Why can't we be friends?

Gone are the days of effortlessly making friends. Who knew when adulthood hit and real responsibilities settled into place, that outside relationships would fall to the wayside so drastically and nonchalantly. I have two close friends that I talk to on nearly a daily basis. More acquaintances that I can confidently count. Some I’d be more interested in building lasting and more meaningful friendships with, but can’t find the time nor the patience to consistently nurture with the required efforts. It’s very likely that they feel the same and I don’t blame them. I often compare building friendships to dating; it requires at least one party to put themselves out there, feel each other out to determine whether personalities jive and take the initiative to plan outings.

Although, sometimes feeling as if I have very little friends – most people admit to having the proverbial “no friends” because they don’t have someone that they can call up on the phone just to chat or vent with. With that known fact, I tend to appreciate the close friends I do have. I’ve consistently blamed it on this small town, people getting into their routines and feeling as though newcomers are transient and unlikely to stay for the long term. I get it, with the effort it takes to build and maintain friendships – people are reluctant to start them. So maybe it is this small, land locked town. Perhaps it’s me – My unwillingness to put myself out there – the same as the rest of them, open people up to my quirks, let go of my self-proclaimed anxiety that perpetuates a sort of reserved disposition.

Those who know me, are fully aware that I’m far from shy and most would say I love to talk. I say; I love to talk. But, in large unfamiliar groups – I can get awkward, nervous and just generally quiet. I tend to overthink pretty much everything I say, over analyze each situation to an absolute fault. No one should care enough about what people think about them to care how they are perceived when being their true genuine self. Life is far too short to make meaningless friendships with people who don’t fully accept you as you are. I want to instill in my daughters the desire to be genuine and not to allow the perception of others to sway them from authenticity. To avoid being a crowd pleaser and to affirm the roll of a leader. Things I wish were imprinted on me as I grew into the adult I am today.

I encourage each of you to take the time to start a new friendship or nurture an existing one. If you don’t feel you have time…make time!

Who said it would be easy?

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Often times I find myself giving the advice to those that haven’t quite embarked on the parenthood voyage: “It’s the hardest, most rewarding thing you will ever do”. It truly, truly is. 

Carrying a child for 9 months and forming a bond before even having the opportunity to hold your baby is an unspeakable phenomenon. We create this relationship with our growing infant and revel in each stage of growth and development. Hold our breath with each test and checkup. Refresh our pregnancy apps, awaiting the next sized fruit and phase of progress. We pack our hospital bags, only to repack it and if you’re like me… forget it all together when the time finally does come.

Pregnancy isn’t easy, but how beautiful it is to grow humans

The miracle that is birth, isn’t glamorous, but bringing life into this world is a feat 

Babies are needy in the most refreshing way

Infants are delightfully curious and watching them take it all in is an uplifting reminder to take life slow

Toddlers are strong willed and grasping at every inch of knowledge they can obtain

As parents, we have the immense responsibility of making sure our kids turn out to respectable, flourishing adults. 

I don't think we give each other enough credit and kudos. No day is the same with my little ladies, some days are endless tantrums and constant back talk. Other days are joyfully easy and smooth sailing. I try to take each day as it comes and appreciate the good moments and accept the bad moments as learning lessons for not only myself, but the ability to teach my kids how to be better. 

We are surrounded by other parents doing the best they can. Taking each day as it is and striving for the same end goal. Nothing is worse than the side eye in the grocery store when trying to diffuse my toddler whilst having a hard moment. There are times when I feel frustrated because I didn't handle a situation with the perfect amount of grace and dignity. When I feel judged because my child is throwing a tantrum over a toy or sweet treat. The older generation who can't seem to recall what it was like to raise children who are constantly fighting for independence. The parent's who haven't quite reached this stage with their own shy and mild tempered babe. 

I challenge everyone when opportunity arises to give that reassuring nod, as if to say: "You're doing great" or "This stage will soon pass". 

We aren't always going to be in a space, both mentally and physically to get down to our children's level to discuss a situation or teach a life lesson. That doesn't mean we won't get a chance to find learning opportunities after the fact. I am working on not letting the judgments of others make me feel as though I'm less than, when it comes to my parenting, because I know that each situation allows me to learn and improve. I urge you all to do the same. Give yourself a break and just keep doing your absolute best. Even if your best is improved today because you learned yesterday, that there's a better way. 

As far as I can tell, we're all just winging it!  




Tackling Disney

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission with no extra charge to you if you purchase through my links. The commission earned helps to run this blog. The products recommended are based on my honest review, not that of the companies that create them and which I have personally found beneficial for my family. Please note that there is absolutely no obligation to purchase any recommended or reviewed products. If you do make a purchase, please find the full disclosure here.

We were so uncertain about how our travel experience would go, seeing as it was the first time we'd traveled with two kiddos. We chose the red eye flight from Seattle to Orlando, with the thought that the kids would be tuckered out and sleep the majority of the time. Fortunately that proved to be the case and the flight to Orlando was for the most part smooth sailing, once the girls settled in and got over the excitement of being on an airplane. While preparing for a flight, we always tend to overpack, but when evaluating what we thought the kids might need, we wanted to avoid needing something and not having it, than not having and needing. I made sure that each hotel we stayed at had cribs/pack-n-plays, in addition to bed rails. I also, ensured that we had a fridge in our room so that I could not only store breastmilk, but also meals that I planned on prepping to take with us to the theme parks. I got a great recommendation from a friend to stuff the carseat bag that would be checked, with diapers to conserve suitcase space. I also snagged a foldable duffle bag during Prime day, just to have in case we needed it. 

Our oldest is potty trained but still learning the ropes, so I ordered the following items to make things easier for both dad & I: Kandoo Wipes, Toilet Seat Covers & Babyganics Hand Sanitizer. We subscribe to all of these items on Amazon because traveling or not, they are amazing to have. We are huge fans of babyganics and their sanitizer wipes smell incredible (mandarin), nothing like Clorox or bleach, so I don't feel guilty wiping down everything on the plane that I can get my hands on. I often get asked by people because again, I like to be over prepared... "What would you have done back in the day, when things like this didn't exist?" ... My answer: "I don't even want to think about it" ... I have no shame!

As for the items we planned on getting after our arrival, we didn't get a chance to make it to the store prior to going to the parks, so we did end up scrambling trying to find reasonably priced items or going without as opposed to purchasing them for premium park prices. We recommend hitting up a Walmart or Target to purchase battery powered fans, water bottles, Disney apparel and anything you may have forgotten to pack (; We were able to make it to Target a couple days in, but we had already visited the parks multiple times by then. Still a lifesaver, because we accumulated a list of must have things.

We did early on, however utilize the Amazon Prime Now service  so that we could order sandwich making items, snacks and most importantly WATER! The resort we stayed at charged $2.50/bottle, as opposed to less than $5 for a case of the same exact water. Resort life, welcomes you with open arms - haha! 

We were on the fence of whether or not we should bring our big stroller on the trip, because traveling with such a big stroller is definitely not easy. Luckily, airlines make it so incredibly seamless and the benefits most certainly outweigh the slight hassle. We personally use the Uppa Baby Vista, which if you've checked it out or it's also your stroller of choice - is HEA-VY and a little bit complicated to maneuver whilst taking the pieces apart. I would recommend purchasing the carrier bag, although we hadn't because of the price... hind sight, I wish I would've just splurged on it. The bottom basket is seriously amazing and so easy to just throw things in. We brought a cooler with us to pack our daily food items and it fit at the bottom like a glove. We filled the bags that our cold food items came in from Amazon with ice and our water bottles. So thankful the park doesn't put limitations on bringing in personal food items. 

Each park has Baby Care Centers that families can use to change baby's diaper, feed the kids and cool off with the family. They have a movie room, a separate changing room and a small convenience store that has anything that you should need for your little ones in case you had forgotten. They're awesome and seriously, GO COOL OFF! It was so much hotter than I would've imagined. If you aren't from the area and don't live in a, well rainforest, it is H-O-T. Although, call me crazy but by the end of our trip I actually felt as though I was getting used to it. 

We checked out Disney Springs one evening and ate at Rainforest Cafe. We all really enjoyed ourselves, but taking kids out to a sit down dinner can sometimes be an adventure. We arranged to visit Disney each day with our friends that have recently relocated to the area, so it was 4 kids 3 & under. Disney Springs is amazing in and of itself and was a great start to our upcoming Disney days. 

We rented a car but didn't end up using it much because the hotel we stayed at provided bus transportation from the hotel & back, each day. Although the disorganization is a story for another day, the hotel we chose had just switched over to a new bus company contract and still working out the kinks. Unfortunately, for us... we got to be the guinea pigs but hopeful that it will be resolved next time around because we would definitely stay at the same hotel again. It was great not having to worry about transportation, although getting all our days accommodations on and off felt a little like a game of Tetris. 

Never did we spend an entire day in the parks, but the time that we did spend was quite enough. By the end of each day, we were exhausted and ready to relax and prepare for the next days activities. The most important piece I can offer, is go into it with no expectations and don't beat yourself up over the forgotten or unused items and revel in the "I will do this differently next time" moments because your next trip to Disney will go that much more smoothly!

What are things you personally do to make travel easier with kids?

How have you been able to tackle Disney with little ones?

Gotta Have It

We all want it, but don't know how to achieve it. To be honest, I'm at a total loss and still trying to figure it out myself. What is it, inquiring minds wonder - Financial freedom and the luxury of raising our babies while simultaneously being able to monetarily contribute to the household. What a mouthful!

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We are constantly being offered mom boss opportunities that, don't get me wrong - sound pretty amazing and have proven successful for some but end up being a complete and utter fail for myself. I've given MLM companies a shot and several different personal business ventures, with no gain, nada...zilch. Whether it's lack of time, motivation or the support in knowing how to flourish within these opportunities; I personally have yet to figure out the magic in it all.

Don't worry, I'm not here to sell a thing! Just a mama telling her story on balancing being a mom + wife and how I contribute. My husband and I met early on in our college careers and about a year after our friendship began, we started to establish our lives together. We married a little over 3 years later and will be shortly celebrating 5 years of marriage. Time flies is a total understatement. When our first daughter was born, I was working at a Financial Institution and my husband began his career as a Shipwright (Fabricates & Repairs boats). We were able to arrange our schedules to accommodate part time child care. It worked wonderfully for the first 6 months and then upon taking a different position within the same company, my schedule was adjusted and full time day care was now necessary.

When I learned I was pregnant with baby #2, I was determined to make staying home work. I enjoyed having a career, but I personally felt that some aspect of my life was always lacking and I knew that having two little's would just complicate and exacerbate my frustrations. While on maternity leave I applied for a part time position that provided medical insurance, whhhhhat!!! In the small town I live in, that's nearly impossible to find. The position was a graveyard shift, but at this point I was willing and able to do whatever it took to make it work. I have now been working a PT graveyard shift schedule for nearly 6 months and while some days are super challenging, the ability to be home with my babies keep me going back week after week. I often have people ask me how I do it; I don't have a good answer. When we're presented with a less than ideal and challenging situation, we just do, not always because we want to, but because we have to.


I know that a schedule like this is unattainable for the long term, but it's working for my family now. I look forward to the day that I may not have to work outside the home, or my husband and I can come up with that amazing business venture that puts us on the map. Until then, good night from this mombie, that's uncertain whether my exhaustion is due to coming off my Friday on the midnight shift and trying to adjust back into a normal sleep sched or dealing with a rambunctious toddler with ALL the sass.

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What are you doing to support your families? Tell us your parenting wins and/or struggles?

Much Love, K ♥

 

Survival Guide: Camping with Kids

It's not hard, but it's not easy - & here's why:

We ventured out to camp on an island here in Southeast Alaska. This entailed loading a skiff up with all of our camping gear to accommodate an infant, toddler, teenager and two adults. It was comical to say the least of all the things I thought I needed, but never ended up using. Hind sight of course is always 20/20. The boat ride to the island that took us nearly a week to figure out it's name, was a short 20 minute boat ride. We set up camp but due to technical difficulties with buoying the boat off the shore, we made our way home and left our camp set up. Needless to say, night one was unsuccessful. We set out the next morning, bright and early after we retrieved all the necessary equipment, finding our campsite untouched. What a relief it was, because that told us that we didn't have to share the island with any bears. This being the main reason I appreciate island camping over camping on the mainland. Not that bears can't swim - but I prefer to remain naive to that possibility.

Night two was far more productive. We arrived just in time for the heat and set up a spot to soak it up for the remainder of the afternoon. With little ones, we had to set up sun protection measures which included sunshades and SPF friendly attire. It was HOT! & we just are not acclimated for the weather we were having but that didn't stop us from taking full advantage. It wasn't until the sun began to set that we retired to the campsite that was nestled in the trees providing a cool place to sleep. We cooked dinner, talked about the future plans of my teenage brother who was spending the summer with us and tuckered in for the night. Albert didn't get much sleep because the tide was all over the place and with the boat being buoyed, that mattered significantly for our ability to leave the island when it was time. The main concern was ensuring that the boat didn't become beached.

Kiara on the other hand, slept like a dream. In fact for the first time in a long time, she slept until nearly noon. The next day was just as relaxing and we enjoyed time spent unplugged and fully immersed in the experience of it all.

Games: YES! Because even when there is endless amounts of adventuring to be done, a toddler's mind can focus for only a short time before they're on to the next. I have to say, adults are not the exception...we too enjoyed campfire games, amidst marshmallow roasting and delving into a freshly picked murder mystery.

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Things we are so thankful we brought with us...

Infant Seat: Ava is at an incredibly wiggly stage and constantly on the move. It was a godsend to be able to set her in there and keep her entertained, even for the short term.

Sunshade: Yeah, initially brought for baby - but we all partook in the shade that was bestowed. A win, for thinking ahead.

Bassinet: There are so many different kinds on the market, but I just brought the one that came with the girls' stroller. Perfect for naps, which even at this age seem to be few and far between. Am I asking too much?

Swimsuits: Cooling off & dunking can never be a negative, unless there's risk of swimmers itch...then just don't.

Next Time: I wish we would have brought a carrier, it would have made things much easier. I was grabbing rocks and twigs out of baby's hand like a bad game of the "Claw Machine", except faster and with more precision.

To Conclude: Camping can be absolutely a good time. With kids, it's certainly more challenging. Over packing is inevitable and going with the flow is a must. It's not as simple as it was before kids, because just when you're settling in to that perfect position or getting to that nail biting section of chapter 15 - You're being summoned by your little's because everything is new and peeing in the woods is a game. Good luck on your next adventure & don't forget to tell us about it (: