Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I have learned

In honor of my cousin Brandie preparing for her 1st baby due in just a few weeks (YAY!!!), here is a list of things I have learned since becoming a mother:
1) Toys are not needed--your baby will prefer keys, cell phones, the remote, pots, pans, spoons, cooking/kitchen utensils. Save your money :)
2) Because you will be given lots of toys and all toys now require batteries--STOCK UP--yep, buy these in bulk and while you are at it--just buy stock in Duracell or Energizer or whatever brand you prefer (Dollar Store batteries work fine and are CHEAP!)
3) Put extra clothes for you in the diaper bag as well. You'll figure out why. And always check the bag before you leave. I can't tell you how many times I forgot that I used the extra outfits or left the wipes somewhere
4) You will be asked stupid or very personal questions--be prepared to be asked about breastfeeding, your labor, sex (yes, some people do ask), poop (yours and theirs....)....and so on. Plus someone will refer to your baby as "She" even if he's dressed in all blue and something very boyish (thinking sports or construction). Or vice versa--wearing all pink and in a dress with a bow, someone will say "He" (Don't laugh, I was referred to as a boy while wearing all pink--who cares that I was 10 at the time......)
5)Don't forget to eat and drink. Think this will be obvious? Yeah, not so. You will find yourself wrapped up in what your baby needs and will forget about you.
6) On that same note--take time for you daily to shower. Take the bouncy seat or whatever into the bathroom and just shower. Your baby will love the sound of the water. If they don't, do this while they nap or why the husband helps out.
7) And on that same note--accept help. Don't feel like "This is MY baby and I can do it all". Yep--did that and it's tough. Allow anyone you trust(key phrase there--don't just accept help from total strangers) to help, even if they simply offer to clean your kitchen or run your errands.
8) Be prepared to feel overwhelmed with love and cry because of how happy you are. This is not always a sign of postpartum depression--if you are like me, you'll cry over everything, especially things that make you think about your beautiful baby. This could be commercials, seeing a toddler hug his mother, a song.....
9) Don't rush to every sound when they are sleeping. Babies are very loud sleepers so expect to hear grunts, groans, murmurs....
10) Don't let people scare you. You will hear horror stories. Ignore these, cover your ears and say LALALALALA if you have to. Tune out, go to your happy place, PLEASE. I don't know why people feel the need to do this to new moms???
11) Accept handmedowns. If you feel like your baby should only have new clothes, be prepared to be in shock at how much something so small can cost--especially the shoes. ($50 for baby shoes--not kidding)
12) Go to 2nd hand stores/yard sales for this stuff if you can't get handmedowns! You can find great stuff
13) Forget reading all the sleep help books--your baby hasn't read these so they don't know what they are supposed to do. It may not be easy (or it may be super easy depending on your baby) so you will figure what works for them. I PROMISE--these books will make you crazy. Although if you do choose to ignore this--read "No Cry Sleep Solution"--it's the lesser of many evils
14) Join a mom's group or stroller group--you'll love the adult interaction and the chance to talk about your new baby! They can be a great source of information!
I could write all day, but I will end with this:
15) You will wonder how you ever went through life without a child. You will be amazed at how strong you can feel and expect to fall in love with your husband all over again when you see them snuggling up with him. You will see your parents in a whole new light as well. It's an amazing, beautiful and challenging time in your life. Congratulations!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mother's Day is coming...

My husband and I aren't big on gifts at all for each other. We would rather spend money on the kids or something we need for the house and I am fine with that. It was actually my idea believe it or not. People think I am crazy, but honestly as a SAHM, I can't justify the extra expenses so we save where we can and gifts were the logical place to start. So when he asks what I would like to do for Mother's Day, I feel like a horrible person. Here's why--I want to do anything that involves not being a mom. Not that I don't love being a mom, it's just that day would be awesome to spend time away, doing something with friends, doing something I don't normally get to do and just relaxing. Here's why I feel like a horrible person. When I ask him what he wants to do for Father's Day, he always replies, "Just hang out with you and the boys". Yep, enter the guilt. I love that too--just this weekend, we really did nothing special. Just hung out as a family, played, did usual household and parenting things, ...nothing exciting at all. We just.....well, we just were. It was nice and it left me feeling so wonderful and happy. So why is it I want to run off on the one day a year we are celebrated for being Moms? Shouldn't I want to just be with my family and enjoy time with them? Well, of course I do, but here's my reasoning---That time away to relax, be with friends--ADULT friends (huge cheer for adult interaction!!!), helps me to be a better mother and have a better attitude. So guilt, could you please leave me alone????

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ramblings for today

Very scatterbrained today--lots I am thinking about so this will give you a preview of how my mind works :)

Dancing with the Stars
I am so doing a happy dance right now!!!! Kate is no longer a part of the show!!!!!!! Now I can watch and enjoy! I thought most of the stars did really well Monday night although I missed Niecy Nash and only saw the end of Chad Ochocinco. Both of them in the past were okay so I am assuming that was the same. Erin--loved it!!! Nicole--FANTABULOUS as usual! Pamela--really liked it--actually a fan of her on this show. Evan--I enjoy watching you dance although you're so graceful it's almost annoying. Think you are doing a great job though! Jake--eh, I think you should be gone next. You dancing in your underwear made me a little uncomfortable. We'll see what happens next week. I still predict it will come down to Nicole and Evan.

What is it about this show??? It gets me hooked every time. I am a sucker for music and dance and I do like Madonna so last night was cool (especially the 4 Minutes routine--LOVE THAT SONG). I don't watch every week and don't follow it like many do, but when I catch it--man, hooked!

American Idol
Didn't watch--tend to check the recaps at --much more enjoyable than the show ;) but I just have to say. Getting bored. For me, it's not a problem with the judges--could care less if Paula is back or not. I am getting really bored with the song themes. It's just not songs I recognize? I just figure if it's to create a pop star, they should be able to sing current music. Just my opinion though

Criminal Minds
I love this show--it's awesome in every way. Right up my alley with forensics, profiling....but I just have to say this. I could watch with the sound off--Shemar Moore is that beautiful. I love Wednesdays!!

And most importantly---FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!!
My favorite show is finally coming back on May 7!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Competitive Parenting

When did parenting become a competition? Are there medals awards, trophies given out...? Did I miss something that I should be striving for? I have always known that people are competitive but I feel like it's getting extreme. We all have probably dealt with this--that friend or friends whose child is perfect or has everything worse than what your child does. I just don't get it? What does it matter if your child walks a little later than someone else's or if they say more words? I feel like sometimes I can't even talk about my boys without having someone say "Well, MY child...." like they have to one up me. We're parents--we talk about our kids and that's fine, but instead of saying something like "Your child does that? Mine never ______" or "Your child can only say 4 words? My child has been talking since 6 months", simply say something supportive and don't take it as a challenge.
If you are a member of any websites or social networking where you don't really "know" the other people or don't see regularly, you probably have seen what I have heard called the "Internet Baby Syndrome". These babies who do everything early, never get in trouble, do as they are told....It's frustrating! Do I really believe that your baby rolled over at 4 weeks, is talking in full sentences at 12 months, reading at age 18 months, never whines, sleeps 14 hours at 3 months, cleans their toys up without challenge, eats everything you give them....? NO and I don't get why you feel like you have to even say this. But whatever--it's the internet and it doesn't really affect my life, does it? It's just something that annoys me and I felt like discussing.
I just wish that I could have a conversation with my mom friends (dad's just don't do this as much that I have seen) without getting annoyed because they seem to be trying to make me feel like something is wrong with my boys or me as a parent.

Friday, April 16, 2010


You know how most people do their thinking in the bathroom, well, most of mine comes while mowing the lawn. It seems like every time I throw on the music (under the ear protection--go figure) and get on that mower, I start to reflect. Today was no different, except for the fact that for the first time, I am sharing what I was thinking.
First, let me say that I have had some major anger issues since my dad got sick that worsened, as you can imagine, after he passed. I have had a hard time dealing with that and counseling helped a bit, but not completely. I am good at hiding my anger sometimes, but other times, not so much. I was angry that he got sick after FINALLY starting to take care of himself. He had quit smoking 7 years ago after a heart attack but always had weight issues but he was finally at the gym and losing weight. Then the diagnosis of lung cancer hit. I was angry at him because he was a heavy smoker for so many years. I was angry at God for taking him away from his very young grandchildren. I was angry at his doctor because they put him on such a strong dosage of chemo that it made his kidneys stop working. I was angry.....period. So with that being said, I have had this chip on my shoulder and this "Woe is me" attitude. I try to get past it, but it's been a huge weight on me, my attitude and my relationships.
Today, I was thinking about a couple things I have heard lately that are happening to my friends and how hard things must be for them and their family. Then I start thinking about just how lucky I truly am. Although my father passed away way too early, I still had a wonderful father for many years. One who supported me and loved me and was a huge part of my life. My husband lost his father at age 4 and never had this so rather than dwell on his sickness and death, I need to dwell more on the years we had. I have a fantastic relationship with my mother and sister--both who are awesome by the way. We are very close and supportive of each other and while we disagree and aggravate each other at times, the relationship is solid. I have a wonderful husband and children who love me even when I am having a rough time dealing with the anger (just to clarify, I do not physically or verbally abuse--I am just grumpy and unpleasant). I have fantabulous friends that listen to me and keep me entertained. And something that is very important to me--I have a wonderful relationship with my husband's family. My only complaint--we are all just too far apart.
Am I finally healing from losing my father--someone VERY important to me? I don't know. I do know that it is unfortunate that sometimes it takes hearing the misfortunes of others to realize how wonderful my life truly is. I had a similar epiphany when student teaching way back when. I had a student that all the teachers despised. He was such a challenge but for some reason I liked him and we got along. Unfortunately, Charlie was a child who had been through way too much--by age 14, he had been molested by two different family members, neglected by his parents, been in drug rehab and pretty much failed everything--he was only promoted to the next grade for social reasons. I remember after learning this, I sat down and wrote a thank you letter to my parents. This is pretty much why I wrote this down. When I am having one of those days, I just need to sit down and go back over the blessings in my life and remember just how easy I have had it along the way. Plus I'm sharing it because I want all of you who are an important part of my life to know that I adore you and I am sorry for the negative attitude and anger I have had for so many years. Will I be angry and negative again? Probably. But all I can do is try, right?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My How Life Has Changed

Yes, we all know that having children change things. That's a simple fact of life. But what's funny to think about are the silly ways life is now different.
Then--The internet was used to look up lesson plans/ideas, email friends, send jokes, try to stay up on current events, check scores of games...
Now--The internet is a source of social interaction. I rely on it for adult "conversation" particularly with other mothers. And I don't go to sports/news sites anymore unless someone directs me there. And for research--googling "coaching soccer for 4 year olds" or "ways to discipline a child who thinks he's too cute to get into trouble"

Then--weekends consisted of cleaning, having a relaxing dinner with the husband, watching sports, taking long leisurely walks with my dog, shopping, reading, husband and I doing something competitive
Now--Weekends start (well, they did before soccer) with a run with my running group, then home to just entertain the kids so we could get things done around the house--usually consisting of playgrounds, kid centered activities, slow slow walks with the dog, basically anything that wasn't sitting and relaxing.

Then--errands were run at my leisure. I could hang out and visit, chat a bit, take my time and simply enjoy not working.
Now--errands are frantically run trying to avoid messing with naptime, meals or snacks, trying to do everything so Will and Troy weren't bored, complaining, or terrorizing the stores. Basically, errands are done on someone else's schedule (mainly Mom's since she'll watch the boys while I try to get as much done as possible). And I always end up apologizing for Will getting into the displays, pulling things off shelves....

What is always funny to me is that one day, I called my husband at work so excited because I figured out how to push a stroller and pull a wagon carrying 2 loads of laundry to the clothesline. This was a huge feat for me and I was simply shocked that he couldn't understand why I was disturbing his busy schedule??? Yep--I realized that my life was full of new challenges and completely different than all I had known.

Now you may ask why I am complaining about this. It's not complaining--it's simply stating the facts. Would I ever change it? Not a chance! My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me and it's simply me continuing to learn to adjust to life as a mother.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When did I become such a hypocrite?

What is it about parenting that makes you become a hypocrite. I get so frustrated with myself because of this! Just for one example--this morning, Will was not being easy. Didn't want to get a diaper change, throwing food, his cup, his fork, playing in his food, hitting.....and the list goes on. So I spent most of my time fussing, making him hand me things, putting him in time out and yes, I will admit it, yelling at him. Then Troy and Will were playing and Will wasn't listening to Troy's rules of playing--Troy has to lay down the law you see--so Troy started yelling, fussing, making him try again.....and what did I do? I yelled at Troy for yelling at Will. I fussed at Troy for not understanding that Will is only 17 months old (something I need to remind myself). You can see where I am going with this. Troy was simply copying what he was hearing from me and yet, I got angry with him. This happens a lot unfortunately and it's tough explaining to Troy why it's okay for me and Jay to discipline/fuss and not him. I hear myself in Troy all the time and it makes me sad. He makes me realize just how much I fuss at them when I hear him playing with toys and that's exactly what he's doing--fussing and putting them in time out. He'll even spank them which is strange since I haven't done that in 2 years when I realized it simply didn't help my situation. I can't say that I will stop disciplining them and trying to keep them in line, but I certainly need to stop being a hypocrite when Troy copies me

Dancing with the Stars

So here is my entertainment post. I usually avoid being a couch potato judge, but I feel compelled for some reason. So here's my critique as best as I can:
Kate needs to GO--there I have said it. I can't stand seeing her anymore on the show, in the news, on magazine covers....So please don't vote for her and let her go back home and play with her kids!
Now, I know, some people have said--"Why is she being criticized so much because she's a mom? What about the other celebrities that are parents...?" Here's why--She has, count them, 8 kids--and all of her money has been made because she's a parent of these 8 children. So she just needs to go home and be with those 8 kids. Was she a celebrity before? NOPE. All the other people on the show are actors/athletes/performers....well, minus Jake, but whatever, he doesn't annoy me quite to the extent she does and this is the life they lead. She has enough going on and doesn't need to throw any more reality TV in the mix and her complaints about money--well, maybe you should have invested/saved better with the millions you have made because of your show/book/appearances.
Okay--now for everyone else--Nicole, Pamela, Evan, Chad, guys are all amazing (Nicole in particular) and I hope you stick around next week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fat and Happy or Thin and Miserable

I haven't read the article (Self magazine) but it sounds interesting doesn't it? The basic premise is that a woman was taking meds (antipsychotic) that caused her to gain a significant amounts of weight but she was happy. So because of the weight gain, should she have gone off the meds to lose the weight and been miserable?? It's an interesting take on things. I have often wondered if my pursuit of weight loss was worth it. I lost a bit of weight on Weight Watchers about 7 years ago, but I was miserable--starving, bad mood....but I was thinner and got complimented a lot more. Although it's not the same thing as the article--meds weren't an issue, just my metabolism that is fast as a snail, it's kinda the same premise. Is being thin worth being hungry and frustrated all the time. I got to watch my super skinny husband eat tons of food, enjoy dessert, drink beer....all while I drooled over it and hated him for his metabolism.
I am a fitness junkie and it's a good thing because I swear I would be 250 lbs by now if I wasn't. I love working out and am overall healthy because of it--based on lab work--but I also LOVE to eat and not good food at that. So I have found a balance and my weight is steady. The problem--I am over weight by all standards and am very self conscious about it. So what do I do--lose the weight by cutting calories so significantly that I am miserable or walk around overweight and insecure. It's such a frustrating situation. Is there an answer?

Here's the article I was referring to: