Blame it on age, blame it on motherhood, it is time for me to have a skin care routine. My eyes look like death himself swapped my coffee out for decaf. And those tiny little forehead creases that continue to show up, so cute. I…
In honor of last weeks full moon and it landing on Friday the 13th, I have dedicated this post to five crystals I keep close for comfort. Yes, crystals. Call it placebo or call it the universe, I believe my attitude and “life happenings” are…
Recently I was lucky enough to visit my home state of Massachusetts. I normally tell anyone who asks that I am from North Carolina just from being here the longest, but I was really born in Beverley, Mass.
In 2001 I moved to the south. I was eight at the time and was excited for the change. I wasn’t sad to leave Massachusetts because I knew I would be back. Almost all of my mom’s family resides in MA. We spent a few weeks of our summers and almost every Christmas there till I was 17.
Unfortunately in 2010 we lost my grandmother. She was the glue that held us together and kept us coming back. Since then our visits back have been far and few between. It was hard for awhile to be back where her presence was so strong. To see her eclectic themed wall paper and smell the familiar smells of cut grass or her old basement next to the pool. She was the foundation of so many things. Now that I am older I see these things but the sadness I once felt has turned to warmth. I find comfort in her remembrance but will always miss her so much.
Much Needed Visit
During a random Facebook scrolling I received an invite from my cousins for their son’s 6th birthday party combined with a going away party before they take on a big move. So I called up my mom and asked her when we were leaving. I was partially joking but in all realness we wanted to go. So we planned a girls trip and it was on of the best things I could do for my mental wellbeing.
Our trip was short, just Thursday to Monday. But it was all we needed. This was my second trip bringing Ray on a plane and it was a little more complicated than the first. Now that Ray is super mobile it is hard to keep her happy in a seat for an extended period of time. We bounced and ate and brought several toys along and really it went pretty well. A couple happy screeches and a few fussy fits but really who can hear anything other than the person next to them on an airplane anyways?
My aunt picked us up and we are lucky enough to have cousins with babies so we didn’t have to travel with the stroller or carseat (yay for packing light). Highly recommend if possible. We stayed in her guest rooms for the weekend in her beautiful ranch-styled house that overlooked trees that rolled on for miles. Each moment spent was filled with so much nostalgia from growing up it made me realize a few things.
Why A Trip home is good for the soul
Going back to the roots brings with it a total rush of emotions. Now that I am grown and a mom I don’t always have time to “feel” anything. I am more focused on what is happening now, with the baby, with the house and whatever else is going on in that moment. But as a kid you have so much time to just be. This is the time you form who you are and what you believe in. You discover what you like, learn about traditions and create relationships with people and the world around you.
When you go back home you are reminded of all these things. Time slows back down for a moment. You see all that has changed and then you realize the beauty of the change. The life that is passed on through generations. The houses and landmarks that you grew up knowing look different but still feel the same. My aunts and uncles are grandparents now with shamrocks marking thier driveways. My cousins (and myself) are the parents. Our children are playing outside in the yard with each other, creating their own games and going on adventures.
Sometimes we need these reminders. I know I do. Trips like these will help me be a better parent. It reminded me of what family and stability can do for a child. I am and have been unimaginably blessed in this lifetime. To be able to share this with Ray means more to me than I ever thought it would. The world will always be changing, stores with close houses will sell but family will be there and that is what home is.
First off, never would I have thought that I could be a morning person, let alone have a morning routine. After having Ray, I was forced to be a morning person which was almost miserable until I started giving my mornings a purpose. Are you…
Leukemia symptoms are not far off from any other common day illness. At 23-years-old my family physician told me I had leukemia. If that wasn’t enough shock the doctor then told me I had it for months prior. By the time I actually went to the doctor the cancer took over 90% of my blood.
A few facts
Now leukemia is not like other cancers and there are several different types that one can have. In my case, I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, for short AML.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. My doctors broke it down to me with the comparison of the security line in airports. Our bodies are constantly producing more cells and they are “checked-through-secutirty” as they are made. With AML it is as if a “threat” disguises themself to look normal to get through security. It then begins producing the wrong cells (myeloid cells) that take over nearly everything. With all the disguised cells reproducing the red cells, white cells and the platelets are not.
There are no stages on how severe it is, at least there was not in my situation. Leukemia can NOT be passed on genetically. It also it not common for the younger age demographic to get AML, it is actually more common for people 60 years +.
So how, and why?
Honestly there is no telling how I got leukemia. We can blame in on the GenX water in my city, the black-mold-infested-100-year-old building I lived in, the aftermath of being in an abusive relationship and losing several friends, the stress of working three jobs, the excess alcohol drinking and drug use of my teenage years. The list goes on but really there is no answer.
(Actual picture of my chromosomes, look at the 8th and 21st and see how they swapped bottom halves)
All I know is that the tail end of my 8th and 21st chromosome decided to switch places on one little cell and four months later I was in the hospital.
Question is why didn’t I listen to anything my body was telling me the four months prior to being diagnosed?
Leukemia Symptoms I should have payed more attention
Bleeding GumsFor almost five months my gums bled whenever I brushed my teeth. My dental hygienist told me it was gingivitis. I had trouble believing this because I am crazy about cleaning and brushing my teeth. Turns out it was the first sign of my platelets dropping (platelets are used to clot blood).
FatigueI was extremely tired. I worked three jobs at this point so I never payed much mind to being tired. It got to the point where I was not just tired I was physically weak. I could barely move a chair out of the way.
BruisingAnemia is something I’ve dealt with most of my life. It is common for me to have scrapes and bruises. Towards my diagnoses I began bruising by barely being touched. I worked a restaurant shift where carrying a plate left my armed bruised. I thought it was an iron deficiency.
NosebleedsThe nosebleeds started a month or two after my gums. They only happened in the shower for the longest time. Again, dealing with anemia I already was familiar with nose bleeds and didn’t think much of it. I thought it could of been from allergies. The week of diagnoses my nosebleeds were unreal. They lasted for hours where giant stringy blood clots came out every time I changed the tissue. It looked like something from a horror film.
Little pink dotsAbout a month out from diagnoses I started have small (SUPER SMALL) pink little pen sized dots all over my body. We realized they spread wherever my clothing hugged tighter. These dots are called petechiae and they are caused by a low platelet count. I thought they were from the cranberry vitamins I had taken to help detox my body.
Mood changeMy exhaustion level was at an all time high. I was not the person you wanted to be around. I found negativity in everything. I hated being in a social setting. Every little thing stressed me out. This was a symptom everyone could notice.
As you can see I have an excuse for almost every “symptom” that presented itself. The real problem was never talking to a medical professional. If I payed more attention to what my body was trying to tell (and show) me, I maybe could have caught this illness earlier and gone through a less intense treatment. All I want anyone to get from this post is that it is important to take care of yourself. Go to the doctor on (at least) a yearly basis. Pay attention to any changes your body may be making and ADDRESS them then and there. I never thought this would happen to me and it did, it can happen to anyone! So if you made it to the end of this just be aware and take care of yourself, thanks!
We all love a little green on the inside. For aesthetic and for health benefits. Houseplants do it all. But why are they impossible to keep alive? After years of trial and error I found some beautiful low maintenance plants that add just that amount…
Ever since we hit the 6 month milestone everything has been go Go GO. Running around all day trying to make sure the baby is safe, fed and happy, the house is clean where it needs to be, and the money situation is being handled. Being a mom is ALOT of work.
Six to Nine Month and Things are getting so real
I started this blog about the same time Ray hit 6 months. Now that we have made it to 9 months I have put together a list of things that help me get all my sh*t done. We are now crawling, eating solids, pulling up and putting everything into our mouths. But this age is so much fun! Seriously, she has started to have such a personality and shows me something new everyday. I try me best to get us out of the house at least twice a day whether it’s running through the neighborhood or up to target.
We are on a three-nap-a-day schedule which in all realness a sleep schedule is a godsend. Ray is growing like a weed and still eats about every 2-3 hours. Having the option to alternate between bottles and solids has made some situations way more convenient. I try not to do pouches at home just to help Ray be more familiar with feeding herself. But when we are out and we aren’t need a bottle I have been giving her the Earth’s Best pouches.
IF YOU ARE STILL DECIDING ON WHERE TO DO A REGISTRY I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AMAZON.
Amazon makes it easy for anyone to find your registry and great when long distance family wants to help out. If you are interested in starting a registry on Amazon here is think link to get started.
These products have been great for an older infant but if you are looking for some other must have items check out this post.
From eating at home to eating out, to mobility to sitting still for a minute these items are must haves for the busy mom!
All Items are linked
- The Bumbo seat is a great alternative to getting an actual high chair and it will take up much less space. The multi seat has been super convenient when we travel. But I must admit I use it just to have Ray somewhere when I need to get work done from home. I give her a book or some snacks and she feels like she is included in my work. The seat features an attachable tray that attaches nicely to the back of the seat when it isn’t being used.
- THE COOLEST THING I EVER BOUGHT. We have been trying to switch to formula for a good bit of time now and its been a bi*tch to deal with when we are out and about. I’ll admit Similac makes convenient travel packs for 4 oz bottles but we do about 6 ounces so we needed something more. The Mixie Bottle is awesome. It is an 8 oz bottle (4 oz is also available) and the formula goes in a small container inside the bottle. Whenever you are ready to use it, with the water already in the bottle, you just push up on the bottom of the bottle and it releases the lid of the formula container. A few shakes later and you have a bottle ready to go!
- The Jumperoo has come in handy a lot these days. At 6 months Ray was still figuring things out but by 7 she loved bouncing around. It used up a decent amount of engird but kept her in one place so I could work and keep an eye on her. At one point we hit a sleep regression and the jumperoo was the only thing that would get her to sleep. She would bounce like crazy for about three minutes and her bounces would get less and less intense and then she would be out. It was hilarious but also one of the cutest, most precious, things I have ever seen!
- At 6 months we hit the baby food pretty hard. I wanted Ray to get familiar with different foods in hopes we will avoid any allergies. For a little while I hand fed her myself. Once she got use to the spoon I got the Babyware Self Feeding set for her to practice self leading. She is no pro but this gives her an opportunity to develop some cognitive skills and gives me a minute to wash a bottle (while keeping a close eye, OF COURSE).
- Six months brought us our first tooth. Some babies have no problem with teething. This is not the case for Ray. You would think something is seriously wrong with her everytime a tooth cuts. She is just very in tune with her emotions, at least that is what I am telling myself. A teether will come in handy for car rides or just hanging at home. They will want something in their mouth. The one have linked is wooden so extra safe no BPA all good things!
Well there you have it! Some of my most used products the past three months home with sweet Ray. Wishing you the best of luck and hoping this article will come useful to you!
For more products I used during the 3 month stage check out this post!
Disclosure: Some links on this post are affiliated.
Caffeine and me have an interesting relationship.I am pretty sure at one point I was addicted to the sugar free Monster energy drink. Today I can handle an iced coffee or dirty chai. But a few years back after going through chemotherapy and detoxing my…