How Mommy Got Her Groove Back

securedownloadLooking in the mirror for one final beauty check, I finally felt like the my old self. The confident woman who loved to dress up in heels, curl her hair and get dolled up was peering back at me, smiling and ready to take on the night. It’s been a while since I felt this way. Actually, it’s been almost two years since I liked the person starring back at me. 

Since becoming a mom, I’ve been too preoccupied with trying to gage this new journey in my life, getting used to juggling being a mother, wife and professional that I forgot how much I loved the process of getting ready and the anticipation of what the night had in store. Getting ready now comprised of quick makeup application, my hair in a bun and putting on the most comfiest outfit I don’t mind getting spit on, with a quick peek in the mirror to make sure my dark circles don’t make me resemble a raccoon. 

Since having Mason, I’ve tried to avoid long pauses in the mirror because of my distain for my post-pregnancy body and overall look. Clothes didn’t look or fit right, unwelcomed bulges reared their ugly shape and limp, lifeless hair never did what it should. I felt like a mess and didn’t want to linger at mirrors because if I did, I only became more upset and depressed at the person I’d become. 

Sure, I knew motherhood was a life-changing experience and that neither my body or self would remain unchanged, but f*ck, I’d lost myself along the way.It’s been a tiresome journey to get back into the groove of things and feel a bit like the old Kristie. And last night’s Date Night was the culmination of months of hard work, patience and, most importantly, self acceptance for the woman I am now. I’ve come to accept that my midsection jiggles and is dressed in zebra-like stripes, that many clothes in my closet will never look or fit the same and that those dark circles under my eyes can be hidden with the right concealer. 

As I confidently walked out the door in my new Steve Madden heels (because we all know the kind of power of a new pair of heels has on a woman’s stride), I stopped to look at my husband as he opened the door for me and saw a special sparkle in his eyes that I haven’t noticed in a long time. As he told me how beautiful I looked before he closed the car door, I smiled because I actually believed it myself. 

I Knew I Loved Alyssa Milano!

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 8.44.09 PM  I’m not a huge celebrity gossip fan (even though I did do a stint as a “club reporter” for US Weekly back in the day), but I couldn’t resist reading about how Alyssa Milano is embracing her pregnancy weight gain over at E!. And by the looks of it, she’s not gaining the recommended 25 to 35 pounds, either. She’s packing them on and she doesn’t give a sh*t! That was me during my first pregnancy with Mason. I pretty much ate for two (and probably three) and just worried about having a healthy baby. I figured I’d lose it after.

 

In an interview for her Fit Pregnancy feature, the Mistresses star divulged about packing on the pounds, mentioning how, “We don’t get hungry when we’re pregnant for no reason.” Sure, she’ll probably lose the weight super fast after she has her second child (she already has a 2 1/2 son and is expecting her baby girl this fall), but it still feels good to read about a celebrity not caring about her pregnancy weight.

She goes on to say: “A female body is not made to look good in a bikini,”Milano said in the story. “It’s made to give birth and have a baby and be a cozy companion for it afterward. And for my body, that meant putting on a lot of weight [with Milo].”

I know the feeling all too well, gaining 60 pounds. I’ve since lost them, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and sort of regret gaining so much. I shouldn’t have indulged in all that Cherry Coke, pancakes, French Toast and Oreo Shakes from Jack in the Box, but hey, that’s what I craved. 

I’ve learned my lesson and will be a lot smarter the second time around because I don’t want to struggle shedding the pounds as I did this time. It took seven months to drop down to my pre-baby weight (and that’s still a few pounds over my normal thanks to a two-week Honeymoon in Europe), but at least I can say I did it! 

Anyways, I thought her pregnancy tales were pretty inspiring! 

It’s In The Bag

Any new mommy knows the importance of a diaper bag. Not only does it act as your travel nursery – holding everything you’ll need for your sweet babe while away from home – but it’s also going to be your purse for the next couple of years (or until you can minimize your travel junk to fit into one of your old purses). 

If you were anything like me pre-baby, then you probably walked around with lots of arm candy. Hey, I was an independent working gal and I loved to treat myself to some of the finer things in life and that just so happened to be costly purses. In retrospect, I now realize I just wasted loads of cash on designer bags to only have them sit in my closet now, but back then, they were touted around town proudly. 

When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to find the perfect diaper bag. You know, the one that would fit everything and anything, still looked like a purse and would look great with every outfit (meaning it had to be either black or grey). So the search was on, and just as I was about to settle for a Coach bag, a Petunia Pickle Bottom. I was hooked.

But recently, my diaper bag wasn’t cutting it anymore. I mean, it’s cute and all and carries all the baby essentials (just barely, I’m an over packer), but it was becoming too much to carry around, especially since we were going to the OC Fair and I knew my shoulder wasn’t up for the ache (a trip to the happiest place on earth, aka Disneyland, was the ultimate test). 

You see, the diaper bag I bought from Petunia Pickle Bottom can’t be latched on the stroller. It’s the Sashay Satchel and looks more like a purse than anything (which is why I liked it); but since it doesn’t have a shoulder harness, it can’t be flung over a stroller’s handle bars and it doesn’t work with their stroller clips. As a new mommy, I thought I’d be able to carry it over my shoulders like any of my other purses, even with a few extra items – after all, I was going to be super mom. 

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Fast forward nine months and my shoulder can’t handle my overpacked diaper bag, no matter how cute it is. Sure, I’d still use it, but not during long, all-day excursions. It was time to get a new one, despite my husband’s protests.

Here’s my logic why I needed a new one: I used to change my purses with every outfit so why couldn’t I do the same with diaper bags since my regular purses are out of commission (now only used for those once-a-month date nights or any special dates that come up)? And since my diaper bag was now my purse, my reasoning made sense, right?

Fully satisfied with my reasoning, I headed to Nordstrom to pick up a Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy diaper bag in a print I absolutely loved and a price I couldn’t resist ($125 thanks to the Nordstrom Sale). Like any woman, I went home and immediately tested it out, filling it with junk and posing for my husband. 

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Although I was convinced I needed another diaper bag, my husband thought otherwise. He just saw it as extra money spent on something we didn’t need. He argued that we already had my previous diaper bag, in addition to “his” black diaper bag (which he never uses and has now become Mason’s overnight bag for when he visits grandma) and that it was wasted money that could have been used for something else. 

I brushed him off. He obviously didn’t understand the concept that diaper bags are more than just bags for baby stuff – they’re our purses for the time being. Not only do you have to cram in all the extra diapers (I always do more than you should because you never know right?), extra clothes, toys, wipes, food, bottles, etc, but you also have to fit in your own crap. Where else are you going carry your wallet, makeup, keys, phone, etc? Carrying two bags is just too much, so the diaper bag it is! 

All I can say is he’s just lucky I’m not dropping mad cash on seriously expensive diaper bags with price tags in the triple digits! 

So ladies (and gents who might read this), how many diaper bags – ahem “post-baby purses” –  do you own?! 

Social Motherhood

I often wonder what motherhood was like before the Internet and social media because God knows that it’s come in quite handy now that I’m a mom. It’s entertained me during late-night feeding sessions, kept me connected to the world when I was a hermit the first few months postpartum and allowed me to connect with new mom friends.

I just can’t fathom what motherhood would be like before social media. Obviously, it was done, but I’m not sure I would have liked it. Although it has its downfalls, it’s become one of my main sources to ask questions on what the hell to do about random things that come up in motherhood. It’s also provided a feeling of connection with other mommy friends who have gone through, or are going through, the same motherhood experiences.

Motherhood and social media The real mom chronicles

It’s so easy to type in questions and concerns on Facebook and wait a couple of seconds for responses to come flooding in. Thats so much more convenient than having to go to a book or even calling up my mom (although, a phone call to mom still happens the majority of the time). Then there’s Twitter where you can easily tweet questions to a variety of companies who specialize in all-things baby. I know I’ve asked tons of breastfeeding Qs to breastfeeding specialists on Twitter and even participated in numerous open forums when Lansinoh had their experts taking Facebook questions. Plus, it’s interesting to read all the different answers from friends and family and then try each one out to see what works best.

The Real Mom Chronicles

I’ve been using social media to figure this mom thing as soon as I found out I was pregnant. The very next day after seeing the two pink lines on that pregnancy test, I was on Facebook “liking” all these baby sites and parenting magazines. I devoured all the articles that clogged my feed (and still do) until my eyes and brain couldn’t take any more. I wonder if I would have attacked baby books with the same tenacity if I had Mason before social media? (But being the bookworm I am, I probably would have.)

the real mom chronicles

It’s just so cool to live in an age where you have all this information at your disposal and can share knowledge and experience with other moms from your computer or smartphone. Yeah, there are downsides to it all, but really, a Facebook question about the color of your baby’s poop that  prompts 10+ responses from FB friends beats having to finding it in a book, calling your doctor and impatiently waiting 20 minutes or more for him to call you back or having your mom ask you 101 questions before actually giving  you an answer. Not that I don’t call the doctor when I’m at a loss of what to do with certain symptoms, but I usually save that as a last resort or in an emergency. But if I called Mason’s pediatrician for every question I had, I’d be bugging the hell out of him, day and night. But thanks to my many mommy friends on social media, I don’t have to fill up his inbox with a thousand and one questions…that’s what my Facebook feed is for!

So there you have it, my two cents on how social media has positively impacted motherhood!

Finally!

I’ve wanted to write this post for months. However, every time I started typing, I had no idea what to write – or really how to start. But today is the day (obviously). Why? I’m not sure. I’m nine months into motherhood and have loads I’d like to share about my journey and I’m sure I’ll have lots more of adventures in the coming years as I raise my son with my loving husband.

Today just felt right to finally start this thing! Maybe it’s because I had my very first “mom group” thing with a bunch of fellow mommies I met at Gymboree (I’ve been on a search for mom friends for quite a while, but more on that later). Or maybe it’s just that my mind has been pondering all the different posts I’d like to write and it finally pushed me to the edge to finally do something about it.

I’ve thought long and hard on my blog’s name. At first I wanted something like the Rookie Mom Chronicles, but soon discovered something like that already existed on the web. I finally chose “The Real Mom Chronicles” because my last name (married) is Real (pronounced Re-al, meaning “royal” in Spanish) so a play on my name felt right. So whatever way you pronounce it, real or Real, this is my personal mom chronicles – my own thoughts and experiences on motherhood and the wonderful journey and adventures that I’ll be having with my family.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy reading my little corner of the Internet!