Oct 18, 2017

#MeToo


This silent hashtag start circling around the web late Sunday from a tweet that had shared about if any woman had been sexually harassed or assaulted to start putting up #METOO as part of their status on any social media form, to share the magnitude of how big this problem is.

For those that have suffered days, weeks, months or years living silently with their "me too" harassment, I am one of you. Although I don't think anyone needs to feel that they should share their story or owe it to anyone to do so, the reason I'm sharing mine is because when I feel something this strong about, I write. And this movement is one that I want to share my story to help those around me, but I'm also writing this for my daughter to know that you should never feel betrayed or blamed for something you didn't want to happen in the first place.

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In college I had been on a few dates with a few different guys. Most of the boys I had been on a few first dates with were polite, friendly, engaging but then there was one that stood out above the rest.

He was different. He was not only sweet, he was extremely touchy. A little too much. I remember telling him I didn't want to hold his hand yet. He didn't care and grabbed it anyways.

We sat side by side at dinner and he kept putting his hand on my thigh. I moved his hand away and said "Please stop." and do you know what he said?  "You're supposed to let me do this. It's my right as a man to put my hand here."

I honestly was so startled and tried to take his hand away but it only made him grip it tighter.

I should have gotten up and left. I should have taken his hand off, slammed it on the table and threw my drink in his face. I should have...

But I sat there, frozen. Too stiff to move because I wanted to this guy to like me and I didn't know what to do.

Of course after he took me home, I couldn't have gotten out of the car fast enough- called a girlfriend over and cried with her about how awful the night had been. I didn't realize how bad it was until I took another leap of faith a few months later on a date with another guy.

He was a guy on the football team, someone who didn't hold my hand on the first date but sat across from me and had a fun, light hearten conversation. At the end of this date, he gave me a hug. his hands not near anywhere near my lower half but safely around my back and said he wanted to see me again. This guy turned out to be my husband someone I'm still head over heels for 10 years later.

Thankfully he also came to my rescue when a guy that had began stalking me in college showed up in my apartment and locked me in the bathroom, refusing to let me leave. I was terrified. I tried to move past him but he kept his back against the door and kept asking me over and over why I didn't have feeling for him. All I remember thinking was I needed to leave the room and finally was able to get past him, run out of my apartment and called Zach in tears asking him to come over. The boy left and Zach made sure I was Ok after my roommates came home. That was one of the most scariest moments.

The point of this  #MeToo movement isn't to just share your story ( because I've already received so many e-mails, texts, tweets and comments about your stories ) but because this should not be tolerated by woman, girls or even boys and men. Woman can be just as harassed as men can be or anyone thinking they have the power to put their hands or voice on someone else.

I remember being in Europe with my sister a few years ago and while walking the streets in a jeans, tennis shoes and a shirt that barely showed my mid drift, we were getting cat calls from the local Italians, the locals from Barcelona calling out to us as we walked arm in arm in the strange cities.

Someone had laughed in our group of girls and said " They are totally coming onto us " and all I felt was violated and wanting to try and cover myself up more. "Hey there baby! Come on over" someone would shout in Italian or French. I wanted to hide in a corner. It wasn't what woman should here in public.

I don't want my children knowing this is acceptable to do or take from anyone. If you've been brave to share your story, or even just put a #MeToo on your status, I cry those silent tears with you and commend you for even putting it up. Let's be better than this. Let's continue to share why it's unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Let's do this for our kids and our children's kids.

But most of all, let's do it for us.

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Oct 17, 2017

5 Baby Essentials You Need For The First Week

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser Gerber® Pure®. All opinions are mine alone. #GerberPureWater #CollectiveBias








When I first became a Mom I was shocked as to how little I knew about my newborn. I had read the books and thought I had done as much homework as possible, but as many parents know, your child is its own little person and will do anything BUT what the book says! There are so many essentials out there that you'll need to help your little one get through the first few days and weeks so I've rounded up my top 5 things that we used not just with my daughter, but also with my son who we had a few months ago!


Lucky for us, the majority of all of these items were found at my local Walmart, including Gerber® Pure® Water! It was easy to find, purchase and out the door we went! Would you like to know what else is essential to help you and your little one? I'll list them below!


1. Gerber® Pure® Water- My little one was a breastfed baby for the first few months up until a few weeks ago when my supply started to diminish slightly. Gerber® Pure® Water was exactly what I wanted my little one to enjoy mixed with a bit of formula and my breast milk. It's made specifically for mixing with formula or food for your little one! I know my little guy is eating well while getting some great nourishment and snuggles!


2. Washcloths -I tried to go minimalist thinking baby could just use ours, and we found our kid had red sensitive skin each time. An extra soft set of washcloths help with the sponge bath phase the first couple weeks, and are great to use when they start taking immersion baths.


3. Wrap Shirts/pants- As a new parent I failed to know that the umbilical cord would need loose clothes that weren’t a onesie. I had cute jammies and cute outfits ready to go and completely mom failed neglecting what they actually wear is a wrap shirt and a pair of pants the first few days. Some hospitals hook you up, but I’d have a few on hand just in case.


4.Vaseline - Boy moms beware if you circumcise, you’ll use a ton of this stuff and change every diaper with a large amount. Be sure to have some on hand- and get the kind you can squeeze out! We had small tubes from the hospital that we kept using and they were amazing!


5. Swaddles- I thought we’d need about three of these total. Little did I know babies spit up all over these, and sometimes you go through more than one a day! These little swaddles are perfect for keeping our little guy snuggled up tight and sleeping well now that he's wrapped up and warm.


What are some items that have helped you and your little one get through the first week together?

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Oct 16, 2017

Garage Sales And Birthday Parties

For starting October out and thinking we had almost every weekend free ( ha ) that only lasted a few minutes before we began filling our calendar with trips to the pumpkin patch, birthday parties, cleaning out our closets, carving pumpkins and of course, Halloween at the end of the month. Phew!
 For our family, we've been wanting to put on a garage sale for the last 4 years! But with so many moves across Chicago to Atlanta- from an apartment to a house - and then welcoming our little guy a few months ago.. well, let's just say we've been putting it off for far too long! Once we began to figure out what we wanted to sell, it was only a matter of time ( or hours ) that we gathered everything, labeled and priced all our items to be sold.

I think the hardest part for me was my husband being on a late shift last week which meant I was rushing with the kids after I got home from work to make dinner, get baths done, clean up dinner, read books, attempt to get them both down by 8pm and then tackle bringing boxes, setting up clothes and re organizing everything to be ready to go early last Friday morning. If you know me, I'm such a Grandma when it comes to doing things at night so I was trying my hardest to stay awake to get things done before Zach came home to help. Again- such a Grandma!

But success comes from hard work as we all know and we had a great time with neighbors selling and thankfully getting rid of so many things that was cluttering up our rooms! Ahhh. What a great feeling am I right?! One of the people that came to visit was looking for clothes to donate to an orphanage in South America and after loading up a few shopping bags full of clothes, we gave them a HUGE deal on everything because of such their good cause. They were soo appreciative and we were so excited to have been apart of something like that. #PayItForward


After the garage sale on Friday and Saturday, we ended the weekend on a high by attending a friend's birthday party at a jump house. Do you think my three and a half year old had a great time? The girl could not contain her excitement ( or jumping abilities ) and passed out half way through our car ride home from the party. We also can't wait to introduce her to gymnastics (FINALLY) after attempting to get her in through our Park District the last few months we got a Saturday spot. It really is crazy to attempt to get your kids in classes on weekends when spots are so limited and apparently everyone in Atlanta is going for the same one you are! I'll keep you all posted on how it's going next weekend!
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