I’ve Been Nominated! {One Lovely Blog Award}

I’m SO happy to share that I’ve been nominated for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ by  Chronicles of a Non Belly Mama! This award comes as a HUGE surprise to me 1) because I never knew it existed in the blogging community and 2) I never imagined my ramblings to be of any inspiration to anyone. It’s so cool how your words can impact another person’s life and I’m absolutely overwhelmed at the support I’ve received from this blog.

In order to officially “receive” this award I must list the rules and follow them respectively so keep reading and enjoy!

Rule #1:

List the rules. 

Rule #2: 

Thank your nominator. 

I have to thank Sammie and her wife Callie for their nomination! Truly you two have blessed me with your story of love, hope and happiness. You must head over to Chronicles of a Non Belly Mama and check out their awesome posts on all things unconventional parenting. Best of luck to y’all on your new journey in motherhood! (:

Rule #3: 

List seven facts about yourself. 

1) I’m the only child and yes, everything they say about us is true. (:

2) I’m married to my high school sweetheart! I married him at age seventeen and we’ve been married now for seven years!

3) When I was younger I wanted to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee but I only made it to my district’s spelling bee (two years back to back!).

4) I don’t have a middle name.

5) I don’t know how to ride a bike. I’m very much ashamed to say so but it’s the flat out truth. I’ve vowed to myself to learn by year 2017; not sure why I picked this year but I WILL learn someday soon!

6) Sadly, I don’t know how to skate either.

7) I’ve always dreamed of being a dance choreographer. No lie, as a kid I use to create dance routines to songs on the radio and I STILL remember them to this day.

Rule #4: 

Nominate fifteen other bloggers and let them know you did. 

1) Eff Yeah its Vegan – If you love to prepare meals for your family and are health conscious this blog is definitely for you! I love their kid meal ideas and the site alone is just AWESOME!

2) The Young Mommy Life – Tara has been such a huge blessing to me and I know that her writing has blessed so many other young mamas out there too! This blog discusses the everyday challenges young moms face and the author’s down-to-earth personality will leave you feeling as if you’ve known her all your life!

3) Mama Natural – This blog focuses on the health conscious family and I’ve been a big fan for a long time now. The blog’s slogan is “whole living in a processed world” and the author’s  “tried and true” tips makes living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle a breeze! Go check it out!

So…I only have three blogs that I nominate. I’m sure that won’t disqualify me for the award, right? (:

Thanks to YOU for reading all of this (LOL)! Smiles and Hugs!

-bzm

 

 

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What Mama Cookin’? (Toddler Meal Edition)

I love to cook and prepare meals for my little family however, I wasn’t always like this. I use to despise the fact of going into the kitchen to create something only to have my husband turn his nose up at my creation. Becoming a mama of two has changed my views on cooking and now I can’t stay out of the kitchen.

My one-year old isn’t what you call a “picky eater” which makes my job a little easier. I’ve been experimenting alot with her meals and try to keep balance while expanding her palate. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve witnessed some of the things we’ve tried. I’m sharing them here on the blog because if you’re like me, you love creative ideas when it comes to feeding your child(ren).

Here are some of the meals I’ve tried so far. Mind you, I’ve kept things simple and my child is a vegetarian (we eat lean meat occasionally). Check it out!

 

 

I will try to post more toddler meal ideas and if you have any questions about anything pictured above please comment below. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest meal creations I come up with. Smiles and hugs!

-bzm

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Simple Living: 3 Tips to Get You There (and STAY there)

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

Simplicity equals sanity. This statement has become one of my life mantras. My husband and I created a family of four in two years and collected a lot of junk within these years. Living simple has definitely helped me live sane in such a chaotic world and home.

Let’s be completely honest. We tend to spend a lot of money on things we really don’t need. Media has formed a culture that requires you to buy, buy and buy some more. I can recall on many occasions spending my hard earned cash on items that only ended up collecting dust in a month’s time. I considered myself a minimalist until I met my husband. Throughout our marriage I’ve learned tons on simplicity. Now that we have two kids I’ve used the same techniques for creating a more balanced and peaceful home. Think it can’t be done, think again.

 Tip one: Detach from your possessions. Buddha had an interesting quote that says “You only lose what you cling to.” This is a powerful statement because the truth is your things will get lost, destroyed, decay, etc. Stop clinging to your possessions allowing them to determine your happiness. You’ll only be disappointed in the end. Trust me on this one.

Tip two: If you possess an item that you seriously don’t use, don’t keep it. (this excludes memorabilia items such as letters, postcards, etc). Really think about the last time you utilized an item in your home that’s taking up space. Been more than a year? Toss it. Bless someone else with it because that item served its purpose for you a long time ago.

Tip three: Consider the essentials. No more buying multiples of things that aren’t essential to living. Ask yourself: do I really need a TV in every room of the house? Do we really need two toaster ovens?

What are the reasons you think we attach to our possessions? Comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

-bzm

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Dear Robin: An Open Letter

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

My heart was immediately saddened upon the hearing of famed actor Robin Williams’ death. His battle with depression hit home for me and although he lost his fight, today I celebrate his legacy and life with words I’m sure he would appreciate. 

Dear Robin,

Today I reminisce on the many laughs you’ve brought me and my family. You were such a beautiful Soul and your positive vibrations emitted from the silver screen each and every time you graced it.  I’m sure the words from this letter will find you well as your Spirit soars high above the clouds among the many stars in our Universe. Like you, I suffered from depression and many people (even family) didn’t know the battle I faced on a daily basis. I believe that keeping the sadness hidden hurts worst than anything.

I know what’s it’s like to be in a deep, dark hole of despair, not wanting to see the break of day, not wanting to utter words to others for fear of being misunderstood.  Well, now we all understand Robin. We understand that you must have been hurting deep from something in your life. You sacrificed your happiness and peace in exchange for ours. And for that, I celebrate you. You were a brave soul. You were courageous. You simply became weary from the pain and made the decision to leave this world physically. I will miss seeing your funny antics but know that your beautiful Spirit still resonates here on Earth. Thank you for shining your light. Your beaming smile will never be forgotten.

Sincerely,

michelle

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Sore Nipples and Sleepless Nights: My Breastfeeding Story

It’s 3 a.m. and I watch as my five day old revel in what seems to be a very pleasant dream. She’s been attached to my breast for at least 2.5 hours and I don’t see our midnight rendezvous ending anytime soon. I’m exhausted to say the least and my body aches from the c-section surgery I had just days ago. Baby awakes from her nap and begins to suckle my breast aggressively as if she hasn’t ate in hours, let alone minutes! Then tears start to form and stream from my eyes. I’m crying and not really sure why. Maybe it’s hormones. Yeah, just maybe. But the accompanying pain tells me otherwise. However, I keep going.

Once she’s satisfied I place LO in her crib and look down to my sore nipples only to find them bleeding. More tears start to flow and my stomach convulses from the sobbing I am now doing. I’m sure this is not how breastfeeding is supposed to feel.  I feel as if I’m silently suffering while my child is apparently enjoying herself. I can’t help but to think about me. What about my emotional state? As a person who suffered from depression, early signs of sadness are big red flags for me.

I confided in my husband for solace but to no avail. I’m ultimately confused on what to do. I failed at exclusively breastfeeding with my first child because I honestly wasn’t educated enough on the subject. During my second pregnancy I read countless breastfeeding material from real moms and health professionals alike. Surely I was equipped with the knowledge this time! However NO ONE told me it would be this hard or painful.

I reached out to a local La Leche League leader who was the sweetest and did an excellent job at coaching me on the ins and outs of breastfeeding. I felt confident but when the time came for feeding again, I was smacked yet once again with reality. I wasn’t ready for this. The pain was simply unbearable due to my recent cesarean surgery and the previous breast reduction I received years ago. And not to mention I have a one-year old vying for my attention every moment of the hour. I didn’t want to grimace at the thought of feeding my child so at that moment I decided to stop forcing myself to suffer and simply supplement with formula. I was informed in the past that I would probably have to supplement due to the fact that I had received nipple surgery so this thought soothed me. Seeing LO’s face as she grinned in her sleep also let me know that I was making the best decision for the BOTH of us.

It’s been a week and I couldn’t be happier; the unwanted stress has been lifted from my shoulders. Currently dad and family members are able to bond with LO as they help to feed and prepare her bottles.This gives me a moment to take a step back and regroup.  It’s the perfect balance to my situation.

Now I know my case isn’t typical but mamas you gotta remember that no one should set the standard for you. You have to do what works for you and your family. As long as baby is healthy you should not beat yourself up about the goals you didn’t reach. At the end of it all you can say I tried my very best. Trust me, baby still thinks you’re the best mama in the entire world. Feed that baby the best way you can whether it be through ebf or supplementation. Enjoy your baby and take a moment to smell their hair or run your face against their skin..simply indulge yourself in the moment because as fast as you blink your eyes, the moment will be over. Smiles and hugs!

-bzm

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My LO Chews Up Everything! (Rant Post)

What you are seeing is a REAL photo of my LO about to devour what used to be our remote control. Oh, the struggle. I can’t understand why this child loves to chew on just about every household item we posses. Recommended teething toys just don’t do it for my LO; I can’t tell you how many teething pacifiers have come and gone.

She was an early teether and as she’s gotten older her preferences for pain relief has evolved.  She’s never taken on the likes of a pacifier or any soft chew toy for that matter. Just when I think I have hidden my cell phone, the car keys, etc. the child will start chewing on a drawer handle! As frustrated as I am with this situation, I feel bad for LO. I mean it can’t be easy trying to find true relief in a gazillion things only to realize that none of them work. Sigh.

There are times where she will start a rampage around the house in search of items but we’ve had a bit of  a break with the madness. Her latest obsession: searching through the carpet hairs for crumbs! And I mean the smallest remnants of a crumb…really. I despise carpeted floors all because of this and have vowed to myself that the next place I move into, will NOT have carpeted floors!

Mamas, have you experienced this with your child(ren)? What “remedies” seemed to work best? Comment below.

-bzm

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Why Ditching My TV Was the Best Thing For My Family

In the “hurry up and buy” world we live in today, it’s so challenging to pull yourself away from all the distractions we are surrounded by daily. Before becoming a mama, I stressed about the things I didn’t have and constantly compared my life to others. When my LO entered my life, things drastically changed.

I no longer cared about what I didn’t have because I realized that I had everything I needed. When I really looked at my life, I was beyond blessed. This viewpoint humbled me and what my husband and I did next may shock you.

So there we were, slouched on the sofa flipping through channels on our television. We didn’t have cable so there really wasn’t many options to choose from. As we searched for a suitable program to watch we realized that there was so much negativity spread on majority of the channels.

Not gonna lie, we were addicted to shows like ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘The Following’ but all of a sudden these shows didn’t seem to bring about happy thoughts. We found ourselves creating weird and obscene scenarios in our minds, having nightmares and 95% of our conversation were about murders, poverty war and sickness.

Our TV was becoming our life. We didn’t realize that we were downloading all that negativity from the shows we watched and how it affected us in our daily activities. Turning on the TV had become a habit; whether we watched it or not, the TV was on.

One day we were pressed with a dilemma and it forced us to make a decision. The ending result? Sell our TV. It was absolutely pointless to keep something that we didn’t necessarily benefit from.

Since ridding our TV, my family has picked up so many healthy habits. We meditate more often, spend more quality time with our daughter, GO OUTSIDE DAILY (just to enjoy the fresh air), have more happy conversations and sleep so much better.

Granted, we still own a computer and an older model TV for our LO (but it only plays DVDs). This has given us the freedom to watch whatever we want versus whatever is thrown at us on TV.

While this decision may not be for everyone, I challenge you to turn off the TV for a few hours during the day. If you try it, let me know about your experience.  Smiles and hugs!

-bzm

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Oh, No She Didn’t! (Gentle Parenting 101)

My eleven month old is very active and I consider her my little wild child. My family probably think I’m crazy for allowing her to tumble, climb, and leap all over the place but she is approaching the toddler phase and those are just the things toddlers do.

I was prohibited as a child when it came to playtime; there wasn’t a lot of outdoor time and inside the house I was designated to a particular area to play in. Good for my imagination skills. Totally bad for me socially.

Playtime around my home has become very exciting for my family. She’s at an age where she loves social interaction more than anything (which can be very exhausting!) and its fascinating to me to see how much she learns from my husband and I.

But there are a couple of things she does during playtime that sends me over the edge. My child tends to wave/slap her hands crazily in and around my facial area and bites me in various places. When it first happened, I was shocked and immediately became angry. I felt like she personally attacked me. My ego said to jerk her away from me and give her a pop. However, my intuition stated to place her down, sit back and think for a hot second.

Placing my ego aside and adhering to what my soul was telling me to do had to be the hardest thing ever because human instinct drive us to act immediately without thinking first. It is up to me as a parent to “train” that instinct and act differently. 

So what happened next? She hit me harder this time y’all. And in my head I’m like, “Oh no she didn’t! Again I listened to intuition but also created a diversion. Grabbing her little hand I stated assertively, “That hurts mama so don’t hit me. Let’s play on your keyboard.” She looked at me for a moment then started whacking away at those innocent keys.

This is one of the many examples of gentle parenting and although its tough to do (especially if you weren’t raised this way) its takes patience and practice. What I’ve learned thus far is that my child doesn’t know she’s “fighting” me. She’s simply trying to communicate and just not sure how to properly do that yet. Her brain is still developing and although they look like little adults, they aren’t.

I’ll post more on this subject based on my personal experiences but for now, I must end this post because I can see my husband  waving his surrender flag. Smiles and hugs!

-bzm

 

 

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