The Life of a Young Mama

weekly blog about a mom of two.

The name game. — October 29, 2015

The name game.

Can I just say that naming a human is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in life? Jaylen was easier to name than Julian because his father pretty much took over. Finding out that his first child was going to be a boy was all the motivation he needed. When I did try to throw my two cents in, I lost the battle. I agreed that his first name could be Jaylen, but we fought for many months about his middle name Elijah. I wanted to shorten it to “Eli” or give him the middle name of “Amir” so he wouldn’t be that kid growing up still filling in the name bubbles on his standardized tests in school. His dad was not having it. Ultimately we.. or should I say he made the decision to keep it Elijah.. literally the minute I was filling out his birth certificate.

We planned on having another baby, just not this soon, so he agreed that I would have full reigns of naming our second child.

I wish we wouldn’t have done that. I had girl names picked out from when I was pregnant with Jaylen but like I said before I didn’t even look at boy names because I was convinced that I was having a girl. It took three months to come up with Julian and I’m still not 100% satisfied. I knew for sure I wanted his name to either start with a “K” or “J”. I hated every K name I found and pretty much all of J names don’t sit well with me.

I attempted to narrow down my list to 15 names. I looked at it every day and started my process of elimination. I repeated the names several times a day. I practiced saying the names with my son’s name. I wrote them down over and over. Finally after reaching the halfway mark in my pregnancy, I chose the one.

Julian.

Slowly, I introduced the name to my close friends and family. Everyone loved it… except…

My oldest sister and the boys father, Jeremy. 

Both oddly agreed that it was a “white boy” name which I feel is rude and ignorant. They proceeded to bark at me to change it. The joy that I once had about FINALLY picking a name was quickly stripped away. I don’t feel like a name should be associated with a race. A name is a name. Period.

My thing is why should what I name my child matter to you? Why do people have such strong opinions about what others name their kids? Freaking Beyonce named her child a color and people still worship her!

When I told them the name, I was about 70% satisfied with the name but their ignorance made me love it even more. Naming a child is HARD. You don’t realize it until you’re sitting there with millions of baby names in front of you. This name will stick with them for the rest of their life. This is the first thing people will see on their school assignments, resumes, and job applications… this name will identify them. It’s nerve wrecking!

Can I just get a few things off my chest? — October 27, 2015

Can I just get a few things off my chest?

My life is completely consumed with school, work, an active two-year-old and getting ready to have this baby. That’s it. I have officially traded in my social life for this thing called mommyhood. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! My son is my best friend. I don’t have to worry about him telling my secrets to anyone and if he does try to, they probably won’t understand him anyways.

Yes, I miss my friends. But it’s very hard to connect with people who live a completely different life than you. While I’m getting excited over big bro/little bro outfits and picking out the hotspots for toddlers to trick-or-treat in the area, my 23/24-year-old friends are picking out outfits to wear to the club next weekend and complaining about a boy that isn’t returning phone calls. The few friends that have kids are either just as busy as me or they live in other cities where I have to get on a freeway to visit and I’m just like no, let’s talk on the phone instead!

So I’ve finally decided to tell people the baby’s name and everyone loves it but his father and my older sister. Their reason for not liking his name is very ignorant. I’ll probably go more in-depth in a later post.

My pregnancy is going well so far. I’m currently 27 weeks, 4 days. Less than three months to go!  But I’m kinda getting to the point of wishing it was over as I get closer to entering my third trimester. I’m getting bigger and I hate it. I was never a big person growing up… always weighed less than 140 pounds my entire life so gaining all this weight all at once bugs me. I know it’s just baby weight and majority of it will go away after birth but every month that my clothing options shrink, I get more depressed. Let’s not even talk about my boobs. My breast has its own zip code. They are out of control. I don’t even want to get measured because I’m afraid of what the store clerk will say.

Honestly, I’m very anxious to see my child’s face. I want to know what he looks like. I want to hold him. I love his little kicks right now, but I want to feel them outside the womb! Every time I see a woman holding a newborn, I get so jealous.

Preparation for Julian’s arrival is coming along well. I have majority of what I need. Just have to stock up on the little items. OH, definitely looking to purchase a baby carrier. Any recommendations? I’m not looking to break my pockets for a carrier but I also don’t want anything that’s too cheap and won’t last.

I also want to stock  up on diapers so I can save a few trips to the store and a few $$$ during my first month after baby. But I’m finding it very hard to stock up on diapers while still buying diapers for my two-year-old. Speaking of which, operation get Jaylen out of diapers and potty trained before January is officially underway! I refuse to change two sets of diapers, although I’ll take Jaylen’s over a newborns explosive poops anyday. (SORRY TMI) 

Potty training sucks, btw. It’s very hard to be consistent when you have a million and one other things to do in a day. Apparently, he went to his dad’s house and actually used the potty for him! I, unfortunately, have been very unsuccessful. I keep reading articles online but the tips that seem to work for everyone are not free to access. Um, I thought we were doing this whole parenting thing as a team guys? You know, sharing is caring … and by sharing I mean free not a one-time payment of $59.99? Completely ridiculous. I pray every day that Jaylen just potty trains himself one day without my help. He learned to crawl, walk, talk, and get rid of his pacifer all on his own so I can only hope and pray it happens again right?

Here are some photos from our mother-son maternity shoot:

- 25 week maternity shoot - Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
– 25 week maternity shoot –
Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI
Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
- 25 week maternity shoot - Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
– 25 week maternity shoot –
Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI
Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
- 25 week maternity shoot - Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
– 25 week maternity shoot –
Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI
Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
- 25 week maternity shoot - Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI
– 25 week maternity shoot –
Photographer: Jania from Celestial Photography in Canton, MI
Location: Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, MI

*Click for Celestial Photography Facebook page*

Better days. — October 14, 2015

Better days.

When I started this blog, my child’s father and I were basically at war. I wanted to rip his penis off, throw it on the grill, and serve it to him as lunch. I honestly got to a point where I was over the bullshit and his entire existence on this earth. It was like he was doing or saying things just to get a reaction out of me and I gave him one every. single. time. I grew mad at the world because the torture seemed never ending… then I finally realized why. If you keep adding fuel to the fire, it will never go out. DUH KARINA.

Psalms 34:14 – Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

I stopped reacting. When it was necessary that we speak to each other, I remained calm. Even when he said or did stuff to piss me off, I never let it show that I was upset. It was as if I had no emotions at all. I prayed a lot, analyzed our arguments and his actions, and I learned from them. I learned how to react without reacting, if that makes any sense.

After about a month or so of practicing my new found skills, things actually got better. Not saying that they’re 100% perfect, because it will never be, but it’s better. I think he realized the changes I was making. He finally stopped trying to hop on every one of my nerves. He started to act like an adult, although he still relapses. There’s too much damage done and I don’t know if I could ever trust him again. But we have to co-parent for the rest of both of our children’s lives so we might as well be civil grown-ups.

As much as I dislike him, I still have days where I wish we weren’t where we are now. I will always have love for the kid. He’s the father of my children, how could I not? I wish I could come home to my children and their father under one household. I wish that we could still have our late night movies and cuddle sessions.

But… I lost that battle a long time ago.

Less money… less problems! Savings, tips, and tricks. — October 3, 2015

Less money… less problems! Savings, tips, and tricks.

The first time one finds out they’re pregnant can either be a very happy moment or a painful memory. Whatever the initial feeling is, nine times out of ten, it goes away and women go into crazy baby preparation mode. We come up with nursery themes and stick with them to the fullest. When I was preparing for Jaylen, I was stuck on blue & brown. This quickly turned into a monkey theme after a 4 hour trip to Babies R’Us to start our registry. I wanted Jaylen to have everything I saw! My registry turned into a nine page novel of all sorts of crap that I still have yet to use.

After Jaylen was born, I started to see the mistakes I made and how much money family and friends spent on my child!  It was maybe six months into his life when I had to start buying him stuff. Money immediately was crawling out of my butt. I found myself arguing with my computer while shopping online… like why is this cute onesie $25 or why can’t I find shoes lower than $40? I found the magic of sales… but even this just wasn’t enough, I needed more. I was on a mission to save money but still give my child good, quality items.

This was around the time where I also became addicted to watching vlogs. Vlogs are video blogs from basically anyone… generally posted on YouTube. A few of my favorites are The Nive Nulls, Daily Davidsons, GabeBabeTV, and Latoya’s Life! They’re entertaining, sometimes informative, 15- 20 minute videos documenting their daily life. These families make majority of their money from sponsors and this, my friend, is how my life changed for the better.

Zulily – I first heard about this site from one of my Youtube families. Zulily is life. They have daily deals on great brands and all items are NEW. Categories include – women, men, baby, home, toys and other featured themes for the day/month. I’ve purchased so many great items for up to 70% off their original prices!  Jaylen, at one point, was obsessed with those drinkable yogurt things from Plum Organics, which so happened to be featured on Zulily one week. I bought 10 boxes of 20 for $25 TOTAL. I purchased a 27-piece glass drinking set normally $60 for $20. And I recently purchased for baby #2 a four pack of Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, that usually cost way too much, for only $15! Let’s just say I LOVE Zulily!

Cons: packages take a while to get to you. I would say it normally takes me 2-3 weeks to receive shipping information. Also, deals don’t last very long. Typically, a deal will last for 2-3 days so you have to act fast!

ThredUp – This is another site that I heard about I believe from GabeBabeTV. This is like a high-end online salvation army. ThredUp is a resale site, but the catch is they only accept certain brands such as Gap, J. Crew, Gymboree, Marc by Marc Jacobs… and many more. Sorry men, you won’t be able to find any items for yourself because the site only sells women and children items. So far, I’ve really cashed out on Deuce’s clothes. I’m able to purchase outfits for him for $4-5 dollars each. The quality is amazing! It’s like they’re brand new! I also bought myself maternity jeans for work, plus three more regular jeans, for $20 total! Shipping is SO FAST! It took me less than a week to receive my purchased clothes. They have free returns and the process is smooth. One of the pants I bought was a little tighter than I preferred and I returned it without any hassle! You can send clothes in as well to sell. They send you a big prepaid polka dot bag, including a list of the brands they will accept, and you can fill it up to your liking. I recently sent in a bag of Jaylen’s old clothes (that I didn’t like very much) and some of mine as well… still waiting to hear back on how much money I made!

Con: Returns are for store credit only!

Mom to Mom Facebook Groups – If you’re a mom and you’re not connected to a resale group online, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! These have been a life saver. You can literally find anything on there for so cheap. I recently purhcased a practically brand new Chico KeyFit 30 infant car seat for Duece for $50 and a Fisher Price My Little Lamb infant swing for $30. These are just two of the many purchases I’ve made. 90% of Jaylen’s toys are from these sale groups.. I even bought furniture when I lived with my ex. Generally, the women are super nice. I’ve sold items as well out of these groups. I would reccomennd meeting in a public place when exchanging items, just to be on the safe side. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Mom to Mom groups!

Last but not least:

Target – By far my favorite store of all times and probably one of your favorites too.. but here’s a little advice: CHECK OUT THE CHILDREN’S CLEARANCE /SALE RACK. THANK ME LATER. 🙂 

I’m saving a lot of money this time around! It’s great to not be stressed about the expenses of having another child.

**None of these websites mentioned have sponsored this blog in any way! I was not paid for this. These are my personal opinons**