Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lessons From a Stay-at-Home Mom

Obviously I am no expert when it comes to parenting or being a wife or anything at all... except I am an expert at just being generally awesome.  Hahah!  Just kidding... kind of.

However, even though I am not nearly an expert or amazing at anything in particular- especially parenting considering I have been a parent for 7 months- I can still offer up a little bit of knowledge that I have personally gained through experience.

Let's begin:

1. Everyone has a different opinion about how things should be done.  It is your child.  God has given you instincts, friend... use them.  Every baby is different, and every parent is different.  Thus, there are going to be different methods of parenting, and guess what?  Unless you mess up royally, your child will probably turn out just fine.  Relax.  Hardcore on Baby Wise?  Your baby will be fine.  Hardcore on Attachment Parenting?  Your baby will be fine.  Personally, I like to mix it up- my opinion has always been "moderation is the key".  And you know what?  My baby will be TOTALLY AND UTTERLY DESTROYED!!!!  Now, see... if you believed that, you obviously weren't paying attention.  The real answer is, he will be fine.  =]  Okay.  Paying attention now?  Good.  Carry on then...

2. Everyone wants to brag about her child.  This irks me many times.  But it shouldn't. You know why?  Because the kid that doesn't walk until 13 months could end up being a surgeon, and the prodigy baby that starts walking at an astounding 7 months could end up being as dumb as a bag of rocks someday.  Sounds harsh?  Sorry, the truth hurts.  According to research I have done at least, their early development (early as in like... baby) doesn't really have any bearing on their intelligence and development later on in life.  So if you feel the need to brag about your baby's accomplishments, try to think how you would feel if another momma told you everything her baby has done and your baby hadn't quite made it to that point yet.  If that would worry you, then newsflash... it probably worries the other momma... so knock it off.  Obviously I know my child is just as smart and developed as the rest of them, but when mommas start the "Well, my kid is doing such-and-such" game, I start to unnecessarily worry about whether or not T.J. is up to par.  That isn't fair to anyone- especially T.J.  If it is purely an innocent comparison and just a fun topic both momma's are interested in discussing, then great!  That is a different story.  Alls I'm sayin' is, try to be respectful and considerate.

3. Don't worry if you look like poop on a stick, no one looks at you anymore.  Seriously, though.  It is amazing how when you are holding an adorable child, no one stares at you anymore to see how you look.  Sound depressing?  Cheer up, Charlie!  (...or you know, whatever your name happens to be.)  This is a good thing- be an optimist!  You can look like junkindoodles and a half and not have to worry!  Obviously I am exaggerating, but the truth is, you are a lot less the center of others' eyeballs' attention.  Follow those possessives?  ::phew::  Give yourself a pat on the back because I wrote that and it annoyed me.

4. It will never be about you ever again.  EVER.  "Mom!  Dad!  So happy to see you!  You won't believe what I have been up to; I-  You aren't paying attention to me, are you?  Nope.  Just took T.J. out of my arms and are snuggling him without even realizing I am here.  You don't seem to understand that I brought him here... to you... right now... why am I still talking to myself when no one is listening?"  Sum it up?  Grand.

5. Babies don't pay attention to what goes in their mouths.  I am sure you knew this one, but I find it interesting that I made T.J. a prune, banana, breast milk puree ::waits patiently for readers to finish vomiting:: and he gobbles it down despite the fact that it looks like cat diarrhea.  Oh, to be so innocent and carefree.  Brown slime?  Don't mind if I do!

6. A successful day is measured in naps and poops.  To clarify: naps and poops of the baby.

7. You and your spouse's main topic of discussion will probably be the quality and quantity of baby's poops and naps for some time.  This is okay.  But you may want to try forcing yourselves to discuss other topics.  I mean, yes, baby bowel movements and naps are interesting to discuss (not.), but you need to have some actual conversation about other stuff as well... such as baby's general behavior and the clothing he or she wore that day...  ;]

8. Babies have rough patches.  No one said parenting was easy.  And if they did, either they don't have kids or they consider raising 9 cats as parenting.  Your baby may go through a sleep regression... or maybe even ::gasp:: multiple sleep regressions!  You will live.  Suck it up, you probably got up more in the middle of the night to pee during your pregnancy than you do to care for your little love bug during a regression.  I know I did!  Your little snuggle bear may go through a rough teething time.  And why not?  They have sharp objects ripping their way through sensitive mouth flesh- sound painful?  It IS!  The point is: you will live, they will live, and things will always get better!

9. Get out of the house.  One of the best things I can do for T.J. and myself is getting out of the house- even if it is a quick 30 minute walk or an hour at the park with Trav when he gets home from work.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I can get completely stir crazy when I am stuck in our 2-bedroom condo for the entire day.  T.J. is a person, too.  He probably gets just as stir crazy- boring?  I think so!  Walking can be such a relaxing, fun way to spend some quality time in the fresh air with your child.  Whatever you do, just get out for a bit- it always helps us break up the day with something different.

10. Enjoy these days without inhibitions.  As a stay-at-home mom, I feel the need to make sure the house is clean and everything is done before I can really sit down and enjoy time with my baby boy.  Here's a plan... the dishes and laundry will always be there... babies aren't babies forever.  I have cherished so many days of snuggling with my son (especially when he was a newborn), making sure that I soaked in the time.  I can say without doubt that I got to spend significant time snuggling with him when he was bitty, and I don't regret it.  Guess what?  My house wasn't clean... I didn't look super put together.  But my heart was full and now my memories are as well.  Make time for the things that matter.

sldfgja;gasd;jsdlkfjsdl;kfjsd, That's All Folks!  (Betcha didn't know how that mumbled up jumble was spelled until now.  You're welcome.)

-Have anything to add?  Don't lie, you know you want to give your two cents (...or, who knows, maybe twenty bucks!)!  Utilize that lovely comment area to add your thoughts!  Gracias!-

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kitchen Cavern of DEATH!!!!

You know when you run the garbage disposal in the sink and it sounds like there is a little something in there?  Well that happened tonight.

So I did something stupid.  NO WAIT!  Don't leave!  My fingers didn't get severed, my hand didn't get mangled, and my body (nor anyone else's) was harmed in any way.  The only thing harmed was my ego.

So back to my stupid choice.  I turned off the disposal and stuck my hand down in there to fish out whatever was making the little clicking sound.  I know, I know... why would a sane person do that?  Well, my dear, you are forgetting one thing: I am in no way sane!  Two things you must know about my sticking my hand down there:

1. It is yucky down there.
2. It freaks me out.
3. I have this deathly fear the entire time that either a bug will find my hand down in that dark, gross cavern of the sink.
4. I have another deathly fear that the blades will magically turn on due to a black out or something and my hand will be mangled in some personal horror scene in the kitchen.

Did I say "two things you must know"?  Meh, two of them were bonuses... it's your lucky day.

Needless to say, my heart pumps a little faster the whole time my hand is in epic danger.  Thus, I am surprised that I didn't die of a heart attack when the dishwasher decided to drain WHILE my hand was in the sink cavern.  In case you don't know, that means that water begins to spray down inside the garbage disposal area!!!

...that's one way to cure constipation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's the Little Things

thank·ful [thangk-fuhl]
feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

I have just been thinking about how thankful I am for the little things people have done for me recently.  Sometimes the most simple gestures can mean so much to me.  I am sure you can relate.  It is like getting a homemade gift from your child- I haven't experienced this yet obviously (I know the kid needs to step it up, but sheesh, give him a break, he is only 6 months old!), but I have a feeling it will be something I treasure more than any store bought gift.  (Someday my teenager is going to read this and make me some really crummy gift that shows NO effort, and I am going to regret this post- hahahaha!  Just kidding... kind of...)  As I reflect on certain people and gestures they have made, it makes me so grateful to have such sacrificial, selfless people in my life.  So here is my list of the "little things" (and some not-so-little things) in my life that I am thankful for right now.  P.S. If you have done something totally awesome for me recently and I forgot to put it on the list, feel free to berate me publicly on the comments section.  I will surely fix my post free of charge- lucky you!  ;]  Heehee!

I am thankful:

1. When I can call up our family friend, Janna, during a crisis (like yesterday when my air conditioning broke and T.J. and I were sweltering in our 82 degree apartment), and her first response is, "I will leave in ten minutes."

2. When that same person offers to let my family of three stay at her home that evening if our air isn't fixed by then.

3. When my baby boy, T.J., wraps his arm around my waist when nursing and scratches my back.

4. When my son sleeps for over 8 hours at night and takes naps during the day.

5. When my dear friend, Alyssa, continues to make an effort to chit chat despite life tugging at us in all different directions.  Sometimes we are both so busy, but she is always there making an effort to talk.  I so appreciate her for this, especially since I have a baby and can sometimes be so scatterbrained when I am busy that I forget to keep in touch.

6. When my mother-in-law, Becky, babysits T.J. for hours so I can spend some time with my sister-in-law, Kristin, at the beach, etc.  It gives this stay-at-home mom a nice break to re-energize!

7. When my mom and dad, Frank and Marilou, come down to visit and spoil my family rotten!  My mom treated me to eye cream and face cream from CLINIQUE when she was down here!  Cah-razy!  She also bought most of the groceries, treated us to meals out, treated us to Starbucks, etc., etc., etc.!!!

8. When my mom comes to visit us and happily sleeps on an air mattress in our living room without complaint because we don't have a guest room.

9. When my mother-in-law and father-in-law treat my family to dinner on Tuesdays.

10. When my mother-in-law spends all day with T.J. and me on Tuesdays to get us out of our apartment and spend time with us since we don't have a second car.

11. When my mom and dad FaceTime with T.J. and me every day and can't wait to see him!

12. When my mom and dad motivate us to hang pictures at our apartment and get things done that we would otherwise be too lazy to accomplish.  They help us so much with stuff around the apartment!

13. When I come home from having a crazy day with the air conditioning dying, etc., and I find red roses in a vase for me from my darling husband, Travis.

14. When my friend, Rainee, invites T.J. and me to go to library time with her and her son, knowing that she has to pick us up since we don't have an extra car.

15. When my sister says, "I wish you lived closer."

:: What are you thankful for today?  Let me know what "little thing" or "not-so-little thing" you are grateful for right now in the comment section below... I will be so thankful if you do!  ;]  Okay... now I am questioning that word's existence since I have typed it so much now... "thankful" is still a word, right? ... I'm confused. ::