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.

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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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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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Rookie Mom Confessions.

 

When you become a new mom, you really don’t have the slightest idea exactly how hard it is going to be to be responsible for this little, tiny, helpless, screaming, non-sleeping, anti-latching, infant. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, and you feel like you are completely alone. 

When Aiden was first born, I realized within a week that I was in way over my head. Luckily, I had a good support system in my family, and in his paternal grandparents.

Regardless, everyone reaches their breaking point sometimes. A young mother in the facebook group that I help run made a FANTASTIC suggestion when I asked for opinions for my next blog entry. Rookie Mom Confessions. Obviously. Hence the title.

I felt like it was a fantastic idea, since most of my readers are young or new moms. I asked my friends and followers to anonymously email or message me what they thought were some of the most awful, horrendous, and shocking things that they have done since becoming mothers. I chose ten of the most intense confessions I received, but I’ve also mixed in one of my own, didn’t want to be excluded in a chance to get something off my chest!

1) i sometimes let my kid play in his room while i sleep an extra hour, hes fine, its childproof and hes gated in, but i still feel guilty. but i am utterly and completely exhausted.

[It’s not like you duct taped him to a wall. He was safe, not crying or anything-I assume-and if he was playing happily, I don’t really see anything wrong here.]

2) When I get overwhelmed, I send myself to my room. Kids bang on the door and I tell them I can’t come out and they can’t come in until the timer goes off because Mommy is in trouble and needs a time-out.

[Mommy time-outs can be a good thing. Personally, mine is running on the treadmill with my “angry-girl” music playing after my son is in bed.]

3) My number one reason for not wanting to have a third baby is that I pee my pants pretty much every day since my second was born two years ago. At this rate, my kids will soon be more potty-trained than I am.

[Ok, I laughed so hard after reading this that I almost peed myself, ironically. Everyone knows having a baby screws with your body, inside and out. They just don’t always warn you about the after-effects of pregnancy. One word- KEGELS.]

4) I let my kids stay home from school sometimes just because. We all need mental breaks.

[Mom of the Year. I had to be bleeding or basically dying to stay home from school just because. Again, I see no problem with this!]

5) i put my son in his high chair in front of the tv and turned on disney one day last week just so that i could take a shower.

[Showers are good. So is Disney. As long as he was safe, and it wasn’t like a 30-60 minute shower, I say bathe away!]

6) I always find myself being a MUCH better Mommy after a couple of glasses of wine.

[Who isn’t? Just make sure your definition of “couple” is 1-2, and not 5-6. There’s relaxed, and then there’s alcoholic. Also, I would recommend having someone else in the house adult-wise. No judgement, just saying.]

7) I left my 1.5 year old in his crib crying and walked outside for a smoke so that i wouldnt scream at him. sometimes doing this alone overwhelms me.

[Um, this will probably get some harsh words, but whatever. Sometimes, you need a break. The crib is the safest place for a small child to be after Mommy’s arms, and I commend you for being able to know when to step away and regain your composure.]

8) My daughter’s grandmother, my mom, tried to convince me for the first 3 months of my pregnancy to have an abortion because I was so young. I’m pro-choice but I could never go through with it myself. She loves her granddaughter more than anything now but I still pray every day that she will never find out that her Grandmother didn’t want me to have her.

[That is intense. Someone very close to me went through something very similar. Almost exactly the same situation actually. It’s hard, but forgive your Mom. She only thought she was doing what was best for you, and I’m sure that now she regrets it after growing to love your daughter.]

9) the only reason i havent left my husband (who has cheated on me with half the vaginas in his office) is because i dont want to raise my children in poverty, and have no education since i dropped out of college to be an army wife.

[There are SO MANY options for you that don’t involve staying with an asshole because you feel like you have to. Trust me. Yes, you’ll have to give up your lifestyle and “stuff” that you may be living with now, but keeping your kids in an unstable and unhappy environment will be worse for them in the long run.]

10) I cried the first time my son cried inconsolably because I felt like a failure and wonder why God would ever let me be a mom.

[Bless your heart. This one absolutely broke my heart, I think because it happens to EVERY MOTHER. I will be the first to admit that I have cried just as hard as he does before. Especially when he was still little bitty and couldn’t tell me what he wanted. Pardon my religious-ness, but God made you that little boy’s mother for a reason. You are NOT a failure. Sometimes babies just cry. And no matter how much it sucks, sometimes you have to let them. That doesn’t make you a horrible mom, it makes you human.]

 

As mother’s, we’re expected to be perfect examples for our children and families. That’s seldom the case. Even the very best mothers make mistakes sometimes. Again, we’re all human!

 

Separation Anxiety or Control Freak?

My son, Aiden, is leaving me for 10 days-ish starting tomorrow night. This will be the longest he has EVER been away from me, and to top it off he will be halfway across the country.

He’s going to Oklahoma with his dad to visit some extended family. While I know it’s good for him to have time with his bio-Dad and other family, I’m still having a hard time accepting that I have to relinquish control to someone else. Control freak? Absolutely. Trust issues? Most definitely.

I know he will be perfectly fine, and I just have to keep reminding myself of this fact.

While he’s gone, I plan to busy myself by deep cleaning the house, various projects, and planning his 2nd birthday party. Hard to believe he will already be two in just over a month! Where does the time go?

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