Thursday, February 23, 2017

Filling your Tank

I have always viewed myself as a fairly resilient and focused person. I know my husband would disagree. He always thinks I can't handle things. I think he feels that way out of protectiveness. Or at least that is what I tell myself.  Anyways, I digress..

So I always thought I could handle whatever. But since Henry was  born we have had several scary moments with him. The last one being yesterday we learned that he is "intolerant" of bananas. We learned this because after eating a quarter of a banana, he spent an hour throwing up non stop. Having your 5 month old throw up repeatedly is a scary thing. Especially when you are alone, and with your 2 year old who was having a special behavioral moment of his own. I really was not sure what to do.  The thing about being Mom is that you are supposed to have the answers! People look at me like I am supposed to have an opinion or an answer for everything. But yesterday, I didn't! Henry has barely been sleeping so I am back to functioning on like 4 hours of sleep and being the sole parent all day/evening. I just felt like my "tank" was empty and I couldn't process/deal with anymore situations with my baby or one more tantrum.

Ultimately, I think I know what would truly help me to reset. That is a night away. Since Charlie has been born, I have been a on "the job" for 2 years with no break.  I joked that my vacation was the night in the hospital after Henry was born. We have talked about going away a few times but it just hasn't worked out and I think my next chance might be our anniversary in September.  So since that is 6 months away and not even guaranteed, what are other things that help "fill up my tank" so I don't feel as though I am running on fumes.

1. Quiet time alone. Being alone and able to work or do something in silence is huge for me. I recently changed our routine a little around here and now both boys are taking an afternoon nap at the same time and this week at least I have had at least an hour to relax. I take that time to do whatever I want. This week it has been my blogging/emailing time and party prep time. It also usually involves chocolate and coffee. Sometimes just having 20 minutes to clean by myself is rewarding.

2. Exercise. I try to get 35 minutes or so of exercise 4 times a week. I certainly will not be a fitness blogger anytime soon, but those 35 minutes helps my attitude so much. I also appreciate that it helps my relationship with skinny jeans as well. When I feel physically strong and capable it helps me to feel emotionally strong and capable.

3. Projects. Having something to focus on and work on helps me feel good. Like I stated yesterday, I am trying to work on learning a little more about blogging, working on my sewing skills, and even considering diving into the world of photoshop. My husband and I have gotten involved with a new church and we are trying to be more involved. I am working with the kids, and helping to start a Mom's group.

4. Be Positive! I know we don't always feel positive but sometimes just "Fake it until we make it". That has pretty much been my adult life's motto. Nothing depresses me more than in the morning getting several texts from friends telling me how much they already dislike the day. Believe me, I get it, I do! So I have made a concentrated effort not to be that person anymore. I know that this past year I allowed myself to become negative. I am trying to revive the optimistic and sassy Debbie. So even on days when I do not feel super upbeat, I just fake it and hope it sticks. Haha! I try to text one upbeat positive thing to my friends in the morning. We are all mom's and sometime getting little humans up in the morning is not the most fun.

 I am working to find the negative "triggers" for example, facebook. If I consider something or someone negative, I distance myself from it or them. I also am working to see the positive side of all situations. Even yesterday with Henry's intolerance episode. The positives were that he did not need medical attention. My mom had actually planned to come up that afternoon so I had some backup and he bounced back fairly quickly.

5. Talking to someone to "gets" me. This is a big one. When I can actually sit down and have a conversation with someone who "gets" me and lets me talk and doesn't judge. My friend, Meg is definitely one of those people. I can tell her just about anything and she never judges me, and lets me talk.

So those are a few ways that I try to help keep my tank full which in return allows me to be the wife, mom, and friend that I need to be

Linking up with Annie and Natalie today:-) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today I'm linking up with ShaySheaffer and Mel for What's Up Wednesday! 
I'm going to answer the following questions! 

What We're Eating This Week... 
    Our meals around here just keep getting more basic and simple. I used to love making new recipes ( and I still do) but having some basic and simple meals is just more realistic for us at the moment. Tonight's dinner is a new favorite of mine
   Pesto Ranch Chicken 
      This would be one of those recipes I saved and then never made. However a few weeks ago I made it and now I definitely plan to keep it in rotation. Last time I served it with cauliflower rice. This time I think I will just be sticking with regular rice and side salads.
   Steak Fingers. Oh Pioneer Women, she never leads us down the wrong path. This is a little labor intensive but it shakes us up from the usual chicken fingers route on the weekend and it gives China Man some red meat. He feels we don't eat enough. 

And now a bonus, I have found the absolute best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Like I probably will never try another recipe. I have made these cookies so many times in the past few months. If you like soft chewy cookies these are for you! 
What I'm Reminiscing About... 
    With my baby about to turn TWO, I am definitely reminiscing about the past two years. Two ago at this time, I hardly believed I was about to me be a mom. Now I am a mom to two little boys. It just shows you how much you never know what is around the corner. I can't even believe my first baby is a full fledged toddler now. He is such a fun little guy 

What I'm Loving... 
   Per usual, coffee is pretty high up on that list. Sometimes I think I overestimate the power of that beautiful drink, but this morning I was dragging hard core. Half way through my bowl of coffee, and all the sudden I felt like I could handle this day. 
   I am also loving that we have not had a snowstorm in a week. We just had a stretch where in like 10 days we had 6 snowstorms. That is completely unnecessary. I do not care if we live in Maine or not. 

What We've Been Up To... 
      Second birthday party prep, woot-woot! It is a small party but that does not mean I have not been working every spare second trying to make it look half decent and cute. 

What I'm Dreading... 
     I have an appointment for our taxes to be done this weekend and I am dreading that big time. Sometimes #adulting just isn't fun.  

What I've Been Working On... 
    Have I mentioned a second birthday, haha.   Actually I have been working hard on trying to get back some activities for me.  China Man brought down my sewing machine into my bedroom, and he definitely has been encouraging me to craft more in the evenings. Half my problem is that there is SO much I like to do hobby wise I get like free time ADHD. How am I supposed to fit all the crafting, reading, tv watching, and quality time with my spouse into such a short time? 
   I am trying to learn more about how to not make this little blog look so ghetto. Tech savvy, really isn't how most people would describe me. So the struggle is real. Haha! 
    I am also trying to look into maybe some part time work from home. I love being a Mom and we made the decision that we wanted our children to have one full time parent at home. I do not regret that, but sometimes I do wish I could make a little extra money. Probably every stay at home parent wishes that. 

What I'm Excited About... 
      My parents gave me this mini stair stepper for my birthday and I have to say I really excited about working out on it! It actually allows me to get some exercise done while the boys are awake and playing in the living room. Granted, I feel like a total dork when I use it but that is besides the point. Combine that with some ab exercises and some weights. Bam, a solid workout for this mom. 

  What I'm Listening To... 
     I am currently loving having classical music playing in the background of our house. Especially in the afternoons when life gets a little special and we are all tired. The Piano Guys is my favorite station for classical music. I like hearing the classical version of current songs. I also love to play the Pandora station "Bubblegum Oldies" while the boys take their baths. Makes it more fun.

So that is what is up this month! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Six Months Later...

Excuse me while I brush off the dust from this ol thing...

Hi again friends, its been only like half a year since I pretended to have a blog.  But the past few weeks I have been thinking about it and decided why not. It isn't like it hurts anyone. Besides if nothing else, I like looking back on some of the posts.

So let me tell you about life for the Cota's in 2017 currently.

Meet our little Henry David Cota. He is 23 weeks old and just the sweetest little guy. He has a quiet little personality and the sweetest little smile. He is 100% Mama's boy right now. We definitely did not have an easy first few months with Henry as he has had colic, gas, ear infections, and a trip to the ER. However, I think we are slowly starting to get our mojo as a family of 4 and it isn't just chaos anymore. 
   The one person Henry adore and will always bring a huge smile to his face is his big brother

 I honestly do not think there is anything on this blessed planet that makes me happier than watching these two. They both make each other laugh and they are just so excited when they are next to each other. I know the day will come when sibling rivalry and fighting will enter this home. But right now, I love this phase so much! It has basically been this way since we brought Henry home. We always let Charlie be near his brother (always supervised) and he has always been allowed to "help" with brother anytime he has wanted to. Charlie loves to kiss and hug his brother. I do not even need a baby monitor because if Henry is crying, Charlie immediately runs to tell me and will not relax until I have taken care of Henry.

This was just taken on my birthday a week ago or so. My living room looks like Babies R Us and the Melissa & Doug warehouse threw up all over it. This is what my life looks like currently. Keeping up with my 3 Cota men.  I was so scared before having Henry what life would be like with 2 littles and while it is not impossible by any means it certainly is not relaxing! The first few months I described it as being a ping pong ball. I just bounced back and forth all the time. I will probably write about our first months together later. It makes me laugh when I do go out with both boys that almost every time, another mom will comment to me that "She doesn't know how I get out of the house and handle 2 kids like this". While that is nice for my ego, I SO remember looking at Mom's with 2 little ones and thinking the same thing.  I think that is why I like this family photo so much. Last year, I don't think we even took a picture on my birthday. I was so depressed and scared about what life had surprised us with. I did not know how I would handle things. I did not know if we could find a house, a bigger car or financially survive. The last year was really scary, really lonely and really hard. But this year on my birthday we have a beautiful house that I love ( still plan to be buried in the back yard), we have our suburban ( that despite my initial fears of driving, I now love), God has provided the money when we needed it and I love my two littles. I can't imagine life any other way.

Well that is not true. I can imagine a life where I get a lot more sleep. That would a perfect life ;-)

Crystal at Hall Around Texas | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Full Hands Full Heart

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Camping Round 1

    This past weekend we took a long weekend and went camping at one of my family's favorite state parks. Tent camping with a 17 month old, and being 35 week pregnant at a super busy campground. You know it was an adventure! Haha

  Last summer we camped when Charlie was 6 months old.  So we were limited on how much we could be in the sun and spent a lot of time taking turns walking him around in his stroller.

This year Charlie is a total beach bum and is made for camp life. Minus his obsession with helping with the campfire and ax. 

 We spent most afternoons on the beach while Charlie played in the waves, and in the sand. Mama worked on her tan that has been woefully lacking this summer and poor China Man just tolerated the beach. To say that my husband is not a beach bum is an understatement. He is a super great sport about tolerating the beach for Charlie and I. Maybe he will get lucky and the second one will dislike the beach with him. 

  I have to admit though, night time in a campsite is not my favorite! Charlie goes to sleep usually between 5:30-6pm. That is early to begin with, but completely unrealistic at a campground. So the combination of minimal naps, late nights and lots of sunshine did make for some interesting moments. Then you spend the whole night just praying nothing wakes him up so you aren't the site with the screaming child. The first night we ended up driving home ( the campground is actually really close to our new house) because I was having so much false labor and Charlie just couldn't fall asleep. The 2nd night we did actually manage to stay over, which was a bit of a family success. Minus the fact that we still ended up driving home for morning naps. Haha! Overall I would still say it was a successful and fun weekend.  We actually still have the site through next weekend so Charlie and I plan to go back up and spend the afternoons up there and China Man will take another long weekend to spend up there. 

I absolutely love this lake and spending time at it. I have been coming here my whole life and sometimes it actually does seem surreal that I am now bringing my children to the lake. My favorite memories are the early mornings on the beach  when it is super quiet and calm. I actually think in general that is my favorite time of day while camping in general. I love the quiet morning at a campsite, especially when it involves a hot cup of coffee in my hand. 

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Oh Thursday, am I happy to see you!

Happy Thursday.  I thought I would combine some confessions and thoughts for the day to catch you up on the strange week that I have had!

1. Twice this week I very nearly had to go to the urgent care/hospital. Not a comforting thing at all!  This past weekend was a lot of fun, and so much fun that I forgot to drink my usual ocean of water. The result was some painful Braxton Hicks. Since this isn't my first rodeo, I knew to drink water, lay on my side and wait for them to go away. After over an hour they were staying almost regular. I kept telling China Man it was fine, and they would go away. (If you believe it hard enough, it will happen, ha!) He told me that he was taking a shower and if they hadn't gone away we would call. Thank goodness, they listened to the deadline and no call was made. Then of all things I caught some virus or something. Tuesday I felt super awful all day. I just assumed it was a bad "pregnancy" day. I pretty much did nothing but keep Little Man alive. By the end of the day though, I started having chills which clued me in I might be sick. I took my temperature and had a fever. For the next few hours it did nothing but go up.  Not going to lie, it was kind of scary being home alone during this. I really was not sure what to do. I called the midwife, and we went back and forth on the best plan. It ended with me on Tylenol and heading into the midwive's office first thing the next morning.  The most important thing is that Baby Brother is completely fine, and not showing any indication of an early arrival.

I have begun to practice what I call " 3rd trimester parenting. Sometimes it is just a little easier to let him tear something apart exploring rather than the alternative. The downside is that my house is an epic disaster by the end of the day but at least during the day I was able to grab 5 minutes to sit down. Ha!

3.  We are taking a long weekend and camping this weekend. While I normally love camping, and I am THRILLED to have a long weekend with the China Man ( Believe me when I say, he NEVER has days off) I am a little unsure how camping will go with a 17 month old and being awkwardly pregnant. We sorta tried it last year, but 6 month old Little Man was not a big fan of sleeping in a tent, and then caught a terrible cold. So hopefully this weekend goes a little better, ha!

Look how cute and little he was! We also chose camping to be the first time we introduced noodles to him. 

4. So the wind blows open the curtains in our bedroom every night and it creeps me out every...single... time. Like seriously, do you know how creepy it is when you are taking a shower and you hear your curtains slowly pulling open. 

5.  This summer, I have recently become a big fan of the singer P!nk. More specifically, her song " Just Like Fire". Every time it comes on the radio, I get so happy! It is not like she is a new artist or anything, but all the sudden she just speaks to me. I think stay at home mom's are her target audience. :-) 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Favorites- Summer Bliss!

Happy Friday Friends! I hope you are all finishing the week on a high note. We have a low key weekend of house projects planned since we will be camping for the next two weekends. I have super glamorous plans to finish doing the new baby laundry and get his wall decor hung. I also have a few pesky boxes that I would like to really get rid of from the random corners of the house, but that is up to China Man getting some shelving set up for me. So before you explode from excitement just thinking about my weekend, let me tell you about some fun moments of this weeks.


On Tuesday we met up with two of my friends for a somewhat spontaneous day at the lake. Between two of us, there are 4 boys and next summer there will  be 6 little boys between the 3 of us. I think all play dates will now include caffeine for the mom's. Ha!  I think half the state was at the lake that day because it was so hot. However my favorite lake with my favorite people was definitely a favorite. 

 This is techinically from the same day, but this picture makes me so happy! I have very, very few candid pictures of Little Man and I. My friend snapped this and sent it to me. It is hard to believe in 6 weeks or so it will no longer be just him and I. I know without a doubt I will miss these days of just the two of us. He may drive me crazy some days but he really is the best sidekick and I love being his mom. This picture is how I will remember this summer. He and I just hanging out at the beach as much as possible. 


 We got a new couch this week. Please ignore the super ugly bare walls and toys everywhere this was seconds after it was delivered. (#reallife) Our old couch was actually a loveseat. It was perfect for a condo, but really too small for a family and really too small for my large husband. We have talked about the day we would have a real couch for years, so this was a big day for us. 


 On the back of our property we have a TON of blackberries. This week they have started to ripen enough to eat. One after Little Man and I went down to check them out. Little Man LOVES berries and fruit in general. I really thought he might hyperventilate when he realized he was surrounded by blackberries. He only ate one green berry before he sort of got the hang of picking berries. He would half pick a berry and wait until I gave him the final okay before he plopped it in his mouth. The first time he got pricked, that was the end of berry picking. He toddled himself back up to the house and was done. I think his father has plans to take him back down there for more picking this weekend. 


I built a crib! Now normally, I have China Man do all the building and putting together of things. It is kind of one of those unwritten marriage agreements. He builds everything and I wash all the dishes. However as mentioned, he is working a lot and when he is home he is focused on spending time with Little Man and keeping our yard from becoming a jungle. So I took matter into my own hands. I reminded myself I used to be an independent lady who handled things and I could handle a little ol crib. Truth be told, I may have had it half together before I realized it was backwards. That was a low moment. I forged on and the crib was finished. 

Those are some of the high points of my week. Happy Weekending!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Confession- Pregnancy edition

Linking up with Leigh  for some good old fashioned confessions. This week is pregnancy confessions.

1. All I want from the minute I wake up until I go to bed is a smoothie, milkshake, iced tea or iced coffee. I seriously could probably just consume all my calories via icy beverage and be happy. I usually end up having a smoothie for dinner most nights anyways because its hot and I am alone anyways.  It takes a lot of self restraint to not ask anyone who is coming over to bring a iced beverage with them for me.
  This is seriously the best dessert smoothie ever. Any night I make it, is a good night for me.

2.  No one warns you that with your second pregnancy there is not much extra help or coddling. With the first pregnancy it is new and everyone in the family treats you like fine china. They want to help you clean, your husband will help cook, do the extra laundry etc. This time... not so much. They assume you can handle it because you have already done it before. If I could go back to my first pregnancy I would take advantage of that help so much more. I definitely appreciated it at the time but the idea of someone else folding and putting away laundry, or making a dinner and cleaning it up almost puts me in tears because it sounds so nice right now.

3. I confess that lately my attitude is struggling. I feel like I am barely holding my head above water but everyone keeps expecting me to take care everything like I normally do. I worry all the time how I will do it with 2 little ones. I know lots of people have done it before me and under less ideal situations.... but it doesn't  help me know how I will survive. I also recognize that hormones play a huge factor currently. I kept Little Man alive, I will keep another one alive. We will figure out a new routine and way of life. In a few months I will wonder how I ever had a life without 2 little boys.

4. I confess I am starting to worry about labor. The plan is for another unmedicated labor. It worked really well for us last time. However, China Man and I are not the same couple we were those 18 months ago. We talked and talked about that labor, and about the upcoming baby. We were prepped and ready ( as ready as you can be for your 1st baby) This time, I spend half my time worrying whether or not he will be able to get away from work in time to drive me to the hospital and if he will be able to stay away during my labor. He is so busy right now.  It is such a different situation this time, I wonder if I have the fortitude for the unmedicated labor on my own.

5. I confess... my maternity shirts are starting to not fit! I am not even sure what I will do in a few more weeks.
This picture was taken after I made sure to pull my shirt way down. lol I think my maternity swimsuit will be a maternity bikini by the end of August. The swimsuit is so comical that friends and family actually can't even hold in their initial laughter when they see how bad the swimsuit covers the belly. I considered switching to a bikini top because at this point it might look less weird. But I have never worn a bikini and starting when you are almost 9 months pregnant seems weird. I need to know, where are all the extra long maternity shirts!?