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.


Birthday Recap and more baby thoughts

Football season has officially begun (I swear I've said that like 8 times now but since school is starting too it reeeeeally means it's football) which means I'll probably have a new blog post up every day because  
1. I'm by myself without by bestie to talk to and no good TV to watch (YET!)
B. my baby is in bed by 7:30  
3. I no longer have to be in bed by 8 
D. I have 598234 random thoughts running thru my head.

We celebrated Mckenzie's birthday on Saturday and I loved every minute of it! Our families and friends came over for a suuper causal party and I really thought it turned out great. It really means so much to me that we have such amazing family that love Mckenzie. One of the best things about having a child is seeing the rest of your family welcome them into that love. We sang happy birthday and she gave us her best "not impressed" face and after a solid minute of just touching the frosting, Kenny double fisted her cake and even offered some to Bart.

her face the entire time we sang "happy birthday"

She will no longer smile on command- it was nice while it lasted!

playing with her friend E

obsessed with the balloons (and in this pic stuck)

I was emotional earlier in the week about her turning one, and bawled my eyes out writing her birthday letter, but since then I have been good. I am just enjoying her and not thinking too much about how fast time goes. Just in this last month she has turned into so much more of a little person. She obviously understands what we are saying to her. She goes to the front door when she wants to go outside (which is 3885 times a day). She is so dang smart and it's amazing to watch her everyday become more aware of what's going on and figuring out who she is, and how she fits into this big world.

We went to her 12 month check up. She weighs 23 pounds and is 28.5 inches long. That puts her about 72% weight and 23 % heights. Bart is now convinced she is going to be a little person, but I remind him I'm 5'2'' and I do just fine. The doctor says she is perfect and he's amazed that we have never had to bring her in for any kind of illness. It's been such a blessing to have such a healthy and happy girl.

favorite toys: tooth brush and tylenol bottle

we rarely wear pants. you're welcome.

She's officially a walker and doesn't crawl anymore unless it's in the grass because grass is hard. It really feels like my baby is gone and I have a toddler now. She's a speedy little demon and loves walking down the sidewalk. We go on multiple walks a day and on the weekend we take even more! Luckily the weather has been cloudy and not too hot. She still goes barefoot, but only because the shoes I bought her still haven't come in the mail. Hopefully she accepts them and doesn't demand to be a homeless looking baby for life.

I know I make her sound like an angel baby (because she is) but that doesn't mean we already have our fair share of tantrums around here. I'm trying really hard not to just laugh at them (because baby tantrums are hilarious) and remembering to acknowledge her frustration and ask her what's wrong. I know one day she will be able to tell me, but for now she's quite the drama queen.


Mexico Beach Bodies

I did it!! I finally convinced Bart to take us on a beach vacation. We're talking 6 days  at an all inclusive resort with unlimited room service, a beach outside our door and did I mention no baby?

It's going to totally rock.

Almost immediately after booking our getaway Bart said, "We need to start working out, I don't want to be the fat guy on the beach". Which- amen and amen for both of us. I have been exercising pretty regularly but I always love exercising with Bart so I was all for finding something we could do together and help motivate each other.

Enter: INSANITY. I got the videos back in March and did the Fit Test, had a big L-O-L that's not happening and never looked back. Bart dug them up and now...we're doing it. We are on day 9 and OMG it's freaking hard. INSANELY HARD (see what I did there??). Like: dripping sweat, smelly body, sore muscles, can't breathe hard. Those first several days we could barely make it up the stairs and crawl into our beds to hopefully die. Muscles we didn't even know we had came out with a vengeance. I learned my hips are SOOOO weak and Bart's calves hate him pretty much every day. And I am totally loving it.

I think being a runner has made us a little more patient in the "how long do I have to feel like this" category. Sure, we can't breathe and our muscles are about to give out- but it's only for a few more seconds. You can do anything for a few more seconds. I know I learned that from running. Training for those 9, 10, 13 mile runs- it gives you the mental toughness to keep going. And now we are taking those lessons and putting them toward this crazy hard home workout.

At the end of the workout when we are going through the last 5 minutes of stretches we are panting and dripping sweat and I say "it was really hard- but now it's over". That's the thing about hard stuff- it always ends eventually! This lesson when it comes to fitness is so important to me. It's like when my mom taught me how to clean she always said "Megan, you can always wash your hands". Meaning it's OK if your hands get nasty when you're cleaning something, use your nails to get that crusty thing off the floor- you can always wash them when you're done!

I'm rambling- but you get it. Right?

Basically all I'm saying is that Bart and I are going to have BEACH BODIES by the time we hit the beach in December and you better believe I'm celebrating with unlimited room service and tiny bikinis.


Hi Baby: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday my sweet angel baby,

As I held you tonight and gave you your bedtime bottle and sang you the song I have sung at least once ever day since you were born- I couldn't help but cry a little bit. To say I am overwhelmed at the fact that you are turning one is the understatement my life. I started crying at work the other day just talking about it and yes, everyone thought it was funny but totally understood too.

I remember the day you were born like it just happened. I remember going to work that morning and having contractions and having my crowd of interns look at me sideways like I was dying (which is what it felt like BTW). I remember going to my last doctor appointment later that day before your scheduled arrival (which was supposed to be 3 days later) and telling her I didn't feel very good and something keeps hurting and is this what contractions feel like??? Yes. And your baby is coming tonight. In 4 hours.

I remember going into the surgery room and having them pull you out of me at 6:08pm. I remember your dad snapping away with the camera and hearing you scream your little head off. I remember finally getting to hold you and see your face for the first time and yes, of course that's what you look like. We've met before. You were meant to be mine.

This year I remember so much of you. I remember every milestone, every new sound you have started to make and every new way you learn to throw a tantrum. I remember the first smile you gave me and the first time you rolled over. I remember the time your car seat flipped over as I was driving because I didn't snap it in right- you were maybe a month old and I felt like the worst mom ever. I remember the lack of sleep and the day you finally slept through the night. I remember every feeling and emotion you have brought out of me in just 365 days.

I have loved becoming your mom this past year. Step by step, mistake after mistake, we have done it together. The happiness and joy you have brought to our family this year is impossible to explain and I know you won't understand it until you have a baby of your own.

I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm not crying because I feel like I missed out on this past year. (On the contrary, I know I've been very much here and present with you everyday). I'm crying because I'm reflecting on all that love, sadness, fear, joy, happiness, peace and honor I have felt this year. And I can only imagine what the next years will bring.

So enjoy your birthday my big girl. I will keep singing your bedtime song and adore you every minute of the day. I love you.



Daily Dose of Energy

My body never ceases to amaze me! The last several months I have been feeling pretty crappy. Not horrible, but I didn't have a lot of energy. I was needing to take a daily nap AND be in bed before 9pm just to hopefully function the next day. Since I wake up between 5-6 a.m. I just assumed that was part of the reason for my early bed time. But I was feeling overall frustrated with how I was feeling, specifically with my Hashimotos. It felt like I was so fragile and every little thing was throwing me into a flare up.

I finally got some blood work done and it turns out my thyroid was ridiculously low! Like, almost double the number for the low range. No wonder I felt so bad! The thing about Hashimotos is that it affects the thyroid pretty aggressively and I guess I never really got back on the right dose of thyroid medication after Mckenzie was born. Yikes!

After I started taking the increased dose of medication I noticed an instant difference and almost thought it was a bad thing! I was still use to taking a daily nap, but when I got into bed at 9pm I wasn't able to fall asleep for a few hours. Immediately I thought that must mean the dose is too high, but I stopped taking naps and things got a little better. I still wasn't falling asleep until after 10 or even 10:30pm (and anyone who knows me knows that's really late in my book!). Finally Bart said something that totally struck me. He said my body was so use to functioning at that lower level, that it got use to needing all that sleep. Now that my body is functioning at a higher level it doesn't need as much sleep- which means I don't need to go to bed as early. Ding ding ding! As soon as I adjusted my bedtime to be later I was back to falling asleep pretty quickly.

I definitely feel a lack of "thyroid" in the morning when I wake up and I just want to stay in bed, but once I'm up and take the dose and get going for the day- I really do feel great. Now I sometimes take a nap, but more for relaxation than for necessity. ;) I am feeling so much better and I love that sometimes it's just a little tweak that can get everything working again!


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