Little Laughing Ducks

MOM BOSS MONDAY

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Custom made, 100% organic newborn coming home outfit by Little Laughing Ducks

My husband and I are obsessed with the ocean and anything that has to do with it. So I had to have this outfit when I saw the sea creatures! While corresponding with Little Laughing Ducks, I found out that one of the owners, Candy, has 11 children. I can hardly wrap my head around 1 child, let alone 11! I asked Candy to share her story with us. Don’t forget to show your love by leaving a comment and checking out her Etsy store!

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I’m a Mom. Not Just Mom.

FullSizeRender (3)I think that it’s really interesting how a large part of society has led us to believe that our lives are pretty much over once we become parents.  To be honest, I fell for that. That’s why I am about to be 35 years old and still had trouble accepting the news of my pregnancy.  It’s too often we see parents throw in the towel and make their dreams take a back seat, leaving them with a lifetime of what ifs.  The first thing my husband and I said, was “Shit, there goes our trip to Korea.” That was then followed by a whole lot of whining about what we weren’t going to be able to do. We realize now that was just bullshit. It’s a natural reaction to automatically think that we are going to be too overwhelmed with parenting that we can no longer pursue our desires. If you are that family that never faced these thoughts or feelings then high five to you! But there is still a large population that needs our inspiration and support, so share your story!

I find myself meeting a lot of mothers that just look so tired, always turning down a good time, and hardly sharing any exciting experiences that would encourage me to start a family.  Of course you can see the love in their eyes as they are aimlessly breastfeeding while looking for a bra, but I mostly see lack of sleep and frustration. I’ve come across many complaints against the baby daddies and their participation as part of the parental unit. I’ve seen distance grow between friends that don’t have parenting in common. I’ve seen identities lost to parenthood where the individual is no longer who they were but only “Mom” or “Dad”. The negative aspects are not the only ones shared, but let’s be honest, how many times do we come across parents RAVING about being parents? This opened my eyes, making me aware that I want to continue to exist as ME even as I become a parent. It is so important to not lose sight of who we are and what we love if we want to be true to ourselves and teach our children individuality.

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As the first trimester ended, Mike and I decided that we were going to stop fearing what we were going to miss out on in life. Instead, we made  a commitment to stay a team, to continue to have fun, to raise our child in an cultured environment, and show other parents that the party can still go on. Yes, it’s going to take a little planning and a lot of team work, but this could turn out to be one damn fun adventure. We often catch ourselves daydreaming about taking surfing trips with our little one and exposing him to all the experiences that our world has to offer. There are many conversations about what we can do to keep our love and marriage alive as parents.

Being great role models and responsible parents will always be a priority to us, but it’s right up there with sustaining our identities during the process. I refuse to give up girls night out, date nights, shaving my legs, and wearing sexy underwear. I want to keep living the life I love so much and do it all while adding a mini-me to the equation. I can hear many of you laughing now as I’m sure it is easier said than done, but we have to try. Who knows, this plan may go to shit and I may forget who I ever was. Or we may have the best time our lives and actually ENJOY being parents!

To all the parents out there, please leave a comment and share how you kept your identity after having children.  Or, do you feel like you have lost the identity you once had?  I would love to hear your stories!

Project Baby Bump

MOM BOSS MONDAY 

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Jezreel Cruz – Project Baby Bump

During my journey I have been meeting so many inspiring women that are entrepreneurs on top of being moms. There are so many awesome stories out there.  How could I not share them with you? So here we are with MOM BOSS MONDAYS.  Every Monday you will meet a new mom, hear their stories, and see their products. They will share with us some of their pregnancy struggles and motherhood tips! The purpose is to know that we are not alone and to learn from each other. I’m all about women who inspire one another, so check out their work and leave them a comment!

This week’s #MOMBOSS is Jezreel Cruz and her business is Project Baby Bump. Check out this excerpt from her website.

“During her 15 years as a Registered Nurse, Project Baby Bump founder Jezreel Cruz always had the desire to launch her own business, though she didn’t know what she wanted to do.  Finally, her passion for fashion coupled with memories of shopping for maternity clothing during her two pregnancies led her to the idea of transitional fashion for maternity and beyond.  Her new venture came to be in January 2016, as she now balances an e-commerce business alongside staying fit, managing the home, spending time with her husband, Jeremy and raising their two children, Jayden and Mia.  The usual for a Mompreneur!

Through her experience, Jezreel found that maternity clothing generally lacked trendy style and was unwearable or unflattering to wear after delivery.  As a woman undergoes many changes with her body throughout the motherhood process, Jezreel saw the practicality of fashion that transitions as women undergo these changes. Project Baby Bump specializes in chic maternity wear for the expectant mother that fits her changing body throughout all stages of pregnancy, through delivery and beyond.  With styles that are just as fashionable with or without a baby bump, new moms can dress practically and confidently, feeling beautiful when they need it the most.

Having come from simple and humble roots in the Philippines, Jezreel experienced the struggle of poverty growing up.  With the gracious help of a Christian couple from the United States, Dave and Gail whom she endearingly considers her second parents, Jezreel was able to attend college and earn her BSN degree in 2001. She used this opportunity to immigrate to the US in 2005 for a better future pursuing a profession in nursing, although her nursing career was never her passion nor true desire for her life.  Today, as she lives her dream of running her own business, it is Jezreel’s ultimate desire to come full circle, helping needy children to receive a good education, leading them to a brighter future.  Project Baby Bump believes that our children’s education is the foundation for a better tomorrow.”

A pregnancy struggle Jezreel experienced:

During both of Jezreel’s pregnancies she struggled with morning sickness which caused her to be very nauseated. She was vomiting all day for a 5-6 month period. Both pregnancies led her to the ER on multiple occasions for medical attention. To help her cope she had to take combinations of nausea medications, antacids, vitamins, and participate in lots of exercise. Other means of coping were avoiding strong scents, drinking ginger tea, sucking on ice cubes, and eating less flavored or bland foods. Wow, what we go through for our babies!!!

Jezreel’s Motherhood Tips:

No matter how prepared you think you are to have a new baby, you’ll encounter many things you never expected. Involve your spouse/partner in caring for the baby because if you try and handle it all by yourself it will drain you. This may lead you to feeling depressed and helpless. Be sure to secure childcare or reliable baby sitters early, as it will be very difficult to look for a trusted one when the time comes.

Check out Jezreel’s line and social media!
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@Livewellmama wearing the Black Convertible Sleeve Jumpsuit from Project Baby Bump

 

Learning To Love Myself

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I used to smoke cigarettes, eat junk food, and drink A LOT of wine. I replaced the wine with tequila once I realized that it didn’t cause an allergic reaction. Yes, can you imagine? Being allergic to alcohol but drinking it anyway? Well, that’s what I did and eventually, my body accepted it. I needed cigarettes to cope with stress but soon I started using them as a reward after a hard day at work. GROSS! Potato chips were my jam. I could slam a whole bag of cheese Ruffles – no sweat. I had a love/hate relationship with exercising and struggled to work out consistently.

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Where The Journey Began

 

IMG_0828If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that my husband and I took the news of my pregnancy pretty hard.  To top that off, once we came to terms that our life was never going to just be ours again, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Like a domino effect, one after another the bad news came rolling in. The fact that I was being treated as a patient with GD made me ineligible to give birth at the birth center. The only thing I had left of my pregnancy plan was my midwife and I had to work to keep her. As long as I was able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise, I could stay under midwife care.  If I were to need insulin at any point, I would then be transferred into the care of a physician.

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How I Met Your Father

 

photo (2)I was a bartender at a very hip spot in Downtown Los Angeles where many celebrities and politicians had their meetings. I lived in an amazing loft right above the restaurant/bar (was somehow still late to work every shift) and was finishing up my studies in Child Development. I had just ended a 3 year relationship and was convinced that men were just not my thing. I swore off dating until I was finished with school and even told people that I swung the other way so that I would stop being asked out. Continue reading