Getting Out of The House

As I mentioned in my last post, the process of going anywhere with children takes years, and in turn, makes me and my family late pretty much all the time. Most days, I choose to stay at home purely because this process is so intimidating. It is such a hassle to get myself ready, get two kids ready, and out the door. You would think it would be easy since they are so small…no. It’s quite the opposite actually. My two year old daughter is potty trained, which is great, but now we have to make sure she has gone to the bathroom right before we leave because I’m not prepared for what would happen if she had to go while I was driving. Do I stop on the side of the road? How long do I have? Do we have time to pull off, park, get the baby out, run in with a baby on one hip and toddler on the other? So many ways this could go downhill.

Anyway, before leaving the house, the toddler has to go potty, will ask for a snack, and then will inevitably take off and lose the shoes that we put on her. Once she is situated, we’re normally good to go. The baby isn’t mobile yet so I don’t have to worry about her losing shoes or hiding from me, thank goodness. I do, however, have to make sure she is fed and has her pacifier. Those are bothvery important. I’ve ended up in Target without insuring both of those and it was AWFUL. Luckily, Target is full of moms who totally get it, so I just got looks that said “I feel you, girl. It sucks.” and not “Ew, look at that mom with the screaming baby, get her out of here.”Since my youngest is EBF(exclusively breast fed), she still eats every 3 hours and sometimes 2.5 so I need to feed her right before we go and then I have 2.5-3 hours before I need to feed her again. So I have to ask myself how long our outing will take and will I be in a location that is easy to feed her.

As you could probably tell, I really get worked up over this whole process and unless I have to, I usually just stay at home with the girls. However, I made it a summer goal to get out more with them and do things instead of staying inside all day, every day. This week we worked toward that goal and got out of the house once each day! It was great to catch up with friends and play somewhere other than our living room. It really made the week fly, doing something every morning and getting home just in time for nap and then playing the rest of the afternoon. I realized that I still really dislike getting them ready to go and I don’t think that will change any time soon, but that it is worth it to see my oldest daughter excited about our adventures. I’m going to try my best to get out of the house more, even though it’s tough, and just tell myself “You’ll make it, mama!” because I will and in the end, we’ll all be better for it.

7 Things I’ve Had to Say ‘Goodbye’ to Since Having Children.

I love being a mom. I love my daughters and I love that I am able to stay at home with them every day. I am blessed beyond measure, but there are things that I sometimes miss that you just have to say ‘goodbye’ to once you have children. Especially multiple, and especially if they are 2 and under. Those things are as follows, and in no particular order.

  1. Being on time, anywhere. Before having children, I wasn’t themost punctual person, but I was normally on time or maybe a few minutes early. Occasionally I would run in looking like the Mad Hatter, but I was there! Now, I’m more like the White Rabbit. “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” For instance, this morning we had plans to be somewhere at 9:30. It is 22 minutes away. So at 9:00 I get up and gather everything and put it on the table. I get the baby changed and dressed, get the toddler dressed and have her go use the potty, get our snacks and drinks ready(you HAVE to have snacks. at ALL times), pack more diapers and change of clothes for both, and I think we’re ready. HA. The shoes that were just on the toddler are now off the toddler and she has to go pee again. I hear an explosion coming from the baby that’s already buckled in the carseat. The books I asked to be cleaned up areeverywhere and I hate to come home to a messy house. So I’m yelling and I’m flustered and my dog is trailing behind me because she hates when I yell. Needless to say, we were very, very, very late. We arrived at almost 10:00. -insert face-palm emoji- Adios, punctuality!
  2. Getting an un-interrupted 9 hours of sleep.I have always been a great sleeper. My own mother told me that when I was a baby, I started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and then I would sleep in until mid-morning. She gave me hope when she said that! But then I had my daughter. She didn’t sleep through the night until 8 months when we started the CIO method, and sometimes she still wakes up in the middle of the night, and always is up before 7 AM. I had convinced myself that we had the difficult child first and the second would be easier. I was wrong. My 5 month old daughter is still in our bed and literally wakes me every 2 hours to eat. I also sleep so lightly now and I hear every little thing, which I’m sure is a biological thing since I’m a mother, but it is super annoying. I’m now a high maintenance sleeper that has to have a fan and a white noise machine or else I can’t sleep at all. Adios, sleep!
  3. My high-school body.This one may be a given, but I thought there was a chance of seeing it again if I tried really hard and ate healthy. Nah. It’s not possible. I’ve birthed and breasted two babies… Things have gone South for the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Adios, bubble butt and perky boobs!
  4. Using the bathroom alone. I say ‘using the bathroom’ because it does not matter what you’re doing in said bathroom, you will have an audience. When I shower at night, the baby sits in her bouncy seat right outside the door so she can see me, or else she wails like a siren. During the day, any pee or poo activity will be monitored closely and cheered on if needed. I do appreciate the high-five, but some things are just best without an audience. Adios, privacy!
  5. Silence.I think I’m happy about this one, but it’s definitely something I’ve had to say ‘goodbye’ to. There is no such thing anymore. Maybe when I just had one, but definitely not now. We wake up at promptly 6:30 every morning and my toddler is “turnt”. She then wakes up her sister with a “HHIIIIIIII SISTER! GOOD MORNING!” And yes, it’s a yell. Every. Morning. And one of them is always awake. They alternate naps. There’s squealing, laughing, talking, yelling, crying, whining, stomping, and singing, but no silence. Ever. Adios, peace and quiet!
  6. Cooking elaborate meals.I used to love cooking. I loved trying new recipes and the fancier, the better! However, fancy also means time and patience- both of which I no longer have. I also loved to bake. I would do just about anything for a piece of homemade hummingbird cake right now. Drool. I still love to bake, but the kind of baking I am now able to do involves pre-made cookie dough squares that you pop onto a baking sheet and voila. I also still love to cook, neither love went away necessarily, but it’s now more of a rushed, just cook to feed us kind of thing. Protein, carb, veggie. Protein, carb, veggie. Protein, carb, veggie. Adios, smoked salmon eggs Benedict!
  7. Going wherever I want, whenever I want.Back to #1 in which I explained why I was late this morning, going somewhere entails A LOT. So the days of merely hopping in the car and going don’t exist. It takes lots of planning and lining up someone to watch the kids. Adios, Hobby Lobby!

All in all, I feel like 7 is not too bad. It’s still a pretty low number, and I’ve been able to say ‘hello’ to a lot of things as well. That’ll have to be another post, I know y’all are tired of reading. To be honest, I don’t really miss all of the things on this list. Because to miss them would mean I want them back and I love my life. I don’t want anything to change. I mean maybe sleep would be nice….. But maybe I didn’t say ‘goodbye’ to that forever. Just for now. If you’re in the same boat, just know that you’ll make it Mama! We’re in this together! If you’re not in the same boat, don’t let this scare you from having kids. It’s a blast!!

Self Care

Hey y’all! This is a short video on taking care of yourself! Too many times we neglect ourselves because we are too busy caring for others. A huge part in taking the time for yourself is asking for help or accepting help from others. I have a really hard time with that but have learned to accept help… still working on the asking part. If you don’t have a support system behind you, and you live near me, I will help you! We all need a little “me” time to make sure we are the best moms and wives we can be.

You’ll make it, mama!!! You’re doing a great job!

Niki

Reflections

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if all parents do it, but every night after putting my daughter to bed, I find myself looking at pictures I’ve taken during the day and laughing at all the funny things she said or did. It seems like while I’m in the moment, I’m tired, worn-out, and waiting for my husband to get home from work to help me. I realize that I criticize myself and how I acted earlier with her. I hope that she doesn’t remember the eye-roll that I gave her, or how I snapped at her when she asked for a snack for the forty-third time.
I take notice of how she treats her dolls and if that is any correlation, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. She talks sweetly to them, reads to them, feeds them, and puts them down for naps. She holds and rocks them alone in her rocking chair when she thinks no one is watching. It makes my heart melt seeing her love on her babies like I love on her. Even though I can see myself in her loving actions with her dolls, I pray that she doesn’t also notice my poor actions and words when I’m frustrated with her for not eating her lunch and then asking for a snack as soon as she gets down. You can probably tell I am still a little salty about that.
Tonight is no different from every other night. I sit here in my spot on the porch typing away and thinking about how I let the whole day slip away because I was tired and cranky and now I can’t get it back. People always say time flies. I found that to be true when Aubrey started turning over, crawling, standing, walking, RUNNING, when she turned 1, when she started talking, and when she turned 2. Now I realize it goes so fast because we are waiting for something. Waiting for the weekend, waiting for our husbands to get home, waiting for a break. We don’t just live in the moment and ENJOY the moment.
I am going to strive to do better. I am going to strive to BE better for my daughters. Today, I complained to my husband that Aubrey was misbehaving and being really sassy to me. I kept asking her “why? why are you acting like this?”. I know she’s two, but she is really a great kid and today she just seemed off. Then I realized that those puckered lips, scowl on her face, and snapping at me could have been and probably was caused by me. It hit me how my attitude towards her is shaping her; the good and the bad.
Tomorrow is going to be different. I am going to pause and think about what to say to Aubrey instead of raising my voice or glaring. I am going to play in her kitchen with her and pretend-eat all of the food she makes for me. I’m going to put my phone down and stop looking at the time. When she asks me for a snack for the forty-third time, I’m not going to snap. I don’t want another day to go by where I feel like it slipped through my fingers, and I also don’t want another day to go by where Aubrey feels like I don’t want to be there. One day, Aubrey won’t want to play with me anymore and I’m not ready for that day to come yet.

Gray Hairs

Well y’all, it happened. One of the things I had most feared, but didn’t think would happen for a while. Something that will be etched in my brain forever.

My baby fell off of the changing table.

Edit- she did not merely *fall*. She apparently took the Olympics to heart and tried her own backwards free dive off of the 3 ft. platform while the lifeguard was picking out an outfit in the closet. I know that I should have been there. Josh and I have even had conversations on how she is becoming more mobile and therefore we need to watch out. I have read multiple times that you have to strap your baby down or have one hand on them at all times when on the changing table. In that moment, I wasn’t thinking. I was tired, and I definitely underestimated the strength of my daughter. Because even though she can’t roll yet, she sure can push those little legs. Although I am glad it was on my watch, it’s hard for me to forgive myself.

I guess I should go ahead and let y’all know that she is fine, I took her to the pediatrician and she said everything is perfect and she didn’t see anything to be concerned about.

It was around 9 am on Wednesday, just a few hours after Josh had left town on business(great timing!-insert eye roll emoji-) and I had carried her into her room, plopped her on the changing table, and went to pick out an outfit in her closet. Not 30 seconds later, I heard a bang. I didn’t even have to look to know that it was her that had fallen off and not the wipe warmer or the lotion. I shot around the door as fast as I could and saw her laying on the floor face-down and my heart just sank. I yanked her up and hugged her and said “I’m sorry” about a million times, tears streaming down my face and hers, and praying to God that she was OK. She and I just held each other and cried literally for 5 minutes and then I composed myself enough to think clearly and examine her for any abnormality. I called the doctor and brought her in, just to be sure. The doctor checked her out and almost laughed at me, probably because I would start crying the minute I even thought about what happened. She told me that this time was the first of many, and it happens to the best of us. I wanted to believe her, I did. But I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that it does happen, way too many times in a child’s life.

I fell as a baby, and I’m sure I fell as a toddler, and I was a really fearless child, as most are, so I fell all the time. However, I felt like the worst mom ever for letting that happen to her. I felt like she looked at me and wondered why I wasn’t there to protect her. I’m worn out from watching her like a hawk for the past 48+ hours, but I’ve finally just accepted that I cannot continue to blame myself and feel like a bad mom. So many friends have texted me, comforting me, and I am so thankful for friends that are also mothers and understand that these things happen. Too often, I think it’s expected for moms to be perfect. We need to realize though, that we all make mistakes and at the end of the day, our kids turn out perfectly fine! We need to stick together and be there for one another so that we don’t put all the pressure on ourselves and end up with chest pains.

I’m also comforted in the knowledge that my baby is surrounded my angels that watch over her. I know they were there when I wasn’t, and she doesn’t have a single scratch or bump on her innocent little body. I pray over her every night that God will protect her and keep her out of harms way, and that He will shield her from sickness. I believe that he does that and that he definitely had my back on Wednesday and protected her. I think of all the things that could have happened from the fall but didn’t, and I am just so thankful.

Now to tuck my new gray hairs in and wait for more to pop up, as new scares and worries come with parenthood. I welcome them because they’ll make me wiser, and one day, I’ll be one of the experienced mom’ssaying “You’ll make it, mama.”IMG_8745

Lessons

Hey y’all! It’s good to get back to writing after a whole month away from blogging! yikes! Ya know, just over here being a mom. NBD(no big deal, for those of you who are like “whaaaat? network block device?”). Seriously though, I’m going to try and post more often(definitely more than once a month). I’m slowly getting the hang of things around here.

Today’s post is about lessons. Very important lessons I have learned thus far in my 12 weeks of being a mom.

1. The MOST important lesson that I just learned yesterday- my baby DOES NOT like when I eat pizza. I will not be eating pizza while breastfeeding ever again. Pizza gives my baby a horrible, blood-curdling screaming, back arching, legs straightening bout of reflux. It happened yesterday at precisely 5:04 pm and lasted until 6:28 when I finally calmed her down enough to get her to sleep. If you have ever had a child go through reflux, bless your heart. It is the worst thing I’ve experienced so far, even over lessons 2 and 3 that you will soon learn. Hearing my baby cry and scream in pain and not being able to do ANYTHING about it, is literally heartbreaking. No more pizza.
2.It IS possible to change your baby standing up in the car and NOT get any poo on you! We had a severe blowout and successfully changed clothes and diaper whilst standing without any stains on the car or mommy and in 9 minutes.
3. Shots are totally necessary but as a parent, you will feel terrible and helpless watching your poor baby(who is smiling and happy on the table and completely unaware of what is coming) get pricked in the thigh. I was not mentally prepared for that. I hate shots myself, and I would have rather taken 3 in my own thigh than see her have to, but unfortunately immunity doesn’t work like that.
4. Breastfeeding, although sometimes frustrating(like when you want pizza but can’t have it because it inflicts pain on your baby), is SUPER cool! I love that I am providing my child with nutrients and immunity to viruses and pathogens that I am exposed to. I also love that I provide comfort for her through breastfeeding. I just love it.
5. Babies need routine just as much as we do. If we don’t get Aubrey to bed by 8:30, it will take double the time to put her down because she’s so far past tired that she won’t sleep. We have *tried* to keep her on a rough schedule so that we can pinpoint what she needs and when she needs it. Luckily, a lot of our friends have kids too so they understand when we have to head out early. No one wants to experience the wrath that WILL follow if the baby doesn’t go to bed on time.
6. The TV is amazing. I used to think I would be one of those moms that don’t allow tv, ipads, or cell phones. I still think I’m going to limit time with all three of those things, but right now… TV allows me to enjoy a cup of tea, eat a snack, pump, or even write this blog post. At this instant, my 3 month old is enjoying the 31st Olympic Games. I tell myself that she’s learning about sports and the hard work it takes to be an olympian. Who knows? She might be in the 2036 Olympic Games for badminton or trampoline. Startin’ her early, y’all. They’ll interview her after she wins the gold, and she’ll say it’s all because she remembers watching the 2016 Olympics with her mom…
7. You can’t spoil your baby too much. In the beginning, we had discussed not holding her all the time so that she would get used to being on her own and wouldn’t rely on us to sleep. That lasted for about a week. Honestly, hold your baby and love on her/him as much as you can, because they won’t be this tiny for long and it’s not a bad thing to show them love.
8. If you’re going somewhere, don’t put on your going out clothes until 2 minutes before you leave. It never fails, as soon as I put something cute on, my little sugar plum throws up all over me. So just a word of wisdom, wait. Speaking of waiting, your loved one is going to spend a ton of time waiting on you to do pretty much anything. Everything takes so much longer now with a baby, but at least I have a good excuse.
9. There is no love like the love you have for your baby. I’ve always heard that from my mom and from more seasoned parents, but I didn’t fully understand it until I had my own. But it’s serious. Like…mama bear comes out in full swing at the mere thought of anything happening to her. I will do anything. anything at all in my power to keep her safe.
10. You’ll make it, mama. You’ll learn a lot about your baby and how to be a parent, but you’ll most likely learn it the hard way. You’ll wing a lot of things and maybe they’ll work, maybe they won’t. You’ll go crazy trying to figure it out and you will be tired and grumpy. However, you WILL make it! And your baby thinks you’re doing a great job! He or she has no clue that you don’t know what you’re doing, because they’re new to this too! You can learn together

Well, that’s all folks. Keep your head up and wear your poopie and milk stained dress(LOL, who am I kidding? Leggings and tshirt) with pride! You’ll make it, mama!