2015: year of living

I'm calling 2015 our year of "life"

Nothing major happened 
No life altering changes happened. 
We worked the same jobs and did all the same things. 
Our daughter changed and grew, but again, nothing too crazy. 

We just lived. 

And I loved every minute of it. I found complete satisfaction in my role as a wife and mother. We lived our life as a genuinely happy family. 

Looking back at past years there always seemed to be a big, life changing event. I always had a check list of stuff that happened by December 31. 

But 2015 was different, and I've never felt so content looking back on the year. I loved just living my typical life. After spending a week on Mexico beaches I have never felt more desire to go back home and hang out with my baby on the floor of my living room. 

Our days consisted of the same thing all year long. Work in the early morning. Be with my baby in the afternoon and evening. That's it. Sure there was running and cooking and quick trips and first steps taken. Food thrown on the floor. The same toys picked up 397 times a day. There were bath times and story times. The beautiful spring, summer and fall weather allowed for multiple walks per day. Fall Friday nights were spent on bleachers and yelling "Go Kearns". Non-football nights were spent on the couch. Binge watching TV and just being together. 

That's what I did in 2015. Doesn't it sound wonderfully normal?? It was. It was a perfect, typical year. 

I don't know what 2016 will bring. Maybe a checklist of changes. Maybe not. 

Happy New Year! 


Mexican beaches and fruity beverages

You guys. Maybe I need to have another baby just so I have something to blog about again? What do you think? 

Life is just rolling right along. Not much to update, and yet funny things happen everyday. Mckenzie is goofy all day, every day. 

Bart and I spent 6 days in Playa del Carmen last week. It was amazing! I have never been on a beach vacation like that. You should have seen my suitcase. Chuck full of stuff I never needed to bring. I spent all day in a swimsuit and only changed for dinner. I never did my hair and never wore makeup. It was pretty fabulous. 

The all inclusive resort was definitely a new way to vacation. Go to the beach. Eat lots of food. Drink lots of fruity beverages. Eat some more. Nap by that beach. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Honestly we didn't know if we should be bored or relaxed. Our second day there we went snorkeling, rode on ATVs and speed boats and spent the day enjoying the sun. It was my first time snorkeling and I loved it. It's very peaceful looking down into the ocean. At one point we were being swarmed by jelly fish so we had to employ some evasive maneuvers. The water is so crystal clear blue and WARM. Every time we got into the water I couldn't believe how amazing it was. 

On our last day before coming home we took a ferry to Cozumel island. We rented a scooter and scoot-scooted our way around the island. We stopped at another amazing beach and sipped on pina coladas. Later we stopped at this authentic Mexican restaurant right by the beach and had the best food of the whole trip! Fresh fajitas straight from Mexico. Mmmmmm. 

It was so fun to spend 6 full days alone with Bart. But on day 4 I really missed Mckenzie. Of course I missed her everyday, but on Saturday I hysterically cried several times just thinking about her. It wasn't the kind of vacation that she (or us) would have enjoyed if she had been there, but we still wanted her there. Something just doesn't feel right when someone is missing! The 14+ hrs of travel days confirmed to me that it's good she didn't come with us. But next family vaca- she's coming! 


S%$@ Bart Says

B- Because most mothers want their child suckling the teet at all times 

M- Guess what size my pants were that I bought today? 
B- Size -
M- Nope. Size - 
B- Have you ever been a size -?
M- Not for a long time. 
B- So is it just some random brand that makes people feel better about themselves because of how they size it? 

B- I need to start exercising. I went up the stairs and thought "son of a bitch" 

*talking about the red cup scandal*
B- I'm sure there were people like this out there before Facebook, but now we have to listen to them. 

B- Ya wanna know what the worst shows are? 
1. The Voice
2. American Idol
3. How I Think You Should Dance 

*talking to Mckenzie* 
B- Don't destroy books. We aren't in the business of destroying books. You aren't a Nazi. 


16 months

Good news! My demon baby is gone, my angel baby is back 

And I just love her. 

After this latest developmental milestone from hell, she is like a new kid. Less baby. More kid. She laughs and giggles and plays in a whole new way. She is chatting more and every once in a while she mimicks something I say. (Tonight she said "all done")

Her appetite is back in full swing and she is eating a ton. Like, everything. I definitely prefer it that way. It was so weird to have her barely eat anything and say no I almost everything I offered her. Now that she is feeling better, she wants to eat all the time. Growth spurt anyone? Also, her new word she can say is "hungry". So there you go. 

Her bedtime also shifted 30-60 minutes later which is also weird. I'm used to having her in bed by 6-6:30 but this weekend she has been happy until closer to 7:30-8pm. AND she even slept in until 8am on Saturday. That has NEVER happened. It was amazing. I don't know if the late bedtime will last once we get back into our weekday routine, but we haven't minded having our little buddy around for a little longer at night. 

She says no like a champ, and doesn't seem to be as attached to Dog. We can leave him in the crib during the day and she is fine without him. She's growing up!  I love the light at the end of a developmental tunnel and see what has changed. 

So at 16 months here are some baby stats 

23lbs 31inches 
12 teeth (4 molars are now in) 
Sleeps 10-12 hrs a night with 1.5-2hr nap 
Loves tortillas, apples, cheese and blueberry muffins 
Climbs on everything! No fear
Gives kisses and hugs 
Hates being in her car seat 
Loves to turn the music on and dance 
Still totally goofy and silly 

It was so much fun to spend Thanksgiving with Bart's side of the family and watch her play with cousins. It was a wonderful weekend spent with family. On Sunday we went down to Utah County for my niece's baby blessing. I just love my siblings! I really loved having this last week filled with family. It's such a nice time of year to refill my life with what matters most 


TGF Bedtime

Ugh. You guys! I'm really struggling with Mckenzie. My journal entry last night starts "I feel like a failure of a mother. I yelled at Kenny today". I always knew patiencs was a weakness of mine, but God is making it abundantly clear that it's something I need to work on, like meow.

Obviously I love my daughter. I really really love her. But when she whines and screams for no apparent reason? For 3 weeks straight? My deep breaths are only going so far to help. I'm sure her behavior is totally normal and typical for a 16 month old. I understand she is learning and growing and figuring out boundaries. I get that she's frustrated that she knows what she wants, but can't communicate.

I hear you.
I get it.

It still really sucks and is really irritating and I am just so so happy when bedtime comes every.single.day.

Luckily she isn't sick anymore, so her behavior and attitude have improved .00008%. We were even able to go for a walk today -something she hasn't wanted to do for weeks. We were outside for almost an hour and she was her happy fun self. We walked around and explored and kicked rocks and crunched leaves. And it was so fun! I was legitimately enjoying being with her for the first time in a looong time. And then toward the end she threw herself down on the grass and screamed and threw a fit.

It was nice while it lasted.

So tonight in my prayers I will say sorry for losing my patience and thank you for a 6pm bedtime.
and then try again tomorrow.


Is this week over yet??

It has been a WEEK in the Bowen household. Mckenzie was sick Sat-Mon. I was pretty much dead Wed-Thursday with food poisoning and Macs and I both have had tummy issues since. yuck! There are a lot of crackers and bananas being eaten around here. It's been a while since I've had a stomach bug and it is so miserable! 

I've still been able to follow my 30 day goal pretty well. I did sip on some Sprite and ginger ale and a couple pieces of dark chocolate. But for the most part my complete lack of appetite has just made it that much easier to behave myself. I wanted to avoid gluten-free bread and pasta but since that's all my tummy could handle the last few days I have had a little bit. Sometimes reality happens and veggies just aren't going to happen!! 

Mckenzie has been really struggling lately and it's been hard! It's hard to tell what part of her behavior is pain from getting her molars in (the last 2 are almost complete!), or if she is just sick with a tummy bug, or if it's more behavior change. Whatever it is- she is a grouchy, irritated handful. Luckily her night sleep hasn't been affected at all (knock on wood) so Bart and I have the evening to unwind and charge our patience batteries for the next day. 

Mckenzie has always been a dramatic little kid, but I think now that she is so smart and knows what she wants, she gets even more frustrated that she can't talk yet and tell us what she needs. If I am watching close enough I can usually get her through a frustrating moment pretty quickly. But other days she is just clingy and so sad and very emotional. I definitely have a girl on my hands! I just hope this stage doesn't last for much longer. When she has her sweet/funny/goofy moments I know my angel baby is in there somewhere! 

Babies. Children. Parenting. 
It's just filled with the dumbest and yet the most important things in life. At the end of the day, the love I have for my baby replaces any negative thing that happened. And my baby is growing up so fast! Maybe it's time for another one?? Hmmm...


To everyone posting on mom boards: shut up.

Can we talk about discussion boards for a moment? More specifically MOM discussion boards. This is where the crazy go to spread their crazy on everyone and where the dumb soak in all the crazy.

I am searching for some answers about Mckenzie's symptoms this weekend (I'll spare you the potty talk details) and for one certain thing (poop) the only sites that pop up in my Google search are mommy boards. I just don't even click on them because I know they will be filled with a seemingly innocent question, asked by a first time mom (questions I HAVE) and then the crazy stupid begins. These women just post the dumbest stuff!

To all new moms out there; please please please please PLEASE don't read those boards. Don't take advice from the crazy. Please. I am tempted to post a question myself juts so I have material to talk about later in a blog post.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never found legitimate help on a mommy board. The only thing I have found comforting is knowing that I'm not the first mom who has this kind of question.

Now excuse me while I go research the reason behind my child's poop changes. BYE!!


What I've been eating

So I'm one week into my 30 day re-focus and I'm doing really well! I don't feel like it's been very hard to resist things I can't have. Which only tells me this was the perfect time to do it!

Here is an idea of what I've been eating the last week. I stopped keeping track after Saturday because I lost motivation to write everything down :)

Scrambled eggs w/spinach
apple + natural peanut butter
mashed avocado with a few bites of left over chicken and black beans
roasted butternut squash
ground turkey taco meat on lettuce
* feeling motivated today so the day was easy peasy *
Scrambled eggs w/taco meat
Chicken w/ avocado 
Quinoa/brown rice mix
Green smoothie ( spinach, frozen fruit, chia seeds, water)
Rice cakes and peanuts
Salsa verde chicken w/brown rice
* I was so hungry all day today! I tried to fill my belly with rice cakes and peanuts. Pretty pathetic, but I made it through the day!*

Scrambled eggs w/green peppers
Leftovers: taco meat, quinoa, squash
Sweet potato + salt
Handful of nuts
Chicken + potato hash
*Another day where I was hungry about 20 minutes after I ate. My body is just getting use to everything. I haven't really craved sugar yet*

Friday (My Birthday!)
Egg hash (spinach, green peppers, taco meat, turkey bacon)
Nuts and veggies w/hummus
Corn fritters
Sushi and pad thai
*My friends took me out to Cheesecake Factory for lunch where I got corn fritters with sour cream on top. They are SO good. Bart took me out later to Thai Basi. Even YUMMIER than Cheesecake factory. I was able to get rice noodles. I definitely wasn't hungry today*

2 fried eggs with turkey bacon
Green smoothie
turkey + cheese roll ups 

Fascinating isn't it? ;)  I know I always found it interesting and helpful to see what other people are eating. Basically I just had to remind myself that it's OK to eat the same thing several days in a row (hello taco meat!) and that I'm not eating food for comfort. On Sunday night I about lost it and just kept pacing my kitchen trying to figure out what I wanted to eat. Luckily I stayed strong. Today I was totally craving some sugar, but I'm really proud of myself. I haven't gone one full week with zero sugar for a while. Now that I've gone a week, I'm more motivated to not give that up for a bite of something. It's been interesting to realize my cravings aren't really controlling me anymore. I love it! I love that I haven't felt too-full all week and that I have proven to myself that I can do this.


30 Whole Days

It's no secret that nutrition has become a huge part of my life. The last three years I've been living on a moderated diet that excluded things like caffeine, gluten and fast food. There was a period of time as I was helping my body heal from several different things that I was even stricter than that. MUCH stricter. That temporary diet was never meant to be a lifelong crazy thing I had to uphold forever. When I got pregnant and when I was nursing, I felt the pressure to eat enough calories to keep my body/baby/milk supply functioning so I started getting further and further away from my recommended food plan.

This year I have mostly avoided gluten (but still ate it sometimes) and didn't really try too hard with sugar (eating it daily- most foods you eat have added sugar in them). It struck me last night that it's November. 2015 is almost over and I've gone a full year of not following my program. I know I still eat better than a lot of people, but I haven't been taking my auto-immune disease and my treatment plan seriously. I'm disappointed in myself, but I also know that this year my attention and focus has been needed other places, more than just what's on my dinner plate.

So I've been thinking a lot about what my next plan is going to be. How do I get back on track? How do I make that track realistic and doable for me? I'm still trying to figure it all out, but I have decided to dedicate the next 30 days to really focusing and trying.

Why 30 days? Because in 31 days my butt will be on a beautiful Mexico beach with my sexy husband and that sounds like a pretty good reward, doesn't it? If I can do really well and restart my behavior with food for 30 days, then on day 31 I think I will be able to enjoy my week long vacation a little more.

So I'm going back to my old rules, which means my thoughts and behaviors are going to revolve around that for a while. And that's OK. I think it's OK to sometimes take a moment and be selfish about your health. Forget that it might inconvenience others or take time/energy away from other worthy things. I think right now in my life, this thing is worthy.

I've never done the Whole30 program, and I don't plan on making my next 30 days a technical "whole30". I will be eating beans and quinoa (because we all know how much I LOVE quinoa). But many of my restrictions line up with the rules of Whole30. No added or processed sugar. No grains. Protein and veggies at every meal. I plan on having a little dairy in my diet which Whole30 doesn't allow.

So who cares? Probably no one. But I'm writing it down and sharing it with all of you so I hold myself accountable. I have done this before, and it was even harder because I was sick and my body was trying to heal.  I'm not doing this to lose weight or feel better about my body. I love my body right now and I'm proud of it. I'm healthy now, and I know this will just make me feel even better.

I stumbled across a blog where the girl documented what she ate every day during her Whole30 process and it was so helpful for me to have that visual! I'm going to have a weekly update of what my meals looked like, and how I am feeling. Again, mostly for me to have a reason to keep track. During my treatment program I had a doctor who I talked to every single week and he held me accountable. I'm hoping this plan helps me the same way he did!

So sit back and read my journey- or don't! I'm sure there will be plenty of other baby-filled posts to keep you occupied!


19 minutes of crying

Sitting here at my computer, listening to my child scream. Wait- I thought we went through this already??? It seems every 4-5 months we have to re-sleep train Mckenzie and every time sucks just as bad as the last. As she gets older her cries are even more sad/depressing/pathetic and it takes all that I have to not go in there and "save her". Of course saving her consists of her just screaming more when I'm holding her and then even MORE when I put her back down again. It's been 6 minutes and she seems to be loosing steam- we'll see if she makes it to the end of this blog post!

It's so random to me when things shift for her- it's like WHAT? WHY???? I guess I could blame it on teeth right? Isn't that what most people do? And it probably is her mouth, which is why I gave her a dose of tylenol before I left her to choke on her own self pity.

But seriously- it's a sad few nights around here when we have to go through this phase.

Monday nights Bart is gone until 10:30pm for his Master's program so I'm stuck here all by myself. I've been trying to not watch as much TV so I'm on the computer instead. Not all screen time is created equal? RIGHT? I haven't watched any TV today which is pretty good for me.

This past weekend was the first football-free weekend in months and it was amazing. Seriously. I forget how much I love having Bart home. And not only is he home, but he isn't as stressed or tired. So it's all a win win win. Our marriage happiness level goes up several points at the end of each season. I'm not saying our marriage is hanging on by a thread during the season, but it's hard! I'll be the first one to admit it. Having him home and present and not super stressed is a blessing and it makes me happy. Mckenzie totally loves it too. She is much better behaved when dad is home. We spent one evening just hanging out and playing on the living room floor. She was totally content playing and hanging out for much longer than she is when it was just with me. I'm glad I'm not the only one who notices a difference with daddy!

(11 minutes...I've gotten up and gone to her door twice but STAYED STRONG and didn't open it).

Her crying is distracting me and I have nothing else to write. Stay strong all you moms out there! The day is almost over



Happy Halloween 2015

Is it a mom fail or mom success when no photos were taken of our Halloween adventure last night? I say a little of both. I figure I did plenty of documenting the first few Halloween festivities, right?? She was still the best looking Owl in the room 😍 

Mckenzie joined me at work on Friday for our Halloween show.

The whole gang at a party last week. We looked the same last night :) 

We made our way to Eagle Mountain to go trick-or-treating with our friends who have a daughter Mckenzie's age. It was so fun to go out with same-age babies. They looked adorable in their costumes. It was a beautiful night- I was so happy it wasn't cold! 

Mckenzie caught on pretty quick to the whole idea. She had her cute little pumpkin bucket that she held in the crook of her elbow as she toddled to every house. She would accept the piece of candy and put it in her bucket, and then turn around and head to the next place. It was pretty adorable every.single.time. Since she doesn't really know what candy is, it didn't even occur to her that the stuff people were giving her was edible. 

It was her second (and probably last)  Halloween where she didn't eat any candy. Bart and I picked through the bucket and tossed the rest of it into the trash. 

I haven't been trick or treating for probably 10 years. It was fun to be back and part of that holiday tradition! It was obviously very different. Going at a snail's pace to each door instead of sprinting to every house, pillowcase in hand. I think we made it to 10-12 houses last night. A far cry from the dozens and dozens of houses we stopped at as kids. No drama, insecurities or worries. No friends being left out or feelings hurt. Just family and friends. Just a first time mom and dad enjoying every moment of their baby's new experience. It didn't really matter what candy ended up in the bucket or if we were back in time for curfew. 

Being a parent is so interesting. It brings back memories of my own childhood as I see my own child begin her memory making. I love being on the other side and be the one to help make those memories. 

Oh, and did I mention that football season is officially over so it was the first Saturday in MONTHS that Bart was FREE to spend the day with us????? It was as amazing as it sounds. We both love having him back. 


New Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

For the past two weeks we have had pumpkin and squash recipes galore on the show. I've never had butternut squash soup before, but my in-laws gave us one from their garden so I needed to figure out a way to eat it! 

I become quite the chef during football season! Part because Bart isn't here to feed me, and part because I get so bored that I end up in the kitchen experimenting. 

I found a really easy recipe online and switched it up a bit. It was so easy, a little time consuming, but really yummy in the end! Since this is my first bowl, I don't have a lot to compare it to, but I still say it's good! 

Butternut Squash Soup 
Makes 6-7 servings 

- 4 cups cubed squash 
- 1 handful of baby carrots diced 
- 1/4 diced onion 
- 2T olive oil 
- 1T celery powder (or diced celery if you have it)
- 4C chicken broth 
- 1tsp Thyme
Salt and pepper 

In large stock pot heat oil and add onion, carrots and celery powder. Cook until onion is translucent. 

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. 

Simmer 20-30 minutes or until fork goes through squash easily. 

Pour portions of mixture into blender. ( I have a blendtec and had to split it up in thirds and mix separately). 

Blend until completely smooth. 

Enjoy! It's just that easy. It's so creamy and flavorful. Not too sweet- a very healthy and delicious choice for dinner. 


14.5 months of love

Since Mckenzie turned one I stopped thinking of doing regular updates because it seemed changes slowed down a little bit. And while she isn't learning a new "trick" every day, she is still growing and changing so much!

So here is an update since her LAST update:

14.5 months and is just about running. She can step up and down really small steps without falling. She knows exactly where the swings are in our neighborhood and when she wants to go, she leads me right to them. She loves to be outside, but lately she hasn't been as interested in exploring. It's like she knows the neighborhood landscape by heart so she's kinda over it. When I open the front door and sit on the porch she will just hang out there with me. No more running off on her own.

The last few weeks she has been right by my side at all times! She has NEVER been a mama's girl like that so I have had to get use to it. It's actually kind of nice to get this sweet attention, but I do find myself a little impatient sometimes when I'm cooking or something since I'm not use to it. She even cries sometimes when I give her to Bart and leave the room. I know that might seem normal to some of you mamas out there, but this is bizarre behavior for Mckenzie. She's still really good compared to other babies, but it's a noticeable difference to me.

She still sleeps 11.5 hours at night with a 1 hour morning nap and a 2 hour afternoon nap. For a while naptime was hellish, but things have gone back to being settled and easy. (knock on wood). I thought she was getting ready to drop her morning nap but I was wrong! She loves her sleep. She also loves her stuffed animals and drags them everywhere. We call them her Friends and she tries to carry all of them as much as possible. She has toned down the book reading obsession and isn't as interested in food either. She is still a really good eater, but I can't distract her with food anymore or use food to make her happy (unless she's hungry). She's now old enough to know when she's not hungry and when food isn't interesting to her anymore. I don't really worry about the amount of food she eats. I can tell she isn't eating as much, but she eats until she's finished so that's good enough for me. She just recently started using utinsels and loves them! She's getting better at using a fork and prefers it over her hands now. She's definitely thinning out the last month or so. Her chubby legs are still there, but barely! I give it a few more months and they will be gone. Her belly exists only after a meal. but luckily her cheeks are still here.

She loves to talk and make noises and blow bubbles or play with her tongue. She can say mom, mommy, dad and hot. She uses "da" for dogs and knows to say "moo" when asked what the cow says. I know for a fact she understands most everything that comes out of my mouth and can follow commands like "give that to daddy" and "put that back". I'm excited for that next big stage of language. Right now she likes to yell at people who aren't paying attention to her and use her sign language of "more", "please" and "thank you".

Time seems to have slowed down a little bit the last two months. It seemed like forever ago that we celebrated her first birthday. I love spending my days with this squishy baby and she makes me laugh every day. Her little BIG personality is something I am blessed to have in my life. I'm so excited for this holiday season to start and make all new memories and traditions with her and Bart.


Molars and Halloween

HI!! (hand wave emoji)

It's been three weeks since my last blog post. Whoops! Mostly because I just don't have a lot to say and mostly because I would rather be sitting on my couch watching Fall TV when I have a free evening.

But Mckenzie is currently cutting 2 molars so I felt the mama-instinct to document for later referral. Exhilarating- I know! 14.5 months and getting tooth #9 and #10. She actually hasn't gotten a new tooth for almost 4 months- no wonder she was in such a fabulous mood! Now we're back to even more dramatic fits of
- why am I crying?
- oh yeah I remember why
*more fits of crying.

today she had a fit in her adorable Owl hat from her Halloween costume that she refuses to take off. She was the cutest and saddest owl I've ever seen!

This is the first year I'm actually excited for Halloween. Even as a pre-teen and teenager I didn't like Halloween. As a preteen I was always left out of my "friend's" planned group costumes. As a teen I never felt the desire to dress like a s l u t and then in later years I never saw the appeal of going to a party where everyone was drinking in their slutty costumes but me. Designated driver you'rewelcome.

The first Halloween Bart and I were married I threw a party that I think 3 people came to. We dressed up like Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Our costumes were awesome, my party was a failure. Since then we've gotten dressed up for different 5K's. My personal favorite was when we dressed up as a dog and cat so we were "a dog chasing a cat" during the race. GET IT?? Last year Mckenzie was only a few months old and had a lovely blow-out in her Cow costume before any pics could be taken. Every year we turn off the porch light and crawl into bed by 9pm on Halloween night. So like I said, not my fav.

Creativity. 2011

Dog v. Cat 2013

BUT THIS YEAR I HAVE A CHILD WHO CAN WALK AND WHO HAS THE MOST ADORABLE COSTUME EVER!!! So I think it will be fun. Bart and I got amazing skeleton costumes so we will be looking quite fabulous ourselves. I am signed up to run the Haunted Half Marathon in SLC this weekend. Plus my mom is having a Halloween party AND we have plans to go out with friends who have a little girl Mckenzie's age to trick or treat. My social calendar is full for the first time in my life. Let's all take a moment to congratulate me.

*cue full circle*

So back to my child's teeth.....I'm in the mood to write a complete Macs update that will include 3480 pics and a different post that will give my 2 cents on THIS article.....so STAY TUNED


Thursday nights

Thursday nights. 

Bart is gone. Baby is sleeping. Grey's Anatomy is on. 

Sometimes life is just that simple. But then I think of the 394847 other things going on in my life and it's not simple anymore. But that's okay! 

Kenny and I went out for a walk again today and I think it will be the last really hot walk of the year. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather. And a baby in the snow? I don't know how it works- but it will be fun to figure it out! 

We're enjoying our afternoons together but really missing Bart. It's always October that makes me a little football-widow itchy. But it's not too bad and we're having fun going to Bart's game on Fridays and experiencing that energy and excitement. 

Mckenzie has been adjusting all week to a new baby sitter. My cousin has been watching her this past year and then this week we started taking her to my sister-in-law. How lucky are we to have such great people in our lives!! This past year has been amazing and she loved every minute with Taran and her little cousin Carter. I had a really hard time her last week there. I cried a few times thinking that little small chapter of our lives is over. I hate change and adjustment so when it comes to change and adjustment with my child I have an even harder time. 

BUT! My sister in law is so great and this first week went well and I'm happy that it's where she will be now. She is going to have so much fun being the "middle child" with an older and younger cousin to play with. 

So change is good. My husband is busy. My baby is goofy. Life is happening. 


Book Review: We Were Liars

I'm currently binge reading which means I'll be binge book reviewing. You're welcome!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart has been on my list to read for a long time, but I never bought it. (which is weird because I usually have zero problem buying books!) But since getting my library card a few weeks ago I have been going crazy with reserving all the books I've been waiting to read, including this one.

I didn't know what to expect and I've never read anything from this author before. Just like every other book when I'm binge reading- I read this one in a day and a half. It was a really easy read and I was able to get through it quickly. Through the first 90% of the book I was entertained, but not super hooked or anything. The plot seemed a little weak and a little light for an entire book. The main characters are young teenagers so it felt very young teenager-esk. Don't get me wrong- I love an easy "way below my reading level and age group" book just like the next guy.

Then the last chapter happen and MY MIND WAS BLOWN. Seriously. I think it reached the same level as when I finished Jodi Picoult's latest book. I just didn't even see this little (BIG) plot twist coming. I had to read the first line of that chapter a few times to make sure my brain was connecting all the dots. WHAT?? It made the book 100 times better. I was really happy as I finished it. Feeling totally satisfied as a reader. Bravo to authors who risk having people NOT finish their book because all the juicy goodness is literally at the very end of the book.

If you're looking for a fun, quick read with an amazing ending- check it out.

Hi Baby: Heavenly Bedtimes

Hi my sweet baby,

I just got done putting you down for bed in what has become our new routine. I hold you in my lap as we sing songs (and maybe read a book if you're interested). Then we just sit there and cuddle. Sometimes you're playful and other times you're too sleepy and just want to relax. Tonight you were playful. As I sang you some of my favorite primary songs you would look up at me with this mischievous and yet precious close-mouthed grin. Then hurry and look away. It's like you want to make sure that I know you're loving our time together. It melts me heart and I love it every time you do it. As you lay back in my arms to get a little more comfortable you start to giggle as you hold Dog and try to reach for my face. We tease each other and you get all your silly energy out. You don't wiggle though. You have come to learn that bedtime means winding down and if you start to wiggle or want to play on the floor I put you in your crib. I love that you've caught on to my ways. If you're good and just want to snuggle, you end up staying in my lap much longer and our bedtime routine stretches further. I'm in no rush to do anything else. I would hold you like that all night if I could. I truly enjoy every single second of our time together, especially these silly nights.

As you lay in bed with a sticky face and hands (no bath for you tonight) I can't help but feel so much love for you. You're my favorite thing in this whole world. I love watching you grow up. You're quickly becoming my little girl instead of a baby, but you'll always be my baby girl. You are doing so many funny things right now. You're newest "trick" is to try to hold everything in your hands. You gather everything up, start by holding a few things in each hand and then get the rest of your body involved. You shove things under your arm pit and grab an armful. It's so funny and it makes me laugh every time.

I can tell you're understanding most of what I say these days. When we're downstairs and I say "should we go take a nap?" you head for the stairs with Dog. If we're upstairs and I ask if you want a snack or dinner you know exactly where to go. You're testing me with your behavior, but for the most part you understand what is OK and what isn't (for now). You like to screetch and scream when you're impatient but when I give you the look you stop (usually).

Your daddy and I are always talking about how much we love your personality and how we hope you never change. I want you to always be curious, happy and most of all- goofy. It's one of my favorite traits you have, and I would be so sad if one day it was gone. I am doing all I can to make sure you feel loved and accepted in your personality and I'm not one to shut you down, even when we're in public. Obviously if you're throwing a fit I will parent you, but if you're just expressing yourself and being silly then I'm not going to be the one to tell you to be quiet. I don't ever want you to "be quiet". I want you to have opinions and share them. I want you to be bold and not embarrassed. I want you to be confident in yourself and not afraid of what other people are thinking of you. Of course there are rules to follow, but I don't think that means we have to conform to the way a 1 year old "should" be acting (big LOL to the people who think they know what that looks like).

she was obsessed with the broom for a day. wouldn't put it down. it made for a fun walk!

I'm basically obsessed with you, and I'm not afraid to say it! Thanks for being such an angel. I'm thoroughly enjoying this happy phase you are in. I'm filling up my mommy love bucket for when you switch back over to a beasty baby (because I know you will. Cycles and all that!)



Book review: Rousey

Can you believe this is the first autobiography I've ever read? Minus the random ones they might assign in high school (I can't remember either way). And I loved it! Time to start searching for the next one. 

I heard about Ronda Rousey for the first time earlier this year when she beat her apponent by something crazy like 14 seconds. She was on Jimmy Kimmel and I saw the interview. Then I saw more of her on GMA and finally on Ellen. She was talking about her new book and I was intrigued right away. So when I got my new library card it was the first book I wanted to check out. 

It didn't disappoint and I read it in 2 days. The only negative thing I have to say is that she uses the F word. A lot. Like several on almost every page. So if that's a deal breaker for you than this isn't your book. 

The main thing that struck me as I read was how totally and completely hard core she is, and she's been that way since she was a kid. She wanted to be an Olympian and by 16 she competed in Athens. And then again when she was 20. She talks about all the crap she had to go through to get there. Her battle with bulimia because she constantly worried about making weight. Her fighting her way through injuries and getting the crap beat out of her. She talks about her losses in the Judo circuits and Olympics. The first 3/4 of her book is very intense and it's mostly her going through really crappy stuff. To say she lived a hard life is a bit of an understatement, but she also brought it on herself because of the sport she was in and the goals she had. 

The underlying messages of being great and being the best were pretty inspiring. She isn't ashamed to say that she is the best. She doesn't believe in humility- and I respect that. She is also pretty scary and a very tough fighter. I'm a little afraid of her after reading this book. 

I love when I can't put a book down, and when I think about it when I'm not reading it and want to talk about it to anyone who will listen. This is that book. It's inspiring. It's depressing at times. It's exciting. It make me realize once again why my life is so vanilla (and why I'm SO happy that it is!). To be a world champion, to be an Olympian, to be the best- your world is anything but easy or ordinary. And there are only a few people that can handle a life like that. Ronda Rousey is one of them. 


My answer

Sometimes my brain gets a little cray cray and starts thinking of the big stuff. The Eternity stuff. Why are we here? What's the point? My whole life I have been raised in a religion that teaches answers to those questions. But those answers are pretty broad and sometimes I have a hard time making them mean something to me personally. 

So I've done what my religion teaches to do: pray and ask about it. I believe in that process and I've seen it work in my life several times. 

And last night I experienced it again. 

Mckenzie had a fever of 103 and so I was holding her. It was 10pm and my sweet angel was fast asleep in my arms. Holding her Dog in one hand and my finger in her other hand. 

And that's when I got my answer. This is why I'm here. I'm here to be this girl's mother. 

And for now, that's all the answer I need. 


dare devils and crazy babies

Life is CRAZY around here (isn't everyone's??) but it's also so much fun.

Mckenzie is out of her rough patch which means we have a lot more smiles around this house. She is walking like a little person and getting better every day. She can now step up a little higher and handle going down a hill. All very important, I know.

She's also a little daredevil and has NO FEAR. She's gotten two bloody noses this past month because she's always exploring and falling/tripping and sorrynotsorry but I'm not going to hold her hand/body every second of her life so I guess she'll just get a little banged up along the way.

She can now climb up onto our ottoman and is obsessed with it. Last night I was sitting right next to her and just sweating buckets because I was convinced she was going to fall off eventually. She would stand up and start jumping or roll around. But she never fell. Which is probably good because I would have let her. I think it's important for them to realize that falling off of something is a likely possibility when you climb up. What comes up must come down, and she is figuring that out. Just today she has tripped or knocked her head probably 4 different times. I give her loves but then we move on. I just feel so strongly about letting a baby/toddler explore their world and learn cause/effect at an early age. Obviously I'm supervising her, but there definitely won't be a shortage of scrapes and bruises around here!

Besides being a "crazy baby" as we like to call her- she is such a fun kid to be around. We laugh and goof off and dance all day long. She's getting harder to entertain, but I just switch up the environment a little bit and she's set for a new day. Just today I was changing the sheets on her mattress and left it on the floor. She's been playing with it for the past hour. Best toy ever apparently?

Football season is in full swing and we have had fun going to Bart's games. There's another one tonight so knock-on-wood that the enjoyment stays. She likes to run around, but for the most part she's okay just hanging out on the bleachers with me. It makes me happy to think as my family grows up we will be a "football family". Going to games every Friday night, maybe having a son play. It's fun to have those traditions early on and have something to look forward to as our family grows. Plus Bart's team is currently winning which always makes watching a little more fun.

We can't wait for the season to change around here! Macs is still insisting on multiple walks a day and LOVES being outside. If it wasn't so hot/sunny we could probably spend more than an hour outside just exploring. The day I'm not dripping sweat on our walks is going to be a glorious one.

Bart and I ended our mission of Insanity and started running again. I feel like 5 weeks of Insanity earns us 2 gold stars. I honestly don't think our marriage could have handled any longer. I actually really love the workouts, but 6 days a week? L O L. So instead I'm running 2 10Ks this month and a half marathon in October and November. Except since I just wrote that all down I'll probably break my ankle or something because whatever goals I write down never end up happening. Whoops!

So there you have it. A grippling update on our life right now. Bart is in football mode and has VERY full days. I'm currently binge reading and being a lovely housewife and Macs is living it up as Queen of the land.



Why I really love Snapchat

Snapchat. Let's discuss, shall we?

I downloaded the app several months (a year?) ago when it was still new and you could only snap people directly and it was stupid and I deleted it. Then a few weeks ago my friend and fellow producer Shelby introduced me to it again. She explained how to use it and BAM. I've been addicted ever since.

Here's why

It lets me be a crazy first time mother and share every.single.thing Mckenzie does that I find adorable and funny. I feel like there is an unspoken rule that you can only post a few pics to Instagram a day (and even that is pushing it) and before Snapchat it was hard for me to limit myself because lezbehonest- I took 345 pics that day and they're ALL SO CUTE!! But with snapchat I can share and share and share and no one cares! If you follow me then you're basically in for 158 seconds of Mckenzie walking around or doing random stuff. You're welcome.

I love that vidoes are the main thing people are sharing. I love watching other people's videos and seeing/hearing them. Pictures take away SO MUCH of a person's personality and it's fun to see and hear them when it's been so long (for some friends) since you've talked to them.

The idea that there is no "liking" or anything for each snap is also awesome. I'm comparing Snapchat to Instagram a lot because those are my main apps I'm using for my social media fix and lately Instagram is feeling a little mundane and same-old. Snapchat is exciting. I don't really know what other words to use to describe it

Let's be real- motherhood is really lonely sometimes. Even if you have a lot of mommy friends, there are still a lot of hours in the day when it's just you and the baby (including nap time when it's just ...you.) I don't know why, but Snapchat has made me a feel a little more connected to the outside world. By sharing my random and every day activities to my friends it's like I'm saying HEY! REMEMBER ME?? I'M STILL HERE AND LIVING- LOOK!. It's not that I need validation or to show off my perfect/not perfect life- but it's freeing to get it out there and have other people see my very typical day.

The only thing I don't like about Snapchat is that not everyone I want to share my baby's daily activities with (siblings..a few distant friends..BART) aren't on there. So whateves- we will have to stick to showing each other 873 pictures when we are finally in the same room.

So there you have it. I love Snapchat and I don't care who knows it!
If you want to be buddies : @mbowen14


How Motherhood Made Me More Outgoing

I was at lunch with a friend the other day and as we were talking I explained to her that since having Macs I have become even more social and I have a greater need for women and friends in my life. Having a "play date" or a lunch with a girlfriend is so much more valuable to me now than it was a year and a half ago.

I think part of it is that motherhood has made most of my insecurities go away because I realize they just aren't that important. I have better things to worry about, so how people think of me goes out the window. I also think having a human to love so wholly, and who loves you back completely- boosts your self esteem! I am so use to loving and being sweet and friendly to my baby, that when I meet a new person I just automatically act that way, to an extent, towards them.  Making new friends, even if it's just for the afternoon is coming so naturally to me now. Anyone who has known me for more than a few years will be surprised to hear that. I really didn't have any kind of desire before to make an effort and look for new friends. Now I would make a new friend every day if the chance presented itself.

And then of course there's that obvious need and drive to find other women in your life who can relate to you and join in the motherhood talks. Bart is still my best friend and favorite person in the world, but there are things he will NEVER understand about motherhood. Talking to someone else who knows what I'm feeling and going through is so comforting and empowering. I'm sorry all you dads out there, but you really just don't understand the stress we feel when it comes to nap time. It's crazy and it's not you, it's us. 

Even if I'm with someone who isn't a mom yet, having that connection with another woman has come to mean so much to me! I've really grown as a person this last year, and a lot of that growth has translated to a friendlier demeanor and desire for more people in my life.

I've seen a huge change, but Bart still asks "please be nice to the people" when I ask him about paying to get into his games (aka I ain't doin it) I guess it takes more than a year to convince him I've nice-d up :) 


Mastering Motherhood

Today is the day that everything changed. Taking Mckenzie to a restaurant is no longer "no big deal".

Since she was a newborn I've been taking her out to work lunches, events, and friend get togethers. She's always been SO GREAT! SO EASY! Until she wasn't. And that happened today. (and I blame walking!!)  I met a good friend at Red Rock- which isn't known for being kid friendly but I've taken her there several times before and it's always gone well.

Today didn't go well. She wasn't hungry so I couldn't even distract/bribe/parent her with food. So instead she cried and threw a fit and sat on my lap and proceeded to spill her water and use a spoon to fling all food off my plate and just be a straight up toddler. To be honest it was freakin' hilarious and the whole time everyone kept looking over at us I just laughed a little in my head. By the end of the meal I was able to eat maybe half of it and the rest was on the table (swimming in the spilled water) and on the floor. She had one shoe on, one shoe off and both of our hands were sticky and wet.

I really wasn't bothered by it, and if anything it just reminded me that motherhood is a revolving door of changed situations. What was easy yesterday isn't easy today. What Mckenzie liked yesterday, she doesn't like today. She knows how to keep me on my toes!

By the time we got home I was hungry and exhausted and she was still kind of grouchy. She was sick Sunday/Monday so I think she's still recovering from that. I put her down for a nap around 2:20 which is pretty typical these days. I thought to myself, "she takes a 2 hour nap so I can nap for the first hour and then work until she wakes up". So after putting her in her crib I set my alarm for 3:30 and crawled into bed.

Around 2:50 she starts yelling and of course I was this close to sleep. I go in to check her diaper which is usually at fault when she doesn't go right down for a nap. Clean. So I leave and she cries. Not really a big deal cry so I just let her cry thinking she'll be asleep soon enough. The ONE DAY I decide to nap during her nap, she doesn't want to sleep. Finally around 3:15 I go back in her room as she's crying and hating me and get her to calm down. I've given up on my chance to nap and what happens? She falls asleep.

So here I am, really really tired for teasing my body that it would get a nap today. Still hungry from my lunch that landed on the floor and still really in love with my baby, because look at this face

I know for a fact God made them cute so our mama brains would forgive quickly :)


Sassy photo shoot

I have more photos because...well...do I need a reason?

Earlier this summer I made a new friend and it's been so much fun hanging out with her and her darling baby who is just a few weeks older than Mckenzie. She has a business Doodle & Dee and makes these rompers and other baby clothes. She gave Macs one for her birthday and I was so stoked! They are so dang comfy and Mckenzie was able to play and run around all day without any kind of bands or restrictions on her chubby legs or belly. I may or may not have to order 10 more :)

When Chantel and her hubby and babe were over getting their hair cut we had an impromptu photo shoot since Mckenzie was wearing her romper. I'm totally in love with these pics. She had just woken up from a nap and was giving us her best sassy face.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...