Let’s Unite In Motherhood

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 Photography: Amber Thrane and Kayla Sampson of Dulcet Creative
Mamas: Andrea Williams, Kelli Murray, Cassidy Freitas, Krystal Festerly, Tea Lopez, Jacqui Saldana

At 6 weeks old, Holden began having severe breath holding spells. A handful of these resulted in prolonged seizures because he held his breath too long and after that first time, I worried he would have a seizure with every single spell.

With breath holding spells, there is no real diagnosis. You basically rule out everything else with cardiology and neurology and then say if it’s not this or that, it must be breath holding. In the back of my mind, I always worried it was something more serious. Of course I spent so much time researching that I found some scary stuff when googling and some of those stories that I read I just couldn’t ever get out of my head. There are no experts on breath holding spells and most pediatricians aren’t particularly educated on them because children out grow them between 4 and 6 years of age and there are no true or prolonged real health risks. I found it hard to find and trust a pediatrician because I always felt like I knew so much more about what was going on with Holden than the Doctors themselves did.

Sometimes when I told people that he held his breath, they would laugh and say nonchalantly, oh ya I know so-and-so who did that and it was so funny because every time he/she would get upset, she would throw a temper tantrum and turn blue. This was not the same as Holden’s spells. His were severe. He would turn blue, his eyes widen in fear like a person drowning but in mid-air as he desperately gasped, he would claw and scratch my face as he tried to take a breath until his body would collapse and he would pass out. We would shake him and say Holden, wake up! and after a few seconds he would regain consciousness and then begin crying again.

I didn’t ever leave him, I put him to sleep every single night, I didn’t take my eyes off of him no matter where we were, I had to avoid anyone that has even the slightest cold (getting sick made his spells 100x worse), and it was that way until he outgrew them at 4 years old. If I left him, all I did was worry about him so I could never enjoy anything when I was apart with him. It was terrifying and overwhelming when we were going through it. It dictated my life.

And yet, although a very traumatic experience, it shaped and molded who I am as a mother. My child turned blue and stopped breathing ten times or more a day for four years and every time I would wonder if he would take that breath again. This has made me grateful for every single breath and every single moment I have with him (and Gray). It has given me patience during the tough times because instead of getting upset over the fact that he was crying in the middle of the night, I would think to myself, at least he is crying, and remind myself how grateful I was to have the ability to hold him while he was crying. It doesn’t matter what the experience is, I just feel happy that I get to be able to experience every little thing with my children, even the tears, the late nights and the early mornings. I definitely look at life differently because of it.

And it changed the way we parented, choosing to do things that worked for us and our family even if they were outside the norm. I opted for extended breastfeeding and we co-slept with Holden until he decided he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed, amongst a lot of other parenting choices that I might not have considered if it hadn’t been for our experience with breath holding.

We all have different experiences and backgrounds that make us who we are as mothers, determine the decisions we make, and change the way we see the world, but just because they are different from one mother to the next doesn’t mean they are wrong. You won’t hear me complaining about a rough day or that motherhood is difficult because my experience raising Holden has forced me to be overwhelming grateful for it all…every single piece of it. And that’s just me and my experience. Breastfed/bottle fed, co-sleep/crib, rock to sleep/cry it out, stay-at-home/working, etc.

We may all do things differently but we are all just trying to raise these tiny humans to be happy and healthy the best way we know how and we should celebrate motherhood no matter what it looks like.


Cotton On Kids Giveaway

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Photos by Reality & Retrospect (instagram)

Living by the beach, we live in beach attire and swimwear year-round. Living in Southern California, we are really lucky that the temperature is pretty temperate throughout the entire year (I don’t know if my kids will ever understand seasons ha!) and we are able to enjoy the sand, surf, and sea almost every single day of the year. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I am constantly looking for new swimwear for the boys as they grow, that is not only cute and unique, but also protects their skin against the sun’s harsh rays.

Well Cotton On Kids just released their new swim collection for children and it is to die for!! They have board shorts, rash guards, sandals, and more, for your little ones and each piece is just so cute and unique.

It’s your lucky day because I’m partnering with the Cotton On Kids USA team to giveaway $100 store credit to Cotton On Kids Stores to one lucky winner!  

To enter…

  1. Head over to Cotton On Kids, browse for a bit and then comment back which item you would choose if you won!!
  2. Follow myself (@belandbeau) and Cotton On Kids USA (@cottononkidsusa) on instagram.

There are also additional entry options available via the widget below which I am using to track all entries…

$100 Store Credit to Cotton On Kids Stores

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Outfits: Womens Floral Playsuit, Brave the Wave Rashguard, Tropical Swim Trunks, Waves Swim Trunks, Palm Tree Polka Dot Swim Trunks


Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Sunny Jim Cave

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For our final adventure of the day, we decided to take the boys to Sunny Jim Cave. This is a spot not a lot of people know about unless you’re on a kayaking tour and seeing it from the other side. The Cave Store is not only a cute little store filled with trinkets and treasures to remember your trip to La Jolla, but also is the entrance to Sunny Jim’s Cave.  Here you will find an entrance to a long staircase (it looks like a mining shaft) that takes you down through the rock to a cave that opens out onto the ocean. You can watch the waves crashing into the cave and see the kayakers as they pass by. Holden sat on the railing and was mesmerized by the crashing waves coming in and out. Gray, however, wanted to climb over and hop in! I definitely think that this is one of those adventures you have to try at least once.

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See the rest of the Tiny Travels : La Jolla series below:

Tiny Travels : La Jolla video

Tiny Travels : La Jolla Itinerary

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Juice Crafters

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Tide Pools

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Cuvier Park

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – The Children’s Pool

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Sunny Jim Cave


Tiny Travels : La Jolla – The Children’s Pool

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After the boys (and the seagulls) had snacked at Cuvier Park, we decided to head to the Children’s Pool.

We packed up the strollers, grabbed the boy’s Microkickboard scooters, strapped on our Ergo baby carriers and headed to see the harbor seals. A few quick tips…you’re most likely to see a live birth of a harbor seal pup between February 4 and March 4 of any given year. You’re most likely to see the greatest number of seals on the beach between April 24 and June 6 and you’re least likely to see any seals on the beach between 8am and 6pm during the months of July, August, and September. When we arrived at the Children’s Pool, we watched them swim in the water and the boys were so excited to see the little seal pups. Gray was absolutely amazed and kept attempting seal noises. On our walk/scoot back to the cars, an ice cream truck stopped just in time to give Waylon and Holden their first ice cream truck experience and Gray got to try ice cream for the very first time in his life when Holden shared a bite or two with him.

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See the rest of the Tiny Travels : La Jolla series below:

Tiny Travels : La Jolla video

Tiny Travels : La Jolla Itinerary

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Juice Crafters

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Tide Pools

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Cuvier Park

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – The Children’s Pool

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Sunny Jim Cave


Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Cuvier Park

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After Juice Crafters and the tide pools, the boys were ready for a snack when we stumbled upon Cuvier Park. This spot is a hidden gem and if you aren’t looking for it, it’s quite possible that you would pass right by it. Set down from the road and walkway, this tiny grass area is a private, enclosed grassy spot overlooking the ocean. It is often the site of wedding ceremonies, but we thought it would be the perfect place to set a picnic. Just make sure to watch for the seagulls…they aren’t afraid of humans and once they spot food out in the open, they are pretty determined to get a bite. Holden and Waylon did a good job of chasing them away, but I think they did make off with half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before anyone could stop them.

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See the rest of the Tiny Travels : La Jolla series below:

Tiny Travels : La Jolla video

Tiny Travels : La Jolla Itinerary

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Juice Crafters

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Tide Pools

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Cuvier Park

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – The Children’s Pool

Tiny Travels : La Jolla – Sunny Jim Cave