From Mama to Mommy to Mom.

My 17 month old son, Chief. Climbed up onto the dining room table today and got my attention by screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” A few alarming things were happening at this moment: toddler on table whilst yelling but the one thing that caught me off guard the most, his new name to call me “Mommy”. Who me?!

Up until now, I have been just “Mama”. I suppose even before that, a little cry meant he was calling for me. Everyone always says “don’t blink, before you know it they’re walking, or driving (insert new milestone).” No one prepared me for the transition from “Mama to Mommy to Mom.” Now that’s a blindsider.

My 3 year old calls me “Mom” now. I’m not even sure when that happened. What’s next? “Hilary”? Or even worse, “Grandma”?! Only kidding, Grandmas! That’s a badge of honor in my eyes! However, I know, I know. SLOW DOWN right?! If you’ve read my previous work you know I didn’t savor my daughters first year as much as I wish I had. Yet, now 3 years later I find myself overcome with bittersweet emotions. It doesn’t seem fair. Yet, I’m not trying to brush off these feelings. Why? It’s simple. It’s LOVE. Boy, is it a powerful thing.

Today when my son said “Mommy”, I can’t lie, it stung. Like a little knife right to my heart, the air pulled right from my lungs. The room suddenly in slow motion… I turn my head towards him. My son. Surely not a baby anymore. Those days are gone. The excitement and life in his eyes… that’s how I cope with it today. His pride. The whole world ahead of him.

How is it possible that I’m “running after a fast moving train” and I want the days to last as long as humanly possible all at the same time? I don’t know what’s happening. I do know one thing. This fills up my soul. My heart. My everything because, I was here today. Witnessing my son grow, mature and develop right in front of my eyes. For that, I’m grateful. Now I have more perspective. Which is truly priceless. What’s next? Drinking from a big glass cup, dressing himself or even moving from bathtub to shower?

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a lot of things happened today. Or many of your days seem mundane. Trust me, these are THE BIG THINGS. Just like my daughter somehow is 3 and calls me “Mom” now. Those years went by in the blink of an eye. Just like “they” all said it would. With my new found perspective there’s one thing I’m not doubting today, I’ll spend the rest of my years fighting to never miss the BIG THINGS again.

💕-TBHM Hilary

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Journey To Peace

Who feels like they’re constantly chasing after a fast moving train? A good friend of mine used that analogy for her life right now and it’s been hovering in my mind ever since. This IS my life. Go, go, go. What am I even chasing? What’s the goal of life here? I have been feeling all sorts of “Groundhog Day” around here. Wake up, mom life, bedtime. Do it all again the next day. Never feeling overly accomplished or at peace. Yes, laying on an ocean beach for a week can bring momentary peace but where is it throughout my whole life? Something always needs to be worked on and all my chores are never ending. Spoiler Alert: THEY NEVER WILL END. For the past few years I’ve been working on a new priority of my life. Self care and PEACE. My ultimate goal is Heaven but this isn’t a religious blog platform. So, faith aside, you all deserve peace in your every day. It doesn’t matter your ultimate goal. Retirement at the cabin? RV trip through the continental USA? Or even eternal life. We need as much peace now as we can get. Right Now. Today.

It’s almost impossible not to feel peace in a Hammock at the cabin

I’ve always been a “reactor” as my husband calls it. Highly emotional and charged by events that don’t fall the way I would like. My late Father would see me in a frazzled mood and say calm and lovingly,  “Hilary, life is a progression.” This is one of those drops of wisdom that I think of often. Now, here I am. Working on myself. Are all my chores going to be finished every day? No. There will always be another project to work on, closet to clean, or towel to fold (if you’re anything like me). If I spent all my energy trying to complete every task, every day, I’d surely lose my peace. So after years or even arguably a lifetime of unrest, I decided to take action. Here are some things I have implemented into my daily life on my Journey To Peace. It’s not as radical as you may guess. Take from it what works for you, leave what doesn’t. Every person has their own life goals. I pray you all get just what you’re looking for. In this lifetime, and the next.

With Peach as an infant

-Say “No” More: How many things are you being invited to daily? How many days a week are you scheduled out to do stuff? It’s overwhelming and totally exhausting. It’s truly no way to live. There have been several events in my life I said “yes” to because I thought I should. I hate to disappoint people, blah blah blah. Almost immediately it added stress to my life. I said, “enough is enough.” Cancel it. Now. I can’t tell you the relief that came over me. So much relief! You just can’t please everyone. Spreading yourself too thin is a sure way to lose your peace. Before you can please anyone else. Work on yourself. So now, I say “no” to things I don’t truly want to do. It’s LIBERATING.

-Say “Yes” More: Hold on, you just said “Say no more”. Well, this is the part where you say “yes” more often to the things that fuel your soul and your peace. If folding 4 loads of laundry feeding my soul? No. Is playing with my innocent, fun loving children? YES. 100% YES. Trust me, of all the regrets to be had in the world I most certainly am not going to have it be where I went to an event or cleaned some clutter over quality time with family or friends. Taking time to read an uplifting book, chat with a friend on the phone, tea time, manicures, arts and crafts, bullet journaling, walks to the park… FEED YOUR SOUL.

-Fresh Flowers in the House: I live in Minnesota. Hello, seemingly endless winter. Insert Gloom and Doom. I have always entered grocery stores and admire the fresh cuts. Too many times I pass thinking they’re a frivolous splurge reserved as gifts from my sweetie on special occasions. Guess what? No. It’s almost mind blowing what fresh flowers does for added peace and joy in my life. Like crazy 180 style mood boosting! Maybe it is the beautiful colors? Maybe the scents? Maybe a small reminder of new life and beauty in the world? I don’t know and I don’t care why this helps, but it does. I personally like them in my kitchen (the center of the household) and my main floor bathroom. Some on my bedside table is an added bonus. Luckily this time of year many can be clipped from my home gardens. #grateful

-Exercise: This is something I’ve always struggled with making a priority. Again, so many things to do, so little time. Trust me, you never regret a work out. It really isn’t possible. Unless, you break a toe on a dumbbell, perhaps. It’s truly so uplifting, amazing for your bodies and also a great example to set for my children. The beach body is just an added bonus. Plus, I’m a big fan of snacks…

-Clean 2 Minutes in Every Room: Yes, I’m an advocate of spending quality time with my kids over a pristine home. Yet, disorderly rooms and cluttered chaos leads to less peace for me. I read somewhere about taking 2 minutes to tidy up and clean in every room you enter at home. This can be as simple as making the bed, opening the blinds and putting books away. For something that doesn’t feel like it takes too much out of your day the peace amplifying result is 100% worth implementing in your daily life. It’s helped my immensely.

-Candles, String Lights and Essential Oils (ETC): More aesthetic peace multiplying additions. These are just a few of my favorite, happy and easy ways to bring more peace to my day. This is not the same for everyone of course. Lots of things could fall into this category. Personalize it, if you will. Make your house your sanctuary. I specifically don’t let my kids in my bedroom. I like my bed nice and made, my string lights, candles, diffusers, books, etc. Kids are chaotic. At the end of the night I want to enter my bedroom and feel that sense of peace and order in a wild world. It’s nice to have a separate area that isn’t disrupted by kids toys or leftover destruction.

-Prayer/Meditation/Goal Setting: In a particularly unsettling moment, feeling impatient, frustrated, overwhelmed I have learned to stop and slow down. For me this is a time of prayer. It can be as small as a proclamation of gratefulness. If you aren’t one to pray this could be a time to meditate and slow down. Even just setting goals for the future or even later that day. Accomplishing small things is uplifting! I take the time to go over what went well and what I have to be thankful for. There is so much… It’s a time to re-start, re-focus and re-fresh who I want to be and how I can stay on my Journey To Peace. No wasted days. Beauty in every day. LIVE IT.

Happy, peace filled moment from my 30th Birthday. (March 2018)

How do you add peace to your lives? What feeds your soul? How are you making the most of this mysterious journey of life? World Peace may be the ultimate goal but I believe it starts within ourselves. I can only hope and pray my children get a fighting chance too.

💜-TBHM Hilary

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Every Age is My Favorite

As a child turns 1 year old, I see so many mothers saying “No! Can I stop time?! I miss my baby! Why?!” Insert melodramatic statement. With my first child, I never had that thought once.  I actually couldn’t wait for the first year to go by. Her to become more independent, in turn, I would get a little independence too. She could do more things with her Dad since she wouldn’t be attached to my boob all day. A whole future ahead of us.

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When Peach was 10 days old.

To be honest, I look back and regret much of her first year. I wish I would have smiled more. I wish I would have embraced that priceless, innocent time together. Motherhood is such a big transition and I wish I would have gotten perspective that THIS is the GOOD STUFF and throw my FOMO to the wind. I had a few major personal tragedies that perhaps, got the best of me. I’m here to say, grow through what you go through. It’s inevitable, anyway.

That I did.

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Peach, 2 weeks old. Trip to Redwing, MN. Fly fishing with my dad.

After what arguably should have been one of the best years of my life, I spent it crying almost daily and clutching on to the hope that this too shall pass.

All too soon, I’m afraid.

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My Dad with Peach on Fathers Day. 1 month before he passed away.

I even had thoughts like “I may never have another baby again.” God had a different plan. Like he always does. Surprise! I got pregnant with my son the month my daughter turned 1. There was no doubt in my mind, this is not a good time. I was just getting through the first year! I cried thinking about telling my husband.

A bittersweet moment with tears welling in my eyes, I told him. He smiled, leaned in and kissed me. Warmth came over me. We’re going to be okay. Maybe even better than okay. I settled into my pregnancy with a happy peace. Enjoying the precious months, planning with anticipation.

One day I asked the wisest woman I know (my mother- mom to 3 daughters) what her favorite age was while her children grew up. Her answer, “every age is my favorite.” Oh the smile it gave me. It touched my heart and soul. It’s really is so true. Pregnancy is full of hopes and dreams. Who will you be? What will you look like? The First Year. Full of love, cuddles and oh, so many firsts. The fun, wild and hilarious Toddler years. What a joy to see your personality and language flourish!

The day Chief was born. Jan 2017

I had a whole new perspective once my son was born. There’s no way I was going to let my past rob me of a beautiful first year with my him. (and second year with my daughter, too!) Shortly before my Dad passed, he said “there is beauty in every day.” I’ve mentioned it before. I hold it close to my heart. It helps me live in the moment. To really appreciate every age and stage of my children. Yes, it’s bittersweet knowing nursing my son is short lived and before I know it, I won’t be able to hold my daughter because she’ll be too big. I don’t let it ruin me though. I know some of the best years of our lives are yet to come. I look forward to the day my son can mow the lawn, my daughter and I can shop for her prom dress and even one day, grandchildren of my own.

The 3 amigos, taking on the world together.

I’m tearing up now. It’s truly because my heart is so full. I only pray one day, they get to feel the same kind of love I do, when they hold their own babies in their arms. I do pray I have more children, I just have too much love to give! It’s okay if this is it, though. I get to hold these memories in my heart forever.

♥️💓- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight Part 2

As my first story ended we arrived (barely) in sunny Texas, headed for South Padre Island. If you missed Part 1 or want a refresher you can read it right here. Oh, how nice it is that a little salty sea breeze can instantly remove all airport frustrations from a gal.  Before I could really take a load off we needed a few supplies. I’d like to note that our first stop after landing at the airport was Wal-Mart. Now, I’m a Target shopper (shoutout to Minnesota) so, this was already out of my comfort zone. Add a little Texas spin to it and “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 4 bottles of sunscreen, pack and play crib, a case of Lime-A-Ritas and $500 later, we leave Wal-Mart. Unscathed? The jury is still out on that one.

After a week of sun, seafood and quality family time we headed back to the dreaded Delta airplane hanger…

Before we left, I went online to check us in. I thought something might be fishy when only my husband and daughters name popped up but I ignored it. Surprise, I know. Once we’re at the departure check-in counter things take a nasty turn. They cannot find my ticket or my sons. No exaggeration, an hour later we make our way to security. During the wait, I’ve got a kid who pooped, one who is running around like a dog that needs to hit the doggy-park for a 5 mile jog and a missing husband who is supposed to be returning the SUV rental. Guardian Angel, I need you now.

We arrive at security and they let us through ahead of the line since we have young children. Yahoo! Just kidding, they need to take my kids water bottles and do an intensive examination, X-rays, explosive tests, drug analysis and a strip search. Guess what? We were clean…

Off to the gate! Run!

Turns out since Delta “lost” my tickets and check ins, I was LAST to check in.  My husband and daughter got accepted. Not little Chief and I. The clerk informs us that the flight is overbooked, I have no seat assignment and I’m “at risk” of not getting on the plane. Don’t worry though, I’d get an Amazon gift card for my troubles. Ha. Ha.

At this rate, I’m feeling a little weak. The whole entire flight of passengers walk by us, one by one. Staring us down like “ugh, 2 toddlers…that’d be cool if you didn’t let them on”. Sorry, peeps. Here comes the circus. Some sweetie agreed to take another flight and they let us on.

Shall I set the scene? Everyone is boarded and buckled. Then here come Poulsen Tornado Party of 4. #walkofshame much? Have the kids napped? Yeah, right. Ha! Are the parents in a good mental state? Yeah, right. Ha!

There is a small glimmer of joy. There’s a open seat next to me!!! Hallelujah, mama needs some more room (for free- Ain’t nobody got time to pay for an infant seat, me anyway)

Up we go, headed for the clouds. Peach is screaming. She’s exhausted, hot and sweaty, hungry. Super fun combo for an almost 3 year old. My husband starts feeding her chocolate. (He’s always full of the best ideas *winks*)  If you thought she looked like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, add melted chocolate around her face. #parentoftheyear

The kids are naturally thirsty so I go and grab the water bottles. *Pop*. Gushing, spraying water is pouring and flying everywhere. AGAIN. Remember Niagara Falls from a week ago? It’s literally all over some crabby dude in front of me and the whole row he’s in, and the 2 women across the aisle from me. Cool. This is going well. AGAIN. How did I forget what happened on our first flight? Must have been cocktails on the ocean…

I finally get Chief to fall asleep. Ahhhh, peace. Not really, I hear Peach screaming. I look at my husband and gesture “paci”? (Yep, my almost 3 year old still loves her Paci for nap and bedtime). I never let her have it in public but drastic times… you know the saying. I toss the pacifier to him. She happily grabs it and starts sucking and biting on it all the while smearing more chocolate around her mouth. Toddler for sale… (I kid!) Peach decides now would be a perfect time to be a cat. She pounces out of her seat and starts crawling down the aisle meowing at passengers along the way. My hub and I exchange “shrug-type” glances because we’re just happy she’s not screaming or peeing. Can’t win ’em all…

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Peach is also shoeless.
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I love my husbands face here. Like, “sorry, she’s living her best life.”

The plane starts to descend, I can almost taste victory. Home! I love you, so!

All in all, the flights were worth it. Whatever gets you to the beach, amiright?! My main tip would be, fly direct whenever you can! Cocktails are nice too.

🛩💺😼- TBHM Hilary

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Summer Bucket List (join me!)

We’re in the final countdown to the last day of school! I’m starting to think of all the stuff I want to do with my kids over the break. We need to make the most of our summer. Especially in Minnesota, where the warm days are limited. I refuse to wake up one late August day and wish we had experienced more.

One of my friends did a Summer Bucket List with her kids last year and I thought it was such a fun idea! Now that my son is officially a toddler there’s more we can do. I went a got a display board so we can cross things off our list and stay motivated picking out things to do all summer long. Fun for the kids to decorate too or if you like getting artsy (I do! I had a lot of fun working on it)

Here’s the full list of what I have picked. Keep in mind my daughter just turned 3 and my son is 15 months old.

-Play Outside in the Rain   -Sparklers   -Outdoor Concert

-5 New Playgrounds   -Science Museum   -Blow Dandelion Seeds

-Weekend Getaway   -Plant Flowers   -Walk to Local Ice Cream Shop

-Fly a Kite   -Donate Toys/Clothes   -Make Homemade Lemonade

-State fair   -Pasta jewelery

-Beach Picnic   -Fishing with Dad   -Sculpture Garden

-Strawberry Picking   -Make Sun Tea   -Llama Farm

-Fro-yo Date   -Smores on a Bonfire   -County Fair

-Tie Dye   -Plant Veggies   -Splash Pad

-Rainy Day Fort   -Water Balloons   -Go Thrifting

-Family Game Night   -Make a Bird House   -Farmers Market

-Dog Park   -Family Movie Night   -Hammock Cuddle Session

-Make Banana “Ice Cream”   -Silly String Fight   -Run Through Sprinklers

-Pick Flowers   -Catch A Butterfly   -Car Show

-Make A Fairy Garden   -Hopscotch   -Find Tadpoles

-Homemade Pizza Party   -Garage Sale Shopping   -Volunteer

-Zoo (MN & Como)   -Rainy Day Pajama Party   -Boat Ride

-Feed Ducks   -Bird Watching   -Childrens Museum

-Petting Zoo   -Cook A Family Meal With Our Homegrown Veggies

-Family Game Night   -Amusement Park

I’m going to shoot for doing 4-5 things on our list every week.

I encourage you to make a summer bucket list! If you have kids or not! (I definitely took a moment to day dream a no-kid summer bucket list- wow it looks fun 😜) I might even make a separate bucket list just for myself. Join me in making the most of your summer! If you want to participate in the fun, post your bucket list pics on Instagram and tag @totallyblessedhotmess! I’d love to follow along in your journey too! I’ll be posting as we cross of things through these sunny months!

Beauty in every day, guys!

☀️🍦⛱- TBHM Hilary

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Chunky Weaving Class!

Take a walk down memory lane with me. Imagine teenage Hilary, fresh homemade bleached bob, sitting on the floor making hemp necklace after hemp necklace… I since had retired my knotting skills. I figured those days were behind me.

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Minnetonka High School Yearbook 2004?

Not so fast!

After seeing a local Minneapolis radio hosts instagram pic of her weaving I fell in love! I immediately recognized the shop she took the class at. I only drive by it 4 times a day!  How convenient for me?! Bring back the 70’s, baby. Or the early 2000’s… Side note- my grandfather had/has some mad macrame skills. I wonder if he has a spare loom collecting dust?

I invited my 2 sisters to join me. (I’m hoping this may turn into a tradition of sorts) Not only did I love everything about the class, it was special time spent with my family.

Ok here are the deets!

Where: Gathered Goods Company    Located in beautiful (I’m probably super biased) Excelsior, Minnesota.

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The class was set for 3 hours. It’s designed to teach you the basics of making a woven wall hanging. At the end you’ll leave with a 6″ wall hanging and a loom and supplies if you choose.

100% authentic chunky wool roving to pick from. The instructor orders most of hers from Etsy. The looms are handmade in St. Paul, MN. The loom maker has continued in the family tradition where they originally sold them out of a van in the 70’s. Groovy.

The instructor, Katie, was super friendly, approachable and helpful. She’s basically a triple threat too. Artist, Social Worker and Mother! I’m not sure she ever sleeps. Check out some of her amazing work on her Etsy page.

There are a variety of tools, knots and materials you can use. Once you learn the basics the sky’s the limit!

Not only does Gathered Goods Company host a variety of classes, they are a shop that offers products from over 40 different Minnesota based artisans. If you’re not interested in a class, PLEASE stop in and see all the amazing goodies they do have. Perfect for gifts and something for everyone. I even left with kitty slippers for my daughter, a T shirt, a pallet sign and a handmade bow. #sendhelp or don’t…

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Here is their calendar of events. Offering weaving, watercolor, succulent bar, macrame and more! I think watercolor is calling my name next time.

I was lucky to meet, Nicole, one of the owners. Her and I both have a daughter and son the same age. We live in the same town also! It was meant to be!

I purchased the loom at the end of class. I have so much inspiration now! I’m not totally sure I needed to add another hobby to my life. I’ll just think of it as returning to my roots.

✌🏼, TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight

I’d say it’s a almost a no-brainer that the hot messes were plentiful on our flight to South Padre Island. Little tornadoes are basically unavoidable with 2 toddlers on a 90 passenger plane. The excitement began as we made our way through the airport. For some reason the check-in clerk only printed mine and Chief’s boarding passes. So off we went through the line as Dad and Peach made the trek all the way back to the beginning. Shall I set the scene? Double stroller, overstuffed back pack, 2 big convertible car seats, diaper bag and squirmy 14 month old. I’m sure we’ll breeze right through security! *sarcasm*

My instructions: remove car seats and move them to specific location, move stroller and all bags, remove shoes and child from baby carrier. All by myself. If I put my son on the ground he literally just runs away. I was about to tear up and it was only 10AM. Some dude even helped me get my shoe on finally.

Not sure why the TSA thinks I’m always smuggling drugs… I’m not that exciting. But really though, why me? After endless swabs, pokes and prods we’re finally set free. It doesn’t really feel like freedom though because now I’m stuck again. With a huge freaking stroller, 2 car seats, buck wild child and no husband in sight. But there was a bar in sight… mimosa please!

Chief living the dream on the airport floor #worldsokayestmom

Fast forward to the plane. Naturally, I went for the bargain tickets which mean Chief was stuck on my lap and we couldn’t reserve seats in advance. With Chief strapped on me in the Ergo-360 I find my spot. There’s an open seat next to me. As passengers file on I keep silently praying it’s not the old dude with long beard, 20 something frat boy or the polished business man that’s going to be our neighbor. I’m also not oblivious to the fact these men probably feel the exact same way. Luckily my husband and daughter are across the aisle from me. I keep shooting him looks as boarders pass us. Please God! *stares towards the heavens*.

At last a young woman stops. It’s her lucky day. 😬 I find out later she’s my age and has 2 kids. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in coincidences.

Looking much more peaceful than we feel 

We take off. It’s approximately toddler nap time. Perfect. I’m sure they’ll sleep like angels the whole flight. Or try, NOT AT ALL. At this point, I just want Chief to be quiet. Peach too. That seems easier at this rate while my husbands tossing fruit snacks at her as fast as her grimy hands can grab them.

Our seats are cramped and Chief is wiggling all over. As soon as I can, I order an overpriced cocktail. The flight attendant must feel for me. She doesn’t charge me. (There are angels among us!)

I figure Chief and Peach must need to wet their whistles so I grab the Camelbak and Contigos. *pop* I open the tops and you’d think you were at Niagara Falls. Water starts spraying out in a huge fountain up in the air. It just keeps coming and I can’t seem to control it. Not many were spared. Including the grumpy business man and a couple spring breakers in the row ahead. I offer up my flimsy cocktail napkin as a sorry-feel bad for me-gesture. My hub and I start the nervous laughter… if you know me, more like hysterical laugh-crying. *chugs lukewarm vodka soda*.

Peach needs to pee. Thank you, God,she told us. Husband and I take turns bringing her to the toilet. We’ve been in 4 times now. She’s too scared to go. It’s loud. It’s dark. It’s cramped. Heck, I’m scared too. Where exactly does the pee go when you flush?… Note worthy- the bathroom was up through first class where we repeatedly had to pass by Afroman. *because I got high…* (probably should have gotten high before this 😉)

The flight attendant walks by. I order another drink. She mixes it for me and doesn’t charge again. I’m thinking she must be a mom. I could kiss her.

At last, I get Chief to fall asleep. But now it’s time to prepare to land. Another attendant tells me he can’t be in the carrier and I have to unclip him. No! Please no! He finally fell asleep and I’m quite certain the whole entire plane is really happy about that.

Well, I oblige and free him. He’s still sleeping! Until, my arm rest comes flinging down and smashes his head. Insert scream-crying, over tired 14 month old.

Just get me To. The. Beach.

Pic from the airport right when we landed. Freedom!

To be continued…(flight home in Part 2)

✈️🏖-TBHM Hilary

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