A Mom’s Thoughts While Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I took my four-year-old and a one-year-old to the grocery store. I normally save these trips for weekends or evenings when my Husband is home and I can go kid-free. This time, pregnancy cravings forced me to go on a mad hunt for a cocktail shrimp ring and cinnamon toast crunch midday. This despite a max of four hours of sleep the night before due to pelvic pressure and round ligament pain from the apparent dinosaur baby residing in my uterus. This is my story:

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Not a single parking place, this is a great sign. How badly do I want that cereal? Badly enough. OOH THERE’S ONE. BEAT THE OTHER GUY. #WINNING.

MOMMYYYYY WE HAVE TO GO INSIDE AND FIND A BIG BUGGY! 

That’s cool, I’ll just turbo waddle through the parking lot, heavy baby on my hip, maternity pants sliding down awkwardly, and holding the four-year-old’s hand all while simultaneously praying that he doesn’t let go and that this store is out of the Cadillac-esque buggies. YES! THEY ARE OUT! THERE IS A GOD!

Looks like they are out of the big buggies, Bubba. (cue whine commencement.) Oh darn, now how am I going to make my three-display-destruction-per-trip quota.

MOMMY LOOK!

Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH (other Mom exiting store) for giving us yours. I sincerely hope your kids force you to listen to a Yo Gabba Gabba soundtrack the whole way home.

Okay, get in, get what I came for, get out….OMG CHRISTMAS STUFF IS UP….NO. Focus.

Mommyyyyyyy, can we go look at the Christmas stuff?? Absolutely, after I get a few other things! Well, at least I can blame him now.

Oooh, there are the shrimp rings. Yes! I wonder how many people are judging me? Let me just poke out my belly a little extra, then they will understand. Well, at least the women.

Okay…cereal aisle…cinnamon toast crunch, get in mah belly. No, Bubba we don’t need Lucky Charms…Yes, Mommy is getting cereal…we don’t need more than one kind today…Because, the baby wants it…Fine, just put them in the buggy. Why does he always have such valid points? He’s four.

Ooh, we need milk, and cheese sticks, and yogurt, and why did I come here hungry? Where’s the wine aisle? Oh yeah, pregnant. Grape juice it is.

Let’s just go look at the Christmas things now. Oooh the crafty things! Don’t even go there, Taylor. You’ll never get out of here. Okay, how do I get there without passing the toy aisle…

TOYSSSSSS MOMMY WE HAVE TO LOOK SO I CAN WRITE MY LETTER TO SANTA TODAY. 

Crap.

I want that one. Okay. And that one. Okay. And this one too. We’ll see. I’ll just ask Santa. You go right ahead.

I just want to get to the Christmas section already. 

Okay, Mommy. Let’s just go look at Christmas stuff now! Did he just hear me think that?

Push that button, Mommy! (cue obnoxiously loud version of a moose singing Jingle Bells.) People are starting to stare. One-year-old is starting to fidget. Even she’s embarrassed at how loud that dang moose is.

Push that button too, Mommy! Pleaseeee!! Last one, Bubba. (cue obnoxiously loud snowman version of Winter Wonderland.) Seriously? Now I remember why I don’t buy these things. 

Okay, Bubba. Let’s go. BUT WHY? Because the baby is crushing Mommy’s pelvis when she walks. WHAT’S A PELVIS? Mommy’s buttbone. He’s crushing Mommy’s buttbone. I’ll regret that one later. 

Okay, find a check out line. We’re almost out. Can I have skittles? No, you don’t need skittles. Can I have tic-tacs? No, you don’t need tic-tacs. Remind me to thank Nini again for getting him hooked on those. Why are you so mean, Mommy? I know, mean, mean Mommy trying to keep your teeth from rotting out. What was I thinking? Crap, now who is he talking to now? Why doesn’t he understand stranger-danger?

…and my name is Batman and I’m four years old. My mommy has a baby in her tummy and he’s a boy and his name will be ‘Ass-er Charies.’ He will come out of Mommy’s bellybutton but right now he’s crushing her buttbone. She told me so. That’s why we’re leaving. Oh, and because I probably have to go poop soon because my farts smell like tacos.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, Bubba. Now that you’ve told the man way more than he ever needs to know, let’s go.

Okay! You can call my Mommy and talk about it some more! Her number is 9…OKAY, AIDEN. LET’S GO.

BUT MOMMY HOW IS MY NEW FRIEND GOING TO CALL ME…..(cue Mommy waving goodbye at the poor, unsuspecting man who just wanted to buy his trashbags and beer in peace and running out the door.)

I am never coming here again. Ever. Husband is doing all the grocery shopping from now on. I’m done. All I have to do is get these kiddos buckled in and it’s home for naptime. 

No, we’re not going to McDonald’s. No, we’re not going to Chick-fil-a. No, we’re not going to Subway.

WELL WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT?

Lucky Charms. PB&J when we get home.

THAT DOES NOT SOUND YUMMY! Everyone comfy and ready? 

Aaaaaand, I forgot the milk.

Click here to follow me on instagram for daily posts on life with Aiden & his soon arriving brother, “Ass-er.” 🙂

A Letter to my Pre-Mom Self

letterIt’s okay.

I know you’re terrified. It’s okay to be scared. Your life is about to change more than you can imagine.

I know you’re in the midst of trying to decipher the difference between all of those diapers, and the bottles, and the pacifiers, and I won’t even mention the pumps. But, guess what?

They don’t matter.

I know that you think you don’t know a single thing about raising children. But who really does? Relax. You, like all other mommies, are going to figure it out as you go along. You’ll be fine.

Don’t worry so much about your birth plan. Things in childbirth rarely go as planned. Just plan to do whatever it takes to bring that sweet boy (yes, it’s a boy!) into the world safely.

Recovering from your cesarean is going to suck. Physically and emotionally. Take it easy while you recover physically, and accept help when it’s offered. Emotionally will take longer. Just know that you are not a failure. You made the safest choice for your little boy, and that matters so much more than the method he used to enter this world.

Your boobs are going to hurt. Like, imagine the pain comparisons you’ve read in one of the ten baby books you own, and then multiply it tenfold. Breastfeeding is hard. Again, accept the help when it’s offered and ask for help when you need it instead of trying to figure it out yourself.

Don’t expect to sleep for a while. Even if he does, you’ll be too busy staring at him, in amazement at this life you created, and you’ll constantly be checking to make sure he’s breathing. Showers will also be few and far between. Don’t fret, you’ll be too exhausted to go out into public anyway.

When you bring him home, don’t be alarmed when you become so overwhelmed with love that you just cry. This doesn’t go away. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing yourself to send him off to kindergarten. So enjoy the seasons as they come.

Know that you will be different. Your mind, YOUR BODY, your everything. You will transform from selfish to selfless, constantly putting this other life before yours, before you even realize what happens. Your body will never be the same. Your stretch marks will fade eventually, your boobs will go back down to their “normal” size, but you will notice that your feet and fingers are a little fatter than they were before. And your behind will stay a little more round than you remember. Embrace your new body. It did the job God intended for it to do.

Your relationships will be different. Some friends will stick by you. Some will fade into the background. You’ll probably feel alone from time-to-time. Get out and make some friends who are at the same stage in life as you. You can’t expect those not in your shoes to understand what your life is like now.

Your house will never be clean. Well, it might for the first five minutes after you finish tidying and then sit down. Then your boy will wake up from his nap, your Husband will come home from work, dinner will need to be made, and someone will spill something, somewhere. Don’t let it drive you crazy. Life happens.

You will quickly realize that you don’t know why in the world you ever stressed over bottles and diapers. This mom-thing will come so naturally to you that you’ll wonder why you ever worried. You’ll quickly realize that before you had your sweet baby, there was always some piece of the puzzle that was missing and you just had no idea. Now, your heart and home will feel complete.

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How am I Already Eighteen Weeks?

IMG_1585-2 6How far along? Eighteen weeks.

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain: Don’t want to talk about it… (+3/4). But my maternity jeans are two sizes smaller than the jeans I wore last year! 🙂

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working.

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: Rough. 

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Meat. Asher is clearly a vegetarian. 

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! And a few actual kicks!

Labor signs: Nope! But a ton of pressure sometimes. 

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn.

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Learning the gender! Can’t wait to meet my newest sweet boy!

Looking forward to: Registering and moving into our new place so I can begin my nesting!

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Seventeen Weeks (And an October-Announcement!)

17weeksHow far along? Seventeen weeks, one day!

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: We’ll find out tomorrow!!

Total weight gain: Up a little over a pound from where I started!  

Maternity clothes: Oh yes. Hair tie trick no longer working very well.   

Stretch marks: Just the pre-existing ones. But my lower belly is starting to get itchy. Coconut oil, for the win!

Sleeping: So-so.

Food Cravings: MILK. And anything with grapes. Especially grape juice. 

Anything making you sick or queasy? Very few things and very far between!

Miss Anything? Energy, Sleep, Wine, and Sushi. 

Movement: Stronger flutters and wiggles! 

Labor signs: Nope!

Symptoms: Light stretching/cramps, pure exhaustion, soooooo emotional, and the horrible acne of a teenager. Oh, and heartburn has arrived with a vengeance.  

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but weird and bumpy-ish around the top left side. Not going to hold on very long. 

Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Feeling flutters more often!

Looking forward to: Gender scan tomorrow!! Can’t wait to see if we’re having a girl or another sweet boy! 

Click here to follow me on instagram and be the first to know!

Remember to go here and take the gender poll before tomorrow!

OCTOBER ANNOUNCEMENT!

Since I’ve gained about 1,800 wordpress followers alone since my last ‘getting to know you’ post, I’m going to spend the month of October answering your questions! Comment below any questions you may have for me. (Parenting styles, discipline, schooling methods, birth plans, ANYTHING!) You can also email your questions to me at natmblog@gmail.com 🙂 Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

Also, early next month I will be hosting a guest series related to pregnancy and childbirth. (I know you’re shocked!) If you’re interested in submitting a post, email me at natmblog@gmail.com!

Beach Bear Cupcakes

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For Aiden’s End-Of-Year party, I made Beach Bear Cupcakes! This is my go-to cupcake recipe. For the cupcake and the icing, I obviously used blue food-coloring. You’ll also need:

-Blue Crystal Sprinkles

-Teddy Grahams

-Lifesavers.

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Ingredients:
2/3 c. butter, soft
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
3. In a large bowl mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time. Combine dry ingredients. Stir into batter alternately with milk.
4. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven.

Icing:

2 oz (60g) butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
A dash of salt

Preparation:

1. Whip butter in an electric mixer on medium speed for about 8 minutes or until it becomes creamy.
2. Pour in rest of the ingredients and continue blending them on low speed for a minute, then change the speed and keep mixing for another 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. You can also add food coloring.

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To decorate:

1. Use food coloring to make icing blue. Spread on each cupcake.

2. Use food processor to crush at least a cup of teddy grahams. (This is your sand.) Spread in half moon shape on the cupcake.

3. Sprinkle the blue crystal sprinkles on remaining icing.

4. Stick bears in their inner tubes and place on the icing. And you’re done!

Cute, easy, and a huge hit with the kids!

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Elves Like Chocolate Too.

Buddy got into Aiden’s advent calendar and chocolate stash this morning!

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But he saved today’s piece just for Aiden!

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And another passive aggressive “list” reminder for Mommy.

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Aiden’s reaction the Buddy eating his chocolate, summed up in a photo:

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Elf Diary 3: Elf on the Swing?

Apparently Buddy got into my craft stash last night and made himself a swing using my ribbon, and a toilet paper roll!

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Buddy also wrote Aiden (who has been EXTRA…ummm…three-year-old-ish the last few days) a note reminding him to be NICE! And to make a Christmas list so that Santa’s helpers…aka the Grandparents… will leave Mommy alone! 😉


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By the way, if you decide to try this one, you need some weight inside the TP roll to counter the weight of the elf’s head. These seashells worked perfectly, and Aiden couldn’t see them from his angle.

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Elf Diaries: Day 2

I’m not sure if Aiden was more concerned about the fact that Buddy colored on his face, or the fact that Buddy was holding Mommy’s markers. (Aiden isn’t allowed to touch them after a certain hallway wall re-decorating fiasco.) Either way, day two was successful…so far!
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Humbled.

I was an extremely selfish person.

I liked to sleep, I liked to be lazy, and I only cared about myself. I would like to say that this changed when I became a mom, but I can’t. It changed over two years before Aiden was even conceived.

My whole worldview was shattered in 2007. 

I almost didn’t even go. I was sixteen, the person I looked up to most at the time had died a month before, and I honestly didn’t care about anything other than myself, and my “boyfriend” at the time. I was angry at God, and completely closed off to any sort of message He may have been trying to send me.

Rewind a few months. The director of the camp I worked at the previous summer put this trip on the table. It was a place called Camp Barnabas. It had been on an episode of Extreme Makeover a few years before, our director was friends with that director, and she wanted to know if we wanted to volunteer for a week.

I said yes, mostly because my friends were going. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My youth pastor, Art, came home from Afghanistan for a few weeks and I told him about the trip. He was SO excited about it. His advice to me was, “Switchfoot said it best: Maybe we’ve been living with our eyes half open, maybe we’re bent and broken. I dare you to move. Yes, I know it’s two different songs, but you get the point.”

I started to get excited!

Camp Barnabas is a summer camp for kids and adults with special needs. These range from autism and hearing-impaired, to physically and mentally disabled, and wheelchair bound. Campers get to swim, canoe, ride horses, zipline, and any other activities you would imagine a normal summer camp to consist of. We were going to volunteer during a week with physically-disabled campers.

A little over a month before we left, Art was killed in Afghanistan.  Read about it here.

I was angry..no, livid with God. And it showed. I didn’t even want to go on the stupid trip anymore. 

But I did. 24+ hours in a van with way too many people, an overnight in Nashville, and a lot of carsickness later and we were in Purdy, Missouri

We went through hours and hours of training and classes to “prepare” us to be the 24/7 caregivers for these campers. The night before they arrived we sat down and chose our campers, and prayed with each other for strength and guidance. It was overwhelming, and I remember being so anxious about the campers arriving.

The way Camp Barnabas does the camper arrivals is amazing. The cars line up, and one-by-one campers get out, have their names called out over the loudspeaker, and the counselor assigned to them comes to greet them while the remaining hundreds of counselors and staff members scream and cheer in the background. 

My camper’s name was Jackie. She was a 52-year-old woman who was legally blind, wheelchair bound, and full of opinions. Over the next few days, she wore me out. The first couple of days were rough. I was still learning her routine, and getting accustomed to putting someone else’s needs ahead of my own. (That’s no easy feat when you’re sixteen and selfish). She was completely dependent on me, and that alone was overwhelming. Overwhelming and humbling.

“…but all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for God has opposed the proud, but takes delight in the humbled.” -1 Peter 5:5

And He did. I was so humbled by this experience, and God used it to show me that although I was so angry with Him, he was still there. I have a hard time putting the experience from that week into words. Jackie got to go canoeing with me and swimming with me. She got to dance with me and even go down a waterslide. Jackie couldn’t even use the bathroom or see where her food was without my help. These are things that we often take for granted as completely healthy human beings.

She and I prayed together, and then cried together the day she left. I was supposed to be the one to change Jackie’s life that week, but honestly, she’s the one who changed mine.blog3 blog5 camp blog2 blog4 blog

I did return to Camp Barnabas for two more weeks before becoming Aiden’s mommy, but those stories are for another day 🙂

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