2.23.2016

Here's That Honest Post Part II

I feel I need to elaborate on a few points from my previous post.

I realize that despite my efforts, it wasn't all that uplifting. Or specific enough to really be honest. I was very vague and it felt more like the summed up version of what you tell someone you don't really want to share every detail with either because you've already told 25 people or you just don't like them all that much.  But this blog won't amount to much if I treat you like either of those.

So here's my attempt at elaborating in a way that, hopefully, helps you understand a bit better and leave feeling a wee bit more satisfied :)

I am so excited for this baby and to give breastfeeding another go. I was only able to breastfeed Jax for about 5 months because of my line of work, supply issues and to be completely honest, selfishness.  I was tired of constantly pumping and worrying about whether or not Jax was getting enough because he began to take a bottle way better than from me so it was super difficult to tell if he was just not wanting me or if I wasn't making enough. It was a real struggle and my supply just steadily faded away. The shameful part is that I was actually relieved to not have to pump, worry, or inconvenience myself by having to cover up and situate myself just right to breastfeed. I was actually excited to feel like me again and know that when he was hungry, all I had to do was warm up some formula and voila! Happy baby.

But when Jax got sick for the first time, I had very little frozen milk left to give him. He was too young for most medicines and I knew my milk would give him the boost he needed to recover, but I felt like I had failed him by not being unable to give him fresh milk. 

I was more concerned with my comfort and lifestyle than trying everything I could to keep giving my child the best of what I could give.  Even when I looked into ways to boost my supply, I half-assed it because in the back of my mind, I wanted to dry up.

That's why I want to do it better this time. I know it will be even harder with the addition of a toddler, but I want to get over myself and do it anyway.

Another thing I wanted to elaborate on was that the reason I started ranting about sacrifice and putting your family first, is because that day, and even through today actually, I've just been feeling overwhelmed with responsibility and feeling unappreciated because of it.

Yesterday in particular, was HELL. I felt fat and unattractive, woke up with a headache, Jax woke up in the worst mood and decided to handle everything by whining and scream crying, and I've been stressing myself out over trying to bond with Bowie, my bearded dragon, because I'm always worried about his diet and home and his own stress levels and I'd feel 100% responsible if anything happened to him.
Which is why when he decided to leap off my shoulder randomly, and crawl underneath the heater where I couldn't reach him easily without fear of hurting him, I began to have a meltdown. 

Keep in mind, Jaxon is screaming and crying in the background because I keep shutting him and the dog out of the room so I can try to coax Bowie out, and the dog is whining because he had to poop really bad even though I let him out earlier and decided he didn't want to poop outside today.
And to top it all off, Josh left for work that morning pissed at me because I was too tired and uncomfortable to meet his needs the night before [among other small things that build up about once every 4 weeks with us, that's how we work]. So I wanted his help but also didn't want to text him and read his condescending response.

I ended up on my knees in the middle of the living room, sobbing.
I was just so overwhelmed. I felt like a complete piece of garbage and a huge massive failure because I couldn't get my lizard back to his tank, I couldn't do anything right by my son without him screaming at me and trying to slap me, and his father couldn't get to work fast enough so he could be away from me.

And yet, I'm going to have another one?

I just kept whispering, "I can't do this.

Then I took a few breaths and reminded myself that I'm a big girl now, I need to handle this myself.
I got up, picked Jaxon up, put him in his crib and closed the door. Then I put Chet in his crate and started warming up a bottle for Jax. After a few minutes, I checked the bottle and gave it to Jax and laid him down.  I then finally went back in the living room to check on Bowie and saw that he was just far enough out that I could grab him, so I scooped him up and gently put him in his tank before he even had a chance to think about jumping off my hand again.

I did it.

I cleaned and rested while Jax napped a good long nap and when he woke up, his mood was completely different. He was my smiley, silly, easy going champion again.

Chet pooped in the hallway a little bit later, but I scooped it up right away, cleaned the area and put him in time out without batting an eye.

Josh and I are still working on the whole appreciation thing, but right now I don't need him to be impressed with anything. I don't need his approval of something he doesn't understand because I still did it. And I'm still doing it. I'm a mom, a lizard wrangler, a poop scooper, a dish washer, a cook, a maid, a server, a blogger, a lover and an aspiring business owner.  If that's not enough for me, then it'll never be enough for anyone. But it is enough for me. So I don't really care if it's enough for anyone else or not.

Yes, being a mom does take some sacrifice. But so does everything else in this life that is good for us.  And it doesn't mean that it's not worth it, or mean it makes me weak.
I'm still me.
I still like the same music, same style of clothing, same food and drinks, I have the same dreams. I'm just multitasking and taking all this other stuff along this ride with me.

I hope this helped elaborate and reiterate a few points I aimed to make.
I may print this out and put it up in the bathroom next to the mirror to remind myself.  Feel free to do the same, if it means anything to you.

:)

2.21.2016

Here's That Honest Post You Knew Was Coming

I've hit that point again where I feel like my body isn't mine anymore.

Most of the time I'm okay with it. I'm a mom, that's what moms do, right? We are committed to our kids and our spouse/SO and that usually means our comfort and superficial desires fall to the wayside for their happiness and well being. It comes naturally and it's a good thing.  Moms should put their family first. Or at least above most things.

I know it'll hit again when I start breastfeeding this baby. It happened with Jaxon while I was pregnant and even worse when I had been breastfeeding and pumping for a few months and I became overwhelmed with exhaustion from such a tight schedule. It was like my entire life consisted of breast feeding every 2-3 hours, day and night, only getting about an hour and a half or so of anything else- usually sleep- because of pumping and preparation for later. So when I wasn't feeding or pumping, I was either napping or eating/drinking to keep my supply and energy at manageable levels.

Yeah, when you look at breastfeeding that way, it sounds like hell. And I'd be lying if I wouldn't describe the first 2-3 months of having a baby to be just that. But I know it gets easier. I know they eventually start sleeping through the night and needing to feed slightly less often. I know despite the way it feels during those first months, it is not a forever thing. Eventually either they'll wean or my supply will dry up. I stopped having specific expectations about anything once I first got pregnant 2 years ago.

I know this post is getting pretty heavy and in not my usual 'uplifting' style. Sorry.
I won't go into deep details about where these feelings are stemming from, or the source of my constant state of guilt and shame I've lived with almost my entire life.

I just felt the need to put these thoughts into words because that's how I deal with them best. It's my healthy release. I'd say I hope it shows that these feelings are normal, but I don't wish this on anyone and I hope to God that most moms go through their pregnancy and beyond without doubting themselves or their amazing purpose.  I know it's not unusual, but it sucks and it's not my proudest moment.

But bottom line, it's only a moment.

Yes, all 3 of the males in my household constantly want something from me and, specifically, my body. Yes, my job as a mom and [eventual] wife is to satisfy those needs, even if that means sacrificing my comfort and own needs, temporarily.  Yes, there are times I just want to shut myself in the bathroom and not come into contact with anyone for days.

But eventually Jaxon won't want much from me at all. He won't need me, like he does now, forever. Eventually, as our bodies go through their natural stages, Josh will want me a little less and I'll want him a bit more.  Eventually I won't be able to physically do anything I want to do, and it won't be anyone's fault.  That's part of life. We grow, we change and leave nothing but memories behind.

At the end of each day, I know Josh loves me. I know my son is healthy and safe. I know this baby is safe and growing perfectly inside me. I know we're doing the best we can. I know I am doing the best I can.  And I'm doing just fine.
I'm enjoying the breaks and special alone times I have now for as long as I can, and when I really think about it, just because they feel like they go by faster than the times I'm feeding, chasing, and satisfying, doesn't mean there isn't a balance. For every moment I feel like I'm sacrificing, I have a moment shortly after when I'm able to release and recharge. So really, I'm not really sacrificing anything.

Yes, I am a woman and a mother.
But I'm also so much more than that. And I don't need to prove anything to anyone. No mold, no stereotype, no expectation will shrink me down to less than what I am.

I'm doing just fine.
And so are you, mama :)

2.17.2016

This Too Shall Pass



I knew it would happen sooner or later.

I knew there would come a time when all the bragging I've been doing about my son's sweet demeanor and awesome personality would slowly become less frequent as they are overtaken by complaints and exasperated sighs of defeat.

Not that I spend a ton of time complaining about my son, because I still try to focus on the positive and I hate constant complaining even from myself.  It's just as annoying for me.  However, I believe those darn "terrible twos" are upon us. Even for my super easy going, ridiculously sweet and cute and smart and innocent son. I knew I was incredibly dumb for thinking even for a second that, "oh maybe he won't even have a cranky terrible stage! He's so perfect, I can't even imagine it!"

Please.
I may have had a super easy and healthy pregnancy, a record breaking short delivery and a super healthy boy who's only gotten sick twice for a couple days in his almost two years of living outside my tummy, but why in the world did I think that I would slide my way right past this stage of tantrums, screaming, hitting, and selective hearing, like I'm some sort of supernatural being that somehow found a loophole crack in this whole parenting game??

Today I actually considered slapping my 20 month old in the face.
He was screaming at the top of his lungs behind me in the car while Josh ran into the store quick on our way home from running errands. Over and over and over again he screamed as high and loud as he could. He wasn't even really upset about anything. He just doesn't like sitting still for more than 5 seconds at a time.  I tried for so long to just ignore him, hoping that if he didn't get a reaction from me he'd get bored and stop.
He may not have patience in most areas, but he sure has determination.
If he wasn't directly behind me so I would have to unbuckle, turn my entire body around and lean in to reach him, I would have slapped him.  I'm not for or against spanking or 'whoop ass' for kids who require it. I believe it depends on a lot of things and that there is no single method of punishment that ensures you're child will respect and obey you.

That being said, I have never hit my son except for a few weak smacks on the hands for pushing buttons he knows not to push. I've tried to make it a point to be firm and consistent when it comes to reprimanding him. I've tried really hard.  Yet he still doesn't always take me seriously. He even laughed at me yesterday when I yelled at him for screaming at me instead of telling me what he wanted.

Now I'm afraid to go anywhere public by myself with him because I know he won't listen to me unless he gets something he wants, unless Josh is there with me.
He listens to his dad. At least better than he listens to me.  Josh has never hit him either. It must just be his voice. It's deeper and louder than mine.  Regardless, I hate feeling not in control.  And I knew it would happen eventually.

I really don't want to have to spank my son to get him to respect me. I don't want to show him that hitting gets people to do what we want. I don't want him to fear me, or not trust me.
But it may come to that to establish authority. Or something like that.

I really don't have the answers. I will never claim to. I will never give tips or even advice on parenting on this blog.  All I will ever tell you is to love your child unconditionally and to never stop trying your best.  Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every lifestyle and environment is different. That's why connecting with other moms, dads, families, is so important.

That's why I absolutely adore and cherish my mom friends and our relationships. We text each other late at night venting about the rough day we had, the cute or frustrating thing that our toddler/boyfriend did, we ask each others opinions on everything from craft ideas to baby clothing brands to names to freaking wine and beer preferences.
There are no judgements and no expectations.

None of us are perfect parents, nor will we ever be. We are terrified, stressed, exhausted and hangry.  But we're in this together. We're learning together, growing together, trying together and conquering together.  We rarely get to physically see each other, but it doesn't matter as much because, even if it's just a few rant texts and a listening ear every few days, we are the ones who understand

So as hard as this phase is and will continue to be for Jaxon, Josh and I, I am so so grateful to have mamas in my life that are not only going through it right there with me, but they keep me focused and looking ahead to what's important; my son.

So yes, just like this almost chubby stage, his gums only stage, his pre-talking/walking stage and his baby food and bottle feeding only stage, I know this tantrum throwing, arm flailing, collapsing to the floor screaming stage will also pass.....eventually....hopefully.

As for needing my mom friends to keep me going, I hope that stage never ends.

:)

2.15.2016

Citrus Tiger


We have a couple new additions to our family.
A male baby Citrus Tiger Bearded Dragon and a female baby Red Albino Hog Nose Snake.  The beardie is an early birthday present/V-Day gift from the dude, and the snake is his new dame.  Neither one of them have names yet, though we have a few in mind but we're kinda waiting for their personalities to help us make the decision.

If you know us at all, you know we are all around animal lovers but Josh is particularly fascinated with reptiles. Which is why we also have a veiled chameleon, named Krypto, and two painted turtles, named Rita and Lita [we had two chameleons but our female, Karma, unfortunately passed last summer :( She was gorgeous].  
This bearded dragon is my first official reptile of my very own. He's a nip tail [meaning the tip of his tail was bitten off, most likely from a more, aggressive, alpha brother.] which is why Josh got a really good deal on him, but he sent me photos and I chose him. If you know me at all, you know by now that I prefer the misfits and underdogs.  To me, he's perfect. Even more beautiful than I imagined when I pictured how wanted my new companion to look.

Bearded dragons can live up to about 25 years. So this is basically like adopting a child. They are also mainly vegetarian. While he's young, though, we're also feeding him several roaches a day too, to ensure he gets the good stuff he needs to grow.

Yes, we [he] also raises cockroaches. 

I know that sounds horrible and disgusting and terrifying to most, and I definitely have gotten used to the "and you're okay with him having those things in your house?!" almost every time I mention it.
I'm not going to try to convince you to like them, don't worry. I never said I raise them or touch them or even get near them. That's all him.
All I will say is that I like them so much more than freaking crickets. I hated when he used to buy boxes of them. They smelled, they were loud, they hold almost no nutritional value [he had to sprinkle powdered calcium on them every time he'd feed Krypto], and they constantly escaped and got everywhere.
These roaches are clean, quiet, really good for the reptiles and the only thing that occasionally smells weird is the rotting fruit that we put in their box to feed them whenever Josh opens it for a few seconds to pick a few out to give to the animals.

Anyway, I'm sure you have no need for any of that information, sorry.

To wrap this up, I am excited to finally have a long term companion that I can raise to be my lap pet [since I can't have my cat here with me in this apartment]. Yes, I am fully aware that I will be giving birth to yet another offspring in less than 5 months that will take up most of my time and energy for the next year at least. But if you're gonna decide to add a pet to your plate of responsibility, a bearded dragon is probably the lowest maintenance pet you could ever get.



Yes, I am a bit biased.
But, look at his face. Can you really blame me?

Oh, and a few of the names I have been considering are:
Jericho
Nuke
Jett
Floki
and Wade.

What do you think? Have you ever had reptiles as pets?
Any name suggestions??

2.10.2016

Gender Reveal!!


If you're as lost as I am when it comes to looking at ultrasound pictures [even when the quality of the picture isn't crappy], I'll go ahead and spoil it for you.

We're having another boy.

My appointment this past Monday wasn't even supposed to be a full 'gender reveal' slash measurement taking ultrasound, apparently. They just wanted to check out my cervix and the baby's amniotic sac and all that stuff to make sure I wasn't going to go into labor early again.
Because, you know....there must be something wrong with me because my son decided he was ready to make his debut 5 weeks earlier than he was 'supposed' to. Because I'm a machine that couldn't possibly give birth to a healthy baby 5 weeks early.....again.
[Everything looks fine, by the way. The tech literally said I look 'fantastic! you won't hear that very often at all with most people.' So...yeah, pretty sure my body is fully equipped and knows what it's doing, even though I certainly don't ;)]

Their obsession with my girl parts and 'miraculously' quick labor with my son, and my frustration with it all because I feel it's completely unnecessary, could take up an entire post itself. So I'm gonna let that be and stick to the good stuff this post is really about.
:)

Baby boy #2 is on his way and, just like Jaxon, showed himself loud and proud almost immediately as he appeared on the screen.  Like I mentioned before, this appointment was apparently just supposed to be to measure me, not specifically to determine gender [I got dates mixed up and told everyone we'd be finding out the gender when really that's a week or so from now haha but he made it very clear what's going on down there lol so we had to capture it]. 
So that explains why we only have one picture of him right now. Don't fret! I'll be showing him off again and again very soon.

On that note, of course we are super excited about this. Not that we wouldn't be if he had girl parts instead, mind you. Having one of each would be super fun for me too, and I have no doubt she'd be awesomely cool and sassy like me regardless ;)
But at least we are fully prepared in the clothing department. Again, not that girls can't wear onesies with dinosaurs and drum kits on them, it just saves me a little money not having to stock up on all the adorable pink, sparkly and fluffy things I don't have. And I know I'd go crazy with it too, because I'm super picky about it which is why I specifically ask people not to buy clothing for us, because we like to control it a wee bit. So yeah, all this means is it saves me from spending all my diaper and formula money on girl clothing.
Haha

Jaxon is going to love having a baby brother. He already adores babies as it is, and is very thoughtful, sensitive, strong and incredibly smart.  That being said, I'm starting to get this feeling that this little guy may be quite the handful. Even during our first ultrasound to determine the due date, he was constantly moving. So much so that the technician had a hard time taking her measurements.  I mean, Jaxon moved a good bit too, as do all babies, but this little critter is constantly rolling and dancing and kicking like he's the energizer bunny on steroids. I've never seen a baby move so much so fast in the womb before. It's hysterical and a little terrifying too, I'll admit.

I just started actually feeling his punches/kicks today, so I'll keep you up to date with all that. I already expected my second to be a bit more uh...typical as far as boys and specifically second borns go. This one will probably be my 'punishment' for having such a beautiful and perfect first pregnancy, labor, birth and little boy....

But only time, and kicks, will tell.

Oh, and here's the official Gender Reveal Video that we shared through instagram!
 

2.08.2016

Not A Vegan Post

Sometimes, people make me sad.

No, I'm not talking about all the times I was bummed out or hurt by what someone did to me. I'm pretty sure none of us make it through life without someone disappointing us. I'm also not excluding myself from that statement.

What I mean is, there are a lot of people in the world. Every time I drive somewhere I notice how many people are headed somewhere to continue their story and how, most likely, if all the people I pass on the road were put into a big room, there wouldn't be too many that knew each other. And that's just within an average of 10-20 mile radius. So it's totally understandable to not only feel small and insignificant, but it honestly makes me want to take my little family and hide away on a secluded island away from all of them. Especially since every day I find more reasons to feel disconnected from most people.

It's not that I think I'm THAT different from any other human. But the way I see the world, other people, this country I live in, creatures other than humans, and the priorities of the future, I feel is, for the most part, quite different from a lot of people. At least I feel that way.

I love animals. I'm sure you know that by now. And I'm sure most people would agree with that statement.  What maybe not everyone may agree on is the fact that I include bats, mice, opossums, squirrels, deer, fish, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, crows, vultures, all other rodent/scavenger/pest type mammals, reptiles and even bugs in that statement, not just puppies and elephants.

When I see a flattened frog on the road, I feel just as sad as seeing the remains of a deer, fox or even dog. I've only hit two animals since I started driving at 19, and both times I cried because I couldn't avoid them and my first thought was "I just ended that poor creature's journey." I've always said that if I ever somehow hit a cat or a turtle, that I am done driving. I still hold myself to that, so hopefully for all of our sake, that never happens ;)

What I'm getting at is I know that I seem super sensitive. And I am. I know it. And I am proud of it.
I'm glad that I can't handle watching undercover videos of factory farms and other animal abuse.  I'm glad that it doesn't take watching one to strive to change my lifestyle to one that ultimately causes the least amount of harm to others. 


I am not a vegan.
Yet.
But I have taken steps. I officially cut out [cow] milk from my and my son's diet. I'm in the process of finding alternatives to cheese and baked goods next. Before I got pregnant with Jaxon, I had cut out pork and beef from my diet for about 7 years [I had a massive craving for a burger one time while pregnant and after that, I have only had a few bites of my other half's burgers occasionally since]. As my ONLY 2016 resolution, I have been cutting out poultry and most fish from my diet as well. 

I'm not telling you this to pat myself on the back. I actually wish I could say I'm vegan.
I'm telling you this to understand that I am a work in progress.

My ultimate goal is to be 100% vegan, yes. I mean, garden growing, bee keeping, bat house building, nutrition obsessing, animal rescuing, bath product making, all natural VEGAN.
Again, not to get a pat on the back, not to hold myself higher than you, and not to "hug a tree" [although, I have actually hugged trees and would highly recommend it ;) haha]. But because not only do I feel that most animal products are not necessary, but I truly believe that because there are so many people, that completely cutting out those products from my diet, body and wardrobe, is the best chance that abused, neglected and insignificant farmed animals have to be freed from their slavery.  Why?
Because if there is no demand, there is no product.

That's basic business. That's not me "shouting from my soap box."
It is a lifestyle that I WANT to live because to me, animals are worth it.

To bring this full circle...

This doesn't mean I don't care about people.
People are SO important. We have come SO FAR. We can EMPATHIZE. We can CONSTRUCT. We can DISCOVER. We can IMPROVE.
Yet most of us [including me at times] prioritize the animals, plants and our planet waaaaaaaaay down the list underneath technology, politics, and way below hunger.

I'm not saying we should ALL be 100% vegan [though I think a world like that where we worked WITH animals and our environments would be pretty freaking cool], but I'm saying that I am disappointed with the way humanity has chosen to prioritize the health and well being of our beautiful planet and all who inhabit it for the sake of greed and power.

The woman in the car behind me smoking her cigarette obviously has different concerns than I do about certain things. The young clerk on the other side of the check out counter is probably just trying to get by until he finishes his degree, then he can make a difference in life. The children playing with rocks by the lake aren't thinking about the horror and suffering happening to swollen and bruised dairy cows or highly intelligent pigs being farmed for a fatty, artery clogging strip of their flesh at this very moment.

Not everyone is meant to be an "activist."

But if I want to see a change in our society's attitude toward certain things, I need to change my attitude toward humans. I don't need to brag or judge. I need to empathize, educate, and build up.
Because even though there are countless atrocities occurring every moment of every day, people are worth it too. Because people are fully equipped to make changes, look beyond the surface, and take action.  We are capable.

So teach your children compassion for ALL life. Smile at someone who's not smiling. Do your homework before adopting a new pet. Do a few sit ups before bed tonight.

And spend a little more time savoring this life, instead of judging someone else's.

'Cause we could all do a little better.
   

2.04.2016

Life of a Comic Addict #1

If you don't know this about me yet, I collect comics. Not just ANY comics. Not just comics based off of future value, and not comics made into TV series.

I collect 'girl comics'.
Meaning, I can't collect EVERYTHING, but I can collect a select few series and they all happen to be lead by strong, badass females. I don't limit myself to either DC, Marvel or independent publishers, but as far as characters go, I do tend to favor the ladies of the DC universe. Mainly my three favorite bombshells; Cat Woman, Poison Ivy and my personal favorite, Harley Quinn.

 [Josh got me this original signed print for Christmas last year. Still possibly my favorite gift ever.]

I could probably make an entire post about why I favor HQ, and I probably will later, but for now I'll just say that it honestly has nothing to do with her outfits, her mental issues [entirely] or any original show, movie, comic or appearance. I feel connected to her solo series in the New 52 universe because there are several aspects of her and her story that match mine, or at least feel familiar. But more on that later.

I also have recently attached myself to Jessica, my personal favorite Spider Woman, as well as the brand new, original hero, Silk, from one of the many alternate universes of Spiderman.
Though I haven't been able to keep up with newer Cat Woman, Birds of Prey or a few others that I hope to one day collect, I pick up older issues in bulk when I get the opportunity.

 [More Christmas gifts from my man. He's seriously the best.]
 
Through my collecting, I've found that I actually have a 'type' as far as leading ladies go. What do Cat Woman, Black Canary, Spider Woman and Poison Ivy for instance, have in common?
They are tough, independent and more concerned with their own missions than looking cute, finding a boyfriend or even being the best role model. They struggle with dark pasts that continually haunt them. And they are just all around badass, without really trying!

I started collecting Jem! And the Holograms when the new reimagined series began last year, but I have since dropped it. I really enjoyed it, but I had to give up a couple series in order to afford the main series I committed to. Comics aren't as cheap as they were when I was a kid, especially when you buy 3-5 a month, plus whatever specials come out too.

My man, Josh, is a pro. More so than I am, because I only just started collecting a few short years ago. I've always wanted to, but didn't know where to start or how to do it, and none of my friends were into it so I was alone in it until I met Josh :)

So thanks to him, I have binders for each series, I have bags and boards for each of them, and we keep them in special crates to keep them from getting damaged.  Oh yeah, Nerd level 100.



I'm so happy I have someone to enjoy this silly hobby with and I'm so happy that comics are still being printed, shops still exist and people still dress up and go to comic-con. There's something awesome about bonding with a complete stranger over a fictional character dressed in spandex because they mean so much to both of you.  
Nerds are awesome.

Jaxon is a fan of Spiderman, just like his dad. At first, I thought it was because he knew his dad got excited over him, but now it's all him. He will point out and get so excited over ANYTHING with Spidey's face or logo on it. It's adorable and heart warming.  I can't wait to teach him to read with comics and have super hero themed birthday parties. I hope he loves them as much as we do. Even if he doesn't later, I'm enjoying it while he does ;)


Are you into comics? Who's your favorite super hero/villain? Do you collect anything? 
I want to know! Share with me!!

Comment below, lovelies!! <3 b="">


V-Day GIVEAWAY!!

So, my lovely and wonderful friend, Adrienne [thereallifemamastruggle.com], is hosting a giveaway that I am super stoked to be a part of! It's super easy to enter and you could win a bundle of awesome gifts PLUS a special one of a kind dream catcher made by ME!!
Details below! 

Hello Gorgeous! I snagged up some of my favorite products for you lovely ladies for my Valentines Day Giveaway! Clearly Reagan is a huge Vday fan, just like her mama! One of my beautiful mama friends Emily also decided to join me in this, and is making a one of a kind dreamcatcher as part of the giveaway! All of us moms deserve something special now, other than wine, and bathroom time ALONE,  so why not win it! All you have to do is follow these steps to enter to win!
  1. Follow Emily and I on Instagram (@killjoymills) (@adrienne_doolan)
  2. Follow Ready..Set..Life on Facebook (the link to follow is on my page)
  3. Follow my [Adrienne's] blog by email
  4. Share my [Adrienne's] Facebook page
     I [Adrienne] will annouce the random winner on Valentines Day!!!
The products include:
  • Savon natural soap bar
  • Essie nail polish 
  • OGX organic travel shampoo, conditioner, and oil
  • Pacifica roll on perfume (my absolute favorite company)
  • NYX lipstick
  • Ulta lip pen
  • Que bella refreshing face mask
  • and of course a one of a kind nursery dreamcatcher for your little! Don't forget to check her out! http://www.mamakilljoy.com


XOXO

2.02.2016

Shameful Yet Shameless

I'm about to either disappoint you or make your day.

Despite the name of this blog, my intentions are not to be just another mom blogger. I am a mom, yes, and this title takes up a very large part of my life and identity now. However, I am a little bit more than that, at least I'd like to be.

Before I get into the other side of Mama KillJoy, I should probably give you some back story, just so you maybe get a more accurate glimpse of uh...me. If nothing else, you'll at least be able to smile to yourself and say "at least I was never like that" ;)

I should warn you, some of my former eras were so dark and downright embarrassing that I can't even find the evidence right now to show you. What I do have should be plenty for now, hopefully, considering that this post is really supposed to be about the future. But hey, it's fun.

I began my search for purpose and internet fame with altering and up-cycling used and vintage t-shirts, vests, jackets and even a few dresses and jeans, and creating one of a kind pieces of artwork that you could wear.  I sold them through etsy originally and I even had a few photo shoots with friends as models and my own styling. Etsy deleted my store a little over a year ago [long story, but I did nothing wrong] so I lost most of my info including pictures of the pieces I sold. I'll keep looking though, so I'll update this with photos when I find them.

That was at 17. At 14 I was, as you know, writing poetry/music and fantasizing about touring the country in a band. By 16, though, I had experimented with different print sites and sold some of my designs on t-shirts that ended up on a few musicians and skaters, which also lead to me designing merch and album covers for several bands as well. That was when I was drawing and writing every day because that was my life. 

I tried getting attention to my shops by starting a poetry blog [Riley Velvet Poetry], a lookbook account [through lookbook.nu], and another blog [Daily KillJoy] to extend my fashion and music obsession. There, I did some of this:

This:



And, unfortunately...this:


I cringed so hard looking through all of this stuff while posting. I don't think you'll ever understand how humiliating this is for me haha. But this was me. This was where I was at and who I thought I wanted to be. I know, it could have definitely been worse....I guess.

So, as embarrassing as showing you this is for me, I'm hoping my honesty will help you feel a bit more confident in your present self and help you understand how different I am now.  Most of those where from my teen years, but some of these 'phases' were lived only a few short years ago.  Yet, when I look through them, they feel almost foreign.

Becoming a mom makes you grow up real fast.
Not that I was some crazy reckless child then, I was actually pretty clean cut, despite what vibe I tried to convey to the world. But I was still pretty lost. I had only just STARTED my search to find what I was meant to offer the world. My biggest concerns were whether I wanted to go to art school, business school or continue to try to figure it all out myself with the help of the all knowing internets.

Now my main stress is where Jax hid the wipes, what he just put in his mouth, and how the hell I'm going to get him out of diapers by the time the new baby is in them.

  Now, I craft dream catchers [you can buy them here.] whenever I have the supplies, I write posts and watch 'handmade business' vlogs and videos whenever Jax is asleep, I work at a hotel restaurant on the weekends, and I make lists. TONS of lists. Lists of pros and cons of different direct sales companies I'm considering buying into. Lists of business goals. Lists of names for the baby. Lists of appointments, work schedules and events this month. Lists of things I forgot to get at the store yesterday.
Lists that ultimately either get lost by me, tossed in the trash by Jaxon, or erased from the chalkboard accidentally.

But hey, I'm trying.

I know selling dream catchers will never provide a decent income. I know I've started and stopped many attempts at trying to find my so called 'niche' in the craft/handmade/home business world. I know I should have pursued schooling instead of getting myself 'knocked up' at 22.

But screw it. I'm tired. Tired of trying to force something that will never happen the way I want it to. Tired of wishing I had the tools to create laser cut jewelry, vinyl images and text for walls, or striped beanies for babies. Tired of beating myself up because I'm not one of the many pretty, talented and colorful bloggers and crafters I now idolize.

All I know is I freaking love making dream catchers. I have so many ideas and concepts for future collections. I know I also love making labels for my homemade lip balms and I know I still am in love with my concept for the Cozmic KillJoy brand that still doesn't even exist yet. My problem has never been lack of talent, passion or ideas. My problem has always been focus. I'm constantly overwhelmed with all the different directions I could go, places I want to take my ideas, and the many MANY ways to get there. I love crafts but I also love animals and the environment. I love being a mom but I also love punk music and wearing my combat boots to rock shows. I love styling outfits but I also love decorating every room in our apartment. I love writing but I also love taking photos of plants and animals with my beloved Nikon D60.

See my dilemma? I don't have just that ONE thing that I am so passionate about you can see it in every aspect of my life.  I have about 368 things. So how the hell do you manage and make a successful business from all of that?

This blog is a recording of me trying to figure it all out. My goal is to funnel all my ideas, attempts and passions through here in hopes of collecting the good stuff and somehow managing to find some direction through it all.

So this blog is NOT just a mommy blog. It is also a DIY blog, a rant blog, a fashion and beauty blog, a vegetarian lifestyle blog and hopefully soon, a travel blog.

This blog, just like my 'non'-brand, Cozmic KillJoy, is all ME. It's my heart, mind and soul put into words. A representation of who I am, who I'm becoming and everything I discover along the way.
I intend to get a routine down, as in posting every other day or 3 times a week, so that when this new addition arrives, it's already a part of my life.

I hope you also get something out of my journey that you can apply to yours. If you also do this blog thing, I hope you let me know so I can also collect nuggets from yours too. Even if you're not a mom, even if you aren't vegan, even if you don't collect comics, even if you hate punk music

I will say it again and again.
We are in this together, so let's come together.