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December 31, 2014

2015 Vision Board & $50 Birthday Giveaway

The concept of starting a new year tickles me. I live for the idea that tomorrow will be better than yesterday and that today is exactly as it should be. For me, the 12th month in a year is prime time to let go of what hasn’t served me and move forward with a clean slate. You won’t find me slumped in a corner tallying up the woes, lows, and crappy memories that accompanied last year, though there were some major FML moments. Like the time my ex-mechanic had my car for nearly 2 months and returned it…unfixed; or when my 14 year old wiener dog Liebchen died (she would’ve been 15 on 1/1/15). Still, I can’t bring myself to wallow over the past when I have so much present left to live! But before I kiss 2014 goodbye and guzzle champagne like a fool, there’s one major thing I need to do: get real. 

In early 2014, I was drowning in stress. If I wasn’t working, I was caring for Dylan, or making dinner, or blogging, or spending time I didn’t have and over-extending myself in all areas of my life. My brain was in a constant state of overdrive; I was exhausted, worried, irritable, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I desperately needed some peace and quiet. And then it hit me: I needed stillness. But how the hell was I going to get “stillness” with a 1 year old? I found myself reflecting on memories with my grandma, who tried to teach me how to meditate when I was a child (crazy old bat...jk). Though I never got the hang of it, I wanted to give it another shot. Because I had very little "free" time, I began using my 30 minute lunch breaks at work to meditate in my car. BEST DECISION EVER.

My quality of life has changed a lot since then, and even though I’ve added a second meditation to my day- requiring that I wake up earlier than I ever did before (I cant get enough), I have more energy. I am focused. And I am more satisfied with my life and its circumstances. I have no plans on slowing down, either. In fact, my aspirations have only become greater! And with the new year around the corner, I wanted to do something fun to honor my 2015 goals; so I spent much of Sunday cutting up magazines to create a vision board aka things I envision for myself in the coming months. I had no intention of sharing my vision board with anyone but suddenly I cant resist (plus Dylan keeps calling it "pretty")

You see, a month ago an incredible blogger who I lurrrrve named Jessica Dimas purchased a "InneGuide 2015 Planner" and wrote all about it on her blog, Pig and Dac. This particular planner intrigued me and after looking into it, I quickly realized it was so much more than just a place to track future appointments. It was also a journal to write down your goals, assess your priorities and psyche, fully equip with a mid-year check-up to hold yourself accountable. The planner is motivating, it’s exciting, and it’s right up my alley! I needed it in my life, pronto, so I emailed the good people at InnerGuide and asked for one. Their response? They sent me TWO. TWO! Wait! There’s more. 

My birthday is coming up, January 5th baby! I’m a little nuts about my birthday. I work the birthday card like it’s billing me per hour! So to get the birthday buzz going, I’ve decided to run a giveaway! One lucky ducky is going to win this amazing planner and a $50 American Express card. If you don’t win my January 5 Giveaway (sowwy), you can buy the Inner Guide 2015 Planner here

So without further ado, here is my 2015 vision board. Happy New Year Y'all

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays

(He barely made the cut.)
If you haven’t noticed, let me be the first to tell you that my blog posts have been pretty spotty over the past month. The holiday season is hands down the busiest time of the year and my blog life has suffered as a result. But it’s okay because this is also my favorite time of the year, remember? Not only is it prime time for family gatherings, holiday cheer, parties, lights, good tidings and well wishes, but it's the ultimate time for gratitude, reflection, and expressions of love.

And love comes in many forms. Love is gracefully accepting someone cutting you off on the freeway; it's this homeless man's grand gestures captured on video; the compassion shown to this grandma shoplifting eggs. Love is giving to charity; the hugs we get from our children before leaving for work; and it's the way we feel about someone, even when they're not with us. And during the crazy rush of the holiday season, love is the pause button that we're never too busy to push. 

So as things begin to settle down and you find your routine picking back up, I hope all the extra love of the season has overwhelmed you and carries you through the next year. I wish you health, happiness, and laughter, and want to thank you for being you. Merry Christmas everyone! Now let's PARTY!

December 17, 2014

Why I'm Not Winning Mom of the Year, Again

It was the busiest time of year and he was running away from me. I didn't have the stroller because it was an unplanned, last minute trip. I really needed wanted to use my Sephora credit before it expired so I had to make it work. Even if it meant dragging my cranky toddler to the gas station (I hate gas stations as much as he hates sitting in the car feeling abandoned); and even if it meant feeding him drive-thru dinner in the car on our way there; and even if it meant leaving the stroller at home. Deep breath. I braved rush hour traffic in the thick of holiday hustle and bustle with a terrible 2er in tow. It was game time. 

And at first there was hope. I managed to snag front row mall parking. Amazing, I know. But as I carried Dylan through the doors of the mall and set him down, it took three seconds for him to transform from a feral rat to a full-blown wet gremlin, bolting away in the opposite direction. I was losing control faster than I imagined and it was obvious when he ran to the back of Santa’s giant Christmas tree display, then confirmed when he began shaking the large steel barricade protecting said tree from this exact situation. And honestly, I may have been able to regain control had it not been for the damn mechanical bear that kept spinning its head from left to right. Dylan was enamored and adamant he wasn’t going to cooperate. I couldn’t compete. Can we just go to Sephora now? 

I needed a solution and a Xanax, but not in that order. I knew at any given moment things could get worse. I mean, he ate crap for dinner, he’s in front of the biggest Christmas tree in the world, on any other night he’d be in bed by now, and there’s a bear with a spinning head that keeps making eye contact with him. I know my son. I know all I need to do is mention leaving and he’ll either shrill, scream, hit me, pull my hair, flail his body like a dying fish, OR!!! Simply agree and follow me. Yup! I know my son alright, well enough to know that you never know with a two year old. 

At this point, I’m officially threatening abandonment. “Bye Dylan! Love you!” I said, waving goodbye and walking away. Fifty feet later, he showed no signs of cracking. In fact, he seemed thrilled by my departure. This is what a power struggle looks like, mom edition 2.0. But then I had an idea. Sure, it wasn’t one I’d disclose on my Mom of the Year application, but look! The Sweet Factory! “Do you want a treat?” I asked Dylan as I walked back to him (Son 1, Mom 0). “Yes.” aka permission to pick him up GRANTED. 

I dashed to candy land, bought a handful of yogurt raisins for $98 bucks (I'm a bit dramatic), stuffed them in my purse and set Dylan down. “If you want a treat you’ll have to be a good boy. Are you going to be a good boy?” “Yes.” 

1 yogurt raisin unlocked. I began walking to Sephora and guess who was walking right next to me? Only the best behaved 2ish year old you ever did see! “Mmm…yummy.” Damn right it is son. And then he upped the ante. Boyfriend grabbed my hand. Yes, he went from textbook tyrant to catalog toddler with 1 yogurt raisin, it was amazing. As we strolled on, hand in hand, I began noticing looks from all directions. Looks that I’m not used to. Instead of the scathing glares, bleak expressions, and typical sympathy faces from fellow mothers, I was getting nods of approval, smiles, and oogly googley eyes. I could almost hear other parents asking their kids why the hell they can’t behave like my baby. 

It was remarkable. I wanted to high five all persons of the world and spin around like the hills were alive with the sound of music. I continued feeding Dylan like a goat at a petting zoo and within fifteen minutes our trip was successfully complete. And I know this power won't last forever, and that raisins won't always be considered candy, that treats won’t always be as inaccessible to him…so for me, right now, I'm working it. And to all the onlookers colored impressed by my well-behaved tot, thank you. But for $12.99 per pound, you too can have this type of power.

I may not win Mom of the Year, but a tantrum-free-sans-stroller shopping trip a week before Christmas is win enough for me! 

Oh come on, you didn't expect me to actually take a picture in the midst of all the chaos, did you?

December 11, 2014

I'm Not Stupid, I Swear

When it comes to verbal skills, I’m sort of a mess. I fumble, I jumble, and I mispronounce words ALL the time. I suffer from flash-think…aka rapid thoughts that confuse my poor slowmo mouth. The result? “Do you want to eat your movie and watch your dinner?” Though my knack for ditzy speech used to sadden me (I’M NOT STUPID I SWEAR!), I’ve gotten pretty good at not acknowledging the slips as they happen. I don’t bother correcting myself anymore. Instead, I exude inflated confidence, scream internally, and roll with it. But apparently being garble-girl wasn’t enough for me as I’ve ventured to a new low: poor conversationalist.

I’m not trying to suck when I talk to you, I swear! It’s effortless actually; because there’s this thing that happened to me when I had baby Dylan- I embarked on my very own big baby devolution. Sure I’m all adult on the outside, but internally, I’m singing itsy-bitsy-spider and noticing how blue today’s sky is. I’m sorry. I blame the kid. Months ago when I first began realizing my brain was becoming that of a toddlers, I accepted the new-found state of excitable clapping, mini-pancakes, and toy jacking my son because it came easy. It felt right. But you know what doesn’t feel right? Calling your boss’ headache an “owie,” or interrupting someone in the thick of a conversation to shout, “I see you!” at your son in an effort to discourage foreseeable funny business. As you were saying? 

These days my conversations are not only laced with my typical backwards speak, but they also include baby babble (Time for yum-yum!), offbeat comments (LOOK, A BIG TRUCK!), and frequent disruptions (Don’t hit Boog! Is that Nice?). So in advance, I’m sorry. Please understand that the constant exposure to overly enthusiastic children’s programming and all things toddler are getting the best of me. But there’s hope! As I continue to regress, Dylan continues to progress, and one day we’ll meet in the middle and adulthood will be restored.

Unless of course, this is just me returning to my natural state, in which case I’ll be forever young. And that’s kind of a win. Right?

December 8, 2014

8 [Often Overlooked] Resume Polishers for Parents

On any given day you can find me scrambling to meet the ridiculously high standards of my toddler, who works me like a show pony. He wants me to make him breakfast, swaddle his stuffed animal, pick him up, and serve him juice, all at the same time. But before I can even process his whines demands, he spews out another 5. So you know what I do? Miraculously execute them all. Such competence was developed on the job and at this point, my juggling skills could put world renowned circus acts to shame. And they should…but no one knows they exist. 

This lack of disclosure is practically a crime against parents everywhere. Mastery should be celebrated! Or in the very least, briefly accounted for on one’s resume along with all their other qualifications. So to Moms and Dads throughout the world, feel free to add these gems to your own resume, because there’s no way I could be the only one who has met the following demands during their vigorous (and ongoing) domestic work experience: 

- Search and Rescue Operations: 99% success rate in recovering lost items, with focus on small toy cars. 
- Anger Management Specialist with the ability to derail meltdowns through distraction, negotiation, and various counseling techniques. 
- Certified M.O.M. (Master of Multitasking): Innate talent for identifying workload priorities to maximize overall productivity (and peace). 
- Professional demeanor with the ability to maintain position of authority in the face of a hilarious and unapologetic colleague. 
- Conflict Resolution Whizz: Vast experience in shutting shit down facilitating diplomatic conclusions to often nonsensical conflicts. 
- Effective communicator; with emphasis on deciphering incoherent speech and body language translation. 
- Enthusiastic Team Player: Possess round-the-clock fervor, even during mundane and repetitive tasks such as reading the same book and/or sitting through the same movie 12 times back to back. 
- Possess high tolerance for unruly and often unforeseeable drama without taking misappropriated actions personal. 

Though there’s a multitude of additional talents that have not been included in the aforementioned skills, I should note that I’ve intentionally left out a big one: the ability to withstand exposure to bodily fluids and excrements. I mean, a show pony can only put up with so much shit.

Meet the slave driver.

December 3, 2014

My Baby Ate the Gerber Baby (Thanks Save-A-Lot)

My Gerber baby competitive eating at 7 mo.
When it comes to all-things-Dylan, some things are simply indisputable. Like the fact he favors his dad; he’s sound sensitive; and boyfriend is serious about his food…REAL serious. Right now, I’m trying to teach Dylan that it’s okay to give me a bite of his cookie and if mom asks for one of his beloved Gerber yogurt melts, the world REALLY won’t burn to the ground. Dylan, I swear. The amount of food he can fit in his wittle baby tummy has always surprised me and I’ve often wondered if he has a bright shining future in competitive eating. A mom can only hope.  

But just because Dylan’s stomach is a bottomless pit, doesn’t mean my bank account has to be. There’s no doubt that feeding my child is expensive and I may need a second job in order to keep up with the grocery bill once he’s a teenager. But for now- I can afford to indulge all of his Gerber favorites because they’re officially available at Save-A-Lot. And I save a lot I Save-A-Lot at Save-A-Lot. (lol, I couldn’t help myself.)

Because Gerber foods are baby/toddler approved/consumed and affordable, Dylan’s hungry-hippo non-sharing tendencies are fully enabled. And yes, I did just inadvertently confess to snacking on my 1 year old’s snacks. Don’t judge me, those yogurt melts are amazing and I’m teaching him how to share like any good mom would. One could say that because  I’m teaching him how to Share-A-Lot. (Look, I never claimed to be funny.)

To get in on the Gerber goodness and for the chance to win a $25 Save-A-Lot gift card, visit their Smart Shopper Club Sweepstakes featured on Save-A-Lot’s Facebook page. There’s a winner WEEKLY for #SaveALotInsiders!

http://soch.us/DSnJ-h2Y1" rel="nofollow"

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Save-A-Lot. This could include Save-A-Lot providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment. However, I'm not required to disclose (but will anyway) that Dylan really is a hungry hippo who loves Gerber yum-yums. Proof.

December 1, 2014

Tree Phobia and All Things Winter

A lot of people say that summer is their favorite season but for me, this is it. Winter is my thing* and I’m officially on a holiday high! Though I’ve always loved winter (partially because my birthday is in early January), this year is extra amazing because of my little superstar Dylan. The kid is young enough to not have any idea what’s coming but old enough to enjoy it once it hits. And yesterday I said goodbye to November and hello to Christmas December by baking some chocolate chip cookies; it’s a fan favorite. 

The Christmas tree is up, stockings are hung, it rained yesterday, and all I want to do is listen to old classic carols like Elvis’ Blue Christmas and Bing Crosby anything! Speaking of Christmas trees, Dylan keeps calling ours “pretty” but refuses to get near it. Have you seen the clip on Maury featuring a girl who is deathly afraid of pickles? Well, that’s Dylan only instead of pickles, trees are his fear. He acts like he’s down for trees and nonchalantly walks past them but the second you pull him near a tree he loses his shit….like this: 



The fact 2015 is a month away blows my mind but I enjoy (okay I LOVE) reflecting on the past and the upcoming year and thinking about all the different ways I can elevate my spirit. At the risk of sounding like a total fruit, I’m all about self-improvement (in theory). I’m not saying I’m Ms. Follow-Through but I definitely make sure to plant my intentions and focus on what I want. So hey, happy holiday season to you and yours and let’s get this party started! 

And I have to know (it's part of my pre-holiday pump up routine), what is you're absolute FAVORITE part about this time of year? 

*Winter is technically still three weeks out but I love it so much that I don’t even care!  

November 25, 2014

My Son Loves Me and I'm Questioning It

DISCLAIMER: This is a letter I wrote to my son for the sole purpose of putting his recent affections on record. As you'll probably recall, Dylan was born disappointed that his mom is female. He's a boy's boy through and through and though it may sound dramatic, I'm not trying to oversell the fact that he's barely tolerated my existence. 

Dear Dylan, 

You’ve been my son for nearly 2 years, during which you’ve taught me the cruelest lesson ever: just because I have a son, doesn’t mean I have a momma’s boy (ouch). Oh well. You’ve also taught me that holding favoritism against you is impossible. Scratch that. Holding anything against you is impossible. Apparently all I see is when I look at your face is instant defeat aka my big fat perfect baby. Yes, I realize I’ve become as soft as the plush pals that sit in your bed. But alas, you’re finally reciprocating my love!!! 

Yesterday I was shocked to hear your teacher explain that when you don’t want to follow her instructions, you call out for “Mommy,” then bolt towards the window to check if I’m there to save you. Your teacher thinks the rebellion is really cute (thankfully), and I’m flattered/amused by your impression that mom is willing to bail you out of things that you don’t want to do. LOL. That’s not how it works. Regardless, thanks for thinking me when I’m not around. I especially love that instead of running away from me when I pick you up (like you’ve been doing for the past 12 months), you now run to me. Swoon! Victory dance! YAY! 

Other recent affections have also been duly noted. Like pulling me to your room for play sessions, or jumping on my back for unexpected hugs…I see you baby! And I like it. I’ve also noticed that you’re actually REQUESTING that I pick you up and hold you. It’s like you’re a different person! Who is this child seeking his mother’s attention? I’m grateful, yes, but seriously, what happened? You haven’t given me the time of day in two years! I’ve had to grovel for kisses, master the art of graceful rejection, and I’ve had to sit on the outside of your team daddy club meetings on countless occasions. And now you love me? Why am I even questioning it instead of knocking on wood like a smart person?! 

I can’t help but wonder. Maybe all my good-mom efforts are (finally) resonating with you. Maybe I’ve passed your stringent trial period. Or maybe this is a “tell Santa I was a good boy” Christmas conspiracy. Truthfully, I don’t care. Manipulate me all you want, I’m just delighted that you’re shining your light in my direction! Unprompted kisses!? YES! Your new found affections make the hair pulling, face slapping, and general brutality all the less painful. So thank you. I’m going to enjoy the next fifteen minutes of favoritism before you remember that I’m not your dad. 

Lovey Dovey, 

Your Mom 

P.S. I didn’t give you Ducky. He’s mine. I hope this doesn’t change things.

November 21, 2014

Mommy is Sorry.

My cute little long haired bum child
I’m a bad girl. Though I made a big time declaration that I was going to cut my son’s hobo-like locks, let’s be real: that was practically a year ago and I just couldn’t do it- I love his bummy hair! Even if it’s a knotted mop…even if it’s constantly bothering him…even if he hides food in it. Love is blind, what can I say? It wasn’t until people began regularly referring to my son as a girl that I started thinking he might need a trim. Nothing dramatic, just a little length off the back so strangers would stop telling me how beautiful my daughter is. 

I began searching for a kids’ salon but chickened out after reading one too many scary Yelp reviews featuring jagged cow-licked photos from disgruntled customers. Having waited nearly 2 years to trim Dylan’s locks, I couldn’t risk a bad experience. So I did what any over-confident mother would do, I decided to cut Dylan’s hair myself. Because, uhm, hello- I’m his mom. I can do anything. But there’s a problem (and it isn’t that I have zero stylist skills or experience), it’s my husband. 

Though I’m sure there are a lot of men in the world without two cents to spare when it comes to their children’s hair (part one of my argument), that’s not my guy. My husband is the kind of dad that examines the outfits I pick out for Dylan, shakes his head, and picks out something else…then irons it. So I spent a couple of weeks campaigning, stating that it would grow back (part two); that if I messed up, I’d take him for a real cut (part three); and finally, who was he to deny me the right to cut my own son’s hair, anyway? (The closer) All my efforts eventually paid off and I was given the Zepeda stamp of approval to move forward with Operation Snippety Snip. What a disaster. 

It started out great. Dylan sat stilly watching monster trucks on my phone as I combed through his head making little cuts to his precious curls. And when I was finished, I whipped out my blow dryer and dried his wet shaggy mop. That’s when I realized what I had done: I gave my son a first class bob. And it would’ve looked great….on an old woman. So let’s classify this under “never again,” “mom fail,” and “wtf,” cut my losses (literally) and bank on the fact that hair grows back. My love for Dylan may run deep but I can confirm that it is no longer blind. At all. Stupid retracting curls.  

Silver Lining: Though it was not my intention to butcher Dylan's hair for a blog post (evil laugh), it does make for great content..lol...

My bad...
You know it's bad when the blur doesn't help...

November 18, 2014

Don't Say the "C" Word - And Other House Rules

I’ve made a lot of life changes since becoming a parent, some voluntarily (e.g. work schedule) and some involuntarily. (e.g. I’m a “morning person” now, really? Sad.) And I’ve learned a thing or two throughout these adjustments; like coffee tables are for acrobatics, anything atop a counter is free game, and if you value sanity and/or peace (definitions may vary), then you live by the truth that there are some things you just DON’T DO and DON’T SAY to a toddler. Seriously. Though each child is different, I have a feeling I’m not the only one who: 
  • Won’t announce we’re leaving the house until we’re physically leaving the house. Utter “bye-bye” any sooner is like rolling out the red carpet for trouble to stomp on in its muddy shoes. 
  • Hides candy, chocolate, and chips from my child because sharing is never a onetime thing. Toddlers have selective memory partial to junk food. They will remember, and you will be harassed. Forever. 
  • Asks if they want _________. The answer is always no. And now? They’re onto you. i.e. “Do you want to go to bed?” Nope. You blew it. 
  • Gets punished for hypocritical rule breaking. Yes…I threw the remote onto the couch…but NO THROWING YOUR TOYS! Mom gets a time-out (though let’s be honest, it doesn’t feel like punishment).
  • Really REALLY has to watch what comes out of that mouth. “Oh sh**!” will be your child's new favorite term, requiring immediate damage control. “Mommy meant said ‘Oh grits! Sits! Mommy's new mitts! Oh that's the pits.'” It's what failure sounds like.
  • And when it comes to cursing, DO NOT by any means under any circumstances say the “C” word. No, not that one. These days the "c" word is "cookie."   
Being the personal assistant to a 2x2 (two years by two feet) doesn’t always come easy. My boss toddler runs a tight (but unpredictable and ever-changing) ship. And in order to navigate the cruel seas of moody toddler waters, I’ve had to learn how to acclimate. I mean, my ability to shove and chew an entire chocolate bar undetected is a practically a job acquired skill! How’s that for a resume polisher? 

November 14, 2014

Technology, Stem Cells, and a Car Seat Giveaway

Below is a post that was scheduled prior to the big news that..my older sister had her baby boy yesterday!!! Meet my day old nephew Dietrich! I'm already in love with this little guy...and by little, I mean 9lbs 10oz. Isn't he dreamy? Congratulations Veronica, Ed, and big sister Sofia!!! Welcome to the world little one!

And speaking about welcoming little bundles of joy in the world....

I would do anything to keep Dylan from harm, even if it means jumping out of a building, running in front of a train, or god forbid- killing an intruder. Parents want to protect their children, period. But what about the things we can’t control? Like diseases, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies? We might not be able to manipulate the future in our favor, but we can try. So when LifebankUSA contacted me and asked if I’d post about their Facebook giveaway, I agreed. Not only because you can win a fab car seat, but because I wish I would’ve known about LifebankUSA when I had Dylan. Let me tell you why. 

If you don’t already know, stem cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune systems and we all have them. Unfortunately, adult stem cells aren’t as versatile or durable as embryonic and they can contain higher abnormalities, whereas embryonic stem cells have the ability to develop into other types of cells that can repair organs, tissues, and blood vessels. Did you hear me? I said they can REPAIR ORGANS

Umbilical cords and placenta blood are stem cell rich and stashing them away is one of the most amazing benefits living in this day and age affords us. LifebankUSA has the technology to store and preserve your baby’s stem cells so should you ever need them, they’re available to you. You can learn more about their FDA approved clinical trials, the protection they provide, and their super technology here

I know that health issues are scary but I hope you find this information to be empowering. And if it isn’t, then at least I have an awesome Facebook giveaway to link you to! I’m talkin’ THREE Graco car seats! Visit their FB page and enter by 12/21/14. Winners will be selected by 12/31/14. Good luck! 

If you didn't catch it in the first paragraph, let me remind you that I agreed to share LifeBankUSA's giveaway after being contacted to do so. I received a giftcard for my participation but know that my opinions cannot be bought and though I had no plans to post this prior to being contacted, I don't participate in campaigns I don't already agree with. So how's that for disclosure, FTC?

November 12, 2014

That One Time I Let My Toddler Do Whatever

I was at the sink doing dishes [will they ever just stop?] when the piercing sounds of clinking-clanking metals startled my little rabbit heart. I turned around and lo’ and behold, every pot, pan, and lid we own was spread across the tile floor. It took Dylan seven seconds to accomplish such, a new record, I thought. Color me impressed and irritable. “Dylan, put them back!” I barked whilst making a mental note to rinse each piece before reuse because well, you know toddlers, they’re germy…and the pots don’t belong on the floor. Dylan smiled and continued to sit on the floor with all the “toys,” then promptly gave me his back. Whoa dude, blatantly pretending ignoring me? He really is starting to mirror my behavior. 

The kid is smart, I gotta give him that. He knew I was too preoccupied with soapy hands to abandon post. So I tried something else, “Dylan, can you show mommy how you put it away like a good boy?” He’s either uninterested or he’s onto me, regardless, clink clink clink. I turn back to consider my options. I can:

(a) Stop, put it all away and return to the dishes at the risk of another record-breaking cabinet extraction; 
(b) Put it all away and put off the dishes (TEMPTING!); 
(c) Beg Continue asking Dylan to put it away (he wont); or 
(d) Give up and accept the noise, the possibility of broken glass, and the guilt of knowingly allowing him to rebel.

Easy! I choose (d) and accept the premature demise of any respect I possess as an authoritative figure. I also choose to omit such incrimination from my post-day share time with the husband. Dad doesn’t need to know everything, why burden him…right

With the dishwasher finally loaded up and my jaws permanently clenched from biting my tongue, I was ready to reclaim Dylan’s toys as my cookware. But then I noticed something...Dylan wasn’t just playing with the pots and pans, he was assembling them. He devised an entire system of lining them up by size, matching each to their respective lid, then scrambling, repeat. I couldn't resist; I surrendered.

sat across from Dylan and asked what he was doing. He showed me how the big lid doesn’t fit the small pots but it fits 2 of the large ones, and how the tiny little lid just falls into the big pots [CLINK]. 

And before I knew it, I was dropping lids on the floor too. Sure, I may have sent the "wrong" message and maybe he'll think playing with cookware on the kitchen floor is all good [shudder], but the kid made a freaking puzzle! Props. Plus, I did get the dishes done. So I’m proud. Of the both of us. 

November 10, 2014

When the Fever Becomes an Infection

I have a fever that I just can’t shake. But before you panic and have me quarantined by the CDC, my current state shouldn't alarm you. That is, unless you have a baby...in which case you should HIDE THEM FROM ME IMMEDIATELY. 

Hi, my name is Rebeccafaith and I have baby fever.

It’s all very new to me. I haven't been the baby-craving type. Even when I was pregnant with Dylan, it was more of a fact than an achievement. Sure, I was excited and looking forward to being a mom, but there was no list with a box to check off, and being impregnated wasn’t filling any sort of void or offering me a sense of purpose…that I was aware of. Cause you know....babies. They change your life. Wiping asses quickly becomes no big deal and you'll still love them even after being forced out of bed six times a night. And as they grow and get bigger, there's the chance you'll be left wanting another one. It's madness. It's purpose. It's a void I didn't know I had. And it's definitely the fever.

But my baby fever is becoming an infection. I can tell because:
  • I use every opportunity to remind my husband that Dylan needs a sibling. Just look at him! He wont share! He needs a sibling to jack his toys. 
  • I choose to "forget" all the work that comes with an infant.
  • I also choose to "forget" how expensive they are.
  • I randomly drop subjective one liners like, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, honey.
  • I've developed the super ability to spot and identify babies of all ages. Babies! They're everywhere!
  • And once spotted, I point them out. Aww! Look at how cute that baby is! I SAID LOOK!
  • My automated reply to "Dylan looks so big" comments are, "Yeah I'm ready for number two."
  • I'm only half kidding when I ask if I can keep your baby.
  • I have no shame in my morbidity: When we die, Dylan won’t be alone if he has a brother or sister.
  • I buy pregnancy tests "just in case" I might need them..someday. 
  • I make weird hippy-dippy declarations like, I have so much love still left to give!
  • There's officially a list. With a box. To be checked.
This feverish infection isn't really my fault. I mean, just look at how quickly they grow! Plus, it's not like I'll be this crazy forever because luckily, there's a cure. And it's just what the doctor ordered: A baby. 

November 5, 2014

How To Piss Off Your Toddler

It’s so fun to unexpectedly discover something you’re really good at; like the moment you realize you bake a mean coconut macaroon (eh-em)

And then there are things you don’t necessarily want to be good at but rock anyway; like pissing off your toddler (which I’ve apparently mastered). Whether it’s a talent or a skill, I’ve somehow become exceptionally proficient in provoking meltdowns. No effort required! When it comes to eliciting fits of fury, I am the reigning queen mom expert here to share my intel. These are just a handful of tried and tested ways to piss your toddler off: 
  • Ask them if they want something when they don’t. 
  • Pick them up when it’s time to leave. 
  • Say no. Works every time
  • Secure your toddler in their car seat. 
  • Stop at a red light. 
  • Intercept your bundle of joy as they fall off the couch. 
  • Talk on the phone. 
  • Try to feed them vegetables. Sometimes, feeding them anything does the trick.
  • Approach them too quickly. Especially in the morning. 
  • Change their clothes. 
  • Change their diaper. 
  • Take something out of their hands. 
  • Refuse their request for cookies. 
  • Misunderstand their babble. 
  • Restrict them in any way. 
  • Exist. 

If you haven’t caught on, let me explain: everything pisses off a toddler. Though the screams, the flailing deadweight body thrashes, and the physical abuse I put up with on a daily basis is hard on the nerves, I’ve accepted the terribles and my skilled ability to provoke it. And quite honestly, if you’re not pissing off your toddler, you’re doing it wrong. 

November 3, 2014

Halloween Fail, AGAIN.

Just like last year, Halloween was a bust. Though we had big plans to trick-or-treat with the cousins and party like one should when it falls on a Friday, we ended up staying home with a miserable toddler. Dylan was sick y’all, like REALLY sick. He had a cough throughout the week but he didn’t complain too much; but by Friday morning, he was stuffy and looking all sorts of ill. Dad took him to the doctor in the afternoon only to discover that Dylan was suffering a double ear infection and fluid in his lungs. YEAH, FLUID IN HIS LUNGS. The doctor put him on a breathing machine that improved his airways by 3% and eliminated the possibility of pneumonia. Thank the heavens! But still, he was miserable and in obvious discomfort. 

Though we don't normally allow it, Dylan slept in our bed that night. I wanted to keep an eye on him and I’m glad I did, but man! It was a painful night of no sleep for all. Dylan was delirious throughout the night, waking up, sitting up, falling over, crying, you name it. And around 7 am I heard him say, “Trucks? Trucks?” But before I could even open my eyes he slapped me in the face. I was too tired to react so he slapped me again. I just love that boy. Jkghkjdfgd. 

The rest of the weekend consisted of making soup, watching the Doodlebops over and over and over and over, trying to cheer Dylan up, baking cookies, and buying Halloween candy on clearance since we didn’t have a stash to raid. But in case anyone’s counting, we’re 2 for 2 for Halloween fails. Last year he slept through it, and this year he was too sick. Will we ever have a normal and successful Halloween?! We’re going big next year. Not only will it be on a Saturday, but it will be Dylan’s FIRST Halloween.

October 30, 2014

Answering the Tough Questions

I have this very special friend, her name is Tamara (Like Camera). She's my dream girl! And I'm not just saying that because we have the same personality type (INFP). This is my second round of #AAF with girlfriend so in case you're wondering, her kids are still way too adorable, she still takes whimsical photos, her husband makes pumpkin stew IN A HOLLOWED PUMPKIN (seriously) and I love her even more. Make sure you read how she responded to my questions on her blog, here!

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a place for us to connect with other bloggers by asking them ten questions to really get to know them. The sky is the limit with the questions you ask! Meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
And Co-host for the next 2 weeks: The Singapore Writing Homemaker.


1. It's Halloween today! Are you dressing up? Is Dylan dressing up? What are your weekend Halloween plans? 

The plan was
Dylan=Peter Pan
Dad=Captain Hook
Mom=Tinkerbell (because I never want Peter to grow up!) 
But I didn't get my costume in time (fail), dad wouldn't have dressed up anyway (it's like pulling teeth), and now Dylan is the only one sticking to the plan. On Halloween I'll go to work with blood smeared all over my face, enter my Diz-Demo[lition] Monster Truck mini-pumpkin our annual mini-pumpkin decorating contest, then the fam head over to my sister-in-law's house for trick-or-treating with the cousins and a Halloween bash! 

2. What's something that amazes you? 

Early childhood amazes me. When I look back on my own childhood, little things like sending poetry to publishers at 8, wanting to learn how to meditate at 10, and rushing to do any project that involved writing a story, were all just "things" I was doing at the time. But now, I see that those "things" are who I really am and have always been. I was most myself as a kid and I feel like I'm only just now building back that connection. 

Just look at me, celebrating like a boss from the start!
3. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? 

I'm pretty freakin' lazy, yo. Honestly. Last Saturday, Zepeda and I rearranged our entire room and I consider that pushing my physical limits. lol I'm so lazy that I block out anything involving physical activity. I'm still [emotionally] hurting from a day of snowboarding 4 years ago! 

4. What's a dream vacation you can't wait to take with your family? 

Right off the bat I want to say HAWAII!!! But let's dream a little bigger and go with GERMANY! It's where my mom is from and I desperately want to take everyone in the world there, especially Zepeda and Dylan, to show them this magical place where chocolate and candy falls from the sky and pretzels are bigger than 1 year olds. 

This photo sucks (because I took it). 
5. What blog post were you most afraid to publish, but did anyway?

EVERY ONE OF THEM! Though I can't imagine a life where I'm not writing, knowing that it will be read makes me feel exposed. I'm just waiting for the "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" comment to crush me. Please be nice, I'm sensitive under all this sass. This one made me very nervous for backlash.

6. Will you be going to any blog conferences in 2015??? What are your next plans for your wonderful blog? 

I'm going wherever you're going! I'm considering BlogHer, but really I'm just waiting for you to lay out our itinerary. As far as plans for my blog, monetize, monetize, monetize. In order for me to feel like I've achieved my life's dream and goal of being a successful writer, I need to make millions of dollars. And in order to make millions of dollars, I need to publish a book...I'm working on it.

7. I know you asked me something similar to this, but what is something hilarious that Dylan has said or done lately? 

Uhm...well Dylan doesn't speak in complete sentences AT ALL. He's still asking for things with a single word, "aqua?" But!! This morning I was sitting in bed with him and he looked over at me and said way too clearly, "Shubah shubashuba let's get on the bus." WTF! Maybe we've watched too much of this. Considering all things, I thought it was hilarious. 

8. As you know, I just read and reviewed "My Other Ex." If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? 

This is tough because I'm fiercely loyal. So once something terrible happens that forces an "ex" relationship, I have zero interest in considering restoration. I honestly cannot think of a single relationship I'd like to restore. Nope, not Kenny. Nope, not Shanda. And definitely not you, Michelle.

9. When did you immediately click with someone you had just met? What was the long term result? Are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first? 

There are two extremes here because on the one hand, I'm very clickable. I am extremely empathetic and can relate to anyone, plus I genuinely and generally care, so people are comfortable with me quite quickly and I learn a lot about them. But I don't click with others as easily. It takes me a long time to feel like I really click with someone. Actually, I typically dislike the people I end up clicking with. For instance my husband, I couldn't stand him. Who did he think he was, anyway? lol 

Didn't see THIS coming!
10. I want a funny Halloween memory. WITH photos. Or any Halloween memories with photos.

All my favorite memories of Halloween are the same: rushing from house to house to collect the most candy, filling up a pillowcase, going home, dumping it out, counting/sorting and then trading with my four sisters. The best part about having 4 sisters on Halloween was having 4 people to trade candy with. Especially the younger ones. "I'll give you 20 Smarties for 5 Twix." I mean, who takes quantity of quality? Little sisters. And here are some Halloween photos!!

Thank you Tamara! Your questions blew my mind. Don't forget to send me our conference schedule! 

October 29, 2014

I Don't Want to Dream.

I had an entirely different post scheduled for today. But then something happened. You see, I’ve always experienced very vivid and memorable dreams. It’s great when I dream of eating my way out of a chocolate bar but disappointing when I wake up without one. And then there are times like this morning, when I woke up at 3am with tears pouring down my face because I had dreamt of escaping a violent man at a crappy motel in a bad part of town during a business trip. The dream ultimately resulted in my husband and son going back to the motel to find me, forcing me to rush back and retrieve them, only for the man to reappear, kill my husband with one blow to the head, while I attempted to frantically re-escape with Dylan in my arms. Seriously brain? Where do you get this stuff?! 

So of course, in my 3am grog, I swore someone was breaking into the house. And not just “someone,” but a reader of this here blog that I don’t know of but sits behind the screen, obsessing over my life. Seriously brain? SERIOUSLY? And there’s no talking me off the ledge! I sat up and listened for commotion but heard nothing- because hello, it was a dream

Regardless, it terrified me. I’m irrational like that. I mean, I sleep with a knife under my pillow if my husband is out of town. And when I’m the only one home, I play a game called, “Where’s your weapon?” which consists of identifying objects within reaching distance that can be used to stab someone’s eye…or chest…or whatever. But quasi-violence isn’t the only crazy fantasy I buy into. When I wake up from a husband-cheating-on-me dream, I grumpily roll over and ask him if he has anything he would like to tell me. Because “You were kissing so and so, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.” He laughs, so I give him frost bite with my eyes. 

Am I crazy? Are other people affected by their dreams like this? I have a few reoccurring classics too- like one where I watch my body fall off a cliff in the desert and land smack on the ground. And like a shitty movie, I see my lifeless body from a birds’ eye view as the shot pans out further and further away. I’m dead way before I wake up. SERIOUSLY BRAIN!? 

I can’t take it! Please, someone, save me from my imagination! This dream business is too much! So assuming I get a good night’s sleep, regular DIZMOMMY programming will resume tomorrow. Think cute stories of toddler life and sweet California sunshine- or anything other than being hunted down by a freak stalker. Thanks guys!

October 23, 2014

Moms In Da Club

Mommy Club fringe benefits are legit. Running late? Blame the kid. Don’t wanna go? Blame the kid. And my favorite: I broke it…so I blame the kid. (Gotta milk it while he’s still too young to throw me under the bus!) I knew I’d enjoy my Mom Club membership! But what I didn’t know, and what I’m just learning, is that sometimes, the mom club is really like a club. I’m talkin’ bottle service, VIP booth, stimulant-spillover, full blown CLUBBY CLUB CLUB. 

It all started when I was doing post-dinner dishes and the kitchen lights suddenly went out. What the? I turned around and saw a proud Dylan against the wall with his head contorted in my direction and one hand hovering over the light switch. Good news? The world isn’t over, Dylan just figured out how to turn the lights off. Bad news? He can only reach high enough to turn them off…so turning them back is on me. I walked over and restored light. Within seconds, he restored darkness. Despite my pleas, we went back and forth several times. Did I mention Doodlebops were on T.V.? With all the flickers, the running to and fro, the high pitched squeals from the speakers, we were basically tripping on acid in the club. You know, mom life. Always trippin’ on something. 

When the strobe show was over aka I finished dishes in the dark, I embarked on my next gig: bottle girl. Super glamorous, I know. I popped a bottle (Yes- he still gets a bottle at night. Pathetic? Maybe.) And promptly escorted Dylan to the VIP booth, otherwise known as my room. I lingered a bit just so he’d know I was available for any further requests (within reason, buddy. You don’t own me.). And when the bottle was empty, it was time to call it a night. I took him to his room and laid him in his crib, hoping he’d be a big tipper, but all I got a measly wave goodbye. Another ungrateful patron, I thought as I smiled and shut the door. 

That’s when I heard my best customer yelling for me to return. Obviously he’s delusional, or maybe he had too much to drink. But there’s no re-entry in this club buddy! So I did what any smart bottle girl does to a non-tipping, turnt-up patron- I ignored him, walked away, and went somewhere quiet. I’m off the clock buddy. Sometimes you just gotta shut the mommy club down for a members only after party. Heck, we deserve it!

October 21, 2014

Outsmarting the Universe

I’ve come to realize that I’m pretty magical, it’s as if I have super powers! Hear me out: Almost every time I make a declaration such as, “Dylan’s never had separation anxiety.” The opposite immediately becomes true and I suddenly find myself smacked in my face by separation anxiety’s ugly hand. My ability to manipulate reality byway of a bold announcement is practically witchcraft. There are times in which I’m not mindful of the danger this type of power possesses, and will say something stupid like “he’s being so good!” when we’re at a restaurant in the middle of dinner. Bad call mom, bad call

So in an effort to milk this super phenomenon in my favor, I have a handful of assertions I’d like to throw out into the Universe: 

I won’t win the jackpot when I play the lottery.
Dylan is never going to stop hitting and yelling at me.
I’ll always forget to take meat out of the freezer before I leave for work.
I’m way too busy to have time for myself.
Dylan is constantly making a mess.
I’ll never see Kobe Bryant play in person!
My next baby is totally going to be a boy.
Dylan favors dad, case closed.
I can never find the clothes I like in my size.

Alright guys, I’ll let you know how this theory plays out. Hopefully it will result in someone (eh-ehm) being the favorite parent of a well-behaved Dylan, who rocks killer threads at a Laker game [courtside seats], with a hefty bank account, pregnant with a girl, and there will be thawed meat by the afternoon. Obviously I’m a dreamer…and a genius.