, the flip switched. There was an outbreak in America. It was the only topic customers could talk about it seemed. It was very unsettling.

After a week or so, I was hearing about the virus CONSTANTLY. I couldn’t even look at Facebook anymore. People were freaking out! Then grocery stores started emptying, schools started closing, and we had to start doing take out orders only at work (and all other restaurants in NC). Then my boss decided to go ahead and shut down for a little while. He was planning to shut down to renovate sometime this year anyways, so now seemed like the perfect time since business was brought to a halt due to everything going on. He gave everyone some emergency funds, he let us take some food home for our families, and then he closed until further notice. So it’s back to my old routine. I’m back to being a full time stay at home mom. Honestly, I’m just enjoying my time with my son. I really love being home with him.

Currently, we are now in week two of quarantine here in North Carolina, and I’ve only been to the grocery store, my in law’s house, and my parents’ house within these last couple of weeks. Despite everything that’s happening, I am enjoying life right now. I hate how this Pandemic is effecting people and the economy right now, but I’m choosing to look on the bright side of things. I have been able to slow down a little and enjoy more quality family time. It does get harder when you can’t really go anywhere for a change of scenery, but usually I’ll just take JJ outside for a bit if we’re feeling stir crazy.

Yesterday was very different than our usual Saturdays. Usually Javier and I like to go out or visit friends and family, but we took today to really relax and enjoy our little family. We watched movies, went for a walk outside because it was so BEAUTIFUL out there, I cooked one of our favorite meals, and to top it all off, Javier and I played cards while JJ played in his walker. We haven’t actually sat at the dinner table and played a card game together with no TV or phones in a while, and it was so great! It was the best day I have had in a while. It was really nice to kind of unplug from everything. I honestly was able to forget about all of this virus mess going on and enjoy my family!

Although I thoroughly enjoyed our day yesterday, I will be so happy when life gets back to normal. I’m praying that people are able to fully recover physically and financially. I’m blessed with a healthy family and a husband that is still able to work so I have not had to deal with some of the struggles and fears that others have had to face, but I still pray for those who are struggling. I also pray that the whole world will fully recover in time. For now we should all enjoy the people closest to us, continue to “social distance,” and also continue to pray for each other during this time.

So until next time, s tay safe and remember to wash your hands. 😉

This is JJ social distancing! Lol.

Mommy, Let’s Go Outside!

Lately in North Carolina, the weather has been all over the place. It goes from being hot to cold and then back to hot all within a matter of days! Even though the weather is crazy, I still try to enjoy being outside as much as I can with little man. Being a stay at home mom can really make you stir crazy so getting some fresh air helps tremendously! Going outside also can help calm down babies/children! Plus you get the greatest source of vitamin D! It’s a win win for everyone! The last 3 days have been pretty nice! Sunday was in the 60s and slightly windy, Monday (yesterday) was PERFECT at 73 degrees and sunny, and today it was back in the 60s and cloudy, so we spent a lot of time outside!

Sunday we had a chill day as a family. All morning, JJ was whining and fussing, and I was about to go nuts, so I bundled him up, and we went for a walk. Javier, JJ and I took our time, and we walked to our mailbox and back. JJ stayed really quiet as we walked. He just took everything in. I do have to admit that we all needed that walk. It was very refreshing.

On Tuesday (the 73 degree day), I went with my mom to our local YMCA for a walk along their outdoor walkway. It was just a big sidewalk loop around a soccer field, but it was nice! It was perfect for getting out JJ’s stroller. We walked around the loop until JJ fell asleep! For most of the time we were walking, JJ was either just peaceful and quiet or making little squeals and smiling! I was kind of surprised he eventually fell asleep! Also the good part about walking there is that there is also a public park as well! I will definitely be going back there again.

Today, I spent the day at home with JJ. He was whining like crazy again so went went for a walk outside AGAIN. Have I mentioned that he’s teething? That’s why he’s been in a mood.. We stayed in our little driveway instead of walking all the way to the mailbox since Javier wasn’t home. I walked around our circle driveway with him a million times. It is the same little path I walked when I was pregnant and trying to get him out! Haha. I walked around, and I let JJ touch the trees and leaves. He’s so curious about everything so I want to encourage him to explore! When we went back inside after about 30-45 minutes, he took a super long nap. It was a victory because I got some much needed me time!

After Javier got home, he had left the inside door open, and JJ was standing up against the glass door wanting to go back outside! He stood there and looked outside for a while while smacking the door. It’s like he was saying, “Mommy, let’s go outside!” I was cooking so we stayed inside, but it was really cute! I can tell he will be an adventurous outdoorsy boy! I can’t wait to go outside and play with him or watch him run around at the park. There are so many fun adventures in store for us and I can’t wait.

Thank You For Paying It Forward!

Going out to eat with an baby/toddler is hard. JJ is 9 months old, and he is starting to HATE car seats, walkers, and high chairs. He wants freedom! Haha. Anyways, this makes it really difficult to take him out to eat sometimes. It’s like Russian Roulette Baby Edition! You either get a chill child who will sit in the high chair and eat, or you get a child that is squealing, trying to stand up in the high chair, and reaching for everything on the table. The other night, we got the second one..

Last Friday night it was rainy, and I didn’t feel like cooking so Javier and I decided to go to one of our favorite diners. We usually sit in the back corner of the restaurant so we don’t have all eyes on us if JJ starts squealing or something. We sat down near an older couple. We exchanged smiles with them, and they waved at JJ, but we really didn’t acknowledge each other after that.

We got situated at our table, put JJ in the high chair, and we ordered our food. We ordered our meals and a side of peas for JJ. JJ did not even last until our food came out to start trying to get out of the high chair. He was super wiggly and antsy. For the whole meal, we had to take turns holding him and eating. He’s a handful! I even stood up with him for a couple minutes to keep him from whining so much. It was kind of our fault for going out to eat during JJ’s nap time.

We kept a good attitude with JJ. We were even laughing at how crazy going out to eat with a almost toddler can be. You just have to be patient when it comes to babies. He kept dropping his peas on the floor and grabbing at our plates. I almost regretted going out after awhile honestly. It can be pretty embarrassing when your kid acts up in public.

When we got done eating, I went to go pay. They usually put the check on the table, but I could not find it. I was about halfway to the cash register when our waitress met me halfway to tell me that the older couple that sat behind us during most of our meal had paid for our food. I felt so special. I suddenly felt happy that we had gone out. I went back to our table, and I told Javier. He was really surprised because we barely had talked to them.

I wish I knew those people personally so I could thank them. They made our night! I don’t know if they did it because they noticed our struggle or because they were just good people. Either way, I wish I could tell them thank you for paying it forward! ❤️

*JJ on a different day at Burger King being a good boy!*

Nine Month Update: Getting Bigger And Smarter!

This past Sunday (the 19th), my little JJ turned 9 months old! There have been so many changes from 8 months to 9 months. It is just so insane how fast babies grow. I swear I just had a newborn, and now I am chasing a soon to be toddler around the house. He seriously crawls super fast! Lately he is changing in every way possible from looks to personality! He also amazes me daily with how smart he is. Nothing gets past him. So in this blog, I want to update you on all things JJ!

First of all, JJ LOVES to eat. He really will eat anything. He loves french fries, chicken, bananas, yogurt, noodles, peanut butter, and pretty much anything else I can smash up for him. He is a crumb snatcher. I’ll get myself a snack, and he’ll come crawling to me. He’ll sit a my feet and stare at me until I give him a bite. I never mind sharing with my little muncher. He is also still breastfed as well, but I’ve introduced regular milk in small amounts. He’s done really well with everything so far. He also has 2 bottom teeth coming in finally, and that helps with eating real foods.

JJ also has a new look! Between getting a haircut and his eczema getting so much better, JJ looks like a whole different baby. I’m very happy about these changes. His hair was constantly in his eyes. Also the eczema had been an ongoing problem. We went to a wonderful dermatologist that helped so much. They prescribed a liquid prednisone and a medicated cream for him. I saw an improvement within 24 hours! I plan on writing a separate blog about caring for eczema soon. Anyways, now people can see his beautiful face, and he looks so much healthier and cared for.

JJ is getting so big and smart! He crawls so fast, and he pulls up on the couch and the tv stand. Also, whenever Javier and I leave a room, he follows us to whichever room we go into. It’s funny because when he comes after us, we can hear him coming because we can hear his hands slapping against the floor while he is speed crawling. He also gets into everything (including the cabinets)!

He also knows where to get all of his toys when he wants to play! Also, when he’s in the bathtub, most of the time I have to get into the bathtub with him because he knows how to turn on the water by himself, and he tries to stand up on the side of the tub. I don’t want him to slip and fall. On top of all of that, he also hates being changed. He tries flipping over and wiggling when I change him. He’s a mess!

Most of all, JJ has the sweetest personality. He loves to sing with me with his sweet little voice, and he loves to dance and laugh with me. He is so easy to make laugh too. His giggle is so sweet. Everywhere we go, he likes to reach for people and smile. He definitely gets all of the attention! He also gets so excited when his daddy comes home in the evenings. I love to watch their bond grow. It’s so special to me. He’s been saying “mama” for a few months, but now he is saying “dada” too!

I hope you enjoyed this update. I enjoyed writing it. JJ is at such a fun age, and he surprises me every day! Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon! ❤️

Always Look On The Bright Side

Let’s be honest, some days are better than others. Life is full of wonderful views from the mountain tops and dark moments in the valley. Last Monday was a perfect representation of that. There were so many ups and downs during that day to make anyone go nuts. That day I learned not to ever say, “What else could go wrong?!” Every time I said that, something else would go wrong! In saying that, amidst all of the chaos of that day, there were also some blessings in between. So I’m going to write this blog to show you that even on your worst days, there will always be a bright side.

Well the chaos actually started Sunday night. I had washed a load of clothes, and I was starting on the dishes when suddenly the water shut off completely. It is not the first time that has happened where we live, but I had seen it coming because our toilet had been constantly running, and I just kept ignoring it. I hate how bad of a procrastinator I can be.. Anyways, our landlord (my cousin) came over (at like 9:30 at night), and he turned off our water until he could fix the problem. So that night we had no water. You never realize how much water you use until you don’t have it anymore. Especially with a baby. It drove me crazy.

Also that night, JJ did not want to sleep. He wanted to play, and he cried when I tried to get him tired so I let him play to get the energy out. sometimes you just have to cave in to keep your sanity. I ended up in my bed around midnight, and then I couldn’t fall asleep myself. By the time I got good and asleep about an hour later, JJ was back up. He’s getting 3 teeth right now so he has been harder to put to sleep and keep asleep. I think I ended up falling asleep at 3:00am on the couch while breastfeeding him. Haha. Then Javier woke me up at 6:30am when he got up for work because I pack his lunch every morning. So I finally got JJ in his crib, and I got back into my bed at 7:00am for some much needed sleep.

Needless to say, Monday morning I felt so rough, but my cousin let me come over to shower so I could feel more human. That was a big bright side! Plus she watched JJ while I showered so I got to shower longer than I normally do! I got out of the shower feeling WAY better. Unless you are a mom, you don’t know how amazing it feels to have an uninterrupted, long shower.

Then I met my mom for lunch. It was going to be my treat since it was her birthday the day before. In the middle of eating, the waitress grabbed our check, and she said that our meal had been paid for! I was so surprised! My mom’s first cousin had been at a table across the restaurant, and he paid for our food. It really made my day to be a recipient of such kindness. It made me realize that everything was not all bad.

Later on that evening, Javier and I went to visit his family. We had a good time, but as we were leaving their house, we realized that we had a flat tire. We had just bought new tires a month ago, but even new tires can’t withstand a good ole nail. Javi and his brothers put on the spare tire easily, but I was still bummed out. Also it was getting late so JJ was not happy. I was just so done at that point. It was probably because it was pushing 10:00pm, and I was tired. When we got into the car, JJ started screaming and crying. He just wasn’t having it either. I about lost my mind on the way home.

When we got home, we had our water back on so that really helped things! They had came by during the day and fixed it so that was nice. I was able to relax, and I was actually able to put JJ to bed easier that night too. I had a good night’s rest that night, and that was just what I needed.

Also the next day we went to visit my parents, and my dad taught my boyfriend how to plug our tire. That was another problem solved. I just wanted to write all of this to show you that even the worst days have good moments. I definitely thank God every day for all of the wonderful people in my life that help me get through days like that. I want you to know that no matter what kind of day you are having, if you look on the bright side, it will all work out. ❤️

(Photo credit to https://instagram.com/waustin_97?igshid=1n4qjiax8egpz)

Super Easy Chicken Enchiladas!

This recipe that I am about to share with you is super special to me. For as long as I can remember, my grandma Lynda has always made Sunday lunch for the whole family EVERY Sunday. She even packs us to-go boxes for us to take home leftovers when we leave. Anyways, this is one of my favorite meals that she makes, and so I would love to share it with you guys!

Ingredients (Recipe for 2 or 3 people):

  • 1 pack of tortillas
  • 1 cup of salsa (we like mild and chunky)
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 10 oz can of cream of chicken soup
  • 4 pieces of chicken breast (shredded)
  • Shredded cheese (I like cheddar and mozzarella)

Instructions:

Add 3/4 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of salsa, and one can of cream of chicken soup into a bowl, and set it to the side. Then in a separate bowl, mix your shredded chicken, 2 cups of cheese, and one cup of the soup mixture together in that bowl.

Roll the chicken and cheese mixture into the tortillas. In a small glass pan, you can usually make 5 or 6 enchiladas. Then pour the rest of the soup mixture on top on the enchiladas. Then add as much cheese as you want on top. We love cheese! Then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes!

I hope you enjoy this super easy and delicious recipe! ❤️

JJ’s First Haircut!

JJ has always had so much hair. I remember in his last ultrasound when I was 38 weeks pregnant with him (the day I was induced), and you could even see his hair in the ultrasound picture! When JJ was born, I was surprised at how much hair he actually had. I was bald until I was two years old so I know that he got all of his hair from his dad’s side for sure!

Everywhere we go, people always say, “Look at that headful of hair!” I’ve told Javier that we would be rich if we got a dollar every time someone said that, but I think it’s really sweet. I really wanted to hold off on giving him a haircut until he turned one years old, but his hair grew so quickly. Within the past couple of months, his hair started growing over his ears, and it was swooping down into his eyes as well. So even though JJ is only 8 and a half months old, I decided that it was time for his first haircut!

So this past Thursday night, I got the bright idea to take matters into my own hands. I took JJ to the bathroom, got my scissors, and I started trimming his hair. Not the best idea. Seriously, unless you really trust yourself, don’t try this at home. Haha. He was really still at first. I just did the back and one of the sides at first. It didn’t look too bad, but I started to get nervous because he started wiggling more, and I decided to stop right then and there. I called my cousin that lives close to me, and I asked her if she could help me with it the next day because she’s a professional hair stylist. My boyfriend couldn’t stop laughing at JJ’s new unfinished look that night. I have to admit, it was pretty funny!

The next morning, for some reason before going to my cousin’s house, I decided that I could cut JJ’s bangs myself.. He moved at soon as I was starting to cut his hair, and it looked so bad! I put him in the car seat right away, and we hopped in the car so my cousin could fix my hot mess! I could not help but laugh though. He just looked funny to me. Man, that makes me sound like a mean mommy, but at least we were on our way to get it fixed!

My cousin Heidi saved his hair with her magic. Her son helped us keep JJ occupied while she cut his hair. It looked much better! He can finally see! He looks so much bigger too with his new haircut. It gives my mommy heart mixed emotions, and yes, I did save his hair in a ziplock bag.. Haha. I’m really glad Heidi was able to save the day. I owe her big time!

This week made me realize that my little boy is growing so fast, but I love to experience all of these things with him. I can’t wait for many more of his firsts to come. I hope this blog made you smile. Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon!

My Goals For 2020!

I’m going to be completely honest with you, I have never kept a New Year’s resolution. My motivation goes away by the second week into the year, and there I am acting like I never made any resolutions to begin with. Isn’t that how everyone is though? One year I wanted to exercise everyday and not drink soda for a whole year. I’m pretty sure I exercised sporadically longer than I went without soda, but neither lasted very long. Dr, Pepper is my weakness! That’s why I decided to make a list of very reachable “goals” to accomplish within 2020. Yes it may sound like taking the easy way out, but it will be more likely that I’ll stick with them!

Here are my goals for 2020 in no particular order:

  • Blog more. I love blogging, but I got super burnt out in November and December. I think it was the busyness of the holidays! The motivation just went out the window for a couple of months for some reason. I would love to use this year to really take blogging to the next level for myself. I want to try to write one or two blog posts per week starting now.
  • Drink more water. There are some days that I only drink one bottle of water. I drink tea and juice, but I really want to drink more water because I know it would benefit me greatly. I’m even going to start ordering water when I go out to eat (unless soda come with my meal. Hehe.) But in all seriousness, water is my “new fave.”
  • Go outside more. In 2019, I started the year out being pretty pregnant. When we moved into our house, Javier and I used to walk up and down the driveway together so I could get my exercise. We have a circle driveway as well that I used to speed walk right before having JJ, but after having JJ, I stayed inside a lot. I was just tired, and he was so little. We did bring him to the park a few times last year when he got a little bigger, but I want us to play outside a lot more this year. Sunshine is good for you!
  • I want to travel more! I don’t care if it’s 30 minute away or a few hours away, I want to go to new places! I’m really into botanical gardens, and there are some stroller friendly ones that I’m dying to check out. The best part about those is that most of the time, they are free! I also want to explore more places as a family. There’s also a parent getaway trip to the mountains in the works too (if I can stay away from JJ overnight…). This will be an adventurous year for us I hope!
  • Be more present. I find myself on my phone constantly, and I want to be more present with my family and the world around me. I want to live in the moment.
  • Set aside a daily prayer time. I need to pray more. I have slight anxiety at times, and I think it would benefit me so much if I set aside a daily prayer time. I already have a prayer journal so I want to write more in that as well.
    Lastly, I need to be more patient with myself (and JJ). Sometimes I am too hard on myself. Some days I beat myself up if I can’t get any housework done. I’m just always having to run after JJ and make sure he isn’t getting into anything. I just need to remind myself that I am doing a good job. JJ is my priority, and everything else can wait.

Those are my goals for 2020! I hope I will be able to live by them this year. Also, if you ever break you resolutions, always know that even though it may not be January 1st anymore, every day is a new day! If you guys have any goals or resolutions for this year, feel free to comment! I would love to hear them!

2019 Reflections!

I can’t believe that we just said goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020! This year has been full of triumphs, trials, sickness, health, and much more. Last night I enjoyed having a friend over to visit for a while. She loves playing with JJ. We used to be coworkers, and after 2 years of working full time together, we became best friends. For supper, I made quesadillas, and we had sparkling grape juice too. My friend left around 8:00pm, and it was just my family of 3! Other than JJ throwing a little tantrum due to being tired, it was a good night. Javier and I were laughing and goofing off watching funny movies and videos, and forgot to look at the clock at 12:00pm. When we realized it was almost one, we finally went to sleep. Our New Year’s Eve was simple, but I had a blast.

I will have to admit, I definitely walked out of 2019 a completely different than I walked into it. In February of 2019, I moved into a trailer with my significant other. We didn’t have a lot, but we were just fine with that. We turned nothing into something, and we have made a great home for our little family. Even though that was a big change in our lives, we had no idea how much our lives were about to change. On April 19, 2019, we became a family of three. After being pregnant for what felt like forever, we welcomed Javier David Salgado-Frazier (JJ) into the world! That was the most crazy and beautiful day of my life. Javier and I also had our first Mother and Father’s Day. That was so special too!

Motherhood has changed me completely. It has changed my perspective on life, it has given me more compassion for others, and I just have such a greater purpose in life because of my son. Parenthood has also brought out a sleep deprived, short tempered mama bear from time to time as well. I’ve never hurt anyone, but I’m not proud of that side of me when it comes out. I’ll just say this, motherhood is hard, and if anyone tells you different, they are a liar. Haha!

All jokes aside, I have loved being a mom. My son is my little sidekick. I have not been away from my son for longer that 4 hours at a time since he was born. Being a stay at home mom is sometimes really hard, but I have loved it for the most part. I have loved watching him grow from the cuddly sleepy newborn to the very curious, rambunctious, and smiley 8 month old. He definitely keeps me on my toes!

I have also gone through so much health wise this year from being pregnant, giving birth, and postpartum. I also chose to breastfeed. That came with it’s own struggles such as mastitis, always having to be conscious of my food choices, and leaking all over the place in the first couple of weeks, but breastfeeding has been super rewarding for me. It also took my body a good 6 months to regulate itself to my regular menstrual cycles so the 2 pregnancy scares I had during that time were icing on that cake. Haha! That was just the physical part. I have really tried to keep my mental health where it needs to be as well. As long as I am rested, I have no problems, but on my sleep deprived days, it’s hard to feel like myself. I am working on better ways to deal with that though.

I also have to brag on Javier. He has really been the most loving and supportive man in the world. We love laughing together, and I have LOVED seeing him as a wonderful father. I’m glad he is my son’s father and the love of my life. Also, I have really seen him transform from boy to man in the past year, and I am so very proud of him. We came into 2019 strong, but we are even stronger now.

We have also had some family adventures along the way throughout 2019! We have gone to the Greensboro Natural Science Center, the zoo, a pumpkin patch, and the beach! I have so much fun going new places with my little family. I love to travel and explore with my boys whether it’s 3 hours away or 30 minutes away. An adventure is always fun!

Even though 2019 will definitely be a year for the books, I cannot wait to see what 2020 will hold for us! I have set some goals that I will share with you later on this week so stay tuned! Have a Happy New Year!

A Very Special Christmas!

This Christmas was so chaotic, fun, and special in so many ways! First of all, everyone was healthy, and that is such a blessing this time of year. Also this was our first Christmas as a family of three in our own house! Last year was still great, but I was 6 months pregnant with JJ, I had a terrible UTI, and I spent the night at my boyfriend’s mom’s house so we could be together all of Christmas. Let’s just say this Christmas was so much better!

The fun started at 12:30pm on Christmas Eve at my grandma’s for my dad’s side of the family! We had turkey, ham, stuffing, tons of desserts, etc. Even JJ tried some turkey! Also we started a new tradition at my grandma’s house! Instead of everyone bringing gifts for everyone, we played games! We had so much fun playing games that everyone had thought of! We spent the longest time playing “Never Have I Ever!” Even though we didn’t really do gifts this year, my grandparents still made us all candy buckets, and some family members gave JJ some gifts. It was a great gathering!

After that, Javier and I went back home because it was my turn to be the hostess for Javier’s family! There was a little pressure because Javier’s mom cooks very well, but I think I have a little cooking skills too. I had done a lot of the preparation the day before with one of my cousins (thank you Courtney!), and I made 2 coconut pies and 17 enchiladas! I made the enchilada filling and pies ahead of time so all I had to do was put the filling into the enchiladas and bake them!

They got to our house around 6:00pm, and it was perfect because the food had just came out of the oven! His mom also brought flan, rice with shrimp, buffalo wings, and agua de pepino (cucumber water/juice)! It was a feast! We ate, and then we played cards! Our favorite game is 21! You get dealt one card, and you say “hit me” until your cards equal 21. You can stop before 21 too because if you go over, you lose automatically. We betted with poker chips too! Haha. Then we opened presents! We gave the girls scarves and we bought the boys things from 5 And Below (they have something for everyone)! They also got JJ some things to open too. They gave him some clothes, and jacket and shoes to grow into!

Javier’s family left around 10:00pm, and I was able to put JJ to sleep around 10:30pm. It was nice and quiet in the house, and the only lights on were the Christmas lights. Javier and I cuddled and watched a Christmas movie. It was the perfect way to end the day. In that moment, I was so happy and grateful for such a special Christmas Eve. I had such a warm feeling in my heart.

Christmas was also a wonderful day. We relaxed at home in the morning which was nice. Then we got invited by his family to go see his godparents that live about 45 minutes from us. We decided to go since it has been a long time since we have seen them. We hung out there from around 2:00pm until 5:00pm. There were just about to be done with the food when we were leaving, but we had to be at my aunt’s house at 6:00pm a whole hour from where we were, and we had to still drop back by our house to pick up the gifts. We didn’t want to leave, but we were definitely not going to miss out on our other family gathering. It was one of those time when you wished you could be two places at the same time!

We were late getting to my aunt’s house, but they were still making food so it was fine. We had spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad to change it up! It was good. My uncle even found some old home videos from a Christmas 10 years ago! It was a little cringe-worthy for me because I was 11 and pretty weird, but it was sweet to see. We also have a gift tradition on my mom’s side of the family. Whoever wants to can buy gifts for the kids, but all of the adults pull a name out of the hat on Thanksgiving for a secret Santa with a $20 spending limit! I got my mom and my sister had my name! I got my mom some new tennis shoes and a nice insulated mug for her daily coffee, and my sister got me a nice set of pots and pans! We also have a $10 Dirty Santa game that we brought $10 worth of quarters in a box, and we won some nice pottery!

The day after Christmas, we went to my parents’ to open gifts for my immediate family (my parents, my sister, her husband, and our little family). We had cheeseburgers, opened gifts, and then we all watched the movie Scrooged. It was fun!

That night when I got home, the cleaning began! Putting presents away, doing dishes, laundry, and switching out JJ’s older toys for some new ones.

Well I’m so happy that I got to share our Christmas with you. It was so amazing, but I’m honestly glad that things are getting back to normal. I hope to go back to at least blogging once a week now so stay tuned! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ❤️