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 told runes bavk and 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 priciest 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.

14 April 2022

Spring Break 2022

Our school systems spring break always coincides with Easter and Easter falls later than usual this year (which I prefer so we have a warmer break time). Today we came back from our annual trip to Massanutten, VA. We brought along my 6 year old niece Scarlett. There is an indoor water park and a cool children's museum that we always visit but otherwise we just take it easy, hang out, go to restaurants and maybe do some shopping. This trip was a pretty big success. There was minimal drama with the kids, though my niece got sick out of nowhere after breakfast yesterday. She randomly threw up so I had her take it easy and lay down then she was totally fine with no issues. I was worried she had a stomach bug and we’d all get sick or she would have to miss out on the museum but we were lucky that wasn’t the case. Maybe it was acid reflux or something. The condo we stayed at was so spacious and nice. I was amazed we got all the things we got for about $160 a night. It was a two bed, two bath condo with a loft, balcony, fireplace, full kitchen, jacuzzi tub and sauna in it. We were tucked low in the mountains with a nice view of woods and saw a bunch of deer every day. The weather was gorgeous. Vanessa and I didn’t do the water park (she is so unpredictable and i didn’t want her to have a fit and us all the have to leave) but she took it surprisingly well when the others snuck out without us. She asked about where they went and Natalie told her before they left they were going to “work” for a bit but she didn’t cry or want to be included much. Kids are naturally stressful and draining so vacation is never really vacation with them but I would be so bored sitting around relaxing anyway. ;)  Oh, random update on potty training: Vanessa completely reverted to diapers again. 😩 We we’re doing sooo well and I thought we just needed to fine tune things a bit and it was over but nope. She came down with a stomach bug about a month or so ago and that’s when things went to shit (literally). She has since began making some progress again and even used the public bathrooms several times on vacation but there is still a lot of work to do and I’m worried this will just be a continuous struggle. 

24 February 2022

Potty Training

 I am totally gonna jinx this by posting about it but I realized I don't remember much details of potty training Natalie. She was 26 months old and she peed on the floor one day when she didn't have a diaper on while waiting for her bath. Matt told her she's supposed to pee in her diaper or on the potty and from there we had a pretty easy journey to get her out of diapers. I think we told her if she used the toilet ten times we would take her to the store and she could pick out a toy. It was either that or we told her if she pooped on the toilet we would get her the toy, I cannot remember. I do remember taking her to Target one night after she accomplished her goal. She picked out a lego duplo ambulance and a pack of live savors mints which she used to love eating at my mother in laws house. I don't recall how long it took her to be fully independent from the diaper, or when she started telling us she needed to go, or how often she had accidents (not much), or if we used pull ups (I don't think so) but I do know it was relatively quick and easy. 

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post: Vanessa potty training. We definitely didn't luck out like we did with Nat but we've taken a turn for the better. I started trying just before her second birth in June 2021. She was initially interested and I bought books and thought things would progress. She quickly decided she wanted nothing to do with it though and would decline sitting on the toilet, even when we would bribe her with a treat. She would get upset when we asked her, so I stopped. Matt would occasionally tell her not to use her diapers and she should use the toilet instead but she wasn't influenced. 

I don't recall how or why we started trying again but within the last three or four weeks things have taken off! (Knock on wood.) I started setting a timer every hour via Alexa and would sit her on her training toilet. Then I would reward her with a lollipop if she peed and a small gummy just for sitting. She would still frequently go in her diaper and wasn't bothered by it at all. Just two days ago she started telling us she needed to use the potty! I am so proud and excited and happy! I told her if she told me she had to use the toilet I would give her a star sticker and when she got to ten stickers she could go pick out a toy from the store. She earned ten stars yesterday but hasn't asked to go since so I am wondering if the appeal of asking is gone. I guess we'll see how today goes but I am crossing my fingers she doesn't regress and lose interest again. 

Overall though she has made so much progress and is such a sweet, silly, crazy child. She was lying in bed the other day and said to me, "snuggle me." I didn't understand her at first and thought she said "tickle me" but I asked her to repeat herself and my heart melted when she did. Last night after dinner at my father in laws house as she was saying goodbye she was like "thanks for dinner" without being prompted and it was so cute and sweet! I love this baby big girl as she calls herself! 

14 February 2022

Valentines 2022

 I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Valentines Day is my favorite holiday but I’ll say it again! Vanities Day is my favorite holiday! I remember when I was probably five or six years old my mom had me choose between a box of chocolates or a white teddy bear as my valentines gift when we were at the grocery store and shockingly I chose the bear (I was super into sweets). Every year at least since we’ve had children of our own Matt and I take the day off from work (usually I’m not working since I only work part time) and get a sitter. We go to the movies, lunch, shopping, bowling, for long drives, or anything else we can think of that we actually feel like doing. Today we dropped Vana off at his moms house and headed to a mall we don’t usually go to. We walked around and found somewhere to eat. We had a nice meal (Matt really enjoyed the fish he got) and even though I was full I got a banana split afterwards. Then we came home, watched a show that we found out his coworkers son directed, exchange gifts and went to pick up the kids. Things are always kept simple but we have such a nice, fun time when we’re connecting without any responsibilities. Matt talked about how he dreams of the day when every day is this relaxing and we’re retired. Honestly thinking about the future terrifies me and find me with existential dread. There are so many things that can go wrong and so many awful things that can happen. What if one of us gets terminally ill or hit by a bus? I could list more horrible scenarios but that’s not the reason for this post. The reason is I want to remember this day and the love and happiness I feel. I’m so so so so grateful for this man and this life we’ve built. 

30 January 2022


In my summer recap post I said there was something I wanted to post about but didn't want to jinx so here it is (it really isn't exciting to anyone but myself, haha): I got a new job! I know, big whoop. But I worked for the same company for 13 years as a receptionist in a salon so this is a really big change for me. I am now working as an elderly caregiver at an assisted living facility, so it's a completely different world from answering phones and booking appointments (amongst other tasks). I got hired on the spot (which I like to think is because they thought I was amazing but I think it's because they're desperate for staff 😉) and started my hands on training in midish October. I do enjoy it but it is super demanding at times as I'm sure anyone in healthcare can vouch for. I am not really sure what this may lead to for me. Maybe (and probably) nothing much more. Now that I've dipped my toe in the medical field I don't think I want to pursue it full time or have any more responsibilities other than everything I do now. I definitely don't want to be a nurse. All you hear is how short staffed it is, how underpaid you are, how emotionally taxing it is, how grueling the hours are, and how mistreated you are. Plus how hard and expensive nursing school is. I also hear nurses are really really awful to each other. No fucking thanks. I do very much enjoy taking care of other people though. The reason I left the salon after so much time being a dedicated employee is because of some unnecessary mistreatment towards my sister (who also worked there and also quit). Long story short there was blatant (and completely unjustified) favoritism from my boss to a new receptionist who was HORRIBLE. Things with the awful woman came to light very shortly after we left, which gives me a bit of satisfaction (just being honest). I was nervous and it was kind of hard to decide to quit (only because I didn't think I could find somewhere to give me the hours I wanted but I did) but at the same time I knew I couldn't put up with the toxicity and drama there anymore. I feel like a great weight was lifted. For the past almost 11 years I really haven't had anything exciting that belonged just to me, so changing career paths is exciting!

06 December 2021


 Two days ago my first baby turned ten years old! Hard to believe I’ve been a mama for a decade now, wow. We celebrated with family and her best friend. We had a party at my father in laws house and the theme was winter wonderland. It was a cute party. Natalie of course had to bring some drama and get into a minor quarrel with her cousin Bobby. The next day Matt took her to Dave and Busters with my sisters boyfriend and two of his kids while I worked. Natalie is happy to be back in school (for now) but of course there is always a bit of drama with other girls. I seriously dread middle and high school, ugh. For now I am enjoying her still being (mostly) innocent as a 10 year old!