Monday, June 29, 2015

The Unimaginable: Losing a Child to Cancer

I have had exactly two pregnancies, and I have exactly two children who are four and one-and-a-half years old. I’ve never experienced a miscarriage or the loss of a child. I am one of the fortunate ones.

My cousin, Jason, and his tiara-deserving wife, Amanda, have five children. All boys. Yes, FIVE adorable, jubilant, loving boys. Can you imagine? I only have two boys, and the levels of noise, dirt, fart jokes, bug-fascination, and truck-obsession can be too much for me sometimes. I can’t imagine 60% more boys in my house. I’m sure it’s fun, hilarious, rewarding… and exhausting. They are an amazing family.

A couple weeks ago, the unimaginable happened. Jason and Amanda lost their youngest son, Baby Drew, to cancer.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Capturing Moments: For the Hubs

As the often self-appointed family historians, moms usually find themselves behind the camera, capturing moments in time. Some of these moments seem insignificant – just the kids at the beach again or just the kids playing in the yard again. But it’s in these everyday moments where the stories of our lives unfold. We’re more than birthdays, events and milestones. We are blowing bubbles and splashing in the lake and riding on shoulders. We are jumping off couches and soaring on swing sets and bouncing in ocean waves. We are laughter and hugs and kisses.

I capture these moments because I know our boys won’t be little forever. I know these adorable stages of toddler-waddling and preschooler-pontificating are merely blips in our history. I want to remember every single thing – and maybe ease my guilt for occasionally wishing away these baby phases in favor of more self-sufficiency and fewer tantrums.

As I looked back over the hundreds of photos and videos I’ve taken so far in 2015, I noticed that many of them were of my husband with our kids. He’s such an amazing dad, and our boys love him to death. Reid, who is now 20-months-old, hears Hubs’ keys in the door and runs into the kitchen yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Always three “daddies.”

Hubs’ birthday was Saturday, and Father’s Day was Sunday. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to put a little video together of all the moments I’ve captured with him and the boys, and a few of the two of us as well. In celebration of what a loving husband and doting father he is, checkout this little video on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Marvel Universe LIVE! … and Thor

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This may come as a shock to you, but I actually like the Marvel movies. Yes, really! I especially like all the X-Men movies. I know, just when you thought I couldn’t get any cooler.  So when I was given the opportunity to write this sponsored post and take Q to see Marvel Universe LIVE! for his birthday, I jumped at the chance! (The fact that Q is about to turn four is a topic for another post. Yes, there will be tears.)

Marvel Universe LIVE! is a live show coming to the SAP Center in San Jose later this month. It involves an original storyline with 25 Marvel icons, including Spider-Man and the Avengers. (Another two Marvel movies that I really liked.)

The show is appropriate for all ages, with pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and all kinds of crazy stuff that will make Quinn’s eyes grow as big as saucers. Apparently, there’s enough feeder cable powering the performance to run across the Golden Gate Bridge… and back! And the show’s projections require more computer power than a space shuttle.

Can you channel your inner Joey Lawrence I get a “Whoa”?

Bay Area Moms, need more convincing to take your little super hero fan to see the show? I have one word for you: Thor.

The original story at this event goes a little something like this: The Mighty Thor shatters the Cosmic Cube, the ultimate source of power, into pieces to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Then, with the pieces scattered all over the world, Thor’s evil brother, Loki, devises a plan to clone the Cosmic Cube’s powers. This threat brings all your kiddos’ favorite Marvel super heroes to one place for the first time in the history of ever.

Yeah, I know. I had you at Thor.

Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to the SAP Center in San Jose March 20-22, 2015. Buy your tickets to the showhere. And because we’re such good friends, use code MOM2 to save 25% on tickets to any performance. (Savings do not apply to VIP or Gold Circle seats. No double discounts. Discount is valid through 3/22/2015.)

Join me! Bring the family and don your favorite super costumes! And most importantly – don’t touch Thor.

This is a sponsored post, written by your truly, on behalf of Marvel Universe LIVE! All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Being an Entrepreneurial Mom - #MUMZYmoms

I’ve been on work release from baby jail for almost five months now. Having a break from the kiddos a couple days a week is good for all of us. And now that I have Google Play, I like being stuck in traffic even more. Hubs said that even though I’m ridiculously crazy busy, I seem happier now that I’ve gone back to work. My client keeps extending my contract, so I’ll keep letting them pay me.

My client has also tried to recruit me several times, but there is no way I would give up owning my own business. (Unless Hubs suddenly lost his job tomorrow, in which case, I would crawl on my hands and knees and beg them to hire me!) I only work twenty hours a week, but get paid like I work forty. I set my own hours, I pick my own projects, and I don’t get caught up in the office politics because I don’t actually work there. And I still get to be home with my boys three days a week. It’s a pretty rad deal.

Being a part-time working mom with two small children means constantly being pulled in different directions. Finding balance is not easy, and I struggle to find time to accomplish everything. But here are a few ways our family makes it work.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Give: My #2015themeword

December 30, 2014 was a cold day. It wasn’t snowing or below freezing – it wasn’t Michigan cold! – but by California standards, it was cold and windy. As the gusts reached 45 mph, I shoved my hands into my pockets and buried my chin into my scarf.

I had some kid-free time that day to do a little (unsuccessful) boot shopping. (Seriously, boots really should come in petites.) Next to the shoe store was a 7-Eleven, and I was in need of a little Red Bull boost to brave the cold and the crowds. Outside crouched a homeless man, attempting to shield his body from the wind behind an empty casing that used to house a pay phone.

Sadly, we have a large homeless population, especially in nearby San Francisco, so seeing this unshaven man with his shopping cart of treasures wasn’t new to me. Maybe it was the end of the holiday season, or the exceptionally cold winds, but the sight of him brought tears to my eyes. I felt humbled with gratitude because I have a house to keep my family warm, and that I could afford to stop in and buy a drink that I didn’t really need before I went to shop for boots that I didn’t really need.

I have gleaned enough knowledge from my friends with occupations in social work – and I’ve seen enough episodes of Intervention – so I make it a rule not to give anyone on the street money. But I could give the man a coffee on a cold day. So I filled the largest cup I could and collected some cream and sugar packets. I sat the coffee down at his feet and told him I wanted to help him stay warm. His enormous smile made my day way more than my small gift made his.

And that was it. I had my 2015 theme word.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014: All the stuff I never told you

In our house, the year 2014 came and went in a blur of giggles, antics, and shenanigans. And I have the gray hairs to prove it. The fact that my blogging was a bit lackluster, especially toward the end of the year, made it even more important for me to create my annual recap video. Now you can see all the awesome stuff I never told you about.

Like that Quinn turned three and had a rad race car birthday party. And that he rides his tricycle and scooter all by himself. Or that he woke up one morning and suddenly lost his fear of heights and water, and started jumping off the diving board into Daddy’s arms and climbing to the top of everything. Or about how he is owning preschool, and that the stuff he says continues to simultaneously crack me up and amaze me.

I also didn’t tell you that my Baby Dragon isn’t a baby anymore. Reid has his first birthday and had an adorable dragon/Halloween/birthday party. And in 2014, he went from rolling to crawling to pulling up to standing, and he’s now taking small steps before falling into a fit of laughter on the floor. I haven’t told you how he does everything Quinn does and therefore gets into way more mischief than Q did at this age. Oh! And his words! His many, many words... Reid’s going to be a talker like Quinn.

Since all of those blog posts only exist in draft form in my brain, from which there is no foreseeable escape, check out this fun video instead to see how 2014 went down in our house. You can watch the boys grow – and the mischief double – right before your eyes. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Is this what you were waiting for? #Ferguson

photo credit: therese flanagan via photopin cc 
I have so many posts drafted about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, but I have refrained from publishing any of them. I felt everything had already had been said. But after Monday’s decision, I’ve changed my mind. 

I definitely have my opinions on Mike Brown’s death and subsequent events, and I have shared some of them on my personal Facebook account and a little bit on Twitter over the last few months. Most of my comments have been met with supportive and encouraging responses, with lots of likes, shares and retweets. However, a few people commented that they were "waiting until we have all the facts" before they formed an opinion. So now I wonder… is this what you were waiting for?  

Their desire to withhold judgment is noble, and it would do us all some good to be less judgmental. But "waiting for all facts" assumes that all the facts will eventually come to light. It assumes that the final outcome will be the right one, based on all the facts, nothing more and nothing less. Unfortunately, that's not always how our judicial system works. I'm not saying that our judicial system is corrupt; I'm saying that it is imperfect because humans are imperfect.

In the end, maybe it doesn’t matter that the Grand Jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. I suppose a trial would have been a much more expensive and time-consuming way to acquit him. We’ll probably never have enough facts to satisfy a jury, and we’ll never know Mike Brown’s side of the story. Dead men tell no tales.