I’m a single, stay-at-home mom.

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Yes, that’s right. I’m a single mother and I don’t have a job.

Doesn’t make sense, right?! I’m sure you have many questions, or maybe you don’t have any.

I’m a full-time mother. I have my son five days a week, which equals out to be precisely 71% of the time.

But I’m consciously aware of where he is and who he’s with 100% of the time.

Sure, I could get a part-time weekend job. And I’m planning to. But here’s how it really is:

1. I don’t sit around all day, and I’m not jobless because I’m lazy.

I mean, I’m probably a bit lazy. But who isn’t? I sure as hell don’t just sit around all day without a job because I just don’t feeeel like working. Trust me, I hate working. Or at least I did about two years ago when I last had a “real” job. But sometimes I feel as though working and leaving my son with someone else would be a break for me. “But you get two days off every weekend!” you exclaim. It’s true, I do. But I still make sure I know where Kayde is and who he’s with. A mother’s job is never done, blah blah blah. Sad, but true. And working isn’t the best thing for me right now. Yes, I need more money. But we’re not suffering because of it. Kayde has more than any child would ever need, and he has the best of it all. I find ways to make things work and make ends meet. Besides, if I had a job, I’d just be spending that money on some stranger watching my kid. No thanks.

2. I don’t get to sleep in.

At least not every day. Occasionally, Kayde will snuggle me until almost noon. But that comes with a price; he was probably up every half hour with respiratory issues the night preceding. He also doesn’t go to bed until he chooses (the perks of sharing a room with your mom for the time being), which sometimes means 11pm. This means I don’t go to bed until at least 11pm.

3. I don’t get to shower regularly.

I’m lucky if I get more than four showers in a week. Yes, more than just showering every other day. For example, this week I’ve taken two so far. I know, I’m gross. But when you have no one to watch your child, and he doesn’t go to bed until almost midnight, that’s really your only chance to shower. What’s worse, is that he can sense when I’m not there while he’s asleep, so I have about fifteen minutes before he cries and doesn’t stop until I snuggle him. I’m not capable of fifteen minute showers.

4. I change every diaper, give every bath, and wake up every time.

Besides the one or two days that he spends at his father’s house, I am responsible for everything. That means every morning poop is mine to clean, every bath is mine to give and clean up after, and every time he wakes during the night, I have to wake up as well.

5. He is not my only responsibility.

Not only do I have to be consciously aware of Kayde every second of every day and tend to his every need, but I also have other things to accomplish at the same time. I take college courses online. I somehow manage to do very well in school, while being beat in the leg with a wooden train track. I do the laundry, and the dishes, and clean everything else, while Kayde is behind me making messes. I cook dinner and bake cakes, while Kayde insists he needs to be held every moment that I’m in the kitchen. Not to mention running errands and watching friends’ toddlers.

6. It’s lonely.

Even though I always have Kayde around, I still get lonely. 90% of my conversations are with an almost-two-year-old. The topics and vocabulary are very limited. Sometimes I want a job just so I can have more social interactions with anyone older than twelve. And at the end of the day, when Kayde finally passes out, I have no one to talk to. No one to share my daily experiences with, or share the tasks that come along with caring for a toddler. It’s exhausting, and I’m alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Kayde. He is the very best part of me. I wouldn’t change the fact that I have him, and I don’t regret a thing. But it’s not easy, whether you’re with your child’s father or a single mother, whether you work full-time, part-time, or not at all. Raising a child is tough.

Box News! Julep & Citrus Lane

Sorry, whoever cares, for the lack of blogging on my part. The past month has been filled with birthdays & parties & holidays & other busy things! I plan to continue blogging as often as possible. Hopefully, the rest of the month will bring less craziness. So onto the latest happenings!

First off, HAPPY EASTER! Kayde, C, and I celebrated Kayde’s very first Easter today! I think it went well, although he is extra crabby today.

IN BOX NEWS:

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A few things going on with Julep. First, this month almost every box will feature the new Plie Wand. I’m pretty excited about this and so glad I re-subscribed. I’m HORRIBLE at painting my nails (Kayde could do better) so I have high hopes that this new tool may help me out a bit.

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The colors for this month are fresh spring colors, such as a pretty blue pastel and a gorgeous mint. The Plie Wand comes with all the basic polish boxes this month, but there are a few other options as well. Also, for May boxes, you get double jules! I switched my style from It Girl to Boho Glam this month. I also chose the Plie Creativity Kit as an add-on (also in hopes of bettering my nail painting abilities). Here’s a sneak peek of what I chose this month:

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Also in Julep news, the cost/options for your subscription will be changing beginning in June. Check out the details HERE!

To sign up/check out the box options for May CLICK HERE! Also, if you’re a new subscriber use the code “FREEBOX” to get your first box for free! You have to pay for shipping, but if you add $10 worth of merchandise to your cart, shipping is free!

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Head over to Citrus Lane and score your first box for $5! Yes, you read that right! FIVE DOLLARS! Just CLICK HERE and enter code “NEWMOM” at checkout. Besides that short-lived free box they did recently, this is the best deal I’ve seen since I joined. I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this deal if you haven’t signed up for CL yet. The cost of a monthly box is $29, so with this code you’ll be saving $24!

Check out my Citrus Lane reviews here.

Dear Kayde, Happy Birthday

Dear Kayde,

Today is your birthday. (Well, technically yesterday, I’m a little late. You’ll understand why.) Ahem… today is your birthday. The plan was for you to wake up with a floor covered in balloons for you to play with, eat a big birthday breakfast of eggs, hash, and sausage, get a few last minute things for your party on Saturday, then go out to Friendly’s with me and Daddy for dinner and presents. That is not at all how your birthday went.

Today, you woke up after a long sleepless night to a floor covered in balloons, but you had no interest in them. You layed in my lap, coughing, wheezing, and struggling to breathe. No breakfast, you’d barely take a bottle to keep you hydrated.

Mommy and Daddy were concerned. We didn’t want to wait until your one year checkup tomorrow, so at about ten-thirty in the morning we were off to the hospital. I tried feeding you a food pouch during our three hour wait to be seen, but you threw it up in the waiting room. Finally, shortly before the time you were born, they took us in and checked you out, which made you even more miserable. You got x-rays, which was not a pleasant experience, and we were informed you have pneumonia. My poor sick birthday boy.

How ironic that at 1:37 pm a year ago we were in a hospital, with you lying on my chest, the first moment I met you. And exactly one year later, we were again in a hospital, with you lying on my chest, the sickest you’ve ever been.

Instead of a birthday dinner, I opened your gifts for you to play with for only minutes at a time between whining fits snd frequent naps. And now you lay here in my lap.

And I think about the past year, your first year, and how you’ve made it the best of my life. You are the reason for my existence. You gave me purpose. You have grown and changed so much in just a year. You are so sweet, cuddly, strong, and smart. You make me laugh more than anyone ever has. You make me proud daily, and I feel truly sorry for every person that isn’t lucky enough to call you their son. You are the very best part of me.

Your very first birthday was one of your worst days, but it was still the best first birthday I’ve ever been a part of.

Because it was yours.

I love you, Bubby. ♡

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March Citrus Lane Review – 11 Month Old

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Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box that sends full size children’s products to your doorstep. They often include one mommy gift as well. The cost is $29 per month. Kayde has been getting CL boxes for about five months now. We love them and get so excited every month that they arrive at our doorstep. (i get more excited than Kayde, don’t judge.) Kayde now gets two boxes every month, one for his actual age, and one aged up a year. This is the CL review for his true age, 11 months.

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The Box

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First Look

WHAT’S INSIDE:

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Chronicle Books You Are My Baby Book ($8.99) – In this box, he got the Ocean themed book, which I was super excited about and absolutely hoping for! It is a good quality board book that is two books in one. There is a little book with the babies nestled into the bigger book with their matching mommas. I love this book and it’s one of my favorite that Kayde now owns. The concept is great and the pictures are so adorable. I would absolutely recommend this to any momma.

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Hape Eco Safari Peg Puzzle ($9.99) – The price of this is a guess, based on other peg puzzles from Hape. I could not find a single reasonable price on this. On Amazon it’s currently going for just over $70. Anyway, at first I really wanted to trade for a Hape Push & Pull toy, because I thought for sure we’d be getting one and I really wanted one for Kayde. Then, I decided if I wanted one badly enough, I could just buy it myself. This is a great puzzle anyway, so I’m still really happy with it. It seems very durable, and is unlike any of Kayde’s other puzzles. The pegged animals come out, as well as the area around them. It’s pretty cool, and Kayde is already loving it even though he just puts the pieces in his mouth. He even likes the box it came in. (See below for photos of Kayde with his new puzzle!)

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Weleda Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion ($16.50) – This is a good sized bottle and apparently pretty pricey for a bottle of lotion. I’m not big on lotions, so I’ll probably re-gift this.

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Me4Kidz Diaper Buddy ($5.25) – This is a small kit that can go right into your diaper bag and includes first-aid and diaper change essentials, such as bandages and baby wipes. Although this is a great idea for the diaper bag, we won’t be using it. I’ll be putting this in a gift basket for my cousin’s baby shower.

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~ Plum Organics Stage 2 World Baby Pouch ($2.39) – I looove Plum Organics. We buy a lot of Kayde’s snacks from them because they are organic and contain no GMOs. We just started buying Kayde food pouches, since we finally ran out of the ones I made for him. So, this will definitely be used.

MY THOUGHTS: The total value for this box is $43.12. So, really good value, especially since I only paid about $9 for it. I really loved this box. It had great items, and even the items I won’t use will make great gifts. I’m especially impressed because they did a great job catering to his actual age. Good job, CL!

SIGN UP: Would you like to sign up for Citrus Lane and save 50% off your first box? Sign up here and 50% will automatically be taken off at checkout. That means you only pay $14.50 for your first box!

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March Citrus Lane Review – 23 Month Old

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Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box that sends full size children’s products to your doorstep. They often include one mommy gift as well. The cost is $29 per month. Kayde has been getting CL boxes for about five months now. We love them and get so excited every month that they arrive at our doorstep. (i get more excited than Kayde, don’t judge.) Kayde now gets two boxes every month, one for his actual age, and one aged up a year. This is the CL review for his aged up box, 23 months.

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The Box

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First Look

WHAT’S INSIDE:

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Chronicle Books You Are My Baby Book ($8.99) – In this box, he got the Safari themed book. It is a good quality board book that is two books in one. There is a little book with the babies nestled into the bigger book with their matching mommas. I love this book and it’s one of my favorite that Kayde now owns. The concept is great and the pictures are so adorable. I would absolutely recommend this to any momma.

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Hape Qubes ($9.99) – These are small animal blocks, made from wood and finished with child-safe paint. It comes with 12 different animals, in varying colors. We got the safari animals, which goes well with the safari book we received. Kayde loves these already, especially putting them in his mouth. Thankfully, they are just big enough not to pose a choking hazard. These will be great for teaching Kayde colors, counting, and animals. They have different varieties online, and I love them so much I’m considering buying the dinosaurs and ocean animals as well!

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~ CleanWell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes ($5.50) – These wipes are alcohol-free and all natural. I won’t use them, because the orange vanilla scent is horrid. But, I know for every person that hates these there’s someone that loves them. They’re just not for me. So, I will likely add these to the baby shower gift pile.

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Me4Kidz Medi Buddy ($5.25) – This is a small kit that includes first-aid essentials, such as bandages and antiseptic wipes. This is a great item to keep in your diaper bag or glove compartment. I may just keep this under the bathroom sink for use at home.

MY THOUGHTS: The total value for this box is $29.73. Not the best value, since the price of this box is $29. Thankfully, I only paid about $9, so it’s still a great value for me. I wouldn’t care even if I had paid full price, because I really like this box. Not a fan of the wipes, and I could do without the Medi Buddy, but I’d be happy receiving this box with just the book and Qubes. So, this box was a definite hit for me.

SIGN UP: Would you like to sign up for Citrus Lane and save 50% off your first box? Sign up here and 50% will automatically be taken off at checkout. That means you only pay $14.50 for your first box!

March Bluum Box Review – 24 Month

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Bluum is a monthly subscription box full of goodies for mom and baby, from pregnancy to preschool. Their boxes cost $24.95 monthly, but you can sign up for 3, 6, and 12 month recurring subscriptions at a discounted rate. This is my fourth month receiving a Bluum box. I needed to drop a few sub boxes to save money, so I dropped the Bluum box for Kayde’s actual age, and kept the box aged up a year. I find that the things he receives are more age appropriate that way. So, this is the review for the 24 month box.

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The Box

I’m not sure I even remember receiving a shipping notification or tracking number. To my surprise, I received this box today, which is exactly a week earlier than last month.

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The Card

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First Look

Packed very nice and neat, which is always a good thing to see.

WHAT’S INSIDE: 

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Turn and Learn Baby Animals Book

~ Turn and Learn Baby Animals Book ($3.99) – I haven’t received my email with all the prices from Bluum yet, so all prices are the lowest I can find online. I am really pleased with this book. It’s different from every other book we own. Kayde doesn’t have any that have wheels to turn to change the pictures, and board books are always a plus.

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Happy Family Creamies

Happy Family Creamies ($3.59 each/$7.18 total) – I’m a little bit torn on this. We received these same Happy Creamies last month in his 23 month box. Kayde really enjoys these, and I buy only organic snacks for him, so I was thrilled to see them last month. We’re almost out so it’s kind of nice to get them again. BUT, I don’t like the idea of receiving two of the same items that I’ve already been introduced to and can buy on my own… two months in a row.

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BeginAgain Farm Buddy Blocks

~ BeginAgain Farm Buddy Blocks ($13.00) – These cute little blocks have farm animals painted on each side that you match up like a puzzle. They are made with child safe paints and earth friendly rubberwood, and they come in this adorable little crate-like box. I’m more than sure that Kayde will love these, and because they’re small, they will be perfect to throw in the diaper bag to entertain him while we’re out. I’m going to set these aside and add them to his Easter basket!

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Boogie Mist

~ Boogie Wipes Boogie Mist ($4.99) – This Boogie Mist is a gentle saline mist for stuffy noses. It even has a grape scented nozzle. Usually, I don’t care for these types of products, but Kayde currently has a stuffy/runny nose, so I will give this a shot.

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Deep Steep Hand Scrub

~ Deep Steep Hand Scrub ($9.95) – This hand scrub is made with Dead Sea Salts, Shea Butter, and Coconut Oil. All Deep Steep products are all-natural. The scent I got is passion fruit and guava. It smells really good, and I’m into anything with coconut oil, so looks I’ll keep this. Oh, and the packaging is adorable.

MY THOUGHTS: The total value for this box is $39.11. It’s a good deal even at full price. I got this box half off, so I only paid $12.48. I definitely got my money’s worth, and I loved pretty much all the items, even the repeats. This box is definitely in the running for my favorite Bluum box I’ve received so far.

SIGN UP: Would you like to sign up for Bluum and save 50%? Sign up here. Your first box will only be $12.48, and you can cancel any time!

 

 

Dear Kayde, Introduction

ImageFrom about the time I found out I was pregnant (twelve weeks and one day, actually), I would write to Kayde. Before I knew he was Kayde, before I even knew he was a boy. I have over a years worth of entries typed out in my little wordpad document. It started mostly about me talking to him about his growth and my pregnancy, a little about me and my husband. I always started with a pregnancy update, but as my life outside of my pregnancy became a train wreck, I used it as a way to vent. It brought me closer to Kayde. I always wrote to him to tell him how much he saved me, and I still believe that with everything in me. 

At twenty weeks pregnant, just four months after we got married, my husband left me. He said he wasn’t in love anymore. He said I was miserable (which I totally was). I wasn’t even miserable with him, I was just a miserable being. I loved being pregnant, but I hated everything else.

Anyway, he left me. We were living with my mom at the time and of course we worked at the same damn store (not how we met). He moved in with a friend of his that was only a senior in highschool. Was dead set on the idea that it couldn’t be fixed. We were done, but I had hope. Long story short, he cheated on me with some 18-year-old whore in highschool. Yes, whore. She was particularly known for being that. I was lucky enough to have him confess this to me, after being told by everyone else, immediately before my baby shower. We fixed things, or so I thought. Then he continued to cheat on me. Finally, he stopped about a week before Kayde was born, but he’d still talk to girls through facebook about not being sure about being with me.

It wasn’t until the day that Kayde was born, April 3rd 2013, that things started to look up. My husband, C, was the most loving, proud husband during labor and delivery. He became devoted to me. We sold his crappy old rundown house for a relatively small amount and found ourselves a cute little condo. Ever since the day Kayde was born, our relationship has grown stronger and stronger. 

This isn’t my way of making you hate my husband. He was young, immature, and had no real responsibilities until Kayde was physically here. He also had a rough upbringing. Of course, this was no excuse for his actions, and I made sure he knew that.

Well, now that I’m completely off topic… I wrote to Kayde at least once a week while I was pregnant, and then as often as possible once he was born. And because of all of the happenings listed above, I honestly didn’t want to be alive. But I had to be, for Kayde. And he gave me hope that even if things didn’t work out with C, they would still work out. 

Kayde saved me.

Now, just a few weeks from Kayde’s first birthday, we’re happier than ever. The whole situation made me realize I was taking so much for granted, and being miserable just makes everyone around you miserable. And I didn’t want that for my son.

My plan is to continue writing to Kayde through my blog. I may bore some with details about my life that are less than spectacular, but maybe it will inspire some.

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