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I Took my Toddler to Wonder Woman: A Review {Spoilers Ahead}

On Tuesday evening I took my son’s and mother to see Wonder Woman. I had high expectations for this movie and it did not disappoint.

We went to the 7:30pm showing, this was only my toddlers second time in a theater, so I was a bit nervous, but he did great! And, my older son was so enthralled he didn’t move the entire time.

The island of Themyscira was gorgeous. I’ve spent some time reading comics and I’d seen the introduction of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, but I didn’t know much about her origin story.

The movie kept me hooked the entire time wondering what her next move would be and what in the world was her mother keeping from Diana?!

As I watched each scene unfold from the beginning-watching these strong, skilled warrior women- to the women seen in London, expected to hush and cover up I was proud and saddened. Women have had to fight for centuries for the strength to prove themselves. Even to have this movie made with a woman director was a fight and this movie seemed to honor each and every woman.


My mom said she loved this movie because of the steadfastness of Wonder Woman. She admired her trust in her mother and the truth. She never waivered, even when man tried to tell her she was wrong.

Now, I am so glad I took my children to this movie as well! I believe it is important for my boys to see women as strong role models; not only men. That being said the ending was a little scary for my toddler, but once Wonder Woman defeated Ares, all was well. He was no longer afraid. There was also a lot of adult humor in this movie that kept my mom and I laughing the entire time. When anyone laughs my toddler joins in, so it only added to the humor.

My older son loved every bit of Wonder Woman he said his favorite part “was when Wonder Woman made holes in the wall and climbed to the top.” My moms favorite part was “the bullets bouncing off of her and the shield jump.” And, my favorite scene was when Diana was told she couldn’t enter “no man’s land” and did anyway and saved the entire town.


The only moments that I didn’t absolutely love in this movie were some of the action scenes. It seemed that were sped up, but I couldn’t tell if it was purposeful or the editing was off. Either way, those are minor details and doesn’t change my love for this movie.

Most importantly, in this movie is the message of love. Chris Pine plays his part adoringly and I can see why she would fall for him. He’s honest in every way and since he’s “above average” I’m sure they had a wonderful night.

The supporting cast does amazing as well. Each of them shines a light on the troubles of war. Each in their own way. The Native American reminding us no one is without sin toward others. The sniper reminds us the internal damages of war and the actor, that life does not always go as planned.

Reminding us to love despite the evil in this world seems to the the true message of Wonder Woman and I hope it is a message we will all continue to carry in our hearts.

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On, Moving. 

I kind of hate and also kind of love moving.

Moving from one home to another did not happen for me until I was 18 years old. I moved the day after I graduated college. About a month after moving I realized I had made a bad choice and my parents lovingly moved me back home. A few weeks later, I ended up moving again, to an entirely different state.

This time I stayed, but life was not simple for me. A lot of kids head to college and have their housing paid for or figured out before arriving. I had none of this.

To make living in a new state and going to college work first, I found a non-paid live in nanny position. This was possible thanks to good ol’ craigslist. At this time I was still working another job at a hotel to make the money gap meet. Even though I had a roof I still had to pay for food, books, gas. All other necessities.

Again, after another month I realized this was not going to work. I just didn’t have time for all of it. Soon, I was back to browsing craigslist and found a room for $200/month. I was sold! I was living with five other girls, but our house was fairly large. I stayed here a few months and once again thought it might be best to move. Did I mention my bed was an air mattress?!

At that time I thought it was best to move because a friend offered a free place. A few weeks in, come to find out, he was getting evicted and has ditched me to deal with the owners. Not cool. Luckily, another friend took me in. We literally shared a bed.

She and I hit it off really well and decided to get a place of our own. Now, I did not know much about this state I’d been living in. Come to find out, there are some neighborhoods better than others. Me being an ignorant 19-year-old who had only lived with her parents, I had no idea.

We ended up moving into one of these neighborhoods and it was CRAWLING with cockroaches. I had to get out. So, I moved again. Anyone keeping track? No idea how many moves we’re at here. I found another place, with another friend, moved a few months later and I believe three more times after that before my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to move to San Diego!

We lived in San Diego for about three years, moving a total of four times.

After we had our first child I wanted to be back with our family and we returned to the Phoenix area.

We’ve been back here now for about 8 years and have moved only three times! A huge success to me. Now, I could tell you all about packing and moving and how to get it done quickly, because I’ve done it about 15 times in the last ten years now, but that’s not what I want to discuss.

I want to discuss what it means to me to be close to purchasing our own home.

Honestly, I was never sure this would happen. Actually, I’m still not sure because we haven’t officially closed, but it’s being built and it’s supposed to be ours. I also know how it feels to be near homelessness and relying on others for a roof over your head. To those who helped me numerous times, thank you so much! I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Being on the move so much has also taught me many invaluable lessons. To me, home is not a place. It’s the people in our lives. My people are my husband and children. When I am with them, I am home. We could be anywhere, as long as I have them I am truly happy.

To anyone struggling to find a home, buy their own home or make their rental into their own place, do not worry. If we can make it work I can guarantee almost anyone can.

I wanted to purchase a home seven years ago. It’s taken us seven years to get to where we are today. There have been struggles and sacrifices, of course, but in the end it’s all worth it!

Never give up, keep your home dreams alive. Maybe you don’t want to own a home. Maybe you want to travel the world or move each year. Whatever makes you feel at home is all that really matters.

I will admit, I was sad to say goodbye to our latest home. It holds so many wonderful memories. Our youngest was born while we lived there. My husband taught our oldest to ride his bike there and we’ve had a nearly a million family dinners at those tables. There’s been loss in that home as well, but I remember mostly positive moments.

As we move again, I am anxious that our home will provide a new space for us to thrive and grow.

Here’s hoping all goes according to plan! Probably won’t, because that’s life, but I can dream, right?!
P.S. I finally counted. A total of 18 moves thus far. Whoa.

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Can You Stop Wishing for your Pre-Baby Body After Having a Baby?

Every time I hear the term pre-baby body, I shudder a bit. Mostly because it’s usually a mom saying something to the effect of “wow, I really wish I could get my pre-baby body back.”

Honey, I feel you. I loved my pre-baby body. My boobs were perky, I had zero stretch marks and my hips weren’t as big as the landing zone for a commercial airliner.

Here’s the thing though, I have had two kids. My pre-baby body is never going to return. I can exercise and get back to that pre-baby weight, but that body is gone. Just like my virginity is long lost and I am officially a married woman. Sure, I can un-marry, but I will still have been married at one point, just as I have had a baby. There are just some things you cannot change. Also, I would rather be married.

It seems that as women when we are comparing ourselves we assume there are other moms who have been unscathed by the birth of their children, but that just is not true. We are all affected. Yes, there are some that are less minor, maybe your friend doesn’t have stretch marks, but we have all been changed.

Embracing those changes are what makes motherhood very difficult. Along with our new bodies we also have a new person to care for. A person who depends on us entirely for their life. Without us, they cannot survive. That knowledge, in and of itself, is absolutely terrifying. When my mother left after a week of helping me with my first newborn, I bawled. I was so unsure of what to do. How in the world was I going to keep this precious baby alive and thriving and not mess him up? I had no idea. Honestly, I still do not know. I am certain I am making mistakes, but I am trying my best.

Now, add the weight-no pun intended-of your own body. Most of us are frustrated by all the changes motherhood has caused and facing our own bodies is one of these dreaded changes. My plea to you is to embrace these changes and give yourself a break.

I am going to estimate that at one point in their lives most women have tried a diet. I know I have. Most mothers jump on this diet train after having a baby, they are entirely certain that if they hit that pre-baby number all will be well in the world. I can tell you right now, none of that is true. You can weigh a certain number and still be unhappy, happiness stems from you, your mind and your surroundings. If you are being told you need to lose weight to feel better, you will probably believe it. This is what society tries to tell you, this is what your weight loss group (that you are paying) is trying to tell you. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM.

I am the happiest I have ever been; I am also the fattest I have ever been. I am happy because I have let go of society’s judgement. I am doing what makes me happy and I have a wonderful support system who does not measure me by my weight or looks.

My challenge to you is to join me in loving your post-baby body. I have literally created a 30 Day Challenge to help you love yourself. You can find the link to the beginning here.

I hope you know you are loved, you are worthy of love, no matter what your size and I hope you can begin to love yourself as well! And, let’s stop wishing for our pre-baby bodies, because our bodies now, rock!!

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LYPBB Challenge Day 25: Eat Whatever You Want

I hinted at this message yesterday in my plea for you to stop any diet you are currently on and listen to your body. However, today’s challenge is to eat whatever you would like!

Doesn’t that sound amazing? Just sitting around, eating all the foods you crave. I can imagine if you have been following a strict diet, that sounds just heavenly! I can tell you it is because I do it every day.

Just this morning I had waffles, doughnuts, and pork smothered in gravy. It all sounded so delicious, and it was!

I hope you truly embrace yesterday’s challenge and apply it today, so you can eat anything and everything you have ever wanted.

If you need some recipes ideas, just scroll on over to our breakfast, dinner, or dessert pages.

Happy eating!

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

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LYPBB Challenge Days 23 and 24: Stop Dieting and Listen to Your Body.

There is nothing I want to do less in this world than start a diet. I would rather risk my life swimming with sharks, while I am bleeding. That’s how much dieting sucks, and I know I am not alone in these feelings. There are millions of memes exhibiting the exact awfulness of dieting and talking to someone who is on a diet is just absolutely exhausting.

I am not a dietitian or doctor, but I do believe we would all be better off skipping fad diets and just listen to our bodies instead. This is how I live my life. When I have a particular craving, I eat the food. I do not skip meals or force myself to eat just because of caloric count. I believe this is a very unhealthy way to live. If you are eating or drinking something with limited calories, eventually your body will again succumb to hunger.

If you are participating in a diet of starving yourself, please just stop and eat what you would like. If you take a few weeks and just start eating what your body is craving, you will learn what you truly need. Our bodies are amazing! As human beings, we are born not only to survive but thrive. Your body will tell you what you need, just trust me. I have days where I want nothing but chocolate and chips, and then there are days when I want only fruits and vegetables. Due to my body chemistry I need to have a diet increased in protein, and when I need this, my body tells me.

When you are on a diet, particularly a restricting one, you are robbing yourself of nutrition. Yes, you can take vitamins, but that doesn’t replace the food your body needs. If you are about to make a change in your lifestyle, please talk to your doctor first. If you need guidance on learning to listen to your body Caroline Dooner has created an amazing series called The Fuck It Diet that teaches you to truly listen to your body. I am part of one of her free groups, and it has been so eye opening. The mental torture people put themselves through over food astounds me. At times, I have to avoid reading the posts others leave because it can be emotionally draining. And I am only reading the posts! I cannot imagine what the individuals themselves are feeling.

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It makes me feel very fortunate that I was born in a home that was not focused on weight and diet. When my mother was younger, she would feed us something from each food group. Do you guys remember the old food pyramid? Well, now it’s different, but I still apply this to my family. We have protein, carbohydrates, and fruits or vegetables, sometimes both. I also have dessert regularly! It should not be rocket science to feed your family.

Another large part of the diet scene is just to look a certain way. Did you guys see the post by a woman claiming that it is vital for her to stay hot for her husband? I am not even including the link because it is ridiculous! Holy Batman! Here is the thing. We are all made differently. I weigh 150 pounds, but I am also 5’10”. My 150 pounds would look entirely different on someone who is five feet tall! My husband is a bigger dude, and I cannot tell you the number of comments I get about this. However, because I am thinner, people just assume that I do more than him. Excuse me while I wipe the water from my screen. I’m laughing too hard. My husband does more walking in one day than I do in one week; he is just a different build. So, when you hear or see a product promising a Victoria’s Secret body, you sure as hell better be skeptical. We do not and cannot look the same.

Remember the lessons in diversity we were taught when younger? These lessons definitely apply to our bodies as well. There is no one way to be hot. If all you’re worried about is your looks, life is going to be really rough when you begin to age. When you are about 80, I am pretty sure it is all the same at that point. Unless you have millions of dollars to spend on plastic surgery. But seriously, for the love of Batman, STOP DIETING! Eat the fucking cake! There is no such thing as a perfect summer body, and when you are 80, you’re going to be more upset that you didn’t eat that cake. Cake is delicious. Just look at all this food. Now excuse me while I go stuff my face.

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

 

 

 

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LYPBB Challenge Day 19: Write Down Your Goals

Did everyone have fun with their kids yesterday? I definitely did! The littlest one decided to have an attitude all afternoon, but we were still able to have a good time. My older son loves to play on the computer at the library and chose all of his favorite books.

Today’s LYPBB challenge is to write down your goals. After having kids, I found myself a little lost. There was still so many things I wanted to do, but I just wasn’t sure how to do this. When my eldest was about two, and I finally felt like I had a handle on motherhood, I started to write my bucket list. As I wrote items down, I also crossed a few off. One of the things I really wanted to do was become a model. I am fairly tall and always used to hear, “Omg, you’re so tall–you should be a model!” I had many other goals, but this was a big one. I used to watch America’s Next Top Model obsessively.

So, I set out to become a model. I did a few photo shoots, for free, just to practice, and guess what? Modeling is so not for me! The only reason the idea was thrown into my head was because so many people had put it there. I was not a natural in front of the camera, I hated the stupid poses and was so focused on my looks all the time, it was unnatural. However, I am glad I gave it a shot! If I had never tried, I would have never known and probably always wondered. Also, walking on a catwalk sounds like an absolute nightmare. Some people love modeling, and I hope those who do can pursue this; it is just not my thing.

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Here is one of my modeling pics. Why am I so angry, and what the crap is happening with my arm?

After I realized modeling was not my thing, I started to redefine my goals. In doing so, I realized I wanted more children. I also knew I wanted to start a helpful website for Moms. I actually had this idea before children but did not know how to do it. As a nanny, while the kids would sleep I would write down all these website ideas. Unfortunately, I lost that book, and it took me EIGHT YEARS to start, but I am finally here!

I have not made this site exactly as I would like, but it is a work in progress and every day I find new things I would like to try. I am going to write my current list of goals, and I challenge you to do the same. When we write down our goals, it makes them more realistic, and I know sharing my goals with all of you will help keep me on track as well. I have divided my goals into immediate and those that are more long term (see below). I will keep you all updated as I go.

Happy goal writing!

My Goals

Immediate:

  • Continue to post and promote my blog, eventually monetize.
  • Try freelance writing.
  • Write an e-book.
  • Pay off all credit cards.
  • Teach “E” to read even more.
  • Make blankets for foster children.
  • Try creating t-shirts and bumper stickers to sell.

Over the next five years:

  • Pay off student loans.
  • Buy house.
  • Finish my novel.
  • Maintain blog and provide a place for others to write in and respond to questions.

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

 

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LYPBB Challenge Day 11: Try Meditation

Zumba requires coordination, guys. I made a total ass of myself yesterday, but I will say it was pretty fun. How did your new exercises go? I am totally certain you were not the person in class sticking your leg in the air when it was supposed to be on the ground. So, I will venture to guess that you had more luck than me! However, I will keep trying, because as Daniel Tiger says, “Keep trying, you’ll get better.”

Anyway, for today’s challenge, I am going to ask all of you to try meditation, if you aren’t already doing it. If you are doing it, I challenge you to try something new; guided, shorter, longer, or unguided.

I discovered meditation last July when I began yoga. I did not take my practice seriously at the time and felt I was really bad at meditation because I could never focus on nothing. It is seriously tough. Then I had a car accident in November, and afterward, I had very bad anxiety. I decided to try meditation again and this time used a guided meditation made for anxiety. It has been so helpful for me. There are many health benefits associated with meditation, as well. You can find the full list from WebMD here.

try meditation
Imagine Yourself Here!

 

Just a few of the benefits include lowering blood pressure and improving your immune system and concentration. There are many more benefits and one of the biggest ones for our Love Your Post-Baby Body challenge is that meditation is often about acceptance and peace. When we come to accept ourselves, we can love ourselves. Instead of focusing on all the things we hate, we can see what we love and focus on even more important things in our lives. Meditation has allowed me to let go of my frustrations and see my dreams more clearly and go after them.

If you need help with your meditation there are many channels on youtube dedicated to guided meditations; I would begin there. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Live long and prosper, friends!

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

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LYPBB Challenge Days 8 & 9: Take a Break and Connect with Your Emotions. 

When I wrote this idea down for yesterday and today, I was planning on bringing positivity and super rays of sunshine, but today I just can’t do it.

As yesterday was Mother’s Day I took a much-needed break and didn’t write anything. I’m sure all you moms can understand. I hope you relaxed as well!

Last year on Mother’s Day I was completely different. I wanted to be left the eff alone. In fact, I told my husband to take the kids and go somewhere so I could just be alone for a while. He didn’t, and I’m glad for that. This year was entirely different. I wanted to spend as much time with my kids as possible.

You see, so much has changed since last Mother’s Day. We have lost our grandmother, grandfather and watched our friends lose children. All of this reminded me of just how much I wanted to spend the day with my kids. So, that’s what I did! We had an awesome day of fun; we went bowling and had dinner at Grandma’s house. I hope you got a break from your kids if needed, and some much-needed alone time.

The day after Mother’s Day is always a bummer for me because it’s back to the same old grind. (I need a mother’s week; maybe that would make me feel better.) However, it lets me connect with my emotions. I’m often sad on the day after Mother’s Day because it reminds me of children we have lost, as well. I always feel like we’re missing these children and that feeling is so much more present on Mother’s Day and the subsequent days are difficult.

When we are learning to love ourselves, I believe it is absolutely vital to view our emotions also. Is there a reason you’re upset, happy, sad? Why? Find out what is going on in your mind; take the time to connect with your emotions. If you need a good cry, or to scream into a pillow, just do it.

Society says that women should be these exuberant, outgoing beings and if we aren’t then something is wrong. Once you have a family, you are also responsible for their feelings. As the famous saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So now, not only are we responsible for ourselves but our entire family. That’s a lot for one person to handle. This is why we need to recognize our feelings and express them, not sweep them away and feel ashamed for feeling a certain way. Today I want you to honor yourself and your feelings.

It’s okay to feel something other than happy. And, once you realize this, you may find happiness is easier to come by.

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

connect with your emotions

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LYPBB Challenge Day 7: Buy Clothes That Fit

How are you all feeling after cleaning out your closets? Don’t feel bad if this takes you more than one day. I did this again, just as I asked you all to do, and emptied even more from my closet!

I had done this after my second child, but didn’t realize all the crap I was still holding onto. I’m a little bit ashamed to admit that I still had some clothes from college. Here’s my pile of clothes I donated, pictured below.

Buy Clothes that Fit
As you can see the dog and toddler were super helpers. 😉

If you’re unsure of what to do with your clothes after you have decided what to purge, I highly recommend checking out thredup.com (they give you cash for clothes) and donate the rest. I’ve done this more than once and made $80.00; not too shabby!

Okay, today’s task is a lot more fun. Well, at least for me — I definitely love shopping and buying new clothes! It’s a bit harder with a baby, but well worth it.

Today’s challenge is to buy clothes that fit you. Some people lose their weight and are the same size, but maybe your style has changed. Some may be an entirely different size, like me. I went from size 4 to 10. Or, maybe you’ve even lost weight. It used to make me sad I had gained weight, but I’ve learned to love my curves. Also, my husband really does, so that helps as well.

I decided to go shopping at Target today. I grabbed my Starbucks, of course, and went straight to the clothing section. After yesterday’s purge, I approached my shopping with a new attitude. I used to buy things that were on sale, even if I didn’t really love them. This usually resulted in me not wearing those items often. In fact, I think I got rid of most of those yesterday. So today I only purchased items I truly loved. I grabbed my size-10 bottoms, large shirts and tried everything on in the dressing room. Again while trying the clothing on I only kept what I absolutely loved. I only found five things and returned the rest.

Now I know I have a closet with clothes I will actually wear and love and they also fit. That’s just one less thing for me to worry about in the mornings. Whoo-hoo!

On a not so happy note, while trying on clothes, my toddler broke my brand new sunglasses. Hey, it can’t all go perfectly.

Happy shopping, friends!

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

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LYPBB Challenge Day 6: Clean Out Your Closet

I have a hilarious story to share with you guys. After I had my first child, I thought getting back into your pre-baby clothes was something you did immediately after you returned from the hospital. I excitedly went home, walked into my closet and tried to put on a pair of pants and shirt that I wore before I was even pregnant. I’m sure you can imagine the results. It was like trying to stuff a full-sized walrus into an infant’s onesie. Not a great idea.

I soon realized it was going to be quite some time before I was putting those clothes on again. The gravity of that really tugged at my heart strings. I was only 23 and had spent most of my life wishing I could be a supermodel and existing the last few years based on my looks. Not something I would recommend.

However, soon after this encounter, I did something that really empowered me. I got rid of my old clothes that no longer fit. I did keep some of the expensive jeans in the hope that I would be able to wear them again (because I hate wasting money), but everything else was given away. I did an ad for free clothing on Craigslist and let them go.

Once I did this, I was able to let go of the idea of my past self. I had changed so much after having my child; it wasn’t worth holding onto old memories and images of someone I no longer was.

My challenge for you today is to do the same. Go through your closet and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or clothes that you just aren’t going to wear anymore. Even if you just set them aside in the garage or attic, this will help.

Becoming a mother does change us, for the better! I’m not saying you can’t wear revealing clothes. I do that a lot, actually — probably much to my neighbors’ dismay — but they’re also clothes that fit. I’m not trying to squeeze my size ten ass into a six, though. Wear clothes that fit your personality, even if it’s a bit different than before you had your baby. Let go of clothes that don’t fit or just aren’t you anymore.

As you do this, you will begin to realize and accept yourself even more as a mother and person. Which will ultimately lead you to loving your post-baby bod.

Feel confident knowing you have a closet full of items that fit and you love!

{Wondering what the LYPBB Challenge is all about? Start here!}

Clean out Your Closet