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Living with Anxiety

I’ve lived with anxiety my entire life and as a teenager, it enveloped me. As I got older I became stronger and more resilient. As you grow you tend to worry less about the little things and you learn to appreciate each moment, even the struggles. I’ve learned to breathe through the trying moments and my anxiety no longer controls me, but it took me years to get to the place I am now. After I gave birth I had many moments of anxiety and tears, because becoming a mama is life-altering (and incredible). If you’re pregnant and feeling anxious about the unknown days ahead, don’t be afraid of motherhood. It’s unlike any other adventure you’ll ever embark on. There’s no sunset, mountaintop, or cityscape that can compare to the beauty of your baby learning and growing in front of you. Postpartum triggers every emotion and for the first couple of weeks, you’re lacking sleep and normalcy, which makes you feel a little crazy (ok…more than a little crazy). Before you know it your life has changed, but sleep returns and you find a new normal. I’m living the mommy life and a new, beautiful normal.

I understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be as a mama, especially if you’re doing it alone, or you’re alone during the day. I’m the queen of overthinking and if you live in that same kingdom than you know how easy it is to become your own worst enemy. It’s okay to leave a pile of wash until the next day or to take a break from cleaning. It’s important to take care of yourself during the day, despite being a busy mama. You need to care for your mind, body, and soul. Living with anxiety is a challenge, but it’s only as hard as you believe it to be. Light some candles, read a good, inspiring book, and let the smell of your favorite perfume linger. Surround yourself with beauty and what makes you feel calm. Drink a glass of wine and chat with your best friend, or go for a long drive and listen to your mood playlist.

I fall asleep next to my love, feeling safe and happy, but some mornings I still wake up feeling stressed, because there’s always something I need to accomplish. It’s hard to explain to those who don’t have anxiety what it feels like to suddenly feel unbelievably sad and vulnerable or to struggle with triggers. A trigger is something fairly simple that makes you feel overwhelmed with a certain emotion (sadness, anger, jealousy) and often a trigger takes you back to a moment you wish to forget. I had a panic attack for the first time in years the other night and it was awful; I felt as though I was paralyzed and it was triggered by something that in the moment, I was totally blind to. The next day though, the trigger became clear.

We all have a laundry list of things to handle and worry about during the day, but it’s not a race; you don’t have to deal with everything all at once, and nobody is free from stress. A person’s Instagram may be filled with sunshine and selfies, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel just as stressed as you. Stress finds all of us at our weakest moments and it affects everyone differently. Unfortunately, for those who have true anxiety, stress can be deadly. You need to remind yourself that you will accomplish your goals, complete your tasks, and handle your shit, at your own speed. You don’t have to do everything in a day or make yourself feel bad for taking a breather.

When you have anxiety it’s terrifying to not be in control, which I understand better than most. As a teenager, it used to kill me when I felt out of control, but as I got older I let go of the reins. I control what I can and I let go of what I can’t. I always make sure my space and my life are organized and pretty and that is my way of being in control. Life happens and each day is unpredictable, no matter how much we plan, worry, and stress. We can make as many lists as we want, but we have no idea what the day will bring. Isn’t that what makes life so exciting? Learn to feel excited rather than scared, my darlings.

Greyson’s Letter

Greyson, my love…you’re getting bigger and brighter every day and I’m so proud to be your mama. I have so much I wish to teach you and tell you as you get older, but one thing I need you to know is how to handle your emotions. Anger can be terrifying and it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and let go. I want you to always remember that you should never go to bed angry. You never know what tomorrow will bring and I hope you lay your head down every night and feel thankful and positive. Always look forward to the next day, babes. Pain as many before me have written, demands to be felt, but you’ll get through the cloudy days. I wish I could shield you from sadness and pain, but I can’t. Every moment in your life becomes a part of you and your story, which is why it’s so important to always be your most amazing self.

One day you’ll meet envy, trust, fear, anxiety, and the emotion which changes everything…love. Love is complicated, beautiful, and terrifying, but when you find the one worth loving, it’s everything. You’ll already know love by how much daddy and I love you and how much you love us back. It’s a level of love which cannot be measured, lost, or described. I want you to never settle in the future for anything less than the love daddy and I have for each other, and of course, for you. The love I have for you though, is unlike any other.

Xo

 

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni

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The Greyson Diaries

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This mama don’t mess

If you want a beautiful life and positive results you need to take out the trash and stay away from toxicity. Sadly, I know plenty of mamas who are driving down a dead end road, whether they’re wrapped up in unnecessary drama, or they’re lost in a toxic relationship. It makes me sad to see others drowning in chaos and to watch people make the same mistakes over and over again. It makes you wonder, why? Why doesn’t the woman who stays with the cheating boyfriend leave? Why does that friend of yours continue to connect with the wrong people? The questions are always easy to ask, but the answers are very rarely simple. Some stay with the wrong person because they’re scared, or they don’t have enough confidence to start over. Others are involved with the wrong people because they’re lost and lack a strong identity.

It’s a new year and it’s the perfect time to take a long, honest look in the mirror. The reflection will never be perfection, but you should feel proud of the person staring back at you. We all make mistakes, have flaws, and countless stories to tell after a few glasses of wine. I fought hard to become the woman I am today and the mama I’m lucky enough to be. Greyson is the best part of me and I will always make sure he’s surrounded by positivity (people and situations). Your vibe attracts your tribe.

I had dinner and drinks with Andrew and two of my very good friends, which is something I truly love. I love spending time with the people I love (my true few) and enjoying drinks and conversation. We had an amazing time laughing, joking around, and sharing stories with one another, but right before my friends were about to head home, a nasty, psychotic text appeared on my friend’s phone. I was in shock and confused when I read what was on the screen, but after realizing who sent the text message I wasn’t surprised. The person who sent it has hit below the belt plenty of times, with countless people (myself included) and they feed off of drama and negative situations. They’re also friends with another person who has created drama and messy situations in the past.

We all received other text messages and phone calls that night (and afterward) which were disgusting and immature, to say the absolute least. We moved forward and laughed it off, which is what adults do. I’m a mama and Andrew works so incredibly hard and is a daddy, and my friends have busy lives. None of us have time for high school drama or bad energy. This entire situation (the text messages, harassment, etc.) was caused by a mutual friend, who is close to the person who texted us that night. After all of this happened it reminded me of how adults (mamas in particular) should act (and react). It also bothered me for other reasons, such as…why do people connect with hate and drama? If you want drama in your life watch a movie or read a good book. I didn’t react that night…I moved on because my life is way too beautiful to be dragged down by negative bullshit. It makes me sad when I see people my age (and older) acting like fools and getting caught up in nonsense.

The mutual friend who created a negative situation is also a mama, but she’s living a life that is filled with toxicity. She is famous for surrounding herself with awful, unstable people and I truly believe she’s lost. I am not here to judge other people’s life choices, but when it affects your aura and those around you it’s time to take note and make changes. This person has come to me for advice in the past regarding her relationship, which is in my opinion very harmful, but there’s been no change and I feel bad. I’ve been through pain and I stayed with someone (longer than I should’ve) who caused a lot of drama and hurt in my life. I know what it’s like to feel lost and unsure, but there comes a point when enough is enough. As a mama, I couldn’t imagine being in that place, because Greyson needs a strong, confident, and happy mama to teach him, love him, and show him. As a parent, you need to stay away from those who cause harm and situations that create stress, because your actions will one day affect your child. Greyson will always look up to me and he will see very quickly that his parents don’t put up with anything. We don’t get involved in drama. This mama has no time for craziness.

I wanted to share that story with all of you because I think it’s so important to be the best person you can be at all times, and if you’re a mama surrounded by negativity and toxic people, it’s time to take out the trash. If you’re traveling down a dead end road it’s time to find an alternate route. You want your vibe to attract beauty and positive, mindful people who will uplift you and take you on gorgeous adventures. You want your child to be surrounded by light and love and to know what a healthy relationship and friendship looks like.

Greyson’s Letter

Baby boy, you’re a month old and I’m so proud of your tiny milestones. You can lift and keep your head up for longer periods of time, you’re stronger and have gained weight, and you’re continuing to delight us with your incredible personality. You look into my eyes and make noises and I know there is so much you wish to say. This blog entry was about surrounding yourself with the right people and the right moments, because life is fragile and we all deserve honesty, happiness, and love. I never want you to get wrapped up in drama or hate, because it can result in a lot of pain, loss, and regrets.

As your mama I work hard to show you true and meaningful relationships, from my relationship with your daddy, to my friendships with the ones who’ve been there for me through it all. I know you’re a baby and it will take some time for you to understand and comprehend who and what you’re around, but I’ll never put you in a negative situation. You’re so lucky…there are so many beautiful people around you who love you and are looking forward to getting to know you as you grow. My close friends adore you, as does my family, and Andrew’s family. You’ve changed my life and daddy’s and we’re thankful for you and the changes that you have brought. I love you Greyson. Xx

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram @lizziemognoni

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Becoming the Energizer Bunny

I hope everyone had a gorgeous Christmas with lots of love and sparkle ✨ Happy New Year! As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome yet another, new year emotions are exploding (the usual). We tend to reminisce, refresh, but also regret. I have no regrets…I’m engaged, a mama to the best boy in the world, and although my life is vastly different than it was this time last year, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am all for reminiscing and a refresh as we strut into 2019 (pull out your favorite pair of heels), but regrets are foolish. Life is too short, my darlings.

Greyson is three weeks old and he continues to inspire me. I want to remind any tired, overwhelmed mamas that a bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom. Bad days exist for everyone and can become heightened as a new, exhausted parent. We’re human and we have our moments, even as devoted mamas. Despite countless smiles, laughs, and memories, there are also times when we want to cry and scream. Days can be long, tiring, and trying, but it isn’t about the tough moments, it’s about how tough you are. I’ve become the Energizer Bunny and I want to help to inspire and motivate others…

I stay motivated, positive, and energized by doing what I love and loving what I do. I go for long walks with Greyson, which is an enjoyable, easy workout for me and it’s nice spending time outdoors with my baby. Remember to bundle your baby up and make the stroller a cozy, safe place for your kid(s) during the colder months. Fresh air is everything, though. The outdoors can cure a bad mood and stress; walking is therapeutic and one of the best ways to clear your head. Slip into a pair of sneakers and make a dedicated playlist.

As a writer and a blogger I have an outlet to get me through long nights and busy days (thank you words), but even if writing isn’t your thing, starting a journal is simple. Start writing about your day, even the struggles. You can write about whatever you’d like (even if it’s not about being a mama). Write a simple list if you aren’t able to think of anything else…make a list of current goals, cleaning/organizing endeavors, etc. You can take a break from your mommy life and write about something fun, crazy, or inspirational if you’re feeling up to it. A great way to become comfortable with writing daily is by reading. Reading and getting wrapped up in words will take you elsewhere, even if it’s just for an hour. Sometimes you need to escape and be somewhere else (mentally) for a little while and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As a new mama I nap and sleep as much as I can, but I think it’s so important to keep moving and to do as much as possible. I believe that accomplishing a lot during the day and staying motivated and moving (like the Energizer Bunny) helps to keep you feeling your best. It may be tiring being a mama, but it’s better to keep going and doing what we always did. Sleep is important, of course, but so is sticking to a normal, stable routine. I actually enjoy cleaning, organizing, and doing the same, simple tasks each day. I’ve always been a very organized, clean, and stable person. I have anxiety (always have) and I need organization in my life, especially now that I have Greyson. Add something fun to your normal, daily routine, like a day trip (with your baby), or a creative project, too. Have fun with a small home project that won’t overwhelm you, or drive somewhere beautiful.

It’s imperative not to forget about your much needed me time. I always make sure I have time at least once a month for a manicure and a pedicure, for example. Me time doesn’t have to revolve around being pampered…it can be alone time with a favorite movie and a glass of wine, or a shopping spree at your favorite store. Being a mama doesn’t mean you forget about yourself or your needs. You will have to learn to put someone else’s needs above your own, though. You may be hungry, but if your child needs food, they eat first. If you have to pee and your child needs something immediately, you better be able to hold it in. Again, motherhood is a balancing act and it’s all about multitasking and prioritizing. Your me time may have to wait until midnight or a moment when you have a little extra help, but don’t forget about you. Also, don’t feel guilty about having a drink by yourself, with your significant other, or your friends. I give you permission to unwind, mamas. Here’s to 2019…

Greyson’s Letter

Greyson, I’m excited for 2019 with you and your daddy. We’re getting married in May and I’m so happy that you’ll be there with us, because you’re our life. I know you’re just a baby, but one day you’ll understand just how much your daddy and mommy love one another. You’ll be able to see the way your daddy makes me feel and the way he cares for us. I’m a lucky woman to have him by my side and you’re the luckiest boy in the world to have him as your dad, and I always want you to grow up seeing what a true, beautiful relationship looks like.

As your mama my job is to love you, protect you, and to teach you. I will teach you many things, but one thing that I will teach you, which is immensely important is how to treat others. You’ll meet so many different types of people in your lifetime, but regardless of who you meet, remember to always be you. I want you to always be humble, sweet, and honest. I know you better than anyone, because I met you first.

You’re the light of my life and I know that you’ll be an incredible friend, brother, and partner. One of my jobs as your mama is to teach you how women deserve to be treated, and I know you’ll make someone so happy one day…you’ll make them feel lucky, loved, and grateful, just like daddy makes me feel. Everyone you meet has a story and deserves kindness, even if they are unable to show you the same level of respect. You’ll learn quickly who deserves a second chance and who you need to let go of (and stay away from). I know you’ll meet great people and friends, like the ones I have met over the years. It took me a long time to find your daddy, though. It took me twenty two years, but he was worth the wait, because he brought me you and an amazing life. My goal this year and each year to come is to take care of you and daddy and to help you become a gentleman, a fighter, and a survivor.

Life can be tough, but you’ll always be tougher. Happy New Year my love…thank you for giving me an amazing and unforgettable 2018. I wish you so much love and happiness, my beautiful boy.

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram @lizziemognoni

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Strength and Sleepless Nights

Being a mother is finding fire and strength in yourself each day and battling fears you never thought you’d face. Before you become a mom your fears are immensely different and they only involve you. You worry about your own, personal finances, needs, wants, choices, insecurities, and mistakes. Once you start worrying about another life, things change. It’s one remarkable way to become selfless. You worry about issues that don’t exist, tiny struggles, distant thoughts, and unknown factors. You simply worry, because from the second you give birth and become a mom your only priority is to protect and love. I would kill someone for Greyson and for Andrew. They’ve both taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and I love them with every part of me. As a mama and a fiancé (soon to be wife), I view my role as a pretty, strong bookend. A bookend holds everything on the shelf together and that’s what I do and always wish to do. I want to be the one to take away the pain, piece things back together, and make everything easier.

I’m living and loving the mommy life and I’m so happy to be where I am, especially with Andrew by my side. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner ♥️ I’m always asked how I’m feeling and for those who know me they know I never stop. I’m constantly moving and now that I’m a mama, the movement continues, but at an insane rate. There are only more things for me to worry about, accomplish, and of course, enjoy with my son. Despite my motivation and positive attitude, don’t get it twisted…I’m tired. I do have to say though, each day gets easier. You simply embrace the exhaustion and move forward and at some point, you’re no longer tired. I mentioned in my first entry of The Greyson Diaries that I pulled many, drunken all-nighters and that I can handle anything. Yes, that is very true. This mama has lived. I’ve spent nights roaming around New York City until five am, drunk off of five martinis, and wearing eight-inch heels, but nothing compares to being a mama and taking care of a baby. By the way, any mom who says they aren’t tired is probably delusional from being tired. It’s an exhausting and incredibly rewarding job and the job doesn’t end when the sun sets. The job keeps going and you keep going.

For those currently dealing with sleepless nights I know it can be a lonely feeling, being awake at two am with a crying baby, even when your significant other is asleep in the other room. You may be without a significant other and in that case, you might really feel alone. You’re never alone though, my loves. I always say, if you’re feeling alone there are countless other people feeling the exact same way; if you and others are dealing with identical emotions you’re in the same place, whether you’re strangers or thousands of miles apart…you’re never alone.

Greyson is my little best friend, but it still feels lonely at times when I know everyone else in my life is fast asleep and I’m awake, watching whatever happens to be on tv, trying to soothe my angel and put him to bed. It’s important to cherish every moment, even the tiring, late nights. Luckily, as a writer, I’m used to staying up all night writing and thinking. Have a glass of wine, mamas and take a deep breath. As I write this entry Greyson is cuddled on my lap and it’s a little after midnight. Andrew is sleeping and I’ve been watching old, Christmas movies. If you’re up late and feeling a little lonely (and tired) put on a favorite movie (maybe a favorite Holiday film), or binge watch a tv show to entertain yourself. I don’t mind the sleepless nights because I know they won’t last forever, but Greyson will never be this little again. There will come a day when he will no longer cuddle and fall asleep on my chest, but regardless of what life stage Greyson’s in, he’ll always be my baby boy.

Many moms, like myself, are stay at home moms (at least for a time) and there are moments when our men truly don’t understand how much of a commitment it is. We wake up, after possibly only a few hours of sleep and we live for our kid(s). I’ve taken on my mama duties and the role as a housewife and it’s exhausting (I love it though). Some may think stay at home moms have it easy because they’re home, but it’s not an easy job. We are enveloped by a world that is wildly misunderstood…it isn’t an episode of Desperate Housewives. There’s no one stronger than a devoted parent, especially a mother. To all of the stay at home moms (and dads), you’re amazing. We’re amazing and we have the best job in the world.

Being a mother is finding strength regardless of how tired you are. If you keep that fire lit inside of you and remain positive (and healthy), you’ll get through anything and everything. As the bookend, I’ll remain strong and fierce for my family, always. Loving and caring for my boy and my man is my job and it’s a job without financial gain or promotions. It is a job with an incredible reward though and every morning I wake up feeling proud. Remember, it’s about the little things. As a mama, I truly appreciate the simple moments and the tiny victories. Greyson actually slept through the night for the first time this week and he’s only two weeks old, which makes me a very proud and happy mama.

Greyson’s Letter

Greyson,

You’re the one who made me a mom and I cannot thank you enough for changing my life. I may have another baby someday, but as my first born you hold a special place in my heart. You changed my world the second I found out I was pregnant. I can still feel you kicking me and sometimes I forget that I no longer have my baby bump. I brought you into this world and there is no greater feeling (I wish I could fully explain the feeling). You made me realize just how strong I am and I will never doubt myself or my strength, because of you. You’re my greatest accomplishment and daddy and I are truly amazed by you and your bright personality. I’m glad I had you at a young age and I’m so excited for our future adventures and for you to fall in love with life, just like I did. One day though, I will be older and I know that when I look back at my life story you’ll be one of the most beautiful chapters. I love you sweetheart.

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram @lizziemognoni

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On December 8, 2018, my life was altered permanently by a gorgeous baby boy…

Greyson Bryce Killough was born on Saturday, December 8, making me the luckiest mama in the world. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I still cannot believe Andrew and I created this perfect, little person. As soon as Greyson was placed on my chest I fell completely, madly in love. He looked into my eyes and held my finger with his tiny hand; after carrying him for nine months, we already knew one another so well. My voice was a familiar, safe song and he still looks into my eyes with that same, loving expression that stole my heart when our eyes met for the first time. Nothing compares to meeting your baby after a long, beautiful pregnancy and being able to put a face to the one who playfully kicked you.

Welcome to the first entry of The Greyson Diaries, which of course, is dedicated to the light of my life…my son, Greyson. It will be a series filled with honesty, happiness, and love. Xo

I had an amazing pregnancy and I truly enjoyed every moment of it, but as soon as I began having contractions I was ready for my pregnancy to end and for a new adventure to begin. Before I went into labor I watched A Christmas Story and cuddled on the couch with Andrew, wondering when our boy would make his appearance. I fell asleep tangled up with my fiancé, but I woke up suddenly feeling uncomfortable. It was a little after midnight on December 8 when I began to feel minor contractions. I got ready and waited for the contractions to be a steady five minutes apart. I woke up Andrew and told him our little boy was coming! I was a little nervous but mostly excited. I told my mom to be ready and we waited…

We were at the hospital by five am and I was admitted. Since I wasn’t yet in active labor but was full term (officially 40 weeks pregnant) my OB had me induced. Within a couple of hours, I was four centimeters dilated and very soon after I was seven. It went by so fast! Danny (my man of honor by the way) arrived and hung out with my mom and me for a few hours and we talked, laughed, and watched Netflix. Before I knew it I was ready to start pushing. My mom, Danny, and of course, my fiancé, Andrew stood by me through the delivery and I couldn’t be more thankful for the special people that surround me (and baby Greyson). I was so scared before giving birth, but once I felt ready to push…fear faded away. It’s the scariest experience in the world (and insanely exciting) and I’ve never felt more accomplished or proud. Yes, mamas, it’s warranted to feel beyond proud of yourself. Despite the sleepless nights and the constant worry, motherhood is worth it. Yes, your life changes, but it changes in a beautiful way. If you want to have a baby but you’re fearful of the unknown, don’t be. If you’re a new mama and stressing, take a deep breath. You can do this! I’m loving every minute of it (even if it’s two am and he’s crying his little heart out). It’s natural to be afraid, but I can promise you that baby will change your life and your mindset.

I feel almost completely normal again, besides a little soreness and of course, I’m tired. I had an easy pregnancy and my delivery was incredibly quick. I pushed for about fifteen minutes and then Greyson arrived. I remind all of the mamas to be to enjoy each stage of their pregnancy, but motherhood is irreplaceable and you have so much to look forward to. I was me throughout my pregnancy, wearing what I always wore, getting dolled up, working, going out, writing, spending time with the ones I love, and always making time for myself. You can still be you and enjoy your moments once you have a baby and it isn’t true that your life is over once you have a child. I don’t understand women who give up once they have a baby. You don’t have to give up who you are, what you want, or forget your passions once you become a mom. You don’t have to drive a minivan (unless you want to), or stop buying the clothes you love. You don’t have to give up on your dreams or change your attitude. Parenthood is a different chapter, which requires some adjusting. I still find time to clean, write, take care of myself, and spend time with the special people in my life. It simply becomes a balancing act and you need to remind yourself to breathe.

Greyson and Andrew are my entire world and I’m in awe of our little, perfect family. I love watching Andrew with our son; I’ve loved Andrew with every bit of me ever since he first kissed me, but seeing him as a daddy has reminded me of why I chose him. Ladies, remember to appreciate your significant other and show them some love once you’re home from the hospital. You’ll both be tired and finding a balance to your new, exciting life and it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge one another. Yes, the woman delivers the baby but the man is just as much a part of the experience as the woman. A true man will be there through the cries, smiles, and sleepless nights. He will be his woman’s strength when she feels tired and needs a little love.

Andrew is amazing at making me feel the absolute best and I love him for that (and so much more). Also, if you’re having a child through a surrogate or you’re adopting, this still applies to you! Your partner deserves a hug and a kiss for being there beside you through becoming a mom, because it takes a special person to be not only a partner but a parent, too. If you’re single and going at motherhood alone, you’re about to discover how immensely strong you are. As women, we are capable of anything. I’ve never felt stronger or fiercer in my life. I brought a beautiful, baby boy into this world and I’m his everything…just as he’s mine. Also, I’m not forgetting about the single dads out there! I focus a lot on the mamas, because I’m currently living the mommy life, but if you’re a single daddy this blog series is for you, too.

I’ve been asked countless questions since I came home from the hospital and I’ve picked the best to answer to provide a little insight for other mamas and mamas to be.

Am I tired? Yes, of course, I am. But, it’s already getting easier and it’s only been a week. Don’t fear the sleepless nights. Hey, I pulled drunken all-nighters as a teenager…I can handle anything.

How does my body feel and do I feel different? No, I don’t feel different. My body is going back to normal. If you’re healthy and happy your body will go right back to how it was. It’s crazy how fast you can bounce back! It’s normal to feel a little off for a couple of weeks after giving birth, but don’t stress yourself out. Allow yourself time to heal and recover. Every woman is different, but you will heal just fine. I didn’t require much attention after giving birth, but of course I dealt with discomfort! Everyone handles postpartum differently, but I recommend taking it easy. Even if you feel great please don’t rush yourself. You shouldn’t be working out, dieting, or running around like a lunatic.

Why didn’t I breastfeed? If you want to breastfeed or you did breastfeed I respect your decision, but I wanted Greyson to bond with not only myself but also Andrew (and our loved ones) during feeding time without any issues. Yes, you can pump and provide a bottle for others who wish to feed your baby, but there are times a breastfed baby doesn’t want to be fed by others (only mom). Honestly, I just didn’t want to breastfeed. There are reasons why I’ve loved bottle feeding, but my decision to do so isn’t that deep. If you don’t want to breastfeed, don’t. Greyson is super healthy and happy without drinking my breast milk.

Did I feel comfortable with Andrew watching me give birth? Did I feel awkward? Andrew, Danny, and my mom were so excited to meet Greyson that they didn’t even think anything of it. I was focused on delivering my son and getting through labor. I also had an insanely fast and easy delivery. My mom and midwife, Laura were down there, watching Greyson come out and helping/encouraging me to push. Danny and Andrew were by my head, talking to me and holding my hand. At one point Danny was squeezing my hand and Andrew was holding my leg up. Andrew was amazing and proud of me. If you’re with the right person they’ll be right beside you during labor and your insecurities will fade away. Women are so strong and amazing and giving birth is truly the most inspiring experience.

Is my relationship different? Having Greyson has only brought Andrew and me closer. We’re the same with each other, though. He’s so sweet and playful with me, always. I’m the mother of his child and that has connected us in a beautiful, permanent way.

What hurt more…the epidural or the contractions? The pain/sensation from the epidural was nothing like the painful contractions. They cannot be compared because they’re completely different feelings. I cried during the epidural and it is definitely the weirdest feeling, but I needed it. My contractions became too much for me to handle. I grew up with a stomach ulcer and I don’t handle cramps/stomach pain well. The epidural kept me comfortable until it was time to push and then I felt an intense pressure (the urge to push).

What’s the scariest part about becoming a mom? The scariest part about being a mama is worrying. I will forever worry about Greyson and he’s my full-time job 💙

Would I go through childbirth again? Yes, I will definitely be waiting a few years (at least), but I will have another baby someday.

Was it hard to know what to do in order to care for my baby? It comes naturally, ladies! You will know what to do and when you don’t you confide in the pediatrician you choose, other mothers, and you can always read up on newborn information. Remember though, no one knows your child better than you do. Trust yourself. Also, once your baby is born the nurses in the hospital will ensure you’re feeding your baby properly and doing what is best (bathing, routines, newborn care, the crying stages, pediatrician care/shots, etc.).

Did I deal with any level of depression during or after my pregnancy? No, I’ve honestly never been happier and I was really happy throughout my pregnancy! But, I’ve known women who’ve dealt with postpartum depression and it is important to know where to turn. The hospital will have resources for mothers dealing with postpartum depression and for anyone who is dealing with it, don’t feel uncomfortable seeking therapy and help. It’s important to care for yourself as much as your baby because that baby depends on you. Your little angel wants and needs you to be happy and healthy.

Greyson, I love you more than I could ever explain and I will always be here for you. Daddy and I will never leave you, judge you, or drift away from you. No matter how old you are you will always be my baby and my best friend, but I promise to let you make your own choices and follow your heart. I cannot wait for all of our family adventures, moments, and memories. You’re the light of my life and I’ll never let go. You’ve made me an even better version of myself and have reminded me of what’s truly important in life…love, family, and happiness. These blog entries will be our time capsule and one day you’ll read them.

I wish all mama bears (and anyone raising a child) a lifetime of happiness and laughter. I already know that it’s the greatest adventure and it’s so important to cherish each moment. Smile through the tears and make the most of each day. I’ll be here for support, inspiration, and motivation ✨

Stay tuned for the next entry of The Greyson Diaries 💙 & follow me on Instagram @lizziemognoni

Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Current Mood?

I’m 39 weeks pregnant and spending as much time as possible relaxing, but I’m also always wrapped up in a project (cleaning, writing, organizing). I’ve remained busy and active throughout my pregnancy, which I recommend to any woman who’s thinking about becoming pregnant, or whose currently expecting. I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be starting a new blog series called The Greyson Diaries to inspire other mama bears and to write about anything and everything I experience as a fun, young mama! Stay tuned ✨

Love

December has arrived and with this sparkly, celebratory month comes a lot of pressure and stress when it comes to love. Let’s dive into the December 2018 love horoscope…

December is going to be an intense month for all of us (single or taken) and it will be an important time as we near 2019. Pay attention to signs, emotions, and moments. The end of the year is upon us (ahhh, here we go again) and it’s always a time for reflection, renewal, and a much-needed refresh. It’s a time to review and make moves! Whether you’re single and on the hunt for a new, inspiring flame, or you’re happily taken and simply remembering what you deserve and desire. Sagittarius rules December and the sign that controls this month reminds us to look ahead, while still making smart decisions now, for a beautiful 2019.

This month will be about growing and changing, without repeating the mistakes and same old lessons of our past. December is about listening to your heart and your head. Even if you’re happily entangled with your lover, that doesn’t mean there aren’t topics you’d like to discuss and issues you’d like to resolve. Now is the time! Love can make us silly, stupid, and blind. Sometimes, we imagine things to be different than the way they actually are. I’ve been there…and other times we know the painful truth, but we’re afraid of change and the fear of being alone.

I remember a few years back, when I was still with my ex, it was late December and we were having issues…once again. We were over and I had known that to be true for a while, but I am madly in love with the snow and this time of year. There’s something magical and whimsical about the Holiday season, snow, and the colder months. I remember feeling so angry and upset towards my ex, but we were about to have our first, big snowstorm of the season (which I always like to watch from the window and enjoy) and I didn’t want to watch the snow fall, alone. I invited him to watch the first snowfall with me and in the end, it made me feel even worse because we were over. I should’ve spent that evening alone; there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moments we love by ourselves, but I was afraid. I’m telling you this flashback because I know so much more now than I did in the past (that’s called growth, my loves). It’s okay to be scared and it’s better to be alone than to repeat past mistakes. What’s the definition of insanity?*

I am very lucky to be cozy with my love this year and insanely happy and excited about our baby (who will be arriving soon). It took me years to make it through the heartache, betrayal, and pain from my past and to find Andrew. The road was long and lonely at times, but I’m thankful for the climb because my view now is unbelievable. I never expected that I’d be where I am today (becoming a mama) or that I’d meet someone as loving, amazing, and special as Andrew…but I did. If you’re still on the search for your love, don’t give up. I promise you, it’ll happen. It’ll happen when you least expect it and the moment will shake you in the most electrifying way. I still remember looking into Andrew’s eyes, smiling at each other, and knowing he was different. He was the one. If you’re happily taken and ready for yet another Holiday season I wish you cozy, loving moments, but I remind you to deal with anything that is bothering you this month. January is a fresh start…

Lifestyle

Hanukkah began December 2 and we enjoyed a nice, home-cooked meal (thanks to my mom) and we lit my mother’s gorgeous menorah. It’s a special time and for those celebrating The Festival of Lights, I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful and healthy Hanukkah. I grew up with multiple traditions and I was raised Catholic and Jewish. Yes, I always had a menorah lit and an overly decorated Christmas tree to wake up to. I’ve always celebrated all Jewish holidays and Catholic holidays. I’ve always appreciated Hanukkah, just as much as I appreciate the magic of Christmas. I never believed in Santa though (just a little fact about me)*. Those who know me very well know that I’m not a religious person. I attended Catholic services a few times and I used to attend synagogue when I was a little girl, but I’m very relaxed when it comes to religion. I also attended a private, Jewish school when for a few years (learned and experienced a lot). I believe in nature, animals, and positivity. I respect Judaism and Catholicism fully though because I was raised with both religions and countless traditions. As I await the birth of my first child, traditions are incredibly important to me.

I’ve been asked before if growing up Catholic and Jewish made the Holidays confusing or conflicting and my answer has always been, no. I learned so much and have always looked forward to the Holiday season (including both religions and every celebration). I was surrounded by my Italian, Catholic relatives and my Eastern-European, Jewish relatives growing up and I experienced incredible moments with all of my family. I will always remember and miss our big, family Passover seders in Manhattan, and the warm, cozy Christmas mornings spent at my grandma’s house in North Jersey. I want Greyson to learn about both religions, enjoy the sparkly, fun traditions and I will never pressure my child to feel any type of way towards religion. Again, I was never pressured or raised religiously, but I truly appreciate what I grew up with. I had the freedom to discover my own beliefs and values.

What are your traditions? What do you value and cherish? Do you have any new traditions this year? Some of you may be incredibly religious and others may simply enjoy the fun of the Holidays and the sparkle (that’s okay). Regardless of what you believe in, love, and focus on this time of year, the Holidays are more than religion. This time of year is about feeling thankful, giving to those less fortunate (animals included), cherishing the little moments, and spending time with those we love. It isn’t about gifts or decorations.*

I want everyone to cherish the glittery, beautiful moments as we near 2019! It doesn’t matter what you choose to celebrate, but I thought I’d share my traditions, since many struggle with combining traditions with a significant other this time of year. Celebrate love, family, and friends (the rest will fall into place). Happy Hanukkah and cheers to December!

Xo

Follow my blog, www.takeabiteoutofme.com to stay updated on the latest and feel free to follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni

Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Happy Thursday! I hope everyone had a gorgeous Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends, and delicious food. I am 38 weeks pregnant and each morning I wake up wondering when I’ll go into labor. It’s a beautiful and terrifying feeling, but I’m eager to meet the little angel I’ve felt move, kick, and grow for nine months. I feel as though I found out I was pregnant five minutes ago. I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping this year, but we’ve been so focused on home renovations and baby prep that I for once, didn’t care about splurging on Black Friday sales. I did finish my Christmas shopping for my parents, Andrew, & Greyson though. I’m as prepared as I can be! As the weather continues to get colder, I am cozying up with my winter favorites (including cuddling up with my fiance).

Love

This week I want to focus on a very special and important type of love…self-love. If you’ve endured a painful breakup, heartache, or change in lifestyle, you may be finding it hard to truly love and accept yourself. In our current society, beauty and status are everything. Women deal with insecurities that arise from social media, television/film, and unfortunately, comments and judgment from insecure people. I surround myself with positive, amazing people who uplift me on my bad days, but I’ve had insecure, jealous people try to hurt me in the past. Ladies, ignore the negativity on the internet and the nastiness that envelopes certain people. Also, money and status aren’t everything. Passion, drive, and love will get you through the rough times. Money won’t keep you warm or safe at night. Remember, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you, understand you, or love the way you do. I’m always stunned by how harsh and cruel people can be, but sadly, all I can do is be the complete opposite (positive, happy, and kind). You weren’t born to please or satisfy anyone, but yourself.*

It’s incredibly important to do what makes you feel happy and good about yourself. This Holiday season, I want all of the strong, special women of the world to focus on waking up feeling grateful and comfortable in their own skin. If you want to work out more, eat healthier, or change your routine…do it! But, while doing something positive to feel better, don’t be negative about yourself or your life. Negativity causes nothing but stress and unwanted pressure.

Moms…you still need to live for you, pamper yourself, and spoil yourself, regardless of the fact that you’re a mom! Your children want you to be happy, feel fulfilled and secure. If you feel insecure and unhappy you’re not beaming healthy, positive energy, which actually does affect your parenting and your children. We ALL endure moments of pain, stress, and weakness, but it’s imperative to make it through the trying times and become stronger. Take a moment to do something fun, have a “me” day, and indulge in a little sparkle. Significant others…take a moment to spoil and appreciate your loved one, especially if they’re feeling stressed, insecure, or down.

In order to love others and the life you live you must first learn to love yourself! Life is scary, complicated, and messy and there’s no way to live a perfect life, but you can create your own version of perfect. You never need to explain yourself, your life, or your ideas to anyone. Always live for you and wake up with a positive mind and achievable goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Baby steps, my darlings. If you want a better life or better results, it is up to you and only you to make that happen! We write our own stories and we then become the author, the editor, the publisher, and the fan club. I’m always here for positive vibes, motivation, and advice, but I want YOU to make the changes you feel you need to make. I want YOU to be happy and to feel beautiful and secure. I believe in you…Xo

Lifestyle

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Of course, I’ve been asked about my favorite Christmas/Hanukkah gift ideas for 2018, and naturally, I’ve made a list for you. Again, I already bought Andrew, my parents, and Greyson their Christmas gifts. I bought Greyson two, gorgeous outfits and a giant, stuffed white bear (pictured above) which is a part of the crib bedding set. A few more presents are on the way for my loves! I didn’t focus on Hanukkah gifts this year since it falls early in December and Greyson’s due date is coming up! Christmas will be incredibly special though this year…

Some of my favorite gift ideas this year…

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This adorable, pretty Jellycat plush Reindeer named Robin is a great gift for a mama to be or for a young child. I bought Robin for Greyson’s nursery the other day because the beautiful plush goes with the Woodland Theme and she’s a pretty, simplistic decor touch. She can also be a deer (not a reindeer) if that works better for you! A plush animal is a perfect, easy gift and this time of year Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Hanna Andersson, and other stores come out with their special, Holiday gift plush animals (they’re always beautiful). Robin the Reindeer is insanely popular (she was even briefly featured on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and keeps selling out everywhere), but she can be purchased from Paper Source (link below)…

https://www.thepaperstore.com/p/jel-plush-robin-reindeer-med/50155100005?gdffi=183da551e6874fe9804412b3b28c67b8&gdfms=17E5F232FEC64DA3A7AA70DF8BDE3705&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI78iWrqL43gIVy0oNCh0FTQgjEAQYAyABEgLdhfD_BwE

Rainboots are a perfect purchase for any woman in your life and yes, they can be incredibly stylish. They’re also a MUST as we near the rainy, snowy, and icy days. I’m posting a few options below…if you’re unsure of what color to buy for the woman you’re shopping for, I’d say go with black (it’s the most stylish option and will go with anything)! But, there are countless options for any type of personality. You can also add a pair of pretty, boot socks (or knee-high socks) to go with the rainboots.

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/hunter-refined-high-gloss-quilted-short-waterproof-rain-boot-women/5178576?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=aubergine

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-shaye-rain-boot-women/4044854?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=tango

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Andrew bought me this Michael Kors purse and a black, Michael Kors jacket for my birthday (he did very, very well lol) and I thought I’d share this purse with my readers for some gifting inspiration! A handbag is a wonderful gift for a woman in your life who enjoys designer goodies, but it’s also a gift you know she’ll use. Women don’t view a handbag as a utility item, although we pack our lives into them each day, we view handbags as a piece of iconography and a showoff accessory. I am not posting any links to designer handbags, because there are too many options to pick from. Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshalls have unlimited options (and price ranges). Have fun shopping! I’d suggest tan, navy, black, or burgundy this time of year when buying a handbag, but it depends on the personality type you’re shopping for.

Watches are a thoughtful and desirable gift for a special someone in your life. Last year, I bought Andrew an engraved, Fossil watch (that he loves). Fossil, Michael Kors, and Versace make gorgeous watches, with multiple options and price ranges. You can even shop designer watches on Amazon.com!

Are you shopping for a mama to be or a new mom? If you want to buy a thoughtful gift for a mama in your life, buy something sweet and essential for the nursery! Pottery Barn Kids, Wayfair.com, Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Marshalls have wonderful, unlimited options.

Small, thoughtful stocking stuffers and gifts are always a fun idea. You can always go with a bottle of cologne for any man in your life, perfume for the ladies you love, makeup (gift sets, lipsticks, palettes), candles, etc. Below are some options for simple gifting and stocking stuffers…

Alex and Ani bracelets:

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alex-and-ani-two-tone-initial-charm-expandable-bracelet/4978465?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FHoliday%20Gifts%2FGifts%20for%20Her&color=two-tone-a

Yankee Candles:

https://www.yankeecandle.com/product/all-is-bright/_/R-1513534

Makeup:

https://www.ulta.com/gift-guide-top-25-gifts?N=1r5xkzv

Designer socks for men (or women) and a pack of designer underwear/boxers (Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, etc.) for your man are great, simple stocking stuffers. For kids, Barbies, toy cars, books, and small, plush animals (Jellycat makes the best plush animals for the playful, whimsical child) make easy, fun stocking stuffers.

I hope I was able to provide a little inspiration for those struggling with Holiday gifts! I could go on for hours with sparkly gifts and shopping ideas, but that would become a bit excessive. Have fun shopping, gifting, and creating. I will chat with everyone soon…XoXo

 

Follow my blog, www.takeabiteoutofme.com to stay updated on the latest and feel free to follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni