Friday, October 21, 2016

OBX wedding week!

We just got back from a week in the Outer Banks for my brothers wedding. Does anyone else get the post vacation blues? Or is it just me? Whenever a vacation is over, I ended up crying. It's quick and passes, but I'm always sad when it ends. It's worse now that I have Charlotte. I spent a week relaxing, and watching her little face full of joy and happiness, I got to have extra time to cuddle and play, a luxury I don't have working two jobs. But, I always wonder, will she even remember these times? Luckily I take a lot of pictures and am working to blog more frequently so we both can remember our adventures, so this is for you my baby girl. 

Dear Charlotte, 

We went on first big trip together! I was scared to make the drive alone, but you were such a trooper, and we made it both ways safe and sound. 

We went to the beach EVERY day. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Jumping waves and watching the fiddler crabs scurry around were your favorite activities. We also made multiple sand castles, played catch on the beach, blew bubbles, turned you into a mermaid, and hunted every day for shells and other fun beach Finds! We saw horse shoe crabs and Dolphins. We even rode in the back of the truck down the beach in search of wild ponies, and although we didn't see any you squeezed with joy every bump we ran over. 

We went out to dinner one night, just you and me. You ordered your favorite - Mac and cheese. You did a great job, and insisted on taking my credit card to hand it to the waitress yourself. 

We baked! We made cookies, and hot diggity dogs! You did most of the work and proclaimed you were a "cooker girl". 

We spent a lot of time with our family, GG and Mr Rob, Uncle Jason and Aunt Liz and your cousin Holden and Aunt Jenna and Uncle Andrew. 

We played games, and did puzzles, we swam in the pool and you, loved the big house! Your favorite thing about the house was the mini frogs! They were everywhere. You caught so so many of them, and even saved some from the pool. You collected them in a cup several mornings in a row and took them to the house Uncle Jason was staying at and delicately put them on the trees "because frogs like trees".

You went to your first wedding! You wanted to look like a princess and requested to wear your Rapunzel dress and crown, you were so beautiful! You ate Mac and cheese and tried a hush puppy, which you loved! You played with the other kids at the wedding, and had a lot of fun with them. 

Your face lit up all week, with every wave, frog, and hug. Never lose the joy you find in the small things. 

I love you forever and a day, 








Friday, September 23, 2016

Charlotte turned 4!

It's been awhile since I have updated, but we've been busy. If you've been following along since day one you must know that already. The best place to follow us now is Instagram! I seem to post our adventures there the most. Search #lifewithcharlotte or username: jessicaandlotte 

On to the post! I wanted to post Charlotte's birthday, as we reached another milestone and had a blast together! Charlotte turned 4 this summer, and she still loves Frozen and asked for a Frozen movie party. Well as usual, I set about to make her dreams come true. I rented a movie theater brought the frozen DVD for everyone to watch on the big screen! Charlotte loved it, we had popcorn and cake, played and sang along and danced. 

We also spent a day at Hammerman beach with friends, and on her actual birthday she dressed herself up, and wanted to go to target to spend her birthday money! She got a doll and a stuffed puppy! 

At four years old, she is still very talkative. She loves talking, about everything and anything. She loves frozen and all things princess. She loves to dress up, only likes to wear dresses now, which at times can be a fight. She weighs almost 30lbs, which is hard to believe, she was just a tiny 5lb peanut when she was born! She is kind and caring, sometimes funny. She is very cautious. She is not the first one to jump in to do something, she takes her time, and gets nervous, but will ask for help and keep trying! She finished her first dance class and said it was fun, but prefers soccer. She is still my everything! 

Every birthday is bittersweet for me. I miss the sweet smell of a baby and long to hold her in my arms and rock her the way I used too, to always keep her safe. But watching her grow and change and learn everyday is such a joy and a privilege. I am always so proud of her, and so grateful that I was chosen to be her mommy. I hope she always knows how special she really is, how much she means to me, and that everything I do, I do for her. 

Blowing out her candles! 

Birthday girl all dressed up! 

We all got glow sticks to use in the theater! 



Beach Trip!

So here's something tough about being a single First, I work two jobs, and not because it's fun, but because I need the money. So I don't have a lot of extra cash laying around for a vacation. Second, when this amazing baby girl was in my tummy, I had big dreams of all the trips we'd take as a family. But obviously that didn't work out. So it's just me and her, and well sometimes that's hard. It's hard to always be on and do everything myself. But even when it's just us two, it's still always amazing. Just different, and sometimes that brings up some feels. 

The good news?! I have Ana amazing family. This was the second year we were able to stay with my mom and Rob at his condo (free of charge!!). It was an amazing trip! The best part of having family around is that Charlotte had her cousin to play with, I had other adults to speak too, and my own mom to make me pancakes :) 

We went to the beach and/or the pool everyday. I finally got a tan. We built a sandcastle, dug for sand crabs and jumped waves with GG. We had a fun night out at the boardwalk, French fries and rides and games! We had a fun morning on the boardwalk too where we rented a surrey and road up and down the boards! We even flew a kite on the beach. I am so lucky and thankful to have been able to create these memories for Charlotte and myself. I look forward to this every year! 


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Elf on the shelf

I, like I'm sure everyone who is reading this, has undoubtably seen the elf on the shelf pictures all over the interwebs. Charlotte is 3.5 this holiday season so I thought she'd get a kick out of it! Prior to starting it out, I posted in a moms group I'm in "elf on the shelf, yay or nay?" And received mixed reviews. I figured, why not? Let's try this thing out! 

To start, I feel like the Elf is a little pricey. But what are you going to do? I added a little skirt for our elf, because obvi. She comes nicely packaged with the book, which was important for us, as we didn't know all the rules. 

The first thing the book instructs you to do is make the Elf. What did Charlotte choose? Elsa. Of course she chose Elsa. Other rules include, no on can touch the elf or she loses her magic, she can't talk back, but likes of you talk to her so she can report to Santa every night. 

Well, coming up with ideas wasn't too difficult, because Pinterest. But existing them was a different story. Also, sometimes I'd get ready for bed, and be excited about finally sleeping and then forget the stupid elf and have to get out of bed and come u with something fun! 

The elf is not poseable. Pinterest lies. And her hands were sewn together, so I did cut them at some point. A lot of people I know where more clever than I and added some small wires into the arms/legs to make the elf more flexible. This single mom does not have time for that. 

Overall Charlotte really enjoyed having Elsa around. It actually helped us in the mornings getting ready for school/work, because it gave her motivation to get moving and get downstairs to find Elsa, so that was a plus. 

Honestly, as annoying as it was, it was also incredibly fun to watch her little face light up! I'd do it all over again, and now have to next year, because she's already talking about it haha! Here's the kicker though...I LOST the damn elf. She's somewhere in the house, but not sure where? I moved her and then had to set up a giant castle, and have no idea where I placed her...oops, but I figure I have a whole year to find her right? 

I'm sharing some of Charlotte's favorite elf mischief :) if you're on the fence about doing it, just go for it, nothing beats the look on her face in the mornings :) 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ice Skating!

So in an effort to post more regularly here  I am! I'm hoping to at least post the BIG things. And today, I felt like it was a big day for my kiddo! 

Ever since seeing Frozen, she's been asking and begging to go ice skating.  Last winter she was 2.5 and I just didn't think she was ready, but I figured it would be worth a shot this year! Well, I did what any good, terrible ice skating mom would do, I reached out on social media for help from you guys! Luckily my friend Stephanie, or Neph, as Charlotte lovingly calls her, answered my call for help (luckily lots of others did as well, as I foresee a lot more ice skating in our future)! She happened to have her nieces/nephews in twin this weekend, so we planned an outing! 

I wanted outdoor skating so we hit up Glen Burnie ice rink. It was small, but not tiny. It was a little wet thanks to the glorious sun we had today. I felt their prices were reasonable, and, the young guy behind the counter was so sweet and let Charlotte skate for free and free skate rentals because it was her FIRST time, and she was just so excited and smiley! 

One of the good things about this place is they had tiny size skates, starting at toddler 7, which is her size! Another place I looked at started at size 9, how bummed out would we have been had we showed up and they didn't have her size?! We got the double blade skates, which was a huge help. 

She loved putting them, and walking to the rink in them. Charlotte is a very cautious young lady, she doesn't jump right into things, she watches and then does, and doesn't always go all in, so I was afraid she'd miss the experience. Also this was my first time in the ice in YEARS so I told her I wouldn't be able to skate with her at first, not until I got my bearings. I was afraid she'd throw one of her three anger tantrums about that, but she was happy to skate with Neph, until I was able to get situated. 

She took to it right away! At first only walking on the ice, but later was learning to glide :) they had little buckets the kids could push around and that worked well too. She even wiggled her hips to learn to go backwards. At Glen Burnie, you pay to skate for 2 hours, she last 1.5 hours which was wayyyy longer than I expected. 

After skating we walked next door to food lion and got some mini cupcakes TREAT YO SELF! 

Everyday I am amazed and proud of this kiddo. I know I say it in every post, but seriously, how amazingly lucky did I get in being her mommy? I love her more than the whole world and am extremely proud of her for sticking to something she really wanted to do, and proud of her for listening to instructions from those around her to do it well and learn how. We will definitely be skating again this winter :) 

And yes, I am "that mom" that made her kid wear a helmet. #sorryimnotsorry 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to balance being a working mom

I'm so sick of seeing these articles EVERYWHERE. This one popped up today and drove me nuts. It's provides 10 tips, to balance work and mom life. I call shenanigans. Below are their "tips" and my comments, as well as a link to their article. Sorry for my rant. 

1. "Let go of the guilt" - IMPOSSIBLE. Absurd. Moms will always have guilt, working moms, SAHM, WAHM. All of them. This article suggests that to let go of it, focus on what you're contributing, extra money for important educational classes, college, fun things etc. oh and to be happy with your "choice". Let me be clear, I'm working to SURVIVE (and some days barely making it) also, if I had a "choice" believe me I wouldn't be busting my ass working two jobs. 

2. "Find quality childcare" - obviously the writer of this article doesn't live in Maryland, if so, pretty sure they'd understand that the better the quality the higher the price tag, and even the shittiest of daycares cost about a mortgage payment sooooo 

3. "Make the mornings easier" - no matter the amount of prep work I do the night before (like the article suggests) mornings are always hectic. Have you tried to apply mascara with a toddler sitting on your lap screaming about not wanting to go to school? Have you ever tried to reason with a 3 year old about why they need to wear a coat in 30° weather, and wrangle them into it?! Because I have. And frankly it should be an Olympic sport. 

4. "Create a family calendar" - ok, this is important. 

5. "Communicate with your employer" - I'm not sure where the author of this article works, but I've never had an employer be like, oh you miss your kid? Ok cool take the afternoon off. It basically always involves me requesting PTO in advance. And calling out because my kiddos sick? Not enjoyable. 

6. "Stay connected during the day" - ok, maybe this is easier at some jobs, but let me be clear, if I get to shovel food into my mouth before 2 pm at my desk while answering phone calls and emails, it's a good day, so honestly I don't have time to FaceTime/Skype/wtc with my kiddo during the day, because working. 

7. "Limit distractions and time wasters" - this one discusses not talking with coworkers, not taking long lunches, etc. again, not sure what the author of this article does, but obviously it's not a stressful job, because sometimes I NEED to process the tragic events of the day, or something gut wrenching a client tells me. For my own sanity. Also, see above, I haven't had a lunch break in a year ha! 

8. Create special family activities - ok this one I agree with. People say to me all the time, "wow you guys do so much stuff!" Yea. I do. Because between two jobs and shared custody, we have limited time together, so I like to make the most of it 

9. Spend time with your partner - don't have one of these, so I guess I can cross it off the list. The article did a great job of reminding me "this is the number one person by your side", thanks for the reminder that I'm alone in this Parents Magazine. Much appreciated. 

10. Create moments for yourself - IF ONE MORE PERSON SUGGESTS A FUCKING SPA DAY IM GOING TO LOSE IT! Yes, a spa day would be GREAT, but I refer you back to point number one, I'm working to survive. Who has the money for a spa day. I haven't had a haircut in over a year! A YEAR! If I had the money or time for a spa day, believe me, I'd have one. But if I can't find the time to get a haircut, how do you expect me to have a spa day? 

Here's the recap: being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is really hard, being a working single mom is really really hard. Is it any harder than being a stay at home mom? I have no idea because I'm not one. I might be? But it also might be easier in some ways. Who knows. What I do know, is that being a mom, while really really hard is FUCKING AMAZING! I am an incredibly fortune person to be in the position I am in. Seriously, have you seen or met my kid? She's amazing. It's been a lot of hard work these three years, but I'm proud of the little person she has become, and proud of the working mom I am, proud of the hard work I've put in that has contributed to her being so amazing. I love being a mom. 

Here's my tips. 

1. It's ok to feel guilty, don't stop doing it - yea it makes you feel crappy sometimes, but it's how we know we are human, it's how we know we are hard working, it's how we know we are doing a good job. If you never felt guilty, you probably only care about yourself, and that's stupid. 

2. Sometimes mornings will suck. Kids won't want to wear socks. Or coats. Keep a kit kat or diet coke in your purse. (For yourself, not them)

3. Stop reading stupid internet articles. Even if they pop up in your newsfeed. Unless it's a link to my blog, than You'll be happy you read it

4. Do whatever you want. Most people are doing a great job and don't even know it (Sometimes even I forget, then Someone reminds me and I'm like oh yeah I AM an awesome mom) so, you're already likely doing a good job, and doing what works for you, so just keep doing it. 

That's it. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Where have we been?!

The question should be where haven't we been! I'm terrible at updating. I know! But we have been so busy! Everyday I have with this little one, is such a gift. It's cheesy I know but true. 

She's cracking me up lately, she's almost three and is constantly talking, she loves to make up songs. She made one up about "big cookies" for her birthday party, which is her latest obsession. She is so excited for her party. 

Watching her grow has been such a joy, but sometimes I am often overcome with sadness, when did my baby get so big and so grown up, time really does fly, I sometimes think I'm strange when I pick up a toy she no longer plays with, or a onesie whe no longer wears and then cry a little. I can't be the only one right?! It's hard to watch our babies become big kids. 

For now I am enjoying every moment we have together. She's amazing. I always say I hope she does great things one day, but truth be told she's already done great things, she's changed my life completely. 

Here's to you my peanut :)