The Last Month of Being Our Baby

11 Months.

Our little girl is just a month away from being ONE. I was looking on Timehop this morning of videos of her wiggling and hiccuping in my belly. I thought she’d never make her arrival. I was so impatient when it came to waiting for her birth day to come. And now it’s here, the last month of her as a baby. Let the countdown to ONE begin!

Liliana is my wild child. She’s the most loving little human, yet her sass and determination are strong. No matter what it is she wants, she goes for it. She’ll fall over, bump her head, get right back up and keep going. She’s a tough one. She also has that girly girl sass going on also. If something doesn’t go her way, you’ll know it. Those arms go flying and that screechy yell comes out (she might get all that sassiness from me, lol). She always thinks she’s going to miss something, so naps are rare with her. She keeps going and going until bed time, even that’s a struggle. My mother got her wish when she said “I hope you have a child who was just like you when you were younger”. Touché mom. I get it now. I was definitely a crazy one. Thank goodness car seats are more advanced now because that was my specialty, getting out of my car seat while my mother was driving.

Now for Liliana’s milestones… she’s killing it. She has her six teeth still. It was like all six came in at one time then they decided to take a break. She can now say Mama, Dada, Pop, Yes, Hi, Buh Bye, Uh Oh, Ke-Ke, & Rip (the last two are our pups, Keo and Ripken). She is standing on her own for short periods of time and her crawling is more like a speed crawl. She claps and copies everything her brother does. She’s always dancing. She loves her table food, yet she’s still teeny as ever. I wish I knew where it all went. I’m also starting to think she’s double jointed like me, because she bends all kinds of different ways. Gymnastics here we come!

This next month is going to be full of party planning and preparation. I don’t want to believe she’s already going to be one, but I’m so excited for the adventures ahead. Her personality is incredible. She’s definitely an extrovert, she’s going to be an outgoing one. I enjoy watching this little girly girl grow!

Follow me on Instagram for all the party planning and countdown to one, @katiecunni Follow the hashtag #LilianaMarieTurnsONE

Tips for Having a Successful Week

After a relaxing weekend especially during the holiday season, the last thing you want to see is Monday roll around. I know, as a stay at home mom you’re probably thinking “why is she so worried about a Monday, she doesn’t work 8 hour days”. Well, as a matter of fact we dread Monday’s too. Monday’s mean back to packing lunches, waking the kids up and getting ready for school, having to kiss your husband goodbye each morning and not seeing him all day, fixing dinners, and keeping the house clean. As a busy mom I’ve learned to make Monday’s more positive and less stressful.

Here’s some tips I’ve learned to help own not only Monday’s, but the entire week!

Always start off with a positive outlook. Never look at a new week as something stressful or exhausting. Look at it as a time to accomplish something new or as an opportunity to be able to progress in your life.

Set goals. Not only should you set goals, but be excited to accomplish those goals. Wake up Monday morning and be ready to kick some ass. If it helps, write those goals down in a visible location where you can read them each morning and check them off as your week progresses.

Make sure laundry is done. Fresh clothes for a fresh week is always the best. I never want to worry about doing laundry mid week or my son running out of matching socks. Which somehow he finds a way to lose a pair at least once a week.

Figure out dinner. Have your meals for the week already planned. Know what you’re cooking each day and double check that you have all of the ingredients before the week starts so you don’t have to run out and get something. I always leave the non-refrigerated ingredients on the counter the night before so all I have to do is start cooking when my husband gets home.

Have the kids ready. Just as stated above, have their lunches picked out for the week. Prep them in little baggies & label them for each day of the week so you know what day is each bag. I always prep the non refrigerated items in five different baggies and leave a space in the refrigerator for five cold items and five juice boxes, so all I do is make a sandwich then grab and go. Same applies for their outfits, I pick out five outfits for each day of the week and have them ready for the next morning on the kids dressers.

Meal prep. When I meal prep, it is a life savor for me. I always have to run and grab my son around lunch time, but as soon as I get back, I easily can grab a meal, eat it, and spend more of the afternoon with the kids. If you work full time, do the same for breakfast too! Put them together and make it a quick grab and go for the morning.

Set a day to pay bills. If you own a home, you know the bills stack up. They are alway due at different times, and it can be so confusing. I always choose a Monday morning to make sure all the bills are paid before they are late. If a bill is due before the following Monday, it gets paid at that time. I never like waiting until the last minute and thinking “did I pay that bill” while laying in bed.

Review the upcoming week. Double check if you have any doctors appointments or school functions coming up during the week. Not only do I keep them on my calendar in my iPhone, but I have a dry erase board right by my front door that I write on every Sunday to prepare me for places I need to be during the week. When the day is over, it gets erased.

Fill your tank. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I hate waking up on a Monday with an almost empty tank. The last thing I want to do is stop and fill it. Sunday’s I always make sure my tank is full or filled enough to where I don’t need to stop.

Make some time for yourself. This might be the most important. Don’t overbook yourself to where you’re constantly running and make some time to do something for you. It can help relieve stress and make your days run smoother. It could range from a simple bubble bath to dinner with your husband or friends.

Hopefully these tips help you as much as they help myself! What else do you do to help prepare for the week ahead? I’d love to hear!

That Mom Guilt and Anxiety

Good Morning Ya’ll!

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Now that I am a mother, I never realized how much anxiety I truly have. When I was younger and baby free, I never took my anxiety into consideration. Now looking back, I can tell I’ve suffered from it my whole life but motherhood took it to a whole new level. There should be true diagnosis of ‘Mom Anxiety’ because when it comes to my babies and trying to navigate their needs while keeping a clean home, the struggle and pressure can be immense. I even have anxiety for things that are years away from happening, seriously the struggle is real. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m crazy. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m that mom who always thinks something will happen when I’m not there. It could be something positive or negative, it doesn’t matter. I see mothers who love to get away and love to have their me time with not a worry in the world…I wish. Maybe they hide it well because my worried face stands out like sore thumb and the mom guilt kicks in.

I’ve gotten better at handling my anxiety lately, since I know I have two tiny humans who rely on me, but it’s still there. Now with two kids, and trying to cater to both of their needs simultaneously while also trying to keep a clean, cheerful home leaves me often feeling deflated. The overwhelming feeling of anxiety builds up quick, when finding time to play with Kyle and Liliana, cleaning clothes, washing dishes, and getting dinner on the table piles up in my head. But bad days happen, and I often need to find what keeps me calm and collected so I can continue being the best mother and wife. When Liliana was younger, it was easier to please both children. I knew how to navigate her needs a little easier while having extra time to play with Kyle while she napped. Now that she is crawling and moving all over the place, it’s harder. Evenings are also difficult for me because my husband and I sleep upstairs in our bedroom, while the kids are downstairs on the main floor. The anxiety builds to the point where I have trouble sleeping at night because I know they are on the main floor. I always think ‘what if someone breaks in’ or ‘what if a fire starts’. I keep a monitor on my four-year-old son still, just so my anxiety can subside at night while we sleep.

The mom guilt is inevitable. You know that guilt when you put your child in front of the TV so you can drink coffee peacefully and fold laundry. Or when you take your children to their grandparents so you can have some free time with your husband, or even just to grocery shop alone. Just tonight, my husband and I are going to be three hours away to attend our good friends annual Christmas party, and the mom guilt of leaving Liliana with her grandparents has already set it and we haven’t even left yet.

I also can’t forget about the guilt of leaving the kids with Daddy so you can get your nails done or have your hair touched up. This is terrible to say as a mother, but what about me? What about some healing time for us mothers? I’ve come to realize that those moments of “me” time are what help navigate my needs to help me be the best mother and wife I can be. That hour and half that I’m away by myself doing something for me are what help me cope with the daily struggle of anxiety and mom guilt. It relaxes me, and gives me peace in my own mind. Along with my away time, I always try to give myself a nightly, baby free bubble bath with a glass of wine. Just to relax after a long day, and to prepare my mind for another anxiety filled day in the morning.

Yes, sometimes it is a little easier said than done though. The mom guilt always kicks back in full force. What if my kids are looking for me? What if Liliana won’t stop crying? What if they need mommy? But in all honesty, I believe us moms need that time although our kids constantly run through our mind. We go through a lot, more than some people can understand. Yes, our husbands work hard every single day, but us mothers do also. Whether we stay at home or work a full-time job. Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs out there. We are molding little minds into intelligent and hard-working adults. We are responsible for that. If that doesn’t give you some anxiety, I praise you then. I’ve come to realize that mom guilt and anxiety is normal. Every mother just copes with it differently. It could be yoga, meditation, a massage, or as simple as drinking a cup of coffee alone. Just make sure you get that time in, you deserve it.

What about you? Do you mothers go through the anxiety and guilt also? How do you cope?

Have a good Saturday! xo

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FabFitFun Winter Box Review

Okay Ya’ll! So here is it. My review of each product for my Winter FabFitFun Box! I’ve tried each one of these products over the past week, and every season I fall more and more in love with this subscription. Here we go!

 

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. All you needed with this exfoliating mask was a small dime size amount, so the bottle will last a while. It was green and gooey, but exfoliated well! It tingled when it first went on, so I was a little skeptical and anxious that my sensitive skin would get really red, but once I rinsed it off my face felt cleaner than ever! It felt a tiny bit dry, but I added some moisturizer and I was good to go! I’ve already used it twice and my black heads seem to be diminishing! Happy mom!

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AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream. I’ve been using the lotion after I wash the dishes because my skin tends to get really dry afterwards. First thought was it smelt good! Nothing too overbearing, and it wasn’t very thick and tacky like some lotions can be. It also made my skin super smooth. I will definitely continue using!

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Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle & Energizing Eye Masks. I’m in love! By far my favorite product in the box. My eyes felt completely refreshed after the masks came off. My puffiness was reduced also! Plus, they felt nice and cool on my eyes. I would use them every single day if I could. Even if you don’t get the FabFitFun box, I would 100% recommend these to another exhausted mama out there!

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Pointe Studio Aloe Infused Cozy Socks. These socks might be the most comfortable socks I’ve worn. They are unbelievably soft on your feet. I wore them to bed when I first tried them on and my feet stayed cozy and warm all night. They didn’t get too cold or too hot. These will be my winter socks for sure. I might even see how they work in the snow when I go out with the kids. I’m not a big sock person at all, but these have been on my feet just about every day!

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DOUCCE Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette in Nude and 8 OTHER REASONS Nine Lives Choker in Silver. So, I used these two products at the same time. My son’s birthday was this past weekend, so I got myself dolled up. The makeup was great, the colors were neutral so It went well with my black top. It wasn’t too crazy on my eyes. It was very subtle and could most likely go with any shirt. It also lasted all day which made me pleased. As for the necklace, I loved it! It rested flawlessly on my chest and the choker was an awesome addition with the shirt I had on. I love how simple it is, so you can where it with a patterned or solid shirt.

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FFFTV Fitness Ball w/ Jillian Michaels Videos. What I love about this ball is that it isn’t super huge like a lot of the other fitness balls. The product came with the equipment to blow it up which I really enjoyed. I didn’t have to search for something to blow it up with. I’ve been using it during my ab routines, passing it back and forth between my arms and legs. Plus, the kids enjoy playing with it too! So, it’s mom and kid approved. I’ll take it!

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The BB Dakota Poncho. This poncho was super cute! It looked good paired up with some leggings for a comfortable look, and I’m sure it would look just a good with some jeans and ankle boots (which I will be trying). It was soft and cozy. It’s something I would wear again. It is more of a piece that I would wear in the fall though, so I wouldn’t have to put a coat overtop.

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Last the Homemade by Ayesha Curry Ceramic Mug, which I have used every day since it came. I just adore it! It’s suits my personality perfectly, so it’s totally a win for me. The colors are bright and exciting, and the mug isn’t too big or hold to hold. It fits perfectly in my hand. I love it!

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With all that being said, I still believe the FabFitFun box is by far my favorite mail subscription. Over $300 worth of products, that I pay only a fraction of that price for! Plus, when you first join you take a survey to customize the box to your needs so you love it every season! Here’s my referral link again if you’d like to subscribe! http://xo.fff.me/hfrrL

The Little Things

I just wanted to share a quick post about my evening.

Tonight Kyle and I had some time together and we made sugar cookies. When Liliana was born, Kyle had to learn that I couldn’t put all my attention on him anymore. He now had a little sister that needed my attention just as much as him, if not more. He had his jealous moments and he definitely still does. So I always make sure to take time to have some big brother time, just me and him, no matter how little the activity is we do.

I don’t always have the time or the money to do extravagant things with my kids, but it’s an awesome feeling to know the little things are what matter most to them. Today at Target, I bought a cheap bag of pre-made batter and told Kyle we were going to make cookies tonight, just me and him. His face lit up like no tomorrow and he was excited all evening. We sat in the kitchen for about an hour and a half and just talked and baked. Of course some moments I yelled at him because he was eating the sprinkles, flinging dough everywhere, and messing with the cutouts. I enjoyed every moment of it though.

At the end, he wasn’t feeling the cookie baking anymore so I let him watch his tablet while I surprised him and made him his own personal cookies. It was his name and a tractor, and that was all he needed to have an amazing night with me. He quickly said “wow, thank you mommy, I love you”. That was it, that was all I needed to hear for my entire day to be made. I could have had the worst day, but when my child says I love you, my day is made. Just the little things. All I had to do was spend $2 at Target for a fun time with my boy. Now we have a bunch of yummy cookies to eat.

These are the moments I live for. All the messes, the frustration, the patience. It’s all worth it. It’s quality time with my kids.

I just wanted to share our evening and to tell everyone to just enjoy the little things. They aren’t little for long, but these memories will last a lifetime. No matter how messy or inexpensive, the kids see it as an enjoyable time with their mommy or daddy.

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

It was Chinese night in the Cunningham household and our go to is always General Tso’s Chicken when we order out, so why not make it, slow cooker style! This is also a healthier alternative then ordering from a restaurant. I always make sure the recipe is extra saucy because the cornstarch does soak up a lot of it, plus that’s the way I like it! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  •  1 Green Onion
  •  1 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Starch
  • Sesame Seeds
  • 4 tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Rice (optional, I used Jasmine)
  • Broccoli florets (optional)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

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Start off by cutting the chicken breast’s into bite size cubes and toss them in a large ziplock bag with the cornstarch.

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Pan fry the coated chicken with the vegetable oil until each side is golden brown and then add to the slow cooker. (The Chicken should not be fully cooked, and that’s okay!)

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Add the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar into a bowl and whisk until it’s all combined. I added in some red pepper flakes to add a little heat, which is optional! (I had a helper stir it for me)

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Pour the mixture over top the chicken and stir to coat the chicken. Cook the chicken on low for 2-3 hours.

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Steam up your broccoli and rice, and served the chicken on top, with greens onions and sesame seeds (If desired, this is optional)

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Dig in & enjoy! Super delicious and super simple!

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My First Born is Four!

And just like that, four years flew by in the blink of an eye. You guys, my first born is FOUR! 😩 Before I know it he’ll be a teenager.

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Today we are going to brunch with Santa at a place called Long Beach Oyster House in Maryland to celebrate. It’s all you can eat for kids & they get to see Santa. For the adults, all you can eat AND all you can drink bloody mary’s & mimosa’s. It’s a kid win and parent win! The whole family is coming so it’s going to be a good time, I’m really excited!

Yesterday was his party and we had a blast! Just like most little boys right now, his party was Paw Patrol. We had it at a small restaurant called Bogey Mccaws. I booked a private room and it had an arcade & “Ball-O-City” for the kids (it’s pretty much a huge play area with a crap ton of soft foams balls, it’s pretty neat). The kids had so much fun and I’m pretty sure the adults enjoyed the arcade just as much as the kids. Kyle had all of his friends and cousins there to celebrate. His face was lit up the entire time, and that’s all that matters, if he had fun, I had fun.

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Even Lilly had a blast celebrating her brother. My girl was knocked out last evening.

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When it comes to my kids, I want everything perfect and just the way they want it… Ok… maybe just the way I want it ;). To be honest, they just want presents, cake, and to play with their friends. It’s us mom’s who want all extravagant decorations and cakes. Is it me or did the party planning become so much more intense from when I was kid!? What happened to McDonalds parties with a happy meal, cake, and a play place. Mom’s now a days pay hundreds on cakes that just get eaten anyway and decorations that get torn down in a few hours. Trust me, I am totally one of those mom’s, but the anxiety and the hole in my wallet makes me not want to be one!

The past three years, I went all out for his parties. Just to see the money I spent go in the trash. This year I didn’t, I bought a small amount of decorations and spent a little bit more on where the location of the party was and it was SO much more fun. The kids played in the arcade, ate a bunch of pizza and cake while the adults got drinks from the bar and had fun themselves. It was a win for everyone!<<<
One of the most rewarding things about being a mom is watching your babies grow into amazing people. My son never fails to make me proud. He is one of the most intelligent kids I’ve ever met, he could spend hours building different vehicles with legos, or creating towers with blocks. The ideas he comes up with are so creative, it amazes every time. He also has that sensitive “Mama’s Boy” side then I can’t get enough of. Yes, sometimes it’s too much when he starts the whining, but I’m damn sure I’m going to miss it when he’s older. You just have to cherish every moment before our little humans turn into grown adults.

Happy fourth birthday Kyle. We love you to the moon & back. Time to enjoy a fun day ❤️

Follow me on Snapchat for our daily activities.

Tips for Visiting Santa with the Little Ones

Hi ya’ll! I just wanted to share some tips when it comes to visiting Santa with the little ones. These are a few that I’ve learned over the years and hopefully it’ll help more mama’s out there. Feel free to comment more tips below. I could always use extra advice!

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  1. Lower your expectations. A crying baby is a memory to look back on, don’t stress about it. Young ones aren’t going to understand Santa quite yet, so don’t expect “the perfect photo”. Plus, you can always embarrass them when their older with the photos.
  2. Prepare the kids. Tell them you’re visiting Santa. Maybe walk past Santa’s workshop a few times so they can check it out. Let them get the feel of it. It’ll make them more comfortable when the time comes to sit on his lap.
  3. Try to avoid them watching other kids on Santa’s lap. If they see other kids crying, it might give them more anxiety when it’s their turn. I try to refrain from having my children see other children cry on Santa’s lap. Maybe have them watch some kids who are smiling, but that’s about it.
  4. Always look “picture ready”. You never know when you’ll have to jump in with the kiddos to make them sit on Santa’s lap. You don’t want to ruin the picture with sweatpants and a mom bun 😉
  5. Put on their outfits right before they sit on Santa’s lap. This applies more for the boys. I don’t know about you, but my son could just be walking next to me and dirt would fly on his shirt. That’s my luck. So always be ready. Or at least have a jacket zipped up over them.
  6. Bring extra clothes. My son is the king of throwing up, while my daughter is the queen of blowouts at the WORST times. Usually right before daycare when I have somewhere I need to be, or right after a new outfit change. I’ve learned to carry extra clothes for them everywhere.
  7. Bring extra bows or headbands for the girls. My daughter is a professional at taking off her headband or pony tail and throwing it on the ground. For some reason she thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. I don’t, so bring extra.
  8. Don’t buy the whole package. Those places are SO expensive to purchase their packages. Order one (or even the digital photo), go to Target or Walmart and copy copy copy!
  9. Have toys for while they wait. My toddler gets bored very easily. He won’t sit still for more then 30 seconds, then he starts tugging at the ropes. So, if the lines are long, be prepared by having activities. Such as coloring book or if you allow technology, a tablet.
  10. Go early in the season. The earlier you go, the less crowded it’ll be. Plus you’ll have time make Christmas cards or use the photo’s as a Christmas gift.

Overall, just enjoy the photo session! Don’t get too stressed out or worked up over the perfect photo. They are young, these are fun memories to always look back on.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

The crock pot is out again for another delicious dinner! I was in the mood for something spicy, so I went for buffalo chicken sandwiches. They were super simple to make and my hubby said they were amazing so i’ll take that as a win.

The ingredients are

  • 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast’s
  • 1 12oz bottle of Buffalo Wing Sauce (I used Frank’s)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Ranch Mix Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • Hamburger Buns (optional)
  • Cheddar Cheese Slices
  • Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing (I went with ranch because the hubby hates blue cheese)

Start off by slightly greasing the crock pot (I used Pam Original Spray) and laying the 6 pieces of chicken in.

In a separate bowl, add the buffalo wing sauce and ranch mix seasoning and mix well together.

Add the mixture on top of the chicken and cook on low for about 6-8 hours until the chicken is cooked through.

Put the chicken in a bowl and shred it completely with two forks then return it to the crock pot. Mix in the butter (I cut the butter into smaller pieces) and stir until completed melted. I let my chicken cook for about an hour after so the chicken can soak up the juices.

If you want to use hamburger buns, turn on the broiler, and broil the buns with one slice of cheddar cheese on top for about 1-2 minutes. Enough to toast the bun and melt the cheese some.

Finally add some buffalo chicken to the bun and top it of with some ranch or blue cheese dressing and dig it!

If you prefer the no bun option, just add some shredded buffalo chicken to a bowl, put some cheese and dressing on top and enjoy! I even added some blue cheese crumbles to mine!