Feel It Friday

Fridays are reserved for feeling!

Today has been full of sensory play and fresh air! The weather here in Cali is still pretty nice so Bean & I took advantage by picking some tomatoes from our garden and then playing with this quick & easy sensory tray I made 👩🏾‍🔬

My grandma was cleaning out the silverware drawer last night and Beanie took a particular liking to this old silverware tray so we reused it today got our sensory play! The multiple slots made for an even more engaging and challenging play experience as she had to figure out how to position her hands and toys to remove and replace them.

Anywho! It took me all of about five minutes to make this sensory tray so here are the details:

For the colored rice, I just took some plain white rice, a dash of water, and some yellow and red food paint and mixed it together! The water beads were purchased at my local dollar tree and after adding some water and yellow food coloring they were ready to sit for about 4-6 hours. I did them overnight so they would be good and ready for us the next day! While on one of my weekly trips to Dollar Tree, I also snagged those super cool eyeballs, foam (and glittery!) skeleton heads, faux vampire teeth, AND the animals! I then threw them all in the tray and outside we went!

P.S., The water color play was just some water and the Crayola Bath Fizzies but food coloring would have worked just as well!

As you can see, Miss Bean had a world of fun and this actually held her attention for about 20 minutes. Once she realized the eyeballs could bounce we were on to the next activity- bouncing and chasing eyeballs!

If you try this activity, I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on Instagram @ THEHOTYOUNGMOM 😊 Enjoy your play!

Fall Family Fun

The weather is changing so y’all know what that means; it’s my favorite season! I love all things fall and I’m so glad my Beanie is finally old enough to engage in some fall fun. Below is a list of some toddler-approved, family fun fall activities we love and will be engaging in. Comment below and tell me what your favorite activities are!

Go to a pumpkin patch. Pumpkin patches are generally low cost, visually and sensory stimulating, family fun. I love going and picking my own pumpkins to carve! Some pumpkin patches go all out and include hay rides, corn mazes, and even a small farmer’s market.

Find a local childcare fall festival and stop by to support them! Seriously, go. They are usually so much fun and the staff puts so much time and effort into them.

Fall fests are often hosted by a local organization and are loads of fun; equipped with games, face painting, door prizes, and even enterainment. Yelp or Google a local one and check it out!

School’s sometimes host their own haunted houses and I remeber always having so much fun at our annual ones. It was even more being on the planning committee and watching my community members enjoy our efforts.

Trunk or treats held at local churches are often safe and simple fun that require you just showing up, basically lol.

Bike ride or a picnic. Or both! The weather is nice enough to throw on a light sweater and be out almost all day.

Boo at the Zoo was always super fun for my family, especially on the weekends when costumes are encouraged- and allowed! It’s a fun first time zoo experience for family members of all ages.

I hope these ideas come in handy when you’re trying to plan your next family outing! Let me know, in the comments below or on Instagram THEHOTYOUNGMOM, if you’re going to partake in any fall themed fun!

Hey BOO!

It’s nearly Halloween and for the first time in YEARS, I am excited about the holidays again! In the spirit of passing the joy and giving my baby a memorable Halloween, I have come up with the idea to “Boo” my village. Well… in a way.

So, the tradition of the Halloween “Boo” game was first introduced to me by one of my favorite aunts. It is usually a community game, held only in the neighborhood in which you live and “played” by your neighbors. Well, Bean and I don’t really have neighbors so we’re going to do this Sisters of the Traveling Pants style!

If you’ve never heard of the sisterhood let me explain it to you real quick. There’s a group of women who all will share a pair of pants- how this ever worked I still don’t know- as they travel through life and distance tries to separate them. The pants are their anchor; the buckets (or boxes) will be our anchor. In our version, each family will be paired with another family to “Boo”. The spending limit is dependent upon each family’s budget and will be discussed between the pairs. If you are interested in participating, download the attached PDF and then please send you and your child, or childrens’, names to DESTTHEHYM@GMAIL.COM for further details.

One anddd…Nowhere near done!

Custom bday shirt from Life’s A Stitch on Etsy!

And just like that, my baby girl is 1! I’m still trying to process that and deal with the fact that a year ago I was in labor-barely conscious-and birthing this beautiful girl.

A weekend (or two, lol) ago, we celebrated Beanie’s first birthday!! In keeping with my family tradition, we hosted two parties for my sweet girl- a virtual and in-person party. I was extremely nervous about hosting an in-person party so I bought ALL of the masks, sanitizer, clorox wipes, and lysol sprays I could find and pushed through. In hindsight, we needed that moment. I needed to feel secure in my village and Bean needed to play with some people her own age… well, she needed to play with some kids LOL. We don’t have much family who’s in that 1-3 age range but with the way my baby was keeping up, you’d never be able to tell!

Slide, baby, slide!

For the in-person party, we gathered at a local park and I did some simple table decorations and balloons. I managed to find an entire party set on Amazon and just used that as the base of our decor then used another table cloth for the gift table. The balloon decorations consisted of these really cool 34″ (or 35″, I can’t remeber lol) Queen Poppy balloons that my mom found at Walmart for TWO DOLLARS!! Plus these really sturdy themed balloons that we used as signifiers for our guests to find us. The number 1 balloon from that set was honestly my favorite and has since turned into one of Bean’s favorite wrestling competitors LOL. For some of the party favors, I took these colorful buckets from Party City and my Cricut Joy and created some simple and cute “Trolls”. Since we had a small number of female guests, I also created some party favors from these really cute Trolls World Tour themed lunchboxes I’d found at the 99 Cent store. I filled every favor with themed PEZ dispensers– there were was only one Queen Barb & that sucked but overall, 10/10!-, a sticker sheet, a small bag of candy, a magic towel, and a sticker story, puzzle, coloring sheet and crayons/markers, or a mini suncatcher kit. I found the fillings at my favorite Dollar Trees. For our “VIP” guests (aka, whoever grabbed it + Bean) I threw in these really cute sunglasses masks from the 99 Cents Store. I paid $3.99 for them; 2 Queen Poppy and 1 Branch.

Since it was a park party and I figured the kids would be more interested in running around than eating, I kept the food simple. My mom & I made some turkey, or ham, and cheese wraps and sandwiches, stuffed them with lettuce and called it a day! I sent my grandma to Costco for chips, Capri-suns, and mini water bottles for their snacking pleasure and never even had to use any of the plates and cups we bought lol. In addition to the food, my troll-tally awesome grandma made these SUPER good sugar cookies using this recipe from Wilton’s and I ran to our local grocery store for some “Unicorn” cupcakes. The actual cake didn’t arrive till the next day but it actually ended up being perfectly timed!

Sunday was Beanie’s actual birthday so we celebrated with a Zoom party for our distant family. Initially, I had this entire super detailed plan for it but after that first party I was TAPPED OUT!!

We took an empty corner of our sun room and hung a custom made banner, the same “1” and Queen Poppy balloons from Saturday’s party, a pink table cloth and a helium rainbow balloon and had our setup. Since I forgot to make her the highchair banner I actually envisioned, I quickly made some Trolls cutouts with my Cricut and stuck them to the front of her highchair literally seconds before logging onto Zoom lolol!!

The setup & a gift from one of her aunties!

The actual party lasted about an hour and consisted of her father helping her open presents, a birthday song, and a glorious cake smash! The cake (and popcorn) was made by my auntie Just A Tee Spoon and was a marble cake with a whipped cream frosting. The rainbow consisted of sour straws, the clouds marshmallows, and the “floor” was nerds. Let’s just say Bean was EXCITED and thorougly enjoyed smashing her cake! There were two flavors of popcorn; strawberry cheesecake and cookies & cream.

To round out her birthday, we went to my aunt’s house to swim and enjoy some super fun time in the water! Bean absolutely loves water and swimming AND family time so she had the actual time of her life and I think it’s safe to say she enjoyed her first birthday weekend! As an added bonus, we found this HUGE lime growing on a tree and Bean got to taste the zest of a lime for the first time.

Pool nursing & giant limes

To finalize this long-awaited birthday blog, here are some final details and photos from my baby girl’s first birthday!

My hair was Queen Poppy inspired and accomplished with some hair wax, Pump It Up!, and a whole lotta bobby pins. I found my overalls and shirt, Bean’s shorts, at Target and Bean’s dad’s headband and her tennis shoes were found at Walmart. My earrings are TheNu Bamboo and can be found on https://thenubamboo.com/

Bean’s dad, Bean, & me

All I Am… All I Was…

All I am is a mom; Mommy, Mama, Mom.

I have no other identity outside of “Mom”. I’ve lost the “hot” part of The Hot Young Mom. I’m just young and mom and I hate it. I’m losing my mind. I’m snapping and short and tired and just downright “not myself”.

The beauty is the fact that I can acknowledge this and name my feelings AND the source of them; the downfall is they’re mine so I have to sit with them. I have to sit in my anger and frustration and exhaustion and regret, fear, and jealousy and I have to call them by name and carry them with me- everywhere I go- and they’re a lot like my baby. These feelings, and Bean, they’re mine and I have to carry them everywhere I go; and that’s okay I suppose… until it’s not. Lately, it hasn’t been. I’m tired and I’m losing sight of the beauty in my ability to feel these feelings and call them by name; my Bean too. I’m forgetting just how grateful I am to have her and how much it took to even get her here- SO many long and lonely nights.

But, I’m tired and that’s all that I am and all that I’ve ever been. Tired, my synonym for: sad and depressed and lonely and ungratfeul and SCARED (Lord, am I more scared these days!) and just plain ole sad. I’ve been taking my vitamin D and seamoss and daily showers and trying to self-care it away but I am TIRED and I have nothing else to give. And yet, I muster up the strength everyday to give. Give my body, give my joy, give my gratefulness, give my strength, give my tired; everyday. Lord, I’m so tired of giving when I have nothing to give and I really really REALLY wish I was one of those moms; the ones who feel no guilt for taking breaks & “leaving them kids with they grandma”. LORD, I wish I was one of those moms… I think. I think that, in theory, I would love to be one of those diassociated moms who don’t mind abandoning their kids for a period of time because “they with they grandma, they good!” I think they carry a lot of guilt too but I also think they’re strong! It takes so much courage and strength to recognize when you’re spent and you have given it ALL and reach out for help. All the “we got your backs” in the world couldn’t give you that- ask me how I know.

I miss all that I was and I’m mourning all that I currently am… and it’s hard. It’s hard to be in a constant battle of joy and gratefulness and grieving and exhuastion because of this small human that you’re raising. I love my child and I would have her one hundred times over but I miss all that I was. I want to be more than I currently am, and, I suppose some day I wil be but for now, I’ll take the good with the bad and pray it works out in the end.

Get that BREAD, get that HEALING, and LEAVE

Alright so boom! I keep typing this and deleting it, writing it down then erasing it, and I’m tired of that so here it goes…

My child’s father treated me like absolute shit for the entire 9 months that I was pregnant. There, I said it. And I’m clenching my jaw as I’m typing this because I don’t want that to be the image that is forever associated with him; but it’s the truth. He ruined my pregnancy with his selfishness, immaturity, inconsistency, and just plain shittiness. (I almost put an LOL there but there is nothing funny about this.)

I found out I was pregnant on January 15, 2020. I called my 2 best friends, reveled in their excitement and anxiety, mixed it with mine, and then got the balls to ca- text Bean’s dad and tell him the news. His response was “we’ll get it handled” and from then on, I knew. I knew any decision I made next was going to have to be for me and me only; so I chose. I chose life and I chose Bean; he chose to take matters into his own hands and try to choose abortion. Planned Parenthood address after address, “I’m not ready” texts followed by “If you keep it, we’re breaking up” messages, paternity denial- the works. I chose Bean, by myself and for myself. And then, I had to shrink myself and downplay my certainty to keep him around. I spent the first 6 weeks of my pregnancy finding any and every excuse to justify my reason for not getting an abortion when “I don’t want to” should have been enough. I found myself texting him asking how he was doing when I was the one creating a life, scared to tell my family, anxious about even going full term with this child. I was the one texting him. I went to every doctor’s appointment alone, went out of my way to keep him and his family included, and still, I was the one texting him- begging him to be a family and a present partner and father.

I was always met with “I don’t want to catch you off guard at the hospital so I’m telling you now, I want a DNA test. I know you didn’t cheat but I still need to be sure.” or “Please don’t put me on child support” or “Nah, I’m not coming to put the crib up today cause I don’t feel like it. Can you do me this favor though?” And like a dummy, I would do the favor, in hopes that he’d come through for me and he never did. I spent 9 months carrying and growing a child, by myself, lonely as a muthaf^€%@ and he still refuses to see what he did in its entirety. And that’s (almost) okay now. Because I get it. It’s hard to be a good and present father when you’ve never had one. That’s not an excuse though or at least not one that I’m going to let fly.

My Bean deserves an active and present father, or father figure, and I will not let anyone deny her that experience- myself included. That means I finally have to post this and forgive him for making me feel the lonely and disconnect and disappointment that he made me feel almost a year ago. I have to continue to forgive him when he doesn’t show up in the ways that I expect him to or how I think he should. I gotta take the current good with the old bad and make it some kind of great so I don’t subconsciously taint their relationship. I have to tell her all his ugly AND mine and pray that she makes the best choices for herself; not for my selfish desires. I’m freeing myself to talk about my experience as often as possible because, although it’s not pretty, it’s mine and it’s apart of our story and you can’t tell a story without all of the chapters. So this is chapter 1: A Fresh Start.

Fast & Frustrated 9

Forty-five minutes. Forty! Five! MINUTES!!!!

That’s how long a trip to the movies with nine month old Bean lasted. Here I go calling myself enjoying a nice day out with my mom and aunt; thinking “long as I have snacks & boobs everything will be alright.” Chileeeeeee PLEASE!! Miss Bean showed her little black butt in that theater! All I wanted to do was watch Fast 9. I spent the opening credits walking up and down the theater hall, looking over my shoulder to try to catch glimpses of the movie. I ultimately gave up on trying to soothe her and push through my sensory overload- have movies always been that loud?!- and called my grandma to come and get us. When I say I was FRUSTRATED y’all! I felt defeated and like a failure; like that mom. Y’all know, the mom who “lets” her baby cry and scream and crawl all over the place when it’s “inappropriate”. WTF even is “appropriate” public behavior?!

Seriously though, it’s my fault. I knew better than to take her to the movies and I should’ve skewed my expectations and been realistic about my child’s personality and development. I often forget that, although Bean is pretty “advanced” for her age she is still only 9 months old. I often equate her frequent displays of intelligence to actual intelligence and I really need to stop. I’m putting high expectations on this sweet, smart infant and then becoming disappointed when such expectations are not met. That’s the thing about this whole conscious/gentle/positive parenting thing; it’s always forcing me to take a deep breath and be real with myself. There’s no way I really expected my little busy bee to sit through an entire movie, in a theater, with an array of people around. Hell, she doesn’t even sit through 5 minutes worth of Youtube videos. Except, I did. I did expect her to nurse to sleep and let me enjoy the movie and that was something I needed to do for ME! I needed that reality check and that reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, I’m going to have the be The Hot Young Mom from the house. And that’s a gut punch in and of itself but it’s the truth, and it’s the raw truth, and it is MY truth; and I’m okay with that.

If motherhood in a pandemic has taught me nothing else it has taught me how to be okay with being in the house and the “oddball out”. (I’m looking at all of you who judge me for not going out, btw!) The eighteen months have reminded me how resilient I am and have given me soooo much patience! I could’ve sat in that theater and somehow forced Bean to be quiet, probably by popping her excessively or some other archaic and abusive behavior, but I didn’t. I sent a heavily frustrated voice note to my closest friends and then I smiled at my Bean and put her on the concrete and we walked and laughed until my grandma came. And we were okay! The movies will always be there for me to watch, these sweet moments with my baby girl won’t so I’m going to switch my mindset to “Fast & Favored 9” and I’ll try the movie thing again when she’s about 5… years old LMAO!

The Hot Mom Meetup

Hi there!

The “Hot Mom Meetup” is my bi-weekly version of a Mommy and Me class. I have had absolutely NO luck finding a Mommy and Me class that is not gymnastics, swim, or “Mom you just stand here and occasionally interact” based; so, here we are.

We will meet at a park in or near California’s Bay Area, bi-weekly starting in July. We will be appropriately distanced as we watch our children play and interact amongst each other. There will be light refreshments and snacks served for both parents and children so you are not required to bring anything but you and your child, lol!

My goal through these meetups are to build long-lasting friendships for both myself and my daughter while also exposing her to a diverse range of cultures, outdoor activities, and environments. I am a village creator and a pillar in an array of villages and would love the opportunity to pour into my community and mothers around me through these meetups! Bean & I can not wait to meet you and your family!

If you are interested in attending, please email the following: you and your child(ren)’s name(s), ages, county of residence, dietary restrictions, and best form of contact to DESTTHEHYM@GMAIL.COM

Truth Time

My priorities are screwed. I’d rather spend time playing sims, scrolling instagram, and typing captions and blog posts in my notes app rather than posting them. Why? I feel unqualified to be a “mom blogger”. I feel like I’m too “new” to motherhood to have the audacity to sit and document our experiences; but 500 people have seen my blog. I can’t be THAT unqualified if my follower count and engagements are steadily growing. Somebody, somewhere out there needs to hear what I have to stay and if not now, when?

This is my accountability post. This is me reminding myself that there is no such thing as “unqualified” or “ready”. It’s either do or die; now or never. I’m giving myself permission to have the confidence of a man! Y’all know they have some CONFIDENCE okay? So, this is our comeback. This is me freeing myself from my imposter syndrome and taking baby steps with big leaps in between.

I am Destiny, THE Hot Young Mom, and it is SO nice to meet you all!

I do NOT like sharing

I do not like sharing. I have NEVER liked sharing; I still don’t like sharing.

This poses a problem in my co-parenting relationship and motherhood journey. I do not like sharing yet I brought a child into this world and committed myself to sharing her for the rest of her life. WHY did I do that?! I DO NOT LIKE SHARING!!!!!!!!

I, honestly, never thought Bean’s dad was going to be in her life so telling him I was standing firm in my decision to keep her seemed easy? Or like the right thing to do at the time? I don’t know; it felt good to do. To look someone who had initially rejected the idea of her in the eye and “flex my voice” and stand firm in my decision to keep her felt good! Made me feel confident, and free. Like “yeah, YOU don’t want her but I do and dammit Imma have her!” And then… he quickly changed his mind. He wanted her and he decided he was going to be a father, and an active one at that, and I was ECSTATIC! That felt even better: “Yassss! I don’t have to do this alone! Yessss, Imma have me a man AND a baby!” Except… that’s not what I really wanted.

I stopped seeing myself as a “typical” woman years ago. Dreams of marriage and babies and husbands and coming home from work to cook, clean, mother, and wife have LONG escaped my daydreams. I knew that when I got pregnant, I knew that when I thought I was going to have to do the whole single mom thing, and I knew that when I spent twelve hours in labor. So why, now, does it feel like some groundbreaking revelation about myself? Why do I feel guilty for wishing I would’ve carried and birthed Bean “in secret”? It’s what I really wanted once I saw those two pink lines- a baby. Me and that baby, alone.

I often vent to my friends like “I want Bean to have her dad and know him and I’m glad he’s around” but… I’m lying. I don’t really want that. Not for myself at least. I want to raise my daughter “alone”. I don’t want to have to share her. I didn’t want to give her his last name. If I could have, I would’ve stayed pregnant forever- to keep her close. I only keep him around for their sake; so my daughter can decide if she wants to know her father and build a relationship with him, on her own. Just as I did with my own father. I’ve allowed him the chance to get to know her, in some capacity; for selfish reasons too- so neither of them can ever say I “kept him/her from them”. More importantly, I owe it to her to know both of her parents and to foster relationships with us from her own perspective and with her own judgements. So, I swallow my feelings and I answer his calls and allow him to visit and send him pictures and videos of her as she grows; but man, I really wanna keep her to myself. And that feels good to finally say.