MKissa Creations

Life, Crafts and Kids in Vacation Land

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“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe PHILOSOPHER, SCIENTIST, AUTHOR

There is not another quote that can more accurately describe the last two years of our lives.

I can’t believe it has been almost a full year since we sold our home in Southern California and trekked across the country with our two girls to move to Coastal Maine. To help celebrate our first year here I have decided to start a small blog series about our move and our drive across the country. This entry might be considered “the boring post” it won’t been filled with hot tips, or tricks, but I figured some of you may want to know the story behind our move.

So, let’s start at the beginning. It was just an idea, the idea that, I, at some point in my life wanted to live on the East Coast. Before we were married, I had brought my husband, Michael, out to visit some of my family (that lives out here) for a couple of Thanksgivings and casually mentioned my idea. He liked it, but we were stuck in a house in Orange County due to the housing market fiasco of 2008, so it remained an idea.

Fast forward to 8 years, a wedding, and one daughter later… We planned to come out to the Boston area along with my sisters to bring our sweet girl to meet her Great Grandma. We decided to start checking out the coastal towns north of Boston that we might want to live in. We started looking for the perfect combination of affordable houses and great schools, we found it in Coastal Maine.

On our first trip we visited The Yorks and Portland. We fell in love with the state. We went back home to California with a renewed spirit and got to work on making our new dream come true. We wanted to have one more child while we still lived near both of our parents and were lucky that this time around it did not take us nearly as long to conceive and we welcomed our second little girl 21 months (to the day) after our first.

We took our new 3-month-old on a trip to the East Coast along with the rest of the family, to visit Maine again and attend my cousin’s wedding in Rhode Island. It was solidified, we were going to make it happen. We were going to move to Maine. We started thinking about dates, what made sense, what didn’t, what we wanted to see on our journey, and what it would be like traveling with two young kids for as long as the trip would take. The last of this list is where I found a severe lack of information from others who had done the same. Pinterest has lots of great lists for moving, and a lot of great lists for road trip activities for kids, but not all that much information on what it would be like to be without a home for a month.  So here I am, to share our experience with anyone who needs to, or wants to hear it.

Moving to another state without jobs was a scary thing to do, but almost necessary given our chosen industry. I was not sure that I wanted to stay at the management level, and line level service industry positions are not something you apply for while in another state, plus we did not have a specific timeline and did not want one either as we needed to sell our home to fund our journey.

Once we put our heads down and started working towards our goal, everything fell into place. We broke the news to a lot of our friends and family. Some understood, some did not. It was not easy to explain over and over again that Southern California was not a place that made sense for us to live anymore. It was a lot of work downsizing our belongings, saying goodbye to friends and family and getting our house on the market, but we did it. We sold our home and started our journey across the country.

Next up… How we planned our cross-country trip and what in the heck to bring with you when you won’t technically have a home for a month!


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What to Say When She’s Expecting

I seem to be going through another season of the women around me having children and after sending a couple of messages to my cousin I started thinking about how I always seem to pass the same things along to my pregnant friends and family. The advice I give to soon-to-be first time moms can seem a bit off to others. I’m not trying to come off as negative or scary, I’m not trying to freak them out, I’m trying to give them tools that no one ever gave me (I don’t blame this on anyone, I just want my friends and family to know what I experienced so they know I am there for them).


Getting close with baby #1 (2015)

People seem to like to say “get your sleep now, you won’t sleep once the baby comes.” Please DO NOT tell this to a 9-months pregnant woman who has been sleeping sitting up for the past three months because her heartburn is so bad, or who has tossed and turned all night every night for the past two months because she is both incredibly freaked out and totally uncomfortable. Pregnant women might be the most gracious and polite creatures on this planet, and to tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure how we do it. Perhaps responding to these types of comments is the practice that we are getting to deal with tiny tyrant toddlers. We bite our tongues to keep the sassy comments at bay and smile at those who supply them. Sometimes it slips out that we aren’t really sleeping well at the moment either, but it is usually rather politely. Which is surprising given we are trying to deal with the fact that we just don’t want to be pregnant anymore but are simultaneously scared to death of both the actual delivery of our child and the aftermath that comes with it.

Do you want to be helpful? Tell that woman the truth!

Tell her about the time you cried because your husband came home after work and asked you what you did today. You know what I did when my sweet husband asked me that when he came home to me and our sweet two-month-old? I bawled and said “nothing.” I truly felt like I had not done a thing that day. In between feedings, changes, trying to get a little sleep during her naps, and realizing that if I tried to do anything that took more than five minutes she would wake/need food/need a change while I was trying to get said thing accomplished. So rather than get frustrated that I was unable to complete tasks I wouldn’t start them. I would take a quick scroll through my phone, or put on a movie I had seen a million times before and zone out. My sweet sweet husband hugged me, kissed my forehead, wiped my tears and reminded me that I had kept our daughter alive and healthy ALL DAY and that she could not have done that on her own. (Of course, all of your days can’t be like that, life must go on, but some days, its okay if that is all that happens AND this was with my first, adjusting to new mom life is tough, and yes, when the second one comes around, you don’t get to just care for your child all day, your attention is demanded elsewhere).

Tell her about your struggles with nursing, about how you had to visit a lactation consultant. How it hurt so bad every time at the beginning of nursing that you cried through the first minute on each side, and that the second the baby was done you dreaded the next session. Let her know, she is not alone, and that the next week she will be an expert and it won’t hurt anymore (and if it still does, something is wrong and call her doctor). Encourage her not to give up. Give her hope.

Tell her these things BEFORE she has the baby, while her brain is clear, while she can remember that you said them, so that she knows to reach out to you when she is feeling bad/scared/crappy. In our world of happy Instagram and facebook photos it is sometimes hard to admit when things aren’t perfect it can be hard to ask for help and its hard to see what is normal.

Perhaps I am jaded, maybe this isn’t helpful at all and I will come off as super negative, but, please think a bit before you give advice to a soon-to-be-mom or any mom for that matter. We try to let go of the fears and pain we’ve felt in our lives and are often successful in forgetting those moments. That is how we get through life in general, we focus on the good things, and when it comes to our parenting life, the amazing children we have brought into this world. Try to remember what it was like when you didn’t have a clue what you were getting into. What would you have liked to have known the most? What is the most helpful thing anyone told you going into this major life event.