Monday, February 22, 2016

Being a "Man"

Yesterday I asked my husband Alex

"What does being a "Man" mean to you?"

his reply went something like this....

"A man is someone who knows his emotions and knows how to control them. A man is someone who can identify how they feel and remain connected with the people around him. A man is someone who prioritizes his family and himself. A man is someone who takes care of and prioritizes his wife. I want Ezykiel to know that I'm always there for him and I want to be both physically and emotionally available to our kids always. I never want them to feel ostrasized or like they need to handle anything all by themselves. I want them to know that I'm here and always will be. A man is someone who can choose to be happy with the life he has. A man is someone who remains appreciative and present."

I've asked Alex this question multiple times in the years we've been together and its amazing to think that when I asked him this question 5, 7, 9 or some odd years ago his reply held statements such as....

"Men don't cry. They work and they provide. Men don't show affection. When I have kids my kids will need to know whose boss and will be spanked. I don't need spoiled entitled kids. My kids will respect me. Fear is respect. Men should be the head of the household. "

Not sure what I'm sharing other than the fact that there's been an incredible amount of self growth in the last decade or so and the insane difference becoming a parent throw into ones perspective. Rather the amount of growth that occurs once parenting comes into play is monumental.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bijou Cleo Review

Bijou Cleo Review

Bijou Cleo - Size 6 cotton/tencel blend
Age/Size of wrapper and wrappee
I am 23 years old, 5'0 ft 115 lbs; 
my son  Ezykiel is 2 years old, 28 lbs and 35 inches. 

My first impression of this wrap is that the design is very simple, beautiful and in my favorite color orange.  Upon feeling the fabric it is beautifully textured and buttery soft.  My first thought was that it would be a little warm for Hawaii weather considering the humidity lately has been insane.

I put Ezykiel up in a double hammock with a salt water finish for a short half mile walk in town.  The wrap was very very easy to work with and although I imagined the wrap to slip (as cotton tends to do) it was sturdy and easy to adjust.  After about 20 minutes or so however, I did find that I needed to bounce him back up and readjust.  Ezykiel is really quite heavy at this point and I have yet to find a wrap that is truly toddler worthy and doesn't loosen at all over a decent period of time.  

The wrap was wonderfully cushy on my shoulders and I enjoyed wearing it immensely.  I used to test for a bunch of wrap companies but I haven't in awhile because I haven't been wrapping Ezykiel since I don't wear him often anymore.  This wrap changed that and made me re-fall in love with wrapping.  It was both a stunning and comfy wrap. As far as the humidity and heat go, it was surprisingly breathable and breezy considering that I thought it would be an oven on my back.  However I wouldn't recommend wearing this particular wrap for heat inducing activities like hiking in Hawaii but it would be perfectly fine for a quick walk to the grocery store and back.

I'm not sure if this particular colorway will be available but I'm very excited to see the other colorways that will be released in this particular wrap.  

Pros: Beautiful,  easy to adjust, buttery soft and cushion-y on shoulders, would recommend for beginner wrappers
Cons: A bit warm, would suggest doing carries with only one pass for the heat, not toddler worthy over long periods of time. 

If you are going to wear a heavier toddler, I personally think a double hammock and its varieties are the only way to go.  I tried to do a reinforced ruck and it was comfy for a few minutes but quickly loosened with his weight.  I also did not to front carries with this wrap.  Due to my small stature I do not like to wear heavier babes on the front regardless of the type of carrier because the weight really hurts my hips.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I've been finding myself far more irritable lately and its not at all how I want to be.  Simple things seem monstrous to me now, cooking, washing dishes, errands.  My toddler now more than ever seems to need CONSTANT attention from me. I want support from someone and I grovel at the opportunity for some help....for a breather.  Days where Ezykiel doesn't nap are by far the hardest on me because I don't have that hour or two to regroup.  That time while he rests has been used lately for me to work on myself physically, mentally and spiritually.  When he doesn't want to take that nap I can literally feel my edges fraying by the end of the day.  I feel like I want to crawl in a hole and cry just because I feel so overwhelmed and honestly not good enough.  

Today I spent the day prepping for New Years and stripping cloth diapers, so Ezykiel actually entertained himself for a lot of the day.  He constantly tried to get my attention and being as frazzled as I was trying to balance everything I feel like my voice seemed irritated when I told him to "hold on" for the tenth time or "go play with your trucks."

  I feel like he didn't get the attention from me today that he deserves.  I'm just thinking about when its time for me to go to work, how will I handle the amount of guilt I will feel personally for not being with him.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I do yearn to have time off. I honestly thought the day would never come  because I'm obviously enthralled by my child but I do admit the sound of a breather is nice.  My son is 19 months old and I've had all of one day from 10am to 5pm "off" where my mom and my sister watched him.  I've also had one movie night for a few hours.  But that seriously has been the only time I've ever been away from Ezykiel minus court. I always hear of other parents getting to leave their child for a day date or maybe even over night and sometimes I do feel a twinge of jealousy.

All in all I think I'm just exhausted and desperately wanting some regular me time, as in not once every two years......

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stealing Kisses

I'm compelled to write this because it is something that is becoming increasingly present in my life.

Reader Notes:
Toddlers/Children/Babies have just as much emotional depth and capacity as an adult but they are unable to control them.  A huge part of raising children is to teach them how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way.  Its important to understand here that although toddler tantrums and such, can seem very superficial (such as taking away a toy) the emotion that comes with it is very real.  The anger, aggression, upset, despair that they feel consumes them and unlike us adults, they have no idea how to handle it.  The point of this beginning paragraph is to understand that children have feelings too, that they are in fact human beings and should be treated as such.  A good general rule of thumb, is that if you wouldn't appreciate someone doing it to you, don't do it to a baby.  (ie. pinching cheeks)

General Situation
When a child/toddler specifically tells you "no" that they don't want you to pick them up /kiss them/tickle them but you disregard their feelings and do it anyway.  Child obviously, gets increasingly more upset. You find it humorous that the child is upset and decides to continue attempting to steal kisses.

What This Teaches:
1. It confuses them...they no longer get the notion that "no means no." The message they are getting is "no" can sometimes means "yes?" or even rather "No only means no when its said by certain people but not me."  Confusing right?

2.That saying "no" is irrelevant when it comes to an authority figure, parent or family friend, That even if they are uncomfortable, to allow said person to do what it is they want. (I'm sure some of you can see how this can be potentially problematic; if not in the short run than most certainly in the long run.)

3. He is learning that his feelings are not valid.  That rather, adults or people that he looks up to find humor in the very real emotional distress that he is feeling.  This eventually leads to shame.

4. If a parent does not step in to protect the child from the infringing adult, the child learns that the parent must accept and even condone the way their child is being treated.

5. That they don't have the RIGHT to their OWN body and that it is okay for other people to dictate what they can or can not do to you.

My point is that the entirety of the situation completely endorses rape culture.  It teaches children to be compliant to authoritative figures even when they are uncomfortable in the situation.  

I want my child to know that he is the king of his own body and that only he can dictate what can or can not be done to it.  I want him to understand and respect personal boundaries and bodies of other people.  I want him to treat women with respect and to know that one day when he has a wife that he has no authority over her, that she too is her own being.


Anyway its 2 am in the morning and I'm partially writing this out in frustration so here it goes

I'm going to put this in is as black and white terms as possible and share the heck out of this article.

-If you want affection from my child you are more than welcomed to ask him for a hug or high five or whatever it is.  But if he says no or makes any obvious movement that he does not want to do so, it is NEVER okay to force him.  I don't care if you bent over backwards for him all day and he doesn't want to give you a kiss.  Parenting, grandparenting, coparenting, village parenting is a thankless job some days and requires giving unconditionally.

So please, when I ask you to stop stealing kisses from my child, especially when he is already clearly upset, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, I'm trying to stick up for my kid because at the end of the day no one else will but me.  Don't put me out to be the crazy ass bitchy controlling mother, I'm sticking up for my child who can't stick up for himself when bigger older people are forcing themselves on him and in his face.

I want my child to understand that what he says MATTERS.  That saying "no" really means "no."  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fun Simple Activities for Toddlers at Home

I'm all for keeping my kid entertained in simple yet intriguing ways that allow him to explore textures and the world around him.  Here's a few ideas of what goes on in my house

First thing though as a side note that I'd like to address is that I believe in having my babe actively participate in everything he can through out the day.  He helps me do everything from smoothie making, to baking, washing the car, watering the grass, checking the mail, feeding the animals, etc.  Its also really great to explain what you're doing as you do it, they catch on really quickly.

Also, none of this includes making use of the actual toys he does have and love such as his toy car and bike he rides down hills or blocks he uses to build.

We also try to leave the house every single day, whether it be a walk to the park or a trip to hang around Costcos.  Its pretty vital to both of our health and happiness to not be constantly cooped up in the house.

Homemade Play Dough
This ones easier than you think, I did it without cream of tartar because I didn't have any on me.

Basically I took four bowls (for four colors) into each bowl went 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, food coloring.  In a separate bowl went 3 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of table salt mixed together.  Take the dry ingredient mix and put a cup into each of the four bowls, mix well and knead into dough.  Simple.

Its also fun to have babe help you make it, Ezykiel enjoys measuring out ingredients.

Finger Painting

all you need is some vanilla yogurt and (one drop) food coloring.  its a great alternative to using real water colors and such because your babe can eat it without any worries.

Sprinkler Fun

Honestly, I rarely ever end up putting up the actual sprinkler, mostly Ezykiel just loves to run through it while watering the grass.  Most of the time he will water the grass himself or spray the hose to rinse the car.

Baby Pool with a Water Slide

I bought a baby pool for $4 on clearance at Walmart and it was by far the best investment ever.  My child plays in it every day five times a day.  We also got a small slide off of craigslist for a few bucks.  We simply just move the pool under the slide and it makes a crazy fun experience for my babe.

Also, if you don't have a baby pool, a large cooler also works fine :)

Box Fun

One thing I've learned is that toddlers are not difficult to entertain at all.  One of Ezykiel's favorite games is to simply stand on a card box while you move it quickly from under him and catch him.  He also enjoys jumping from the box.  I kid you not this will keep him entertained for a good hour.

I only have videos of this, i'll take pics and upload at a later date.

Smoothie Making

I believe in having my babe participate actively with anything he can.  When we make smoothies, he's the one that puts everything in (with mamas help of course) and he presses the buttons to make it blend.  He actually gets really upset if he doesn't get to help.  He also tends to eat the fruit as I prep.

Feed the Turtle (or any animal really)

Ezykiel actually helps to feed all the animals, we have two dogs, one cat and a turtle...well tortoise to be accurate.  Ezykiel's favorite animal to feed is obviously the turtle. Every morning the very first thing he does is go into the back yard, pick the red hibiscus from the bush (turtles fave,) runs it over to the turtles corner of the yard and throws them in his enclosure.

Spray Bottle Play

This one I got from another lovely mama but all I did was fill a couple of empty spray bottles with water and we had a water fight! Lots of fun and it helps babe further develop motor skills to be able to spray it at a target (you.)

Treasure Hunt

I actually didn't come up with this one either. For some reason there were a bunch of bottle caps in the dirt patch in our yard and Ezykiel discovered on his own how to dig them out.  He quickly mastered using his little hand shovel and when he's able to get them all out, I put them back for him to play again the next day.


Ezykiel has been going through a sticker phase and loves everything about them.  He particularly likes to stick the stickers on his stomach and face.  Stickers entertain him for at least a good half hour.


We use an old wipes container and fill it with old gift cards.  Ezykiel really loves to dump them out and stick them back in through the slot.  I play store with him with this and when he puts one in all the way he says cha-ching!  (other good ideas to fill the container with is really anything with textures, old fabrics, velcro, the possibilities are endless!)

Futon Fortress

We have tons of fun playing around in the futon.  Whether he's falling all over it or crawling through it, this is another one where the possiblities are endless.

Also only have videos of this, will take pictures and upload at a later date.

Car Wash

My child loves to help wash the car.  Everything about it from scrubbing to rinsing and even drying, he's there every step of the way.


Like I said earlier, I prefer to have Ezykiel always involved in everyday activities.  My grandfather (Ezykiel's great-grandfather) is usually the one to do the recycling in the house.  Ezykiel helps by sorting the glass and cans into separate buckets and smashing the cans to donate.

Mail Time

Our mailbox isn't located on our driveway but rather two streets over since we live in an association.  Ezykiel holds the keys the entire way and now knows how to stick the key in and turn it to get the mail out.  Very very helpful little babe.

Magnets and Tupperware

Both are my saving grace while I try to cook.  I ordered a few magnets that had pictures from instagram on them.  He loves to take them off and put them back on and see whose pictures he's playing with.  Also our tupperware is on the ground level shelves and free game for him, its not latched with baby locks.  He can take them out as he pleases.  Currently he likes to put small objects (such as ice) in cups and shake them around.

Arts and Crafts

Which usually for us means coloring on paper with pens and crayons.  He's finally old enough to enjoy scribbling without having the desire to eat the pens.


This may just be a my kid thing but he loves to help sweep, vaccum or anything of the sort.