35 Thing's I've learned

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My birthday was in April, but I figured it was still early enough to this. A few years back I blogged about 30 things Ive learned after turning 30. Well, now I am 35 years old. I thought it was time to reflect again on a few things I've learned over the course of a few years. Here we go.

  1. Pick your battles. I've heard this phrase used before. But never really understood until I got married. I realized that it can be used in any form of relationships. Whether with friends or family, or your spouse, pick the battles you want to fight. Or think are worth fighting for. You better really think about it too. Not every battle is worth fighting for. 
  2. Don't judge. Seriously. Just don't. Trust me it's so easy to make judgement calls on people. You might never know the full story or picture of what is really going on. At the end of the day everyone is struggling in one way or another. Even if you are "silently judging". It's not good for the heart or spirit. 
  3. I could give a crap about studies and statistics sometimes. Especially being a parent you want to give your child the best. But honestly, going with your gut instinct is always the best. As well as prayer and asking God for wisdom. I'm sorry, but sometimes I'm tired and I go over the allotted "screen time" that we should let our kids have.
  4. Don't wait for people to buy you flowers. If you like flowers then go buy them. I actually learned this from two of my close friends.
  5. I will always be my parents kid. I mean this in a very loving and endearing why.
  6. It's ok to start over.
  7. I don't need to watch or hear the news.
  8. I don't need to be on facebook.
  9. I do like online communities, and instagram and hopefully wordpress can help in that area.
  10. I didn't realize 35 was going to be a lot.
  11. I really grew to love donuts like never before.
  12. Blaze pizza has been life for me.
  13. I'm actually really good at my job.
  14. I really like burning certain oils. aka aromatherapy.
  15. I'm kinda over Dr Who.
  16. I've been binge watching Sons of Anarchy.
  17. I'm learning to rediscover myself as a person again.
  18. I'm a good friend.
  19. I really enjoy reading the bible and getting revelation from God.
  20. I'm slowly discovering and renewing my faith.
  21. Don't share your opinions or your dreams with just anyone.
  22. Sometimes it's better to stay quiet and listen.
  23. It's ok to talk things through. Even when you disagree.
  24. I've learning to have confrontations.
  25. I am strong.
  26. Sometimes I have to just let my 2 year old cry it out. Especially when he passes a certain threshold of emotions.
  27. Sometimes all I need to do is be firm with my voice in regards to disciplining my 2 year old. 
  28. Sometimes I just need to physically remove him from a situation. 
  29. Give lots of hugs and kisses to those you love.
  30. Find time for your friends. 
  31. Find time for yourself. 
  32. It's ok to let yourself go for a period. 
  33. But don't let yourself go for too long. 
  34. If you a cycle of negativity, try your hardest to break it. And sometimes that takes some humility and forgiveness. 
  35. I am an all day person. 




    So this is what I've learned. Anything resonate with you? 

Cross Posting

I am slowly working on my blog and how I want to reach out to a community or find a community. I love the layout,  easy customization, and flexibility with SquareSpace. I am lacking community. I will slowly be merging both sites together. For now I will be cross posting my blog and all photos will stay on my site via squarespace. 

I hope this way I can reach more people and also find other blogs to follow and interact with. I really miss that. 

New beginnings

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My family and I are embarking into a new season and new beginnings. Both my husband and son had their first day of starting something new. My son’s first day of daycare was today, and my husband started his new job.  

Double the blessing for us. While daycare will be a cost expense for us, I’m looking at it as an investment for our son. It’s a top place in Chicago for a daycare and I see my son flourishing there. We can even keep him there up to pre-k.  

It was a milestone of sorts for me personally as a mom. I don’t know if other moms have gone through this or can relate to this (I’m sure you have) but today I envisioned my sons future. Actually it was more like I saw that this was another beginnings of firsts; a new chapter in his life.   

I don’t want to lie and say I wasn’t  a little sad. Especially when he just ran into the room and started playing with the first toy he saw. I called his name to say goodbye and to tell him I loved him. He just stared at me and went on playing lol I left to head out to work. I did cry a little. I couldn’t help it. My mother in law works in the day care center (Thank God. Another blessing) and she sent me a text picture of him napping. All I could do was imagine giving him a kiss as he lay there looking peaceful and somber.  

I could only cry for a minute and then had to compose myself. It was fleeting moment.  But I was in my feelings and really felt the bitter sweet pain of growth. My baby is now a toddler and growing into a little boy.  

I’m excited to see what kind of growth will come from his time there. I hope that my husband and I can also guide him and see where we can help as the teachers will also have notes for us I’m sure. For now I just wanted to record this moment. 

Mom moments and pictures

I think it was last year that I began to realize the importance of me being in photos. I have tons, and I mean tons of photos of my son and husband playing together. It's the photographer in me to see a moment and pick up a camera to capture it. It's just something I naturally love to do. Obviously there are times where not even a camera will do justice, and to just be in that moment without needing to capture it. 

There is and should be a balance between the two. I realized last year that I need to be in pictures too. Regardless of how I feel about where I am with myself. I know take it upon myself to ask my husband, people around me or take a selfie with my son. 

 

 My son and I at a place called Los Azufras in Michoacan, Mexico. (April 2018)

My son and I at a place called Los Azufras in Michoacan, Mexico. (April 2018)

The pictures don't have to be perfect and neither do I. I just want to have these pictures for my children and grandchildren to be able to have. It's just something important to me and important for me to do. 

 Another picture from Mexico. (April 2018)

Another picture from Mexico. (April 2018)

 This is definitely one of my favorite photos taken from our trip. (April 2018)

This is definitely one of my favorite photos taken from our trip. (April 2018)

Take the photos or ask someone to take a photo of you. You may not at your ideal weight or body goal, but at the end that won't matter. You will have wished to have taken those photos. I challenge you today to try and take the time to ask someone to take a picture of you. 

Airport Bustle

My husband, son and I will be leaving next week for our 2nd family trip ever. This time we are flying out of the country to visit my father. It's not too far out of the country. We are going to Mexico! Currently we are getting ready by packing and organizing our apartment. I'm excited and nervous about the trip and seeing family. Also just a smidge concerned with the layover coming back home. Going to Mexico we're gonna have a 1 year old, and on the way back we will officially have a toddler. But that's not the point of this current blog. 

I am smitten with the airport bustle. Normally, I am not a fan of crowded places or seeing loads and loads of people around me. Being at the airport just makes it magical for me. I like getting there early to enjoy and relax until it's time for the flight. I like the process of getting my boarding pass. Once I pass the initial airport screening it's like entering a different world. People are going places. There's food places at every other corner. Magazine and book stores. There's duty free stores. There's business people, families, and people going on adventures, or people going home. 

It's a world of endless possibilities. I've decided that on the way back, I want to treat myself to some duty free perfume. In between I also plan on drinking lots off coffee, water and stuffing my face. 

Do you have a favorite thing about airports? Please share with me! 

New year, No Facebook

Yep. It’s a new year and I decided to delete my Facebook account. Let me tell you, it has not been easy. For a few many reason. Three main reasons why it's been hard. 

  1. One of the main reasons is that my husband and I would tag each other in posts, articles, or photos. Whenever we were thinking of each other. I MISS doing that. I also miss doing that with some of my close friends as well. 
  2. Seeing what "everyone" was up to. I miss the feeling of online community already. It seems I have been part of an online comminuty since my blurty/online journal days. That's been well over a decade. 
  3. Having a place to post my bits or thoughts. I had a few bits that I wanted to share with the masses. 

The last one has been challenging. Where do I post my bits, thoughts or randomness now? With that sentiment, here are three main reasons why I decided to delete facebook. 

  1. It was a time waster. As much as I loved keeping in touch with friends and family. I would spend numerous amounts of time scrolling and scrolling. Going back and forth to posts. Watching videos. 
  2. It got toxic at times. Too many times I would see trolls either on friends posts, public fb pages or even my own page. 
  3. With that said, I want to limit what I share with the world. I am not naturally and over sharer, but I want to have fruitful conversations with ppl, or actually have to things to say, or listen to friends actually talk about their life, without going, "oh yea I read that on fb.". 

What do I do now? 

  1. I want to invest my time more wisely. I want to spend time with friends or family offline. Whether that's calling, texting or seeing/visiting ppl/hanging out. 
  2. I want to journal and write more often. So that means finding a new place to pour my thoughts, bits or reflections in. Whether that's writing them down, or putting them on this blog/platform. 
  3. Find new ways to communicate with friends and family. Which goes along with the first reason. 

I've got personal and family goals for 2018. Gonna keep that private for now. I hope to keep fb deleted for as long as I can. But I know it will be hard. It's only been 5 days and I miss a lot of ppl already. Sounds silly, but  it's true. So now I will have to find a way to reach out to them and tell them that. 

Safe Space

A few weeks ago my husband came across an article that had an awesome perspective on why young children seem to dump their emotions on moms. Relatives or other people even made me question my 20 months old behavior with me at times. The most used phrase was: "He doesn't act that way with me." It sometimes really made me legit feel bad. It made me think or feel like I was being a "bad mom". 

What's happening is that I'm actually creating a safe space for him to be the good, the bad and the ugly. Lemme tell you that it does get ugly sometimes lol. Reading that article really helped turn on a light and let me see what was going on with my LO. He's just being himself. Granted there are times it can get embarassing. There are times that I just have to ride the waves of his emotions. Then there are times where I have to create the right boundaries and discipline him. 

 

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But it was a relief to know that I'm that safe place for him. It helps me better understand him as a little person. It reassures me not to be so hard on myself too! 

 

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It's is so very helpful to be able to share this type of knowledge or wisdom with other moms. We should be somewhat open minded to a different perpespective. Whether you're a new mom or veteran mom, it's helpful to share and to learn. Especially if it encourages healthy development and growth for you and your LO. 

Having a safe space is true for any age. Isn't it? Even with my own mom or those closest to me have seen all my sides. As I am learning to have self control, I hope to teach my son too, but to also remember to be thankful of those safe spaces, and keep it healthy. 

PSA (If you are still reading or subscribed)

Hello There! Are you still reading? I hope so. If not it's ok. Just thought I'd put this out there anyway. It feels like I am changing this "Blog" of mine a lot. But really I'm tweaking it, here and there to see how exactly I want it. Or what my vision is for this blog of mine. I am finding my vision and it's coming together. Slowly, but surely. I've decided to keep it as one blog, and ofcourse have my different catergories, but keep it as one blog. 

I also try to update the "FRESH PICS" section monthly. There you have it. Hope you stay, and see where I go with this thing. Thanks for reading. 

End of summer

Have not written in awhile and that makes me a bit disappointed. I mad a "schedule" about blogs to post. But to be honest I lost a bit of drive and focus. Maybe I put too much thought instead of just going with the flow. 

My baby boy was sick for a couple of weeks with a bad cold. Then I eventually got sick, but with a sinus cold. With my son being sick came with a little loss of appetite. That had worried me. Other things he was doing also, which turned out to be normal for boys.  

Lets just say I'm learning a lot. Meanwhile, I've taking a leap in faith and have found a church to not only visit, but hopefully become my home church.  

Im ready to for summer of 2017 to close and for the new season of Fall to open. We went to our first apple orchard with our boy. That was fun. He had a blast. We loved watching him explore and eat apples. Hopefully not the last for this next season either. 

 

 Apple eating  

Apple eating  

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Hello Doggies!

If you've been walking down magnificent mile (aka Michigan Ave) you've might have noticed some awesome dog statues. About a month ago hundreds of dogs were placed on both sides of michigan ave. The dog statues are each dedicated to honor fallen CPD officers and are each individually decorated with a theme. 

Not sure how long they are going to be up, but after they've been displayed, they're going to be auctioned off. The money will be donated to PAWS Chicago. 

My family I decided to start our Dog Tour from off the Chicago red line stop and walked up towards Upper East Wacker. It was definitely one of my favorite days in August thus far. Not only have I been missing my parents, but I've just been feeling displaced. I've been taking comfort in hanging with my husband and his mom. It's a new season and I'll soon find my place again. 

Now, for the grand piece... PHOTOS OF DOG STATUES! Enjoy! 

Living the mom life

Learning to live in the moment, but also know to capture it with my DSLR. With that said, I know it's not always going to be "picture perfect". Literally as you'll see, some blurry photos. But I know it was because my son was dancing. 

Enjoy the moments.  

 

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dance dance dance  

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Once in awhile I get into the photo.  

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Being close to mom.  

Dancing in the morning

This Friday morning I was in the dining room getting ready. That's where my makeup is. I have a compact mirror I use and that's just my usual routine. I hear my son's baby babble from around the corner.  

He just woke up and was in a pretty good mood already. Phew! Next thing you know he turns on the radio we have (also in the dining room). It's actually a blue tooth boom box. But it also has AM/FM radio.  

The station playing was "the oldies" and I can't remember the name or band. But part of the lyrics is "I second that emotion." 

I see my son start bopping around. "Oh he's dancing" I say to myself.  

I drop what I'm doing and start dancing with him. He giggles at my little dance moves. I am loving it. These are the memories I crave to create. These moments mean the world to me. I hope as he gets older we can create even more fun times. I hope to God the good will always outweigh the bad. I hope during the storms of life, we can look back at these days and that it'll keep our hearts warm.  

But yes we danced and danced. Then it was time to go to work.  

 

Boys do cry

Ofcourse they do. I'm a new mom, so keep in mind that this is all new to me. Well most of it. My 16 month old was very cranky the whole weekend. I can't lie and say that I've been completely patient with him. There were times where he wasn't listening at all. I had take a firm tone with him a few times.  I forget that he's a little person and has his own feelings and emotions to process. 

 I take public transportation and his outburst in public have been extra challenging for me. I don't want to yell at him. I limited my time outside with him this weekend.  Usually we'll go out for long periods of time.  Not only was my anxiety off the charts but this whole weekend I was plagued by worry about how I could be failing him. 

Just being transparent right now. I know my husband and I are doing the best we can. We have support with moms and friends. But if you have anxiety, you know how the mind can bend the truth and make minut things feel so overwhelming.  

 

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As you can see...  this is part of the meltdown. It kills me right now that he can't communicate whatever it is that bothers him. It's usually a guessing game. 

The best part is being able to make him smile and laugh. As challenging as it is sometimes, I wouldn't change not being a mom. I would as he gets older encourage him to learn about his emotions. Learn how to express them in a healthy manner. But those are just my ideals atm. For now we just take one day at a time. 

 

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Here is the smile that we all love so much. Seriously, he has the best smile. 

Maidenhood to Motherhood | Making time for friends

                      Most weekends you can find me either at home with my son, at the park, or anywhere there are other children. The transition from maiden to mom hasn't been too hard. I spent most of my twenties single and "care-free". I was living with my dad by my mid twenties, and I only really had to check in to let my dad know where I was at or when I'd get home. Out of love and curtesy for dad ofcourse. Looking back at my 20's, I see I did a lot. I couldn't have done any of that if I was married with children. 

                     In the beginning of my 30's I was living alone in a studio with my cat. That was time needed for my personal growth. I learned a lot living alone. I grew to love my freedom, independence and even loneliness. I had a lot of time to myself and for myself. I didn't anticipate getting married and starting a family within a span of a year. But, I knew when that time came I would be ready to sacrifice some luxuries (for the time being) and make my family my first priority. 

                   I look back sometimes with fondness of those times. Sometimes I see my friend's fb posts, tweets or photos on social media going out, being carefree and I miss it. To be candid, I've gotten jealous for a split second. Mostly, it's been the "I'm missing out" feeling. But then I wake up to the chitter chatter of my son and then followed by some wet kisses. I know the grass is just fine where I'm at. 

                I still need to make time for my friends though. I need time to vent or hear my friends vent. They've been flexible with me, and for the most part have been ok with having my son tag along. Or having them come over for dinner with my family. I've also realized I should be connecting more with friends who also have children. The fact is that this is new for me. I'm no longer a maiden, single and carefree. I am a proud mom and wife. I have a family that I care deeply about. I just have to learn to make time for my friends too.  

               I am learning to navigate this new terrain of life. I am enjoying this new chapter in my life. It's not always rainbows and sunshines, but the love is strong and the joyous times continue to outweigh the storms. Usually after the storm there is a rainbow anway. 

 

Maidenhood to Motherhood|Postpartem Body

This is something that has been on my mind lately. I try not to get freaked out when I see my "mom body" in pictures. It's one thing to see your body in a mirror. It's another to see an actual image of your body. Although I do have to be honest. I do miss my pre-mom body. I was still somewhat "big" but this is the heaviest I've been. It sometimes bothers me. But it also bothers me the way society likes to fat shame or body shame women in general. 


I could go on and on, compare and contrast. This is me right now. I am learning to love myself again. Every new stretch mark. My new scar or badge of honor. Not only has my body changed physically, but even chemically. My hormones have changed. I don't get as cold as I used to get. I am usually always warm. I have different feelings and emotions. 

Becoming a mother has been a huge change for me. I just don't think we get prepared for all of the changes that we go through. 

 

I have struggled to NOT compare myself with other moms who seem to bounce back to a "fit body" right after birth. But I acknowledged, or began to understand how different each woman and pregnancy is. I have to do what's right for me. My most important goal is to take self care|my mental health seriously. My mental health is most important to me. 

 

I also think body positivity is also vital in self-care. No matter what shape or size, why should we shame our bodies? Or shame others? Whether you can fall back into your "pre-baby" size or if you'll never fall back into your old size. We carried a child for 9 months, and we are mothers forever. Here's to leaving Maidenhood behind, and embracing ALL that Motherhood has for me.  

Play Date at Maggie Daley Park

Now that my son is getting older I can take him exploring to different parks around Chicago. Actually, everytime I pass a park I'd want to check it out, I try to file the location into my brain lol. I've heard of Maggie Daley Park before, but didn't really give it a thought. Considering it's downtown, it has potential to be crowded with Chicagoans and Tourists. I try to avoid crowded places in general. 

I thought I'd be adventurous, and make it a playdate. My friend had never been either. That was a plus. MDP is pretty much located on Randolp and Columbus Dr. It's in the "backside" of millennium park. Well across the street actually. 

MDP ENTRANCE

Maggie C Daley Park

The entrance to the park 

As you walk in, there is a map. But if you like to be prepared before you come in, they have one on their website. http://maggiedaleypark.com/about/general-info/ 
We took the blue line to get there. It's fairly easy to get there via cta. I would highley reccomend taking CTA if you are comfortable enough. My son is used to both car and train rides. Also depending where in Chicago you are traveling from also. The redline, brownline and blueline can get you to the park.

The MDP has designated areas according to ages. The two main places we went to were: The Harbor: Ages 2-5 and The Watering Hole: Ages 2-5

 

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The Harbor: Ages 2-5

My son is about 15 months old. It was perfect for him and our playdate. 


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The Watering Hole: Ages 2-5

Lots of WATER! 

Watering Hole 2

More Water

The watering hole had 3 stations of water/sprinklers for little ones. 

If you are ok with your little one getting wet, definately bring a towel and an extra set of clothes. I usually already carry an extra outfit, but we didn't have a towel. We just used a blanket to warm him up after the water session. I would love to come back on weekday. Oh, almost forgot to mention. We went late afternoon on a Saturday. It was PACKED. They had a cool swing area. But it was 4 swings only. That was kind of a bummer. You'd think they would have put more swings, considering how many people come out to the park. 

I would come back on a weekday and make sure I: 1. Had a towel handy, and 2. Dressed my little one in a bathing suit/outfit. I even went into the water with him. The water was a wee cold. As it gets warmer or during any of our heat waves, its the perfect place to cool off. 

When you're done at the park you can walk down (west) to Millennium Park if you want to make a day of it. There are grassy areas that are well good for picnicks or just running around in. They also have tons of areas for older children. The watering hole is a fun alternative if your little one is not a fan of the beach or pool. If you have or haven't been let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section! 

 

From Maidenhood to Motherhood|Introduction

Welcome to my blog "The Mom Chronicles". Currently I am a mom of a 15 month old boy. Online he is known as Little Pear. For sake of privacy I'll use his nickname. For the past few months I've wanted to explore my feelings and fears of going from a pre-baby body to a post-baby body. I realized that I am not alone in some of these feelings. I thought I'd be healthy and therapatic way to navigate this new territory for me and maybe help any new moms out there. 

I'll try to be as raw and transparent as I can. I realize I need an outlet too. I have to put my thoughts and feelings somewhere. I don't want to get too personal. But I think this might be a step into the right direction. 

I also have a general day to day|life style blog that's titled "christina michelle or summer", if maybe you aren't a mom or parent. OR I also have some nice pictures you can check out. Stay tuned and please feel free to get involve and comment. I'd like to try and build a community of moms/parents to chime in every once in awhile.