What I’ve Learned From Becoming a Mother

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When I became a mother, my entire life changed. During my first pregnancy I thought motherhood would be a breeze. I thought I knew it all and I was one hundred percent prepared.

“I read the baby books, I’m good”

Yeah… nope. I wasn’t good. I learned so much once my son was born, and even more when my daughter came along. Motherhood is one crazy, intense adventure. You will never have it all figured out. Every day of motherhood is completely different and your kids will always surprise you.

Here’s some things of what I’ve learned along the way! I’m sure you mama’s out there can all relate.

  • Silence is not Golden. If you have a toddler, you’ll understand. Unless they are sleeping at night, do not underestimate the silence. Chances are they into something they are definitely not supposed to be into!
  • Your house will never stay “magazine” clean. Let’s just be real. Little ones get into everything! They drop food on the floor, pull out every toy possible, put their fingers all over your windows. Trust me, I clean up multiple times a day to make my house look good enough. But, it will never be spotless.
  • Toys are pointless. I have bought numerous toys for my children over the years, and what do they play with? Tupperware, boxes, cups, etc. Half of their toys just lay around or eventually get packed up in boxes. I certainly don’t recommend going overboard with toys. If they want a new toy, tell them they should donate one first to another child who’s in need of toys.
  • Everything happens at the worst times. When we’re running late and rushing out the door, guess who decides to blow out her diaper last minute? Or my toddler, who decides to vomit in the car when we’re going somewhere that requires him to wear nice clothes. Always make sure you are prepared because anything can happen! I always pack extra, or give myself extra time.
  • Sleep is non-existent. Seriously, it’s not. You may think waking up every few hours only happens in the beginning, but no. There is the teething, the stuffy noses, or that random ‘I want to wake up in the middle of the night’ playtime. It’s inevitable. Let’s not forget that they decide to wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekends, but want to sleep all morning during the week when you have places to be.
  • Forget about privacy. Just the other day my son had a massive meltdown because he wasn’t in the bathroom while I was taking a bath. He absolutely lost it. They will follow you to the bathroom, the kitchen, your bedroom. You’ll always have a little one watching you.
  • Half the time you’ll look a mess. I’m that mom who will doll her kids up, and make them look adorable while I’m sporting no makeup and a mom bun. The effort and time to get myself together is rare. I’ve come to not even care what I look like anymore. Then when I do get dressed up, I feel like a freaking queen!
  • Pick your battles. As much as I love for my kids to look amazing, if my son wants to wear two different socks, I let him. I’d much rather have him all mix matched then dealing with a meltdown. If my daughter keeps pulling out her ponytails, whatever. She can have crazy hair for the day. Sometimes it’s just easier that way.
  • Take one moment at a time. Things will rarely go as planned. It’s nearly impossible to plan a whole day without something having to get switched up. I now go with one activity at a time. If we have time for another, then we’ll do it. I’ve given up on creating an entire day worth of activities.
  • Baby wipes are life. If you’re a mom and don’t agree to this, I’m shocked. Those little wipes can be used to everything! Cleaning butts, cleaning faces, cleaning tables. They are the best thing ever! I’m pretty sure when my kids no longer use them, I’ll still buy them.
  • Always put extra food on your plate. My daughter is only 11 months old and already wants to eat what’s on my plate. Don’t even get me started with my 4-year-old. I tend to always put double on my plate of what I know they like to eat, because it never fails that half of it won’t be eaten by me.
  • If your kid wants to snuggle, then snuggle! As they get older is doesn’t come often. So, when they ask, do it! Even with my younger one. She’s on the move now so she barely wants to sit still, but when she does I soak up every single minute of it. I can’t get enough of it.
  • Your car will never be clean, probably for the next 18 years. You’ll start with baby toys and pacifiers, move on to toddler toys and snack crumbs, and end with sports bags and water bottles. It’ll be an ongoing battle for the next few years!
  • Coffee is your best friend. Before kids, I could go without coffee. Now a days, coffee is my best friend. I’ve learned to love it and I’m sure you will too (If you don’t already).
  • You will feel like you aren’t doing a good job some days. It will happen, you’ll feel the mom guilt. But always try to remember, tomorrow is a new day and those tiny humans will always love you no matter what happens!
  • Raising a child is difficult, no matter what age you are. I was a young mom. I had my son at 22. People tend to think having a child at younger age will be harder. But I disagree, being a mother at any age is hard.
  • The worrying never goes away. I thought once my little ones were older and more independent, I’d worry less. That’s not the case. My son is four and I still constantly worry about him. I don’t think that’ll ever change, even when their adults.
  • You’ll be late to things. This happens, a lot. My husband and I are constantly late to events. Usually it’s that we forget something for the kids, or we underestimate how long it takes to get all four of us ready. Don’t feel bad when it happens, usually everyone gets it.

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You’re Not a Bad Mom, It’s Just a Bad Day.

They last few weeks my daughter hasn’t been sleeping like she usually does. Teething is the devil. She’s extremely cranky, the house is mess because she wants to cling to me, and I can tell my son is feeling a little jealous because I’ve been trying to handle her being glued to my hip which cuts my play time with him in half. No matter how many times I try to let him know that since Liliana isn’t a big kid like he is, and that she needs mommy’s help a little more, he still gets upset.

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While trying to tend to my children’s needs, I often feel like I’m failing as a mother to both of my little ones. With Kyle, it’s feeling like I’m not spending enough time with him and having our one or one bonding time. With Liliana, it’s not being able to take away her pain and getting her back to her normal self. My son’s favorite words right now are “well nobody wants to play with me”, all while Liliana is screaming her head off because I put her down to try and accomplish some household chores. It rips my heart apart. Words can’t even begin to describe the guilt I feel while trying to clean and not playing with my kids. There is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. It’s a daily struggle to get everything that I want completed along with tending to every need of my children.

Another thing that brings the ‘bad mom’ feelings out is disciplining my children. This is probably why my husband complains to me for always making him feel like the bad guy, or why my children don’t listen to me as well as they do him. Mommy lets them get away with A LOT. Don’t get me wrong, I yell at and discipline my kids constantly but that doesn’t mean it makes me feel complete crap afterwards. I am a full supporter of discipline. My children will not be raised without manners, but damn does it make my heart hurt. My children will never see that part of me though, the part where I feel bad doing it. I always stay strong in front of them. I must say though, something about that deep, masculine voice of my husband that makes the kids listen the first time around, is music to my ears.

Some nights I break down, shed a few tears. I talk to my husband about it and he reassures me that I’m doing a great job. Sometimes I even struggle to get to sleep at night because I question if I’m spending enough time with my kids. The last thing I want to do is let them down. As much as I want to spend every waking minute playing with them, a dirty house is often a trigger to get my anxiety to escalate.  When my house isn’t clean, it makes me feel unaccomplished and guilty that I’m not fulfilling my duties of being a stay at home mom. My husband works his butt off all day to give me this amazing life, the least I can do is keep our house clean. Also, anytime that my children act inappropriately while out in public or even at home, gets me going too. The last thing I want to do is look like I don’t know how to raise my kiddos.

After these past few weeks, I’ve came to realize that I am far from a bad mom. This is what motherhood is about. If anything has taught be to be strong it’s becoming a mother. Trying to manage time between chores and two kids is a task, but we always seem to figure out. Yelling at them might be difficult now, but I know I won’t regret it when they are older. Ever since I’ve gotten into blogging, reading other mom blogs and learning about their daily lives has made me realize we are all the same. We all go through this craziness, and even though every child is different and every mother’s way of disciplining is different, we deal with the same struggles of motherhood. None of us are alone.

My little boy always goes to bed at night saying he loves me so much, and my daughter smiles at me every night when I rock her to sleep. Raising them is difficult, but worth every minute of the bad days we always seem to overcome.

Always remember, you are not a bad mom. It’s just a bad day. We have all been there, and you’re doing an amazing job!

xoxo

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My Self-Care Routine

Happy Monday Ya’ll!

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One thing I’ve learned when I became a stay at home mom is that self-care is important. Trying to raise two tiny humans is hard and my anxiety skyrockets multiple times a day. I constantly get the fear that I’m not doing a good enough job raising my children because of it. Motherhood is without a doubt the hardest job anyone can ever experience. We give so much to others around us, we need to replenish ourselves. My routine always falls at the end of the day when my kids are asleep, or mid-morning while my daughter is napping and my son is still at Pre-k. I understand a lot of mothers say they simply don’t have time. But, self-care doesn’t need to be hours out of the day. It could be only 20 minutes by simply reading a few pages out of a book, or lowering the lights and resting your eyes for a few minutes. Every phase of motherhood is different, and every mother’s schedule is different, but I believe you can always find a few minutes out of the day to refresh your mind and keep your day running smoothly. I wanted to share my self-care routines and hopefully it’ll motivate other mothers to make time for themselves also.

 

“You owe yourself the love

 that you so freely give

to other people”

 

 

My nightly routine is a little more complex than my mid-morning routine.

 

  • Facial Cleansing. I am big on facial skin care, and this is my first step of relaxation. If I have any makeup on, it gets removed. I either do a mud mask or an exfoliation mask and follow up with a nightly moisturizer. A clean, fresh face boosts my confidence and makes me feel great.
  • Hot Bath. Something about a hot bath with some bubbles or a bath bomb puts my mind at ease. I’ll lay in my bath tub for about 30 minutes and just enjoy the quiet, which is something I don’t get often.
  • Gain Some Motivation. I spend a few minutes out my night on Pinterest reading some motivational quotes or posts. I like going to sleep with a positive mind set. I never like going to sleep with negativity. Reading something positive before bed makes my mood much happier in the mornings.
  • Talk to My Husband. I like to talk to my husband at night about my day. The good, the bad, the ugly… he hears it all. I’m sure he doesn’t like my venting, but you would never know. He listens to me, and that’s really relieving to me.
  • Going to Bed Early. I try not to stay up late. A good night’s rest is a great way to replenish your mind and prepare you for the next day. It’s easily one of best ways to boost my energy for the next day. I always try to get a good 7 to 8-hour nightly rest. Of course, that can be hard with children, but I always try to best.

 

 

My mid-morning routine is a lot shorter, and (usually) more upbeat.

 

  • Music. I try to put on a few of my favorite songs and sing my little heart out. I might even dance around a little. A good song and some crazy singing can always relieve some tension.
  • Exercise. I think you all know I’m into fitness. I try to get my workout routine in while my daughter naps. Somehow sweating like a pig is completely enjoyable.
  • Eye Masks. My mom bags are serious! I want nothing more than to get rid of these bags under my eyes. If you look back to my review on my winter FabFitFun Box, I received the Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle & Energizing Eye Masks. There are AMAZING. They make my eyes feel so energized and they bring life back to these exhausted eyes. I try to put these one a few times a week for a little pick me up.
  • Dim the Lights and Relax. If I’m super exhausted, I try to lower the lights and give myself a break also. I lay on the couch, mute the television and give myself some quiet time because when my son gets home, quiet is impossible!

 

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I hope all you moms find some time for yourself. You totally deserve it!

What do you do for self-care? I’d love to hear!

 

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Liliana’s First Birthday Photoshoot

Happy Sunday!

As you all know, my little princess is turning the big ONE the beginning of February. So of course, we got some first birthday photos taken. Her theme for her first birthday party and photos is unicorns. Words can’t even express how in LOVE I am with these photographs. When I got her 6-month photos done, she wasn’t that into it. Of course, she was young, wasn’t really sitting up, so it was much harder. My girl ROCKED this shoot. She was so photogenic and full of life, I almost cried with excitement! HUGE shout out to Taylor Mrozinski Photography for this shoot. Her enthusiasm and liveliness during Liliana’s session was phenomenal! She was all about my girl and getting the perfect photos. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. I have unquestionably found my go to photographer. If you’re around the Maryland area I highly recommend her.

I didn’t want to completely blow up everyone’s feed with all these amazing pictures so check them all out below!

Be sure to like her Photographer onFacebook!

Comment below and let me know what you all think! I can’t get enough of them.

Healthy Egg Salad

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Today I got this random craving for some egg salad. So I decided to whip together a healthy version to eat for lunch these next few days. I love simple and quick recipes and this is definitely one of those. It was baby approved too from my 11 month old!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Large Eggs, Boiled and Peeled
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill (or 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Dill)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

After your eggs are boiled and peeled, chop the eggs into small pieces or use a food processor to pulse them, but make sure to not purée them.

In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, salt, and pepper.

Add the eggs and mix lightly with a fork.

Let chill and enjoy!

The serving size is about 1/3 cup. This makes 4-6 servings.

Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

Hey Everyone!

Valentine’s day is about a month away and I don’t know about you all, but I am terrible at picking out gifts for my husband. Women are a little easier in my opinion. Candy, flowers, a card. That’s all we really need. Men can be a little more difficult to choose for without spending a fortune. I decided to do some research to find some cute, inexpensive gifts for him. I’ve came to notice that a lot of these gifts require some DIY work which I think are way more sentimental than just purchasing something. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little crafty occasionally. I’ve come to really enjoy it. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a craft, and I’m way more excited to give the gift. So have fun with it!

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  • Homemade Card. This one of the easiest gifts you could make. Write a little love note in there, let them know how much you appreciate them. You can never go wrong with a personal note from the heart.

 

  • Bake Your Own Sweets. What man doesn’t like cookies or brownies? Go out, buy a heart shaped cookie cutter and make him up some heart shaped cookies and brownies. This is something you can do with your kids also, so I can be from all of you. You could even have him bake them with you, make it a romantic time.
  • Jars Filled With Candy. There are SO many ways to write cute little love quotes on mason jars with candy inside. I’ve seen numerous ideas on Pinterest lately. For example, fill a jar with Starbursts and write on the jar “You Make My Heart Burst” or fill with Sour Worms saying, “You’re My Greatest Catch”. I’m sure it’ll make him laugh a little.
  • Lottery Tickets. Everyone loves having the chance to win some money. Go spend $20 on some and shape them into a little lottery ticket bouquet and have him scratch away. If he wins big, make him take you to dinner 😉

 

  • Socks and Underwear. Believe it or not, my husband can always use socks and underwear and he surprisingly appreciates it immensely! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost a sock in the wash or found underwear that are starting to tear (and he continues to wear them). There are cute ways you can roll them up to look like roses or hearts. Get crafty with them!

 

  • Key Chain. Buy him a small key chain with your anniversary on it, or your kids birthdays. On Etsy there are SO many to choose from. They aren’t super big and bulky either, a simple leather one is perfect for a male! I’ve already bought my husband one before and he loved it.

 

  • DIY Coupons. Create a little booklet for him of some coupons he can give you at random times. Do one for a 30 minutes massage or an hour of uninterrupted video game time. There are so many different options with this one. Just create some that are suitable for your significant other!
  • DIY Beer Mug. I’ve made numerous DIY wine glasses at home and it’s an uncomplicated process. You get some paint, design away, and you can bake or let them air dry. There is SO many different options on Pinterest. If you have kids, let them do it! If your husband isn’t a beer drinker, make a coffee mug!
  • Car Accessories. You can go to the store and buy some air fresheners or cleaning wipes for his car. A lot of those products are inexpensive and they will definitely get put to good use if your man likes to keep him car clean and shiny.

 

  • Slippers or Pajamas. Men love being comfortable, so buying them something to lounge around in could be perfect. Plus, you can tell him he should wear them so you can have movie night or to binge watch some Netflix. My husband loves his slippers. He’d probably wear them to work if he could.

What do you plan on getting your man? I’d love to hear more ideas!

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Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp Mix

Happy Thursday!

This is one of my most favorite quick, healthy meals to put together and it only takes minutes! I’ve made this numerous times, and it’s just a skinnier version of the Bonefish Grill version. It’s a pretty popular recipe, but I just want to share for everyone! The serving size is about 4oz of shrimp. I usually just measure mine out with a food scale.

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Ingredients: 

  • 2lbs raw peeled and divined shrimp
  • 4 Tablespoon Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Mayonaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon Chopped Green Onion (To Garnish Also)

All you have to do is mix up all the ingredients in a bowl, cook your shrimp and add to the sauce! If you just want to make one pound of shrimp, cut the recipe in half! I usually mix mine up with some organic brown rice, or you could even serve it over pasta.

I hope you enjoy!

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6 Ways to Earn Some Extra Money While Staying at Home

Happy New Year Everyone!

One of my New Year ‘Resolutions’ is to save money. We can always use a little extra money. If it’s saving for a trip or just to help pay the bills each month, I can provide some tips on what I do from the comfort of my own home. I’ve read many posts about making some extra income over the computer, but I was still skeptical, until I tried it. Now I can’t get enough. Below I want to give you a quick list of what I currently use.

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  1. Swagbucks.com. This site is my all-time favorite. You can take surveys, watch videos, play games, and earn money each time! You can also get money back on your everyday online shopping purchases! There’s codes you can find online to give you some extra money, the opportunities never end. I’ve even gotten free samples to get paid to try, including salad dressing and even a pack of diapers for my daughter! I’ve made over a couple hundred from this site, and it went right into my Paypal account. You can also use it for gift cards. Here’s my referral link if you’d like to sign up! http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/KatieCunni Just say I referred you, and we both get a little something!
  2. Ibotta. I have earned over $300 from using Ibotta during my grocery trips. All you do is select the products you need/want to buy, scan your receipt and the money comes right back at you! This app you can also save on online purchases, hotels, even alcohol! The money can go right into PayPal or Venmo. Here’s my referral link to sign up! https://ibotta.com/r/hlhaoyv
  3. Checkout 51. This app is like Ibotta. It has many grocery products you can choose from to get rebates back. You simply choose your item, scan your receipt, and when you are ready to cash out they will mail you a check!
  4. Vindale Research. This is another site for surveys. If you have the time to sit and fill out a few surveys, your money will add up quick. I’ve completed surveys that varied from $1 to $5, and all I had to do was answer some questions and watch a few videos. They will also send you a check when you are ready to cash out. Here’s my referral link if you’d like to try it! http://tryvindale.com/V0lPfWWM
  5. Paribus. This app is super simple to use! It’s an app designed to track if online items you purchased drop lower then what you paid. The app will automatically file a claim, and the difference will get put right back on your card! All you do is simply enter in your email address where your order confirmations go, and the app will work its magic! It’s a life saver when I order online from Kohl’s. I ALWAYS get money back.
  6. Dosh. Dosh is a new application that you can download right onto your phone. You simple add as many cards as you want, and everytime you use that card at participating stores money automatically goes back onto your app! Once you want to cash out, you can just transfer your money via PayPal! It’s simple! Did I mention you get a $5 bonus just for adding a card! Here’s my referral link. If you sign up using my referral link, I’ll get an extra $5 also! Win, win! https://link.dosh.cash/YCLI/VQ5CmUHyeJ 

 

I’ve earned close to $500 just by using these websites and apps. You can never go wrong with a little extra money. Check em’ out and let me know what you think! It’s never a waste of time when you’re earning money.

My Appreciation For My Husband

I’m going to get a little mussy for a second, and take a moment to brag about my hubby.

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Last night the kids and I stayed at my parents house because I had some appointments to go to that were down that way. I decided to meet my husband for lunch since we didn’t see him much of yesterday, and I had both kids with me. Of course, Monday’s are a hectic day for him, so we were only able to pick him up, order some Chick-fil-a through the drive thru and drop him back off. He knew he had people relying on him at work, and although we knew how much he’d rather sit and eat with us and avoid everyone who needed him, he went back in and most likely skipped lunch all in general. On my ride home, I had to explain to my son why he couldn’t eat with us. I told him that as much as he would have loved to eat with us, daddy was a hard worker and didn’t want to let anyone down. My son answered back, “Yeah, that’s good. He’s my best friend. I’ll be able to see him later”. My heart melted.

As you all may or may not know, I met my husband back in 2015. Not only did he have to accept me into his life, but he had to take on my 1 year old son also. We were a package deal, if you want me, you got my little man also. Without hesitation, my husband took him in like he was his own, and from that day forward we were all inseparable. It’s not easy taking on someone else’s child, it’s one of the toughest jobs you could put on somebody. The way my husband handled this whole co-parenting situation was more than I could have ever asked for. He still handles it just as well, three years later. That’s just the beginning of my appreciation towards him.

My husband is one of the most hard-working men I know. He will work all day and night just to make sure the kids and I are taken care of. He has put in overtime and even picked up a second job at times just so we don’t have to struggle. Words can’t even describe how much the kids and I miss him during the day, but he was raised to be the provider and the hard worker. He will give his last dollar to help someone in need. He’s always looking to better himself, and won’t stop until he succeeds.

When I became pregnant with Liliana, I was lucky enough to stay at home with my kids during the day. He wanted me to be the one to raise the children while he paid the bills and provided for us. Not only does he handle his daily work load at his full-time job, but he comes home, helps me take care of the kids, and even cooks dinner for us at times. He’s also in school to get his degree. He knows I have my moments where I am stressed and my anxiety is through the roof at times. He just scoops the kids up, fixes them dinner and lets me have some time to unwind. He’s my hero, and I always want him to know that.

Besides all the hard work he puts forth, the way he loves our kids and I is the most amazing feeling I could ever ask for. He has a heart of gold and never fails to let us know how much he loves us. He is a trusting, reliable, selfless man and he never would let us down. I don’t get to say often how much I appreciate him, but I do more than anything in this world. He has put up with my moodiness, my tears, my anxiety, and my pain better than anyone ever has. Just the other night he sat in the Emergency Room with me for twelve hours and didn’t want to leave once to grab some food because he didn’t want to leave my side. Not to mention it was from 5PM to 5AM the next morning. It was a long night, but he made sure to keep my needs before his.

I just want to say thank you to him. Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for never hurting us in any way. Men like him are hard to come by, and sometimes they need to be recognized for that. I love my husband with all my heart.