I want to remember: Stop, Think, Be Thankful

I want to remember. I want to remember everything. I want to remember the way he smells. I want to remember his sweet little voice saying “I love you mommy.” 

I want to remember it all because 4 years ago today I became a Mama. Certainly the scariest, best, most amazing moment of my life happened 4 blazing years ago.

It has been a whirlwind 4 days of birthday celebrations, and I finally have a moment to myself to relax and reflect. 

Be Thankful
I’m stopping to think about the last 4 years, and I am beyond thankful for my family. 

Baby Bear, you have changed me into the person I was yearning to be, a mommy. Thank you for teaching me what life is all about. As I teach you the golden rule, manners, and how to be a good person, you remind me of these invaluable life lessons.

I have been sending you boys emails instead of making baby books, because it is so easy these days to just type a sentence and push send right at that moment. That way, memories are not lost and forgotten. I just logged into your gmail to read some of the emails and watched some videos. So, of course, I am doing that ugly, laughing, crying thing moms do. 

This has to be one of the best gifts I have ever received from your God Mother who made this video of your first year and gave it to us on your 1st birthday.

My sweet baby boy, you are so dynamic, smart, and kindhearted.

Your willingness to include and help others is a special gift.

Even as a baby you have never known a stranger, and it is evident when you were inviting little boys to your birthday party last week in the checkout line and parking lot at Target.

You have so much energy that you push yourself to the brink of exhaustion because of your FOMO!
I love that you like to organize! You line up your dinosaurs, trucks and action figures in a cute OCD manner.
I want to remember all of your sayings.
Mama hold you
You are beautisul
Number one homie
I want to remember all your favorite things:
You love JUNK food, which I will say, you were not really introduced to much until your Aunt Sissy treated you. And little brother came along, and you were potty trained.
Pizza, popcorn, candy, sour gummy bears, pop, cake, cookies, fruit snacks, pudding, ice cream, whip cream, you name it, you love it, and it is bribery at its finest!
Like buddy the elf you love sugar and marshmallows and anything covered in maple syrup. 

You love to dance. Your favorite jams are “pump up the jam”, purplicious, or Fergalicious, “Party Rock” and Luke Bryan. 
You want to be good at everything the first time you try it like someone else I know (me), and your frustration makes you try harder. 
My boys are my world. I live and breathe for them. I had 29 years of me and now I want to share the rest of my years with my babies and give them the best life possible.

I gave my birthday boy 3 parties! Redamndiculous! I know. I agree. I will go into those next post Birthday party bonanza! 

I do not do it for me or recognition. I do it for the memories I’m making with my boys. And that is priceless! 
Sunday morning came, and you were so excited to open and play with all your new toys. It was a like a watching a T-Rex running after his prey or a tornado’s path of destruction moving from gift to gift until there was nothing left. You were crying, whining, and being a brat. 
I was thinking of how to teach this lesson. We are learning the difference between good behavior and bad, ungrateful, bratty behavior. I said some kids don’t have birthday parties and get tons of presents and have all this awesome stuff! You are lucky and very special, so act like it. Then I said “Stop. Think. Be thankful.”

I need to look in the mirror when I am teaching these lessons. Having kids reminds us of the basics of being a good person. I grew up learning the golden rule until it was mentally tattooed on my brain.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Sadly I think this human lesson has been lost among the last few generations. It’s all about me me me. 
Well, Baby Bear, you are everything to me. And I am so proud to be your mom. God has blessed me with you and your brother, and I am eternally grateful. Thank you for 4 outstanding and challenging years! I love you to the moon and back 10! 

PS: we are officially partied out! If you need us we will be in a pajama, pizza & cake coma! 


Just Happy Mommy 

Are play dates the new friendship / online dating?!

This morning was one of the best play dates I have had in my 4 years of being a mom. My littlest love and I met an old friend and her twins at a city park this morning. We had not seen each other, in person, in what seemed like a decade but we keep up with each other online. I had zero anxiety about meeting her and no worries if the kids would get along. We picked up right where we left off, as awesome girlfriends! Our conversation was easy, funny, kind and smooth, considering we were running after 3 kids under 2! This is what it is all about! NO judgement! I walked away feeling so happy and looking forward to our next date.

As a mom sometimes play dates can feel like dating. Like dates, they can go great, ok, awkward and even terrible. I haven’t dated in a decade but I hear its brutal and from Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance this new digital world has made it a big ole mess.

“no matter how many options we seem to have on our screens, we should be careful not to lose track of the human beings behind them. We’re better off spending quality time getting to know actual people than spending hours with our devices, seeing who else is out there.”
― Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance

NOT all playdates are created equal. Some are casual & easy and others take effort & work. Plus the introduction to social media screws everything up. We think we know what is going on in people’s lives but do we really? Do we have a false sense of friendship security because of our online connections? Don’t get me wrong I love being able to keep in touch with my friends and family but have we replaced personal face to face time with FakeTime? Should love & friendships be work?

(Sorry I am having a Carrie Bradshaw moment, except I am in sweatpants and Uggs, drinking a Dr. Pepper and its 11:30am in Oklahoma instead of smoking a cigarrette drinking a cosmo in my designer outfit at midnight in NYC) Anyway I digress…

Karin Sieger, psychotherapist and HuffPost UK blogger, says true friendships “are based on unconditional concern for the other. We do things for the other out of friendship not in order to gain anything. Friendships can provide grounding, safety, comfort, the experience of trust and respect, of being understood and valued.”

“21st century friendships are soul friendships. They are about supporting each other to live a life that is full of purpose, courage and creativity.”

“However there are challenges – in this digital world of ours, it’s harder to maintain or make meaningful relationships. We are more independent than ever, and the only predators we really need help with are rubbish dates.”


Just like dating. Maybe you think it went great but the other mom is like WHOA! Never again! She’s a psycho! Or the other way around. That did NOT go as planned. And maybe the kids did not get along so it does not make sense to force a friendship. And sometimes we are all just too busy to make time. So are play dates like online dating? Will there be a match? One of the best ways to explain the awkwardness:

You make time when you want to see someone. I have see this shirt several times and I always laugh. “Sorry I’m late I didnt want to come.” I found this on Etsy. It is super cute I am actually thinking of getting one. Sorry I’m Late Etsy Shop

il_570xN.816685760_93noHave you ever felt this way? Hopefully most of you are humans and at one point were like ya I dont wanna do that family, work, friends, spouse event, you name it, sometimes we just dont. We are all being pulled in so many directions that is hard to be everywhere all the time.

The effortless last minute play dates are always the best for us. Yesterday and today we went to local city parks and met up with some of my dearest childhood friends and their littles. All our kids are different ages and they all got along so well.

I met another lifelong friend for breakfast a couple weeks ago, again so fun, easy, nice conversation and left feeling so glad that we finally met up even tho it was for 45 minutes.

The evolution of friendship is one of the most complex things for me to understand. My MeMaw always says its quality not quantity and if you have 5 real friends in your lifetime then you are rich.


I have always been a social butterfly even since I was little. I am lucky to say I have a lot of friends. I genuinely care about people. I think sometimes I am the delusional crazy ex girlfriend who cant understand why she was dumped. Friendships come and go it is a part of life but I have a tough time letting things go. Some people prolly have no idea what I am talking about and thats cool. I just want to know how to handle my kids getting left out, not getting invited or losing a friend.

Why do we feel the need to be friends with everyone? Is it a southern thing? Did we take the “it’s not what you know but who you know” thing a little too seriously? It is all about connections and networking blah blah. But does that S#@% even really matter? If you have 1,000 facebook friends but do NOT have someone you can 1,000% depend on then what do you have? I ask these questions because after starting my blog I find myself at an impass. How do I teach my boys how to be a good friend in this ever evolving and changing digital world? Do those people really care about me or will I ever see them again?


I am reconnecting with my friends more and more. It is reassuring to know that we are still the same little girls who used to have sleep overs except now we have real life baby dolls. I think it is because we have spent real time together.  We did NOT have the internet, social media, weird pressures and we were able to be kids. I would be lost without my college, career and other mom friends. They are always there for me and we lean and depend on each other like sisters.

To have friends you have to be a friend. And today that means we must share ourselves, our time and shed the profile picture and get back to the heart of the matter, loving each other. With our ever changing, fast paced, digital world, I pray my boys find the human connections with friends that I have been lucky enough to keep.

“Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.”

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”


Just Happy Mommy

Credits to GIF ap for iPhone, Pinterest, Etsy, Aziz Ansari and Huffington Post


Mean Mom Judgy Eyes

I just found out one of my all time favorites, Jennifer Aniston, is doing a movie called Mean Moms. That is totally fitting because tonight I’m going to be on TV talking about just that. Local ABC affiliate KTUL interviewed me as a “local blogger” to talk about Mom Shaming. I am no expert, but I am pretty sure mom shaming can come in lots of forms. Almost always from ignorance. Once I got to thinking about it I realized I had a lot to say so here it is…


We all know the judgy eyes. The “ERMYGERD” looks we get from other women, especially other moms. The story is Mean Moms and the hot topic of mom shaming. Well I think it’s total crap. Most people need to worry more about themselves and their own families before throwing shade.

(My husband just introduced me to the GIF Keyboard on my iPhone so I am playing around.)

GIF KEYBOARD for iphone

First things first, there is NO right way to parent. We need to keep health, safety, education, and the individuality of our kids in the fore front!!!

Mom Shaming occurs on social media, TV, society or even from the socio geographic expectations of mothers today. I think that since the constant sharing and parenting opinion explosion online, it’s ruined self confidence and mothers being able to trust their intuition. My grandmother and mother’s generation succeeded with amazing grace and flying colors without the judgement that many Mom’s feel today. Why? Because people still had interpersonal conversations and there was NO internet.

So there is real life and then there is social media but the line is being blurred more everyday. When you share your life experiences online someone is going to judge and comment, so be prepared.

I think of the line from Field of Dreams,

“If you build it they will come.”


“If you post it they will judge.”

I am ashamed to admit that I too have judged moms. I have been shamed by both other moms and my own family members. I have been to the point of tears and having my husband call someone asking them to take the comment down. “Kids learn what they see.” “Maybe he needs more attention from his mom.” Really? Wow? How did you come to that expert opinion based on a picture of a toddler?

GIF keyboard for iphone
Here is the thing. Most women are sensitive beings, and moms are on another level of vulnerability because we feel exhausted, frustrated, under appreciated, and dare I say it, jealous, or even worse, envious of others. I am raising my hand right now. Hello. It’s human emotion. If you can honestly say you have never felt any of those emotions then you are prolly a liar, a saint, or on some sort of medication I need to know about. Lately I try and laugh, because there is no such thing as having it all. But, oh how we try! So how do we overcome these demons?
own your truth
embrace the chaos
keep it real
Logo 1c
I find comfort, happiness, and even validation when I share my parenting experiences with my mom, sis, and my best friends. I tell them all the disgusting and hilarious things that go on behind the share button. Pictures of laundry piles, and that my kid just pooped on the floor and I need a cocktail or 4.
 When my best friend and I walk into public places with our 4 boys under 4, people look at us like we are aliens with 6 heads packing heat. Hello. Its fine! We have to eat too. Sorry I made you annoyed and uncomfortable for a few seconds of your life. COEXIST!
The thought that children should be seen and not heard is absurd and ancient.We are all sorts of crazy. Anyone with sleep deprivation and unrealistic expectations is set up for meltdowns and failures… Sometimes I want to join my one year old’s tantrum and scream in downward dog too. Until you actually participate in a #reallife tantrum and experience the misery, embarrassment, and the utter exhaustion it takes to handle one then… BYE FELICIA!
GIF keyboard for iphone
Our parents and grandparents lived in a different time. They didn’t have to worry about what other people had because it was not continuously shoveled into their face everyday. They didn’t feel pressured to lose their baby weight in 5 weeks. We are supposed to be automatically happy the second our child is born. These unrealistic expectations of the average American mother are overwhelming, to say the least. It can be a losing battle. The CONSTANT comparisons can make even the most confident woman question herself and convictions.
As I have explained in previous posts about my struggles with postpartum depression, I definitely felt judged. Even more so when I would talk about taking medication. People feel they have the right to know and voice opinions no matter what the subject. It is exhausting and honestly sad. For some reason some of us feel like we need to validate our choices while others choose to hide them. What works for some does not work for others. Conformity is not the answer. Acceptance and support is what mothers need.
My mom used to have a couple sayings that would DRIVE ME CRAZY when I was a kid. Now I think they fit in nicely with this post.
“Well that is why Baskin Robins makes 31 flavors,”
“To each his own.”
People judge us. Whether working, staying at home, working from home, part-time working, private schooling, MDO, church-going, atheist, public schooled, home schooled, fast food eating, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, vegan, paleo, city-based, suburb living, farm living, single or married, every woman has the right to choose what is best for her and her children. We do not all have to agree. This is America after all.
I will say it again. What matters is our kids! We need to stop worrying about all the other crap, and focus on what is important.
Their future.
Building respectful children who learn manners and know how to treat people is our responsibility as parents. Our job is to help them navigate this scary and intimidating world while celebrating their differences and learning to love themselves.gif keyboard on iphone
We live in an over-the-top politically correct society. I think this subject of Mom Shaming will continue until someone creates MomBook, which implements rules of courtesy and etiquette. People will continue to give their 2 cents even if they have NO sense at all. Unfortunately there are a lot of ignorant and judgmental people in the world.
GIF keyboard ap for iphone
Just Happy Mommy

It is NOT FARE!!!

Stop and think about what you ate today… Cereal? Oatmeal? Eggs? Protein shake? Sandwich? Soup? Quesadilla? Chips? Yep can’t have any of that…

As many of you know our little nugget has severe, life threatening food allergies. He is allergic to wheat, oats, eggs, dairy and peanuts. His reactions are hives, breathing problems and anaphylaxis. They are brought on through contact with the air, skin and ingestion. We are all learning this new way of life and most people do NOT realize the affects and tolls it takes on a family. I do not post this to get sympathy but to bring this to light. Food allergies are real and affecting more and more people.

I did not misspell fair on accident. FARE stands for Food Allergy Research & Education. Over the last few months I have been doing extensive research and educating myself about food allergies and this is the best source of hope for him and our family. FARE is a non profit organization that works towards advancing a cure and funds the Food Allergy Resource Initiative. Some of the statistics are alarming and the stories of these families are heartbreaking and inspiring.


“How Many People Have Food Allergies?

  • Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.
  • This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom.
  • The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year.
  • While progress has been made, this potentially life-threatening disease has no cure.”

Let that sink in for a minute. That is just astounding to me.

As a new mom I admit being annoyed and rolling my eyes at the new rules at our older son’s school. No homemade treats. NO nut policy. Everything had to be store bought, cut up and washed in the classroom. The extensive rules and guidelines that once inconvenienced me are now at the forefront of my mind as a parent to a child who could die if exposed or ingests trigger foods.

Like many of you growing up I do not remember knowing many people with food allergies. I recall an email my dad sent me before I was a mom. Its something like how did we survive the 70’s and 80’s? We ate white bread, butter, white sugar, water from the hose, bologna and cheese and soda pop. Hey I love me a good butter and sugar sandwich! Martin Lawrence standup! Mama gonna work it out! LOL

“So why are food allergies on the rise?

  • According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
  • The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.
  • Researchers are trying to discover why food allergies are on the rise in developed countries worldwide, and to learn more about the impact of the disease in developing nations.

As a mother you obviously never want to harm or hurt your child but with food allergies you feel like its your fault. It started early on with my breastmilk. He had terrible eczema, rashes, bloody mucus stools, gas and severe discomfort passing stools. So I changed my diet, no dairy, no nuts! My supply dropped and we started to introduce bottles and supplement with formula. We had gone down this same road with our first son so I was not surprised. We tried all the expensive formulas until some friends told us just go straight to Neocate. Thankfully that worked and he was ok. Once I started introducing him to his first foods was when I new something wasn’t right. He projectile vomited and was lethargic after his first introduction to baby’s first cereal and oatmeal. Call it God’s grace and mother’s intuition but I never gave him any direct dairy, eggs or any nut butter. But it started to get more complicated when he would have reactions to fruit and veggie pouches that contained wheat, oats, milk and others even if there was a trace of the ingredient. It was not until 9 months that we had his blood tested for food allergies. He broke out in hives from eating spaghetti with red sauce.

The results were tough to swallow. Sorry I could NOT resist that pun. The scale is 0-6, 6 being the highest. These are his Allergy Lab Results:

Class 5 very high positive

Class 4 very high positive

Class 3 high positive
Egg white

Class 2 moderate
Egg yolk

Class 1 low positive

Now that we know what he can eat I prepare EVERY SINGLE meal for him and go to the grocery at least twice a week. He is underweight but he is happy. He loves food and being outside. It is a scary thing to be allergic to food and even the world around you.

Food Allergy Reactions & Anaphylaxis

  • Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.
  • A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that food allergies result in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18.

In the last 6 months we have taken our sweet boy to the ER twice, once by ambulance. He has been in the Pediatric ICU not to mention countless doctor visits and trips to the allergist.


We went to the fair the night before his first birthday with some friends. We left him in the stroller and did NOT let him out or eat anything new. Our older son LOVED it he rode rides and ate tons of sugar. At 11pm I woke up because I heard something on the monitor. My baby wasn’t crying but he was sitting up. I went in to check on him and he was struggling to breath and gasping for air. When he tried to cry all that came out was a horrible barking cough. Needless to say that is one of the worst sounds a mother can hear.

I immediately called 911. I got out the epipen thinking maybe he had a reaction to something in the air at the fair. Waiting on the fire and ambulance to arrive was the longest 6 minutes of my life. Talking to the dispatcher he suggested to follow our action plan and give him the epipen. Daddy was holding him and when I went to give it to him in a state of shock, panic and fear and it went the wrong way, thru my thumb! Yep I stabbed myself with an epipen! @#$% Screaming from pain, shock and adrenaline I was cussing like a sailor and out of my head.

The paramedics finally arrived and we loaded him into the ambulance in his car seat and administered an albuterol breathing treatment. Walking into the ER I saw the same doctor that had helped us just weeks before. I was so thankful to see a familiar face and someone who knew our history. They monitored him, did x-rays and an epinephrine treatment and after 3 hours they decided he needed to be admitted into the pediatric ICU. As we were taken to our room the clock struck midnight and our baby boy turned one year old.

Watching the nurses taking vials of blood and giving him an IV was one of the saddest moments daddy and I have experienced. He was screaming, crying, coughing, and looking at me to help him and all we could do was cry with him. I held him, slept with him in the crib and never left his side. He was traumatized to say the least. Thankfully we had an amazing team of nurses and doctors and an overflowing amount of love, prayers and support from family, friends and social media. We only had to stay 2 nights and continue his treatment at home. I hardly left his side that week. The doctors said it was not allergy induced but something still told me that the air at the fair and all the food and smoke from the midway had something to do with it. About a month later we would find out that he does in fact have airborne reactions to food.

Babies are resilient, parents are not.

Knowing how to react to a reaction is just the beginning.

We are blessed to have this beautiful child who lights up the world, yet he is cursed with these allergies. I pray for him constantly and for strength to continue to help him lead a healthy and safe life. I wake up several times a night and I am on high alert. Just when you think you have got it down, he has another reaction and it is so hard to watch. We cannot take him to certain restaurants anymore for fear of a reaction. So NO Starbucks, Mexican, hibachi, ice cream, or anyplace that has a smelly or steamy environment.  And because it is mean to eat all the foods he cannot have in front of him. When we do go to a restaurant I alway bring his food with us. I think next time I will ask the waitress bring it out to him when our meal comes out so that he feels included.  We choose not to send him to school, daycare or MOD because I am not ready to trust anyone.

People may say these are extreme measures and they are. Once you witness your child in distress, struggle to breath, stab them with an epipen, ride in an ambulance, and help 4 nurses hold him down and watch them stick his little body over and over with needles, kicking, screaming, crying and looking deep into your eyes saying “help me Mommy,” you take extreme measures and DO NOT apologize for it.

With these struggles comes great triumph. Some days I feel so exhausted and my nerves are shot, but I know that I am a strong, bad ass mom because I can deal with this despite how f-ing hard it is. God has been testing me in different ways to prepare me for this part of my journey. I will not fail Him or my family but these changes are rocking my world. I go back and forth with “everything is going to be ok” and then other days I don’t think it will. My baby doesn’t know he is missing out. He doesn’t realize that he is different. But I do. I am sensitive for him. The simple things we all take for granted. I want him to be able to have a piece of pizza at a sleepover or a cupcake at at birthday party.


We are all having to learn a new life to protect him. We will stop at nothing to protect the ones we love. People say oh well he will grow out of them. Well maybe yes and maybe no. It is not like we will get an email someday saying he is no longer allergic to certain foods. We will have to continue on and challenge him as he gets older. Everyone says they want a healthy child and I know how important health is and how we take it for granted. No my child does not have cancer but the world around him can kill him. We have to educate people and bring awareness to the epidemic that is food allergies.


I challenge anyone to try and eat like our son. It sucks! It is so hard, frustrating and expensive! Eat dairy free, gluten free, egg free & nut free for one day. See if you can do it.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Thank you so much to our family and friends. Thank you to other allergy moms who have listened to me cry and given me hope. Finally I must thank the Lord for everything He has given us. Even though I do not understand the path I have to trust Him and remain Just Happy Mommy.

Images from: Some Ecards Pinterest and FARE