Friday, October 18, 2013

The Mom Club

 I want to dedicate this post to all the moms, 1st time moms, and moms to be. 
After I found out I was pregnant it was like I was immediately  inducted into an elite group called "The Mom Club." It was amazing, it is amazing! I have gotten a chance to meet new moms, connect with old mom friends, and help soon to be moms. It's a kind of camaraderie that you just feel like you're never alone and I want to say thank you to all the moms that help me, encourage me, share their stories and give me advice! I may not have used all the advice but it's definitely in my mom bag for next time around!
As I was thinking back on this year I just wanted to share a couple things I have learned from experiences. I guess you could called it Life Lessons from Bowden part 2.

1. Be wise in what you say to a New Mom
I remember this one time my husband and I were about to go into a very important meeting at a new place and we weren't able to get a sitter so we brought Bowden with us. Well, wouldn't you know it, he decides to fall and hit his mouth on the edge of a glass coffee table, right before we go in. Blood is literally spuing out, I couldn't tell if he needed stitches, lost a tooth, and it was so intense. Well the blood calms down but me I'm still shaken up. We tell the lady we are meeting with what happened, why we were late, and her response was that it's not gonna be the last time and to get use to it....I'm sorry but I will never get use to my son being in pain that was just the worse thing you could say to me. So here's my take, yes I'm a first time mom but let me experience it, I know more incidents will happen, I hope they don't but I just don't think you can plan for something horrible, that makes no sense. Bowden fell last night and hit  his nose on the edge of a tile step  and my heart still jumped out of my chest. From this experience I hope I never tell a new mom to get use to your child getting hurt, but I would say yes it does happen and it's unfortunate, nothing can prepare you for it, just pray God gives you the strength to handle it.
2. "Comparison is the death of Joy" -Mark Twain
I think this one might take me longer to grasp but I will be honest its been really hard to not compare Bowden to other babies his age this last year. It would be the tiniest thing that probably seems ridiculous, like when he's gonna crawl, get a tooth, talk, and the funny thing is after I would stress about it, usually the next week he was doing it! I have learned that in time he will get there and just enjoy the ride, why rob moments of joy and replace it with stress and comparison that's not fair to Bowden. He doesn't compare me (well not yet)

Our beach trip to Cali in July when Bowden took his first steps at Grammy and Grampys.
3. Let him try new things.
It's that natural instinct in me to protect Bowden, which is why Lance is the perfect balance to my world, cuz he is the adventurous one. I would  keep a close eye and parameter on Bowden 24/7 which in most cases I should but even if I was right by him I wouldn't let him try things.  Most moms are probably the opposite of me, but I'm learning! He is not gonna learn new things if I'm always hindering him to try.

The Newest member of our family we adopted..Linus

4. A life lived to the fullest
I think at first my schedule was completely ran by Bowden, which is understandable but after awhile I began compromise my schedule for his, when really I just needed to slowly fit him into my schedule so that my life doesn't become all about him but he lives life with me and Lance. There were times at first it was really hard for me to go on a date and leave him because I felt like he couldn't live without me but he always ended up being fine.

Well I'm sure there are more, but those are just some of the things I have learned this last year.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

camp bowden

what's a party without tattoos

Camp Bowden has come and gone just like this last year! I can't believe he's gonna be 1 tomorrow! So many emotions! We had a little birthday party tonight for him and  it was very special because we also dedicated him! Not your traditional baby dedication I know but we are not your average, normal people, we like to do things different! Bowden's grandpa also a pastor dedicated  him in our backyard and I loved it. Bowden is so close to my heart but I have learned He is not "mine" he is God's first and as easy as that sounds sometimes I'll admit, it's hard because I worry about him (I think it's harder for moms, naturally)

Since he was born I felt time slipping by so fast and a lot of life lessons began to hit me hard. I have learned to cherish every single day, there hasn't been a night this last year that I didn't go in his room to check on him "one more time."
I have learned to be more grateful, I'm so grateful that we had a healthy baby boy this year and I pray that he continues to stay healthy this next year as well.

This has truly been the best life changing experience ever and I'm so blessed to be his mom, God redeemed August 19th, 2012 for me, what once use to be a sad day in remembrance, is now a celebration of a new life! Happy Birthday Bowdie bear, I love you!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Hello August, I can't believe summer is almost over! We have been traveling quite a bit the last month and a half, visiting family in Lubbock, California, and a director's summit in Alabama but it's good to be home!  Time is literally flying by!

Grampy Sofu and Bowden gettin in the water

Let's see what's new, well we had a really bad food allergy scare in California. We are beginning to do more table foods (mostly to beef up this kid, doctor's orders) and up to this point I have been pretty cautious on new foods I give Bowden, he has done so good, fruits I'm allergic to, he loves so I was really hoping he was taking after his dad, who doesn't have  any food allergies. Unfortunately my side of the family has a history of food allergies.
I gave Bowden a lil piece of honey dew melon to try and he took one bite and instantly his face and hand began to swell, get red, and since we had never see anything so fast I rushed to get him some benadryl (so glad we had it on hand) and then he began to break out in hives, poor thing was scratching his face, neck, and hand like crazy! So we rushed him to the ER. Normally in a situation like that I would have lost it, and I almost did, thankfully my husband knows me well enough he was already on it on calming me down. Instead of freaking out, I did what anyone would do ....PRAY....PRAY HARD!!! Thank you God for answered prayers!!!
The Dr. said it was good we gave him benadryl, cuz they would have given it to him anyways and that anytime you try new foods you should have it on hand in case something like that happens. We just saw his pediatrician this last week and they can't do food allergy test until they are 18 months so in the meantime we are sticking to a bland diet, and no melons of any kind!
I think that pretty much started off the craziness of our summer along with that we have some transitions we are going through right now, so things are kind of hectic but we are excited for the future and where God is taking us. I have learned over the last few years that God doesn't just have a one goal, one plan dream for me but he has different seasons and to remove any pressures the world has placed on me to "finally arrive and achieve my purpose" but I do have a purpose, to love people wherever I am and in whatever I'm doing! I don't know where I will be in 5 or 10 years but I know I will still be serving the same God who has been with me my whole life and I'm perfectly okay with that!

Right now life is moving fast and I'm just trying to enjoy every day, I love the baby talk I hear in the back seat, I will gladly listen to that over the radio any day, I love that my son gives me kisses with his tongue sticking out, it might sound gross but I think it's funny, and I love that this month we will celebrating his 1st bday!!
Happy August!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello Father's Day

 Last month was a busy one for our family, we had our Masters Commission graduation which is a whole week of fun filled events, the week after that we close out everything from the year, and then last week we took a mini vaca to visit family in Lubbock. So here we are JUNE and it's Father's Day!! Let's just say this father's day was not anything I expected or planned for.
Months prior to this day I had been thinking on what to do or give Lance for Father's Day. I know he likes golfing, football, basketball, fishing, he wants a new grill, the typical "man stuff" so I thought about all those, and I know he likes surprises. When it came down to it, he wanted a new phone and with our budget and planning for future vacations we both knew he couldn't have it all.. So he said he wanted the phone for his gift. I thought, "okay but I'm still going to get something else as a surprise." Well in our family Lance is the creative, techy, computer media guy. He can make flyers, design websites, invitations, actually he can do anything! So I thought, "why don't I try to show him I really care by making him something on the computer." You might see where this is going...
Well I think I have this  idea, to make a poster that has a bunch of words that describe him with a picture on it that I want to turn into a canvas, I have no idea what I' m doing and start googleling how to do photo shop stuff. I think it looks pretty good and have it printed online and shipped to our house. It came in a few days early which made me super excited,  only to find out that it doesn't look good, honestly it looked horrible! I guess there was some kind of error and it was suppose to print black and white and has green squiggly was bad! I'm so embarrassed I couldn't dare put a pic up. So, I tell Lance (which ruined my surprise) and he was like "why didn't you tell me I could have helped you with it" um cuz  I wanted to try and surprise you and do it myself! Anyways, we end up re-doing it and he helps me. We had it printed locally so I could go pick it up and it still wasn't right! The guy was so nice and helpful, he really wanted to make it work for me but I had to come back and give him more time. I tell you this lil gift has turned into quite the ordeal.
This is the finished product

After all that, I still wanted to get him something for a surprise and since I wasted money on my first photo canvas I knew it couldn't be much. Lance had been talking about a case for his new phone, so my brilliant idea " I should get him one!" I bought one online as soon as he said it, the one he wanted too, then later, I come home to find him looking up cases to buy on his computer, Ughhh.....can you believe it!? 
I had to spoil my 2nd surprise and tell him I got him one so he didn't buy another one! Seriously this guy! I wished it ended right there but unfortunately things got a lil dramatic around here...I started crying...I know that's too much, I really don't even know why, I have to blame it on the mom hormones because before I had Bowden I wouldn't cry over something like this.

All that to say, I ran out of surprises and money lol. I know he doesn't care and he always tells me "it's the thought that counts" but sometimes especially special days like these I want everything to be perfect. I'm so grateful for him! I knew he was gonna be a great dad when we started dating cuz  he said he wanted 10 kids (no joke)

I love you Lance Ainsworth, father of my son, my best friend, and lover forever, Happy Father's day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Very Special Mother's Day

This has been a very Special Mother's Day for me. I'll be honest, normally I kinda shy away from this day. But now being a mom it's definitely different for me, I always felt weird on this day ever since my mom passed away but now having Bowden I want to say Happy Mother's Day! Because of my mom I had an amazing example to follow and I hope to be the kind of mom she was. My memories are kind of vague of what I have of her but they do show up in times I need them. One of the memories I cherish most, and that has always stayed with me, was watching my mom get up every morning, read her Bible and pray, I'm so thankful for that memory.

So, today, on this Mother's Day:
 I am thankful for the blessing of motherhood, for all the moms, spiritual moms, friends, and mentors that have poured into my life in the times that I needed,
I reflect on the past and praise God for the mom I had and 
I look to the future and pray to be the best mom that I can be and give all the love God has shown me.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Motherhood Meltdowns

I sit here as my son finally falls asleep for his morning nap (thank the Lord) and try to gather all my thoughts on the last 24 hours. Excuse me if they are a bit scatter. Part of me is letting it all out! I remember during the first month after having Bowden being super emotional, hormonal, sensitive, and a bit defensive some most times. Well lets just say those feelings have creeped back in all over again. You know when you start feeling good about yourself and your motherhood instincts when you can calm your child and you know what helps? Well that all went away these last 24 hours. Bowden was not a happy camper, super fussy, woke up in the night screaming, wouldn't take his bottle, etc....My husband will sometimes say "What do you think is wrong with him?" and I'll usually have an answer like "Oh I think he's teething, or he is having gas," or sometimes it's "He didn't get a good nap, so he's fussy," but yesterday after using all those answers it came down to a frustrated, "I don't know what's wrong I give up!"
Okay I didn't really give up on my son, I'm not that bad (even though it gets to the point where you kinda feel like a horrible mom)
At one point I wanted to just cry right alongside him (maybe I did a lil) What do you do when you have exhausted all your mom solutions? Well after saying 3 prayers over my son, for his gums, and his tummy, and to calm him down. I started praying for me lol. No really, I had 2 headaches all day, which is kinda rare for me. Then I thought okay he loves the car, let's go for a ride, which worked and he fell asleep.  Then wouldn't you know it, it starts all back up again as soon as we get home! So I went through my mom checklist just to make sure I'm not missing something obvious

- Diaper (just a lil wet)
- Check temperature (no fever)
- Is he hungry? (well possibly he won't drink his bottle but he did eat some food)
-Is he teething? (I think so, for like the last 2 months)
-Is he gassy? (a lil but he has gas a lot)
-Is he tired? (should be he woke up last night)

Okay now what, well I decided to gather myself together, so I set him in his crib (while he is screaming), folded some laundry, and then I realize okay it's not the end of the world, out of all of his days so far this just happens to be a bad one and it's gonna be okay. Now that I'm all good,  I'm about to grab him and calm him down....and what happens next....he fell asleep!
I wish I could say I know what's wrong with him and while I really do think it's a combination of teething, hunger, and tiredness since he woke up last night, I just don't know and I don't always have to have the answer. That doesn't make me a bad mom does it? What I can do..Do my best to love him and try to comfort him.
I'm sure I will experience more of these, and some day the tables will probably turn and he might have the meltdown, I guess it comes with the territory of motherhood, but for now I learn to take them for what they are and then....
 I go get a Starbucks cause that just seems to always make things a lil better!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

8 Months and some Randomness

Easter Sunday, investigating the plants in the backyard.

 It's amazing how much in one month a baby can change, grow, and learn new things! It's been really fun around here! At 8 months Bowden is sitting up, rolling like crazy, loving food, and getting ready to crawl!
One of his favorite things right now is clapping, he likes to grab your hands and make you clap. He also just likes watching you clap, he gets a good laugh out of it!

One of my favorite things, is this
I'm kinda the last one to hear about these things, so I get pretty excited when I try something new and it turns out great!

The Nubby Nibbler, wow this thing is amazing, it's a teething ring and a snack toy! Although it is a lil difficult to clean, it's a great alternative for teething babies and gives them a lil treat. Unfortunately for all the teething that's been going on, we have no teeth to show for :(

We had some friends down from North Carolina and their son Q is one month younger than Bowden so they had a lil playdate...they loved it, pretty much Q told lots of stories to Bowden and Bowden listened...what good friends they are!

 For more fun this week we had a lil photo shoot,(if you haven't notice this post is a lil random)

He was being a serious model

Oh Hello there!

And then he got tired...

Thumbsucker! I see you!

Happy 8 Months Bowden!!!

Lastly I decided to take up gardening! I have been wanting to for quite some time but I feel like it's such a delicate hobby that I don't want to get discouraged easily, so, I'm starting out slow. We have a great backyard for it, there are some plants already growing but eventually I want to re-do it and put my own herbs and flowers back there. I was watching the Today show and Martha Stewart did lil edible garden parties in big containers, I thought "I should do that" she did a tea party one with lavender, mint, lemon, and a few others and also a salsa one (which is what I decided to do) with cilantro, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Wish me good luck I'm really excited about this!

Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY "Toy Chest"

I have been wanting to do this project for quite some time and well...I just haven't gotten around to it and so this last weekend I decided that it was time and we went for it! The great thing about this project was that it cost just under $15 to make!

I had pinned this adorable idea on pinterest months ago. 
Aren't these cute and such a good idea...they cost around $88
However as cute as they are, they are way out of my budget....maybe in another life I could buy these and shop at anthropologie and jcrew and eat at Cheesecake factory every week. Haha okay maybe not but I decided that I would find an affordable way to replicate these and I have.
So here we go.
I found these crates at Joann's fabric store, I wanted the bigger size but our store only had the smaller size. They are originally $11.99 but in the weekly paper or online there is usually always a coupon for 40% so this crate cost me just under $7.50

The wheels and bolts I got at Home Depot

This pack of 4 cost about $5

I think the bolts were around $2

I'm not good at handwriting things so I used letter stencils I had on hand and used a sharpie to write the word "TOYS"

Next we stained it, I already had a small can but if you had to buy some you could find some for around $5. We wanted a dark stain so we let it soak for awhile.

see how small that can is... the color is "ebony"

Then we put the wheels on....well my amazing husband did! 

The finished product!

This project literally only took us a couple hours to do and was super easy! My favorite part, is that it rolls!!! How fun is that!

Now to put the toys in it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Starting Solids

The last 2 weeks we started Bowden on solids and it's going quite well! What made this even more exciting is I got to try out one of the gifts from my baby shower "the baby bullet," it's amazing! I knew when I was pregnant that I wanted to make my own baby food, for the health and cost benefits, and some friends of ours did the same, so I registered for this and it's been so easy to use! Of course if you have a food processor or a regular bullet that would work fine, and even a blender but I love this set because it comes with storage containers to make ahead and then freeze as well as containers that you store in the fridge with a lil dial on it, that you can adjust the date.
Benefits of making your own baby food:
-You save money, it can cost anywhere from $1-$1.30 for one jar of baby food vs. $1-$2 for produce that will give you about 7 servings(you can actually go organic and save money!)
-It doesn't contain preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, additives
-It's fresh and healthier
- You know what's going in the food your giving your baby

Our Dr. said to start Bowden with veggies first and that we could  introduce a new veggie every 3-4 days, just to make sure he didn't have an allergic reaction. 

Some Signs of an allergic reaction are:
Gas, Diarrhea, rash, clear runny nose, vomiting, itching, stomach pain, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, lip/face swelling, eye swelling, eczema, and fatigue.

 Low risk allergy foods are:
applesauce, apricots, asapargus, beets, carrots, peaches, pears, plums, rice, and oats. 
They say the safest 1st foods to try are:
sweet potatoes, avocado, peas, brown rice cereal, zucchini, squash, apples, pears, and bananas.

Last week, we started with carrots (which was probably not the best 1st veggie to try, can be messy and stain clothes/bibs) All I did was steam a bag of organic carrots til they were soft, add about 1/4 cup of water and put it in the bullet and "bam" baby food! It's recommended to eat within 3 days in the fridge or if frozen then up to 30 days.
This week we tried zucchini and Bowden loves it!
I can't believe we are already to eating foods :( seriously can this kid grow up any faster!?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Keep on Dating

 Amongst the busyness of life is usually a good time to have an evaluation on life and sometimes...well most times God is trying to get my attention to certain areas! Last week, was one of them, it was an incredibly busy week, we had just gotten back from a trip and so of course you have all the personal stuff to catch up on (cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc) and I can get caught up in all the "me stuff" I forget to remember what life is about. Good thing God doesn't let that happen to me! An amazing woman with a huge heart spoke words of encouragement to me and reminded me of a few things. I won't share all of them but one of them was to make sure my husband and I were doing good...and we are but we don't want to just "be good" we want to be great. Before we had Bowden, Lance and I went on weekly dates, usually on Mondays cuz that's our day off. Since we have had Bowden, we have gone on dates just not regularly and I didn't expect it would be the same. Lance is actually really good at making sure we have time together but I'm a person who doesn't like change and wishes things could stay the same...but they just can't and that's an awesome thing cuz "when you're through changing your through" I have had to realize that I can't have my weekly date just the way I want at least not right now but that doesn't mean we can't have different kinds of dates. And that's what we have been doing, dating!
So here are some of my favorite dates:
Surprise Breakfast dates- I like these cuz one, I'm a breakfast person and two, they are spontaneous and never on the same day.
Family Dates- this one is kind of obvious but our lil family of 3 go on  lil adventures

Dinner dates- these are the ones where we get dressed up and we leave Bowden with someone
Movie dates- we love movies and since we don't go to the theater that often we will rent one and watch it after Bowden goes to bed (yes these are planned cuz I usually get tired early)
30 min drive dates- These are fun and low key cuz we just hop in the car go get either coffee or ice cream and just drive, talk, and Bowden usually falls asleep on the ride (Sometimes I forget he's there)
This last week we did our first Planning Date- we went on a morning date to simply plan out where we want to go for our anniversary this year. I'm a planner and a daydreamer so this was right up my alley.

Our 1st planning date

I know after having a baby I just wanted things to get back to being what kind of world was I living in, things are different now and I just have been learning to adapt but not compromise the valuable things in life, which is God, my family,  and relationships.  So I say to myself "keep on dating, keep on striving to be better, keep on loving, and keep on living this amazing, blessed, and gifted life!"