04 December 2023


 12 years ago today I became a mama. I cannot believe my first baby is so close to being a teen. Our relationship is quite rocky right now and it hurts that I feel she’s drifting so far from me (I am to blame too and I know it) but I still love her as much as on the day she was born. She is navigating a new path in life as she grows and I wish I could better understand her feelings and choices. She’s a good kid but man do some of the things she does make me go insane. We had a small birthday party for her this weekend with family and one of her friends at her request. I love that she is a simple, family oriented girl who loves her cousins. Today she stayed home sick from school, poor girl. I love you Natalie Mae! 

06 September 2023


My sweet Natalie has started her journey into her first year of middle school, and my sweet Vana has started her journey on her last year of preschool! 

She was happy to go back and I think she really needs the socialization and structure it provides. We were/have been dealing with some unsavory behavior from her. Not to smear her reputation but she was having some aggressive behavior that made me sad. I don’t like to see her so upset and lashing out because she doesn’t know how to deal. We tried talking to her (gentle parenting), reading books, talking about coping techniques, time outs, consequences like no tv, and being very firm about how not okay it is to hurt others. I am not sure why this behavior began. We certainly didn’t teach her it at home. I did notice a correlation between it and when I started working more, however. It also reached it peak over the summer it seems (and I hope that was the worst of it). Perhaps the shift in our normal lives made her act out. 

Anyway, I hope and pray school will be a positive influence and will help stabilize things. I fear her getting upset and school and not dealing well. I also fear her going to kindergarten because I’m just not sure she’ll enjoy the setting or long hours. At her school now they basically just play on a playground for three hours (of course there are very important things they do in between play). I also fear she is a little behind on her speech still and worry she doesn’t have confidence to speak up or she’ll get made fun of. I wish I could just wrap my kids in a bubble of protection from feeling sad or upset but of course that’s not possible (nor healthy). 

Vana had her first dental visit yesterday (I know 4 is a bit old to get your first dental checkup but we didn’t have dental insurance and cannot afford the outrageous out of pocket costs). She did SO good! She was just smiley and cooperative and patient and chill. Her teeth looked amazing with little plaque, no cavities and no concerns! She got a ballon and then we walked to the grocery store (on the way we ran into one of her teachers going to the coffee shop). I was so bummed because at the store her balloon got away from her. I told her we would walk back to the dentist and ask for a new one but we did and everyone was on their lunch break and the receptionist didn’t know how to use the helium tank. She handled it so well though. 

Well that was a snippet into our lives that I wanted to jot down before I forget forever. I have been feeling a bit zombie like and like I’m in a daze/fog. Makes me concerned for my health. Matt assures me it’s just what happens as we get older and because theres always so much going on but it makes me feel like I’m losing my mind. 

21 August 2023

Middle School

 I am sure many more posts about middle school are to come as we enter this difficult, new chapter of our lives but today is the first one. 

My first baby is in middle school. I don't know how I feel. Kind of stunned, kind of numb, kind of anxious. Proud of her and how far she's come and grown, of course. I just have a pit in my stomach when I think about the future drama and meanness she'll have to encounter. I dread the thought of her witnessing fights (or god forbid being in one) in the school cafeteria or elsewhere. She sadly has to walk through a metal detector before school every day. (Yes, it should be more reassuring but geez, the fact we've resorted to doing that is just crazy.) I dread how hard classes and homework will be. I dread (more of) the hormones and her mental health taking a toll. I dread her feeling lost and like she doesn't know who she is or where she's going in life.

I know there are lots of beautiful things to look forward to too. I hope she makes beautiful new friendships and her self-confidence grows. I hope she finds new hobbies and interests. I hope any hardships she faces make her a stronger person. 

09 June 2023

First Dance

After a couple weeks of waiting along with some drama, the day of Natalie’s first dance finally arrived. I was fortunate enough she allowed me to attend as the fun police and chaperone the dance. At first she felt 100% awkward and I was nervous she would just float around and look miserable the whole time but thankfully she warmed up and had a good time. She took tons of photos at the photo set and danced a lot more than I expected (which I expected zero dancing). Now at almost 9pm we are at the school park while she plays with friends. I am so proud of her for being social because I know it’s hard for her. She got ready with a friend and that friends mom even took them to get their hair done which was totally unexpected but so so nice! 


04 June 2023

National Zoo

I remember Natalie’s first zoo trip ten years ago when she was eight months old. We rode the metro with my sister, my sisters then boyfriend and my friend and her son. Matt and I took Nat there several more times, sometimes on the metro, sometimes driving. I even took her on the metro all by myself one day, which even ten years later seems a little intimidating to me. When I was super pregnant with Vana I chaperoned a field trip there in the scorching heat. Today started off cloudy and cool and we on a whim decided to take her. We knew parking would be a pain but we got semi lucky and found a spot someone was pulling out of but it wasn’t super close to the zoo. It was definitely our best bet though. As expected V wasn’t interested in animals much at all. She liked the gorillas and said she liked the flamingos. We found some cool stuff for her anyway including an amazing kids room with sensory play. She got ice cream (twice), rode the carousel and got soaked playing in an overhead sprinkler to help visitors cool down. It was so crazy crowded and there wasn’t much activity from the animals so that was a tiny disappointing but overall I’d say a great first trip! Definitely better than the trip I’ll be making again Friday with my job. I get to be responsible for roughly 10 two and three year olds at the freaking crowded zoo. Granted, there are parents and I have coworkers but the first field trip we took to the children’s museum was awful. I wasn’t even with the youngest group that day and we had only five kids to look after and still it was completely miserable. The kids couldn’t even enjoy it because the adults were so stressed out and we made everyone stay tightly together after a scare that one kid was lost (he went off with another student and their parent but the parent didn’t let us know). I really dread this field trip but am trying not to stress too much about it. 


28 May 2023

12 Year Anniversary

 12 years ago today, on a hot, humid day Matt and I tied the knot. Today we celebrated by going to lunch, for a short drive (the weather was cool and cloudy and perfect) and then we took Vanessa (Natalie was at a going away party for a friend) bowling for the first time. She enjoyed it and afterward we went for another drive, then a playground. It was a good day. Matt and I continued our tradition of gifts based on a material and this year was silk. I thought a set of pajama or new sheets was a little boring, so we decided on a map printed on silk (that hasn’t arrived yet) that has a pinpoint of the place we got married, and we also went and bought a plant called silkweed, which I thought was clever. We purchased the plant on Saturday and Vanessa came with us. We had to go on a wild goose chase to find silkweed, stopping at 4 different places to find it. Vana had a great time helping us look for the right plant. The place we ended up finding it at had a chicken coop in the back and some fancy shrubs shaped like things. I wanted Natalie to be more involved with our anniversary but I’m not disappointed. She was busy drawing while we went plant shopping (a new hobby for her and I hope she keeps it up!) and today she was being social (another thing I hope keeps up!). She did make Matt and I a special drawing that I framed, it was so sweet. I am so thankful for 12 years of marriage and the wonderful kids we have a life we have built. 

21 May 2023

Shrine Mont

 Since September I have been working at a church taking care of children during services so their parents can worship without having the interruption of a small child. It’s been great! The children are wonderful and so are the parents and so are my colleagues. I applied for the position while I was still working at Sunrise and it began that I was going to just be a substitute and fill in as needed. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to work early Sunday mornings after working late Saturday nights as a caretaker but I was doubting they would actually need me as a sub and figured I’d cross that bridge when I got there. Turned out I had to take some time off work at Sunrise because Matt was sick and one Sunday morning I got a call from an unknown number. Thinking it was spam I picked up and hung up without saying anything. Then came another call from that number and I was like, “wow this is one determined telemarketer,” but I let it go to voicemail. Turned out it was the church and they needed me to fill in last minute on the first day they were opening the childcare back up since Covid. I scrambled to see if my father in law could babysit Vana since Matt was sick and luckily he could. Normally I would have been sound asleep on a Sunday morning but since Matt got sick and I took off from my night job I was awake and ready in a pinch. A few days later I got a text from my boss asking if I could work again that Sunday and I agreed. After that I was asked if I wanted to be a permanent employee and I said of course. I never got the story on why it didn’t work out with the person they originally hired but I was happy I got the job. I have enjoyed working there so much and this weekend it made me enjoy it even more. Every year the church takes a trip to a retreat 2 hours away called Shrine Mont. It’s a beautiful area in the mountains. They asked me if I could come and provide childcare for the youngest kids. Since I don’t drive and taking time away from my kids is low on my wishlist, I asked if it would be feasible for the whole family to come. Graciously I was told they were welcomed too, which was so nice because it was all expenses paid including meals. I was a bit nervous about feeling awkward on the trip but I am so glad we went! Both girls had such a great time. Saturday morning after breakfast I had my tiny group of kids, with 3 kids total including Vanessa. We played with some balls outside and play dough and other toys I brought, had snack, then went inside to a small playroom for an hour. It was great! Natalie was off with older kids taking a walk and doing a craft. I wasn’t sure she was really connecting with the other kids but she said she had a good time and she really liked the adults running the group. Later there was a social hour and I was shocked that Nat wasn’t in her room and instead already made her way down to it and was sitting on the porch next to her peers with a plate of food. I made some small talk with the other kids and then they mentioned something about hide and seek and started to run off. Nat wasn’t sure if she was included but one girl came running backcand was like “are you coming?” So Natalie ditched her full plate of food and ran off with them. From there that night was her hanging out with these kids, going to the dining hall with them, they had an awesome water fight on the lawn, went back and forth to each others rooms and then ventured off to gaze at satellites in the sky. It made my heart so happy to see her being social and happy and having fun. There were two girls in particular she bonded with and they seemed to just adore Natalie. It was so sweet. They asked several times if she can go to church with them and they made sure to give me their moms phone numbers and they hugged her and came to her room looking for her. Vanessa also made a new friend, a little girl I’ve met in the nursery at work a couple times. Her parents were very kind and took both Vanessa and their daughter on a walk and let me stay back. I had to let my guard down and be super trusting that they would keep a keen eye on her because I have such anxiety about that kind of stuff. After their walk we went to a service in the most beautiful outdoor setting. Vanessa wanted to go since her friend was going and Natalie showed up after the service started and then her friends motioned for her to come join them across the pews. She was nervous to do it at first because she didn’t want the attention on her or to be disruptive but they assured her it was okay and she could walk behind everyone. Vanessa and her friend played with stuffed animals that they kept dropping and then they climbed on rocks but overall they did well for 3 year olds. I was so glad to have the experience and it seems sort of dream like to meet so many nice people who care about your kids! 

17 February 2023

Special Persons Day

 Valentines Day has passed but there’s still plenty of love in the air! Vanessa had her first “special persons day” at her preschool today where they invited the dads (or someone else if dad couldn’t make it but luckily for her class they all could make it) to school for a special performances, to pass out valentines and to enjoy some quality time together! Matt’s such an amazing dad and despite a job demanding in responsibly, as well as an out of the blue dental issue (cracked tooth), he made the time to go. (We both agreed Vanessa would be horribly sad to see the other fathers there and not hers so it was definitely high priority for him to make it.) I am so glad they got to have this experience (even though Vana won’t remember it). She also had an adorable questionnaire about Matt filled out where she said he was 100 years old and other funny things. 

Valentines Day is my favorite holiday and I usually make a big deal about it but this year I was just too tired to put in the effort that’s typical. I still had a good day and didn’t completely neglect it but it didn’t feel the same (because it wasn’t). Matt and I hung out a bit at home while the kids were at school and then we picked Vana up and took her to lunch at Applebees (exquisite). After dinner we took the girls out for ice cream before Nats basketball practice. Natalie just started playing basketball and I am very proud! She’s new to the sport but she’ll put in good effort. You can tell she isn’t super confident when she’s on the court but I am impressed with her just for trying and I damn sure wouldn’t put myself out there like that at her age! She decided cheer wasn’t for her and since we didn’t pay any money for it and it was a hurdle in our schedule, we let her take that off her plate. I am glad she tried it though and love for her to be involved with sports. 

It’s been six weeks since I started my new job and I am on the fence about how I feel. It’s draining and I feel like every week I’m under the weather and burnt out. I am learning more about myself in the process and my likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses as well as my personality. I have super mixed feelings about my colleagues too. I honestly don’t know where this might lead, if anywhere. I really wanted a clear career path and professional growth but it’s really hard for me to be around negative people (ironic because my attitude often seems super pessimistic, I know). I don’t think another school would be any better, I think it’s just sadly the nature of work places in general. I do love working with kids but it’s a lot. It’s hard to feel like my coworkers are more interested in sitting around gossiping while I’m the only one properly supervising the children at the playground. It brings me down to hear them bitch about petty things and seem to have a general disdain for children at times (this is the minority but it only takes one bad apple…)

I know I am so lucky and people would love to have the support and freedoms I have so I try to keep things in perspective but it’s always tough to face problems in life. 

31 December 2022


Here we are on another New Years' Eve. I am feeling grateful to be entering another new year but as usual thinking about the future always gives me some sense of anxiety. I think about all the bad in the world, all the people who didn't think today would be their last day on earth but it was. I think of the potential bad things that could happen to my loved ones or me. I don't know why I'm so glum, I guess I'm just afraid. 

This year has been another great one filled with wonderful memories. Time sure does go by faster and faster every year, I swear. I changed career paths again this fall. I left my job working as a caretaker for the elderly and began working with children at a church on Sundays. I help run the nursery and take care of kids 0-4 years old. I also started working at Kindercare and have done a ton of work helping open a brand-new center. I was offered a position at a local preschool as an assistant teacher that I am supposed to start Jan 4th but I haven't heard much from them since I accepted the offer. I would be making more money and working more hours. I don't know how I am going to balance being a mom and working more and frankly, I don't feel excited about starting, only because I know how disappointing it will likely end up being. I know I shouldn't complain and should be grateful to have a job but I just feel eh. 

Natalie turned 11 and I am grateful to celebrate another year with her. She's very into sports and is doing soccer, swim, cheer and basketball. She loved watching the world cup and is a huge Ronaldo fan. I got her and Matt tickets for Christmas to see the Wizards in January and she was so happy she cried. We had a good Christmas Eve with Matt's family and of course, the girl's got a ton of gifts. Christmas day was lowkey with my parents. 

I found out today my dad's mom passed away last night. I haven't allowed myself to feel or think too deeply about it. I teared up when I told Natalie and cried a bit randomly when I was alone. I haven't seen my grandma since my wedding in 2011 and I wasn't close to her but I have fond memories from my childhood of her. 

Anyway, despite the tone of this post, I am wishing you a happy new year! I hope you all have a great year ahead filled with love and joy. Take care. 

20 September 2022

First Day of Preschool

 I never imagined sending my sweet tot off to preschool for several reasons, financial and personal. Several months ago I made the decision to do it because she is so interested in other kids and being included. We found a co-op (meaning they rely on parents to volunteer to keep the school running so tuition is much lower than an average school) that we can barely afford. After months of her having separation anxiety and me dreading the day it finally came and went and I am so proud! I 100% was waiting for them to call me because she was inconsolable but she lasted the full 3 hours. I actually didn’t expect to do drop off without tears (from me and her) but we accomplished that too!  I think my saving grace was that she had a friend who’s in an older class that she got to play with on the playground when I was leaving. Her teacher said she did get upset during their bathroom break but that didn’t last. I do think Vanessa has mixed feelings and I am not sure how the next time will go, honestly. For now I’m proud and dumbstruck. I hope it wasn’t too much for her and she wasn’t distressed and suppressing her feelings. I do think it would be enriching for her to continue to go but at the same time I’m relieved it’s not mandatory. 

23 June 2022


 Three years ago today I brought my amazing youngest daughter into the world, on my husbands birthday. Whew life sure has been busy since and I sincerely wouldn’t change a thing. Vanessa is an insane, silly, funny, sensitive, affectionate little girl who is crazy adorable. She’s super social and wants to be in the heart of whatever game is going on at the playground. She gets disheartened easily though if we can’t understand her, or someone doesn’t want to play. When she’s upset she has moderate breakdowns that can sometimes be hard to console. My best tactic is just riding it out and waiting until she’s distracted and forgets about it. If I try to talk things out and empathize she only gets more upset and will tell me to stop talking or she just cries even harder. Daily life can be tough and the biggest hurdle is communication. She’s definitely gotten good at sentences and saying things but I don’t think she’s on par exactly where her peers are. Medically she wouldn’t be categorized as behind or anything but all her friends her age are saying bigger sentences and I can have legit conversations with them. She doesn’t say a lot and her speech isn’t as clear. She still acts silly and speaks gibberish frequently, especially if you ask her a question. Her favorite is “goopey” whatever that means. She finds potty talk humorous and we have to tell her all the time that’s private stuff we don’t just say unless you’re saying you have to go or something along those lines. She is so sweet and cuddly and loveable. The other day she found a bouquet of artificial tulips in the basement and was like “I take these to the park?” I said she could and she goes “Margaret gonna love them.” Turns out she wanted to give the flowers to her best friend. We agreed on bringing one flower for the friend and one for her but her friend wasn’t at the playground and I think Vanessa got sad about that because she got pouty and asked to leave shortly after we arrived. She loves a hand me down stuffed cat from my childhood and one from my niece Bridget’s too. She plays with them every day and it makes me so happy to see her cherish something from when I was a little girl. I hope she always likes the toy but I’m sure she will outgrow it. I have a fear of it getting lost someday. She named the cat from my niece Minnie Meow and I think that’s very clever. Today we had a party for her at the playground where her best buds all showed up. My mother and father in law also came so she was quite happy. The party turned out well though it could have been better organized on my part. It was planned for 10 am but it started raining so I pushed it to noon. Everything was wet and it was a little cool but it worked out well anyway. I played music but the batteries in the speaker died shortly in. I had some sandwiches catered from the grocery deli and gave out pbjs to the kids. Later my twin nieces came over and we had pizza, cake and presents. It was a good day.