Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Smile at the Mess

I saw a funny post the other day about Pinterest fails.  I'll be honest, there are a few pinteresty ideas, I've totally nailed.  Wine gift basket, awesome.  Baby in a pumpkin, perfection.  Footprint art for dad,  adorable.  But truthfully, when it comes to doing anything with kids, especially toddlers, things rarely go right, the first time at least.
Pinterest Wins!

Last night, I sat down with the girls to glue their puff to Santa's beard for our Christmas Countdown.  I planned to let them color while I started dinner.  I moved their adorable Santas to the back of the kitchen table, sat out a few coloring sheets and blank papers, and put the bucket of crayons nearby.  Unfortunately, David bought Reagan some markers which somehow got mixed into the crayon box.  I wasn't really paying attention to their art time.  They were content, I got dinner in the oven, well, I turn around and look at their work and see this...

Now, before I actually was a mom, I would have probably been a little more upset about this creative expression.  Between mothering toddlers and spending 3 years in kindergarten, the perfectionist in me has let go, the control freak had to take a permanmet vacation.  A bit of me still cringes when I see my beautiful vision trampled on a bit, but tonight when we were waiting for our ravioli to bake, we painted a few of the salt dough ornaments we made over the weekend.  They dried and before bedtime, I added Rea's name to hers and some red ribbon too.  She loved it so much she took it to bed. She didn't love it because I instructed her every brushstroke or insist that she not mix the red and purple paint.  She loved it because she did it herself.  Kids today are forced to be big too fast, their little imaginations forced to take a break while they are crammed full of curricular knowledge.  Creative expression was somehow left out of the common core. Yes, I will teach her to say please and thank you.  I will make her follow directions on where to store her dirty laundry, but when it comes to creating with my littles, I will do one of the toughest things for me.  I will let go and smile at the mess.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


November is full of thankfulness.  As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, I've been bombarded by my entire friend list on Facebook recounting all their blessings.  I tend to fall off the status posts of thankfulness by day 2, distracted by my everyday blessings, so tonight as my babies are playing with their daddy, I will take just a few moments to share a few blessings I've been given.

❤I'm thankful for a chilly night in March when a handsome bald headed man took my hand, sat down and talked me for hours on end, he may have only held my hand, but he captured my heart.  We've been inseparable and unstoppable ever since.

❤I'm thankful for the now not so small town church I grew up in.  That sense of community that was built within that church family is one of the things I miss most about "home."  I hope that we will find the right fit for our family as my girls get bigger.

❤I'm thankful for maternity leave, summer breaks, and my job.  I love teaching,  but I love even more that it allowed me a total of 8 months of time with my babies and that I get all summer to plan fun, unforgettable moments with my girls.

❤I'm thankful for breast pumps.  I had a major love hate relationship with pumping, but it allowed me to provide Anna with only mommy milk until she was well over a year old.  She's the healthiest daycare baby, well almost any baby,  I've ever met.

❤I'm thankful for Anna. She cuddles, she coos, she runs and climbs.  She asks,"what's that?" 2344122321231238892 times a day.  She's a best friend to her sister, a daddy's girl, and her brother's sidekick.  She gives the best hugs and the wettest kisses.  Two years ago, she was the scariest pink
line I've ever seen, but now she's the cutest little "oops" ever.

❤I'm thankful for Reagan. She is witty and smart.  She is dramatic and bossy, and she's the center of her universe.  She's also sweet and tender hearted.  I cannot remember life without her, even if it was only 2.5 years ago. She's the amazing little person who first called me mommy.

❤I'm thankful for Brent. He stole my heart when he was just 3.  He taught me more about parenting than any book or class.  He tries my patience, but at the end of the day he doesn't have to try at all to make me love him.

❤I'm thankful for unexpected blessings, winks from God, unplanned adventures. Two two years ago today, I blogged and posted nervously about our unexpected blessing, an unplanned pregnancy, what is now known as a sweet girl named Anna.  I am so thankful that sometimes our plans are changed (yes, me who plans every single meal and day events on a calendar).  Without God's plan, His timing, my life's events, the people I hold dearest, probably wouldn't be in my life.  I am so grateful His plans are greater than my own.

❤I'm thankful for a warm house, a big bed, and Saturday mornings. I'm thankful for our family and friends.

I'm really just thankful.  Sure there are things in my life that aren't ideal.  There are things I really want that I don't have.  But I also have more than I need, I'm incredibly blessed.  This season of thanksgiving, I've never been more thankful or humbly grateful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Tale of Two Babies

My girls may look alike, but they are their own little people.  I gave Reagan a binkie at 3 weeks old, and she's still a card carrying member of the paci patrol.  Anna never took one, barely would drink from a bottle, doesn't suck her thumb, pretty much screams and mommy snuggles are the only source of comfort that will remedy it, while her sister will happily be slurping.

Reagan had chronic ear issues.  At 18 months, we finally put tubes in, and she's been a new baby ever since.  She gets every stomach virus known to man, and always shares with mom and dad.  Anna has had one ear infection in all her seventeen months.  That's all.  She's never been sick otherwise.  I count my blessings when it comes to keeping a well child.

Anna is undergoing surgery of her own this November. I'm very nervous, but the doctor assured me she would so great.  Anna was born with a cyst by her eye.  It's continued to grow with her, and it's not going away, but rather continue to grow.  So, in order to shut the mouths of friendly strangers that always ask my baby about her "boo boo," and more importantly help make sure Anna has a clear line of sight, they will remove it.  While I've sat in a waiting room waiting for my child to get out of surgery, it wasn't Reagan's face they were working on.... Did I mention I'm nervous?

Reagan is very vocal, very loud, very energetic.  Anna relies on the few signs and words she knows, lots of nonverbal cues, and her sister to communicate, but then again, most 17 monthers do.  Anna is sneakier, a bit more mischievous, a lot more fearless than her sister.  Both my babies are mommy's girls, but Anna is my snuggler, Reagan is my shadow.

I was telling a friend who is expecting her second princess today, that when I went from 1 baby to 2 babies, it was like going from 1 to 20.  Even though our home feels like a three ring circus, big brother included, I can't remember what it was like before. As I lay here between both little girls, one sleeping and the other breathing more deeply and slower than she was just a moment ago, I really can't remember.  We knew we wanted one baby.  Several months, a real legitimate scare, viability questioned, and we were extremely blessed with a Reagan.  While Anna was unplanned and made a very uneventful entrance into the world, she was our missing puzzle piece; a seamless fit in our chaos.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's that time again!

Back to school.  Usually I have a really hard time with going back to work, this is the third time I've had to do it since becoming mommy.  I'm having difficulty this year, because my biggest baby had a very scary reaction to cashews on Friday.  She took one bite of a cashew granola bar (she loves the peanut ones), handed it back to me, rubbing her tongue, saying "my mouth hurt mommy."  Within thirty minutes I had a scene right out of Hitch.  Swollen face, hives everywhere... We marched into the pediatricians office by passing the cvs where I had planned to stop to buy Benadryl.  We left with a follow up scheduled with the allergist and a prescription for an epi pen.

Otherwise, I'm pretty excited about going back to work.  I will certainly miss my girls and worry about them, but I will be at a new school, teaching fourth graders, with some former coworkers.  I'm pretty stoked!  I needed a change, and everything has led me to believe this change was meant to be. Right down to Anna and Reagan's new daycare is nut free, which is something that seemed insignificant at the time when I visited. I will certainly miss my friends and the kids from my last school, and changing jobs was something I prayed over for quite some time.  I am just very grateful the choice was obvious.  

Being a mommy is a job in itself, having a toddler is like having a crazy pet, being a mommy to two toddlers and working is enough to drive a lady insane.  Watch for the signs in the near future!  It's back to school time😊

Friday, July 19, 2013

Somedays You Have to Laugh

So many mishaps happen with my littles. Some I can laugh about, some I want to forget... Like the time on vacation when Reagan stripped off her diaper and there was a tiny little round poopie that got stuck to the bottom of her foot, and she ground it into the carpet. Yeah, let's forget that.

Maybe the time at food lion when she insisted on walking, we were getting through the check out and she decided she wanted to run through the automatic doors. I chase after her, leaving my cart full of groceries, with Anna attached to my back out the store. People stared. No joke.

How about today, when my back is a bit sore from hovering over a one year old at the splash pad in fear of her skinning her knee (Rea got a pretty good boo boo), I may have been resting my eyes for like 20 seconds tops. Reagan exclaims, "oh mommy, my hands dirty!" I look at her, yeah her hands are dirty and so is her face from her nose to her chin from ear to ear, and all of her mouth full of teeth. She was chewing a black crayon. Awesome! I took her in the bathroom to wash up, got her hands clean, while I went to the closet to get a washcloth (3 steps from the bathroom), Anna threw a board book in the potty and was trying to get it out. OMG! Deep breath! I can laugh about it!

There are days I want to hide in the pantry and eat a box of chocolate chip cookies. If I come out with a cookie, I won't even get a bite before I hear a whine for "some!" I absolutely love being home with my girls despite all the craziness, and I know in a few weeks, I will be dealing with the crazies and working too. So, for now, I will choose to laugh at the moments that make me pull my hair out. There is nothing like the adventures that are motherhood.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mishaps & Adventures

So, the past few weeks with a newly celebrated 2 year old and my sweet baby who is quickly becoming a toddler has been quite adventurous. Reagan had some strange belly problems that I truly believe were caused by stress. Her teacher had taken some time off and by the second week of surprise teachers, she was sick of it literally.

Well, that led to a week of being home every other day with a pitiful princess, who was selectively pitiful just at times where it seemed her mommy might leave her. She napped a lot, though, and in the middle of one of our days at home, I left a sleeping baby on the couch to change my smaller one's diaper. I came back to see Reagan in the playroom munching on something. Sniffing her breath, I was able to figure out she had gotten her brother's allergy pill and vitamin off the kitchen table where he'd left it by accident at breakfast.

My heart raced. I frantically found his prescription bottle, called the pharmacy, and was assured she was fine. Regardless, I was still frazzled. We loaded up the car and went to buy mommy a classy box of wine.

My time with the babies has been stretched thin lately. We have to multitask together. David works crazy hours and sometimes I feel like I, we, are all running in different circles. Last week we had kindergarten screening, I rushed to get the girls, not taking my second milk making time, only to remember we needed groceries. It was 5 before I got Reagan in the cart, Anna in the carrier and all of us in the supermarket. I was certainly feeling like I missed a pump, Anna was ready to eat, I am not one to nurse in public, but Anna pawed her way to her favorite tap, I snapped up the hood of the carrier. Fed my baby and grocery shopped with my two year old grabbing every box of Dora fruit snacks into the cart. No one noticed or cared and I felt super empowered. It was a much needed feeling after being away from my babies all day and knowing we wouldn't walk in the door for the first time until well after 6. Not to mention, the massive mommy fail I had with my stressed out princess the week before.

The past few weeks have been difficult in my professional life, over tiring to say the least. When I get exhausted and stressed, I certainly start questioning my parenting abilities as well. The countdown to summer is on, but I may need a larger wine glass until then!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Sick Day

For the first time in a very long time, I am home alone.  It took a fever and an insistent husband, but the girls are at daycare and I am finally starting to feel a little better.  I miss my babies, I hated using a sick day for myself instead of for them, but I have kinda liked hanging out alone!

I took a nap, drank some pop, pumped, took a shower, drank a smoothie, washed bottles, and am  about to go get the babies.  I imagine when my appetite comes back, I'll be hungry, but my poor throat!

I'm looking forward to my mom visiting and helping with the girls for the weekend.  Hoping the rest of the family stays well.  Sometimes mommy has to get sick in order to remember that she's a person separate from her littles!  They are my world, but if I feel like poop I certainly can't be the mommy they deserve.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ramblings of an overworked, overtired mommy

I'm a firm believer in no one can understand what you are going through unless they've done it.  I'm not quick to make parallels or make assumptions between my life and anyone else's, but gosh darn it I am so darn tired.  I think I probably do more than most Americans do in a day before 7.  Let me just say this is all about me.  I'm not adding in what anyone else does in my household, because I cannot make assumptions about their lives and schedules.  Especially the girls, all Reagan talks about is Minnie Mouse and Elmo and last time I checked they weren't doing the laundry.

So I cosleep with my child who uses me as a pacifier.  I know she does it, maybe I should let her cry it out.  I work all day.  I'm away from my own children ALL day.  If I want that snuggle time, guess what, it's mine!  So, I get, on a great night about 5 hours sleep.  That's my own doing, but this is my last baby.  I'm not going to breastfeed her until she's 11.  This is a temporary time.

We get up for the day a little before 6.  Everyone showers or takes baths the night before.  I feed Anna, make sure her bottles are labeled and packed, pack my pump for work, and pack Reagan's bag for daycare.  I dress and dress Anna while Reagan eats breakfast that David usually fixes for her.  I dress Reagan and pack the car, including all five point harnesses of two carseats.  I'm on the road no later than five after 7.

Drop the girls off by 7:30, this is putting Anna's bottles and baby food up, filling out instructions for the day for two girls, and hugs and kisses.  Off to run into work right on time by 7:45.  I spend all day with 5 year olds that are not as sweet or as respectful as I was at five.  I try to teach them manners and math, reading and writing and love.  It's exhausting.

I work til around four and then rush back to pick up the princesses.  They are cranky.  Whine whine whine all the way home.  I nurse Anna, cook dinner, while its cooking I wash bottles and then color with Reagan while we watch Baby Signing Time or Nick Jr.  If its a Tuesday or Wednesday David brings Brent home around 6:15.  We eat, do baths, and hang out and are all in bed by 9.  Other nights, it may just be me and the girls until well after 7.  I pretty much follow the same routine regardless.

All this. Five days.  One wore out mommy.  I'm not asking for sympathy or pats on the back.  I just one day want to be able to remember that I was able to accomplish quite a lot in a little time.  I would not change anything about my babies, even the space between them.  Anna is awaking from her afternoon carseat nap.  Going to cuddle with her and enjoy her being little.

A man works from sun up to sun down, but a woman's work is never done.  My grandmother said this  many times.  I understand now what she meant.