How Has Parenthood Reshaped Me?

There are so many reasons I love Target and always have, especially when they offered to sponsor this very post and start a discussion on how parenthood changes us in ways that make us feel like we are normal and belong. You can click HERE to shop Target baby, but let’s be real… as you’re reading this, you’re already standing in your doorway and throwing kids in the back seat for your very own Target adventure. No reason to be embarrassed, so am I. If I see you there, let’s do that “stay strong momma” or “I feel you sister” head nod as we cross paths with our chorus of screaming babies!

When I analyze my life after having children, it makes me realize that, ironically, I have never been more myself. I say ironically, because I have had literally zero time for myself, zero nights of good sleep, zero trips to the bathroom alone, zero time to commit to music which is what I love the most in the world, and still I feel like I have never been more me than I am right now, and I will tell you why.

 Motherhood has shaken and turned my world upside down, reshaping me deeply and re-centering my priorities. In a situation where I would have been judgmental and lay blame, I now literally imagine myself in the other person’s shoes, I try to picture their story, what may have brought them to this point. I now understand my parents better now better than I could have understood them when I was younger, I am more patient and loving with them because I can now finally understand all sacrifices they have made for me all my life. I now prefer to be kind to people, it feels so much better than ignoring them or being indifferent. To myself, I now give grace and a greater sense of self-worth because I want to be a healthy example of self-love and confidence to my two little girls. I want them to grow up with no doubts that they are strong, that they are powerful and that they can be whatever they dream or imagine they can become.

 I attribute all the good changes and this Maya 2.0 version 100% to my children. This is not a result of my own work. I did not develop these traits alone, I believe that Maya 2.0 is a direct product of my children and their presence in my life.

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Things are not always cupcakes and rainbows by any stretch of the imagination. Some days I just to step out of the room where both my children are screaming, crying and misbehaving in, because I feel like I am about to lose control over my “keeping it together” emotions and break in front of them. I take a couple of minutes to come back to reality, and try understanding that they don’t know better 90% of the time, and that rough days will happen. Some mornings I cry because I only got 3 hours of sleep, and one of them spilt my coffee and I feel completely alone and defeated, but these moments are the reason we all are reshaped after becoming parents. It is within the depth of each and every hardship that we develop a resilience that cannot be taken away and only made stronger. You develop extra Superwoman skills; you become more aware, creative, even stronger, and you exercise your compassion and your ability to adapt todifficult circumstances.

You understand that they need YOU not only to survive, but to shape them into being respectful, successful, kind and compassionate people. There are no “participation trophies” for motherhood, your children are your trophies to mold and devote yourself to. It sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?

For me, that pressure is overwhelming to say the least. The weight of responsibility for other lives aside from your own can be crippling, but we do not have the choice to let it become a burden. Ever. That is why we have to be strong enough to give ourselves grace. The moment we understand that we cannot be the perfect parents and that such a thing does not exist, we are free to live and flourish in the fun and light sides of being a parent and who knows, even find enjoyment in the small moments even if they are a bit chaotic. I remember how hard it was when my second daughter was born and was immediately hit with colic. It was only the second week and I was just trying to survive being a mom of 2 under 1 and both started girls crying at. the. same. time. and. would’t. stop. Here is a clip for your enjoyment:

I started panicking, I was so scared. I was on my own with them for the first time and felt so helpless and alone, but in what felt like a supernatural moment, I burst out laughing because I felt in my heart that I would miss this one day and that I could handle things just fine. Every experience I had until that point in my life prepared me to handle that very situation. So here I am… exactly 1 year after that clip. I am happy, I am alive, I am SO TIRED, but I am doing the best I can every single day and enjoying every single moment of this amazing ride.

*Target runs look a little bit different now, but they burn more calories: toddler won’t go in cart, 2 nursing trips to the fitting room, a few extra dollars spent here, a couple tantrums there, but every trip is definitely worth it for my own sanity!!!!

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So yes, parenthood is probably the biggest change a person or a couple will EVER go through. It transforms and modifies everything about you, but I will tell you something that I know with absolute and unwavering certainty: these challenges refine you and make you become the best version of yourself because motherhood requires and pulls out the absolute best in you. Ok, now I am getting baby fever (and Target fever!), so let me go make some food and distract myself from the fact that I think 10 more children. K… bye!

Spring Bed Makeover With The Company Store

Hiiiii Guys!!

I am SO EXCITED to share my spring bed makeover with The Company Store with you all, because for the first time in my life I have Y E L L O W bedding, YES, my favorite color of all time is now all over my bed and I love it!

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Tim and I have really been trying to be declutter our house (it’s a HUGE project, BUT… we have made a lot of progress!) so we only have 2 sets of sheets, both by The Company Store: a white cotton set and this beautiful yellow linen set. We do not need any more at the moment, as we alternate between the two of them.

The Comfort Wash Solid Linen Sheet Set we chose is breathable, comfortable and perfectly light for spring/summer. I love the feel of it, and how simply gorgeous it looks when displayed on our bed! The set is completed with the duvet cover and the shams, simply click on the items’ names to check them out 🙂

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These are the decorative pillows we chose, because we have a desert/rustic/neutral theme in our bedroom. These pillows cases are SO incredibly well made and are so beautiful. You can find them by clicking here & here

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Our Cloud Blanket feels so soft and is very cozy for when I lay in bed with my ukulele while Tim takes the girls on a walk!

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This little clingy/sweet/perfect little baby approves this message, since she starts the night off in her crib next to my bed, and next thing you know she’s all up in my business trying to snatch my linen covers! Can’t blame her, they sure are my favorite!!

You can visit The Company Store’s website by clicking here. There is so much on sale, including my sheets and duvet cover. They are such a joy to partner with, are so kind and truly have the best bedding I have ever owned!

Keeping It Cozy with The Company Store

This year we finally took the plunge and upgraded our bed to a king size, because #KIDS! We love co-sleeping because it gives us a little bit of extra sleep, and at this point we will take ANY extra 5 minutes we possibly can!

We had no idea what bedding to purchase, because truthfully all I’ve ever purchased was off Amazon, or at a department store and I always had to repurchase after a few months, because everything got old very quickly.

Thankfully this time we got all of our bedding from The Company Store, and I will explain in detail why we are smitten and enjoying it so much!

PS: Everything I purchased is now on sale, so this is a great time to scoop up the items you need 🙂

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I am going to start with our bed itself. We were looking for a bed frame that we loved enough to commit to for a while, and the one I fell in love with was WAY out of our budget. My sweet husband is so handy and loves wood work, so guess what? He designed our bed, and built it in our basement, how cool is that? And for 1/6 of the price! So our bed is very special to us, and is the biggest thing he has ever built… he is pretty proud!

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We started off by purchasing a mattress pad, because the girls sleep with us (see that crib there in the picture? It’s only used for naps during the day #facepalm) and we do not want any surprises to stain our new mattress. We purchased the 400 Thread Count Waterproof Cotton Top Mattress Pad. I have tested it and it works, and I am kind of embarrassed to tell you how, but oh well hahaha! Last Thursday I hid in my bedroom when my husband got home, and he brought me a tray of sushi. I needed a few minutes of alone time, so that was the perfect opportunity. Zoey bursted into my room, and when I tried to hide the sushi (because she can’t have it yet, she is too young, not that I didn’t want to share… 😉 ) I spilled the bowl of soy sauce all over my white sheets, and it leaked through. I soaked the sheets in laundry detergent and they were brand new in about 10 minutes, and all I had to do with the mattress pad was wipe up the sauce. I was speechless with how wonderful this pad is!

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Onto the sheets we go!

I like the feel of cotton sheets, so we chose the Organic Cotton Jersey Fitted Sheet, and I cannot say enough good things about it. It is so so soft and washes SO WELL!

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Tim is so picky about pillows, so we opted to purchase 2 different sets.

For me, I chose the Lacrosse LoftAire Hypoallergenic Pillows and they are the perfect amount of comfort and structure for me. I’d say they help me fall asleep, but for the past 2 years if I blink for longer than 2 seconds I just fall asleep right there! Standing up and all!! hahaha!

And for Tim, he chose the Gusseted Side Sleeper Down Pillows. He likes taller pillows to support his neck, and he says that these pillows hold their form through the night, exactly what he needed!

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Last item: our comforter!!

Okay, I know I have been gushing over how great The Company Store is, but honestly I had never owned such great quality bedding. Now I feel like a real adult and I am so happy!

Our comforter is the Bamboo Cotton Comforter, which is THE SOFTEST, coziest and most breathable comforter I have ever had. My husband is in love with it, and lays on the bed just to cover himself with it in the middle on the day on the weekend, I am not kidding it would be funny if it he wasn’t neglecting something else, like taking the trash out or ironing his work clothes!!! hahaha!

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Make sure to visit The Company Store, guys! You know how honest I am, so when I recommend something to you, I take it very seriously because I know you trust me.

They are a joy to work with and the quality of their products is truly outstanding!

Our Bedtime Routine

I love my children and they are my entire life, but they drive me nuts, because they will not stay asleep for longer than a few hours at night, so we do our best to make bedtime as relaxing as possible in an attempt to get these two little rascals, I mean… angels, to sleep for as long as possible!

Since this is a question I get very frequently, I have teamed up with The Company Store  , who is sponsoring this post, because they sure are a part of our daily routine! You can also read other mothers bedtime routines by clicking here!

I will show you my step by step, let’s get started!

1st: We have quit TV recently. For a bunch of reasons, but mostly to try and see if it had been one of the reasons why the kids don’t sleep well, and let me tell you… it has helped tremendously! This is not a permanent decision, it is just what works for us at this time. Our bedtime starts at 7:30 pm, so we have dinner around 6:00 p.m. and try to wind down in preparation to bedtime, but you know how it is with 2 under 2: kind of a task for Ethan Hunt on Mission Impossible, but we do our best.

2nd: Tim takes Zoey into the living room and plays with her so I can bathe Hazel and put her to bed. I use one of those hammock baby bathtubs, and she absolutely loves it, it is very relaxing. 3 times a week we alter the tub with a neck float and she swims her way into bedtime, it’s so cute! I massage her feet, and use a low voice. I sing to her, talk to her and give her toys. This is what the whole thing looks like:

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We use these comfy towels from The Company Store, and I am not kidding I caught my husband trying to steal them from the girls and I and he said: oh but they are so good, and I was like hmmm sorry… go back to your old grey ones, these are ours haha! Maybe I should get him some! You probably saw me using these towels on my recent video “What Moms Think In The Shower”, I simply love them!

I take Hazel into my bedroom, and nurse/ rock her to sleep. We have never done any sleep training, so I spend a little longer making her fall asleep. I honestly do not mind, because I really love spending one on one time with each one of the girls. This is so special and I feel like it is going but too quickly!! (insert broken heart emoji here) After she falls asleep, I carefully transfer her into the crib that is next to my bed. She lasts the first couple of hours in the crib, after that we co-sleep, ‘cuz ain’t nobody wants to be getting’ up 10 times every night!!! You can have a glimpse by watching the video below ❤

3rd: Zoey’s turn! Some days she runs when she sees me after putting her little sister down, but some days she clings onto her daddy and wants to keep playing! But she is mostly pretty good, so I bring her into the bathroom and get it started! She won’t let me massage her feet, but she will for sure let me play with her hair and play peekaboo. We use the same baby tub, but I remove the hammock. A couple of times a week, we will fill up the big tub, and she LOVES it! She loves splashing water on me and I honestly don’t care much, since I could probably use a little bath myself! She then has her nighttime milk, and falls asleep in my arms, while twirling my hair. It’s my favorite part of the day… so sweet and most of all… QUIET!! 😉

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Meanwhile… Tim is cleaning up the living room disaster, he makes Zoey’s bottle, refills all humidifiers, prepares a snack for him and I and waits for me so we can spend a little time together every night!

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Now… Zoey has a bedroom. We replaced her crib with a queen size mattress on the floor because she needs A LOT OF ROOM to do her 180 degree turns at night, and it is on the floor because she is not ready for a bed yet, she would fall off of it. In the middle of the night or in the morning she walks to our bedroom, climbs on the bed and sleeps with us for the rest of the night. It is what works for our family and we love it! Although some days we wish we could have some more room 🙂 !!

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That was out bedtime routine! Although I feel like the girls get a full spa night every single night and I basically get a shower every couple of days, my heart is happy knowing that my babies are well taken care of and relaxed!

What makes your bedtime special? What do you do differently? I would love to hear it from you!!

Make sure to click here to check out our beloved towels from The Company Store. The quality of their products is outstanding, and here to check out our bedtime routine feature

I cannot wait to show you guys out spring bed makeover with The Company Store! Coming Soon!

Keeping It Together: Transitioning Into Parenthood

I am here today to tell you about my experience transitioning into motherhood, but not the pretty and fulfilling part of it. I am here to tell you about the raw and ground-shaking transition, that turned my life upside down and made me feel things I had never experienced before and did not know how to deal with.

Before I had my first daughter, I had this idea in my head that parenthood would be a piece of cake, a white wall/perfectly-sleeping-baby/bounced-back-from-postpartum-in-a-week experience due mostly to the social media accounts I was following back then, which do not get me wrong… are beautiful and inspiring, and the women behind them are just like us, but I did not know that that would be so far from my reality.

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The second factor that contributed to my idea of perfect parenthood was my own parents always handling parenthood like champions, it just seemed so effortless and natural for them, so of course I thought to myself: I’ve got this!

I finally had my first baby in August 2016. Everything was ready for her at home, clothes were washed, nursery set up, my mother was waiting for us at home with a delicious homemade meal prepared… it all looked so beautiful.

 

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The first week was manageable: breastfeeding hurt but was established, sleep deprivation was not a big issue yet because my husband and I were so excited, and that little baby was just great. It was when my mother left back to her country, my husband went back to work, and I found myself alone. My 2 week old baby had severe colic, I was recovering from quite a traumatic delivery, and had zero confidence that I could take care of my own child.

The first 2 months were rocky to say the least. From waking up almost 10 times a night, to resenting  my husband for not being on the same page with me (he just couldn’t connect with the baby, and was always too tired to help) I almost fell apart.

Truthfully, I was so in love with my daughter, she was absolutely perfect and my own to love, but for months I completely annulled myself in every possible way, and I still struggle with that. The mom guilt is so real and present every minute of everyday, and transitioning from an individual who used  to be free to do whatever she wanted to be basically be in house arrest is so abrupt.

I didn’t shower for days straight because she did not want to be with my husband, and when she was fine and I could have a moment for myself, I felt guilty and stressed, not able to enjoy a simple shower or a sit down meal.

Then… My husband and I found ourselves expecting another baby, just like that. In the middle of this whole uncharted territory we would become parents to children 11 months apart. It’s so easy to be judged when something like that happens, but it does happen. It did happen.

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We kept working on our marriage and on how to find balance between being parents and being a couple. We were either hugging and smiling at each other, or arguing and ignoring each other, there was no balance at all. I worried everyday that having another child would be the final straw and our marriage would fall apart, but we love each other very much and kept trying to make it work.

My second pregnancy was wonderful, and thankfully uneventful! The only thing that was very difficult was to chase down a crawling baby with a huge baby bump, but somehow I did it!

I feared that my first daughter would be jealous and hurt for suddenly having to share her parents, and I feared that my heart would not be able to love another baby the same way I loved her. As for husband… he was mentally preparing himself for the hardest time of his life.

On August 2017, my second daughter was born and she immediately took residence in my heart, so that fear flew out the window right away. My first daughter just ignored the newborn and kept behaving the same way she did before, win win! So we were left still working on our marriage.

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Managing two was a challenge, but I can’t explain to you how we made it work. Our second baby  was even more colicky than the first one and that lasted for 3 whole months. My first daughter wanted attention, so during the day I tried splitting my time evenly, sometimes succeeding, often failing, but somehow this time around my husband and I knew what to do. We knew how to handle the witching hour, the household chores, the crawling baby, and slowly things started looking up.

Some days were great, and happy. Some days were exhausting, and filled with arguments. While we were keeping up with what we needed to do with the babies, to me, he was never doing enough and   I was overwhelmed. To him, He wanted moments with his wife, so we kept fighting.

3 months in, her colic was completely gone, and as parents we were working hard and gaining confidence to take care of our Irish Twins.

We finally had a breakthrough and talked for hours after letting resentment create a wedge between   us for so long. We found within ourselves and in the girls the strength to fight for our family. We forgave each other, and promised to not forget that we are a couple, to devote time to our relationship and to communicate an issue before it fasters into resentment.

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Where we are at? We’re at a good place. We  are learning each day together how to parent and manage a house. We’re  learning that bad days really do make you stronger,  because they teach you and  change you. Good days make you almost forget the hardships, and are so rewarding… I simply love them.

I, as an individual am trying to understand that I matter too. Sometimes I feel so lonely and isolated for having quit my job and given up my independence, but then I remember that it was the best choice for our family.

We are all in this together. All parents. There is no shame in the way you choose to educate or care for your children, and if your journey doesn’t seem perfect, it’s because it isn’t, but it is YOUR journey.

We are keeping it together because we are strong. We may fail at times, but we also succeed many many times. Our children don’t need us to be perfect, they need us to be present, to love them, and to do the best we can. #keepingittogether

 

This post is sponsored by @PlumOrganics, and their incredible #KeepingItTogether campaign, which encourages new parents, and lets us all know that we are all in this together!

 

Make sure to visit plumorganics.com/keepingittogether

“You Can Make It Through This In One Piece”

This is THE year!

Hi my lovely mother friends 💛,

I am writing this post because I believe this is the year that I will finally live up to my resolutions, and I hope I somehow inspire you to do the same! January brings so much hope with it, it’s a clean slate and it is so refreshing and motivating to have a “new start”!

Today, at almost 29 years old and after having 2 children, I finally understood that New Years resolutions should be about changing behaviors for good, in order to be a better person and make our lives and the lives of the people we love better, and not an unrealistic long list of tiny things we want to happen or that we want to get.

So after realizing that, I sat down and wrote a list of 5 realistic goals and changes of behavior that I expect to reach this year. I translated them into pictures for extra motivation! Here we go!

1: Somehow abandon the guilt that consumes me when I try to do something for myself. Whether it is taking a longer shower, or getting my nails done, or most importantly doing what I love the most: music. It hurts me to have my husband take the kids into another room so I can take a decent shower, why the heck is that? If I am with them 24 hours a day everyday, taking 20 minutes to shower and 15 minutes to blow dry my hair should be enjoyable, but it is not. I’m working on it by trying to be rational and logic. Have I gotten better? Not yet, but it’s only January 19th!

2: Remember that I am a wife. Daily. As a hard working couple we own ourselves to spend quality time with each other. As soon as the kids go to bed, we will meet in the living room, eat grown up snacks, watch a non Disney movie and make out, because we are a woman and a man and I don’t want my marriage to fall apart because of estrangement ever again!

3: GET. OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE. It snows and it’s cold (oh so cold) most days, but I WILL at least twice a week put on my brace face, bundle up and go to tjmaxx, and to dunking donuts. It’s so stinking hard with 2 kids, but I promise you I have been losing my mind and going borderline INSANE. I’m done feeling like this. So… to my dear Husband: sorry, I reactivated my TJrewards card. #SOnotsponsored #IWish

4: Live in the present. Things have been very hard at home with the girls going through a sleep regression and teething at the same time. Guys. I’ve been getting 3 hours of sleep every night and it is so detrimental to my health. BUT I am trying very hard to understand that this is a season and it will pass. Hazel is not a tiny baby anymore and Zoey… she’s a child. I’m not sure how we got here so fast, but I don’t want to wake up 5 years from now and realize I spent their baby years only complaining and not enjoying what was in front of me, chaos or non chaos. I guess that one should be complain less? 🤦🏻‍♀️

5th and most important: This will be the year that I get rid of my anxiety.

I am not ready to open up about this yet, but I am taking steps toward eliminating it from my life. They have been: trusting Jesus and handing over my worries via prayer. When I am ready I will talk about it, but for now, I’m working hard on getting better.

That’s it! They really are changes of behavior and I am ready to change my life. I hope you’re able to do this as well, because motivation feels so good. A fresh start feels so good. Let’s be happy together.

All my love,

Maya 💛

Babylist Universal Registry

Attention all pregnant ladies (oh my goodness I really miss my bump!)

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Getting ready for your new baby can be stressful and overwhelming whether it is your first or not. There is so much to worry about! So today I will tell you about something that will make this season a little easier so that you can enjoy your loving nesting phase!

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Babylist is the easiest way I have found to get all of your baby gear, necessities, and anything else you might need for the arrival of  your new happiness package (aka BABY, yay!). It is free, and allows you to register for A-N-Y STORE or website! Yes. You basically choose whatever you need for your baby or for yourself from anywhere you want: big brands, small unique businesses, furniture, electronics, clothing… all of it all in one place!

You can also register for things you can’t buy like home-cooked meals or baby-sitting help using help & favor coupons AND a cash fund. I mean… it is so convenient and lets your family and friends know what you actually need. Oh! and if you already have a registry set up, you can simply combine it with your Babylist registry!

Now, they have something new and very exciting starting this January! A limited time offer of their Hello Baby Box! I received mine and my jaw dropped, I have seen what other services provide, but this one really stands out because of their content! It is a free goodie box with samples and offers from trusted brands worth up to $160. You are eligible for one for yourself once you start your Babylist registry. I will let you have a peek at mine!

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My favorite item was the Twist Bottle/Pouch, it attaches to any pump and collects your breastmilk, so cool! There are countless coupons, offers, and samples of newborn diaper, cleaning products and breast pads. The content changes each month and is available to US residents only.

Other great features that Babylist offers: free shipping over $25 on orders shipped by Babylist, 10% remaining registry discount, free registry consulting and price change alerts 🙂 Best of all… you’re no longer limited to just one brand, one store, or one option anymore!

Now excuse me while I talk to my husband about some serious life changing decisions, because this is giving me some serious BABY FEVER!

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