My Toddler’s First Lovey

It’s been a week guys. Let’s be honest, it’s been 4 and then some months. To say my kids have had to go through some serious changes is an understatement. 

I’m overwhelmed, completely drained, and I’ve been really struggling with short naps and early morning waking’s for my 20 month old. I’m a Babywise mom. I thrive on schedules. It helps keep me sane, something my ex and I always fought about. But don’t we all do better with a routine? I know when I have some sort of consistent routine, my mind feels so much more calm, and I’ve always been a firm believer that kids thrive on that too! My first born was so so easy. Yes he came 6 weeks early and was only 3 lbs, but, he was the HAPPIEST baby, and the easiest baby to sleep train once he weighed enough. I read the Babywise book and thought wow, this book is ingenious. It worked just like it said! I followed the book to a T and within weeks my oldest was sleeping through the night and napping like a champ.

Fast forward 5 and ½ years later to my second born, and well let’s just say I’ve been pondering pretty much every day what I’m doing wrong. Re-adjusting wake windows, getting the room that much darker, turning up the sound machine…it’s a constant guessing game. Don’t get me wrong, my son, after lots of babywise conversations, following all the sleep training Instagram accounts, and lots of hard work, has been “sleeping through the night” since he was probably 6 months old. But those first 5 months …they were rough, and I was doing it all alone. Not only were we having LONG nights but he was a chronic 40 minute napper for about 10 months. 

Finally things seemed to click and I thought I had it figured out, it was such an awesome feeling. Sleep, it’s an amazing thing, right?! We had about 4 months of a blissful 2 hour nap schedule, and sleeping until almost 7am. I felt like a new woman. And then our entire lives were uprooted and his sleep became a puzzle once again. I try to remind myself that he still is a pretty great sleeper. He has independent sleep skills, and he sleeps 10-12 hours at night. But, we’ve been two months into transitioning to 1 nap and have gone from having 2 one hour and a half naps, to 1 at max hour and 15 minute nap, most days it’s much less than that, and that’s a huge chunk of mommy time! Today he was up at 5, and only took a 30 minute nap, and I’m left once again thinking… I must be missing something. 

I love my baby boy. But, right now, going through all the changes, coping with all the emotions, the legal battle, wearing all the hats… I’m finding it extremely hard to find time to breathe and do all the million things that need to be done.

So tonight, I’m trying something new…again. I brought out Monkey George at bedtime. My oldest loved his Monkey George. I asked my youngest if he wanted to take the monkey to bed with him. It was the cutest thing. He looked at his new found friend, gave him the sweetest hug and kiss, looked at his bed and then at me and said, “Monkey bed?” I started laughing, because it was at that moment, I realized that he was thinking the monkey was taking his place in bed and he was getting to stay up. After a quick chuckle, another hug and kiss, I quickly put him in bed with his new friend, and told him, monkey can sleep with you tonight. Cuddle and give him love. I kissed him goodnight and walked away watching him lay in awe of his new bedtime companion laying next to him.

Will this help tonight? Will he sleep past 5? We shall see…but his sweet face laying there with his friend, priceless. 

Accepting Divorce

DIVORCE. The seven-letter word I never thought would become my story. When I was a little girl I dreamed of meeting that forever man, creating a family together, chasing our dreams as a united team.

When you’re growing up you always think of these big life dreams. Having a family, building a home, going through life together. This was always my dream. All I ever thought I wanted in life was to get married, become a mom and have a family.

I can’t tell you the amount of times over the past five years I thought about divorce, finding myself thinking, this can’t be how it’s supposed to be. But accepting that reality, accepting that the man I fell in love with was no longer that same man, was an entire different story. I asked myself hundreds of times… Is it harder to stay? Or is it harder to leave? And still, it took a life alternating night for me and my sons to finally say ENOUGH.

For the past five years I’ve been trying to help someone that clearly doesn’t want help and for the first time in 17 years I’m choosing me. I’m choosing to put my own mental health first. And it’s hard. It was hard to stay, and it’s been hard to leave.

It’s easy to look from the outside in and judge someone’s situation. It’s easy to look at someone’s life when you’re not living in their shoes and ask yourself why they are still there. Everyone’s story is their own. Everyone’s journey to divorce or deciding to stay is their own. If you’re finding yourself asking, should I stay or should I go, know you’re not alone. It’s only your choice to make, your choice to say when enough is enough.

You’re not alone. 

Survival Tips for Raising Boys

I grew up with two older brothers so when life blessed me with two boys I thought I knew what I was getting into. Being a single mom to two very active boys is quite the adventure and keeps me on my toes all day long. Looking back there are some things that would have been helpful to have known. So if you are about to be a boy mom, or recently had a boy, here you go! 

  1. Forget about the toys. Seriously. Invest in a nugget, or some soft padded mats. I promise you, it doesn’t matter how many toys you have, all they want to do is climb on things, jump on things, and wrestle. At least this is the case with mine. 
  2. Teach them how to use Lysol wipes in the bathroom, and make sure you stock up on wipes now in case of another pandemic. It doesn’t matter how much practice you give them in potty manners, your bathroom will consistently smell like pee. I think I could give my oldest a toilet the size of a pond and he’d still miss it. 
  3. Watch your head. It is only a matter of time before you get hit in the head by a toy, or a shoe while driving. 
  4. Get outside every day, as much as possible. If it’s raining, send them out in rain boots and let them play in puddles. On days we spend more time outside, mentally we are all in a much better place. 
  5. It’s ok to let them play with nerf guns. We all want to raise sweet loving boys. But, even if you don’t buy them toy guns or swords, they will turn everything they can find into a pretend weapon. It will be ok, boys can be kind and sweet and still have nerf gun fights. 
  6. Fart jokes become the norm, embrace it and have fun with it. Look up the song, “Momma tooted.” And then either thank me or hate me for it 😉
  7. Always have coffee and wine on hand. 
  8. Find yourself some mom friends that also are raising boys. I promise you, it makes all the difference. Nothing gives me more laughs than looking back at some text threads with my fellow boy moms. 
  9. Let them cry, let them have their big feelings. Talk to them. Let them feel safe opening up. Boys need to know that it’s ok for men to feel the big feelings, it doesn’t make them weak. 
  10. There is no such thing as personal space. The bathroom with the door locked is your new place of brief solitude. 

Finally, and this one is the most important one. Boys love their mommies. Hug them a million times a day and more. The days are long and trying, but their hugs, slobbery kisses, and giggles make every single moment worth it. As crazy as they drive you daily, they also have a way of making you feel like the prettiest, most special woman on the planet. I always wanted a little girl. But I have to tell you, now having two fun loving little boys, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

raising boys

Finding Strength through Fitness

This morning I had to be prepared to do something really hard. Something that I never imagined I would ever have to do. I can’t talk about it quite yet, but what I can talk about is what I did this morning to help me mentally prepare. I (attempted) to get up this morning before the kids and took 30 minutes to workout. My 25 minute Tabata workout may have been interrupted 10 times, but somehow it still reminded me that I’m stronger than I think.   

For the past 7 years, my life has felt like one constant roller coaster. Beginning with giving birth to a 3lb baby, to shortly after losing my dad, followed by years of marriage problems, abuse, multiple separations, another 3 lb baby, ending up in the ICU after giving birth, and now divorce. The only thing that has stayed somewhat consistent in my life through it all has been my fitness journey. It has been by no means perfect. There have been weeks, sometimes more I’ve gone without working out, but for the most part I’ve chosen to prioritize my physical and mental health. The reason why? It keeps me sane. It helps me find inner strength when every other aspect in my life seems to be spiraling out of control. It makes me a better version of myself, which makes me a better mom. 

I’ve loved helping other moms on their wellness journey. I had a coaching biz for three years and it brought me so much joy. I miss it. I feel the need to help other moms realize that it’s ok to take time to focus on themselves. It’s so hard being a mom when you’re constantly taking care of everyone else to find time for YOU. Your mental and physical health are so important. You are most likely the rock of your family, and a happy healthy mom is a happier team. 

There came a time in my life a couple of years ago when I no longer felt like I could be an inspiration for other moms. I was spending so much time focusing on trying to fix my marriage, helping my spouse, that without even realizing it, I began to lose myself along the way. Looking back, I realize I gave up going after some major life goals to focus on someone else. And now it’s time to change all that. I’m not sure where a fitness business fits into my new journey yet. What I do know is that wellness and helping others is something I’m extremely passionate about. 

So for now, you’ll find me committing to pressing play 30 minutes a day, 4-6 days a week.  Sometimes it will be with kids crawling all over me, or fighting in the background, in my current home gym..aka, my moms office/guest room. 

And I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my plans.


Domestic Violence and My Story

This is a huge topic, with so many different layers. Experiencing abuse, whether it be verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, or physical, is something that no one ever imagines will be part of their story. At least I didn’t. Never in a million years did I think I’d be sitting here telling you all that I am a victim of domestic abuse. But I am, and I wish I had known five years ago that I was not alone. 

This is a hard part of my story to talk about, but I feel like it’s worth sharing.  I’m still very much in the beginning stages of my healing. I’m not a doctor, or a therapist, but I have experiences that I’ve been through, lessons that I’ve learned, and feel I may be able to help someone else out there that’s been living in my shoes. 

I’ll be talking about many different facets of abuse:

  • Narcissistic abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Living with alcoholism and mental illness
  • Why I stayed so long, and what I wish I had done differently. 
  • Resources that are available to those of you in need. 
  • Protecting your kids from abuse

It is possible to get out of a horrible situation. It’s not easy, and I’m still in the hard part, but if you are feeling scared, or alone, I’m here for you. You are worth fighting for. 

Stay tuned, I have a lot to process, and a lot to share. 


The Easiest Backyard Water Slide

At our old house in Florida we had a pool and AC. And although the summers here are in general way less hot, we’ve had some hot humid days here and I’ve been trying to find creative ways to cool off without spending any money. 

boys playing on water slide

This idea really belongs solely to my 7 year old. He dumped some of the water out of the kiddy pool onto the grass right in front of our Little Tykes slide, wet the slide, and voila! One hour of pure muddy, wet entertainment for both my 20 month old and 7 year old.

Finding safe activities that make them both happy isn’t always easy! 

Doesn’t get much simpler than that! I think we got our Little Tykes slide off Amazon for about $20. Best $20 I’ve ever spent.