End of the Week Update

This week has absolutely flown by! I realized I haven’t been able to post in a bit so this is just an update on what’s going on in my life right now. I love writing and putting all of my thoughts into words but lately I’ve been too tired to even think!

Last week, I signed myself up for 4 weeks of boot camp to kick off my weight loss/toning goals. I’m really not concerned about weight as much as I am about how I feel and look. Right now, I’m feeling a little too soft and giggly. That’s just what happens when you have two babies back-to-back. I’ve been to 6 classes so far and I’m really loving it and it feels so good to be using muscles that I haven’t used in a while and did I mention that they provide childcare? It’s AWESOME! So not only do I get to work out, but I get to do so WITHOUT the distraction of kids. And it’s also a really tough workout, hence boot camp, so I feel accomplished when I’m done.

I’ve been eating pretty healthy as well, which is a lot easier when you are on a dairy restriction that affects your baby and not you(I would just suck it up and suffer through it if I wanted some ice cream, but I can’t do that to my sweet girl). I did have a bite of ice cream on July 4th and it went over alright with the babe, but I don’t want to push it. But I can’t have cheese, any of the creams, or a lot of baked goods so it shuts out a lot of the temptation I would normally face. I just find myself craving a lot of bread and sugar still and I’m trying to chug water when I have these cravings(I’ve heard that when you’re thirsty, your mind tricks you into thinking you’re hungry…) But I’ll be honest, I still want some tasty sugar carbs after I chug the water.

I am determined to get this mom bod toned and healthy before this fall full of weddings! I know this body has gone through a lot with housing and birthing two humans, so I’m not going to hate on it. It’s pretty impressive actually. However, I just want to tone it up just in case I have to beat anyone up that looks at my girls the wrong way. Just kidding. Maybe. I couldn’t knock a fly out right now if I wanted to. Today’s workout was upper body and I have jello arms. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow!

In other news, tonight was the first night for Aubrey in her big girl bed! We went to Target yesterday and she got to pick out new sheets and a new comforter for her bed, in hopes that she would be excited to sleep in it. It worked and she was so excited about her new sheets with unicorns AND deer on them. So 7:30 rolled around and we got her ready for bed and all was well. Josh read a book to her, as usual, and tucked her in…and then the tears started. It was SO HARD to not go in there and fall asleep next to her. We were watching her on the monitor and fighting the temptation to run in and save her for who knows how long. I think she finally fell asleep around 8:30, so hopefully she sleeps through the night.

My town is having a Gilmore Girls block party next week, so I’ve been re-watching Gilmore Girls from the start and so it’s just constantly on in our house and I’m loving it! I so wish we could visit Stars Hollow but sadly, it doesn’t exist. Now all I want to do is go up to Boston during the fall(or anywhere in the Northeast) and stay in a bed and breakfast! FYI, there’s a 14 bedroom house down the road that’s for sale and would be a perfect B&B, but it’s 1.5M and also there’s really not a whole lot to do around here, so no wonder they’re selling…

Since I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls all week, I decided to see what it took to get into Harvard these days. Can you believe that pretty much the minimum GPA to get in is a 4.1? That’s MORE than just straight A’s. Also, the minimum SAT score is 1540. If a student had both of those, there’s still only a 6% chance of getting in. That is crazy! I mean it could happen, but I don’t think either of our girls will be attending. UGA is much more attainable. GO DAWGS!

Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt to stain our deck and front porch, if my arms don’t fall off before then. I told the hubs I would stain if he watched the girls so I can’t complain about sore arms or heat! Wish me luck!

And remember- you’ll make it, mama 🙂

Niki

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Most Sundays, I find a little quiet time when my husband takes my oldest daughter to the grocery store to watch a live message from church. I love watching Andy Stanley, and I feel like he preaches about passages in a way that relates to everyone, even non-believers. I think that is what’s so great about his sermons, because he wants to reach everyone and teach them about Jesus, even if they have no knowledge of Him.

This Sunday, I had to catch up and watch the first message in the current series called Me and My Big Mouth, and the title of the message is Quick to Listen. If you have 40 minutes, you can listen to it HERE. The passage in the Bible that sparked this message is James 1:19-20.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

That passage and message hit me really hard, and is something that I have struggled with and am going to work on. Ever since I watched it, I’ve been linking it to everything going on in politics right now and in friendships. The main message is this: In an argument or discussion, we need to be quick to listen and slow to speak. That means that we need to truly listen to the other person’s ideas/points and not be thinking about how we are going to reply. If we are thinking about our reply, we’re not truly understanding. Then we need to ask questions if we don’t understand where the other person is coming from, instead of assuming.

Even if we believe we are right in the argument, we need to understand that the other person also believes that THEY are also right. We need to understand that God does not want us to be right at one another, but right with one another. That really got to me. And when James says “anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” he is SO right! Everyone is concerned with rightness, and self righteousness, but that is NOT the righteousness that we need to be striving for.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I keep reading this chapter in James and it gets me even more hyped. Verse 26 says “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” SO MANY people need to hear this. We(I’m just as guilty) as Christians need to be better about our actions and words and truly reflect how God wants us to be.

I know that this message could be helpful in my own marriage and in my own friendships. When someone tells me that I’ve hurt them, instead of claiming my own hurt or defending my actions, I will affirm their feelings and apologize. When I know I’m right, instead of stating my case with evidence or shutting down, I will be curious and patient while the other person explains their point of view. I wish more people would practice this too, and I feel like the world would be much more peaceful.

Try practicing this in your own relationships and let me know how it goes. You’ll make it, mama!

❤ Niki

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 the most 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 are everywhere 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!!

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.