On December 8th, 2008, our whole world changed! Our son, Connor Kenneth Charles Zeiss, who was supposed to be born in March, decided to make an extra early appearance. He was born at 27 weeks gestational period. He weighed just 1 lb. 9 oz. He had several complications along the way, including two strokes, which were the biggest of our worries at the time.
He spent 35 days at Rady Children’s hospital in their NICU. The nurses there were absolutely amazing. The love and genuine kindness they exhibited during those extremely trying days were so very appreciated and much needed. Some sweet, older ladies knitted the Santa hat he’s wearing in the pictures below. We were given several homemade blankets from children, and other kind souls, knitted blankets, signs, cards and so much more. The blankets were wonderful and we used them to put on top of his isolette, to keep all of the lights and sounds out. We were so grateful for all of the things that were gifted to us. I have a plan in the very near future, to put together bags of necessities and essentials for future preemie parents to help them through their difficult times. Would you be willing to help with donations for my project? Please feel free to comment below if you’re interested. I’ll need some help to get my “boots on the ground”. I’ll be posting more about that very soon!
Although the drive back and forth from our home in San Marcos down to Rady Children’s was about 45 miles round trip, we were kind of sad to leave such wonderful care. He was then transferred to our local hospital, Palomar Medical Center, where he was just as well taken care of. The nurses there were just as gentle and caring and we were so appreciative to them as well for helping us put on the 4 lbs. 3 oz. we needed to bring him home. Yes, he needed to weight 6 whole pounds to be transported home!
We finally got to bring him home on February 23rd, 2009. And I need to mention that because of the risk of flu and other viruses, they shut the NICU down for the winter season. Unfortunately all family, including our daughter, who was only 7 at the time, were not able to see Connor until he got home. So his homecoming was extra special for us all.
ALL that being said, this day is always near and dear to us and we love to help celebrate the beautiful birth and life our “little guy”. The March of Dimes has a way you can donate should you feel obliged to!
I would love to hear your preemie stories if you have any! Feel free to leave a comment! Happy World Preemie Day!
Oh….and by the way, Connor is a happy, healthy, 11 and 3/4 old boy! And his sister really does still adore him!
We flew home from my brother-in-law’s wedding in Baltimore, MD on September 10th. Just one day before terrorists boarded US planes and crashed them into our precious landmarks.
My daughter was just 4 months old.
My husband had to be at work early, so he was up getting ready, and watching the news when the first plane hit. He came in to wake me up. We were watching the news live when the second plane hit. Shortly after, my husband left for work. But I sat and watched in horror as the events of the day unfolded. When the third place went down in PA. When the plane hit the Pentagon. I spent the whole day, and even the days and weeks after watching and waiting for news on any survivors. It was horrific, terrible, frightening, appalling, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
In the months, and honestly, years to follow, I couldn’t shake the feeling of sorrow and looming dread. I specifically remember sitting at a restaurant in Mission Valley with my Mom. It was a rainy day, and my sweet baby girl was sleeping in her car seat. I began to weep. It certainly was not the first, or last time I would cry over this. It was just so disconcerting to know that my baby was going to grow up in this world where people could have so much hate in their hearts. That they would have so much anger towards the United States, the country that we live in, that they would hijack our planes and try to destroy our country, our dignity and bring us down. I could only imagine how the people of New York, and those who suffered loss were feeling.
It has now been 19 years, and honestly, I can’t see that our world has changed much. People still hate and try to destroy one another. There is unrest in this world, and I am very scared. I now have an 11-year-old, and he’s living in this same, scary, divided world. We have a virus floating around that has taken lives, taken a toll on our economy, closed our businesses and schools, has kept us inside and away from the ones we love. And we can’t even hug anyone to make them feel better.
I am generally an optimist, I truly am. But I’m also a realist. I just don’t know how we’re going to get through these times. I wish I had some answers. I wish I could wave a magic wand and find the answers on uniting our country and humankind.
But unfortunately, I don’t. So, I will continue to be a good person. I will continue to be kind and teach my children to be kind and helpful and upstanding citizens. We will give more than we take. We will treat each and every person with dignity and respect. We see no color, and we will love one another and make a difference in this world. For now, this is all we can do.
Growing up, I always wanted to be Wonder Woman! I had the Underoo’s, and I was her for Halloween one year too. (As was my Dad! Lol!) I used to spin around and around until I was dizzy, hoping to have her superpowers when I stopped!
Little did I know that one day, I would grow up to be a Wife, a Mom and a business owner. There are so many things women do that make them wonder women! Raising children, working while raising children, having the patience to stay home with their children, having high powered careers, making it on their own financially, owning their own businesses, organizing & maintaining households, keeping up with various schedules, cooking, cleaning, caring for others, taxi drivers… and the list goes on.
I love every minute of being a Wonder Woman! It takes a lot of work and often times goes unrewarded and unrecognized. But today is a great day to tell every woman out there, how wonderful you are. No matter what category you fall into, you are beautiful, perfect and important! YOU ARE WONDER WOMAN!
Today, November 13, 2020 is World Kindness Day! This is one of my favorite days of the year, because I’m a big fan of being kind, teaching others to be kind and kindness in general. I mean who isn’t? Well, unfortunately, not everyone is. This pandemic has brought out both the best and worst sides of people. It’s just the world we live in these days. But the only thing I can do about it, is spread the word and attempt to live my life being kind. I feel I’ve taught my kids to be kind at home with their words, and actions and at school as well. I teach them to go the extra mile. Hold the door open a little longer, pick up something someone dropped, give compliments, reach out to your Grandparents just to say “hello”, and smile! Such easy stuff! And I hope they teach their children to be kind as well.
So on this day, I thought I would share a little bit about what World Kindness day is from Inspire Kindness. Plus, us adults need a reminder from time to time to just SLOW DOWN and do something nice for someone now and again!
World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, has the purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.
Ways to Be Kind
Here’s a quick list also by Inspire Kindness:
“Being kind doesn’t need to look or be extravagant. Sometimes the simplest things make the most significant difference! Here are a few simple ideas and ways to be helpful on World Kindness Day in the workplace, at school, with your loved ones, or even while out running errands. Look for opportunities while you go through your day to infuse kindness into someone’s day. It’ll change their day and yours for the better!”
Smile when you walk by others
Write positive messages on post-it notes and leave them for people to find
Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while
Tidy up around your house
Pick up trash you see on the ground outside and throw it in a garbage can
Hold the door open for someone
Chat with a stranger and ask them about their day
Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal
Send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
Surprise someone with flowers
Tell a family member or friend you love them
Write a note on the receipt at a restaurant for your server
Offer to help with someone’s errands
Give a surprise gift to someone you care about
Send a kind card or note to a friend
Surprise co-workers with home-baked cookies or treats
Plant a tree
Spend less time on your phone and more time with people you care about
Organize a workplace giving campaign
Offer a classmate help with homework
Talk to someone new
Give someone a hug
These all sound like some pretty easy ways to be kind! So get out there, (the day isn’t over yet!) and spread some KINDNESS & enjoy the rest of your day!
“There are not words big enough. There is not a hug strong enough. There is not a smile wide enough. All I can offer is thank you. You are my hero. You are in my thoughts. You are in my prayers. For all you’ve done, thank you.” – Author Unknown
I cannot begin to tell you how patriotic I am! I feel like I bleed red, white and blue. I love seeing our beautiful flag, blowing in the wind and take pictures of them frequently. I cry when I hear the National Anthem. Every. Single. Time. I’m not sure why. I don’t come from a huge line of men and women that have served, but there were enough to know that I most certainly appreciate all that do.
I have friends whose husbands’ have deployed and have shared their stories of how they were left alone to take care of their babies, and figure out how to pay the bills, and work, (because their husbands are under-paid) and run a household, ALL ALONE, for months at a time.
I’ve heard the horror stories of those who have come back from war. All the hate, and sorrow, death and ugly, living in the back of their tired minds, while trying to put on happy faces for friends and loved ones. And how extremely difficult it is to come back home, and have to be “normal”. Nightmares, depression and PTSD, are just a few of the affects of being in active battle. And they do it because most of them CHOSE to. For their Country.
As a civilian, I can only imagine how it must feel to wave your husband or wife off, while being left alone. I can only imagine what it is like to go off to fight for what you believe in, to fight people who wish to destroy our country. I can only imagine the pain of leaving loved ones, and the joy of coming home to them. I appreciate each and every single one of your. Mother’s, Father’s, Daughter’s, Sister’s, Brother’s, and precious children. Every single one of them! God Bless you!
I’m finally getting around to posting a bit more about my trip to Santa Barbara. As I mentioned in a previous post, State Street has been closed to all vehicular traffic. It’s so nice because pedestrians can now walk through the middle of town to shop, enjoy a nice stroll, and check out all of the amazing cuisine Santa Barbara has to offer. My trip was in June, so I’m really hoping everything will stay open for a while. Restaurants have been given the opportunity to expand over to sidewalks and into the street to accommodate restaurant owners and diners alike. My Mom and I had a chance to stop in for a quick drink at Institution Ale Company. We found the perfect spot under a gorgeous shade tree. I initially thought they only served beer, but once I got inside to order, I realized they sell wine as well. But we decided to just go with a nice lager to change it up. While I waited for our beers, I decided to snap some pictures of this cute “little” place. It ended up being a lot bigger than I thought. There was a whole, entire back room with some table games, video games and an entire back patio. Who knew? We sat out front and enjoyed our beer, while we people watching and also observed some pretty amazing food being served. The pizza smelled like heaven and the salads… they’re HUGE! We had already had lunch, but we’ll most definitely be back again with the rest of our squad for some pizza and drinks. Check out Institution Ale Company, (beer brewed out of Camarillo, CA) on their website: InstitutionAles.com! Check back soon for more adventures and pictures of beautiful Santa Barbara!
Because I have a tension for detail! Bah-duh-duh! Ha, ha… Okay, so it’s cheesy, but at least had to make a quick joke about it!
I feel so bad for falling off the map! I enjoy so much conversing with my friends here on Instagram. I feel a great sense of community here. But, once again, stress has made me want to just shut down. I have post ideas, and even take the pictures for them, but with the work of my “other job”, my posts get pushed by the wayside. I always feel like I need to write something funny or witty or deep, and then nothing gets written at all.
My other job is my own business, managing social media for other people. Sometimes I create these incredible posts for my clients, and then can’t even get to my own posts! Frustration level 1000!
Additionally, trying to balance work and home, especially when everyone is home, has been a struggle for me. And I’m sure every other Mom or Dad with children, trying to work from home. I’m feeling frustrated, because I would love to quit my day job and just work on my blog and this business. It would be a dream to be able to put my ALL into writing and creating and doing what I want. But right now, I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions…. A mother, a teacher, a wife, a business owner, a creative person being stifled by doing so many things that are not my passion.
I suppose it’s not much different from any other time, but it seems exacerbated by the fact that there aren’t as many opportunities to release the frustration. I can’t go see my Mom or my friends from home. I need to get out of my own space to clear my head and unfortunately, there’s no where to go!
But I know I’m NOT ALONE. And neither are you! If you’re feeling the same way, drop me a line. It might be nice to talk with others who are feeling the same. Perhaps you have some ideas for relieving some of the stresses of this weird time in our lives. Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I found this great article on Medical News Today with some great stress-relieving foods & drink. I like a lot of these foods, so I’m going to be adding them to my shopping list this week. If there is any way we can get rid of just a little bit of stress, we all win, right? Plus, dark chocolate? Yes please!
Try to keep positive and be sure to live each cay to the fullest!
With the long, President’s Day weekend ahead of me last week, I decided to head to Westlake Village, Ca and visit some of my friends and family. As always, I had a great trip home! After a great lunch with my Mom & Dad in Oxnard, I was able to go see my brother’s place in Port Hueneme. He lives right at the end of the naval base and has the most stunning view of the ocean from his beautifully remodeled condo.
Later that evening, I was able to connect with my girlfriends from high school, where we attended the First Annual Valentine Wine Hop! For just $40, my friend and I each received a five-flight tasting at three separate wineries. Plus, we received 25% off any bottle of wine we decided to purchase that evening. What a great deal!
Our first stop was Lucas Sellers. Located in a little industrial area of Moorpark, CA. This place was absolutely adorable! We honestly could have stayed there ALL night. Not only was it adorable, but we enjoyed the wines and the overall ambiance. It was so quaint and cozy, with comfortable couches and seating areas set up all over the place. The place is also family friendly (babies and kids welcome!), the staff was super sweet and knowledgeable, and a band was getting ready to set up as we were leaving. I can’t wait to go back again. We may never leave!
Another bonus for me in this location, is that there is a brewery across the way called Enegren Brewing. My hubby doesn’t drink wine, so it would be a perfect place to hang out, as there are picnic tables between the two places where you can enjoy beer and wine together. Unfortunately, you can’t bring beer into the winery, or wine into the brewery due to licensing restrictions, but the “in between” section covers it so we could easily hang out together. There was also a food truck so you can grab some nibbles during your visit.
Our second stop was McGregor’s Craft Beer & Wine. This place was great too! This is located in a quaint little strip mall, also in Moorpark. There was a great little bar for tasting, games and plenty of seating for our group, as we collected a few more friends along the way. We ordered an amazing charcutterie board, a flat bread pizza that was absolutely to die for and of course… our wine flight, which was also amazing. We even brought home a nice bottle of Chardonnay. Also a huge plus for me, was their fabulous selection of craft beers. I would highly recommend this for any fun date night! At this point in the evening, I admit, I forgot to take more pictures. But I did snap a pic of our beautiful wine flight and the yummy chocolates they provided as a palate cleanser. It was really good too!
We unfortunately started too late to make it to the last winery, Cavaletti Vineyards, and I’m super bummed about that! But I promise to make it back soon and check it out!
I’m so blessed to have had such and fun and productive trip. I was able to help out my Mother in Law with some stuff around her house, see both my Mom and Dad AND one of my brother’s, and on Sunday, I was able to see all three of my nephew’s, their wives, two great-nephew’s and meet (and hold) my great-niece, who is just as cute as a button! I thank God for my friends and family every day. They’re the ones who get me through!
“If I cannot do great things, I cando small thingsin a great way.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yes!! This quote is so perfect for me. I always say, “if I had more money”, I could do so much more to help! But I need (we all need), to remember that we don’t need to have money to volunteer time, we don’t need money to help raise money to help others, we don’t need money to just give someone a hug, or a compliment, and we certainly don’t need money to be kind. It’s easy to get caught up in the whole “money” thing. So this year, I will be doing many small things that will still make a difference in my community and hopefully help others.
When I started this blog, I said I wanted to get my stories out there and I wanted to figure out a way to make a difference. The first thing I am planning as a way to help and give back, are “care packages”, if you will, for parents of children in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Being a NICU parent myself, 11 years ago, there are so many thoughts going through your mind, you can barely remember to breath, let alone remember what to bring with you for your hours away from home, waiting to hold your baby in a hospital. I thought really hard about what might have been nice to have around while we were visiting our baby boy, and I’ve found some items that would have been perfect to have on hand, in my car or in my purse that would have been helpful during those stressful times. That is my goal in giving back, in small ways to start, and maybe even bigger in the future.
So very well said, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr! You were a kind and wise man! Thank you!
If you were fortunate enough to have the day off to celebrate, I hope it was a great day!