Month: August 2016

<span class="entry-title-primary">Racing Against the Clock</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">and Stopping It with Milestone Original Baby Cards</span>

Racing Against the Clock and Stopping It with Milestone Original Baby Cards

The concept of time, and more specifically the passing of time, is pretty universal. I know many of my conversations these days include some form of, “time is going by WAY too quickly.!!” And I know I am not alone. I can say, without a […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">Why I Won’t Let My Mom Hair Define Me</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">My Fantasy Hair Review</span>

Why I Won’t Let My Mom Hair Define Me My Fantasy Hair Review

There is a pretty long standing joke among women about the “mom haircut”. (Mom hair, mom cut, mom do… you get the idea…) Some men may even be aware of this joke, especially now that Saturday Night Live has done a (pretty hilarious) skit about […]

When It Rains, It Pours

When It Rains, It Pours

“When it rains, it pours.”

Many of you may have noticed that I haven’t exactly been around very much in the last week or so on the oh-so-wonderful world wide web.

I have to say, the last 7 days have been… well not good… I mean, I guess I could say that, but then that gets us talking about the entire idea of how to measure our lives. What kind of scale could we possibly use to determine whether or not we are having a good or bad day, week, month, life?

Well let me share with you some of the “misfortune” we have had over the last week.

  1. We got denied for our home equity loan, solely because of me and my past. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have been a complete and utter moron in the past when it comes to finances, and really financial responsibility in general. In this particular instance, at the age of 20 I bought an Audi that was beyond my means. I could not afford it and eventually I called the bank and told them where the car was, and to pick it up because I could no longer make the payments. (That’s just a nice way of saying the car was repossessed.) Yup I have a repossession on my credit. However, we were under the impression that since it was well over the 7-year limit, that it could not currently affect our situation. WRONG. The credit union didn’t apply this derogatory mark to my credit history until 2013 (6 years AFTER the repossession) and therefor we have another 4 years until it is gone… So after jumping through hoops for 2 months with the bank, we were denied. The reason this is so heart breaking, is that we were going to use the loan to pay off my student loans. Many of which are private, at 10% interest and the company refuses to consolidate. I have currently payed Sallie Mae/Navient over $30,000 dollars in the last 3 years… on INTEREST ONLY. And frankly, it is getting to be too much. I understand that I am responsible for the repayment of these loans, however when your payments are $1,300 a month, and the majority of that isn’t even being applied to your principle… you are basically drowning. Needless to say, this was a huge blow.
  2. I ruined part of our brand new oven. Now again, for those of you that know me in real life, you are also aware of my domestic handicaps. “Domestically challenged” is how I like to refer to it. Reality is, I am not awesome at the household chore side of things. However, I am slowly but surely getting better… or so I thought. Here I am thinking to myself, “Oh look! I’ll just lay this foil down right here at the bottom and none of the sugary juice from the sweet potatoes will leak out and cause smoke and a mess, and the oven will stay all nice!! Nathan will be so happy!” WRONG. Soooo, did anyone else know that you aren’t suppose to put tin foil in the bottom of your oven? No? Ok good me neither… Apparently it heats up too high and melts to the bottom. So, yeah… don’t do that.
  3. We had our first minor scare with Reef that required a Doctors visit. Saturday morning we woke up and our little boy had some pink spots in his abnormally dry diaper. We did our best not to panic, called our pediatrician and luckily they got us in within the hour so the nurse practitioner could take a look at him. It turns out he was just a little bit dehydrated from starting rice cereal and we need to give him some small bottles with water after he eats. So the good news is that it was nothing serious. The bad news is that it really threw us off our game this weekend. We stuck very close to home all weekend but our little man was really not himself and spent most of Sunday screaming and upset. L
  4. Our wonderful family/friends Brad and Victoria left. And that just plain sucks. No explanation needed.
  5. Nathan Puked. Yesterday Nathan got stomach sick and ended up throwing up while trying to take care of Reef. I couldn’t be there because I was at the office for my mandatory one day a week. However, all this did was leave me stressing out for the entire day that Nathan wasn’t well, and in turn wouldn’t be able to care for Reef. STRESSFUL.
  6. Mosquitos ATTACKED. Last night while Nathan was at work, Reef and I went to bed. While we were asleep, before Nathan got home, I believe the screen door was blown open by the wind. (Nathan thinks he left it open but I’m 99.9% positive it was shut.) And mosquitos swarmed our room. By the time Nathan realized what had happened and moved us downstairs it was too late. Poor Reef was completely eaten alive by them. At least 20 bites on his poor little baby head. He looks like poor Thomas Jay from the movie My Girl and it has been making me feel completely hysterical all day.

So those are really the most major things that have been pretty detrimental to my mood.

I wanted to share this because I think it is really important to keep things in perspective. So much of what we share from our day to day is the shiny, polished, happy moments. But realistically, things can’t always be perfect, and sometimes, ish happens.

I think the most important thing to take from the misfortune, is not the misfortune itself. But rather, how we handle it.

While the past week has been ROUGH (to say the least) it has definitely brought my husband and I closer together.

We just need to rally to figure things out financially. The loan would have definitely made things easier, but we will be OK without it.

We put our heads together to try and fix the oven, and it turns out to be more of a cosmetic issue than a mechanical one. Phew!

While we miss Brad and Victoria desperately, we need to be able to stand on our own and form a solid routine for our family that works with both of our work schedules. This wouldn’t be possible with all of their help (no matter how WONDERFUL and COMPLETELY APPRECIATED it may be 😉 )

Luckily Nathan seems to be feeling much, much better today.

And we are showering our little man with absolutely all of the love and attention we can while he isn’t feeling tip top.

And the mosquitos? Well I’m sorry but they are just a serious glitch on Gods part and we will have to be super diligent in making sure all the screens are always shut from now on!!

Of course, all of this has really limited my time spent on the blog and social media, however I will be doing my best to catch up and get back to everyone. (But since I’m writing this on my lunch break it certainly might take a little while!!)

Thanks everyone for your patience and support. And don’t worry, The Botts Family will be back at 100% before you know it!!

Has anyone else had some rough patches lately? Please share in the comments below,









8 Things That Living in Hawaii for 8 Years Has Taught Me

8 Things That Living in Hawaii for 8 Years Has Taught Me

Hawaii. To most people it is a fantasy. A dream destination that they talk about visiting “one day”. Well today is my anniversary. Not of a job, or a kiss. First date or wedding. Today marks 8 years since I moved to Hawaii and I’ll […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">Celebrating National S’mores Day with S’mores Cheesecake!</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Because If A Holiday Doesn't Center Around Chocolate, Is It Really a Holiday?</span>

Celebrating National S’mores Day with S’mores Cheesecake! Because If A Holiday Doesn't Center Around Chocolate, Is It Really a Holiday?

For those of you who hadn’t heard the news (and I’m sure there are one or two of you who haven’t) today is National S’mores Day!! And to celebrate this gloriousness that is a holiday we are going to make a S’mores Cheesecake that is […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">Kids Activities in Hawaii</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">THE SANDBAR</span>

Kids Activities in Hawaii THE SANDBAR



Kids Activities in Hawaii

Welcome to Week 6 of our Summer Activities List or Kids Activities in Hawaii!!

Unfortunately, we skipped last week due to an action packed schedule!! (Sorry! We will try to make it up with two posts this week 🙂 )

I truly cannot believe how quickly the summer is flying by!! And especially considering our saving graces Brad and Victoria are leaving this week! 🙁  (I am in a weird sort of denial about it but I’m sure I’ll have a slight breakdown on Thursday)

So, in case you missed our first five adventures, please check them out here:

  1. Aquarium
  2. Farmers Market
  3. Buddhist Temple
  4. Polo
  5. Nighttime Concert at the Zoo

And for those of you who might just be joining us… Summer is WELL upon us! And as a former nanny and new mommy, I know what an exciting, special and sometimes terrifying time this can be. But the good news is, you have made it (relatively) unscathed and the school year is almost here!

Hopefully, we were able to help you occupy your little ones for an entire summer so far!!

And better yet, hopefully, we helped you do so without wanting to throw yourself on the ground and let out a cry that would rival only the evilest of children, Caillou. (I’m sorry but I know I’m not alone here, that kid is kind of the devil.)

Because let’s face it, there are adult-summer-activities, and there are children’s-summer-activities.

But then, somewhere in a Magical-World-of-Harry Potter-esque middle ground, there are a group of activities that both you AND your little ones will love to do. And I’m here to help you find them!! So since we have had so much fun so far, I will continue to post 1 activity per week in this little segment, to run through-out the short remainder of the summer.

I seriously can’t believe we are a week into August!! Time flies far too quickly for my liking. But at least we are having some fun!!

This week is another really fun, and unique activity that takes place during the summer. Now, this activity is definitely more Hawaii based, however, I am sure that it can translate very well into other applicable areas!!


THE SANDBAR – Renting a Pontoon Boat

This past weekend Reef, Myself, Brad and Victoria took a trip to (in my humble opinion) one of the most absolutely gorgeous places on this island that we call home. And once again Brad and Victoria introduced me to a brand new activity that is so prevalent on this island but is something that I have never gotten the opportunity to experience. (At least not sober… hey we all had pre-baby lives…)

And again, as usual, they invited us to come and partake in their fun activity with the little man!!

So the unique thing about the sandbar in Hawaii is that when you go out there you can literally just walk around. In the middle of the ocean. It’s so incredible!! And if you live on the island of Oahu then chances are you are friends with someone in the military. AND on this island, members of the military are able to rent these incredible pontoon boats from the Marine Corps Base after completing a one-day boating licensing course. The 10 passenger pontoon rents for $140 for 4 hours, $14 dollars per person is an AMAZING price for a priceless afternoon! Now I can only assume that there are similar programs at other bases all over the country!! (You can check the boats on our base out here.)

If you can find one in your area I highly recommend you go and here’s why:

  1. Outdoors– Again! Our main theme of the summer! It’s a great way to get the kids OUTSIDE. And not just outside, but outside on the water!! And one of the great parts of the pontoon boats is that they have covered sections to help get the kids out of the sun for a bit so there isn’t a huge concern of them just baking in the sun for four hours if they aren’t up for it.
  2. It’s cheap! As I mentioned, $14 per person per 4-hour rental! That is amazing!! It’s less that plopping them in a seat at the movies!
  3. The pontoons are nice and big and can fit 10 people AS WELL as stand up paddle boards, food, AND beverages. And one of my favorite things is that they are nice, slow and safe. It makes it a wonderful day out on the water that will absolutely get some exercise for everyone!! Swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, even wind surfing! 
  4. And finally, it is LITERALLY fun for all ages! Teeny tiny babies like my bub, all the way up to “adults” like me can take something away from this. And let’s be realistic who wouldn’t want to dip their feet in that crystal clear water!!

As a side note, SUNSCREEN!! Hats! Towels!! and lots and lots of water. And now I will leave you with an obscene amount of pictures!!! 🙂




The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.




<span class="entry-title-primary">9 Ways Babies are Basically Zombies</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">AND THE 3 BEST TEETHING TOYS TO CONTAIN THEM (the babies, not the zombies)</span>

9 Ways Babies are Basically Zombies AND THE 3 BEST TEETHING TOYS TO CONTAIN THEM (the babies, not the zombies)

  If there is one thing my generation loves, it is zombies.   Seriously, they are everywhere. I, for one, am personally obsessed with The Walking Dead. (If you don’t watch it, you really should.)   And, at this age, it seems that everyone is […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">An Impromptu “Bring Daddy and Baby to Work” Day</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">HOW QUICKLY PLANS CHANGE WHEN TRYING TO EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEED</span>


As many of you out there know, when you are a working mom, trying to breastfeed is tough. Really, really tough. Actually one-of-the-toughest-things-I-have-ever-tried-to-do, tough. And I am one of the lucky ones because I have a great support system at home. Furthermore, I work from home […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">How I Turned My Back On My Baby</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">and why it was a positive thing. </span>

How I Turned My Back On My Baby and why it was a positive thing.

Thank you to DockATot for gifting us our DockATot Grande.  As always all thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

“Are you ready?”

“Are you scared?”

“Is your hospital bag packed?”

“Will you breastfeed?”

“Is his nursery ready?”

“Where is he going to sleep?”

Of all the (moderately invasive) questions that we get asked when the world knows that we are pregnant, I absolutely did not expect, “Where is he going to sleep?” to throw me for such a loop.

As you grow up, you just kind of assume that someday you will get married and then have a baby.

As a result, you assume you will have a home and that your baby will sleep in his (or her) own little room in that home.

Then suddenly before you can even blink (or so it would seem) that little imaginary future person is in your arms staring (or glaring!) up at you.

Now is when you can go ahead and take all that logic and assumption that you have relied on SO much… and toss it right out the window. Cause my darlin, you are DONE.

This little person will now consume most every single thought that you have. And if you are anything like me… where he is going to sleep is going to be in like the top 3.

(Only rivaled by oh my God breastfeeding hurts, and do epidurals make house calls?)

Now my husband and I were lucky enough to have been gifted my DREAM bed for Reef by my wonderful Mom and Stepdad since it was the only thing I really wanted. (Thanks guys :).

It was the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and it was practical in addition to being safe.

I wanted it because he would be right next to us, I could swing it over the bed if I wanted, and to get him out all I needed to do was gently pull down the sidebar and pick him up.

Well… sort of…

I mean, it was great having him beside the bed. And it COULD swivel over the bed, technically, however, I never used that feature… Ever… And to my biggest disappointment, the sidebar takes some serious muscle to pull down. Muscle which I don’t have on my best days, let alone after birthing a child.

None the less, I enjoyed it and it definitely got the job done.

Until I realized something, I wanted my baby sleeping in the bed with me.

And then I realized something else that I would bet 90% of mothers realize.

SIDS is real. SIDS is terrifying. And SIDS makes you feel like you have zero control over protecting this tiny little person that means more to you than your own life.

For those of you unfamiliar, SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,(it can also be referred to as SUIDS – Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome) and my heart bleeds daily for those whose lives have been affected by the saddest of tragedies.

As a new mom, I have done a lot of research on this because frankly it absolutely terrifies me to my very core. And because of this I would like to share some of the most current safety tips when it comes to SIDS:

SIDS Safety

  • DO always put your baby to sleep on his back.
  • DON’T put blankets or toys in her crib.
  • DO use a pacifier at sleep time.
  • DON’T smoke while pregnant, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your infant.
  • DO try swaddling your child.
  • DON’T put your baby to sleep on his side.
  • DO have her sleep in a crib in your room.
  • DON’T share your bed with your baby.
  • DO make sure the crib mattress is firm and tight-fitting.
  • DON’T overdress your child or put his crib near a heat source.

Now, I read lists like this OVER and OVER  and OVER.

There were no stuffed animals, blankets, or bumpers.

The temperature was never too hot, he was always placed on his back. Smoking didn’t exist around me throughout my pregnancy. And of course, we had our bedside bassinet!

However, I still could not shake the fear and discomfort I had.

In fact, things got SO crazy that I started refusing to sleep with my back turned to him because I was convinced that it would aid in my inability to help him if something happened. (I swear, this is all true)

So now I was only sleeping on my right side, facing him, with a low light on so I could be sure to see his face at all times and I was sleeping SO minimally that it was starting to get unhealthy.

Then there was a glowing green light at the end of the tunnel. Our heroes (Brad and Victoria) got us the Owlet, which truly is one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. It helped me to sleep better than I had in weeks and started to help me to ease my mind.

Unfortunately, the problem still arose that I felt uneasy.

In fact, the only time I felt comfortable sleeping was when he was lying on my chest and we would both sleep with neither of us moving. (I know it makes NO sense considering my irrational fear).

However, I wouldn’t allow myself that comfort very often because of those fears. (I was, of course, convinced that my husband, who basically sleeps like the dead, was going to roll over onto him and suffocate him.)

But for me, co-sleeping is something that I knew was right for us, I just needed to find a way to do it that felt safe for me.

And finally, at 4 months old, we found something that fits our family.

And the item that has pretty much saved my ability to sleep?

Our DocATot Grande.

It is honestly amazing. It allows us to have Reef in our bed without the constant fear of one of us rolling over on top of him.

Made of air permeable materials that are breathable, in addition to being washable AND hypoallergenic.

The DocATot is perfect for co-sleeping.

We just rest him in it, directly between us, and there we sleep soundly throughout the night

It is amazing.

(And on top of that, we use it for his nap time as well. Fear of him rolling off, or getting stuck between anything like the couch cushions does not exist, and we can put him basically anywhere in it. Not to mention he sleeps like his father in it. Two-hour naps are a constant reality in this house when he is put to bed in his DocATot. And that makes this momma a truly happy woman.)

Basically, now, for the first time, I can turn my back on my baby and sleep soundly, comfortably and without guilt.

I only wish I had known about it sooner!

There is a DocATot Deluxe and a DocATot Grande.

The DocATot Deluxe is recommended for babies ages 0-8 months old.

While the Grande is generally recommended for babies ages 9-36 months.

We ended up with the DocATot Grande, however.

Since Reef is already so huge I thought the Grande would be a better fit.

And now as we near closer to his 6-month “birthday” I am getting more and more comfortable in my new mommy role.

BUT, I will say, there are some amazing products that have helped me along the way.

The DocATot is one of those products, therefore I would recommend it to anyone out there.

Especially anyone who is looking for a sleeping option that is a little different than what you might have expected when you thought of your future baby all those years ago!

(Head on over here to purchase one of your own!)


(I also just want to say that I believe every parent should be able to make their own decisions about what are the best sleeping arrangements for their family, without the judgment of anyone else. This just happens to be my personal opinion on what works best for us. Rock on Mommas!)



The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


<span class="entry-title-primary">Dreaming New Dreams</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">GUEST POST</span>

Dreaming New Dreams GUEST POST

Aloha Everyone! Today I am SO excited to host our first guest on the blog, Jenny of Princess Turned Mom. If you have ever wondered what it was like to be a Princess, you aren’t alone. I wasn’t even a particularly girly young lady and I […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">The Moment I Knew that My Husband was “The One”</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">AND HOW IT HAS HELPED SHAPE OUR FAMILY</span>

The Moment I Knew that My Husband was “The One” AND HOW IT HAS HELPED SHAPE OUR FAMILY

There about are a million memories that have taken it upon themselves to wander right out of my mind since I have become a mom. But the moment that I knew that my husband was the one is not one of those memories. In fact, […]