I Have Scary Internet Friends And I Can’t Imagine Life Without Them!

Several years ago I read a post about “Scary Internet Friends” – you know the ones you made online and may have never met in person.  It’s been so long I can’t find that original post but something about it still resonates with me.

Maybe that’s because I have my very own set of Scary Internet Friends – although I like to call them Unicorns Who Have Allowed Me To Survive Motherhood Friends! One group in particular is pretty darn special to me.  You see, a little over five years ago I was pregnant with Lucas and, thanks to low progesterone, had a tough first trimester. I spent hours unable to sleep at night browsing pregnancy forums and groups.  One day I was scrolling The Bump (yes, that crazy board!) and there was a post from “Christa” saying she had created a Facebook group for Mommas due in March of 2013.  I requested an invite and in a matter of weeks had this awesome group of 300 women there to support me, encourage me and even call me on my BS.

There is something pretty bonding about experiencing a pregnancy with someone – even if it’s only online. Now I know you must be thinking “300 women all in one place and all with crazy pregnancy hormones is a recipe for disaster!” And yes, you’re kind of right.  We certainly had our moments.  Friendships formed “off line” or in more private groups and chats. We had a LOT of differing options and let me tell you a FFFC (Flame Free Friday Confession for those of you not into social media/forums) post can sometimes be far from flame-free.  Then there was the great “JBB incident of 2013” where our group was kinda, sorta, maybe totally got “catfished” by someone. **Although I do want to say that I don’t think the intent of that woman was malicious and was more about issues she was battling, it certainly opened up my eyes to the reality of online friendships.**  We even had a major split after our kiddos were born, although I, thankfully, remain online friends with most of our original group and love seeing their kiddos grow.  There has been drama – lots of it.  But you know what, there has also been support, and love and friendship.  More of those three things than I can even measure.

It’s been over five years.  That original group is close to half the size it was at one point.  As a group we have been through the loss of a child and pregnancies, divorces, mental health emergencies, new babies, new marriages, cross country moves, major health issues (ours, our children and our loved ones), deaths of family members and so much more. We’ve watched our kiddos grow from days old to amazing almost 5 year olds.  We’ve suffered through endless temper tantrums and behavioral issues together and we’ve celebrated major milestones.  We’ve even helped pick out home decor or dresses for a special night out.

And I know you may be thinking it’s nuts.  I mean, how can you bond with someone you’ve never met.  I think part of it is we did have the security of sitting behind a computer.  We could be ourselves and not worry as much about rejection (some will say the opposite is true – that we became who we wanted to people others to see – but we’ve been together so long at this point I just don’t think that’s possible).  We formed real friendships in those moments. This group has made me look at parenting in ways I sometimes wasn’t comfortable with, but needed to.  They have, for sure, called me out when I was being unreasonable and stood by me, unconditionally, when I wasn’t.

Mommin’ is tough – seriously, most days there are challenging moments. And some days, there are ONLY challenging moments.  It’s easy to feel isolated and alone, even with friends living right next door.  This group has lessened that for me, times a million!  Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing village of women who are local to me as well that I also couldn’t do this motherhood thing without.  The friends who have a house you escape to when you just need a break.  Who seem to have an endless supply of chocolate, cake, or wine. I wouldn’t trade those friends for anything. But I’ll never give up my mommy groups either (I have another, smaller, group of women all due the same month I was with Andrew that I love as well).

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it – It really does take a village to raise children.  Sometimes that village just happens to be a virtual one.

And to my March and January Moms: I love you all.  Thank you for your support and love.  Your advice and your compassion.  Your reality checks and your sideline cheering. Here’s to more years and milestones and memories together!  XOXO!

**And one more side note.  In that photo above, I’m actually logging into my March group to BEG someone to help me figure out why my normally sweet and adorable 20 month old has turned into such a difficult child.  I had intended to stage a super cute photo but after a 20 minute lunch battle full of throwing food, hitting, kicking, screaming and crying I was a sweaty and upset mess and just decided to go with it while I turned to my friends for support!

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Our Walt Disney World Vacation!

We just got back from an amazing Walt Disney World vacation and I wanted to share some of the photos we had taken over the course of the seven days!

This was Lucas’ 3rd trip.  He went for his first and second birthdays but because he is getting a little brother for his third I wanted to get in one more trip before he turned 3 (and was no longer free).  Darrin chose to sit this trip out so we brought my Mom!

We honestly had a blast!  Amazing character meals, 3 days at Magic Kingdom, 2 days at Epcot (including Food & Wine), a full day and evening at Hollywood Studios and the better part of another day at Animal Kingdom.  Plus we did a little shopping at the newly re-imagined Disney Spring (formerly Downtown Disney).

Honestly, we had the best character interaction with Buzz and Woody at Hollywood Studios! They are L’s favorite for sure and they even played with the Buzz and Woody we have that go basically everywhere with us!

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Lucas also really loves Tinkerbell.  This was our first time meeting her and we loved her location on Main Street USA!

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Chef Mickey’s is a must for us on every trip!  It is one of my favorite meals by far and Lucas loved the “party” they throw ever so often.  He thought waving his napkin in the air was really cool!

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Since we love the Play and Dine meal at Hollywood and Vine I decide Lucas needed an outfit just like his favorite Play Pals!  Meeting Jake, Doc, Sofia and Manny is also up there on our favorite moments from our trip.

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And of course we got to take this awesome photo to mark the 23 week mark of my pregnancy!  I guess this means this new little boy has already had his first trip to Walt Disney World!

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We really do love Buzz Lightyear!  Even though we spent a lot of time with him at Hollywood Studios we had to pay him another visit at Magic Kingdom!

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The Adventurer Outpost might be my favorite Meet and Greet location!

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Magic Shots are the best!  And since Lucas loves Tink so much, a picture of him holding her is a big favorite here.

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World Showcase at Epcot has been my favorite part of Disney since I was a little girl!  Eating around the work at Food & Wine at 23 weeks pregnant was AMAZING!

 

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Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter plus Pooh and Tigger – a can’t miss!

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We love the breakfast food at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.  It’s so much better than a traditional breakfast buffet!

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I have so many more photos to post and will be doing so on my personal Facebook page for friends and family in the next week or so!  I’m a little sad that I don’t have a return trip “home” planned but I promised Darrin we could take a few “non-Disney” vacations before we head back.  Fingers-crossed he gives me the go ahead for late winter/early spring of 2018!

Oh…We’re Halfway There!

20 Week Photo

It’s official – I have hit the halfway mark of this pregnancy.  I’m both shocked it’s gone by so fast and yet still can’t believe I have another 20 weeks until we get to meet this little nugget!

I figured now would be a fun time to fill everyone in on the pregnancy so far, since I really don’t think I’ve shared too much.

When Did I Know and How Did I Tell Darrin:  One morning I woke up around 5:00am and just “knew” I was pregnant.  I had a few tests in the house and took one, and then another because I didn’t really believe the first one.  With those positive tests I ran up to our room, threw on the lights, woke up Darrin and proceeded to tell him Lucas was going to be a big brother! I was around 4 weeks at that point.

How Have I Been Feeling: I’m not going to lie, the first trimester was tough!  Around six weeks or so the all-day sickness hit and I was hardly able to cook food.  I’m not ashamed to say we did a lot of take-out in those first few months!  Now that I’m well into my second trimester I feel like a new woman!  I’ve got energy, most foods don’t make me sick and my head has stopped pounding 24/7.

Craziest Pregnancy Dream: The pregnancy dreams have been extra crazy this time around.  A few nights ago I had a dream that I was a spy and someone was breaking into my house (but it wasn’t my house – it was the house from the first season of American Horror Story) and I had to get my family to safety but that crazy kid from Home Alone had booby trapped the house and we couldn’t get out.  Honestly, I feel like if I were to journal my dreams as soon as I woke up each day I’d be able to write a killer screenplay!

Food Cravings:  In the beginning I craved sushi (it’s one of the ways I knew I was pregnant actually – it was a major craving in the very beginning with Lucas).  I haven’t had one particular food that I’ve wanted but every now and then I get this idea in my head and I have to have it.  Donuts were one of those things for sure.  And fried cheese sticks.  I’ve also been wanting milk again this time around and fruit, lots and lots of fruit!

First Movements:  Honestly, I am 99.9% sure I felt my first flutter near the end of my first trimester.  Now this little guy is moving all the time!  He might even be more active than his big brother was – which I didn’t think was possible.

How Much Weight Have I Gained:  Oh, this one is tough to share.  At this point in my pregnancy I’ve gained right around 10lbs (some days right at and some days just under).  I feel like by this point with Lucas I had gained a lot more (but I went into this pregnancy still holding on to that last 10 pounds of baby weight!).

So far this pregnancy is going pretty well.  We had a few scares in the first trimester (I had low progesterone again and had to use supplements until I was 12 weeks) and then I had an episode of bleeding as I was entering my second trimester.  And as of my last ultrasound I have marginal placenta previa. I go back for another ultrasound on October 1st and we are hoping for good news and that the placenta is moving in the right direction.  But honestly, now that I’m feeling better I’m loving this pregnancy.  I can’t wait to meet this little boy but I’m definitely not rushing it.

 

The Honest Co. Organic Belly Balm – Just Want the Belly Ordered!

The Honest Co Organic Belly Balm Review

In case you missed the memo, Lucas is getting a little brother in January of next year.  We are all very excited!

I’m sure it’s because this is my 2nd pregnancy in less than 3 years, but at 19 weeks, I already feel HUGE!

I’m also so insanely itchy it’s not even funny.  I am constantly itching my stomach.  It’s so bad that I had a friend ask if I thought I had PUPPS (I do not by the way!).

I tried coconut oil. I tried coco butter.  I would have tried anything to get the itching to stop (or at least get  less annoying).

I was putting together my Honest Company Essentials bundle a few weeks ago when I noticed their Organic Belly Balm.  The description said it was “A nourishing and revitalizing belly (& body) balm to soften, tone, and moisturize pregnant belly skin. Perfectly light & quickly absorbed for everyday moisturizing!”  I thought, “What the heck!  I’ll give this a try.”

Oh man am I glad I did!  I am so much less itchy and my stomach feels so smooth and soft.

It comes in a 3.65oz jar and it is fairly solid( that’s my only complaint – I’m not good at getting products out when they are packaged that way).  It goes on kind of like an oil when you rub you get it on your fingers.  It’s definitely not a lotion – which I like.

The Honest Co Organic Belly Balm

I feel like it has a mild scent, but it’s not scented if that makes any sense at all.  It’s a pleasant smell though and very “natural”.

It’s not secret I’m a huge fan of Honest Company products.  We use the diapers and wipes, a ton of cleaning supplies, some personal care items and I’ve even started using the vitamins and Immunity Boost for Lucas.

The Honest Company Reviews

We use a ton of Honest Co products. These were just a few I had within arms reach of my sink a few nights ago.

I’ve always been blown away by their customer service as well.  They really do go above and beyond to make their customers feel valued in my opinion.

I’ve you’ve not checked out the Honest Company yet, now is the time.  They are constantly adding new products and while there have been a few I don’t love (the shampoo and the dryer sheets) I have been really satisfied with everything I’ve tried so far!

And besides, any product that can make me stop walking around scratching my stomach raw is one I want to make sure to share with other mommas-to-be!