Archives for category: My Life

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Ya know, moving really isn’t that much fun.
It can be exciting, sure.
But fun…no way.
And I’ve been having an exciting and un-fun week.
Full of heavy boxes, back sweat, dust bunnies, Tupperware without matching lids, a toddler learning how to use stairs, and an abundance of rogue coat hangers that seem to appear from no where.
But when the dust settles,
I have lots and lots to share.
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We’re Moving.
 
 
And we’re pretty excited about it.
We like change around these parts.
The hubs and I get the “itch” to move,
to try out a different neighborhood,
get a fresh start,
go on new adventures.
So we’re giving up our backyard,
in exchange for a quick walk from a back patio and down a greenbelt
to my favorite place in our little town.
The Lake.

And while I’m excited today,
I know that once all the pictures are off the walls,
all the boxes are packed
and our house is empty,
I’ll get all mushy gushy about leaving behind
the home where we started our little family.
The home where our son took his first steps,
got his first boo boo,
had his first visit from Santa
and said his first words.
The home where I burned my first turkey,
discovered my decor style,
and hosted my first BBQ.
This home marks our beginning,
and it will hold a special place in my heart forever.
Here’s to embracing the adventure that is change.

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The best blogging advice I ever received:
Only tell your story.
It’s not my place to tell someone else’s story for them,
to pretend I understand their choices,
their reasoning,
or their path in life.
The only story I know for sure
is my own.

Which is why I am sometimes conflicted on how to respond
to your emails and comments asking about my parents…
More specifically,
my single mom
and my dad.

And then I read Ree Drummond’s book,
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,
where she talked about her parent’s divorce
as it related to her
without all the intimate details of their relationship.
And I thought to myself,
that is the story I want to tell.

High school sweet hearts,
married young,
divorced soon
with one healthy baby girl
to show for their short time together.
That is where our story begins.

I have no doubts that they were in love,
and I have no doubts that I brought them both great joy.
But eventually, real life and hardships dissolved their young love
and ultimately their marriage.

I was one year old when they divorced.

Growing up I never questioned why they weren’t still together,
I just questioned why he was never around.

A handful of visits a year,
and a few special occasions
I would see him.

We always had fun,
we always giggled,
ate good food,
watched basketball,
talked about the Dodgers,
and played horse in the driveway.

But then he left,
and I was back to not having a Dad.

I remember practicing throwing the perfect spiral
and swishing my three point shot
just so I could impress him the next time we were together.
Maybe then he would visit more.

I invited him to my soccer games,
my awards banquets,
my back to school nights
and all those things parents go to
to support their kids.

But my Aunt was always sitting in his place.
Then one day when I was 15, he showed up.

It was my club soccer game.
I had been playing for 6 years,
and this was one of the first games he had made it to.
I scored three goals,which is kinda a big deal.

I’ll never forget how proud he was.
The look on his face,
the enthusiasm and power behind his high five,
and the way he introduced himself to the other parents as
my Dad.

I had over 50 more soccer games in my high school career,
and after that day, my Dad never missed a single one.

If it wasn’t about sports,
my Dad was generally a man of few words.
But over the next few years he began to open up.
We started having weekly dinners,
went on afternoon runs,
and shared talks about life and the past.

It might have been too late for the typical father/daughter relationship
so we worked on creating a friendship.

Sure, there were days when I was hurt.
But I was never angry with him,
never lashed out,
never expected more than I knew he was capable of giving.
I just hoped that one day he could give me more.

Instead, I developed this image in my mind
of the type of father my kids would have.
The type of Father who always showed up.
The type of Father who would fight for his kids,
who’s heart would ache if he had to be away from them for even one day,
who tucked them in with bedtime stories and butterfly kisses every night.

And then I took that image,
I found that guy,
and I married him.

Today my Dad is one of my best friends.
He shows up for everything important to Baby W.
He takes him to the park,
helps him down the slide,
teaches him to throw a ball
and smothers him with kisses.

Today, he is the Grandpa who shows up,
the Grandpa who get’s choked up when Baby W skins his knee,
the Grandpa who loves,
the Grandpa who gives butterfly kisses,
the Grandpa Baby W can count on.
And that’s just the type of Father I need right now.

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Have I ever mentioned that I have a hard time getting rid of stuff?
Especially if it is even the least bit sentimental.
So today my Momma came over to give me the smack down.
It’s time Ashley. I’m bringing trash bags.
But I wasn’t worried.
I knew she would take one look at the memories inside my bins
and she wouldn’t have the heart to make me get rid of a thing.
And I was right.
My She-Ra doll.

Whenever I would visit my Dad, we would go to the LA Zoo. We never left before I got one of these plastic guerrillas.  I would walk around the Zoo smelling the plastic scent {yeah, I was a weird kid}.

And then I stumbled upon the extent of my “rebelliousness” as a kid.
Hidden within my Chucke Cheese mini backpack, fireworks–that I was always too scared to light, but felt like a rebel because I had them hidden in my room for years.

A picture of my Dad that reminds me of Baby W.

A letter my Aunt wrote to be just before she passed away.

My first glamour shot.

One of the rare pictures taken of me with black hair. Back in the dating days.
A few of my favorites from my childhood knife collection.
I told you I was weird.

Brad Pitts tickets to the Academy Awards that he left in his Limo.

My first cassette tapes. Wow, that makes me feel old.

My Homecoming crown.
So to make space for all my memories we busted out the Space Savers.
Is it weird that these make me giddy?
They might just be the greatest invention of all times.
Here is my Momma loading massive amounts of blankets in the Space Saver.
BEFORE: 
DURING:: 
And AFTER:

Woah, right?!
What memories have you been holding onto for years?

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I’m Mexican.
Well not completely.
You see, my Dad is half Mexican {although he looks 100%},
so I guess that makes me a quarter.
Which is why I get brown in the summer, 
have hot salsa running through my veins,
and will forever have a soft spot in my heart and in my tummy
for my Grandma’s crunchy chicken tacos and albondigas soup.
So when the Padre came over for dinner tonight,
I decided to cook up some Mexican goodness.
{that’s a Kobe Bryant Lakers shirt, in case you were wondering}.
And Baby W wanted to help.

  

While I was busy cutting up this…

for this…

and prepping these…

{Pioneer Woman Enchilladas}

Baby W was helping in his own way.

And because he has a little brown in him too (1/8th to be exact),
he enjoyed his spicy Pioneer Woman salsa
without batting an eye.

That’s my boy!

What did you eat for dinner, and who did you eat it with?

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From 1st through 7th grade we didn’t have a television in the house.
I don’t think I ever complained…maybe because it was all I really knew.
Instead of Full House and Family Matters,
I read books–lots of them.
Every week, my Mom or Grandma would take me
to the bookstore to pick out a new book.
I remember attempting to take my time to read them,
savoring every single page until my next trip to the book shop.
However, I couldn’t resist sneaking pages under the covers with a flash light way past my bedtime.  Ultimately, the book was finished the first day I brought it home.
Soon, my Mom found a local used book shop
and gave me NO limit on the number of books I threw in our basket,
so long as I finished them before our next visit.
I wasn’t the smartest kid in the bunch,
didn’t get an impressive score on my SAT
and I certainly didn’t get a full ride to Harvard.
But I did alright.
And, looking back,
I attribute “doing alright” to those 7 years
of really good books.

What am I forgetting?
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Just Another Day

Some have wondered what my typical day looks like.
When I find the time to blog,
how I keep Baby W busy,
when {or rather, if} I exercise.

So I have put together an outline of my day.
It’s super glamorous, let me tell ya.
No really, please don’t expect much.
And yes, I completely realize that many of my parenting methods are not
by.the.book.
Namely, Baby W’s sleep habits and his bottle dependency.
But if there’s anything I have learned as a parent,
it’s that sometimes you just have to do what works
so you can stay sane for the moments that require your patience the most
{for example, let’s say your toddler were to throw your iPhone in the toilet}.

So here is me, in a typical day, just trying to make it all work:

1:00 am
Baby W begins to whimper. Whimper turns into shrieking. Shrieking turns into stumbling out of bed to find his Momma. I close my lap top, grab my pillow, scoop up Baby W and curl up next to him in his bright red race car bed. Zzzzz.

3:00 am
Baby W sits straight up in bed.
I open one eye just in time to see him crawling over me to get out of bed. DaDa, DaDa. I grab my pillow, pick up Baby W, and then we crawl into bed next to Daddy and absorb all his warmth. Five minutes later Baby W is laying perpendicular between us, fast asleep.

6:45 am
Eyes. Nose. Mouth.
I wake up to Baby W aggressively poking at all my facial features and saying their names aloud. Daddy grabs his phone and plays scenes from Toy Story while we all lay cuddled together wishing our eye lids didn’t feel like a million pounds.

7:00 am to 8:00 am
This is Mommy and Baby W cuddle time. We meander out to the living room, grab extra blankets turn on Sesame Street and I rest my eyes while Baby W lays in my lap and giggles at Elmo’s jokes. I use my phone to read the majority of my fabulous blog comments while we cuddle.

8:00 am to 9:00 am
Baby W rejects his breakfast. He takes his daily 8:15 poo. Bath time. Then I wrestle clothes onto his squirmy body and leave him to play with his toys while I throw on an outfit and remove the leftover mascara from under my eyes.

9:00 am to 11:30 am
This is Baby W’s most alert part of the day so during this time I usually try to run my errands, schedule play dates, go to the market, post office, Costco and so on. I pick up the toys and clean up the breakfast dishes before we head out the door. Baby W doesn’t make errand running easy. By the time we are finished, Baby W is only wearing one shoe, I have sweat dripping down the middle of my back and mashed gold fish in the wispy front parts of my hair.

11:30 am to 12:30 am
Lunch time. Sometimes we meet up with the hubs, sometimes we eat Happy Meals and sometimes we just chill at home and enjoy Easy Mac. We also watch a lot of Toy Story during this time. When lunch is over we go on a drive or a walk around the block until Baby W falls asleep.

12:30 to 2:30
Nap time, ahhhh, nap time—oh, how I love thee.

As soon as Baby W’s head hits the pillow, I turn into a cleaning tornado. For 30 minutes I pick up all the toys, finish the dishes, make our bed, fluff the pillows, vacuum, mop, blah blah–yeah, I’m fast. Then I spend a few minutes going over a “to do” list for the rest of the day. I head out into my garage work space and design new product and fill my Etsy orders. Then I open up my laptop and do my best to knock out a few emails and make a facebook/twitter update or two. VERY rarely do I ever write a post during the day–my mind and body are usually moving to fast to focus. This is also the perfect time of day to take any product review, tutorial, or fashion pictures for a post. 

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
I take Baby W on a 45 minute walk, at which time I also schedule any business phone calls I need to make. The best {most quiet} time to talk “work” is when I am pushing Baby W in the stroller. We get home, have a snack then do flash cards, stack blocks and read books. Well actually, I attempt to read books, but Baby W frantically flips through the pages before I even have a chance to read a single sentence aloud–but we try every day anyway.

5:00 pm to 5:30 pm
The hubby gets home and there are lots of kisses and snuggles and tickles. And then he says hi to Baby W. Hehe, just kidding–Baby W always gets the first kisses {lucky duck}. Because I am a terrible homemaker, we spend the next 20 minutes debating about what we should do for dinner. PB&J, Taco Bell, Sandwiches and Soup, CPK…We usually can’t make up our minds before Baby W is jumping out of his skin to go on an Adventure Walk.

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Baby W is in charge. Where he goes, I will follow. We head out the front door and he leads the way on our evening adventure. We collect rocks, pick flowers, throw dirt in the air and go up the slide the wrong way.

6:30 pm
What are we having for dinner?
I still don’t know–ugh!
Me: Babe, will you just pick up Taco Bell?
Me: Never mind, I want Jack in the Box tacos…
Hub: Sure hun.
Me: Grab extra hot sauce–and maybe an Oreo Shake, ya know, if you’re in the mood for one then maybe I’ll just have some of yours. *wink*
The hubs returns with two milk shakes.

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Bath time again.
Baby W dinner.
Clean up toys.
Read more books.
Stack more blocks.
And a bunch of other things we have already done 1,000 times today.

8:30 pm to about Midnight
Wind down time.
Baby W cuddles on the couch with Daddy and a bottle.
Often I take a bath.
I like baths.

Baby W won’t fall completely asleep until about 9:30.

The hubs and I cuddle for a bit and then I flip open the lap top and settle down for the evening. I get caught up on some of my favorite blogs, peruse through some new ones and then get to work on a new post.
Sometimes the words fall out of me, especially if I have had an “eventful” day with Baby W. After I write my post, I try to answer at least 25 emails–but I get about 50 a day that require a reply, so I am never caught up. I do my best to not let that stress me out, but of course it does. I hate the thought of anyone taking it personal that I haven’t returned an email, so I flag them with great intensions of returning them on a day when I have extra time. So far, my intensions have been greater than my follow through.

And that’s really it.
Each day varies slightly, but that’s the gist for the most part.
Any questions?
Bored to tears?

Once upon a time exercise was a part of my daily routine,
but since becoming a Momma the only exercise I get involves chasing a toddler.