Seeing Myself Through My Daughter’s Eyes

Seeing Myself Through My Daughter's Eyes

This past weekend I headed up to Temecula, a short 45 minutes north of San Diego, to attend Bloggy Boot Camp with the SITS Girls. While I learned a lot about the business side of blogging, networking, etc., I also learned far more beyond blogging.

In addition to the great tidbits about the latest social media platforms (::cough, cough:: SnapChat?? No, maybe it’s Periscope…), Tiffany Romero of the SITS Girls shared ways to simply be a better person.

Now I’m totally going to paraphrase this because I’m no good at exact quotes but when Tiffany suggested that we stop and think of our daughters in our shoes. Then look at what our daughters are doing and tell them what they need to do – more sleep, less work, exercise and eat right, never give up – basically giving myself the advice I would give my daugther should she be in my shoes. And this opened my eyes a bit more to how I’m living my life.

After Women Get Social last year, also put on by the SITS Girls, I had taken away quite a bit that I actually put into action. I made office hours, I hired a Virtual Assistant. Heck… I even hired my house keeper back after a long break without her (and my friends thank me every time they come over and have to use our guest bathroom that is also my son’s bathroom). But there were a few things I hadn’t been doing and now I need to start working on weaving those into my life.

I also want to start considering what my daughters see when they watch me. I want to be more cognizant and aware of how I’m living my life and make sure that I’m living the life I want to live and being the person I want to be. But I also want to portray that to my daughters So that instead of just a frazzled, crazy woman who’s over-extended herself in an effort to do everything, they’re seeing a dedicated, hard working woman who loves to support those around her.

I have stopped saying negative things about my appearance and myself in front of her. When I weigh myself in the morning I smile even when I want to cry. And when I’m trying on clothes I make sure to critique the fit of the clothes, not the look of my body in the clothes. Because she’s watching… she’s watching everything.

And it’s only a matter of time until she starts to look at herself in that mirror. It’s only a matter of time until she’s over-extending and wondering why she feels like she’s the only one drowning. Until she realizes that she’s not alone. And it’s ok to feel that way.

Oh, and the photo above? I had my daughter take it. I’m going to have her take a lot more photos of me too…

Be the Change You Wish To See with Community Action

About a year and a half ago I received a flyer on my door step. Other community members were meeting up together to see if they could receive the proper approval to put in a community garden on a plot of land in our neighborhood. Seeing that I had just started my own garden bed I was very interested in hearing what their plans were and what needed to be done to take the right steps forward.

Having a community garden is not only something that’s wonderful for the person who owns a bed but for the community as a whole. It takes a deserted piece of land and brings beauty. It takes a community of individuals and creates a family. I headed out to that first meeting not knowing what to expect. But over the next few months I found myself as a member of the Community Garden Steering Committee and an active member in my community as well.

Be the Change You Wish To See

[Read more…]

Case of the Mondays

Do you ever have a day that just, well, sucks?

That was totally me this Monday. I don’t know what was going on but on Monday the universe hated me. Sure, I tried to make the best of it and moved forward but I’m still feeling the impact and not in a good way.

Monday started out like any other day. Woke up to my son rubbing my arm and my daughter slapping my chest asking to nurse. We got up, I made coffee and fixed breakfast, and logged in online to check email, facebook, work stuff, etc while the kids watched Curious George.

And what do I see as soon as I open my email? An email notifying me that an order I placed online was cancelled due to an item being out of stock. Why in the heck would an online retailer, in this internet-crazed world, not be able to update their site with the correct availability BEFORE emailing a great deal? When you email something to your subscribers you want them to buy, right?

So I just left it at that and won’t be returning to purchase the item when it’s in stock. 

Then there was a last minute change to our planned playdate due to the weather and I had to deal with an upset 3 year old and try to explain why we couldn’t go play. That was easily resolved when I made other plans with another mama friend. 

Of course, as I’m trying to convince my son that it’s not the end of the world and we’d be going to the park at the beach instead, my egg cups burned. Who wants burnt eggs for breakfast? Not my picky eaters!

Three for three and it wasn’t even 8am. 

Then as we’re headed out the door to make it to our new playdate my daughter decides it’d be a great time to put her shoe in the toilet. It was dirty and needed a bath, right?

We finally got into the car, fed, dressed (minus the soggy shoe), and ready for fun when my cell phone started acting up. Now this isn’t the first time my stupid phone started going on the fritz. But since I wasn’t familiar with getting to the park we were headed to I desperately needed the Maps app to work. And work correctly.

When you need technology it just isn’t there for you, right? But I figured it out and made it to the park.

But we made the most of our day and enjoyed the beautiful weather at the beach. It was overcast, but warm, and the kids had a blast in the sand and water. They shared toys, snacks, and I shared a moment of peace with the other mamas as our kids happily played in front of us.

The worst part about my day, though? The fact that I gained 3lbs and was over my starting weight from two weeks ago. How in the heck did that happen? Oh, did I mention I was back on Weight Watchers again? I’ll have to leave the weight loss for another post.

So even though the day started out like crap it wasn’t as bad as it seemed as I was going through it.But I think it created a chain reaction. Needles to say, I can’t wait for this week to be over! Luckily I’ll end my week with Mamafest and Legoland. Good friends and family time. Perfection.

Have you ever had a case of the Mondays? 

Is it Time to Break Up?


When do you know it’s time to break up with a friend? 

I think many of us have been there before. For one reason or another we grow apart from those we once called friends. Lack of common interest, our lives and kids and husbands get in the way, or there’s a falling out. The relationship becomes one-sided and you feel like you’re just trying too hard without any reciprocity.

I haven’t had much experience with breaking up with people. Boyfriends and friends alike.

I’ve either moved away, gotten another job, etc. It was an easy separation that required no further action. But I’ve always left doors open for reconnection in the future. However after feeling like a friend just isn’t interested anymore, I think I need to do something further.

I’ve been left out, cancelled on, and ignored. But as soon as I forgive and forget I feel like I get sucked in just to get hurt all over again. And admittedly shed a few tears. I thought this was all left back in high school?

So I’m asking now, how do you break up with a friend?

Talking It Out
In the past I’ve had great luck approaching a friend and talking everything out. Sure, it was awkward as heck but I just had to remember that the other person might not even realize something’s going on. So unless the issues are discussed, the real problem might just lie with the fact that I was over-analyzing everything.

However sometimes talking it out can lead to even more gaps in the relationship. The friend didn’t understand where the feelings were coming from or they just didn’t want to make more of an effort in the friendship for whatever reason. So if this doesn’t mend things, it might be time to take more action. Or take no action at all. 

Avoiding Communication
So we’ve tried to talk it out and things just didn’t work. What do we do next? The next step might just be to avoid all communication. The friend might be doing the same thing. Happy Hour plans are no longer made, invitations to parties are forgotten, Facebook statuses and blog posts are ignored.

But this just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. Discuss together and move on, right? Talk about it, bring up the issues, and come to a mutual and mature decision.

Cutting Out Completely
So talking it out didn’t work and avoiding communication just isn’t the key. Now we have to move forward and face the facts. Both sides aren’t willing to put the effort needed to continue the relationship so it’s time to cut ties completely.

Of course all of this can be done in a civil, respectful fashion. If mutual friends are involved then maybe the relationship gets bumped from friendship to acquaintance. It’s not that bad, right? And the sheer fact that we meet so many people in our lives means that we have to realize that not every friendship will last and stay strong. And sometimes some friendships are only meant to teach us certain things. The friendships that really matter are the one’s that will stick.

So what do you do when a friendship has fallen apart and you just need to end things? 

Disclaimer: If you’re reading this blog post, this post isn’t about you. I’ve already discussed the issues at hand with said friend and we’re working things out for a mutual break.

Preschool and Potty Training

Ever since my son turned 3 I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to label him as. He’s not quite a toddler but isn’t in preschool. Yet. He starts in the fall but is more than ready right now. He’s social, loves to read and learn, and is obsessed with the idea of going to school “like a big boy.”

But since he has to be potty trained before he can go, we’re doing what we can at home to pique his interest. Since we’ve gone over this hump before I’m dreading starting again even more. But I know that if I just jump in as soon as he starts showing more interest then he’ll pick it up right away. He understands the concepts; he just doesn’t want to lose the control.

But once he’s potty trained what’s next? Preschool, growing up, lots of change.

This past weekend we went to an inflatable slide/jumpy place called Inflatable World. My son had been begging us to take him and invite his cousin to join us for weeks and finally I gave in. Most of the slides seemed a bit too big for him so he stuck with smaller jumpy areas that he seemed more comfortable with. But then he decided he wanted to go branch out and try a slide out.

With a little help from his aunt he got up the wall and after a bit more encouragement and maybe a little shove he went down the slide. Once he was down he was all smiles. But he did make it clear that he did NOT want to go on the slide again. He tried. That’s all that mattered.

I don’t see myself as the bawling mother waving good bye to her baby on the first day of preschool. But maybe I will surprise myself and be overcome with emotions. I mean this happy, energetic, amazing boy was once a teeny newborn in my arms not able to do anything for himself.

Now I have to put my faith in complete strangers to help raise him and teach him. Its like I’m the one with the control issues now.

Its not that I’m afraid or apprehensive about leaving him at preschool either. I am looking forward to a few days a week with only one child. For some reason I have fantasies of days filled with cleaning and working without constantly being interrupted. And naptimes. Naptimes that don’t abruptly stop when one or the other child wakes up or has to be put down.

I know, I know… total fantasies.

Preschool is right around the corner. Potty training is inevitable. And eventually both of my children will be taught by people other than myself and my family. It’ll be hard to get used to but it’s something that’s coming up quite soon.

Prayers and Good Thoughts Needed… and some Chocolate Pie

When I’m happy I eat. When I’m sad I eat. When I’m upset I eat. When I’m mad I eat. See a pattern here? For the most part I’ve been able to curb this addiction but lately I am thinking about food all the time. My grandma is in the hospital. Has been since last Thursday.

Congestive heart failure, renal failure and pneumonia.

Not a fun trio. For the most part she seems herself although she’s hating the whole hospital thing. And if she can get her oxygen levels up and breathe on her own again she might just be able to work on everything else going on.

But for now she waits. And waits.

So we wait with her. I find other family members willing to watch the kids while I visit. The visits aren’t all that exciting and for the most part I just sit with my aunt, uncles and mom while reading a book. I haven’t read this much in a long time. But every once in a while I’m able to visit with her alone. And we chat. Small things, big things. It’s nice.

I haven’t really thought that it’s impacted me much but I think it is. The other day I went into the pantry, went into the fridge and checked out the freezer. Nothing sounded good. Nothing looked good. Ugh.

So I figured I’d check out a few of my recipe books and I grabbed one of my favorites, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours. And I happened to open it on a recipe for chocolate pie. With a chocolate shortbread crust. I already had some pie crust in the freezer so I grabbed that and let it thaw. Now I should have stopped right there. If I had time to thaw crust I had time to realize that this was just a bad plan all over.

I am losing weight, on the right track, just got over a 6-week weight loss challenge.Why sabotage these efforts? Because I could. 

So I made Dorie’s chocolate tart filling.

Added some diced macerated strawberries and waited for the mix to chill in the fridge. As it was chilling I baked up the pie crust and let it cool. Once it was cool I grabbed the chocolate/strawberry filling, poured it into the crust, and smoothed it all down. If I had any whipping cream in the house I probably would have whipped that up and layered it on as well. But lucky for me I didn’t. And I was out of chocolate.

Half of the pie was gone the next day. Oy…

So I ask for your prayers. No, not so that I stop eating. Only I can work on that. Prayers for my grandma. Prayers that she finds peace, gets better, makes it to her 60th high school reunion later this year. She says she’s ready but I know she wants to do just a bit more. Let her visit with her sister at least.

I thank you in advance for any positive thoughts or prayers you have to offer. I truly appreciate it!

Oh, and the pie was amazing.

I’ll have to make it again. And maybe isntead of strawberries I’ll throw in a swirl of peanut butter. Yum!

An Update to Our Potty Training Breakdown

So it’s been a little over a week since I went off about our potty training journey. And I really think that we’ve hit the worst of the worst. Since then E has only had 2 accidents with me. And one of them was totally my fault. We were at the zoo,  I saw him dancing around and didn’t take him to the potty right away since he said he didn’t have to go. Well… he didn’t WANT to go because he was with his friends looking at cool reptiles. Lesson learned. Again.

He’s filled up his sticker chart and was able to pick out his prize from Comic Con (he got a plush Woody and Buzz)! Way better than choosing a prize from Target although Daddy gave in and bought him two dinosaurs tonight while we were at Target. And while I thought we were a ways off from him completely turning around and getting back on track he’s even started TELLING me when he needs to go! Seriously. I will ask him if he needs to go and sometimes a few seconds or minutes later he will tell me he needs to go potty. This makes outings amazingly easy.

And the biggest thing I’m proud of is that he’s been working on trying to go poop on the potty more than once. He is starting to realize that sometimes things take time. And he’s starting to realize that his body will help him and let him know when he needs to go. He still isn’t back to his “regular” self but he’s starting to go poop on the potty every other or every third day. I hope we get him back to his every day routine since that seems to be best for all of us (he gets grumpy when he doesn’t go!).

All in all I am so proud of my boy. This potty training drives me crazy but I know that he was ready. I didn’t push him into this. Sure, he’s not yet 2 1/2 and he’s a boy but that doesn’t automatically mean he’s not ready to potty train. And now I know he’s one smart cookie who likes to push boundaries and see what I’ll put up with.

Comic Con 2011 – Fun Times Wearing A Baby and Carrying a Toddler

We had another wonderful year at Comic Con International. We went in with a plan and got to see everything we wanted to see. Now that’s success! We started off the morning by finding a great parking garage just a block from the convention center (only $12 for the day vs. the $20 a day signs everywhere else). Then we headed out to wait in line to get our Sunday passes.

We were greatly surprised by the number of people already waiting in line and weren’t expecting how long it was already. We passed my cousin and her family on the way to the end of the line but wanted to be courteous of the other people who got there earlier than us and we didn’t ask to sit in line with them. But when we got to the end of the line we almost went back to ask. Though the view from the end of the line wasn’t that bad 🙂 That’s San Diego for you!

Once we got our badges it was off to Hall H to wait in line for the Glee panel. My friend, Amanda, was already in line so we were able to sit with her in hopes of getting in to see the panel. Once the line started moving and we saw how many people there really were we were almost certain we wouldn’t get it. Especially when it got down to us being two queues from being let in to the hall and there being a break in the time it was taking for the line attendants to come get another queue.

But we were super lucky I guess. We got in! It was standing room only by the time we were let in but that was fine with us. E hung out with Daddy and enjoyed seeing all of the people while M slept for the first half. We got to listen to the panelists answer questions about the upcoming season and the changes they have in store for the cast of Glee (Curt’s boyfriend is sticking around!). Pretty exciting stuff!

After the Glee panel we headed off to the main exhibit floor to see what was going on at the different booths. We got stuck at one booth in particular. Lego may or may not have just dumped a whole ton of yellow bricks in the middle of the floor for the kids to play with. And that’s all E wanted to do the whole time we were there. So since we’re super cool parents and were basically there for him anyway (J went alone on Saturday) we sat down on the floor and built together. It was quite fun!

After we were done with exploring we decided to go out of the convention center in search for lunch. E was already asking for food so in order to avoid any meltdowns we stopped at the nearest place we found. . As soon as we crossed the street we saw two food trucks and made a b line for them. Luckily there were choices for all of our different tastes at both.

E had a yummy hot dog from Ms. Patty Melt. Sadly they were all out of ketchup but luckily E doesn’t eat any on his. They only take cash so J and I headed over to Super Q. OMG! Seriously the best BBQ pork sandwich I’ve had in a long time! I had the Super Q Pork Melt. It came with bbq pork, mac-n-cheese, sauteed onions and lots and lots of cheese on sourdough. I can still taste it and am already craving more! The sandwich was huge. Definitely more than enough for two. And it also came with a side of potato salad that was equally delicious (but you could get cole slaw or chips instead). Joseph decided on a duo of sliders. He got the beef and pork and seemed to enjoy them. He didn’t leave a crumb when he was done.

Once we got our food we headed across the street to a park to eat. E loved the location because he got to chase pigeons and stare at the water. We may have had to take him away from the water a few times because he looked like he was going to jump in! Once we were done we bribed E with the promise of going for ice cream at Ghiradelli’s if he left with us. And although the allure of running away and finding a new family was strong he decided to stick with us.

The walk to Ghiradelli’s was comical to say the least. Being the pushover, er, great Dad that J is, E got a vanilla cream soda with his hot dog. The soda was in a brown bottle that definitely didn’t look like a soda bottle. So every block or two there’d be a comment from a passerby (or someone sitting at the outside patio of a bar) that we were starting him young. What can I say! When he’s walking down the street trying to drink he doesn’t quite walk in a straight line. He even stopped every once in a while to sit on the side of the sidewalk whenever a ledge made itself available.

Once we got to Ghiradelli’s he was more interested in the cherry on top than the ice cream itself. That may have had something to do with the fact that he ate both mine and J’s sample Ghiradelli square before we got our ice cream. M enjoyed her fair share of whipped cream but didn’t quite care for the ice cream. I’m not sure if she really is my daughter… 😉 So after only eating 1/2 of our sundae (we split it) we packed it up and headed back to the car. Of course as soon as we left the table to go outside E announced that he would have preferred a cone. Oh well! We tried.

As soon as we got into the car and out of the parking garage he was fast asleep in the back seat (M had fallen asleep on the walk over to the car). He slept for a good 3 hours! There’s nothing like walking all around Downtown San Diego to get your toddler thoroughly exhausted.

Next year we plan on coming on Friday and Sunday but only going to Comic Con on Sunday. That way Friday we can just walk around Downtown San Diego looking for fun free stuff to do. Hopefully Suzette will post another 10 Things to Do Outside Comic-Con for next year so we can be sure and check out all of the cool things to do! We passed Ciro’s Pizza and were tempted to come check out the Cartoon Network takeover but just didn’t have the time (or energy) to do so. We’re looking forward do doing it all over again next year! Well.. if we don’t have any problems getting tickets 🙂

Last NASA Shuttle Launch

Today is a sad day in our household. I honestly never thought this day would come in my lifetime and hope that this isn’t really the end. Today is the last NASA space shuttle launch. So please tune in to watch this historic event! There is a possibility that due to weather it will be postponed. I’ll be watching with Ethan and Molly.

A good friend of mine, Helene, has written (in colaboration with a few others) a few tributes to this last launch. Check them out on GeekMom. She also has another cool project under wraps to come out soon so I’m sure I’ll be mentioning her in the future.

Playing Tourist {Seaport Village}

On Saturday this weekend we headed over to Office Depot to pick up a scanner. The Office Depot we first went to was out of stock so we asked if they’d check stock at the Downtown location. We were in luck. They had one! Now you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m talking about a scanner when the title of this post clearly states that it should be about Seaport Village. You’re right. But I’m getting to WHY we went to Seaport Village.

My dear two year old decided that we were going downtown not to pick up a scanner. No, he thought we were going there to see boats. Sadly for him he was wrong. And we really were just picking up a scanner. It was late, his sister was getting very tired and Mommy and Daddy just wanted to sit down and relax.

So I made a promise. If he was a good boy that night we’d go see boats the next day. And low and behold he was a good boy all the way through bedtime. So the next morning we waited for Molly to take her first nap and then headed out to see boats. We didn’t quite know where we were going but I knew I wanted to end up by the Star of India or the Midway. So we decided on parking at Seaport Village and taking it from there.

As soon as we walked in through the little shops E found the water. In a small pond form. With ducks. He was ecstatic! And as an added bonus there were baby ducklings too. When we turned to another area of the pond there was another duck mama and her set of ducklings as well! Two sets of mamas and ducklings. that has to be a good sign of a great day.

E just kept asking if he could “pet them” and we told him if he could reach the mama duck then he could definitely try. It didn’t happen. Mama was watching over her ducklings swimming to the side of the small stream through a strong current.

Then we headed towards the water. The real water. And E loved what he saw. Sail boats and speed boats were going by and he got to watch them. For as long as he wanted to. We gave him full reign for our outing and let him choose when he wanted to stay and when he wanted to move onto the next spot.

He quickly found more water. And this time at a spot where he could actually touch it. He asked me to roll up his sleeves and got his little hands in there so quickly. He loved pointing out all of the monies to me. But he listened and only used his fingers to play with the water. His wrists were hardly wet by the time he decided to move on.

See? He does listen sometimes! Just dipping his fingers 🙂

E asked Daddy to help him look farther out and just gazed around for a bit before he decided he wanted to see some big boats.

But then he saw the telescope (is that what these are? I’m just assuming). And quickly wanted to be lifted up again to check it out. Sadly we had no change on us. So he just pretended. And told us he was a pirate. What an imagination already!

Then he saw a small pier and asked Daddy to take him out to see if he could find any fish or birds out in the water.

As we got to the edge of Seaport Village we continued along the harbor and started to see the larger boats. In the background of these boats you see the USS Midway. This ship is now actually a museum. We plan on making it a day trip in the near future. I really think E will like it. He already started pointing out the airplanes and helicopters on the deck before we even got close to the ship.

This is when E started to get tired. We were pushing naptime up in hopes that we could get some fun in before getting back home to do housework and yardwork. He enjoyed having Daddy carry him.

My sweet boy definitely loves his father! Since we knew we were getting to the end of our trip we decided to get lunch before heading back to the car. We stopped by Anthony’s Fishette and grabbed some yummy fish sandwiches. Joseph had the original fish sandwich and I had the salmon sandwich. Oh yum! That salmon sandwich is something I had when I was pregnant with E on a regular basis (there was a fishette close to my work at the time that shut its doors by the time I was pregnant with M). It hit all the right spots 🙂

E munched on french fries and had a few of my black beans. He even had a taste of each of our sandwiches. M enjoyed the crust of my sandwich. She really got mad when we were leaving and she couldn’t have any more bread. That little one really likes food she can’t have already!

She was demanding more!

By the time we got back to Seaport Village we had worked up a little more room in our stomach. And E had a bit more energy so we grabbed our Entertainment book and tore out a coupon for Ben & Jerry’s. We enjoyed waffle cones. E and I shared. We both didn’t need a whole one. M even got some in the end. She finished off the waffle cone!

If you are by a Ben & Jerry’s and they have the coconut seven layer bar ice cream flavor available try it! It was amazing! And don’t try to take the end of a waffle cone away from M. She gets pretty upset when food is taken from her. Even if it is a choking hazard.

All in all we had a fabulous day. It was low key, inexpensive (about $30 for the whole day including parking) and we got to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery that makes our city a tourist destination. I’m hoping to do a lot more “tourist trips” with the family this summer. Being a tourist in your own city is pretty darn fun!

And I apologize for the lack of M pictures. She slept in the Ergo on me or rested in the stroller the whole time. She leads a very chill life 😉

© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at