Grinchy Holi*days & New Years Blessings!

Attachment parenting, Family, Outdoors, Parenting

I took a vacation from job #1, job #2 (winter break), & job #3 – which means my blog.

I’m excited to recap on our last few weeks & give you some tips of traveling with a spunky toddler!

End of the year{s} are bitter sweet, aren’t they? A time to reflect and be thankful. That’s one of my favorite parts of the season. Oh yea, and the smell of cinnamon. I know, nutty right? I love associating smells to the time of year.

I had a quirky-fun post about how I’m a true grinch and hate the holidays… And SOMEHOW it DISAPPEARED! I was so mad! So, instead of rewriting it, I took a few days to feel sorry for my blogger self and then I moved on. I figured lists of why American consumerism/need for instant gratification and how this is ruining our holiday can be found on another blog. So, it’s gone and here I am writing something much different days after Christmas.

We live in beautiful Phoenix, AZ but spend our Christmas holiday in Jackson, Mississippi. Bye-bye 70 degree Christmas. To top off the travel, we fly STAND-BY. EKKK! Those of you that buy regular tickets, how do you do it? It’s so unaffordable – for us.

This trip was lucky. My husband left a few days before us & traveled smoothly and made all connections. Z and I left a few days later and we too made all the connections! Win-win. Now, traveling with a 2 year old isn’t ideal- on ANY level. However, I was thankful we didn’t have to sit in an airport for hours and hours waiting for flight after flight. I checked my luggage and brought the necessities! I always travel with my Bugaboo Donkey Mono. I’m not exaggerating when I say it saves my traveling life! Amazing stroller for the win. See that side cart? Yea, be jealous! I always get, “oh, my goodness, that stroller!” Other moms are looking at me like, “I hate you and that awesome stroller.” Envy, a cruel thing. It’s worth EVERY penny! I’d buy it again in a heart beat. Take that recalled finger splitting Graco.

Recipe for traveling with a happy toddler:

1 iPad – with Frozen, Let it Go!

1 “nacks” – don’t correct your toddler that can’t say (s)nacks.

1 empty sippy cup – you’re welcome TSA.

1 diaper bag with baby stuff and pain meds, for you. Can you say back cramp?

1 red eye flight – Z slept most of the time! Yes!

Oh, and check yo bags, b&tches! You don’t need that shit. Check them!

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Ahh! Look at the photo where Z is just a wee-bitty thing in the stroller! Melt.

Darn boy is getting SO big! They do grow up. I need a time capsule.

Here we are, Mississippi, surrounded by all Marvell’s friends and family and it couldn’t be more perfect. No drama, just family that loves each other. No annoying questions or judgement about life or decisions, just pure quality time. Isn’t that strange? It is to me! I mean, I haven’t even seen some of my family members and they are sending me cruel messages with a nice, “F&&k you!” Seriously, got that one a few days after Christmas. Tis the season. That’s my family. Go figure.

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Since I’m a self-proclaimed Grinch I didn’t buy anything for Christmas. I figured I didn’t want to travel with it & Z would get plenty. And, of course he did. I also didn’t mention “Santa” or anything that would refer to the jolly ol dude. So, to my surprise, Z saw the big guy, pointed and said, “Santa!” O.M.G. I’m ending my grinchy-hood now. It was the cutest thing!

My hubby grew up on a farm so Z is loving being a temporary farm-boy. The life, right? Look at these beauties!

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Someone pointed out that one of these bad girls was pregnant, hehe, I had no idea. I figured it was just a little chunky. Kind of like me after the holiday. just a little chunky

Speaking of chunky, these could be one of the reasons! Amazing sugar cookies! Sugar Cookie Recipe. I followed her icing recipe, too. I added food coloring to separate bowls to get creative! I also sent my husband to the store to get cookie cut outs. He came back with a plane, train and car… Merry Christmas! πŸ˜‚.

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Well, my vacation ended yesterday & I should be in sunny AZ. But, standby wasn’t as good to us and all the flights are booked until Tuesday. TUESDAY! I couldn’t make it to work today and tomorrow. I pray I’m back for work on Wednesday! I figured it was God’s greater plan to keep us here longer, maybe???

I hope you had an amazing Holiday. Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas and everything in between!!!

Children’s book – 5 years in the waiting

Art, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Marginalized individuals, Mother, Outdoors, Parenting, Publishing a children's book, Small Business, Uncategorized

Years ago I was hiking South Mountain and my friend Jessie and I were talking about freeing ourselves from the corporate world. I have never been a creative soul so I knew from an early age that I would need to learn corporate adaptability. I have. But while we were hiking all those years ago I said to her, “I’m going to write a book.” Of course I had crazy endorphins running though my stream so at the time it was a perfect plan!

Anyone would experience this out of body experience after hiking and seeing this view!

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So, she said, “well, what’s your book about?” Damn. Now I have to think of a book genre and theme! I just want to slap my name on something… Not work for it. “A Children’s Book.”

I’m laughing out loud as I think about this.

I was 23 at the time. Didn’t really care about a family and kids- just looking for a quick fix to my financial problems as a college student working and supporting myself. Needless to say, that dream died on that mountain.

Until now.

I just finished my first children’s book. All pages are written – except the title. Why are titles so hard!? My husband is illustrating the book… So he’s in the process of working on the other half of my project. It’s a book series (I’ve only written the first one) from the perspective of my son. Once I finish the book and find a publisher and publish this thing – I’ll relay more info! It’s kind of exciting; a publisher left me a message yesterday! I need to call her back but I’m on vacation. No need to rush, it’s been 5 years in the making.

I’m in The OC, CA. my family lives here but I’m staying at one of my best friend’s house from high school. Our sons are 6 weeks apart and they had a ball together yesterday! I wish we lived closer. Our lives could not be further apart. Her house is beautiful, glamorous, big, expensive, decorated. My house is historic, needs updating, needs a HGTV makeover! It’s the funniest thing because I would think I might be jealous of her house/life/family, but I’m not. I’m so happy for her. I’m thankful her life and family is so awesome and beautiful. She has an amazing husband and 2 sweet babies. Isn’t that what life’s about? Really, truly being happy for your friends?

This sweet boy continues to melt my heat. Sweet pieces of goodness!

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❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

Paleo-fail

Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Outdoors, Parenting, Small Business, Summer

I lost 55 pounds on Weight Watchers 7 plus years ago. I followed the program and learned from my mistakes and slowly but surely the weight fell off. Hard work. Determination.

I grew up loving food. Every meal was a celebration! There were times that we didn’t have many food options but we always had something to eat. When my parents separated then divorced we ate bean and cheese burritos, rice, cup-o-noodles, and other cheap-ass-high-calorie-shit-food. So, needless to say, I had no idea that healthy food and portion size mattered.

Joining Weight Watchers changed my life – forever. In fact, I’d go so far to say it’s changed my son’s life too. I lost the weight way before he was even a thought but I am a healthier person because of the program!

I always follow W.W. but occasionally, I try new recipes and ideas. Today I have tried and failed a paleo recipe. What’s wrong with these perfect eaters anyway!?

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As suggested, I started with 2 cups of almonds and my vita mix. Blended.
Blended. Stopped since Z was crying to hold him. Started. Stopped because the vita mix was on over-drive. Then I thought, this is why I don’t do this shit. Then restarted. This took all of 30 minutes. When you read the recipe they make it seem so easy. 10-15 minutes.

Be patient!

Well, for the love of (-)… This is what I’m left with hours later.

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Looks a little chunky, no?

It’s so easy “they say.” Those Paleo people deserve to get a kick in the butt! Here’s the delightful recipe: Amazing Paleo Banana Almond Ice Cream

You try it, let me know.
I’m full of misses. Not a cook, not a baker, not a homemaker. Ahhhh,
Oh well.

We went swimming today. Check out this sweetness.

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It’s 102 out. Melt. Heart melt, too.

It’s so hot and our Paleo ice cream is a bust. I’ve decided we will go to Churn for a sweet treat.

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Eating healthy daily is for the birds. Enjoy ice cream.

Childhood memories. Damn Mini.

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Outdoors, Parenting, running

I’m sure you’re something like me… Cringe when you think of your childhood.
Ew, I shouldn’t have said that. Or, why did I wear that? I thought he/she was attractive!?

My family has a few poignant stories to tell and for some reason I feel compelled to tell you one of my “cringe moments.”

First of all, my parents separated when I was 6. I assumed the “mom” role at that time. My dad gained full custody of the 3 of us, Nick (7), me (6), Michael (2).

Now, looking back what a mess! I knew it was a mess at 6, now at 28 I realized it was a true shit-show.

Anyhow, so good ol’ dad all of about 29 at the time had full responsibility of these beautiful young children. Now what? I’m sure he was well over his head with what he thought he’d accomplish.

This brings me to my story. We were poor. Not just oh, wow, we’re a little broke this week… No, like bean and cheese burritos for years broke. So, I at the age of 7 was confronted with an issue. I only had 1 pair if jeans to wear for the whole week. The whole week!

I know, who cares right!? Well, jeans can be inconspicuous – but these jeans… they were special…. UGH

They had a fucking Mini Mouse on the left pocket!

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Look at her, so happy. She makes me sick. So, here I am forced to wear the jeans, daily, and I have to figure out how to
1) hide the Mini on most days of the week
2) debut the Mini at least 1 day a week 3) wear something else besides jeans another day of the week (which likely was not an option seeing as though I had limited clothing choices).

Well, I thought I was being so ingenious and successful at hiding/showing the Mini. I thought.Until some punk kid — in front of everyone stated, “You wear those Mini jeans everyday!”

Melt! Embarrassing! How dare he!?

I was mortified! But, what was I going to do? It’s not like anyone really cared enough at home to buy me more clothes. I knew we couldn’t afford anything else. Most of all, my dad didn’t really care what I was wearing.

In that moment, I knew I’d make my life different. I’d work my ass off to make my life different.

Sometimes I look back and wish I could talk to my younger self. When I was so sad, when I got frustrated, when I felt alone– I guess I would say… I love you.

I don’t remember my dad ever saying “I love you” as a child. He does now. I’m not sure what changed. I needed it more then than now.

What was your childhood like? Did you have everything you wanted? Or, were you stuck with a pair of “Mini jeans”?

How can you resist this sweet face?

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Glamping

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Camping, Cloth diaper, Outdoors, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

Went went camping for our little 3 day holiday weekend.

“Glamping” Adj/N: “to camp in a fashionable style.” “A Glamorous camper.” Translation: someone who is full of herself, even while camping.

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So, you’re getting the idea.

We camped right by the river and could hear the water all night long, it was glorious.

We’re not huge campers- yet- but I grew up camping my whole life, so it was a bit nostalgic for me. My grandfather on my mother’s side loved to camp. We would go to Mammoth Lakes, CA, each year and spend about a week there- fishing, playing, climbing rocks, hiking the waterfalls, pure joy!
Camp Mammoth Lakes

It’s so beautiful there!

Anyhow, back to AZ camping. We camped in a #stouttent @stouttent Stout Tent

It’s really the best tent since sliced bread! You need one!

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The tent helps become a “glamper.”
All my friends were jealous!

Zaccai couldn’t help his inner boy to immediately get himself “dolled-up” in true camping style…

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Yes- we did cloth diaper while camping… What kind of question is that!? (assuming you thought that!)

He was over-the-moon excited when he woke up in the tent… It was the most adorable sight!

Of course, we must remember what Memorial Day is all about- the people that sacrificed their lives for this country. I don’t believe in war, hell, some of our soldiers don’t believe in the wars we’ve had. But, I believe we must take a moment to thank people that are willing to put their lives on the line… More than I can say for myself.

Well, it’s been a full week of reality and my husband is fully committed to working on his business and making it profitable. I’m happy about this but it’s still a huge work in progress. I’m hoping and praying for the best.

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He’s the sweetest! Enjoy your weekend!