Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend highs and lows.

The weekends just go by so fast!

I'd say I had a fair weekend. Well more good than bad. Well not bad, but not the greatest. I'm going in circles here..

Let's see. I bought this adorable necklace from Forever 21. I honestly haven't been in there for ages but I peeped in this weekend and I could not resist this adorable bow necklace. It was less than $2 lol, so who knows how many wears I'll get out of it, but I couldn't resist.

I'm a sucker for bows....and chocolate.

You know what would be even better, chocolate wrapped in bows. Yeahhh...

Another thing I acquired...from home actually, for free is this lovely burn on my arm from cooking spaghetti. Ouch.

Yesterday was spent at my inlaws where we feasted on some barbecue but we cut the night a little short. A fussy baby who skipped a nap and a sassy 9 year old just wasn't jiving well with me. Fast forward to midnight when Layla woke up after only being asleep for 2 and half hours.

That's when all the fun started. I don't believe she went back to sleep till almost 2:30 am. I'm not sure why she was so fussy. Teething I guess, combined with a diaper rash...again. :(

Needless to say, nerves were grated and my pillow case may or may not have some mascara stains on it now. Sometimes it's so hard when I don't know what she wants, and I'm so tired, and my muscle knots are aching...and this morning my husband wasn't in a very good mood having to go to work super tired. I don't blame him but I was a little hurt that I didn't get my morning kiss.

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish today but I think I deserve a free pass of catching some more shut-eye and lounging around eating brownies. Yes. That sounds like a good plan.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My decision to stay at home.

Today I'm linking up with I pick pretty to talk about my decision to stay at home. I haven't been at it long enough where I've come across being asked what I do yet, but I think staying at home isn't an accurate description of "what I do". Read my occupation under profile, I am many things lol.

I also am working on other things but we'll get to that in a minute. Let's start at the beginning..

My father is a pretty old fashioned guy. Always has been. He immigrated from another country with a mind set that life is a lot work and it is. He came from a family of 9 and my mother came from a family of 8. Good ole hard work was instilled in both of them from a very young age. That in return was instilled in my brothers and I at a very young age. My mother was also an entrepreneur so I had to help her in all her business's. Needless to say I started working at a very young age.

I had Serena when I was barely 20. I was still working full time and going to school ( I did alot of online classes). I also started playing soccer again, and she went with me to just about every practice and game.

 My mind set was always that having a child is not an excuse to not fulfill your dreams. Sure it's harder but doable. I understand though that some people do not have a good support system and that makes a world of difference. Early on I wanted to work for the FBI in narcotics. I wanted to help fight the war against drugs. Through a friend I was able to get a job as a drug screen collector at a small clinic. No it's not as important as it sounds. I was basically doing office work, handling urine, and swabbing cheeks for DNA samples. The clinic was eventually bought out by another drug testing company and they took me along with them. No more collections, I was now on the corporate side of it and our main clients were oil and gas companies and their contractors. I worked my way up the ladder and when I left, my position was account setup supervisor and I had also recently been made head of the distribution department. I had quit before I took over that role though. The title and money were not enough to convince me to stay, and somewhere along the line, my dream of working for the FBI dissipated. We need money to survive so we have to do what we have to do, but one must not lose focus of what's most important which is love and family. Sometimes I would lie in bed feeling like I haven't accomplished all my dreams yet and thinking time is running out, but I try to remember that when I die, there may not be books written in my honor or plaques with my name on it, but I'll die knowing that I had God, a great love in my life, and children to carry on my name.

Up until 3 years ago I always said I couldn't stay at home with kids. Climbing up the corporate ladder, and having the means to buy what I wanted, when I wanted was pretty important to me. Honestly I'm not always the most patient person, but I have come a long way. My mind set changed right around when my husband and I decided we wanted another baby. We purposely waited awhile but we thought we had the choice. We didn't know second time infertility was looming in the distance. As I mentioned before it took us almost 2 and a half yrs to have Layla and that included one miscarriage.

Even though I was only 7 weeks along I was heartbroken and I took it hard for a long time. So after I got pregnant with Layla, I knew that I was the one that was going to be raising this child. I wanted to stay home while I was pregnant but financially we weren't ready. By December 2011 when Layla was 7 months, we were ready. I had a 4 month maternity leave when she was born so I was only away from her for about 4 months.

Honestly it's one of the best decisions I have ever made. I do not miss my job that I had for 8 yrs at all! Being able to watch my girls grow is such a blessing. I am currently working on a few business endeavors but all that allow me to work from the comfort of my home and I'm pretty excited. I am trying to take it easy and not let it cut into any time with my girls. Again, I am still new at this and the impatient part of me is learning to relax and let life unfold. I am also quickly learning that this is the best and hardest job I've ever had. There are basically no breaks, and no leaving the office so to speak. Well When Layla naps or both girls are asleep then I get some me time.

If you are still reading this, hats off to you. I know it's practically a novel. I want to point out that there is no right or wrong way to raise your children. Whether you work or stay at home. I've been on both sides of it and you have to do what's best for your family.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blow Drying Woes..

I may be a stay at home mom now but that doesn't mean I lounge around in my yoga pants and a bare face all day. The time and effort that I spent getting ready for work hasn't changed too much. It's not like I stay at home all the time anyways. Remember there are sometimes errands to run and a school child to pick up. Showing up disheveled is just not me. My motto is when you look good, you feel good!

So yesterday I spent a good 35 minutes...while Layla was napping trying to master a blow out (once again). I'm excellent doing curly/wavy hair. I've got that down! Straight bouncy hair, mehh not so much. I had my hair colored recently and I love the way my hair looks whenever they blow dry it. Much to my dismay, it never comes out the way they do it. I can achieve a blow out look but I'd have to use either velcro curlers or my curling iron.

I normally blow dry my hair upside down, but this time I applied Moroccan oil and blow dried in sections with a large round brush. Twisting a little here and throwing a little there.

This is as good as it got people. Boooo

 ..and my hair is darker than I wanted it to be. Double boooo.

I want to achieve a blowout a la Kate Middleton, but it's not happening. No sir. Well not with these hands anyways.

Any tips? Good YouTube videos? Or is achieving a nice blowout sort of like a massage, you can do it to yourself all day long but you're not going to achieve relief/results unless someone else does it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hey there rosy cheeks....

Courtesy of a little rash Layla tends to get from rubbing her face on her sheets.

So perfectly placed like somebody applied blush on her.

Sweet rosy cheeked baby. I wish she would sleep better. I want to blame it on the teething this weekend and the diaper rash, but her sleeping habits are always bad. Sometimes I'll get about 4 days once a month were it looks like things are getting better but they don't.

I'm used to it and I try not to get frustrated because they are only babies for such a short amount of time, but when it creates tension in my house and my body aches from rocking her so much, I feel disheartened and weary.

Layla is on her way to 9 months in 2 weeks. We've done it all. Fed her more, strict bedtime schedule, middle of the night feedings, read the books, let her cry it out. You name it. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I'm not. I don't know. I just know that right now I am very tired.

Go night night baby please?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Easy Chic Bun


Ok. The lighting in my bathroom + instagram makes my hair look super dark.

This was the true color. The roots were not that horrid looking. I dyed my hair on Thursday so no more roots. Yay.

I have long hair and honestly it can be a pain in the butt to deal with on a daily basis. I recently discovered how to do a high messy bun and I'm stoked about it. I plan on doing this hairstyle when I'm in a hurry to do something with my hair, or if I just want it out of my face on a hot day.....or if Layla keeps pulling on my hair.

I liked this tutorial I found on youtube by Macbarbie07. The first time I tried it, I felt it looked a little to 1960's but that was because I was trying to make it too perfect. You want to leave some pieces of hair out on the sides...or just don't try to make it look perfect. Its supposed to look a little messy. ;)

Skip to the 2:20 mark. She spends the first two minutes just talking. Not sure what all about. I zoned out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My former belly bump.

Let me just say that I love baby bumps! I love looking at my pictures from when I was expecting, and also looking at other people's bump pictures.

It's just such a beautiful thing! It's amazing how our bodies are designed to grow a baby.

As I mentioned yesterday, with Layla my belly got pretty big and I gained 35 lbs. Completely different from Serena. I was tiny with her....You could hardly tell I was pregnant. Im sad that I lost most of my belly pics from 38-39 weeks, granted I do have a few from when I was in the hospital. When I quit my job I had to turn in my company phone and I had several pictures on there. I thought I had moved them but I guess I didn't.

16 weeks  
30 weeks. Right around when I started to pack on the pounds.
32 weeks   
35 weeks. My favorite picture.
37 Weeks. Yes I cropped my face. Hello double chin.

39 weeks. Feeling large and in charge. Let's do this!

It took me longer to bounce back this time around. I didn't exercise at all while I was pregnant though. I was too paranoid about something happening. Around 4 months I really started to lose the weight due to breastfeeding and stress. Like really started to lose some weight...

I got very thin and my clothes were hanging off me (not by choice). I was able to bring my weight back up once I cut down on breastfeeding, and I am at my current pre-pregnancy weight now. I would like to put on a few more pounds though. That's one of my goals for the next few months.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meet Layla!

Bum-bums as I like to call her.

Layla was born in May. She weighed 6lbs and 12oz. What a relief because once I hit the third trimester my belly was huge! The ultrasounds also showed she was big, but as you can see they are often wrong. I was induced at 39 weeks due to low amniotice fluid. I'll save the pregnancy details for another post though.

Layla is such a joy and our little miracle. As I mentioned before, it took us awhile to conceive her. Almost 2 yrs. There was some known fertility issues this time around. In fairness I did conceive after a year of trying but I miscarried at 7wks. I was devastated especially since it took so long and I was afraid it wasn't going to happen again. Because of God's wonderful grace I conceived again and found out the day I found out the previous year. It was a shock because it was the month we took it easy and I had stopped any fertility drugs. The pregnancy was great but the labor was hard. She also came out unresponsive and it was really scary for a few minutes there.

But here we are now. Layla is 8 months and is the sweetest baby. She is such a blessing to all of us and we can't get enough of her. I find myself staring at pictures and videos on my iphone when she's asleep and I'm not holding her. She really is a good baby, she loves people watching and laughing. She likes to try to communicate and crawl around. She's only just starting to get the hang of a real crawl. She prefers the army crawl where she just drags her legs. She also has a habit of tucking in her bottom lip. I think she looks more like my husband than me. She has dark green or blue eyes. It's hard to tell in pictures and in seeing them in person, it's hard to tell exactly whether it's green or blue.

Layla eats solids and takes formula and breastmilk. I was exclusively breastfeeding her till she was 4 months, but once I returned back to work I couldn't keep up with her. I'm blaming my pump a little. I don't recommend a Tomme Tippe breastpump. I struggled alot with it. Also, she's starting to bite with these new teeth of hers sooooo...yeah. I'm trying to make it to a year, but we'll see.

The one thing that is tough about Layla is that she is a terrible sleeper! I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept all the way through the night. After the first three months she was still waking up 1-3 times a night. Only at 7 months did she start getting alot better. She's back to waking up 1-2 times a night and for the past week she has been waking up between 5 and 6 am. Sad, sleepy face here.

Hopefully she'll start sleeping better soon. I've been saying that forever though. At least she's great about going to sleep in the evening. Her bedtime is 7:30 pm and she hardly ever gives me any trouble.

I used to love to take her newborn clothes out and put them on my belly.

Picture from today. She wanted to show the Texans some love.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Meet Serena!

Serena was a November baby. I remember that being pregnant with her was easy. I only gained 12 pounds and even the labor wasn't that hard. I labored for about 5 hours and pushed for 15 minutes. All of this is a far cry from being pregnant and birthing Layla. That's for tomorrow's post though.

I'll never forget seeing Serena once she was all cleaned up. Why it was like I birthed myself. It was uncanny how much she looked like me when I was a baby. Over time her features have changed a bit but she still looks alot like me.

I was blessed that Serena was an easy baby. She slept through the night and hardly ever gave me a hard time. I was lucky enough that I had my mother to watch her once I went back to work and then had family members available once my mom couldn't watch her anymore. I didn't have to put her in daycare till she was 3.

Currently Serena is in the third grade. She's so smart and very creative. She is in her second year of ballet and she loves crafting and playing teacher. She also likes to talk. Boy does she like to talk! She's a sweet girl and I don't have to worry about her much but omg the talking. It's at school too and sometimes there is some sassiness that I find myself praying for patience. I'm pretty sure 9 yrs old is the most annoying age but I said that about 8. One of my friend's said it's just going to get worse from here. She will be hitting those tween years soon.

Help me!

Anyways, how about some pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have any baby pictures on this computer. Pretty much all of them are in print. Remember this was 9 yrs ago and any pregnancy pictures well those are pretty much non existant. I only have a few left.

Here is Serena starting at about 3 and a half, ending with a Christmas picture from 2011.

 She loves her baby sister and is a huge help. We wanted a reasonable gap between the girls but Layla took alot longer than expected. Many times we felt that Serena would be an only child forever, but God knew what he was doing the whole time. He answered our prayers in his time and I'm thankful for the gap. Things are just as they should be.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The obligatory introdution

See "view my complete profile"

The end.

I'm kidding.

 I've got alot to catch you up on old and new blogger friends. The last time I was out and about in the blogosphere, I was still working full time in a job that stressed the ever living daylights out of me, posting about life, fashion and trying to concieve. Alot has changed. On May 6th 2011, a hair short of Cinco de Mayo, I gave birth to my second baby girl Layla. On December 30, 2011, I walked into my office for the last time, handed my boss my resignation letter and said "See-ya".

Yeah right.

In actuality, I mulled over it for months and gave a two weeks notice. I was lucky enough to take a 4 month maternity leave but when I came back in September, my heart just wasn't into it anymore. I was tired because Layla wasn't sleeping through the night, I was pumping 3 times a day at work. I was stressed, sad and losing weight by the minute. Nevertheless I toughed it out but I knew that my place was at home with my girls. This thought was a far cry from the former me. I always said I couldn't be a stay at home mom. I've been working forever, and moving up the ladder was always important to me. Funny how life changes your views on things.

So here we are. I'm two weeks into it and I love it! I love being able to take Serena to and from school, I love spending all day with Layla and watching her grow. I love that I can keep the house clean and organized and that I now have the time to work on my projects. I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity. Welcome to my life.