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Rainy Day Sanity

Hello friends! It has been raining for what seems like months here in Texas, but hey I’m not complaining, just looking for my sanity.

Today was no different as the downpour came as we headed to the library for my weekly adult socializing event…no, just kidding, our weekly storytime with the best Children’s Librarian EVER (a few books she loves below)! Anyway, it was all about monsters and so of course I felt right at home because this moldy weather and Miss K’s incessant mocking, sassy mouth has turned me into a full on mommy monster or an old lady tempted to swallow a bat (There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat-one of Miss Ks favorite books right now). I was even more convinced as I saw my reflection on the magnet board…🧟‍♀️

During naptime I unboxed the new food dehydrator the hubby got me for my bday and started making some fruit roll ups/leather…I’ll let y’all know how that turned out once it’s done, but it was super easy to make. I blended together: 2 peaches, 1 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup applesauce, juice of 1/2 lemon.  Put in the machine at 140°F for approximately 8hrs 🤞🏼.

Once the angel woke up it was time to play! We built roads and tracks, played tug of war with jump ropes and also used scrabble as a “teaching tool”, which she was completely into especially since she has been begging to play it for the last 3 months. I was surprised how much fun she had searching for the letters to her name and placing them on the wooden holders…sometimes it’s the things you never expect them to enjoy that holds their attention the longest and as a bonus an boost to my slumping mommy ego she was learning!

Tonight, I decided to add a little something in with our bedtime routine by adding “Good Night Yoga” before our book and I think Miss K enjoyed it…I found a cool YouTube video that guides you through the book and I plan to follow it up with “Good Morning Yoga” in the morning to see if we can set ourselves up for calmer more enjoyable days 🤪😬. I finished up the evening by reading a little in one of my “inspirational” books to calm the monster in me.

What do you do to stay sane in rainy weather? Do you have any inspirational quotes or books you ground yourself in? What kinds of activities do you and your little ones enjoy inside?

XOXO,

Tiffany

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Life, Toddlers and Honesty

Good Evening! I hope you all had a wonderful day and have a fun weekend planned with your friends and family.

I felt like today reaffirmed my decision to speak honestly to my toddler about life and situations we encounter openly. Of course, I take great care to explain things in a way she can understand and age appropriate or at least I try to. We have had multiple times where we have had to say goodbye to “animal family members” since she has been old enough to notice and understand.

We had to say goodbye to my beloved brown Labrador when she was just 16months old. During that time we spoke to her about how we were blessed to have time with him, we loved him, and always will. We framed the conversation by letting her know he fell asleep and would not be waking up because it was time for him to be with GOD. We included her in the process and she still knows his name and talks about her love of/for him to this day which I feel shows the strength, sensitivity and awareness of our children.

Many of you who read my blog also will remember us losing several of our hens a few months back and another one just a few weeks ago…well, today one of the girls who had been hurt from the most recent events on Tuesday ended up succumbing to a hawk and again I had to tell my hen loving baby girl that the hurt hen had died and we didn’t need to go out and doctor her this afternoon.

My heart absolutely melted when her response to me was…”mommy I can share my chickens with other animals, because I’m sure they get hungry just like me.” She clearly was not traumatized by any of the situations regarding the end of life and moreover showed an understanding and compassion for the circle/cycle of life.

I understand my way of thinking is not for everyone and some don’t feel comfortable or think it to be good parenting to speak openly about life/death, but it was that pure/unfiltered response by her that solidified my decision to be honest with her regarding these events and life in general.

How do you explain these type of events to your children? How did your parents help you understand events like this?

XOXO,

Tiffany

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Miracle/Rainbow Babies

This photo of a baby wrapped in a rainbow swaddle surrounded by the syringes used to conceived her went viral and is helping to bring awareness and shares the struggles woman endure to become moms/have families. The O’Neill’s told Christin Zdanowicz of CNN, that after four years of trying, seven attempts, three miscarriages, 1,616 injections, and approximately $40,000, they were overjoyed to welcome their daughter to their family.

Seeing this moving picture, touched me and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts since, infertility has so many faces and names associated with it…it does not discriminate based on ethnicity. In our case, the anguish was one that started almost 20yrs ago, and after a 10 yr battle with endometriosis and adenomyosis accompanied by debilitating pain and years of treatment ultimately resulting in a hysterectomy–defined “infertility” for me. Now the face of our joy is in the form of our miracle baby who after years of praying, one special kind hearted angel, phenomenal physicians, and $90,000.00.  Really, a price can’t be put on the beautiful, thriving, content toddler who KNOWS she is a gift from God and has two parents who WANT/WANTED her more than anything in this world.

I can still vividly remember the tears and emptiness I felt being wheeled into the operating room 9yrs ago.  It was a one of many days that forever changed me and my future family. This was a day that I had fought so hard to avoid for so many years and I felt like a true failure as I conceded in defeat to the disease at 27. I wasn’t strong enough to fight through the pain anymore and left with the anguish of knowing anatomically everything making me female was essentially about to be taken from me. Even having the support of family and the few friends who knew the struggle I hid for so many years, the fear of the unknown, sense of hopelessness and emptiness consumed me.  As the doctor came in that day and asked, “are you ready?” I suddenly felt alone as the negative emotions and self deprecation swirled around in my mind, but then the encouraging and eye-opening words of my husband from weeks early echoed in my ears as I sobbed and drifted away that day, “we can’t have/be a family if you aren’t here.”  I hadn’t even stopped to consider the toll this disease had taken on him or the emotions he experienced as he cared for me each day as I slowly weakened.  I knew logically he was right and surgery was necessary to my survival and being a mother would be the same no matter if it occurred biologically or through other means available, but it took many months, years, and ultimately our beautiful baby girl to be placed in my arms moments after her birth for me to truly believe the words my brain knew to be true all along.

We were blessed to have been able to make our family a reality given the expensive nature of adoption, ivf, and surrogacy. In the case of surrogacy, that expense also comes with the relinquishment of control, tearing down of emotional walls, and our case a beautiful relationship filled with memories that provide a lifetime of happiness.

I share my story because in awareness there is also power and healing. I know, there are so many women who suffer in silence and grimace through the fake smile while enduring such pain both physically and mentally while infertility slowly robs them of the joys life and motherhood bring. This doesn’t have to be the case. Seeing this photo reminded me of the silent suffering I endured for so long and the questions I am still asked today.  I share my story openly when asked so I might help another to feel as if she has one more person to empower and stand beside her on her journey.

We are all stronger together and two are always better than one!

XOXO,

Tiffany

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Ruling the Roost

So ever since our rooster began to get his tail-feathers back he has definitely asserted his masculinity around the coop, but most recently he seems to think he RULES this ROOST. Now I’m not talking about the crowing all day or the typical rearing back to stick out his breasts and flap his wings, I’m talking all out chasing my rear end up the path and in some cases straight out into the bushes like a scared little teenage girl at her first dance! Well, I showed him who the boss was by bringing my secret weapon , Zeiss, a 95lb labrador who wags his tail like it would set him into the air at any moment as he meanders up and down the pathway to the coop just hoping one of the girls will come say hello.

Now to say the rooster was the only one who was trying to assert power in the house would be a complete fabrication and of course Miss K will not be upstaged by anyone let alone a rooster! So today we are on our way home and our 4mo old friend started to fuss a bit and Miss K promptly told him, “you need to stop fussing or I will pull this car over and put you on the side of the road, okay, okay!” Now, as I am dying laughing, I do think to myself, maybe I should choose better words, consequences or something, but let me tell you, it has worked and the low and behold the little guy responded to her request in the form of complete silence 😂🤣. The mommy and me shirts his momma got little Miss K and I couldn’t have fit her sass any better!!!!

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Laughter Fills The Day

Today was an incredibly busy and productive day as I had product to make for my dear friends at Sisters, entertain an incredibly busy toddler, as well as train our big fat Buffy to lay her eggs in the appropriate space!

With all of these things to do, I had to start the day out with some caffeine! Lately, my go to has been cold brew and almond milk with a splash of maple syrup and scoop of vital proteins. Gives me the boost I need with some protein for these busy days 😬.

Once I had Miss K her protein smoothie and other goodies served, I made my way down to the coop to check on the girls and gather the eggs…I had decided to leave everyone cooped to try and get Buffy to lay in the nesting boxes rather than the flowerbed. Well about 9am I started to feel bad that everyone was having to stay inside the coop so I allowed all of the girls except her to go out to free range, well I didn’t imagine the chaos that would ensue…Mister Rooster was all bent out of shape as he ran from the garden area back down to the coop a million and one times because the Buffy was all kinds of ticked off. Well I finally decided about noon to go let her out after checking in on them several times without any egg layed. Let me just say when I opened that coop she darted up the hill to the front yard and into the flowerbed so fast, I was afraid an egg was gonna pop out at anytime. I have never laughed so hard before or seen a chicken move so fast! Needless to say she went right back to her previous spot and layed me a beautiful tan egg.

it wasn’t long after this, it was time for lunch followed by nap. In this house, nap time is the best time and today it was certainly necessary for all of us! I decided to open Miss Ks door after about an hour and a half and as I walked away I heard, “No, nap-time is not over mommy, shut my door, I’m trying to sleep!” I promptly shut that door to which I was greeted only a minute later with, “can we go swimming now?” Of course we did and as we headed out, Zeiss needed to potty, so he found a nice tree and Miss K said, “I think he’s holding on to the tree while he potty’s because he has to go outside instead of on the potty.” Of course this had to be one of the most innocent, creative and hilarious things I may have heard, but I just replied, “yes I think you’re right sweetheart” and we continued to the pool. Our pool time didn’t disappoint either as we found a locust, a snake 🐍 swimming in the pool…yes a snake came to visit and Miss K tried to coax Mr. Steve in by having Mister Crab pinch him.

We swam a bit later than I had planned so when got back, I spiralized and sautéed some zucchini and yellow squash from the garden as the spaghetti sauce was simmering.

What are some quick meals you put together when you are short on time?

Hope your day was good!

XOXO,

Tiffany