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Friday, June 29, 2012

I never do this. But I just had to. Happy Friday!

Story of my life.

You know you are ALL guilty of this. Ahem. 

 hahahahahahahah. 

 the truth right now.

 sleeping=unconscious, right? :)

 replace 'fat' with 'pregnant'-right on, man.


For real. A Wednesday?

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hodge-Podge Thursday

-On average my belly seems to be small'ish. Last week at a party, a group of women all told me that it's so not fair that I don't look like a house by this point, and they literally did NOT believe me that I had 5 weeks and X amount of days left. They were all, "can you know the gender already?", and I'm all blink...blink...blink. YES. And then? A few nights later, I was told by another person that "Man, you've grown a ton", and "are you sure you're measuring on track?", which I just had to laugh. Because everyone's perceptions are so very different. Hence why you just can't really listen to what people say. (For what it's worth, the lady who said that is a friend, and she meant no harm, I do love her, still :) )

-My pastors daughter is 4. She and Emeline play together at our small group on Tuesday nights. I walked down to the basement where the kids were playing when she yelled to me, "Miss KATIE! WHY DOES YOUR TUMMY LOOK LIKE THAT??"

I immediately perked up, because this kind of thing used to exist NON STOP for me last pregnancy since I taught elementary school, and I kind of miss it. So I said, "I don't know, Maddie....why do YOU think my belly looks like this?"

To which she replied without an ounce of hesitation, "Because you ate too much??"  Her older brothers, mortified, yelled, "MADDIE! She has a baby in her belly!" I just laughed. Then she said, "But WHY would you want another baby????"

She was dead serious. It was so funny. I so miss all my funny kid comments I used to get and be able to blog about on the daily as a teacher.

-I got new specs. They are for distance, mainly--and I don't even have to wear them all the time. But they're fun and I like them, and especially love wearing glasses on days I didn't pluck my eyebrows or want to do my eye makeup fully. So now you know my secret.



-My dog is in a tizzy lately because of all the deliveries. It feels kind of like Christmas with UPS or Fedex coming to the door multiple times a day (and freaking my dog out), but basically all it means is a new baby will be here shortly. The new baby gear is showing up left and right. The new stroller, the new carseat (we sold the old one--more details on that another time), and even the free crap they send you from Enfamil and other formula companies. 

Every time the doorbell rings Emeline yells, "More PWESANTS!" and gets really excited. I guess I must have used that term and now she's certain that there are always special deliveries full of "pwesants". This could be interesting. 



-On all other fronts, life is going pretty smooth these days. There's this whole calm before the (beautiful, fun) storm that is New! Baby! and we're all getting a little excited. Two main things on the agenda this weekend are to build the double stroller and put the crib mattress up to newborn status again. I told my husband these are "needs" and he and I then had a huge discussion over the fact that this is NOT a need (but it is to me), more so a "want". Oh, men.

I stand by my thoughts that a husband, man, whatever, cannot--AT ALL, empathize with pregnancy or the fact that getting stuff done before baby IS A NEED TO US. Like, a legit need (or I may die type of thing).

I want him to get inside my pregnant brain for just a second to understand it. Or maybe I don't.

****

Have a happy Thursday :)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pony Royale: A Review & Such


This post is sponsored by Pony Royale. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

***
I admit, fully, that I don't buy a lot of toys for Emeline. Little things here and there? Absolutely. Hand me downs from friends? Sure why not. A baby doll, books, and dollar-spot stuff from Target? Okay. Guilty. So when I got the chance to get some of these Pony Royale Princess Ponies sent to us to try out prior to even being on shelves at Toys R Us? I was SO game.


They showed up and my sweet child suddenly was all "Pwesants for me! Pwesants for me!" And to say she was wow'ed from the get go is an understatement. The amount of "horsie-nay's!" and "wow mommy!" and "so cute and pwetty!'s" I heard were endless.




They pretty much blew her mind. Which was adorable and sweet.


Basically, the gist is that these princess ponies can all be customized---they come with interchangeable mane's & tails, special crowns, fun little accessories, making them all really unique. 


Starting in July, you can begin collecting all 12 Pony Royale ponies at Toys R Us' across the country, start the mixing & matching fun, and making them all unqiue and cutesy. 


Here's a little video about them:





...and a few more details directly from Pony Royale:


Pony Royale, a new toy line starring beautiful princess ponies, brings a fresh new approach to princess play in the fashion doll category.  Pony Royale combines favorite play patterns - hair play, fashion play and nurturing play – to give children endless hours of open-ended creative play with a fun and easy fashion system. The full collection, featuring 12 Princess Ponies, all with the ability to mix-and-match their manes, tails and fashion pieces, will hit store shelves in late July at Toys R Us.

The twelve Princess Ponies are pony action figure dolls with names, personalities, and changeable hair and outfits.

  • With two Pony Royale dolls, make over 60 fashion styles!
  • Each pony comes with a jeweled birthstone blaze
  • Two sets of Change-It-Up Hair and hair brush included!
We broke into the boxes right after I snapped this picture: 




The way the interchanging parts work is clever and simple! A lot of thought went into the design of this product and I'm certain it's one that little girls everywhere will love. 


***


Visit the Pony Royale website for more information. Look for Princess Ponies in stores starting late July! Meanwhile, be sure to check out Pony Royale’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter!

Firetruck Nostalgia

It's no secret I grew up around fire trucks, the firehouse, and with a Dad who was always a hero in my mind, out risking his own life to save others...and voluntarily at that.

I always liked fire trucks as a kid. I went to all the events. I climbed up on and in the trucks like it was nobodies business. It was just a part of my life that I remember--and well. Special trips down to the firehouse with dad, riding to a call with him, or just trying on his gear--for fun.

Although none of my dads kids followed in his footsteps at all to being part of this as adults (lots of his nephews did, though!), it's fun to see our kids get a little part of the past we remember when we were young, too. I don't know--it's that whole life coming full circle thing.

While Eme is a girls girl--she loves trucks, planes and motorcycles, too. I have told her on multiple occasions she MAY NEVER HAVE a motorcycle, EVER (ha), as she proclaims, "It's Enna-nine's motor-cycle!" as one passes by. Um, no thank you ma'am. But I digress.

Firetrucks though? I can handle her liking those. And like them she does. Especially with her PopPop by her side to show her the ropes.

Last week there was a special new truck dedicating event at my dads station. It was a random night, and my husband had plans, so I decided to take Eme along. Well? She LOVED it.

I shouldn't have been surprised. So here are some photos from that gorgeous (but scorching hot) evening.






As we left that night she waved and said, "Bye Fiya-Trucks, see ya soon!"

I loved it. And so did she.

***

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Reaping what you Sow, parenting style.

I absolutely do not want to ruffle any feathers today. Truthfully, I'm not in the mood and I very, very rarely like to be edgy with my statements or posts if I can help it. I'm not being wishy/washy, it's just that's not my style. Not here, anyway.

But I'm finding myself struggling with a few things recently. Mainly about parenting decisions. Judging. People having harsh opinions. Everyone seems to "know best" what's good for you, your child. People making blanket-statements and applying them to all children, every child, as if there's never any exception. And also? Non-parents judging current parents.

This one kills me the most.

Mainly? Because I've so been there. I know how making all these plans for future children, a list of your wills & won'ts and WILL ABSOLUTELY NEVERS can bite you in the butt so fast. How judging the way other people parent is a dangerous road because judgements always come back to haunt you. Always. I've been there, I've felt it. I've mumbled things in my head about other children's behavior--and now? I want to SLAP myself silly for ever thinking I had the right to have an opinion on something I knew nothing about.

Don't get me wrong. Having plans in place are great. Your ideals of how you intend to raise your children? Excellent. But I feel it's a careful line between that and being judgmental and all "I'll NEVER do that *eyeroll*" about another parent*. It's one to be mindful of, only because, I promise, you'll find yourself there one day, your mind will do that crazy flashback thing of how you judged some other mom of a tantrumming toddler in Target, and suddenly your perfect angel is doing the same thing, and ohmygosh it can't be. But it's happening. It's a twilight zone moment, trust me.

Because let's just be honest. No matter how often you work with children, think you really get them, it's when you know that whole breaking point and at your wits end part to the exhaustion of motherhood--that's when it's all A-HA. I actually get it now.

A few months ago we were in Best Buy. It was right around bedtime. Emeline wanted milk. I had nothing for her with me (it was in the car), and she just.wanted.to.run. But, when I'd let her down to go, she started pulling off iPad cases from the shelf. So I'd pick her up, and she started to do the whole kicking her feet and yelling "I get down!" repeatedly. Was it embarrassing? A little. But, again--I get it now. I can chalk up that behavior to a lot of things. Lots of factors that went into making her feel that way--irritable, cranky, needing to be free, in that moment.

Declan was in line checking out. The girl behind him had a sweet newborn baby girl, in a baby carrier. It was obvious this was her first little baby. And seriously, what newborn can do any wrong? I watched her eyes follow me around that area of Best Buy. As my kid tried to climb that huge ladder thing to reach the highest point of the store, as my kid yelled at me to GET!DOWN!, and as she pulled iPad cases off the rack. And then I SAW HER ROLL HER EYES AT US.

I couldn't do anything in that moment other than have flashbacks of the time I only had a precious little newborn baby, who just cried when she had a simple need, and could be cuddled back to happiness--who could do no wrong. Who couldn't talk back. Who was such a little doll...an angel. And then I thought back to moments where even I had judged toddler behavior, chalking it up to being bratty, or poor parenting, or whatever the heck I thought in my ignorant mind at the time.

I got in the car and told Declan about what happened, and how I really wanted to yell, "OH JUST WAIT WOMAN, YOU WILL SEE--You'll SEE" and shake my finger in her face.  But I didn't. Instead, I smiled at her sweetly and in my head I thought, One day you'll look back to this situation, find yourself in it, and say a silent I'm so sorry for judging that poor mom in Best Buy that night.

Because I know that I've had those moments...over and over and over again.

This is a constant battle for me, in my mind, and in my heart. I still judge others although I think I'm much more mindful of it than I ever was before. But I really try not to.

There are always exceptions. Scenarios. Bad days.

You can't always just chalk up situations you witness to bad parenting, a bratty kid, a neglectful mother.

Sometimes, kids are just kids and even with the best guidance and direction and parenting any loving and wonderful family can give them, things happen, and behavior is all- wicka-what? And you won't recognize them for moments throughout the day. And then it passes.

The important thing I'm learning is to keep my judgements aside. To not make big, bold, brash statements about parenting in general, their behavior, or even to make faces or insinuate the silent judgement (you know what I mean) of others.

I'd challenge you to do the same.

Have you ever found yourself in those moments now that you're a mother? Remembering a time you side-eyed some behavior that now you deal with? Shushing your toddler with an iPad in the store because you.get.it and had judged the moms who let their kid play video games at restaurants? Allowing your toddler to watch TV when you swore you'd never? It happens on the daily with me. I know I'm not alone. Share. Share away.  

***

*Please understand I'm talking about normal stuff. Not extremes. There are people on this earth who should not procreate, because they abuse children, etc--and honestly? I want to hurt people who are awful like that. I'm not talking about the 'extremes' in this post. I think everyone knows that but of course I'd like to clarify. :)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Countable weekends.

Now that my weekends are numbered before this little squishy pink bundle gets thrusted into the world and into my arms, I'm on Ohmygoshwemusttakeadvantageofeverysecond Mode.

I mean, technically they've always been countable, but now we are basically down to low, low, low numbers. There's only 2 full Saturday's left before I'm full term. Then another 3 after that. Each weekend is booked up with something. A family event, a birthday party, we're even spending my full term milestone weekend at the beach for a 4 day weekend with friends.

SO basically? I'm just realizing more and more how little time is left. It makes me both excited and, well, excited more. But also a little anxious to get things done, and to feel like we hit some checklist of things.

For some reason though? This weekend I kind of put that all to the back burner.

Declan and I scheduled a date night this past Friday night, and oh I remember the fancy-free days of never scheduling date nights and them just occurring. HA HA. My how things change with children. Go figure, you have to PLAN for them. Geesh. I kid. But nevertheless, we were going to go on a date. I was going to dress nice. I was going to feel good. I was going to hold my husbands hand and eat dinner in peace. And communicate to each other like adults without having to sing the A-B-C's or practice our numbers in spanish or rationalize with a toddler why she can't have the flippin' iPad for the 99th time. But I digress.

At the last minute I decided to ask my mom if she'd be willing to keep Emeline overnight. My parents are willing to do this pretty much whenever, but I never take them up on it (my own fault). The last time she stayed overnight (or away from us for that matter) was when we went on our fantastic anniversary trip to the Keys last September. So I guess it was time. I packed her bags in a hurry, we set her up at my parents, she basically told us to leave (she loves it there), and off we went, hand in hand.


It was pretty much awesome. Dinner was good, quiet, peaceful and we talked. We talked. And it wasn't all about our kid(s) either (okay maybe a little). Even though it was drizzling rain afterwards, we went and walked around town, huddling in doorways all romantic-like (okay not quite), and even went and grabbed some frozen yogurt.

We slept in till 9!AM! on Saturday morning (cannot even remember the last time...), even snuck in a breakfast date, and then went to pick up Emeline who we literally had to pull away because she did NOT wanna leave she had such a good time, as usual.

The rest of the weekend was filled with normal stuff, but good stuff. Random errands, grocery shopping, laundry, movie renting, couch cuddling, pancake breakfasts, church, a 30th birthday party, and my husband even managed to get in a few hours of guy-time where he went paintballing (and has the welts to prove it).

We did nothing to prepare for the baby, physically. Even though my weekends are numbered low like whoa. But? That's okay. Because we snuck in what could potentially be our last alone date night for a while, quiet movie times while Eme was in bed without a newborn cuddling on us (although I do love that), and time just the three of us.

And it was good.

****

Pssst: I'm a big fan of momma's having good cameras to document their kids lives. Did you see that GroopDealz is doing this amazing giveaway right now?



You need to check it out, stat, and get yourself entered! Go, go now. 

****

Happy Monday!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Deux: 34 Weeks Update

[It should be noted that when I typed this title, I wrote 24 weeks instead of 34. So obviously when I had to backspace and write 34 I kind of gasped a little because, um, that's kind of far along and holy cow-baby.coming.soon. I'm still in a little bit of a denial.]


-----


So here we are again. HA. Who am I kidding? My last pregnancy I was wicked-awesome at documenting. This time it's a wonder if I remember to write things down every 4-5 weeks about this pregnancy.


Lucky for me apps like Instagram exist these days. Which at least help me to document in photos weekly. Better than nothing, right?

The Belly Bump
(It should be noted I only look semi-nice here because it was a rare date night-most the time I'm in pj's. For real.)




The Babe
The littlest lady in our lives (and in my uterus) seems to be doing just fine. She's most active at night. The second I sit down on the couch at night she wants to show off her ninja skills. It's cute, and a tad bit...tiring--but nevertheless, it's all fun and part of this pregnancy gig so I try to cherish it. I feel little body parts sticking out all the time. The doctor said she was still too tiny to tell if she was head down or not yet. Based on hiccups, it appears she's head down, but we'll see. I have my 34 week appointment this Friday (and I'll be 35 weeks that day, oops), so we'll check her out more then.

The Momma
I'm good, really. When I start thinking about the nitty gritty, yes, things ache a little. Yes, getting out of bed is a bit more challenging. But overall? I feel pretty fantastic. That could all blow up in my face tomorrow, though. I can still bend over and shave my legs, paint my toes, pick up toys, play with my kid, etc. YES, I find myself getting more tired quickly, but of course that's to be expected. I'm also pretty surprised but I'm not really retaining much water yet. Although, again, swelling could kick my butt later. Praying it doesn't, though!

The Bod
Aye. Tough subject. My body is being completely taken over by another human. So, I'll admit I have my days of feeling super whoa is me, and I miss my old body. I had a moment of pure panic when I saw my backside in the Target dressing room last week, and nearly passed out. It's massive. I'm a little scared. But, whatever. Six weeks left. Six weeks. I've gained about 25lbs so far, and, meh.


Sometimes? I have good days. I feel decent for being so pregnant. But those days are rare. Last week at my nephews birthday party was one of the better days.
(I'm willing to bet it has something to do with when I take the time to actually, you know, get dressed.)


The Big Sis 
Emeline is my world right now. We talk daily about her baby sister, and she gets super excited about meeting her. The other day she said, "I (wanna) SEE baby _____!!", and I told her that we can't see her for a little while longer, and then she yelled (while trying to pull at my belly), "NO MOMMY, OPEN!!!!!!!"


Ha. It isn't that easy m'dear.


But overall? I feel more confident these days bringing baby sister into the world. I know that all of our hearts will expand with so much love, and of course we'll have bumps in the road, but we're getting way, way excited.

***


Comparison between pregnancies....definitely smaller this time around. But that ain't no secret.


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Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Smooth as buttah.

I so realize this kind of stuff is snooze-fest 2012 to most people. But I've had some questions, and I'd like to remember it, too--so this is my blah-blah post about The Big Girl Room official "move".

--

About two weeks ago I decided that it was buckle-down time when it came to getting Emeline transitioned to her new room. After talking with my friend about it, I just knew it wasn't a (potential) battle I wanted to fight once I was also sleep deprived with a newborn. So I went into Let's Do This mode with plenty of time to spare and get her used to this before little sister arrives.

I was definitely worried, since we had one failed big girl bed night and every time I mentioned her sleeping in her room, she would say Noooo, Momma.

I had Declan put the bed all the way down to the tiniest size the night before. Basically, it's the length of a crib, but it's wider than a crib mattress. She's still little, and for some reason the bigger bed size was too much for her, and she needed to feel cozy.

cute tiny bed for my little lady

I spent the entire day before The Switch washing newborn clothes, going through all Eme's drawers, organizing stuff, and then I let HER help me put all her clothes in her new dresser drawers. We then filled up her old nursery drawers with baby clothes, and emphasized that this room was going to be for the baby now, because the baby will need a room. Honestly? It may sound silly, but I think that having her help with the transition, moving her stuff, her blankets, her stuffed animals over? That all really helped her to mentally switch to that room. I consider it part of laying the foundation, right? right. :)

The rest of the day we just continued to hype up and talk about the fact that she'd be sleeping in her new room that night, and how!exciting! Basically, we overplayed it x a million, but that's what you do with kids. Act like crazy people.

My husband was adamant that we needed to keep the nursery door shut for a while--the whole out of sight out of mind thing? Yea. It was a good idea--so we did that. We also handled bedtime that evening as normal. Bath time, teeth brushing, hair-drying, pj'ing, book, prayers, kisses. She was a little bit clingy at first to me, and then she said, "noo, want daddy" (she basically kicked me out). She pointed to her old bedroom and said, "that room!" one time. We reaffirmed that this is her new room, and that was now a baby room.


It took a few extra books that night & cuddling with Daddy--but as soon as we turned off the light and shut the door?  She basically fell right asleep.

We didn't hear a peep from her until almost 8am the next morning, her typical wake up time.

It was great because Declan hadn't left for work yet, so we both were able to go in there and make a big deal over the fact that, YAY! you did it! Big girl status! She seemed proud.

Hump 1.  Over it. Bedtime went great.

Hump 2. Naptime. The thought alone scared the bejezuz out of me. 

I had nightmares of big bed meaning the end of naptime forever, and honestly? I need naptime. I need it. (Yes, she does too. Ahem.)

I made sure to do something that day to tire her out. We met friends at the mall and she ran around like a wild woman. I even came home and played with her outside some more, because I just had to make sure that naptime went smooth.

We followed all the same routines (which is none, really) as normal. Basically? Diaper change, she tells me, "Hair out, mommy" (she does not like to sleep with any hair ties/bows, and I don't blame her), I take her hair out, lay her down, give her a kiss, and nighty-night. Naptime begins.

The ONLY difference this time? Before I could leave the room, she clasped her hands together and squeezed her eyes shut and said, "Pray Jesus, Mommy!" And so I knelt down next to her wee little bed, said a little prayer that she'd have a great first nap in her big bed, gave her kisses, shut the door--and went and spied over the video monitor.

I fully expected she'd get up, start roaming the room, banging on the door--or SOMETHING. But, nope. She rolled over and fell asleep.

She woke up with bedhead and a smile almost 3 hours later.



I felt so good after that. Like, we got this.

And honestly? Since that first day it's been great. Every single night has been easy to get her to bed, she loves her room, and even naptimes have been absolutely no issue at all.

I'm thrilled to death with how the transition has gone. So thrilled. It's one more thing to check off the list before our 2nd baby girl comes. And one more thing that makes me feel like holy whoa, my girl is growing up.

***

A few random things worth being noted:

-We tried to keep all the sensory stuff from her nursery the same in her new room. For example, she's always slept with the sound of a fan. So, of course we brought that fan in her new room, too. It drowns out house noises AND it's a familiar sound she sleeps well to. Same goes with black-out curtains. Although, since they are ivory in this room, they aren't near as dark as her nursery, but it still works. We keep it dark'ish during naptime (as best we can).

-Other than the stuffed animals she sleeps with, there is nothing other than books on her bookshelf (and in her bed because she insists on sleeping with some of them) to distract her. Basically, NO TOYS. I don't need any reason for her to get out of bed to play instead of sleep. This may be something that can change down the line, but at this point I want her room associated with sleeping, and not playtime.

-I have always shut her nursery door (since we use a video monitor), and we do the same in her new room. I like the quiet, dark atmosphere for her during bed/naptime and I like to be able to be noisy/do what I need to do around the house without disturbing her. Plus, she doesn't really mess with the door at this time. We'll cross that bridge if/when we get there.

-We're not using a bedrail with this bed. Since it has the swirly iron stuff on the two ends I feel like it helps to keep her "in". She has not fallen out of the bed yet. However, she had one incident during nap where she got up and LAID herself on the floor where she finished the last 30 minutes of her nap. Weird.


-We got her used to sleeping with a pillow in her crib over the past few months (in efforts to transition her to a real bed). It helped, definitely. However, she STILL sleeps upside down, sideways, halfway off the bed, etc, in her toddler bed. Basically, she does what she wants and she's a wild sleeper, and she's still doing fine with it.

All in all? I couldn't be more pleased.

Questions? comments? bored to tears? It's cool. Not all this mom stuff is interesting all the time and I totally know it.

I'll be back at some point with a pregnancy update--maybe.

***

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I want to be Susie Homemaker, but I am not even close.

One of my sweetest blog friends left me a comment yesterday saying that she thinks I handle motherhood with grace, being pregnant, having a toddler, husband, house, etc--and that she's proud of me. She also said I was a cool mom and make it look effortless (I'll totally accept the cool mom compliment). And at first I was like, AWWW Ohmygosh that is so kind! I then immediately followed it up with a big-


 HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA *gasp for air* HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Because for real, man. I feel like a scattered mess all the time most days.

We emailed back and forth a bit, and she did clarify saying that she appreciates that I show the bad days and hard times, but also the wonderful afternoons with sparkles & rainbows (her cute words, not mine :)), too.

And then I felt a little better because I don't ever want to be misleading at all.

Because to be honest, lately I feel a little bit of a mess. Okay, a lot of a mess. And I've been struggling a bit with this mom gig and feeling a bit like I'm losing myself in this whole thing. I think that's one of the reasons I try to take as many photos as I do. It's like this little piece of something I really love to do, that makes me feel like me, and so if I can do that while being mom, too? Fabulous.

Yesterday I attempted to make yarn-covered letters for each of my girls rooms, for their doors. I had these grand plans of how cute and sweet they'd look on their doors, and pictured them being pinterest worthy (totally kidding). Instead, halfway through wrapping (my brains out) the letters, my 2 year old decided to wake up (2 hours early) from her nap. She then found it super fun to drag yarn all over the living room, getting my poor 12lb dog all caught up in yarn, and herself. While I know it sounds funny, it was stressful. Easy things, like a little DIY "fun" turn to poop half the time, and end up being a total fail.

I wish that the Fathers Day rock-painting we did was as whimsical and fun and fancy-free as it looked in pictures. But it totally wasn't. I'm embarrassed to admit that even though I was an elementary art teacher getting messy with 30 kids at a time, it stressed me out to paint with my 2 year old. It resulted in her painting not only herself, me, her new picnic table, but also the outside screen on the window (seriously?) AND my nice camera. It was short lived. Not magical and bonding as I'd pictured. And I'm still picking dried paint off the body of my Canon. Really.

Sometimes? It absolutely feels like the end of the world when sleep times don't go as planned. I feel tense when I hear a whine or cry from her bedroom when she should still be sleeping because I just want some time to do my job for work, or get some things done around the house, or just sit on my butt for a few minutes and eat my lunch by myself. I pray, more than I should, to please God let her fall back asleep, oh please.

I wish I handled pregnancy with grace but I really don't. I'm honest when people ask me how I'm feeling. I should probably just be all, "I'm great, so blessed!"-but yea, not always the case. I grunt and huff and puff a lot (more around the house than anything), and let out a lot of exasperated sighs during the day. I am at the peak of hormone-rampage-madness right now and I know that I am in an awful mood most the time. I fear meeting new people during this time because I don't want them thinking this is my permanent 'tude, because pregnancy hormones do mess with me. A lot. I wish I could say this is the best I've felt in my life, but that would be a complete and utter lie, and I hate lying.

My house is pretty much always a mess. I'm good at keeping it neat (to a degree), but clean? It is not. I'm pretty sure I have an ant invasion in my foyer right now because of some crumbs that came from a certain little person, and I haven't really done much about it. Other than stomping them when I see them. So there's that.

I wish I could dream up great meal ideas and execute them like so many of you do, but I can't. It intimidates me to no end and I don't like being in the kitchen cooking. At all. I stick to the few things I know and more often then not it involves my husband coming home from work and grilling for us anyway. That wife who has dinner all prepped and on the table when her hard working husband gets home from work? Oh yea, that's not me.

I have a short little fun things to do list (aka: kill time with your toddler before naptime), and it's not even that good. It involves the same few parks, Target, playing on the deck, Chick-fil-a, swinging/playing on the patio, taking a walk, blowing bubbles or doing sidewalk chalk. And I'm pretty sure my kid is bored to tears with it already and it's only June.

I have season passes (thanks to gifts) to multiple fun locations and I haven't used many of them recently because I'm just too tired to do/plan/attend half day trips like that. No real excuse other than that. I feel guilty about it all the time.

All this to say, I suck and fail at this thing all the time. I'm not trying to be all woe-is-me, because I will totally own it. Yes, I have days of being all I was an awesome mom today, but not often, and not a ton recently if I'm being honest.

I get flustered, I get tired, I want alone time, I'm not nice to my husband, I say things I regret, I don't act appreciative when I should, I am not always slow to anger, I need more patience, I need more creativity, and I certainly don't treasure every single moment or feel mushy-gushy about life all the time.

What I do know is that no matter what, I'm still grateful, and in the midst of this I know that mothering, and growing humans, and all that jazz this phase of life brings--will always be a time in my life I look back on with a full heart. Because despite the fact that it can all be draining and leave me feeling less than perfect most the time? It's also oddly fulfilling.

And that mystery is one I'll never fully understand.


***










Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pen & Ink.

Dear Friends having babies like NOW,

I'm so happy for you. So much. But, there's a part of me that's a teeny tiny bit jealous. I know, that's awful. I mean, just that you get to meet your baby now (or soon) and I want to see my babe's sweet face, too. But then a part of me doesn't want it to be my turn just yet...there's still things I have to do, still memories with just my one kid I need to make. But until it's my turn I will just bask in all your sweet newborn photos and enjoy my heartburn, rib-kicks, and inability to bend over. I know, hot.

Signed,
~A billion weeks pregnant, me.


Dear Dr. Pepper (or lack there-of),

You were not worth crying over last night. I blame the hormones. No, really. 

Signed,
~But you would have tasted so good


Dear Eye Teeth From Hell,

For. the. love. Leave my child alone. The endless fevers. The crankiness. The not sleeping well at night. The "owww momma I hurwwt"'s that feel like a sucker punch to my mom heart. I'd like my happy kiddo back, pleaseandthanks.

Nasty devil teeth-you.

Signed,
~The momma bear in me

Dear Baby Belly,

You grew overnight, like whoa.  Suddenly nothing fits in my closet and I'm at the point where I feel like going naked should be totally and completely acceptable.   Except I doubt that's the case. So until then I'll  just look like a sausage in everything. Thanks for that. 

Signed,
~But "it's worth it".

Dear Bethenny Frankel,

I was a big fan. I am still trying to be. I loved your shows. Always have. But your new talkshow? Is making me question everything. Maybe I can only handle you in one-hour-a-week doses. Also, I'm already kind of over your dance moves (lack thereof) during your opening song (and omg I want to gouge my eyeballs out if I hear that song one.more.time).

Signed,
~Am I the only one who feels this way? Also, questioning everything


Dear self,

When  you plan to make spaghetti next time, you should probably be prepared and have bought sauce. Rather then, you know, cooking half the meal, realizing it, and then having to send your just-got-home-from-work husband out to go buy some.

Fail.

Signed,
~As un-domestic as they come.




Monday, June 18, 2012

Transitions.

You only get used to things for so long, and then life changes. That's how it goes, right? That's how it's supposed to go....right?

I assume so, anyway.

The thing about transitions and changes is that I realize more and more that they all push me to grow. Even though I may not like it.





























For example, we're going on week three of Declan's new job. For what it's worth, he loves it--so much. I am so beyond happy for him, and it's really nice to see him thriving in a new environment. However, his first week of work? Was a huge transition for me.

As silly as it seems, having him get home later from work daily was harder than I thought. I admit I got used to his other time schedule and having him out of the house a few hours earlier in the morning never affected me. Having him home later in the evenings? Definitely did. Things around here had to change. I had to change my schedule, how I handled my afternoons with Emeline, prepping for dinner, and wrap my head around that we lose time with him. It may not be forever, but it's our new normal for now.

I was kind of emo that week. I had my hormonal moments about it. I said things that I regret in the moment and had to apologize for. I realized, though, that although this is new for him--it's also new for me. It's different. I think that naturally we resist change, even when we don't mean to. And honestly? Each week has gotten better, just like I was told it would. It really has.

**

My grandmother and I talked on the phone yesterday. Obviously, her heart is still so very much broken over losing her husband of 61 years and she's struggling and grieving big time. It's to be expected, and I feel so much so for her. My heart aches for the kind of loss she's feeling. The kind of change that dramatically happened in her life.

As we were talking yesterday, she just began to cry. Telling me how all this change is so hard, how much she misses him, how living life with someone for 61 (plus) years and then having them gone is so hard to wrap her head around. And I always just tell her the same thing....that this will be a process. She feels bad that she's not just moving on, but I keep reminding her that it's ok. She has to feel these emotions and work through them. That she will find her new normal--but not for a while, and it's okay to feel sad. 


I feel like our culture/society/whatever just makes us feel like when changes happen, no matter how big or small--you need to just DEAL WITH IT.

And to a point? I get it--it's kind of true. But also? There's something to be said about the above quote. Change is a process, not an event. Doesn't mean you can't accept it....but time to adjust...to work through it...to figure out your new normal no matter the circumstance, that's okay too.

That's just where I'm at today.

***

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Because we love him.

It's no secret I feel the role of Daddy is a big one. A huge, ginormous, important role in a kids life. Today I'm grateful for the Dad in my life, and the Dad in my child(rens) lives. Because, really, --it shaped who I am today.


***

That love. That fathers love. I love seeing how eloquently my husband just oozes it. He does. I seriously fall more in love with Declan everyday because of the awesome person he is--especially the awesome daddy he is to our little girl, about to be girlS.

So without getting even more over the top--I will just say, it's something I don't take lightly and I'm so glad that Declan doesn't either. Because it's a responsibility and a blessing. We love him so much for it.

***

A few days ago we did some of this messiness:


So we could present Daddy with this gift this morning:


Naturally, he loved it.

***

We also surprised him with breakfast in bed, Dunkin Donuts coffee, bagels & donuts---and, well--our presence :)

I hope he feels the love today, because we certainly, certainly feel it for him.


***

Wow.

Just, wow.

***

Happy Fathers Day. For real.