25 March 2020


It has been 12 days since we got word that Natalie's school was closing for a month. Two days ago the governor of Virginia announced school is closed for the rest of the academic year. Oh, I also am unemployed for the first time since I was 16. Hopefully it is only temporary and my salon location will open back up when it is safe. We're a small company and I don't think my location pulls in enough money to withstand being closed for much more than 30 days though.

I am not sure how I feel. I have mood swings about all of this mess. I sometimes get so frustrated that I just want to rant and vent and curse. I feel so angry about what could have been done to prevent getting to this point (many other countries successfully stopped this nonsense before it spread). I get angry at the people who still laugh about it and call it a hoax or an exaggeration. I get mad (so mad) at the president and his idiocy. His bullshit, his hypocrisy and his flat out lies. I get angry at the people who still defend him and claim to be these great patriots but don't take what the country needs to heart. Trump (I get mad even writing his name) wants to reopen the country back up in a couple short weeks to prevent financial collapse despite health experts advice that it will only worsen the pandemic and kill more people who would have otherwise lived. People are all, "it's easy to criticize leaders, would you know what to do in this situation?" and no, I do not know what to do in this situation and I am not saying it's an easy place to be. I also do not have advice from some of the worlds smartest doctors and scientists who study infectious diseases telling me what to do to then act like a cocky, know it all motherfucker and not only ignore their advice but do the EXACT fucking opposite of what they say. I am not saying he will get away with opening back up by Easter (his desired timeline and he talked about how beautiful it will be to have churches packed with people, ugh) so fingers crossed that it doesn't work out. Trust me, I am in no state to be without a job and like I said I may be without that job for good. But I have a patriotic duty to fill by keeping this disease from spreading. 

Whew, okay that felt good to get off my chest. 

23 March 2020

Nine Months

With the world collapsing before my bare eyes and my brain focusing on so many worries ahead, it is a bit challenging to even think about my baby turning 9 months old.

Here we are though, world aflame and Vana being another month older. She's such a silly little baby. She does this adorable thing when I lean my head into her and say, "noggin" and gently taps her forehead to mine. She also "kisses" me by pressing her wide open mouth to my face and leaving it there. Sleep it still awful, maybe worse. She rolls around in what seems to be discomfort until we (me) pick her up snuggle her. She still feeds at night too, around 12 ozs maybe. She is down to one nap a day, sometimes an hour long, sometimes three hours or so. She is very clingy and demands to be held/entertained all day. She is back to not really playing solo and is very cranky. I believe it's mostly teething but unfortunately since she was 5 months she's had ear issues. First was an infection,  then another infection (or the first never cleared), then the ear wasn't fully healed and now she has fluid in her ear but the doctor last visit 2 weeks ago said it wasn't infected then. She was supposed to see a specialist about it but due to this global pandemic they didn't bring us into the office and just chatted with me on the phone. The specialist said that a lot of times babies' eustachian tubes are long enough and something about why that causes issues. The fluid may not be causing her pain, just discomfort but it could be muffling her hearing which would be an issue. We have to wait and see when it's safe to take her to the ear doctor to get evaluated and possibly explore the option of putting a tube in her ear.

Physically she is thriving. She was a healthy 21 lbs and 29.5 inches 2 weeks ago. I forgot the percentiles but it was like 8oth and 99th. She enjoys solids very much but is very picky about them. She won't eat fresh fruit or many vegetables. She loves canned soup, meat (any kind), and prepackaged snacks like puffs and knock off Cheerios. She really enjoys freeze dried strawberries too. It makes me nuts because I never know what to feed her. I want her to be eating baby mush and healthier fresh foods. Matt's dad is ready to give her sweets and lots of junk, haha. I am going to let him be the first to give her McDonald's when the time is right because he's been itching to do that.

Whatever she's been eating, she is getting strong! She is cruising along edges and can stand independently for 10-15+ seconds. She can also squirm and roll away from you like she does every single diaper change.  Every single one.  It is such a challenge, especially the messy ones, eww.

She's a handful for sure and an entirely different baby than Natalie was but I love and adore her all the same. She is charming and smart and amazing. Happy 9 months, Vana Vo!

Update 3.25.20: She bit me like 3 times today. It was when she was happy (when I tickled her and when Natalie surprised her, something that makes her really excited) so hopefully it was just a nervous tick type thing and not full on aggression.

 I kept having to snatch leaves out of her hands/mouth while taking these.
 I got her to eat some peach baby mush today.
I was really hoping to lose more weight before my birthday in June but it's looking like I'll be gaining 30 lbs by then with this quarantine. 

18 March 2020


Wow, we are already three days into homeschooling! It has been going great! Natalie is the most organized kid I've ever met. She was so cute and was so excited about being homeschooled. Before school even shut down she was planning things out and writing out her schedule, writing lists of things she needs, and gathering supplies. Once she got her assignments from her teacher, she organized those assignments by subject order she would be doing them in. She has been cooperative and does the work but it's also extremely light and easy work. We could do all subjects in less than an hour but I need it to stretch us through a good amount of the day. I'm flexible though because I have to be with a demanding baby to care for. I've been loving it so much. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect and Natalie and I still bicker but it isn't about homeschooling (yet).

An update on the burning world: As I write this on March 18th, 2020 at 9:42 pm almost 9,000 people globally have died from covid19. 8,953 last I checked. The numbers of cases and deaths keeps jumping up and up and up. There are more cases than reported because people can be without symptoms and you have to jump through hoops to get tested since there is a test shortage for some reason. My anxiety is all over. I fear getting sick, I mostly fear my in laws or parents getting sick and I definitely fear the economical damage this virus is causing. I think Matt will lose his job. He works for a small company that is already struggling. I don't know what the future holds. It is what it is I guess. I can't panic and do anything about what is bound to be.

Anyway, aside from all that, life is great! I asked Natalie today, "What are your thoughts on Coronavirus and everything going on?" She smiled and said, "I don't know. I'm just happy to be with you," as she dove into me for a hug. I love these girl's of mine. I love Matt so much. I'm so lucky and happy to have them, come hell or high waters.

Tomorrow the weather will be beautiful and I look forward to another day we can homeschool.

14 March 2020


Remember all those times I mentioned how I love having Natalie home with me and I wish we had more time together since she started school? Well, wish granted! I get a whole month of her being home courtesy of coronavirus!

School is closing Monday (the 16th) and starts back up after our regularly scheduled spring break on April 13th. The plan is to do some homeschooling for a couple of weeks and then enjoy a trip to the mountains and waterpark but something tells me that trip is going to hell.
I really actually dread homeschooling. Vana has been having a tough time lately and attached at the hip, just yelling and crying all day. Natalie is stubborn and full of attitude lately. I just foresee my day being stress filled trying to get Natalie to cooperate with a cranky baby in hand.
Just to document and look back on all this, here's a summary of what is going on right now: a global pandemic of something called cornovirus causing the world to go to shit (even more so than all the other things that make it shit).

Things are a bit crazy at the moment, and it's only just begun here in my area. Schools closing, grocery stores out of basic necessities, and events being cancelled. All pro sports have been cancelled, concerts, parties, ect. in an effort to socially distance people and prevent this from spreading more.  I am so on board with the idea of less crowds and avoiding people as much as possible, something I do all year round.

I don't know what will happen and how bad things might get but shockingly I am staying very calm. I have my moments of, "oh snap, what if the worst case scenario happens?!" and even moments of, "what if the worst case scenario doesn't happen but we still get this virus and it's terrible and life altering even not in the worst stage?!" but overall I am being rational, which is unusual.
There are loads of mixed opinions on how things will pan out and it's hard to know what to think and feel. It's all really just a big wait and see game. I actually feel a lot of anger about the way things are being politicized. I get mad reading social media posts and feel frustation about how the country is run in general. I am not saying I have the answers and I usually just stay the fuck away from anything political because 1. I don't care 2. It's complicated and I don't understand.

Anyway, I haven't been feeling 100%. I still get dizzy really easily (like even if I'm sitting down I lose my balance and feel like I'm tipping over) and have been fatigued which is normal for a mom to a baby who never sleeps well. All this mess with what's going on is surreal and I just am hoping for the best for everyone!

24 February 2020

Eight Months

Ack, I forgot to post yesterday and almost forgot today! Vanessa is 8 months old! I feel like I updated every new thing in the 7 month post as I did so as she hit new milestones. The other day I was saying, "that's Daddy," while pointing at Matt and she said "da-da" but  I believe it was crazy coincidental timing. She's so freaking sweet and silly. I mean this in the utmost endearing way but she reminds me of a little puppy sometimes because she'll put something in her mouth and then crawl around with it. There are other things that make me feel like she is a little puppy too but I can't really explain what or why. Maybe because she's slobbery and pants around while she crawls. She has the sweetest disposition and personality.  I can't get enough of her. She fits in so well with our family and just rolls with wherever we go or whatever we do. She is finally getting keen on solids. She loves legit solids, not purees. I want to limit the amount of prepackaged stuff she eats like the puffs and crackers and such but options are semi limited at the moment. I only give her fruits/veggies in this little net thing for babies to get small amounts of without choking. She isn't ready to eat homemade dinners yet. Anyway, she's thriving and just the best! Happy 8 months,  Vana!

Update: 3.3.20 She started playing peek a boo on cue last week! She'll take a blanket and if you ask where Vanessa is she holds it over her face then brings it back down and repeats the process again and again.

3/14/20: I meant to update a couple weeks ago but it got away from me. She will occasionally wave bye-bye. She does a good amount of head butting and trying to kiss us with her little mouth wide open and pushed against our faces. She is cranky most the day and pulls on her ear loads. I took her to get her ear checked out. It's not infected but there is fluid and we're going to see a specialist. There are some other things she started doing too that I can't remember but she just seems to be such a bright little baby.

29 January 2020

On the Move

Almost one week after turning 7 months and Vana figured crawling out today! She went after our fat cat Lilly. It's easier for her to crawl on the bed than hardwood floors or our area rug but she is getting better and better and faster and faster. No taking our eyes off her now!

23 January 2020

Seven Months

Happy 7 months to my beautiful, cheeky baby! I feel like things have started to really settle down and get easier *knock on wood*. Now that she can sit independently she can entertain herself with toys well I get stuff done. She in general seems a bit less high maintenance, but that comes and goes. Some days of course are harder than others but overall she is a very easy, wonderful baby. Sleep is still inconsistent and she's still waking roughly every 2 hours. It's not always to eat, she is sometimes just in need of cuddles/rocking. She still isn't super keen on solids. She likes peaches and pears but does not enjoy bananas or anything else, though I haven't pushed too much since she doesn't like much. She finally has started making her first babbling sounds. I think she mostly does it when she  is in pain from teething.  She opens her mouth and makes a "rah rah" sound  but sounds kind of sad  when she does it. She has been perpetually sick for months with on and off colds. She woke up todqay with the snottiest nose, poor girl. Natalie rarely ever got sick as a baby but she was also a lot more sheltered and keep away from germs more. Vanessa is super close to crawling and can scoot around. A few days ago she was so funny and was sliding around backwards on her belly on the floor. She was bumping into things like chairs and the tables and just giving the biggest smile. She even got stuck underneath her ExerSaucer but gave me the biggest smile when she did. I just find everything she does so funny and adorable. She is so sweet and loving , just like her big sis. Overall I feel like my family is doing so well and really getting the hang of things. Having two really great children is the main reason I would say. I just don't feel very stressed right now and that's because my babies have been taking it easy on me *again, knock on wood.* Natalie can be challenging with her attitude and inability to follow directions/listen but that's really not a big deal compared to some (a LOT of) kids. On top of that her sweet nature redeems her. I like to believe that the way she is treated by Matt and I is a big reason for the kind of behavior she emulates. The other day she got up at 6:30 and surprise me in bed with breakfast. She made me toast and jam, peanut butter crackers and Greek yogurt. She even wrote a note saying "thank you for being the best mom ever" and taped a mini Snickers to it. She told me "I know you don't usually eat candy in the morning (LOL usually) but I thought since today was a special occasion you could." I asked what the special occasion was and she said it was mommy day and that she would give me a massage later. Come to think of it, I am still waiting on that massage, haha. Then she proceeded to tell Matt that tomorrow was Daddy Day and Mommy Day and she would make us breakfast in bed. The only challenge we seem to face with the two girls together does that Natalie this sometimes guilty of trying too hard to take care of her sister. She adores her too much sometimes too and it can be a little overbearing. But that is a good problem to have, that my big girl loves her little sister too much. I'll take it any day.
Update: 2/2/20: I forgot to mention a couple weeks ago she pulled herself up in her crib before losing her balance and hitting her mouth as I tried to catch her. She enjoys standing and has started taking small, wobbly steps forward when you hold her hands. She also attempts to crawl using her hind legs and feet. Her cognitive abilities are definitely growing as well! We live behind train tracks and every time a train passes we look out the window and ask her if she sees the train. Yesterday we were sitting with our backs to the window that the trains pass by and I was reading her a book that had a toy train. When I said the word, "train" she turned completely around and looked out the window! It made me so excited and proud! Her babbling is taking off too and she started making mmm and buh sounds this weekend! 
Update 2/6/20: man her development seems to be taking off! Another week has gone by and she learned to pull herself up on the couch today. Anything she can grab on to she wants to use to stand. Tables, trash cans, couches, toy box... a physical feature that is a bit new is her hair is getting some curl/wave to it. I noticed it after her baths when she was little because the back of her hair would be a bit wavy but now the front is too. She's also learned to clap her hands a bit. It's not on cue but it is new. She gets into everything she can and will grant anything within reach.  She also slaps my face and chest sometimes, which I'm not a fan of and stop her from doing. Now she won't lay still/back when we change her diaper. It's super challenging, especially the messy ones. And she gets into everything she's not supposed to. She loves pulling wipes out of their packaging. I think she is going to be a mischievous little girl!
Update again 2/11/20: Man this girl is on a roll! Friday (2/7) at my mother in laws house she started putting her hand in the air towards the ceiling to point at the fans. We would get excited and say, "the fans go round and round and round," and motion our hand in circles.  She's super fascinated with the fans and loves looking at them. Today she began waving her hand around when pointing them out, just like we've been showing her every time she watches a fan spin! It's something Natalie used to do too, though I have no clue what age she started doing it. It's so amazing watching this girl grow and really absorbing everything around her. It feels like I get another chance to really relish each and every moment and put my finger on the exact moment she learns something new. Oh she is not a patient baby, not that many are. As I was drawing her a bath today she was squirming to get in it. She began eating little baby cereal puff things today too a d if I didn't give them fast enough she showed frustration by yelling out. It wasn't a super angry yell but you could tell she was upset with waiting. A very memorable story from when Natalie was a baby is a day I was feeding her in my lap and taking to my sister across the table. I got side tracked with talking and had a fork full of food to give Natalie inches from her face that I was too distracted to bring to her mouth. Instead of getting my attention by making noise she so patiently sat there with her mouth open waiting. I only noticed because my sister pointed it out. And I remember days at the playground when she was tiny and kids would cut on front of her on the slide or take an extra long time on equipment she wanted. She always just waited without causing a fuss or it even bothering her.

01 January 2020

Welcome, 2020!

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is always time for reflecting and setting goals and expectations for the months to come.

When I look back on 2019, there is almost not one bad thing to say about it. I live a virtually drama free life, just chillin' in my little bubble, judging the shit out of everyone around me. The worst thing I can think of is the crazy bitch at the playground. Other than that and my kid's catching a virus at Christmas everything was amazing! I got through a childbirth I was terrified of and it went so well, did some self improvement (both physically and spiritually), my girl's are thriving and my marriage is  almost effortless (not every minute of the day but mostly). Which leads me to goals/ plans for the new year.

There isn't a thing I want to change about my life in terms of my home/love life or even my professional life. I love how everything is. We've got so much good going. We have a house, wonderful children, a great relationship, food on the table, a loving family and so much more. I just want to continue to foster the bonds I have and continue to keep my family the main (and only) priority. What I would love to focus on more is myself. I conquered some stuff in 2019 that was long overdue. Now that that has been achieved I would like to keep that in check and dwell on some other character flaws about myself. Really just deal with stress better and not react with rude remarks when I get upset. I'd like to make date nights for Matt and I a monthly thing as well. I would like to do some home projects and get more organized around the house. Oh, and I have been saying this for like 6 years straight but I would very much enjoy losing some more weight and to finally get back within 5-10 lbs of my pre Natalie weight. But honestly it's kind of whatever on that one. I'll be happy just to not gain an assload of weight again and maintain the current number. I'm finally practicing a bit of self care and it feels so good. I'd like to increase that and maybe have a spa day or something I do just for myself.

I hope 2020 brings you all the happiness you can imagine. 

25 December 2019

Christmas 2019

Oh, boy, our first Christmas as a family of 4 is over. Things have been rough these last several days. Vana is sick now. Natalie hasn't gotten better but is up and down. I'm starting to feel crappy. I want my babies to feel better but I'm so glad Matt is here to help.

Apart from that it's been a good Christmas. We went to Matt's moms yesterday for lunch and to open gifts from aunts and uncles and then over to Matt's dad's house for dinner. I showed up late to dinner since Vanessa was finally napping come dinner time. After several presents Natalie was going downhill. Maybe an hour in and she was complaining of ear pain and asking to go home. Once we got in the car she began wailing and howling about the pain. Once home I convinced her to take meds and and put baby oil drops in her ear which she didn't like at first but it helped.

Today we went to my folks house and Vanessa just cried and fussed all day. She took a decent nap but was still cranky when she woke up. I think on top of not feeling well she was overwhelmed and afraid of all the unfamiliar faces and amount of people. We ate and opened presents and had a house full of kids. My twin nieces came, niece and nephew and my two nieces who live there were all present.  Natalie stayed while Matt and I took Vana home. We came back over for leftovers around 7 for dinner and by then Natalie was feeling pretty awful again. She had had medicine a couple hours before too. I'm feeling tired and my throat is sore. My chest feels kind of infected in a way. I'm going to call the doctor tomorrow and ask to bring both girls in. I'm so scared of it turning into something serious like pneumonia.  Merry Christmas.

23 December 2019

Half Birthday!

Today is Vana's half birthday! At 6 months old she is sitting independently (started weeks ago), got her first tooth (6 days ago), loves to flap her hands around and bam bam toys, and is super sweet. She isb17.8 lbs (76th percentile), 28.25 inches (>99th percentile) and head circumference is 43.8 cm (89th percentile). She is still waking roughly every 2 hours a night. It's not always to eat, she's sometimes just squirmy and restless and needs to be cuddled. She still wants to be held all day and won't entertain herself much. She isn't babbling at all and is pretty quiet on the cooing front. I brought it up with the doctor today and she gave me a print out of activities to do for her age. I assume this is to stimulate her vocalization. I would feel bad if the reason she weren't babbling is because of a lack of attention but that would be better than something like a developmental delay. Time will tell. Poor girl had to get 4 shots today. 3 vaccines and a flu shot. She took a 3 hour long nap today and come bedtime was fussy and warm. The doctor said a fever and lethargy were expected with the vaccines but Natalie has had a fever since Friday afternoon. I am 90% sure it's the flu based on her symptoms. She is running a high fever around 103, has a runny nose and coughing and is definitely tired and not feeling well. I HOPE so much Vana doesn't get it too. (Or me or Matt but most importantly her.) Tomorrow we plan to go to Matt's dad's house for dinner and presents with my in laws/nephews. Christmas day we plan to go to my parent's. I'm excited to celebrate Christmas as a family of 4 but so worried about how we'll all be doing.

Wishing you all the merriest Christmas and happiest new year!

04 December 2019

Not So Great 8

Today my first baby turned 8! I love this girl immensely but sometimes she makes me question how I'll be able to handle the teen years. My lord, the drama and attitude. I  can't help but blame myself and my parenting on it. She is spoiled and it shows with her ungrateful demeanor sometimes. She can be the sweetest thing and say the most heart melting words but when she is getting too much of her way and one thing isn't precisely how she wants it then she has an attitude of life is the worst. I try so hard to make her happy and I think she is way too coddled. I have to crack down on myself as well as her. I didn't want this to be a negative post but that's reality right now. We had a birthday party for her this Sunday with only Matt's family again. I decided I'm done planning family parties bc she started doing things with her friends once kindergarten started but then last year with friends was a shit show so I didn't plan a party with friends this year either. Last year my MIL wanted to make cupcakes and give Natalie presents so we invited Matt's dad and brothers family. This year Natalie asked for that small family party again and my mother in law agreed so I didn't do any work. Our plan in lieu of a party with friends which is expensive and stressful was to take her this coming weekend on a day trip for lunch, ice cream and shopping. Today I gave her an LOL doll in the morning with a pancake breakfast (candle lit and happy birthday sung) then brought her McDonald's for lunch at school. She had a super nonchalant attitude when I showed up for lunch and then acted as if my presence was annoying and embarrassing her. She was just dry and vague when talking to me and then middle schoolers showed up to sing for the kids and spread holiday cheer. I realize now how she wanted to fit in and be cool and having her mom sing and sway around was embarrassing, so I'll forgive her for brushing me aside and telling me to stop on that one,  but before I really didn't do anything but make innocent conversation. She never once said thank you to me and acted entitled. After school she had a long overdue playdate with her best friend. Everything was great and they even went to dinner at IHOP together. When she got home from dinner I asked her to take a picture with Vanessa on her first birthday as a big sister. She agreed but wouldn't look at the camera so I said fine, no picture. I told her to go get ready for bed and she begun arguing with me, saying she was in fact looking for the picture when she definitely wasn't. From there the night just went down hill over NOTHING. I was picking up her room and told her not to rip up tiny pieces of paper and leave them on the ground (she makes various "crafts" and such) and she sassed me  and told me today was the worst birthday. I said, "great" because I can't tell you the number of conversations I've had about gratitude and appreciating what you have with her. A lengthy battle to get her to bed ensued and the night ended on a sour note with Matt and I telling her our weekend birthday plans are off unless her behavior changes and is immaculate the rest of the week. It's such a bummer and so frustrating to have a day like this, especially one that is special. It was her choice to behave the way she did and I am holding her accountable.  I have such a fear of her turning into a spoiled, rotten, ungrateful, entitled, rude human being. I don't think 7.5 years of being an only child did me any favors with that. Overall of course she is a good kid and I'm proud. She is getting older though and it's time to really address any poor behavior. Parenting can be challenging and I don't even know the right way to go about addressing the issue.

02 December 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

One of the best Thanksgivings is in the books! We took our first family vacation as a family of 4.

23 November 2019

Five Months

Vanessa is five months old today! I can't believe she's 5 months and I can't believe I've managed to continue with the monthly photos and blog posts!

Life's been busy and a bit stressful. Much more settled than my previous post, thankfully. I'm not as high strung as I was. I honestly think I was just PMS'ing when it felt like everything hit the fan. I'm off the Zoloft because it made me horribly dizzy. I switched to Wellbutrin but that too made me dizzy so for a week now I've been completely off of meds. I feel okay. Perhaps a bit weepier than when I was taking it. I really think it helped with my PMS though, big time.

I know a lot of people frown upon needing medication as a crutch but if you felt like I did or even had to deal with me you would understand. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I physically can't tolerate it it seems.

Alright, that's the 5 month update on the postpartum bit. Now let's talk about the beautiful baby girl I have!

Vanessa is growing like a little blossoming flower! She got her first ear infection and I took her to the doctors on the 18th and she measured 27.5 inches, which is almost an inch and a half worth of growth in 4 weeks!

The ear infection doesn't seem to bother her too much (or maybe it does, it's so hard to figure babies out) but the antibiotics are messing with her gut. Bad diarrhea and she seems to be uncomfortable at night, waking frequently.

She's not super keen on solids, except she seemed to like peaches but it's hard to find baby food for her because everything is a combination of various fruit/veggie mixes and she's only supposed to have one food at a time.

I am 99% sure she learned to roll from belly to back yesterday! I wasn't paying too much attention because when she allows me to put her down I am trying to get things done or just have a minute to myself but she was definitely on her belly then I looked and she was back on her back. My mother in law had the same thing happen today when she wasn't paying attention either.

That's all I have the energy to write or think about for now. I felt like there was so much more to talk about but I can't think.

Happy 5 months, sweet girl!

07 November 2019


The stress of being a mom to two children has set in and I'm beginning to lose my cool. Vanessa has been such hard work lately. Not only does she require being held ALL day but she wants constant stimulation. She's just fussy no matter what and naps are my only relief but she's not a good napper. It's put me on edge with Natalie and definitely Matt. I feel frustrated with him that he's always in the basement working or that he stays up later and sleeps in later or that I am constantly juggling everything with the kids and homelife and he's always forgetting everything I ever tell him ever. With Natalie I lose my patience since I have to repeat myself to her 100 times and then get snappy with her for not listening, causing her to get snappy back, causing me to get even more angry. Add a crying baby and busy husband to it all and it's just a recipe for a strenuous situation. I don't get to get much done in a day and it's a struggle to even keep up with basic house cleaning and having a clean house is something that helps me feel less stressed and more on top of things. The guilt for getting upset with my children for being children is awful and losing my patience is something I can never take back. I'm so lucky to be the mom to these girl's though. They're amazing.  Natalie is such a mature and understanding girl. Last night I was apologizing to her for being so impatient lately and she said, "it's okay, I know Vanessa cries a lot and Daddy works all the time and you get frustrated, that's why I want to help out and watch Vanessa so you can nap." And she does. She does help out so much.  I would never put the responsibility of taking care of her sister on her but every day after school she asks to take the baby into her room and play with her. She'll have me give her toys, diapers and a bottle and she'll entertain Vanessa for a half hour or so. I'm so lucky and feel like a bad mom when I can't handle my girls.  Thank goodness for the forgiving nature Natalie has towards me.

04 November 2019

Countdown to 8

Exactly one month left of having a 7 year old! Natalie is such an amazing little girl. She's so funny and silly and clever and smart. She is also dramatic and whiny and negative at times, like all kids. She is the BEST big sister in the world, hands down.

I was lucky enough to attend her class STEAM party today and it was fun! I was glad to be at her school, seeing her class and being in the presence of her classmates and teacher. It was a good time.

31 October 2019

Halloween 2019

Vanessa's first Halloween and Natalie's eighth are in the books! Whew I'm glad it's over. It was stressful trying to get ready and things done and prepared before trick or treating and then it was challenging and stressful actually trick or treating.  Vanessa has been in a cranky mood, I know she's not feeling well but I don't know what it is. So she wants to be held even more nonstop than before, which is literally I cannot put her down for but 5 minutes before she yelps. Anyway Natalie had a good time. I promised her we could bake muffins, do crafts, order pizza and watch a movie in addition to going out around the neighborhood. I felt really rushed and pressured to get out of the house and go trick or treating though, because the weather was calling for intense rain in addition to a tornado warning. I struggled to get anything done today and when Vanessa finally took a decent nap I did too. When she woke up it was all high maintenance. We didn't bake muffins or do crafts (Natalie didn't even ask thankfully) because there was no time to. I took the girl's  around starting at 5 and it was a slow start since most people weren't even home. We visited my mother in law and Natalie got some special goodies from her and Vanessa got a teething toy. We met up with Nats best friend and some other neighbors and walked around. Soon the group grew and I was trying not to run the stroller into people. Vanessa got cranky and I had to carry her so my neighbor kindly offersd to push the stroller. Matt joined us after an hour or so and then we walked around for maybe 45 minutes before heading to his dads house where Natalie got a special card from him and one for my nieces who didn't  make it. Then we headed home, ordered pizza and watched part of A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Well Natalie watched it, that movie makes me feel sick it's so weird and I hate the claymation.)  Tomorrow is Natalie's school "character parade " and I am getting off early to attend that even though it's not a big deal. I know she would be disappointed to not have me there even though my mother in law would go. The things I do for her. Not that I mind getting off work 2 hours early, but I could use that money.  Oh well, some things are more important, even if Natalie doesn't understand I'm kinda going out of my way to do this.

Happy Halloween!

24 October 2019

Multicultural Night

Each year since Natalie started kindergarten her school has what they call multicultural night. It's a night for families to come together to share their cultural backgrounds with the community. This was our first year participating in the event and we brought all the Ukrainian culture with us!

Along with our project containing her paternal family tree and facts on the country, we brought pierogies for everyone to try that were made by the Ukrainian Embassy and sold at the Ukrainian Church in D.C. (the church Matt was an alter boy at as a child). Natalie wore a beautiful vyshyvanka style dress that was handmade in Ukraine (folklore believes the embroidery of crosses, especially in black and red on clothing protected against evil spirits that caused the black plague) and we brought a wooden replica of a pysanky (Ukrainian Easter egg) along with some other Ukrainian knickknacks to show. You could even meet and talk to someone who is 100% Ukrainian, as my wonderful father in law attended and helped us out with the whole thing! It was fun working on the project and teaching (as well as learning myself) about where some of Natalie's ancestors came from and parts of their story and culture and customs!

There were a ton of people like with all events at the school and it was a little overwhelming at times, especially with a fussy baby. Luckily my mother in law and her sister who's visiting town showed up and took over caring for Vanessa. My father in law was there to served the perogies he brought. He highly enjoys feeding people, so I think he was a little disappointed that the table next to us (Poland) was serving perogies too and were more forward with handing them out. 

Before the poster board gets lost or ruined, I'd like to document the family history elsewhere. Here's my father in laws parent's and grandparent's story: 

Paul and Catherine Matichok were born in Ukraine in the 1880's. It's unknown what year they arrived in America but Paul arrived first. Catherine came years later and never spoke English very fluently. They settled in Ranshaw, PA (115 5th Street) and had 6 children, including their 4th child, Anna. Catherine was a homemaker and Paul worked as a coal miner until a mining accident crushed his legs and left him handicapped. Catherine had to work odd jobs, like cleaning a restaurant for .25 cents while their large family also helped support them. (These are Matt's grandmother's parent's.)

Wasil and Eva were both born in 1890 in Ukraine. Wasil arrived in Ellis Island, NY in 1914 and Eva shortly followed. Their last name was something along the lines of Plyzlak before being Americanized to what it is today upon coming to America. They settled in Wilburton, PA (324 East 3rd Street). Wasil was a coal miner and Eva a homemaker to 5 children, including their 3rd son, Mike. (These are Matt's grandfather's parent's.) 

Mike and Anna were born 2 days apart in September 1920. They married February 15th, 1940 and settled in the same town Anna was born in. Like his father Mike was a coal miner. Anna worked in a t-shirt factory before having 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl. Mike fought in WWII and was captured by the Germans and held as a POW for several months. Mike passed away in July 1980 and Anna passed away 26 years and 2 days apart from Mike in July 2006. 

Robert Paul (Bob) was born in Shamokin, PA in December 1950. He begun a career early on as a brick layer. He met his wife Linda in high school and they married at the young age of 20 years old. Bob moved to Arlington, VA in 1970 and lived with his sister Carol for a couple of years before moving to Alexandria. He started his family of two boys and is now the proud Pap-Pap to 4 grandchildren!

23 October 2019

4 Months

Happy 4 months, little love! Omg, this little girl makes my heart burst with love and joy. She. is. the. best. Every day is full of smiles and she is starting to giggle more each day. 

She had her check up on Monday and is growing well and seems to be on par with her milestones. Hell, she's even ahead of the game with the rolling from her back to belly. She's the youngest in her music class and one of the only ones who can do that. She is 15 lbs 12 ozs  (72nd percentile), 26.3 inches (99th percentile) and her head circumference is 41.3 centimeters (73rd percentile). At the 2 month check up I was concerned that her head measurement was slowing down but we're back where we need to be. 

She has begun making growling sounds, especially when she is starting to get a bit upset. She still drools like a faucet is turned on. One new thing is she has really been into is studying her hands in the last day or so. She'll have her thumb folded in between her middle and ring fingers and bring her hand up to eye level and look at it. She's still extremely gassy to the point it wakes her up at night. She sometimes cries because of it too. 

She tried pureed bananas yesterday for the first time. She didn't have a huge reaction to them, was just kind like huh, bananas. She is working on her career as a contortionist. Every time I put her in one of her chairs she bends in half and leans all the way over. Even though shes strapped in it still freaks me out a bit. Today she dropped a toy and leaned forward like she was going after it. Could just be coincidental. She is getting good at reaching for things and hand control. 

Her favorite book is Never Touch a Monster, a colorful, textured book our neighbors gave us. Her favorite song is Elvis's Love Me Tender. It always calms her down and she just listens. 

I can't get enough of her and she needs us like crazy. She still won't let me put her down during the day but we manage just fine most the time. 

16 October 2019

Belly Laughs

When Natalie was 3 months old we were lucky enough to capture her first laugh on video. Somehow we discovered that the zipper on one of her sleep sacks made her go nuts. Vanessa is no stranger to a giggle and she is certainly so smiley but I have been waiting for her to crack up the way Natalie did the first time she laughed. Today we got to experience as a family her infectious belly laughter. It was so sweet and funny. Natalie was home sick from school, we all have been under the weather actually. Natalie coughed and that made Vanessa laugh like crazy. I called Matt up from the basement where he was working and told him to videotape. I can't stop watching this, it's the best!

13 October 2019

Beam of Light

A year ago today I woke up feeling nauseous (after a few glasses of wine the night prior but not enough to justify feeling sick). I got a sneaking suspicion that I should take one of my many pregnancy test strips. I did and saw the absolutely faintest second line. I was so happy and scared of having another chemical pregnancy/miscarriage.

All that is history though and look where we are today with this precious girl who is a beaming ray of love and light!

She is just the best. She may require all my time and attention all day long but she is so loving and sweet. Her smile is the best feeling and I hope she never runs out of them. She has discovered how to get her feet in her hands and sometimes mouth. She must drool the equivalent of a swimming pool each day. She also learned to blow spit bubbles with her drool when she coos and she loves doing that.

08 October 2019


When I was in middle school I impulsively cut myself bangs. They came out fuck up and it was really embarrassing. Well I recently impulsively had a coworker cut bangs for me and I love em! I'm really feeling myself these days in terms of looks and how I feel/who I'm becoming. 

06 October 2019

First Church Visit

Like I mentioned before Natalie has been asking me about attending church. My niece Bridget spent the night last night, so that has them really put on the pressure to make sure I made good on my word about going. This morning we went to a service at a church right by my house. It is a small, cute little church. I thought I would feel a bit more awkward than I did but everyone was super welcoming and I didn't feel too out of place. It's been a long time since I have been to church and I was not raised in any certain religion. In fact, I have never been to church with my family. We were not religious at all. My maternal grandma however is quite religious. The times I have gone to church when I was younger were with foster families, or on my own with a friend. I lost my beliefs as I got older, but that doesn't mean I will prevent my daughter from exploring religion. I will gladly teach her as best as I can about any religion she would like but most importantly I will try to teach her to be a good person whether she belongs to a congregation or not.

02 October 2019


Update as of 10/5/19: Thanks to posting about the incident on NextDoor I found out who the woman is, last name and all. She's been crazy to others, though I didn't get specifics. She unfortunately lives right by the playground. Oh and he's something really fun, she's a client at the salon I work at. My sister even remember who she is from when she came in and said she's a weirdo.

I don't talk about it too much but I love the neighborhood I live in. We're close to family, it's a relatively crime free area, I love Natalie's school, she's got several friends who are our neighbors and there's a playground right around the corner. A playground we've been going to for forever that I've posted pictures at and talked about right here on my blog. A nice, safe place to be.

Well the other night some lunatic turned the playground into her own personal space to verbally assault me in front of my children. It was 20 minutes past 7 pm and the sun was set so it was dark. Natalie was having fun as Matt chased her around. I had just fed Vanessa so wasn't rushing them but we were wrapping things up. Out of nowhere came this middle aged woman who approached us and asked if we were leaving soon. Matt told her we were. She said, "Oh good," and the inflection in her voice pissed me off. She started on her way but I couldn't just let it be. I said, "Why do you care?" and she walked back, right up to me and ranted on about the playground being closed at dark and us being loud. I told her to get over it and started walking away as she shouted, "You can go fuck yourself, bitch!" I walked right back up to her and sternly said, "Do not talk to me like that in front of my daughter." She replied, "I don't give a fuck about your daughter!" I don't know what I said back but I lost my shit. She started saying more awful things, like telling Matt to "get your dog on a leash," It took EVERYTHING in me to not physically attack her. As I type this now my blood is starting to boil all over again. Matt got between us and told her off too. I don't know what all he said because it didn't really register to me in the heat of it all.

After everything calmed down and we were back home Matt told me he was disappointed in how I reacted. I tried justifying it to him but I ended up just saying, "you're right," and moving on. He is right. I set a bad example for my daughter by responding to this crazy person and I probably shouldn't have even said anything to begin with at all. I have flaws I need to work on, anger and reacting is one of them. Anyone can react with hate in that kind of situation. It takes a strong woman to walk away and keep things peaceful. I failed at teaching my daughter how to be a better person when faced with someone who is intent on causing drama.

I hope to get my problems in check and become the best version of myself for my children. I am grateful for seeing my faults and the things I need to work on. In time I do hope to be able to not even be phased much by people who are dicks. Or to just be able to respond with composure and kindness. I want to be able to say I wish the best for the woman who verbally assaulted me and that I hope she gets help and works on herself too but seriously, fuck that bitch. Maybe her lesson learned will be the hard way when she curses out the wrong person. 

25 September 2019

Daughters Day

I have no idea who decided it, and I would have no way of knowing without social media, but apparently today is National Daughter's day. I made sure to confirm by Googling at as well. That's how you know it's not a totally made up holiday. 

I celebrated by taking the girls to the bookstore, playground and then out to dinner like we usually do on Wednesdays with Matt's dad. I also snapped this amazingly cute photo of the girls.

 I know I say it non-stop but I really am so lucky that I have these precious children. I feel like they are best friends in the making, despite how completely opposite they seem to be. They look completely different. Personalities are different so far too. Vanessa is super smiley and Natalie was always very serious as a baby. Their sleep habits are different too. Natalie was always very hard to get to go to sleep, but was a deep sleeper. She would go to bed late (not because we wanted her to) and sleep in very late. Vanessa is much easier to get to go to sleep, but is an extremely light sleeper and wakes easily. She goes to bed earlier and wakes earlier too (partially because of our schedules but she just doesn't sleep in like Natalie used to). They really do seem to be made for each other though. Vanessa loves to be entertained all the time and Natalie loves to perform so it makes my life that much easier. :) 

I love these girls so much and what a treasure having daughters is to me. 

23 September 2019

3 Months

Starting when Vanessa was about a month old I started having "baby fever" again. I know that sounds absurd and if I were someone else and heard that I would think the person feeling that was a bit looney. 

It was just so sweet and the best feeling having a newborn baby and I felt the sense of "I want more." 

That feeling has dissolved. In fact, I can't really picture balancing life with 3 kids. My two girls keep me busy enough. On top of that, Vanessa demands loads of constant attention. She is becoming quite high maintenance. Lately if she's not being held she will just fuss. She really just wants to be held and walking around all day long. Sometimes even if I'm holding her I can't even sit down without her cranking.

All this is on top of her being a challenging sleeper too. She naps so much better if she's strapped to me all day. If she isn't being held the absolute longest she will nap is an hour. Sometimes it's only a 15-20 minute catnap. When she is cuddled up with me she will sleep up to 3 hours. I enjoy the long naps but I can't get much done. But I am not complaining! Long naps are so welcomed. At night she is still waking about 3-4 times. I think we may be working our way to consistent 3 hour stretches of sleep per night though (knock on wood). 

I weighed her and measured her so I'm not sure how accurate it was but she's around 14 lbs and 24 inches long.