Categories
life

Breast Explant Journey – The First 2 Weeks + 3 month update on healing (graphic and nudity warning) Bii Before After Photos

Before I start I am going to say that photos will be graphic for some and YES will contain actual breasts! Nude boobies. Yup! No top on… So if this offends you please move along as I believe this is the transparency I want to show because when I made this choice I researched my life away trying to find someone willing to be honest and show me outcome.
Let’s rewind to 2001….
2 weeks after my 21st birthday I gave birth to my second child. (Kaeden Isaiah) Breastfeeding this bundle of joy (screaming 24/7 making nipples bleed from bad latch joy) was a given. The perk to nursing was the nice full size breasts,,,, the downs was the additional weight I was carrying. It was this year that marriage starting getting hard. My husband of the time was traveling for work and not the kindest to my new body. As the year went on more marriage challenges happened and I needed to try and save it by becoming better. By better it meant skinny and needing to be more attractive so he would want to be with me only. By the fall things got worse and that was when I started to starve myself and to throw up my food. I didn’t think I was bulimic because I never over ate or binged but instead felt I was bettering myself by simply ridding myself of the food I ate at supper. At this time I started to consider implants. My mother had gotten them a couple years prior and she was raving at what they do for you. I scheduled my surgery for just after my birthday and just before Kaeden’s birthday. One thing that mattered more than making my husband like me or myself look “female and sexy” was my son. I decided he was more important to breastfeed till the end than to stop before the year. (Thank goodness I at least kept my head straight with my kids)
The day of surgery came and it all went very easy. I felt completely great and resumed normal life the next morning. I felt like I made a great choice but still was needing to fix the rest of my body. I had learned about Atkins diet shortly after and became the strictest low carb person ever. Over the next year I was able to drop down to 115 pounds (I am 5’8″ -well 5 foot 7 + 3/4″) It was then that I noticed my implants were rippling and not as desirable as I had imagined or what I would see in magazines or TV. I made another appointment to see my surgeon.
Around 2004/5 I had another operation and put in silicone 550cc (these were just getting approved again) Let me say they were HUGE on my body now that I look back! Shortly after this I moved out and got divorced. (Got some strength and common sense)  I started to rebuild a new life. I also allowed my body to put on 10 pounds to look much healthier!
My implants served me well during low self esteem days. I felt like I fit into the model of what a woman’s body should be. Yes, they were huge and I had to tailor many of my tops or buy a size up to just fit them but during the years having them I was happy.
Fast forward to marrying Kurt, having 2 more kids, a proper relationship and self reflection. I became a brand new me! I was confident and started not caring about what people thought. Sometimes so much so Kurt said he created a monster! LOL
2019

 Early this year around my 40th birthday I decided that my breast implants were becoming a hindrance and looking at my daughter I did not want her to do this to her body. I wanted to be a better role model. After announcing that I was going to remove them I had quickly learned about Bii. (breast implant illness) After reading hours upon hours worth of information I started to reflect on my health and things started to fall into place. I was checking off the boxes of illness. About 2 years ago my hair started to fall out in clumps. My shoulder pains started giving me migraines on the regular and my sleep issues amplified. I had the need for eye drops daily. My breathing was never a full breath and the sensations I was feeling were not normal. I’d have aches and burning in my breasts. My eyes were doing the blurs that I swore was because I was now “old”.  It was time to get them out!

I found a lot of information on the Facebook page 
Click below for direct link

Breast Implant Illness and Healing By Nicole. 


They had links to the website with a list of recommended doctors. All the questions you should ask and what to expect. The best support group I ever was involved in!

I did about 4 consults before I selected a doctor. I ended up changing doctors shortly after because I didn’t feel right with the original choice. I am keeping my selection private as I really believe you should do your research and pick someone who is good for you. It is a very big surgery and I would hate to say I love my doc and then someone not be happy with them!

Here is the recommended surgeon list link

HERE 

The website is linked

www.healingbreastimplantillness.com

Now on to what everyone wants to see (or won’t be able to unsee! JK!)
I am going to date my results so you can see as the days have gone by.  It has only been a short 2 weeks of healing so I will give another update of how they go in months. I will also be doing a separate post tomorrow for things I loved and needed and tips the I found useful.

I would post photos of pre boobs however the only ones I have that show well are from a photo shoot when I was about 17. I was very slim with tiny boobs that just filled and A. I lost a lot of years of photo after my divorce sadly. He wasn’t great and a girl he met threw out what he had (including my wedding pics and keepsakes that I hoped my boys could see in many years down the road)

I tried to get natural light and didn’t add and filter so you can see raw as much as possible.

550 cc Silicone under the muscle. See left side how is it lifted and turned slightly. Breastfed 1 child for 2 years and another child 1.5 years after this set was placed in. (It is actually my right breast) That is an undetected rupture. It was causing a capsule contracture.
I was a 34/36 G
I am tall, muscular and with my increased weight gain they hid how actually large they are.
Below is a photo of how big they were in a push up bra.
Capsular contracture is essentially a tightening – or contracting – of the scar tissue. Symptoms usually emerge gradually and may be noticed first as a feeling of mild tightening. As contracture increases, the breast may appear misshapen and become very firm and painful, especially when lying on it.
Morning of surgery. Nov 6/19
First night I slept propped. Well I slept initially until I had to take a pain med that kept me wired until the next morning! I switched them out asap the next day.
Morning after surgery. Nov 7/19
I was feeling a lot of pain on my right side ribs. That was the ruptured implant.
No drains used. Surgeons choose to do them or not. I had issues with drains before so this was a good thing for me.
Nov 7/19
Post op check up and my temporary bra until I got my new support ones. I thought I would be flat so this size was a surprise! I had to go back shopping for a larger bra.
My eyes on top. Photo just before surgery and photo next day.
I can’t explain why but they have been whiter and brighter and I no longer need eyedrops.
Bloating was set in. I know some may say “ya right” but it was. I did bring my own food and health alternatives to get things flowing. The medication really eats with my body.
Nov 7 late afternoon.
I got the balls to look at them.
The first time I was able to see them I was shocked and truthfully a little unhappy because I thought they would be nice little tiny boobs. They were swollen but my meds made me foggy so I was all over in emotions.
Nov 8/19
Time to head home! I was feeling very well. Still taking some pain meds for the terrible aches in the ruptured side.
Make shift bed for home! Needed to be comfy.
Day 3 and I felt my skin was already relaxing and my mind was becoming at ease.
Nov 10/19
 My first hair was and oh did it feel good!!
My second oldest was so gentle and caring.
I now needed to rest a couple days to recoup from it all. Mentally and physically it had me in ups and downs. Mainly ups with joy and the heal was starting to be real! I could breathe so well and other things were happening too that made me feel so good!
Morning of Nov 12/19
Scars were closing lovely.
I had fear my nipple would fall off! Yeah, I am that crazy lol.
The clinic said adding tape over wouldn’t do any harm so I did and boy did that help my nightmares.
Nov 14/19
I panicked at the sight of the yellow on my right breast! I thought for sure I got and infection or it was not healing.
Turns out that it was bruising coming through when means it is healing.
I also had a bad couple days of bloating so I ended up getting Swiss Kriss natural Laxative to help.
This was the time I started to get sad. I could see the volume and size on my left breast was much larger. While one whom may look at these photos may say it is barely a problem. it was HUGE in my eyes. I cried a lot this day and felt I would need a second operation.
Bruising up close. Oh and my extra tape for the nipple anxiety!
My compression bra/top was giving marks.
Nov 15/19
The size difference was showing more and my bandages fell off to reveal the Frankenstein areola/nipple. I crashed. I literally felt so sad and hurt with my body.
The look of my breast was so scary I thought for sure I would never be ok or heal enough. I didn’t show Kurt but did cry a lot more. I already started planning to have another surgery to fix this. I couldn’t believe my skin was so wavy either. In my mind the lift should make me have smooth skin and perky little nipples. They should be the same size and now I was a stretched out, wrinkly washed up 40 year old.
The one thing that kept me getting through these bad days was my son Kaeden. He was so caring that everyday he would check in and ask how they are healing and looking. He kept pushing me to feel better and ok. He said I looked great for such little time I was doing awesome. It was him who helped me not fall too deep into the sadness that hits depression.
Nov 16/19
HOPE!
I took many deep breathes and prayed for comfort and healing.
It finally looked like things may be changing and coming around the corner.
I taped the babies up after applying scar strips.
ya, ya some will say they contain silicone but so do many things and I wanted to have good healing strips.
No negative needed for this!
My skin was starting to smooth. I was quite delighted by that! I also read up that it can take 3-6 months to retract or even up to a year to be its best.
I also noticed that size difference I thought I was going to be stuck with wasn’t so big anymore.
I was now 11 days post op. Eating well and starting to heal well.
I started to feel the excitement and joy that I had previous the surgery.
Scar strips are on but I wish I could show how fantastic they were/are getting. Sadly, that tiny nipple sets people off! yup… good ole society creeps and uptight people. (I have no problem with nudity… didn’t get that gene)
Nov 19/19
The day I felt I was going to have the cutest boobies I ever had once healed! My nipples are healing so well and the size is coming down on that larger one. The bruising is almost non existent! My body is getting back to itself and I am becoming the think positive person again! I have marks from my bra I have to wear 24/7 for 30 days in many photos and they also compress some. I believe in a month or more when I get into a nice comfortable flex bra they will smooth even more and obviously the marks on my ribs will go away.
✫✫✫
I will share the scar on my areola and anchor stitches in a couple months without the bandage.
Sorry they are on and too much to take off for last pic but its changed some from previous couple days.
I am confident that when the say “the heal is real” it is the truth.
So much of my body feels different, from my eyes to my face skin, my inflammation, my brain to my chest. It is all positive.
The downside is; recovery is a little longer than I like,  I do feel arm aches or inner breast muscle aches from the capsulectomy/implant removal when I try and do too much. My tummy can get a little sensitive but from what I read the heavy metals that I had in my body are detoxing. I hate sleeping on my back!! And I have BO! Like I have never had this in my life – I don’t wear deodorant because I typically react to it but hear I am loading it up as of yesterday so people at work won’t smell me!
The changed tape I used and found a lighter more breathable one at Target. It was a 2 pack I think called paper tape by ban-aid. It didn’t make my skin list or wrinkle like the original thick one. That is what you see in later images.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Below are the toxic bags that I was once told are super safe and had they ever broke nothing would enter my body because they stay together like gel.
Intact one
Damn 6″ wide!!
Ruptured One
Look at this sick toxic gel!! It is like glue!

Yup, that flap of plastic is just a random floating piece that was on my ribs and near my lung. Poisoning my body.
Link to videos on my IG HERE
They are under highlights 
My a week post healing photo.
3 MONTH UPDATE!!
I have finally weighed myself. I do not want to get caught up on the scale as I am doing my best to heal my mental health and body issues. I was the girl who weighed herself daily!
Currently 140 was 155-158 with implants at the end of sickness. Weight in my 20’s to late 30’s was average 135. I think my body is sorting itself back out to my natural less inflamed and poisoned state.
Bra shopping has been a bit to take mentally. I have found that unlined work the best. I fit a 34 B/C depending on the bra I could be a 36A. I was lucky that one of my fabulous followers sent some gifts and it included these cute bra’s along with a couple others. They all fit great but maybe because I wasn’t being so judgy to my body and boobs at home.

OK so the big heal reveal!

Here they are! The nipples are healing very well! The scars can be more faded somedays over others. I find when I am stressed or extra active they redden. It has not been that long (just 11 weeks – short bit under 3 months) so I am sure it will only get better!
Up close scars healing. Also you can see the droop but that is OK! Millions of us have that and honestly I think its sexy.
3 surgeries later! oh man..

Positive changes I have seen happen to me and my body….

Mental Health. This has been the best! I have always struggled with ups and downs and self worth. I feel clearer headed and look at my body with positivity.
 
Inflammation. It is very clear to even outsiders I look less swollen. People that see my around town ask what I have been doing lately because I look so healthy and great. (Like the people I don’t really know are doing this!)
Breathing is still wonderful. I have not been overly active because I still feel the healing happening so I have not pushed that.
Vision blurs gone.
The bedroom wresting (wink wink) has been WOW! Kurt took some adjusting and so did I at first. We actually had some REALLY hard days in early December. He felt I was too fragile to touch and needed to get used to seeing my body this way. I took that as he hated my body when he said he was afraid. Our world crumbled for a few weeks and gosh I was thankful for my friends to listened to me and those that said Kurt needed time but does love me. Marriage is already hard and especially in a lifestyle we live of owning a bar with a bunch of trashy girls who would like to be with the bar owner. The craziest thing is Kurt kept commenting how beautiful I looked in my clothes without the big implants and I just would not hear it. I guess we need to grow and heal and can blame others for our own pain we have.
Nipple sensation. If I didn’t have anything change and only got this I would do this over a million times! YOU GUYS! I have never felt them like this in my adult life! I was so mind blown I may have told the ladies in my kitchen I cook with way too much about it. LOL! But for real they are sensitive in the best way I have never had. They used to be flat and lifeless after my first implant set was “installed” haha
Weight loss. This has been nice but not anything that I did this for.
My skin. It has more glow and my face looks so much healthier.
My hair. IT IS GROWING!! I have so much new baby hair and can not wait to see what the next year will hold for my thickness. (extension girl up in here!)
My daughter. She is only 4 years old and she has told me she likes that we are twinning.
My youngest son. He is only 8 and walked into the bathroom as I was dressing and said “mom, I don’t want to hurt your feelings or be rude. I really love how your boobies look. I think the other fake ones made you look not nice like this.” I know what he was saying is he liked me natural and not the look I had going on before. I am certain that these boys will never push any woman to change what God gave her.
There for sure are more things but these are the stand out to me.
~~~~~
Some things I have worked through were a few high blood pressure spikes. Food sensitivity to some additional things. Itchy scars. My first time in a swimsuit shock. But this is all settling.
Anyways, much love to those who have supported me!
I am happy to hear so many of you have positivity coming from this. From women who are feeling better about what they have to women who have now explanted or have their appointments booked. I just hope we can reach a day in society that all body types are accepted by EVERYONE.
Carmen Shalene
Categories
life

My body challenge and the Nokia Body Scale…

When a business friend reached out to me about trying out the new Nokia Heart Health & Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale and watch. I immediately said yes! The reason I wanted to do this post was not only because I love the Nokia products I have used before (used to be Withings)  but because I thought it would give me a chance to talk body issues!

Lately I have been struggling with weight gain. Ever since I stopped nursing Apple 2 months ago weight is slowly (ok fastly.. but is that a word?) creeping on. I don’t remember gaining as much after I stopped nursing my boys. I haven’t been eating well because I barely eat breakfast, then get dinner so late or grab whatever quick food when I am starving. I am feeling overworked and really just mentally tired. I can’t get myself to be motivated! While people may think I am happy with myself because I will post my outfits on IG they may not realize that it has taken 100 photos to get one good one! The angle needs to be right and even when all stars align I often cringe when I hit “share” on Instagram! I am desperately waiting for the cooler weather so I can start hiding my upper arms!
Well, maybe this fancy scale is my motivation! It is so smart it basically tracks everything. I do know one thing, when it told me my body fat was 26% and I started to freak out at that high number only to find out that healthy/acceptable is 25-30%  (fitness is 21-24%) that maybe I am being overly hard on myself and body.

So here are my plans and July resolutions!
I Carmen will do my best to eat healthy and stop beating myself up. I am going to use this awesome and fun tool to kick my butt into gear! I plan to use the APP to track my food, my steps, my weight (more so my bodyfat etc) and try my best to comfortable in my body that has had 4 amazing babies. I hope to get back to being more fit and happy with myself.

So what does this fancy combo of the watch and scale have to offer?

LOADS of FEATURES!

The scale ::

You download an APP on your smartphone and it tracks you and up to 7 more users. Perfect for watching your kids growth and health.

It offers a full body composition of weight, BMI, body fat, water percentage, plus bone and muscle mass. All this stays tracked on your phone! (Umm, why didn’t I have this when pregnant??)

The medically accepted assessment measures your standing heart rate. This is perfect for getting to know your cardiovascular health.

Has a baby mode feature. Measure how much your baby weighs while stepping on the scale with your baby in arms! I love this if you are tracking your new baby’s weight gain during breastfeeding and newly home.

Local weather forecast. Yes! If it is connected over wi-fi you will even get the weather forecast!

The watch ::

Tracks your moves, walking, running and sleep!

Enhanced tracking ability will detect and learn up to 10 activities you do like swimming, dancing, weight lifting and more.

Has a smart wake up option to help you wake up at the optimal time of your sleep. (this of course is not needed for those moms with baby alarms going off all night! haha!)

It synchronizes with the health mate app. Allowing you to know more about your health.

Has a silent alarm option to wake you up and not the baby!

Lastly, the health APP also has pregnancy mode! Such a great feature for expecting moms.

Available at Best Buy USA and Canada, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target
and NOKIA

Categories
family life

Mommycon and Westcoast Kids in Vancouver…

This past week I traveled to Vancouver, Canada to talk about gear and first year essentials on behalf of the ultimate baby store Westcoast Kids.
I took the day before Mommycon to stop by the Westcoast Kids Main St. location. I had been in this store a few times and just when you think they couldn’t get better or carry more awesome stuff they do! The gear selection is amazing and the amount of basics, gifts and specialty products is huge!
Westcoast Kids is known for carrying many exclusives in Canada. Like the Stokke Athleisure stroller, Babyzen Ginger color packs, Incy Interiors rose gold crib and beds and much more!
The layout of the store is perfect. I love seeing cribs and gear set up in an accessible and organized way. You can sit in the nursery chairs to try them out and walk through with enough space pushing a stroller.
Beautiful displays and unique items are around every corner.
The shoe and accessory room was Apple’s favorite, Of course we had to buy some new sandals and the sweetest furry hair clips.
At Mommycon I picked my favorite things from Westcoast Kids to showcase and talk about.
Strollers included BOB, Maclaren, Stokke, Bugaboo, Uppa Baby and Babyzen.
I met fabulous moms who were as passionate about baby gear as I am.
Meet Xza the woman behind Mommycon.
All in all it was a fabulous couple days. I got to enjoy myself playing with and talking about all things baby.
I linked below a few of my top picks at Westcoast Kids.
Babyzen Yoyo
Dockatot
Bravado Designs Nursing Bra
Britax Advocate
Nook Nursing Pillow
Finn and Emma Play Gym
Baby Bjorn Crib
Baby Bjorn Bouncer Chair
Beaba Food Maker
Gaia Baby Soap
Westcoast Baby Kimono Gown
www.westcoastkids.ca
Categories
family life

Carmen and family travels summer 2017…

We are going on an adventure!
I am packing up the kids, Babyzen Yoyo, Apple’s Kabrita milk and my Britax car seats for a trip to Canada! All the important things! haha
We are going to escape the heat of Palm Springs for a few weeks.
First stop! Seattle
Wednesday, July 19th I plan to do a meet and greet! I am thinking a nice casual spot like Elliott’s at Pier 56. It is my favorite place to go for happy hour when I’m in Seattle! Don’t judge me when I eat 3 dozen oysters! (I’ll be there 2pm-4:00)
RSVP below
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/carmen-the-modern-mom-14587931682

Next we will be travelling to Vancouver.
Our meet up will be at Brioche at 2:30 pm Thursday July 20th.  Additionally, I will be stopping by Westcoast Kids on Friday July 21 in the afternoon (1:30pm to 2:30) . It will be a great opportunity to talk baby gear one on one or meet Apple if you can’t make it to the meet up on Thursday. I will be working with Westcoast Kids for Mommycon coming up the very next day.

RSVP below
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/carmen-the-modern-mom-14587931682
July 22
MOMMYCON!
I am full of nerves! I feel like I will forget all the information I ever knew about babies, gear, breastfeeding, my name, everything!!
Westcoast Kids and Carmen the Modern Mom will present during the Mommycon conference. I also have a BIG surprise with a partner of Mommycon… all I can hint is Apple.
USE code Carmen5 to SAVE 5.00 off your ticket!

Onwards to the Okanagan Valley!
I will be taking a couple personal days to enjoy with my friends and to see my brother and his family.
July 25th I plan to do a casual meet up at The Salted Brick downtown Kelowna. I will be there with Kurt and the kids 2:30pm-4:30 … of course packing gifts!

RSVP below
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/carmen-the-modern-mom-14587931682

Next stop the Kootenay’s!
July 26th we carry on to Kaslo. This is where I will be posting magical Canadian photos of me looking so relaxed! I will be in Nelson a day so give me a shout out if you are in that area (since I am packing gifts for mamas!) and the rest of the time I will be in Kaslo with my husbands family. I can not wait to see my sister in-law and for my nieces to meet their girly cousin.
Making the trek back to Seattle.
July 30th we will be adventuring through wine country. Stopping over in Osoyoos for a night before returning to Seattle. I will be showing a couple of my favorite wineries along the way.
Trains, Planes and Automobiles..
Taking the train from Seattle to Vancouver and Flying off to Regina August 1.
I will confirm the meet up location and dates in Regina prior to the trip. This will be my goodbyes to my home I knew all my life. My Papa passed away while we were building the restaurant and now his home has sold. I will be collecting belongings, trying to take in all the memories I can and probably be crying often. The end of my trip will be snapshots of my life and reminding Kingsley and Kaeden of Papa so they won’t forget who he is.
After weeks away we will be travelling back to Palm Springs August 5.
I hope you all will enjoy following us! I plan to do videos for Youtube, lots of beautiful photos, and to show you how you can travel with kids.
I will be using my car seat on the airplane and will also show the Babyzen stroller folded up as a carry on.
SPONSORS
Fun prizes and giveaways for followers online and in person meet ups! There will be grand prizes like a Babyzen Yoyo stroller, Dockatot, Diaper bags from Ju-Ju-Be and MORE!!!
Britax
Babyzen
Nook Sleep
Kabrita
Bravado Design
Maia Moda New York
Choto Baby – Glamourmom, Moby Wrap, Posh N Plush, L’Oved Baby
Ju-Ju-Be
Freshly Picked
Dockatot
Lark Adventure Wear
Baby Bjorn

Britax seats are so easy to install! The new click tight makes it simple for rental cars.
Categories
family life

Chatbooks

If you have not heard of Chatbooks you must check them out!!

They are these awesome mini photo albums that come as little books. So great for coffee tables or to stack on a bookshelf. When I was little I remember my grandparents always printing all of the photos they took and them organizing them into photo albums. Every year I went back to visit as an adult I would grab a few to flip through before going to bed. I can tell you looking through a phone is not the same! There is something so wonderful to see a memory printed forever.
As some of you may know I recently lost my grandfather. He went home to be with my grandma in heaven. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to miss them both so much. (I know this is starting to get sappy and seriously when I was going to write about Chatbooks it wasn’t even my intent!) This July I will be travelling back to Canada with the kids and I plan to go pick up some belongings from my grandparents home. Photo albums are some of the most important to me to get. In my early years my parents moved and in the mix of things many albums got lost and eventually when my dad died in a house fire more memories were gone. My brother visited the place to help pick up items and I guess pictures didn’t really survive. I basically don’t any photos but sure am thankful to have the ones from my grandparents. I always knew I would have them to look at when I visited and will now have them forever for my kids to see this summer. (Although I would trade having to see them at my Papa’s with him over anything in the world)
So basically I am reminded how print is precious. How losing my phone like I have or the downloaded missing computer photos of the boys when they were little suck.
I knew I always wanted to get myself organized and I finally did! I bit the bullet and signed up to do my first collection for Kurt for Fathers Day. I thought for sure it was going to be painstaking and I would have to organize all of the pictures in order. I expected it to take hours upon hours! I was so wrong.
It turned out to be as simple as downloading the APP on my phone and selecting the photos to upload. I had the option to choose from my camera roll, Instagram photos or Facebook. You just scroll and pick your favorite photos and upload them. They fall into order somehow magically! They even gave the date at the top of the photo when set into books.
Can I just say my little buddy Kaeden looks so sweet with Kurt when he was little. How can he be getting his license in 2 months?
On the left was a photo from my Facebook upload – on the right was from my camera roll. Magic y’all! They are in order without me doing anything!!
Little miss needed to get in for some picture action. She kept thinking baby Kingsley was her in the photos.
Of course I had to add his “good day” photos. What man doesn’t want to see themselves looking fine?
So in the end I totally recommend Chatbooks! It was easy. It was TOTALLY affordable. And it makes the best gift for people who have everything.
Check out more from Chatbooks and the special collections they do like Fathers Day covers and more!
www.chatbooks.com
Categories
home & diy life

The RING video doorbell….

Before I get into the technical talk about how this system works I am going to share a few funny stories to why I need the RING! You all will laugh I am sure.
“Hi, my name is Carmen. I am the biggest chicken poop in the whole world! I produce offspring that are also big chickens.”
Picture this scenario….
Mommy (me) at home alone with her beautiful little newborn baby boy. Her other big boys are on two different levels of the house because her husband bought the big non family friendly home before they met. (he called it Kurt’s party palace) Mommy is happily watching her housewives and nursing her darling King when there is a sound at the front door. Of course it must be the local murderer or Freddy. Freezing in fear without camera systems she doesn’t know whether to run upstairs to save kid A or downstairs for kid B or to jump out her window with baby C! She decides to call her husband to scream at him like a mad woman that he needs to come home from work (drive 2+ hours) that minute to save them all.
There once was a husband and wife who just moved to California. They were both going to sleep. Of course the wife needed to catch up on her Real Housewives before sleep and the husband was annoying enough to snore within seconds of his head hitting the pillow. It was the most peaceful evening with a beautiful new baby sleeping by them in the Dockatot. Then suddenly, there was what sounded like a front  closing door sound! It almost sounded like it clicked shut! Instead of having something to be able to check the front door with (like a video) the wife yelled at the husband to get up and check the front door! The husband was so startled by being woken this way he jumped out of bed and went to run to the door breaking his toe on the wooden bed foot! Both were not happy. The wife couldn’t sleep the rest of the night because the fear of the front door set in for the evening.

I really could go on and on and talk about how many times I couldn’t leave my bed because I thought I heard a knock or sound. We even live in a gated community that is pretty tiny so I feel decently safe but the UPS guy can startle me when I am not expecting a package. And seriously, why does anyone in the neighborhood think its OK to knock on your door! hahaha! Like text me and give me a heads up so I am not jumping out of my shoes!

So basically the moral of the story is.. the unknown is scary as heck!
 Now let me introduce you to RING! A system that connects you to the outside of your home no matter where you may be! It is simple to install and can be connected through your doorbell or just attached to your wall. You download an app to your phone, tablet or PC. With easy to use instructions you can choose to have the sensitivity level higher so you will be notified of strangers approaching or turn those off and have it set for calls at your door only. The system also allows you to talk through your device to the person on the other side of the door.

The built in camera and motion detector give you peace of mind.

Ring even comes with night vision!

The video allows you to check if its Freddy or Betty your neighbor! The two way allows you to talk to the other side without the need to open your door. From telling your USPS person to leave the package at the door or to the little kids next door that it is supper time not play time with your kids.

With so many great features and the easy to use and install system I thought it was great to partner with RING. Apple is ready to greet friends at the door!

Great accessories are available like this solar lit sign for your front yard.
Let people know you can see them!
Lastly, I was shopping recently at Costco and posted on my stories (on Instagram) that I got a RING since I saw them there. It was amazing the response from people! I have never posted a product in all my time that had that many positive comments. And I am not saying this because it is a partnership with the brand. It is seriously the truth. Mom’s were messaging me they love theirs to see packages when they are at work, or for the safety of opening the door or that they can use it for their teens at home to tell them not to open the door or to open the door someone they know. It really was great feedback.
Accessories also include Chime Pro the wifi extender and chime for your home. For the times your phone may not be near to hear.
For more information check out RING
or watch their product video HERE
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Ring is sharing a $25 discount code with me that’s good for the purchase of any Ring device, valid from now until May 14th. If you have a mama in your life, this would make a great gift for her for Mother’s Day! Simply make your purchase through this link or use the code “THANKSMOM” at checkout.
This post was sponsored. All opinions are mine.
Categories
family life

Breastfeeding and drinking..

I get asked often about nursing and alcohol. This is again one of those personal choices mothers need to make for themselves. I don’t say what I do is right but I often like to research and read a lot when I make choices. Of course this is one of the topics you’ll see arguments for both sides.
Here are my thoughts..

I want to nurse Apple exclusively for two years. (As I did before with my older kids.) Exclusively meaning her milk is from my boobs but she’s getting solids and people food too.
~ Now! before you think I’m all judgy on breastfeeding, I’ll repeat the words I’ve said before “Feed your baby however you want to! Your baby is yours. My baby is mine. Breast, bottle, formula, even friggen chocolate milk.. I don’t have any opinion to what you do. I’m neither here nor there on that topic!” ~
Now back to me and my choices. I want to have a successful run at giving up my breasts for the tiny person I gave birth to. (hint, my baby not anyone else’s to raise.) I think success is enjoying what I’m doing and not defined on perfection while doing it. Most people that follow our lives see I eat pretty healthy, I’m active and take care of my well being pretty great overall. What they also see is I consume alcohol. In the beginning, when I had a needy baby to care for, I would have half a glass of wine then eventually moved to a full glass and so on. We are now at a big change where she sleeps through the night so I’m not feeding at all past eight until the next morning. From history of driving this path already with older kids fed via breast by me; I know that after they start to sleep better I may consume more at night if we have friends over. Or if there is an event to attend I will have more than a glass or two, I could have two beer then a glass or possibly more if it was a really long night out and I was eating. When we view alcohol and nursing we panic! They must be a bad mom and that has to be unhealthy somehow. However, we don’t say anything to the mom consuming cola all day long or eating fast food or other known health issues. (Again no judgement! Eat whatever you want and do what you want!) What I consider to be successful in my parenting role is to be the best mom I can be. I want to have some of my fun side and all of my mommy side blended. I don’t want to reject Apple because she’s consuming my life or any of my kids for that matter. I want to be Kurt’s wife and friend like we’ve always been. So I choose to live it up at times and to feel great that I am being a well rounded human. I drink. I breastfeed. I eat well. I love my kids just like you. (I would like to think even more.) Why do I think its ok? Because I’m going off the well written studies and facts that I’ve researched. Yes, I am choosing what side I am on and we can battle all day long if you are pro-not drinking. But here I am standing up and opening up. I drink and feed. No pumping and dumping. And I feel zero guilt. Just as you should feel if you choose to have a drink or two or …
This “faux pas” in some peoples eyes is not often spoken about. Who wants to put themselves at risk for being bashed or called a bad mom? I surely must be crazy to add the potential stress to my life. It is the secret lives of the breastfeeding women. It is the hush, hush, ok’s by the midwives or the lactation consultants who tread lightly, figuring out how to explain the advice without being misunderstood.
I am going to link a very easy to understand and read article on breastfeeding facts. I have handed this out to many women who want to be equipped with information.
Note : We are a zero tolerance family. What does that mean? We talk to our kids about safety and drinking. We show them any consumption means it’s not ok to drive! We are the parents who taxi or uber home. Yup, we buckle the kids in the taxi and feel great! To us its not a loser status putting your kids in a cab. It’s being a great role model for children that are highly impressionable. We are showing them the cost to get home is never worth drinking and driving. Ever! ~ That I have an opinion about! If you can afford to buy alcohol out, you better be affording that taxi service home! My kids are on these streets.
Things not to do that really should not need explaining ::
DO NOT co-sleep intoxicated
DO NOT over consume any alcohol beverages
DO NOT take any recreational drugs
 (can I say this is OBVIOUS and not like alcohol!)
DO NOT drink and drive
When consuming alcohol best to drink light items like lighter beer or wine. Hard alcohol can hit a nursing mom differently since we are not use to it.
DO NOT drink enough to be hungover
(more of a joke. I recall circa ’02 baby and toddler to care for. Needless to say toddler destroyed the house!)
THIS IS NOT Medical advice in any way!! I am not a doctor and just stating how I manage my life.
last … DO NOT bother telling me I am a shitty mom.
(because I am damn awesome! I have a perfect graduated son, another son who is the most amazing teenager people would die for, the most intelligent young son who is beyond smart and now a beautiful and thriving daughter. I am pretty confident in my parenting skills. This is for those who will disagree with my choice to do what works for me.)
Categories
family life

My motherhood ..

The It’s Saturday night and I just decided tomorrow (Mother’s Day) needed a post. So here I am, curled up on my rocking chair, baby in the Lille carrier, typing this up last minute. I wasn’t sure if I should write about celebrating moms, my own motherhood or something different and personal.
I’ve decided to shoot from the heart. So here it goes…
Mother’s Day is tomorrow. For me, it’s not really day of celebration. I often feel lost and confused because growing up I didn’t have the storybook or regular childhood. I didn’t have the bond I saw my girlfriends have or the best friend I wished. Because of this I had become so close to my grandma that I remember asking her to tell people I was her kid. She had already raised seven children. I quickly worked my way into her heart and home as the eighth. I believe as the story was told I was put in a drawer to sleep as a tiny baby. She doted on me, kissed me all day long, and was silently teaching me all those years how to be a mom. I get tears thinking about her and I know so many do, especially my papa. She passed away from cancer seven years ago.
Having Apple has been a blessing but it has also brought up some deep emotions. I look at her and think how I’ll be her friend forever. I don’t love her more than my boys, but something is different. I see myself as a baby. I think about teaching her how to be a lady, how to apply makeup, talking about her friendships, watching girly tv together and so much more. I want to give her everything I craved as a young adult and into motherhood. 
I have a trust in my husband he will continue to be a strong influence for our boys and a soft daddy for our girl. He had that life growing up that I wanted and  has such a big heart. And for me… I’ll do what I know best. I’ll love them hard, teach them right and pray for answers that I may need.
Happy Mother’s Day. Especially to my grandma in heaven.

Categories
family life

Day out with baby and learning how to balance yourself…

Recently was invited to be a modelling mom for Belly Bandit (a very very brief segment on the news) Of course, I said I’d love to go to the city and make it a fun day adventure in LA. 
The morning of our trip to LA we woke up early. Wearing baby Apple in the Ergo I curled my hair and loaded on the makeup. I felt excited to really get out. I had big plans to do some shopping, eat at one of my favourite places and even possibly hit the beach for a stroll by the ocean. 
Hubs had everything I needed packed in the car including the O2 for that beach stroll, G3 for shopping and I had baby ready to go in her car seat. We got on the road with coffee in hand, baby sleeping peacefully and excitement we were our old selves! Traffic was non existent, we made the drive to LA the fastest ever. It was clearly a sign it was time for me to get out and about 
The news segment went off without a hitch! (Well that is until I couldn’t remember my own website – but I wasn’t supposed to have a talking spot! And I’m also sleep deprived!) We decided to roll out our plans of strolling the streets for some fun shopping, get a bite to eat and maybe get down to the beach area for more cute shops and a stroll at that beach I had planned.
Smiling, shopping, picture taking we were having fun. We chatted about everything including how great it was to be such cool active parents. I splurged on my food and I even chowed down a sugar filled cake for dessert… It was then things changed. Our bill came for our meal and it hit me. Exhaustion! I was so tired and realized I had slept no more than four hours last night. It was time to go home, now!! Looking down at my perfectly behaved sleeping baby my heart sank and I wanted to cry. Why had I thought I could do so much? Sure the actual part of going out is easy. I had everything I needed to travel flawlessly. My car seat could transport my sleeping baby if I needed or I could lay her in the bassinet and proudly push her knowing people would check out my sweet baby. But what I forgot was the fact I am running off little steam and hormones are surging through me. I forgot how fast little emotions get big when you just had a baby. 
This has to be the hardest balance a mother faces. How to manage your life as a new mom while your old self is asking to come out. Even after baby number four I am still learning. I’m not sure I’m ready to do big trips yet, so I’ll stick to having fun close to home. That way I get the perfect balance I need at this moment. 
Here are some snaps from our day in LA. We obviously ditched the beach!! Lol
Categories
life

New goodies and fun mail ..

I’ve decided to start posting a few snaps of some of my favourite items I get delivered. I’m going to call them “mail day” and share every few weeks. Since having a new baby I find I sometimes forget to share the cuteness! Some will be baby goods others will be for me or the family.
These are a few recent deliveries. 
Top to bottom ::
Beaded stroller toy by Sproutling Co (Etsy)
Printed booties by MomKbaby (these have great little elastics to help stay on inside)
Swaddle and hat set by KB Cute Designs
The sweetest gray knit booties by Lily Mae (Instagram)
Baby scarves by Grey & Gingham
Headbands by Hello Hadley Girl
Black outfit by Infantium Victoria
Water colour print booties by MomKbaby
Swaddle set by KB Cute designs

Baby mobile by Sproutling
Outfit by Londin Lux
Crib Sheet by KB Cute Designs
Fun mommy treats by Pampered Mommy Box (a fun surprise of goodies each month by subscription)
Swaddle by Riser