Happy Twenty Eighteen!!!

Happy New Year! As I begin to write this, its 1:27am on January 2, 2018. But I haven’t been to sleep yet, so in my mind it is still the first day of 2018.

It seems like forever since I sat up late at night and typed away click click click on my keyboard. Put my feelings to “paper”. Shared my thoughts and my feelings anywhere. And I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

I LOVE to write. Writing was my release for a while. And just as quickly as I started I stopped.

The good news is it was for good reason, instead of writing about what I wanted or missed out on having, I was out there getting it. As of today, January 2, 2018 I have been married for 22 months. And at least 1000 times a day over the course of the past almost 3 years I have wanted to stop and write about what was going on in my life. The funny, the mundane, well let’s be honest, there was no mundane, but there was the sad, the enjoyable and the enlightening. I chose to live life and not worry about sharing it publicly.

And now, tonight, I realized that back then I was alone so much in my own head that I constantly had thoughts I wanted to get out of my head and put on paper. I constantly felt things I needed to explore with words. But now, there is so much noise (SO MUCH NOISE) around me that I rarely have time to think much less ponder how I got here. Instead I make lists of things I need to get done.

But I miss writing. I miss feeling things the way you do when you write. I made myself a promise in July on my birthday that “this year I would write more”. It’s been almost 6 months and for one reason or another something keeps stopping me. But 2018 is about me. About me getting back to being me and doing the things that make me tick. About me getting healthy inside and out. And one of the things that makes me feel better is writing.

So here I am.

I don’t even know where to begin. On one hand I feel like I should bring you all up to date on my life. On almost 3 years of my life. But on the other hand, likely if you’re reading this you know me and you’ve followed along enough of Facebook to have an idea.

Here’s the brief version. HA!

In January of 2015 I embarked on my new adventure with a new nanny family. (This week will be 3 years I am with them!) Much more on that to come, but I am very, very lucky in the job department. And this year is 10 years I have worked as a full-time nanny. That blows my mind. I spent 11 years in radio and advertising so next year I’ll have spent an even number of years in each of my professions.  DAMN I AM OLD! I used to think that people who could say things like that were like middle-aged moms! Oh right, I AM a middle aged mom now.

After 4 awesome months really enjoying life, I went on a blind date. THE blind date. The only blind date that will ever matter. I met my now husband. I promise to get back to stories about our meeting, dating and our engagement (spoiler alert: that does not paint me in the best light, but might be the funniest shit that could ever actually happen in real and did, to me! Of course!)

We had a whirlwind romance (that sounds MUCH fancier than it was!) but we had fun. And at 40 years old and almost 45 years old we both had dated enough to know that we were meant for one another. After 3 ½ months of dating, my now husband planned an elaborate and very public engagement the night after my 40th birthday. Spoiler alert: I said yes.

We immediately began planning a wedding for February 2016.

See, who had time to write?? I was VERY busy LIVING life-like something out of a fairytale! And I knew it at the time which I think makes it even more special.

I can’t lie, writing this stuff down reliving some of the most exciting days of my life is probably the best therapy anyone could ever have.

Ok, so here’s the timeline……

In Fall of 2015 we began to plan for our living situation. We ended up having my then fiancé move in with me. We both rent but my place was nicer (and had central heat & a/c, and a balcony).

On October 31st we dropped off the keys and the garage clicker to his solo apartment and we were officially cohabitating.

On November 23rd I took a pregnancy test and found out that I was, in fact pregnant. (THE BEST SURPRISE ever!! And an amazing story that you’ll get more details than I’m sure you’ll ever want!) They tell you not to rush to the Dr so I waited until December 8th when I could get an appointment. Some thought I was going to the Dr too early, but when I think about it in hindsight I was in such a blur those 2-weeks that I HAD TO go to see if this was all for real.

On December 8th I found out that I was not only pregnant, but I was 13 weeks pregnant. And the baby was healthy and waving in fact. I WAS STUNNED. WE WERE STUNNED. And scared. Spoiler alert: everything was perfect.

On February 20, 2016, we were married in a perfect wedding with just family and close friends there.

IT WAS A WHIRLWIND!!!

When I sit here writing about it now, it seems like a lifetime ago. WHICH IT IS!!! But I remember every detail and am so excited to document it and share it. There are so many very funny experiences we have had that only my husband and I could have gotten ourselves into.

Just 4 months after getting married,  on June 14, 2016, I gave birth to our beautiful, healthy, full term almost 9 lb baby girl. She is perfect. I want to share everything……I promise, I will catch up!

Luckily life is so boring and mundane these days, other than a toddler tantrum at Petco because I wont let her have a doggie cookie or the fact that your toddler will only eat with a fork and will repeat the word fork 500 times in a row, except fork sounds like fuck and this is my life now!

We have known each other less than 3 years. We aren’t quite married 2 years yet. Our baby is 18 months old. We have moved 2 times already……and I have everything I ever dreamt of.

Our lives are an ugly, colorful, fun, sticky, loud and glorious mess! I have a supportive, loving husband who will go along with almost anything I suggest. Not without a protest though. And my toddler who suddenly understands the art of negotiating! Some days, I swear to god I can’t imagine this is what 42 looks like! I still feel like a teenager. I look around for that adultier adult like the meme says, and I AM THAT ADULTIER adult! So I stopped counting the years, and instead decided to LIVE them. And amazingly enough, I am a lot happier. ❤ ❤

Posted in life, marriage, mommylife, new me, new year | 1 Comment

more red balloons

This Saturday is May 2nd. It will be one year since Ryan Cruz Saldana was killed and takenIMG_2026 from Jacqui and Dan. 365 days later and I still can’t rectify it in my head or my heart. I don’t understand it. I don’t know that I ever will.

I do not know Jacqui personally although we are connected through several different avenues including my sorority Gamma Phi Beta from Sonoma State University.  If you don’t know this story you can check out her blog at www.babyboybakery.com.

imageThis story touched my heart deeply last year. It happened at a very vulnerable time for me and it was a rough, rough week. The kids were out of town and I was watching their fish and in their home daily without anyone home and the silence would kill me. I would walk in through their front door and the stillness of the air and the quiet and the strewn about toys and things hit my face and brought immediate tears. And each day I’d think to myself, “they’re coming back. They’ll be back. Ryan is not”.

It touched me because as a self proclaimed worry wart I am annoyingly overprotective with the children in my life and I know from following Jacqui she was as well. Which made this a true, honest to goodness accident and my heart could never take it. Neither could my brain.

When Ryan died Jacqui asked for one thing. She didn’t want her son to be forgotten. Which makes sense. And I will do everything I personally can to help her with that. I wear my red Converse and think of him. I go to Disneyland and see a red balloon and think of him. Ryan IS everywhere and has touched so many of us.

In times of tragedy there are people who try to take advantage of others, and I don’t ever imagewant to be in that boat. I mourn this baby lost and I feel horrible for his family. I too jumped on the #RedBalloonsforRyan bandwagon last year. I own several t-shirts. But I am wiser this year. Sadly. And I now know that people profited off of that. And yes, IT DID make Ryan known and as of my last check that hashthag has almost 45,000 Instagram posts. (Some are creepier than others, but none the less, Ryan has not been forgotten.)

 

So with the year anniversary of his death coming upon us I wanted to start with those closest to me and the people in my life. Let’s remember Ryan by doing something to give of ourselves this weekend. We can all find a minute or a $1 to donate let’s do it and let’s do it big in Ryan’s memory. For Jacqui.

I’d be honored and grateful if you’d share this post and spread the word. I don’t want anyone to benefit from this but the people on the receiving end of our gestures of kindness.

  • Whether it’s helping an older person at the market.
  • Or paying for the person’s Starbucks behind you.
  • Offering to watch the children of your single mom friend.
  • Getting a meal for a homeless person.
  • Or picking up the phone and calling someone you love to tell them that you love them.

 

DO SOMETHING TO PUT A SMILE ON SOMEONE’S FACE THIS WEEKEND AND REMEMBER RYAN CRUZ SALDANA WHILE YOU’RE DOING IT!!!! imagine_sig_02

 

Posted in life, my own brand of crazy, tidbits | Leave a comment

give yourself a hand…….

I posted this last night on Facebook but I wanted it to be a blog post. I decided to cut and paste the post to share and to keep for myself for future reminders!!  

After almost 5 months at my new job and watching a teeny tiny infant turn into a precious, vivacious little person mimicking behaviors and showing her feelings of love towards us, something kind of profound about watching children (or parenthood if you will) occurred to me.

When you are with a baby every minute of every day is filled with watching them grow and shape and change. Whether it be little things they start doing or actual developmental milestones you watch them reach, you kind of feel like a rockstar on a regular basis. 

“Today was the best swaddle I’ve ever done!”
“She just smiled at me!”
“Omg she gives kisses now”

“He walked!!”

Conversely, when your kids start to grow and babbling becomes talking and talking becomes negotiating every.single.thing and reminding and repeating yourself 90 millionty times an hour and needing a black & white striped shirt & whistle for refereeing 24/7 if you have multiple children you can’t help but end each and every day feeling like somehow you have failed in some way. 

“Crap I sent him to school in long sleeves and it was warm today.”

“If I have to ask you to stop doing that one more time I’m going to have to…….”

“Why did you pick today not to nap?”

“Because I said so!!”

So Mom’s, Dad’s, Nannies, and anyone else who spends more time with children than with adults…….you did it! 
You survived today! They may not have learned to roll over today or wave today or anything that seems extraordinary, but they’re alive and you taught them what being human is all about. 
It definitely doesn’t get any easier in some ways as they get older and I’ve had the unique opportunity of going back to the experience of being with an infant all day and it really made me think about how hard on ourselves we are. How hard it is sometimes to see the little miracles in older children because they ARE just normal everyday things.

So in a few years when I get back to that point where there’s a toddler running and climbing and whining and throwing and asking “but why” a zillion times a day, I hope I can remember this feeling and remind myself sometimes just getting through the day with children is more than enough. ❤️

Posted in life | Leave a comment

of course it was!

When I started this blog one of the ideas of things I was going to talk about was TV. I watch A LOT, so I have a lot to say on the topic, but somehow I haven’t spent much time writing about it.

Today I had a VERY funny, VERY LA moment.

And I’m still laughing that it happened.

Today started off rather quiet and calm. I was relaxing and watching TV. I was having trouble focusing on any one show, between dogs and the internet I had the attention span of a fruit fly.  At some point I kinda gave up on serial tv shows and put on RHOBH. It’s not something I watch often, but when I do it tends to be a binge-a-thon. And today was no exception.  I found 9 episodes from the most recent season.  Including the reunion episodes. It seemed like a sweet victory as I was laying here being lazy! HA!

 

I wish I knew exactly how many episodes I had watched. I’m gonna guess and say 6. I watched 6 episodes back to back and had not talked to another human being ALL DAY LONG.

 

This happens to me A LOT because during the week I’m a nanny and I am home with a toddler who talks, but it’s not like we’re carrying on adult conversations! So I spend a lot of time in my own head and/or contemplating whatever show I’ve watched on TV or book I’ve read.

 

Okay, so back to today! So I’m home all day. I was exhausted and a bit in a fog from a long week and I laid in bed and watch RHOBH all day long. Embarrassing to admit I realize.

 

I had an appointment at my local nail shop that I go to quite frequently but the owner my usual lady was out of town so I was going to someone else and I was a tad bit skeptical. I had actually contemplated cancelling a few times to just stay home and continue my TV marathon!

 

So I walk into the salon and say hello and sit down in the waiting area and I hear the voice. A familiar voice. But not so familiar I know right away who’s it is. I look up and see a bleached blonde head. That belongs to the voice.

I walk over to sit down to get my nails done and OMG! It’s Kim Richards from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills sitting next to me! She was SO SWEET. Chatty and friendly. It was so hard not to explain to her how freaking weird it was to be home alone all day binge watching the RHOBH and then to walk into a salon in Sherman Oaks, CA and see one of THE RHOBH!!!

 

Only in LA my friends…..only in LA!!!sig_green

 

Posted in traci talks tv | Leave a comment

change isn’t a bad word

IMG_9402.JPG i love butterflies. i’ve always loved eric carle’s story of the hungry caterpillar. it’s one of those important messages given to us early in life.

i ran across this quote earlier this week and it made me stop. as i’m in the midst of some change it made me stop. it made me realize in the midst of all of this haze in my head that in the end, change is imminent. change means you are alive. and change actually makes beautiful things.

today i was sitting listening to the rain, talking to a friend about some things and i thought about this quote. i realized that in the midst of change there are so many gifts to be seen.

like a rainbow through the rain…….. it’s opened my eyes up in a way they haven’t been in a long time.

i’ve met some amazing new people because of change.

i’ve made some interesting realizations about myself because of change.

i’ve come to embrace how much there is to be gained because of change.

i always view change as a loss of some kind. i’m so damn regimented that anything that throws that off, throws me off. but the truth is, i’m learning, sometimes shaking things up, opens your eyes to so much that was right there in front of you but you couldn’t see before.

so right now, today, in THIS MOMENT, i’m feeling the good that is coming from change.

i’m sorry i haven’t been on this blog much. that is something that REALLY needs to change. i love writing. i just haven’t been very motivated or focused lately. more change to come! for now, please bare with me……i will be back more regularly. sig_blue

Posted in new me, things i'm thankful for thursdays | 2 Comments

a DIY project with the kids!!!

so this week we were on lockdown. quarantine. sequestered. and I had to entertain a rambunctious 4-year old little girl who would rather jet set to other parts unknown or go to the mall apparently I learned this week after having to say no to Chicago, Georgia, and a visit to see my mom!

we had all sorts of crafts to do but nothing was really sticking, and then suddenly yesterday morning I must’ve come out of my illness fog and remembered I used to be a preschool teacher and could pull activities out of my butt! (and I was quite proud of this one I might add!)

it was super simple.

all you need for supplies are:

  • – plastic containers, we used empty Danimals bottles (drinkable yogurt)
  • – tissue paper in various colors cut up into small squares (or ripped up into small pieces)
  • – glue with water mixed in for a sticky yet thin texture
  • – a paint brush

 

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First you drink the yummy yogurt! 🙂

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Then you rinse out the container and rip off the label.

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Cut up tissue in a myriad of colors. I went with fucsia, lavender, purple, blue and sparkly gold knowing my audience.

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Grab some white glue and mix it with some water in a small bowl and grab a paint brush and your tissue and you’re ready to go!

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Sorry for no action shots, but you decopauge the tissue onto the plastic container. You can put a thin layer of the glue mixture directly onto the plastic vase and then lay the tissue paper pieces down one by one and as you stick them down you saturate them on top to make them stay. when the whole thing is down it will appear to be covered in the white glue but the glue dries clear and hard. *this vase here was made completely by a 4-year-old with minimal help from me*

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And voila! We let them dry during naptime and then went for a quick walk and cut a few flowers to fill our vases!

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Makes a very cute bud vase if done well could be used for a baby shower or bridal shower. You can add glitter or sparkles on top if you so desire. Your options are endless!!

 

See, I told you it was simple but cute! I’m not a DIYer normally so this is a great, easy, fun project for the you and the kids!!

sig_blue

Posted in the munchkins, things i love <3 | 2 Comments

please, for your children.

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago………..and tonight I feel the need to share it again. And I will keep sharing it as long as I keep hearing about young children drowning in preventable situations.

**************************************************************************************

Okay guys, time for to me turn my attention away from me and my life and focus on one of my biggest pet peeves in the universe. WATER SAFETY and CHILDREN.  This is not a joke and not something to EVER be taken lightly.  In my opinion, you can never be too safe with a pool when kids are involved.

As I watched the 10pm news last night I heard of a tragic story of a 3-year-old little girl here in Southern California who drowned this past weekend in a jacuzzi and when found she had been on the bottom of the jacuzzi for at least 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES.  My first question is, why is a 3-year-old ever unattended for 15 minutes ANYWHERE…….much less near a pool?!?!

This is a tragic, awful, PREVENTABLE, tragedy.

I taught swimming lessons for many years, and life guarded in a day camp setting at a pool as well as for private parties. I have a WSI (water safety instructor) and my lifeguarding license. I cannot stress enough how important water and pool safety is to me.

I’m helping to raise two (soon to be 3) children who are growing up with a gated pool in their yard.  This is topic is close to home and one of the most upsetting things I think parents take too lightly.

Here’s the first thing to do, THROW AWAY ALL WATER WINGS and VESTS.  While when working properly they CAN be helpful, they also have several negative effects.

1.) Often they just fail to work properly. They’re defective. It’s scary, but true.

2.) In the story above the 3-year-old was able to remove the clasp herself and removed the vest all on her own without anyone noticing.

3.) The SCARIEST one for each and every one of you that I urge you to REALLY understand: the water wings, noodles and vests give the children the false sense of confidence that they can swim. Accidents happen when they end up jumping in or going in without one on and no one sees them and they drown. They didn’t know that they didn’t know how to swim. They provide a false sense of security.

The only solution as I see it here is to be vigilant. 

  • Never allow your child in the pool area without you.
  • Never allow them in a pool without you.
  • Refuse to play at any home without a pool fence or gate.
  • And as early as possible TEACH THEM TO SWIM!!!

It’s never too early to teach water safety and what to do if you fall in!

Negligence is the sad reality here too many times each summer and it kills me each time I hear about it. These are preventable deaths.

Do what you can to teach your kids the skills AND to teach them water safety.

  • We’ve taught the kids never to run in a pool area.
  • Never to go into a pool area without an adult.
  • Never go into the pool without an adult.
  • Never jump into the pool without counting “1-2-3” WITH the adult you are jumping to.

……and most importantly we’ve been giving them swimming lessons since the summer that they turned 1.

I know there are times it is so much easier to use these vests, wings and noodles.  I get it!!!  But they are not the solution.

We had a swim party for a 5th birthday party just two weeks ago, we hired a skilled certified lifeguard to be in the pool area the entire length of the party.  AND we told the parents in the invitation kindly that any child that wanted to swim had to have a parent or adult IN the pool with them, if not, there were other water games, a kiddie pool and a water slide for them to enjoy.

Please, please, do whatever you can NOT to become a statistic.  Most water safety accidents ARE preventable. Do your part!

~ traci xo

P.S. Of course water toys are fun and even I love playing with the noodles, but they should only be used by someone who knows how to swim and always while being supervised!!!

  • I’ve heard great things about some of the YMCA programs though I cannot speak to them personally.

  • Call your local ER, ask your pediatrician.  Network.  If you don’t know where to turn reach out, I’ll help you find someone in your town that will help you find the resources you need to teach your kids to swim.

Posted in the munchkins | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments